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SRQ DAILY Apr 15, 2020

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"Being physically isolated doesn't mean we have to be socially isolated."

- Sam Valentin, Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast

[Environmental]  Conservation Foundation Hosts Earth Day with a Virtual BioBlitz
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

It'll be a different kind of Earth Day celebration in 2020. But despite our obligations to stay (mostly) indoors and quarantine, the annual event recognized around the world intends to persevere and celebrate its milestone 50th anniversary this year. And in light of the global pandemic, local nonprofit Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast invites the public to partake in environmental awareness by joining its virtual Earth Day Backyard BioBlitz on Wednesday, April 22, from 8 am to 8 pm. 

BioBlitzs focus on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a specific period of time. As a way to honor our earth’s precious resources, local residents will be able to document the scientific inventory of the awesome plants, animals, fungi and other indigenous organisms that call Sarasota County home. During this 12-hour virtual event, participants will be able to submit their nature observations to the online resource iNaturalist.Kids, parents, educators, scientists, nature-lovers, photographers and everyone in between are encouraged to get outside (safely) and share what they see in their immediate surroundings. Together, participants will find and identify as many species as possible to help contribute to the scientific survey that will help us get an overall count and snapshot of Sarasota County’s special biodiversity. 

"A BioBlitz is a fun and unique way for our community to come together to celebrate Earth Day while still following proper social distancing guidelines," Sam Valentin, Conservation Foundation event and rental coordinator. "It's a way to contribute to science, get outside, and be part of something bigger!" 

The foundation's team will be active on its Facebook page throughout the day, while environmental educators from multiple regional organizations also share activities, information and videos as part of the Earth Day fun. 

"Being physically isolated doesn't mean we have to be socially isolated," says Valentin.

How to Participate:
1. Log In or Sign Up for iNaturalist.
2. Download the iNaturalist App to your Smartphone (recommended) App for iOS (Apple products) or App for Android, or learn how to upload your camera photos to the iNaturalist website.
3. Open the Earth Day Backyard BioBlitz project page.
4. Click on the JOIN Button in the upper right of the project page so you can easily navigate back to the project from your iNaturalist home page.
5. Take photos and upload them to iNaturalist. The project will update in live time as observations are submitted the day of the event, so check in regularly to track progress. 

Photo courtesy of Kerri Gagne Photography.

Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, 400 Palmetto Ave., PO Box 902, Osprey, 941-918-2100.

[Board Announcements]  New Board Members at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Two new members join the Board of Trustees at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota. Michael Crosby, Ph.D. and Marlon Brown are now on the board. Crosby is the President and CEO of Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium and Brown is the Deputy City Manager of the City of Sarasota. Both will serve a three-year term and will work with 13 other civic leaders, business owners, local physicians and hospital leaders who also serve on the board. “We are very fortunate to have these outstanding additions to our Board of Trustees. Dr. Crosby and Mr. Brown are respected leaders in our community and in their professional roles. I thank them for volunteering their service and look forward to their guidance as we continue to deliver quality and compassionate care to Sarasota County and the surrounding areas,” said Robert Meade, CEO of Doctors Hospital of Sarasota. The Board of Trustees follows standards set by The Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals. The board works with the hospital administration team to help assure quality patient care and hospital-wide improvements. The hospital has earned an “A” rating for safety 11 times in a row. 

