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SRQ DAILY Oct 16, 2019

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

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Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"Workforce issues are top of mind for us. Over the years we have heard businesses discuss the need for manufacturing and a skilled workforce."

- Michael Gallen, Manatee Chamber vice president of public policy and small business.

[Business]  Manatee Chamber to Promote Legislative Agenda
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

As Florida lawmakers prepare for the upcoming legislative session, Manatee Chamber of Commerce leaders prepare to raise their own concerns with state government. Leaders of the business organization next month will visit the State Capitol to discuss preserving affordable housing funds, protecting regional waterways and boosting regional infrastructure.

“Workforce issues are top of mind for us,” said Michael Gallen, Manatee Chamber vice president of public policy and small business. “Over the years we have heard businesses discuss the need for manufacturing and a skilled workforce.” 

So business leaders want to see further state level investment in occupation-focused programs at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota and at the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee. 

The organization also will fight to preserve Visit Florida, a state tourism agency set to expire this year. Chamber officials also will urge lawmakers to leave in tact the Sadowski trust, revenue from doc stamps that’s supposed to be set aside for affordable housing but which routinely gets raided for a variety of other emergency causes. The Manatee Chamber will urge that the funds be reserved solely for housing programs, a particular need in coastal regions where the price of homes continues to price out many consumers.

Gallen also said water quality can no longer be treated strictly as an environmental cause and that the entire region has learned its economy depends on a clean ecosystem. “With the last couple years, the impacts to small business through red tide blooms has just devastates our community as far as visitors,” Gallen said. “It really hurt those businesses near the water and our coastal areas. We hope we can continue to focus on red tide research.”

As far as specific infrastructure, the Manatee Chamber supports expediting replacement of the DeSoto Bridge and will encourage the Department of Transportation to consider any alternatives to facilitate improvements for north-south capacity on the U.S. 41 corridor. The Chamber also wants to construct a bus-on-shoulder lane for the Anna Maria and Cortez Bridge projects.

Gallen said the Chamber will also press for better access to early learning and resources for students to reach grade level reading in schools. The organization also supports allowing Public Education Capital Outlay fund to build the State College of Florida Parrish Center and an Academic STEM Facility at USFSM.

And to fulfill a constant desire of Chambers, Gallen said Florida lawmakers should repeal the commercial lease tax. Florida remains the only state in the upon to charge a business rent tax, and while it has gone down in recent years, Gallen said lawmakers should find a way to nix it completely. 

Photo courtesy Florida Capitol: Historic Capitol Building.

[Philanthropy]  Step Up Suncoast Launches the "Every 1 Counts" Campaign Today

Today Step Up Suncoast is showing why “Every 1 Counts” at its 2nd Annual Step Up to the Plate Luncheon at the Grove. In addition to celebrating another year of success providing opportunity for economic security in the five counties it serves, the organization is launching a new campaign to ensure that its mission to empower people towards self-sufficiency will continue. The “Every 1 Counts” campaign is a focus on the individual. Every individual smiling face. Every individual day with a promise of love, safety and encouragement from a caring heart. Every individual bright future ahead. And every individual gesture of generosity that helps to make it happen. See Step Up Suncoast “Every 1 Counts” campaign video here, featuring its early childhood education program which focuses on closing the achievement gap for children throughout our community.    

Click to view the video

[Philanthropy]  Van Wezel Foundation Grants $600,000 to Support Arts Education

Engagement in the arts is essential to every student, teacher and member of the community. With this belief at its core, the Van Wezel Foundation today announced that it closed its fiscal year providing grant support of more than $600,000 to underwrite arts education programs for children and educators throughout the Suncoast, which provides 30,000 children and families with access to the performing arts.

Foundation grants helped fund multiple initiatives, including Van Wezel Schooltime Performances, a program that presents high quality, nationally and internationally renowned artists and performances for area students. Each Schooltime Performance connects to Florida Standards through engaging, awe-inspiring performing arts. To help prepare students for Schooltime Performances, teachers are trained and provided with learning materials for each performance.

Fifteen Family Literacy Nights were funded last season, offering parents and children the opportunity to enjoy an evening together that included dinner, a skill-building workshop, theater activities, reading and a book to take home. Over the summer, the Foundation supported the Summer Learning Academy at 23 different summer sites in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

The Van Wezel Foundation also helps support the Total Access program, providing veterans, seniors and low-income families with access to performances at the Hall. Over 400 tickets were granted in partnership with local organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Suncoast Charities for Children, Christ United Methodist Church, Hearing Loss Association of America, Friendship Centers, Step House, Loveland Center, The Warehouse of Venice, St. Jude Hispanic Center, Community Haven, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Gulf Coast Community Foundation and First Step of Sarasota. 

