Humanitarian Martha Sinclair: Protector of Children and Environment
By Maria Sonnenberg // January 20, 2014
ABOVE VIDEO: A multitude of organizations, causes and people here on the Space Coast have since been the beneficiaries of Martha Sinclair, and her late husband and Jack’s, professional excellence and extraordinary benevolence.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — Martha Sinclair’s earliest recollection of giving is the nickel that she dropped in the collection plate every Sunday as a child growing up in Alabama.
When asked what inspired her generosity, the 2013 Central Florida Humanitarian said, “I was raised by wonderful parents who instilled in me the spirit of giving and the value of tithing, so the first five cents of the 50 cents a week I received for keeping the coal and wood bins full always went to the Lord to help those less fortunate than me.”
Her family moved to and she attended high school in Lakeland, Florida, after which she went to the University of Florida where she earned both her bachelors and masters degrees in journalism and history.
She and her late husband, Jack, an industrial engineer for Pan Am and a man destined to be an integral part of the space program, moved to Brevard County in 1960.
A multitude of organizations, causes and people here on the Space Coast have since been the beneficiaries of Martha’s and Jack’s professional excellence and extraordinary benevolence.
LOVER OF THE ARTS, MUSIC
During the course of a distinguished career in education Martha was Pre-School Director, Curriculum Coordinator, Assistant Headmistress, and Headmistress for Holy Trinity Episcopal School, and also served as Curriculum Coordinator and then Principal for Devereux School for emotionally disturbed children.
The Sinclairs, although both very successful professionally, lived a modest lifestyle. “We were frugal, invested wisely and lived a simple life,” said Martha. Their one luxury was a love of travel, which took them to over 52 countries around the world before Jack passed away last year.
Martha feels blessed to have been fortunate enough to be able to donate to and support local non-profits, and said, “It was just in our nature to focus on charitable work and contributions, and I’ve always felt that we have received more back from our giving than we ever gave.”
Direct engagement with the people being helped and the people who are helping is extremely important to Martha, who said, “When I believe in something, writing a check is just not enough—getting involved and contributing whatever I can personally to make a difference is most rewarding.”
FOUNDING MEMBER OF FOOSNER ART MUSEUM
The Sinclairs’ extensive altruistic investment of time, talent and treasure in the Space Coast community has been focused on children, education, the environment, music and the arts. Martha’s ability to raise money from others for the causes she supports is also legendary.
Martha, a member of the Lutheran Church of The Redeemer, has been a sponsor for the Havenly Affair, an organization that strives to meet the needs of neglected, abused and abandoned children in Brevard County and Central Florida, since its inception, and spends every Monday volunteering in the Haven Thrift Shop.
She is a member of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy Cornerstone Society; a Gold Key sponsor for the Brevard Symphony Orchestra; a founding member of the Foosner Art Museum; and a donor to the Scott Center for Autism at Florida Institute of Technology, and the University of Florida and Florida State University Foundations.
INSPIRING AMERICAN IDEALS
As a corporate sponsor and very engaged member of the board of directors of the Allen Broussard Conservancy/Forever Florida she’s fulfilling her life-long personal commitment to what she calls “tree hugging.”
President and founder of the Allen Broussard Conservancy, Dr. Bill Broussard, said, “Martha Sinclair has been one of our most effective and committed advocates through her generosity, direct engagement in fund-raising and enthusiastic involvement in Forever Florida events.”
In 2012, Martha was one of the first 13 recipients of the Patriot Award from Honor America, Inc. in Melbourne, and is a board member of the organization whose goals are to inspire pride in American Citizenship by increasing awareness of American ideals and accomplishments.
One of Martha’s most memorable honors was being awarded the very first Sustainer of the Year Award in 2010 from the Junior League of South Brevard, of which she has been a supporter for decades.
Martha Sinclair, humble protector of children and the environment; lover of music, the arts and travel; ambassador for education; devoted patriot; and Central Florida Humanitarian extraordinaire.
ABOUT THE CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN AWARDS
The Central Florida Humanitarian Awards were created to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that dedicate their Time, Talent or Treasure to help people in need locally – and around the world.
In 2013, more than 30 deserving humanitarians were honored during the Gala, which was held Thursday, Nov. 7 at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place.
“Over the years, our editorial team has had the distinct honor and pleasure of identifying and featuring the many members of our community who give back so much and are dedicated to reaching out and helping others, here and throughout the world, in a multitude of ways,” said Maverick Multimedia Editor-In-Chief Dr. Jim Palermo.
“We remain firmly committed to identifying and telling those stories and providing a timely media platform to recognize Space Coast and Central Florida residents’ altruistic contributions on a regular basis in our magazines, as well as SpaceCoastDaily.com,” said Dr. Palermo.
The inspiring and compelling event was sponsored by Brighthouse Networks, Health First, Brevard Physicians Network, MPAC ACO, Community Credit Union, Knudson Brain & Spine Law Injury Office, Florida Pain, Space Coast Medicine & Active Living magazine, CentralFloridaMedicine.com and SpaceCoastDaily.com.
FOR MORE INFORMATION or to make a nomination for the Central Florida Humanitarian Awards call 321-615-8111 or e-mail SpaceCoastMedicine@gmail.com.