The Gold Star Club of Manatee County Inc. was formed in 1999 at the request of Sheriff Charles Wells by a group of concerned citizens for the purpose of supporting Manatee County law enforcement agencies by providing large sums of reward money to assist in the arrest and conviction of criminals who commit serious crimes in Manatee County. Although the rewards target those wanted for serious crimes against children, rewards are also offered for other crimes such as Murder. The Gold Star Club operates in supportive partnership with Crimestoppers of Manatee County, which provides a separate reward for information leading to the arrest of criminals.
Posting and Payment of Rewards
When the Sheriff of Manatee County or other law enforcement agency Chief or Director makes a request to the President of the Gold Star Club for a reward to be offered, the Executive Board is convened. A vote of the Executive Board is taken to fund the reward and to set the amount. Once approved, a press release is distributed to the news media advising the community of the posting of the reward. The reward amount and the summary of the crime is also posted on the Gold Star Club web site.
Upon arrest of the person responsible, the Gold Star Club will make payment of the reward to the person determined by the Sheriff of Manatee County, Crimestoppers, or other authorized source to be the recipient.
The Gold Star Club is limited to 45 couples as it’s members. Membership is full with no anticipation of adding additional members. General membership meetings are held once each year. All work in the organization is performed by volunteers. The Gold Star Club has no paid employees.
All income for the organization is derived from donations made by individuals, business and corporate entities of the community. Income is derived from fundraising efforts or direct donations.
The Gold Star Club is registered with the State of Florida as a charitable organization and is authorized to solicit funds in Florida.
The Gold Star Club is approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a charitable organization and has received 501c-3 certification.
The Gold Star Club is lawfully incorporated in Florida as the Gold Star Club of Manatee County Inc.
Gold Star Club Management
The management of the Gold Star Club is by an Executive Board appointed by the Chairman. The Executive Board meets once each month to discuss issues of the Gold Star Club.
The Executive Board consists of the following:
President- Ron Getman, Major (retired) Former commander of Troop F Florida Highway Patrol and former (retired) Manatee County Commissioner. Owner of Getman Cruise & Travel, LLC
Vice President of Operations Marianne Barnebey, Former City of Bradenton Councilwoman.
Vice President of Administration - John Schweigart
Secretary - Connie Motes, Former Human Resource manager for Gevity.
Treasurer - Vicki Getman Formerly with Barnett Bank, Gold Bank, Commercial Loans