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SRQ DAILY Dec 6, 2018

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"It’s been an honor to serve Sarasota County Republicans and it will continue to be an honor."

- State Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota

-Susie Bowie, Manatee Community Foundation, Shares her insights at SB2 Philanthropic Agenda on November 29
[Politics]  Gruters on Track for Florida GOP Chair
Jacob Ogles

State Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, will likely be the next chairman for the Republican Party of Florida. 

Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis is expected today to endorse Gruters. With that, along with a strong allegiance to President Donald Trump, the local leader seems to have a clear path to the post. 

The Republican Party of Sarasota issued a press release Wednesday making clear Gruters' intention to run for re-election as chairman of the county party, a post he needs to hold in order to run for state chair.

“It’s been an honor to serve Sarasota County Republicans and it will continue to be an honor,” he says.

But running for county chair reverses a previous decision he made to step away from that job. Now Jack Brill, the frontrunner to succeed Gruters, will run for another term as vice chairman.

“To have Joe as the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida is huge for Sarasota County,” Brill says. 

Gruters ran for state chair before in 2010, but after falling short has focused on his role as Republican Party of Sarasota chairman and on his own political ambitions. He won a seat in the Florida Legislature in 2016, and in November won a promotion to the state Senate. But he's been heavily involved in state party politics as well. He served as vice chairman of the Republican Party of Florida in 2016, and as co-chair for the Florida arm of Donald Trump's successful presidential campaign.

It’s those connections that those close to Gruters say made him a natural choice for state chair, a post he hasn’t actively pursued this year before the last couple days. 

Photo courtesy Florida Senate: Joe Gruters prepares to be sworn in as state senator.

[The Crow's Nest Restaurant & Marina]  Taste the Anticipation
Cori Spruiell

Once you’ve arrived at The Crow’s Nest Marina Restaurant, made your way upstairs to the gorgeous dining room, taken a seat at your table and admired the stunning view of the Gulf, you may find that the murmers of hunger in your stomach have turned to roars. However, should the baked sea scallops catch your eye—and they surely will—you’ll find yourself waiting just a touch longer. “It’s baked to perfection,” Chef Jon DeRue assures us. “It’s about a fifteen minute cook time; it’s well worth the wait, though.” With hearty jumbo scallops mixed with a perfectly crisp lobster gratin, this decadent dish balances light seafood with rich cheese and breadcrumbs to create an entrée that is truly irresistible. So select a wine and a seat by the window – because good things come to those who wait. 

1968 Tarpon Center Dr, Venice

[Community Foundation]  To Support a 21st Century Education
Britt Mattie

As the end of the semester draws near for the 2018-19 school year, The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is proud to provide supplemental funding to Booker High School to boost those programs that help students finish the school term strong, recently granting the school $30,000. “These dollars will help advance, what we have learned to be, effective models and practices,” says Booker High School Principal Rachel Shelley. “Our goal is to not only increase our graduation rate but to provide college and career readiness outcomes that will empower our students for the 21st Century workforce.”

“A significant portion of the grant will be used to level the playing field for 1st generation students,” Shelley continues, “by providing college access and college success through SAT/ACT and essential skill training programs, increasing college visits, allowing summer bridge programs for incoming Freshman, collaborating with Booker Middle and Emma E. Booker Schools to increase STEM related activities for underserved populations in our community, and offering rewards and incentives to all students through our Renaissance Program.”

Funds will also go towards a number of invaluable facets like discretionary support of students and teachers, and assisting the wellness program, which reaches 60-120 staff and 300-600 students through wellness workshops with accompanying software. Additionally, the grant will support staff and student appreciation, faculty meetings, staff yoga, Renaissance Program celebrations for the students with 3.0 or higher GPA, industry certifications and special celebrations for graduating students.

“The investment in our innovative strategies will ensure that our students will develop the knowledge skills and behaviors to be successful in the 21st century and staff will be recognize for the hard work,” says Shelley. “Again, I’m appreciative and grateful for this unspeakable gift.”

