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SRQ DAILY Jan 22, 2020

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

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Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"It goes to show how one small random act of kindness can turn into something beyond your expectations and how family and community can pull together to create a wave of kindness globally."

- Stephanie Ham, Englewood Elementary School Teacher

-Join us in voting for your favorites in the annual SRQ Magazine Best of SRQ Local Competition. Voting now open.
[Health & Wellness]  Two Local Teachers Raise Awareness to Spread Kindness and Make Change
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

When Lauren Hanrahan, a teacher at Englewood Elementary School, shared her recent diagnosis of Neurofybromatosis Type 2 (NF2)—a rare genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord and nerves—her teacher colleague, Stephanie Ham, did more than provide a shoulder to lean on and a friend to confide in. Ham created a video directed to Ellen DeGeneres to add a Random Act of Kindness to her first-grade classroom bulletin board. That video has been viewed on Facebook more than 16,000 times and nearly 25,000 on Twitter.

While the pair hasn’t heard from the Ellen Show just yet, that video was the catapult that launched Hanrahan and Ham’s desire to join a nonprofit. The pair recently became ambassadors for NF2 BioSolutions, a newly-launched nonprofit started by a doctor, Dr. Nicole Henwood, whose son was diagnosed with NF2. Last weekend, the teachers represented NF2 BioSolutions by participating in the runDisney Marathon Weekend in Orlando. This is the first Disney race for nonprofit, and since the teachers joined the nonprofit, their efforts have raised over $35,000.

Meanwhile, at the runDisney Marathon Weekend Event, Hanrahan and Ham had the chance to meet four teenage girls—all diagnosed with NF2. The girls initially created their foursome about a year ago via the internet and were ecstatic to finally see one another in person. “What better place to meet for the very first time, than the place where dreams come true – Walt Disney World!” says Ham. "Lauren and I were so excited to see the four girls cheering us on at the finish line.  It meant so much to us that they traveled across the globe to come and cheer us on." With hope and determination, Hanrahan and the girls bonded over their extremely rare (1/33,000) and currently untreatable disease. 

While NF2 has no treatment yet, NF2 BioSolutions is currently working on three different approaches for a cure through the use of gene therapy and immunotherapy, "which looks extremely promising," shares Ham. February 9-11, the fearless Englewood teachers and 84 other advocates will be traveling to D.C. to join the NF Network on Capitol Hill to advocate for congressional funding for further NF2 research. 

“It goes to show how one small random act of kindness can turn into something beyond your expectations,” Ham says, “and how family and community can pull together to create a wave of kindness globally.”

If you'd like to donate to NF2 BioSolutions, head here. 

Photo of Lauren Hanrahan and Stephanie Ham at the finish line of the Disney Marathon.

'Hope for Hanrahan' Facebook Page.

[Local Eats]  Mattison's Hosts Wine Dinner to Benefit WUSF Public Media Programming
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

From sea scallop white nectarines with Meyer lemon risotto and brown buttered apples, paired with Tres Sabores Sauvignon Blanc, to a braised venison brussels sprouts medley, served with fennel pollen au gratin potato in dark fruit demi-glace, paired with Rutherford Perspective Cabernet Sauvignon, experience the exquisite flavors of fine Nappa Valley wines, perfectly paired with a six-course menu, created by award-winning Chef Paul Mattison. Nestled in the slopes of the famous Rutherford Bench, at the base of the Mayacamas mountain range, Tres Sabores' is the first certified organic ranch in Napa Valley. "Their growing process allows the terroir to create a pure expression of the varietals," says Caryn Hodge of Mattison's. "Winemaker, and owner, Julie Johnson, shows true passion for the art." Both Chef Mattison and Johnson will be present throughout the evening to ensure guests get the full experience of this specially-prepared dinner. 

The dinner takes place in the Galleria at Mattison’s Forty-One, Friday, January 24 at 6:30 pm. To view the full six-course menu, visit here. Reservations are required: $175/each ($40 of the ticket price is tax-deductible, plus an offer of a free $25 gift card to Mattison’s for every ticket purchased).

The dinner benefits WUSF Public Media and Classical WSMR programming, which provides classical music on WSMR and NPR new, as well as jazz on WUSF, along with the news that impacts our community on-air and online. "We’re looking forward to this winemaker dinner as a way to connect people with others who share similar interests," says Hodge.  

