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SRQ DAILY Jul 7, 2021

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

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Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"People live longer now and face risks to their savings because of that. Having a consistent monthly income is an absolute necessity. In a bear market, equities lose value."

- Jacobina Trump, retirement planner

[Environmental]  Eternal Reefs Preserve Marine Habitats and Memorialize the Passing of Loved Ones
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

Eternal Reefs began pretty simply—a pair of college friends in the late 1980s with a mutual love for diving and environmental conservation. After years of diving in the Florida Keys, they noticed significant deterioration and degradation of the reefs they were visiting year after year. They realized the ocean's declining health needed help. 

Don Brawley and Todd Barber, co-founders of Eternal Reefs, came up with the idea to help preseve and restore the fragile ecosystems they loved to explore below by creating a man-made material and system. The “reef ball” was formed, designed to replicate the natural elements of ocean reefs that support coral and microorganism development. In partnership with The Reef Ball Foundation and Reef Innovations, Eternal Reefs quickly began to replenish local ecosystems in more ways than one. The artificial reef ball not only rehabilitates and rebuilds dying reefs, but in turn, adds new habitat sanctuary for marine organisms seeking food and/or shelter.

Today, the nonprofit has evolved as the dba of The Genesis Reef Project, a Sarasota-based 501c3, by using reef balls to not only protect local marine environments but as a neoteric memorialization tool dedicated to science and the celebration of life. Incorporating the cremated remains of passing loved ones, the nonprofit allows families to personalize a reef ball during the casting phase—incorporating sea glass, shells, hand prints and memorabilia in the damp concrete before it hardens to form a customized “pearl” that sits inside the ball. Also added is a bronze plaque with the name and dates of the individual engraved before becoming one with the reef itself, and revealed during the viewing ceremony. Families are invited to boat to the placement site to watch it deployed down to its final resting place under the water. For those who have served, loved ones may also place a flag on the memorial reef during military honors. 

For many seafaring families—including those of environmentalists, boaters, swimmers, adventurers, sailors or veterans who once served in the Navy—this offers an especially unique memorial choice to replace the otherwise end-of-life services like cremation urns, ash scatterings and in-ground tombstones. Families can also choose to have spouses, or other family members (even furry ones) placed together in the same reef. A process that seems as healing for families as it is for the Gulf, these permanent fixtures nestled in the sand create a colony of commemorative living legacies, all while enhancing many marine habitats—thus, gifting future generations to come. 

Currently, Silvertooth Reef in Sarasota near Big Pass is home to hundreds of Eternal Reefs memorials—making it the largest “green memorial” in the United States. Today, there are over 2,500 Eternal Reefs throughout 30 permitted locations off the East Coast of the US.  

Photo courtesy of Eternal Reefs Facebook

[In Conversation]  In Conversation With Cheryl Mendelson

Published in the July magazine, In Conversation with Non Profit Leaders features a roundtable discussion among representatives from local non profit organizations. Below is an excerpt from the discussion in which Cheryl Mendelson of The Van Wezel Foundation/Sarasota Performing Arts Center Foundation shares insight with SRQ readers on how the organization has kept their eyes on the future throughout the pandemic.


We are still looking to the future. We are planning on building a new performing arts center in a vibrant park and the concept that what we’re building is a civic asset to serve the whole community and the region. We are thinking more about the health and safety measures that would go into the design and the building of a new state of the art world-class performing arts center. It impacts how we look at and think about architecture, how we think about coming together, what our spaces look like. We took the opportunity during COVID to do a lot of online surveying because people were available. People really want the performing arts center in the park to be a cultural gateway where people can connect. They can connect in their lives, they can connect with their families, and they more importantly can connect their aspirations and their hopes for a better world together. That’s some of the positive beautiful learning that we’re going to take with us and help guide as we look to building this incredible legacy for the community for generations to come. 

This is an excerpt from the In Conversation with Non Profit Leaders published in the July 2021 edition of SRQ Magazine. Click here to see the full article.  

