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SRQ DAILY Feb 19, 2020

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"The first component of the Brain Health Initiative is really about creating a brain healthy community."

- Dr. Stephanie Peabody, Brain Health Initiative

[Health + Wellness]  Brain Health Matters! Lecture Series Brings in "America's Sleep Doctor"
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

Brain Health Initiative (BHI) brings a transformative lecture series to the region—spanning over the course of eight months with a different talk topic presented each month to discuss healthful factors that better the daily performance of the brain. Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Stephanie Peabody, PhD, hopes the Brain Health Matters! Lecture Series will give the community an opportunity to learn the science and innovation behind improving their brain health and protecting against brain illness. 

“The first component of the Brain Health Initiative is really about raising awareness to create a brain-healthy community,” she says, “And in order to do that, we have to help the residents and workforce begin to speak a common language, use a common lense, share a common understanding and set common goals.”  

Part of Brain Health Matters! Lecture Series is bringing renowned experts to the area who have the ability to translate what they know into understandable, usable knowledge to the region. So, Dr. Peabody called on friend and colleague, Dr. Michael J. Breus, PhD, Clinical Psychologist and Board Certified Sleep Specialist, commonly known as "America's Sleep Doctor," with regular appearances on Dr. Oz, Fox and Friends, Live with Kelly and Ryan, and Rachel Ray. Dr. Breus also spearheads The Insomnia Blog, and can be found regularly writing for The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and Sharecare. He's served as the "Sleep Expert" for WebMD for over 14 years, in private practice for 20 years and been interviewed on platforms like CNN, Oprah, The View, Anderson Cooper, The Doctors, Joy Behar, The CBS Early Show, The Today Show and more.

In BHI's fourth installment, held Tuesday, February 17 at the GROVE Ballroom in Lakewood Ranch, Dr. Peabody presented why lifestyle plays a key role in brain functionality, tying in neuroplasticity and neurogenesis. Following, Dr. Breus’s lecture, ‘How to Be Better in Bed: Sleep is a Fundamental Pillar of Brain Health,’ discussed sleep mechanisms, the importance of sleep cycles and circadian rhythms, how sleep changes as we age and how we can all accommodate these changes. 

“The basics of brain health all seem to underpin sleep deprivation,” Dr. Breus says. “When we’re not getting good quantity or good quality—and that can be for a whole host of reasons: environmental, medical, medication, alcohol, caffeine, or what have you—we see everything slow down, almost immediately. We see cognitive decline, emotional dysregulation and memory deficits.” While many of us know that lack of sleep has a direct negative effect on brain function, and that regularly getting a good night’s sleep improves our health and wellness, one thing some may not know, is that REM sleep is when we move information from our short term memory to our long term memory bank. “So, when you’re not getting enough REM sleep, that is going to have a dramatic effect on your memory,” he says. “For a lot of people in this community being an older demographic, one of the first things they’re thinking about is loss of memory. They think, ‘Oh, my memory’s going—must mean I’m getting old.’ Honestly, in a lot of cases, just get some sleep. You may be really surprised at how that has a major effect on you.” 

According to Dr. Brues, everything we do, we do better with good night sleep. It affects every organ system, every disease state, cancer cells even multiply faster the more sleep deprived you are. “People are always like, ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead.’ What we have to do is get people to understand that sleep is healing—when you sleep, you heal,” he says. And Dr. Breus isn’t going to be the guy that says everybody has to get eight hours either. He’s the sleep doctor and doesn't get eight. “I get six hours and 15 minutes every night. I go to bed very consistently at midnight and wake up at 6:15 naturally, and I feel good,” he shares. “The goal is to get people to get good, quality sleep, enough of it, and still enjoy your life.”

Dr. Brues provided techniques to help the room determine their own ideal bedtime, create a personalized pre-bed routine, develop strategies to avoid waking up in the night, and how to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.

