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Our Story


Our Story

since 2014 We have led the effort to invest in diversity, inclusion and equality for our community.


To promote equality and inspire inclusion across the community by awarding grants for significant charitable and economic initiatives.

Guiding Principles***

  • To serve the community.

  • To promote a wider visibility of the LGBT community.

  • To promote a wider acceptance of the LGBT community by setting a philanthropic example.


A fully accepting and inclusive Pensacola that embraces the LGBT citizens and their contributions to the community.

OUR Story

Sunday's Child was formed by ten friends in the fall of 2013. Together, they sought to create a culture and community of acceptance for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) individuals in the Pensacola Bay Area through giving. To achieve this, they looked to a local successful women's group as their charity model, and quickly found a vehicle for impacting the change they envisioned.

Now, armed with a mission to award grants for significant charitable and economic initiatives that promote diversity, inclusion and equality; and inspired by the nursery rhyme, Monday's Child,—as well as the leadership of Pensacola Impact100—these ten friends formed the founding members of Sunday's Child.

In June of 2014 Sunday's Child was organized as a Florida 501(c)3 non profit organization. 

Today, Sunday's Child members donate $1,000 annually. These funds are pooled at the end of the year and divided into $25,000 to $50,000 grants, which are then awarded to eligible, local non-profits or initiatives that address a community need, while also promoting the adoption and compliance of a non-discrimination policy that is comprehensive and addresses LGBT individuals as well.  In addition, they must show their ability in being an inclusive organization that values diversity. 

Past Recipients:   2015 Grant Winners   2016 Grant Winners   2017 Grant Winners

Sunday's Child has no paid staff and is organized, maintained and managed by volunteers. Our leadership, including board members and committee chairs, are not compensated for their contribution or efforts. Membership dues are used exclusively for awarding grants and is never used for administrative or operational costs. 


Frequently Asked Questions About Sunday's Child

Sunday's Child is named after a nursery rhyme, entitled Monday's Child:

Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go,
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonnie and blithe and good and gay.

*Our Mission Statement describes the purpose of Sunday’s Child. It guides present actions/decision-making of Sunday’s Child, spells out our overall goal, provides a path for decision-making. It provides the framework or context within which Sunday’s Child’s strategies are formulated. 

**Our Vision Statement is a picture of Sunday’s Child in the future; it is our inspiration and the framework for where we wish to go. 

***Our Guiding Principles describe the Sunday’s Child’s beliefs and philosophy pertaining to quality assurance and performance improvement.  These are the guide-posts that keep us in check as we move forward down our path.  The principles guide us as to what Sunday’s Child does, why it does it and how.










board of directors

Our Board of Directors are comprised of a talented and diverse group of professionals who are truly passionate about the mission of Sunday's Child. Each board member brings his and her own respective talents to the organization to help it realize its vision. Sunday's Child members are encouraged to participate as a board member or a committee member. 



Drew was born and raised on the Gulf Coast and moved to Pensacola in 2014 after serving on active duty as a combat correspondent with the U.S. Air Force. He has always been an advocate and voice within the communities he’s called home. Drew currently serves as publisher of The Pulse, a digitally-native newspaper serving Pensacola and the Gulf Coast.



Gary Rhodes, a Montgomery Alabama native, received a B.S. in Business Administration in 1991 from Auburn University at Montgomery. After a short career in retail management he decided to make a change and went back to school for Management Information Technology graduating in 1995.  

He has spent the last 21 years in the software and database development business primarily on Department of Defense contracts. He moved to Pensacola in 2001 and is currently employed by CSRA Inc. specializing in database development and interface communications for a Navy financial system.  Gary is the proud father of one young adult son that lives in the area.  

Pensacola has definitely become home to Gary.  In his free time you will most likely find him socializing and attending events downtown or laying on the beach.



