The 2016 Leadership Sarasota County class of The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce (sarasotachamber.com) has selected Easter Seals Southwest Florida (easterseals-swfl.org) as the recipient of its annual class project. Work on the project, dubbed Academy Farms: Project Grow!, began late last month. During the four-month effort, the 2016 class will add plumbing to the three existing hoop houses, install concrete walkways to allow for easier wheelchair access, transport garden and compost areas and provide outdoor wash stations. A grand reveal is tentatively scheduled for April 22, Earth Day.
Goodwill Manasota (experiencegoodwill.org) received a $15,000 grant from the Harry Shapiro Charitable Foundation earmarked for Goodwill’s SERV fund (Special Emergency Resources for Veterans). The program helps veterans in need of immediate financial assistance for housing, transportation, food, clothing and more. The Harry Shapiro Charitable Foundation was founded in 2015 to honor Harry Shapiro, a Punta Gorda resident and Navy veteran.
Unidos Now (unidosnow.org), a nonprofit dedicated to empowering Latinos, received a $3,000 grant from State Farm Insurance (statefarm.com) to prepare high school students and their parents for college savings, budgeting and further understanding the importance of proper money management in future success. The grant will be used specifically to sponsor the financial education workshops of Unidos Now’s Future Leaders Academy, a comprehensive college preparation program for low-income student in Sarasota High School and Palmetto High School.
The Rotary Club of Bradenton (bradentonrotary.org) will raise money for Turning Points (tpmanatee.org) with its annual Comedy Night FUN raiser, featuring comedian Aaron Wilburn and a full dessert bar. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, and the show begins at 7:15, at Pier 22, 1200 First Ave. W., Bradenton. Tickets cost $50 and can be purchased at the door or ahead of time from the Rotary Club by calling (941) 748-3378 or from Turning Points by calling (941) 747-1509.
Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida announced this week that bank employees volunteered a total of 2,132 hours with community organizations in Sarasota and Manatee counties last year. Among the organizations benefitting from Gateway involvement were United Way, Junior Achievement, Just4Girls, local food banks and schools.
The Suncoast Center for Independent Living (scil4u.org) is giving away 50 free refurbished desktop computers to people with disabilities. The event will be held 1-5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 3281 17th St., Sarasota. The first 50 people to attend will receive a computer. Participants can pre-register or register the day of the event, and must have a permanent, significant disability, as well as proof of Sarasota County residency and income to qualify under certain income guidelines. There is a limit of one computer per family. To pre-register, call (941) 351-9545 ext. 104 or ext. 113.
Attorneys and staff from the law firm Shumaker, Loop and Kendrick, LLP (slk-law.com) will ride bikes for the American Diabetes Association (diabetes.org) this spring. Shumaker is a sponsor of Tour de Cure, a cycling event on April 10 that starts at Lakewood Ranch Main Street and benefits the Association. A dozen employees, many of them new to cycling, will make up the Shumaker team. Riders will cycle 20 to 100 miles around the Lakewood Ranch area.