Dottie Berger MacKinnon, visionary and founder of Kids Charity of Tampa Bay and A Kid's Place, was selected as a recipient of The Simply Smart Make A Difference, Taste A Difference Award. Earlier this month, tennis legend and Simply Smart spokesperson, Chris Evert, presented MacKinnon with a donation of $7,500.


Every once in a while, you get lucky enough to meet someone who truly makes a difference in someone’s life. Earlier this month, at the Glazer Children’s Museum, Dottie Berger MacKinnon was honored for her selfless dedication to making the lives of thousands of abused and neglected children better in the Tampa Bay area.
Hood Simply Smart Milk selected MacKinnon, founder of Kids Charity of Tampa Bay and A Kid’s Place, as one of three recipients of its “Make A Difference, Taste A Difference” program, which recognizes local women making a difference in their communities. Simply Smart spokesperson and tennis legend, Chris Evert presented MacKinnon with a donation of $7,500 at the Kids Charity of Tampa Bay’s 2011 Donor Appreciation Luncheon.
Sarina Fazan, of ABC Action News, who served as emcee said, “Dottie makes me a better person just by knowing her. I see her imprint on the community everywhere.” Evert, who has served as the Simply Smart spokesperson for three years said, “When I first saw Dottie, I could tell that this is a woman who cares.” Evert was able to tour A Kid’s Place following the luncheon.
MacKinnon said, “It’s great to get recognized, but I didn’t do all of this alone. I have to thank my family, friends and donors without whom this all would not have been possible.” MacKinnon added, “The support from this community is outstanding.” MacKinnon has spent a lifetime being an advocate for foster children.
MacKinnon, along with DeDe Grundle, founded Kids Charity of Tampa Bay in 2005. The mission of the organization is to improve the quality of life for abused, abandoned and neglected children by providing advocacy, opportunities, support and resources. One of the initiatives of Kids Charity of Tampa Bay is A Kid’s Place, a 60-bed residential care facility, which allows siblings to stay together in a home-like setting until placement can be found. A Kid’s Place takes children from newborn through 17.
Grundle, who was also honored for her work, said, “This was a momentous project. It’s not just the money, but it’s also the time and commitment that has made Kids Charity of Tampa Bay and A Kid’s Place what they are today.”
A Kid’s Place is located at 1715 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Brandon.
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