Anna Maria, FL (January 31, 2018) – On the heels of positive financial and membership news—with a $130,000 donation, record enrollment and participation that nearly doubled during the year—the Center of Anna Maria Island was awarded two grants, will be named in a trust, and receive a gift from the sale of a local estate.
It also secured two title sponsors for the 10th Annual Murder Mystery on February 16 and 17, and confirmed three homes for the 25th Annual Tour of Homes on March 17, which includes six stops.
Center Awarded $7,500 in Grants Allowing it to Offer Kids After-School Program Community-Wide
The Center was awarded a $1,000 grant by the Michael Saunders Foundation, as a charitable organization offering shelter, sustenance, education and a path to self-sufficiency in local counties. It also received a $6,500 Trolley Giving Back Grant from the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce to support the Beyond the Classroom after-school program.
Combined support from both grants allow the Center to make the Beyond the Classroom available to all community children—regardless of families’ ability to pay.
“The grants will make it possible for the Center provide all the community’s children an opportunity to develop strong, healthy life and social skills in a safe, learning environment, without financial barriers,” said Kristen Lessig, Executive Director, The Center of Anna Maria Island. “We are grateful to use the awards to invest in the island’s future. A special thank you goes to Ken Kavanaugh and Margo Love Story for their support through the Michael Saunders Foundation, and the AMI Chamber Board, staff and Grants Committee for their investment in the Center’s Beyond the Classroom after-school program.”
Children in the after-school program, kindergarten to fifth grade, get time and help with homework and reading, a healthy snack and 60-minutes of play. In addition, kids have opportunities for social development—learning empathy, personal space, social overtures, tone, attention span, nonverbal skills, etc.
Center Will Be Named in a Trust and Receive Gift from Sale of Local Estate
The Center has also been notified by a member that it will be named in a trust, and that the Center is the recipient of a gift. The contribution will be a percentage of the sale of a local estate. Both donations will be settled in the next few months.
“These two major investments will allow us to make a significant contribution back to the Center’s endowment, as well as place funds into our reserve account,” said Kristen Lessig, Executive Director, The Center of Anna Maria Island. “We are overwhelmed with the community’s generosity and grateful for these planned gifts that enable the Center to reinvest in and strengthen Anna Maria Island.”
Air & Energy’s 10th Annual Murder Mystery presented by The Boilermaker Honors the Late Rex Hagen
The 10th Annual Murder Mystery is Friday, February 16 and Saturday, February 17. The evening of laughter, fun, food and murder is sponsored by Air & Energy and presented by The Boilermaker, in honor of the late Rex Hagen for his continuing support of the Center. The play, “What happens on the island…stays on the island,” has a Vegas theme, including Elvis, and guests are encouraged to dress in their “vegas best!” The play is written and directed by Beth and Bri Shaughnessy
Tickets are $45, and include a sit down dinner and the show. There will be a cash bar, live auction and raffles. Doors open at 7:00pm, and the show starts at 7:30pm. For an additional $15, guests can join the VIP Mingle with the Cast at 6:30-7:15pm. The event is for adults only. Buy tickets for Friday, February 16. Buy tickets for Saturday, February 17. Contact Kristen Lessig about sponsorship opportunities.
The 25th Annual Tour of Homes—3 Confirmed and Chance to Win Free Center Membership
Showing off the best in island living, this 25th edition of an annual tour of local homes, will include five homes and six stops on March 17, 10:00am to 4:00pm. Distinctive architecture, elegant interiors and stunning waterfront views will be open to the public. Three homes are confirmed, thanks to gracious homeowners: Wooley and Art Dutton, Don and Leah Purvis, and Jane and Tom Gauld.
The last stop is the Center Bazaar located at the Center of Anna Maria Island (407 Magnolia Avenue). It will have boutique, original arts and crafts and food vendors, in addition to chances to win a beautiful handmade quilt created by the Eyeland Needlers. The quilt is currently on display at the Island Library through January 31. Quilt raffle tickets are on sale for $1 each, or six for $5, and can be purchased at the Center. Tours will also be available at the Bazaar, in addition to the opportunity to enter to win a free Center membership. Tickets are $30. Contact Diane Phinney to show a home or property. Contact Kristen Lessig about sponsorship opportunities.
About The Center of Anna Maria Island
The Center of Anna Maria Island is a nonprofit community center on Anna Maria Island. It strives for excellence in meeting the human service needs of all those living on or near the barrier island. The Center is focused on the community and is open to all, serving children, teens, families, adults and senior citizens. It is often seen as an “Educational Center,” a “Recreational Center,” a “Youth/Teen Center,” a “Fitness Center” and a “Senior Citizen Center.” The Center is all of these and much more. Join upcoming events, and learn more at www.centerami.org.
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A high-resolution is available upon request: Center Executive Director, Kristen Lessig, with AMI Chamber of Commerce Board Chair, David Zaccagnino, Jan. 24 at the Trolley Grant Awards Presentation.
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