Doing Good Together in Sarasota

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Sweet bundles of joy! Three babies, their families and an entire community came together at our 2024 Doing Good Together reception April 10 at Gold Coast Eagle Distributing in Sarasota.

(See photos from the event below!)

The annual receptions, held in each region we serve, are a way to thank our volunteers, donors and community partners.

At the Sarasota reception, we had the honor of twin girls Alora and Zhuri, who attended with their mom, Amber Nolan, to recognize Bob and Ellie Cederoth as our Host Family of the Year. The Cederoths hosted the baby girls and became like family to Amber, who spoke from the heart as she presented a DOie award to the couple.

From left: Bob and Ellie Cederoth with Amber Nolan and her twin girls.
Moments by Kinfay/Better Together

“Even after their hosting was done, they still kept in touch and helped me out if I needed them,” Amber told us before the event.

Little Tristan attended with his mom, Karlee Kutscher, who cheered on Lorraine Daidone as she received the Mentor of the Year award.

“I’m grateful having her around and being able to call her a friend,” Karlee said. “Having her to talk to helps me keep moving forward.”

We were incredibly moved by all who attended. Possibly the biggest group in attendance: The Manatee County office of the Florida Department of Children and Families. We are so grateful for your partnership in strengthening families.

This year, we changed the awards a bit. We wanted them to mean as much as the support you all give to the families we serve. So this year, we introduced the DOie awards. That’s “do,” as in the recipients are doing good. In the tradition of prized baseball cards, we commemorated the contributions of our Sarasota-Manatee community through these DOie awards, each card featuring images from our work together and a personalized quote.

This year’s DOie award honorees in the greater Sarasota area are:

Mentor of the Year

Lorraine Daidone
Lorraine shares her story of hardship, recovery and redemption to help bring hope to others. She’s been a valued guest speaker at our parents’ luncheon, and she comes alongside our families as a volunteer mentor.

“I’m grateful having her around and being able to call her a friend. Having her to talk to helps me keep moving forward.”
— Karlee Kutscher, mom of Tristan

Super Volunteer of the Year

Amanda Reuter
Amanda goes above and beyond in sharing our mission. She has introduced us to several community partners and other churches. She serves as our ministry lead at First Baptist Arcadia, the first church to partner with us in DeSoto County. Plus, she and her family are an active volunteer host family for Better Together.

“Amanda opened up her doors and arms to my young girls and I. In the most rough time of my life, she was the kindest soul and the hand up I needed to keep my family Better Together. “
— Maria Perez

Doug Campbell Generosity Award

Grace Community Church
Grace was the first church to partner with Better Together in the Sarasota area, and the congregation continues to generously support the organization and mission. On Giving Tuesday 2023, Grace donated $25,000 to Better Together.

Host Family of the Year

Robert and Eleonora Cederoth
Bob and Ellie have had a tremendous impact on families in the Sarasota area. The children they’ve welcomed into their home include a teenager, a child with autism who was nonverbal and sweet twin baby girls.

“Bob and Ellie went from being just a host to extended family. Even after their hosting was done, they still kept in touch and helped me out if I needed them.”
— Amber Nolan, mom of twins

DCF Partner of the Year

Artoria Cunningham
Artoria is a champion for families. She never gives up and will work morning to night to assure a family has a sustainable plan. She keeps herself open to creative solutions, and her passion for the whole family is evident in her work.

Church Partner of the Year

West Bradenton Baptist Church
Pastor Tim Stephenson and the West Bradenton church readily host events that help our families find connection and relief, like the J316 Summer Soccer Camp and Parents’ Night Out. For our holiday Parents’ Night Out, they planned an evening of crafts, Christmas carols and other activities.

Community Partner of the Year

Free to Grow Academy
Pastors Rachel and Reno Flournoy help in numerous ways. They often partner with Better Together for Parents’ Night Out and other events. They even partnered with us to provide a daycare scholarship for two young children, which opened the door for a family to be able to host the boys and keep them out of foster care.

Staff Appreciation Award

Amancia Calderon
A member of our development team, Amancia keeps our supporters updated on the impact we are making in the community and helps plan events like our receptions. Her family serves alongside her, too, at Parents’ Nights Out, educational lunches, church presentations, and even going door to door to reach families after Hurricane Ian. We are incredibly grateful for her commitment to serve families.

Special thanks to our generous sponsors:



You’ll find upcoming Doing Good Together receptions in our online calendar.

Coverage of past receptions can be found in our blog.

Posted April 11, 2024

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