Key Manatee-Sarasota economic driver quick to fix oversight

April 19, 2014 

Once an embarrassing oversight became quite public, the nonprofit Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates swiftly rectified the situation.

The organization, which manages Nathan Benderson Park, could ill afford any continuing negative coverage as it seeks millions in donations.

SANCA's president, Paul Blackketter, has a strong reputation in the region, and he proved up to the challenge of reversing the awkward loss of its state license to solicit contributions.

Within a few days of media disclosures about SANCA's months-long failure to submit the required financial records to state regulators, Blackketter secured a fresh charitable license by submitting the necessary IRS report.

SANCA can now proceed with plans to create a foundation for fundraising and become self-supporting instead of relying on government allocations.

Manatee and Sarasota counties and the state are heavily invested in the world-class rowing venue at the park, counting on a return via the tax revenue and economic development the facility is expected to spark.

The 2017 World Rowing Championships and other major events are the keys to SANCA's mission to accelerate visitation to the region.

SANCA's foundation is the key to millions in private investment, a requirement for the organization's future oversight of the park. Now the real challenge begins.

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