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SRQ DAILY Apr 22, 2020

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"Our students' personal success and our society's well-being depend on innovative, educated young people being prepared to solve complex problems in the 21st century."

- Jennifer Vigne, Education Foundation of Sarasota County

[The Giving Challenge]  Making a Difference in a Student's Life

The Education Foundation of Sarasota County is making a different in students' lives.  To help students succeed: This is their ultimate objective and both the first and last lines of the Education Foundation of Sarasota County’s story. They begin their story with numbers: The Foundation annually serves nearly 44,000 students and 5,000 instructional staff and support personnel in 53 public schools in Sarasota County Schools district. With the addition of families, employers, and citizens who depend on an educated population, the numbers served reach into many more thousands. Behind these figures are individuals whose unique stories and challenges, along with our community’s particular needs, serve to guide the expanding narrative of the Education Foundation of Sarasota County.

Their narrative started more than 30 years ago when citizen-advocates, representing a cross-sector of Sarasota County leaders, formed a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting and enhancing our district’s public education in recognition that highly effective education and a thriving community are mutually dependent and inextricably linked. The Education Foundation of Sarasota County remains the only organization exclusively dedicated to supporting students and teachers in Sarasota County Schools, and they continue to be governed by a board of citizen-advocates and funded by philanthropist-minded individual donors, corporate partners and foundation partners. Supporters recognize that our students’ personal success and our society’s well-being depend on innovative, educated young people being prepared to solve complex problems in the 21st century. In turn, supporting student success requires that we, as the Foundation, stay focused on seeing students graduate from high school prepared to successfully progress to and through their postsecondary paths, and equipped to flourish in productive careers and nimbly adapt to rapidly changing modes and methodologies.

Make a donation! All donations between $25 and $100 are matched by The Patterson Foundation. Donate here 

Support the Education Foundation of Sarasota County.

[The Giving Challenge]  Be the One for the Circus Arts Conservatory

Circus summer camp builds confidence, teaches teamwork and inspires courage. Sailor Circus Academy teaches students to build each other up, the power of teamwork, to be fearless and builds self-esteem through accomplishment. #BeTheOne to save the day for kids that otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend Circus Summer Camp or the Sailor Circus Academy to learn these valuable lessons. During this unprecedented time when families are struggling with so many hardships - economic, emotional, familial and more - they need our help more than ever. Will you be the one to help us help them?  Donate online during #GivingChallenge2020. Thanks to the generosity of The Patterson Foundation, your gift of up to $100 will be matched. #BeTheOne to #GiveCircusArts Scholarships to those students that can’t afford to attend Sailor Circus Academy. 

Be the One to stay Connected - to circus, culture, and community.

[The Giving Challenge]  Education Transforms Lives—Be The Reason for Change

This inspiring 24-hour event of online giving is an opportunity for individuals to come together and support the hundreds of nonprofits that make our community great. And community means more now than ever. Ringling College of Art and Design is proud to participate in the #2020GivingChallenge. On April 28-29, from noon to noon, they hope you will consider making a gift that will support Ringling's Save Our Students scholarship. All unique donations from $25-$100 will be generously matched by The Patterson Foundation. Save Our Students is a one-time award for students experiencing unexpected financial hardships—such as illness or injury, losing a home in a natural disaster, or sudden unemployment—who otherwise might have to face the difficult decisions to leave Ringling Colelge #BeTheOne to help artists return to campus this Fall. #BeTheReason creativity can thrive. 

Donate now.

[Philanthropy]  Looking Toward the Future of the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School

It’s been a great season so far for the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School. Once again our professional caliber pre-professional students performed an original contemporary piece at the Selby Gardens Orchid Evening to great acclaim. The annual Nutcracker performances featured new professionally designed scenery and live music. Our dancers achieved phenomenal success at prestigious YAGP (Youth America Grand Prix) competitions – winning top honors for the dancers and accolades for co-founder and Artistic Director Ariel Serrano. Professional companies have shown great interest in six of our dancers. And Serrano realized a long time dream of giving back, with Dance for a Future, a new program for 4th and 5th graders from Title1 schools who demonstrate nascent dance ability.

Unfortunately, like so many other arts group the SCBS season came to a screeching halt – well almost. We had to cancel in studio training and rehearsals for the Spring Triple Bill which featured the classical ballets Paquita and A Midsumer Night’s Dream and Tania Vergara’s Ocean, an original acclaimed contemporary piece, first performed in 2018 with nearly 50 dancers on stage, as well as the end of the year all-school recital. The Summer Intensive, which draws young artists and professionals from throughout the world and culminates in our Annual On Stage Gala at the Sarasota Opera House is on hold.

