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SRQ DAILY Aug 22, 2019

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"I would just hate like heck to see these beautiful assets disappear,"

- Jim Purdy, Sarasota Y acting president

-GOLFTOON 28: ADVICE. -What is the best advice you have been given on a golf course? How about the best advice you have given?
[Recreation]  Deal Reached to Keep Open YMCA Centers
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

It looks like two YMCA fitness centers in Sarasota will stay open, but under new management. 

The board for the Sarasota Family YMCA organization announced Wednesday it has reached an agreement with the new school, Dreamers Academy, and the organizations Save Our Y and Project Stoked. As part of the deal, parties said, the fitness centers will now operate as part of a new organization—The Sarasota Y.

Jim Purdy, a former chief operating officer for the YMCA who left the organization more than six years ago, will volunteer as acting president of the group. “I would just hate like heck to see these beautiful assets disappear,” Purdy says. He describes himself as a behind-the-scenes guy always interested in developing the organization.

He would not address the more recent management of the YMCA, which announced earlier this month it had to close down the Frank G. Berlin and Evelyn Sadler Jones centers because of financial problems. The new organization will have a new board. Meanwhile, social services under the auspices of the Sarasota Family YMCA will stay under that existing organization.

Board members say there have been growing problems in terms of finances, and that for years other services have helped supplement the fitness centers despite those being the part of the YMCA most visible to the public.

Now, there is confidence the community treasure can continue.

“There is a lot of hope that good things are happening and the board is more than willing to work with any organization that will preserve the YMCA,” says Sarasota Family YMCA board member Erik Arroyo. “That’s what everyone wants.”

There seemed a lifeline for the centers when Dreamers Academy, a planned dual language charter school planned to open in August 2020, reached out to YMCA leadership. Founder Geri Chaffee says her group was near a deal with another property when the YMCA went public with its issues with the centers. Chaffee says the school started working with the group Save Our Y on a plan to save the centers.

“I have been awed by that organization, that was so quickly put into place,” she says. “I trust them because this is their sole purpose.”

While Sarasota Family YMCA members have noted declining membership at gyms impacting the fitness centers, the new Sarasota Y leaders note the old organization once ran four centers. Most believe just having the Berlin and Jones centers in operation can be achieved with existing membership numbers.

“We are overwhelmed by the level of commitment and partnership witnessed over the past few days,” says Sarasota Family YMCA chair Michele Grimes. 

Anya Adams, a founder of Project Stoked, a nonprofit investing in organizations making social impacts, says the centers were worth saving. Adams will be on the board for the Sarasota Y.

“Seldom do we come across a project that not only fits our investment criteria but also has a direct impact on our own family’s wellbeing,” she said.

But the new organization said there is still work to be done. While a cash infusion from Project Stoked and Save Our Y will keep centers open, there will still be more fundraising.

"“We urge members and friends to go to our web site www.saveoury.org, and continue donating so that we can hit the $1.2 million mark by the time new management takes over operations,” said Charlie Campbell, chair for the Sarasota Y. 

Photo courtesy Sarasota Family YMCA: Evelyn Sadlier Jones Center.

[Philanthropy]  Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness Names Johnson CEO

The Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness, Inc. has announced that Chris Johnson has been selected to serve as the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer, effective September 16, 2019. Johnson, who moved to Sarasota in 2011, has held two positions within The Salvation Army Sarasota Florida Area Command, most recently as the Director of Program Services, and was selected as the result of a three-month national search, which attracted candidates from across the country. He holds a Master’s in Divinity as well as degrees in Youth and Family Ministry and Humanities. He has led The Salvation Army’s Program Services team in their efforts to move individuals from homelessness to housed through a variety of creative programming and engagement in national best practices. 

Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness

[Restaurant]  Irish 31 Pub House & Eatery Opening Sarasota Location on South Tamiami

Tampa-based brand, Irish 31 Pub House & Eatery, will open its eighth neighborhood pub on South Tamiami Trail in Sarasota on Monday, August 26. The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce will perform a formal ribbon cutting ceremony that Monday at 5pm.

The Sarasota pub is growing Irish 31 brand’s seventh Florida location, with others in Hyde Park Village, WestShore Plaza, Wiregrass, Westchase, Seminole and Clearwater Beach. Located directly across the street from Westfield Siesta Key, the Sarasota location boasts 3,000-square-feet of intimate space, with wall-to-wall televisions, wood accents, a chef-inspired menu and a pup-friendly outdoor patio. Irish 31 Sarasota promises live music nightly, trivia, a free run club and daily Happy Hour. An Official Partner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the pub will also host a number of Official Watch Parties next season. Permitting and construction are under way for more locations at Oviedo, Gainesville and Lakewood Ranch. 

