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SRQ DAILY Feb 10, 2022

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"It has been an honor to represent Manatee County, and I look forward to continue representing them and this region,"

- Rep. Tommy Gregory, R-Sarasota

[Politics]  State Incumbents All Find Places To Run
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Every incumbent representing Sarasota and Manatee counties in the Florida Legislature has somewhere to run in 2022. Rep. Tommy Gregory, R-Sarasota, announced this week he will move to Manatee County to run the proposed House District 72.

“It has been an honor to represent Manatee County, and I look forward to continue representing them and this region,” Gregory said.  “We’ve worked hard in the Florida Legislature to be a voice for our community’s strong, conservative values and will continue to do so as we work with Gov. DeSantis in the Free State of Florida.”

The Florida Legislature last week approved new maps as part of a once-a-decade redistricting process, and the cartography is now under review by the Florida Supreme Court. The new District 72 covers much of Manatee County already represented by Gregory the last four years in his current District 73, but not his home in Sarasota County. By moving, that means he won’t live in the same district, House District 74, as Rep. James Buchanan, R-Venice. Before announcing his decision, Gregory said he would run wherever he lived. He acknowledged putting a poll in the field but said the results did not impact his decision to run.

The move also means an incumbent in District 72, where Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh previously considered running. She is not expected to give up her county seat to run against an incumbent now.

Meanwhile, Buchanan is now filed to run for reelection unopposed in a district that now covers much of east Sarasota County. 

Additionally, Rep. Fiona McFarland plans to run in the new House District 73, which covers the Sarasota County coast from Sarasota to Venice.  Independent Conner Trombley, who previously filed to challenge McFarland, now lives in District 74 with Buchanan.

Rep. Will Robinson, R-Bradenton, plans to run in District 71, which is largely similar to his existing district of the same number.

Maps also now include part of Sarasota County in District 75, where Rep. Mike Grant, R-Port Charlotte, has filed for re-election as well. An open House District 70 seat also now includes parts on Manatee and Hillsborough counties. Ellenton Republican Dennis Cooley has already filed for that seat, the only candidate living in the district’s new lines to do so to date.

Meanwhile, Sens. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, and Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, plan to run in Senate Districts 20 and 22 respectively. Gruters’ district sheds any portion of Charlotte County in exchange for a piece of South Manatee, and Boyd’s district becomes more compact, but both live in districts similar to ones the represent now. Neither faces opposition to date. 

Image courtesy FloridaRedistricting.gov

[35 Under 35 Awards]  35 Under 35 Honoree Eleni Sokos

New to our portfolio of community engagement programs, the SRQ Magazine 35 Under 35 Competition recognizes and honors young professionals, innovators, scientists, creatives, entrepreneurs and philanthropists within our hometown. 

From our very first class of 35 Under 35 Honorees—featured in our December Edition—we have Eleni Sokos, Chief Creative Officer of Sokos Solutions. Founded in 2014 as Sokos Social, Eleni and her team of marketing experts are ready to generate momentum as the premiere development studio & digital marketing agency of Southwest Florida. Their team leverages the most effective opportunities that digital marketing has to offer, from content strategies to graphic design. 

How and when did you know you wanted to be a leader in your field? 

Sounds cliche—but I think I was born this way. Both of my grandfathers started their own businesses, and their children both worked hard to buy out their parents. My parents placed tremendous importance on leadership, local involvement and giving back to a community which has given so much to us over the past four+ decades in businesses. Random fun fact, both of my grandfathers started their businesses in 1976 in Manatee County. 

Click here to learn more about Sokos Solutions.

[New Product]  Siesta Key Hair Extensions
Kellianne Hoton

Launched on January 27, 2022, by beauty experts and ladypreneur duo Isle Gallagher and Rachel Ocean, Siesta Key Hair Extensions is now available and ready to reach new heights—while helping clients reach new hair lengths. After years of being displeased with the current clip-in extension and color options on the market, Isle, a hair extension specialist for eleven years, and Rachel, a blonding color expert, teamed up with hair stylists to develop a thick, comfortable, one-piece clip in product that utilizes innovative seamless design technology—making it ultra-discreet. And the best part? They're safe to wear during those glorious beach and pool days. 

Click here for Siesta Key Hair Extensions website.

[Employee Passing]  Florida Studio Theatre Mourns the Loss of James Ashford, FST Employee of Over 20 Years

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is saddened to announce the passing of James Ashford, who started out as an Acting Apprentice and went on to become FST’s Coordinator of Casting and Hiring. During the 21 years that Ashford was a part of FST, he worked with the theatre’s WRITE A PLAY program, served as the Assistant to the Artistic Director, and cast shows for over 12 Seasons. During his tenure as FST’s Coordinator of Casting and Hiring, Ashford was responsible for finding the casts and design teams for many significant readings and productions, from Metamorphoses (2005) and Shear Madness (2011) to Monty Python’s Spamalot (2014) to Bright Star (2020). James Ashford is survived by the Ashford family and his large FST family.


