Congratulations to the winners of the annual Spirit of Manatee awards. The Manatee Community Foundation honors individuals
and organizations that embody the philanthropic spirit of Manatee County. Each winner is presented with a beautiful glass award and the opportunity to address the sold-out crowd of 400 at Bradenton Area Convention Center.

Estate planning principal Anthony Bartirome is former president of the foundation’s board of directors and Lisa Johnson, wife of litigation principal Chuck Johnson, serves as current board chair.

“Blalock Walters and its philanthropic culture have not only been instrumental in the work of Manatee Community Foundation since the very beginning in the late 1990’s, but the company’s model of community engagement is an example we proudly share with donors, leaders and other small businesses we have an opportunity
to work with,” said Manatee Community Foundation Executive Director Susie Bowie.

This year’s Spirit of Manatee Awards Luncheon was about possibilities. Each honoree has shown courage and resolve to do the hard work, making new buildings come to life that give under-served youth a chance to thrive, ensuring families that their children will have food on the table, educating residents and visitors about our environment, giving life to our community through the arts, and making higher education a reality for all people.

Lifetime Spirit Award: Steve and Sara Bayard
Nominated by Manatee Performing Arts Center

Leadership Spirit Award: Caleb Grimes
Nominated by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County

Community Spirit Award: Dex Imaging
Nominated by Mote Marine Laboratory

Young Spirit Award: Mina Quesen
Nominated by UnidosNow

Charles Clapsaddle Community Spotlight Award: Luz Corcuera, Executive Director, UnidosNow

We salute each of the honorees for “making a difference” as they support the quality of life that everyone in our community deserves and inspires others to do the same.


Jill McGarry and Jenifer Schembri (bottom row) and Anthony Bartirome, Chuck Johnson, Matt Lapointe and Dana Gentry attend MCF Spirit of Manatee Awards celebration.

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