Launched in 2020 to make up for a funding shortfall created by the pandemic-forced cancellation of the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival, the Sarasota Blast On The Bay Fun Run attracted 120 boats and raised $50,000 for Suncoast Charities For Children. The event returned to the Southwest Florida as the Suncoast Summer Fest Fun Run last weekend and raised $30,000 for the charity with just 32 boats in the fleet.
Said Lucy Nicandri, (far right in white tank top), “All of the Suncoast Summer Fest events combined are expected to net over $100,000 for Suncoast Charities for Children.” Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
This year’s happening was smaller by design. Suncoast Charities for Children executive director Lucy Nicandri, Simon Williams of presenting sponsor Shore Thing Storage and the other members of the organizing team wanted to create a more intimate and upscale atmosphere for the run, which bookended the prior weekend’s Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix.
“I was so pleased with the turnout,” said Nicandri. “And I’m so happy with the $30,000 we were able to raise last weekend.”
“All of the Suncoast Summer Fest events combined are expected to net over $100,000 for Suncoast Charities for Children,” she added.
The new name for the now two-year-old event was part of a total rebranding of the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival, which for years fell under the organizational umbrella of Suncoast Charities for Children and various offshore racing organizations. This year, race organization and production were handled by P1 Offshore and Visit Sarasota County.
For Nicandri and her team, last weekend’s fun run was the finale of a week of fundraising events for Suncoast Charities for Children.