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SRQ DAILY Jun 10, 2015

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Freshly Squeezed Content Every Morning

"To watch Hunter and his excitement to be given such an amazing gift, it was just humbling to know that there are people that care."

- Christina Hill, mother

[Nonprofit]  From Wish Receiver to Wish Granter
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Few things excite teenage boys like a trip to GameStop with money in their pockets, so Hunter Hill felt powered up when a party bus dropped him off at the store with a $400 gift card in hand. The Bradenton teenager shopped through titles to play on a new Xbox One purchased earlier in the day by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, as well as PC titles to play on his new laptop computer. “It was really cool what they pulled together,” Hunter says, “especially in such a short period of time.”

The foundation made sure to grant Hunter’s wish for a well-stocked game collection before an extended stay at All Children’s Hospital in Bradenton, where he was due for a tune-up to treat ailments related to Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disease that can force such hospital visits up to four times in a year. A serious gamer, Hunter, now 18, wanted an MSI Ghost Pro laptop that could play cutting-edge games but could also be taken easily into his hospital room.

Make-A-Wish officials are used to granting the desires of children with life-threatening ailments, but a special aspect in fulfilling Hunter’s wish was that his “wish granter,” the volunteer assigned to carry out the realization of dreams, was herself a former Make-A-Wish recipient. Nicole McDowell suffered from cardiac problems and needed two open-heart surgeries and a mechanical heart valve to be put in while she was a teenager. Make-A-Wish put her on a cruise for her 16th birthday, and she has remained a supporter of the organization herself ever since, speaking at galas and now working with the organization. The University of South Florida grad, now 26 years old, said she cherished the chance to bring happiness to the Hill family. “It was cool to be able to talk to him on a normal kiddish level,” she said.

Rebecca Blitz, regional director for Make-A-Wish, said it was great to see a former recipient of services come back to help the foundation and its beneficiaries, especially since McDowell, like Hunter, was a teenager at the time her wish was granted. “This is her way of giving back,” Blitz said.

And for the Hill family, it was a relief in ways beyond putting flashy additions in Hunter’s video-gaming arsenal. “When you experience a chronic illness, everything is extremely difficult and stressful and costly and scary,” said mother Christina Hill. “You forget over time that all you do is focus on his breathing and medications and the next doctor’s appointment. Needless to say, there are not a lot of extras and fun things that happen from it. To watch Hunter and his excitement to be given such an amazing gift, it was just humbling to know that there are people that care.” 

[Good Bite]  Summer Foodie Fun
Kaye Warr

Summer in Sarasota is a humid, heated, happy affair, especially if you, like I, derive happiness from delicious new menu items from your favorite restaurants.

Jack Dusty at The Ritz Carlton: Once you’ve tried the BBQ Fried Oysters with Winter Park “Sunshine Blue” cheese dip, you’ll wonder how you’ve lived this long without them. The textures are crisp yet melty and the local cheese dip sets off the smoky sweet oysters beautifully. Pair with one of the exciting new craft cocktails for a truly sensuous experience.

Darwin’s on 4th: I can’t get enough of the El Patron Ceviche, which features a ginger cream sauce that I would happily bathe in. I also love the Marinated Tender Beef Heart, which lives up to its name in that a dollar from each sale of this dish goes to a Peruvian charity supported by Chef Darwin and his wife. Customer favorites Tuna Tiradito, Skirt Steak and Lima Salad are still on the menu but there are over 14 new items to try!

Amore by Andrea: The Chicken Liver Pâté is so aesthetically pleasing that you’ll insist on taking a picture for Instagram before you let anyone eat (check out the one above). The intensely flavorful pâté is paired with a Meyer lemon glaze, sautéed onions and toast points. I could eat this dish every day with a glass of pinot noir in the beautiful front room of Amore that feels like an elegant tree house.  

[Synergy]  Winn-Dixie Launches Winn-Local

Consumer demand for locally made items is increasing, and Winn-Dixie is seeking vendors in Tampa Bay, Orlando and surrounding areas to participate in its Winn-Local program, which sources local products to bring to neighborhood store shelves. Winn-Local is Winn-Dixie’s initiative to buy products local to the cities it serves. The event will allow Central Florida suppliers to pitch products to Winn-Dixie in hopes of earning shelf space in more than 150 area stores. Winn-Dixie is looking for finished goods, pre-packaged products and other general merchandise.The event will be held in Tampa, July 15-17, at the Winn-Dixie store located on Florida Avenue. The deadline to apply is July 3. Vendors interested in learning more , including product specifications, may send an email with complete vendor contact information to svc_localdsdsupplsup@segrocers.com


[Exec Moves]  King Joins RE/MAX

Realtor Barbara "B.B." King joined the Venice office of RE/MAX Alliance Group. She brings 10 years of real estate experience.Originally from Columbus, Georgia, King moved to Venice almost 11 years ago, after taking an early retirement from her position as executive director with Verizon Information Services. She is active in the Venice First Baptist Church, the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce and Big Brothers Big Sisters, and serves on the board of the United Way of South Sarasota County. 

RE/MAX Alliance Group

[Recognition]  Metz Culinary Makes Power 20 List

Metz Culinary Management, which has a southern corporation office in Sarasota, was named to Restaurant Business magazine’s “Power 20” list. The “Power 20” list recognized 20 families nationwide that are leaders in reinventing their family restaurant dynasties for a new generation. Metz Culinary Management is a family-run food service provider for more than 200 schools, hospitals and corporations along the east coast. 

Metz Culinary Management

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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