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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

10 fine points for $50,000 challenge

The challenge season is more than half over and the challenge itself is halfway over the top, but there are only two weeks left for Islanders to hit the $50,000 mark.

That's the magic number for donations to the Anna Maria Island Community Center, the goal toward which Islanders had contributed $25,650 by midweek.

The $50,000 will actually be $100,000 when Islanders Chuck and Joey Lester get through with it - their generosity once again is meeting any donation dollar for dollar up to $50,000 total.

But that huge special for the Anna Maria Island Community Center will be all over at the end of December. Donations are made to the Center's Endowment Trust, where the money will make money for the Center.

Only the interest will be spent, the Center emphasized. The principal will be untouched. Checks should be made out to the Center Endowment Trust and brought to the Center at 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria, or mailed to P.O. Box 253, Anna Maria FL 34216.

The Center's staff, as enthusiastic as anyone over the campaign, put together their 10 "Best Reasons" to give to the drive - "Pick one and send the check," they said. The reasons:

1. Pure human response - somebody poses a challenge and we take them up on it.

2. Because in previous years our community has always beaten the Lester challenge and we Islanders want to keep it that way.

3. A contribution to the Center's endowment trust is an investment in our community; only a few things can match the effect a caring, supporting and loving community has on our children, families and seniors.

4. A contribution is an investment in service; through quality programs, Center staff and volunteers provide support for some of the neediest in our community.    

5. This is a gift that keeps on giving; income generated by the trust provides a perpetual source of income for the programs and services.

6. A wonderful way to give in honor or memory of a family member, friend or colleague.

7. Loyalty - giving back for the educational, cultural and recreational time Islanders have spent at the Center.

8. Pride - all Islanders are proud of a Center that has been an integral part of the community for 45 years by providing much-needed quality programs and services.

9. Tradition - Islanders have always been part of the Center as donors, volunteers, members or guests.

10. Islanders care!