Lee Wetherington, founder and president of Lakewood-Ranch based homebuilder Lee Wetherington Homes (lwh.grapeinc.com), was recently honored with the prestigious 2015 Lakewood Ranch Community Fund’s C. John A. Clarke Humanitarian Award.

Wetherington accepted the award from John Clarke in front of 300 guests at the annual Lakewood Ranch Community Fund Gala, an event that Lee Wetherington Homes has been a continued and generous sponsor for many years, on Saturday, March 21 at the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club.

“Mr. Wetherington has also been in the forefront as a leader and partner in developing Lakewood Ranch into a vibrant and viable community,” says the Humanitarian Award Committee Chair, Dr. Richard G. Wharton. “His goal has always been to provide beautifully designed and functional homes for persons wishing to live within this community. However, his interest has not been limited to development and building. Philanthropy has also been very important to him. He has given over $2 million to local charities during the past decade through the Lee Wetherington Foundation, managed by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.”

Wetherington donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Sarasota County, which named its building in his honor. He has also served on numerous boards such as the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota County and Manatee County, the Home Builders Associations of Sarasota County and Manatee County and the Salvation Army.

The Lakewood Ranch Community Fund established the C. John A. Clarke Humanitarian Award to recognize John Clarke’s lifelong dedication to humanitarian ideals and to perpetuate the high ethical, moral and professional standards and devotion to human values that epitomize his life. The award is presented annually to an individual who has made outstanding sustained and unselfish contributions to community enrichment and whose vital ideas and personal sacrifices exemplify the ideal of service to the community.

Wetherington joins past winners (2005-14) including C. John A. Clarke, Don O’Leary, Pat Neal, Lorraine and Dick Vitale, Darrell Turner, Stuart J. Roth, Bob and Billie Delaney, Lou and Ann Marie Marinaccio, Colonel John W. Saputo, USMCR and Robert Rosinsky.

Nominees are selected based on the qualities of exemplary leadership, vision, integrity, compassion, cooperation and generosity of time and talent. Nominees have made significant lifetime contributions in such areas of community service as youth, education, community development, human services, health or the environment. In addition, they live, work or actively participate in the life of the Lakewood Ranch community.