Read More From In Conversation Here

[Retirement]  Englewood Florida Chamber of Commerce Presents 'How Do Annuities Work?'

Retirement planner Jacobina Trump will discuss how annuities can create a solid stream of retirement income at two free upcoming seminars. “Most people's eyes glaze over when you mention ‘annuities,” says Jacobina Trump, a certified life, health, and annuities agent with Bankers Life. “An annuity doesn’t have the sex appeal of a technology stock. But they don't have the risks either.” Trump, who is also a professional artist, says that money never defined her life, but she realizes how important it is to have a steady income stream as she grows older. “People live longer now and face risks to their savings because of that. Having a consistent monthly income is an absolute necessity. In a bear market, equities lose value,” she says. “Retirement planning is important – and complex. Even if you have saved a significant amount of wealth, the prospect of navigating retirement can still be intimidating, because there are so many considerations that are often obscured in financial jargon. I hope to offer a clearer picture that will help people gain the confidence it takes to successfully navigate through retirement.”

Trump will share her knowledge about annuities and retirement planning at two free seminars, July 28 and August 25, from 5-6 pm, at the Englewood Florida Chamber of Commerce, 601 South Indiana Ave., Englewood. RSVP at jacobina@jacobinatrump.com. For more information, call Trump at 786-457-1606 or email jacobina@jacobinatrump.com. 

[Outdoor Fitness Series]  'Breathe: A Summertime Yoga Series' Comes to the Circle
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

St. Armands Circle’s summer happening series, “Sol of the Circle,” is scheduled to include a free outdoor yoga class set amongst the area’s lush tropical inner-circle park. Every second Wednesday of the month, the Circle will take full advantage of the brilliant Florida sun and seasonal humidity by hosting Breathe: A Summertime Yoga Series for beginner and experienced yoga enthusiasts. Get a quick workout in by bringing your own mat and stopping by the Circle’s grounds for a group guided class from trained, local yoga instructor, Liana Sheintal Bryant—a self-described fitness fanatic with a background that spans from gymnastics and collegiate cheerleading before finding her passion for yoga. Breathe is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, July 14; August 11; and September 8, from 6-7 pm and is free for the public. 

For more information about Sol of the Circle and the Breathe yoga series, visit here  

Photo courtesy of Joseph Grano

[Foodies]  Celebrate National Hot Dog Day at The Bazaar

National Hot Dog Day calls for free beers, and, well, hot dogs. On Saturday, July 24, what better way to celebrate than heading to the courtyard of The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime? Traditional and vegan dogs will be cooked by Hamlet's Eatery food truck  and served with their award-winning hand-cut fries. Not your ordinary baseball park dogs, these will be cookied in J'Dub Brewery's Bell Cow Beer, and will be available with a variety of toppings. 

Live Music with Zeena Brown & Sabrina McClenithan and free J’Dub’s beer (while supplies last). For more information visit HamletsEatery.com or call 941-445-1938.  

[Education]  Safe Children Coalition Awards Scholarships to 2021 and Recent Achievers

On Saturday, June 26, the Safe Children Coalition’s Achievers program awarded college scholarships to recent high school graduates as well as returning college students who were engaged with the program as teens. Approximately 30-35 scholarships of $1,000-$2,500 were awarded. 

A welcome was offered by Dave Luebcke, Safe Children Coalition’s senior director of programs. Achievers program manager, Jone Williams, acknowledged students who achieved certain levels of program participation and community service as well as “PUSHY Parents” who have volunteered on behalf of the program as well as encouraged their children to participate at a high level.

The Achievers program empowers at-risk, minority and other disadvantaged students to set and achieve goals in both their educational and personal lives, encouraging continuous growth in the areas of personal development, college preparation, community service and leadership, cultural enrichment, and career options. The program, which has served the community for over 30 years, is open to all middle and high school students in Sarasota County. 