Originally from Jupiter, Florida, Sarah Everhart came to our area in 2005 attending college at UWF. After meeting her fiancé Amanda at school and graduating with a BS degree in Maritime Studies, the couple embarked on a year long road trip around the continental US living in their car and volunteering at Habitat For Humanity affiliates in every state they were able. Upon returning to Pensacola, Sarah gladly took a position as an AmeriCorps Service member at the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate leading and teaching volunteers alongside new homeowners on countless construction sites. It was during these 2 years as a Corps member that Sarah began to recognize the feeling of comfort that one gets when they are home. She and Amanda decided to lay down some roots in Pensacola. Sarah went on to earn her National Registry as an EMT and is working part-time for the Escambia County Public Safety department. Her full time employment is with the Navy's MWR and Community Recreation operations teaching sailing and developing leisure programming for our local military families.

When she isn’t working, her interests include being outdoors. Whether it's volunteering, surfing, sailing, kayaking, paddle-boarding, backcountry hiking, road tripping, yoga or anything in between, Sarah is always looking for ways to share an adventure.  Sarah loves Pensacola in a way that is closely tied to the people and the culture that she has come into contact with in our area. There isn't anything that compares to the feeling of being home. And to have that feeling in Pensacola is a gift that Sarah loves to share with others.



Cory Wilkinson is a Pensacola native and graduate of University of West Florida (B.S. in Environmental Resource Management and Planning, 1990), and Johns Hopkins University (M.S. in Environmental Science, 1999).  He is employed with HDR Engineering, Inc. as an environmental planner certified by the American Planning Association (APA) Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Certified Environmental Planner (CEP).  He is married to Edward Tisdale.  Cory has lived and worked in Tennessee, Washington D.C. metro area, San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, New Orleans, and is pleased to call downtown Pensacola home.  He enjoys dogs, travel, music, nature, campfires, cool fall air, and walks in the woods.



Rev. Ron Helms-MacBeth relocated to Pensacola, Florida in July 2005 from Rochester, New York after many years of serving as Senior Pastor & where he held interim statewide membership on the New York Council of Bishops.  He’s also a two-time honorably discharged military veteran from the United States Navy. Ron has a lifetime of experience working on behalf of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.  His last pastorate prior to ministry retirement was with Christ Fellowship Church of Pensacola who celebrated his life of ordained ministry with a Reaffirmation of Ordination Worship in early 2006. He is the past President for Gulf Coast TIDE (Together In Diversity and Equality). He continues to work toward social and political justice for the GLBT community in both state-wide and local politics.  Currently, he is a local business owner. 



Laura Ericson has called Pensacola home for 20 years.  When she isn’t working, her interests include scuba diving, travel, time at the beach, yoga, Pickleball, organic gardening, vegetarian cooking, foreign language study, and spending time with her wife, Stephanie Karous, and their two dogs and two cats.  She also is doing her part to keep the U.S. Postal Service alive and well by sending snail-mail postcards (over 3000 in the past 6 years).

Laura is a long time volunteer with Covenant Hospice, active with Impact 100, a “friend” of the Escambia County Animal Shelter, and a supporter of the arts community.



Tracy Wise retired and moved to Pensacola in 2010. Prior to settling in the Florida Panhandle, she lived and worked in seven states and Australia in a variety of Human Resource positions.Tracy is a graduate of Iowa State University receiving a B.S. in Management and a minor in Finance. 

She is presently an active member of Impact 100 and has volunteered her time with several nonprofits including Manna, Pensacola Lighthouse, Big Brother/Big Sister and ECARE. Tracy plans to visit all 48 National Parks in the lower US states and has only five remaining parks to cross off her list.



Sam Mathews is a Pensacola native, raised in the western Panhandle. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army having served in the Viet Nam War. Upon returning from his military service he attended and graduated from the University of West Florida with B.A and M.A. degrees in Psychology.  He continued his education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison obtaining a doctoral degree in Educational Psychology. He returned to Pensacola, to join the faculty of UWF in the Department of Psychology.  

During that tenure he worked with international NGO’s to support educational reform among former Soviet Republics following the disintegration of the Soviet Union. He continued working for educational reform in the Balkans following the wars in the 90’s and in Liberia following their civil wars. Sam’s interest in marginalized youth led him to join Sunday’s Child as a means to support those who face exclusion and discrimination due to their sexual and gender identities. 