About the Van Wezel Foundation

[Philanthropy]  Dick Vitale awards college scholarships to five teens at Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County

Five outstanding, college-bound teens from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County were recognized on Tuesday, October 15, by ESPN Television sports analyst, author and philanthropist Dick Vitale for their commitment to their academic excellence and career goals. Vitale and his wife Lorraine awarded each recipient a $1,000 scholarship to help support their postsecondary education. The Vitales have been presenting college scholarships to deserving Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County members since 1997, bringing the total number of beneficiaries to 110 and amount of scholarship support to $110,000.  

The 2019 Dick Vitale Scholarship recipients are: 

Katherine Hernandez, a Sarasota Military Academy graduate who attended the Gene Matthews Boys & Girls Club for 12 years and is pursuing a degree in Nursing at Keiser University Flagship Campus in hopes of becoming a registered nurse;

Alex Lam, a 2-year Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club member who recently graduated from Pine View School and is studying Biology & History at University of South Florida;

Ian McLean,  a 4-year Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club member and graduate of Sarasota High School who is seeking a degree in Social Sciences from University of South Florida to ultimately work in the nonprofit sector;

Jeremy Morales, a Business major at State College of Florida who graduated from North Port High School, attended the Gene Matthews Boys & Girls Club for 12 years and aspires to be an entrepreneur; 

Jatavian Peterson, a Booker High School graduate who attended the Roy McBean Boys & Girls Club for 12 years and is pursuing a degree in Musical Theatre at Pace University in New York City in hopes of becoming a Broadway Performer.  


[Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center ]  Life Made Bigger

Low vision happens to many of us eventually. Peepers is a store with many solutions, run by nonprofit Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center. Magnifiers of many types will keep you reading books, magazines, menus, prescription labels, newspapers and your mail.

In one place, find small handheld magnifiers, high resolution electronic magnifiers, all the way to desktop video screens that can show an entire page in different colors and contrasts.

Each person’s vision is different, try them all hands-on with expert assistance on site to find the best solution for your individual needs.

The shop is filled with items that make life easier for those with low vision or blindness: Talking watches and clocks, kitchen aids, writing aids and tactile marker bumps.

The Peepers Store is located at: Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center. Store hours are: Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

7318 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34243 | (941) 359-1404

Lighthouse Education Center Website

[Awards]  Children First Named One of Five Nonprofits to Make List of

Children First has been recognized as one of the top 30 employers in Sarasota-Manatee in the “Best Places to Work” competition. Hosted by independent firm Best Companies Group and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the competition identifies and recognizes the area’s top employers who demonstrate workplace excellence and are known for retaining and recruiting the best and brightest employees. Companies representing thousands of local employees all vied to make the list. With the second highest number of employees of the companies who were named, and one of only five nonprofits, Children First—with nearly 190 staff members participating—was selected for its mission-driven approach to employment. “From our newest employees to those with over 30 years of experience, our staff is what truly makes us great. Every employee has the opportunity to be extraordinarily successful and feel a tremendous sense of gratification as a part of the Children First family," says CEO Philip Tavill. For more information, call 941-953-3877 or go to childrenfirst.net 

[Family]  2nd Annual Sporting Clays Tournament to Make Children's Dreams Come True

For the second year in a row the Children’s Dream Fund is hosting a sporting clays tournament to help make dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses. Children’s dreams come in many shapes and sizes - from puppies to playgrounds, cruises and computers, meetings with celebrities and family vacations. The Children’s Dream Fund’s goal is to create memories that will last a lifetime for sick children and their families. The event will begin with a BBQ lunch followed by a 1pm shotgun start. An award ceremony and auction will follow the tournament. For more information, contact Communications & Marketing Coordinator, Stephanie Mitchell, smitchell@childrensdreamfund.org, or phone 727-896-6390. 

The 2nd Annual Clays for Kids sporting clays tournament will take place at the Sarasota Trap Skeet and Clay, 3445 Rustic Rd., Nokomis, on Friday, October 18. 

To register a team or an individual for the event, visit here.

