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Pete Norden, Sarasota Area board chair, and me at the first Sarasota Area board meeting since we merged in July.

Our friends, the Tampa Bay Rays, threw a party at Tropicana Field last month and United Way Suncoast was the guest of honor.

As fans arrived at Tropicana Field, the Rays fan hosts greeted them wearing LIVE UNITED stickers. Our just-produced campaign video played on the Rays Vision giant screen. Marcia Perri from Mosaic, another great United Way partner, threw out the opening pitch wearing a LIVE UNITED t-shirt. Ten-year old Anthony Wilson, who participated in the United Way Summer Care program at the Childs Park Y, ran the rosin to the pitcher sporting a LIVE UNITED t-shirt. Mosaic’s KaSondra Trexler led the crowd in a round of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” surrounded by a group of LIVE UNITED t-shirt-clad fans. Our messages ran throughout the game on the Rays Vision and I was interviewed on TV (Sun Sports) and radio (620 WDAE) during the squeaker of a game against the Seattle Marlins.  

The Rays sure know how to be great community partners.

Our Night with the Rays was perfect timing. We got to show off our new identity as United Way Suncoast and give fans a prequel to our upcoming workplace campaign with the video. (If you missed my previous message, on July 1 United Way Tampa Bay and United Way Sarasota officially consolidated operations to become United Way Suncoast.) Our 2012 fundraising campaign season has begun in some of our partner companies. And our official kickoffs to the campaign will be Wed., Sept. 5 at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay and Sept. 14 at Michaels on East in Sarasota.

 We would love to see you at the kickoff. Click here for the details and to RSVP to the Tampa Bay kickoff. Call 941-366-2686 ext. 303 to register for the Sarasota kickoff. I hope you’ll make time to join us.

 See you there.

 

 

 

Diana Baker, President and CEO

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