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SRQ DAILY Mar 18, 2020

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

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Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"We all have to help each other during this difficult time."

- Florence Derozier, MOI Concept Store

[Shopping]  Moi Concept Store Partners With Florida Wine Fest & Auction
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

Through Florida Wine Fest & Auction's sister-fundraising arm, Caring for Children Charities, the organization provides funding to qualified charitable organizations that assist disadvantaged children, youth and families in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. During this unsettling time, local pop-up boutique and online retailer, MOI Concept Store, have recently chosen to partner up with the organization for the remainder of March via its online shopping outlet. MOI already established a relationship with Florida Wine Fest & Auction by collaborating for its elegant Pique-Nique Sur La Baie fundraising luncheon this October 30 at Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, by providing the chic apparel and stylish accessories to present the event's fashion runway show.

Now, Moi Concept Store plans to donate 10% of all its online proceeds to Florida Wine Fest & Auction and is also offering a 10% discount code at online checkout: flwinefest (valid until March 31, 2020). As always, MOI offers complimentary domestic shipping.

"We have decided to stop all our pop-up events for now and help out our community," say MOI owners Florence Derozier and Aurelie Vandenbroek. "We all have to help each other during this difficult time and we are so pleased to have one of our loving clients Aimee Chouinard be our first customer giving back to our community."   

Pictured: Florence Derozier, Aimee Chouinard and Aurelie Vandenbroek, courtesy of MOI Concept Store.

Learn more here and shop here.

[Fundraising]  Southeastern Guide Dogs Replaces Walkathon Events with Virtual Walks

With an abundance of caution in dealing with the risks posed by the coronavirus, Southeaster Guide Dogs' remaining Walkathon fundraising events scheduled for March, April and May will not take place in their respective locations. To protect the people and pets who would have participated in these large group events, the organization has switched to a Virtual Walkathon model it is calling “location changes.” Walkathon is Southeastern Guide Dogs’ largest fundraiser of the year and is relied upon to bring in more than one million dollars annually to fund the organization’s mission. The organization accepts no government funding and depends 100% on private donations and grants to provide its life-changing guide and service dogs to the people who need them—at no charge. Due to unforeseen economic challenges tied to the coronavirus pandemic, the monies raised by thousands of individual Walkathon team members is critical this year, more than ever. That is why the remaining Walkathons are not being cancelled entirely. Instead, participants are encouraged to make a location change and go virtual.

“At 10 am on the day of the Walkathon for which you are registered, join in the virtual experience,” says Walkathon Director Jennifer Bryant. “Whether you are walking on a treadmill, walking in your neighborhood, or even in your living room, put on your walking shoes, leash up your dog and walk your paws for the cause.” Walkathon’s virtual participants are encouraged to take a photo or video, tag Southeastern Guide Dogs on social media, and share, so everyone can join in the fun. The raffle drawing and fundraising incentive items for the different levels of donations will still be provided as planned. So, keep fundraising, keep sharing your page on social media, and keep your walking shoes handy,” Bryant says. “While we can’t all walk together, with your help, our graduates will never walk alone.” 

More information on Walkathon can be found here.

[Housing]  Helpful Hopeful Housing Summit Brings Accessory Dwelling Units Action Agenda

According to The Jericho Project Executive Director Mary Anne Bowie, FAICP, “We believe everyone deserves a permanent and safe place to live that is within their budget.” The Helpful Hopeful Housing Campaign will engage the full community; build a wide network of multi-sector partners; assist 10 cities and two counties in streamlining their regulations; partner in a design-build competition; partner in creating a unique public/private financing pool; and result in 35 existing homeowners leasing new homes to new residents for one dollar a square foot. Accessory Dwelling Units, or ADUs, are placed in the yard of existing single-family homes. Variously called granny flats, garage apartments, guest houses, extra living spaces, cottages, and recently “tiny” homes, they are distinguished by legally having a stove, as well as a bathroom and kitchen facilities. The ten cities and two counties in our region all have different requirements for ADUs, sometimes with confusing and conflicting language. Usually, the process to actually obtain or build an ADU is difficult for homeowners to implement. HHH Campaign 2020 wants to turn local governments into advocates for ADUs, by encouraging streamlined regulations and processes. HHH Campaign 2020 seeks to stimulate the local small building industry with a dream of having small homes made widely available for placement inside or rear yards by local contractors. Most importantly, HHH Campaign 2020 wants to add to the inventory of homes for two cohorts most likely to live in an ADU: the elderly and the one or two employed people who need a home close to their work. The Helpful Housing Summit was held on February 18, hosted by The Arlington Park Neighborhood Association and The Jericho Project, both 501c3 organizations. To request a speaker for your organization, contact Mary Anne Bowie at HelpfulHopefulHousing@gmail.com. To see a portion of the proceedings, youtube.com/watch?v=QrfmttDQAXw.  

