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SRQ DAILY Dec 22, 2021

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"One of the biggest reasons people come to Florida is to experience our natural beauty. We are grateful for wonderful partners like the National Wildlife Federation who protect and restore critical wildlife habitats while teaching about the importance of our vanishing wildlife such as our gentle manatees."

- Mark Pritchett, President|CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

[Honoree]  Jim Tollerton, Local Philanthropist Honored at SRQ's Good Hero Luncheon
Barbie Heit. Barbie@srqme.com

Each year, SRQ Media invites the community to nominate individuals with hearts of giving who have made a significant impact with local nonprofit organizations — from volunteers and board members to individual staff members and donors. This year, attendees were thrilled to be together as we recognized our annual Good Hero Philanthropic Award recipients at the SB2: Philanthropic Agenda Luncheon and Good Hero Philanthropic Awards Luncheon on Thursday, December 9, 2021 at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. In the coming weeks, we are happy to feature each of the twelve honorees in our Wednesday Philanthropic edition of SRQ Daily.

Jim Tollerton is a Good Hero and our first featured honoree. He has lived in Sarasota for 70 years and every day he looks for ways to help people. On his 40th birthday, Jim’s wish was to secure the donations necessary to start the Sarasota Memorial Hospital Excel Employee Appreciation fund. Thirty-five years later it is still growing strong — and he has now endowed it through his own generosity. Jim serves on the FSU Sarasota College of Medicine Advisory Committee helping young medical students in our community. His whole life has been in service to our community and we thank him for being a catalyst and always looking toward the future. 


Pictured: Jim Tollerton (center) with Arthur Lerman of JFCS (left) and Wes Roberts, SRQ Media Vice President and Executive Publisher. Photo taken by Wyatt Kostygan.

[Conservation]  New Project Launching to Benefit Manatees in Southwest Florida

With the holiday season upon us and the temperatures dropping, Florida’s manatees are on the move, aggregating in warmer waters that they use in cooler weather. Today, conservation and philanthropic partners, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and Gulf Coast Community Foundation (Gulf Coast), are announcing a new collaboration to connect locals to a manatee habitat restoration project in one such region – the Warm Mineral Springs Creek and Salt Creek areas. The partnership will provide multilingual education for the local community about an upcoming restoration project as well as human impacts to the springs system and manatee habitat through updated and improved signage, one-on-one outreach and community meetings, informational brochures and social media. The area in focus is in southern Sarasota County, where the mild, clear waters of  Warm Mineral Spring connect to the Myakka River and provide winter habitat for over 100 manatees. In addition to the beloved threatened species using the area, the spring head is a tourist hub used by more than 100,000 visitors annually and is a key economic driver for the local region. Unfortunately, over the years, Warm Mineral Springs Creek and Salt Creek have been degraded by sedimentation, erosion, debris – and human disturbance by local residents and tourists. A $3 million habitat restoration project led by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will address key habitat and community needs. However, to maintain the long-term benefits of the restoration work, communication and engagement with the local, diverse, and multilingual Eastern European community is essential.

 “Florida is one of the most popular destinations in the world,” said Mark Pritchett, President|CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation. “One of the biggest reasons people come to Florida is to experience our natural beauty. We are grateful for wonderful partners like the National Wildlife Federation who protect and restore critical wildlife habitats while teaching about the importance of our vanishing wildlife such as our gentle manatees.” 

To learn more, visit

[Grant Awarded]  Delivering Infusion Friendly Sweaters to Children's Hospital

The startup company Aleah Wares delivered a donation of Infused Comfort™ sweaters to the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. The Infused Comfort™ sweaters are designed to assist and comfort the children undergoing IV-based therapies. This effort was made possible through a grant from the New College of Florida, as well as the generosity of numerous individuals from Richmond to Sarasota.  The delivery culminates over three years of effort to bring the Infused Comfort sweater from concept to finished product. The company’s CEO, Aleah Colón-Alfonso, designed the sweaters while undergoing her own intravenous treatment during her freshman year at New College of Florida in Sarasota, Florida. The patent-pending design allows for patients to take the sweater on and off without disconnecting or disrupting existing IV therapies. 

