Jazz on the Harbor, an annual music, culinary and sunset celebration, raised $35,591 to support programs and services offered by the Guardian ad Litem Foundation, 20th Judicial Circuit.
Held March 30 at Isles Yacht Club in Punta Gorda, Jazz on the Harbor attracted over 150 supporters for an event that featured passed appetizers and a plated dinner, as well as a silent auction, wine bottle purchase event and beautiful waterfront views. This year’s musical performer was The Top Shelf Trio featuring Bob Miner.
Proceeds from Jazz on the Harbor fund the foundation’s Children’s Needs Program, which supports local children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned and are placed in foster care or temporary homes. The program covers the costs of birthday parties, tutoring, summer camp programs, movie tickets, and registration fees for clubs and sports. Event proceeds also fund the foundation’s Beds for Kids Program, which provides new beds, linens, blankets and stuffed animals so children feel comfortable in their new living arrangements.
“There are so many vulnerable children and teens in Southwest Florida who need a little extra love and attention,” said Jessica Stanfield, executive director of the Guardian ad Litem Foundation. “Jazz on the Harbor has become one of our signature fundraising events and helps raise awareness and support for our mission.”
The foundation supports court-appointed volunteer child advocates who represent children as they navigate the judicial, education and child welfare systems. The Children’s Needs and Beds for Kids programs are two of the foundation’s largest initiatives.
At the event, Suzanne McCormick was presented with a Nancys Award, which is named in honor of foundation ambassadors Nancy Sharpless and Nancy Suarez. The award recognizes an individual who gives generously and selflessly of their time, talents and treasure. McCormick has been a child advocate for 20 years and has represented 54 children during her two decades of service. She also helped establish Fashion to a Tea, another signature fundraising event that supports foundation initiatives.
Barbara Berman and Carl Wolaver served as co-chairs for Jazz on the Harbor. Event sponsors included:
• Sustaining Sponsors: First Presbyterian Church; Carl and Nancy Wolaver; Bob Ives.
• Presenting Sponsors: Barbara Berman; Cheryl Berlon; Parkinson’s Disease Treatment Center of Southwest Florida.
• Harbor Sponsors: Charlotte State Bank & Trust; Clyde and Margaret Tomassi Kang.
• Sunset Sponsors: Mediation Services of SW Florida; WhitCo Insurance; Gary and Jean Lederer; Joanne Lancaster; Gene McPhearson and Barbara Howe McPhearson; Bohall’s Total Comfort.