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SRQ DAILY May 26, 2021

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

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Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"When we learn to take our evolution into our own hands, we will be in a position to contribute to the mitigation of some of the world's most pressing problems."

- Bernard Phillips, philosopher and author

[Seminar ]  Authors and Philosophers Join to Present a Self-Evolution Seminar at Plymouth Harbor Retirement Community
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

Local philosopher and sociologist Dr. Bernard Phillips, along with retired sheriff lieutenant and an ordained minister Thomas J. Savage joined minds to co-author Creating Life Before Death: Discover Your Amazing Self. The self-help book, released in 2020, will now have its ideas shared and expounded upon by the authors who'll be organizing and presenting a first-of-its-kind seminar in human development beginning June 7 at Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay. “Just as biological evolution has moved from the one-celled organism to the human being over billions of years, personal evolution has the potential to take the individual to heights so far not even imagined,” explains Phillips. “It's really all about how we can develop ourselves to our full potential.”

As a resident at Plymouth Harbor’s continuing care retirement community, Phillips will be incorporating fellow residents as well as staff, administrators and managers to be the first to conduct an experiment with the efficacy of this approach to human development. The 12-week seminar will test to what degree it is possible to teach people to develop their human capacities by taking control of their personal evolution. 

“Nothing like this type of education has been attempted. It incorporates the best of the self-help literature while integrating the most important discoveries of the social sciences, humanities and biophysical sciences,” says Andy Plotkin, another one of the seminar’s consultants and the third co-author of Creating Life Before Death. “Overall, the seminar will show the participants how to apply the scientific method to develop all aspects of their personalities in order to continually achieve more fulfilling lives.” Phillips, Savage and Plotkin believe that such growth will occur during this seminar and concludes, “When we learn to take our evolution into our own hands, we will be in a position to contribute to the mitigation of some of the world’s most pressing problems," says Phillips. "We should settle for nothing less.”

So, SRQ sat down with the principal co-author of the book and leading organizer for the event to dive deeper into each individual person's own set of awesome intellectual, emotional and problem-solving potentials, which, Phillps shares, are actually powerful language tools in our everyday. 

SRQ: Where did the idea for this seminar spark from? 

Phillips: I'd written many tweets with lots of readers (@Skinofourteeth). But it hadn't resulted in interest in my recently published book with the thorough interdisciplinary ideas necessary to help people actually develop the evolutionary self-images needed to really solve personal and world problems. I slept on the problem of how I can really get people to take seriously the full range of ideas in the book. Then I woke up with the idea: Why not teach a seminar where I'm living at Plymouth Harbor? I've been a professor all my life, so that thought was natural.

SRQ: Do you feel Sarasota is an ideal place, compared to other US cities, to "create a life before death?" How so? 

Phillips: The fantastic arts community illustrates the importance of leisure here.  Retirees have the time to develop themselves, and others are interested in that as well. The Ringling College might well be interested in doing a documentary, and New College is a great school that might well be interested in helping to reverse the trade-school mantra of present-day higher ed and move back to the importance of liberal arts.  But my ideas can be used by the entire population of the world, for every single individual has incredible potential. My colleagues and I can provide the key to unlock that potential.  We are not kidding about the power of our unique interdisciplinary knowledge (no one else has ever published anything like it, as conveyed in the book and two recently published articles in Contemporary Sociology, one forthcoming in a Routledge reader on Mills and the new paper on democracy I've just submitted. We are after nothing less than changing the world. 

SRQ: What is your advice for locals to best live a meaningful life in a world of escalating problems? 

Phillips: The first step is to move from pessimism toward optimism, a very difficult but possible thing to do. Reading some books might help a bit, such as Steven Pinker's Enlightenment Now and my own book and Maxwell Maltz's The New Psycho-Cybernetics. But, most important is action, even if it's just lighting one little candle—it could be anything at all, depending on a person's interests—with family and friends, charity, even doing better on one's exercise and diet. Also, getting involved in politics can help—letters to the editor, op-eds, even running for office. People who are interested in my ideas should feel free to write me. They may be able to help me, and vice-versa.