Sonya Davis has been a resident of Pensacola since 2009.  She has been an administrator in the business, government and non-profit worlds for nearly 30 years.  Having served in numerous capacities in a number of locales both north and south, she’s been a business owner, elected official, non-profit executive director, board member, fundraiser, and committed volunteer.  She received both Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Minnesota.

Now mostly retired, she spends time traveling to both familiar and new destinations while making ample time for family.  Locally, her heart is with smaller non-profits and she’s provided organizational development and fundraising advice as well as grants-writing to those such as the ReEntry Alliance of Pensacola (REAP), Klaas Kids Foundation Search and Rescue, Jeff’s Corner Garden at Arc Gateway, East Hill Academy, and the Pensacola Heritage Foundation, among others.  As a volunteer wielding a hammer for a cause (!), she enjoyed her time as part of Habitat for Humanity’s “Women Build” in 2014 and 2015.  She is a member and past president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) West Florida Chapter and AFP State Caucus, and a member of IMPACT 100 as well as Sunday’s Child.  She was a member of Leadership Pensacola (LEAP), Class of 2010, and Leadership Palm Beach County, Class of 2005.


Shelley Gourley was raised in Pensacola, FL.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Comparative Religion from UWF.  After many years working in sales and operations management in San Diego, Atlanta, Tallahassee and the DC area, Shelley returned to Pensacola and served as the Ticketing Director for the Pensacola Pelicans for 5 years.  With a strong desire to help others, she made the decision to change careers and became a Registered Nurse a few years ago.  She is currently practicing in Pensacola.  She is a “big” for Big Brothers Big Sisters and volunteers with the Council on Aging.  She is passionate about learning, trying new things and connecting with others.  Shelley lives in downtown Pensacola with her husband, Richard and their rescue dog, Goose.


Kathy Decker retired in Pensacola after working 33 years in the healthcare field in San Francisco. Born in Honolulu, she received her BA English from California State University - Chico and her MA in Health Care from the University of Humanistic Studies. Kathy served on the Healthcare Advisory Board of Marin County, CA, the Advisory Board for the San Francisco Golden Gate Transit System and the Board of the Chinese American Citizen’s Alliance – San Francisco Lodge. Presently she is a member of Sunday’s Child and Impact 100, and volunteers at Manna Food Pantries and with the United Way Escambia County in ECARE, as a CERT member, and with the Youth Mentoring Program. In 2015 and 2016 she was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Besides volunteering, and helping to manage a charity she helped co-found, Kathy enjoys sports and activities with her husband, friends and her beloved dachshunds.




Stephen is a native of Pensacola. He is married to Rev. Ron Helms-MacBeth. He graduated from the University of West Florida with a degree in Business Administration, in 1993. Stephen is a manager in the Financial Institutions Advisory Group at Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & Gund, where he holds the certifications of Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM) and Certified AML and Fraud Professional (CAFP).  He has been working in the financial institutions industry since 1992, concentrating primarily on compliance, operations and policies and procedures.  







Dr. Chuck Presti moved to Florida in 1975 from Ohio, and has been a resident of Pensacola since 1991. He is a graduate of Stetson University and received his MD from the University of South Florida College of Medicine.  He practiced Internal Medicine and Allergy and Immunology for 15 years, and most recently enjoys working in Healthcare Information Technology. 

He is a past board member of the Pensacola Heritage Foundation and a rowing enthusiast. He is married to Mike Bruce, another board member and founder of Sunday’s Child.  They have a son and daughter and two grandchildren.

  2016-2017 Sunday's Child Board of Directors

2016-2017 Sunday's Child Board of Directors

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sunday's child thanks all of our generous sponsors!

Gifts and donations by organizations and individuals (allies & supporters) help to cover operational and administrative costs and scholarships. Become a sponsor today.


These are dollars saved so we are able to apply 100% of membership contributions directly to support the charities in our community. Thank YOU!



















SUNDAY'S CHILD THANKS the generous in-kind contributors who have assisted our success.



Frequently Asked Questions




Frequently Asked Questions




frequently asked questions


About Sunday's Child

Who is sunday's child?

Sunday's Child is a Florida not-for-profit organization, 501(c)(3).