(Pictured left to right): Melanie Marcotte, Kelsey Wehde Wilson, Luke Johnson, James Ashford, Susan Angermann, and Bruce Price in 2018. Photo courtesy of FST.

[Educator Grants]  Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation Launches Fellowship Program for Teacher Renewal, Invites Applicants

There’s a reason everyone remembers their favorite teacher. Outside of family, teachers can have the greatest influence on a child’s academic performance, moral character, and future success. They can make all the difference in the world. To honor Margery Barancik’s career as an educator, Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation has launched the TIME Fellowship Program (Time to Inspire Margie’s Educators). The program will support as many as 25 awards to Sarasota County educators, each totaling up to $12,000, to help pay for projects that are intellectually revitalizing and personally renewing. The goal is to help rejuvenate their own curiosity and deepen personal and professional development. Teaching is a difficult profession, and the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many pressures to bear. TIME is aimed at helping teachers recharge and remain with their life’s work. The Foundation is inviting current Sarasota County School District K-12 public school teachers, assistant principals, and principals who have at least three years’ experience working at the District to apply to the program. The projects proposed should seek to creatively expand an educator’s experiences through intellectual and physical journeys that are of a unique quality and provide opportunities for personal fulfillment that might otherwise not be available to them. The program was inspired by Lilly Endowment’s long-running Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program. Many participants have used their fellowships to travel – across the United States and throughout the world – and to tap into interests as varied as filmmaking, mountain climbing and culinary exploration to artmaking, language immersion and environmental conservation. Applicants of the program need to prove their status as a current classroom teacher, principal, or assistant principal with at least three years’ experience teaching in Sarasota County public schools. Selected applicants must affirm their intention to continue teaching in Sarasota County Schools for the next three years after project completion. 

To learn more, click here

[Volunteers Needed]  Child Protection Center Recruiting Volunteers

The Child Protection Center, Inc. (CPC) is looking to recruit new volunteers to supervise visits with our Children and Families Supervised Visitation Program (CFSVP). CFSVP provides a neutral, safe place for children to maintain a relationship with both parents that is free from the stresses of anger and conflict between their parents, often when caregivers are trying to navigate custody arrangements, substance abuse issues, or mental illness. By accessing CFSVP, the risk of violence to children will decrease. Ongoing parent and child contact, through supervised visitation, has been shown to be crucial to a child’s mental health and ability to build a healthy relationship with the non-custodial parent. CFSVP utilizes trained volunteers to supervise vistis between children and their non-custodial parent. These volunteers help monitor conversations, difuse stressful situations, and remain a calm and neutral presence in the room. As The Child Protection Center is expanding, with a new office in North Port, the number of volunteers needed for this program has increased. CPC is hosting a training for new volunteers on Friday, March 4 th 2022 from 10am-3pm. The training will be held 2530 Bobcat Village Center Rd. Unit B North Port FL, 34288 and lunch will be provided. This event will be capped at 20 new volunteers. To RSVP, please contact CFSVP Program Director, DeeDra Pata at 941-492-6491 or by email at DeeDraP@cpcsarasota.org. The Child Protection Center’s mission is the Prevention, Intervention, & Treatment of Child Abuse. CPC has
been serving Sarasota & DeSoto Counties since 1980. In fiscal year 2020, CPC provided 66,698 services to individuals. 

To learn more, visit

[SRQ Competition]  2022 We Love Our Pets Competition

SRQ MEDIA's 2022 We Love Our Pets Competition opens tomorrow, Friday, February 11th. Send in a photo of your pet and a memorable story that captures the special talents of your pet, your special relationship and cute moments that will have readers giggling and smiling. 

The deadline to nominate your furry friend is Friday, February 25th

Click here for more information!  

