Rotarians In Action
Our Club serves the community through many different projects that serve our community in different ways throughout the year. For more information on how to get involved with a project, please contact Club President Jeffrey Driver at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annual Veterans Day Events to Honor and Support Our Local Veterans
Planning is underway for our 2022 program to honor and thank the Veterans who live, work, play, or worship on Longboat Key. Our 2021 project collected five bicycles and 45 pairs of new or gently-used sneakers for the Veterans served by Turning Points' Yellow Ribbon program; in addition, we fundraised more than $6,000 for the organization. Fundraising efforts in connection with our 2020 drive-by event yielded more than $30,000 to support the work of three Sarasota/Manatee County veterans’ assistance organizations. Other past events have included parades and honor programs with distinguished military speakers.
Supporting Longboat Key’s First Responders
In addition to hosting events to recognize the Police and the Fire Rescue Departments’ personnel and their families, the Rotary Club has purchased sophisticated equipment for the departments as identified by the Chiefs … equipment that enhances the work of the first responders, but the cost of which is above and beyond department budgets funded by tax dollars.
Literacy and Grade-Level Reading
Hunger and Food-Insecurity
Hundreds of families received nutritional assistance through our 5-year partnership with All Faiths Food Bank to stock and staff a school-based food pantry at a Title I elementary school in Sarasota. Additionally, our members have implemented food distribution projects in conjunction with Harvest House and Children's Guardian Fund, bringing nutrition, literacy, and family-bonding time to many homes and hundreds of children.
Early Childhood Water Safety Program
Teams of our members have introduced the “Josh the Otter Water Safety & Awareness Project” to kindergarten classes in Sarasota County’s elementary schools, highlighted by our own costumed dancing “otter,” a fun and interactive video presentation,
engaging books, and songs. The program reinforces an important and simple message: Stay away from the water unless accompanied by an adult!
Supporting the Environment
Along with Rotarians around the world, we are committed to supporting activities that strengthen the conservation and protection of natural resources, advance ecological sustainability, and foster harmony between communities and the environment. To that end, we have “adopted” a 1.5 mile stretch of Gulf of Mexico Drive on Longboat Key, rallying a team of our members to pick up litter and debris on a quarterly basis. We have also planted trees to celebrate Earth Day.
Promoting our Local Dog Park and Pet Owners
Shortly after our Club was launched in 2014, our members rallied community support for the Town’s installation of an off-leash dog park for the enjoyment of the many important furry companions of Longboat Key’s residents. Through our fundraising, the Town was able to add amenities to enhance the park’s facilities. We recently partnered with the Town and generous donors to refresh the popular park. We have celebrated the Town’s pooches and their owners by organizing the “Hot Diggity Dog” patriotic dog costume parade for the LBK Chamber of Commerce’s Freedom Fest celebration every July 4th since 2014.
We have raised funds to support Rotary’s International’s decades-long commitment to eradicate polio from the world, including organizing fun bowling events to “Strike Out Polio.” We have launched a project in the Philippines to provide speech therapy for young cleft patients undergoing corrective surgeries, in partnership with Smile Train and assisted by matching funds from The Rotary Foundation.