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Children First Blog


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Observer: Longtime Children First supporters get recognized

SARASOTA (May 17th, 2017)– On April 5, John and Elenor Maxheim were recognized for their contributions to Children First. To thank the couple for their support over the past seven years, the “John and Elenor Maxheim Library” was named in their honor at the organization’s Dr. Elaine Marieb Early Learning Center in Newtown. The Maxheims have helped [...]
May 12, 2017

Observer: Florida Winefest & Auction awards grants to local charities

SARASOTA (May 12th, 2017)–There weren’t any bottles popped at this winefest event, but for good reason —  it was all about honoring the organization’s charitable mission. The Florida Winefest & Auction mission statement is “To provide funding to qualified charitable organizations for programs assisting disadvantaged children, youth and families in Sarasota and Manatee Counties,” and the [...]
May 9, 2017

Give a Meaningful Gift This Mother’s Day

  A MEANINGFUL GIFT Maybe she helped you learn to ride a bike and comforted you when you fell, or read your favorite book aloud, over and over again…  Perhaps she nursed you when you were sick and cooked chicken noodle soup…  Maybe it was her advice that got you through a tough time in school, [...]
April 12, 2017

Observer: Children First creates ‘Jo’s Place’

SARASOTA (April 12th, 2017)– Jo Rutstein served on the Children First Board of Directors from 2009-14, but her impact is still being felt. Recently, the organization hung a sign reading “Jo’s Place” near its new playground. It recognizes her help in securing a grant to fund the new playground from the Rotary Club of Sarasota, [...]
March 29, 2017

Herald Tribune: A beautiful fairy tale for Children First

SARASOTA (March 29th, 2017)– Decorated with giant, colorful flowers and toadstools — not to mention twinkling pixies with a sprinkle of pixie dust, of course — the Michael’s on East ballroom was transformed recently into a child’s fantasyland for the Fairytale Ball, benefiting Children First. Nearly 350 elegantly attired guests — with a few even donning [...]
March 25, 2017

Black Tie (Observer): Fairytale Ball teaches guests the power of a little pixie dust

SARASOTA (March 25th, 2017)– Between the cascading garden light-covered entrance and the columns transformed into enchanted forest-esque trees, guests walked into more than just a ballroom at the Children First Fairytale Ball. “A Sprinkle of Pixie Dust” was held on March 25 at Michael’s On East, but really, attendees walked into a fairytale that began with drinks, [...]
January 31, 2019

Herald Tribune: Sertoma launches new mobile audiology service for children

October 9, 2018 – Sertoma Club of Greater Sarasota and the Sertoma Speech & Hearing Foundation of Florida, located in New Port Richey, recently held a ribbon-cutting event at Children First to launch a new mobile audiology service for children from low-income families living in the area. Part of an effort involving Sertoma clubs from [...]
October 8, 2018

Children First Closely Monitoring Hurricane Michael

  As of mid-day on Monday, October 8 Sarasota County is NOT under a hurricane or tropical storm watch or warning.   Children First’s policy is to follow the Sarasota County School’s closure schedule. If the Sarasota County Schools close, Children First closes all of its sites. If there is localized flooding, Children First may close sites on a site [...]
July 18, 2018

HotelPlanner Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Brings Smiles and Support to Children First

Just in time for the HotelPlanner Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival Kickoff, Powerboat P1 CEO, Azam Rangoonwala and Scott Free Racing team member Kim Kildahl paid a special visit to some of our preschoolers! They read to the children and taught them about boats before heading outside to see Scott free Racing’s Boatfloater powerboat. This was [...]
May 26, 2018

Children First Staff Participate in Health Care Institute

Children First staff recently attended a two-day Health Care Institute (HCI) that was hosted by the UCLA Anderson School of Business and the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness.  HCI is designed to assist grantees in improving the health of their staff, families, and children, while strengthening the communities in which they work.  Participation in [...]