But SCBS is more than just a training and performing group – it’s a family, a sanctuary for dancers – those who are on the cusp of launching professional careers and those who have already moved on -- former students dance for two world renown UK companies, the Royal Ballet and the Birmingham Ballet, and well known US companies including the San Francisco Ballet, Ballet San Antonio, and the Sarasota Ballet, to name just a few. It’s also a ballet school – where people of all ages from 3 to 83+ can take classes, whether they are thinking about professional careers or just want to enjoy dancing recreationally.

In a relatively few years SCBS has become an important member of the Sarasota arts scene. Like many other local organizations, the Covid-19 crisis is causing the organization severe financial difficulties. As a relative newcomer to the Sarasota Arts scene, the Sarasota Cuban Ballet doesn’t have an endowment or reserve funds to help the organization through this nightmare. However, founders Ariel Serrano and Wilmian Hernandez’s first concern is their SCBS family. “We are worried about the psychological effect on our kids. They had been working so hard on the highly demanding pieces for the Spring Triple Bill and preparing for competitions and auditions.”

Serrano and Hernandez are quick to point out that they are not the only ones helping in these trying times.  Two of the YAGP award winning dancers, Saela Rivera Martinez and Natalia Chersia  have prepared training videos that are available on YouTube.  They and other SCBS dancers are urging people to Raise the Barre and Keep Our Dream Alive by supporting SCBS during the Sarasota Community Foundation sponsored Giving Challenge which takes place noon to noon April 28-29.  The Board of Directors, led by Chair Michael Shelton, is doing a great job helping SCBS to weather the financial aspects of this crisis.  Board member Peter Kretzmer has pledged $5,000 toward matching Giving Challenge donations of more than $100.  Other major donors indicated they will join him. (Donations between $25 and $100 are matched by The Patterson Foundation.)  A committee of volunteers has taken a hands-on active role in moving the SCBS Giving Challenge campaign forward.  Despite the challenges, Ariel and Wilmian are looking toward the future – planning for the 20-21 season as they find ways to Raise the Barre and Keep Our Dream Alive. 

For more info.

[Giving Back]  Subway Restaurants and Feeding America Partner To Provide 15 Million Meals

For more than 50 years, Subway® restaurants have been open to serve guests and communities. Now, during this unprecedented time, Subway remains committed to not only providing nutritious meals but getting them to those who need it the most. Starting today, Subway and Feeding America® are teaming up to provide up to 15 million meals* to feed people in need across the country. With the purchase of every Footlong through April 30 for takeout, catering and delivery, Subway will provide a meal* to Feeding America. With Feeding America predicting food banks needing an additional estimated $1.4 billion over the next six months to feed people in need due to the COIVD-19 pandemic, Subway and its guests are lending their support by simply ordering their favorite Footlong from participating restaurants through the Subway app, on order.subway.com or by visiting Subway.com to find their closest restaurant offering takeout. “Subway has always been a part of the community to provide delicious subs and a helping hand – and we plan to continue to do just that during this time of hardship,” said Subway’s North America President, Trevor Haynes. “From keeping our restaurants open and safe, to providing better-for-you food options, to our Franchise Owners dedicating their time and donating food, Subway is open to serve. And, we are proud to once again partner with Feeding America to help make sure our neighbors are getting the nutritious meals they need and deserve.” As of December 2019, the Feeding America network of food banks served about 40 million people a year. It has seen a drastic uptick in need, an unprecedented increase of 17 million people, who will rely on food banks during this uncertain time. This has put an unexpected burden on the Feeding America network, and despite increased support, it still doesn’t have all of the resources it needs to meet demands. As a long-standing supporter of Feeding America, Subway wants to lend its support in helping to alleviate some of this need, using the community reach of its over 24,000 restaurants nationwide to help feed millions of Americans in these uncertain times. “Feeding America network food banks have seen an unprecedented increase in need for food assistance across the communities they serve,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America. “Subway’s donation of 15 million meals will help ease the burden felt by our neighbors struggling with hunger so they can instead focus on navigating this difficult time with their families.” Along with keeping restaurants open and ready to serve, Subway Franchise Owners across the globe have stepped up in big ways in their local communities donating meals to those on the frontlines including healthcare workers and first responders, as well as donating meals to children who normally rely on school lunches. Subway has also taken steps in restaurant to ensure a safe experience, including increased frequency of cleaning and sanitizing, continued reinforcement of existing health and food safety protocols and moving to a takeout and delivery-only model. 

For more info.

[The Giving Challenge]  Tips for a Healthy and Happy LIfestyle

UnidosNow, Health Start Sarasota and Revitalize Chiropractic bring you 45 minutes filled with some of the best tips for a healthy and happy lifestyle. Join them this Wednesday, April 22 at 5:30 pm to learn from experts about healthy living, good posture, leadership, self confidence, and more. This online workshop is part of the #GivingChallenge2020, an exciting giving event that connects nonprofit organizations with passionate donors. Support these community-based organizations that are making an impact in the lives of families in Sarasota and Manatee County. 

