The Friends of Stump Pass want to raise enough to buy an all-terrain vehicle for the state rangers at Stump Pass Beach State Park at the southern tip of Manasota Key.

They’re hoping others will want to help out.

The nonprofit friends group is now collecting donations and plans its first fundraiser, a “Beach Bash for Stump Pass,” scheduled for Jan. 25 at the Lighthouse Grill at Stump Pass Marina.

The fundraising bash will include live Caribbean music, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and free boat rides (while seats last and if the weather permits). This is included in the ticket price. The event will also see a cash bar, silent auction and a beautiful sunset if the weather permits.

Additionally, the Friends of Stump Pass are offering raffle tickets for a week-long Vacation Getaway at the Orange Lake Resort in Kissimmee. The winner will vacation in a two-bedroom, two-bath villa at the 1,450-acre resort near Disney World.

Donation tickets are $25 each or five tickets for $100. Chance tickets will be available for purchase for the “picnic pavilion by the flagpole” at Stump Pass Beach State Park. The drawing will be held at 6:45 p.m. during the Beach Bash party at 6:45 pm. Winner need not be present.

All the funds raised will stay at Stump Pass Beach.

Library and other volunteer friends groups help to support libraries, parks and other facilities throughout the state. The 45-member Friends of Stump Pass help provide services, like beach cleanups, and amenities that are not provided in the state park’s budgets. Like other state parks, Stump Pass is funded primarily with revenue from parking fees.

The 1.3-mile-long public Stump Pass State Beach was originally the Port Charlotte Beach State Recreation Area. The beach had been acquired by the county from the defunct General Development Corp.

In 1970, the state acquired the beach and, in 1971, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection took over its management. For decades, the beach had only four parking spaces and no amenities. It sat for decades without any amenities.

But then, in 2000, thanks to state and local funding, the state built the existing parking lot with additional spaces, restrooms, dune walkovers and a nature trail along Lemon Bay. The nonprofit friends group for Stump Pass first organized in 2018 to help support the beach.

Sponsorships in support of Stump Pass State Beach are welcomed and available for businesses and individuals. To donate, mail checks to the Friends of Stump Pass, PO Box 935, Englewood, FL 34295.

For more information about Friends of Stump Pass, visit their Facebook page or email FriendsofStumpPass@gmail.com.

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