Sarasota News Leader


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possibility for many," he said, adding, "[We] never give up on people." Noting that funding, which is provided by the Florida Department of Health, is inadequate and fundraising a challenge, Beesley asked the audience members, "Help us to save lives today and many days in the future." Peter Abbott, chairman of the First Step Board of Directors, followed up on the financial aspect of First Step's services. He stated the cost of caring for an addicted newborn ranges between $250,000 and $500,000. "Addiction services are a tough sell," he pointed out, even though addiction "impacts family, employees, friends." He added, "We're here to help save lives." The luncheon included a live auction, a silent auction and a raffle. In addition, the orchid centerpieces at each table were available for purchase. The program began with a vocal presenta- tion by Devin Bradbury, a 17-year-old student at Booker High School who has appeared in several performances at the Sarasota Opera House. For more information on First Step or the Mothers and Infants program, contact Kelly French at First Step, 552-2065 or kfrench@; or go to % Luncheon attendees are gathered at Michael's on East. Photo by Vicki Chatley Sarasota News Leader February 21, 2014 Page 75

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