Bradenton, FL, February 16, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- Neal Communities recently continued its support of local children by sponsoring the 5th Annual Leadership Pray Breakfast benefiting Take Stock in Children of Manatee County. Pat Neal announced the special guest, Bishop Frank Dewane of the Diocese of Venice, at the event. The keynote speaker was Mark Fernandez, senior vice president of the Tampa Bay Rays. Hundreds of local dignitaries, business, religious, educational, and community leaders were in attendance.
“We have long been ardent supporters of education and programs that help children,” stated Neal Communities’ president, Pat Neal. “We’re genuinely inspired by the work of Take Stock in Children which is one of the most effective programs I’ve seen for giving young people hope for the future and real opportunities to become valuable members of their communities.”
“We are honored that Neal Communities would select the Take Stock in Children college mentoring and scholarship program to receive their support. Their ongoing investment in our children and community contributes to a higher quality of life for many families,” said Take Stock In Children’s executive director, Diana Dill.
The proceeds of the event raised scholarship dollars, which were matched by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation, to benefit Take Stock in Children of Manatee County.
The Take Stock in Children program currently has over 300 students and mentors throughout the Manatee County school district and 200 students attending college through the generosity of the community. Students are accepted as early as the sixth grade through an application process. Once the student is selected, the student, along with their parent or guardian, signs a performance contract committing to good grades and behavior, remaining drug and crime free, and agreeing to meet with a mentor for thirty minutes per week, every week during the school year, on campus. Upon graduation, as long as the student has maintained their agreement, they receive a 4 year college scholarship. The Take Stock in Children program has a 96% success rate of students staying in school and receiving their diplomas. Many go on to college and successfully enter the workforce.
“This is a model that works from both a business and a humanitarian perspective,” added Neal.
Neal Communities is recognized for its philanthropy in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. The company’s president, Pat Neal, has received the Legislative Service Award, the Audubon Society Legislative Award, the Award for Meritorious Public Service, The Lakewood Ranch Community Fund Humanitarian of the Year award, and many other awards and recognition for service and philanthropy. Neal Communities was recently named one of 2012’s “America’s Best Builders” by BUILDER Magazine. The company is ranked #1 locally by Metrostudy and Hanley Wood Market Intelligence based on number of home sales. With over 8,600 homes built in Southwest Florida, Neal Communities’ honors and accolades include 37 Parade of Homes 2011 awards, 48 Aurora Awards, 5 Best in American Living Awards, and hundreds of local and regional industry awards. For more information, please visit www.nealcommunities.com.