Local Foundations Join a Force for Good

The following guest editorial was published in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune on Sunday, December 29.

Like so many in Sarasota County, and beyond, we are still reeling from the loss of beloved friends and community heroes Charles and Margery Barancik. The inspiration, generosity, and pure love the Baranciks showed our nonprofit and philanthropic community were truly transformational. In their own special and shared ways, Margie and Chuck made every life they touched better, ours included. As both invigorated partners and humble beneficiaries of their passion-driven philanthropy, we feel a high responsibility to learn from and honor their legacy.

Earlier this month, mere days before tragedy struck, each of us accompanied by a board leader represented our foundations at a collegial, constructive meeting that included Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation CEO Teri A Hansen and Chuck Barancik himself. We—along with a leader from each of our boards—gathered to discuss Sarasota County’s biggest issues and opportunities, share progress on respective projects, and explore how we could leverage each other’s work and collaborate in meaningful new ways. Chuck was animated by the idea that even more would be done, together, to improve this community. That energetic drive is one of the things we’ll most warmly remember, and deeply miss, about him. Chuck was a force for good.

In the spirit of collaboration that he and Margie modeled, our foundations are co-investing the final funds to complete two worthy matching challenges issued by Barancik Foundation. One supports vital expansion of safe, enriching programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County’s new club in Arcadia. The Louis and Gloria Flanzer Club will ultimately empower hundreds of deserving children with opportunities that can change their lives. The other will enable Library Foundation for Sarasota County to secure a $1-million endowment to provide for the library system’s Creation Stations forever. These dedicated spaces for hands-on, experiential learning feed curiosity, open minds, expand library use, and bridge generations. What a fitting testament to the Baranciks’ own values.

Jointly contributing to these innovative Barancik Foundation‒led efforts is the least we can do to honor our dear friends in the raw, early days without them. The bigger opportunity to memorialize the Baranciks will come in the months and years ahead, as we strive to sustain and amplify the “ripple effect,” as Margie called it, that this wonderful couple started with the impact of their philanthropy.

Roxie Jerde, Community Foundation of Sarasota County

Mark S. Pritchett, Gulf Coast Community Foundation

Debra Jacobs, The Patterson Foundation

Carol Butera, William G. and Marie Selby Foundation


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