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East County Monday, Sep. 10, 2018 1 year ago

Lakewood Ranch gardeners assist veterans

The Vets2Succss nonprofit will use a $2,300 donation for a farming program.
by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

U.S. Marine Bryan Jacobs is cooking up life lessons for local veterans through his Vets2Success nonprofit, which helps veterans transition into civilian life.

On Sept. 10 at a ceremony in front of Lakewood Ranch Town Hall, Lakewood Ranch-based Gardeners Out East Garden Club members handed him a check for $2,300 for his new Vets2Agro program. It will prepare veterans for careers in hydroponic and aquaponic farming. Vets2Success has a partnership with Sweetgrass Farms, in Sarasota, for the program, Jacobs said.

“This donation changes lives,” Jacobs said, adding he loved gardening growing up and still grows much of his own food for fun. “It allows us to impact those who signed a blank check with their lives.”

Gardeners Out East President Karen Eckert said the funds are what is leftover from the group’s 2017 charity golf tournament, which was held to raise money to install and maintain a Blue Star Memorial marker in front of Lakewood Ranch Town Hall. 

Proceeds above and beyond the group’s needs were to go to a charity benefiting veterans. Eckert said Vets2Success was a perfect fit because it is based in Manatee County and because the Vets2Agro program has a focus on gardening and sustainability.

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