people working in garden

$100,000 Humana grant awarded to Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful

The Humana Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Humana Inc., has awarded a one-time, $100,000 grant to Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful as part of its 2013 Humana Communities Benefit-Tampa Bay charitable giving program.

With the $100,000 Humana Communities Benefit-Tampa Bay grant, Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful will develop the Florida Learning Garden, a permanent, one-acre interactive experience at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. The Florida Learning Garden is designed to educate area residents and visitors on multiple growing techniques and sustainable practices to use in their homes and gardens.

“This transformational grant from Humana will enable us to make the Florida Learning Garden a reality” said Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful Executive Director Debra Evenson. “Our goals with this project are to spur an interest in outdoor activities; inspire volunteers to develop an appreciation for our Florida landscape; and improve green spaces in our communities all across Tampa Bay.”

Since 1989, Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful has been providing environmental education and volunteer opportunities for more than a million local residents in the areas of litter prevention, waste reduction, conservation and beautification.
The award was presented Oct. 24 at the 2013 Humana Communities Benefit-Tampa Bay grant celebration event in Tampa. The Humana Foundation received 40 applications from Tampa Bay nonprofit groups and charitable organizations seeking the $100,000 signature grant.

A diverse panel of local judges, comprised of community leaders, public officials and business representatives, worked with the Humana Foundation to select the 2013 grant recipient.

“We’re very pleased to award this year’s Humana charitable grant to an outstanding nonprofit organization like Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, which engages our bay area community through education, the environment and events.” said Dr. Theo Sai, Humana Central Florida Senior Products chief medical officer and 2013 Humana Communities Benefit-Tampa Bay co-chair.

Two other 2013 Humana Communities Benefit-Tampa Bay finalists were awarded smaller grants from the Humana Foundation during this year’s celebratory gala:

  • St. Peter Claver Catholic School: The oldest African-American school in the state of Florida, dating back to 1894, St. Peter Claver’s mission is to provide a safe, nurturing learning environment, while building the character of each student. Today, the Tampa school serves nearly 170 students, offering pre K through eighth-grade classes. For more information, visit http://www.stpeterclavercatholicschool.org/.
  • Starting Right, Now: The Tampa nonprofit aims to end homelessness for a family or unaccompanied youth by helping its participants obtain housing and a job; learn financial literacy; thrive academically; and plan for their future. Each youngster is paired with a personal mentor who offers emotional support and consistency. For more information, go to http://www.startingrightnow.org/.

Returning in 2013 after a four-year absence, the Humana Communities Benefit-Tampa Bay charitable giving program, funded by the Humana Foundation, awards a one-time, $100,000 signature grant to a Tampa Bay area nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization focused on improving health experiences or building healthy communities in the areas of childhood health, intergenerational health and active lifestyles.

Nationwide, this year marks the 10th anniversary of the Humana Communities Benefit program, which is now active in eight cities across the country.

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