Among last grants approved this fiscal year, Gulf Coast Community Foundation provides funding for various community initiatives

Funds going to The Bay Park, CareerEdge and the Education Foundation of Sarasota County

These are among Phase 1 amenities for The Bay Park. Image courtesy The Bay Sarasota

Last week, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s board of directors approved more than $3.3 million in grant awards, the Venice-based nonprofit has announced.

Taken during their final meeting of the Foundation’s 2022 fiscal year, the directors’ action involved grants from a number of legacy donors who established funds that allow Gulf Coast “to fulfill their philanthropic goals and support the causes most important to them in perpetuity,” a news release explains.

“Our board has approved over $36 million in grants to strong nonprofit organizations this past fiscal year,” noted Mark Pritchett, president and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation, in the release.

Some of the donor legacy fund grants just approved by the Gulf Coast board “were made to support incredible community projects and causes,” the release points out. These grants are as follows:

  • $150,000 for Phase 2 of The Bay Park.This grant will assist with shoreline restoration and enhancements inspired by the Water Quality Playbook. “Thank you to the following generous donor funds,” the release says: Frank and Elsie Bushroe Charitable Fund; Gould Family Trust Foundation; Mildred F. Currie Charitable Fund; Jarrett Family Fund; Betty Jane Helle Endowment Fund; and Carl A. Savickas Charitable Fund.

The Foundation has provided more than $1 million in support of The Bay Park, which is being constructed on the City of Sarasota’s 53 waterfront acres.

  • $125,000 to the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce CareerEdge.“ Supported by the generous Gould Family Trust Foundation and Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s own endowment, this grant will help to continue the CareerEdge program,” the release explains. “CareerEdge wasestablished in 2010 by Gulf Coast’s workforce and business innovation initiative,” the release adds. To-date, the organization has raised more than $14.5 million to support education and workforce development in the region, the release says.
  • $50,000 to the Education Foundation of Sarasota County.Supported by the generous Gould Family Trust Foundation and Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s own endowment,” the release continues, this grant will help launch Project Wayfinder, “a curriculum aimed at supporting students as they consider post-secondary education.”

“The most powerful form of philanthropy is when a donor leaves a legacy gift that is flexible and can be used to support a variety of causes,” Kirstin Fulkerson, senior vice president for philanthropy, pointed out in the release. “This allows Gulf Coast to deploy the funds in a way that will have the greatest impact.”

Learn more about the Foundation at