Gecko Season is more than just a good time – it’s also a fundraiser for charity.
Last year, the Gulfport Merchant’s Chamber (GMC) Community Support Application opened to any organization that met Gecko criteria. In the end, the GMC chose two charities for funds generated through this year’s Gecko World festivities: Suncoast Voices for Children and the Sonia Plotnick Foundation.
“Since Gecko World was canceled last year, we reconsidered our previous applications for this year,” said GMC President Barbabra Banno. “We have a working partnership with Sonia Plotnick … [and] Suncoast Voices for Children really tugged at our heartstrings.”
The 2021 Gecko season is now extended until October with the last-minute reschedule of Gecko Ball due to concerns about the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
That doesn’t change where the funds – a percentage of the money made from the festivities – will go, only the potential amounts.
The biggest moneymakers? Gecko Ball and Pub Crawl.
“We’d like to make anywhere from $500 to $2,000 for each charity,” Banno said. “A lot depends on the future, if we’ll even have a ball this year.”
Meet the Charities
The St. Petersburg-based Suncoast Voices for Children works with the Pinellas Sheriff’s Office’s Child Protection Division to provide aid for neglected or abandoned children.
The charity works to give clothing, resources, extracurricular activities, tutoring and more to struggling children in Pinellas and Pasco.
The Sonia Plotnick Foundation works to fund women’s healthcare needs as well as provide financial assistance for the education of lesbians studying in a healthcare field, and continuing medical field education for all women.