Good News Friday: Good Deeds - March 7, 2014

By Chelsey Lucas March 6, 2014

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With just under 3,700 gifts and 136 businesses contributing, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County's Season of Sharing has surpassed $2 million in donations! The Patterson Foundation aided in reaching this number with a match donation of more than $632,000.



Gateway Bank  raised $1,500 for Southeastern Guide Dogs when employees formed a corporate team and participated in the walkathon on Feb. 22 in Bradenton. Recognized by the American Heart Association as a “fit friendly” company, Gateway Bank encourages employees to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.



The Education Foundation’s annual Evening of Excellence grossed more than $280,000 in cash and in-kind gifts, including a live auction total of $50,000. Proceeds benefit the 41,200 students in the public schools through the group’s initiatives, grants, scholarships and other programs. The program has raised more than $2.6 million for schools, students and teachers since 1996.



The Suncoast Divas recently presented Suncoast Charities for Children with a $7,000 check from fund-raising efforts held throughout this past year. Over the past five years, the Suncoast Divas have raised and donated more than $25,000 to Suncoast Charities for Children serving children, teens and adults with special needs and their families.



Neal Communities is a gold sponsor of the “Puttin’ on the Ritz” fashion show and dinner benefiting the nonprofit organization, Strength in Action, a Palmetto-based nonprofit focused on aiding at-risk youth. Pat Neal, president of Neal Communities, donated $2,000 to the event, which will be held this Sunday, March 9, at the Bradenton Area Convention Center. The proceeds from the fashion show and dinner will be used to continue services at Strength in Action, Inc., such as the 1,200 to 1,500 meals given each month to people in need, in addition to assisting with food stamps, emergency baskets from Meals on Wheels, food distribution and job skills through SunCoast Workforce.



Members of the Sarasota Young Professionals Group geared up in hard hats and tool belts for a rewarding volunteer opportunity this past Saturday. Eleven volunteers helped build a home for Habitat for Humanity, resulting in a combined contribution of 49.5 volunteer hours. Volunteerism is a major focus of the Sarasota Young Professionals Group. The YPG’s next volunteer event will be benefiting All Faiths Food Bank on March 22. Visit for more information.



Children First received a grant of $10,000 from Harold C. & Jacqueline F. Bladel Foundation in order to provide child care scholarships to children and families in need. This funding will allow children from birth to five years of age who live in poverty to receive full-day early childhood education, nutrition, health, and developmental services at Children First’s North Port facility.



Carats Fine Jewelry and Watches of Sarasota is sponsoring a jewelry design contest and auction to benefit Girls Incorporated of Sarasota County. The contest has allowed local girls to learn about the jewelry design process, from conception to production, and offered the winner an opportunity to see her original jewelry design transformed into a unique, wearable work-of-art. The contest will culminate in a public auction of the winning pendant from 4-6 p.m. on March 11 at the Carats showroom. All proceeds from the sale of the pendant will help to fund Girls, Inc.

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