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Announcing the 2023 Spirit of Manatee Honorees

Manatee Community Foundation recently announced the 2023 Spirit of Manatee winners. Honorees will be celebrated at the highly anticipated annual luncheon event spotlighting philanthropy in Manatee County.

Carol and Bob Carter

Bob and Carol Carter, known for their philanthropic leadership nationwide and locally, will receive the Mary E. Parker Lifetime Spirit Award. Nominated by Meals on Wheels PLUS and The Center on Anna Maria Island, the Carters have played decades-long roles in charitable giving—making personal contributions, leading and informing campaigns, volunteering, and inspiring others to contribute to the community.  

Additional honorees include:

  • Conrad and Ruth Ann Szymanski, donors and community volunteers who were instrumental in forming Manatee County’s first Community Partnership School- nominated by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County and Children’s Home Society of Florida;
  • The Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club, an organization that has raised more than $500,000 for local nonprofits- nominated by HOPE Family Services;
  • Tom Waters, CEO of Easterseals of Southwest Florida, selected for his mentorship and guidance of other nonprofit leaders- nominated by John Berkey; and
  • Brooklynn Deckman, a student at Rowlett Academies for Arts and Communication who led hurricane relief efforts and brought attention to issues such as bullying and suicide- nominated by Rowlett Academies for Arts and Communication.

The Spirit of Manatee Awards Luncheon takes place on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 at 11:30 a.m. the Bradenton Area Convention Center. The Milestone Financial Group of Morgan Stanley is the premier sponsor.

Purchase your table today!

Founded in 1998, Manatee Community Foundation is now celebrating its 25th anniversary. The Foundation has partnered with donors to award more than $50 million in grants and scholarships supporting students and nonprofit organizations leading important work in human services, education, the arts, environment, health, civic engagement, and animal welfare.