Butterfly Release

Butterflies are a symbol.
of the changing colors of life.

Their amazing metamorphosis symbolizes rebirth, at times
consoling us and always inspiring strength, joy and hope.

The month of May traditionally marks the start of a season of remembrance and new beginnings – with Mother’s Day and Memorial Day as well as graduations, weddings and other celebrations filling our calendars.


On May 31, 2023 we gathered for our butterfly release. These Painted Lady butterflies signify strength, joy and hope. Thank you to all who have donated to honor or remember someone special in their lives and assist cancer patients in need.

Jennifer BradleyIn Memory of Randy Meeker
Robin RiedingerIn Memory of Jeff Hill
Marcellis Barrios
Robin KapusteinIn Memory of Iris Kapustein
Robin KapusteinIn Memory of Elaine Benen
Anna GallardoIn Memory of Petronila Gallardo
April WilsonIn Memory of Brandi Riber
Julie SheltonIn Memory of Laura Emmett
Kristie TealIn Honor of FCS Foundation Team
John SodeikaIn Honor of Dr. Mark Rubin and Dr. Judy Wang
William GivenIn Memory of Patti Rae Given
Lynn CowdrightIn Memory of Howard and Marge Lee
Bill CowdrightIn Memory of Peg and Bill Cowdright
Linda RyanIn Honor of Me Strong
Rosemary PfreundschuhIn Memory of Doris
Marie EngelIn Honor of Lori
Brian GarnantIn Memory of Olivia Krizman
Michele YoungIn Memory of Craig Young
Dana HernandezIn Memory of her Aunt
Julie KirbyIn Memory of Wanda Minton
Yamirka RodtiguezDonation
Ana ColonIn Memory of Eric Yael Garcia
Kelly DeanIn Honor of Katie Graves
Delaney MeekIn Memory of Richard C. Meek Sr.
Shannon ToresonIn Memory of Special Sister-in-Law, Stephanie
Mary Margaret BarnhartIn Memory of Father Ken Barnhart
Katherine LazoIn Memory of Guy Samuelson
Pedro Lopez ColonIn Memory of Abuela (Grandmother) Maria
Kim BeckerIn Memory of Patricia J. Becker
Diane ChapkaIn Memory of Halina Gnatuik
Marjan ZaunDonation
Margaret SapienzaIn Memory of Stephanie Rodin
Ellen PerryIn Memory of Lloyd "Andy" Anderson
Bridget KellyIn Memory of Alma Spurlin and Waren Spurlin
with thanks to Dr. Chu and his team
Lubia CarnetDonation
Michelle ReinhardIn Honor of June Hissong
Jane PorterIn Memory of her mother, Rita Klugmann
Amanda TennisonIn Honor of Carol Sommerville, her Mother
Lacey GebbenIn Honor of herself
Michelle DoneyIn Memory of Bill and Laverne Whitney
and Michelle Whitney Delbonifro
Jennifer Merens LeakeIn Honor of her amazing parents
Lynn RasysIn Memory of Mom and Memere
Andrea CirabisiIn Honor of Nancy Frate and Ruth Tomidy
Ed RasysIn Memory of Lillian, Carl and Peter Rasys
Michael WolfIn Memory of Kristin Wolf
Melissa MillerIn Memory of Jen Rogers
Janet HowardIn Memory of Jonathan Colin Howard
Dwight MartinIn Memory of Normal M Roy
Dwight MartinIn Honor of Dr. Elizabeth Gaincial
& FCS Sarasota Personnel
Diane ClarkDonation
Marcelite Manuel-MillerIn Memory of Edlee S. Manuel Jr.
Cathy CaulleyIn Memory of Leo Cybulski Sr.
Michael CaulleyIn Memory of Leo Cybulski Jr.
Olivia JurigaIn Memory of Lori Carter
Melissa MillerIn Honor of Michael Botti
Mildred Ortega RoldanIn Honor of Joel D Mulero
Stacey SamuelsonIn Memory of Guy R. Samuelson
Kimberlyn RossmanIn Memory of Dene Shickel
Karen ZegaIn Memory of Gary "Papa" Zega
Jenny DonahueIn Memory of Theresa J Oliver
Monique LamarIn Honor of the Queens of
Omega Xi Delta Sorority Inc.
Mary PhelanIn Memory of Katie Outlaw
Ana ColonIn Memory of Izavette;
Baby Wave and The twins
Donna MaliziaIn Memory of Mary Manzoni
Margaret CoursenIn Honor of MaryEllen VanUiter,
RN Oncology Nurse Extraordinaire
Kelly EllisIn Honor of all the cancer patients
Marisa BerkIn Memory of Lil Routman
Dwight and Patricia MartinIn Memory of Janice Martin
Cheryl Dziura-DukeIn Memory of Jeannine Richards
Deborah PetruzzielloIn Memory of Mike Petruzziello
Catherine SweeneyIn Memory of Donald J. Sweeney
Tom and Tawnya BrannanIn Memory of Dr. Rennie M. Crane
Anne LenneyDonation
Dr. Raul StoreyIn Honor of Raul Storey Jr.

