Courtesy photo (From left) Walt Lincer, president of the Foundation Board, Director of Development at Highlands County Habitat for Humanity Sarah Pallone, Habitat volunteer and Sarah's guest and mom Jane Pallone and Steve Caruso, CEO Florida's Natural Growers.
published: Sunday, November 04, 2012
Florida's Natural Growers Foundation awards record amount in 2012
Special to the News-Sun
In four years, the Florida's Natural Growers Foundation awarded grants totaling nearly $500,000. For 2012, 48 organizations will benefit from grants awarded by the Foundation. Florida's Natural Growers Foundation is pleased to announce the 2012 organizations receiving grant awards. The awards were presented at the Florida's Natural Grove House Visitor Center on Nov. 1.
"We are pleased to include so many organizations in our grant awards this year. We know that the Central Florida area benefits from this charitable giving from the Florida's Natural Growers Foundation," said Walt Lincer, president of the Foundation Board. Activities from children and adult literacy programs to at-risk youth activities are included.
"Fourteen of the organizations were recommended by our grower members," Lincer explained, "that select organizations in their respective communities where there is need."
The Florida's Natural Charity Classic, a golf tournament held in March, provides the majority of the funding for the foundation together with company as well as private donations. "Supporting our local communities is important to our cooperative and our corporate culture," Lincer said.
Organizations receiving grants for 2012 from the Florida's Natural Growers Foundation include: Achievement Academy, The Way Center - Women and Youth Center Inc., Frostproof Care Center Inc., Help of Fort Meade Inc., Historic Lake Wales Society, Samaritan's Touch Care Center, Breakfast Rotary, Lake Wales Kiwanis Foundation, Fort Meade Middle/High School, YMCA of Winter Haven, Polk State College Foundation, Polk Training for Handicapped Citizens Inc., Junior League of Winter Haven, Redlands Christian Migrant Association, Junior League of Greater Lakeland, Our Children's Academy & Rehab, Heartland Food Reservoir, Scholarship Recognition Inc., Southeastern University, Umatilla Kiwanis Club, Citrus Center Boys & Girls Clubs-Winter Haven, Citrus Center Boys & Girls Clubs-Lake Wales, Citrus Center Boys & Girls Clubs-Haines City, Lake Wales Care Center, Mason Smoak Foundation, Leadership Hendry and Glades Counties, Inc., Polk Education Foundation, Florida Specialty Crop Foundation, Red Cross of Mid Florida, Lake Wales Soccer Club, Habitat for Humanity, Highlands County, Habitat for Humanity, Winter Haven, Polk County Agri-fest/Polk County Farm Bureau, Good Shepherd Hospice, The Randy Roberts Foundation, United Way of Central Florida/ Family Fundamentals, Lake Wales Literacy Council, Lake Wales Charter Schools, Lake Wales Family Literacy Council , Lake Wales High School Academic Foundation, Inc., Lake Wales YMCA, Sertoma Camp Endeavor, United Way - Let's Grow Initiative - Success by 6, Webber International University , Bok Tower Gardens, Explorations V Children's Museum, Florida Engineering Society Ridge Chapter - MATH COUNTS, and Circle of Friends.
First formed in 1933, the growers' cooperative was named Florida Citrus Canners Cooperative, as its main function was canning grapefruit sections and juice for its grower members.
After the development of frozen concentrated juices in the 1940's, the cooperative invested in the necessary infrastructure and became one of the largest juice processors in the state. In 1969, the Canners Cooperative eventually changed its name to Citrus World, Inc. to better reflect its diverse product line.
The cooperative now uses Florida's Natural Growers as its name.
Florida's Natural Growers is comprised of fourteen grower organizations representing almost 1,000 individual growers who own nearly 50,000 acres of citrus in Florida. Florida's Natural Growers operates its processing plant in Lake Wales, with a juice packaging plant in Umatilla. The Lake Wales facility employs 650 employees and can extract more than 9 million pounds of fruit every 24 hours in peak season.
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