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  • 11 Mar 2019 10:14 AM | Amy Treis (Administrator)


    Children First was recognized as the 2019 Nonprofit of the Year at the 14th annual WEDU Be More Awards. As recipient of the Be More Unstoppable Award, Children First was chosen from a field of the Tampa Bay area’s most esteemed organizations. The winner was selected by an independent judging committee and given to the organization that, through a superior level of service, helps their constituency Be More. Children First received a second accolade, the “Be More Knowledgeable” Award, recognizing the longtime Nurturing Dads Program. The award is for the organization that, through a specific project, offers guidance, knowledge, and emotional or physical support aimed at improving specific aspects of community life

  • 06 Mar 2019 12:10 PM | Amy Treis (Administrator)


    SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – A partnership between Sarasota County Schools and Goodwill Manasota has enabled Exceptional Student Education (ESE) students from Booker High School to enjoy in-service training and job preparation skills at the Goodwill Mecca location in northern Sarasota. Seven students are learning on the job – five at a time, five days a week, for up to two hours each day – while earning school credit.

    Booker High School is just one of the schools participating in the Vocational Instructional Program, which is currently serving 34 ESE students, ages 16-22 / grades 10-12, with varying exceptionalities. Other high schools involved with this program are Bayshore, Desoto, Manatee, North Port and Southeast; the Easter Seals VIP Academy also has six students participating. The school districts provide transportation to and from the most convenient Goodwill retail location. Previous work experience and skill levels are considered for placement in various departments at the Goodwill store.

    “We are extremely excited about this program: it offers students real-life work experience and, potentially, a job at Goodwill after they graduate, if they are interested in applying,” said Goodwill career development facilitator Morgan Howell. “The students learn good employability skills and gain valuable information about the world of work, such as what they enjoy or don’t enjoy doing, the value of teamwork, and the pride of doing a job well.”

    The partnership came about as Goodwill was seeking new partnerships with schools and youth organizations to enhance youth involvement with the nonprofit. Goodwill leaders met with Booker High School Principal Dr. Rachel Shelley and brainstormed about ways they could work together. Conversation focused on students who are not on a college track due to various challenges. After several Booker High teachers attended a Goodwill Lunch & Learn program to learn more about the organization, Howell met with Blair Woods – the transition and employment trainer at Booker – and the plans for the partnership came together.

    James “Blair” Woods has 15 students at Booker High School that he supervises over the course of the school day and arranges work experience for them on campus – and now, with the Goodwill partnership, off-campus as well. Woods accompanies the students to the Goodwill Mecca location each day. He says that the addition of real-life work experience at Goodwill has exceeded his expectations in many ways: the students have really become part of the team at the store and they take their role as representatives of both Booker High and Goodwill very seriously. 

    “Daily commitment to the job site is an important thing for our students to understand as graduation from high school approaches – this experience will show them that work isn't necessarily a negative thing,” Wood said. “A positive work atmosphere and the fast pace of the workplace is leaving an amazing mark on these kids. I certainly appreciate the opportunity Goodwill has presented to our students.”

    The agreement with the school district is open-ended – Booker High School and Goodwill Manasota hope to continue with the program beyond the current school year. The Vocational Instructional Program started in 2012 with an arrangement with North Port High School and has grown from there. Howell estimates that close to 100 students have benefited from the program since it began and notes that Goodwill would love to engage schools not already participating.

    For more about Goodwill, go to experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.

    Photo ID: Morgan Howell from Goodwill (back row, center) and Blair Woods from Booker High School (far right) with students (from l-r) Kianna Howell, Dalton Dibello, Corina Berry, Alex Esser and Ricky Williams Jr. at Goodwill’s Mecca store

    About Goodwill Manasota
    Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With philanthropic donations and revenue generated by the sales of donated goods, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and those with other barriers to employment by providing jobs, job skills training, and free career services. For more information or for a listing of locations, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.


