Foundation series

Orioles food collection; music grants; Gulf Coast Foundation

reading day

The Orioles will welcome the mayors
Feed the Hungry Program

Volunteers will accept food donations for the mayors’ Feed the Hungry program on March 30 when the Orioles host the Rays during spring training at Ed Smith Stadium at 1:05 p.m.

The Mayors’ Feed the Hungry program coordinates with churches and food pantries in Sarasota and Manatee counties and works with agencies that serve children from low-income families, survivors of domestic violence and seniors.

The Orioles will also be donating proceeds from the Quick Pitch Machine in the lobby. To help the program, visit and choose the Mayors Feed the Hungry program. For more information, visit

Gulf Coast Foundation
makes executive movements

The Gulf Coast Community Foundation promoted Jennifer Johnston to Director of Community Leadership and welcomed Kameron Partridge Hodgens to the leadership team.

Jennifer Johnston has been promoted to Director of Community Leadership at the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

“Jennifer and Kameron represent the innovation and dynamic energy that drives our successful community initiatives,” said Mark S. Pritchett, President and CEO of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. “I am thrilled to welcome them both into this leadership role to advance our work and serve our incredibly strong nonprofit community.”

Kameron Partridge Hodgens has joined the Gulf Coast Community Foundation as Director of Community Leadership.

Johnston has been part of the leadership team since 2017. She leads the Here4YOUth Mental Health initiative with the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation. She earned a master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Hodgens had been executive director and CEO of the Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center since 2014. She earned both master’s and doctoral degrees. in Lifespan Developmental Psychology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Suncoast Music Scholarships
$10,000 award program

The Suncoast Music Scholarship Program, in partnership with the Sarasota Music Club and Sarasota Artist Series Concerts, will provide $10,000 in aid to students in grades 10-12 in Sarasota or the Manatee County.

The 2022 prizes will be determined in competition on April 23. Hearing requests must be received by April 1st. The winners will perform at a concert on May 14 at First Presbyterian Church in Sarasota. The program has awarded more than $100,000 since 2016 to help cover music education expenses for young musicians.

Past winners have used awards for new instruments and to pay for summer music programs. Visit and for information and applications.

Myakka River Friends
adds a new member to the board of directors

Friends of Myakka River, a non-profit organization that supports Myakka River State Park and the Wild and Scenic Myakka River, recently named Robert Frank to its board of directors.

Robert Frank has joined the Friends of the Myakka River Board of Directors.

Frank, who has visited Myakka River State Park for over 25 years, is a former professor and dean of several Ohio universities. As a neuroscientist, he has conducted research in the areas of drug abuse and human perception of taste and smell.

“We are thrilled to add Bob’s enthusiasm and skills to our Board of Directors,” said Friends of Myakka River President Miles Millwee. “Through his commitment to our new environmental education and community outreach program, he has already added an important element to our board.”

child protection center
receives therapy funds

The Child Protection Center recently received a $25,000 grant from the Hurlburt Foundation to support therapy for the treatment of child abuse. CPC has also received funding for therapy programs from the MSC Foundation of Michael Saunders & Company.

CPC’s therapy programs include the Sexual Abuse Treatment Program and the Child Kindness Program, each designed to serve children who have been physically and/or sexually abused and their caregivers and non-abusing siblings. The programs provide free mental health support with the goal of restoring health, development and safety.

“These funds have a particular impact as our organization faces an increased need for services and calls to expand those services,” CPC Director Doug Staley said. “The foundation plays a vital role in protecting our children.”

The Child Protection Center, which serves Sarasota and DeSoto counties, is accredited by the National Children’s Alliance. For more information, visit or call 941-365-1277.

around and about

the 18th Annual DeSoto County Historical Society Pioneer Day and BBQ is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at the Turner Agri-Civic Center, 2250 NE Roan St., Arcadia. The festival also commemorates the centennial of Arcadia Golf Course, one of 53 courses on the Florida Historic Golf Trail. Info:

• The Gulf Coast Conservation Foundation will hold its Wild About Nature Festival on April 2 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at its Bay Preserve headquarters, 400 Palmetto Ave., Osprey. Activities include tree climbing, nature printing, planting, animal encounters, face painting, crafts, and more. Food trucks include Big Blue Grilled Cheese Company, Currywurst, and Kona Ice. Info:

Palma Sola Botanical Park9800 17th Ave. NW, Bradenton, will host its Sale of spring plants and more April 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with vendors of native and exotic plants and artisans of wood, pottery, textiles and jewelry. There will be a barbecue and music. Sellers Wanted. Call 941-761-2866 or email [email protected]

Gulf Cove United Methodist Church, 1100 S. McCall Road, Port Charlotte, offers free dinners on the first Monday of each month. The 4th of April menu includes ground beef with gravy, mashed potatoes, a roll and dessert. To reserve a meal, RSVP at or 941-697-1747.

• The SPARCcle on Links Golf Tournament is scheduled for April 21 at Plantation Golf & Country Club, 500 Rockley Blvd., Venice, to benefit SPARCC’s free and confidential programs and services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Visit

Compiled from press releases and community submissions.