By Chris Fish
BREVARD -- One group of students raised $2,500 for a local charitable organization in September to help assist in its mission of protecting children from abuse and neglect.
On Nov. 12, the Rotokids of Gemini Elementary presented Dr. Patricia Nellius-Guthrie, CEO of Brevard Family Partnership, with the $2,500 donation at a Melbourne Beach Rotary Club meeting at Sands Restaurant.
The Rotokids of Gemini Elementary is a school club sponsored by the Melbourne Beach Rotary Club that provides an early introduction to Rotary, while also providing an avenue for service in support of the community.
The group of students raised the funding at the Iceman's Fall Festival by selling baked goods.
"The donation reflects an awareness of the importance of family to our community, and, also, an awareness that not all children have families," said Eric Smith, president of the Melbourne Beach Rotary Club and board member for Brevard Family Partnership.
Brevard Family Partnership is a grassroots, community directed program of local children's welfare systems.
Geo Ropert, director of communications for Brevard Family Partnership, said the donation made by the Rotokids comes in a time of need for the organization.
"The generous donation to (BFP) comes at a critical time in terms of helping us fill gaps in funding, so that we can provide all families in our system of care with the programs, counseling, therapy and other services critical to keeping their children safe," he said. "We appreciate the support that MB Rotary has provided us and hope that their acts of kindness will inspire other to consider Brevard's abused and neglected children and how they can help."
Established in 2003, the organization serves as a response to the Florida legislative mandate to privatize foster care and related services.
The agency was awarded a contract by the Florida Department of Children and Families to manage Brevard County's child-welfare system.
Brevard Family Partnership and its community partners provide child abuse prevention, foster care support, adoption, independent living and community outreach services to the children and families of Brevard County.
Mr. Smith said that the Melbourne Beach Rotary Club also works with many other local charities, such as the Brevard Sharing Center and the Genesis House.