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Lawn Party by the Bay to raise money for Children's Guardian Fund

The Dec. 3 event on City Island is Longboat Key Kiwanis Club's biggest event of the season.

Chris Sachs, Michael Garrey, Cynthia Craig, Nancy Rozance and Jack Rozance (File photo)
Chris Sachs, Michael Garrey, Cynthia Craig, Nancy Rozance and Jack Rozance (File photo)
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The Kiwanis Club Lawn Party is the biggest social event of the year on Longboat Key, and that makes it the biggest fundraiser, too. 

In 2021, the annual event raised more than $90,000 for the Children's Guardian Fund. With a $15,000 match from the Doris M. Carter Family Foundation on raffle tickets, this year, it’s on track to raise even more, organizers said.

The event is planned from noon-2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 1700 Ken Thompson Parkway on City Island, just over the New Pass bridge from Longboat Key. Admission tickets are $75 each. Food, wine and beer are planned from more than 25 area restaurants. Raffle tickets are $50 each, and admission for a table of $10 is $650. 

The party is always a good time, but CGF board president Cynthia Craig spoke at Thursday’s Kiwanis meeting to explain the good it does for children.

She had a list of items the donation will pay for—running shoes, football cleats, after-school programs, summer camps, graduation costs and prom dresses. 

“We provide clothing for a new school year. Often, this is the first time the children have new clothing of their own,” Craig said. “We provide all of these and a wide variety of other things which we expect children in stable family environments to have, but which the children we serve do not have.” 

The children CGF serves are in foster care. They experience frequent disruptions in their education and homes when their placements change. The intangible gift is making them feel normal and loved. 

COVID-19 hit these children hard, not because they got sick, but because so many didn’t have access to computers for remote learning. Academic support has been CGF’s main focus over the past three years. 

Two programs have been filling in the gaps. One provides laptops, and the other, one-on-one tutoring. CGF serves about 1,200 area children, and each request is personalized through the child’s guardian ad litem. 




Lesley Dwyer

Lesley Dwyer is a staff writer for East County and a graduate of the University of South Florida. After earning a bachelor’s degree in professional and technical writing, she freelanced for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Lesley has lived in the Sarasota area for over 25 years.

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