Keep Manatee Beautiful presents annual awards

Keep Manatee Beautiful recognized local businesses, governmental agencies, neighborhoods, organizations and citizens on Thursday at its 19th annual awards celebration at IMG Academy Golf Club.

They were honored for demonstrating leadership in being stewards of Manatee County’s natural resources.

The Exchange Club Family Partnership Center of Manatee County won an outstanding volunteer group award for efforts to mark storm drains and prevent stormwater pollution along Manatee Avenue West, and the Watkins family was honored for its daily cleanups along Southern Parkway.

In the Adopt-A-Shore Program, Manatee High School’s Ocean Awareness Club was honored for removing litter on the shoreline on Palma Sola Causeway.

First Baptist Church of Palmetto and the city of Holmes Beach were cited for efforts to mark storm drains.

Honored as “green schools” were Miller Elementary, Lincoln Middle, Palmetto High and USF Sarasota-Manatee.

Recycling awards were presented to the School District of Manatee County, Historic Green Village on Anna Maria Island, Tropicana Manufacturing Co. Inc. and Rob Kozmits.

Landscaping image awards were given in partnership with the Manatee Chamber of Commerce to It Works!, Harbor Community Bank, Bank of the Ozarks, Palmetto Estuary, Bradenton Area Convention Center, Harbor Isle on Anna Maria Sound and Inspired Living at Lakewood Ranch.

Public service awards went to Keeton’s Office & Art Supply, Around the Bend Nature Tours, Mirabella at Village Green and Operation Inasmuch.

City of Bradenton Beach, Manatee County Area Transit, North River News also were honored for their beautification efforts.

Youth volunteer awards were presented to the Easter Seals VIP Academy and Elizabeth Sgro, a volunteer a turtle patroller with Mote Marine Laboratory.

Patrick Gallagher was honored for his outstanding personal contributions the past energy and recycling coordinator for the School District of Manatee County, who helped save district more than a million dollars by promoting waste reduction and recycling.