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Retired businessman ‘with a heart’ gives CASA $1 million for long-term sustainability

Margie Manning



CASA CEO Lariana Forsythe with David Baldwin and St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway

David Baldwin, a retired business executive with “a heart for women and children,” made the lead gift that established CASA’s first endowment.

Jesse Coraggio, vice president, community impact, Community Foundation of Tampa Bay

The $1 million gift from the David and Virginia Baldwin Foundation established the CASA Innovation and Growth Endowment. Through the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay’s endowment match challenge, the CASA endowment has a total of $1.3 million. Additional donations that will qualify for the match are still being accepted, the Community Foundation said.

“This new endowment will provide funding for the long-term sustainability of CASA as they continue to do great work in our community,” said Jesse Corragio, vice president, community impact, at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.

CASA – Community Action Stops Abuse — is the official domestic violence center for southern Pinellas County. The organization serves an average of 117 people a day in its shelter, built in 2015, and served thousands of others through its educational programs and non-residential services, said Lariana Forsythe, CEO.

Unlike annual donations, endowments generally are an invested pool of money that provide a reliable source of income permanently. Generally, the interest earned on the investment is available for an organization, but not the principle. Endowments grow over time with additional gifts from multiple donors.

The Innovation and Growth Endowment creates a stable revenue stream in perpetuity for CASA, Forsythe said.

“First, we’ll be using the proceeds from this endowment to help pay for our shelter,” she said. “Once that’s done the endowment proceeds will support the growth and forward movement of CASA’s work in the future.”

David Baldwin was excited about making the lead gift for the endowment, the most recent in a series of gifts, Forsythe said.

“The David and Virginia Baldwin Foundation has a legacy of contributing and improving the lives of women and children in Pinellas County. Mr. Baldwin was first introduced to CASA in 2013 and supported the building of CASA’s domestic violence shelter, one of the largest shelters in Florida,” she said. “You can tell that Mr. Baldwin has a heart for women and children. He recently contributed to the St. Petersburg Free Clinic to open the Virginia and David Baldwin Women’s Residence.”

Police Chief Anthony Holloway at a ceremony honoring David Baldwin

Baldwin also made a significant gift for the Free Clinic’s health center.

He was honored during a ceremony Wednesday at the St. Petersburg Police headquarters. St. Petersburg police partner with CASA to break the cycle of domestic violence, Chief Anthony Holloway said.

“By having your organization, we are able to help these families and most importantly to help these children, to let them know that life is more than what they are going through, and there is someone there to help them,” Holloway said. “Mr. Baldwin, we want to thank you.”


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