- October 26, 2011
Sixty-eight thousand dollars worth of grants was awarded to 22 nonprofit organizations from the Lakewood Ranch Community Fund Oct. 17.
The giving, though, did not just include dollars and cents.
Members of the LWRCF and nonprofit representatives also shared laughs, tears, and stories of goodwill at the annual grant distribution at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall.
Lakewood Ranch Community Fund President Nick Drizos said each of the nonprofit representatives in attendance “help make Lakewood Ranch an area that is a very special place.”
In addition to the individual grants, the community fund also presented Robert Rosinsky, president/CEO of Goodwill Manasota, with the 10th annual C. John A. Clarke Humanitarian Award for his organization’s charitable efforts in the area.
“We change lives through the power of work,” Rosinsky said. “This award is the affirmation of the purpose of Goodwill.”
Rosinsky, who has been with Goodwill for more than 40 years, was humbled by the honor.
“I will do my best to show you that it is deserved,” he said.
The grants awarded ranged from $600 to $6,500. Nine of the 22 grants awarded were for $2,500.
The nonprofit organizations that received the grants provided descriptions of what they intended to do with the money.
Tidewell Hospice Inc., which received $2,500, will use the funds to support grief and bereavement services at no cost to people in the Lakewood Ranch area who have recently lost a loved one. Anyone affected by death in the area is able to receive the services, even if their loved one did not receive care from the hospice.
Since the Lakewood Ranch Community Fund began in 2002, it has awarded more than $1 million in grants to local organizations it receives from fundraising events. Ninety-three agencies have received grants in total.
Of the $72,902 the fund has distributed this year, 44% has gone toward agencies with a focus on education, 43% went to human service organizations. Health nonprofits receive remaining donations.
While the idea of awarding grants to charitable organizations is easy, the selection process for who will receive the grants is lengthy.
The process starts in April and goes until September. Special committees are formed during that timetable to determine which nonprofit agencies will be the beneficiary of the grants.
“When you’re reading through these things, you almost visualize what the agencies and organizations are going through,” said Chris Romine, the chairperson of the grants committee. “It’s extremely eye-opening, and at the same time, very rewarding.”
Romine also said the discussions on which agencies would receive grants have taken anywhere from two to four hours.
“We want to do more,” he said.