It's the giving season on Longboat Key and the Rotary Club proved once again that it knows something about giving back to local nonprofits.
At a Rotary “wrap” party on Nov. 28 at All Angels Episcopal Church, the Rotary Club of Longboat Key donated around 50 gifts for children ages 12-16 and $300 to Stillpoint Mission in Bradenton.
Stillpoint Mission is a nonprofit that helps local, disadvantaged people meet their basic daily needs of food, clothing, hygiene and financial assistance.
The club also wrapped around 80 gifts for its Big Brother/Big Sister project with Stillpoint Mission, where club members picked the names of children from an "Angel Tree" and bought gifts for them.
The club collected the donated gifts for Stillpoint Mission on Nov. 25 at the fifth annual "Light Up Longboat."
The club asked everyone in attendance to bring a $20-$25 gift for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to the Lazy Lobster. The club presented these donations from the event to Marge Slepica, vice president and board member for Stillpoint Mission.
“We get a lot of toys for younger children, but it's usually these middle school age kids who get left out,” said Slepica.“So it was really nice to focus on them and get them something special.”
Rotary members also participated in National Adoption Day on Nov. 16 by providing teddy bears to recently adopted children with the day of their adoption on the bear. Jan Wallace updated the club on how this went. She explained how touching it was to see each child get a bear and cherish it as a symbol of the momentous occasion. The leftover teddy bears were also donated to Stillpoint Mission.
Nancy Rozance, club director of youth services for the Rotary Club, said the members always have a blast getting together around this time of year to practice their gift-wrapping skills and contribute to an important cause.
“We have so many churches and organizations on Longboat that have helped us with so many bringing food and other things,” said Slepica. “I know each of you have helped in many other ways as well, outside the Rotary Club. Believe me, it's all used, it's all given out. Our clients are most grateful.”
Petra Rivera is the Longboat community reporter. She holds a bachelor’s degree of journalism with an emphasis on reporting and writing from the University of Missouri. Previously, she was a food and drink writer for Vox magazine as well as a reporter for the Columbia Missourian.