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SRQ DAILY Jan 2, 2016

"Deciding what you want to get out of your giving will help you experience more joy in your community involvement and may lead you down some unexpected and satisfying pathways in your personal and professional life. "

- Roxie Jerde, Community Foundation of Sarasota County

[Community]  New Year's Resolutions for Philanthropy
Roxie Jerde, roxie@cfsarasota.org

With a new year comes the excitement of new possibilities, including the opportunity to be more intentional when you make an investment of your time, expertise or dollars for a charitable purpose 

Deciding what you want to get out of your giving will help you experience more joy in your community involvementand may lead you downsome unexpected and satisfying pathways in your personal and professional life  

Here are five resolutions for 2016 to help youhave the most impact, getting that joyousfeeling from giving when it feels just right and knowing that your gifts are truly making a difference.  

  1. Use passion as a requisite for investing your time ormoney in a causeWe live in a community where anask to participate in giving waits around every corner. Everycharitable endeavor qualifies as a “good cause,but what really lights the spark of generosity in your heart? Focus on the issues you are most passionate about and the organizations that will appreciateyour individual contributions.  

  2. Think before you give.  After you know the perfect charitable causethat speaks to your heart, find the right local organization for you. Chances are, there will be more than one nonprofit addressing the mission you care most about, and in some cases, many. Know which nonprofits are working in the mission focus area you are interested in, how they are different, and whether their programs and services are really making a difference.The Giving Partner is a great resource to learn more about hundreds of local nonprofit organizations in Southwest Florida. What questions should you ask about them? Readmy earlier column from July here. 

  3. Sharephilanthropic experiences with your circle of colleagues, friends and family.The power of volunteering or donating together can be an enriching experience that brings you closer to each other. Ask your friends, family or colleagues to propose ideas for a day or half-day of volunteering. Some organizations are better equipped than others to organize meaningful group projects; most will tell you what is possible if you contact them. Think about joining or creating a giving circle to pool yourdonationwith others fora larger gift to a cause important to your group. On birthdays or holidays, consider making a donation to an organization in honor of a loved one, inspiring them to learn about a new cause and perhaps to give as well.  

  1. Explore bigger movements and learn how you can get involved. Regional initiatives that are powered by smart, creative people are everywhere in our community. The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading—a collaborative effort by foundations, nonprofit partners, and others to ensure that more children in low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for life—is just one example. Learn more at www.gradelevelreadingsuncoast.net  

  1. Believe that no act of philanthropy is too small.Never believe that a donation or act of kindness is too small to make a difference. Every act of goodness has ripple effects and continues to make our community the kind of place we all want to live. And do not lose sight of familiar acts of caring that can mean a lot—checking on your housebound neighbors, being a thoughtful driver in our season’s traffic, holding the door for a senior. 

Join me in adopting one or more of these resolutions.  

It’s true that every one of us has the ability to impact another person, a cause, a community. Be the one in 2016. 

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

[On Government]  CONA Guide to MPOs

Want to find out how your roads and transportation systems are planned by a little-discussed entity and—why it is important to you?

On Monday, January 11, the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations [CONA] will host Jim Bennett, the immediate past chair of the Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization for a discussion of this federally-mandated regional transportation planning entity that coordinates interactions among local governments in our region, the state department of transportation, the federal highway administration and the federal transit administration—regarding the allocation of federal and local road and transportation funds—using a horizon that extends out for 20 years. Needless to say, the targets on that receding horizon are far from static and constantly subject to change and adaptation.

Mr. Bennett served on the MPO representing Venice while he was a city commissioner, until his recent resignation from the commission. Terms as chair of the MPO rotate annually and alternate between the two counties comprising our MPO. He will be joined by staff members of your MPO and representatives of the agencies with which it deals.

The Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization is comprised of elected officials from the municipalities and counties of Manatee and Sarasota, an appointed member from the airport authority, and an advisory chair for the Florida Department of Transportation District 1 secretary. Federal law dictates that any self-defined region with a population of more than 50,000 must form an MPO. In 1978, our MPO was formed because this region was projected to reach that population by 1980. Currently there are seventeen seats on the board. There also are several advisory committees that participate in the process as well. I have served on one of those since 2000, in several capacities.

