NOTICE: The Friendship Challenge has been postponed until Hurricane Irma has passed. We will reschedule the challenge and the Friday Parties very soon. In the meantime, your donations have been logged and your generosity is so appreciated. We will  publish updates as we are able.

Friendship Centers is challenging you to raise your hand this fall in support of the vital work we do helping seniors with their health care, caregiving, nutrition, as well as socialization, exercise and learning needs.

Of course, we’re not literally asking you to raise your hand – this is an online campaign similar to the Giving Challenge started in 2012 to support nonprofits in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties (on hiatus this year; to resume in 2018). Our very own “Friendship Challenge” is a four-day “cyberspace” limited engagement event – from 8 am Sept. 5 to midnight Sept. 8. During this time, donors can make a tax deductible contribution online from the comfort of their homes, on their mobile devices, or at donation stations at our Friendship Centers in Sarasota and Venice.

Best of all, we already have matching funds of $25,000 secured from generous partners! All gifts $25 and over will be matched up to $25,000, which effectively doubles the impact of your gift. Who can resist that kind of value? Especially when it helps us realize our mission of promoting health, dignity and quality of life throughout the journey of aging.

During the Challenge (September 5-8), the donation portal can be found on our website at: You will be invited to choose one of the following funds, representing areas of greatest need:

  • Friend in Need Patient Fund (Sarasota & Lee Counties)
  • Hungry Senior Meal Fund (Sarasota, DeSoto, Charlotte & Lee Counties)
  • Sponsor a Senior Adult Day Services Fund (Sarasota & Lee Counties)
  • Programming and Activities Fund (Sarasota County)

The Friendship Challenge kicks off Tuesday, September 5 and Wednesday, September 6 with Let’s Get Physical: A Day of Fitness at the Sarasota Friendship Center, 1888 Brother Geenen Way and Venice Friendship Center, 2350 Scenic Drive, respectively. From 9 am to 4 pm, we’ll offer an a la carte choice of fitness and dance classes for free. Tentative offerings include Tai Chi, Tap Dance, Rhythm and Moves, Hula, Line Dancing and Balance Movement. A different class will be offered every hour, so participants can try out a variety of activities in one day.

The Challenge Wrap-Up Shake Your Groove Thing Dance Party is scheduled for Friday, September 8 from 5:30 – 8 pm at both locations, and is free and open to the community. DJs will be spinning rock ‘n’ roll, disco, funk, and contemporary tunes. Guests can also partake of light refreshments, beer and wine. And there will still be time to make a last-minute donation to the Friendship Challenge.

For questions about the Friendship Challenge, call us at 941-556-3205.