For additional information, photography and interviews, contact Bernard Phillips, Ph.D., at bernieflps@aol.com or 941-361-5426. 

Photo courtesy of Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay

[Special Needs Services]  Banyan Pediatric Care Centers Brings PPEC Services to Sarasota’s Special Needs Community

Banyan Pediatric Care Centers, the leading provider of Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care (PPEC) services, is now open at 3251 17th Street, Ste. 200 in Sarasota. Banyan provides skilled nursing for medically fragile and medically complex children ages birth to 21 in a childcare setting. 

Click here for more information.

[New Grant]  New College Foundation Receives an Equity and Access Grant from the CFSC

 New College Foundation recently received a $20,500 Equity and Access Grant through the James Franklin Warnell & Dorothy J. Warnell Fund and the McCauley-Brown Fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. The Community Foundation’s Equity and Access Grants support programs that serve local populations facing systemic barriers to education and health care services. The funds will be directed to increasing mental health access for LGBTQ+ and other minority students at New College by offering after-hours care through the college’s Counseling and Wellness Center.  

[Homeless Help]  Second Heart Homes Helps Homeless Population Get Back on Their Feet

The Sarasota is a fast-growing nonprofit that helps city’s mentally ill homeless population of adults get off the street and back on their feet by securing them housing and self-sufficiency to reenter society. Unlike many other organizations, Second Heart Homes provides permanent and transitional homes, daily supportive services and skill-building workshops tailored to clients’ individual needs. 

County Judge Erika Nikla Quartermaine recently joined Second Heart Home Inc.’s board of directors, announced by board Chairman David Welle. "We are honored to welcome Judge Quartermaine to the Second Heart Homes board,” said Welle. “Over the years, she has demonstrated a deep commitment to helping the community, especially with mental illness and how it is handled in the judicial system. We are excited that she chose Second Heart Homes to help us improve quality of life for our clients while reducing homelessness and its impacts on community resources.” Quartermaine, a Sarasota native who has helped create local court programs aimed at reducing homelessness, will serve on a board that includes Welle, Kurt Bonner, Jim Doyle and Leslie Travis.

“As a judge, I have come to recognize that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to helping homeless people with mental-health issues,” Quartermaine stated. “Second Heart Homes has an innovative, individualized approach to addressing the complex needs of this vulnerable population. As a board member, I would like to help the organization replicate its model on a larger scale.” 

Click here for more information.

[New Grant]  Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation Board Approves $2.3 Million in Grant Funding

Recent funding from Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation strengthens organizational capacity to support emerging needs in the community and provides more equitable access to healthcare and arts experiences. Including, addressing the Shortage of Diagnostic Services and Treatment for Children with Autism :A three-year grant of $421,500 to Easterseals Southwest Florida to provide support for the creation of the Autism Center of Excellence. Healing the Impact of Trauma: A $125,000 grant to Resilient Retreat to build capacity and provide trauma-informed care training and therapies for groups and individuals in the community and expanding Access to STEAM Education: A $50,000 grant to Suncoast Science Center will be used to increase funds for scholarship opportunities and increase the Center’s free outreach to nonprofits and Title 1 schools. 

Click here for more information.

[New Events]  Sunshine from Darkness to Host Pair of Special Events this Fall

Sunshine from Darkness, a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to the funding of mental health research and local mental health services and programs, announced its 2021 Inspiring Hope Dinner and Journey to Wellness Symposium events on November 12 and 13. “The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our plans for these events in 2020, leading to their unfortunate cancellation just days before they were to take place,” said Sunshine from Darkness President Jeffrey Peterson. “We’re still feeling the effects of the pandemic and research is showing that the impacts on mental health have been significant. We know that the mental health research and the services we support are needed now more than ever.” 

Click here for more information.

[Blood Drive]  13th Annual Pints for Play Blood Drive Will Save Lives

SunCoast Blood Centers, 107.9 WSRZ and Badger Bob’s Services are teaming up to co-host the 13th Annual Pints for Play blood drive on Thursday, May 27. This year’s event will be headquartered at SunCoast Blood Centers’ Lakewood Ranch location, 3025 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Suite 111 in Bradenton, with donors being welcomed at all SunCoast donor centers, including Downtown Sarasota on Mound St., Bird Bay Plaza in Venice, Bayshore Gardens in Bradenton, the newest center in Port Charlotte at Charlotte Square, and in Sarasota Square Mall next to Costco. All locations will be open from 6am to 7pm.  

