Community snapshots: Palmetto High FFA goes to Orlando

June 21, 2013 

Palmetto High School FFA helps Second Harvest in Orlando

Between learning leadership skills, networking with other FFA Chapters, Palmetto High School's FFA took their skills acquired from working with the Hope Center in Palmetto to the America's Second Harvest Food Bank in Orlando. Fifty FFA members from three chapters spent a few hours putting labels on 18-ounce cans of soup. The members were able to complete four pallets of approximately 1,000 cans per pallet. The America's Second Harvest Food bank in Orlando is a food distribution center for six counties. Palmetto High FFA donated 3,000 pounds of food this year to the Hope Center in Palmetto, and will continue to donate food during the next school year. The Palmetto High FFA officer team is also putting together training opportunities to teach others how to grow vegetables in containers, so every person can have the opportunity to have fresh produce on their table. Pictured, from left, Sam Jackson, Aubrey Rife, Zach Bonds, Nicole Lewis, Rebecca Keefer, Tori Quinn, Kaitlin Richman, Kelly Lowimore, Deven Penaloza, Darrylin Cannon, Colin Kirker and Audrey May. PHOTOS PROVIDED

Eye Associates employees donate of tornado relief

The employees of The Eye Associates emptied their pockets for a dress down day to benefit the victims of the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma. At the suggestion of staff member Donette Butler, they raised $805 in one day. Every staff member was allowed to "dress down" out of uniform for one day, with the hopes that they would make a donation to the Red Cross. "I had family in Alabama affected by the tornados in the past and know how helpful the Red Cross was to them. I wanted to do something to help the Oklahoma families as my family had been helped," said Butler. The Eye Associates sponsored a similar fundraiser for the Alabama tornado victims. The Eye Associates' CEO John Swencki presented the check to Jeanne Slater, chairman of the board of the Southwest Florida Chapter of the Red Cross.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee receives $13,500 grant

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County was presented with a $13,500 grant from Publix Supermarkets Charities. The grant will contribute to the Project Learn program at the Boys & Girls Club at Harllee Middle School. Project Learn targets low performing students whose progress in academic performance is hindered, often by factors unrelated to their academic capacity, such as poverty. From left, Brian West, Publix media and community relations manager; Tim Henning, Publix district manager; Valerie Nelson, vice president of development for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County; Beth Work, vice president of operations for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County.

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