LAKEWOOD RANCH — The Lakewood Ranch Community Fund distributed $68,402 in grants Oct. 15, during its 2013 Grant Awards ceremony.
During the ceremony at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall, Col. John W. Saputo, president and owner of Gold Coast Eagle Distributing and retired U.S. Marine, accepted the 2013 C. John A. Clarke Humanitarian Award for his company’s support of more than 700 charitable events annually.
“I am very honored to receive this award,” said Saputo, who served in Iraq and Kuwait and earned a Bronze Star for valor. “We don’t do it at this company for the accolades. Our mission is simple. If there is a need and it is a good one, we will help out.”
The grant-selection process began in June and ended in September.
Other East County organizations that received grants included:
• $3,500 to Community Haven for Adults and Children with Disabilities, which plans to use the money for community-based learning trips for teens.
• $2,500 to Beyond the Spectrum Inc. for individualized desks.
• $3,380 to B.D. Gullett Elementary School to help fund Power Hour, an after-school tutoring program.
• $6,580 to Nolan Middle School for its Write to Learn computer-based reading, writing and language-arts program.
• $3,850 to Nature’s Academy, Inc. for fifth-grade students to participate in the “Island Adventures Project” this school year.
• $2,500 to Foundation for Dreams Inc. to provide partial and full scholarships to children with special needs and/or chronic illnesses so they can attend the 2013-14 Dream Oaks Summer Camp.
• $2,336 to the Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy to purchase an automatic external defibrillator, a medical device to serve people who go into cardiac arrest.
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