PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE

(Sarasota, FL) – Sept. 19, 2017 –– Friendship Centers, a non -profit organization serving older adults in five Southwest Florida counties, is holding post-Irma celebrations simultaneously at its Sarasota and Venice locations on Thursday, September 28, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The parties will celebrate the generosity of donors during the online Friendship Challenge fundraising campaign, and the coming together of Southwest Florida communities, where neighbors helped neighbors by opening their hearts, homes and businesses to those in need during and after the storm.

“When we heard that Irma was about to crash the parties intended to celebrate our Friendship Challenge, we made the call to cancel and hopefully find a new date,” said Erin McLeod, President & CEO.  “As we launched into the response and recovery phase, we didn’t want the Friendship Challenge to get lost in the shuffle of all that happened last week. That’s when we decided to reschedule quickly so we could thank everyone in the community not only for being so generous during our few days of match fundraising during the Challenge, but maybe more importantly for stepping up to help one another during these difficult times. The sense of community has been so wonderful – truly People Helping People.”

The community parties will feature professional DJs who will spin Rock ‘n Roll, disco, funk and contemporary tunes and there will also be free wine, beer and refreshments donated by local businesses.

The Friendship Centers’ fundraiser, the Friendship Challenge had an overall goal of $75,000 – close to the amount raised in last year’s Giving Challenge. This year the Challenge generated $29,674 in donations, of which $25,000 was matched by some generous donors, making the total raised $54,674 during the abbreviated campaign.  Party attendees can choose to help seniors in need by donating during the dance parties, if desired. The monies raised will help seniors who need assistance after Hurricane Irma left a swath of damage in Southwest Florida, the entire Friendship Centers’ service area.

For more information about the work of the Friendship Centers, visit the new website at friendshipcenters.org, like the Facebook page or follow on Twitter, @sfc_fl.

About the Friendship Centers

Friendship Centers serves older adults in Sarasota, Charlotte, DeSoto, Lee and Collier Counties. Its mission is to promote health, dignity and quality of life throughout the journey of aging.  Since 1973 the organization has served persons 50 and older with programs and services that include medical and dental clinics, activity centers, lifelong learning, meals at centers and delivered to the homebound, caregiver support, adult day services, and case management.  More than 800 volunteers give their time valued at more than $3 million annually. For more information, visit friendshipcenters.org or call 941.955.2122.