TAMPA, Fla. — Imagine keeping a promise for 62 years, through two generations. Now, imagine that promise was worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Friday, a Tampa organization that helps hundreds of people with disabilities received a very special gift.
The Krewe of West Tampa, formerly known as the Sherife Association of West Tampa, presented the Macdonald Training Center (MTC) with two checks. One was made out to the training center and the other was in the same amount for the parent's group that helps organize activities for adults with disabilities.
Both checks were made out for $154,220.
Darrin Guam, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the MacDonald Training Center said the gift made him speechless.
“It’s life-changing for the people we serve and their parents and those are the people who really need the money,” he explained.
The money will go a long way towards helping with job training and building independence in the hundreds of people they serve, which is a mission that helped founder J. Clifford MacDonald win the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Yet, it’s not just about the donation, but rather a promise made more than 60 years ago.
Back in 1959, the West Tampa Sherife Association vowed that if they ever sold their building they would give a portion of the proceeds to the MacDonald Training Center.
So, when the pandemic forced the krewe to sell, they knew they’d make good on that deal.
“It just says so much about the krewe of West Tampa and the people of Tampa. We’re just blown away,” Guam said.
“We’re happy to help and why not help each other? This is what we are supposed to be doing anyway,” Amanda Stephens of the Krewe of West Tampa added.
For an organization that’s given back to the community for more than seven decades, the gift is a reminder that kindness always comes back, even when you least expect it.
“It’s so heartwarming right before the holidays to get a huge gift. It shows how much generosity and how unselfish people in Tampa are. They made a commitment back in the 1950s and here we are 60+ years later fulfilling their promise and we had no idea about it. It was just on their own they did that,” Guam explained.