Former Florida House Speaker Allan Bense is donating $10,000 to the LEAD Coalition of Bay County, according to a Tuesday announcement from the organization.
Bense, a businessman who represented part of Bay County during his time in the Florida House from 1998 to 2006, agreed to make the donation after discussions with LEAD leadership about their goals for 2022. In the statement, he said LEAD plays “a critical role in our community”.
“They have made a dramatic difference in the lives of our at-risk youth and made our entire community a better place to live,” Bense said. “Having lived here all my life, it is truly heartening to see how LEAD shows our youth there is hope and there is a way to a better life for each of them.”
LEAD is a nonprofit formed in 2014 that works to help Bay County’s underserved neighborhoods by running programs, such as health clinics and after-school programs, to ease the burdens caused by poverty. LEAD has now raised more than $35,000 since October following Bense’s contribution.
LEAD Coalition Executive Director Janice Lucas said receiving those donations is “uplifting,” and the money will be used to help underserved children, families and businesses.
“We can only achieve our mission to build trust, increase safety and restore targeted neighborhoods with the support of caring people in Bay County,” she said. “Achieving these donation goals shows we have that support.”