News/Articles

First Step Caring Hearts Luncheon

SARASOTA, Fla., January 12, 2011 – Supporting First Step of Sarasota’s Mothers & Infants program, the eighth annual Caring Hearts Luncheon and Silent Auction will be held at Michael’s On East on Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 11 am.

Mothers & Infants provides a safe, supportive environment for pregnant women with substance abuse issues where they can begin a life of recovery while also gaining parenting, educational and vocational skills. Since the program began in 1995, more than 250 healthy, drug-free babies have been born.

This year’s event will honor Paul Welch with the Caring Heart of the Year Award. Since moving to Sarasota in 1989, Mr. Welch has been a philanthropic supporter of many local organizations. First Step of Sarasota and the YMCA Welch Family Teen Center are examples of two organizations close to his heart. Each year, Mr. Welch plays Santa Claus, making Christmas gifts a reality for the women in the Mothers & Infants program.

Each year, the highlight of the event program is when a Mothers & Infants client or alumnae shares her powerful story of substance abuse, recovery and motherhood.For reservations or more information about the Caring Hearts Luncheon, contact Kelly French at 552-2065 or visit First Step’s website at www.fsos.org and select the special events page.

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Last year, First Step served nearly 14,000 adults and youths in its recovery and prevention programs. The agency offers detoxification, residential and outpatient programs. For information regarding First Step, visit www.fsos.org or call Kelly French at (941) 552-2065.

Balls Drop From Helicopter As First Step of Sarasota Raises Over $27,000 Through 6th Annual Golf Tournament.

Balls Drop From Helicopter As First Step of Sarasota Raises Over $27,000 Through 6th Annual Golf Tournament.

SARASOTA/MANATEE, FL (May 11, 2010) – First Step of Sarasota held its 6th Annual Golf Classic on Friday, April 30, at Legacy Golf Club in Lakewood Ranch, an event which raised more money for the organiza- tion than in the past two years. Proceeds from the tournament benefit First Step’s addiction recovery and treatment programs.

Chaired by Evan Guido, Financial Advisor with Robert W. Baird & Co., the event had a First Step record of 121 golfers and raised over $27,000. Low gross tournament winners were Matt Arnold, Sam Guer- cio, Christian Bartolacci and Carl Wakely. Low net winners were Steve French, Bob French, Jim Young and Gene Brown. In addition to golf, the event featured a 50/50 raffle that included dropping almost 200 numbered golf balls from a helicopter hovering over the practice green. The golf ball drop 50/50 winner was Carolyn Garvey of Sarasota.

David Beesley, President and CEO of First Step, was extremely pleased with the event, saying “It’s great to see such a strong turnout. Like so many non-profits, First Step has been hit hard by funding cuts; funds raised through events like this backfill some of those losses and allow us to help people in need of assistance.”

David Kramer, business development with Halfacre Construction Company, the tournament’s “Eagle” sponsor, says “I served on First Step’s event committee because Halfacre believes strongly in helping our community through non-profit involvement. We are pleased to be able to support First Step again this year as a sponsor; the services they provide are so vital to our community, especially during these challenging times.”

Last year, First Step served nearly 14,000 adults and youths in its recovery and prevention programs. The agency offers detoxification, residential and outpatient programs. For information regarding First Step, visit www.fsos.org or call Kelly French at (941) 552-2065.

To arrange an interview with First Step of Sarasota, contact Grapevine Communications at 941-351- 0024 or email tlewis@grapeinc.com. Grapevine Communications is an award-winning advertising, mar- keting, and public relations firm based in Sarasota and serving clients nationwide.

First Step Recognizes 100 Volunteers for Over 3,000 Hours As Part of National Volunteer Month.

First Step Recognizes 100 Volunteers for Over 3,000 Hours As Part of National Volunteer Month.

SARASOTA, FL – April 21, 2010 – First Step of Sarasota, Inc., in recognition of April as National Volunteer Month, recently held its annual Volunteer Appreciation Reception at the Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center.

