Paving the way for children to have a brighter future got a whole lot brighter this past weekend as the Lazydays Employee Foundation exceeded its goal of $100,000.
On Thursday and Friday, May 7th and 8th, the non-profit organization raised more than $105,000 to benefit children in the Tampa Bay area. This makes the fifth consecutive year the foundation has drawn tremendous support from employees, manufacturers, vendors, and other community organizations.
In 2005 the Lazydays Employee Foundation was formed and later became a non-profit, funded by weekly charitable donations of Lazydays’ employees. Customers, strategic partners, manufacturers, and vendors have helped the organization donate millions of dollars to children’s charities over the past ten years.
“Everybody supports at-risk youth and knows the importance of helping the homeless,” said fundraising chair Janet Chiodi. “So they fly in and drive in, all to help us with our golf tournament year after year.”
According to its website, since the organization’s inception it has continuously focused on making a positive impact in the lives of at-risk children.
Vendors, employees, and other donors kicked off the benefit with a dinner and silent auction Thursday afternoon at the Lazydays RV Resort in Tampa. Hundreds of items were available to raise money for children in the Lazydays House at A Kids Place, the Tampa Bay Youth Outreach, and the Ybor City Youth Clinic.
“We’re very blessed that we have such generous vendors and manufacturers who sponsor us year after year,” Chiodi said. “Our vendors have always stepped up to the plate to help us.”
Some of the auction items included a 55-inch Samsung TV, a signed Tampa Bay Buccaneers Gerald McCoy helmet, weekend get-aways, Tampa Bay Rays ticket packages, and rounds of golf at numerous bay area golf courses.
Trophies and prizes were given to participants, with representatives from Winnebago claiming first place. Even a fifth-wheel was donated as a hole-in-one prize on the Club Renaissance Golf Course in Sun City Center.
“We have a lot of sponsors that have been with us all five years. They understand what it means to Lazydays. And they have a good time,” Chiodi said.
If you would like to donate and help the foundation provide children with a brighter future, visit the organization’s website at LDEF.org.
Source: Joseph Garnett, Jr.