To learn more, click here

[Upcoming Show]  Award-Winning Musical Jersey Boys is Coming to The Van Wezel

Tony, Grammy, and Olivier Award-winning hit musical Jersey Boys is set to play at the Van Wezel on Tuesday, Jan. 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Wednesday, Jan. 26 at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Jersey Boys is the behind-the-music story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. They were just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard and the radio couldn’t get enough of it. While their harmonies were perfect on stage, off stage it was a very different story – a story that has made them an international sensation all over again. The show features all their hits including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh What A Night,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and “Working My Way Back To You.” 

Photo courtesy of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center.

To purchase tickets click here

[Grant Awarded]  Florida Studio Theatre Awarded $200,000 from Jack and Priscilla Schlegel

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) has received a generous, year-end gift totaling more than $200,000 from local philanthropists Jack and Priscilla Schlegel to celebrate how local theater brings together community, promotes education, and engages citizens through the performing arts. Altogether, the support will buoy FST’s next year of performances and outreach to touch the lives of audience members from the mainstage to children’s programs. A portion of this gift was designated from the couple's fund at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, which has contributed nearly half a million dollars in grant support to area nonprofits since 2015. This is the largest grant that fund has provided to date. Founded in 1973 as our region’s contemporary theatre, FST has grown to five theatres located in the heart of Downtown Sarasota and is the largest subscription theatre in the state of Florida and among the largest in the country. Each year, FST serves more than 230,000 live attendees across its diverse programs: Mainstage, Cabaret, Stage III, Children's Theatre, The FST School, New Play Development, and FST lmprov.  

To learn more click here

[New Board Member]  Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation Appoints New Member to 2022 Board of Trustees

Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of new board member, Carl W. Battle. Carl W. Battle was Sr. VP and Chief Patent Counsel for GlaxoSmithKline and managed GSK’s global patent and intellectual property portfolio. He earned a B.S. in chemistry and economics from Dartmouth College and a Juris Doctorate degree (with honors) from Widener University School of Law. A resident of Sarasota, Carl founded National Legal Information Services and is chair of the Gamma Xi Boulé Foundation Board. The current 22-member board includes Michael J. Valentino, Chair; Philip A. Delaney Jr., Past-Chair; Deb Kabinoff, Vice Chair; Joel Morganroth, M.D., Treasurer; Gwen Mackenzie, Secretary; Robert G. Bartner; Ariane M. Dart; Gary Dornbush; John Giglio; Mary Evelyn Guyton; Eric Kaplan; Thomas F. Kelly, M.D.; Robert P. Martin; Diane M. Mayer; Jonathan E. Mitchell; Barbara Rodkin; Eric Spiegel; Sandra Stuart; David Verinder (Ex Officio); Kirk Voelker, M.D.; and Robert L. Wood. 

For more information click here

[Grant Awarded]  Child Protection Center Awarded Grant for Child Abduction and Abuse Prevention

 The FBI recently put out a warning for parents that one in four children with an electronic device will be sexually solicited online. The Child Protection Center (CPC) is strengthening its child abduction and abuse prevention education through an expanded curriculum of internet safety workshops, which are conducted by CPC’s Personal Safety and Community Awareness Program (PSCA). The additional prevention workshops are supported through a $27,500 grant from the Carlie Brucia Memorial Fund for Children. The Carlie Brucia Memorial Fund for Children was created by the family of Carlie Brucia, a child victim of a violent crime, to honor and memorialize her life. The Fund works diligently to protect children through its support of programs focusing on self-defense and danger awareness training.

PSCA is dedicated to the prevention of child abuse through free educational workshop for students, parents, and professionals in Sarasota County. It is the longest tenured prevention program in the state of Florida, having hosted its first workshops in 1992. The Child Protection Center’s mission is the Prevention, Intervention, & Treatment of Child Abuse, as the organization envisions a community where children are safe from abuse and free to thrive. For over 40 years, CPC has been serving Sarasota and DeSoto Counties in the State of Florida, and is accredited by the National Children’s Alliance.  