Register on Facebook.

[Real Estate]  John Patterson and Karen Wankelman Facilitate Successful $8.6M Manatee County Transaction

Shutts & Bowen LLP partners recently represented the buyer of Bradenton’s waterfront tower, Plaza Del Rio, in a successful transaction totaling $8.6 million. Sarasota partner John Patterson acted as lead attorney for the buyer of the 78,553-square-foot office tower. Orlando partner Karen W. Wankelman, was responsible for the legal representation of the buyer in connection with the $6,888,000 mortgage loan with SerisFirst Bank. John represented the buyer throughout the entire acquisition process, including due diligence prior to the auction, negation of the purchase terms, and closing. Built in 1986, the seven-story building located at 101 Riverfront Boulevard is occupied by a mix of legal, corporate and medical tenants, pulling business from across Florida’s Gulf Coast. The Plaza Del Rio is well-located along U.S. Route 41, featuring iconic and highly recognizable architectural elements, as well as a traffic count of 64,500 cars per day. It was put up for online auction in February before being acquired by the local investor group. 

[Best of SRQ]  Celebrating the Best Local Accomplishments

The launch of redevelopment of Sarasota’s cultural waterfront dazzled and amazed readers this year, who put THE BAY approval as the Platinum Best of SRQ 2020 accomplishment. Meanwhile, finally seeing the SARASOTA ART MUSEUM come to fruition this year was a Gold award a long time in the making. Embracing more ROUNDABOUTS managed to land the traffic feature a Silver accolade, while a Sarasota County Commission decision to save CELERY FIELDS from being replaced by a recycling plant impressed readers enough to win Bronze.

The 2020 Best Accomplishment winners are: Platinum Winner- The Bay Sarasota / Gold Winner- Sarasota Art Museum / Silver Winner- Roundabouts / Bronze Winner- Saving Celery Fields 

Image: The Bay Sarasota. Rendering from Sasaki Associates Inc. Inspiration- Piet Mondrian, Composition with Red Blue and Yellow, 1930

Read more from the Best of SRQ 2020 Competition HERE

[Giving Back]  Local Country Club Gives Back to Community

Bradenton Country Club will donate 150 hot meals to Blake Hospital in Manatee County on Friday, April 24th to their employees who are working on the front lines to keep our community safe and helping sick patients. The donations are from their very generous members, and the meals will be prepared by the staff of the country club. Manatee Memorial Hospital has asked to extend the club's donations prepared for them, to be given to one of the local food banks, Our Daily Bread. Bradenton Country Club will deliver 150 boxed lunches to them on Thursday, April 23rd to help feed the many families suffering in our neighborhood that need of a nutritious meal. Bradenton Country Club and its members are thankful for the opportunity to help give back to our community in this time of need. 

[Crisis Support]  Goodwill Manasota Receives Grant from COVID-19 Response Initiative

To help workers from Goodwill Manasota who have been furloughed due to the economic impacts of the coronavirus disease, Goodwill has received a grant of $33,746 to support the rehiring of five GoodPartner Coaches through the COVID-19 Response Initiative, a joint effort of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation and Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation. These coaches will begin reaching out immediately to the 336 Sarasota-area Goodwill workers who were furloughed in the face of economic losses suffered by the nonprofit organization due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With its retail stores closed and potential losses of $3 million each month while no revenue is coming in, Goodwill Manasota has furloughed 604 of its team members. One of the biggest concerns for the organization at this time is taking care of those who have been furloughed: more than 80% of Goodwill's team members have a self-identified disadvantaging condition or disability. To help guide and counsel its workforce, Goodwill provides each of its employees with a designated GoodPartner Coach (GPC), who offers mentoring and coaching services to help team members succeed on the job and reach their career and life goals.

Through the funding provided through the COVID-19 Response Initiative, the GPC program has been reinstated to assist the team members and families who need it most. The GPCs will provide a one-on-one connection to give or offer a connection to the resources that team members may need on an individualized basis, including mental health, food, shelter, physical health and utilities assistance. The GPCs will also assist employees in coming up with short- and long-term goals during and beyond the pandemic.

“Our core mission is to provide education, training and career services – as well as jobs with Goodwill – so that those with barriers to employment can feel the pride of a paycheck and move toward financial stability," said Goodwill Manasota president and CEO Bob Rosinsky. "Having to furlough 85% of our workforce during this crisis is the most heartbreaking action I've had to take over the course of my 48-year career. Thanks to the generous grant from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation and Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation COVID-19 Response Initiative, we will be able to hire back five of our GoodPartner Coaches. The Goodwill GoodPartner Coaches are the safety net for our team members; they will now be able to reach out, provide counsel, and offer connections to crucial social services for our 336 Sarasota-area furloughed team members in this time of need."