Nearly 100 volunteers inspired and encouraged First Step participants, donating over 3,000 hours of annual service in a variety of volunteer positions, including serving on the Board of Directors and assisting with fund raising events, as well as in direct client contact roles including rocking babies in the Mothers & Infants program.

For more information about volunteer opportunities at First Step, contact Kelly French at 941-552-2065 or via email at kfrench@fsos.org. For more information about First Step, please visit their website at www.fsos.org.

First Step of Sarasota has provided high quality, affordable substance abuse treatment and recovery programs on Florida’s Gulf Coast for over 40 years. Last year, nearly 14,000 individuals were served through the agency’s prevention and treatment programs.

To arrange an interview with First Step of Sarasota, please contact Tricia Lewis at Grapevine Communications at 941-351-0024 or via email tlewis@grapeinc.com. Grapevine Communications is an award-winning advertising, marketing, and public relations firm based in Sarasota and serving clients nationwide.

Newly Drug-Free Mother Shares Emotional Story at First Step’s Caring Hearts Luncheon Fundraiser.

Newly Drug-Free Mother Shares Emotional Story at First Step’s Caring Hearts Luncheon Fundraiser.

SARASOTA, FL – March 8, 2010 – Nearly 200 guests attended the recent 7th Annual Caring Hearts Lun- cheon to benefit First Step of Sarasota’s Mother & Infants program. The event raised nearly $30,000 for the program which provides substance abuse rehabilitation and counseling to pregnant women. To date, 241 healthy, drug-free babies have been born.

Judge Andrew Owens was honored as the “Caring Heart of the Year” recipient due to his many years of dedication to the organization. Judge Owens founded the Drug Court programs in Sarasota and Manatee Counties in 1997. Because of this program, each year an average of 300 individuals receive substance abuse treatment and begin living productive lives without the influences of drugs or the impact of drug-related crimes.

Always an event highlight, a Mothers & Infants client, Tiffany, shared the story of her own addiction and told how, with the help of First Step’s Mothers & Infants program, she has hope for a bright, promising future. Tiffany graduated from Mothers & Infants on January 11, 2010 and is now partici- pating in the Salvation Army’s F.A.I.T.H. program with her 2-month-old daughter Ahvaya.

First Step of Sarasota has provided high quality, affordable substance abuse treatment and recovery programs on Florida’s Gulf Coast for over 40 years. Last year, nearly 14,000 individuals were served through the agency’s prevention and treatment programs.

For more information about the Mothers and Infants Program, contact Kelly French at 941-552-2065 or via email at kfrench@fsos.org. You may also visit First Step’s website at www.fsos.org.

To arrange an interview with First Step of Sarasota, contact Grapevine Communications at 941-351- 0024 or email tlewis@grapeinc.com. Grapevine Communications is an award-winning advertising, mar- keting, and public relations firm based in Sarasota and serving clients nationwide.

Helicopter Golf Ball Drop to Benefit First Step of Sarasota.

Helicopter Golf Ball Drop to Benefit First Step of Sarasota.

SARASOTA, FL – February 19, 2010 – First Step of Sarasota already knows it will rain on their 6th Annual Golf Classic at Lakewood Ranch’s Legacy Golf Club on Friday, April 30, 2010.

No, First Step staff did not attend weather school. In what could be a first in Sarasota, golf balls are expected to rain down from a helicopter on this year’s First Step Golf Classic. This novel “Golf Balls From Heaven” fundraising twist will be exciting to watch as a spectator sport, even for non-golfers.

The premise is simple: with the purchase a $10 raffle ticket, a numbered golf ball is assigned. On tour- nament day, all numbered golf balls will be dropped from a helicopter hovering directly over Legacy Golf Club’s practice green. The ball that goes into, or is closest to, the designated hole wins 50% of the collected revenue; the remainder benefits First Step of Sarasota.

First Step is raising funds through both the “Golf Balls From Heaven” raffle and through chance ticket sales on a 50-inch Panasonic plasma television with surround sound. Tickets for this raffle are $20 each, or 6 for $100. There are only 300 tickets available, so chances of winning are high; this package is valued at $1,250.

