This Week's Good Deeds

Caribbean-themed fundraisers, new support for individuals with criminal histories and several donations in this week's roundup of locals giving back.

By staff April 6, 2017

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Leon Coldero

Bradenton's Visible Men Academy is putting on its signature fundraising event, Shine On!, a festive Caribbean-inspired evening, at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 28, with the help of singer Leon Coldero. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, Coldero was a lead singer for Byron Lee and the Dragonaires. He has performed extensively throughout the Caribbean, Latin America, Canada, the United States and Europe. Tickets to the fundraiser are $200.

Goodwill Manasota and Project 180 are together celebrating National Reentry Week, April 24-30, by signing a memorandum of understanding to solidify their partnership, to help individuals with criminal histories find employment and to break the cycle of recidivism. Locally, 12 percent of Goodwill Manasota’s workforce self-identifies as having a criminal history. Project 180 is a local prisoner reentry nonprofit that offers workforce education and financial literacy courses to inmates in six Gulf Coast prisons and jails and an annual lecture series on prisoner reentry for the general public. The organizations are collaborating to provide workforce education, job skill training and job placement so that former offenders have the opportunity to achieve success.

The Child Protection Center, Inc. recently received a $10,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation. The money will support the center's Personal Safety Community Awareness program. The program educates and empowers children and adults in an effort to eliminate child abuse by leading developmentally appropriate personal safety workshops for children that cover topics such as sexual abuse prevention, bullying, internet safety, abduction prevention, self-esteem and empathy training.

The Rotary Club of Sarasota recently donated $8,000 to Children First to make improvements to the playground at its Orange Avenue headquarters. The Rotary Club will enable Children First to install a "Merry-Go-Cycle," a magnet wall and large timber stackers. The new equipment, which is being used by children ages 3-5, encourages children to learn through play and helps them develop fine and gross motor skills.

Canandaigua National Trust Company of Florida, an affiliate of Canandaigua National Bank & Trust, recently pledged $6,000 to the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe for its Heart & Soul capital campaign. The fundraising effort, which has a goal of $6 million, will transform the organization's campus at 10th Street and Orange Avenue into a state-of-the-art performing arts center, enable the organization to more fully develop its education program and create an endowment fund for the troupe's future.

The Venice-Nokomis Woman’s Club recently presented Children First with a check for $1,936. The funds were raised during a January pancake breakfast at the Paradise Grill in Nokomis. Children First is Sarasota County's exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start programs. The organization offers preschool, infant and toddler care, as well as nutrition and health care assistance to children from low-income families from birth to age 5.

Designing Daughters of Sarasota is hosting Fashion Market, a pre-party for the organization’s biggest annual event of the season, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 9, at Big Top Brewery Company, 6111 Porter Way, Sarasota. The family-friendly affair will feature vendor tables with fashion, accessories and more for men, women and children, all-you-can-drink craft beer and entertainment. Food trucks and lunch options will also be available. Tickets are $10.

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