Venice Chamber Announces Laurel Civic as NonProfit of The Year

The Giving Coast

SRQ DAILY MONDAY BUSINESS EDITION MONDAY AUG 10, 2020

The Venice Chamber of Commerce announced it's Business of the Year 2020 award winners today. Laurel Civic is honored to have been chosen in the Non-Profit Category. Executive Director Michael D. Fluker attended the event and was thrilled when Laurel Civic's name was announced. "With all that has happened this year, it is great to get some happy news," he said. "We have been working hard to provide much-needed services to members of the community during COVID-19 as well as to continue our programs for adults and children. It is so gratifying that the Venice Chamber recognizes the work non-profit groups do on behalf of the community. There were wonderful organizations nominated this year and we are honored to stand with them. I couldn't be prouder."

The Business of the Year Award evaluates the health of an organization as well as its accomplishments. Laurel Civic submitted its application, outlining programs like the After-School Homework Assistance and Teen Empowerment for children and rental and food assistance for adults and families. Then COVID-19 hit, and Laurel Civic responded on a whole new level. During the interview portion of the process in July, Michael outlined to chamber members how Laurel Civic worked with the Sarasota County Department of Health to host five COVID-19 free testing days, the only non-profit the department selected to work with during the first months of the pandemic. They also hosted twice-monthly food distribution days for All Faiths Food Bank to make sure our neighbors had food. Working with Season of Sharing, they increased the number of successful applications for rental and utility assistance to help families with their household expenses. And they provided meals and masks for the families who attend their programs.

"We have done a great deal in the past several months, but there will be much more to do in the future. To be recognized for the work is a reflection of the commitment of the board of directors, staff, donors and volunteers who made it happen," Michael said. "But we can't rest on our laurels...no pun intended!"

Gulf Coast Community Foundation sponsored the Non-Profit Category of the Business of the Year Awards and will provide a $500 donation to Laurel Civic for being selected.

Pictued: Michael accepted the award at the Chamber Luncheon held August 7, 2020 at Plantation Golf and Country Club.

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