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Business Observer Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021 1 year ago

Foundation commits millions more to park project with fundraising challenge

The Patterson Foundation committed to donating up to $4 million to the park for private philanthropy donations.
by: Amanda Postma Sarasota-Manatee Editor

SARASOTA — The Patterson Foundation announced a second matching challenge in support of The Bay project in Sarasota. 

The foundation will donate $1 million for every $5 million donated by a private philanthropy. The Patterson Foundation has committed up to $4 million in matching funds, which will end with a total of a $24 million investment to the phase. The challenge will continue through 2023, according to a statement. 

The fund match was announced as a way to catalyze private donations toward the completion of phase 1 of The Bay’s master plan.  

The Bay is a community, city and park conservancy initiative to transform 53 acres of city-owned land into a signature public park on Sarasota Bay. The first phase is focused on creating a 10-acre community park, as well as enhancements to the 53-acre site. Thus far, the half mile, 10-foot-wide Mangrove Bayou Walkway, has been opened to the public. 

“The Bay is becoming one of Sarasota’s most welcoming and inclusive spaces because of the focus on transforming an under-utilized and neglected waterfront into an environmental and aesthetic jewel for all to enjoy,” says Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation, in a press release. “While much has been accomplished so far, there is more to be done to complete this crucial first phase. The Patterson Foundation is proud to work with The Bay Park Conservancy and people to propel more excellence at The Bay.”

Since 2016, The Patterson Foundation has provided more than $5 million in catalytic funding and strategic consulting to The Bay project. Previously, the foundation hosted a matching challenge to propel private funding for phase 1 between 2019 and 2021. That challenge raised over $20 million. 

“For more than five years, The Patterson Foundation has been a catalyst and steadfast leadership supporter of The Bay initiative," says AG Lafley, founding CEO of The Bay Park Conservancy, in the release. “Debra Jacobs and her governing board understood the power of gathering our community together, in a public park on The Bay that is open and accessible, free and welcoming to the full and rich diversity of Sarasota.”

The foundation’s focuses on issues that address common aspirations and foster wide participation, along with ways organizations learn and share as they evolve, according to the release. 

The Patterson Foundation had more than $237 million in assets at the end of 2019, according to tax documents posted on its website.

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