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Community Champions

Five Local Businesses Giving Back and Spreading Thanks

Molly Hidgon stands as a shining example of altruism, and her unwavering dedication to volunteer work with American Heritage Girls at The Classical Academy of Sarasota is a testament to her remarkable commitment to making a difference in the lives of others. Not only is she a devoted mother, but she is also an active member of this faith-based organization, where she wholeheartedly invests her time and energy into the Pathfinder's Unit, where young girls aged 5-6 are nurtured and empowered.

American Heritage Girls, often seen as a faith-based alternative to Girl Scouts, instills core values that encompass integrity, service to God, family, community, and country. Molly's steadfast commitment to these principles shines through her unit's various community service initiatives, which serve as poignant examples of her dedication to creating a better world.

One particularly touching initiative is their tradition of crafting heartfelt cards for local firefighters and police officers every 9/11. This annual act of appreciation not only pays tribute to the brave individuals who risk their lives for the safety and security of the community but also serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of gratitude and respect.

Additionally, Molly and her team go the extra mile by delivering delicious cookies to various recipients. These cookies symbolize more than just a tasty treat; they are a tangible expression of their unwavering commitment to cultivating compassionate and responsible future leaders. Through their actions, they instill values of kindness, generosity, and empathy in the young girls they mentor.

Molly Hidgon's generous spirit and tireless efforts continue to inspire and uplift her community. She embodies the spirit of giving back through her selfless volunteer endeavors, serving as a beacon of hope and a driving force behind positive change. Her dedication serves as a reminder that, regardless of age or circumstance, one person's commitment to making the world a better place can have a profound and lasting impact on the lives of those they touch.

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3Form Fitness, driven by a profound desire to give back and leave a lasting, meaningful impact, has elevated its commitment to the community through the initiation of a charity golf tournament. As they reflect on the achievements of their first location and eagerly anticipate the opening of their next, the gym's founder recognizes the newfound platform as an opportunity to effect positive change.

The selection of local foundations as the beneficiaries of this charitable endeavor is not arbitrary; it is a conscious choice rooted in deep resonance with both the gym's members and its founder. There exists a genuine and heartfelt connection that binds them to these local causes. This geographical proximity allows for direct engagement with the foundations and the individuals they serve, creating profoundly moving moments of appreciation and joy.

In these interactions, the belief that extending a helping hand, regardless of the scale, is an intrinsic and fundamental purpose comes to life. 3Form Fitness sets a compelling example, inspiring others to embrace the spirit of community engagement and philanthropy. As they embark on this charitable journey, they reaffirm their commitment to making a difference in the lives of those who need it most, reminding us all that even small acts of kindness can lead to profound and transformative change.

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Nick Drizos stands as a prominent figure in the world of finance, but it's not just his financial acumen that sets him apart. His commitment to giving back to the community is a defining aspect of his character, making him a true leader in both the financial and philanthropic realms.

In 2008, Nick founded Horizon Wealth Advisors, drawing upon his extensive knowledge and over two decades of experience in trust and financial management. Through this venture, he has been instrumental in providing high-net-worth individuals and families with expert financial guidance and wealth management services. However, Nick's impact extends far beyond the confines of the financial world.

One of the most remarkable facets of Nick's life is his deep involvement in the community. He dedicates his time and expertise to several boards and organizations, each with a mission to improve the lives of others. Nick's commitment to these causes is nothing short of inspiring.

Among his notable affiliations is the Manatee Community Foundation, where he actively participates in shaping the organization's initiatives to benefit the community. Similarly, he lends his support and insights to the Lakewood Ranch Community Fund, playing a pivotal role in addressing the diverse needs of the community. Nick's dedication is further evident through his involvement with The Southwest Florida Planned Giving Council, where he helps foster a culture of planned giving and philanthropy.

However, it is Nick's contribution to the Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy (SMART) that truly underscores his philanthropic spirit. SMART provides therapeutic horseback riding and equine-assisted activities to individuals with disabilities. Nick's involvement demonstrates his commitment to improving the lives of those facing unique challenges and disabilities.

As if his board commitments weren't impressive enough, Nick Drizos also co-founded the Lakewood Ranch Elks Club #2855. Through this organization, he has played a crucial role in raising over $100,000 for charitable causes. This remarkable achievement is a testament to his dedication to making a tangible difference in the lives of those less fortunate.

For Nick Drizos, giving back is not merely a corporate responsibility; it's a deeply ingrained personal commitment that defines his character and influences the culture of his company. His actions serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of community and the transformative potential of philanthropy. In an age where success is often measured by financial wealth, Nick Drizos stands as a shining example of how true wealth lies in one's ability to give back and make a positive impact on the world.

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Kelsey Long, the owner of Olive Grey Photography, plays a vital role as the exclusive photographer for The Women in Freedom Project. This project is a celebration of women who have embarked on deeply personal journeys of liberation. Through Kelsey's lens, she empowers and supports these women in embracing their unique strength, recognizing that their path to freedom is their true power. Whether they've conquered relationship challenges, faced health crises, coped with loss, or rediscovered their core selves, these women undergo remarkable transformations. Their inspiring stories motivate others, and participation in the Women in Freedom Project propels them to pursue their dreams with newfound confidence. Our transformative photoshoots foster authentic connections, capturing your essence in powerful visual narratives. It's more than a photoshoot; it's a catalyst for life change. Learn from our Women in Freedom, apply, or nominate a friend at olivegreyphotography.com/womeninfreedom. Join us in celebrating the strength and resilience of these incredible women.

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Since our inception in December 2022, Monkee's has been an active and dedicated member of our community, committed to giving back in meaningful ways.

We've provided support to local schools, spanning elementary, middle, and high schools, recognizing the pivotal role they play in shaping our community's future.

In collaboration with Everyday Blessings, Inc., we hosted a fashion show to support children and young adults in the foster care system. Their mission aligns with ours: to offer love, dignity, and respect to these vulnerable individuals.

Monkee's proudly sponsors the Forty Carrots Wine, Women, and Shoes event, endorsing their mission to nurture healthy child and family development through education and mental health services.

Our outreach extends to local churches, various community groups, and even local business fundraisers, fostering unity among enterprises.

We've also contributed to fun and charitable events, such as fun runs, Moms of LWR gatherings, and Bingo Rocks.

As a business deeply rooted in this community, our commitment to progress and growth is unwavering, driven by our love for the people and the place we call home.

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