  • 04 Mar 2019 9:55 AM | Amy Treis (Administrator)

    Conditioned Air Company of Naples (www.conditionedair.com) announced that Chairman and Owner W. Theodore Etzel III was one of over a dozen top company executives from across the state to serve on a panel of judges for the Templeton Business Ethics Case Competition held on February 21-22, 2019, at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida. Teams from 18 educational institutions from throughout North America participated in this year’s competition. After receiving an actual business case, teams were given two weeks to prepare and submit an executive summary and visual presentation. During the event, teams made oral presentations to the judges. Bracket winners then delivered a final eight-minute oral presentation to the entire body of judges in a plenary session including all conference attendees, members of the Stetson University community and the public. A native Floridian, Etzel graduated from Stetson University with a Bachelor of Science in economics and finance from the university’s School of Business. As Chairman of Conditioned Air since 1995, Etzel has helped guide the company into the region’s largest air-conditioning contracting and service firm with nearly 400 employees from Marco Island to Sarasota.


  • 27 Feb 2019 9:39 AM | Amy Treis (Administrator)

    The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) announced its new board of directors and officers for 2019-20 term during its 132nd Annual Convention Feb. 9-13 in Nashville, Tennessee. Brad Sutter, Executive Vice President of Sutter Roofing Company of Florida was nominated to the executive committee as a Vice Chairmen for a two-year term. 

    Brad Sutter whom has been working for locally owned family business for over 25 years and is a past president of the Florida Roofing & Sheet Metal Contractors Association. Brad says one of his goals as Vice Chairmen is “To continue our efforts to build the worker training and Pro Certification program to provide contractor’s new ways to attract and train the next generation of roofing workers.”                                                                                                              

    “As a fourth-generation roofing contractor, I am honored to be nominated to represent the industry and look forward to working with the NRCA staff, executive committee, and board to address our workforce needs and other issues affecting us.”

    The NRCA Board consists of a board of up to 48 directors and nine Executive Committee officers. Nominations for NRCA officers and directors are received from members of local, state and regional roofing contractors & affiliates of NRCA. 

    ###

    Sutter Roofing is one of the oldest and largest roofing and sheet metal contractors in the U.S. The company started in 1902 in Clarksburg, WV and opened the Florida operation in 1979.  The company is celebrating their 40th anniversary and has grown to five offices throughout the State! Sarasota is Sutter’s home base and their corporate office. Sutter Roofing specializes in a broad range of applications including Industrial, Government, Health Care, Educational, Retail, Condominiums, Cold Storage/ Distribution and other commercial roofing projects. The firm also maintains one of the largest commercial roof repair departments in the State utilizing their patented, state of the art SecureRoof service software.


  • 26 Feb 2019 12:31 PM | Dan Sidler (Administrator)

    BGE welcomes their newest employee, Paul Skidmore, P.E.. Paul has been hired as the Land Development Manager for BGE’s Tampa Office. Our Tampa office expansion allows BGE to better serve existing clients with a national presence and offers new clients the opportunity to experience our service-centered approach to solving engineering challenges in the Florida region.

    Mr. Skidmore has over 45 years of experience in the civil engineering field with a strong knowledge of surveying and planning. Mr. Skidmore has been a registered Florida Professional Engineer for the last 30 years. His experience includes all aspects of project management, supervision, and the design & permitting of public and private site development projects.

    Established in 1975, BGE, Inc. provides civil engineering, surveying, and environmental services in Texas, Arkansas, North Carolina and Florida. BGE is currently ranked # 136 in ENR top 500 engineering firms.

  • 25 Feb 2019 4:47 PM | Amy Treis (Administrator)

    MANATEE COUNTY, FL(Feb. 25, 2019) – After more than a half century in public service including 12 years as the Manatee County Administrator, Ed Hunzeker will retire at the end of this week. He plans to spend more time with his family. 

    Since his arrival as County Administrator, Manatee County has grown by more than 70,000 residents. Hunzeker instituted a zero-based budget process of public workshops that never called for a property tax increase despite plummeting revenues during the Great Recession.

    The County Government accomplished much during his tenure including major capital projects such as the expansion of 44th Avenue to connect Lakewood Ranch to west Bradenton, the Fort Hamer Bridge to connect Parrish with LWR, new public safety radio towers to improve the communication network for first responders, a new Marine Rescue headquarters and more.