The next installment of the Brain Health Matters! series is Monday, March 16, with Dr. Uma Naidoo, MD, chef, psychiatrist and nutrition specialist, speaking on the topic of Nutrition.


Photo of Dr. Stephanie Peabody and Dr. Michael Breus, taken by Wyatt Kostygan.

[Science + Technology]  Lakewood Ranch FIRST LEGO Team to Compete on International Stage
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

Founded by Tara Bergstrom Merino, who saw a deficiency in STEM education in her community, created the Lakewood Ranch SAVVY (Student Advocates for Our Versatile and Vibrant Youth) robotics team, the LWR BotTanks. The LWR BotTanks competed on Saturday, February 1, at the West Coast Regional Championship, hosted by FIRST LEGO League. Teams were challenged this season to (1) identify a problem with a building or public space in their community and provide an innovative solution to solve it, (2) design and build a robot, associated attachments, and code to autonomously complete up to 14 different complex missions within 2.5 minutes, and (3) do it all while displaying the FIRST Core Values. 

Competing meant vying for the esteemed opportunity to be one of seven teams to advance to the Florida State Championship,  one of three to receive an invitation to compete internationally, and/or the one team to be nominated for the prestigious FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award. 

After an outstanding day at the Regional Championship, The LWR BotTanks designed and built a robot that can complete 14 complex tasks. The team was awarded ALL three opportunities—advancing to the Florida State Championship and to the international level in FIRST LEGO League. They were the only team to be honored with the prestigious FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award, which gives them the opportunity to meet government leaders, receive patents, bring their invention to market and secure funding to continue their work.

Coached by Tara Bergstrom Merino and Max (Inigo) Merino, and comprised of Lexi Brielmann, Matthew Goldberg, Jaxon Lemus, Ike Lippincott, Owen Lippincott, Tess Lippincott, Michael Merino and Natalie Merino, the team will be representing Lakewood Ranch and the entire West Coast of Florida at the South Carolina Global Invitational on May 6 – 9, and the Florida State Championship on March 28 in Niceville. 

LWR SAVVY is proud to be sponsored by Lakewood Ranch Grand Living, Lakewood Ranch, Little Geniuses, and ID8.  In order for the LWR BotTanks to represent our region at this level, the team will be seeking sponsorship up to $15,000. All money raised by a GoFundMe campaign will support the LWR BotTanks as they compete regionally and internationally from March through May 2020.  

Photo taken by New Ground Photography from the West Florida FIRST LEGO League Regional Tournament

Donate to the LWR Bot Tanks.

[Program Funding]  Child Protection Center Promotes Community Awareness and Abuse Prevention Education

The Child Protection Center, Inc. (CPC) was selected as a recipient of grants from the William & Harriet Sturdevant Memorial Charitable Trust, the Eluned and Edward Russell Charitable Foundation, the Libertore Fund for Children, Roberta Leventhal Sudakoff Foundation, the Hurlburt Foundation, the Willson-Wood Foundation, the Harold C. & Jacqueline F. Bladel Foundation, and the MSC Foundation. These grants supported The CPC’s Personal Safety and Community Awareness (PSCA) program. The PSCA program offers a holistic approach to the prevention of child abuse by promoting greater community awareness of the issue. PSCA provides primary abuse prevention education to children from preschool through high school. The program facilitates workshops for their caregivers, childcare professionals, teachers, school board staff and the greater community. The focus is the creation of a future in which children are empowered and educated, adults are aware and equipped, and our community is a safer place for children and families. PSCA has been providing this essential education since 1992. In 2014, the program began using iPad technology to bring lessons about internet safety & bullying to students, and now offers over 20 different workshops. These grants have supported the education of 46,510 individuals in the last year through 568 workshops in Sarasota County. Michelle McSwain, the Program Director of PSCA, commented, “By investing in the Personal Safety team, these grants have helped children learn the tools for self-protection and how to disclose any experienced trauma, equip caregivers with the knowledge and ability to incorporate safety practices into their parenting, and professionals gain a greater awareness of their role in preventing abuse and protecting children. Thanks to their partnership, we are creating a safer community, one prevention workshop at a time.” 

