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SRQ DAILY Apr 6, 2022

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

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Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"When someone is struggling with their mental health, their body and mind is in a constant state of stress."

- Kendra Simpkins, Founder of Operation Warrior Resolution.

[Grant Awarded]  Local Veterans Nonprofit Receives Grant for "Healing through Horses"

As memories of America’s involvement in the Middle East begin to fade, many of our nation’s veterans continue to face mental health challenges related to their service, but Operation Warrior Resolution (OWR) is offering innovative therapy approaches to heal trauma, including introducing these heroes to trained therapy horses, made possible by a $2,500 grant from State Farm.

OWR, an organization that provides holistic treatments for veterans and their families, has partnered with Bradenton-based SMART Riders to provide a one-of-a-kind equine therapy program in our region. The Healing through Horses program is an experiential learning initiative that uses un-mounted equine-assisted activities to aid in physical and emotional healing. Studies have shown that
equine-assisted programs are an effective therapeutic technique that can benefit veterans physically, emotionally, spiritually, and vocationally. "When someone is struggling with their mental health, their body and mind is in a constant state of stress,” says Kendra Simpkins, Founder of Operation Warrior Resolution and Army veteran. “Equine therapy is one big tool we have for helping to rewire the parasympathetic nervous system. Beyond the physical benefits, being around horses helps a person explore their feelings, build trust, and improve confidence.”

This grant will allow veterans the opportunity to connect with these majestic creatures that always respond honestly, without judgment, and without an agenda. Working with horses can address connection and communication deficits, re-engaging caring feelings and mutual trust and respect in a relationship. The program also helps veterans to decrease feelings of isolation and loneliness, as well as help participants start reestablishing relationship skills. The program is part of wider efforts by Operation Warrior Resolution to help heal the unseen wounds of military members through innovative therapeutic methods. The organization hosts multiple five-day-long therapeutic resilience retreats with licensed mental health professionals a year. 

To learn more, click here

[New Hire]  The Bay Park Conservancy Welcomes New Donor Experience Officer, Amber Lamerson

The Bay Park Conservancy (BPC), the non-profit organization responsible for overseeing the redevelopment of 53 acres of City-owned land along Sarasota Bay into an iconic public park, has added Amber Lamerson to its team as Donor Experience Officer. Lamerson has nearly a decade of donor relations and community engagement experience, most recently with the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, one of The Bay’s leading partners since the beginning of the initiative. During that time, Amber managed the donor advised grantmaking program and worked closely with philanthropists to help maximize their impact in the community. Her other experiences include roles at the New College Foundation and Forty Carrots Family Center. The Bay Park Conservancy expects to open Phase 1 of the park in October 2022, which will include award-winning features such as the Common Ground lawns, the Mangrove Bayou Walkway and outdoor Reading Room, an ADA-accessible paddle launch, an artistic playspace and concession pavilion, restored and preserved mangroves and shorelines, and more.  

For more information click here

[Awards Luncheon]  Resilient Retreat Recognized at Change Agents in Philanthropy Awards Luncheon

On March 10th SRQ Media recognized five local nonprofits who have leaned into change, particularly after an extremely challenging year, at the SB2 Transformation in Philanthropy luncheon and panel discussion. The event took place at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota where all parties were thrilled to be gathered together in person. The Change Agents in Philanthropy Awards focus on the capacity of the independent sector to be innovative in the face of change in fundraising, donor cultivation and development, mission, programming, branding and visibility and operations. We are pleased to highlight each of the nonprofit groups recognized at the luncheon as part of our Wednesday Philanthropy edition.

Resilient Retreat is a Sarasota-based nonprofit organization dedicated to helping those impacted by trauma and first-responders who routinely witness violence in their workplace. The organization is currently building a retreat center on their 84 sq acre property (on conservation land) - expected to be finished in 2022 - and maintains a well-trained staff of certified trauma professionals to run their evidence based programs and maintain their trauma hotline.

In light of the global pandemic, Resilient Retreat had to adapt to help a community that was hurting not just physically, but mentally. From 2020-2021, Resilient Retreat saw a 212% increase in participants reaching out for help. As COVID-19 ripped through the community, Resilient Retreat responded by expanding their programs to online and in-person offerings. When it was only safe to meet while socially distanced, the organization offered their programs outside, on their 84 acre campus. Resilient Retreat worked to make their services more approachable to vulnerable communities on multiple fronts.

“We are there to help the people on the front lines,” said Executive Director, Lisa Intagliata. “During the pandemic, we heard daily phone calls from people struggling–nonprofit workers, teachers, bankers, lawyers–people you wouldn’t necessarily expect to hear from. It opened up a whole new host of participants for Resilient Retreat. We were able to offer selfcare training and resilience building skills as needed.” 

Pictured: Members of Resilient Retreat. Photo by Noah Magnifico.

