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SRQ DAILY Aug 18, 2021

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"Real estate and construction are highly in demand in Florida right now, and we're thrilled to have the personnel, expertise and partnerships to be a part of that."

- Heather Gilpatric, Firmo Construction

[Expansion]  Firmo Construction Firm Opens New Regional Office in Southwest Florida
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

The team of Firmo Construction is celebrating the wane of summer and imminent season upon us by expanding its commercial construction operations with the opening of a new office location, in addition to its headquarters on N Orange Ave., Sarasota. The commercial construction management firm began almost 20 years ago in downtown Sarasota, and has since expanded its reach across Florida’s Southwest region and Gulf Coast—working on projects in Tampa Bay all the way to Fort Myers and Naples.

"With the expansion of our team to more than double its size and an increase of projects over the past year, as well as the relationships and partnerships we continue to cultivate, Firmo has experienced substantial growth along the Gulf Coast,” says Eric Collin, president and owner of Firmo. “As a result, I’m excited to share we’re expanding our operations with an additional office in Fort Myers to further service our clients' needs as we grow.” Firmo’s new office is located in the historic Earnhardt building on First Street in the River District of downtown Fort Myers. 

Along with spreading its bandwidth in reach and location, Firmo has also hired Business Development Manager, Jerry Miller, who’s focus will be on strategic growth and client outreach in the area. Miller is a resident of Fort Myers who is heavily involved in the regional community, serving on the Fort Myers Economic Development Advisory board and collaborating with city boards and city staff on urban revitalization projects. 

Known for its innovative and sustainable builds—such as the expansion of Rosemary Square in downtown Sarasota, the first LEED Certified Hampton Inn & Suites building in the world by SRQ International Airport, and the conversion of Fort Myers’ Hotel Indigo into a Tapestry Collection by Hilton—the company has been recognized as the 35th fastest growing company in the Gulf Coast and has ranked among the Top 500 companies in the region for three years in a row.

"Another element to this expansion from a broader perspective is that not only does this additional location signify growth for us and our clients on an individual basis, but it also demonstrates resilience, positive growth and success on an industry-wide level," says Heather Gilpatric, business development manager. "Real estate and construction are highly in demand in Florida right now, and we're thrilled to have the personnel, expertise and partnerships to be a part of that."

The additional office location’s address is, 2256 First St. #110 Fort Myers, 33901. Firmo's Sarasota office will continue to be its headquarters. 

For any inquiries about the additional office, or about Firmo Construction, contact 941-917-0494 or info@firmoconstruction.com 

Pictured: Firmo's Jerry Miller and Heather Gilpatric feeling at home in their new First Street Executive Suites office, courtesy of the company.

[Grant]  The McCune Family Foundation Awards $75,000 to The Florida Center

The Florida Center for Early Childhood was awarded $75,000 by The McCune Family Foundation to support therapeutic services for young children with developmental delays and disabilities. The foundation’s continued support ensures economically vulnerable children receive life-changing, early intervention services like occupational, speech-language, and mental health therapies. Many families cannot afford the cost of therapies or the specialized early education necessary to help their child reach their full potential.

“We see the impact of this funding every day,” said Dr. Kristie Skoglund, CEO. “When you watch a non-verbal child speak for the first time or a physically challenged child take their first steps, you realize the enormous impact the McCune Foundation is making.”

The agency is nationally recognized for its early childhood expertise in a variety of specialties including developmental therapies, mental health counseling, Starfish Academy preschool, the Healthy Families home-visiting program, and the state’s only Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders clinic. For more information, visit thefloridacenter.org or call 941-371-8820. 

[Grant]  $90,000 Grant Awarded to the Child Protection Center
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

The Child Protection Center, Inc. (CPC) has been awarded a $90,000 grant through the continued generosity of the McCune Family Foundation. These funds will support the four core programs of CPC in its mission- the prevention, intervention, and treatment of child abuse.

CFSVP grants the opportunity for children to safely interact with a parent outside of a potentially threatening environment, with the goal of improving the overall health and wellbeing of the child. The Therapy program consists of the Sexual Abuse Treatment Program (SATP) and the Kid Kindness Program (KKP), both designed to serve children who have been physically and/or sexually abused, those children exhibiting problematic sexual behaviors, and their non- offending caregivers and siblings, providing free mental health support for victims and their families.