To learn more about The Child Protection Center Inc. and programs

[Grants]  SMART Receives $39,776 in Grants and Donations

Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy, Inc. (SMART) is pleased to announce that they have received multiple grants and donations in January 2020 totaling $39,776. This includes an $11,200 grant from the Bank of America Client Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee to support Therapeutic Riding and Equine Assisted Activities Scholarships for Children with Autism. SMART also received unrestricted donations of $16,000 from the Second Chance Foundation and $1,500 from the Manatee Memorial Foundation. The Lakewood Ranch Women's Club donated $7,000 to support two Warriors in Transition sessions in the spring and to adopt two of SMART's horses - Magic and Norman. The Norman and Phyllis Siskel Donor Advised Fund donated $4,076 to support the Warriors in Transition session and SMART's Literacy program in February 2020. "The generous support of these foundations and donors ensures that SMART continues to provide therapeutic riding and equine assisted learning to children, adults, and veterans living in southwest Florida.  These programs enrich the lives of our participants daily, changing their lives forever. We could not keep our commitment to them without the continuing support of so many organizations and individuals" said Melissa Spillenkothen, Interim Executive Director of SMART. 

To learn more about Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy, Inc

[Grants]  Teen Court of Sarasota receives a $60,000 donation from Personalized Estate Liquidation Benefiting Youth, Inc.

Teen Court of Sarasota, recently received a $60,000 donation from Personalized Estate Liquidation Benefiting Youth, Inc. (PEL) to support our shared mission to help at-risk youth in Sarasota County. PEL selects organizations that support youth in need, particularly teens at risk. Teen Court of Sarasota provides programs and services to young people worthy of a second chance to learn and grow from their mistake. “This generous gift, from this generous organization will allow us to focus on serving our clients and not working effortlessly on how we will pay for it.  We are elated that PEL chose our youth population to support,” said Heather Todd, Executive Director. This $60,000 gift allows Teen Court to serve its clients in a timely and meaningful manner. The organization’s programs address the whole family and includes Justice for Youth by Youth (peer to peer program-giving back to the community), mental health counseling, parent/child risky behavior classes and substance abuse education. Topics include sexting, bullying, parent/child communication skills and peer pressure, among others. 

For more information on programs like Teen Court

[Expansion ]  Boys & Girls Club Announces Matching Challenge With The Mosaic Company In Honor Of Local Arcadian Trailblazer Coach Richard Bowers

The expansion of the Louis and Gloria Flanzer Boys & Girls Club, which is located at 18 School Ave. in Arcadia, will include a renovation of the historic Smith-Brown Recreation Center. The structure will be transformed into a multi-purpose gymnasium for hundreds of youth with designated space for physical activities, project-based learning and enrichment programs that further fosters positive youth development. Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County will include tributes to the Smith-Brown’s significant impact on the community including local trailblazer, beloved coach and former teacher at the Smith-Brown School, Coach Richard Bowers. “In honor of Coach Bowers dedicating his lifelong career to empowering Arcadia’s youth as an educator and coach, the gymnasium floor will be named the ‘Coach Richard Bowers Court,” said Bill Sadlo, President/CEO at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County. “We are honored to recognize Coach Bowers and showcase his lifelong commitment to help children and teens across DeSoto County reach their full potential with help from The Mosaic Company.” The Mosaic Company will match individual contributions 1:1, up to $25,000, and support the Coach Richard Bowers Court at the Louis and Gloria Flanzer Boys & Girls Club. “Mosaic is proud to play a role in this well-deserved honor for Coach Bowers’ lifetime commitment to education and DeSoto County’s students,” said Heather Nedley, Public Affairs and Community Relations Manager at Mosaic. “If you went to DeSoto County schools, you know who Coach Bowers is and naming the gym floor in his honor signifies the impact he has made on generations of youth in our community.” For more information or to make a contribution to the Coach Richard Bowers Court Challenge, visit bgcsarasota.com or call 941-366-3911. 