[Health & Wellness]  360 Orthopedics' Physicians Raise Money to Fight Breast Cancer

Two physicians from the rebranded 360 ORTHOPEDICS  (formerly Sarasota Orthopedic Associates), have been chosen to participate in the REAL MEN WEAR PINK campaign, presented by the American Cancer Society. Events to raise awareness and donations for this important cause run until the end of October. Dr Paul Lento and Dr Justin Raye, along with 25 other men have accepted this challenge to eradicate breast cancer in our lifetime. Dr Paul Lento, a triple board certified physician said, “My mother passed away at the age of 42 and my 5 sisters tested positive for the BRCA gene. I now have a daughter who may face similar issues as she gets older, so miserable disease hits close to me”. To support these physicians in their quest to win this battle, go to either http://bit.ly/LentoRMWP or http://bit.ly/RayeRMWP 

Real Men Wear Pink campaign

[Arts]  Sarasota Visual Artists Studios Celebrates Exhibition Opening Tonight

An exhibition by Sarasota Visual Artists Studios (SVAS) group will open at Art Ovation Hotel, Sarasota, October 16, 2019 through April 2020. The show, entitled 'The Independent Eye,' is curated by Francine Birbragher and features photographs by Chuck Reich, Barbara Banks and architect Michael Halflants, as well as sculptures by Duncan Chamberlain and the paintings of Bill Buchman, Larry Forgard, Grace Howl and Andrea Dasha Reich. The public is invited to the exhibition opening tonight, October 16,, 6 pm– 8pm. Musicians Rick Aaron and Lee Dougherty Ross will provide live music and refreshments will be served. 

More about the Sarasota Visual Arts Studios.

[Education]  Sarasota County Schools to Celebrate National School Lunch Week

Sarasota County Schools is serving up a special opportunity in observation of National School Lunch Week. From October 15 – 18, VIP guest servers, comprised of school district staff, law enforcement, first responders, elected officials and community partners, will once again be making special appearances in schools throughout the District to serve lunch to students. This year’s national campaign theme is “What’s on your Playlist?”, made possible by the nonprofit organization, School Nutrition Association. Parents and students can follow the fun using hashtags #NSLW19, #SchoolLunch and #LunchPlaylist.

Sarasota County Schools not only offers free or reduced lunch to students, it is also offering free breakfast and snacks to meet the needs of students at select schools throughout the District and features healthy choice options available to students to enjoy every day at school.  

[SOON]  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

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: The Orchid Show , October 12 – December 1, 10am-5pm

Blossoms of Asia combines a dazzling display of living orchids in the Tropical Conservatory with an elegant exhibition of orchid treasures from Selby Gardens’ bibliographic and preserved collections in the Museum of Botany and the Arts. The magnificent orchids in the Tropical Conservatory will include Asian specimens from Selby’s living plant collection. The display will reference traditional Japanese garden design and horticultural practices, including ikebana (the art of flower arrangement) and bonsai (the creation of miniaturized trees), in order to evoke a sense of Asia in the heart of Sarasota.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  SEMINAR: 24th Annual "Share The Light" Luncheon , October 17, 1130am-130pm

Join Second Chance Last Opportunity, the crisis intervention and life-skills training organization, as they honor Arlene Sweeting, the co-founder of WSLR 96.5 Community Radio and the Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, and Duhane Lindo, a reporter for the WWSB ABC7 News Team in Sarasota. The 24th Annual “Share The Light” Luncheon event will recognize the many contributions of these individuals. “We want all our clients to cultivate and reach their full potential,” says CEO and founder of Second Chance, April Glasco. “Sweeting and Lindo are outstanding examples of commitment and achievement.” Tickets for the luncheon are $65 and can be purchased online or by calling 941-360-8660. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

Michael's on East, 1212 S East Avenue, Sarasota, FL

[SOON]  HEALTH: Doctors Hospital Caregiver Support Group , October 21, 10am-11:30am

On every third Monday of the month, Julie Cook Downing, President of Caregivers Comfort Creations, LLC, facilitates a Doctors Hospital Caregiver Support Group. This group focuses on the caregiver and offers a retreat from the never ending mental and physical responsibilities of caregiving. This free, open group provides compassionate support and an opportunity to explore new solutions together to caregiver challenges. The group meets in the classroom outside of the cafeteria.

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, 5731 Bee Ridge Rd., Sarasota, FL 34233

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Modern Education Symposium , October 23, 5pm-7pm

Join SRQ Magazine and its family magazine RocketKids for an evening with representatives from local private and charter schools in Sarasota and Manatee Counties in a panel discussion about how each school prepares their students for success.  With the future workforce continuing to evolve rapidly, we ask local schools how they are creating programs that will prepare our students. We will also discuss the increasing importance of teaching social emotional literacy (SEL) and the role of schools in engaging with students in fostering these skills. Schools include: The Out-of-Door Academy, NewGate School, Sarasota Christian School, Island Village Montessori School, St. Martha's Catholic School and The Pinnacle Academy. Free admission. Lightbites, beer and wine will be served. RSVP at srqmag.com/moed.

