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Community business: a check for Meals on Wheels

Neighborly Care Network’s marketing director Sandy Narron, left, and Erika Vrakas, AmeriLife’s College Colors coordinator, display a donation check.

Neighborly Care Network

Neighborly Care Network’s marketing director Sandy Narron, left, and Erika Vrakas, AmeriLife’s College Colors coordinator, display a donation check.

Business briefs

AmeriLife, a Clearwater-based national insurance marketing group at 2650 McCormick Drive, recently presented a check for $4,458 to Neighborly Care Network Inc., the non-profit organization that operates the nation's first federally funded Meals on Wheels program for home-bound seniors.

Founded in 1966, the Neighborly Care Network has been providing health, transportation and wellness programs for the elderly, and launched the nation's first Meals on Wheels all-volunteer food delivery program in 1968.

Meals on Wheels provides nutritious, home-delivered meals to as many as 1,000 frail, sick and home-bound Pinellas County residents every day, according to Sandy Narron, Neighborly Care's marketing director.

Throughout the years, the organization has dealt with escalating fuel prices, federal funding restrictions and the increasing demand for assistance, and is grateful for the AmeriLife donation.

"We'll use this contribution to buy gas cards for our volunteers," Narron said. "That way the volunteers may continue to deliver these much-needed meals to our hundreds of clients all across Pinellas County."

The donation was the result of AmeriLife CEO Tim North's most recent community outreach campaign, College Colors: Cheering for Charity. During the fundraiser, AmeriLife employees were able to purchase a season ticket (or donate weekly) to dress casually on Fridays throughout the 2012-2013 college football season and bowl games. The employees also selected the charity for which they "cheered."

• • •

ACF Tampa Bay Culinary Association Inc. was honored this month as the American Culinary Federation Inc. Southeast Region Chapter of the Year, and the same chapter, along with four others, received an ACF Chapter Achievement Award at the 2013 ACF Southeast Regional Conference in Louisville, Ky.

ACF Southeast Region vice president Jeff Bacon, who is a certified executive chef and culinary administrator and a member of the American Academy of Chefs, presented the award to the ACF Tampa Bay Culinary Association Inc. for its exemplary performance within the community and to the culinary industry over the past year.

In addition, Bacon presented ACF Southeast Region Chapter Achievement Awards to chapters that have maintained or increased a strong membership; held a culinary competition, certification practical test or other ACF-approved event in the last 12 months; nominated an outstanding and dedicated member for a 2013 award; contributed to the community by participating in a fundraising function; and positively represented the chapter and ACF in the community and culinary industry.

Established in 1929, the American Culinary Federation Inc. has more than 20,000 members spanning 200 chapters nationwide. The federation offers educational resources, training, apprenticeship and programmatic accreditation and operates a comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States.

Mail business news to Tampa Bay Times, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756; fax to (727) 441-4119; or email nbeall@tampabay.com.

Community business: a check for Meals on Wheels 03/21/13 [Last modified: Thursday, March 21, 2013 7:36pm]
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