[Schools]  Manatee District Names Five New Principals

The School District of Manatee County is proud to announce the appointment of five newly named Principals promoted from Assistant Principals for the 2020-2021 school year. In addition, the district is announcing a promotion and administrative transfers for 2020-2021. The new positions are scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2020. The new school principals are: Ginger Collins has been named the new Principal at Lee Middle School. Ms. Collins has served as the Assistant Principal at Southeast High School since 2018. She also previously served as an Assistant Principal at Bayshore High School for eight years and as a Teacher and AVID Coordinator at Palmetto High and Haile Middle for a combined 12 years. Debra Riley has been named the new Principal at Miller Elementary School. Ms. Riley has served as the Assistant Principal at Mills Elementary since 2015. She also previously served as a Student Support Specialist at Mills Elementary and as a Teacher at Mills, Palma Sola and Palmetto Elementary Schools. Billie-Jo Tyne-Fintel has been named the new Principal at Palmetto Elementary School. Ms. Tyne-Fintel has served as the Assistant Principal at Willis Elementary since 2016. She also previously served as an Instructional Specialist, Literacy Coach and as an Elementary Teacher in Title I and non-Title I schools. Samantha Webb has been named the new Principal at Abel Elementary School. Ms. Webb has served as the Assistant Principal at Samoset Elementary since August 2016. She also previously served as an Assistant Principal at Braden River Elementary and as a Teacher at Ballard Elementary. Nicole Williams has been named the new Principal at Oneco Elementary. Ms. Williams has served as the Assistant Principal at Rogers Garden-Bullock Elementary since 2018. She also previously served as Assistant Principal at Williams Elementary, as a Student Support Specialist at Ballard and Manatee Elementary and as a Teacher at Rogers Garden-Bullock, Braden River and Samoset. 

For more.

[Real Estate]  Marty Haines Earns Commitment to Excellence Endorsement

Marty Haines, a Broker-Associate in the RE/MAX Alliance Group Venice office, has earned the Commitment to Excellence (C2EX) endorsement from the National Association of Realtors.  Available only to Realtors, the C2EX endorsement acknowledges the recipient’s demonstrated knowledge and competency in 10 core areas of real estate practice: client service, professional reputation, real estate law, Realtor Code of Ethics, equal service to all, advocacy of real property ownership, trust and integrity, use of technology, data privacy and areas of practice. The C2EX endorsement is an affirmation to consumers that the recipient stands for ethics and professionalism. Haines serves Sarasota County with an emphasis on the South County area from Osprey and Venice to Englewood. She has more than 30 years of experience in real estate sales and property management, and holds the Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Certified New Home Specialist (CNHS), Residential Construction Certified (RCC) and Graduate, Realtor Institute (GRI) designations. The RE/MAX Alliance Group Venice office is located at 1314 East Venice Avenue, Suite B, Venice, Florida 34285. Haines can be reached at (941) 308-4627 or mhaines@remax.net. 

[Online Exhibit]  "The Embodied Mind" Virtual Art Exhibit on Display through May 15

As we face insurmountable challenges surrounding a monumental paradigm shift triggered by COVID-19, social distancing and campus closures, radically new approaches to academic programming are required. As such the New College of Florida Art Department will present its 2020 Senior Thesis Art Exhibition entitled The Embodied Mind, in an online virtual platform. The culmination of a year-long studio art research project, the work in this year’s exhibition focuses heavily on the position of painting as a tool for examining and celebrating wellbeing, diversity and community in both body and mind. At a moment when the world has been forced into a moment of inward reflection, New College thesis students have been creating outward expressions that activate and affirm their positions in the world. Through a celebration of queer pride and gender fluidity and by foregrounding issues around mental illness awareness in the twenty-first century, this year’s thesis students tackle timely and relevant topics during this unprecedented historical moment. This year’s exhibition includes students Miranda Chapman, Kayden VanAntwerp, and Samantha Zellner.

Through an appropriation of vintage anatomical textbooks and imagery, Miranda Chapman approximates what it is like to suffer from an anxiety disorder. The subjects of her paintings, executed on sheer fabric and lace, appear to emerge from the confines of their frames. Chapman’s unconventional mixed media paintings combine oil paint and embroidery on sheer fabric supports, and invite the viewer to examine what it is like living with an anxiety disorder. Through her work she transforms the invisible to something viscerally palpable.

In his paintings, Kayden creates a personal expression of queer pride through a combination of bold colors, ornate symbolism, and LGBTQ+ symbols and imagery. Queer portraits paired with imagery of insects and flowers convey a sense of beauty, transformation and growth. Kayden's series of paintings creates a safe place and a celebration of queer life for viewers both within and outside of the queer community.