SRQ Studios, 331 S. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Safari Sarasota , October 24 – October 26, Different festival event dates and times.

Safari Sarasota is a three-day, five event experience, produced by Michael's On East in partnership with the All Heart Fund of South Africa's Good Work Foundation. Safari Sarasota is the only event experience in the United States that brings together internationally-recognized guests from South Africa's Good Work Foundation and its founding patron, the Londolozi Reserve. There will be five sensational opportunities to experience the flavors of South Africa through food and wine, including an Interactive Cooking Experience led by Chef Anna Ridgewell from Londolozi Game Reserve and Chef Jamil Pineda of Michael's On East.  

Michael's On East, 1212 East Avenue S. Sarasota

[SOON]  SEMINAR: International Author & Wildlife Activist Boyd Varty Kicks-Off Book Tour , October 24, 10:30am

Somewhere deep inside, you know what your gift, purpose, and mission are. Boyd Varty, a lion tracker, life coach, and gifted storyteller reveals how ancient wisdom can teach you how to recognize the essential ingredients that create a meaningful life. Boyd will kick off the press tour of his NEW book, The Lion Tracker’s Guide to Life, with an intimate talk at Ringling College Morganroth Auditorium in partnership with Ringling College Library Association. Celebrating the release of his new book, each guest will receive a signed copy.  Watch Boyd Varty's Ted Talk here. 

Ringling College, Morganroth Auditorium, 2700 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

[SOON]  DANCE: Graziano, Retrospective , October 25 – October 27, 7:30pm evening performances and 2pm matinees

The Sarasota Ballet’s first program of the Season, titled Graziano, Retrospective, serves as a tribute to Principal Dancer and Resident Choreographer Ricardo Graziano’s tenth year with the company by featuring three of his choreographic works. Opening the program, Shostakovich Suite is his most traditionally classical ballet; premiered in 2011 and set to movements from Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 2” and “Ballet Suite No. 2”, Shostakovich Suite is an eight-scene ballet demonstrating the aptitude of the company dancers whom Graziano has grown to know so well over the past decade. Graziano’s 2015 work, En las Calles de Murcia, not seen since its world premiere, returns to the stage; the choreography was inspired by the city of Murcia in southeastern Spain as well as the music of early eighteenth-century guitarist and composer Santiago de Murcia, bringing a distinctive vibrancy to the dance. The program closes with Graziano’s critically lauded In a State of Weightlessness; since its August 2015 world premiere at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, MA, the production, set to Philip Glass’s “Tirol Concerto for Piano and Orchestra”, explores concepts of lightness in motion while generating its own ethereal sort of emotional gravity. 

FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Big Cat Habitat's Kid-Friendly Wild-O-Ween , October 26 – October 27, Noon to 4pm

Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary is hosting a kid friendly Wild-O-Ween Halloween weekend Oct. 26 and 27, including contests, wild animal encounter shows, face painting and trick-or-treating throughout the Habitat. The events will be held during normal daily admission times, 12 to 4 p.m., for the regular admission prices of $18 for adults and $8 for children. Special events include costume and mummy wrapping contests, rubber duckies, pony rides and wild animal encounter shows. Children also can participate in pumpkin bowling and watch the big cats and bears go wild over their fall enrichment treats. Refreshments are available and parking is free. The arena schedule includes a 1 pm reptile review show, 1:30 pm mummy-wrapping contest, 2 pm wild animal encounters show and 3 pm kids costume contest.

Big Cat Habitat, 7101 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota

[SOON]  FOOD: 20th Annual Morton's Firehouse Chili Cook-Off , October 27, 2-5pm

Join us in front of Morton’s Gourmet Market on Sunday, October 27 from 2-5 pm for the chili event of the year. Aspiring chefs from more than 15 local firehouses as well as Sarasota Police and County Sheriff Deputies will compete for the title of “Best Firehouse Chili.” Attendees may sample all entries and vote for their favorite for only $10. Celebrity judges and live entertainment will help make this event one of Sarasota’s best. All proceeds go to The Sarasota Firefighters’ Benevolent Fund. Find more information at mortonsmarket.com or sffbf.org. Tickets may be purchased the day of the event or in advance at Morton’s Gourmet Market.

