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Member News

  • 10 Jan 2022 8:49 AM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations in Florida that Feb. 10 is the filing deadline for federal economic injury disaster loans due to rain, flooding, winds, and tropical storm on Nov. 7-13, 2020.

    The loans are available in the counties of Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, Saint Lucie and Sarasota in Florida.

    Under this declaration, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program is available to eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. Apart from aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers, and ranchers.

    The loan amount can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 3 percent for small businesses and 2 percent for private nonprofit organizations, with terms up to 30 years. The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.

    Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at and should apply under SBA declaration # 16999, not for the COVID-19 incident.

    Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to Loan application forms can be downloaded from Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

    Submit completed loan applications to SBA no later than Feb. 10, 2022.

  • 05 Jan 2022 9:30 AM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    SARASOTA-LAKEWOOD RANCH - Sarasota-Manatee travel lovers are invited to meet with and hear presentations from top-rated luxury travel suppliers at the 2nd annual Sarasota Luxury Travel Forum. The free event will be held at The Meadows Country Club in Sarasota from 4-7:30 p.m.

    “People want to go on vacation after the last two years of dealing with uncertainty,” noted Marc Bokoff. “They want personal attention from both their travel supplier and their professional travel advisor to ensure that all goes smoothly. Trying to organize a vacation oneself as the world works its way forward is fraught with challenges. Having a knowledgeable and experienced advisor is key to having a worry-free vacation.” Bokoff has decades of experience with land vacations, cruises, resorts, destination weddings, and group travel.

    This year’s Luxury Travel Forum promises to be extremely informational, with a dozen of the industry’s most respected brands – including land, sea, river, and rail suppliers – in attendance. Guests will enjoy refreshments while they consider options for their next vacation, taking advantage of specials and discounts exclusive to Bokoff’s clients.

    “Our guests will be treated to a wide array of travel suppliers,” said Marc Bokoff, “with companies known throughout the industry for their high-quality offerings and customer service.” The forum gives guests a chance to speak one-on-one with travel representatives as well as hear short presentations about travel-related topics, from bucket list destinations like Antarctica, to North American luxury train journeys, to river cruising at home and abroad, to custom-designed vacations and more.

    Travel companies represented at the Forum include: Abercrombie & Kent, American Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Kensington Tours, Lindblad Expeditions, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Rocky Mountaineer, Scenic Cruises, Seabourn, Silversea Cruises, and Uniworld River Cruises.

    Registration is requested. For more information and to register, visit

  • 21 Dec 2021 9:17 AM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    Rebecca Morgan honors her late mother through ‘Sue’s Backpacks’ donation to Goodwill Manasota’s Veterans Services program

    On December 13, representatives from the Sara DeSoto Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution dropped off 50 backpacks and plentiful supplies for homeless veterans at the Goodwill Manasota Veterans Services office (8490 Lockwood Ridge Rd., Sarasota).

    The donation comes as part of the “Sue’s Backpacks” program of the DAR, spearheaded by member Rebecca Morgan in honor of her late mother, Sue Harris, who led a similar effort through her DAR chapter in another state. Morgan organized the first “Sue’s Backpacks” effort here locally in 2017.

    Items that were donated along with the backpacks include handmade blankets, clothing items (such as socks, underwear and T-shirts), baby wipes, razors, deodorant and body spray, can openers, gift cards for food, rain ponchos, and snacks like crackers or Slim Jims. The Veterans Services team will tailor each backpack for the veterans’ individual needs and preferences.

    The mission of the DAR – whose members must be able to trace their genealogy back to an ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary Way – is “God, Home and Country.” Rebecca notes the chapters focus on historic preservation, education and patriotism and says that helping veterans is an area of strong focus.

    “We want everybody to have a good Christmas,” Morgan says. “Veterans put their lives on the line for our country; I feel like this is the least we could do.”

