CORTEZ – Anyone who has spent any amount of time on Anna Maria Island has certainly seen and probably enjoyed a ride on the trolley.
From City Pier in Anna Maria to Coquina Beach on the southern tip of the Island in Bradenton Beach, the trolley goes just about anywhere – free. This is possible because the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce sells advertising that is prominently featured on each trolley. After taking care of expenses and administrative costs, the remaining money from these ads is dispersed in the form of grants.
The Chamber, in partnership with Manatee County Government, was able to present monetary grants to 13 nonprofits on the Island and in Cortez on Jan. 26 at The Seafood Shack in Cortez, where $19,396 in grants were distributed.
2022 trolley grant recipients
Anna Maria Elementary School
Anna Maria Island Art League
Anna Maria Island Historical Society
Anna Maria Island Privateers
Artists’ Guild Gallery
Friends of the Island Library
Kiwanis Club of Anna Maria
Roser Food Pantry
Roser Memorial Community Church
Rotary Club of Anna Maria
The Center of Anna Maria Island
Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Inc.
Ed Hunzeker, a former Manatee County administrator, along with the late David Teitelbaum, of Anna Maria Island Resorts, founded the trolley program. To date, more than $428,000 has been distributed through the program.
Grant applications are available to Island and Cortez nonprofits in mid-October each year, with completed applications due in mid-December. Grants are typically awarded in January at the Chamber’s monthly social event on the fourth Thursday of the month. More information is available at the Chamber’s website.