LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla.
- Oct. 22, 2019
-- Residents of the exclusive Lakewood Ranch community, The Lake Club, have come together in the last year to aid not only their surrounding Sarasota community, but beyond into Abaco and the Grand Bahama Island.
Shortly after the damage caused to the Bahamas by Hurricane Dorian, Lake Club residents Rob and Jackie Nielsen spearheaded an initiative to collect donations from their neighbors.
"The community's response was overwhelming,"
said Lifestyle Director Jennifer Kovatch. "Our offices quickly became overrun with supplies ranging from batteries and flashlights to diapers and baby food to non-perishable food, toiletries, and first aid to pet food and kitty litter. It was a humbling and gratifying effort by all."
It's estimated that more than 300 items were donated and then delivered to Yellowfin Boats in Bradenton to be sent over to the affected areas. "The devastation to the Bahamas was an obvious cause for Lake Club residents to come together to provide relief to those affected. The response to my collection was overwhelming, and we were able to deliver 5 SUV loads of donated provisions. The caring and generous spirit of The Lake Club is just part of what makes this neighborhood such a wonderful place in which to live," remarked Jackie Neilsen.
Another Lake Club resident, Jay Traverso, led a community initiative closer to home. He, along with more than 25 of his neighbors, volunteered with Habitat for Humanity Sarasota to help build two single-family homes in Hammock Place. Stock Signature Homes, a premier builder within The Lake Club, partnered with the project and provided money for building materials and dedicated staff members to assist in the build.
"What I've learned is that so many people in The Lake Club are willing to open their hearts and do whatever it takes – even donating their time to help build a house," said Traverso about the experience. "The residents don't just live here, they give back, and that's special."
Various residents of The Lake Club are also involved with sponsoring children for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County and continuously support events held by Meals on Wheels PLUS such as "Stuff the Bus."