    Community members who wish to support the “Sue’s Backpacks” effort are invited to reach out to Morgan at

    Goodwill’s Veterans and Their Families Program was created in 2013 to help veterans reintegrate into their families, communities and jobs. The program – which is staffed by veterans – provides comprehensive case management and vocational services, networking opportunities, and assistance in navigating the wide array of available social service programs. For more information, visit

  • 21 Dec 2021 9:11 AM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    Children First staff member Bonnie Eskell and the agency’s entire Diamond Circle were honored for their incredible contributions to our community at the SRQ Good Hero Philanthropic Awards.

    As a long-time employee, Bonnie serves as an Early Learning Inclusion Coordinator on the agency’s Comprehensive Services team, working to provide support to every child enrolled in the program with a diagnosed disability. Disabilities can include, but are not limited to, developmental delays, autism, or sensory processing disorder. She previously served as site Manager of Children First’s main campus, the Dr. Elaine Marieb Center in Sarasota, where she helped lead more than 40 staff in serving nearly 150 children and their families across 11 classrooms. 

    As part of Children First’s 60th anniversary celebration, key supporters came forth with the idea to present a challenge match to our community, resulting in the formation of the Diamond Circle. Their leadership and generosity put forth a challenge of a collective $1,060,000 that inspired our broader community to raise more than $2.3MM in support and recognition of the thousands of children and families whose life stories have been changed over the past 60 years and continue to be changed as part of the Children First family.

    The key philanthropists comprising the Diamond Circle membership include: two anonymous donors providing gifts totaling just over $300,000; individuals, couples and foundations providing gifts of $60,000 each including: Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, Dawn and Mitchell Epstein, Julie and Brock Leach, Joan and Dr. Bart Levenson, Katherine and Frank Martucci, Elenor Maxheim in loving memory of John Maxheim, Keith Monda and Veronica Brady, Leslie and Dick Rivera, Gaye and Jack Schwarz, and Karen Solem in loving memory of Charles Forman; couples joining together to form Diamond Circles with combined gifts from $20,000 to $30,000 including: John Bean and Alexandra Jupin, Lisa and John Giglio, Carol and Richard Kalikow, and Bob and Lin Williams; and couples and individuals comprising a Diamond Circle with gifts from $10,000 including: Alison and Howie Madsen, Jo and Stan Rutstein, Mike Rutstein, and CEO Philip Tavill.

    “Bonnie and the members of the Diamond Circle were recognized as ambassadors of the incredible spirit of giving back in our region, as well as for their significant impact in realizing the Children First vision. We are deeply grateful for this steadfast support that keeps our mission moving forward each day,” says CEO Philip Tavill. “Having just celebrated my 25th anniversary in my role as CEO, I’ve had the unique aspect of seeing the incredibly heavy lifting required in maintain our high level of service. Many hands make light work, and Bonnie and our Diamond Circle members are the key drivers that inspire our community to continue going above and beyond for our children and families.”

  • 08 Dec 2021 3:21 PM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    Bradenton, FL, December 8, 2021 –Blake Medical Center is pleased to announce the hospital’s new Chief Medical Officer (CMO) R. Lee Biggs, DO, MPH, CPE, FACOG.  Dr. Biggs joined the hospital Monday, December 6.

    “I am excited to welcome Dr. Biggs to our Blake family. His strong foundation of quality and clinical excellence, vision, and leadership will be tremendous assets to our collective work in providing the very best possible care for those we are privileged to serve,” says Steve Nierman, CEO and President of Blake Medical Center. 

    Before joining Blake, Dr. Biggs served as the CMO of Trident Health in Charleston, South Carolina in HCA Healthcare’s South Atlantic Division. Prior to Trident Health, he served as CMO for HCA Healthcare’s Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls, Indiana.   

    Dr. Briggs is a well-respected physician executive with a strong track record of partnering with other physicians and caregivers to deliver superior patient care,” explains Sebastian Strom, MD, MBA, FACHE, HCA Healthcare West Florida Division CMO. “We are excited that he is joining our leadership team at Blake Medical Center.”