“The McCune Family Foundation has been a transformational partner,” said Doug Staley, CPC’s Executive Director. “Their partnership has given the Child Protection Center the ability to positively impact thousands of children in Sarasota County. The Foundation is instrumental in our efforts to break the cycle of child abuse in our communities.” 

Pictured: Danielle Hughes, the Coordinator of the Child Protection Team, showing a child how to drop a marble into CPC’s Pillar of Hope.

[In Conversation]  In Conversation with Kristie Skoglund

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 conversation in which Kristie Skoglund of The Florida Center for Early Childhood shares insight on the successes of community collaboration. 


I would like to highlight how our community has come together. There are so many non-profit leaders that I knew of but did not know well  and now because of COVID we are on work groups together or attend the COVID convening calls. It felt very collaborative and as Veronica mentioned, the funders, the foundations and their wisdom and just caring about the non-profits in the community just feels amazing. I just had my 24th year anniversary at the Florida Center and I started as a mental health clinician as my profession. I can tell you when I started here the mental health needs are nowhere near what they are now and what we are hearing and what we are seeing. Our mental health team is probably one of the largest programs we have here at the Florida Center, and the stories that we’re hearing are crazy and the stress that our staff are feeling as a result of managing those kinds of issues are beyond words and so as an organization. We have created enhanced systems to support our team and the workers because otherwise people are going to burn out and quit, or just stress themselves until they have health issues. We also answered the call to the community when there was a need for preschool teachers and directors to have the same kind of group because preschool directors and preschool staff, they feel it and they’re dealing with it and all of the extra safety protocols they have to put into place. We have established reflective groups to serve these needs. Those kinds of things are amazing-coming together to support each other, and just work- ing as a large community team really and not just being in our own little world of our own non-profit. 

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

[Blues Music]  August Live Blues Brunch Featuring “Guitar Gary” Gary Drouin

Experience the best in blues and a delicious brunch at Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille in Downtown Bradenton Sunday, August 22, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. Mattison’s offers weekend brunch every Saturday and Sunday with a special Blues Brunch every 4th Sunday of the month. This month features Gary Drouin. Dubbed “Guitar Gary”, Gary Drouin is Sarasota’s premier blues guitar player. Instrumental in forming the famous FIVE “O” BLUES JAM in the 80’s, Gary has played blues with the likes of Rock Bottom, Eddie “BLUESMAN” Kirkland, Diamond Teeth Mary, Memphis Flyers, Mercy Road, Bluescasters, Lauran Mitchell, Lady Katt and Koko Ray Hansen as well as the local favorite Memphis Rub Band. 

In addition to hosting soulful blues, Chef Alex has created a Brunch Menu guaranteed to make your Sunday Brunch experience complete. Choices of brunch items include Stuffed French Toast, Duck Confit Crepe with Blueberry Mascarpone, Niman Ranch Steak and Eggs Bowl, Riverwalk Breakfast, Omelets, Poached Egg with Avocado Toast and much, much more. Bottomless Mimosas and Signature Bloody Mary’s make it a perfect way to spend
your Sunday. 

Call 941-896-9660 today to make reservations to experience delicious chef-created brunch menu items and authentic blues. To view the entire brunch menu, visit mattisons.com under Riverwalk Menus. Mattison’s Monthly Blues Brunch Sundays are in conjunction with the Bradenton Blues Fest, hosted by Realize Bradenton. The annual Bradenton Blues Brunch takes place December 5th, 11am-2pm as part of the Bradenton Blues Festival Weekend. Tickets available at bradentonbluesfestival.org/tickets 

Photo courtesy of Mattison's Restaurant Group

[Chamber]  21 Students Graduate from Sarasota Chamber's Opportunities For All 2021 Internship Class

The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce’s Opportunities For All (OFA) initiative celebrated its 2021 Inaugural Summer Internship class. This year’s program successfully connected 21 diverse college students from Yale, Princeton, UF, USF, and many more to Chamber members and local businesses ranging from healthcare facilities to law firms.

