Benefiting Our Community 

...Twenty Years and Growing

Last year marked the twentieth anniversary of the Sarasota Military Officers Foundation, Inc., honored to be serving our community of over 88,000 Veterans and 40,000 Sarasota County school students. Our Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, established by the Military Officers Association of Sarasota to support community outreach programs throughout the greater Sarasota & Manatee region. We are an all-volunteer Veteran’s organization and, as such, are very frugal with our donors’ contributions. Other than regulatory fees, postage and printing costs, your donations are used to support our programs. We focus our efforts in six areas:

  1. Awarding educational and vocational merit-based scholarships to qualified, high-achieving high school seniors;
  2. Providing Veteran educational financial aid to returning Veterans to attend local educational institutions;
  3. Sponsoring the American Flag Initiative, a 10-lesson curriculum to educate our elementary school children on the origin, history and meaning of the American Flag.
  4. Supporting the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) programs and the maintenance of their training facilities;
  5. Sending care packages to deployed troops under the Support Our Troops Program (SOT)
  6. Sponsoring patriotic, educational and inspirational public events for our community and Veterans.

Foundation Brochure

Learn About our Foundation in more detail.

  • Our Leadership
  • Our Partnerships
  • Foundation Donations
    • Sarasota Military Officers Foundation (SMOF)

      Our Foundation’s bedrock support is from our members, their friends and the greater Sarasota community’s generous contributions. We rely heavily on the donations from our Chapter members and the Pops Orchestra subscribers - but we need your help too. We are most interested in developing long-term relationships with patriots like you who want to uphold traditional values of respect for our country and our nation’s flag. Individual donations are the lifeline to making our programs work. It allows us to address the growing need in our community to support our youth, returning servicemen and women reentering civilian life and honoring our Veterans.  At any time during the year donations may be made either on line through the Community Foundation of Sarasota or by mail.

      Donate by Mail Donate Online

      All donations are deposited with the Sarasota Military Officers Foundation, Inc. a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling Toll-free 1-800-435-7352 (or 1-800-352-9832 en espanol) or going on the department’s website Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state. One hundred percent (100%) of the donation is received by the Sarasota Military Officers Foundation, registered #SC-02471.

      The Community Foundation of Sarasota

      The Community Foundation of Sarasota County, INC. is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. a copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the division of consumer services by calling toll-free within the state (1-800-help-fla) or from the website: Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state. One hundred percent (100%) of each contribution is received by The Community Foundation of Sarasota Count. Registration #SC-02471.

  • Foundation Sponsorships
    • Our Chapter is over 325 members strong, the third largest in Florida. Your sponsorship will be recognized on both the Military Officers Association of Sarasota and the Sarasota Military Officers Foundation’s web site, recognized at our monthly luncheons at the Bird Key Yacht Club and in our monthly newsletter The Sarasota Breeze. Our community events are widely publicized through social and print media, as well as local radio and television.

      Our next major event is Celebrating The Stars & Stripes on President’s Day February 17th, 2020 at Patriot Plaza, Sarasota National Cemetery. The Pops Orchestra and Vane Scott will once again perform for our community free of charge. Sponsors are recognized in the concert programs that are attended by thousands in our community, as supporting the community initiatives and honoring our local Veterans. With over 70,000 Veterans and their families living in our community, this is truly a unique and yearlong opportunity to promote your company or association.

      Founding $5,000
      Patriot  $2,500
      Minuteman $1,000
      Contributor $ 100 < $1,000
      Donor <$100
      All contributions are appreciated.

      We wish to thank the sponsors who have already committed to sponsor Celebrating The Stars & Stripes event on President's Day 2020. We are truly grateful to those who support our Veterans  and community.

       Veteran Air Conditioning & Heating

       Tidewell Hospice
       The Pops Orchestra
       Freeman Design Group
       US Tent


      Become a friend and sponsor. Join us in supporting local Veteran activities and attending upcoming events and concerts with VIP seating. We look forward to meeting you and providing more information on how you can make a difference.


      Brian McCarthy, RADM, SC, USNR(Ret)
      Executive Director
      Claire Power 
      Director & Chair, Scholarship Committee
      Valerie McCarthy
      Chair, American Flag Initiative & Veteran Financial Aid

  • High School Scholarships
      The Foundation's scholarship program, was established in 1998. Over the years the program has grown and evolved to address the award recipients' needs. Our present program addresses the needs of high school seniors enrolled in the JROTC program and those deserving to be recognized for their outstanding academic accomplishments. Scholarships are being awarded to graduating seniors at Booker High School, Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School, Pine View School, Riverview High School, Sarasota High School, Sarasota Military Academy and Suncoast Polytechnic High School.

