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St. Pete philanthropists support alma mater

Ken and Jeanne Lally provided the lead gift to support an expansion and renovation at Clarkson University’s Cora and Bayard Clarkson Science Center. The Lallys live in St. Petersburg and Ken Lally is the founder and of SimuTech Group Inc., headquartered in Rochester, New York. He’s also a 1979 graduate of Clarkson, with its main campus in Potsdam, New York, and he serves on the Clarkson board of trustees. The expansion and renovation project will add 45,000 square feet to the nearly 110,000 square foot Science Center. The gift from the Lallys directly supports a $5 million investment from New York State’s Higher Education Capital Matching Grant program, a news release said.

Burlington hiring for new store in Largo, donating to High Point Elementary

Burlington Stores, a national retailer, has hired about 65 associates for a store that will open later this week in Largo. The company is still hiring. Interested candidates can learn more about joining the team at    The new store will open Friday at Tri City Plaza, 5280 East Bay Drive, with a ribbon cutting at 6:45 a.m. During the ribbon cutting, Burlington will donate $5,000 to High Point Elementary School, with the funds used to support teachers and their classrooms. Burlington is making the donation through a partnership with The store also has giveaways during the grand opening, with a $5 Burlington gift card for the first 100 customers, 18 years or older, on Friday, and a Burlington umbrella on Saturday.

BayCare surplus shrinks in 2020

BayCare Health System, the largest nonprofit healthcare provider in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, reported a dip in operating revenue and operating income in 2020. The Clearwater-based organization had $4.409 billion in operating revenue last year, down less than 1 percent from $4.418 billion in 2019, according to newly released audited financial statements. Operating income for 2020 was $320.4 million, about 15 percent lower than operating income of $379.2 million in 2019. BayCare’s total surplus, including non-operating income from investments, was $945.3 million in 2020, compared to $1.14 billion in 2019. The Covid-19 pandemic and resulting cancellations and postponements of elective surgeries and non-urgent ambulatory visits led to a significant reduction in patient volumes, while the cost of supplies went up due to shortages, delays and price increases, the financial report said. BayCare includes 15 area hospitals, including St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, and hundreds of other health care sites.

St. Pete real estate firm commits to environmental sustainability

A $150,000 donation from Stoneweg US will help restore more than 25,000 acres of native forests and maintain native ecosystems in Florida and in Texas. Stoneweg US, a multifamily real estate investment and development firm headquartered in St. Petersburg, made the donation in a partnership with the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation. The foundation will plant 150,000 trees in the Texas Longleaf Pine Forest and at Florida Eglin Air Force Base, a news release said. Stoneweg US will enlist its property management partners to help with activation by planting 10 trees for every new and renewed lease that is signed at the 44 participating properties with more than 10,000 apartments. The foundation's mission aligns with the principles and values held by Stoneweg, CEO Patrick Richard said. More details are here.

Social Venture Partners Tampa Bay joins the St. Pete Catalyst Impact Council

The Impact Council is a collection of carefully selected thought leaders who are pushing the boundaries of local community impact. As a member of the Impact Council SVP Tampa Bay will connect with fellow community leaders to drive awareness of, and engagement in, the issues covered by local charities and community projects. The Impact Council serves as a think tank to work together to develop thanking that it can share with the community. SVP Tampa Bay's partnership will provide a unique voice and professional acumen from engaged philanthropists.

Attorney named to USF St. Pete campus advisory board

Lisa Brody, assistant deputy director and managing attorney for the St. Petersburg office of Bay Area Legal Services, was appointed to the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus advisory board. Brody joined Bay Area Legal Services in 2002 and in her roles, supervises the delivery of high-quality legal services to income-eligible clients in Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties. She has served as an adjunct professor in the paralegal studies program at St. Petersburg College since 2013. She also has a long history of board service and community involvement, including at St. Petersburg Free Clinic, Pinellas Opportunity Council and the Youth Development Foundation of Pinellas Inc. She will serve a four-year term on the St. Petersburg campus advisory board. USF branch campus advisory boards provide for efficient operation and improvement of the campus.

REI donates to nonprofits as it opens in Tampa

REI Co-op will open a 23,000-square-foot store at Midtown Tampa  on March 5. The store will join the co-op’s four existing Florida stores in Jacksonville, Winter Park, Gainesville and Boca Raton. REI, which offers a wide assortment of quality outdoor gear for hiking, camping, paddling and more, is the first store to open at Midtown Tampa, a $500 million, 23-acre mixed-use project at I-275 and Dale Mabry Highway developed by Bromley Companies. As part of the Tampa opening, REI said it would invest a total of $10,000 in two local outdoor nonprofits, through a $5,000 grant to the Friends of Alafia and a second to Florida State Parks to support Hillsborough River State Park. 

Coke Florida donates to Girls Inc., Urban Leagues, Boys & Girls Clubs

Coca-Cola Beverages Florida LLC is celebrating Black History Month 2021 by donating $100,000 in technology to dozens of nonprofit organizations and schools that provide services and resources to students across the state of Florida. The new equipment will help fill the technology gap that has widened as the learning environment has become virtual during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Tampa-based independent bottler said. Among the local recipients are Girls Inc. in Pinellas Park, Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay, and Pinellas County Urban League. 

Jesuit High gets $1 million gift

The CEO of an Ohio real estate firm is donating about $1.1 million to Jesuit High School in Tampa. Steve Wathen, CEO of Equity/ECS, earmarked proceeds from a corporate real estate transaction to Jesuit, a private, all-male Catholic high school. In a news release, Wathen cited Jesuit's commitment to students, including about $2.9 million in financial assistance this year to 40 percent of the student body. Equity/ECS, founded by Wathen in Columbus, Ohio in 1987, expanded to the Tampa Bay are more than 15 years ago, and has a significant presence in the region. 

USF College of Marine Science receives $3 million gift

The University of South Florida has announced a $3 million gift to the USF Foundation that will benefit students in the College of Marine Science. The estate gift from Anne Von Rosenstiel, who passed away in December 2019, will be divided between two existing endowments established by Von Rosenstiel and her late husband, Werner. The Anne and Werner Von Rosenstiel Fellowship in Marine Science facilitates the research of graduate students who are working on projects exploring biological, chemical, geological or physical aspects of ocean/atmospheric systems. Meanwhile, the Von Rosenstiel Innovation Fund for Marine Science enables graduate students to explore ideas that have the potential to advance the field of marine science. The two endowments have benefited more than 80 graduate students since first being formed in 1993.

Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions joins Catalyst Impact Council

ISPS is dedicated to advancing academic excellence, community engagement, civics literacy and public understanding through strategic partnerships and solutions-directed programs. That makes them an invaluable addition to the Catalyst Impact Council. 

Weigh in by Friday: St. Pete 2.0: Establishing priorities for St. Petersburg’s Comprehensive Arts Strategy

Art is an important part of the cultural identity and economy in St. Pete. In October, the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership and City of St. Pete launched a new planning effort to create a Comprehensive Arts Strategy for the community, and your feedback is needed. To complete a survey that will help refine and prioritize some of the themes that have emerged in creating the new strategy, click here. The surveys will close at noon Friday (Jan. 22) so be sure to weigh in now.

The St. Pete Catalyst

The Catalyst honors its name by aggregating & curating the sparks that propel the St Pete engine.  It is a modern news platform, powered by community sourced content and augmented with directed coverage.  Bring your news, your perspective and your spark to the St Pete Catalyst and take your seat at the table.

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