These 17 local employers gave a lifetime opportunity to our community's bright, talented, rising future leaders through the Opportunities For All eight-week program. In addition, the internship provided access to cross-cultural, career-oriented experiences for those seeking to broaden their exposure to the professional work world. Moreover, 90% of the interns were minorities. So far, two firms have offered positions to their interns for continued employment. The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce fully funded this experience through the Opportunities For All grant, provided by the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation.

For more information or to learn more about the Opportunities For All initiative, reach out to Kaveecia Moore, Opportunities For All Manager, at KMoore@sarasotachamber.com. 

Photo courtesy of Sarasota Chamber

[Relocation]  The Confidence Factory Hair Salon Moves to University

The Confidence Factory Hair Salon opened in 2020 at the onset of the pandemic. With the pandemic looming and a shut down inevitable, Lynn selected a smaller space for the salon in the wharehouse district of Northgate business park for the first location. The salon, owned by Lynn Ouellette (aka @theconfidentcolorist on Instagram), envisioned a gender neutral, LGBTQ friendly, industrial space with soft earth tones and clean, crisp surfaces. 

Since then, The Confidence Factory Hair Salon has recently relocated on August 1, 2021, with a grand opening event held on August 15. The new location still has its industrial, vintage vibe, but can now hold nine stylists and accommodate educational events for other local salons. Apart from doing hair, Ouellette is also an international color educator and has been featured for her colorful work previously in SRQ Magazine, as well as other beauty industry publications such as Modern Salon,Allure, American Salon and Beauty Launchpad Magazine.. Her vision for the salon has always been a place where passion for hair and education collide. "My salon is not for me, it's for everyone who enters it's doors, whether you are a client or stylist, my hope is that as you leave here it's feeling more confident in yourself."

Located at 2961 University Parkway Sarasota. All stylists are independent contractors and responsible for their own scheduling. For general information and contact information clients can call the salon at 941-306-5398 or through Instagram/ Facebook at The Confidence Factory Hair Salon. 

Photo of Lynn Ouellette taken by Wyatt Kostygan, from the October 2019 edition of SRQ Magazine.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Shades of Buble: A Three-Man Tribute to Michael Buble , July 13 – September 26

With three voices singing incredible songs like “Feeling Good,” “Moondance,” “Come Fly With Me,” “Home,” “Everything,” “Save the Last Dance for Me,” and many more, Shades of Bublé: A Three-Man Tribute to Michael Bublé brings the swinging standards and pop hits of Bublé to the stage in an unforgettable high-energy concert event. Shades of Bublé, created by Melissa Giattino and Ron DeStefano and produced by Drew Pournelle, will play beginning July 13 in FST's Goldstein Cabaret.

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  GALLERY: New Color Perspectives Gallery , August 28 – September 24

The five newest artists at Art Uptown Gallery will be featured in the September exhibit, New Color Perspectives, showcasing their paintings, drawings and jewelry art. Diane Boone, jewelry artist; Peter Garon, Judy Gilmer, and Hunter Jay, painters; and Arlene Steinberg, colored pencil artist, are all local, full-time residents of national and international recognition. Meet the artists on September 3 from 6 pm to 9 pm at the First Friday public reception with refreshments at the gallery. The exhibit opens on Saturday, August 28 and runs through Friday, September 25. Art Uptown Gallery welcomes patrons and friends at 1367 Main Street where the diverse art works of 28 local artists are shown, Tuesday-Friday 11 am-5 pm (except First Friday when open until 9 pm), and Saturday 10 am-3 pm. www.artuptown.com. Telephone 941-955-5409 for further information

Art Uptown Gallery, 1367 Main St., Sarasota

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Virtual Part-Time Job Fair , August 26, 10am-2pm

Florida State University usually sese over 1000+ students in attendance who are seeking part-time employment within the Tallahassee region or wanting a virtual job. 10 am – 2 pm EST. Online via Symplicity Virtual Fairs in NoleNetwork $50 registration fee. Virtual  Event.