    Also during Hunzeker's time as Administrator Manatee County voters approved a half-cent sales tax for infrastructure improvements. Hunzeker's vision to redevelop and revitalize urban areas of the county took form in recent years with the start of a new Redevelopment and Economic Opportunity Department and creation of the Southwest District. 
     
    He started the How Will We Grow conversation and that led to LDC changes that should help spur redevelopment and mixed use projects in the urban core and eventually create a more walkable community.
     
    Early in his tenure as Manatee County Administrator, Hunzeker won Commission approval for a new economic development incentive package for to businesses that promised to provide new performance-based jobs that paid above the county average. Commissioners have since approved nearly $12.6 million in economic development-related incentives to create or retain more nearly 5,800 local jobs here through 2024.

    Hunzeker encouraged County employees to give back to the community through the United Way. Since his arrival in 2007 County employees gave $1.2 million to the United Way and topped the $2 million career giving mark. Earlier this year the United Way Suncoast recognized Manatee County Government as one of the area’s Most Generous Employers

    County Commissioners will vote on a new County Administrator at their regular meeting tomorrow, Feb. 26. The Board will consider appointing Deputy County Administrator Cheri Coryea as the acting Administrator during the meeting. 

    Hunzeker implemented a leadership philosophy that empowers employees to work independently under the principles of Accountability, Civility and Ethics. County employees accomplished a host of significant achievements during Hunzeker's tenure including:

    • Manatee County Library System was named Florida's Library of the Year in 2016. The Library System won multiple state awards over the past five years.
    • Manatee County Marine Rescue won the 2018 Beach Patrol of the Year from the Florida Beach Patrol Chiefs Association. 
    • The County's Offender Work Program was launched allowing non-violent offenders to pay their debt to society through manual work in County parks and streets instead of serving time in an overcrowded jail.
    • Manatee County became Florida’s fifth government to achieve Emergency Management accreditation in 2014.
    • Manatee County became Florida's first County government to achieve Platinum Green Government Status. 
    • The County began hosting the popular Symphony on the Sand in 2013. 
    • The County launched an innovative Community Paramedic program that works with with frequent fall patients, mental health and substance abuse patients and other frequent 911 callers to keep patients out of the hospital.
    • Manatee County Fleet Operations were ranked in the top 100 best fleets in the Country for more than 10 years.
    • MCAT expanded VA Handy Bus service into Pinellas County, connecting Manatee residents to transit service north of the bay. The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council named Manatee County Area Transit’s Skyway Connection Route its first place winner for transportation and mobility


  • 21 Feb 2019 10:35 AM | Amy Treis (Administrator)


    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. 

    In 2018, Goodwill collected 75,083 pounds of food for All Faiths Food Bank and 40,156 pounds for The Food Bank of Manatee County, a total of 115,239 pounds – 57,620 tons, or approximately 96,000 meals – for those who are hungry. Each year, the food collection totals have grown larger as community members have realized they could drop off goods and food in one convenient stop. Goodwill Manasota collected 106,000 pounds of food in 2017 and 103,000 pounds in 2016. The food collection has grown over the course of many years into a significant annual effort.

    "While our mission tends to focus 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 easy and incredibly fulfilling for us to partner with our area food banks to help fight the scourge of hunger." 

    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 2018, Meals on Wheels PLUS distributed 201,000 nutritious hot meals and dinners to approximately 750 home-bound seniors, distributed 4.1 million pounds of food through The Food Bank of Manatee, and 110,000 weekend meals to children in need over the summer months when school is out of session.     

    Together with its partners, All Faiths Food Bank provides healthy solutions to end hunger in our community. All Faiths Food Bank, the hub of hunger relief in Sarasota and DeSoto counties, serves more than 82,000 individuals in need through its programs and member network that includes human services organizations, schools, faith-based and secular organizations, and other groups that serve the community. Last year, All Faiths Food Bank distributed 10.5 million pounds of food equating to 8.75 million meals to children, families, seniors and veterans in need.

