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East County Wednesday, May 27, 2009 10 years ago

Harborage home up for raffle

by: Pam McTeer

MANATEE COUNTY — When children are taken from their homes and put into an emergency shelter, they often come with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.

Manatee Children’s Services, a nonprofit that has assisted abused and neglected children for more than 30 years, uses every resource it can to provide for the children it serves.

And starting June 1, Manatee residents can pitch in to help the organization while purchasing a chance to own a valuable piece of real estate.

A $50 ticket gives you a chance to win a three bedroom, two-bathroom house in The Harborage on Braden River. The home features more than 2,100 square feet of living space, a two-car garage and lanai as well as access to a community pool, fishing pier and observation deck, among other amenities.

“We are so grateful to be a part of this, and it certainly is a testimony to the good in our community,” MCS CEO Melinda Thompson said. “We live among folks who really do care, and they want to help.”

The effort is being led by Bradenton resident Mary Burns, who started Dream House Charity last year as a way to combine her passion for children and vision for fundraising. The organization raffles off one donated home each year specifically to benefit Manatee Children’s Services.

“I thought with real estate so bad, that it would help someone else to be able to pay off their mortgage and give the proceeds to benefit their charity,” Burns said.

If a minimum in ticket sales is not met, the drawing turns in to a 50/50 raffle. Last year’s campaign raised about $4,500 for Manatee Children’s Services.

Burns said she picked the charity out of 185 registered nonprofits because of its wide variety of services. MCS has 11 child abuse and prevention programs, including emergency shelter, parenting classes, abuse prevention workshops, mental health services and group homes for children in foster care.

“They reach out to the ones that no one else wants,” Burns said. “They do so much.”

MCS is funded through federal, state and local government, United Way and private donations. About 18,000 children and adults are served through its programs each year.

The raffle for the house will last through June 1, 2010. Tickets are available through the Web site,, or by completing a form available at Manatee Children’s Services, 453 Cortez Road W., Bradenton.

Contact Pam McTeer at [email protected].

WHEN: June 1, 2009 through June 1, 2010
COST: $50 per ticket
PRIZE: A three-bedroom home in The Harborage at Braden River (If minimum ticket sales are not met, the fundraiser goes to a 50/50 raffle)
BENEFICIARY: Manatee Children’s Services
INFORMATION: or 201-5593

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