Florida State University

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Laughter in LWR Stand-Up Comedy Show , August 28, 5pm & 8pm

Grove Restaurant, Patio & Ballroom and Knock Out Marketing & PR presents, “LAUGHTER in LWR™!” a stand-up comedy event on August 28, 2021. The event will have two show times, 5 pm & 8 pm and feature three nationally-accredited comedians at each show: Happy Cole, Mariannetta Torres and Jeff Jena. A portion of the event proceeds will be given to The Players Centre for Performing Arts and The Humane Society of Manatee County.

Ticket prices range from $40 to $60, and the show style encompasses three hilarious comedians back-to-back, creating non-stop laughter. Cash bars will be available as well as service throughout the show by Grove’s finest staff. (Cash and credit cards accepted). The event organizers encourage you to come early and socialize with your friends, as doors open 45 minutes before each show time. Grove is also offering a 10% off voucher with each ticket. You are welcome to enjoy dinner in the Grove restaurant (connected to the ballroom) before or after your show time. Reservations are recommended.Wind down the evening with a night cap and meet-and-greet with the comedians after each show. Leave with a smile and laughter exhaustion.


Grove Restaurant, Patio & Ballroom , 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch

[SOON]  FILM: Verd La Traviata Opera Film , August 22, 1:30pm

Violetta, a famed Parisian courtesan, has lived a life of lavish parties with influential friends. She abandons it all to be with her beloved Alfredo, but when her past threatens his family’s honor, she must forsake her dream of love. Verdi’s awe-inspiring music combined with a heart-breaking libretto has made La traviata one of the repertoire cornerstones of opera companies around the world. From Teatro Real, Madrid; starring Ermonela Jaho, Marifé Nogales, Francesco Demuro, and Juan Jesús Rodríguez; conducted by Renato Palumbo and directed by David McVicar. Tickets: $20 ($18 for Sarasota Opera subscribers). Running time: 2 hours 5 minutes, sung in Italian with English subtitles.

The Sarasota Opera House , 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  FILM: The Philadelphia Story , August 21, 7:30pm

On the eve of Tracy Samantha Lord's wedding, her blue-blood ex-husband, C.K. Dexter Haven returns. C.K. discovered that a national tabloid plans to do an expose on Tracy's philandering father and has agreed to smuggle a reporter into her wedding if the magazine kills the story on the elder Lord. But C.K. never expects that the woman he still loves will suddenly fall for the undercover reporter. Before the evening is over, Tracy will be forced to take an unflinching look at herself and to realize which of these three men she truly loves. This multiple Academy Award-winning romantic comedy stars Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart. Tickets: $10. Running time: 1 hour 52 minutes.

Classic Movies at the Opera House , 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Rounding Third by Richard Dresser , July 28 – August 29

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) presents Rounding Third by Richard Dresser, a sharp yet touching comedy about two Little League coaches who turn the ball field into a battlefield as they try to navigate the curveballs life throws their way. Rounding Third will run in FST's  Gompertz Theatre starting July 28. Tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org. Rounding Third centers on Don and Michael, two polar opposites whose lives are in no way going according to plan. When fate conspires to put their sons on the same Little League team, the men are forced to coach the group together. Don is a veteran coach who values winning at all costs, while Michael, a newcomer to the game, just wants the players to try their best and have fun. As the two experience breathtaking victories and crushing defeats both on and off the field, they pour all their energy into “America’s favorite pastime” in hopes that they’ll discover a greater sense of meaning in their lives.

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 N Palm Ave., Sarasota

[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

[SOON]  : Discover Sarasota: City Sightseeing Tour , January 1 – December 31

On this air-conditioned City Sightseeing Trolley or Van Tour, see the BEST places to tour, shop, and dine through Sarasota’s historic downtown neighborhoods of Gillespie Park, Burns Court, Laurel Park, St. Armands Circle, Lido Key, and the Rosemary Design District. You also see our world-class artistic and cultural organizations: The Ringling Museum, Ringling College, Asolo Theater, Selby Library, Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, Selby Gardens, Sarasota Opera House, Art Center Sarasota, and Sarasota Symphony Orchestra. Learn more about the architects and developers who designed some of our most unique homes and buildings, like the Blue Pagoda, Crocker Memorial Church, and Splendida. Circus history, Amish culture, real estate development booms and busts, and colorful stories about Sarasota’s founders give you a true overview of Sarasota’s rich and amazing cultural history. Trolley tours usually run on Fridays. Tours with fewer than 10 guests will travel in our comfortably air-conditioned high-top van. Tour is year-round, tickets are $34.99 and include FREE Parking.

