Goodwill to host Veterans Services Program Breakfast & Open House

Guests to learn about veterans program, select business attire, meet special guest 'Rosie the Riveter'

Published Tuesday, October 24, 2017

C.J. Bannister, director of Goodwill Manasota’s Veterans Services Program, with Rob Wagner, executive vice president of Brown & Brown of Sarasota, the sponsor of the breakfast SARASOTA, FL – In advance of Veterans Day, Goodwill Manasota’s Veterans Services Program will host a Breakfast & Open House on Friday, November 10. Guests will have the opportunity to learn about the programs and services Goodwill offers for the benefit of area veterans. There will be a live broadcast by 92.1 CTQ radio personalities Maverick and Lulu, who are both Goodwill Ambassadors. Additionally, Veterans Services Program director C.J. Bannister – the 2015 Woman Veteran of the Year, an honor accorded by the Sarasota County Veterans Commission annually – will make a guest appearance as “Rosie the Riveter.” 

The breakfast will take place from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at the Veterans Services Program office (8490 Lockwood Ridge Rd., Sarasota). Event sponsor is Brown & Brown of Sarasota. In advance of the breakfast, the company held a donation drive for men’s and women’s suits in support of Goodwill’s Suits 4 Vets program –  veterans attending the event may choose a suit to help them to put their best foot forward in today’s job market. 

The event is free and open the public but RSVP requested: (941) 355-2721, ext. 165.

Launched in 2013, Goodwill Manasota’s Veterans Services Program was created to help eliminate barriers to employment, provide opportunities for higher-paying positions for veterans and their families, and connect veterans with needed social services. The program offers crucial support to help veterans reintegrate into their families, communities, and jobs.   

This year’s Veterans Day Parade takes place on November 11 at 10 a.m. After the parade, Bannister will serve as the program’s guest speaker and help honor the 2017 Woman Veteran of the Year. The theme for this year’s parade and ceremony is “We Can Do It!” The phrase was made famous by the fictional WWII-era icon Rosie the Riveter, a symbol meant to inspire and honor the women who took factory positions vacated by men serving in the military. The Sarasota Patriotic Observance Committee plans to recognize those women and honor all female veterans during this year’s event.

“Goodwill Manasota is proud to serve area veterans and honored to have helped 240 veterans to reintegrate back into the civilian workforce last year,” said Goodwill Manasota president and CEO Bob Rosinsky. “We work hard to provide much-needed programs and services for our returning heroes because we believe that veterans deserve to be recognized for their many sacrifices every day – not just on Veterans Day. We hope the community will come out in force to honor our veterans and let them know we appreciate all they have done and continue to do for us.”

For more information about Goodwill’s Veterans Services Program, call (941) 355-2721, ext. 451 or go to


PHOTO ID: C.J. Bannister, director of Goodwill Manasota’s Veterans Services Program, with Rob Wagner, executive vice president of Brown & Brown of Sarasota, the sponsor of the breakfast  

About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2016, Goodwill Manasota served 28,207 people, placed 755 people in jobs and assisted 240 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $92.1 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted more than 40 million pounds out of the landfill. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota, in essence, belongs to this community and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit