As part of the 2014 Giving Challenge, Embracing Our Differences will receive a $5,000 grant for its Giving Challenge business partnership with Louie’s Modern, which hosted a cocktail reception to raise money and awareness for the nonprofit. Embracing Our Differences raised $21,500 from 51 donors online and additional donations offline throughout the challenge. Community Youth Development (CYD) will receive $3,000 for its business partnership with Westfield Sarasota Square. Several other nonprofits that developed strategic partnerships and campaigns for the Giving Challenge also will receive special grant awards from partner foundations. Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida and Goodwill Manasota will share a $5,000 grant for the “I Have the Power” joint campaign. Multiple organizations in Charlotte County collaborated during the Giving Challenge and will receive $3,000 for their efforts to create community awareness about services and programs.
Gulf Coast Community Foundation recognized 140 math and science educators from 13 Sarasota and Charlotte county schools at its third annual STEMsmart Teacher Celebration. Gulf Coast awarded technology prizes to seven teachers for excellence in professional development, student enrichment or community awareness as part of the foundation’s STEMsmart science and math education initiative. The winning teachers in the Student Enrichment category are Larry Shannon, Venice High School; Kevin O’Gorman, Woodland Middle School; and Keith Little, Venice High School. In the STEMsmart Teacher Training category, Denise Brislin, North Port High School; Cindy Schlotterback, Laurel Nokomis School; and Steve Case, Venice High School, were honored. The Community Awareness Award went to Maria Kearns, Venice Middle School. Sarasota Middle School won as the 2014 STEMsmart School of the Year.
Habitat for Humanity South Sarasota Co. were joined by four local business associates to lay sod surrounding the four new homes in Laurel Gardens, a Laurel neighborhood. The businesses are Plantation Golf and Country Club, JIMCO Maintenance, Matthew Currie Ford and Venice Yacht Club.