Insurance 'dynamo' wins humanitarian award in Lakewood Ranch

rdymond@bradenton.comOctober 20, 2012 

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Lou and Ann Marie Marinaccio moved to Lakewood Ranch from Chicago in 1999, but not to bask in the sun.

"My dad will never retire," daughter Lori Ann said of the dynamic Lou Marinaccio, the 68-year-old founder of MGA Insurance Group in Lakewood Ranch.

While many people know of the couple's insurance agency, fewer know the scope of the couple's charitable giving in the Lakewood Ranch community.

But on Friday afternoon, the Lakewood Ranch Community Fund was able to slow Lou and Ann Marie Marinaccio down enough to present them with the 2012 C. John A. Clarke Humanitarian Award.

The crowd at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall stood and applauded when their names were read.

"The standing ovation said a lot," said Diane Brune, a Fortune 500 executive consultant who is president of the Community Fund. "Almost everyone in that room today has been touched in some way by their generosity. They hardly ever say no. Yet, they are very humble about their activities."

Among nonprofits supported by the Marinaccios are Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy, Payton Wright Foundation, Polio Foundation, The Manatee Community Foundation and the Lakewood Ranch Community Fund, the Humane Societies of Manatee and Lakewood Ranch, Center for Sight, Juvenile Diabetes, Manasota B.U.D.s, Miracle League of Manasota, Inc., American Cancer Society and Wellness Community, to name a few.

In his touching presentation to the Marinaccio, Bob Borkowski of Northern Trust quoted Lori Ann, the couple's daughter.

"Lori Ann said of her parents that they have a special place in their hearts for the innocents, children and animals that don't deserve any pain and don't know or understand why it is happening," Borkowski said.

Clarke, who was president and CEO of Schroeder Manatee Ranch, developers of Lakewood Ranch, from 1989 to 2004, received the initial humanitarian award in 2005.

The award recognizes high professional standards, unwavering ethical and moral values and fierce dedication to humanitarian ideals.

While the Marinaccios won the big award of the night, perhaps the realwinners were the 21 nonprofits serving Lakewood Ranch and Manatee Countywho were awarded $71,000 from the LakewoodRanch Community Fund in 2012.

Friday's checks brought the grand total of Lakewood Ranch Community Fund grants to $750,000 since 2002, Brune said.

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