News Section: Community
Manatee Spotlight September 9, 2012
Donations pouring in for ‘Grand Challenge’ to meet Food Bank needs
10,000 pounds of food and $12,000 raised and many local organizations and businesses step up for Food Bank of Manatee during September
Donations from Manatee County businesses, schools and organizations are already mounting for the Grand Challenge to restock the Food Bank of Manatee.
Only one week into September, local businesses and organizations have already raised $12,000 and 10,000 pounds of food. Food Bank Director Cindy Sloan said 72 businesses and organizations have requested food bins to collect canned goods and non-perishable items for the cause.
The Challenge asks Manatee schools, business owners, hospitals, faith-based organizations and other groups to help the Food Bank by collecting either 1,000 pounds of food or raising $1,000 or a combination of the two during September.
“We’re buying food like crazy and restocking the shelves, but we really need everyone to keep up the effort,” Sloan said. “Thank you for everything that is happening in our community. I see everyone responding to the call for help and it warms my heart. To live in a county that cares so much about others less fortunate is terrific.”
The Lakewood Ranch Rotary Club delivered a donation of 2,500 pounds of food to the Food Bank last week. Sloan helped the group select food the Food Bank needs like canned meat and boxed meals.
Manatee County Government raised nearly 1,300 pounds and $150 at a leadership team meeting this week. All of the Food Bank’s collection barrels have been distributed to businesses that request them, but they still have boxes for businesses that want to host a local food drive. Keeton’s Office Supply is delivering food to the Food Bank from any local businesses to which they deliver business orders.
Among the high profile businesses and organizations already participating in the Grand Challenge: The cities of Bradenton and Palmetto and the township of Longboat Key, Manatee Schools, Iberia Banks, Mosaic, the Lakewood Ranch and West Bradenton Rotary Clubs, local Kiwanis clubs and Blalock Walters attorneys, Feld Entertainment, Mosaic, Bradenton Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau, Iberia Bank, Manatee County Administration Building, Boyd Insurance and Investment Services, Inc., Wagner Real Estate, Gentiva Home Health, United Way, Keller Williams Realty, Hancock Bank, Manatee Convention Center, Mauldin & Jenkins, Manatee Glens, H2U, Safe Children Coalition, Michael Saunders Realty, Ridgewood Meadows, Home Instead Senior Care, Florida Bank, Snackworks Honeycomb, Manatee County Sheriff's Department, Town of Longboat Key, East Manatee Republican Club, Women of Manatee Republican Club, Tiger Bay Club of Manatee, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Bay Area Industrial, Bradenton Herald, Tropicana and TechHouse IT Solutions.
Manatee Tiger Bay Club collected food items and donations for the Grand Challenge at its Sept. 6 meeting.
Feeding Children Everywhere, a Sanford, Florida-based company that ships meals to schools and orphanages around the world, has offered 50,000 rice-and-lentil-based meals per month for the next three months.
The Women of Manatee County Republican Club will host a food drive at a meeting on Friday, Sept. 7 at the Bradenton Country Club. All members will be asked to contribute in some way for the food bank. The meeting begins at 11:30 a.m., and lunch is $17.
In August, Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore and School Board member Julie Aranibar on Aug. 22 held a press conference to ask the community to respond to a growing shortage at the Food Bank. The Food Bank is down to 15 percent capacity. Each month the Food Bank serves more than 100 local agencies and food pantries which then distribute the food to as many as 60,000 people each month.
Anyone interested can obtain a Food Bank food collection barrel by calling (941) 747-FOOD. Food Drive Kits can also be found at the Food Bank’s website.
Judge Lee Haworth to Present ‘Manatee Model’ in Keynote Address at e-Courts 2012 Conference
On Monday, December 10, 2012, the Honorable Judge Lee Haworth of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit will deliver the keynote address at the National Center for State Courts’ e-Courts 2012 International Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. His speech titled “The Electronic Bench” will highlight the “Manatee Model.”
Immediately following Judge Haworth’s keynote address, R.B. “Chips” Shore and his IT director, Dr. Carole Pettijohn, will present “The E-Courts Return on Investment.” The research presented in this session will demonstrate the cost and times savings realized by Courts that go paperless. Manatee County is considered visionary in the use of technology for Clerks and Courts which is why the three were asked to open this international conference.
The “Manatee Model” is the concept envisioned by Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court, R. B. “Chips” Shore and developed in conjunction with the Judges of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit that paves the way for a paperless courtroom for judges. With the use of artificial intelligence software developed by Mentis Technology Solutions, known as “aiSmartBench,” the Manatee Model allows judges to quickly and effectively manage cases in the courtroom as easily as paper files. It is an App that does not replace any court information system just adds the ability for the judges to use technology to its fullest and most cost effective extent.
