Columns & Blogs

Heart to Heart Celebration honors several local women

If it is true that volunteers are the heart of the community, then Manatee County must be a cardiologist’s dream.

The generosity of our citizens is unending and even more important these days.

Last Thursday, the Women’s Leadership Initiative of the United Way of Manatee County held a reception to honor several local women for their contributions to our area.

The Crosley Mansion was the beautiful backdrop for the third annual Heart to Heart Celebration.

Sharon Barhorst was given the Time Award for her work with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Manatee County and other youth organizations.

Sharon’s husband, Ray, led her cheering section, which included Ann Marie Welty, Julie Curran and Stephen Cotton.

The Talent Award was presented to Brenda Rogers for her volunteer service with the Kiwanis Club of Bradenton and 4-H.

Among her supporters were her mother, Jeanette Gay, County Administrator Ed Hunzeker and Debbie Tapp.

Although she has been involved with a variety of groups, Suzi Atherton won the Treasure Award for her help with the financial management of the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida.

Suzi’s fan club included her husband, Buddy Turman, and Betsy Benac, Jayne Kirk and Sandi Stewart.

Their proud families watched as two young women received the Tomorrow Award for their contributions to our community.

Sixteen-year old Tori Browning is an active volunteer in her church and 13-year old Crystal Curry has more than 500 hours of service with the American Red Cross.

Thank you to all for keeping Manatee County “heart healthy.”