For more information on The Boys & Girls Club of Sarasota County

[Open House]  WSLR Celebrates its 15th Anniversary with an Open House on Friday

To celebrate its 15th Anniversary on the air, WSLR will hold an Open House at their studio and performance space on Friday, February 21 from 10am -12pm.  The event is free and open to the whole community. There will be staff-led tours of the studios on the half hour and light refreshments will be served. WSLR is located at 525 Kumquat Court in the Rosemary District. WSLR, Inc. was formed in 2004 to govern the operation of a 100 watt low-power, non-commercial community radio station. This new kind of radio was created during the Clinton Administration to try to combat media consolidation and bring localism back to the radio dial. WSLR 96.5 LPFM began broadcasting in August 2005 thanks to the hard work of a small group of dedicated volunteers.   In addition to listening to WSLR at 96.5 on the FM dial, anyone can live stream programming at https://wslr.org. 

To learn more about this event or WSLR

[Cartoonist]  A Giant's Shoulders
Andrew Fabian, andrew.fabian@srqme.com

At Ringling College, a panel of acting fanboys remember the power of Jack Davis's legacy.


Click here to read the full story in our February 2020 Business Edition!


The SRQ State of the Regional Economy luncheon and panel discussion will explore the forecast on the horizon of small business, regional economic trends and economic development. What's trending, who's innovating, why are donor-advised funds growing so rapidly and what exactly are donors looking for? The luncheon will culminate with the SRQ Localpreneur of the Year program at which we will honor the finalists and winners of the annual cometition recognizing business leaders who have forged a successful path for their entrepreneurial endeavors in our region. 

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

[SOON]  FILM: Grace Hartigan: Shattering Boundaries , February 24, 1:00 pm

Shattering Boundaries is a portrait of artist Grace Hartigan, a courageous and key figure in the Abstract Expressionist movement in American Art. Attendees are invited to see Hartigan’s work on display in Remaking the World: Abstraction from the Permanent Collection after the film. Admission is $5/ free for members. 

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

[SOON]  HEALTH: Building a Community of Hope and Healing; Addressing Trauma, Building Resilience , February 25, 6:00 pm -7:30 pm

SRQ Strong is bringing nationally-recognized trauma expert Rev. Paul Abernathy, CEO of Pittsburgh’s Neighborhood Resilience Project, to the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ for a community presentation, “Building a Community of Hope and Healing; Addressing Trauma, Building Resilience.” Rev. Abernathy, whose work is informed by both a personal and a collective experience of trauma, will discuss the framework he has developed in Pittsburgh’s Hill District to promote resilient and healthy neighborhoods by creating opportunities and support for residents to reach their full potential. SRQ Strong is a growing group of Sarasota County residents committed to learning about trauma and responding to its impact on our community. Its mission is to promote community-wide trauma awareness through healing, education, action and leadership; its vision is to create a community that cares for itself. 

The event is free to the public, but space is limited. Please RSVP to reserve your seat at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/89307259417 

To learn more about Rev. Paul Abernathy and his work, you can view his latest video at https://youtu.be/hstV63MVVDg.

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

[SOON]  GALA: BELIEVE: A Gala Celebrating 30 Years , February 29, 6pm-10pm

Are you going to BELIEVE? Thirty years ago, Dr. Kay Glasser believed it was possible to build a campus that would help to improve the quality of life for all people in our region. This Leap Day, The Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center celebrate those who believed in her vision to get us here, and those who believe in our future.