Goodwill continues to accept donations of gently-used items at select attended donation centers - while observing social distancing recommendations - every day between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm, in preparation for the day when stores can safely re-open. Goodwill is also collecting non-perishable food donations for organizations that serve those in need in our community, including Turning Points and the Food Bank of Manatee. Visit its website (experiencegoodwill.org) for a list of available donation centers. 

For more info.

[Support]  Sarasota Jungle Gardens Asks Community for Help Feeding the Animals

Sarasota Jungle Gardens had to close their doors due to COVID-19. The Gardens have been a community fixture for 80 years, and they are struggling to feed their animals. They estimate it will cost about $60,000 to feed all of their animals and are asking for the community's help during this time of need. 

Support the Sarasota Jungle Gardens.

[Research]  North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton Workforce Is 8th Most Impacted During Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has led to an unprecedented economic shutdown as thousands of “nonessential” businesses have closed their doors. The crisis disproportionately affects the 21.3% of American workers in retail, leisure, and hospitality who not only face lack of work, but also suffer from long-standing, below-average wages. According to the latest annual data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage for workers in the retail trade and leisure and hospitality sectors was just $19.70 and $16.55 in 2019, compared to $28 per hour across all workers.

Overall, the share of workers in retail, leisure, and hospitality increased steadily from 1970 to 2016 when it peaked at 21.8%. This trend was largely driven by an increasing share of employment in restaurants and bars, while employment in retail stagnated. Even though the last few years have seen a modest decline in the share of workers in these two sectors overall, more than one-fifth of all U.S. workers were employed in either retail trade or leisure and hospitality in 2019, totalling over 32 million workers.

The share of employment in these industries varies widely across cities and states based on local economic conditions and levels of tourism. Nevada and Hawaii lead the nation in the share of employment in retail, leisure, and hospitality at 35.5% and 30.1%, respectively. At the low end, Kansas and Minnesota both have about 19% of their workforce employed in these sectors.

To find the locations with the workforces most impacted by COVID-19, researchers at Volusion used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the U.S. Census Bureau. The researchers ranked metro areas according to the share of workers employed in the retail trade and leisure and hospitality industries. Researchers also looked at the total number of retail trade workers, the total number of leisure and hospitality workers, the cost of living, and the percent of residents below the poverty level.

To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 people were included in the analysis. Additionally, metro areas were grouped into cohorts based on population size. Small metros have 100,000 to 349,000 residents; midsize metros have 350,000 to 999,999 residents; and large metros have at least 1,000,000 residents.

This analysis found that 28.8% of the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton metro area's workforce operates in the retail trade and leisure and hospitality industries. The North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL metropolitan area’s workforce is the 8th most impacted during the coronavirus pandemic among all midsize U.S. metros. Here is the summary of the data for the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL metro:

  • Share of employment in retail, leisure and hospitality: 28.8%
  • Total retail workers: 44,600
  • Total leisure and hospitality workers: 45,700
  • Cost of living: 0.1% below average
  • Percent below the poverty level: 10.2%

For reference, here are the statistics for the entire United States:

  • Share of employment in retail, leisure and hospitality: 21.3%
  • Total retail workers: 15,786,300
  • Total leisure and hospitality workers: 16,295,000
  • Cost of living: N/A
  • Percent below the poverty level: 13.1%

Pictured: The share of employment in in retail, leisure and hospitality in the nation.

Click to see the original report, a detailed methodology and complete results for all metros.

[Virtual Concerts]  Music Compound Launches Virtual Concert Series and Donates tis Venue to Local Musicians

Music Compound has launched a Virtual Concert Series. The series includes a Facebook Group and an opportunity for bands to play at Music Compound’s concert venue, Studio 32.  5 years ago, the Music Compound owner, Jenny Townsend, wanted to create a place for musicians to jam, collaborate, and perform, she was inspired by local musicians. Now Music Compound is giving back to those same local musicians, by donating it’s concert venue to ensure bands can keep 100% of the tips they have earned.  The Virtual Concerts allow local musicians to play for music fans all over the globe and earn tips. Concerts will be held weekly on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 7-9pm.  Performances will be streamed via Music Compound’s Facebook page and the band performing page.  Just in the past few days, 165 members have joined the group and over 10 bands have posted videos in The Virtual Concert Series Facebook Group.  The group is open to the public and offers hours of music from a variety of musicians, genres and countries for the public.  Jenny Townsend, owner, stated “Music Compound is committed to inspiring, collaborating and educating music lovers locally and globally”. 

For more info.

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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