‘Share the Love’ tour raises money for local organizations

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On January 31, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., six unique and beautiful Punta Gorda Isles homes and three gardens will be open to tour while supporting New Operation Cooper Street and Back Pack Kidz.

This is the 4th Share the Love for the Kids Home Tour is presented by Beyond Ourselves, the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association’s Community Service Club.

The homes and gardens are scattered throughout Punta Gorda Isles, a waterfront community.

Over the past 5 years, the group has raised over $90,000 for two local organizations New Operation Cooper Street and Back Pack Kids. Both focus on the needs of Charlotte County children.

For many years, New Operation Cooper Street has provided vital educational support as well as cultural stimulation and recreational challenge to children ages five through high school.

Cooper Street’s mission is to assist in the development of the community’s youth by providing valuable and lasting tools to encourage motivation, pride, and the desire to succeed.

In the summer of 2014, members of Beyond Ourselves and friends including volunteers from the PGICA assisted presented a science and environment based three week summer camp. With a very enthusiastic and talented board, the organization is looking forward to a bright future.

Back Pack Kidz was founded by the Yah-Yah Girls, Inc. in 2010 to bridge the weekend hunger gap for hungry children who are part of the school lunch programs. The 100 percent volunteer organization provides a weekend’s worth of nutritious food for 1,500 qualifying children in seven local elementary schools throughout the school year.

At a cost of approximately $5 weekly per backpack, $160 feeds one child for a year. The Back Pack Kidz outreach is continuing to grow and hopes to expand to the remaining three elementary schools next year.

Advance tour tickets are available for $20 in the lobby of the PGICA building, 2001 Shreve St., PG and at both the Punta Gorda and Charlotte County Chambers of Commerce. At the Civic Association, visitors may also buy optional tickets for $20 (tax & tip included) for lunch at the Isles Yacht Club,1780 W. Marion Ave., PG.

On tour day, tickets will be $25 at the Isles Yacht Club where the event begins. While picking up a tour booklet with map, tour goers are encouraged to participate in the basket raffle. With over 40 baskets, everyone has a great chance to take home a wonderful prize.

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