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SRQ DAILY Dec 25, 2019

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

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Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"Though it looked and smelled like every other laundromat in the world, the contagious generosity that filled the SuperMatt was unique."

- Stacy Sternberg, The Patterson Foundation

[Philanthropy]  Pop-Up Neighbor Event Made SuperMatt the Happiest Laundromat in the World
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

When most people think of laundromats, they generally think of bleak, dreary places filled with people who would rather be anywhere else, doing anything but laundry. This was not the case when on the morning of Monday, December 16 at the SuperMatt Laundromat in Port Charlotte. The laundromat filled with families and buzzed with excitement. Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (SCGLR) and the United Way of Charlotte County teamed up to host a ‘Pop-Up Neighbor’ event for the holiday season. Pop-Up Neighbor events provide a unique opportunity for volunteers of nonprofits to make connections directly with individuals of the community in an unexpected locale. Customers came in unknowingly to do laundry, and were pleasantly surprised to find their cost of laundry was alleviated. For three hours, everyone who walked into the laundromat had his or her laundry fees paid for thanks to the generosity of Sarasota nonprofit, The Patterson Foundation. 

Meanwhile, volunteers set up a bookshelf and tables stocked with a bundle of books to create a reading area for the kids to be read to by “celebrity readers” and were able to take the books home with them after. As the adults socialized and turned a mundane chore into a cheerful affair, a buffet of donuts, coffee, chips and sandwiches were provided to munch on while clothing tumble dried. In addition, laundry detergent, stain removers, bleach, and fabric softeners of every brand imaginable were provided for people to utilize. 

“When The Patterson Foundation says laundry is free, they mean free,” quips Stacy Sternberg of the Patterson Foundation who was tasked with holding one of the laundry cards to swipe customers’ payments as they started a load. By the end of the event, SCGLR and The Patterson Foundation paid for 287 loads of laundry and impacted 33 familiesnot only surprised, but incredibly thankful. 

“I was struck by what a financial burden laundry could be for some,” Sternberg says, “One woman teared up as I swiped her final load of laundry. She planned on spending at least $60 cleaning her family's clothes and didn't know how she was going to pay for next week's groceries, but now that stress was gone.” The more she swiped, the more she heard how this relatively small gesture of kindness was making a significant impact on people's lives. 

“Though it looked and smelled like every other laundromat in the world, the contagious generosity that filled the SuperMatt was unique,” Sternberg says. “I witnessed something I'd never seen at a laundromat before—people helping each other, sharing their stories, and learning about the importance of reading for young children. Patrons of all ages assisted in unloading dryers and delivering clean laundry out to cars. People were chatting, eating sandwiches, perusing books, and surpassing all of my laundromat expectations.”  

Photo courtesy of SCGLR and The Patterson Foundation.

[The Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center]  BELIEVE in a Social Network of Services

Your zip code could be a more reliable predictor of your health than your genetic code. To better understand how the cultural aspects of our lives effect our physical health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation created the Systems for Action grant. 

In 2017, The Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center was selected as a research site for a study funded by the grant. The study’s aim was to help inform policies from a big-picture perspective with a focus on measuring the community’s capacity to absorb hospital and clinical referrals. 

All to answer the greater question: How can we connect our nation’s fragmented systems to build a Culture of Health?

Of the 31 local organizations responding, the study found a well-connected network with high levels of mutual trust and value, ready to move toward greater efficiency. The Center’s position as a connector and hub for human services enabled the study to reach into our local network, paving the way for system-wide improvement and making real change possible.

As Founder Dr. Kay Glasser was known to say, “The quality of life in any community depends upon the quality of life of its people.” The Center has been committed to a better quality of life for all since opening its doors 30 years ago.

To mark the 30th anniversary, Glasser/Schoenbaum is hosting BELIEVE. The fundraiser gala will feature guest speaker and author of the study, Dr. Danielle Varda, who will discuss her findings and uncover the ways in which our local network is built on trust and value. 

Click here for more information

[Staff Announcement]  Local College Access Network (LCAN) Hires a Director

The Education Foundation of Sarasota County (EFSC) announced the hire of the first Local College Access Network (LCAN) Director Thomas Williams, who went through an arduous interview process with LCAN steering committee members and EFSC colleagues. As the LCAN Director, Williams will facilitate overall strategic planning, lead fiscal management and data analysis, provide organizational development, leverage community engagement, and provide administrative duties required to successfully execute the collective impact model. Williams is a member of the EFSC senior leadership team and will work closely with EFSC President Jennifer Vigne and special consultant David Moore as he acclimates into his role.  A great deal of gratitude goes to the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation for the funding support they provided to allow the EFSC to make this critical hire. 

[Giving Back]  Sarasota Academy Celebrates Annual Toys for Tots Donation Drive

Cadets and staff at Sarasota Military Academy, a local, public charter school, recently hosted the annual Marine Toys for Tots donation drive at both the high school campus, located at 801 North Orange Ave and Prep middle school campus, located at 3101 Bethel Lane in Sarasota. Donations were accepted until December 19, 2019 and included new, unwrapped toys and bikes from staff and cadets. This year, in addition to 13 large boxes filled, 23 new bikes were collected - a record for Sarasota Military Academy cadets and staff.