To view the entire HHH Campaign 2020 document or to make a donation

[Environmental Protections]  Neal Land & Neighborhoods Keeps Manatee Beautiful through Adopt-A-Road at Parrish North River Ranch Community

The North River Ranch Marketing Group, a division of Neal Land & Neighborhoods, has partnered with Keep Manatee Beautiful and the Adopt-A-Road initiative at the North River Ranch community in Parrish. By participating in the Adopt-A-Road program, Neal Land & Neighborhoods shows a commitment to our area and surrounding community. It is the intention that future North River Ranch residents will embrace the Adopt-A-Road program so that it will evolve into a community-wide event. Neal Land & Neighborhoods will conduct no less than four area clean-ups per year in the North River Ranch locale as part of their Adopt-A-Road commitment. Earlier this month, the Neal Land executive team, along with volunteers, collected 15 bags of trash at the community to kick off the initiative. North River Ranch is a master-planned, mixed-use development currently in phase one of construction. The community is located off Moccasin Wallow Road and U.S. 301. Neal Land & Neighborhoods is the master developer for the community. “The Adopt-A-Road program provides a great way to make a difference in our community and make the world a cleaner and more beautiful place,” said John Neal, President of Neal Land & Neighborhoods. “We’re proud to support the mission of Keep Manatee Beautiful.” 

Photo courtesy of Neal Land & Neighborhoods.

To learn more about this initiative.

[Accolades]  Ashley Light Awarded the Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) Designation

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Southwest Florida Chapter has announced one of its board members, Ashley Light, as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). Ashley Light, Director of Development for The Venice Symphony joins over 6,700 professionals around the world who hold the CFRE designation. The CFRE certification signifies a confident, ethical fundraising professional. Individuals granted the CFRE credential have met a series of standards set by CFRE International which include tenure in the profession, education, and demonstrated fundraising achievement. They have also passed a rigorous written examination testing the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of a fundraising executive, and have agreed to uphold Accountability Standards and the Donor Bill of Rights.  “As the certification is a voluntary achievement, the CFRE certification demonstrates a high level of commitment on the part of Ashley Light to the fundraising profession and the donors who are served.”  said AFP Southwest Chapter President, Janet Ginn. “I am proud of Ashley for obtaining her certification and excited to have her on our Board of Directors.” 

Headshot of Ashley Light, courtesy of AFP

Learn more about the FL Southwest Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals

[Home Shopping]  This Seat Taken?

Funky, yet functional - put your feet up, or pop a squat with an eclectic collection of ottomans and stools. Click here to read the full story in our March 2020 Home Edition of SRQ Magazine! 

[Hunger Relief]  All Faiths Food Bank Responds to COVID -19 Crisis with Food Deliveries

All Faiths Food Bank, Sarasota County’s largest hunger-relief organization, has ramped up to continue serving our community throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Operations at All Faiths' campuses are continuing as usual and its trucks are traveling their routes to deliver nutritious food to hungry neighbors. All Faiths has taken extra precautions to assure the safe and continued supply of food for people in need during the crisis. Right now, the Food Bank is packing thousands of family size food boxes to help us provide food safely. Its mobile pantries and backpacks are being increased and they are working with their partner agencies to assess how they can further support them through the COVID-19 situation. During the school closures, the organization is in close touch and collaborating with the Sarasota School District and other partners to finalize a plan to open new sites to provide meals and food for children. Details about new locations and times will be available within the week.

For families in immediate need, food can be picked up at one of the Food Bank’s mobile pantry locations and partner agency distributions. Please go to allfaithsfoodbank.org for locations and times. 

[Motor Vehicle Services]  Sarasota County Tax Collector Reduces DMV Services; Extends Deadlines for Licenses

The Sarasota County Tax Collector serves 1,400 customers a day. In order to protect customers and staff from the spread of COVID-19 and follow the CDC guidelines, some in-person services are being restricted. According to Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates, “After a great deal of careful consideration, and with guidance from the Governor’s Office, the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles, and our partners in government, we are temporarily changing services available in our offices.” Effective immediately, and until further notice, most motor vehicles, driver’s licenses, and tax transactions must be completed online. Driver’s license road tests and learner’s permit tests are suspended. Phone operators are available at 941-861-8300 to assist customers who need help completing their online transactions or who do not have access to the internet. Deadlines have been extended for anyone with a driver’s license, commercial driver’s license (CDL) or ID card expiring between March 16th and April 15th. These licenses will be valid an additional 30 days and renewals during that period will not have delinquent fees charged. Vehicle registrations, due on the owner’s birthday, and 2019 tax payments due by March 31st, can be paid online or through the mail.

While offices hours and days open are subject to change, Tax Collector Service Centers will remain open for transactions that require an office visit. These include: title transfers and duplicate title applications, licenses for new residents, CDL testing, and certain medical driver testing. Customers should check SarasotaTaxCollector.com for updates related to transactions, office hours and days open before coming into an office. 

