November 10, 2014 – (Sarasota and Bradenton, Florida) – Charles J. Bartlett, Chairman of the Board of Gateway Bank, announced today that the Bank’s President & CEO, Shaun P. Merriman, recently completed the fifth annual Cycle of Life, a two-day, 220 mile cycling excursion across the State of Florida. Merriman personally raised $4,165 for this event to benefit the Team Tony Cancer Foundation, which took place October 4-5, 2014.
An avid cyclist, Merriman initiated a rigorous training schedule 16 weeks prior to the ride. Up every weekday by 5:00 a.m., Merriman typically rode 15 to 20 miles before work, then 100+ miles during the weekends. Merriman’s dedication paid off as he finished the ride strong along with 74 other cyclists who participated. The ride began in Ormond Beach, Florida and ended in Lakewood Ranch on Main Street. “On Day One, the Claremont hills came upon us at mile 75, and they were certainly challenging but nonetheless exhilarating!” said Merriman. He continued, “We were fortunate to have two beautiful days with virtually no wind, making the trek so much more enjoyable.”
The ride was also a financial success for Team Tony Cancer Foundation with over $117,400 cash donations raised for the cause, which is to provide 1-to-1 support for those battling cancer. Tony McEachern, a brain cancer survivor, started the Foundation in 2010. “Tony is a personal friend of mine, and I am thrilled to have contributed to the mission of his amazing organization,” said Merriman. “I look forward to participating again next year!” Tony also participated in the two-day ride on his tandem bike with the assistance of his front-man, Scott Neary, a fellow Team Tony board member and Computer Support Specialist for the City of Sarasota.
About Team Tony Cancer Foundation: Organized in 2010, Team Tony Cancer Foundation provides 1-to-1 support and resources to cancer fighters and caregivers. Utilizing a database compiled of cancer survivors living in the Suncoast community (primarily in Sarasota and Manatee counties), the Foundation pairs a newly diagnosed cancer fighter with a cancer survivor (“Teammate”) of similar diagnosis, gender and age. Our tagline is “Shared Steps through Cancer” because a Teammate is someone who, because of their own experience, can relate to the steps the cancer fighter must take. The feelings of sadness, having to tell people, getting treatment, and dealing with medical bills can be overwhelming, but a Teammate has been there. Although no two experiences are exactly alike, only a cancer survivor truly knows how it feels to face that battle. Teammates offer support, knowledge, encouragement, and inspiration every step of the way.
The Cycle of Life is the main source of revenue for Team Tony Foundation. This year’s event raised over $117,400 in cash donations, which is a 10% increase over 2013. Through its affiliation with Florida Cancer Specialists and Breast Investigators, the Foundation is now reaching over 100 cancer fighters per week.
Further information regarding Team Tony Foundation may be obtained by contacting Tony McEachern at 941-320-3366 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting the website at www.teamtony.org.
About Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida: Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida is an independent community bank serving business and consumer banking clients in Sarasota and Manatee counties. BauerFinancial (www.bauerfinancial.com) awarded Gateway Bank a 5-Star rating indicating the bank is well capitalized, exceeds regulatory compliance standards, and demonstrates high quality asset management.
Gateway Bank operates three full service banking locations. The main office is located at 1100 South Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. The University Parkway banking center is located at 6204 North Lockwood Ridge Road, and the Manatee Avenue banking center is located on the northwest corner of 21st Street West and Manatee Avenue West.
The employees of Gateway Bank are dedicated to giving back to the community through volunteerism and monetary donations. In 2013, employees (41 in total) logged over 2,000 volunteer hours and raised $27,700 for local charitable causes.
The shareholders and directors of Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida are primarily residents of Sarasota and Manatee counties. The Board of Directors includes: Charles J. Bartlett – Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen and Ginsburg, PA; Dr. Gary K. Bockhold – Center for Sight; David J. Grain – Grain Management; David K. Maholias – Gateway Financial Holdings of Florida, Inc.; Shaun P. Merriman – Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida; Gavin W. Meshad – JWM Management, Inc.; Katherine K. Moulton – Resort Management Consultants; Wayne M. Ruben – WMR Consulting, LLC; and David E. Sessions, Willis A. Smith Construction Inc.
Further information regarding Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida may be obtained by contacting Shaun P. Merriman, President and CEO at 941-306-0105.