Upon opening its eighth store in The Mall at University Town Center on June 11, Microsoft awarded several technology grants to community organizations.MOTE Marine Laboratory and Aquarium and Manatee Community Action Agency were the recipients of the largest grants at $500,000 and $160,000, respectively.“Manatee Community Action Agency’s mission is to provide education, programs, services and partnerships that help individuals and families achieve self-sufficiency. This grant from Microsoft is transformative, and will enable us to expand and enhance our programs and services to the benefit of our clients, and the betterment of our community,” said Barbara Patten, MCAA executive director. “We thank Microsoft for their generosity, and their dedication to the well-being of this community."Other grants went to Children First for $125,000; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Suncoast for $65,000; Girls Inc. of Sarasota for $60,000 and Girl Scouts of South Florida for $45,000.Joy Mahler, chief executive of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Sun Coast, said upgrades in technology aren't the only benefit she hopes the organization will see from developing a relationship with Microsoft."We hope to see opportunities and training for littles to learn more about technology and the latest and greatest," Mahler said.
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