This Week's Good Deeds

Big donations, fun fundraisers and new grant opportunities in this week's roundup of locals giving back.

By staff February 16, 2017

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From left to right: Pat Neal, Charlene Neal and Caleb Grimes, the chairman of the Invest in Kids Campaign and a local attorney

Pat Neal, the CEO and chairman of the board at Neal Communities, and his wife, Charlene Neal, recently donated $1 million to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County. The donation will go toward the nonprofit’s Invest in Kids Campaign, which will rebuild the Clubs’ campus. The new campus will serve up to 600 kids, more than double the number currently served. The nonprofit provides a safe and fun place for young people to learn, grow and build supportive relationships with caring adults.

The Sarasota law firm Syprett, Meshad, Resnick, Lieb, Dumbaugh, Jones, Krotec & Westheimer, P.A., sponsored the first annual Cat Depot Golf Classic on Feb. 6. The event was a sell-out, attracting 97 golfers and raising over $18,000 to help sick, injured, abandoned and homeless kittens and cats in the greater Sarasota community.

On Jan. 26, at its annual Boots and Bling Celebration, SWAT (Successful Women Aligning Together) Networking presented a check to Ashely Brown, the CEO of the Women’s Resource Center, for almost $3,000. The organization collects "brag dollars" throughout the year and then donates the money to a charity.

Last month, Village on the Isle, a faith-based nonprofit retirement community in Venice, donated an eight-passenger bus to Loveland Village, a nonprofit that provides educational, vocational and residential programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

College students at Ringling College of Art and Design in the school's Writing Picture Books class have been visiting area schools and children’s programs, including the Sarasota nonprofit Children First, to help remind the young adults what it was like to be a little kid, and to better inform their attempts to entertain and educate children through their art. The class will visit Children First and a local elementary school several times over the course of the semester; students also visit bookstores and libraries.

The Junior League of Sarasota is holding its Simply Sarasota Tour of Homes fundraiser on Friday, Feb. 24, and Saturday, Feb. 25. The tour will feature five homes from Siesta Key to Indian Beach and Sapphire Shores. The event will include chefs, artists and designers who will be giving short demonstrations and samples at each house. Tickets are $25-$45. For full details, click here. The Junior League’s signature community project involves fighting hunger through food drives, food sorting and slow cooker education classes.

Sisterhood for Good, a Lakewood Ranch Community Fund giving circle, is now accepting 2017 grant applications through Saturday, April 15. The fund raises money to support projects and programs for a variety of causes, including women’s and children’s issues, animal welfare, arts and education, health and safety, and hunger and homelessness. Those applying for grants are asked to submit a completed application form that summarizes their nonprofit and illustrates how a grant from Sisterhood for Good will make an immediate, direct impact to a specific project or cause. Proof of 501(c)(3) status is also required. Click here to apply.

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