In a culture that teaches people to suppress their emotions and suffer silently, Zellner portrays her feelings of anguish and discomfort through the depiction of serene and fantastical landscapes. Her use of bright colors and Surreal imagery evoke an environment where human suffering is made visible. Each painting focuses on commonly diagnosed mental illnesses, embodied through an interplay of saccharine colors and highly inventive landscapes, in order to describe the struggles and contradictions of coping with intense emotions and past traumas. 

Pictured: “Confidence, Each Time We Face Our Fear, We Gain Strength, Courage and Confidence in the Doing,” Oil on canvas, 48″x36″. Artist: Samantha Zellner

View the online exhibit.

[Giving Challenge]  Support The Ringling During The Sarasota Giving Challenge

The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art opened in 1946 and helped shape Sarasota as an arts destination. With art, circus, architecture, performance, and gardens, The Ringling is “a place that integrates the arts and brings them alive” (Chick Austin, Museum Director, 1946-57). The 2020 Giving Challenge is a way to support The Ringling, especially during these turbulent times. Museum educators and staff are working tirelessly to support our community by creating Museum From Home materials to share the resources of The Ringling online. Our grounds, facilities, and security teams are busy keeping the museum clean and our collections safe. 

Give to The Ringling During the Giving Challenge.

[Staff Announcement]  New Executive Director Announced For ALSO Youth

Amidst all the changes happening in the world around us these last several weeks, we are happy to announce an exciting and positive change here at ALSO Youth: our new executive director, James Robinson! James joins ALSO with 20 years of non-profit and fundraising experience, which include his time as an executive director of Youth Pride, Inc., Rhode Island's only LGBTQ+ youth center, as well as many years of HIV/AIDS activism. Most recently, James served as the development director for De LaSalle Academy in Fort Myers, a school for children living with learning challenges. “We are thrilled to have someone with James’ experience, passion, and lifetime involvement working with nonprofits to lead our organization,” ALSO Youth Board President, Mary Tavarozzi said. “We have ambitious plans to continue our growth and outreach into both [Sarasota and Manatee] counties, and we believe James is ideally suited for the role.” 

For more info.

[Appointment]  Ryan W. Owen Named Partner in Charge of Adams and Reese’s Sarasota Office

Adams and Reese is pleased to announce that Ryan W. Owen has been appointed the Partner in Charge of the firm’s St. Petersburg office by Managing Partner Gif Thornton. The firm has a Partner in Charge in each of its offices throughout the southern United States and Washington, D.C. Owen is a litigator whose construction law practice includes advising and advocating for specialty and general contractors, owners, materials suppliers and equipment rental companies. Outside the construction industry, Owen counsels clients in commercial and real estate litigation related to issues such as contract disputes, employment agreement and non-compete disputes, landlord/tenant conflicts, title insurance matters, corporate partnership disputes and claims related to Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. On the transactional side of his practice, Owen drafts construction contracts and works on creditor’s rights matters. A leader in the Sarasota business and legal community, Owen is a graduate of Leadership Sarasota. He has been named to Florida Super Lawyers “Rising Stars,” is the former director of the Sarasota County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division and is the former chair of the Sarasota Association of Realtors/Sarasota County Bar Association Realtor/Attorney Joint Committee. He remains active in the Sarasota legal and business communities as Chair of the Sarasota County Bar Association Appellate Section and is a member of the Gulf Coast Builders Exchange and Risk Management Association. Owen received his J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law in 2006 and his B.A. from Washington and Lee University in 2002. 

[Music]  Classical Radio WSMR Partners with Local Orchestras to Make Symphony Performances Available Twice Weekly During COVID-19 Shutdown

Florida’s classical radio station WSMR is teaming up with The Florida Orchestra and the Sarasota Orchestra to broadcast twice weekly live recorded performances from Florida’s classical music ensembles. The exclusive broadcasts are just one way the station and its parent organization, WUSF Public Media, are reaching out to listeners in this unprecedented time as orchestras across the country are not in a position to hold live performances out of health concerns. “We know so many of our listeners look forward to these live, in-person performances,” said WUSF General Manager JoAnn Urofsky. “As much as possible we want to replicate that experience and bring something special to the listeners who truly love and appreciate classical music.”