With a mission to collect new, unwrapped toys for distribution as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community, the primary goal of Marine Toys for Tots, according to the Toys for Tots website, is to deliver a message of hope to youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.

“The goal is to teach our cadets about the impact of giving. How it impacts them and those in our community who are in need, and that no matter how great or how small the donation is, it’s always important to give. This particular program is my passion, and our staff, cadets and families are so incredibly giving. It’s such an important, and overwhelmingly positive, part of the holiday season at SMA,” said SMA-COL Christina Bowman, Executive Director of Schools for Sarasota Military Academy. 

Bowman and her family have a personal connection to the organization. Bowman and her husband began giving to Toys for Tots as a young married couple and after his unexpected passing in 2006, Bowman continued to give and support the organization in his memory. 

[Performance]  Asolo Rep Provides Free and Discounted Tickets for Youth and Families for 'The Sound of Music'

Throughout Asolo Rep's run of  The Sound of Music, the theatre has provided free and discounted tickets for more than 1,200 area youth and families. This initiative supports the institution's belief that it is crucial for the next generation to experience the magic of live theatre at a young age. As part of the program, Asolo Rep Education & Engagement department provided educational materials (curriculum, interactive activities, and discussion questions) to connect the show onstage to the lives and learning of students. The theatre also provided an additional 200 discounted tickets for students from other schools for performances throughout the run. More than 100 families (500+ patrons) attended Family Day on Saturday, December 14. Attendees received discounted tickets and also engaged in pre-show interactive activities, hosted by arts partners Embracing Our Differences, The Ringling and The Sarasota Opera, including an opera singing lesson, a paper collage craft, an inside look at the real von Trapp family and more.

“Seeing and hearing the incredibly honest reactions of young people as they experience theatre is magic,” said Muriel O’Neil Education & Engagement Director Sara Brunow. “Theatre is for everybody and through our programming, we’re working to actively connect with our community and the next generation by exploring the stories we tell onstage. We can’t wait to do more.” Asolo Rep's Education & Engagement department is in the process of expanding its offerings. Visit asolorep.org/engage-learn to stay up to date. The Sound of Music runs through December 28. For tickets and information, visit asolorep.org. 

[SOON]  THEATER: The Sound of Music , November 13 – December 28, 7:30pm and 8pm evening performances and 1:30 and 2pm matinees

Like a breath of fresh Alpine air, this beloved musical masterpiece sweeps onto the Asolo Rep stage just in time for the holidays. Maria, a young nun causing trouble at the abbey, is sent off to be governess to Captain Von Trapp’s seven troublesome children. She brings much-needed love and joy to the family – and the widowed captain – and transforms their world and hers through the power of music. But the looming threat of Nazi Germany’s invasion of their native Austria darkens their future. Overflowing with some of the most iconic songs of all time, this heart warming family musical will be helmed by Josh Rhodes, returning on the heels of his spectacular production of Evita in 2017.

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

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Manuel Álvarez Bravo: Specters and Parables , December 8 – March 1

Born and raised in Mexico City, where he spent most of his career, Manuel Álvarez Bravo (Mexican, 1902-2002) was one of the most important figures in 20th century Latin American photography. Although he took art classes at the Academy of San Carlos, his photography was mostly self-taught, but he was savvy to the emerging international artistic avant-garde. Considered to be one of the founders of modern photography, his work extends from the late 1920s to the 1900s. He was a key figure from the period following the Mexican Revolution—often called the Mexican Renaissance—in which arts and literature flourished. This “Renaissance” owed to the happy—though not always tranquil—marriage between a desire for modernization and the search for an authentic national identity with Mexican roots, in which archaeology, history and ethnology played an important role. Support for this exhibition has been provided, in part, by the Ringling Endowment at the Florida State University Foundation. Paid for in part by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues. 

John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Lights In Bloom , December 14 – January 4, 6pm-9pm

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens lights up the holiday season with Lights In Bloom. Over two million lights will illuminate the gardens and walkways will be transformed into sensory light tunnels. Visitors will have the opportunity to stroll through magical gardens filled with beautifully lit flowers, radiant rainforest butterflies, dragonflies and more. The tropical holiday paradise includes nightly visits from Santa (before Christmas Eve), children’s arts and crafts activities and games and special entertainment. Grilled foods will be available for purchase from the Michael’s on East grill including a cash bar. The Selby House Cafe will also be open with its full menu. In its 16th year, Lights In Bloom has become a tradition for residents and visitors to celebrate the holiday season in Sarasota.

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

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Syd Solomon: Concealed and Revealed , December 15 – April 26

Concealed and Revealed offers a unique selection of paintings by the artist, along with numerous objects from the Solomon Archive on view for the first time. Syd Solomon (American, 1917-2004) described himself as an “Abstract Impressionist” alluding to the fact that his work infused impressionism into the processes, scale and concepts of Abstract Expressionism. Solomon moved to Sarasota in 1946 with his wife Annie. His was the first work of contemporary art to be collected by The Ringling in 1962. His paintings were greatly influenced by climatic factors and reveal a fascination and concern for Florida’s aquatic environment. Solomon incorporated his experience as a camouflage designer during World War II into his painting. It is not well-known that he was also an accomplished graphic artist, who in his early years designed commercial signage for prominent hotels and businesses in Sarasota. Like his work in camouflage, Solomon’s calligraphic skill was essential to the development of his later gestural abstraction.

