Sarasota Military Academy Senior Cadet Wins Youth Philanthropy Award at National Philanthropy Luncheon

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Pictured: senior Raphael Fabyanic; Mr. Bob Carter, sponsor of Youth in Philanthropy Award; senior Akiel Reyes Melendez; Mr. Rafael Robles, Executive Director of SMA Foundation. Photo courtesy of SMA.

Sarasota Military Academy Senior Cadet, Lorenzo Liberti was presented with the Youth Philanthropy Award at the Association of Fundraising Professional (AFP) Southwest Florida Chapter Luncheon on Tuesday at Michael's on East. Lorenzo began a summer project to make wooden flags with his father's help and sell them to support America's forgotten heroes. He auctioned 2 flags at the Turning Points gala and raised $2.3K for homeless veterans. In 2020, he raised over $2K for Suncoast Charities for Children and also fundraised for Manatee Children Services. Lorenzo would make and send a wooden flag to a hospital in every state! So, he started a GoFundMe campaign. Soon after, a few medic outlets picked up his story and Lorenzo was interviewed by "Fox and Friends". His project got a huge boost and hundreds of people bought his handcrafted flags. By year-end, he had been featured in several publications and, thanks to donations from hundreds of supporters, he reached his goal to donate $30K to Turning Points of Bradenton. But Lorenzo did not stop there. In 2021, after brainstorming with his family, an idea was born for a more comprehensive solution to end veteran homelessness. He founded a nonprofit, Give-A-Buck.org to fund construction of a campus for veterans with housing, meals and essential services, like job training. Today, Liberti's heroic flags hang in hospitals around the country as an emblem of hope and thanks to the people working there—and he’s raising money for veterans in the process.

Pictured: senior Raphael Fabyanic; Mr. Bob Carter, sponsor of Youth in Philanthropy Award; senior Akiel Reyes Melendez; Mr. Rafael Robles, Executive Director of SMA Foundation. Photo courtesy of SMA.

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