September 2016                 Vol. 7, No. 8
Mark your calendars for
the Giving Challenge, Sept. 20-21. 

The Communication Foundation of Sarasota's annual Giving Challenge event is coming up next week, and we hope you're making plans to give what you can to Family Promise. During last year's event, more than $7 million was raised in just 24 hours to benefit 449 nonprofits. 

Visit between Tuesday, Sept. 20, at noon through Wednesday, Sept. 21, at noon. Search for Family Promise of Sarasota. Donations can start at just $25 and are 100 percent tax deductible. 

Even better, donations will be matched by The Patterson Foundation, at a rate of 2:1 for each new online donor's contributions and 1:1 for each returning donor's contributions, up to $100 per donor, per organization. 

We'll remind you right before the event begins, and we could use your help spreading the word about Family Promise to friends who might also be in a giving mood. Thank you in advance for your support!
Many hands make light work.  Who do you know who might want to help?

Do you have friends who might be interested in getting involved with Family Promise? We could really use your help. 

Think about who you know who might like get involved with the organization. Remember that the commitment doesn't have to be a large one. Just signing up to bring a meal occasionally would be great.

We have a form for people to fill out to get more information about the program. Please share it on social media or email it to people you think might enjoy hearing more. Thank you! 
Volunteer Ellie Stoll treats guests to a wild day

One of our guest families had a very special day at Mote Marine Aquarium, thanks to volunteer Ellie Stoll. 

Brandon reports that he liked watching the otters do flips and using a "two-finger touch" when petting the sharks. (He liked to look at them but said he wouldn't want to swim with them!) He also was excited about the cheeseburger he had at Old Salty Dog during the excursion. 

"It was great to be able to use my membership to show them around," said Ellie, who volunteers with First Congregational United Church of Christ. "I enjoyed the experience as much as they did. We had a wonderful afternoon."
Meet Clint Shantz

If you ask the people who are most closely involved with Family Promise for a list of the people who really keep the organization running, it won't take long before Clint Shantz's name comes up.

Clint is the volunteer coordinator at St. Paul Lutheran Church and has been involved since the program began almost 10 years ago. And he's just one of those people who's continually willing to step up and do what's needed - for the guest families and for the organization.

And if you ask Clint why Family Promise matters so much to him, he'll say it's because "we'
ve lived kind of close to the edge ourselves more than once." He said he and his wife, Phyllis, come from modest backgrounds and have faced their share of financial difficulties. They've never been homeless, he said, but "were well aware of what it looked like." And now, they try to help people "who aren't as lucky as we are."

He has dedicated volunteers at St. Paul Lutheran - a core group that takes care of hosting and others who support financially, attend DineOuts, etc. The church supports Family Promise through a variety of outreach funds, and also serves the homeless population with a food pantry and free weekly community meal.

Clint expressed appreciation for congregation members at New Life Lutheran Church, who aren't able to be a host congregation but support St. Paul's efforts financially and during their host weeks.

He's done other volunteer work, Clint says, but there's something about Family Promise that keeps him motivated to help. For him, it's all about giving the kids a shot at stability and normality.

Thank you, Clint, for your dedication.
Neil van Niekerk
 ONE: A BACHELOR AUCTION. (Ladies, it's for a good cause!)
Thank you to Family Promise volunteer Laurie Pike for entering us as one of the charities that will benefit from the ACS Bachelor Auction on October 13th at McCurdy's Comedy Club. Each one of the bachelors will represent a charity, and 100 percent of the proceeds from their date package will benefit that charity. Ticket sales will benefit the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. 

"Our" bachelor, Neil van Niekerk, comes to this area from South Africa. (But he says that HE doesn't have an accent, everyone else does.) In his free time, he likes diving (he's also a diving instructor), painting, playing guitar, and enjoying all outdoor activities. He has a very strong passion for the environment, with a heavy emphasis on the ocean.

The personal accomplishment he's most proud of is that he initiated and ran an invasive species project in the Cayman Islands under the direction of the University of Florida. It resulted in legislative changes and protections that formed models now used around the Caribbean. "I'm proud that the real science that came from that research was published," says Neil. 

Please come and join the fun, and support Family Promise! The event is Oct. 13 at McCurdy's, 1923 Ringling Blvd. in Sarasota. The show begins at 5:30 p.m., and the auction starts at 7 pm. For tickets or information call 925-3869 or visit


Make plans to join us on Friday, Nov. 4, for Music on Main , a free outdoor concert series. The event, which goes from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., is held th e first Friday of every month on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch, and November's event will benefit Family Promise. We're looking for volunteers to help sell beer, wine and blues festival tickets. If you're interested, please call our office at 952-1800 or email Board President Sally Reeder at If you just want to DRINK the beer and wine or try out some food trucks, we'll look forward to seeing you there.

The Suncoast Blues Festival has named Family Promise as its charity recipient for 2017! The third annual festival will take place Jan. 27-28 at the Sarasota Fairgrounds. Thanks to Roseanne and Greg Herndon of  GPS Festival Productions for selecting us. And thanks to these businesses and organizations for their sponsorship of the event:
  • Textmaxx Pro & Paymaxx Pro
  • Gettel Automotive Family of Dealerships
  • First Presbyterian Church
  • Majestic Marketing
  • Advanced Healthcare Clinic
Stay tuned for information about how to buy your festival tickets through Family Promise. More information about the festival is at .
Are you following us on Facebook? 
We post regular updates about how our guests are doing, thank-you's to volunteers and community partners and requests for specific kinds of help. 

While email updates come just once or twice a month, Facebook updates can help you stay up to date more often. Plus, when you interact with our posts on Facebook, it shows those posts to more people, and our visibility in the community increases. Search for Family Promise of Sarasota, or click here if you're logged into Facebook
Help us spread the word about what we're doing
Please forward this newsletter on to people or organizations who would appreciate hearing the updates. They can email if they'd like to be added to the list. Also consider sharing our news with your congregation or other community organizations.

Family Promise of Sarasota Contact Information
Mailing: PO Box 48199, Sarasota FL 34230-8199
Telephone: 941-952-1800
Website: Family Promise of Sarasota
Facebook: Family Promise of Sarasota

Family Promise of Sarasota Inc.
is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) Florida Corporation. 
Our volunteer Board of Trustees consists of  Sally Reeder, president; George Lavigne, vice president and secretary;  Jeanne Zeigler, treasurer; and Sandee Davis, Tyler Hayden, Wendy Leventhal, Nancy Levine, Andrew Lowther, Shawna Machado, Joy Mayer, Betty Pelletz, Stanley Pelletz, Meredith Strahle, Terri West-Corali; and Danielle Bourque, Community Youth Development board member.  Our staff members are Becky Taylor, network director, and Caroline Chambliss, director of development.