Pictued: Safe Children Coalition Achievers 2021 program participants, courtesy of the nonprofit

[Funding]  Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson's Receives Community Grant from The Parkinson’s Foundation

The Parkinson's Foundation selected Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s (NCF) as a 2021-22 community grant recipient to support local health, wellness and educational programs that address unmet needs in the Parkinson's disease (PD) community. This year's grant cycle focused on programs that provide a service for underserved PD communities and initiatives that reach those newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s or those who are just beginning their Parkinson’s journey.  “The initiatives and growth of Neuro Challenge are possible due in part to continued partnership with Parkinson’s Foundation which helps provide essential service to the local Parkinson’s community today,” said Dr. Sara Grivetti, CEO of Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s. 

[Health & Wellness]  Free Virtual Session Provided by Manatee County for Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention

On Tuesday, July 13 from 8:30 am to 9:30 am, Manatee Community Foundation and Resilient Retreat will host an essential conversation about mental health and suicide prevention with the Gelt Charitable Foundation. "If You See Something, Say Something” is a virtual course that presents the facts and statistics of suicide, teaches participants to identify the signs of one struggling with mental health or suicide and how to get them the help that they need. It ends with a Q & A session. Nonprofit organizations, associations, businesses and residents are encouraged to attend. The session is virtual and free. Visit ManateeCF.org to register. 

[Grants]  Deadline to Apply for Selby Foundation Fall Grants is August 2

The William G. and Marie Selby Foundation Fall 2021 Grants Cycle opened on June 1 and will close at 3:59 pm on August 2. The Grant Portal is open for area non-profit organizations to create an account and access existing accounts as they begin the application process. The Selby Foundation board meets in mid-November to review grant applications and award grants. 

The Foundation specializes in supporting local area non-profits with capital grants which support construction, acquisition and/or renovation of facilities as well as the purchase of equipment or software. Grants requests may also include the costs of related technical services like legal, architectural and engineering. Nonprofit organizations are required to be primarily located in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee or Sarasota Counties. 

For additional information regarding the grant process, visit www.selbyfdn.org. 

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Battle of the Boneless , July 8

They may be spineless but marine mollusks are no pushovers! In fact, the gastropods that live in our oceans have fierce and fascinating lives employing a wide variety of superhero-like powers that make them more than just pretty shells. The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature is inviting guests to go beyond the beautiful shell to learn the real stories of these cool and complex animals in its newest special exhibition, Battles of the Boneless, opening July 8. This comic-book themed exhibition explores the adaptations that have allowed mollusks to become one of the largest and most diverse animal groups on the planet, with more than 93,000 species. 201 10th St. West, Bradenton

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature

[SOON]  FOOD: 100 Years Feature Night , July 13, 5-8pm

Fruitville Gecko's will be hosting a 100 Years Feature Night at Fruitville Gecko's on Tuesday, July 13 from 5:00-8:00 pm. Guests can sample the latest craft beer offerings from Big Top Brewing Company, including special feature beer, Centennial Lager, which celebrates Sarasota's 100th birthday. And this special collaboration not only tastes good but does good, with GHG donating a portion of every can enjoyed by guests to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office Charitable Foundation, a 5013c whose mission is support our law enforcement employees who find themselves in extraordinary personal or family need. The Sheriff's Office is also commemorating their century of serving families and communities. Taste, enjoy & share when you get your six packs to go!

Fruitville Gecko's, 351 N Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: Florida Studio Theatre Improv: Life's A Beach , June 5 – July 31, 7:30pm