[Healthcare]  Visitation Update from Manatee Memorial Hospital

For the protection of patients, staff and the community, visitors will not be allowed in Manatee Memorial Hospital’s inpatient areas, with the exceptions noted below, starting today until further notice. These exceptions include: Labor and Delivery: limitation of one support person who may stay overnight; Mom and Baby/Post-Partum: one support person who may stay overnight; NICU: one support person who may stay overnight; Emergency Department: Patients are limited to one visitor who can stay in the Emergency Department but may not accompany the patient once taken to the inpatient unit who are subject to screening upon arrival at the hospital. If the visitor leaves the Emergency Department, they may not return; Compassionate Care/End-of-life situations. In those cases, visitors will be limited to a specific room only. *Reminder for OB patient’s families: when picking up mothers and/or newborns, please secure someone to watch older children, since they are not able to visit the hospital.

All exception visitors are subject to screening upon arrival at the hospital. They will be required to use hand-sanitizing gel (or handwashing) upon entering the facility as well as entering and exiting a patient room. The hospital encourages family/friends to continue to call, use FaceTime or Skype patients during this time. Please visit manateememorial.com and click on Health Alert: Important Coronavirus Update for additional information or follow Manatee Memorial’s Facebook. 

[Economic Assistance]  Governor Ron DeSantis Activates Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

Governor Ron DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will provide short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19. The application period opens today, March 17, 2020 and runs through May 8, 2020. DEO will administer the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation to provide cash flow to businesses economically impacted by COVID-19. The short-term, interest-free loans help bridge the gap between the time the economic impact occurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. Up to $50 million has been allocated for the program.

For more information on how to apply, the link is below. https://floridadisasterloan.org/ 

[Parks + Recreation]  City Recreational Facilities to Close This Week; Public Meetings Scaled Back

The City of Sarasota on Monday announced the suspension of organized events and activities at the City’s recreational facilities and a scaling back of upcoming public meetings to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. The following City facilities will be closed to the public beginning today, through at least the end of the month: Arlington Park and Aquatic Complex, Bobby Jones Golf Club, Lido Beach Pool, Payne Park Skate Park, Payne Park Tennis Center and Robert L. Taylor Community Center. The City’s parks and beaches will remain open to the public, but citizens are strongly advised to follow the advice of health officials regarding social distancing and limits on public gatherings. The City Commission’s next regular meeting scheduled for April 6 has been canceled. All scheduled City advisory board meetings, including the Planning Board and Development Review Committee, will also be suspended for the next 30 days. The actions are in accordance with the latest public health guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Governor’s Office and the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County, City Manager Tom Barwin said.

Barwin, in consultation with Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch, declared a local citywide public health emergency Friday. The declaration will be reviewed weekly, as outlined by the City Charter.  The Sarasota Police Department and other City departments will continue to provide vital services to our residents. Department heads are following best practices from health officials to limit employees’ exposure and transmission of COVID-19 while still meeting the needs of the community. Solid waste, recycling and yard waste collection schedules will continue as planned. In the interest of public health, residents and customers are advised to conduct business with the City whenever possible either online via the City’s website, SarasotaFL.gov, or by phone at 941-263-6000.

The Utilities Billing Office, 1761 12th St., is closed, but utility bills can continue to be paid online or at the bill pay drop-off box outside the building. The office can be reached at 941-263-6260 or 941-263-6261 or utilitybill@sarasotagov.com. The City’s Utilities Department will not be conducting any water shut-offs for the next 30 days. 

[Small Business]  The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce Member Update

The Greater Sarasota Chamber is providing access to resources members may need during this time where normal business operations are being adversely impacted. This situation is fluid and the Chamber will continue avidly communicating with its members, as they receive the latest updates from federal, state and local agencies, as well as the CDC. Meanwhile, many member businesses are undergoing operational changes in order to safeguard their staff and customers' safety. Likewise, the Chamber is adapting our procedures to ensure the safety of its team as well as to continue with its mission of connecting, promoting, supporting our members. As you share updates on your business to your social media platforms, please tag @greatersarasotachamber. The Chamber wants to help your organization as best they can during this time. For more information or questions, please contact Brittany Lamont at blamont@sarasotachamber.com. 

Florida Chamber of Commerce Resource Page

[Tourism]  Visit Sarasota County Closes Visitor Centers; Boosts Virtual Support

Following the lead of federal, state and county governments, Visit Sarasota County (VSC) has decided to close its three Visitor Centers, located at SRQ Airport, downtown Sarasota, and Venice, in order to best protect visitors, volunteers and staff. This decision is in effect until March 31, 2020, at the earliest. During this time, VSC has ensured there are ways people can communicate during this time to ask visitor information questions: Visitors can email VSC at Info@VisitSarasota.com or call 941-706-1253. Voicemails are being checked often and calls will be returned as soon as possible with the hours being Monday – Friday, 10am – 4pm, and Saturday 10am – 2pm. Visitors can also comment and ask questions via VSC’s social media profile pages on FacebookInstagram and TwitterVSC is referring COVID-19 specific questions directly to the experts, the CDC and Florida Department of Health. For details on those organizations, visit VisitSarasota.com and click on the "Travel Alerts" tab. 

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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