For more information click here

[SOON]  FOOD: Mattison's: Feast of the Seven Fishes Dinner on Christmas Eve , December 24, Restaurant hours.

Chef Paul Mattison will, once again, serve their Christmas Eve traditional menu, Feast of the Seven Fishes menu this Christmas Eve. The Feast of the Seven Fishes is an Italian-American meal traditionally served on Christmas Eve with dishes of fish and other seafood. This special holiday meal is a tradition that Chef Paul Mattison, owner of Mattison’s Restaurants and Catering, grew up experiencing with his Italian family. Many holidays were spent cooking alongside his grandmother Esther. He proudly brings this family tradition to all three Mattison’s restaurants every Christmas Eve. Diners can enjoy a delicious four-course menu featuring succulent seafood such as Maine Lobster, Mussels, Shrimp, Crab, Oysters and much more. The menu includes a traditional Italian dessert. Price per person is $65.00 and seating is limited. Dinner service hours vary by restaurant location. Reservations are suggested for this special dinner.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Venice Theatre: Rocket Man , December 29 – December 31, Varies.

Rus Anderson has spent years perfecting the piano playing, vocals, and mannerisms of Elton John and has traveled the world over with thousands of performances to his credit. This insanely energetic performer is endorsed by the official Elton John Fan Club. Rocket Man will show from December 29 to 31 at the Venice Theatre.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: FST Improv: Resolution Rewind , December 30 – December 31

FST Improv celebrates the year’s end on December 30 and 31 in FST’s Bowne’s Lab with Resolution Rewind, two special New Year’s Eve performances providing a humorous look back at 2021. Audience members shape the show by voting for their favorite improv games from the past year online, determining which twelve will make the lineup for Resolution Rewind.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel: Jefferson Starship - Mother of the Sun Tour , December 31, 8pm

JEFFERSON STARSHIP has toured all 50 U.S. states, five continents and countless countries around the world, drawing from a massive setlist of hit after hit! In addition to original member David Freiberg, the band includes drummer Donny Baldwin (whose Jefferson Starship roots go back to 1982), keyboardist Chris Smith (who joined in 1998), guitarist Jude Gold (who joined in 2012), and singer and guitarist Cathy Richardson (who joined in 2008), after founding member Paul Kantner saw her tour with Big Brother and the Holding Company. This show will take place on Friday, December 31 at 8pm.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Art Uptown Gallery: Glass Shapes by Esther Jensen , January 1 – January 28, Gallery hours.

In January, Art Uptown Gallery will feature the work of Sarasota glass artist Esther Jensen in an exhibit of her fused glass art entitled ”Glass Shapes.” Esther’s art evokes her familiarity and love of living near open water, first in her native Denmark, then on the Gulf of Mexico in Southwest Florida and now from her studio on Sarasota Bay. Her Scandinavian background influences most of her designs which are simple and straight forward and include both functional and decorative pieces. The “Glass Shapes” exhibit runs from Saturday, January 1 through Friday, January 28. The public is also invited to a reception on First Friday, January 7, from 6-9pm. Art Uptown Gallery welcomes you to the 1367 Main Street gallery, where the diverse art works of 29 local artists are shown seven days a week. Telephone: 941-955-5409 for hours and further information. www.artuptown.com.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Asolo Repertory Theatre: Hair , November 17 – January 1, Varies.

