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Kiwanis Club of Longboat Key to celebrate 50 years with brunch

The Lazy Lobster will host the club's anniversary celebration on May 15.

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  • | 11:30 a.m. May 6, 2022
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The Kiwanis Club of Longboat Key is celebrating its golden anniversary with a gold-plated brunch menu. Club members, supporters and brunch lovers will gather at the Lazy Lobster on May 15 — just one day before the club's actual incorporation on May 16 — to eat, drink and celebrate 50 years of philanthropy on the Key. 

“(Member) John Wild brought our 50th anniversary to our attention, and he and Woody Wolverton are our two longest tenured members,” club President Michael Garey said. “We thought a great way to celebrate it would be Sunday brunch at the restaurant (Lazy Lobster) that could replace the old pancake breakfast we used to do before COVID.” 

Garey, who owns the Lazy Lobster and hosts breakfast meetings for the club there, has been organizing the event along with his fellow members to spread the word and compile the club’s history.

He’s working on a placemat for the brunch that has a timeline of the club from its founding in 1972 as the Kiwanis Club of the Sarasota Keys until its historic fundraising effort in 2021 with the annual Lawn Party. 

“It’s an honor (to be president),” Garey said. “I look back on the rich history of all the things Kiwanis has done and how the island has benefited from its presence and from Rotary’s presence and the folks from our civic organizations which are all volunteers who do a terrific job at it.”

The pancake breakfast was one of the club’s main fundraising events for years and brought in money for its annual scholarships.

It hasn’t come back since the pandemic, but Garey said this is the evolution of that event — this year, with a golden flair. He foresees it as an annual brunch event in the future, held perhaps at a different time in the spring. Half of the proceeds will go to the Longboat Key Kiwanis Foundation and half will cover the Lazy Lobster’s operating expenses of the brunch. 

“Our focus is certainly on children and our focus tends to go off-island to Sarasota and Manatee Counties,” Garey said. “But through the years with the Lawn Party we’ve obviously shifted the focus to Children’s Guardian Fund and education and we’ve awarded scholarships throughout the years … That impact goes back to 1972. Kiwanis Club has always done good work and largely for the betterment of local kids in need. It’s an honor to be president at this milestone for sure. It’s always been a great club, and we do a lot of good.”


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