It was 6:30 on a hot and steamy July morning when I arrived at the DeSoto float, the San Cristobal, to start my journey with a group of Manatee County’s finest business leaders, also known as the Crewe of DeSoto. Each crew member is colorfully outfitted in uniform and armed with a variety of beads and coins to greet the groups at the Friendliest Catch Fishing Tournament for the physically and mentally challenged. As the DeSoto float and Crewe arrived at Ken Thompson Park we handed out beads and welcomed groups of individuals from several of Manatee and Sarasota County’s organizations. Based on he smiles and laughter, I would say that it was a good day spent doing what the Hernando DeSoto Historical Society does best: giving back to the community.
This year’s goal as the Crewe of Hernando DeSoto is to represent 100% by making a difference in and around our community. Either by just making a child smile or helping to raise money for a worthy cause, we want to make a difference. With events such as, spending a morning at Camp Flying Eagle with the Boy Scouts, Kiwanis’s Christmas in July, Cornerstone Walk for Life, and the Rubonia Mardi Gras Golf Tournament Fundraiser, Kiwanis Toys-For-Tots just to name a few the 25 plus event appearances in our community.
For over 76 years the Hernando DeSoto Historical Society has been supporting charities and businesses in Manatee County. The DeSoto parade has made an impact on families and put smiles on children’s faces for decades. The Hernando DeSoto Historical Foundation is our way of supporting nonprofit organizations within Manatee County through a grant process of giving back to our community.
Be sure to look out for the Crewe of Hernando DeSoto at a location near you soon!
— Hernando de Soto 2015-2016, Bob Richardson