Irish 31 Pub House & Eatery

[Philanthropy]  All Faiths Food Bank Receives $30,000 Grant from Community Foundation

All Faiths Food Bank has received a $30,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Sarasota from the Verena and Peter Gowa Fund, Bill and Karen Merrill Fund, and Hubert and Ruth DeLynn Fund in support of School Pantries for families at Emma E. Booker, Tuttle and Alta Vista Elementary Schools. School Pantries provide children and families in need with fresh produce, meats and groceries. 

All Faiths Food Bank

[Business]  Badger Bob's Services Expands Into Electric Repair and Installation

Badger Bob’s Services—a locally owned company specializing in HVAC, appliances and plumbing—has announced it has expanded its business to include licensed electrical repair and installation services. The new division includes a team of fully certified electricians on staff serving residential and commercial customers. The new electrical division will be led by Brian Brooks and serve the entire Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte county region. The electrical team is fully accredited, licensed, bonded and insured. All service work is backed by a one-year warranty. 

Badger Bob's Services

[Business]  Hoffer of KSC Inc. Earns Accreditation in Public Relations

Erin Hoffer of KSC Inc., a member of the Central West Coast chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (CWC-FPRA), has earned professional accreditation in public relations. In receiving the designation of Accredited in Public Relations (APR), Hoffer joins the more than 5,000 professionals nationally who represent an elite group of highly-skilled public relations professionals committed to practicing with exemplary ethical standards. The APR examination is administered by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB), which is an alliance of eight national and statewide professional associations dedicated to furthering the field of public relations and the development of public relations professionals.

Hoffer, APR, joined KSC’s team as an account executive in November 2018. Prior to this, she spent 11 years with the City of North Port, as a professional government communicator, during which she led numerous marketing, public relations and advertising initiatives. She is a 2008 graduate of the Gulf Coast Leadership Institute. 

KSC Inc.

[Education]  Hamley Receives Teacher of the Year Award from Venice-Nokomis Rotary

The Venice-Nokomis Rotary Club recently bestowed Allison Hamley with its annual “Teacher of the Year Award” in recognition of her incredible impact on her students and the community. Hamley, currently a Reading Recovery teacher, has instructed at Venice Elementary School for 16 of her 25 years as a teacher. Reading Recovery aims to significantly reduce the number of first-grade students who have severe challenges while learning to read and write. These intervention tactics are most effective when they are accessible to all students who need them, and when they are used as a supplement to existing, results-driven curriculum. An estimated 75% of students who complete the full 12-to-20-week intervention are usually able to meet grade-level expectations in reading and writing when tested.

Hamley is noted as being exceptionally effective at aiding her students and supporting their diverse learning needs. The Venice-Nokomis Rotary Club’s Teacher of the Year Committee Chairman, Jesse Lazarus, presented her with a $1,000 check and plaque. 

Venice Elementary School

[TODAY]  FILM: Sun Xun: Time Spy , August 11 – February 16

A mesmerizing 3D animated film by Chinese painter and draughtsman, Sun Xun incorporates traditional techniques including ink painting, charcoal drawing and woodblock printing. He uses analog and digital technologies to explore pressing concerns of the time.

The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road

[TODAY]  THEATER: The Cottage , July 31 – August 24

Set in the English countryside in 1923, this sexy comedy of love and betrayal unfolds when Sylvia Van Kipness decides to expose her secret love affair to her husband. The true meanings of love and marriage are called into question as a surprising, hilarious web of secrets unravels in this ridiculous—potentially murderous—romantic comedy.

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 N Palm Ave., Sarasota

[TODAY]  THEATER: Scorch , July 26 – August 25

For Kes, falling in love for the first time happened online. But the exhilarating fantasy quickly turns into a terrifying reality when the young teen is accused of criminal conduct. Inspired by real cases of ‘gender fraud,’ Scorch is a touching and provocative story of love though the eyes of a gender-curious teen.

Urbanite Theatre, 1487 2nd St., Sarasota.

[TODAY]  THEATER: The Swingaroos: Hollywood Serenade , July 23 – August 30

Back by popular demand, The Swingaroos return to FST with a brand new show. Inspired by the Golden Age of Hollywood, this jazzy music revue pays tribute to such icons as Frank Sinatra, Cab Calloway, and Fred Astaire. Travel back in time this summer to the ‘30s and ‘40s when big bands and swing dancing were all the rage. 

