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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Kenricks are 2003 'Islanders of the year

Ilona and Jeff Kenrick are The Islander newspapers "Islanders of the year" for 2003.

The Holmes Beach couple are facilitators for an anonymous foundation, based in the city, whose local, national and international aide amounts to about $1 million a year. The foundations mission statement calls for the foundation to "make contributions for religious, educational, charitable and scientific purposes."

Locally, the pair established a blood drive that last year accounted to more than 230 units of blood to be given on the Island. The foundation contributed $100 for each unit, with blood donors to determine between four Island not-for-profit organizations as beneficiaries of the funds.

The four Island groups reaping the benefits of the foundations largesse are the Anna Maria Island Community Center, Anna Maria Island Privateers, Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Wildlife Rescue Inc.

The foundations efforts to draw blood donors earned it a "Gold Award" in 2001 from a national blood service group, Ilona Kenrick said. Another similar blood drive in Bradenton is in the planning stages for later this year, as well as the Island drive.

On the local front, the foundation aids Southeast Guide Dogs, Manatee Religious Services, Foundation for Dreams camp in Bradenton for mentally and physically challenged children, and local hospice organizations.

Nationally, the organization assists financially with a childrens home in Texas, the Lions Eye Bank in Miami, and Doctors Without Borders.

Internationally, the foundation aids the Sisters of Mercy Hospice in Chile, a childrens education program in Viet Nam, Russian Ministries in Moscow, and Father Eugene Hattie, an 82-year-old Jesuit priest who works with the homeless in Uganda. The foundation also assists a Boston-based charity providing medical equipment and aid to developing countries throughout the world.

The Kenricks moved to the Island from St. Petersburg in 1995, and started Marina Pointe Realty in 1999 in Anna Maria City.

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