The Longboat Key Turtle Watch partnered with the organization for the fundraiser.
When in doubt, help the kids out. J. McLaughlin store manager Melanie Dale hosted a Sip and Shop event for Children First on Nov. 19 and 20.
The true sponsor of the Sip and Shop was the Longboat Key Turtle Watch. However, instead of collecting 15% of the day's proceeds like they would for any other Sip and Shop, the LBKTW deferred its funds to Children First, a head start program in Sarasota County that serves 900 children annually. Throughout the two days, 15% of J. McLaughlin's sales went to Children First and shoppers brought in unwrapped presents for the kids.
LBKTW was there to educate rather than raise money, so LBKTW President Tim Thurman spent Saturday talking about the next turtle season, which will be governed by new rules taking effect in 2022. For now, Thurman said, the turtles are wintering in Mexico.
In the store, volunteers Cathy Bishop and Marlene McBrier gave information on Children First, handed out sips to shoppers and collected toys.
Next, store manager Melanie Dale will host a food drive at the store through Dec. 18. She's working with Christ Church of Longboat Key to gather food and funds for Our Daily Bread in Bradenton. Nonperishable goods can be dropped off during store hours.
Join the Neighborhood! Our 100% local content helps strengthen our communities by delivering news and information that is relevant to our readers. Support independent local journalism by joining the Observer's new membership program — The Newsies — a group of like-minded community citizens, like you. Be a Newsie.