      Our high school scholarships have helped students from all walks of life with their college needs. Scholarship winners have been students bound for the Service Academies, rural and urban students, abandoned children, students living with friends and young women trying to break the bonds of poverty.


      Scholarship winners will be advised in writing of their award. The awards letter will instruct the recipient as to the requirement to furnish the Scholarship Committee chair proof of enrollment (not an acceptance letter) from the college, university or technical school they will be attending. When these documents have been received the check will be issued and presented at the awards dinner on May 17, 2019 at the Bird Key Yacht Club or, if unable to attend, mailed to the winner at his or her home of record. If the scholarship winner has not complied with this requirement by January 31st of the following year, the award will be forfeited. Completed applications must be submitted to the Scholarship Committee chair no later than:

      DEADLINE - 12:00 NOON, 31 March, of each year.

      The high school program provides deserving local youth a financial jump-start on their post high school education. For the purposes of the scholarship program, post high school education is defined as enrollment in an accredited college, university or technical school (online programs do not qualify for the scholarship). In 2014 the Foundation Board of Directors approved a scholarship program for honorably discharged returning veterans attending accredited local colleges and technical schools. These veterans scholarships are needs based and are awarded in coordination with local education institutions financial aid offices.

      1. One (1) each JROTC scholarship for a senior at Booker, Riverview, Sarasota and Sarasota Military Academy and Venice High School;
      2. Eight (8) merit scholarships open to any senior in schools located in the greater Sarasota area. These scholarships consist of four (4)  merit scholarships underwritten by the Foundation and four (4) underwritten by the William E. Schmidt Foundation. A senior member of the school’s academic department must endorse the school's scholarship applications; and
      3. Should a JROTC scholarship or a Foundation merit scholarship not be utilized due to non-submission, non-selection or ineligibility of the nominee, the scholarship money may be reallocated by the Scholarship Committee. 

      1. An applicant must have a minimum of 3.0 GPA;
      2. If a student has taken the SAT’s, he or she must have a Minimum SAT score of 1,000 (out of a maximum of 1600) to apply for a Sarasota Military Officers Scholarship. Any student submitting an ACT score must have a minimum score of 22 (out of a maximum of 36);
      3. Super Score - A student may create a Super Score;
      4. Complete the Application in full; and
      5. Attach copies of all documents enumerated on the bottom of page 4 of the application. This will include Official Signed transcripts

      The  Scholarship Committee chair will visit each area high school to advertise and promote the program. In addition, letters will be sent to each school guidance counselor and Senior Army Instructor (SAI) to focus their attention on the opportunities available to their students. 

       REMEMBER: Completed applications must be submitted to the Scholarship Committee chair no later than 12:00 pm March 31st, of each year.

  • Support Our Troops
    • The Foundation sponsors the Support Our Troops Initiative (SOT), which sends care packages to our troops serving in combat areas. Most of the country is unaware that we have over 150,000 troops deployed overseas, 45,000 of which are attached to the U.S. Central Command’s [CENTCOM] area of responsibility. The CENTCOM region includes 20 countries, stretching from Northeast Africa across the Middle East to Central and South Asia. Our troops are separated from their home and families, often for 6 months to a year. Nothing is more welcome that a package from home, recognizing and appreciating the sacrifice they are making for us. Our Foundation has sent over 50,000 boxes to our troops! We know they appreciate our efforts from the numerous letters of appreciation we receive, some of which are posted below. Throughout the year, we pass out SOT boxes in our community at events, parades and to our sister veteran organizations.

      Learn More
    • An Elementary School Education Program

      In partnership with The Patterson Foundation, the Sarasota County School Board, and numerous other organizations, our Foundation introduced the American Flag Initiative in October 2013 to educate the community’s children; the public; and the greater Sarasota/Manatee business community on the origin, history, and meaning of the American Flag; the importance of patriotism and respect for the flag; as well as the proper protocols for the flag’s display and retirement. With our Chapter’s support, the Sarasota County educators developed an Academic Curriculum consisting of ten (10) fifty-minute lessons of classroom instruction for 4th grade students to be taught by their teachers and a visiting instructional team consisting of a retired/former military officer; a JROTC Cadet from our local high school; and a Senior Level Scout from the Girl Scouts. This program has subsequently been replicated in other communities throughout Florida and the United States. Our Foundation publishes, OLD GLORY, a guide to displaying and honoring our Nation’s flag. We also organize old and damaged flag collections throughout the Sarasota and Manatee
      counties for appropriate disposal.

