HomeGrown Heroes

HomeGrown Heroes: C&C Rescue Rally

Meet Chris Gelsleichter and Colleen Pearce of C&C Rescue Foundation. Chris and Colleen started hosting their annual C&C Rescue Rally fundraiser 11 years ago at Entersection Bar in Sarasota. As animal lovers, they started the event to help raise funds for and draw attention to local nonprofit rescues. Each year they choose a few animal rescues to benefit from the rally and split the funds between them. The event has grown so much over the

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Meet Our Community Sponsor: TreeUmph! Adventure Course

Did you know that FANS has the support of local businesses through our community sponsors program? These local business owners, who pride themselves on giving back to the community, help make it possible for us to care for the animals through their in-kind and monetary donations. We thought it would be fun to get to know them a little better. From time to time, we will share a new community sponsor’s profile. Meet Kathy &

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Meet Our Community Sponsors: Life Pharmacy

Did you know that FANS has the support of local businesses through our community sponsors program? These local business owners, who pride themselves on giving back to the community, help make it possible for us to care for the animals through their in-kind and monetary donations. We thought it would be fun to get to know them a little better. From time to time, we will share a new community sponsor’s profile. Meet Megan and

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Meet Our Community Sponsors: Working for Kisses

Meet Our Community Sponsors: Did you know that FANS has the support of local businesses through our community sponsors program? These local business owners, who pride themselves on giving back to the community, help make it possible for us to care for the animals through their in-kind and monetary donations. We thought it would be fun to get to know them a little better. From time to time, we will share a new community sponsor’s

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Meet Our Community Sponsors: Forever Souls

Did you know that FANS has the support of local businesses through our community sponsors program? These local business owners, who pride themselves on giving back to the community, help make it possible for us to care for the animals through their in-kind and monetary donations. We thought it would be fun to get to know them a little better. From time to time, we will share a new community sponsor’s profile. Meet Elissa Bentsen,

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Homegrown Heroes/Volunteer Spotlight

In honor of National Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 18-24, we will be showcasing several volunteers throughout the week. Our volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization and even though we don’t have time to share all their stories, we appreciate every one of them. We’d like to kick off the week by introducing you to a group of amazing young adults who spend their free time making a difference in their community and beyond, including

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Homegrown Hero: Cheryl Johnson

Meet Cheryl Johnson, a board member and volunteer for the Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch. We recently spoke with Cheryl about what she does for the shelter and why it is important for the community to have places like this. If you are not familiar with the Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch, they are an organization who rescue animals in need and find adoptive homes for them. Cheryl tells us they also educate people on

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HomeGrown Heroes: Holley Dekmar

Holley, a full time mother of four, wanted to do something to help her local community. With the stay at home order in place, kids being homeschooled and most places closed to the public, she had to get creative. She turned to social media, starting a fundraising group on Facebook called Giving Back 941. Her goal is to help as many local nonprofits as she can by raising funds through a fun and innovative online

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HomeGrown Heroes: Prospect Riding Center

by Jessica Waller Prospect Riding Center (PRC) is a therapeutic and recreational horseback riding center focused on helping individuals with special needs overcome physical, developmental, and psychological challenges. Located on over 20 acres in Myakka City, the staff and volunteers provide a warm, nurturing, and safe environment for riders to develop core strength and balance, enhanced self-esteem, and increased communication and social skills. The fun and educational experience is aimed at promoting a lifelong interest

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HomeGrown Heroes – Connie Kauffman

Founder of Empowerment Gulfcoast After their 30-year-old son (middle child), who had overcome opioid addiction, passed away from thyroid disease, possibly triggered by his previous drug use, Connie and Chuck Kauffman began to search for answers. They kept circling back to one over-riding factor: loss of hope. With friends and other concerned community members, Empowerment Gulfcoast, Inc. formed to help young adults counter that struggle by offering a multi-faceted approach: professional counseling (if needed), financial

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