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Ringling: Sharing Grandmothers , February 11 – February 12, 7:30pm

Sharing Grandmothers is an original multidisciplinary song cycle exploring the profound contributions of Black women to humanity. The two principal artists are Inez Barlatier, a Miami-based Haitian-American singer/songwriter, percussionist and dancer, and LORNOAR, a Cameroonian artist whose work also encompasses traditional and original songs, music, and dance. Under the direction of Miami-based director Carlos Caballero, a Latino/Caribbean artist, the work will celebrate the legacy of shared ancestry and traditions between Cameroon and Haiti, celebrating the influence of Africa on the Caribbean and its diaspora, and the empowerment of the 21st Century Black Woman. Sharing Grandmothers focuses on women's oral traditions, lullabies and folk tales, as well as the combined musical traditions of Africa and the Caribbean, replete with percussive rhythms, rituals, and vocal expressions. The project brings together two multidisciplinary musicians who each embrace a rich cultural heritage and mastery of traditional songs, stories, rhythms and dances from their respective cultures. This collaboration between two contemporary artists who have jointly created new music and lyrics that provide a modern-day commentary on issues that women face globally, speaks to the double oppression of Black women both in the U.S. and Africa. This performance will show on February 11 and 12 at 7:30pm.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Key Chorale: A.D. 387 , February 11 – February 12, 7:30pm-9:30pm and 4pm-6pm

A.D. 387 will take place on February 11, 2022 7:30pm-9:30pm and February 12 4pm-6pm. According to ancient legend, in A.D. 387 the Te Deum was spontaneously composed and sung alternately by St. Ambrose and St. Augustine on the night St. Ambrose baptized St. Augustine in Milan. Experience this ancient text from its origins of Gregorian chant, to trumpets and timpani of the Baroque, to the soaring melodies and rich harmony of the Romanic period. Anton Bruckner called his Te Deum, “the pride of his life.” After conducting this monumental composition, Gustav Mahler crossed out the words “for choir, soloists and orchestra” and inscribed the page “for the tongues of angels, heaven-blest, chastened hearts, and souls purified in the fire!”

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Circus Arts Conservatory: Circus Sarasota 2022 , February 11 – March 6, Varies.

Circus Sarasota 2022 will take place at 200 University Town Center Drive from February 11 through March 6. International circus artists will leave audiences awestruck. Every year features a new cast in an intimate one-ring European style Big Top. This year’s show features incredible artists, many that have been featured on tv’s America’s Got Talent. Be thrilled by aerialists, hand-to-hand acrobatics, juggling and much more.

[SOON]  DANCE: Sarasota Contemporary Dance: In-Studio Performance Series featuring Raychel Ceciro and Eugenia Titterington , February 11 – February 12, 7pm

Have you ever had a bad day? Have you endured life-changing traumatic events that corrode your will to survive? You have more in common with the Great Barrier Reef than you think. Take the great leap with accomplished marine scientists and coral experts Raychel Ceciro and Eugenia Titterington as they guide you through the rocky, violent, torturous, agonizing life of a coral on this planet earth– and learn a little something about your own doomed existence along the way. This performance will take place on Friday February 11th and Saturday February 12th 2022 at 7pm and Virtual Stream will take place on Saturday February 12th at 7pm.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Sarasota Opera: Tosca , February 12 – March 19

Tosca by Giacomo Puccini with poetry by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. Set in Rome, a diva’s jealousy plays into the hands of the lecherous chief of police, Baron Scarpia. An escaped political prisoner seeks the help of his friend, the painter Mario Cavaradossi, the lover of the famous diva Floria Tosca. In an attempt to recapture the fugitive, Scarpia plants a seed of suspicion in Tosca and sets a dreadful trap. Tosca will run from February 12 through March 19, 2022.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: The Ringling: Family Art Making (FAM) , February 12 – April 30, 10am, 11am, 12pm

FAM (Family Art Making) is a free program that's fun for the whole family. Join us for creative art projects inspired by an object in our collections from February 12, 2022 to April 30, 2022 at 10am, 11am, and 12pm at the Education Center. Afterwards, visit the museum* to see that object in person. You will be able to visit the Museum of Art and the Circus Museum with your FAM wristband that is provided at check-in. An at-home version of FAM is available on our YouTube channel: youtube.com/TheRingling.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Selby Gardens: Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith: Flowers, Poetry, and Light , February 13 – June 26, Garden hours.

This winter, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (Selby Gardens) will spotlight the work of Robert Mapplethorpe, one of the most significant photographers of the 20th century, together with the poetry of legendary singer-songwriter and poet Patti Smith in a special exhibition on view throughout the garden’s 15-acre Downtown Sarasota campus. Marking the sixth edition of the Gardens’ annual Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Series, which explores the work of major artists through the lens of their connection to nature, this immersive exhibition puts a selection of Mapplethorpe’s photographs of orchids, hyacinths, and irises, and excerpts of Smith’s poems and lyrics on flowers and nature, in dialogue with new horticultural installations inspired by the two artists’ work. On view from February 13 through June 26, 2022, Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith: Flowers, Poetry, and Light is curated by Dr. Carol Ockman, Selby Gardens’ Curator-at-Large and the Robert Sterling Clark Professor of Art History Emerita at Williams College. The Gardens will host an Evening with Patti Smith, on Tuesday, February 15, a lecture and performance with Smith that will shed new light on this body of work. 

