A $25 ticket ($30 at the gate) will get you signature dishes from 30 restaurants, along with wine, beer and other beverages at the Longboat Key Gourmet Lawn Party.
But attending the luncheon will benefit more than your palate.
The event, scheduled for noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Resort at Longboat Key Club’s Islandside golf course, benefits local children’s charities, along with the Longboat Key Kiwanis Foundation, which provides scholarships to students in Sarasota and Manatee counties.
Last year, the club provided 15 academic scholarships of $2,000 each and 10 scholarships for technical students of $1,250 each.
Abby Oakes, a junior at New College who is studying natural sciences, said the scholarship has helped her with costs, such as housing, that financial aid doesn’t cover.
“Most scholarships just cover things like tuition,” she said. “It has really helped me because I’m not in as much debt as I would have been otherwise.”
Oakes’ involvement with Kiwanis goes beyond the scholarship: She is president of New College’s Circle K International, which the Kiwanis Club of Longboat Key sponsors.
Amanda Peebles is a first-year pharmacy student at Lake Erie College of Medicine (LECOM) and a two-time scholarship recipient, having previously received an award while studying at State College of Florida.
Receiving a scholarship this year has been especially helpful because the rigors of pharmacy school typically keep students from working.
“Pharmacy school is really expensive, and it’s definitely helped me to relieve some of the financial burden,” Peebles said.
She plans to apply for the scholarship again next year.
“I think the Kiwanis of Longboat Key is great,” she said. “It’s definitely giving opportunities for people to achieve higher education.”
Jeremy Greenfield is a State College of Florida student who is working toward an associate degree in nursing. His mother and father helped him out with tuition for the current semester because it was due before he received the award, so he will use his scholarship for books and tuition next semester.
The money will be especially helpful because, at that time, Greenfield’s mother also plans to enroll in nursing school.
“Kiwanis has helped me through a lot,” Greenfield said. “I was a part of Key Club in middle and high school. I’ve always been a part of them, and they’ve always been there for me.”
Savannah Schield said she was originally accepted to the University of Florida for the spring/summer 2014 terms but with the help of the scholarship was able to start this fall.
“I love Gainesville and am excited to get an early start on my college career with the help of the Kiwanis,” she wrote in an email.
This year’s scholarship recipients were chosen from of a pool of 94 applicants.
Eye on the prize
The Kiwanis Club of Longboat Key will sell 400 tickets at $100 apiece for this year’s raffle.
This year’s grand prize is choice of a 2013 Ford Fusion courtesy of Sarasota Ford or $10,000 cash. The cash prize is half of that offered in past years — a nudge to encourage the winner to choose the car that’s provided by one of the event’s premium sponsors.
Second prize is a painting of an Italian village scene by Marco Island artist Malenda Trick.
Third prize is a weekend stay at the Useppa Island home of U.S. Rep. Vern and Sandy Buchanan.
Where to buy tickets
Downtown Sarasota: Observer Media Group, 1970 Main St., Third Floor
Longboat Key: BP Station, 400 Gulf of Mexico Drive; Sun Trust Bank, 510 Bay Isles Road; Ace Hardware, 4030 Gulf of Mexico Drive; Lazy Lobster, 5350 Gulf of Mexico Drive
St. Armands Circle: Edward Jones, 443 John Ringling Blvd. (above Starbucks)
Contact Robin Hartill at firstname.lastname@example.org