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SCoSA to honor students, School Board chair as 'Shining Stars' March 23

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This news release is from the Sarasota Coalition on Substance Abuse.

SARASOTA COUNTY, March 13, 2017 - The Sarasota Coalition on Substance Abuse (SCoSA) will honor the 2017 award winners at the 12th Annual Sarasota Shining Stars Recognition and Awards Luncheon.

The event will be held from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Thursday, March 23, at Michael’s On East, 1212 East Ave., Sarasota.

Scott Dennis, senior news anchor at WWSB/ABC 7, will serve as the emcee. Les McCurdy of McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre and Humor Institute will be the keynote speaker.

Individual tickets are $75 and table sponsorship is available for $800. Tickets are available online at or by calling SCoSA at 941-928-4435.

The award winners are: 

Citizen of the Year: Caroline Zucker, Sarasota County School Board Chairwoman

Caroline Zucker is being recognized for her years of service on the Sarasota County School Board (1992- 2000, 2006-present), which she currently chairs. Caroline also served as president of the Florida School Board Association. Caroline’s service to the community also includes: Do the Right Thing, Juvenile Justice Committee, Sarasota Community Alliance, Drug Free Schools & Communities Advisory Committee, and so much more. Caroline’s focus on children has positively impacted many lives and enriched the entire Sarasota community.  The Sarasota Coalition on Substance Abuse is proud to recognize Caroline Zucker as the Shining Star Citizen of the Year. 

Community Leadership Award: Gulf Coast Community Foundation  

The award is in recognition of the leadership demonstrated by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation since 1995 (22 years). The Foundation has become the home of more than 650 philanthropic families and together they have invested more than 230 million dollars in grants in the areas of health & human services, civic and economic development, education, arts and culture, and the environment. The leadership shown by Mark Pritchett, Elton White and Jon Thaxton has been a catalyst for change. Gulf Coast partnered with seven key agencies, and more than 30 other service providers, improving the lives of homeless children and their families in Sarasota. Gulf Coast worked with All Faiths Food Bank addressing seasonal food shortages with the Campaign Against Summer Hunger. Because of this leadership homeless children and families have two havens and people who could have gone hungry have more food. The Sarasota Coalition on Substance Abuse is proud to recognize the Gulf Coast Community Foundation with the Shining Stars Community Leadership Award. 

Community Leadership Award: Jewish Family & Children’s Service of the Suncoast (JFCS)

The award is in recognition of the leadership demonstrated by JFCS in the community for 30 years. JFCS is a multi-county, multi-function social service not-for-profit organization. In 2014-15, JFCS served more than 15,000 individuals. The organization has provided more than 75,000 services, including case management, individual and group counseling, life skills education, and assistance with basic life necessities, such as food and emergency financial assistance to prevent homelessness. The leadership shown by Rose Chapman, Phil Gorelick and the staff of JFCS has transformed services in Sarasota. JFCS has maximized its contributions to the community by supplementing the staff of organizations with over 450 volunteers that provide more than 7,500 service hours. The Sarasota Coalition on Substance Abuse is proud to recognize Jewish Family and Children’s Service of the Suncoast with the Shining Stars Community Leadership Award. 

Student Shining Stars:

High School: Charles “Joey” Arnold, Sarasota High School                           

Joey is a senior at Sarasota High School. Joey’s mother died on July 1, 2015, due to an opioid drug overdose. He ended up becoming homeless. “The death of my mother changed my life drastically,” Joey said. “A long two weeks went by of skipping from friend’s house to friend’s house until my elderly great grandmother took me in.” Joey has used these tragic experiences as motivation to change his life in positive ways. He joined Drug Free Youth and began to work extremely hard on his academics. His grades showed dramatic increases and he raised his ACT scores. Joey’s community service includes working with kids at the Boys and Girls Club, aiding and teaching student athletes the game of baseball at Cal Ripken, and supporting the Breast Cancer run. Joey is an athlete and played two years of varsity baseball at SHS.  In Joey’s final words to his mother he promised he would be successful and get a college degree. Joey has been offered admittance to several colleges and universities, including an offer to attend his dream school, Florida State University. The Sarasota Coalition on Substance Abuse is proud to recognize Joey as the Shining Stars High School Student of the year.   

Middle School: Jakobie Green, Booker Middle School

Jakobie Green is an eighth-grade student at Booker Middle School. Jakobie is the Student Council president, school store Manager, School Advisory Board student representative and active member of Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT). He tutors elementary school students. Jakobie wrote in his essay about “coming from a broken home destroyed by drugs. Drugs ironically shaped me into the person that I am. I know what I want to be, and I have chosen the right path. I now help the people in my community that want to be role models, but don’t have the guidance or strength to stand up for themselves. For the past three years in middle school, I have devoted much of my free time to helping with drug abuse awareness in my school and community.” The Sarasota Coalition on Substance Abuse is proud to recognize Jakobie as the Shining Stars Middle School Student of the year.   

About the Sarasota Coalition on Substance Abuse

The Sarasota Coalition on Substance Abuse has been a part of the efforts to combat substance abuse in Sarasota since 1999. SCoSA promotes substance-abuse-free environments through increased community awareness and advocacy. For 18 years, SCoSA has promoted substance abuse prevention and education. During those years, Sarasota has accomplished amazing things. Results come from forming partnerships and collaborations. Community achievements include the Sarasota County Alternative Residential Treatment initiative (CART), the Voluntary Interim Placement Expanded Recovery program (VIPER), supporting expanded availability of Naloxone, anti-dote for opioid overdose, and passage of ordinances regulating “pill mills” and designer drugs. We all accomplish the most when we work together, and Coalition is in our name and our DNA.  



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