Manatee United Way plan schools cleanup July 22-24

vmannix@bradenton.comJuly 10, 2013 

BRADENTON -- Tim Henning didn't realize what he was in for Monday when he volunteered to clean windows at Manatee Glens Hospital & Addiction Center.

"I didn't know there were that many windows in the place!" said the Publix district manager.

But Henning and 125 managers and associates from Publix's 14 Manatee County stores were up to the task, a quarterly project coordinated by United Way. It went beyond washing windows at the nonprofit specialty hospital and outpatient practice

for treating mental health and addictions.

From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., they spruced up the grounds around the facility's public entrance and parking lot, mulching, raking and weeding as well as planting 300 plants donated by Turner Tree & Landscape.

They washed company vehicles, too.

"It was a good day," Henning said.

A hot day, too.

"Our folks are used to working in air conditioning but they worked their way through it," he said. "Roles got reversed as we tackled different jobs. We had associates telling managers what to do. You've got to like that."

Manatee Glens officials sure did.

Calaina Goodyear wished she had taken pictures before and after.

"It's totally different -- so much more welcoming and cleaner," said the Manatee Glens development director. "It was one of those projects you want to do, but are never able to do because of time and manpower. It was amazing and motivating to see the community come together and help one hospital. It'd be wonderful to continue to do this."

There are more community volunteer projects where that came from, according to Katie Becker, United Way director of resource development.

The next will involve landscaping and cleaning eight Manatee County District Schools July 22-24 before classes resume in August.

Interested in volunteering? Call Doreen Ravagnani at 941-748-1313. Or email

Vin Mannix, local columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7055. Twitter: @vinmannix

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