A Holiday in Full Bloom

Community Foundation

BY BRITTANY MATTIE SRQ DAILY WEDNESDAY PHILANTHROPY EDITION WEDNESDAY DEC 19, 2018

The Community Foundation of Sarasota County provided Marie Selby Botanical Gardens with a flourishing $50,000 grant for its Family Togetherness programmed events throughout the year like Spooktacular, held in October, as well as the annual Lights in Bloom eventwhich runs select dates from December 20 through January 6. The CFSC partnership specifically ensures that underserved children from Title 1 schools are afforded the opportunity to attend these special holiday events complimentary. The lights tonight will welcome hundreds to a sneak preview of Lights in Bloom, to enjoy over one million lights illuminating the Gardens before the general public. Walkways will be transformed into sensory light tunnels as visitors stroll through glowing flowers, rainforest butterflies and dragonflies hanging from hundreds of illuminated banyan branches all throughout the magical botanical scene.

“We are thrilled to have the support of the Community Foundation to enable the Gardens to continue this program,” says Jennifer Rominiecki, President & CEO of Selby Gardens. “This is an incredible opportunity for children and their families, who may not otherwise have the chance to engage with nature and the gardens in a fun and memorable way.”

The Community Foundation worked with Selby Gardens to establish and pilot the Family Togetherness program in 2017, and CFSC has since tripled its investment in the program for 2018. Designed to introduce vulnerable youth to gardens and nature along with their parents and guardians, the students are identified by Title I school administrators and nonprofit, human service organizations.

The grant also supports other key programs, like the Gauguin Family Saturdays, held monthly beginning February 2019, which will include a series of nighttime viewings of Selby’sVoyage to Paradise’ exhibition, along with inspired performances by some of Sarasota’s arts and cultural organizations. CFSC will also be sponsoring 2019 Orchid Ball: Gauguin’s Sunset in Paradise, taking place on Saturday, February 9 on the Gardens’ Great Lawn.

The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is proud to partner with SRQ Media Group to highlight stories about community impact powered by philanthropy in our region, thanks to the support of donors and our local nonprofit partners. The Community Foundation is a public charity founded in 1979 by the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council as a resource for caring individuals and the causes they support, enabling them to make a charitable impact on the community.

Photo provided by Michael Klauber

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