VENICE, Fla. — Thanks to community support, Loveland Center, Inc., a nonprofit that provides educational and vocational programs, as well as support services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, recently netted more than $150,000 during its 9th annual Loveland Christmas Barbecue.
The Venice Community Center was filled with more than 550 guests and 30 volunteers on Tuesday, Dec. 12 for the barbecue bash, benefiting the legacy of the 55-year-old nonprofit. Scott Pinkerton, the managing partner of Pinkerton Wealth Management Group, and Amy Archer, the principal at Garden Elementary, served as the masters of ceremonies.
The Frances and William Baxter Charitable Foundation pledged to match gifts to Loveland Center up to $50,000 that evening. The audience accepted the challenge, and the match was met and exceeded by $6,500 in less than two hours.
“We work with hundreds of gifted, energetic and unique individuals who desire to bring their dreams to life,” said Patrick Guerin, president and CEO of Loveland Center. “It is a rewarding opportunity for all of us at Loveland to help our participants realize their full potential, but we can only achieve this with the support of our community.”
The holiday party with heart featured a delicious barbecue dinner prepared by Brent Pinkerton and Frank Peacock, mini bundt cakes by Nothing Bundt Cakes, a variety of appetizers by The Founders Club and cheerful holiday décor of candy cane holders and hearts signed and made by Loveland participants.
The Loveland Chorus serenaded the crowd with classic carols, including “Twelve Days of Christmas”, “Silent Night”, “Feliz Navidad” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”. Loveland participant Bobby Arditti also gave a superb solo performance of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”.
During the nonprofit’s largest fundraiser of the year, the Loveland Center debuted its new video, which features moving stories from parents and community supporters.
About Loveland Center
Established in 1962, Loveland Center strives to help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities live their lives to the fullest. For more information, visit www.LovelandCenter.org or call 941-493-0016.