Michael and Karen Valentino
People here have the mindset to give back, that is part of the culture of philanthropy that makes Sarasota diﬀerent,” says Michael Valentino, a longtime Healthcare Foundation donor. “There are over 400 galas each year, which sounds silly until you realize that means there are over 400 causes our community supports.”
Michael and his wife Karen seem to have boundless enthusiasm for giving back to this community. All three donate their time and energy in a myriad of ways. Karen is currently the Chairman of the Board for the Child Protection Center, an organization she’s been heavily involved in for years. Michael served as a board member for All Faith’s Food Bank for ﬁve years, and currently volunteers on the Healthcare Foundation Board. “I get a direct opportunity to shape the thinking of the Healthcare Foundation,” he says. “Exceptional healthcare in our community beneﬁts everyone.”
The Valentino’s have a similar story to many Sarasota residents visiting the area for business meetings and family vacations. Eventually, they left their New Jersey home to take advantage of our region’s warmer winters making Sarasota their permanent home over a decade ago.
“I came to Sarasota every summer with my grandparents,” says Karen, “before the Ringling Bridge even existed.” Which partially explains her desire to give back to a city she’s loved since she was a little girl. But she feels it’s just logical to contribute to your community. “It’s economics,” she says. “You improve the value of your property where you have good healthcare. The arts are wonderful, but we’re all aging, so the primary focus becomes having access to the best healthcare.”
“Each of us can take stock,” says Michael. “You don’t stop to realize just how many people you know and how many of them will react if you bring them the message in a logical way. Some people just need to be connected with the right causes for the right reasons.”
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