Offshore racing competitors and fans know the annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix—set this year for July 6-7 and the third stop in the inaugural six-race American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship Series produced by the Offshore Powerboat Association and Powerboat P1—for the action it delivers. But charity remains the driving force behind the event, which is entering its 35th year. The entire weeklong festival leading up to the races benefits Suncoast Charities for Children, a nonprofit organization that raises money for a host of worthy causes in Southwest Florida.
For many clients of The Haven, yesterday’s Rangoonwala Foundation-backed event was their first birthday party.
Among those charities served is The Haven, which offers “programs and services for adults and children with disabilities to enhance their quality of life by encouraging independence, championing inclusion, and advocating for their individual rights,” according to its website. The Haven serves more than 800 clients a day.
Thanks to Azam Rangoonwala, the chief executive officer of Powerboat P1, and the Rangoonwala Family Foundation, child and adult clients of The Haven were treated yesterday to a morning of carnival-style fun, entertainment and food during a first-time event dubbed “The Haven Has Talent.” Open to the public, the celebration included clients of the nonprofit, Sarasota-based organization performing skits and songs from their favorite movies.
“I did this for the first time last year on a smaller scale and discovered how many children have never experienced a birthday party,” said Rangoonwala, who celebrated his own birthday the day before The Haven happening. “So this year I wanted to expand that to include more clients offering them a chance to perform on stage where everyone will be a winner.”
Prizes/presents were given to all participants. The Rangoonwala Family Foundation footed the entire bill.
Azam Rangoonwala (center): “I did this for the first time last year on a smaller scale and discovered how many children have never experienced a birthday party.”
“When Azam reached out wanting to do something again this year I immediately thought of the The Haven, which is one of five area non-profits Suncoast Charities supports,” said Lucy Nicandri, the executive director of Suncoast Charities For Children. “The Haven has clients of all ages and does an amazing job in our community. The creativity and anticipation is already in full gear. We are so grateful for this wonderful gesture from the Rangoonwala Family Foundation.”