[SOON]  MUSIC: Guitar Sarasota: Emerging Artist Series: Chattanooga Guitar Duo , February 14, 7:30pm

Join Guitar Sarasota for a six-concert series that showcases local and regional musicians who perform a 45-minute concert, followed by a question and answer session. Free and open to the public, thanks to a generous and ongoing grant from the Vera and Imre Hecht Foundation, these concerts entertain, educate, and raise awareness of the beauty of classical guitar music. Chattanooga Guitar Duo, Michael McCallie and Alejandro Olson, will take place at 7:30pm on Monday, February 14, 2022 at St. Paul Lutheran Church. Michael currently serves on the faculty at Covenant College and Chattanooga State Community College and maintains one of the largest classical guitar studios in the State of Tennessee. Michael is the Executive Director of GuitarChattanooga, a guitar-driven non-profit organization based in Chattanooga, TN. Alejandro Olson is a professional classical guitarist with a Master of Music degree from the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver. He competes in international guitar competitions in multiple countries as well as national competitions in the United States. Alejandro has won 1st prizes at Le Domaine Forget International Guitar Competition, the Grossmont Community Concert Association Competition, the American Protege International Music Competition at Carnegie Hall, and the Denver Classical Guitar Competition.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel: The Four Phantoms in Concert , February 14, 8pm

An extravagant celebration of the iconic music of Broadway and more, THE FOUR PHANTOMS IN CONCERT brings together four Phantoms from the Tony Award-winning The Phantom of the Opera for an unforgettable night of entertainment. The Four Phantoms features an extraordinary quartet of performers, including Brent Barrett, John Cudia, Franc D’Ambrosio and Ciarán Sheehan under the music supervision of two-time Grammy Award winner David Caddick and music direction of Ryan Shirar. They are also joined by special guest Kaley Ann Voorhees, one of the youngest sopranos to sing the role of Christine on Broadway. This event will take place on Monday, February 14 at 8pm.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Mattison's Brings on the Romance for Valentine's Day , February 14, Restaurant hours.

The love is in the air at Mattison’s or, better said, the Love is in the Food. All three Mattison’s Restaurants will be serving their special chef crafted Valentine’s Day menus on Valentine’s Day, February 14th . Sweetheart Specials will be available all weekend. You will fall in love all over again dining on delicious menu items created by Chef Paul Mattison and his culinary team of experts. Whether you are staying at home or going out, let Mattison’s do the cooking for you so you can enjoy spending time with that special someone. Dine-in at any one of the three award winning restaurants or get it to-go for a romantic evening at home. All three restaurants offer outside dining. Mattison’s Forty-One offers inside dining. Mattison’s Forty-One will feature a Valentine’s Taste for Two that will surely bring out your romantic side. The Taste for Two is a three-course dinner for $139 per couple with House Made Beet Ravioli, a Poached Pear Salad, Hand-Carved Chateaubriand, and a Dessert Trio. Champagne and wine additions are available. Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille and Mattison’s City Grille will feature a Seafood Duo and a Surf and Turf as Valentine’s Day headliners in addition to their regular menu with special additions such as Heart Shaped Ravioli, Filet Mignon, New Zealand Rack of Lamb, Grouper Piccata, or Rosemary Honey Glazed Salmon just to name a few. Finish off your meal with the Dessert Trio – chocolate covered strawberries, red velvet cupcakes, and chocolate truffles or opt for the Bailey’s Chocolate Cheesecake, Flourless Chocolate Espresso Torte, or Crème Brulée. Mattison’s Forty-One will have Joe Thayer on the piano and the Lisa Ridings Duo will entertain you at City Grille. 

[SOON]  SEMINAR: The Ringling: Gallery Talks: Lots of Love , February 15, 10:30am

Join The Ringling to explore various aspects of the Museum and its collection. Tickets are free with Museum Admission and are available for pick-up on the day of the program. Tickets are limited. Members may reserve tickets in advance 2 weeks prior each program. Lots of Love will take place on Tuesday, February 15 at 10:30am. Love is in the air. In this gallery tour, we’ll examine all types of love—from doting mothers to amorous couples— in a belated Valentine’s Day celebration.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel: Gladys Knight , February 15, 8pm

Seven-time Grammy winner GLADYS KNIGHT has enjoyed #1 hits in Pop, Gospel, R&B and Adult Contemporary, and has triumphed in film, television and live performance. Known for hits such as “You and I Ain’t Nothin’ No More,” “Midnight Train to Georgia,” “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” “If I Were Your Woman” and “That’s What Friends are For,” Knight has recorded more than 38 albums over her 50+ year career in the entertainment industry. This performance will take place on Tuesday, February 15 at 8pm.

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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