To learn more, click here

[Fundraising Event]  Daiquiri Deck Sponsors 2022 Southeastern Guide Dogs Suncoast Walkathon

Last month, Daiquiri Deck, an iconic bar and casual restaurant that delivers a quality experience, great times, good vibes and the best frozen daiquiris around, served as a $2,500 sponsor for Southeastern Guide Dogs during their annual Suncoast Walkathon event. The three-mile walk took place at Nathan Benderson Park on Saturday, March 5 and was followed by the Waggin' Tails Festival, a post-walk party with live music, food, vendors and raffle drawings. The event serves as Southeastern Guide Dogs’ biggest fundraiser of the year and returned as an in-person event this year after two years of virtual fundraising due to the pandemic. During the festivities, Daiquiri Deck offered attendees the opportunity to play giant Jenga, cornhole or spin the prize wheel for a sticker, Tervis tumbler or coolie cup. The team also passed out Pup Coladas, a frozen treat made of ice and coconut water, to the dogs. Proceeds from the event help Southeastern Guide Dogs breed, raise, train and match their dogs with people with vision loss, veterans with disabilities and children with significant challenges such as vision loss or the loss of a parent in the military. 

[Teacher Recognition]  Multiplying Math Success Earns a $25,000 Milken Educator Award for Florida Teacher Ashley Hernandez

At Riverview High School in Sarasota, Florida, math teacher Ashley Hernandez’s students know that she has their back. Every day as they step foot in her classroom, they are met with reminders from a bulletin board bearing motivational sticky notes. “You are enough.” “You’ve got this.” “You are brilliant.” Her positive attitude fosters an environment where students challenge themselves to work hard, driving steadily rising AP Statistics pass rates that have surpassed the state.

Today at a surprise assembly, Hernandez took the spotlight when she was named a national Milken Educator Award recipient in front of appreciative students and colleagues, education officials and media. Florida Senior Chancellor of Education Jacob Oliva joined Milken Educator Awards Vice President Stephanie Bishop to present Hernandez with the prestigious honor, which includes an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize. In addition to today’s celebration, Hernandez will join the national Milken Educator Network of more than 2,800 exceptional educators and leaders across the country dedicated to strengthening K-12 education. Hernandez is among more than 60 educators nationwide who will receive the Award during the 2021-22 school year. Hernandez is the first recipient from Sarasota County Schools since 2002. Hailed as the “Oscars of Teaching,” Milken Educator Awards inspire and uplift with the unique stories of educators making a profound difference for students, colleagues and communities. The Awards are not designated for lifetime achievement. Recipients are heralded while early to mid-career for what they have achieved — and for the promise of what they will accomplish given the resources and opportunities inherent in the Award. 

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Ringling: Ringling Underground , February 3 – April 7, 8pm-11pm

Enjoy live music, art and atmosphere in the Museum of Art Courtyard during Ringling Underground 8pm to 11pm. This event features an eclectic mix of local and regional live music. Check out up-and-coming artists displaying their work in the Museum of Art Courtyard. Note: Wearing a face mask is strongly encouraged. Upcoming dates are February 3, March 3, and April 7.

[SOON]  FILM: The 24th Annual Sarasota Film Festival , April 1 – April 10

The 24th Annual Sarasota Film Festival will take place from April 1 to 10 at CMX CinéBistro Siesta Key. Independent and International narratives, docs and shorts are programmed into a schedule of over 100 features, themed shorts packages and additional programming sidebars that change each year to reflect the strengths of submitted films. Festival events include socially-driven parties and private receptions to honor guest filmmakers, community-wide street festivals and the black-tie Filmmakers Tribute Dinner. SFF patrons have enjoyed intimate performances from Aerosmith and The B52's as well as a host of special appearances from local and international musicians. A host of guests and filmmakers attend to promote their films and celebrate the accomplishments of their peers.

[TODAY]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel: An Officer and a Gentleman , April 6 – April 7, 7:30pm

AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN, based on the Oscar-winning film starring Richard Gere, is a breathtaking production that celebrates triumph over adversity and includes one of the most iconic and romantic endings ever portrayed on screen. Featuring the Grammy Award winning, #1 hit single “Up Where We Belong” and a score based on the 1980s catalogue of music that gave voice to a generation, the live stage production is a new adaptation by multiple Tony Awards nominee Dick Scanlan (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Everyday Rapture), based on the original screenplay by Douglas Day Stewart. The musical is directed by Scanlan with choreography by Patricia Wilcox (Motown, A Night with Janis Joplin). Zack Mayo’s got smarts and a body built for US Navy pilot boot camp, but he also has too much swagger… until he meets a drill sergeant who’s determined to drill his arrogance out of him. Zack finds comfort in the arms of a local factory girl. But it isn’t until tragedy befalls a fellow candidate that Zack learns the importance of love and friendship, and finds the courage to be his best self and win the heart of the woman he loves. Shows on April 6 and 7 at 7:30pm.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 North Tamiami Trail

[TODAY]  THEATER: Florida Studio Theatre: The Legend of Georgia McBride , April 6 – May 22, Varies.

