Welcome to the Manatee County Gold Star Club web site!
What do we do?
The Gold Star Club is a group of concerned men and women of Manatee County who have joined together to form an organization that raises reward money for murder and serious crimes against children in our community. The Gold Star Club is comprised of 45 couples as its membership. The officers of the organization meet every month while the general membership meets once a quarter at a planned meeting or special event.
How did it start?
In the fall of 1999, a heinous crime occurred in east Manatee County involving the stabbing death of a young mother and her two young daughters. The Sheriff at that time, Charlie Wells, asked Crime Stoppers of Manatee County if they could handle large sums of reward money being offered to him by members of our community. Crime Stoppers is limited by their by-laws to a maximum of $1000 reward to maintain the anonymity of the tipsters under present IRS rules. Major Ron Getman of the Florida Highway Patrol, was informed of the matter by Frank Brunner, the president of Crime Stoppers, and Nick Gigliotti, a member of Crime Stoppers and the FHP Auxiliary. After numerous meetings and discussions among the three, an organization was formed called the Gold Star Club with the goal of creating a method to receive money from our community to use for the offering of large rewards for murders and serious crimes against children.
How do we raise money?
Once a year the Gold Star Club of Manatee County Inc. conducts a fundraising activity of the year which creates the funds for the rewards we provide to the law enforcement community. Every dollar earned from our fundraiser event is deposited into our Gold Star Club reward fund. Since our organization was formed, we have given over $80,000 in reward money to area law enforcement agencies.