Click here for more information.

[Veteran Support]  Volunteer and Donation Opportunities with the JFCS Stand Down Event

Jewish Family and Children’s Service of the Suncoast’s (JFCS of the Suncoast) Stand Down event for homeless veterans returns to the Sarasota Fair Grounds on Saturday, June 26. The 2020 event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, however in previous years, the Stand Down event has attracted over 100 local homeless veterans to the event. Over 25 community organizations partner with JFCS of the Suncoast to provide direct services such as physical exams, haircuts, Veteran Affairs benefit reviews and amnesty court.  

Click here for more information.

[New Grant]  Nokomis Financial Advisors Awarded $1.5 Million for Negligent Compliance Advice

A Sarasota circuit judge has awarded nearly $1.5 million to four Nokomis financial advisors following a three-week trial. The court found that Scott Aabel, Antonio Gomes, Gary Didonna and James Protigal were given negligent compliance advice which led to a regulatory investigation and subsequent bad press that cost them tens of millions of dollars in lost customer accounts and the revenues that those accounts would have generated. 

Click here for more information.

[New Building]  DSDG Architects Announces Groundbreaking for Two New Luxury Condominiums in Downtown Sarasota

On Monday May 24, 2021, DSDG Architects design for The Collection broke ground. The project is in the heart of Downtown Sarasota. The Collection is Sarasota’s finest example of boutique style luxury condominiums with twelve units. With only twenty units available, this new nine-story residence offers a combined total space of nearly 54,000 square feet of robust living space. The design team at DSDG Architects integrated modern amenities with a harmonious environment creating an elevated living experience, with a backdrop of breathtaking views capturing the spirit of the Sarasota bay. 

[New Hire]  Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe to Strengthen Education Program with New Hire

In an effort to strengthen its education outreach program, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe has hired Jim Weaver as its new education director/artistic associate. WBTT patrons may recognize Weaver’s name – he has directed productions including “Caroline or Change,” “Raisin,” “In the Heights,” “Fences” and “Purlie,” to name a few. In his new role, Weaver will oversee and grow adult and youth programs such as the WBTT Voices Community Forum, the Jazzlinks and Rhythm & Tales school outreach programs, Stage of Discovery summer musical theater intensive program, and new workshop opportunities as well as direct shows and staged readings. 

Click here for more information.

[School Fair]  Community Day School Goes Virtual for Educational Showcase

Although the format changed from in-person to virtual this year, Hershorin Schiff Community Day School’s spring “Learning on Display" was an overwhelming success as students gave presentations on classroom projects and showed parents and grandparents their growth as students and citizens. On May 11, all K-8 classes were livestreamed for family members near and far. Topic areas and activities ranged from environmental stewardship, a modern take on Renaissance art and the Humanistic Movement, and Great Depression poetry, to a celebration of authors, Hebrew singing, and an open mic poetry slam. 

Pictured: Second graders Elise Morgan, Evangeline Wong and Charles Van Vliet perfect the creation of a non-Newtonian fluid.

[Promotions]  Manatee District Names Director of Elementary Curriculum

Dr. Stephanie Callaway has been named Director of Elementary Curriculum for the School District of Manatee County and will begin her duties on July 1, 2021. 

[Promotions]  The School District of Manatee County Announces Promotions

The School District of Manatee County is announcing the following promotions and administrative transfers for the 2021-2022 school year. The new positions are scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2021 pending School Board approval. The new Assistant Principals are: Craig Page has been named Assistant Principal at Southeast High School. Laura Gonzales has been named Assistant Principal at Braden River High School. Kali Anges has been named Assistant Principal at Louise R. Johnson K-8. Administrative Transfers: Jillian Bieber will become Assistant Principal at Parrish Community High School. Travis Cochran will become Assistant Principal at Manatee High School. Kathleen Brown will become Assistant Principal at Palmetto High School. Irene Nikitopoulos will become Assistant Principal at Lincoln. 