The CONA program is entitled "Understanding the MPO process" and will provide insight into the complex process of this long-range planning that remains a mystery to many. CONA meetings are free and open to the public and are held at the Sarasota Garden Club at the intersection of Tamiami Trail at 1131 Boulevard of the Arts. A social at 6:30pm precedes the meeting at 7pm. See more about CONA and details about its meetings on the CONA web site, http://www.conasarasota.org/meetings.html.

The CONA web site discusses the MPO on its government information page. The discussion includes an assessment that “[t]ransportation networks and types are primary generators of patterns of development—a decision to build a road or a rail line, or a bus line, can have major implications for the form and type of development that will follow—and be assured, development will follow. We seem to have it backward around here, where transportation always is playing catch up to ill-planned development…” Understanding how the MPO works will enable engaged citizens to participate more fully in communicating to their elected officials about what and how development should occur in our region.

Kafi Benz is president of the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations, vice chair of the citizen advisory committee of the Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization and the founder and president of Friends of Seagate.   

[On Real Estate]  A Sweet '16 in Sight

As 2015 comes to a close, Sarasota Real Estate Market Data is proving that some predictions can come true –Sarasota real estate sales are certain to break all-time records for number of sales, and in some price categories, dollar volume, as well.  The number of November closings increased over prior year setting the stage for this milestone.  Early data for December sales, as reported by TrendGraphix, indicates that closings are pacing at nearly 20% ahead of last year, contributing to analyst projections that 2015 will indeed exceed last year’s historic high.

As pundits and prognosticators peddle their predictions for 2016 to the media, it becomes evident that as has been said in my blogs before–real estate is a local sport. Experts speak of waning sales nationally, price escalation flattening across most of the country and builder confidence softening in the next 12-months. Yet Sarasota’s incoming migration is predicted to grow at a minimum of 3 percent per year over the next several years, unemployment has fallen to sustainable levels, the local economy is diversifying to ensure long-term robustness, regional new construction is reaching new heights–impeded only by available labor and product. It doesn’t take much to reason that we are on track for a “Sweet ’16.”

Despite some global financial markets making U.S. investment more expensive than the last many years, international buyers still deem acquisition of American Real Estate to be a solid security, especially in coastal communities. With a large percentage of buyers in the Sarasota Real Estate Market coming from Canada, Western Europe and Latin American, international interest in the area is not expected to diminish in the foreseeable future.  One of the many reasons I continue to value being a member of the Michael Saunders & Company team are the exclusive relationships the company has established with distinctive international brokerages, allowing me to tap our global partners to reach buyers for our luxury Sarasota Real Estate listings.

As has been written about in one of my recent blog posts, the Baby Boomer population is another of our “sweet” spots and, with the majority of my luxury sales being to this group, I am also noticing their ability and desire to close their transactions in cash, taking any change in the mortgage rates coming next year out of the equation.

Add our stunning waterfront, exceptional year-round climate (ok maybe a little warm this December,) abundant recreational and cultural activities available, extraordinary dining and shopping for every taste, I see no change to this year’s single challenge – excess demand over supply.  In my opinion, the only impediment to repeating 2015’s Sarasota Real Estate Market success lies in bringing enough new listings of existing and new inventory to our eager buyers.

The following data reflects reporting through the local, state and national realtor associations, as well as a number of other statistical providers nationwide.  With the real estate market representing one of Florida’s most important economic drivers, there is never a shortage of analysts and experts reading the tea leaves.

  • National sales this last month fell 3.8 percent compared to Sarasota real estate’s growth over prior year. What is happening in the rest of the country is far more tied to temperatures and the seasons, school schedules, even commodities such as oil.  Sarasota’s activity does indeed swell in the winter months when we welcome the most visitors, but the fluctuations tend to be less severe than felt elsewhere in the US.
  • Total sales in November in the Sarasota Real Estate Market were up 8.2 percent from the same month a year ago. ◦In Sarasota single-family closings increased 9.5 percent and condos rose 7.3 percent over November 2014.
  • In contrast, Florida’s single-family transactions increased just 1.9 percent and condos were up 5.7 percent.
  • Nationally, single-family sales were down 4.6 percent to prior year and condos were only up 1.7 percent.
  • The year has been strong–total sales have grown 7 percent year to date from the end of 2014. 

Some real estate analysts believe that the new mortgage rules tied to the TRID regulations–referred to as “Know Before you Owe,” may have contributed to the national slowdown this last month, and that as realtors, mortgage providers and buyers become more accustomed to the new guidelines the time from application to closing will likely decrease.

