Ranch Rotary buys books for Rowlett Elementary
MANATEE -- The Rotary Club of Lakewood Ranch has been awarded a Rotary District 6960 grant of $1,000 to purchase books for elementary school children in the community to encourage literacy.
Ranch Rotarians used the grant to buy new books for a holiday give-away at the Orange Ridge Bullock Elementary School 9 a.m. Dec. 17. Students will pick out a book of their choice.
Information about Lakewood Ranch Rotary Projects or grant requests: visit www.suncoastfoodandwinefest.com or phone 941-870-0002.
Locals raise money for students displaced by storm
MANATEE -- John Neal, President of John Neal Homes in Lakewood Ranch, helped raise close to $6,000 for a school in New Jersey devastated by superstorm Sandy. Neal and the owners of the University Park Country Club got the message out to the residents at University Park and then match what was raised.n BRADENTON -- Hernden, Trapp and Westfall, 4702 26th St. W., Bradenton, and Clear Sunset Car Wash & Auto Detailing, 6415 State Road 64 E., Bradenton, are serving as toy collection sites for Overcome Birth Defects The Toy Cabinet and the third annual toy drive to benefit children who will be hospitalized in Manatee County during the holidays. Toys will be collected through Dec. 20.
New, unwrapped toys are welcome for children of all ages. A list of toy suggestions may be found on Overcome Birth Defects website www.overcomebirthdefects.com.
n HOLMES BEACH -- Lois Gift, branch manager for Hancock Bank, 5324 Gulf Drive. Bring your new, unwrapped toy 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 6 p.m. Friday. Anyone unable to purchase a toy can make a donation by check payable to the Marines Toys For Tots Foundation. If you are unable to drop off your toy donation, someone will be happy to pick it up for you.
n PALMETTO -- Slicks Garage, 923 Fifth St. W.
n LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Dr. Maribel Santos-Cordero, Dentistry for Children and Adolescents and Dr. Francisco Marcano, Sarasota General Dentistry, 7315 Merchant Court, Suite A, Lakewood Ranch.
Deadline for a new, unwrapped gift is noon Dec. 14. Office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday (closed for lunch noon - 1 p.m.) and Friday until noon,
n BRADENTON -- Rep. Jim Boyd's district office, 717 Manatee Ave. W., Suite 100 (entrance on Manatee Avenue). For more information, call 941-708-4968.
n ELLENTON -- The Ellenton Steakhouse, under The Ice Arena dome at 5309 29th St. E., Ellenton, is a Toys for Tots drop-off point and a Food Bank of Manatee County location. Open 4-10 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and noon-1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
n BRADENTON -- Keller Williams Realty of Manatee, 4520 S.R. 64 E., has a Toys For Tots barrel in its lobby.
n BRADENTON -- America's Super Pawn, Inc., 5137 14th St. W., is sponsoring its second Season of Giving event benefitting All Faiths Food Bank and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Manatee.
From now until Dec. 18, anyone bringing in a food or toy donation will receive a ticket to enter a drawing for a new Lenovo Ideapad laptop computer.
n BRADENTON -- New unwrapped toys and gift items can be dropped off at the Manatee Players, 102 Old Main St. in downtown Bradenton.
Christmas trees sales benefit education and cancer research
EAST MANATEE -- All proceeds from the sale of Christmas trees in the big tent inside the Cooper Creek Retail South Plaza, 8440 Cooper Creek Blvd., off University Parkway, support the Taylor Emmons Out-of-Door Academy scholarship fund for socio-economically diverse students and The Payton Wright Foundation to aid families battling pediatric brain cancer. Trees from Maine will be sold 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, through Dec. 16.
United Way Women helping Just for Girls
BRADENTON -- The Women's Leadership Initiative of the United Way of Manatee County will be visiting Just for Girls, 1011 21st St. E. on Dec. 14 for their annual Holiday with a Heart. Girls may select a wrapped gift for an adult man and woman in their life, providing the girls an opportunity to share the joy of giving. School supplies will be given to the girls as well.
Annual Be A Santa toa Senior event begins
BRADENTON -- Home Instead Senior Care is sponsoring its eighth annual Be a Santa to a Senior event benefiting nursing home residents in Manatee County.
Until Dec. 12, a tree with names and gift suggestions is at the Bealls Outlet Westgate store, 3905 Manatee Ave. W.
Purchase the gift suggestion and leave the item at the store. Volunteers will wrap and deliver the gifts. Information: 941-739-3050.
Blood bank partnering with Child Protection Center
MANATEE -- Suncoast Communities Blood Bank is partnering with the Child Protection Center. The blood bank is asking donors to bring in an item from the Child Protection wish list when they donate blood through Dec. 18. Items needed include coloring books, crayons, art supplies, socks, diapers, band aids, dog treats, jump ropes and new or gently used clothing.
Items may be dropped off in Manatee County at donor centers at Lakewood Ranch Plaza, 1731 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., and Bayshore Gardens Shopping Center, 6026 14th St. W.
AutoMaxx serving as food donation location
SARASOTA -- AutoMaxx of Sarasota has announced it will serve as a food donation center for All Faiths Food Bank of Sarasota.
A food donation barrel has been set up in the dealership at 8490 N. Tamiami Trail. All Faiths Food Bank encourages donations of protein-rich foods like canned meats and seafood; canned fruit and juices; canned vegetables; and whole grains, cereal, pasta rice and beans. No glass containers will be accepted.
Lakewood Ranch Town Halljoins Manatee food drive
LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Lakewood Ranch Town Hall, 8175 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., is participating in the Manatee County Food Bank Drive. There will be a collection barrel in the Town Hall front lobby until Dec. 19.
School holds food drive
SARASOTA -- Beyond the Spectrum, a nonprofit school and therapeutic clinic for children with autism and related disabilities, is conducting 21 days of giving back to the community food drive with a goal of 200 items. The school is collecting items through Dec. 21 at 7333 International Place, Sarasota.
Grill helps with Feeding Empty Little Tummies
HOLMES BEACH -- Island Gourmet Grill, 5910 Marina Drive, is accepting donations for F.E.L.T. "Feeding Empty Little Tummies", of Manatee County for the month of December.
According to organizers of Feeding Empty Little Tummies Inc., $25 will feed one child for six weeks. Typical backpack food items needed include oatmeal and cereal packs, pasta cups, fruit cups, raisins, beans with franks, and peanuts and Almonds. No glass containers. Tab tops are preferred.
Information: 941-747-8804 or visit www.feltinc.org. Send checks, payable to FELT Inc. of Manatee, to Island Gourmet Grill, 5910 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Burgers & Brew supports food bank, Toys for Tots
MANATEE -- AJ's Burgers & Brew, 3550 53rd Ave. W., in support of the Manatee Food Bank and Toys for Tots, is asking customers to bring in a nonperishable food item and receive $1 off a burger, sandwich or entrée.
Those who bring in an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots will receive a free beer with the purchase of a burger, sandwich or entrée.
All discounts are for dine-in only meals.
-- Herald staff report