The United Way of Martin County Foundation recently presented Bob and Karen Croce with the 2022 Frances Langford Humanitarian Award during a reception held at Sailfish Point.
The couple was honored for their ongoing philanthropic endeavors directly benefiting United Way and a multitude of nonprofit organizations throughout the community.
"We made a conscious decision to give back to the community through United Way because they provide a broad spectrum of services to address many issues -- from helping victims of domestic violence to youth substance abuse to caring for the elderly. It is the most efficient and strategic way to help local people reach their full potential," Bob Croce said.
The Croces have a long history of supporting the United Way. Before relocating to Florida, Bob was involved with a United Way in New Jersey for 15 years, serving as campaign chair and chairman of the board. Bob and Karen have supported United Way of Martin County as Tocqueville donors since 1989. Bob also served as chair of United Way of Martin County's Tocqueville Society for 10 years. Over the years, Bob and Karen have supported other nonprofit organizations, including the Children's Home Society, Hibiscus Children's Center, Project Lift, Florida Oceanographic Society, Treasure Coast Food Bank, Sailfish Point Foundation, Molly's House, Hope Center for Autism, and the Martin Health Foundation.
The couple's heartfelt compassion earned them the prestigious Frances Langford Humanitarian Award that recognizes community leaders who, like Langford, demonstrate the caring commitment and compassion for humanity in their lives and deeds.
During the reception, the United Way Foundation also announced that it is halfway to its goal of building the organization's endowment fund to $13 million. Once this goal is reached, the interest earned on the invested principal will generate an additional $500,000 annually that United Way can infuse back into our community every year. "Building our endowment will ensure stable funding during challenging economic times – like now – when human service needs are heightened. It will also expand capacity for emergency response programs in times of crisis or natural disaster," said Stephen Pinnacoli, United Way of Martin County Foundation Chair.
Previous humanitarian award recipients include:
2011 – Robert & Carol Weissman
2013 – Barbara Briggs Trimble
2014 – Prestley & Helen Blake
2015 – Douglass & Patricia Stewart
2016 – John & Susan Sullivan
2017 – H. William Lichtenberger
2018 – Bob & Jan Crandall & Bill & Audrey Crandall
2019 – Joe & Margaret Richebourg Temple
2020 - John & Linda Loewenberg
2021 – Fred & Betty Kopf
The Frances Langford Humanitarian Award sculpture is a signature piece by Geoffrey C. Smith created especially for the United Way of Martin County Foundation.
Top reception sponsors included Bob Crandall, Bill and Audrey Crandall, John and Linda Loewenberg, Robert and Carol Weissman, Saelzer/Atlas Wealth Management Group of Raymond James and H.W. Lichtenberger.
The Frances Langford Humanitarian Award reception is the signature event of the United Way of Martin County Foundation. The Foundation is an independent public charity uniquely positioned to accept legacy gifts and build an endowment fund to meet the current and future unmet needs of Martin County.
United Way of Martin County's mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community. Since 1972, the United Way has been working to create long-term social change and provide support to Martin County residents by investing in programs that strive to enhance healthy living, improve education and support financial stability.
For more information about United Way of Martin County Foundation, visit www.UnitedWayMartin.org/Foundation or call 772-283-4800, ext. 2212.