The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is proud to partner with SRQ Media Group to highlight stories about community impact powered by philanthropy in our region, thanks to the support of donors and our local nonprofit partners. The Community Foundation is a public charity founded in 1979 by the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council as a resource for caring individuals and the causes they support, enabling them to make a charitable impact on the community. 

Pictured: Students explore their potential futures at the Booker High School College Fair.

Booker High School

[Education]  Gulf Coast Board Institute Accepting Applications

Gulf Coast Community Foundation is now accepting applications for its Winter 2019 Gulf Coast Board Institute. The online application is available at the website below, and the deadline to apply is Friday, December 14.

Gulf Coast Board Institute is a high-level governance training series for volunteer nonprofit board members. The winter class will consist of four full-day training sessions on consecutive Fridays in February. Training is led by professional consultants who are part of the foundation’s Invest in Incredible nonprofit capacity-building initiative. Topics covered include the fundamentals of nonprofit board governance, financial and legal oversight responsibilities, and how to create a highly functioning and engaged board.

Gulf Coast will select up to 20 applicants to participate in the Winter 2019 Board Institute. Participants will be chosen through a competitive process with the intent of creating a diverse group of individuals with a variety of experiences. Gulf Coast provides all training and resources at no cost. Applicants must be currently active board members at a nonprofit in the region. 

Gulf Coast Board Institute Application

[Philanthropy]  Barancik Foundation Grant to Support New Southeastern Guide Dogs Camp

Southeastern Guide Dogs has announced that the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation has awarded a $50,000 grant to support a new Intro to Guide Dogs Camp to be held on the school’s Palmetto campus. Plans are currently being made to finalize the camp with its launch and first session planned for March 2019.

The objective of the camp will be to provide an educational and fun experience for children ages 14–17, who are visually impaired and who may be interested in becoming a guide dog handler, and for parents and guardians. Teen campers and parents will stay overnight in the school’s Barpal-Hirst Student Center during the three-day camp, and will experience simultaneous but different tracks, one for students and one for parents. As with all Southeastern Guide Dogs programs, there is no charge for participants. 

Southeastern Guide Dogs

[Philanthropy]  EOD Receives Grant from Rotary Club of Sarasota Foundation

The Rotary Club of Sarasota Foundation has awarded Embracing Our Differences a $5,000 grant directed to empower EOD’s celebrated educational outreach programs. Presented in partnership with the regional school district and nationally recognized educators, these programs impact the lives of thousands of area teachers and students every year. These include annual workshops and retreats that provide arts and diversity curricula for area educators, bi-county reading initiatives, free bus transportation for students and teachers to visit area cultural venues and student docent programs in high schools. Sarah Wertheimer, Embracing Our Differences' executive director, reports 932 teachers and 39,211 students participating in the organization’s exhibit and educational programs in 2018 alone. Embracing Our Differences' annual juried international art exhibit returns to Sarasota's Bayfront Park, January 19–March 15. 

Embracing Our Differences

[TODAY]  THEATER: Marvin Gaye: Prince of Soul , November 28 – January 13

After several years of requests from theater patrons, Sheldon Rhoden will reprise the role of Marvin Gaye. This original show begins in the 1950s at the start of Gaye's career with Motown and follows its twists and turns until his untimely death in the mid-1980s.

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, 1012 North Orange Ave., Sarasota.

[TODAY]  BUSINESS: Nominations Now Open for 2019 Localpreneur of the Year , November 8 – December 7

Nominate a passionate and purposeful local entrepreneur who you believe has forged a successful company in the Sarasota and Bradenton region with astute corporate drive, a heart for giving back, a talent for engineering innovation and indelible leadership qualities. Your entrepreneur nominee should have an active for-profit business located in Sarasota or Manatee County and may represent any sector of business.  The LOCALPRENEUR OF THE YEAR program celebrates these courageous and intrepid visionaries who make this one of the best places to start and run a successful small business. We will announce the finalists at the SB2 Regional Economy and Localpreneur of the Year Awards Luncheon on January 24, 2019 at The Hyatt Regency Sarasota and showcase all nominees and finalists in the February 2018 edition of SRQ | The Magazine.

[TODAY]  GALLERY: By the Sea , November 9 – December 10

This group exhibition celebrates the beauty of glistening waterscapes with inspired artwork. Sarasota-based and nationally acclaimed artist Linda Richichi presents oil and pastel paintings along with Florida Landscape artist Gary Borse and other gallery talents. This show aims to not only highlight nature’s beauty, but also use the space as a platform for conversations about conservation.

530 Burns Gallery, 530 Burns Ct., Sarasota

[TODAY]  THEATER: Dike , November 9 – December 16

Written by Hannah Benitez, a Cuban-Jewish-American millennial originally from Miami, Dike follows a pair of sisters from a religious family who reunite after two years of separation to navigate the cloudy waters of identity. An awkwardly hilarious and gripping exploration of love, sexuality, and sisterhood, with an all-female cast, Dike questions the limitations religion and social conditioning raise within all of us.

Urbanite Theatre, 1487 2nd St., Sarasota.

[TODAY]  THEATER: Elf- The Musical , November 29 – December 16

Santa Claus narrates the story of Buddy, who was raised at the North Pole. Prior to Christmas, Buddy learns he’s human, not an elf. He convinces Santa to let him return to New York City to find his real father. He finds his father (who’s on the naughty list) and a step brother who doesn’t believe in Santa. Buddy decides it’s up to him to bring back the spirit of Christmas to his family and all of New York.

Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 3rd Ave W, Bradenton

[TODAY]  GALLERY: Inspired Juried Show & Women's Contemporary Artists , December 4 – January 11

Two exhibits open up in the four galleries, including an all-media juried show featuring artists from all around the region. Women's Contemporary Artists is a group of women artists from Florida's Gulf Coast. Opening reception on December 5.

ArtCenter Manatee, 209 9th St. W, Bradenton.

[TODAY]  THEATER: All Shook Up , December 6 – December 23

One part Shakespeare (Twelfth Night) and a whole bunch of the great Elvis Presley and you have the makings of Rock ‘n’ Roll Musical Theatre heaven. So, “Don’t Be Cruel,” grab that “Hound Dog” and “Love Me Tender,” this holiday season. Because, everyone needs a hunka hunka “Burning Love” for Christmas.

The Players Centre for Performing Arts, 838 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota.

[TODAY]  DANCE: Voices of SCD , December 6 – December 9

"Voices of SCD" is a truly unique platform that provides rising choreographers in the field of dance with an opportunity to set work on SCD dancers and premier that work during SCD's main stage season. This performance provides the audience with an equally exciting and rare opportunity to see the early stages of bold contemporary choreographers that will make up the next generation. Choreographers are selected by adjudication through SCD's Summer Intensive Program. This year's selected crop happen to all come from within the company - so if you want to know more about the pulse behind Sarasota Contemporary Dance, you do not want to miss this!

Jane B Cook Theatre, FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: "Hi, I'm Rich..." , December 9 – December 10

Join masterfully musical and wickedly funny Rich Ridenour, the Pops Orchestra and local singing star and this year’s second runner up in the Ms. Florida pageant, Lauren Nielson, to brighten the stage and the holiday spirit.

Sunday- Riverview Performing Arts Center Monday- Neel Performing Art Center, 1 Ram Way, Sarasota 5840 26th St. W, Bradenton

[SOON]  THEATER: Straight White Men , December 12 – March 1

Monty Navarro may be distant heir to the family fortune, but there are several deadly ways to jump the line of succession. All the while, Monty must juggle his mistress, his fiancée, and the constant threat of landing behind bars. Of course, it will all be worth it if he can slay his way to his inheritance… and be done in time for tea.

Florida Studio Theatre , 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Sarasota World Affairs Council Speaker Series , December 12, 6:30PM - 8:30PM

Join the Sarasota World Affairs Council for the next program in its 2018-19 lecture series, The Boiling River: Adventure and Discovery in the Amazon, featuring Andrés Ruzo, Founder/Director of the Boiling River Project in Peru and National Geographic Explorer, who was the first geoscientist to obtain permission to study the sacred river.  He will share his research and discoveries and his concerns for the future of this unique river and the people who live along side it.  Each SWAC lecture is followed by a members-only reception with the speaker in a historic building on Sarasota Bay.  The lecture is free, but reservations are suggested (sarasotawac.org).

MILDRED SAINER PAVILION, 5313 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: Black Nativity , December 12 – December 21

Originally written by Langston Hughes, this Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe production is a celebration of the Nativity story with gospel, blues, spiritual, and Christmas music, paired with the poetry of Langston Hughes and the creativity of WBTT. Will inspire and entertain all ages.

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, 1012 North Orange Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  GALA: Men, Whiskey and Watches , December 13, 6:00PM - 9:00PM

Men, Whiskey & Watches is an annual event that will benefit the Child Protection Center of Sarasota, FL. Featuring whiskey tastings from select distillers, an assortment of fine watches, premium cigars, a live auction and plenty of business networking opportunities.

Included in general admission ticket price: Open Bar, whiskey tasting and cocktail sampling, cigar sampling and food from some of the best local restaurants in the area such as: JPan Sushi & Grill, Mattison's, Selva Grill, Gold Rush BBQ, Naples Flatbread and more!

Edson Keith Estate , 5500 S. Tamiami Trl, Sarasota

[SOON]  GALLERY: Art and Jewels , December 14 – January 7

This intersectional exhibition pairs specific paintings and wall sculptures with vignettes of art jewelry that create a collaboration and conversation between the two. Representing nearly 30 different artists and jewelry designers, 530 Burns blurs the lines between art and jewelry and sparks the warm, fuzzy feelings conjured up during the holiday season.

530 Burns Gallery, 530 Burns Ct., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: An Evening of Operetta , December 14

Just in time for the holidays, Sarasota Opera will light up the Sarasota Opera House with sparkling musical gems to enchant and delight. Opera singers present a showcase of beautiful melodies such as “The Merry Widow Waltz,” “Thine Alone,” “Wanting You,” and “A Toast to Champagne.”

Sarasota Opera House , 61 North Pineapple Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Holiday Pops , December 14 – December 15

Steven Jarvi, guest conductor in February 2018, will lead the orchestra for a concert featuring a mix of seasonal music including selections from The Nutcracker, Brazilian Sleigh Bells, Feliz Navidad and more. Guest Soprano Soloist Johanna Fincher will present Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Bring the family to this seasonal celebration that concludes with a traditional sing-a-long.

Venice Symphony, 1515 South Tamiami Trl. #7, Venice

[SOON]  MUSIC: Classical Holiday Brass , December 15 – December 16

Seraph Brass, a dynamic brass quintet drawing from a roster of America’s female brass players, presents a lively and varied program of familiar holiday classics and popular song—including Winter from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride and more.

Historic Asolo Theatre, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  THEATER: An Afternoon of Operetta , December 16

As Sarasota Opera embarks on its 60th Diamond Anniversary Season, join the celebration as they take the audience on a European journey in this recital of operetta favorites. With principal artists and pianists from Sarasota Opera, come hear arias and ensembles from Viennese and French operetta as well as other selections with piano accompaniment.

Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Ave., Venice

[SOON]  MUSIC: Itzhak Perlman - In The Fiddler's House , December 17, 7:30PM

Regarded as the world's greatest living violinist, Itzhak Perlman is no stranger to audiences in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Almost twenty-three years have passed since Perlman made his iconic album of klezmer music, “In the Fiddler’s House.” In this only-area performance, Perlman revisits this meaningful and personal project, joined onstage by Hankus Netsky, Music Director, Saxophone and Piano; Andy Statman, Clarinet and Mandolin; members of the Klezmer Conservatory Band; and other special guests.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

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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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