Florida Studio Threatre, 1241 N Palm Ave., Sarasota

[TODAY]  MUSEUM: Natasha Mazurka: Order Systems , March 17 – September 29

Mazurka’s work reflects the communicative potential of pattern by combining visual references to architecture, biology, data analytics and instructional code. From her intense research into pattern languages, Mazurka presents an art exhibition that flatters and disturbs concepts of certainty and stability residing within pattern systems existing all-around us.

The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Hungry Ghost Festival and Psychic Fair , August 24, 11am–4pm

The Hungry Ghost Festival marks the time of year when tables are turned and the deceased are believed to visit the living. The gates of the afterlife are thrown open and ghosts are free to roam the earth in search of food, entertainment and mischief.

Though the Hungry Ghost Festival gets some acclaim as the “Chinese Halloween,” the holiday actually offers a great opportunity to teach kids about caring for the destitute and less fortunate.

The Spirit University, 373 Braden Ave.

[SOON]  GALA: Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Kick Off Celebration , August 29, 530pm

Join us to Kick Off the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer season and for the reveal of the 2019 Real Men Wear Pink candidates.  Hear about the American Cancer Society’s lifechanging research and patient programs that are funded by Making Strides and Real Men Wear Pink events. Light hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served. RSVP is required. Please RSVP by Monday, August 26th to Lucy.Fox@cancer.org or 941-328-3755. MakingStridesWalk.org/SarasotaManatee

The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, 1111 Ritz-Carlton Drive, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  FOOD: Caregivers Comfort Socializing Lunch , September 2, 1215pm

Julie Cook Downing, President of Caregivers' Comfort Creations, LLC and Doctors Hospital Caregiver Support Group Facilitator, hosts a monthly lunch at The Rosemary restaurant. This event provides caregivers some time to relax, enjoy themselves and eat super delicious food with others sharing similar situations. The lunch takes place from 12:15pm-1:45pm. For lunch details, contact Julie at caregivercomfort@aol.com.

The Rosemary, 411 North Orange Avenue

[SOON]  THEATER: Who Love You, Musical Tribute to Frankie Valli and Beyond , September 3 – October 13

Experience the signature songs and dance moves of one of the most successful acts in music history: Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. A musical tribute to the group that has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, Who Loves You will have you clapping and singing along to hits like “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Rag Doll,” “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night),” and many more you know and love.

Florida Studio Threatre, 1241 N Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Stars, Stripes and Style 26th Annual Fashion Show , September 4, 11am

Join us in celebration of the Women's Council of Realtors Sarasota Network 26th Annual Fashion show on Wednesday, September 4 at 11:00 am. WCR will honor America's veterans at the Stars, Stripes and Style fashion show featuring fashions by Goodwill Manasota. Enjoy lunch by The Hyatt Sarasota and a fun filled fashion show by local realtors and business partners. There will be a live auction, lotto tree raffle, silent auction and shopping at tabletop boutiques.

Hyatt Sarasota, 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  MUSIC: The Goldtones , September 7, 8pm

The Goldtones have been called the “hottest doo-wop group in Florida” and entertain their audiences with the sweet sounds of street-corner harmony and all the favorites from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. The group is back by popular demand after performing at Venice Theatre for five years in a row. Proceeds benefit the Venice Theatre Guild’s Scholarship Fund!

Venice Theatre MainStage, 140 W Tampa Ave.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: 14th Annual Intertape Polymer Group Leadership Breakfast , September 13, 730am

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County will honor Jaime DiDomenico, Cool Today/Plumbing Today/Energy Today President, and Dr. Rachel Shelley, Booker High School Principal, at the 14th Annual Intertape Polymer Group (IPG) Leadership Breakfast for their commitment to empowering our community’s future leaders to reach their full potential. The event will take place on Friday, September 13, from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club, located at 3100 Fruitville Road in Sarasota.  Individual tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased at bgcsarasota.com. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Please contact Tanya Orr, Community Engagement Manager, for more information by calling (941) 366-3911 or emailing torr@bgcsarasota.com.

Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club, 3100 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL 34237

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Oktoberfest , September 13, 5–8pm

Put on your best German lederhosen and get ready to sample beers and shop during Oktoberfest. Ticket holders will be able to enjoy a fall-themed beer tasting at each of the participating locations in Downtown Venice as live, traditional German music fills the air. Attendees will receive a small sampling stein on a lanyard and get to sample a variety of brews in 3-ounce tastings as they follow a map of beer-tasting locations.

Downtown Venice

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Sarasota Wellness Expo , September 15

This expo provides an opportunity for locals to meet with local businesses that promote healthy living, and learn how to better their health and mind. This event caters to all ages and attendance is free. Guests can enjoy free fitness demos, health checks, a teddy bear clinic for kids, healthy food demonstrations, interactive activities and more.

Westfield Sarasota Square , 8201 South Tamiami Trl., 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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