Morton's Gourmet Market, 1924 South Osprey Avenue, between Arlington and Hyde Park Streets

[SOON]  FILM: Gazebo Starlight Cinema Series , November 1

Join the Gazebo Starlight Cinema series with this month’s movie: The Peanuts Movie. With a screen stretched around the Gazebo pillars and family flicks back-projected from within, what better place than the facing grassy knoll to relax in a beach chair or curl up on a blanket? Bring the whole family to kick off your weekend while enjoying the park! Support local Venice Avenue businesses by bringing snacks, dinner, ice cream (or gelato!) to enjoy during the movie.

Downtown Venice Centennial Park, 200 West Venice Ave.

[SOON]  FOOD: Sunset at Phillippi Estate Park Farm to Fork Dinner , November 3, 5-9pm

Join Chef Paul Mattison for a unique 4-course Farm to Fork Dinner overlooking the beautiful Phillippi River, featuring vendors from the Phillippi Farmerhouse Market. Each course will be paired with wine. Guests will enjoy live music by Romy Hernandez and artwork by the Light Chasers, plein air painters of the Suncoast, who will exhibiting and selling their original paintings and will donate 30% of all sales to the renovation of the Historic Keith Farmhouse. Please join us for sunset and an evening to remember! In case of inclement weather, the farm-to-fork dinner will move inside the Edson Keith Mansion. Tickets are $100 per person and includes tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and available for purchase at mattisons.com or by calling Mattison’s Forty-One at (941) 921.3400.

Philllippi Estate Park, 5500 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34231

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Casa Patas Flamenco: Raiz de 4 , November 6 – November 7, 7:30pm

Curated by the Casa Patas Flamenco Foundation, Raíz de 4 honors the art of Flamenco by delving into its most primitive roots, evoking the convergence of cultures and the folklore of Spain. The purest styles of flamenco, some of which are: romances (ballads), martinetes, fandangos and soleares are brought into the forefront in a performance made up of a cast of distinguished dance and musical artists. Song (cante), dance (baile), guitar (guitarra), and percussion (percusión) seamlessly convey a genuine love for this art form and take the audience on an intensely authentic and unswerving journey of sensations, and emotions.

Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34243

[SOON]  FILM: Gazebo Starlight Cinema Series , December 6

Join the Gazebo Starlight Cinema series with this month’s movie: Home Alone. With a screen stretched around the Gazebo pillars and family flicks back-projected from within, what better place than the facing grassy knoll to relax in a beach chair or curl up on a blanket? Bring the whole family to kick off your weekend while enjoying the park! Support local Venice Avenue businesses by bringing snacks, dinner, ice cream (or gelato!) to enjoy during the movie.

Downtown Venice Centennial Park, 200 West Venice Ave.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Atomic Holiday Bazaar , December 14 – December 15, Noon to 5pm

Atomic Holiday Bazaar, Season 14, returns to the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium. Atomic launched in 2006 showcasing 50 unconventional crafters who needed an affordable and welcoming venue to sell their unusual handmade wares. By producing an alternative craft show for Sarasota’s hip shoppers, Atomic quickly grew into an annual Sarasota holiday shopping tradition. 

The show proved such a success it expanded to a full weekend in 2007 and in 2008 Atomic grew from the main auditorium to the Bay Front room to accommodate the ever growing number of talented applicants and dedicated shoppers. In 2015, Atomic expanded again opening up its first street fair and jumping on the trend of including a handful of delicious local Sarasota food trucks. This season the show introduces a number of new makers who have had the opportunity to be a part of the show due to a number of Atomic Misfit Makers retiring from the craft making scene.

Atomic features a wide range of items for all: screen printed t-shirts, faux taxidermy, upcycled everything ranging from home decor, clothing, jewelry, (for example, think of “upcycled” as copper pipe that has been refitted into a desk lamp), vintage clothing, kitsch and jewelry, lowbrow to elegant fine art, holiday cards, jams, jellies and the best canned pickle selections ever, one of a kind baby clothing, humorous chatchkes, ornaments, knits, catnip toys, doggie stuff, felted art, plants, plushies (unusual and humorous creatures), pop culture-graphic art posters, dark sentiments, body products, candles, beachy vibe stuff, ethnic Latin textiles, rock n roll edgy clothing, sweet little creations that make you sigh, get the picture? No artsy stone unturned, Atomic has something for all.

Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, 801 N. Tamiami Trail, 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. 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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