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Every first Friday night of the month residents of Gran Paradiso, gather together to enjoy Happy Hour in the activities center at the clubhouse. In February 2019, Dick and Deborah Miller assumed the responsibility of hosting the popular event introducing a “monthly theme” with decorations. The monthly Happy hour event gives new residents an opportunity to meet their neighbors and gives established residents a chance to mix with good friends. Everyone brings a dish to share at the festive social event of the month. In March 2019, the Millers introduced a 50/50 raffle to raise money for charity. 50 percent goes to the lucky winner and 50 percent goes to the charity. Dick and Deborah decided to select a charity which best suits their goal in life; helping children. The Millers are real estate Agents with RE/MAX Platinum Realty. For many years, they have donated a portion of their real estate commission from each Closing to Children’s Miracle Network. Dick Miller has worked for children’s charities since age eighteen. “It’s the right thing to do. We’re thanking our customers for selecting us as their Realtors by donating part of our commission money to helping children and their families who can’t afford the hospital care they need. These donations are given to our clients’ local Children’s Miracle Network hospital, where it can do the most good,” says Dick Miller. “Since we are already working for children, it was a natural choice to select Children First as our Happy Hour charity,” added Deborah. As part of their goal; “Children First focuses on comprehensive and high-quality early childhood education and care for children during the first five years of their lives.” This nationally recognized organization is Sarasota County’s exclusive provider of Early Head Start and Head Start programs, offering services to more than 700 underprivileged children and their families living in our community. Children First’s mission statement is: “Strengthening children and families by improving the quality of their lives through a comprehensive approach to development, education, health and well-being.” Children First is a four-time designee as a ‘Program of Excellence’ by the National Head Start Association. Dick and Deborah Miller toured the Venice Children First facility with Jessica Rogers, VP of Philanthropy and Megan Wenger, Annual Giving Director, to see firsthand the wonderful programs being offered locally for underprivileged children and families. “We are so excited to be working in partnership with Children First,” Dick Miller commented. “Deborah and I are going to ‘match’ all the money that we raise in our monthly Happy Hour 50/50 raffle, giving the Venice and North Port Children First locations equal donations.” Deborah explained. “By donating our 50/50 raffle proceeds along with our personal matching donations to Children First, we are not only helping Venice and North Port children, we as a community can contribute to a worthy cause and make Happy Hour fun and fulfilling, knowing that we are making a difference in local families lives.” “We are so thrilled that you have chosen Children First as one of your philanthropic endeavors with your friends at Gran Paradiso!,” Jessica Rogers told the Millers. Gran Paradiso Happy Hour attendees have rallied behind the Millers in support of their charitable nature. In addition, some 50/50 raffle winners have given back a portion of their winnings, knowing that their money would go towards Children First, and the Millers would match all donations; a financial win-win for a good cause.