Syd Solomon: Concealed and Revealed is presented in partnership with the Estate of Syd Solomon and is accompanied by a 96-page publication with essays by former curator at The Ringling Michael Auping, George S. Bolge, Dr. Gail Levin, and Mike Solomon. The exhibition will include artworks from private collections and The Ringling’s permanent collection.

John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota

[SOON]  GALLERY: The Peter Max Retrospective: Celebrating the Pop Art Movement, Music and Artistic Vision , December 16 – December 26

A Retrospective collection, with a significant nod to music, the arts and the legacy of the Pop Art genre from the studio of artist legend, Peter Max, will be on exhibition and available for acquisition in a limited engagement presentation at Chasen Galleries, Sarasota’s premier pop art gallery. The exhibition opens with an evening preview event on Thursday, January 16, 2020 from 5-8 pm. The Exhibition extends through Sunday, January 26. Two limited engagement, not-to-be-missed Gallery receptions for the public will take place on Saturday, January 25 from 6 to 8 pm and Sunday, January 26 from 1 to 3 pm. All receptions complimentary and open to the public with RSVPs suggested; 866-900-6699.

Chasen Galleries, 1830 S Osprey Ave suite 102, Sarasota, FL 34239

[SOON]  MUSIC: The Perlman Music Program Sarasota Winter Residency and Celebration Concert , December 21 – January 4, 5pm

Each season, The Perlman Music Program/Suncoast hosts The Perlman Music Program (PMP) Sarasota Winter Residency. Founded by Toby Perlman, and with a world-renowned faculty led by her husband, internationally acclaimed violinist and conductor Itzhak Perlman, PMP augments its seven-week summer school program in Shelter Island each December with a 17-day winter residency, December 21, 2019 - January 4, 2020, in Sarasota and Manatee counties. The residency provides valuable mentoring and performance opportunities for approximately 35 young international string musicians, ages 12-20+, and offers 20+ free and low-cost musical events on the campus of USF Sarasota-Manatee. Each year, the winter residency culminates with the Celebration Concert, January 4, 2020, with Itzhak Perlman conducting the PMP String Orchestra and Patrick Romano leading the PMP Chorus at the Sarasota Opera House.

USF Sarasota-Manatee, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota 34243

[SOON]  MUSIC: The Perlman Music Program Suncoast Super Strings , December 28, 7pm

The Perlman Music Program Suncoast Super Strings is presented as part of a public orchestra rehearsal during the PMP Sarasota Winter Residency. Super Strings promotes the interaction of local young musicians with international students of The Perlman Music Program and world-class faculty. Forty-five string players from across the state of Florida join the PMP String Orchestra on stage, for a special one-time PMP Sarasota Winter Residency event, to perform the 1st Movement of Felix Mendelssohn's String Sinfonia No. 2 in D Major, under the baton of Itzhak Perlman. Tickets $10 at Perlmanmusicprogramsuncoast.org

USF Sarasota-Manatee, 8350 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34243

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: 9th Annual New Year's Eve Bayfront Fireworks , December 31 – January 1, 12am

Ring in the New Year at the Sarasota Bayfront Midnight Fireworks Spectacular! See one of the best fireworks displays Southwest Florida has to offer. Make your reservations now by calling Marina Jack at (941) 365-4232. Proceeds benefit Suncoast Charities for Children.

Bayfront Park, 5 Bayfront Dr, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  GALA: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens New Year's Eve Gala , December 31 – January 1, 8pm-1am

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is proud to present Sarasota’s most sophisticated and diversely entertaining New Years Eve experience; a black-tie event featuring a private journey through tropical holiday light displays, passed hors d’oeuvres, a seated four course dinner, special performances by The Sarasota Ballet Studio Company and Trainees from the Margaret Barbieri Conservatory and dancing at Michael’s on the Bay. The countdown to the New Year culminates with a champagne toast and a perfect view of fireworks overlooking Sarasota Bay.  Celebrate the New Year in style.

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

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Starlight & Fire New Year's Eve , December 31, 7-10pm

Holidays at The Point brings fresh new life to our past events, Holly Days and Mangrove Lights. Each day/night will bring you and your family new memories, experiences, and a wonderful new holiday tradition. Ring in the new year at Historic Spanish Point. Fun for the whole family – enjoy lawn games, hula hoop and dance competitions for the kids, s’ mores roasting, holiday treats, cash bar and music. Tickets for each event are $15 for adults, $7 for kids (aged 12 and younger). Tickets for Historic Spanish Point Members are $12 for adults, $5 for kids (aged 12 and younger).

Historic Spanish Point, White Cottage Lawn, 337 N. Tamiami Tr., Osprey, FL 34229

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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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