These recordings are a mix of performances from this season and from the symphonies’ archives and will air through June 11. Listeners can also stream the concerts online at https://www.wsmr.org/. If listeners miss an on-air broadcast, they will have the option to listen on-demand at WSMR.org for one month after the airdate. WUSF has partnered with the orchestras for years on a variety of projects, including live simulcast of concerts, and special in-person performances to raise funds that support music on public broadcasting.

The cooperative project comes as local classical stations around the country are teaming up to keep live performances accessible to the public. For example, from March 23 to April 18, Boston’s WCRB is broadcasting encore performances every night Monday-Saturday from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which can no longer perform in-person concerts due to the virus. As another example, Seattle’s Classical KING-FM broadcasted the Byrd Ensemble performing “Our Lady” after their in-person concert was cancelled.

In response to the challenges faced by performing arts organizations across the country, Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, compiled a list of 10 reasons to support the arts in 2020, writing: “The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us—fostering creativity, goodness, and beauty. The arts bring us joy, help us express our values, and build bridges between cultures. The arts also are a fundamental component of a healthy community—strengthening them socially, educationally, and economically—benefits that persist even in difficult social and economic times.” 

For more info.

[Event]  Firefly Gala New Date Confirmed

We are thrilled to announce that Pitbull is confirmed for the Grand Finale of Firefly Gala on Saturday, January 30, 2021 at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota.  Save the date. Our deepest gratitude goes to each  of you for your patience  during this COVID-19 crisis.  Forty Carrots has been transitioning our programs to virtual platforms with great success.  The need for mental health services, parenting, and early education support have only been heightened with social distancing and isolation, and as it remains to be for the foreseeable future.  Thank you for staying the course with us, as we  continue to strengthen families. Our work preventing abuse and neglect in these stressful times has never been more important. 

For more on Forty Carrots.

[Sarasota County Loan Program]  Funding Update: Sarasota County Small Business Resiliency Loan Program

The Sarasota County Small Business Resiliency Program was recently created to assist Sarasota County businesses by providing immediate, short-term financial relief. Receive updates on program details, like the loan eligibility application, as they are finalized by signing up at the button below. Updates will also be posted to the Sarasota EDC website. The initial loan terms and loan application requirements are posted on the website as well.  Sarasota County and the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County have teamed up to provide 4.3 million dollars in low-interest loans to small businesses who have been affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program, SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan and SBDC Bridge Loan are just a few of the programs that have been developed by the federal government to help your business during this difficult time. The purpose of the COVID-19 Small Business Resiliency Loan program is to provide much-needed funds as businesses await funding from larger federal programs. The Sarasota County Small Business Resiliency Loan program is still under development. Please check back often for updates as they evolve. 

For more on the loan.

[Giving Back]  New College Receives a COVID-19 Response Initiative Grant for Emergency and Critical Needs Relief for Students

MaryAnne Young, executive director and CEO of New College Foundation, announced that New College of Florida has received a $28,000 grant from Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation for emergency and critical needs relief for students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The two foundations have awarded 25 grants totaling nearly $600,000 to relieve strain on key nonprofit partners that are aiding residents hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. "New College is deeply grateful for the incredible generosity of the Barancik Foundation and Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s COVID 19 Response grant partnership,” said Young. “These funds will make an enormous difference in the lives of our neediest students when they are most vulnerable.” Young explained that New College was scheduled to recess for Spring Break beginning March 13, 2020. Traditionally, Spring Break is a week when most of New College’s students leave their on-campus residences for at least a portion of the week. Days prior to the onset of the break, the decision was made at the Florida State University System level that all state universities were to plan for extended breaks due to the emerging threats posed by COVID-19. Although most residential students were able to return home or stay with relatives, 16 students were unable to leave due to various circumstances. Young notes that these students represent the most economically disadvantaged of all New College’s students. The funds will be used for the needs of both on-campus and offsite students, including for food, medicine, and Wi-Fi access to participate in online classes. “I continue to be in awe of all that the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation and the other foundations make possible for this community. Their philanthropy, especially in unprecedented times like these, brings us together, actively promotes resiliency, and inspires our human spirit,” she said. “These grants—and many more we have in the pipeline—are what I call ‘quick hits,’” said Teri A Hansen, president and CEO of Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation. “They give some of our strongest nonprofit partners what they need right now to continue their critical work, even as their own staffs and revenues are affected. We will continue working with them to prepare for the intermediate and long-term challenges yet to come.” 