    “We truly value our partnership with Goodwill Manasota and its dedication to hunger relief on the Suncoast,” said Maribeth Phillips, president and CEO of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee. “Goodwill has many convenient locations to make critically needed non-perishable food donations. The Food Bank of Manatee ensures all of those food donations are promptly circulated throughout Manatee County for those in need.”

    “We appreciate our partnership with Goodwill very much,” added John Livingston, chief of operations at All Faiths Food Bank. "Having our bins in Goodwill locations throughout Sarasota provides a convenient way for people to donate food and allows us to be more efficient with our food collections."

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

    PHOTO ID: (From l-r) John Livingston, COO of All Faiths Food Bank; Donna Evans, director of donation development for Goodwill Manasota; and Cindy Sloan, VP and director of The Food Bank of Manatee  

    About Goodwill Manasota

    Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With philanthropic donations and revenue generated by the sales of donated goods, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and those with other barriers to employment by providing jobs, job skills training, and free career services. For more information or for a listing of locations, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.

    Contact The Food Bank of Manatee

    For information on how to donate or volunteer, visit www.foodbankofmanatee.org or call Volunteer Services at 941-747-3663.

    Contact All Faiths Food Bank

    For more information, call 941-379-6333 or visit www.allfaithsfoodbank.org.


  • 15 Feb 2019 11:19 AM | Dan Sidler (Administrator)

    (Bradenton, FL – February 15, 2019) Mark your calendars for blast off with the Take Stock 5K Space Race in Lakewood Ranch on March 3 at 8 am.

    Celebrating its tenth year, the annual event hosts a fun, family day with runs for both the elite and the fun runner as well as the After Race party with food, music and activities.

    One of the largest 5Ks in Manatee County, funds raised go to college and other post-secondary education scholarships for Take Stock scholars.

    Here is the schedule:
    7:15  Fun Runs for different age groups. Moms, Dads with strollers are welcome!
    8:00  Take Stock 5K
    8:10  Mentor Mile – featuring mentors and their mentees

    Take Stock in Children of Manatee County, Inc. is a 501(C)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to provide talented, academically qualified, at risk students the opportunity for a post-secondary education. Take Stock scholars outperform all Florida students in high school and college graduation rates.

    Entry fees range from $15 - $45. Early registration runs through Feb.24. Find details and register now at TakeStockManatee.org or in person at Fit2Run at the UTC mall or Main Street in Sarasota.

    ###     Photo Credit: Tom Conner, 2018 Take Stock 5K

    Register now for the Take Stock 5K Space Race!
    Sunday March 3 in Lakewood Ranch
    Benefitting Take Stock in Children of Manatee County


  • 15 Feb 2019 11:11 AM | Amy Treis (Administrator)

    SARASOTA, FL – Seniors and adults with disabilities who have concerns about Medicare and other health insurance options can receive free insurance counseling at several new locations. SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) counselors are now providing free, unbiased health insurance counseling at Goodwill Manasota community rooms at four locations in Sarasota County. 

    Offered locally through the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida (AAASWFL), SHINE empowers Medicare beneficiaries, their caregivers, and family members to make informed decisions about health care coverage. SHINE is a volunteer program of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and part of the national State Health Insurance Assistance Program network.

    The SHINE counseling sessions are available at the following Goodwill locations from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Thursdays: Goodwill Selby (1781 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Sarasota) the first Thursday of each month; Goodwill Honore (1740 N. Honore Ave., Sarasota) the second Thursday of each month; Goodwill Mecca (5150 N. Tamiami Tr., Sarasota) the third Thursday of each month; and Goodwill University (8490 Lockwood Ridge Rd., Sarasota) the fourth Thursday of each month. Sessions are by appointment only; to request an appointment with a SHINE counselor, please call the Elder Helpline at (866) 413-5337.

    SHINE counselors assist clients with Medicare, Medicaid, prescription assistance, and long-term care insurance. SHINE counselors can help seniors and adults with disabilities find programs which may lower their prescription drug costs, provide prescription drugs at no cost, or help with Medicare co-pays and deductibles. As part of the national Senior Medicare Patrol program, SHINE counselors also educate beneficiaries to protect, detect, and report potential errors, fraud, and abuse with their Medicare coverage.  Last year in Southwest Florida alone, SHINE assisted 10,000 people with counseling services.