Photo courtesy of Mattison's

Tickets to Tres Sabores Winemaker Dinner to Benefit WUSF Public Media

[Grants]  Neal Communities Donates $90,000 to the Rotary Clubs of Manatee County for Accessible Playground Project

The Sarasota homebuilder made a $90,000 donation to the accessible playground project at G.T. Bray Park. The project is a public-private partnership spearheaded by the six Rotary Clubs in Manatee County, in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. Neal Communities first learned of the accessible playground project after Mike Storey, President of Neal Communities, met Jennifer Crofoot, whose son uses a wheelchair. “The idea for an accessible playground came up when my mother wanted to take my son and his cousin to a park,” said Crofoot. “However, there were no playgrounds in Manatee County that were wheelchair accessible and all-inclusive for my son and his cousin to play together.” Crofoot later met Storey and presented the idea for the accessible playgrounds with the Rotary Clubs of Manatee County. Neal Communities then donated $90,000 towards the construction of the first playground, to be built at G.T. Bray Park. Once funded and construction begins, the accessible playground will replace the existing play structure at G.T. Bray Park.

“We’re looking at building a total of three accessible, all-inclusive playgrounds in Manatee County,” said Tom Norton, Chairman of the Rotary playground project. “The parks will all be led by the Rotary Clubs of Manatee County and will be located at G.T. Bray Park, Tom Bennett Park and Buffalo Creek Park.” Each playground requires an investment of $600,000 before construction can begin. The Rotary Clubs have raised nearly $200,000 so far to support construction at the first park.

Sponsorships are available by equipment piece, which includes the opportunity to name the equipment. Neal Communities has sponsored the main play structure and a swing set. For more information or to make a donation to the playground project, visit here. 

Click here for more information and to make a donation

[Grants]  Matter Brothers Furniture Donates More Than $25,000 for Foster Families on All Star Children's Foundation Campus

Matter Brothers Furniture recently donated over $25,000 worth of furnishings and design services to create nurturing spaces for All Star Children’s Foundation and its Campus of Hope and Healing in Sarasota. Matter Brothers Furniture also worked with Sealy Mattress Company who also donated 36 mattresses for All Star’s six foster family homes. Matter Brothers is the 85th largest furniture retailer in America, and is family owned and operated. 

[Awards]  Sarasota Yacht Club Receives 'Platinum Club of the World' Distinction

Sarasota Yacht Club is pleased to announce the Club has been selected as a Platinum Club of the World, one of only 50 yacht clubs in the world to earn the distinction from the esteemed Club Leaders Forum. The Platinum Clubs of the World vote takes place every other year and is conducted through a vote of an international panel of industry experts, historians and connoisseurs. The panel considered seven areas of excellence as a guideline, including the club’s universal recognition, respected membership, amenities and facilities, exceptional service, how the club has adapted to changing times, management and operations, and overall experience.  “We are sincerely honored to be recognized with the finest yacht clubs around the world,” said Sarasota Yacht Club Commodore Hugh McIllrevey. “This is rare air that we occupy, and I applaud the amazing efforts of our staff. I am also thankful for a membership that is beside and behind Club leadership as we work to ensure that “Platinum Club of the World” designation will be achieved for years to come.”  On Thursday, January 16, the yacht club commemorated the achievement by “Hoisting the Sails to a Platinum Adventure!” Nearly 300 members gathered together to celebrate the Club’s new designation. 

To learn more about Club Leaders Forum, please visit www.clubleadersforum.com/platinum-clubs/ 

Photo courtesy of Sarasota Yacht Club

[Service Animals]  Mote Marine Welcomes Puppies-In-Training This Saturday

Volunteer puppy raisers take Southeastern Guide Dogs' puppies into their homes for about a year for basic obedience, house manners and training that gives them the foundation they need to become superhero guide and service dogs.This Saturday, the Lakewood Ranch Puppy Raiser Group and their dogs-in-training will meet Saturday morning at Mote Marine to take a 30-minute boat ride with the Sarasota Bay Explorers, followed by a tour of Mote Aquarium, along with the pups learning how to socialize and behave in public, inside a museum and on the water. Learn more at www.GuideDogs.org. 