Hair is the rock musical that started it all. This joyous rebellion proudly reclaims love as the heart of what it means to be American. Packed with music that is beautiful, irreverent, and deeply evocative, the quirky, all-inclusive vibe doesn’t shy away from poignant social commentary. This iconic musical and Grammy Award-winning score get an exuberant and resonant retelling in the hands of Broadway and Asolo Rep favorite Josh Rhodes. Unforgettable numbers like “The Flesh Failures (Let the Sunshine In),” “Aquarius,” “Good Morning Starshine,” and “Hair” will bring audiences to their feet. Contains mature themes, language, and brief nudity. Recommended for age 16+. Hair will show November 17, 2021–January 1, 2022.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Selby Gardens: Lights in Bloom: An Open-air Holiday Light Show , December 11 – January 2, 6pm-9pm

More than two million lights will illuminate Selby Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus from December 11 to 23, 26 to 30, 2021; and January 1 and 2, 2022 from 6pm to 9pm. Lights in Bloom®: An Open-Air Holiday Light Show will feature more than two million lights illuminating the gardens and walkways. Don’t miss a holiday photo opportunity, children’s arts and crafts, activities, and entertainment. Food will be available for purchase from the Michael’s on East grill, including a cash bar.  

[SOON]  MUSIC: Van Wezel: Salute to Vienna New Year's Concert , January 3, 7pm

Timeless music, dazzling costumes, breathtaking dance, stunning floral designs. Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert returns to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on January 3, 2022 at 7pm for an unforgettable New Year’s celebration that will enchant and delight audiences of all ages in Sarasota. Freshly updated each year with a new cast and musical programme, the exuberant music of Johann Strauss and his counterparts will spring to vibrant life in a joyful spectacle featuring European singers, dancers and a full symphony orchestra. The Maestro, an expert in Viennese music, will lead the orchestra and the audience on a journey through the Golden Age of Vienna with wit, charm and more than a few jokes along the way. Energetic, lighthearted and full of romance, Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert is a celebration of music, beauty and every exciting opportunity the New Year has to offer.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 North Tamiami Trail

[SOON]  THEATER: FSU/Asolo Conservatory: Belleville , January 4 – January 23, Varies.

Young Americans Zack and Abby have the perfect ex-pat life in Paris: a funky bohemian apartment in up -and-coming Belleville; a stable marriage; and Zack's noble mission to fight pediatric AIDS. But when Abby finds Zack at home one afternoon when he's supposed to be at work, the questions and answers that follow shake the foundation fo their seemingly beautiful life. Belleville will take place from January 4, 2022 at 7:30pm to January 23, 2022 at 2pm.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: McCurdy's Comedy Theatre: Al Romas , January 5 – January 9, 7pm, 6:30pm, and 8:50pm

A McCurdys favorite ….Al's TV credits include "Standup Spotlight, "Evening at the Improv" + Comedy Central, just to name a few. Al Romas will perform from January 5 to 9 at 7pm, 6:30pm, and 8:50pm in The Green Room.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Sarasota Art Museum: Hands-on for the Holidays , December 26 – December 31, 1pm-3pm

Hands-on for the Holidays will take place the Week of December 26 – December 31 at Sarasota Art Museum from 1pm to 3pm. It is FREE for Members and Included with Museum Admission. This year, the Museum is introducing a new lineup of art-making activities for all ages. Whatever your holiday traditions, Sarasota Art Museum is here to help you make new memories and revisit cherished ones. Visit our studios and enjoy drop in hands on art-making activities with a professional artist-educator. From snow globes to imaginary animal portraits, you’re sure to find activities to spark creativity and fun. Sunday, Dec. 26 – Create your own Winter Scene Snow Globes. We’ll play in the studio with oil pastels, watercolors, and fine lines. Monday, Dec. 27 – Inspired by the beauty of birch and aspen trees, we’ll paint together in our Into The Woods workshop. Tuesday, Dec. 28 – Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my. Drop into our studio and make your own glittering Imaginary Animals. Wednesday, Dec. 29 – Celebrate one of our favorite spirit animals in the Turtles and Tides workshop. We’ll explore these magical creatures and the patterns and textures that define them. Thursday, Dec. 30 – Capture the essence of this adorable primate in our Lemur Portraits studio. Friday, Dec. 31 – Boom, crack, pop! It’s time to ring in the new year. Let’s create a sky full of light and color in our Cityscape Fireworks workshop.

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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