BRADENTON, FL – In late December, local philanthropists Joe and Janna Moran, financial planning firm The Otto Group at Hightower Advisors, and educational toys and school uniforms retail store Children’s World partnered to brighten the holidays for hundreds of Bradenton families. During three separate events at WBBC Southside Campus, Hunger’s End, and Freedom Gathering Church, at-risk families were provided with holiday gifts distributed by Santa, clothing, kids’ activities, and meals to help those in need to enjoy a festive and fun Christmas.
The idea for these events came from The Otto Group clients Joe and Janna Moran, who have been coming to our area for the past eight years and currently split their time between Asheville, North Carolina and Sarasota. The couple has been involved with numerous charities in their communities, primarily focused on children and those in need. Joe explained that they seldom get involved with larger charities, instead seeking out those with fewer resources.
When researching where they might focus their philanthropy this year, Moran was directed to Tonia Johnson, executive director of Freedom Gathering Church. She suggested the other sites where she knew the festivities would benefit deserving clients.
Upon mentioning the holiday plans to his wealth advisor, Matt Otto, Moran was pleased – but not surprised – when Otto enthusiastically said, “Count us in!” The Otto Group matched the Morans’ $10,000 contribution and then, when the Morans told Children’s World – where the toys for the events were purchased – about the events, that company contributed thousands toward the effort as well.
Moran estimates that nearly 1,000 gifts were distributed to the children during the events in Manatee County thanks to the $26,000 in charitable dollars.
“They taught us in school to look out for the least, the last and the lost,” Moran said. “If you’re fortunate to have something in life, be sure to pass it on.”
Moran notes that he and Janna are considering a mass birthday party in the summer of 2021 for all kids in need, a sort of “Christmas in July”; further details to follow.
“It was incredible to see the joy on children’s faces – children who might otherwise not have experienced holidays gifts and activities,” said Matt Otto, who is the managing director and partner of The Otto Group. “Our collective efforts on this holiday endeavor align with our Otto Group motto of doing ‘meaningful work with meaningful people.’ We are thrilled with the impact of our contributions.”
Hightower Advisors, LLC is an SEC registered investment advisor. Securities offered through Hightower Securities, LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC. For more about The Otto Group, go to otto.hightoweradvisors.com or call 941-203-7200.