The final dollar was tallied, and the Kiwanis Club’s Lawn Party by the Bay raised $108,959 for the Children’s Guardian Fund. It was announced at the club’s latest meeting on March 16 at The Paradise Center.
Longboat Key’s first lady and CGF’s board President, Cynthia Craig, was on hand to accept the oversized check and account for how last year’s donation was spent.
“We have used your money, this year, 4,495 times to do something for our kids,” Craig said to close out her thank you speech.
The kids are in foster care, and the something included 2,502 tutoring sessions, 843 birthday cakes and cards, 241 summer camps, 150 beds and bedding, 87 bikes and helmets, 22 prom outfits, 11 driver’s license fees and supplies for one memorial garden for a pair of sisters who miss their dad.
Craig also shared the story of her personal guardian child, who is severely disabled. His parents couldn’t take care of him, so they took him to the hospital for a surgery and never went back to pick him up. He’s since been placed with a family that loves him and is able to care for him.
“We try to give these kids, who had such a bad start, as happy a life as we can,” Craig said.
A lot of work goes into planning the Lawn Party, so Kiwanis President Michael Garey had a long list of thank you's for the board, sponsors, volunteers and Craig too.
“This year, we had the event at Ken Thompson Park, and Ken Thompson Park was a spectacular venue, but it came with a lot of other added expenses that we didn’t have in previous years,” Garey said. “The reason we cleared the bar from the year before is we had an additional check come into Kiwanis from Cynthia Craig and Ken Schneier, which put us over the top. It was a very significant number that made that reality happen.”