For more info on the New College Foundation.

[Parenting]  Parents You Are Doing A Great Job: Give Yourselves a Hand, and a Break

Parents, you are doing an amazing job, and the Brain Health Initiative knows how hard it is. As parents, we all have experienced the never-ending struggle of balancing home and work life. Now we have added safer-at-home to the mix, further blurring the boundaries of work, school and home. Just how are we supposed to cope? First, give yourself a hand for learning to deal with all these new challenges. School has been closed since mid-March and online learning has taken its place. Since April 3, if not before, most of us are now working at home. True, this has created many challenges. But it has also created opportunities for being together as a family.

Now, give yourself a break. It’s just not possible to juggle everything: to be 100 percent present; to oversee all the homeschooling with complete efficiency; and do your job, even if you are a stay at home caregiver. Sometimes we just need to let go and say, “close enough.” It is common in our culture to push ourselves—physically, mentally and emotionally, often beyond brain healthy limits.

All that superhuman pushing can feel so productive—until it doesn’t. Until you’re exhausted, overextended, overwhelmed, or otherwise ready to snap. To promote your brain and body health, and fight brain and body illness, it is important to understand what your body, mind, and spirit can take. If you feel physically, mentally, or even emotionally exhausted, understand that these are warning signs. Listen to your body, listen to your heart, and your mind and give yourself a break when you need it. Give yourself a hand, you are doing a great job!!

Watch this video from Sesame Street, a safe place for all of us-young and younger! Elmo's dad, Louie, wants to remind you to take a moment for yourself.

Here are some brain healthy strategies for parents working at home with children. 

  • Manage expectations. Make sure your employer understands your children are at home so they are aware your work (or work calls) may not be interruption-free. Explain to your kids that working from home may seem like a regular weekend or a vacation day, but you are still working.  
  • Set up virtual childcare. Reach out to friends, aunts, uncles, grandparents, babysitters, even teachers to arrange virtual playdates for your kids. They can talk, read, play games, sing, do dances and much more, all online.
  • Plan unsupervised activities. Babies will give you a breather during nap times, but here are some ideas you can plan ahead to engage your baby while encouraging self-exploration. For toddlers and grade-schoolers, create activity boxes that contain games and puzzles that require minimal adult supervision, along with trustworthy apps and their favorite, brain healthy shows. Older kids will most likely be busy with online schooling, but will also need some suggestions that are guided with their input. They may value opportunities to learn new skills (e.g., carpentry, sewing, painting a wall, bike maintenance, cooking) so they can contribute to the household or to the greater community.
  • Prioritize your schedule. Aim to schedule engaging activities for the kids during the time you need to be most productive.
  • Split the work. If you have a partner, consider taking shifts. One person watches the kids in the morning while the other works, and vice versa in the afternoon. This allows some time where your focus is purely on work. 
  • Reinforce positive behaviors. When you see your children practicing brain healthy behavior, let them know you noticed as it happens. Reinforcing positive behaviors in the moment builds new pathways in the brain that establish good habits.
  • Take breaks. Because kids’ attention spans are short, your work will likely need to be done in chunks. If you need uninterrupted work time, you may need to continue working after they’ve gone to bed or wake up earlier in the morning.   
  • Monitor screen time. Healthy screen use is about balancing three factors: time, quality and buddies. Temporarily engaging in more than usual screen time during COVID-19 isn’t going to be a detriment to your child, just help them aim for moderation and balance in the types of screen-based programs/activities they choose.
  • Find a space. Finding a space with a door that can be closed reinforces the message that you are working. If a space has internet access it can act as an office.


To read all the Brain Health Boosts from the Brain Health Initiative.

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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