From attending a graduation of the Paws & Stripes program of the Central Brevard Humane Society; to a research mission in the Indian River Lagoon of the Sea Turtle Conservancy; and a presentation for Congregations for Community Action of our Food Gap study — if you have attended any nonprofit event in Brevard, you’ve probably seen Sandi Scannelli’s face. As the president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Brevard, Sandi has delved into everything wonderful that is occurring in the nonprofit sector of more than 1,500 public charities including arts and culture, recreation, animal welfare, the environment, community development, education, health and human services, basic needs and emergency services.
“The Community Foundation consists of a family of philanthropists — ever growing in number — who have created individually named funds that are a charitable gift to the community and managed under our umbrella,” Sandi said. “We provide a vehicle for individuals to have the equivalent of their own charitable foundation without some of the challenges and costs of a private foundation.” The Community Foundation also serves as an information and planning resource for donors and the nonprofit community. Last year, connectbrevard.org was developed in partnership with The urban institute and National Center for Charitable Statistics. The site provides information from the IRS 990s on all the non-profits in Brevard County, volunteer opportunities, special community projects and reports, census data, and so much more.
CJ HOBGOOD – WORLD CHAMPION SURFER
CJ Hobgood’s life has been anything but ordinary. After growing up surfing in Satellite Beach, he and his twin brother, Damien, quickly earned spots on the World Tour and had the opportunity to travel the globe, competing against the sport’s best athletes. CJ won Rookie of the Year during his first season in 1999, and by 2001, he was crowned world champion. despite a few bumps in the road, he’s remained one of surfing’s top contenders, and although his tremendous talent in the water is impossible to overlook, he’s equally well known for his gracious personality and eagerness to help others. A strong promoter of good, clean living, CJ has always taken his responsibility as a role model very seriously which is why his latest philanthropic efforts shouldn’t surprise anyone.
Around the beginning of this year, CJ became the official face of Hope Goes Surfing, an offshoot of the nonprofit To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA). The organization aims to help those suffering from depression, mental illness, and addiction and was founded by one of CJ’s childhood friends, Jamie Tworkowski. With Hope Goes Surfing as his main sponsor on the World Tour, CJ is working to bring the TWLOHA message of hope and help to the surf community. Such a close partnership between a professional surfer and a nonprofit is a first, but CJ says he was happy to take on the responsibility. “It’s just about serving people and asking how can I help,” he said. “And I know I’ve got to practice what I preach. I have to deal with the issues in my own life. But whenever you help someone else, you’re the one who’s growing too, so really I’m reaping the benefits.”
JAMIE TWORKOWSKI – FOUNDER, TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS
There are some stories that serve only to entertain or inform, but then there are also stories out there that have the power to change your entire life. This is one of those stories. Around 2006, a man named Jamie Tworkowski, who had grown up in Satellite Beach, was happily working in the surf industry for clothing giants like Quiksilver and Hurley. But then he met a girl named Renee who was struggling with addiction, depression, self-injury, and suicide. She was in a dark place, but she was still holding on to hope. All she needed was for someone to lend a listening ear and hold out a hand. Tworkowski was so inspired that he penned a story about her. It carried a simple message: that hope and help were possible and that people did not need to suffer alone.
The story spread like wildfire over the internet and Jamie quit his job to dedicate himself to the project. It quickly evolved into a nonprofit called To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) based in Melbourne with a website serving as a forum and a line of T-shirts raising money to pay for treatment and therapy programs. And most recently, with the help of a childhood friend, professional surfer CJ Hobgood, he’s bringing TWLOHA’s message to the surfing world with a campaign called “Hope Goes Surfing.” But as the organization has grown, Its simple goal has remained the same.
LYNN BROCKWELL- CAREY
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR BREVARD NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT COALITION
Community redevelopment is fraught with lots of hurdles and some degree of risk-taking. despite the challenges, Lynn Brockwell- Carey, as the founding executive director of The Brevard Neighborhood development Coalition (BNDC), has found much success. BNDC is a faith-based nonprofit community development corporation whose mission is “to plan, facilitate, and implement solutions for the revitalization of impoverished communities.” Lynn explains, “We engage residents, local businesses, churches, and government agencies in efforts to transform under-resourced communities into thriving communities.”BNDC’s three major projects — the Dorcas Outreach Center for Kids (DOCK), Greater Heights and Evans Center — are tangible symbols of neighborhood revitalization in two separate low-income, primarily African-American communities in Brevard County. The DOCK and Greater Heights have helped to transform an entire block in the Booker T. Washington (BTW) neighborhood located in north Melbourne. The DOCK is a community center and safe haven for children ages 5 to 18. BNDC opened the DOCK in a small public housing apartment in 2004. in 2007 the current DOCK structure was built. Last year, over 100 children from the Booker T. Washington neighborhood took advantage of the DOCK’s supervised academic assistance and tutoring, recreational activities, life enrichment opportunities, spiritual guidance, and nutritious snacks.
JERRY H TRACHTMAN – COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER
As a volunteer with Angel Flight Southeast for over twenty years, Jerry Trachtman volunteers to provide free transportation to medical facilities for those who are financially distressed or unable to fly public transportation, using his own plane, fuel and time. “My heart has always gone out to those who have to deal with injuries or health issues that make it difficult to do the day to day things we take for granted,” Jerry said. His service to the community also includes volunteering on the board of directors of the Jewish Federation of Brevard for over 15 years, and serving as its president. He is also on the board of directors of The international Research Foundation for RSD/CRPS. He has practiced law in this area since 1979. But it is clear that flying is his true passion, emceeing The Valiant Air Command’s yearly air show in Titusville every year for the past two decades and also flying for the Veterans Airlift Command, which trans-ports wounded soldiers. “My love of flying goes back to when I was a little kid building model airplanes, and i am very fortunate to be able to fly my own airplane.”