He's young, he's broke, his landlord's knocking at the door, and he's just found out his wife is going to have a baby. To make matters even more desperate, Casey is struggling with his gig as an Elvis impersonator in a run-down, small-town Florida bar. When the bar owner brings in a B-level drag show to replace his act, Casey finds that he has a whole lot to learn about show business - and himself. The Legend of Georgia McBride by Matthew Lopez will play beginning March 30, 2022 through May 22, 2022 in FST's Gompertz Theatre.

[TODAY]  THEATER: Florida Studio Theatre: Paralyzed by Etan Frankel , April 6 – April 29, Varies.

WORLD PREMIERE. Leigh and Lee are two strangers who have little in common besides their names—she is a Type A statistician and he is an aggressive former athlete. But the discovery of a mysterious suicide note in a hotel bathroom sets their lives on unexpected paths that go anywhere but according to plan. Paralyzed tells a striking story of guilt, personal responsibility, and the power of forgiveness. Paralyzed will show from April 6 to April 29, 2022.

[TODAY]  MUSIC: La Musica International Chamber Music Festival: Innocence and Illicit Passion , April 6, 7:30pm

Concert II, Innocence and Illicit Passion, will take place on April 6, 2022 at 7:30pm at Sarasota Opera House. Single concert tickets are $50. There will be a pre-concert talk with Robert Sherman at 6:45pm. The 15-year-old Mozart celebrated completion of his second set of string quartets by composing his sunny first viola quintet. One hundred years later, Franck created his piano quintet, secretly dedicated to his young lover. Is passion audible? Wolfgang Mozart, String Quintet in Bb, K.174, Bernhard Romberg, Trio for Cello, Viola and Bass in E Minor, Op. 38 no. 1, César Franck, Quintet for Piano and Strings in F Minor. Jennifer Frautschi, violin; Benny Kim, violin; Daniel Avshalomov, viola; Cynthia Phelps, viola; Dmitri Atapine, cello; Christine J. Lee, cello; Dee Moses, double bass; Wu Han, piano.

[TODAY]  PERFORMANCE: Asolo Repertory Theatre: Twelfth Night , April 6 – April 24, Varies.

Twelfth Night By William Shakespeare and Directed by Jonathan Epstein, will show from April 6 through 24, 2022 with a Preview on April 5, 2022. Shakespeare’s beloved romantic comedy begins with a young woman shipwrecked on the island of Ilyria. She disguises herself as a boy for her own safety but finds herself playing go-between for the beautiful countess Olivia and Count Orsino, with whom she herself has fallen in love! Full of some of Shakespeare’s most glorious characters, this masterwork is performed by the entire second year company.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center:Good Morning Bedlam , April 7, 7pm
This 3-piece folk trio brings a new energy and excitement to the Midwest folk scene. Utilizing a thumping kick-drum, three part harmonies and lyrical storytelling Good Morning Bedlam will take the audience on a new and captivating adventure.

Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Orchestra: Pops: Great American Songbook , April 8 – April 9, 7:30pm and 2:30pm

Hear the tunes Nat King Cole was talking about when he crooned, "Unforgettable." Celebrated Pops conductor Sean O'Loughlin leads a program of romantic anthems featuring exciting vocalists on Friday, April 8 at 7:30pm at the Van Wezel and Saturday, April 9 at 2:30pm and 7:30pm at the Van Wezel. Music will include Frank Sinatra's "Come Fly with Me," Etta James' "At Last," and Cole's "Nature Boy."

[SOON]  MUSIC: Key Chorale: American Roots: Bluegrass , April 8 – April 10, 7:30pm-9:30pm and 4pm-6pm

American Roots: Bluegrass will take place on April 8 7:30pm-9:30pm, April 9 4pm-6pm, and April 10, 2022 4pm-6pm. A genre-bending fusion of Bluegrass and folk meets choral music featuring the tight vocal harmonies and virtuosic playing of The Lubben Brothers. The Lubben Brothers is an acoustic group made up of triplet brothers, Michael, Tom, and Joshua. The brothers specialize in sublime vocals as well as a unique blend of folk instruments including banjo, mandolin, tin whistle, accordion, hammered dulcimer, and fiddle. Classically trained at a young age, their modern songwriting style incorporates folk roots, pop and bluegrass.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Breakfast Event at Manatee Community Foundation to Share Success of Community Partnership School Model , April 8, 8:30am

Join the Manatee Community Foundation for breakfast and a discussion about Manatee Elementary School. Learn how gains for the neighborhood and its student are made through supporting access to health care, social and basic needs services, and academic support. 

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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