The Campo Y and Water Smart Tots were the recipients of a donation of more than $20,000 for water safety programs from Chicks for Charities.

For 11 years, the Chicks for Charities, also known locally as Charity Chicks, has supported the local area’s children’s charities. With annual fun events including Ladies Movie Nights, bunco and even annual cruises for a cause, the group of ladies from the community have been making a difference.

For 2020, the charity of choice for the 11th annual Chicks for Charities Cruise was water safety programs for children, and the cruise on Royal Caribbean was scheduled just as the COVID-19 quarantine hit, so all cruises were cancelled.

However, the pre-cruise events still happened and Royal Caribbean continued with its commitment and donation. Water Smart Tots and the Campo YMCA were both recipients of the more than $20,000 donation.

YMCA Director Jarrod Williams was thrilled and honored to be a part of the campaign. “We just can’t tell you how much this donation means to the Y this year, it will help us make a big difference for water safety programs for children,” he said.

Tammy Holmberg, owner of Chick-fil-A at Lake Brandon Village and Chick-fil-A Brandon South on Bloomingdale Ave., was inspired to start up the gathering of women doing good as a part of her Brandon Honorary Mayor campaign in 2008-09.

The events Holmberg held during her campaign were so popular that she decided to continue hosting, such as Ladies Movie Nights, Sketch and Sip Classes, Cards for Troops, bunco and the Chicks Cruisin’ for a Cause.

Chicks for Charities has helped more than a dozen local charities and has donated more than $160,000 over 11 years, and as its popularity grew, so has the impact it has been able to make on the community.

The group is not like most other clubs or organizations, as being a member does not require any dues payments and there are no meetings.

“It is a gathering of like-minded local women who support our local charities here in Brandon. We like to get together and have fun and help a charity, that is what we are all about,” said Holmberg.

The group, sponsored by businesses like Chick-fil-A, Green Boutique, Osprey Observer Newspapers, Canine Cabana, Cardinal Roofing and many more, is simply dedicated to hosting events and raising money for local children’s causes.

Other than the events happening in the Brandon community throughout the year, Chicks for Charities also goes on its annual cruise. Like the name implies, the cruise is a ladies-only opportunity for women to have a little fun and do a lot of good for a charity.

For more information about Chicks for Charities, visit its Facebook page or email chicksforcharities@gmail.com.