[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]  GALLERY: We Dream A World: African American Landscape Painters of Mid-Century Florida, The Highwaymen , July 10 – September 26

We Dream A World, African American Landscape Painters of Mid-Century Florida, The Highwaymen, explores the depth of art and business enterprise created by a unique set of landscape artists. Guest Curator Radiah Harper takes visitors through the experience of African Americans who, living in a hostile climate of racial injustice, were able to both learn their artistic craft through formal and informal education, and successfully break away from traditional field labor jobs to monetize their work. This exhibition will be presented in collaboration with the Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition from July 10 to September 26.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens , 1534 Mound St., Sarasota

[SOON]  SEMINAR: The Immigrant Experience in Our Local Communities , August 23, 6-7:30pm

Join SRQ Strong Monday, August 23 from 6 pm - 7:30 pm for our next community conversation. In this diverse country, immigration (past or recent) is an almost universal experience. This event will feature personal stories from people who have recently arrived in the United States. They will share the challenges they left behind, the difficulties experienced on their journey, and their experiences raising a family in a new culture. The focus will be on Spanish-speaking newcomers and will highlight the positive impact of Hispanics in our community. Leaders from community agencies will also discuss how we can make our community more welcoming. The forum will be delivered twice, once in English and a week later in Spanish.

SRQ Strong, Virtual

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Mote Marine: Shark Pups & Grownups Class , June 12 – August 28, 9:30am-11am

MEGA-lodon sized fun for you and your little one! Join us as we explore the marine environment through imaginative play, songs, crafts and more. For preschool (2-5) aged kids and their favorite adult. Each class includes: movement (Ocean Moves with Mote), science tool exploration, role play/games, and immersive water time (dipnetting in the bay). All classes meet at the Whale Fountain at the entrance to The Aquarium. Be sure to read your confirmation email to know what to bring and wear to class. Click on "More Info" for additional details on our Shark Pups and Grownup class offerings, as well as information on at home options for Shark Pups near and far. Dates: June 12, 2021, June 26, 2021, July 10, 2021, July 24, 2021, August 14, 2021, and August 28, 2021 from 9:30am to 11am. 

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Virtual: Children's Cancer Center: 9th Annual Chick-fil-A Fall Stampede , September 1 – September 30

This year marks the 9th annual Chick-fil-A Fall Stampede benefitting the Children’s Cancer Center. The event is held every September, Childhood Cancer Awareness month. We challenge you to virtually walk or run with your herd for the Children’s Cancer Center. Run/Walk: We challenge you to set a mileage goal to complete by the end of September. All participants will be entered in a chance drawing where 30 people will win FREE Chick-fil-A for a MONTH; 1 Mile, 5 Miles, 10 Miles, 25 Miles, 50 Miles, and 100 Miles. Raise: Create a fundraising page and raise funds throughout the challenge for the immediate needs of children battling pediatric cancer. The top 10 fundraisers will receive FREE Chick-fil-A for a MONTH. Packet Pickup: Drive by our COVID-19 compliant Packet Pick Up Party on Monday, August 31 from 8am to 10am or 6pm to 8pm where all participants will receive a t-shirt, swag bag and a Chick-fil-A sandwich. Tampa: Children’s Cancer Center (4901 W. Cypress St. Tampa) or Sarasota: Fruitville Chick-fil-A (5384 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota). Free Chick-fil-A for a Month consists of 30 promotional cards redeemable for a free Chick-fil-A entrée (Chick-fil-A Sandwich, Original or Spicy, Chick- fil-A Nuggets, Original or Grilled (8-count) or a Grilled Chicken Sandwich). Valid during lunch and dinner hours only.

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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