The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee hosted the 20th anniversary Brunch on the Bay, its signature annual event, last Sunday, Nov. 10. More than 1,000 guests attended the event, and more than 150 corporate and individual donors gave $360,000 for local undergraduate scholarships. The university honored three local restaurants, Ophelia's On The Bay, Mattison's and Michael's On East, who have supported Brunch on the Bay from its beginning. Since 1994, the event has added more than $1.3 million to the university endowment and generated more than $950,000 in scholarships. In 2013, USF Sarasota-Manatee awarded 56 scholarships provided for by Brunch on the Bay.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast has launched “100 Men in 100 Days,” an effort to sign up at least 100 male volunteers to serve as mentors to boys in need. The organization reports that 52 percent of the youth it serves are boys, but only 39 percent of the volunteers are men. Currently 276 boys are on the waiting list. More information is available here.
Through business partnerships with at least 12 area schools, Cosimo’s is donating a complete Thanksgiving feast for up to six people to a needy family at each of the participating schools. The restaurant is also offering complete Thanksgiving meals to go available for purchase and is encouraging guests to share the meals with families and individuals in need.
Paul Mattison, the executive chef and proprietor of the Mattison’s restaurants in Sarasota, has created a sustainable student garden at Phillippi Shores Elementary School. The garden, which has been in development by Mattison and his team for more than a year, features 40 handmade raised bed garden boxes filled with 20 cubic yards of soil and compost. The garden will help students learn hands-on about gardening, composting, nutrition, meal planning and cooking. Mattison provided the initial funding for the project, with additional donations and other forms of sponsorship from Lowe’s, Crosley Museum, Jeff Scarborough of the Nature Center, and parents, staff and students at the school.
All Faiths Food Bank has been awarded $10,000 from cooking celebrity Rachael Ray’s Yum-o! organization, granted through Feeding America. The funds will help support the food bank’s BackPack Kids program, which provides backpacks of food to children in kindergarten through eighth grade to reduce the risk of hunger over the weekends and during school holidays. The program distributed more than 75,000 backpacks during the 2012-2013 season.
Publix is giving away one Thanksgiving feast for eight per day, Nov. 18-23, for Suncoast Communities Blood Bank donors. Anyone donating at a blood bank donor center or bloodmobile will be eligible for the drawing. All donors will receive a $10 Publix gift card. Donor locations and more information are available here.
Attorneys at Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP recently raised $2,640 for both SPARCC and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota County. The partners are auctioned in the annual tradition, and the winning bidders decide what they dress up as for Halloween. The firm is also running a donation drive through the end of the month to collect food items for All Faiths Food Bank, supplies for SPARCC, and toys for the Boys and Girls Clubs.
Community Haven for Adults and Children with Disabilities, Inc. has announced their 16th annual Jingle & Jog 5K Race, 8 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. The race will start and end on Community Haven’s 32-acre campus, located at 4405 DeSoto Road, Sarasota. Registration, available here, will begin at 7 a.m. Registrants will receive commemorative T-shirts, healthy snacks and beverages. The event will also include a Haven Creators Art Show and raffle prizes to benefit the organization.
Insignia Bank has launched “Casual for a Cause,” an employee incentive program to raise funds for local charities. Employees who make a small donation can enjoy Casual Friday, and a charity is randomly selected from a list of local organizations recommended by the staff. The October proceeds of $500 were given to Beyond the Spectrum, which helps support autistic children and their families.