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

[SOON]  BUSINESS: 43rd Annual Simply Sarasota Tour of Homes , February 28 – February 29, 10 AM - 4 PM

The Junior League of Sarasota’s 43rd annual “Simply Sarasota” Tour of Homes presented by Charlotte’s Grace Fine Linens & Luxe Home Accents will be held on February 28 and February 29. Exquisite residential properties can be toured in the Siesta Key, Oyster Bay and surrounding mainland areas. Homes range in style from modern architecture to traditional, and from historic to new construction. Attendees can expect interactive demonstrations from local Sarasota restaurants, crafts by local artisans, and live entertainment from musicians and acrobats.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: The Science and Art of South Florida , February 29, 10:30 am

Abstract Expressionist Syd Solomon lived and worked in Sarasota, Florida. From his home on Siesta Key, Solomon painted Florida’s coastal ecosystem and was profoundly inspired by the local landscape. Solomon was also an advocate for environmental conservation, a legacy continued by The Ringling today. During this workshop, participants will learn from Rose Garden Horticulturist Kai Sacco as he leads a walking tour of the Bayfront Gardens exploring topics such as coastal ecosystems, red tide, pollinators and the importance of native plants. Attendees will also learn how to create a Florida Friendly landscape using native plants.

The program will begin in the Chao Lecture Hall followed by a walking tour tailored to the topic. Please wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes and allow additional time to make your way from the Visitors Pavilion to the Lecture Hall.

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

[SOON]  GALA: Goodwill Manasota's 15th Anniversary Mardi Gras Gala 2020 , February 29, 6:30pm

Goodwill Manasota has announced their signature event, Mardi Gras Gala 2020, where the fabulous Phil Mancini will transform Michael's On East once again into Bourbon Street a' la Michael's serving authentic New Orleans food, in a lively, street party atmosphere! There will be amazing cajun food, awesome auction items, fantastic music, inspiring dancing, marvelous performers and more. Fun and festive marti gras attire is encouraged. Tickets are $175 per person, and can be purchased HERE. For sponsorship opportunities click HERE

Michaels On East, 1212 S. East Ave Sarasota

[SOON]  GALA: Cat Depot's Whiskers and Waves Gala , March 6, 6:30pm- 10:00pm

Change the destiny of Sarasota’s homeless cats and kittens by supporting Cat Depot’s upcoming gala fundraiser, Whiskers and Waves. This magical evening under the sea will feature remarks from special guest, Gregory Castle, Co-Founder & CEO Emeritus of Best Friends Animal Society, as well as a delicious plated dinner by Zildjian Catering, hand-crafted cocktails, dancing to the tunes of DJ Rob Briya, and with your help, our best silent auction to date! For information, to reserve tickets, become a sponsor, purchase raffle tickets/program ads, or donate an item, please contact us at gala@catdepot.org or call 941- 366-2404 x 302.

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium , 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy., Sarasota

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Lee and Bob Peterson Foundation Presents "Sunshine From Darkness" , March 14, 8:45 am & 6:30 pm

“Sunshine From Darkness” returns to present the Journey to Wellness Symposium and Inspiring Hope Dinner, at 8:45 am and 6:30 pm, respectively, on Saturday, March 14. National and local mental health scientists and speakers will address new treatments, discoveries, and insights into the emotional well-being of children, loved ones, family members or friends. A Q&A will follow the program. Topics to address predicting depression risk and treatment response through blood chemistry; genes, stress and the brain; working in the nonprofit world as a researcher; mental health in Florida; and more. The goal of the symposium is to raise awareness of mental health and addiction disorders and help to erase the stigma. More than 45,000 people die annually by suicide; it is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. for all ages. The free Journey to Wellness Symposium takes place at Van Wezel. The Inspiring Hope Dinner, featuring three celebrity speakers/mental health advocates, takes place at The Ritz-Carlton, 1111 Ritz Carlton Dr., Sarasota. Proceeds will benefit mental health services of Coastal Behavioral Healthcare and First Step of Sarasota, and cutting-edge brain research.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 North Tamiami Tr., 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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