Florida Studio Theatre (FST)’s resident improv team, FST Improv, returns to the Bowne’s Lab stage with one the troupe’s most popular shows, Life’s a Beach. Drawing inspiration from audience suggestions, FST Improv’s cast members create scenes and musical numbers that celebrate—and poke fun at—all things Sarasota. Beginning June 5, FST Improv will perform Life’s a Beach every Saturday at 7:30pm in FST’s Bowne’s Lab. Doors open one hour before show time. A full food and drink menu is available for pre-show dining. Tickets are now on sale at 941-366-9000 or floridastudiotheatre.org. After performing for live, limited capacity audiences this spring in FST’s Mainstage Keating Theatre, FST Improv will now return to its home theatre, FST’s Bowne’s Lab. Lampooning and celebrating this piece of paradise loved by so many are FST Improv members Kevin Allen, Sarah Durham, Kyle Van Frank, and Will Luera. ​These quick-thinking performers will also be joined onstage by one of two musical improvisers, Sergei Glushonkov and Michelle Neal. From the annual snowbird migration and never-ending construction to pervasive roundabout confusion and elusive downtown parking, nothing is safe from a good-spirited tease.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Skyway 2020: A Contemporary Collaboration , June 20 – October 3, 10am-5pm

The Skyway 2020 exhibition, now in its second iteration, is a celebration of artistic practices in the Tampa Bay region, as it is a collaboration between four institutions: the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg; The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota; the Tampa Museum of Art; and the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa. Working together, curators from each institution will offer context for the diversity of art being made in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota counties. Artworks and projects in the exhibition will be selected by museum curators and the guest juror, Claire Tancons, an independent curator and scholar whose practice takes a global focus on the conditions of cultural production. Tancons has curated biennials around the world, including Prospect.1, New Orleans; the 2008 Gwangju Biennial; and the 2019 Sharjah Biennial. This exhibit will begin on June 20, 2021 and will end on October 3, 2021. Runs from 10am to 5pm.

The Ringling Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Road

[SOON]  GALLERY: Embracing Our Differences , July 1 – August 8

An international art exhibit designed to proclaim inclusion, respect and kindness debuts at Sarasota-Bradenton’s Nathan Benderson Park. The annual, juried art exhibit is composed by a Sarasota-based arts and education non-profit, Embracing Our Differences (EOD). It consists of 50 billboard-sized works of art, each accompanied by an inspirational quote. The international exhibit uses the power of art and prose to promote diversity and inclusion. The 2021 exhibit brought 15,912 entries from 128 nations, and from 48 U.S. states. The winning quotes and art are showcased in the Bayfront Park every year, from January through March. Thanks to the generosity of the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, the public will have another opportunity to see this exhibit. The exhibit is on display at the park May 20 - Aug. 8 and is free for the public to view.

Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota

[SOON]  FILM: Sarasota Opera: Classic Movies at the Opera House: West Side Story , July 10, 7:30pm

Set to a score by Leonard Bernstein, the 1961 film “West Side Story” transports the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet to New York City in the 50s. The two feuding families are replaced by brawling street gangs, the Jets and the Sharks. Though they come from rival gangs, Maria and Tony meet at a dance, and no one can stop their love. Will their passion carry them through a battle that threatens to destroy the people they love? Directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise, starring Natalie Wood, George Chakiris, and Richard Beymer. Running time: 2 hours, 30 minutes. This film will show on Saturday, July 10 at 7:30pm. All seating is reserved at 50% capacity of the theater. Masks are required for those who are not vaccinated and recommended for all others. Tickets are $10 and buyers are encouraged to purchase tickets before arriving at the theater. Information and tickets can be found online at SarasotaOpera.org or by calling (941) 328-1300.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Sarasota Orchestra: Celebrate the Sounds of Summer , June 10 – July 24

Wear and share your love of Sarasota Orchestra. During the months of June and July, the beautiful music of Sarasota Music Festival and Summer Music Camp fill the air. By purchasing a limited edition T-shirt by July 24, you make it possible for Sarasota Orchestra’s mission to shine through programs like these and provide our musicians with the ability to enrich the community during all four seasons of the year. Help us celebrate the Sounds of Summer by wearing and sharing your love of Sarasota Orchestra with your friends. Thank you for your support of these wonderful programs. T-shirts purchased before June 26 will ship in mid-July. T-shirts purchased from June 27 through July 24 will ship in mid-August.

