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Presentation recognized organization’s support of historic preservation

AdelaideSanchez800On May 14, the City of St. Augustine recognized one of the community’s most generous benefactors of historic preservation when the Adelaide Sanchez Award for Historic Preservation, Restoration, Education and Interpretation is presented to the Lastinger Family Foundation. 

The award nomination was made by Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline and supported unanimously by the entire Commission at its April 9 meeting.

The presentation of the Adelaide Sanchez Award to the Lastinger Family Foundation was held on Monday, May 14 at 4:00pm, just prior to the regular meeting of the St. Augustine City Commission. The presentation was in the The Alcazar Room, City Hall, 75 King St. and was open to the public.  It now may be viewed online and on-demand at www.CityStAugTV.com.

The Lastinger Family Foundation

Founded in 1998 by Allen and Delores Lastinger, the Lastinger Family Foundation has two primary areas of support best described by its motto: Preserving the Past/Investing in the Future. Having awarded more than $5 million since its inception, the foundation works to preserve history, culture and the environment with an emphasis on Florida and the South, and to promote health, education and quality of life for children.

But it is the organization’s support of historic preservation for which the the Adelaide Sanchez Award is being presented, and four recent examples of the foundation’s grants demonstrate the extent of the programs and projects it has supported.

Flagler College Solarium Renovation, a $2.5 million dollar project, was offered a challenge gift by the Lastinger Family Foundation which assisted in the solarium’s restoration to its 1888 glory after being closed to the public for nearly 40 years. The solarium’s reopening has been called a crowning achievement of the ongoing preservation of the former Hotel Ponce de Leon.

The foundation’s support for a capital campaign launched by Forward March, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of the city’s military heritage, contributed to the renovation of the American Legion Post 37. The work on the facility allows it to serve as a museum depicting St. Augustine’s military history, a welcome center for active duty military, and a place where visitors can celebrate special events.

The Florida Museum Of Natural History in Gainesville, FL has for over 75 years provided information on the archaeology of Florida, the southeastern United States, and the Caribbean with some 2,000 sites represented in its well-preserved collections. As part of its commitment to ensuring this work continues, The Lastinger Family Foundation supported the museum with an endowment grant, enabling continued support for the museum’s work well into the future.

The state’s strongest advocate for historic preservation is the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation which works tirelessly for legislation and funding in support of Florida’s many historic sites, museums and parks. By funding the strategic plan for the organization’s capital campaign, the Lastinger Family Foundation became a part of strengthening the movement for historic preservation throughout the State of Florida.

A prominent piece of St. Augustine’s skyline was damaged during last fall’s Hurricane Irma when the storm toppled the 25-foot-tall cross atop the dome of the Memorial Presbyterian Church. The storm also damaged the dome itself and one of the concrete spires blew off. The Lastinger Family Foundation has joined many individuals and other organizations in support of the church’s restoration following these storm damages.

Allen and Delores Lastinger

Allen and Delores LastingerIt is impossible to separate the Lastinger Family Foundation’s work from the passion of its founders, Allen and Delores Lastinger. Married in 1965, the same year they both graduated from the University of Florida, Allen and Delores have lead lives filled with steady advancements in their professions and near continuous activity on behalf of their community.

Mr. Lastinger’s career in banking was spent with Barnett Bank, starting as an employee in 1971 and retiring in 1998 as President and Chief Operating Officer. His service to the community includes service on numerous boards and foundations, many affiliated with the University of Florida. That service has been recognized several times by awards presented by the university including most recently the Bob Graham Center for Public Service Florida Citizen of the Year Award for 2018. Additionally, his service includes leadership among local and state historical societies including both as a board member and president of the St. Augustine Historical Society and Chairman of the University of Florida Historical St. Augustine Board.