    Dr. Biggs is a native of Asheville, North Carolina, and had a 26-year career as a Captain in the U.S. Navy and practicing Obstetrician and Gynecologist before joining HCA Healthcare. While in the Navy, he had assignments at sea and tours of duty in Italy, Virginia, South Carolina, Afghanistan, Guam, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC.

    He attained his undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University, a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) from George Washington University and his medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (DO). Dr. Biggs has maintained professional certification with the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology (FACOG) and the American Association for Physician Leadership/American College of Physician Executives (CPE).


    In his clinical and leadership roles he has served as a Chief Clinical Officer, Medical Staff President, Director for Surgical Services, and Department Chair of Obstetrics. He has championed and led innovation in physician development, process improvement, quality, and patient safety. In 2010, he received the Department of Defense Patient Safety Award for advances in Obstetrical and Team-Centered Care.

    Dr. Biggs recently relocated to the Bradenton area with his wife Marie and their 12-year-old Airedale Terrier Aires. He and Marie have a son Sean who lives in Williamsburg, Virginia, and a daughter Laura completing college at the University of California – San Diego.

    Blake Medical Center is a 383-bed, Level II Trauma Center and one of only six designated Burn Center programs in the state.  The hospital serves patients in Manatee County and along Florida’s West Coast with an array of services including a Comprehensive Stroke Center, Heart and Vascular Center, Complex Hand Repair and Microsurgery program, and Joint Replacement and Spine Center.  The hospital’s Graduate Medical Education includes Internal Medicine Residency and Transitional Year programs.

  • 06 Dec 2021 8:46 AM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    SARASOTA, FL Icard Merrill Shareholder John J. Waskom has been selected as the recipient of The Florida Bar President's 2022 Pro Bono Service Award for the 12th Judicial Circuit. This prestigious award is presented to an outstanding attorney from each of the state’s 20 judicial circuits and to an outstanding attorney among the out-of-state Florida Bar members.

    “The Board of Governors and the more than 109,000 members of The Florida Bar salute you for your service,” said Bar President Michael Tanner. “The time and professional expertise you have contributed to making legal representation available to those who otherwise would be unable to afford it show our profession at its best. It is my sincere hope that others in the legal field will follow your outstanding example.”

    This is the third time an Icard Merrill attorney has been awarded this honor since its inception in 1982 (Art Ginsburg, 2012; Troy Myers, 2011). In addition, the firm received the Chief Justice’s Law Firm Commendation Award in 2010 recognizing extraordinary commitment to provide access to the courts for all Floridians. Upon hearing of his selection, Waskom responded, “I'm of course very honored and surprised to receive this pro bono award. Being of service to the court and of service to those in need is an honor and a pleasure itself.”

    Waskom noted that pro bono work began for him in his third year of law school, “At the University of Florida, students in the top 15% of their class were eligible to work at the Three Rivers Legal Services. I enjoyed doing pro bono work beginning in law school and found it extremely rewarding.”

    He said he was also influenced by Icard Merrill’s pro bono culture, “During the 2008–2009 foreclosure crisis, our firm, through the leadership of Bob Lyons, accepted a great challenge from the Honorable Robert Bennett (Ret.) to organize a firmwide effort to help those in need. My pro bono work should also be credited to these two individuals. They got my pro bono juices going again and I am grateful to them. This combined with being an empty nest parent with time on his hands have also contributed.”

    Our entire firm is immensely proud of John for providing pro bono services to our community and continuing our firm’s rich tradition of giving back and fulfilling community needs. He sets a high standard for our local bar and to all the attorneys in the firm,” said Lyons.

    Waskom reflected on how pro bono work affects his practice, “Often the pro bono work I do is with incapacitated people who don't have a genuine understanding of the proceedings in which they are involved. In other cases, I help guardians who wish to protect or serve a family member but don't have the resources to employ the required attorney. In other situations, minor children and their best interests and rights are my assignment. In every one of these cases, it's an honor to be of service both to the court and to these clients.”

