This Week's Good Deeds

Granola bars, donations and fundraisers galore.

Research by staff May 5, 2016

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Conor Andrich (second from left)

Image: Sharon Kunkel

Sarasota High School student Conor Andrich delivered 6,000 granola bars to the Booker Middle School food pantry on Wednesday. Andrich, a 10th grader, is deeply involved with the SRQVolunteen program of Community Youth Development and has contributed more than 100 volunteer hours benefiting the community already this year. He decided to purchase granola bars to stock up the food pantry for an area Title I school, where hunger is an issue. Andrich's initial goal was to raise $1,200 to purchase 600 granola bars, but he found a way to purchase 6,000 for just 10 cents each through Costco. He raised money through a "Make Your Mark on Hunger" grant from GenerationOn, a Go Fund Me page, tabling at a local grocery store and working with fellow students to raise awareness and money.

Embracing Our Differences recently received an EdExploreSRQ Endowment Match from The Patterson Foundation, which will provide vital resources for Embracing Our Differences' annual free exhibit field trips and for its Make-a-Day-of-It! program, an educational outreach initiative that provides free bus transportation for thousands of area students and teachers to visit regional arts and cultural venues and events. The $200,000 endowment, which is managed and administered by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, matches Embracing Our Differences' original $100,000 endowment, provided by Dennis and Graci McGillicuddy and The Swart Family Foundation.

Designing Daughters of Sarasota, a charitable organization of young professional women dedicated to enhancing the community and cultivating the next generation of philanthropists, recently raised more than $50,000 during its annual fashionable gala. All proceeds will be awarded to local charity organizations. Last year, the group raised $43,000 and handed out 13 grants between $1,600 and $5,000 to local nonprofits. This year’s funds will be given out at the end of the year.

Over $33,000 was recently raised for the Booker High School Foundation during the first Bull Market at The Blue Rooster fundraising event, supported and partially funded by Eric Robinson, a District 3 Sarasota County School Board candidate. Two hundred guests enjoyed live music, dinner, a cash bar featuring signature cocktails and an array of unique themed gift baskets at Blue Rooster last week. Robinson donated all the cost for food so every dollar benefits Booker High School Foundation’s many educational programs.

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation recently awarded a $10,000 grant to Take Stock in Children of Manatee County, Inc. for its Scholarship and College Success Program. The funding will help provide college coaching services through the transition into college for recipients of the Take Stock in Children Scholarship.

Six University of Alabama students were recently awarded full-tuition scholarships at the Culverhouse College of Commerce. They are among 24 scholars who have received financial support since the founding of the Eliza and Hugh F. Culverhouse Student Assistance Scholarship Fund in 2013 by the CEO and owner of Palmer Ranch, Hugh Culverhouse Jr., and his wife Eliza. The couple has given more than $6 million to the university since launching the scholarship fund.

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation recently presented Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast with a check in the amount of $5,000. The funds will go toward Gateway to Graduation, which meets the needs of disadvantaged students in grades 8-12 in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Big Brothers Big Sisters was also awarded $2,500 from the Weichel Family Fund through the Manatee Community Foundation for the Reading Bigs program in Manatee County, and Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate Cares awarded $1,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters for one-on-one mentoring programs in the Venice area. And, finally, the Service Club of Manatee County awarded $4,375 to Big Brothers Big Sisters for the Decisions to Win program in Manatee County.

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