SARASOTA, FL – On Thursday, October 17, from 6-9 p.m., Goodwill Manasota will present its 9th annual Community Ambassador of the Year Awards Dinner at Michael’s On East (1212 East Avenue S., Sarasota). This year’s honorees are veterans’ advocate Kevin Henault, philanthropist Charles L. Slater, and Goodwill community partner Turning Points, with the award being accepted by executive director Adell Erozer.
U.S. Army veteran Kevin Henault – who comes from a long line of veterans – is committed to excellence, service and giving back. The Veteran Air Conditioning founder has been an “Ambassador” for Goodwill for several years, serving on the Veterans Task Force, sponsoring veteran-related events, volunteering for the mock interviewing program for veterans, and holding donation drives to collect gently-used items from clients for Goodwill to sell in its retail stores. ln April, he donated his company’s services to install a brand new, 2-1/2-ton AC system for a cancer-stricken veteran who had been without air conditioning for eight years. He is involved with numerous veteran- and child-related organizations, including Goodwill Manasota’s Veterans Services Program, SRQ Vets, Vets2Success, the Boys and Girls Club of Manatee County, and the Child Protection Center in Sarasota, among others.
Charles L. Slater has served on numerous nonprofit and public service boards and committees, and provided financial support for countless organizations – much of that support offered anonymously. From 2012-2018, Slater was a director of Manatee Community Foundation (MCF), serving as treasurer for several years; his leadership was integral to the success of the foundation’s capital campaign. In 2014, Slater founded Manatee Matches, a giving circle of MCF that has contributed more than $515,000 to about 20 nonprofits since its founding. In 2018, he accepted a position on the board of the Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s, an organization he became familiar with after his diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease. He has assisted this organization with its recent expansion into Manatee County.
Turning Points has been a valued partner of Goodwill’s for years. The organizations collaborate in two primary areas: Goodwill maintains a Job Connection career services office at Turning Points and has also established a donations collection center – including a drive-through – at Turning Points. Not only do many of the items donated at this collection center benefit Turning Points clients, the items that are not needed by Turning Points can be sold in Goodwill retail stores. The close working relationship of the organizations has been enhanced by mutual board memberships of key leaders.
“Our annual Community Ambassador of the Year Dinner shines a spotlight on those who contribute to our community and Goodwill’s success,” said Goodwill Manasota president and CEO Bob Rosinsky. “We are blessed with donors, volunteers and community partners – like Charles, Kevin and Turning Points – who recognize the importance of what we do: to give people a hand up and get them on their way to self-sufficiency. Without the commitment, passion and generosity of our supporters, we could not succeed in our mission of changing lives through the power of work.”
Tickets are $150/person; proceeds support Goodwill’s programs and services throughout the community. For more information or to reserve seats, call 941-355-2721, ext. 163 or go to experiencegoodwill.org/events.
SIDEBAR: Previous Community Ambassador of the Year Winners
2018: Ron Allen, Ashley Brown, Carl Hunsinger, Thomas and Sherry Koski, and Jacqueline Moore
2017: Jaime DiDomenico, Tim and Cynthia Holliday, Nate Jacobs, Sheriff Tom Knight, Maribeth Phillips and Bill Sterbinsky
2016: Adams and Reese LLP, Danny Bilyeu, Gloria Moss, iHeart Media, SunTrust, and Jewish Family & Children’s Service
2015: Rick Fawley, Sharon Hillstrom, Michael Klauber, Phil Mancini, Florida Rep. Greg Steube
2014: Jo Rita Stevens, Cliff Walters, Realize Bradenton, Senator Bill Galvano
2013: Stu Gregory, RE/MAX Alliance Group, Tana Sandefur, Turning Points
2012: Stuart Roth, SunTrust Bank, Surry McFaul-Sun Hydraulics, Westcoast School for Human Development, Willis A. Smith Construction
2011: All Star Children’s Foundation, Ave Maria Preparatory School, Bill Isaac, CJ Fishman, Darrell Turner, John Saputo, GWIZ, Herald-Tribune Media Group, Lee Peterson, Loveland Center of Venice, PGT, Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School, Seaside Bank, Special Olympics-Sarasota County
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 philanthropic donations and revenue generated by the sales of donated goods, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and those with other barriers to employment by providing jobs, job skills training, and free career services. For more information or for a listing of locations, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.