SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – On Thursday, October 23, Goodwill Manasota hosted its 4th annual Goodwill Ambassador of the Year Awards Dinner at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. The event, emceed by Lulu from 106.5 CTQ, drew over 350 guests to honor four Goodwill Ambassadors and the 2014 Goodwill Employee of the Year.
After a beautiful rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” on violin by Booker High School student and Goodwill Youth Ambassador Sommer Altier, the program began with a heartfelt tribute to Tana Sandefur, one of the 2013 Ambassadors of the Year and a beloved community member who recently passed away. Then each of the 2014 Ambassadors of the Year were recognized: Jo Rita Stevens, a 40-year volunteer for Goodwill; Cliff Walters, who has served as president or chair of numerous Manatee County organizations, including Goodwill Manasota three times; Realize Bradenton – represented by powerhouse Johnette Isham – for its work in creating a more vibrant, attractive and prosperous Bradenton area; and Senator Bill Galvano, for his work in healthcare to protect children and support the disabled, and his service to Manatee County.
There were few dry eyes in the house during the video and award presentation for Employee of the Year. Cynthia “Gracie” Mohn has overcome multiple brain surgeries as a girl and numerous physical disabilities but the impressive, determined young woman graduated from high school and has become a valued team member at Goodwill. Gracie’s mom even joked in the video that before working at Goodwill, Gracie never hung up her clothes.
“Sometimes it just takes the will to overcome every obstacle in front of you,” said Bob Rosinsky, Goodwill Manasota president and CEO. “At Goodwill, it is our mission to accommodate, engage, train, employ, and make our organization a meaningful place of employment for people like Gracie who have nowhere else to turn.”
PHOTO ID: (From l-r) “Mistress of Ceremonies” and 106.5 CTQ DJ Lulu, Ambassador of the Year Cliff Walters, and Goodwill president and CEO Bob Rosinsky
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2013, we served more than 16,000 people, placed 537 people in jobs and assisted 329 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $81.3 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted 37 million pounds out of the landfill. For more information, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org.