In the 27 years that Bob (Robert) and Nancy Tolsma have been in Florida, they have gone above and beyond when it comes to volunteering. Their activities span across both community service focuses as well as involvement in both their children’s activities and church fellowship volunteerism.
Bob started as a volunteer firefighter in New Jersey on February 26, 1968. After moving to Florida, Bob resumed volunteer activities with the Sarasota County Fire Department in the 1990s, including returning to school in the fall of 1992 to become a state certified EMT. He is currently the Division Chief for the Sarasota County volunteers and volunteers up to 1500 hours per year as a firefighter / EMT. Additionally, Bob has served for 22 years as part of both the local Rotary Club and the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce where he participates in various ongoing committees and community activities.
Nancy is an avid volunteer worker also. She served as a volunteer for the American Heart Association (AHA) for the past 20 years. She currently serves on both the State and Regional AHA State Task Forces, and is presently a volunteer with and is coordinating the CPR program in Manatee County, FL. Over the years, Nancy has taught numerous classes without monetary compensation, as she feels that CPR is such a critical class for the community to have. In her role with the East Manatee Fire and Rescue , Nancy received the “Rookie of the Year” award for her efforts related to CPR training.
Additionally, Nancy has worked with the American Cancer Society (ACS) in the past, and previously served on local ACS committees. Nancy also supported the Governor’s Mentoring Initiative through her volunteerism at Booker School in Sarasota. Nancy’s latest venture is her focus on taking educational courses to learn American Sign Language so that she can become a state certified interpreter.
The couple has worked together to give back to the community. They have dedicated time to the Sarasota County Fire Department and East Manatee Fire and Rescue, taught CPR classes taught free of charge for the past 14 years, supported the Girl Scouts for the past 10 years, and they were active in the PTA for eight years. They were also Sarasota High School Band Boosters for 6 years and have actively served in their church also.
Even with the time dedicated to service, both Nancy and Bob found time to raise 2 daughters and volunteer for the activities that made a direct impact on the girls’ lives- such as Girl Scouts, PTA, and the Band Boosters. They are committed to building strong families and a strong community.