    By partnering with organizations like Goodwill Manasota, AAASWFL is able to assist more Medicare beneficiaries in our region. Goodwill is able to host these sessions through its Good Neighbor program, which was launched more than 20 years ago to provide community meeting places, free of charge. Goodwill has expanded the program over the years to offer numerous free, instructor-led classes on a variety of topics and volunteer-directed activities, providing a place where local residents can enrich their lives through educational, cultural and social programs. Goodwill Manasota is able to provide these free classes and services to the community thanks to the sales of donated goods.

    "Given the demographics of our region, Goodwill feels it is very important to provide extra support and services for area seniors," said Goodwill Manasota vice president Margie Genter. "We are pleased to partner with organizations such as ITN Suncoast, AARP and now AAASWFL in an effort to provide transportation, activities and programs, and information that will help our region's seniors to lead more active, healthy, and financially secure lives."

    To make an appointment at any of the Goodwill Manasota sites, or to receive assistance by phone, call the AAASWFL’s toll-free Elder Helpline at (866) 413-5337 (866-41-ELDER). Additional counseling sites can be found on the SHINE website: www.floridashine.org

    PHOTO ID: Gray Videnka (left), vice president of the Goodwill Manasota Foundation and Marianne Lorini, president and CEO of AAASWFL

    Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With philanthropic donations and revenue generated by the sales of donated goods, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and those with other barriers to employment by providing jobs, job skills training, and free career services. For more information or for a listing of locations, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.

    The Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida is a nonprofit organization celebrating its 40th year of serving Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee, and Sarasota Counties. AAASWFL is the state’s designated Aging and Disability Resource Center for Southwest Florida. The organization is committed to connecting adults ages 60 and over and adults with disabilities to resources and assistance for living safetly with independence and dignity. More information is available at www.aaaswfl.org or by calling the toll-free Helpline at 866-413-5337 (866-41-ELDER).


  • 14 Feb 2019 2:34 PM | Dan Sidler (Administrator)
      (Bradenton, FL – February 14, 2019) – The Neuro Challenge Parkinson Café has a new home. On March 7, the monthly social gathering for people with Parkinson’s and their caregivers will be held at Elan  Manatee, a senior living community located at 7350 55th Ave E, Bradenton. The special program celebrating their new home features the following guest facilitators:


    10 a.m. Coffee hosted by Elan Manatee
    10:15 a.m. Lynn and Brad Schramek, Getting to Know You
    11 a.m. Lisa Richardson, LMHC,
    Art Therapist, Spirited Away Art Therapy; discussing the power of creativity on emotional health
    12 noon. Lunch
    1 p.m. Carolyn Michel, Asolo Repertory actor for 24 seasons; sharing excerpts from one-woman plays
    Encore: Panel sharing stories of a love for the theatre: Carolyn Michel, Howard Millman and Bradford Wallace.

    The Neuro Challenge Parkinson Café program provides social, cultural and intellectual interaction for people living with Parkinson’s and their care partners as well as education on living with the progressive neurological disorder. The program is offered in Manatee on the first Thursday from October through April. Founded by Lynn Schramek in 2009 after her corporate executive husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at age 45, the program is now federally trademarked and offered in Pasco, Pinellas, Manatee and upstate New York.

    The Neuro Challenge Parkinson Café is free but registration is required. Register by calling Lynn or Brad at 941-351-6281. Go to www.parkinsoncafe.org for upcoming events. Learn about other events for people with Parkinson’s at NeuroChallenge.org/programs.





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 www.AnglersForConservation.org.

 Volunteers are needed and donations are greatly appreciated.

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

If you would like to sponsor this event, please contact Heather Sears at Heather@AnglersForConservation.org 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 www.AnglersForConservation.org.

 Volunteers are needed and donations are greatly appreciated.

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

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

8430 Enterprise Circle, STE 140
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202

941-757-1664 | info@lwrba.org

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