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

[SCOOP]  Caldwell Trust Company Board Awards Grants To Sarasota Military Academy And An Alumnus

The board of directors of Caldwell Trust Company recently awarded $5,000 in grants, with two grants totaling $3,000 to Sarasota Military Academy and a third awarded as a $2,000 scholarship to an SMA alumnus according to R. G. “Kelly” Caldwell Jr., CEO and president. SMA-MAJ Victoria Finley, advancement director of the academy, says the funds have been allocated as follows: · $1,500 for the SMA Cadet-to-Cadet mentoring program, to be applied to the purchase of a school bus for the program’s transport needs;
$1,500 for the technology needs at SMA Prep middle school campus, to be applied towards the purchase of IPads for the students; and $2,000 as a scholarship to a SMA alumnus, a freshman at The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina.  

Caldwell Trust Company

[SCOOP]  Raven Air To Offer Flights From SRQ To Key West

Effective January 15, 2016, Raven Air, LLC will commence nonstop service to Key West (EYW) from the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ). Based in Marco Island, Florida, Raven Air will offer the nonstop flights on Mondays, Fridays and Sundays using 5-passenger aircraft. People can book flights effective now starting at just $129 each way plus tax. According to owner Jeffrey Fonner, the company will also offer intrastate service between Key West, Marco Island, and Punta Gorda-Fort Myers. The addition of Raven Air brings the total number of air carriers serving SRQ to seven.  To make reservations, call (239) 777-4046 or book online at the link below 

Raven Air

[KUDOS]  23rd Annual Hot Dogs & Cool Cats A Success

The Humane Society of Sarasota County's 23rd Annual Hot Dogs & Cool Cats - Laugh Your Paws Off Gala was a tremendous success! With the help of Christina Crane, guests raised their paws and pledged over $50,000,  Thanks to a generous match from an anonymous donor, over $100,000 was raised for HSSC's shelter pets that night. This year's gala took place at the Ritz-Carlton where over guests were eagerly greeted by shelter canines before laughing their paws off with famous comedian, Kevin Nealon. A huge round of a-paws goes to committee co-chairs, John Chapman and Alli Schaul, committee members, sponsors, donors, guests and volunteers for a spectacular event.  

Humane Society of Sarasota County

[SCOOP]  Sarasota County Sheriff's Office Helps Expand Goodwill Manasota's Tech Connection

Goodwill Manasota recently received 140 personal computers from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office as a donation to its Tech Connection Program. The computers will be securely wiped, refurbished and sold at the Tech Connection center in the Goodwill Ranch Lake retail store. “The men and women of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office appreciate the commitment Goodwill has to our community – we knew that this is where we wanted to donate these computers,” said Sheriff Tom Knight “This program gives individuals the opportunity to purchase computers at discounted prices while increasing their digital literacy. We are pleased to support Goodwill as it works to change lives.” 

Goodwill Manasota

[SOON]  The 18th Annual 'Thunder By The Bay' Motorcycle Festival

The 18th Annual “Thunder By The Bay” Motorcycle Festival kicks off the new year January 7-10. Harley-Davidson Motor Company will feature two  traveling displays featuring demo rides and promoting their "Heros Ride Free" campaign- a complimentary riding academy training for first responders and U.S. Military personnel, veterans and active duty, offered at local authorized Harley-Davidson dealerships. The weekend includes a Sporting Clay Tournament at Knight's Trail Park followed by "Born To Be Wild" Kickoff Party at Sarasota Ford, A "Hogs On Hillview" Block Party,  "Cruise for Cash" charity motorcycle ride, and a Downtown Festival featuring continuous live music, vendors, great food, and a 18 class bike show.  Thunder By The Bay is produced by, and benefits, Suncoast Charities for Children and continues to "Honor veterans, active duty military, and their families". Last year Thunder By The Bay generated an economic impact of $8 Million and 6,000 room nights.  

Thunder By The Bay

[SOON]  Women & Medicine Luncheon- Trends & Innovations in Cancer Care

Join Co-Chairs Deb Kabinoff & Charlie Ann Syprett at Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation's fourth annual Women & Medicine Luncheon on January 15 at the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota. The topic will be Trends in Oncology Care. The program will  feature an interactive panel discussion with three SMH Physicians Dr. James Fiorica, Dr. Ken Meredith, and Dr. Alissa Shulman as they discuss trends in cancer care, information about innovative and personalized clinical research trials, and new chemotherapeutic drugs.  

Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation

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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