Members of Sunday's Child each contribute an annual membership donation of $1,000 which is pooled and awarded as $25,000 to $50,000 grants to non-profit organizations and economic initiatives which significantly contribute to the Pensacola Bay Area (Escambia and Santa Rosa Florida Counties) for a designated year.

All qualified grant recipients, at the very least, value diversity and encourage inclusiveness and are not discriminating in their workplace.

Sunday's Child has no paid employees or staff, and 100% of the membership donation is awarded to charity.

what is sunday's child's mission?

Our mission (the work we do to reach our vision) is to promote equality and inspire inclusion across the community by awarding grants for significant charitable and economic initiatives.

what is sunday's child's vision?

A fully accepting and inclusive Pensacola that embraces the LGBT citizens and their contributions to the community.  

what is sunday's child's guiding principles?

  • To serve the community.
  • To promote a wider visibility of the LGBT community.
  • To promote a wider acceptance of the LGBT community by setting a philanthropic example.


SUNDAY’S CHILD was founded in October of 2013 by 10 LGBT friends and organized into a Florida non-profit organization in the summer of 2014.


Members of the Sunday's Child Board have diverse backgrounds, but are all focused on the mission of Sunday's Child. The Board is described as a “working board” since there are no paid employees, and the mission of the organization is carried out via the Board and Sunday's Child members.


Sunday's Child has a good working relationship with the non-profits in the area. Sunday's Child's continued existence is dependent upon the non-profits of the community being able to generate good grant requests. 


Sunday's Child has very limited expenses, since it has no paid staff. The administrative costs relating to Sunday's Child and its operations are either donated, or are paid with administrative monies held by Sunday's Child.

The administrative monies are:

  1. Donations from Supporters (Friends and Sponsors) of Sunday's Child who make donations to cover administrative costs
  2. Matching grants from employers of Sunday's Child members
  3. Interest earned on the grant monies prior to disbursement of the grants to the recipients.

How does Sunday's Child stay in touch with its members?

Because Sunday's Child has no paid employees, it uses email communication whenever possible to stay in touch with its members. It also produces a newsletter to keep its members advised of the current events relating to the organization.

What is Sunday's Child's privacy policy?

Sunday's Child recognizes the need for discretion and offers confidential and anonymous donations to members seeking anonymity. Additionally, any information provided to Sunday's Child via grant application, membership registration, or newsletter sign-up, is never shared or sold to any third-party institutions. You can read our privacy policy here.

what is sunday's child non-discrimination policy?

Sunday’s Child does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, selection or acceptance of members, volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all of our members, volunteers, staff, subcontractors, vendors, clients, associates, and constituents.

About Sunday's Child Grants

What types of grants are awarded via Sunday's Child?

Sunday's Child awards grants in increments of $25,00 to $50,000, to fund significant projects located in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. The projects may be for a new program, the expansion of an existing program or may be a collaborative effort among several agencies. Grants awarded fall into one or all of the following categories:

  • Animals, Environment, & Recreation
  • Health & Wellness
  • Arts, Culture, & Education
  • LGBT, Diversity, & Inclusion
  • Economic Development & Preservation

Sunday's Child does not fund:

  • General operating expenses or overhead
  • Debt reduction or operational deficits
  • Grants to individuals
  • Endowment funding
  • Interim or bridge funding
  • Partisan, legislative or political activity

How does Sunday's Child award its grants?

Sunday's Child has a very specific grant process, which is implemented by the individual members of Sunday's Child and the Board of Directors (the “Board”). Members are involved in the grant process as follows:

  1. Creation of Committees: Each of the five focus committees consists of Sunday's Child members who volunteer to participate on the committees. All Sunday's Child members have the option of participating on a committee.  
  2. Review of Applications: Each committee member reads all of the grants that are submitted to that committee and are discussed at each committee meeting.  
  3. Site Visits: As part of its grant process, Sunday's Child sends at least 2 committee members to each non-profit to conduct a site visit. The site visits are a critical part of the grant process, as they allow the members to visit with the organizations, it insures that the members are able to fully understand the written grant application, and it allows the members to ask additional questions, obtain additional information and clarify the facts pertaining to the grant request.
  4. Selection of Finalists: Each committee reviews and discusses every grant that has been submitted to that committee. The discussion focuses on the grant application, the organization’s financial information and the site visit. The length of the discussions will vary, depending upon the grant and the feedback from each committee member.  When voting on the selection of the finalists by the committee, all individual members have 1 vote each and all ensemble members have 1 vote each as well. 
  5. Selection of Recipients: Once the committees select their finalists, Sunday's Child sends written summaries of the non-profit finalists to all members. The summaries focus on the quality of the organization, the quality of the project, the impact on the community and an overview of diversity and inclusion.  Each finalist selects up to 2 representatives to make a presentation to the Sunday's Child members at the annual meeting. All presentations are verbal, and no one is allowed to use any multi-media to assist with the presentations, so there is no “advantage” to larger organizations that have the ability to create impressive power-point presentation. After hearing the presentations of the finalists, the members vote for the grant recipients. The votes are calculated and announced at the annual meeting. (Sunday's Child also has procedures allowing for its members to cast an absentee vote if they are not able to attend the meeting, but all members are encouraged to attend the annual meeting.)

How does Sunday's Child oversee the distribution of monies to award non-profit agencies?

  1. Grant Agreements. The non-profits that receive an Sunday's Child grant sign a Grant Agreement. The grant agreement ensures that the non-profit agrees to use the funds in accordance with grant and the Sunday's Child procedures. The funds must be spent in accordance with the budget, with any substantial changes in the budget being approved by the Board, to insure the funds are being spent in accordance with the purpose of the grant. Sunday's Child requires invoices and documents to evidence each disbursement of funds under the grants.
  2. Board Liasons. Upon the selection of the grant recipients, a member of the Board is assigned to be the “liason” for the project. The liason remains in continuous contact with the grant recipient, and receives all requests for funding from the non-profit.
  3. Quarterly Reports. As part of agreement with Sunday's Child, the non-profit must submit quarterly reports to Sunday's Child until all of the funds are spent to implement the project. The Board may also obtain any other information it requests to monitor the project. The grant recipients are discussed at every Board meeting, until the project is completed. The Board strongly believes that the projects must be carefully monitored to ensure that the funds are being used in accordance with the grant applications, as selected by the members of Sunday's Child.

How does Sunday's Child safeguard against Conflicts of Interest?

We are committed to selecting our grant recipients through an honest and fair process. In support of this commitment, Sunday's Child has adopted a Conflicts of Interest Policy that requires disclosure of relationships between our members and any grant applicant. Sunday Child’s policy recognizes the potential for conflict of interest and safeguards against them by requiring any board committee member to excuse himself or herself from the discussion and/or vote on any topic where a conflict arises. Members who are serving on the board or a committee of Sunday Child will be formally required to disclose potential conflicts of interest. At a minimum, Sunday Child expects all members to act in an objective and fair manner. In particular, members are expected to refrain from any attempt to gain an unfair advantage for any particular grant applicant by, among other things, disclosing confidential information and/or attempting to persuade other members of Sunday Child to vote for such grant applicant.

About Sunday's Child Membership

Who are the members of Sunday's child?

Sunday's Child is open to everyone 18 years of age or older who live in, or who wish to help, the Pensacola Bay Area community (Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties). Sunday's Child is a group of citizen activists with diverse backgrounds, who contribute $1,000 to maintain their membership in any given year. The membership in Sunday's Child changes each year.

What is expected from the individual members of sunday's child?

Sunday's Child has no requirements regarding a member’s active participation in the organization. If a member has limited time, he or she contributes $1,000 and comes to the annual meeting to choose the grant recipients for that year. However, if a member has the time and desire, he or she can be an active member on the various committees, can participate in site visits and can actively assist the organization in selecting its grant recipients. Each member’s participation is dependent upon their personal situation and can change from year to year.

is participation limited only to individual memberships?

Not at all. All members, whether individual or as part of ensemble membership, may participate in the organization and are encouraged to do so.

what are the restrictions of board membership if I am currently an ensemble members?

Board members MUST hold a membership, either as an individual or ensemble. If you feel passionate about contributing to Sunday's Child, you are welcome to join any leadership position, regardless of your membership level.