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SRQ DAILY Dec 5, 2015



[Community]  Giving Hope to our Neighbors
Roxie Jerde, roxie@cfsarasota.org

For so many of us, our sunny stretch of coast represents a warm escape to a cultural oasis filled with world-class artistic treasures and a toast to a social scene orbiting around exquisite dining and attractions. Beneath these features for which we have so much pride as a community is a deep sense of compassion from both long-time residents and visitors who care about our neighbors in need.

There’s no better example of our caring empathy than the way we have come forth as a community to support struggling individuals and families through the Season of Sharing campaign for the past 15 years.

Together we have raised $13 million from donations ranging from $5 to many thousands of dollars, giving a vital safety net to more than 12,000 families in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties who were on the verge of losing their homes. Last year alone, multiple funding partners and the public raised more than $2 million to ensure that thousands of families, seniors and individuals will keep a roof over their heads this year.

Despite an improving local economy, many hardworking people find it consistently harder to bridge the gap to an economically stable life.  Circumstances beyond their control have turned what might be a minor inconvenience to some into a critical emergency that threatens their ability to stay in their home.

Seniors sometimes find themselves alone and, despite years of planning, have medical expenses that stretch their budgets to the point where essentials of rent and electricity cannot be covered. Single parents struggle to get to work when they cannot afford repairs on undependable cars that break down without warning. In homes where both parents work multiple jobs, losing just one job can be devastating.

How incredible to know that in each of these situations, in our community, these individuals and families can work with caseworkers at local social service organizations and access immediate assistance to stay in their homes. This is the essence of Season of Sharing. It’s a solution that is eight times less expensive than the scenario of getting families back into housing once they have been forced into cars, shelters, or the streets.

The impact of this campaign is remarkable, as well as the collaboration required to pull it off. Season of Sharing is the collective work of many partners who dedicate time, energy, and money. Staff of foundations, nonprofit organizations, and media partners dedicate hundreds of hours of time for project management, administration, and creative planning so that 100 percent of every dollar from the community goes directly to help those in need.

The Community Foundation of Sarasota County’s Giving Tuesday campaign for Season of Sharing raised more than $200,000 in one day with an enormous outpouring of support at all levels.

We have some miles to go in meeting our goal this year. It’s a campaign every citizen owns. And with every $500,000 raised by you—from you—The Patterson Foundation contributes $100,000.

To learn more about Season of Sharing, founding partners the Herald-Tribune Media Group and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, and how you can help, visit www.CFSarasota.org/seasonofsharing

Roxie Jerde is the president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. 

[Real Estate]  Tourism and Real Estate - a Great Pairing

The Sarasota Real Estate Market activity has long been known to swell with the arrival of our tourist season. 2015 is reported to be a banner year for tourism —more than 67 million domestic visitors and nearly 12 million from other nations journeyed to Florida, with more than 1 million coming to the Sarasota area. And it should come as no surprise that a large number of those made a decision to find a new home. Tourism continues to be one of the largest industries in Florida and the key driver of our new residents. 

The peak tourist season is just beginning and we are thankful to be one of the most desirable destinations in the state to visit, and better yet… to live! Sarasota is not only a magnificent city brimming with fine cultural activities, abundant award-winning dining and shopping, beautiful beaches and myriad other recreational offerings, it also still provides one of the best real estate values compared to other waterfront communities in the state. 

Sarasota Real Estate median values hover in the $215,000 range, and average housing prices are under $300,000. The Naples area, our closest rival in the state, has a median price in excess of $300,000 and average prices at $425,000.  Our competitors on the east coast of Florida have median prices ranging from the $265,000-300,000.  With our regional tourist boards projecting that hotel booking pace and new properties coming on line will push the number of visitors well above this year's record numbers, our Sarasota Real Estate Market will be affected in many ways—most notably, demand will remain above supply and prices will continue to be pushed higher. 

Though inventory climbed some in October, in the luxury market where the majority of my transactions take place, prime Sarasota Real Estate is still very limited, which will keep upward pressure on prices. Home prices have been reported to be growing at twice the pace of inflation. October's median price of a single-family home in Sarasota rose 18 percent over prior year, and condos increased almost 6 percent.  

The following data reflects reporting through the local, state and national Realtor associations, as well as a number of other statistical providers nationwide. In the real estate industry, there is no shortage of analysts and resources to be sure!. As one of the nation's most important economic indicators, everyone like to keep their eye the housing market.

Michael Moulton is a certified residential specialist broker-associate with Michael Saunders and Company. 