Judge Haworth shares, “Our judiciary needs to quickly adapt to the new technologies that enable judges to be more efficient, cost effective, and helpful to the people we serve. Chips' Manatee Model is designed to our specifications. It has enabled us to meet or exceed the functionalities of the traditional paper environment and improve the quality of our work product. This innovative application puts us at the forefront of the revolution that is changing how courts conduct the people's business.”
“We all recognize the tremendous volume of work that our judges and our courts face. The goal of this year’s e-Courts conference is to deliver ‘real world solutions to the pressing technology problems facing courts.’ The Manatee Model is already a reality that has been tested and proven. We are delighted to be able to offer it, and its savings, to courts throughout the country,” says R.B. “Chips” Shore.
10th Annual Walk For Life Raises Awareness & Funds
Manatee Glens is hosting its 10th Annual Walk for Life on Saturday morning, September 22 at Sutton Park in Palmetto. Walk for Life is dedicated to depression awareness and suicide prevention. The event includes a 5k sanctioned run, a scenic 5k walk, music, entertainment an emotional butterfly and bubble release, food and prizes. Families, houses of worship, clubs, businesses and others also form teams to make it a friendly competition as they raise funds for crisis services. Additionally, many local businesses have contributed more than $8,000 in prizes for the top teams and individuals. Eric Sollman of Bay News 9 will serve as the Master of Ceremonies and keep the crowd charged and enthused.
“We’re grateful to the thousands of people who support this event and see the value of raising awareness,” states Manatee Glens President/CEO Mary Ruiz. “While the subject is not easy, this event is upbeat, positive and full of hope. We daily see lives changed because of the help people receive at Manatee Glens.”
Depression is a leading cause of suicide. Each year, more Manatee County residents take their own lives than are lost in traffic accidents. Suicide is also the third leading cause of death among teens and young adults and the second leading cause of death for college students.
You can make a difference by getting involved in the Manatee Glens Walk for Life. Sign up through the website and get a team started. Then encourage friends, colleagues and family to donate to your team—everything can be done on-line. All participants are eligible for the grand prize drawing. There are also prizes for top fundraisers, top schools and the top runners. There are more than $8,000 in prizes.
The 5k run is managed by On A Shoestring and is a sanctioned run. Because of the run, dogs will not be allowed on the course. Those who wish to bring small (under 25 pounds), vaccinated dogs can check them into Fido’s Fun Center, managed by Bayside Pet Resort.
Manatee County, Constitutional office employees lose 5.4 tons during YWeight’s first year
Outcome-based incentive improving employee health, lowering Manatee health care costs
After a year under a new long term program aimed at helping Manatee County employees beat the battle of the bulge, employees are seeing remarkable results.
Of the 2,138 people who fully participated in the YWeight program, 996 people lost a combined 5.4 tons (10,875 pounds) of weight, an average of 10.9 pounds per person.
Two members lost more than 70 pounds. Two others lost between 60 and 69 pounds. Seventeen members lost between 35 and 59 pounds. Nearly 340 people lost at least 2 percent of their body weight and 1,033 lost 5 percent or more; 225 lost between 10 and 14.9 pounds.
As a result of the program, the county has seen an overall drop in preventative Type II diabetes and cholesterol and blood pressure numbers are down, according to Manatee Employee Health Benefits manager Kim Stroud.
“Our members are more productive at work, they have more energy, they’re happier,” Stroud said. “There’s a real sense of accomplishment and camaraderie at work, you can see that in people’s faces.”
Manatee County Government will also see a savings from the massive weight loss. In recent years the county has shifted emphasis to prevention and risk assessments for controlling health care costs, guiding its employee health plan, and creating a culture that puts good health at the forefront. Dollars are going to preventative care and outpatient care. The county’s number of in-patient hospital visits is down 22 percent. Chronic illnesses dropped 10 percent over the past year.
There are around 4,000 adult members enrolled in the Manatee YourChoice health plan, including county government and constitutional office employees and their family members.
YWeight participants were able to earn $400 in “health bucks” if they maintained a healthy Body Mass Index or if they lost 5 percent or more of their body weight. Those who lost between 2 and 4.9 percent of their body weight could earn $285 in health bucks which can be used to reduce insurance premiums or drawn from a spending account for medical expenses like co-pays. Health bucks costs were offset by switching from a participation-based to an outcome-based program.
