Last Saturday’s inaugural Sarasota Blast On The Bay Fun Run did more than attract 120 boats to the popular Southwest Florida waterway—the event netted $43,000 for Suncoast Charities for Children. That is the word from the nonprofit organization’s executive director Lucy Nicandri, who with Simon Williams of the Sarasota-based title sponsor Shore Things Storage spearheaded the happening.
Between participation and fundraising, last weekend’s Sarasota Blast On The Bay Fun Run was a hit. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix/speedothewater.com.
The event organizers set their fundraising goal at $30,000 for the event. Though it doesn’t make up for the loss of revenue for the city and county of Sarasota created by the cancellation of the 2020 Sarasota Grand Prix Festival—last year’s event reportedly generated $29.6 million in the area—the $43,000 raised does comprise a significant portion of the Suncoast Charities For Children fundraising revenue for the year.
Nicandri (above) and her organizing team plan to the make the Sarasota Blast On The Bay Fun Run an annual happening.
Still, the organization typically nets $100,000-plus through the festival. Nicandri believes they can make up the shortfall through other events this season.
“If we combine the Blast On The Bay Fun Run with our other new events including the August 8 Red, White and Blue Motorcycle Poker Chip Run, the September 18 Last Call Before Fall Golf Classic and the September 18 Last Call Before Fall Evening Social and Comedy Night, we should come close or exceed what we raised during our 2018/2019 fiscal year, which is great news,” said Nicandri. “We are going to make Blast On The Bay an annual event most likely on the weekend before the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix races.”
The joy of this weekend’s successful fundraising effort was somewhat tempered by the news of the death of Sarasota’s Cal Erb. A longtime board member of Suncoast Charities For Children and one of the founders of the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix, Erb was 89 years old.
The loss of Erb was announced yesterday morning in a post on the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Facebook page.
“Our sincere condolences go out to his wife, Pam, and his entire family,” the post read. “Information will be forthcoming on any services that may be held or where memorial donations may be made in his memory.”