    Each year, the Florida Supreme Court and The Florida Bar honor and recognize lawyers, groups and members of the judiciary who have freely given their time and expertise in ensuring access to justice for those who otherwise could not afford it. Waskom and all award recipients will be honored at the 2022 Pro Bono Service Awards Ceremony at the Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee on January 20, 2022.


    Waskom received his M.B.A. and B.S. with high honors from the University of Tennessee. He received his J.D. from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. During his second year of law school, he clerked with United Technologies’ in-house legal counsel at their European headquarters in Paris, France. During his final year of law school, he worked as a pro bono attorney at Three Rivers Legal Services in Gainesville under the Florida Supreme Court's provisional admission program allowing representation of indigent clients in civil matters. Upon graduation, he was named a member of the Florida Chapter of the Order of the Coif in recognition of his ranking in the top 10% of the graduating class.

    Waskom has practiced with Icard Merrill for almost 30 years, becoming a shareholder in 1997, and currently serving as vice president. His practice is focused on estate planning, guardianships, probate administration, trust administration, and business transactions. He regularly represents clients in circuit court, state appellate court and in federal court diversity actions. An emphasis of his practice includes contested or litigated matters related to estates, trusts and guardianships, conducting both bench and jury trials.

    Icard Merrill has worked for many years with The Florida Bar, Legal Aid of Manasota, the 12th Judicial Circuit’s Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) program, and key community partners on hundreds of pro bono cases in multiple areas of law. Despite a pandemic and virtual challenges, the firm continued to serve clients and engage in the program throughout 2020 with over 550 hours of pro bono work completed by attorneys and staff.

  • 02 Dec 2021 8:45 AM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    Sarasota, FL (December 2, 2021) – The Community Foundation of Sarasota County has provided Children First with a $30,000 Equity and Access Grant supporting access to mental health care for Sarasota County’s most vulnerable young children and families. Children First also received a Community Impact Grant from the Community Foundation in the amount of $4,963.17 to provide car seats to children in need.

    The Equity and Access Grant for mental health services is supported by the Edward K. Roberts Fund, Edward K. Roberts Emerging Needs Fund, and Mary Colonna Schmid Fund for Preschool Children from the Community Foundation. Children First mental health services include classroom observation and support, caregiver consultation, creating and implementing individualized plans for children, and child-parent psychotherapy.

    Because of the critical importance of positive adult relationships in a child’s life, this grant will also fund a pilot Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP will provide staff with access to the resources they need to support their own emotional and mental well-being, increasing the quality of care for all children and families served.

    The Community Impact Grant is supported by the Hilda Gold Fund for Children and Youth Services and the Sheldon L. German Fund from the Community Foundation. The agency also takes a comprehensive approach to child-passenger safety and works with community partners to help educate parents and caregivers. According to the Center for Disease Control, buckling children in age- and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats, and seat belts reduces the risk of serious and fatal injuries. Both grants will have an immediate impact as the need for services continues to increase due to the ongoing pandemic.

    An important part of our work at Children First is to support a program-wide culture of mental and emotional well-being, as well as eliminating systemic barriers for our families in accessing critical services. Whether it’s a private session with our Early Childhood Mental Health Specialists, or a convertible car seat that allows a single mom to safely transport her child to and from school, each step is crucial in achieving self-sufficiency for our community’s most vulnerable and we could not be more grateful for this support from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County,” says CEO Philip Tavill.