Meet Antonio Azzato, the visionary behind the Las Meninas Sculpture Project. To continue the successful and positive spirit of the Las Meninas project in Madrid, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) and Healing Arts in Medicine are bringing Antonio Azzato’s vision to the United States for the first time.

Azzato was born and raised in Venezuela and has Italian and Spanish roots. He has raised more than 550K euros for different charitable foundations. His experience in the engineering, business, marketing, and interior design fields has given him the technical and artistic training to develop his Meninas Gallery project, which has positioned the silhouette of the Menina as the new icon of the city of Madrid, where he currently resides. Learn more about Antonio here.

The History of "Las Meninas"

Painted by Diego Velázquez in 1656,“Las Meninas” translates to Ladies in Waiting.  Considered a masterpiece depicting life in the court of King Philip IV of Spain, the painting represents a turning point in art history for the way in which Velázquez broke from the stiff formal portraits that typically defined royal subjects.

What is the Las Meninas Sculpture Project?

Inspired by the iconic painting “Las Meninas,” which translates to “Ladies in Waiting,” Spanish artist and sculptor Antonio Azzato created larger than life-size statues, fashioned in the shape of the Ladies in Waiting in the famous painting, that have been displayed in the streets of Madrid every fall since 2018.  The statues are painted by various Spanish artists and celebrities and used to raise money for different charities.  For the project with Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS), smaller statues that are white, like a blank canvas, will be distributed to 12 designated FCS clinics. Together with local artists, patients will bring their Las Meninas vision to life, giving each statue its own unique theme and color palette.

One World to Heal

Once complete, the Las Meninas sculptures will be on display in local communities, raising awareness of the extreme healing power of art in medicine. After a months-long tour of the state, each will be placed on auction. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation. The Foundation assists cancer patients in need in Florida with essential everyday living expenses.

Contacte a FCSF

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After Your Event

Don’t Forget to Thank Everyone for Their Support


  • Thank your sponsors, committee members and other special supporters immediately after the event. A hand-written note, phone call or personal email will be greatly appreciated and will encourage supporters to come back next time!

  • Post ‘Thank You’ messages and photos on social media.

  • Mail a check to:
    Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation
    5985 Silver Falls Run, Suite 210
    Bradenton, FL 34211

  • Once we receive your donation, an acknowledgement letter will be sent to you for tax purposes.


Thank you for hosting a successful event that helps cancer patients in need!

Use Various Media to Maximize Publicity for Your Event

These publicity tips and tools will help increase exposure for your event through various media, at very little cost. (Media outlets could include local radio, TV and newspapers, community calendars, social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, etc.).

Create a Timeline to Maximize Publicity

A realistic timeline is important in planning a publicity strategy for your event. Keep this timeline in mind as you put together a publicity plan:

3-4 months before the event:
Identify your target audience based on demographics, interests, and location; develop a targeted media list.

4-6 weeks before the event:
Distribute media materials (i.e., media alert, listing on a community calendar, Facebook posts, Instagram, etc.). Be creative in developing the media materials – what makes your fundraiser different? Media outlets receive hundreds of requests to publicize non-profit events; they can’t publicize everyone – so make sure that YOUR EVENT is so special, different and appealing that it will be hard for the media outlet to resist!

2 weeks before the event:
Make follow-up calls and send e-mails to local media who received the information. Re-send information if they have not received it.

1-2 days before the event:
Email and/or fax a media alert with the basic information about your event (who, what, when, where and why) to the TV news assignment desks and photo desks at the daily or weekly newspapers.