[SCOOP]  PINC's Book Swap

PINC isn't just a conference. It's a spa day for your mind. PINC speakers  speak of super smart stuff, but the day is also filled with delightful details. One of PINC's best traditions? The famous Book Exchange. Here's how it works: Think of a book that has been meaningful to you. Grab it from your shelf or buy a back up. Gift wrap it. Bring it to PINC. Put it in the pile. Leave with a different book than you came with. Open it. Read your inscription. Smile.   

PINC Sarasota

[KUDOS]  Will Robinson Celebrates Birthday Completing 2nd Ironman

To celebrate his 40th birthday, Blalock Walters attorney Will Robinson completed his 2nd IRONMAN competition in Tempe, Arizona. Will finished the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile run in 10 hours and 53 minutes. The Ironman Triathlon is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) consisting of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.2-mile (42.2 km) run, raced in that order and without a break. It is widely considered one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world. Congratulations Will!  

Blalock Walters

[SCOOP]  Mariash's Mission to Educate, Connect and Contribute

Brian Mariash, CIMA of Merrill Lynch’s Sarasota office, is a man on a mission to make a difference in our community. His recent appointment to the Embracing Our Differences Advisory Board is in keeping with that call to support cultural and non profit organizations in Sarasota. "I founded Mariash Lowther Wealth Management at Merrill Lynch to Educate, Connect, and Contribute.  I know that by accepting this advisory position for Embracing our Differences I will have a unique opportunity to work with an organization that aligns our community with all 3 of these core values of our mission,” says Mariash. Embracing Our Differences is an area-based, not-for-profit organization that embraces diversity, respects differences and actively rejects hatred and prejudice through the transformative power of the arts. 

Mariash Lowther Wealth Management

[KUDOS]  Thanksgiving Baskets For Veterans

This Thanksgiving, Goodwill Ambassadors from the First United Methodist Church of Sarasota donated turkeys and Thanksgiving baskets to Goodwill Manasota’s Veterans Services Program so that area veterans could enjoy a delicious holiday meal with their families. In all, 30 veterans – 15 from Manatee and 15 from Sarasota, received the the turkeys and Thanksgiving baskets. “We are honored to help our heroes every day of the year with housing, education and employment assistance. Each and every day, our dedicated Veterans Services Program staff works to make sure our veterans get the help they need to provide for their families,” said Bob Rosinsky, president and CEO of Goodwill Manasota.  



Goodwill Manasota

[SOON]  Sarasota Opera and Hermitage Artist Retreat "Opera Talk" Series

The Hermitage Artist Retreat in Englewood and Sarasota Opera are partnering to present free community programs featuring Hermitage Artists in Residence who are working on new opera projects. On December 9, at 10am Sarasota Opera will present the second of their "Opera Talk" series with Baltimore-based composer and musician Ruby Fulton. Ms. Fulton, whose work has been praised by the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, and Washington Post, will offer a talk on Famous Opera Travel Music. Fulton explains that from Mozart to Benjamin Britten to Philip Glass, travel is an important theme in many operas. She hopes to explore different opera composers' approaches to conveying a sense of movement with music, text and the human voice. This free event will be held in the Kamlet Library in the Deane Carroll Allyn Pavilion Building at the Sarasota Opera House. Refreshments will be served.  

Sarasota Opera

[SCOOP]  Kim Walker Presents At Employment Law Event

 Williams Parker’s Kim Walker, Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law, recently presented “Hiring the Right Way” and “Winning Unemployment Claims”  at the Sarasota County Bar Association and Labor & Employment Law Section’s “Employment Law Guidance for Law Firms” day-long event. Hosted at Michael’s on East, the presentation addressed employment law topics common to law firms, including wage and hour, hiring practices, employee performance, and termination issues.  

Williams Parker

[KUDOS]  Best In Show: Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
The Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (BACVB) recently took home the Best in Show for excellence in Florida tourism marketing for work created with long-term Agency of Record Aqua Marketing and Communications, Inc.  BACVB’s  “Sports Playbook”  sales collateral targeting the Bradenton Area’s Sports Marketing segment earned a first place Henry Award in the category of Resource / Promotional Material-Trade and the highest recognition of the night as Best in Show (marketing budget $500,000 to $2 million). The CVB also took home a Bronze Award for Creativity in Public Relations for “Guy’s Gulf Coast Giveaway,” a promotion for the BACVB targeting men’s travel and a Bronze Award in Resource / Promotional Material-Consumer for its Agritourism Guide, a print and digital handbook highlighting opportunities for visitors to enjoy agricultural activities in the Bradenton Area.

The Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

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