All it takes is one person to make a difference: The 2020 Giving Challenge and BIPS

April 24, 2020
By Marcy Shortuse

STAFF REPORT – On Tuesday, April 28 a 24-hour opportunity to support one of the largest and most important nonprofit organizations on the island begins. The Barrier Island Parks Society needs your help, after all tourist opportunities have been closed all season, and all fundraising events have been canceled.

BIPS has grown and preserves and protects three historic structures – The Port Boca Grande Lighthouse & Museum, Amory Memorial Chapel, and the Gasparilla Island Lighthouse, which includes 7.4 acres of natural beachfront property that was restored in 2017. BIPS currently supports four barrier island Florida State Parks in a tri-county area, Cayo Costa, Don Pedro Island and Land Base, Gasparilla Island and Stump Pass Beach. BIPS also manages the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse & Museum gift shop, the Cayo Costa Camp Store and bike and kayak rental program at Cayo Costa. BIPS also supports 97 educational programs in the four affiliated state parks, as well as hosting free family and community events.

Sadly, as so many others, BIPS has had to close their museum, lighthouses and gift shops and cancel their programs and events in the height of their seasonal fundraising, due to Covid-19. BIPS has lost more than $300,000 to date, which is half of the annual budget, and a devastating challenge to overcome.

In light of that, the opportunity to double your monetary gift in 24 hours in the 2020 Giving Challenge – which begins at noon on Tuesday, April 28 and ends at noon on April 29 – is vital to BIPS. You can donate at (go to the search bar and type in BIPS) or by calling the BIPS office at 964-0060.

The 2020 Giving Challenge is presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County with giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation.