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Keep Sarasota County Beautiful honors standout volunteers from a busy year

The 27th Annual Keep Sarasota County Beautiful awards were handed out at Robarts Arena Wednesday night, honoring 19 individuals and organizations who dedicate their time and energy to making Sarasota County a better place.

The event, which featured elected officials and dignitaries from across the county, also honored the more than 2,500 volunteers who donated over 6,000 hours of service to the community during Fiscal Year 2015. Keep Sarasota County Beautiful volunteers collected nearly 10 tons of trash and recyclables from beaches, parks and roadways during efforts like the Great American Cleanup, the Liberty Litter Cleanup, International Coastal Cleanup and the adoption program.

The theme of this year's awards was "Our Volunteers Pitch In."

"The longevity and success of the program is directly attributed to all the hard work and effort put forth by our volunteers each year," said Wendi Crisp, program coordinator, who added, "We couldn't do it without them."

This year's awarded winners included: Bert Adams, Bruce Weaver, Carol Holmes, Community Youth Development, Donna McGinn, Englewood Elementary, Faith Early Learning Center, Friends of Potter Park, Holly Bucciarelli, Candace Messerschmidt, Jonard Solie, PAWS for the Planet - Cardinal Mooney High School, Riverview High School, Scott Simon, Southgate Community, Stu Chapman, Tom and Carol Parker, Tom Grundy and the Venice Police Department.

Notable attendees at the recognition dinner included Sarasota County Commission Chair Carolyn Mason, Assistant County Administrator Mark Cunningham, and Col. Kurt Hoffman of the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office. The Baltimore Orioles bird handed out the awards, and the awards ceremony was hosted by Tampa Bay Rays in-game emcee Bobby Millikin.

To learn more about the Keep Sarasota County Beautiful program and volunteer opportunities, visit, or call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000.