20 volunteers are working diligently to bring this Golf Tournament and Helicopter Ball Drop event together on behalf of First Step. The tournament’s shotgun start is at 8 a.m. and registration fees in- clude a continental breakfast, golf, and buffet lunch. Fees are $125 per golfer or $400 for a foursome.

For reservations, sponsorship opportunities, or more information about the Golf Tournament, contact Kelly French at 941-552-2065 or via email at kfrench@fsos.org. You may also visit First Step’s website at www.fsos.org and select the Special Events page.

First Step of Sarasota is the region’s leading non-profit provider of substance abuse prevention and recovery programs serving Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto Counties. Last year, First Step has served over 8,500 people through prevention programs and nearly 6,000 through detox, residential and out- patient programs.

To arrange an interview with First Step of Sarasota, contact Grapevine Communications at 941-351-0024 or email tlewis@grapeinc.com. Grapevine Communications is an award-winning advertising, marketing, and public relations firm based in Sarasota and serving clients nationwide.

First Step of Sarasota’s Caring Hearts Luncheon

First Step of Sarasota’s Caring Hearts Luncheon

SARASOTA, FL – December 23, 2009 – Supporting First Step of Sarasota’s Mothers & Infants Program, the seventh annual Caring Hearts Luncheon will be held at Michael’s On East on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 11:30 a.m.

Mothers & Infants provides a safe, supportive environment for pregnant women with substance abuse issues where they can begin a life of recovery while also gaining parenting, educational and vocational skills. Since the program began in 1995, more than 235 healthy, drug-free babies have been born.

This year’s event will honor Judge Andrew Owens, who was appointed to the 12th Judicial Circuit by the Honorable Bob Graham in 1983. Judge Owens founded the Drug Court programs in Sarasota and Manatee Counties in 1997. Through Drug Court, each year an average of 300 individuals receive substance abuse treatment, and begin living productive lives without the influences of drugs or impact of drug-related crimes.

As in years past, one of the highlights will be the presentation given by a First Step recent alumnae sharing her powerful story of addiction and recovery, and how her life has been changed based on the time spent in Mothers & Infants.

For reservations or more information about the Caring Hearts Luncheon, contact Kelly French at 941-552-2065 or visit First Step’s website at www.fsos.org and select the special events page.

First Step of Sarasota is the region’s leading non-profit provider of substance abuse prevention and recovery programs serving Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto Counties. Last year, First Step served over 8,500 through prevention programs and nearly 6,000 through detox, residential and outpatient programs.

To arrange an interview with First Step of Sarasota, contact Grapevine Communications at 941-351-0024 or email tlewis@grapeinc.com. Grapevine Communications is an award-winning advertising, marketing, and public relations firm based in Sarasota and serving clients nationwide.

First Step of Sarasota’s Youth Outpatient Program Receives Grant from Kiwanis Club of Downtown Sarasota.

First Step of Sarasota’s Youth Outpatient Program Receives Grant from Kiwanis Club of Downtown Sarasota.

SARASOTA, FL – October 5, 2009 – First Step of Sarasota, the region’s leading provider of non-profit substance abuse treatment and prevention programs, is pleased to announce that it was awarded a $3,000 grant from the Kiwanis Club of Downtown Sarasota.

David Beesley, First Step President and CEO, stated “First Step is honored to have been awarded this grant to provide treatment scholarships for the youth between the ages of 13 and 18 trying to overcome substance abuse issues. We are also grateful to the Kiwanis Club for all of the work they do in this community to support the youth and the organizations that provide services for children and teens.”

First Step’s Youth Outpatient program opened in 2001 and provides individual, group and family counseling with adolescents. For more information on the Youth Outpatient program, please visit First Step’s website www.fsos.org.

For more information about First Step of Sarasota, or to arrange an interview, contact Grapevine Communications at 941-351-0024 or email tlewis@grapeinc.com. Grapevine Communications is an award-winning advertising, marketing, and public relations firm based in Sarasota and serving clients nationwide.