What makes Anna Maria Island truly paradise isn’t the soft white sand, crystal-clear water, or year-round tropical climate… it’s the wonderfully kind people in this community. While the beaches are definitely our “love at first sight” feature, once you get to know the people who make up this island, AMI will really warm your heart. We are so blessed to live on the Gulf Coast and we are always eager to take part in the many local charity events and initiatives that make this island so special.
That’s made evident in our many initiatives throughout the year — from advocating for sea turtle and shorebird protections, to collecting goodies for animal shelters during Santa Paws, our annual Toys for Tots drive, supporting the local elementary schools and community center, to participating in the Chili-Cook-Off, to much more. If it’s a way for us to bring some goodness to this area, we’re in.
Recently, we had the opportunity to support our most unique philanthropic event yet. This one went a little bit further than our Anna Maria, Bradenton, Ellenton, or Sarasota areas… It was time to think globally. This initiative was to support the recently war-torn country of Ukraine.
When we heard the wonderful folks at our Rotary Club of Anna Maria Island and local restaurant Slicker’s Eatery would be hosting a fundraiser to help support Ukrainian refugees, we knew we wanted to support in the best way we could: hosting our own “We Can for Ukraine” Happy Hour fundraiser. There are few things our team loves more than gathering together for a good time and a good cause… and that’s just what we did! Our Director of Marketing, Sharon Hoatland, started brainstorming and the rest of our rockstar team was just as eager to hop on board and make a difference.
Slicker’s Eatery was packed with our team members, business partners, and strangers-turned-friends. Over a couple of weeks we put together a YETI Cooler filled with cheer and had giveaways, complimentary drinks, raffles, A Paradise koozies, and more. Tanya McCormick and Rick Fass played some great tunes and we got to meet some lovely Ukrainian people who had made their way to AMI as refugees. To hear their stories and gratitude for this initiative was further proof that every effort makes a difference.
We were honored to be able to present a check for $4,200 at the weekend’s “Concert for Peace” on behalf of the A Paradise time. The generosity of those who attended our Happy Hour event and supported throughout the week was truly awe-inspiring.
We believe in the power of our small and mighty community here in the Anna Maria area and we are always ready to take part of a worthy cause. Thank you to all who attended and for our wonderful team that is always eager to take part in so many charitable events throughout the busy year! We are so humbled and grateful. Do you know of a local charity event we should be a part of? Be sure to reach out! Giving back is a pillar of our A Paradise culture.
Photos by Brian Slicker and Molly Parry