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START was able to present a check for $5600 to Beauty Bridge Foundation.  This donation from May’s fundraiser at Pelican Pointe will enable Beauty Bridge to provide more no-cost beauty services to ‘women at-risk’; helping them reclaim their self-esteem. In 2023 they served more than 250 women.   Thanks to all of you who helped make this event our most successful!!

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START held its ribbon cutting at the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce on June 14th.  The Board of START provided refreshments for all who came. It was a well-attended event. We
had the opportunity to meet various chamber members, both businesses and nonprofits.
We’re pleased to begin our association with this important community organization. We look forward to assisting additional nonprofit agencies in the North Port area and making business connections there as well.


START earns national recognition along with other leading Sarasota County nonprofits. Members attended the film Premier of “The Spirit of Business & Community Care” which accented our area's key health, hunger and housing needs. It featured interviews with a select group of local nonprofit leaders, including our very own Lise Mills. Following the film, each nonprofit agency in attendance was presented with a check for $100 from the Osprey Nokomis Chamber of Commerce. We will certainly put those funds to good use!
This soon to be released film was developed to attract researchers and graduate students to the field of public service and in particular educating them on the key needs of disadvantaged citizens that live within their communities.


Loveland Center recognized volunteers who have helped in many ways during the past year, including the twelve START volunteers who helped with their Golf Tournament in September 2023, and also at their annual fundraiser Bar-b-que in December 2023.  To thank the volunteers, a hot lunch was prepared and served by those in their cooking program, Hearty Kitchen Academy. What a treat – everything was delicious!

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Check it out!! START’s own Joanne McCree was interviewed with Beauty Bridge founder DeDe Caldwell to promote our upcoming fundraiser being held May 14th at Pelican Point! Tickets can be purchased by contacting Donna Sweet at

Click on the button below to hear what these fabulous women had to say.

Join Us

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On December 15th, START was the charity chosen for the December Pelican Pointe Women’s Holiday Luncheon. The half of the 50/50 raffle funds donated to START totaled $320. However, all of the 50/50 winners were so impressed with the story of our organization that they donated their money back to us. Therefore, the total amount given to START by this group was $680. Pictured are the START members who attended the Holiday Luncheon.


START received a check for $450 from the Osprey Nokomis Chamber of Commerce because members volunteered at the Haunted Trails ($300) and Monster Motor Madness ($150). The START Board has voted to give the $450 to the Season of Sharing, receiving a match as well.


We are very grateful to be named a finalist for 2023 Nonprofit of the Year by the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce! Our members should be so proud of what they have accomplished in just four years!! Congratulations to the other finalists. We can't wait for the winners to be announced across all categories on Dec. 1.


START held its Fall Meet & Greet on October 25th where new and potential members were able to hear about our organization and have the opportunity to ask questions.


When START heard that the Venice Institute of the Performing Arts (VIPA) no longer wanted their player piano with over 80 scrolls, members went to work finding a nonprofit that would give it a good home and really use it.  The result was that in September the piano found its new home at The Haven in Venice.  A special thanks to Two Men and a Truck who donated their time and truck to make the move go smoothly.

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Osprey Nokomis Chamber of Commerce and START hosted the Tribute to Community Care held at Paradise Grill on July 6th.  With 19 nonprofits attending, it was a great opportunity to learn about other nonprofits as well as inform those organizations of our mission

The Venice Chorale hosted an appreciation night of music and food for their donors and volunteers on March 23. START is truly grateful to the Venice Chorale for a lovely evening at the Venice Art Center. START supported the Venice Chorale’s Youth Chorus with a fundraiser in February 2022.


Two START members hosted a special event at Nailed It DIY Studio. For the month of March, START was designated as their nonprofit of the month during which the studio donated 10% of all items purchased to START, as long as the buyer identified our organization. It was fun for all while making something special to take home and supporting START.  Nailed It DIY Studio was able to raised $85.64 for START!

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The Venice Area Chamber of Commerce (VACC) honored START with a Business Celebration (formerly “Ribbon Cutting Ceremony”) for our recent great news of obtaining our 501(c)(3) status as a nonprofit charitable organization.


In May, we entered the Gulf Shores Realty NonProfit of the Month contest. Thanks to all our members, neighbors and friends, our Outreach budget just got $1,000 bigger! We now have a little more money to carry out the START mission of improving the lives of others. Thank you so much to everyone for casting their votes for START!

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START of SC is Officially a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit

After a long and arduous application procedure that started in 2019 and required multiple 

reapplications during the Covid crisis, START has now received a letter from the IRS stating that START is exempt from federal income tax under IRC Section 501(c)(3).

This is great news for our membership as we continue to support other nonprofits. Future

fundraising opportunities now have the opportunity to receive matching funds from other

foundations when available.

START Board members were invited to participate in the Venice Suncoast Rotary Club ceremony on January 31st honoring Mary Beth Hansen, owner of the Paradise Grill, as the recipient of the prestigious Paul Harris Award for “Service Above Self for Outstanding Community Service for 2020-2021”. We were applauded for providing 250 volunteer hours to help Mary Beth and her staff furnish over 16,000 meals to those in in need. They prepared the free hot meals, ready for pickup, every Friday night for seven months. START members helped by distributing the meals through car windows as the recipients drove


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