    About Children First:

    Founded in 1961 and ranked in the top 1% out of over 1,800 Head Starts nationwide, Children First strengthens children and families by improving the quality of their lives through a comprehensive approach to development, education, health, and well-being. At 15 sites throughout Sarasota County, Children First offers full-day preschool, infant and toddler care, and nutrition and health care assistance to children ages birth to five years old from low-income families. Through Children First, the children receive the social and cognitive skills needed to enter kindergarten and elementary school on track. For more information, call (941) 953-3877 or go to

    About the Community Foundation of Sarasota County:

    The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is a public charity founded in 1979 by the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council as a resource for caring individuals and the causes they support, enabling them to make a charitable impact on the community. With assets of $421 million in more than 1,500 charitable funds, the Community Foundation awarded grants and scholarships totaling $48.9 million dollars last year in the areas of education, the arts, health and human services, civic engagement, animal welfare and the environment. Since its founding, the Community Foundation has been able to grant more than $323 million to area nonprofit organizations to our community thanks to the generosity of charitable individuals, families, and businesses. For more information, visit or call (941) 955-3000.

  • 01 Dec 2021 2:04 PM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    Goodwill Manasota partners with local food banks
    Food collection at Goodwill locations will help to feed the hungry in Sarasota and Manatee counties

    SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL - While Goodwill Manasota is well known for accepting donations of gently-used items from the community and selling those goods in its retail stores – with revenues funding its mission of changing lives through the power of work – it's not just items like clothing, home goods, books, sporting goods and electronics being accepted.

    For many years, Goodwill has placed food barrels at all donor doors at its stores as well as at its attended donation centers in Sarasota and Manatee counties; the beneficiaries are The Food Bank of Manatee, owned and operated by Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee, and All Faiths Food Bank in Sarasota and DeSoto counties. In 2019, Goodwill collected 81,221 pounds for All Faiths Food Bank and 49,593 pounds for The Food Bank of Manatee County, for a total of 130,814 pounds; in 2020, a total of 144,396 pounds was collected at all Goodwill locations.

    Each year, the food collection totals have increased as community members have realized they could drop off gently-used goods and nonperishable food items in one convenient stop. The food collection has grown over the course of many years into a significant annual effort.

    "While our mission is more focused on the career services side of social services, we felt compelled to assist when we learned just how prevalent hunger is in our communities," said Donna Evans, Goodwill Manasota's director of donation development. "We have numerous locations that are convenient and fully staffed – it is both easy and incredibly fulfilling for us to partner with our area food banks to help our neighbors who are struggling to put food on the table."

    The food banks accept dry and canned food donations. Most-needed items are peanut butter, canned items such as soup, fruit, vegetables, stew, fish and beans, pasta, rice and cereals. Community members are asked not to include any items that are older than 2-3 years, opened or used, dented/damaged, meant for decorations or displays, or that do not have a label.

    The Food Bank of Manatee is a PLUS program of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee. The Food Bank of Manatee provides nutritional assistance and caring supportive services to individuals in need throughout Manatee County by distributing food to nonprofit agencies including food pantries, soup kitchens, and churches. In 2020, Meals on Wheels Plus served over 267,000 home-delivered meals, provided over 780,000 meals through Food4Families, and distributed over 3 million pounds of food by The Food Bank of Manatee.

    Together with its partners, All Faiths Food Bank provides healthy solutions to end hunger in our community. All Faiths Food Bank, the only food bank and largest hunger relief organization in Sarasota and DeSoto counties, serves individuals in need through its programs and member network that includes nearly 200 human services organizations, schools, faith-based and secular organizations, and other groups that serve the community. In 2020, All Faiths distributed nearly 22.5 million pounds of food, provided 60% more meals than the previous year, and rallied in the face of a 53% increase in new clients at food distributions due to the pandemic.

    “We are thankful for community partners who are committed to helping our neighbors in need, just as we are,” said Ryan Beaman, senior director of operations for All Faiths. “By placing food collection barrels at its many locations, Goodwill has made it easy and convenient for members of the community to assist All Faiths Food Bank as we work to provide nutrition assistance to all who are in need.”