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Homeless Veterans Stand Down , June 26, 8am-12pm

Jewish Family and Children’s Service of the Suncoast’s (JFCS of the Suncoast) Stand Down event for homeless veterans returns to the Sarasota Fair Grounds on Saturday, June 26 from 8am to 12pm. The 2020 event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, however in previous years, the Stand Down event has attracted over 100 local homeless veterans to the event. Over 25 community organizations partner with JFCS of the Suncoast to provide direct services such as physical exams, haircuts, Veteran Affairs benefit reviews and amnesty court. The following organizations have already confirmed for this year’s event: All Faiths Food Bank, Operation ECO Vets, American Red Cross, Suncoast Continuum of Care, Sarasota County Government, CareerSource Suncoast, Goodwill Manasota, Legal Aid of Manasota, City of Sarasota, Sarasota Police Department, Turning Points, the Salvation Army, Coastal Behavioral Healthcare, Florida Department of Veteran Affairs, Florida Veterans for Common Sense, Sport Clips, VA Partners, Sarasota Veterans Commission, Vet Court, Harvest House, LECOM Military Dental , The Street Dog Coalition/Bay Road animal Hospital, First Step of Sarasota and Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness. Registration is free for homeless veterans on the day of the event. Veterans may pre-registration for amnesty court. JFCS is asking the Manasota community to support this event by volunteering or by donating items that will benefit homeless veterans. Donations are being accepted at the JFCS administrative office located at 2688 Fruitville Rd. To arrange for a donation pick-up, contact Lynne Spencer at 949-295-8982.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Florida Cancer Specialists: Butterfly Campaign - Honor Someone Special , June 10, 8:30am

Butterflies are a symbol of the changing colors of life. Their amazing metamorphosis symbolizes rebirth, at times consoling us and always inspiring strength, joy and hope. There is still time to include your remembrance of someone special in our upcoming butterfly release. The response so far has been overwhelming. We are so moved by those who have chosen to make a gift to support cancer patients and express their appreciation for someone special in their lives. Each gift of $25 or more will be commemorated as part of a butterfly release on Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 8:30am. The month of May traditionally marks the start of a season of remembrance and new beginnings – with Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, graduations, weddings and other celebrations filling our calendars. Make your gift even more meaningful by designating it in honor or in memory of someone special.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel: Artist in Residence Latinx Hip-Hop Artist Olmeca Community Performance , June 12, 11am

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and the Van Wezel Foundation today announced that the first-of-its-kind, year-long “virtual” residency with Latinx Hip-hop Artist, Kennedy Center Citizen and Scholar Olmeca will culminate with a free in-person live community performance on Saturday, June 12, 2021, at 11am, outdoors on the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall’s lawn. The Van Wezel Artist residency pilot was part of a new initiative, called IDEA (inclusivity, diversity, equity and access), which is made possible due to the generous donors of the Van Wezel Foundation and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. The initiative strives to teach and create with cultural appreciation in mind, believing that art can increase student empowerment, destroy negative stereotypes, promote innovation, and equip students with the necessary tools to become more aware of their own agency from a local and global perspective. Olmeca’ s powerful Hip-hop lyrics, backed by a live band featuring Latin American rhythms will get the whole family dancing during this free community performance. This in-person visit to Sarasota builds off the recent year-long “virtual” residency that launched during the pandemic, with the overall goal of bringing groups together to talk about essential topics and social issues, such as diversity, inclusion and seeing the world through a different lens.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto: Leadership Breakfast , September 9, 7:30am

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto and Intertape Polymer Group present the 15th Leadership Breakfast on Thursday, September 9, 2021 at 3100 Fruitville Rd. honoring Archie Griffin, two-time Heisman Trophy Winner, and Lisa Bechtold, Executive Director of Take Stock in Children Sarasota. Registration and breakfast service begins at 7:30am and the program begins at 8am. Tickets are $50 per person.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto: Champions for Children , November 20, 6:30pm

