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Elks deliver perfect therapy

Lakewood Ranch Rotary presents $117,600 in grants

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  • | 10:20 a.m. April 4, 2018
  • East County
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Elks deliver perfect therapy

Shelly McCormick, the clinical director of Camelot Community Care, began opening boxes of toys in rapid-fire fashion at the Lakewood Ranch Elks Lodge No. 2855 in Bradenton.

Although it was March 30, it was her Christmas.

McCormick, Camelot Executive Director Andy Solum and Camelot Foster Care Recruitment Director Allison Bennett came to the Elks to receive $1,519 worth of therapeutic toys donated by the lodge.

"We will be able to use these toys for many years to come," McCormick said.

Solum said his nonprofit, located in Lakewood Ranch, serves children and families with behavioral help services. "We have 18 foster homes right now that we serve," he said. "People find out about us through their friends, church, networking or at community events."

Elks board member Sarah Wakefield said the lodge first worked to help Camelot last Christmas with a Secret Santa tree. The lodge then decided to donate an Elks Anniversary Grant (which comes from the national organization) to purchase the toys.

"We focus on community," Wakefield said. "They met all the criteria."

Camelot Community Care was the featured nonprofit at the Music on Main event April 6 at Main Street at Lakewood Ranch.


Rotary presents $117,600 in grants

The Rotary Club of Lakewood Ranch celebrated the fruits of its labor March 15 by doling out $117,600 to local nonprofits and Rotary programs during a March 15 luncheon at the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club.

Each November, the club holds its Suncoast Food and Wine Fest fundraiser at the Sarasota Polo Club. This year, proceeds from the event benefited 27 organizations, including East County-based Foundation for Dreams, the Lakewood Ranch Rotary’s Books for Kids program, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine’s  dental program and The Haven.

Margi Dawson of Turning Point accepted a grant and informed the Rotary what it would buy.

“This grant will help kids with their basic needs,” Dawson said. “Buying school supplies, clothes and other things that we take for granted.”

Dr. Mathew Bateman, from LECOM's dental program, said that the grant received will go toward mouth guards.
"Our mouthguard program helps provide mouth guards to high school students in sports who to need them," Bateman said.


Fashion show sails in funds for charity

The Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club held a fashion show charity fundraiser, “Set Sail for Fashion,” March 26 at the Sarasota Yacht Club.

The event raised more than $20,000 for charity and had 265 attendees.

Models from the Women’s Club and business sponsors rocked the runway in an array of outfits from P. J’s Boutique in Sarasota.  Guests also enjoyed a gourmet lunch, a surprise wine event, silent auction, raffle prizes and music. 

“This event represents the fun, friendship and community service that signifies Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club,” Women’s Club President Eileen Buzzard said in a release. “One-hundred percent of the money raised will help support the critical needs of HOPE Family Services for victims of domestic violence, SOLVE Maternity Homes and SMART (Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy).” 

Eileen thanked the charities and executive directors, Laurel Lynch from HOPE, Brandi Ezell from SMART and Peggy Kerwin from SOLVE, for the great work that they do for the community.

The Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club has more than 300 members and is a nonprofit service club founded to improve the quality of life in the community. 

For more information or to join, visit



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