[Staff Announcement ]  Children First Welcomes New Slate of Board Leadership for 2020

Children First, Inc., is excited to welcome the new slate of board leadership for 2020. Lisa Giglio is the former co-owner of Freedom Boat Club, and has served as an early childhood educator and Director of Education at Sylvan Learning Center. Michael Suarez, former Executive Director of Sarasota County Emergency Services, is also a Life Member, past President, and current Treasurer of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Both have been named to the Board of Directors for 2020. Michael Keebaugh, former President of Intelligence and Information Systems at The Raytheon Company, will now serve as Board Chair. Thomas W. Cail III, Realtor and co-founder of Cail Grande Group, is now Chair Emeritus. Katherine Martucci was welcomed as Vice Chair, Katrina Otchet as Secretary, and Jacqueline W. Ray as Treasurer. Keith Johnson was elected as the Human Resource Representative, and Howard Berman as the Liaison to Policy Council, a peer-elected committed comprised of parents or guardians of currently enrolled children. 

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Ai Weiwei: Zodiac LEGO , November 17 – February 2

Zodiac LEGO (2018) is a series of individual works that is constructed of Lego bricks to represent the following animals: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Ram, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. The Ringling is the first museum in the United States to show this traveling exhibition. These colorful works are made entirely of small LEGO pieces and demonstrate the artist’s continued interest in the zodiac animal concept. ​

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

[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]  SEMINAR: Sarasota Institute of Lifetime Learning (SILL) , January 7 – March 26, 10:30 am

Sarasota Institute of Lifetime Learning (SILL) is preparing for its 49th year of extremely popular global issues lectures and musical conversations. In 2020, these programs will begin in January and continue through the end of March. Speakers of global issues lectures are well-known, highly experienced experts, and guests on musical conversations are internationally renowned musicians, singers, and performers. SILL is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization. In its 49th season, its programs will include 96 lectures and musical conversations presented in Sarasota, Venice, and Lakewood Ranch. SILL audiences mostly consist of highly educated and intellectually curious seniors living on the Suncoast year-round or during winter months. SILL also simulcasts some of its lectures to selected senior communities. Last year, attendance at SILL events exceeded 40,000. Single tickets to SILL events are only $10 at the door when available, and a season ticket for 12 same-day lectures cost just $85, which represents substantial savings. For program schedules, venues, speaker bios, and ordering season tickets visit sillsarasota.org

First United Methodist Church, 104 S. Pineapple Ave.

[SOON]  HEALTH: Brain Health Matters Lecture Series: Physical Activity and Implications for Brain Health , January 22, 6:30pm Registration. 7-9pm Presentation

Join us for our 3rd Brain Health Matters! Lecture Series: Brain Health & Physical Activity with Dr. John J. Ratey & Dr. Stephanie Peabody.  In this presentation, Dr. John J. Ratey from Harvard Medical School and the Brain Health Initiative will show us that moving our bodies has a profound positive effect on the physiological health of our brains. Further, Dr. Ratey will share how physical activity optimizes our brain performance, including our cognitive abilities and emotional wellbeing across the lifespan. We will see how our brains have evolved to help us move, think and understand to successfully face the demands of our environment. We will end with a series of brain healthy recommendations to apply to your own lives. You will learn how exercise stabalizes blod pressure, improves cardiac performance, decreases diabetes risk, boosts the immune system, increases metabolism, improves our ability to think and remember throughout life and reduces risk for Cognitive Decline, Azheimer's Disease and Parkinson's.

Black Box Theatre at The Out-of-Door Academy, 5950 Deer Drive, Lakewood Ranch

[SOON]  BUSINESS: BeingWE: Follow Your Bliss: How Our Brains Are Uniquely Wired to Take Action , January 23, 4:30-7:30pm

Women are natural-born leaders. Yet, many feel overwhelmed by attempting to juggle life’s demands and have it all—home, family, and career. How to balance work and home life? The Women’s Resource Center will explore these issues with BeingWE (Being Women Empowered), a guided conversation series for women by women, created by Keren Lifrak, an area-based entrepreneur and real estate professional. The series launches with three sessions: The Superwoman Badge, October 29th, Women Balancing Business & Life: Creating What’s Possible Against All Odds, December 3rd and Follow Your Bliss: How Our Brains Are Uniquely Wired to Take Action, January 23rd. Each session is 4:30-7:30 p.m., and all genders are welcome to participate.  