      We hope that you enjoyed had an opportunity to attend our "Celebration of the Stars & Stripes" on Flag Day, June 2015, and on June 2016 at Sarasota's Patriot Plaza. Our next celebration will take place on President's Day Monday, February 17, 2020, also at Patriot Plaza at the Sarasota National Cemetery.

      Meet Our 4th Grade "Old Glory" Graduates!! Watch Our American Flag Video!! Folding Our Flag

      Our American Flag Protocol Initiative has four major components:

      1. An Academic Curriculum consisting of ten (10) 50-minute lessons of in-classroom instruction for 4th grade students that will be presented by their assigned teachers and a visiting instructional team consisting of a MOAA member, JROTC Cadets from either Sarasota Military Academy, Sarasota, Booker, Riverview, Venice or North Port High Schools, and Senior Level Scouts from the Girl Scouts of Gulf-coast Florida;
      2. The opportunity for teachers and/or school principals to request that a veteran organization color guard conduct a formal retreat ceremony on school grounds to demonstrate respect, patriotism and proper flag protocol;
      3. An extensive outreach program to area businesses and civic organizations consisting of both hard copy and electronic media outlining the proper use and display of the American Flag;
      4. And finally, the conduct of an Annual American Flag Collection and Retirement Ceremony for old and/or damaged flags that will be widely advertised and open to the general public.
      Certificate of Completion Old Glory brochure

      American Flag Protocol Curriculum Lessons

      Lesson 1 Lesson 2 Lesson 3
      Lesson 4 Lesson 5 Lesson 6
      Lesson 7 Lesson 8 Lesson 9
        Lesson 10  

      Valerie McCarthy
      Chair, American Flag Protocol Initiative

  • Veteran Financial Aid
    • Several years ago, we initiated our Veterans Educational Financial Aid Program for honorably discharged and returning Veterans attending accredited local colleges and technical schools. These Veterans’ aid awards are needs-based and are awarded in coordination with local education institutions’ financial aid offices. This year we anticipate awarding $10,000 in need- based awards, which include such items as transportation to and from college, course books, supplies and lab equipment. Items not covered by the GI Bill. Funds are currently allocated to USF Sarasota-Manatee, the State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota, the Manatee Technical College and the Manatee Technical College - West. Specific award criteria have been developed by our Scholarship Committee and administered by our Veteran Financial Aid Committee and the respective college/university financial aid office. The awards are administered by each individual college/university.

      In addition to our Foundation donation activities and the Patterson Foundation’s Giving Challenge, these veteran awards are underwritten by a grant from the William E. Schmidt Foundation, established by Veteran and philanthropist, Bill Schmidt, Capt USAF (Retired), a decorated WWII pilot. We have also formed a long-term strategic partnership with the community-based Pops Orchestra for Bradenton & Sarasota. Past events have included free concerts at Patriot Plaza, at the Sarasota National Cemetery, and most recently veteran concerts at the Riverview Arts Centre and the Neel Performing Arts Center from which The Pops Orchestra generously contributes 100% of their profits to our Foundation, earmarked for our Veterans educational assistance.

      Our Educational Partners
      State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota
      University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee
      Manatee Technical College - East
      Manatee Technical College - West
      Southeaster Guide Dogs
      MOAA Foundation [Heritage Society Member]

  • JROTC Support
    • The Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps

      The Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) is a federal program sponsored by the United States Armed Forces in high schools and some middle schools across the United States and United States military bases across the world. The program was originally created as part of the National Defense Act of 1916 and later expanded under the 1964 ROTC Vitalization Act. The purpose of JROTC is "to instill in students in secondary educational institutions the values of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment. Additional objectives are established by the service departments of the Department of Defense. The Department of the Army has declared those objectives for each cadet to be:

      1. Developing citizenship and patriotism
      2. Developing self-reliance and responsiveness to all authority
      3. Improving the ability to communicate well both orally and in writing.
      4. Developing an appreciation of the importance of physical fitness.
      5. Increasing a respect for the role of the U.S. Armed Forces in support of national objectives.
      6. Developing a knowledge of team building skills and basic military skills.
      7. Taking 1-3 years of the course grants cadets the ability to rank higher if they pursue a military career.
      Our Chapter supports the JROTC programs throughout Sarasota County.
      • Booker High School
      • Venice High School
      • Riverview High School
      • Sarasota Military Academy
      • Sarasota High School

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We are an affiliate of the Military Officers Association of America [MOAA]. And the third largest chapter in Florida with over 300 active members.

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