[SOON]  THEATER: The Players Centre: Summer Minicamps , June 21 – July 30

The Players Studio (TPS), the education department of The Players Centre for Performing Arts, is proud to announce this year’s summer camps. TPS has six one-week minicamps perfect for ages 5 to 10 starting in June and running through the end of July. These camps focus on acting, dancing, and singing, all related to a theme. Each week there is a different, exciting topic for students to enjoy. Campers also create characters, make crafts, use their imagination and work with other students to present a short performance on the last day. Disney Fairytales from June 21-25: Life is a fairytale, and you are the main character. Learn how to craft the perfect fairytale story and perform numbers from Disney musicals. Marvel Heroes from June 28-July 2: Capes and masks are all part of this creative storytelling camp. Using the power of imagination students can create their own superhero that saves the world through dance, song and scenes. Pirates & Mermaids from July 5-9: Ahoy, matey. Students will have fun acting out scenes and songs from Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan and The Little Mermaid, among others. Vampires & Zombies from July 12-16: Are you more of a zombie or more of a vampire? Learn stage makeup, design your own monsters, and dance to songs like Thriller and Time Warp. Under the Sea from July 19-23: Spend this week under the sea learning songs and dance from Finding Nemo, Moana and The Little Mermaid. Star Wars from July 26-30: Learn to use the Force through creative dramatics with basic stage combat techniques to stage an epic battle. (Includes a take-home practice light saber.) One-week minicamps are limited to 20 students and cost $160 for the whole week, this includes a t-shirt. Students should bring their own lunches. On Wednesday campers can purchase pizza and ice cream. More information will be available after registration. Before and after care are available, as well as financial assistance. Masks are required.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: In Dialogue with Nature: Glass in the Gardens , July 10 – September 26

Selby Gardens and the Duncan McClellan Gallery in St. Petersburg present the fourth annual summer glass show at Selby Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus from July 10 to September 26. This year’s exhibition, featuring nature-inspired glass work created exclusively by Duncan McClellan, will be displayed in the Tropical Conservatory and the Gardens against a backdrop of lush flowers and plants.  All artworks are available for sale with a percentage of proceeds benefiting Selby Gardens.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens , 1534 Mound St., Sarasota

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Sarasota Bay Estuary Program: Eyes on Seagrass , July 12 – July 24

Water conditions and the health of seagrass beds in the Sarasota Bay area have been changing rapidly, and there is a pressing need to gather more information about the amount of algae growing in our bays. Algae is a natural part of the ecosystem, but if changing conditions cause it to grow out of control, it can damage vital habitats. Volunteers will help monitor macroalgae by snorkeling in an assigned area, estimating the coverage of seagrass and macro algae, and collecting samples. Volunteers of all levels of experience are welcome. The Eyes on Seagrass survey will take place over a two week window from July 12 - July 24. Volunteers can pick any time during this window. The survey will take about one hour. Training and gear distribution will be held over three days. You Will Need: A team of 2 or more (Give your group a name), Transportation, Mask & Snorkel, Kayak, paddle board, or boat, and GPS or GPS capable phone. We Will Provide: Survey equipment, Dive flags, and Training. Training and Gear Distribution on June 28 at Blackburn Park 9am-1pm, June 29 at Ken Thompson Park 9am-1pm, and June 30 at South Coquina Boat Ramp 9am-1pm.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Veterans Equine Therapy , July 12 – August 23, 3-5pm

Operation Warrior Resolution has another session of Veterans Equine Therapy starting July 12th. It’s 6 sessions, running each Monday from 3pm-5pm, July 12-August 23 (break on August 9) at InStride Therapy, Inc. in Nokomis, FL. Those veterans who have been apart of this previously say it is  an incredible experience! The program is specifically designed to address veteran specific issues through the use of horses. The horses provide a very unique experience to learn how to become more self-aware, regulate the nervous system response, be in the present moment, build trust, confidence, connection, and more. To join this upcoming session please email at info@operationwarriorresolution.org, 1629 Ranch Rd, Nokomis

Operation Warrior Resolution

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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