A child from the Davis Center shopping with Jack Manilla.

Jack Manilla, president of Portofino Pools, is a member of Southside Businessmen’s Club, a local civic organization that not only promotes Jacksonville and Northeast Florida business relationships, but also gives back throughout the year.

One of the most beloved events of the year is the Christmas Shopping Trip, which was held December 5 this year. Club members meet at Target before the store opens at 6 a.m. to take families in need shopping for the holidays. The Club raises money throughout the year to fund this trip.

Chris Zabawski of Portofino Pools connecting with the child she was shopping with from the Davis Center.

The families that benefit from the trip are clients of Community Connections and live at the Florence N. Davis Center. The Davis Center’s transitional housing provides homeless women and children with up to 18 months of shelter and services. This “window of opportunity” is a gift of time, allowing working mothers to gain the education and skills needed regain self-sufficiency.

This trip is one of Jack’s favorite things to do with the Club and is very special to his heart. Giving back to the community is a key part of Portofino’s company culture. Since 1956, our BluDiamond Team has been active in the community, helping to make Jacksonville a great place to live, work and play. In 2015, the Portofino team’s volunteer community service hours exceeded 1500 hours!