Date ArticleType
4/21/2020 Member News


In Support of St. Pete Businesses


ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA Leadership St. Pete® (LSP) has redirected efforts to support COVID relief for the City of St. Petersburg’s Fighting Chance Fund to help support local businesses. As one of the oldest leadership programs in America and a division of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce® and its 501(c)(3) Foundation, LSP is responsible for making a difference in the community. Historically, each LSP class has selected a local nonprofit as a beneficiary of the class’ efforts to raise funds for a capital improvement project resulting in at least one on-site work day through a formal RFP process. By working with a local nonprofit organization to further its goals, each LSP class leaves a legacy on our local community.

Due to the global pandemic and the economic side effects resulting from social distancing, Leadership St. Pete® has adjusted its focus to COVID-19 relief for the broader St. Petersburg business community. The City of St. Petersburg has created the Fighting Chance Fund, an emergency grant for St. Pete’s independently owned and operated small businesses affected by local COVID-19 orders. The City has teamed up with Pinellas Community Foundation to collect donations from community organizations to help as many eligible businesses and employees as possible through the Fighting Chance Fund. The goal is to help offset the significant, temporary loss of revenue during this global pandemic. LSP is joining the efforts to support the collection of donations for the fund. 


“As leaders in our community, it’s critically important that we shift our focus to supporting our St. Pete businesses during this time of need. As a diverse group of more than 80 individuals, plus our alumni network of more than 1500 graduates, we are uniquely positioned to help drive awareness and support for the Fighting Chance Fund. Many of us are directly affected and understand the importance of local businesses surviving these challenging times to help preserve what makes St. Pete great, so we can reemerge a stronger, unified, and more vibrant community,” said Madeline McCarthy, Chair of the LSP Class of 2020 and LSP graduate, Class of 2013. McCarthy and her team of forty LSP graduates who volunteer as the Planning Committee to organize and lead the program are working with the LSP Class of 2020, the LSP

Alumni Association, the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of St. Petersburg, and Pinellas Community Foundation to streamline fundraising efforts.

Leadership St. Pete® is in the process of creating virtual events to support fundraising efforts. The first event will be a virtual race: The "Fighting Chance 5K" is an opportunity to give back to our community while staying safe and healthy. A virtual 5K is a 3.1 mile distance that individuals complete with their family on their time schedule in their neighborhood, home, or a local park (at a safe social distance). The virtual race will be held from May 15-31. Registration will open later this week and all proceeds from registration fees will go directly to the Fighting Chance Fund. Further details about the virtual race are forthcoming. 


To learn more about Leadership St. Pete®’s efforts to support the Fighting Chance Fund including other fundraising efforts as they are released, please visit To make a direct donation, please visit

or text the code LSP to 71441.

Please direct media inquiries regarding Leadership St. Pete
® to one of the following Media Relations Contacts:


Madeline McCarthy

Chair, LSP Class of 2020 



Lucinda Grant

Chair-Elect, LSP Class of 2020 



Lindsay Petty

Chair, LSP Marketing Committee 




The mission of LSP is to identify, recruit and develop leaders who represent the diversity of our city and who will assume future leadership roles in our community. The LSP program is made possible through the generous support of community partners, including our Patron Sponsors for the Class of 2020: Duke Energy, Eckerd Leadership Development Institute, Collaborative Labs, Power Design, Raymond James, and Phillips, Hayden & Labbee, LLP. Learn more at



The St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce®, originally founded in 1899, now serves almost 1,000 member businesses. Finding ways to create and enhance opportunities to do business in St. Petersburg, the Chamber works to improve the local economic climate and to build a thriving business environment. The Chamber is the voice of local business in St. Petersburg, providing leadership on important business and community issues.