    “We are grateful for the ongoing partnership we have with Goodwill Manasota as we continue to see an increased demand for food in our community,” said Amy Towery, Vice President of Development for Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee. “As an independent food bank and the only food bank based in Manatee County, we rely 100% on the support of the community to meet the needs of food insecure babies, children, families, and seniors.”

    The organizations plan to continue the food collections at Goodwill locations. For more about Goodwill, go to or call 941-355-2721.

  • 23 Nov 2021 11:32 AM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)


    Tuesday, November 30th is the deadline for the 4% discount for property tax payments, but residents have plenty of time to pay using a variety of payment options.

    “Our offices are closed November 25th and 26th in observance of Thanksgiving, and the last week of November is a very busy time in our offices, so customers should plan ahead,” said Sarasota County Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates. “To better serve our customers who like to hand deliver their payment, the annual property tax drive-thru service will return this year,” Ford-Coates added. On Monday and Tuesday, November 29th and 30th, customers can pay taxes without leaving their car from 8:30 am - 5:00 pm in Downtown Sarasota at the Terrace Building, and in Venice at the Anderson Administration Building. Payment at these drive-thru locations is by check only. Mrs. Ford-Coates noted, “Customers should arrive with the bottom portion of their tax bill and check already written to be placed in the drive-thru drop box.” At the Mid-County Office, 6100 Sawyer Loop Road, all forms of payment are accepted in the drive-thru lane.

    To receive the 4% discount, this year’s payment options include:

    - Online - by 11:59 pm EST Tuesday, November 30th; payment by eCheck has no fee. A paid receipt can be printed immediately.

    - Mail - envelope postmarked by Tuesday, November 30th, sent to 101 S. Washington Blvd., Sarasota FL 34236, with check payable to Sarasota County Tax Collector.

    - Drive-Thru - November 29th and 30th from 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

    o Downtown Sarasota at the Terrace Building, 101 S. Washington Blvd.

    o Mid-County Office, in the drive-thru lane, 6100 Sawyer Loop Rd.

    o Venice at the Anderson Administration Building, 4000 S. Tamiami Trl.

    - Drop Box - checks only must be deposited by 5:00 pm, Tuesday, November 30th, in a 24-hour drop box

    o Downtown Sarasota at the Terrace Building entrance on Adams Ln.

    o Mid-County at the main entrance

    o Venice at the main entrance of the Administration Building (facing U.S. 41)

    o North Port City Hall in the utility payment drive-thru bypass lane

    - In person - by scheduling an appointment at

    About the Sarasota County Tax Collector’s Office

    Sarasota County Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates has four offices located throughout Sarasota County. The Tax Collector’s Office handles property, tourist, and business taxes; motor vehicle, vessel, and manufactured home titles and registration; drivers’ licenses; disabled parking permits; and hunting & fishing licenses. For more information about the Sarasota County Tax Collector, visit “Like” and “follow” the Tax Collector on Facebook at

  • 04 Nov 2021 2:21 PM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    SARASOTA, FL – Veterans and their families as well as members of the public are invited to attend Goodwill Manasota's free Veterans Health & Wellness Fair, which takes place on Saturday, November 13, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Goodwill Manasota's Veterans Services office (8490 N. Lockwood Ridge Rd., Sarasota). Health services offered on-site will include dental screenings, blood pressure checks and blood sugar screenings. Veterans can receive guidance on disability claims and healthcare enrollment, learn about counseling services and stress relief programs, smoking cessation, opioid treatment, CBD products, and beneficial services and activities such as acupuncture, equine-assisted therapy, hunting and fishing trips, fly fishing/fly making, and more.

    Goodwill Manasota and SunCoast Blood Centers will re-launch the "Change a Life, Save a Life" partnership effort, with Goodwill gratefully accepting donations of gently-used items and SunCoast Blood Centers taking donations of blood (blood donors will receive a $10 Goodwill Manasota gift card). As part of that effort, attendees are encouraged to donate blood and/or gently-used goods; donors can designate which branch of the military to make that donation in honor of. The branch for which the most is donated will win a free coffee and cake social hosted by Goodwill's Veterans Services team.

