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SRQ DAILY Jan 30, 2019

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

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Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"Citizen-led campaigns showed people want for local government to spend on recreational land."

- Susan McManus, political scientist

[Government]  Sarasota Not Alone in Willingness To Tax Selves
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Sarasota voters in November supported taxing themselves to fund the Legacy Trail, and they weren’t alone. Susan McManus, a retired University of South Florida political science professor, notes that Florida voters weighed in on 19 different tax referenda in 2018, and every one of them passed.

McManus spoke to business leaders gathered at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota on Tuesday, where she spoke about election results at a luncheon for the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County.

“In some wealthy places, citizen-led campaigns showed people want for local government to spend on recreational land,” she said, something that explains the passage of the Legacy Trail referendum in particular.

But in other parts of the state, voters also supported measures to help pay for affordable housing, better road infrastructure and efforts to improve workforce development.

In some areas, local leaders fearful of the next economic downturn felt now might be the last chance to convince voters to approve new taxes. That way, revenue will be available when a crash comes.

“And if the economy does sour,” she said, “these 19 communities will look pretty smart.”

State Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, also spoke at the event, where he remained bullish about job growth in Florida. The new chairman of the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee, Gruters this year plans to push legislation that eliminates an expiration date for Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida, which could eliminate future political fights similar to the one that occurred in 2017 over incentives and marketing expenditures.

He also praised EDC leaders and State College of Florida leadership for landing a $3 million coding grant. “The students here owe you a great deal of gratitude,” he said.

How does this all translate to voters appetite for taxes? While voters favor certain spending if justified, voters also passed statewide measures that controlled tax rates.

“The referenda show voters want more local control,” McManus said. 

Photo by Jacob Ogles: Susan McManus speaks to business leaders at EDC luncheon.

[Education]  International STREAM Theme
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

Students at St. Martha Catholic School in Sarasota are smack in the middle of celebrating Catholic Schools Week 2019: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed. This year, the planning committee developed and implemented an international theme for the week, which includes a variety of STREAM (science, technology, religion, engineering, art and math) activities and unique educational experiences. The mission—to provide each of its 445 students with diverse opportunities to develop strength in faith, excellence in knowledge and character in service—ranging from grades Pre-K through eighth.

On Monday, the students kicked off the week an on-campus field trip with ECHO, based in Ft. Meyers, is an information hub for development practitioners around the world gathering solutions to solve hunger problems and disseminate them to their active network. These solutions promote sustainable farming techniques, nutritional plants and appropriate technologies—helping those who are teaching farmers around the world how to be more effective in producing enough to meet the needs of their families and communities. ECHO came to the campus and students received hands-on educational experience to help them become aware of the global hunger crisis. The young students also learned ways to become sustainable within our own homes and community and ultimately, learn innovative solutions to help end world hunger. Students rotated through different stations including: Worm Composting, Seed Transplanting, Scavenger Hunt, Water Filtration and a Bamboo Information Session.

On Tuesday, students participated in the Olympics, rotating through stations of field hockey, soccer, volleyball, bocce ball and croquet. Following the sports fields, they had the opportunity to tour “the world” as they visit the different regions (aka classrooms), all of which have been turned into a specific country. Students used their “passport” to record which countries they visited and learned about. Today, students will attend the Pro Kids Character Education Show with Scott Humston about the Story of the Good Samaritan. All families are invited to a school-wide picnic with their children and following the picnic, participants will create backpack bags for FELT (Feeding Empty Little Tummies). Leading up to this special give-back project, the families have been sending in donations of snacks/food to fill the bags.

Tomorrow, classes will commence to work on Catholic Schools Week STREAM Project, which involves designing a structure representative of their country to be displayed in the school. St. Martha Catholic School will also host their Annual Open House for prospective families from 8:15am–10:00am, where attendees can have a guided tour of the campus, meet teachers and students, parents and administrators. Finally, the week long activities of experiential programming will conclude on Friday with a school-wide morning Mass. 

Located at Bishop Nevins Academy, 4380 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, 941-953-4181.

Photo courtesy of St. Martha Catholic School

[Sarasota Ford]  Sarasota Ford Supplies Sarasota High School Football Uniforms

When Matt Buchanan, owner of Sarasota Ford, was introduced to Sarasota High School football Coach Spencer Hodges, there was an immediate connection. A former football player himself, Buchanan was interested to learn about the progress of the high school program and the needs of the department. Coach Hodges was already working hard on his Return The Pride program, involving players, parents and families in fundraising for the team. “In the new age we live in, it’s easy to get disconnected,” remarks Coach Hodges. “We’re trying to build a program that’s as community based as we possibly can.” Buchanan was immediately moved to support the Sarasota High School football team, and their need for new uniforms was the perfect opportunity to give back. Sarasota Ford supplied the entire department, both JV and Varsity teams, with all-new uniforms, surprising the players in their locker room this past September. “I hope a lot of other businesses and communities jump on the bandwagon,” says Buchanan. “Sports are a great uniter, and I think that the more we can celebrate these individuals that are working hard and doing things the right way, that’s what this is all about.”

Please click here to learn more about Sarasota Ford's One Community. One Team. initiatve or to nominate a candidate or special cause for a future project. 

Sarasota Ford | 707 S. Washington Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34236 | 888-349-4989

Click here for more information

[At the Table]  Sage Restaurant Now Open in Downtown Sarasota

Sage, a new restaurant, bar and event space, opened yesterday in the three-story Historic Sarasota Times Building at 1216 First Street in Downtown Sarasota. Led by owner Sharon Carole, general manager Cameron Hall, and executive chef Christopher Covelli, Sage features a multi-level dining room with a vintage copper-top cocktail bar, 3400 square-feet of event space and a rooftop lounge featuring 360-degree views of Downtown Sarasota.

Sage will open with a menu comprising eight entrees from eight different countries, including a seafood-based Thai Bouillabaisse with red coconut curry, which is gluten-free and can easily be adapted to a vegetarian dish. Additionally, Sage’s cocktail bar offers a menu of 20 original handcrafted creations fashioned from natural and homemade ingredients. Among its martini selections, the First Street Fizz combines house-infused cucumber gin, lime juice, mint and fennel syrup with a splash of soda. 

Sage Restaurant

[Government]  VSC Promotes Thomas, Walker and Jones to Boost Tourism Bureau

Visit Sarasota County (VSC) has promoted Ellen Thomas to senior meeting sales manager, and appointed Amanda Walker leisure group sales manager and Allison Jones group sales coordinator. The growth of VSC’s sales department is aimed to allow the tourism bureau to better identify, attract and entertain conferences, meetings and groups, hopefully resulting in extended stays, large bookings and an upsurge in first-time visitors to the area. Thomas will lead a team devoted to marketing the destination to meeting professionals and leisure group planners. Walker will work to secure accommodations and community activities for the social, military, educational, religious and fraternal (SMERF) groups market as well as for weddings and travel agents. Jones will assist Thomas and Walker in acquiring leads and showcasing qualities that make Sarasota the best destination for group conferences, meetings and events. 

Visit Sarasota County

[Business]  Omeza Hires Bartholomew as Chief Financial Officer

Sarasota startup Omeza, a skin innovations and life sciences company specializing in regenerative skin care and wound management products from the sea, has appointed Andrew Bartholomew as chief financial officer. He will oversee finance, and support corporate strategy and operations. Before joining Omeza, during a five-year assignment at Ernst & Young, Bartholomew served middle market and Fortune 500 companies, providing assurance and advisory services and tax consulting and incentives solutions. As a startup CFO, he was responsible for developing and executing accounting, finance, HR, and safety systems for a privately held company, leading the startup through investor equity restructures and multiple rounds of bank financing, before becoming a commercial banker, providing funding solution for SMEs. 


[Philanthropy]  Neal Communities Partners with Pace Center to Sponsor Lucky Ducky Race

For the fourth consecutive year, Neal Communities is partnering with Pace Center for Girls of Manatee County as a Diamond Duck sponsor of the nonprofit’s Lucky Ducky Race for Pace. More than just donating $5,000 for the cause, the builder’s team members also host a team to adopt rubber ducks every year, raising even more funds to help the Pace Center for Girls of Manatee County change the lives of teenage girls in Manatee County.

Pace Center for Girls of Manatee County is a year-round school that provides girls and young women an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training and advocacy. Last year, the nonprofit helped more than 2,000 girls in 21 communities in Florida. On May 11 at Caddy's at the Pointe in Bradenton, more than 25,000 adopted rubber ducks will float down the Manatee River, winning its owner prizes. The 10thyear running, the Lucky Ducky Race for Pace raised more than $150,000 last year. 

Pace Center for Girls of Manatee County

[TODAY]  MUSEUM: Watercolors from the Permanent Collection , September 15 – February 3

A selection of watercolors drawn from The Ringling’s permanent collections, illustrating various ways artists have used the medium. The exhibition will feature works by Edward Hopper, Charles Burchfield and Childe Hassam, among others.

The Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota.

[TODAY]  GALLERY: American Watercolor Society , January 15 – February 22

Artists are local, national and international, and Art Center Manatee is one of only five venues in the country to host the exhibit. Admission is $5. In a neighboring gallery, and on display for the same period of time, the Florida Suncoast Watercolor Society will also be showing work from its member-artists.

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

[TODAY]  PERFORMANCE: Hairspray , January 17 – February 3

“Welcome to the 60s” where Tracey Turnblad, a pleasantly plump teenager dreams of fame and fights to racially integrate the Corny Collins Show. This winner of eight Tony Awards (including “Best Musical”) is based on the John Waters film and proves that “You Can’t Stop The Beat.”

The Players Theatre, 838 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Pelican Plaza Grand Opening: Center For Sight , January 31

Attend the Grand Opening to celebrate the launch of the Center For Sight at the Pelican Plaza office location. Attendees will enjoy exclusive discounts, extravagant giveaways and prizes, special swag bags for first 500 attendees, and delicious food and drinks with samples from surrounding businesses to kick off the new location and store.

Center For Sight , 8224 South Tamiami Trail., Sarasota

[SOON]  DANCE: Dance Makers , January 31 – February 3

"Dance Makers" is the annual dance celebration bringing together some of the most sought out contemporary choreographers. The evening will feature new and imaginative dance works by internationally acclaimed contemporary choreographers, such as Ana Maria Alvarez (LA), Katiti King (NYC), Kira Blazek (NC) and Kwesi Johnson (UK), in addition to a multi-media solo set on Artistic Director, Leymis Bolaños Wilmott, choreographed by Tennille Lambert (NYC). This versatile program is sure to delight and inspire - while offering something a little unexpected.

Jane B Cook Theatre, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

[SOON]  FOOD: Steak & Burger , February 1, 6:00PM - 9:00PM

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County is thrilled to announce our Steak & Burger Event, Celebrating Our Youth of the Year, will be held at The Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club on February 1, 2019 at 6:00 pm. Join us for this western-themed, fun filled night, where kids eat steak and adults eat burgers! Support of Steak & Burger helps financially sustain high-quality programs that we offer to more than 7,000 youth in Sarasota County. All proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County, helping our members reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club, 3100 Fruitville Road, Sarasota

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Meet the Author: Peter Kegeyama , February 1

Manatee Community Foundation will present a free community lecture and discussion with Peter Kegeyama, author of “For the Love of Cities” and “Love Where You Live.” Kegeyama will be joined by Lilly Weinberg of the Knight Foundation and Johnette Isham of Realize Bradenton. Kageyama will talk about what attracts people to get engaged in special places and why people love their cities.


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

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Upscale Sidewalk Sale , February 2, 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Join Designing Women Boutique on Saturday, February 2nd from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the areas most unique Upscale Sidewalk Sale offering only the best fashion brands with new and gently loved merchandise, as well as vintage and limited selection items.  Entry is free.

Browse amongst booths filled with beautiful clothing and jewelry, elegant handbags, fine art, antiques, home furnishing and more. Expect to see goodies from Chanel, Gucci, Hermes, Versace, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein and many other favorites.  Food court, refreshments and other goodies will be available for purchase.

Another highlight of the day will be the presence of appraisers Linda Dyer, Colleene Fesko, Stuart Whitehurst and Sara Wishart as seen on PBS Antique Road Show will be on-site by appointment providing verbal appraisals and to evaluate any treasures shoppers care to bring along.  There will be a minimal charge for this service and the time slots will fill up fast.

Proceeds will benefit DWB’s grants program and their signature GroundWorks initiative that funds scholarships, mentoring and career advancement opportunities.

Designing Women Boutique, 1226 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Knights , February 3 – April 21

Drawn from the superb collections of the Stibbert Museum in Florence, Italy, this extraordinary exhibition reveals the figure of the knight in the Middle Ages and Renaissance through over 80 exquisite objects, including full suits of armor, helmets, corselets, swords and other weaponry. The exhibition explores the function and craftsmanship of these exquisite objects as well as their historical context, focusing on themes of love and war, jousts and tournaments, and the 19th-century revival of interest in medieval knighthood.

The Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: SWAC Speaker Series: Can We Prevent the Next Attack? , February 4

Join the Sarasota World Affairs Council for the next program in its 2018-19 lecture series, Can We Prevent the Next Attack?  Understanding the Opportunities and Challenges of Countering Violent Extremism, featuring Dr. Stevan Weine, MD, Director of the International Center on Responses to Catastrophes at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. For the past 25 years, Dr. Weine has studied trauma- and migration-impacted populations to provide culturally-sensitive mental health and support services to the victims of mass violence, deprivation, terrorism, displacement, and disease.  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).

[SOON]  GALA: 2019 Lemur Gala: Red Ruffs & Roses , February 7

The 2019 Lemur Gala, Red Ruffs & Roses, is a captivating and inspiring evening to celebrate lemurs and join to help save them from extinction in the wild. World-renowned conservationist Dr. Thomas Lovejoy, world-renowned conservationist who coined the term "biological diversity is the distinguished speaker at the event.

Michael's On East, 1212 South East Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: Sweat , February 8 – April 13

Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Lynn Nottage’s play looks at life of working America. It’s the year 2000 in Reading, Pennsylvania, and friends Tracey and Cynthia only need their factory jobs and their favorite bar. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to be limited, the friends are pitted against each other. This new play confronts issues of race, class, family and friendship—and the tragic community without opportunity.

[SOON]  GALA: Party Under the Stars , February 9, 6:00PM - 10:00PM

Party Under the Stars in the Grove is a festive evening “under the stars,” featuring music, dancing, dining and a silent and live auction with fabulous prizes. All event proceeds provide non-medical, financial assistance to cancer patients and their families.

Hyatt Regency Sarasota, 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Turandot , February 9 – March 22

Although unfinished at the time of his death, this opera remains one of Italian composer Giacomo Puccini’s most loved works, known for being his most musically adventurous. The story opens with exiled Prince Calaf, wandering outside of the Chinese Imperial Palace, where he falls in love with the cold and distant Princess Turandot. To obtain her hand in marriage, a suitor must answer three riddles—but if they fail, they face execution. Prince Calaf declares his intention to complete the challenge and win the Princess’ heart, but a surprise test follows.

Sarasota Opera House , 61 North Pineapple Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Bradenton Area River Regatta , February 9

The fifth annual Bradenton Area River Regatta oozes over–the–top exhilaration coupled with all the traditional festival favorites—music, food, fun things to do—in one awe-gasping extravaganza that will fascinate spectators of all ages long after the day is done. 

It all starts with the fastest inland boats on water and the largest tunnel boat race on tour—Powerboat Superleague Formula-2—splitting the surf at speeds over 120/mph. And to make sure you get all the speed you need, we’ve added Formula-3 racing this year…nimble, agile and nearly as fast—at speeds hitting 100/mph!

With music that will make your feet move and body groove all day long on two main stage venues! National recording artists and Bradenton natives: We The Kings and headliners on Palmetto's main stage from Arcadia, FL, country music group: The Andy Pursell Band.

Watch as world fly-boarding Champion Kristen Smoyer skies 80 feet into the air on an elevator of water in one somersaulting sequence of acrobatic moves. Then marvel at all the fun four-legs can conjure up in the Frisbee® flying, canine trick antics of Team Zoom and Daredevil Dogs. Plus cool kids zones on both shores of the river and enough food and drinks to satisfy appetites large and small.

And, the after-dark delights are spectacular, too, as the nation’s “First Family of Fireworks,” Zambelli Internationale, paints the sky with pyrotechnic wizardry to end the day in one rousing blast of kaleidoscopic beauty.

The all FREE, fifth annual Bradenton Area River Regatta, Saturday, February 9, 2019. Save the date then savor the excitement!

Bradenton Riverwalk

[SOON]  GALA: Live, Laugh, Love Extravaganza , February 9

Benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Live Laugh Love Extravaganza will take place at The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota on February 9th. Guests will shop at a variety of Boutique vendors selling their wares, and peruse the fabulous treasures at the silent & live auction along with fun and exciting raffles items. The program kicks off with a delicious lunch, and guests will be treated to a fashion show featuring fabulous Bigs and their Littles as they model fashions by Panache, Tommy Bahama, Gap Kids, Debbie Dannheisser Threads and jewelry designed by Contessa Jewels.

The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, 1111 Ritz Carlton Dr, Sarasota

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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