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From left to right: Sam Wilson, Bart Lowther, Dan Starostecki and Nichole Zych

Image: Lori Sax

Child Protection Center's fourth annual Men Whiskey & Watches event, held Dec. 15, raised almost $120,000 to fund programs at the center. More than 325 guests attended.

The Forty Carrots Family Center charity event Wine, Women & Shoes recently raised over $500,000. The money will provide parenting education and mental health services in Sarasota and Manatee County for families that might otherwise not have access to them.

The Patterson Foundation recently gave $100,000 to Season of Sharing, a gift triggered by $500,000 raised by the community for the effort. For the duration of Season of Sharing, The Patterson Foundation will make additional $100,000 contributions for every $500,000 raised by donors for families and individuals on the verge of homelessness in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties.

Designing Daughters of Sarasota, a charitable organization of young professional women, recently hosted its first grants ceremony to award more than $60,000 to local nonprofits. This year’s grant recipients included the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County, Children First, Easter Seals of Southwest Florida, Everyday Blessings, Florida Rescue Farm, InStride Therapy, the Mark Wandall Foundation, More Too Life, Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, the Muscular Dystrophy Association – Southwest Florida, Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue, the Neuro Challenge Foundation, Pines of Sarasota, the Sarasota Ballet and Take Stock in Children.

The Woman's Exchange, Inc. recently granted $25,000 to the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe to support the production costs of its five-show 2016-2017 mainstage season. The Woman's Exchange has been providing financial support for the theater since 2012.

Ameriprise Financial recently awarded a $5,000 grant to the Sarasota YMCA’s Youth Shelter. The shelter provides temporary housing and safe care for Southwest Florida youth ages 10 to 17 who have run away, are experiencing family conflict or have been locked out of their homes. The shelter is available as a resource 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In mid-December, Mike Bryant presented Goodwill Manasota with a $5,000 check designated for the Rick and Coni Fawley Scholarship Fund. Goodwill launched the fund last year to help Goodwill team members who do not have a high school diploma earn a GED. This year, the program was expanded to clients of Goodwill’s free career services program, Job Connection.

Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate CARES, the charitable arm of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, recently presented a $700 donation to Goodwill Manasota’s Veterans Services Program, which works to help returning servicemen and women reintegrate back into their families, communities and jobs.

After a year of collecting donations dollar by dollar, JMX Brands, a Sarasota-based online retailer, recently donated $677 in Christmas gifts to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast. During each company staff meeting, JMX Brands employees honor co-workers who work above and beyond expectations by donating a dollar and a compliment to the “kudos” box.

Goodwill Manasota, in partnership with the Gail Baird Foundation, hosted a festive holiday lunch on Dec. 13 for 50 homeless veterans from Sarasota and Manatee counties. The lunch included hot turkey and fixings prepared by Zildjian Catering, gifts and educational information about housing, employment opportunities and local food banks.

RE/MAX Alliance Group recently raised $15,257 for John Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg through its Children’s Miracle Network Golf Tournament, held at the Founder's Club.

Meals on Wheels of Sarasota volunteers on Dec. 19 packed and delivered hundreds of quilts, shawls and small gifts for homebound residents. Some of the gifts were made by hand; others were donated.

Members of the Sarasota Southside Rotary Club brought holiday cheer to students at the Helen R. Payne Center of Children First through gifts purchased and donated by club members and activities in the classroom. While the project began with the "adoption" of just one classroom, for the past three years the Rotary volunteers have been able to interact with and bring holiday gifts for all 50-plus children enrolled at the center.

A standout Goodwill Manasota team member was recently selected to be the beneficiary of the Adams and Reese Sarasota office’s HUGS Program. On Christmas Eve, Goodwill Manasota employee Antoinette Goggins and her three children received items, including a Christmas tree with decorations, a variety of books and toys, bath accessories and toiletries, work clothes, bedding and room accessories, a variety of gift cards and more.

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