    Numerous community sponsors and partners will be in attendance, including students from the LECOM School of Dental Medicine, MCR Health, and representatives from Easterseals at InStride, United Way Suncoast, JFCS, Centerstone, Tidewell Hospice, Operation Eco Vets, Operation Outdoor Freedom, and Groups Recover Together. Additionally, staff members from the offices of U.S. Representatives Vern Buchanan and Greg Steube are slated to attend.

    "While Veterans Day is a wonderful opportunity for Americans to pause to recognize the sacrifices and heroics of those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, at Goodwill Manasota, we believe it’s vitally important to remember veterans each and every day," said Goodwill Manasota President Donn Githens. "We hope veterans and their families and the general public will join us for the Veterans Health & Wellness Fair to see the resources available in the community to support our heroes."

    This event, being presented in recognition of Veterans Day, is free and open to the general public, veterans and their families. For more information, call 941-355-2721, ext. 163.

Recent Member News

Hook Kids on Fishing


Anglers for Conservation (AFC)

 a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization, in partnership with Fisherman’s Village, is coordinating its engaging Hook Kids on Fishing Program to be held on Saturday, April 11th, 2015 from 10am- 12:00pm at Fishermen's Village (1200 West Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda).

 Kids ages 6 to 16, are welcome and must be accompanied by an adult. The first 100 kids registered and complete the training will receive a free rod and reel to take home! Registration is mandatory by calling King Fisher Fleet at 941-639-2628.

 This hands-on, conservation-minded program teaches casting, fishing safety, knot tying, boating safety, tackle box essentials, catch and release tactics, fishing habitats and conservation, and is taught by professional guides and knowledgeable anglers.

 Community support also provided by Fisherman's Village, King Fisher Fleet, local bait and tackle shops, and local Captains, Aylesworth's Fish & Bait, Canoe Outpost-Peace River, Coastal Angler Magazine, Diiachi Hooks, Fish Florida Foundation and Rio Villa Bait & Tackle

AFC’s mission is to inspire new generations of marine stewards through angling education, habitat restoration and applied conservation practices. For more information, please visit

 Volunteers are needed and donations are greatly appreciated.

If you’re interested in volunteering please contact Theresa at or call me 321-433-3340/302-6260

If you would like to sponsor this event, please contact Heather Sears at or 321-474-8202.

Hook Kids on Fishing


Anglers for Conservation (AFC)

 a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization, in partnership with Fisherman’s Village, is coordinating its engaging Hook Kids on Fishing Program to be held on Saturday, April 11th, 2015 from 10am- 12:00pm at Fishermen's Village (1200 West Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda).

 Kids ages 6 to 16, are welcome and must be accompanied by an adult. The first 100 kids registered and complete the training will receive a free rod and reel to take home! Registration is mandatory by calling King Fisher Fleet at 941-639-2628.

 This hands-on, conservation-minded program teaches casting, fishing safety, knot tying, boating safety, tackle box essentials, catch and release tactics, fishing habitats and conservation, and is taught by professional guides and knowledgeable anglers.

 Community support also provided by Fisherman's Village, King Fisher Fleet, local bait and tackle shops, and local Captains, Aylesworth's Fish & Bait, Canoe Outpost-Peace River, Coastal Angler Magazine, Diiachi Hooks, Fish Florida Foundation and Rio Villa Bait & Tackle

AFC’s mission is to inspire new generations of marine stewards through angling education, habitat restoration and applied conservation practices. For more information, please visit

 Volunteers are needed and donations are greatly appreciated.

If you’re interested in volunteering please contact Theresa at or call me 321-433-3340/302-6260

If you would like to sponsor this event, please contact Heather Sears at or 321-474-8202.

8430 Enterprise Circle, STE 140
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202

941-757-1664 |

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