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Longboat Key Monday, Feb. 10, 2020 2 years ago

December's Kiwanis lawn party raises about $30K for children's foundation

Admission and raffle tickets raised the most money from the 700 or so people who attended the party.
by: Brendan Lavell Staff Writer

Longboat Key’s social season — which, naturally, coincides with snowbird season — kicked off in December with the Longboat Key Kiwanis Club Gourmet Lawn Party.

The event was marked by a plentitude of two things: food provided by local restaurants and people. But it wasn’t simply a social buffet.

The greater purpose of the event was to raise money for the All Star Children’s Foundation in Sarasota. And raise money the attendees did. Bob Gault, president of the Longboat Key Kiwanis Foundation, said the lawn party, held at the Resort at Longboat Key Club, raised about $30,000 after expenses from the event.

Gault said about 700 people attended the party, which was similar to the amount of tickets that were available. Admission and raffle tickets were the most productive sources of fundraising. The usually annual party, which did not occur the previous year because of renovations at the Resort at Longboat Key Club, also raised money through avenues such as sponsorships and a silent auction.

“It’s a great annual tradition and community event,” Gault said. “We hope to [continue doing] it on an annual basis.”

All Star Children’s Foundation is a Sarasota-based organization devoted to helping children who have been abused or are in foster care. In the past, Longboat Key Kiwanis Foundation decided how to donate the money after the event. At this party, attendees knew which charitable organization their money would be donated to in advance.

“[Kiwanis members] wanted to concentrate on younger children, and that’s what [Kiwanis] is all about — helping children,” Longboat Key Kiwanis Club President Lynn Larson said prior to the party.

“The focus of everything we do in Longboat Kiwanis is to help Manasota-area children in need,” Gault added after the event.

According to Gault, Longboat Key Kiwanis Club’s next big fundraiser will be a “pancakes and brunch” event March 15 at Lazy Lobster. In previous years, the event has been pancake-centric. There will still be pancakes this year, but they will represent only one option among a wider variety of brunch foods prepared by Lazy Lobster staff.

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Brendan Lavell is a general assignment reporter for the Observer. He earned degrees in journalism and history at the University of Missouri. He has visited 48 of the 50 United States, has a black cat named Arya and roots for the Eagles, Flyers, Phillies, 76ers and Chelsea FC.

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