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Neighbors
Sarasota Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019 1 week ago

Community Foundation of Sarasota celebrates 40 years

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The 40th anniversary breakfast was held on Nov. 6.
by: Whitney Elfstrom Staff Writer

The Community Foundation of Sarasota rang in its 40th anniversary with a breakfast ceremony on Nov. 6 at the Circus Arts Conservatory  

The nonprofit works to impact Sarasota residents through community care, empowerment and success, and belonging and culture in an effort to provide opportunities for families to improve their lives through cultural, educational, economic and social support. 

Speakers reflected on the impact of The Community Foundation has had over the past 40 years from beginning in 1979 with $500 to the organization now having $400 million in assets and donating $274 million back into the Sarasota community.

“From our earliest years, we have remained committed to instilling the highest levels of trust, confidence and integrity to ensure that our hybrid culture and given continues to thrive,” said Roxie Jerde, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota. 

Jerde explained that the foundation works to show the community that everyone has the potential to impact another person or cause through programs like the Season of Sharing, a community-wide campaign encouraged neighbors to help neighbors avoid the threat of homelessness.

The Community Foundation welcomed keynote speaker Diane McFarlin, Dean of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications and former Community Foundation Board Chair, to recognize its 20th anniversary of Season of Sharing. 

Each year the foundation and its sharing partners raise nearly $22 million to help more than 35,000 people on the verge of homelessness, McFarlin said.

“I don't think any organizations had a greater impact on this community [than the Community Foundation] and has done more to ensure that every resident has quality of life and that is so important to make the community special to grow exponentially,” McFarlin said.

I’m the Sarasota community reporter, which means I cover the people, places and things of Sarasota. I graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a degree in journalism and digital communication and a minor in English. 

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