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Nonprofit commits $1 million to Boys & Girls Club rebuild

The club in North Port was devastated by Hurricane Ian.

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  • | 4:00 p.m. January 4, 2023
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  • Manatee-Sarasota
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After being destroyed by Hurricane Ian, the Gene Matthews Boys & Girls Club is getting a second life. 

The Gulf Coast Community Foundation board of directors committed $1 million to the rebuild of the North Port club. The fund will go to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto counties. 

“Since day one when Hurricane (Ian) made landfall, our Gulf Coast team and donors have quickly and effectively responded to help our devastated families and businesses,” Mark Pritchett, president and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation, says in a news release. “We cannot let up as we move toward the recovery and rebuilding stages of this historic catastrophe.”

The Gene Matthews Club has been in the community since 1997. 

“This significant investment from long-time partner Gulf Coast Community Foundation will help fund the reconstruction of the Gene Matthews Club in North Port which sustained irreparable damage from Hurricane Ian,” says Bill Sadlo, the president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties. “With this new facility, we can transform the way in which our organization serves the growing North Port community, by providing access to critical resources and ensuring a greater impact through innovative programming designed to help youth discover their full potential.”

Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Venice, was founded in 1995 through the sale of the Venice Hospital. Since then, it’s become the philanthropic home of over 950 families, individuals, businesses and organizations that have established charitable funds there.

After seven years of being with the organization, Pritchett announced in July he plans to retire in 2023. At the time of the announcement, the board had formed a CEO search committee to begin a national search for his successor. 


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