The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee’s signature annual event, Brunch on the Bay, celebrated its 20th anniversary on Sunday, November 10—marking two decades of raising funds for local undergraduate scholarships.
Since 1994, Brunch on the Bay has been USFSM’s premiere event, providing millions in scholarship dollars and building community awareness.
“When we look back at two decades of Brunch on the Bay, we are so gratified to reflect on the community partnerships and the generosity of individual donors and corporations that have contributed to its success,” said Arthur M. Guilford, USFSM regional chancellor. “Over 1,000 students have benefitted from Brunch scholarships made possible by the many friends and supporters who truly believe in the power of a higher education to improve lives.”
Guests included over 1,000 corporate and individual donors, community leaders, volunteers, faculty, staff, students and friends of the university. Nineteen of Sarasota and Manatee Counties’ finest restaurants and caterers prepared their signature dishes for the event, held under tents on the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus.
This year, more than 150 corporate and individual donors gave $360,000 in support of Brunch on the Bay, co-chaired by USF alumni Charles Baumann and Amy Drake. The dedicated commitment of the Sarasota-Manatee community makes possible financial aid for USFSM students from all facets of life. In the 20 years of Brunch on the Bay, the event has added over $1.3 million to the university endowment and generated over $950,000 in scholarships, including those to First Generation students, the first in their families to attend college. In 2013, USFSM awarded 56 Brunch scholarships.
At this year’s Brunch on the Bay, USFSM solicited gifts to the Veterans Legacy Scholarship as part of the Legacy of Valor matching funds campaign. The Veterans Legacy Scholarship supports student veterans by offering a non-repayable scholarship to cover the gap between the GI Bill and the cost of tuition. The matching funds campaign runs until Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. All individual donations of $25 to $1,000 made by credit card online at http://www.givetolegacyofvalor.org/ will be matched 100 percent by The Patterson Foundation.
“Scholarships like those created through Brunch on the Bay and the Legacy of Valor campaign help to make higher education a realistic dream for many who would not normally be able attend a university,” said Dennis Stover, regional vice chancellor for University Advancement. “Our hope is that through these scholarship funds, we enable students to complete their education seamlessly, without the burden of high student loans after graduation.”
As part of the 20th anniversary celebration, USFSM honored three restaurants that have been with Brunch since the beginning: Ophelia’s On The Bay, Mattison’s and Michael’s On East. Additional restaurants at the event included Café L’Europe, State Street, Ezra Café, Carmel Café and Wine Bar, Fete Catering & Ballroom, First Watch, Fleming’s Prime SteakHouse & Wine Bar, Marina Jack’s Restaurant, Mar Vista Dockside, Morton’s Gourmet Market, Cakes By Ron, Pier 22 Special Events & Catering, Sea Breeze International Coffee & Tea, Jack Dusty and SoMa Diner.
The restaurants and caterers were assisted by a group of Taiwanese hospitality students who are currently studying at USFSM, as well as Restaurant Management students from the USFSM College of Hospitality and Technology Leadership, who hosted their own booth during the event.
The 21st Anniversary USF Sarasota-Manatee Brunch scholarship event will be held on November 2, 2014, when guests will once again celebrate making higher education possible for local students during an afternoon of food and tropical splendor under tents on the North Tamiami Trail campus. For more information on making contributions to USFSM, contact the Advancement team at 941-359-4603.