The countywide weight loss is a direct result of Manatee County Commission’s unanimous vote to endorse a “Culture of Health” throughout Manatee County last year. The resolution touts a number of healthy measures Manatee County Government has taken to improve the wellness of its employees including encouraging employees to participate in educational wellness programs focused on nutrition and healthier eating.
Non-Profits Invited to Participate in “Make A Difference” Volunteer Fair
The “Make a Difference” Volunteer Fair is a way for community non-profits and service organizations to showcase their work and their need for volunteers. It is also a way for those who desire to serve and volunteer to explore opportunities and talk with representatives in a casual atmosphere.
- It’s for non-profits and community service organizations
- It’s for volunteers and would-be volunteers
Organizations face a shortage of volunteers. At the same time, many people have a desire to volunteer but just don’t know where the need is. The volunteer fair brings the two together.
Benefits to Non-Profits and Community Service Organizations
- The event is highly publicized to attract people who are thinking about volunteering and those who are already volunteering, but want to see what other opportunities
- The atmosphere is festive and celebrates the volunteer
- Sarasota and Manatee non-profits and community service organizations are invited to participate at no cost.
- Each organization will set up a table top display or booth and have representatives on hand to answer questions
- A lunch will be provided prior to the fair for those who are setting up the displays and representing the organizations.
- Potential volunteers are exposed to a wide variety of organizations that need their help in a fun and relaxed format.
- Volunteers can sign-up to help their favorite organization right on the spot.
- Non-profits and organizations can share their story to a large volunteer base.
- Tons of free publicity
When & Where
Thursday, November 8, 2012
1:00 – 4:00 PM
6151 Lake Osprey Drive Sarasota, FL 34240
Cat Specials at the Humane Society
During the month of September, adoption fees at the Humane Society of Manatee County have been reduced for cats! Cats over 6 months old can be adopted for just $25 and kittens are $50 for one or $75 for two. All cats are spay/neutered, microchipped, up to date on vaccinations and come with 30 days of free pet insurance.
Sept. 14th is FREE FELINE FRIDAY! The adoption fee will be waived on any cat over 6 months old when you adopt them on Friday only. They will not be able to hold a cat for you, but will open at 10 am, so be ready to take your new best friend home with you!
Adoption hours are Mon, Wed., Fri, & Sat. from 10 am to 5 pm. For more information or to see pictures of available kitties please visit www.humanemanatee.org or email email@example.com. The Humane Society is located at 2515 14th St. W in Bradenton.
The 4th Annual Chowdown For Charity , Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ Riverhouse Banquets and Weddings
The Manatee Chapter of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) is presenting the 4th annual “Chowdown for Charity,” Thursday, October 25,6-8 p.m., at Riverhouse Banquets and Weddings, 955 Riverside Drive in Palmetto. Ticket start at $30 and are available for purchase at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4256350860 or by calling 941-545-3620.
Guests are invited to rub elbows with exceptional chefs from 10 of the area's top restaurants and sample their finest fare. These restaurants will also compete in a chef’s competition judged by Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston, Sen. Mike Bennett, Bay News 9 anchor Summer Smith, and WCTQ disc jockey, Maverick Johnson. Dishes will be judged on appearance, creativity and taste in order to be qualified for the coveted “Best in Show” award and attendees will be able to sample these inspired dishes.
The event also features a student culinary competition. Guests will be treated to mouthwatering desserts prepared by culinary students from Manatee Technical Institute, Manatee High School, Southeast High School ,and USF Sarasota-Manatee's College of Hospitality and Technology. Local celebrity chefs, Tommy Klauber (Pattigeorge’s and Polo Grill) and Ray Arpke (Euphemia Haye) will judge the student entries, awarding gold, silver and bronze recognitions.
This event raises funds to help support and continue culinary education in Manatee County. These programs help students become job-ready candidates while providing vital life and job skills. In addition, a percentage of the funds raised will be donated to the Food Bank of Manatee.
“Our 4th Annual Chowdown for Charity promises to be our best ever," says Manatee Chapter FRLA board president Fred Hurley. "We have 10 of the finest restaurants, four schools participating and the greatest group of judges anywhere! Where else can you go and be treated to the best fare while supporting our youth? This is a not-to-miss event!”
Event chair Susan Kopstad agrees. "I’m so proud to be involved again this year as chairperson," she says. "Our community's culinary students have so much talent and promise. I firmly believe it's vital to support them and their pursuits of careers in the hospitality field.”
Ticket pricing is as follows:
- In advance, online sales only:
- $30 general admission + cash bar
- $50 open bar + early event admission
- At the door, if available:
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