Mrs. Lastinger’s calling was the classroom where she taught business classes at the secondary school level. Much of her time has been spent serving on boards of charitable organizations including Hope Haven, Community Hospice, Hubbard House, and Wolfson Children’s Hospital Pediatric Cardiovascular Advisory Board. Her commitment to education is demonstrated through her leadership as a Trustee and Chair of the Episcopal School of Jacksonville Board, as a Trustee and Development Chair of Flagler College Board, and in numerous positions on the University of Florida Foundation Board.

The Lastingers have shared many recognitions together including the University of Florida Foundation Lifetime Volunteer Award in 2012, St. Augustine Record’s 10 Who Make A Difference Award in 2012, the Salvation Army’s A. G. “Gus” Craig Award for Community Service in 2015, and the United Way Of St John’s County Philanthropic Legacy Award in 2017.

In 2002 the Lastingers founded the Lastinger Center for Learning at College of Education, University of Florida, a facility for developing and making available cutting edge academic research and practices to improve education and accelerate learning. Today, innovations from the center are used in every community in the state and have recently expanded nationally and globally drawing state, national, and international recognition and investment.

In addition to Mr. and Mrs. Lastinger, the Lastinger family includes three children and 10 grandchildren.

Adelaide Sanchez Award

The award’s namesake, Adelaide Sanchez, was a native of St. Augustine and worked at the St. Augustine Record from 1930 through 1943 where she was a reporter, features writer, society editor and the Associated Press correspondent. She joined the staff of The Miami Herald where she worked for 30 years serving as Assistant Woman’s Editor covering numerous society events during that city’s very formative three decades. After her retirement in 1973, she returned to St. Augustine and continued writing until her death in 1994 through newsletters for the Flagler Hospital Auxiliary and Trinity Episcopal Church and biographical sketches that were included in the program for Cross and Sword.

But it is her appreciation and love of the city’s historic properties, and her active promotion to ensure the preservation of those resources, that garnered this award being named in her honor. Indeed, her support of historic resources is a classic example of one who “walked the walk.”

Adelaide Sanchez AwardIn accordance with her wishes, her home on Marine St. was bequeathed to the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board. After the board’s abolishment, the property was transferred to the City of St. Augustine and sold with the proceeds being held in trust, as per her wishes, with the interest earned being designated for awards, programs and stipends with the goal of advancing the interests of historic restoration, preservation, education and interpretation.

Recipients of the Adelaide Sanchez Award for Historic Preservation, Restoration, Education and Interpretation receive a statuette of the lions that grace the western side of the Bridge of Lions. The molds for the replicas were crafted by St. Augustine sculptor Enzo Torcoletti, and each statuette is inscribed with his signature.

Previous recipients

In 2014, Shelia Greenleaf received the Adelaide Sanchez Award for her work that resulted in the preservation of the 110 year old Albert Lewis Trough, a horse trough, nearly forgotten and long neglected, alongside South Dixie Highway. Her work resulted in the preservation of the artifact as well as the community’s education regarding its significance.

That same year, Philip McDaniel and Ryan Dettra were recognized for their work that preserved one of St. Augustine’s most unique buildings from the early 20th century, the Ice Plant, built between 1917 and 1924 and today home of the St. Augustine Distillery and a restaurant/specialty cocktail lounge, appropriately named, The Ice Plant.

In 2016, the St. Augustine Garrison, received the award for its work to increase understanding of the city’s history as a 18th century Spanish military town through demonstrations, interpretive programs, portrayals and publications, best known for its ongoing living history reenactments.

The Woman’s Exchange of St. Augustine also received the award in 2016 for its unwavering commitment and dedication to the preservation of the Peña-Peck House, a building that has stood on the corner of St. George St. and Treasury St for over 250 years.

The most recent recipient was City Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline a staunch and passionate advocate for historic preservation with a years-long record of working to ensure that the structures that link our city to its past are preserved for today’s generation and for the many to come in the future. Commissioner Sikes-Kline sponsored the commission’s creation of the Adelaide Sanchez Award.

Nominations for the Adelaide Sanchez Award are made by a member of the St. Augustine City Commission, approved by the full commission, and presented during a special ceremony at City Hall during the month of May to coincide with Historic Preservation Month.