SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A well-known Sarasota philanthropist was killed in an accident involving a police officer.
On Wednesday evening, 91-year-old Charles Barancik was driving his Tesla with his beloved wife 83-year-old Margery Barancik. They had pulled out of a home on Gulf of Mexico Drive when a Longboat Key police car slammed into him.
Margery was seriously injured and Charles was killed. The whole community is feeling his loss.
“They really did believe, and it’s proven itself, that they can make a difference,” said John Annis with the Barancik Foundation.
Charles Barancik developed a personal fortune over a lifetime of successful business ventures.
But instead of keeping it for himself, he and his wife created a philanthropic foundation in 2014.
“Chuck was a brilliant man, strategic and brilliant with the softest heart for kids and kids issues,” said Sandra Frank with All Faiths Food Bank.
The list of organizations he supported was long and varied, but he had a special interest in children, like at Girls Inc. The nonprofit offers outreach programs and camps for girls.
“They’re two of the most selfless people that I’ve ever met in my life,” said Girls Inc. CEO Angie Stringer.
The Baranciks were practical – donating a solar array to Girls Inc, but they knew what was really important. They funded a program that provides counseling and mental health services to children in need. Their contribution helped hundreds of young girls.
All the while, the Baranciks made a point to learn the girl’s names.
“The Baranciks are just such amazing people and I don’t know if I’ve ever met such selfless people who cared so much and wanted to do so much for the community,” said Stringer.
Their work is not finished. The foundation has plans to provide affordable housing for teachers and first responders. Their legacy will live on.
“I know how many people are being impacted because of their philanthropy, and that’s the beauty of how we’re going to remember them. We’ll think of the work that the Baranciks have invested in and truly the difference we can see,” said Annis.
Margery was last listed in critical condition at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
Sarasota Police are investigating the crash. Officials have not disclosed at this time if the officer was speeding and if the officer had sirens activated.
The officer’s name has not been released at this time.
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