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties will honor Steven and Marjolaine Townsend at the annual Champions for Children celebration on Saturday, November 20, 2021, at 6:30pm at the Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club. Presented by the Annette J. Hagens Memorial Foundation, proceeds from the event will ensure youth across Sarasota and DeSoto Counties have access to award-winning programs that foster academic success, strong character and leadership, healthy lifestyles and career readiness.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto: Steak & Burger, Youth of the Year Celebration , February 4, 6pm

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties will honor 6 outstanding Club members at the annual Steak & Burger, Youth of the Year Celebration on Friday, February 4, 2022, at 6pm. at the Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club. Club members who compete for the Youth of the Year title embody the values of leadership service, academic service and healthy lifestyles. This premier recognition program of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America celebrates the extraordinary achievements of Club members. Candidates compete at the local Club, state and regional levels before attending the national celebration.

[SOON]  HEALTH: COVID Vaccination Pop Up Clinic at Asolo Rep Theatre , June 7 – July 6

Asolo Rep Theatre will host a FREE Moderna Vaccination Pop-up Clinic. The 1st Moderna shot will be offered on June 7 and the 2nd Moderna shot on July 6. Shots are available to those 18 and older only at this time. If interested you must register with Cameron Thorp Cameron_Thorp@asolo.org OR 941-351-9010 ext 3308. The deadline to register is June 1.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: FSUshadow Summer 2021 Session , August 2 – August 4

Florida State University is looking for hosts for their one-day job shadowing program, FSUshadow, August 2-4. FSUshadow provides a unique way to build your brand on campus, give back to current students and recruit for hiring opportunities with your organization. The summer session will be hybrid, providing both: In-person shadowing: single-day job shadow experiences where student(s) travel to your location and Virtual shadowing: 2-3 hour brief yet impactful virtual shadowing opportunities showcasing your role, organization or work. FSUshadow had the greatest number of students in our program’s history during COVID and look forward to introducing more participants to the program this summer.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: The Bishop: May Stelliferous , May 26, 7pm-8pm

Join us on Wednesday, May 26 from 7pm to 8pm in person in The Planetarium for this monthly guide to the night skies. You can experience our new upgraded Planetarium system and feel like an astronaut as you experience our 50-foot dome and discover the latest news from the world of astronomy. This live talk includes opportunities for Q&A. Capacity is limited to ensure social distancing and advance registration is required. Masks are required for staff and guests. Cost is $5 for members of the Discovery Society and $8 for all others. Advance registration is required. To ensure social distancing, we will be unable to accommodate walk-ins.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Virtual: Madeby Gallery: Family Time Book Show , May 26 – June 18

With summer approaching and children and grandchildren off for the next several months, Madeby Gallery of Ringling College of Art and Design is hosting a virtual book show. The show will feature picture books for the very early learner to unique novels for adults and books for everyone in between. A fun family time to view and purchase outstanding books illustrated and written by Ringling College of Art and Design students and alumni. Live Zoom Opening Reception on Wednesday, May 26 from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. Please RSVP to madeby@c.ringling.edu to receive Zoom link. After the May 26 Zoom show, the books will be displayed online and available for purchase at www.madebygallery.com. To purchase, please call 941-822-0442 and make arrangements for curbside pickup or shipping. The show runs through Friday, June 18, 2021. Please RSVP to madeby@c.ringling.edu to receive the ZOOM virtual link.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Sarasota Memorial: Hospitality Job Fair , May 26

On May 26, Sarasota Memorial will host an appointment-based job fair for hospitality positions at our growing health system, which has been voted one of the best places to work. We appreciate you sharing the info below as time and space allow. On-site interviews by appointment only for: Environmental Aides (Housekeeper), Food Service Workers, Patient Transporters, and Valet Greeters. Candidates must be able to work in a fast paced environment and share our passion for delivering the highest level of customer service. Candidates must be able to provide positive, professional references and pass a background and drug screening. Excellent Benefits, Ongoing professional development and educational opportunities , and Voted Best Places to Work. RSVP today by emailing resume to: Hilda-Puckett@smh.com or calling 941-917-2651.

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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