For the seventh consecutive year, Neal Communities, southwest Florida’s premier private homebuilder, is partnering with Pace Center for Girls of Manatee County as a Diamond Duck sponsor of the nonprofit’s 13th Annual Lucky Ducky Race for Pace.
In addition to its $5,000 donation, Neal Communities’ employees also support the cause. Every year, employees host a team to adopt rubber ducks, raising even more funds to help the Pace Center for Girls of Manatee County. Jackie Polino, online sales coordinator for Neal Communities, has served as the team leader since Neal Communities has sponsored the event.
“I love charity work, and this gives me the opportunity to really make a difference in the lives of the those young ladies who are part of Pace Center for Girls of Manatee County,” Polino said. “It’s really all about the girls.”
On Saturday, June 11, 2022, more than 30,000 adopted rubber ducks will float down the Manatee River, with the luckiest winning prizes for their owners. The race starts at Caddy’s at the Pointe in Bradenton. Ducks are available for purchase now through about thirty minutes before the race starts. All of its proceeds benefit Pace Center for Girls of Manatee County.
“Neal Communities is pleased to continue our support of the Lucky Ducky Race for Pace,” said Pat Neal, founder and chairman of Neal Communities. “Pace Center for Girls makes a difference in the lives of girls within our region, and we are proud to take part in this annual event.”
Pace Center for Girls of Manatee County is a year-round school that provides girls and young women an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training and advocacy. The comprehensive program integrates social services and education in an individualized manner, and it is recognized nationally as one of the most effective programs in the country for keeping adolescent girls out of the juvenile justice system. Pace Center for Girls of Manatee County uses a strengths-based approach that harnesses the unique potential of each girl with a focus on future outcomes. Pace Manatee has worked with more than 1,500 girls over the years and is one of Pace Center’s almost two dozen Florida locations.
As a Diamond level sponsor, Neal Communities’ donation assists Pace Center for Girls of Manatee County with its program and necessities, including uniforms, transportation, supplies and more.
Polino said she enjoys pulling the team of employees together to individually purchase ducks and add to the homebuilder’s support of the organization. “I’m the type of person who loves to rally people and get them excited about important causes. So, it felt natural to say yes when I was asked if I would be the team leader for this event six years ago,” Polino said. “Plus, it’s fun that we get to bring a 14-foot-tall duck into our office.”
Polino is currently arranging for Quacky, the event’s mascot, to walk through Neal Communities offices closer to the race to garner even more individual support from employees.
Neal Communities, based in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, is Southwest Florida’s largest and most established locally owned and operated private builder. During the company’s 50-year history, it has built over 18,000 new homes in more than 90 acclaimed communities from Tampa to Naples. With a core belief that “Where You Live Matters,” Neal Communities has given more than $7.5 million to local charities throughout Southwest Florida and is committed to the communities where they live, work and build.
“Partners like Neal Communities, who invest their resources as well as their time, show our Pace girls how dedicated our community is to their success,” said Amy Wick Mavis, executive Director of Pace Center for Girls of Manatee County. “We are so thankful for Neal Communities and their continued support and passion for our cause.”
For more information about Pace Center for Girls Manatee, visit www.pacecenter.org/locations/manatee. For more information about Lucky Ducky Race for Pace and/or to purchase ducks, visit www.DuckRace.com/Manatee.