Take Lots of Photos

Photos are a great way to document your event, whether for publicity or simply to share with family and friends. Here are some tips on capturing special moments at your fundraiser:
  • Write out a targeted shot list in advance to make sure you get photos of everything and everyone
  • Take candid and close-up shots that capture the different aspects of your fundraiser
  • Capture images of your sponsors
  • Include three to four people in a photo for the best publicity shot
  • If taking photos on your phone, turn your phone in the horizontal position
  • Send photos to Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation for approved use on social media and website (Please make sure you have permission from the individuals in the photo and include their names)

Ideas for Your Fundraiser Event

The following are just a few ideas for your community fundraiser.  We suggest thinking of something you enjoy doing (e.g., book club, cooking, golf, tennis, bingo, music) and working to add a fundraising component into that. This way, you are not starting from scratch and, in addition to giving back to a great cause, you are doing something you love!

You can easily raise money on your Facebook page by clicking on “Raise Money” on your post, including a special message of inspiration or in celebration of your birthday or notable anniversary.

Do you have an upcoming birthday, anniversary, shower, or bar/bat mitzvah? Consider contributing to FCS Foundation, in lieu of personal gifts – and ask your friends and family to do the same. This is a great way to get the kids involved!

Throw a cocktail party in your home or at a local restaurant or bar. Many venues provide great deals for non-profit events. For example, ask your friends to donate $50 per person to attend — if you spend no more than $20 per person on the food, you will have a good amount left over after expenses to donate. Include a chance drawing or auction to increase revenue.

Ask friends and neighbors to clean out their basement or garage for a good cause. Organize a garage sale, and you’ll clean out your house while supporting cancer patients in need in our community at the same time!

Whether planning a small golf outing with friends and family or a larger tournament for your business, think about making every stroke really count by partnering with us to give back to the patients at FCS Foundation!

Are you a local independent business owner, restaurant or retail owner who is looking to align with a great cause? Whether donating a percentage of proceeds for a day, or a week, or simply collecting an ‘extra tip’ for the FCS Foundation, you can make a difference while you work.

Kids love to help!  Have fun with your students teaching them about the meaning of philanthropy, with anything from a read-a-thon to a bake sale. Be creative! We’d love to hear about your school fundraiser ideas and stories.

Many marketing/promotional item companies offer a lot of discounted items. Create T-shirts, bracelets, key chains, etc., and sell them at a price more than your cost to create revenue.

This is a fun way to raise funds while increasing awareness about pediatric illnesses. Host your trivia night at a restaurant or other local establishment and invite between 10 and 50 of your friends and family.

Hold a bingo night and charge people to play ($20 for 4 cards, $40 for 8 cards, etc.) Instead of cash prizes, the prizes are designer or vintage purses that have been donated. One of the trendiest and easiest events to organize!

Getting Started

Deciding to host a community fundraiser for the FCS Foundation is a huge accomplishment in itself — thank you!

Here are 10 steps to help you get started:

1. Form a planning committee. Bring together a group of enthusiastic, dedicated people, who share a passion and interest in raising money for cancer patients and their families. This will increase the probability of a successful event.

2. Brainstorm. Members of your planning committee can brainstorm ideas for your fundraiser. Let your imagination guide you — and be sure to consider the special talents of committee members and their contacts in the community! The more people who participate in the planning phase, the more committed they’ll be later.

3. Choose the “right” event. The type of event you choose should fit the size, interests, talents, goals, and time availability of your planning committee.

4. Identify your target audience. Consider who is most likely to attend and support the type of event you have selected. Will the event appeal to everyone? families? adults only?

5. Develop a budget. Try to identify all the expenses involved with your event (invitations, postage, rental space, signage, food and catering, promotional materials, website, advertising, etc.) Then think about possible sources of funds, including people and companies you know that may be able to donate products (food, equipment) or services (graphic design, printing, photography) to reduce your costs. This will help keep your costs down, which is something everyone will appreciate.

6. Develop an event timeline. A timeline is important in planning a publicity strategy for your event. Work backwards from the event date – publicity should start four to six weeks prior to the event.

7. Schedule the event. Select a time that is appropriate and convenient for those who will be attending. Be sure to check local community calendars for conflicting events.

8. Open a bank account. You may find that you will need to establish a bank account to accommodate incoming revenue and expenses. This can be done by visiting a local bank and creating a business account under your event’s name.

9. Collect all funds. We ask that all event proceeds designated for the FCS Foundation be forwarded to the Foundation within 30 days following the conclusion of your event.

10. Say thank you! Sending thank-you letters, notes, or e-mails to everyone who participated in or supported your event shows your appreciation and reinforces their goodwill about the Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation.