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SRQ DAILY Jun 12, 2019

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

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Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"It's about finding funny."

- Les McCurdy

[Performance]  Finding Funny with McCurdy and Sons
Olivia Liang

Since 1988, the modest black stage, blinding neon lights and raucous, unbridled voices of McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre have inspired swells of Sarasota laughter. But when Les McCurdy realized a pattern of unpolished performers on his own stage, a new style of education emerged. McCurdy and fellow comedian Ken Sons have now made that McCurdy stage and spotlight attainable for all.

McCurdy and Sons present—Comedy Boot Camp.

For twelve hours over three days, plus a performance night, 10–20 students learn the ABCs of stand-up: everything from properly holding a microphone to exploring the bounds of comedy, practicing improvisational skills and giving and receiving constructive feedback. And in a comedic arena where McCurdy warns “you’re judged moment-to-moment” by every eye, ear and funny bone in the room, Boot Camp intends to boost confidence, generate personalized material and divulge the holistic art of stand-up comedy.

“It’s about finding funny,” says McCurdy, sipping coffee before his May graduates step up to the infamous McCurdy stage. Working with the McCurdy’s Boot Camp Workbook, students tackle writing exercises and create original content. One strategy that never fails to brew creative juices and win over an audience: self-deprecating humor. “I’m gonna tease my southern accent, my age, that I’m bald,” McCurdy explains. Only by realizing and taking advantage of one’s own humorous attributes, can a comedian see, understand and reflect the humor in other things. After two weekends, each student will have written a deliverable set and learned what works and what doesn’t—the results of feedback, workshop, feedback, workshop, feedback, workshop. Think borderline Comedy Central Roast Channel. “It’s criticism,” one graduate jokes with another, “don’t lie.”

Comedy virgins, second-time campers, restless retirees and the comically curious—Boot Camp welcomes the lot. While an estimated 60% of students includes aspiring comedians who aim to perform on some professional level, the remaining 40% largely consists of bucket-listers and recipients of McCurdy’s gift certificates. Or for professional play, doctors and lawyers often enroll to revive bedside manner or spice up courtroom charm. As Bill Richardson, an attorney and graduate of the May 2019 Boot Camp, explains, “I got really tired of being serious all the time.”

The next Comedy Boot Camp session will be held July 14–21 with a performance on July 24. Register online at the website below. 

McCurdy's Comedy Theatre Comedy Boot Camp

[Philanthropy]  Neuro Challenge Foundation Names Heider Development Director

Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of people with Parkinson’s and their caregivers, recently welcomed Mary Jo Heider as its first development director. Heider brings more than 18 years of experience in fundraising, grant writing and donor relations to the Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s, and will now develop and implement a comprehensive fundraising plan in partnership with the CEO. She will also serve as the organization’s major gift fundraiser, manage the nonprofit’s donor relations activities, oversee the event manager and maintain all special events, administer an annual giving program and act as an advocate for the agency.

Most recently, Heider served as the community relations and development manager for The Circus Arts Conservatory. During her 10-year tenure there, she spearheaded nonprofit funding, managed more than 400 volunteers, helped with a $4 million capital campaign and assisted with grants and grant writing. 

Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson's

[Philanthropy]  GCCF Awards More Than $537,000 in Scholarships

Gulf Coast Community Foundation has awarded more than half-a-million dollars in scholarships to hundreds of local students for the 2019-20 academic year.

The foundation recently announced 461 scholarship awards totaling $537,719 for the upcoming school year. More than $215,000 was awarded from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation Scholarship Fund, an endowment established by the foundation’s Board in 1997 to help local students pursue meaningful higher education. A total of 188 students received the Gulf Coast Scholarship this year, with awards ranging from $1,000 to $3,000. The rest of the scholarship funding comes from more than 50 different scholarship funds established by donors and administered by the foundation on their behalf. Many of these scholarships support students pursuing specific fields of study, such as healthcare, vocational training, business or the arts, while others focus on students from particular communities or schools.

Recipients of the foundation’s scholarships may be from Sarasota County, Charlotte County or Boca Grande. Since 1997, the foundation and its donors have invested more than $8 million in students through scholarships. 

Gulf Coast Community Foundation

[Philanthropy]  V Foundation for Cancer Research Receives $1.1 Million Donation

Dick Vitale has been presented with a check to The V Foundation for Cancer Research in the amount of $1,110,000. The donation was made by Mark and Cindy Pentecost and The Pentecost Foundation. The check is a result of this year’s Dick Vitale Gala, which was held at the Ritz Carlton Sarasota and raised $4.3 million in total. Funds will benefit the V Foundation, one of the nation’s leading cancer research funding organizations. 

V Foundation for Cancer Research

[Philanthropy]  Rotarians Donate $18k to Support Red Tide Institute at Mote Marine

Rotarians from the greater Sarasota area came together to host the Rotary Fights Red Tide gala at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium. Following the success of the event, the Rotary Club of Sarasota Sunrise presented Mote President & CEO Dr . Michael P. Crosby with $18,000 to support the Red Tide Institute at Mote. The Institute serves as a hub of intensive research and development focused exclusively on advancing promising technologies for controlling and mitigating red tide impacts toward practical application. 

Mote Marine Red Tide Research

[Philanthropy]  ACE Mentor Program Awards Venice High Students Scholarships

The ACE Mentor Program of America (ACE) is a national program that mentors high school students, with the mission to encourage them to pursue careers in architecture, engineering and construction and to support their continued advancement in the industry. More than 9,000 students from 1,000 high schools annually participate in ACE, and the ACE Sarasota Mentor Program distributed scholarships to five Venice High School Engineering CTE students. And this year, a scholarship was given out by the Banquet’s Keynote Speaker, Ryan Perrone of Nautilus Homes. In addition to a scholarship of $2,000, Nautilus Homes offered a summer internship working alongside of the company’s executive and field team.

Since inception, ACE has awarded over $15 million nationally in scholarships to promising participants. 

ACE Mentor Program

[Philanthropy]  Boys & Girls Clubs, All Faiths Food Bank Combat Child Hunger in Arcadia

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County and All Faiths Food Bank are expanding their longstanding partnership beyond Sarasota County to combat child hunger during the eight-week Summer Program at the Arcadia Boys & Girls Club in DeSoto County. As a result, nearly 75 children, ages 6 to 11, will receive a nutritious snack each day and lunch each Friday, as well as, a bag with enough food to last them throughout the weekends at no cost.

The organization is also able to provide free meals to Arcadia Boys & Girls Club members Monday through Thursday thanks to a partnership with the DeSoto County Schools Food Service Department. 

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County

[Survey]  Share Your Story - SRQ Magazine's 2019 Readers Engagement Survey, Closes July 1st



There's still time to connect with the team at SRQ Magazine | Live Local and Love Local for the 2019 Readers Engagement Survey. We invite readers to share their thoughts on how they want to enjoy their time with the magazine—from the types of stories we cover to the way we lay them out in our pages. We want to know what you'd like to see more of in our coverage. Thank you for sharing your insights with us. Click below to take the survey before it closes on July 1st. 

Take the Survey

[TODAY]  THEATER: The Niceties , May 31 – June 30

Zoe is called into her professor's office to discuss her paper about slavery's effect on the American Revolution. What begins as a polite clash in perspectives explodes into an urgent debate about race, history and power.

Urbanite Theatre, 1487 2nd St., Sarasota

[TODAY]  THEATER: Manatee Players' Production of Tony N' Tina's Wedding , June 12 – June 23

Attend this raucous Italian-American wedding experience, including the ceremony and ballroom wedding-reception buffet –– complete with wedding cake and dancing! Enjoy the performance alongside the improvisational cast of exaggerated, stereotypical characters. Tony n' Tina's Wedding premiered in New York and was the first immersive theater experience of its kind.

Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Ave. W

[SOON]  THEATER: Summer Circus Spectacular , June 11 – August 3

This family-friendly spectacular showcases some of the finest circus artists from around the world, performing acts to thrill audiences of all ages. Show times are 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Tickets for preview shows, June 11-14, are just $12; for the remainder of the run tickets are $16/adults, $12/children 12 and under.

Historic Asolo Theatre, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota

[SOON]  BUSINESS: SkillSHARE: Mentoring at the Speed of Life, June 13 , June 13, 5-7:30pm

Join us for an evening of deep-dive peer mentorship at the spring SkillSHARE: Mentorship at the Speed of Life on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at the SRQ Studios at 331 South Pineapple Avenue in Downtown Sarasota from 5-7:30pm. Register online by submitting questions from the areas in which you'd like to be paired with a peer mentor for the evening at SRQMAG.COM/SKILLSHARE. Light bites and wine. Registration closes on Friday, May 17, 2019; the registration fee is $25 per person. Limited to 16 mentees. For more information, contact SRQ MEDIA at 941-365-7702 x204.

SRQ Studios, 331 S. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  MUSIC: Three Titans (Saturday Symphony) , June 15, 7:30pm

Spend an evening with three titans of the Classical Period of music history: Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. “Papa” Haydn and Mozart were close friends; the young Beethoven studied with Haydn and played for Mozart. Together, these three giants form a family of classicists that transformed the history of Western music in the space of 75 years. The program opens with the young Beethoven’s Octet in E-flat Major for winds. Festival Faculty are joined by Fellows for this boisterous romp of youthful enthusiasm. The concert continues with Haydn’s Symphony No. 80, performed “classical style” without a conductor. The Festival Orchestra will be led by Dallas Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Alexander Kerr. 

Sarasota Opera House, 709 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Garden Music Series , June 16, 1pm

Join local band favorite, Ari and the Alibis, for an afternoon of Funk, Jazz, Samba, Blues, Rock and Soul infusion. Experience a taste of classical, modern and well-known hits while venturing on a relaxing stroll throughout Selby's lush greenery. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first served basis.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens , 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: Jazz Club of Sarasota (Summer Concert Series) , June 17

Enjoy a fabulous concert featuring The Danny Sinoff Trio and Patricia Dean. In this concert, Danny Sinoff obtains a style of Jazz that is both swinging and emotionally heartfelt. On drums and vocals is Patricia Dean. As a drummer, she is an inspiring and supremely tasteful time-keeper, accompanist & soloist. On vocals, she is swinging, sensitive and musical. Completing the trio is Scott Smith on bass. Jazz Club members $35; non-members $39. 

Florida Studio Theatre Court Cabaret, First Street and Coconut Avenue, Sarasota.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: June BCE at Siesta Key Palms Hotel , June 20

Mix and mingle with fellow Siesta Key Chamber members at the June Business Card Exchange hosted by Siesta Key Palms Hotel. Join for complimentary drinks, appetizers, and chances to win prizes. Don't forget to bring business cards and a door prize to promote businesses. 

Siesta Key Palms Hotel, 1800 Stickney Point Rd., Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: Van Wezel Friday Fest featuring Big Night Out , June 21

Join us for The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall’s FREE outdoor summertime concert series! The events run from 5-9pm and are located on the Bayside Lawn of the Van Wezel. Each of the four events will feature food trucks, beverage vendors and more – it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a summer sunset over Sarasota Bay.


Kicking off Friday Fest 2019 is Big Night Out – a grooving six-piece dance band performing Latin, R&B and Island dance music! A powerful horn section and Latin percussion add to the commanding vocals of Frank Alverez. Dance the night away with a perfect view of the Sarasota sunset as Big Night Out’s kicks off our annual summer concert series!

Van Wezel

[SOON]  THEATER: Junie B. Jones The Musical , June 21 – June 22

Junie B. starts her first day of first grade, where she encounters many changes. Her best friend finds new best friends. She makes friends with Herb, the new kid. She has problems reading the blackboard in Mr. Scary’s class. Include the friendly cafeteria lady, a kickball tournament, and a “Top-Secret Personal Beeswax Journal,” First grade has never been more exciting! A Kidz Camp production.

Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Avenue West, Bradenton.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Wigs and Wit , June 25, 8pm

This showcase features a head-to-head battle of the wits between the area's most fabulous drag queens and hilarious stand-up comics. Music, comedy and surprises make this a unique live experience. Hosted by Jeff Klein and Sarasota's favorite hometown girl, Miss Beneva Fruitville.

McCurdy's Comedy Theatre, 1923 Ringling Blvd.

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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