The Women’s Resource Center, 340 S Tuttle Ave, Sarasota, FL 34237

[SOON]  FILM: When All That's Left is Love Movie Screening Benefitting The Roskamp Institute , January 23, 5:15pm-9:30pm

The Roskamp Institute and director Eric Gordon invite you to attend the Sarasota premiere of the acclaimed movie When All That’s Left Is Love at an exclusive event at Burns Court Cinema in Sarasota. All proceeds will support the work of the nonprofit Roskamp Institute. When All That’s Left is Love is the emotional gripping story of a wife’s determination to care for her Alzheimer’s-stricken husband in their home. With unprecedented, behind-the-scenes access, the film reveals the toll that the disease takes on families coping with Alzheimers, while also showcasing the power of love that sustains both patients and caregivers. The Sarasota premiere will take place on Thursday, January 23 at Burns Court Cinema with a VIP reception to follow at 530 Burns Gallery.

Burns Court Cinemas, 506 Burns Ct, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Steve Martin and Martin Short Return to the Van Wezel , January 23, 8:00 pm

Steve Martin and Martin Short return to the Van Wezel by popular demand on with their latest production, “The Funniest Show in Town at the Moment.” Their celebrated comedy show redefines the form in unexpected and profound ways, from two of the funniest, most influential and acclaimed talents of the past century."

Van Wezel , 777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

[SOON]  DANCE: Museum Moves: Zumba! , January 23, 6:00 pm

Get sculpted as you join us for a Zumba fitness class in the Museum of Art Courtyard with Zumba Instructor, Lena porter. Please dress for a moderate- to high-intensity one-hour workout class. Your Zumba ticket includes Art After 5 Admission. 

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

[SOON]  FILM: Style Wars , January 23, 1:00 pm

STYLE WARS is regarded as the indispensable document of New York Street culture of the early ’80s, the filmic record of a golden age of youthful creativity that exploded into the world from a city in crisis. Style Wars captured the look and feel of New York’s ramshackle subway system as graffiti writers’ public playground, battleground and spectacular artistic canvas. Opposing them by every means possible were Mayor Edward Koch, the police, and the New York Transit Authority. 

Historic Asolo Theatre at the Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota

[SOON]  FILM: National Theatre Live: All My Sons , January 24, 1:00 pm & 6:30 pm

From The Old Vic in London, Academy Award-winner Sally Field (Steel Magnolias, Brothers  & Sisters) and Bill Pullman (The Sinner, Independence Day) star in Arthur Miller’s sweltering drama All My Sons. Despite hard choices and even harder knocks, Joe and Kate Keller are a success story. They have built a home, raised two sons and established a thriving business. But nothing lasts forever and their contented lives, already shadowed by the loss of their eldest boy to war, are about to shatter. With the return of a figure from the past, long buried truths are forced to the surface and the price of their American dream is laid bare.

Historic Asolo Theatre at the Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Mote Marine Laboratory's Lecture Series: The Great White Shark in the Great White North , January 27, 6:30 pm

Mote's Special Lecture Series features expert speakers highlighting fascinating ocean topics on Monday evenings. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and lectures start at 6:30 p.m. in Mote Marine Laboratory's WAVE Center, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, 34236. Cost is $10 for members and $15 for non-members (per ticket per lecture). Registration required for all. Jan. 27: Dr. Robert Hueter—"The great white shark in the great white north: In pursuit of the great white shark in the Northwest Atlantic"

WAVE Center at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  DANCE: Sarasota Contemporary Dance: Dance Makers , January 30 – February 2, 7:30pm

The third performance series, "Dance Makers" features new imaginative dance pieces by nationally acclaimed contemporary choreographers. This year’s crop includes Terrence Henderson, Bliss Kohlmyer, Maria Bauman-Morales, and Adele Myers. SCD is proud of the caliber of choreographers gathered for this performance. These works are hand-picked by SCD's Artistic Director to present the strength, power, charm, and diversity of the company and its mission of presenting a range of contemporary dance for multi-generational and multi-cultural audience in our community. The choreography is diverse, the impact profound, and the dancers utterly captivating.

Jane B. Cook Theatre, FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trl, Sarasota, FL 34243

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Newtown Alive Trolley Tour , January 30, 10:00 am

Members are invited to join Ringling staff on a Newtown Alive Trolley Tour. This two-hour historic, interactive guided tour through Newtown and Overtown will highlight historic markers along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Personal stories and accounts will delve into the early history of Sarasota, the role African-American played in the desegregation and development of our community, and the history makers who were instrumental in community transformation. $40 per member, tickets are limited, registration ends January 24. Please park in the main visitor parking lot and check-in at the John M. McKay Visitors Pavilion.

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

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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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