And the Academy Award for Community Partnerships Goes to…

And the Academy Award for Community Partnerships Goes to…

Our Journey to Wellness luncheon was the perfect opportunity to recognize an Academy champion.

As we prepared for our recent “Journey to Wellness” Luncheon, we were tasked with choosing a recipient for the highly coveted Academy Award. This time around, selecting a winner was a no-brainer. Given the wellness theme, and the focus on our newly implemented FIT Initiative (an acronym for Fully in Transformation), the winner of the award was none other than the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation. The Barancik Foundation has been instrumental in our pursuit of holistic health, based on the eight dimensions of wellness (physical, emotional, environmental, social, occupational, spiritual, intellectual and financial) by funding a comprehensive program that allows us to tailor activities to our members’ needs, and includes a research component in collaboration with an assistant research professor at the University of South Florida, Dr. Roxann Taormina. 

This is not the first time that the Barancik Foundation has been a transformational influence on the Academy. Back in 2018, they funded an initiative that facilitated the growth of a burgeoning young adult population. The impact was profound as our community was invigorated by the ideas and creative input from our newest members ages 18-29. They continue to keep us on our toes!

The FIT Initiative has been similarly transformative. With members engaged in wellness-based activities every day, the results have been exciting. Through attending financial workshops with our colleagues at Truist Bank, some members have shared that they are able to maintain a budget for the first time in their lives. Those who are joining us at the gym twice a week report better sleep and eating habits, increased mobility and lower blood pressure. A weekly wellness-themed book club has members branching out to explore new health topics that weren’t previously on their radar. None of this would have been possible without the generosity of the Barancik Foundation.

And so, with all the fanfare of that other Academy Award program, member Ian Churchill welcomed an unsuspecting guest to the stage, Barancik Foundation’s Collaboration and Impact Officer, Matt Sauer. He, along with Ev Bosque, Greg Luberecki, and Daqone Tirene were presented with the golden trophy inscribed with our message of deep gratitude. Matt accepted the award on behalf of the foundation and spoke enthusiastically about the longstanding relationship between our organizations, and the satisfaction of seeing us grow and thrive since our inception. As a rule, we are thoughtful to align ourselves with community partners who share our ideals and values, and when it comes to the Barancik Foundation, we’ve found a perfect FIT.

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