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Outreach 2024

Blue Butterfly Spring Project
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START participated in the Blue Butterfly Spring Project which is the part of Tidewell Hospice Grief Care that specifically provides support for children and teens who have experienced the loss of a loved one. A sponsor or caregiver was identified for each of the 85 children in the program, which could be a Mother, Father, Grandpa, or Aunt, etc. Because these children are not all able to shop themselves, START provided a gift for each of the children to give to their caregiver for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Our committee completed the shopping on April 22 and delivered the gifts in early May.

Early Learning Coalition
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On April 23, the Early Learning Coalition (ELC) hosted a special VIP party for the families of kids entering kindergarten at Sarasota public and charter schools next year. What fun!

Families moved from table to table, participating in each fun activity and meeting kindergarten. There was even a free ‘Future Kindergartner’ photo booth, complete with props for families to have some fun together posing for family photos that they took home.

Six START volunteers, joined in the fun by helping with setup, greeting at the door, helping at the activity tables, and serving food.

Venice Sharks Tooth Festival
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START was able to support Venice Mainstreet on both days of the Venice Sharks Tooth Festival. Members served as greeters and helped in the food tent.

Evening Under the Stars
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On April 6th, over 20 START members volunteered for the Evening Under the Stars with the Pops Orchestra and sponsored by the State College of Florida Foundation. Members helped with setup, with registration, at the ticket tables, and with the silent and live auctions. Some brought chairs to enjoy the concert after completing their duties.

Pregnancy Solutions
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START members enjoyed helping with Pregnancy Solutions Walk for Life at Maxine Barrett Park. Our volunteers handled the registration and helped with food service/refreshments table.

Pops Orchestra
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START members volunteered to be ushers for the Pops Orchestra in February and March. The volunteers greeted the attendees, handed them a program and guided them to their seats. A bonus was getting to enjoy the excellent performances.

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Challenger Baseball
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The 'Baseball Buddies' from START had another fun morning supporting Challenger Baseball on February 17th. Members helped the players and START provided pizza after the game.

Venice Area Chamber of Commerce
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On January 19th, START participated for the second time in the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce Non-Profit Rally. It is such a great way to meet potential members, explain START's mission and learn about other nonprofits.

Windjammers Circus Band Free Concert
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On January 13th, START volunteers helped set up/take down the chairs used by the band musicians at the Windjammers Circus Band Free Concert held at the Venice Historic Train Station.  The event was sponsored by the Venice Area Historical Society (VAHS).

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The Twig
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START's holiday project was to help The TWIG to restock their shelves with sneakers. The sneakers donated by our members were delivered to The TWIG on January 10th.

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