Presentation at annual fundraising event underscores support for people with disabilities in Florida communities.
Circle K Florida, the largest corporate supporter of United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), presented UCP affiliates with an oversized check for $552,837.73 during an awards dinner and ceremony at the company’s FishStix 2012, an annual golf and fishing tournament at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa in Fort Myers, Fla.
The amount represents the proceeds that were raised from last year’s FishStix event and funds raised through canister donations and other in-store promotions from June 2011— March 2012.
The check presentation ceremony included Circle K Florida executives, regional operations directors and store managers; UCP executives from the Florida affiliates that benefit from Circle K Florida donations; and executives and staff from UCP’s national office in Washington, DC.
UCP shared a special video highlighting UCP clients from six UCP Florida affiliates that were featured in UCP and Circle K’s “Adopt a Child/Adopt a Life” campaign this year. The campaign celebrates and promotes the tremendous difference that Circle K has made in communities across Florida by featuring the story and photo of a UCP client on each coin collection canister that lives in the region that that particular store serves. The campaign helps emphasize that Circle K customers who donate at the register are supporting those in their immediate community.
“Without Circle K’s support, there are many types of services that we provide that we couldn’t continue to provide. Circle K Florida has such a huge impact— hundreds of thousands of people are impacted by their support, just in our territory alone,” said Craig Byrd, executive director of UCP of East Central Florida, in the video.
“Circle K Florida cares deeply about the communities where we have stores and operate,” explained Darrell Davis, vice president of Circle K Florida. “It is paramount for Circle K Florida to give back to the people that we serve, and our decades-long partnership with UCP will continue to raise funds that serve local people with disabilities, making Florida communities stronger and inclusive of everyone.”
“UCP is grateful to Circle K Florida for its unwavering support of our affiliates serving people with disabilities in their local communities,” said UCP President & CEO Stephen Bennett. “The partnership with Circle K Florida is unlike any other corporate partnership, because Circle K Florida’s culture has made fundraising for UCP a part of the company culture for thousands of Circle K employees over decades, significantly furthering UCP’s mission to advance independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities.”
Acclaimed actress, comedian, author and disability advocate Geri Jewell was on hand to entertain attendees and celebrate the importance of Circle K Florida’s partnership with UCP. Jewell is best known as Cousin Geri on the NBC sitcom, “The Facts of Life” and was the first person with a disability to have a regular role on a prime time series. She began her career doing stand up comedy at the Comedy Store in 1978.
After her ground breaking role on “The Facts of Life,” she has appeared on such shows as “The Great Space Coaster,” the Emmy award-winning movie Two of a Kind, “Sesame Street,” “21 Jump Street,” “The Young and the Restless,” “Strong Medicine,” and the HBO hit series, “Deadwood.” Jewell just recently released her autobiography, I’m Walking As Straight as I Can: Transcending Disability in Hollywood and Beyond. Just this week, the book was acknowledged with a first place prize in the memoirs category of the Independent Publisher Book Awards.
Jewell entertained the audience with stories from her varied career in Hollywood and experiences as a person with a disability. She emphasized that the real disabilities in life are prejudice, negativity and hatred.