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SRQ DAILY Nov 24, 2022

Thursday Family and Recreation Edition

Thursday Family and Recreation Edition

"The Academy not only provides a great avenue for students to experience the circus in a safe, controlled environment, but it also creates a pipeline of young talent for us."

- Pedro Reis, President and CEO, Circus Arts Conservatory.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Local Students Perform at the Sailor Circus Gold Troupe Showcase
Barbie Heit, barbie.heit@srqme.com

The Academy Gold Troupe of The Circus Arts Conservatory presented their Gold Troupe Showcase on Saturday, November 19. Dozens of students, between the ages of eight and eighteen, capped off eleven weeks of intensive training with the performance of a full-scale circus in the Sarasota Sailor Circus Arena on the Sarasota High School Campus.

According to The Circus Arts Conservatory, the program is designed to “build the student’s natural abilities, improve their strength & confidence, performance technique and performance etiquette.“ The showcase included performances such as clowning, juggling, rolling globe, trampoline, floor tumbling, hammock, silks, and web, and others.

The Sailor Circus Academy began 73 years ago in 1949 as a high school gymnastics class. Today, the program has developed into a rigorous after school program where students often train four to five times a week over the duration of the school year in preparation for the Holiday and Spring Sailor Circus shows. “The Academy not only provides a great avenue for students to experience the circus in a safe, controlled environment, but it also creates a pipeline of young talent for us,” says Pedro Reis, president and CEO of the Circus Arts Conservatory. “In the past, once you graduated from the Academy you were out. We’ve since dissolved that policy and any student that graduates and wants to continue in our “pro-track” is welcome to, with a focus on a specific discipline.”

For Saturday’s audience, the excitement was the show. With peppy music and sometimes surprisingly high levels of athleticism, the Fall Gold Troupe Showcase was fun for both the many proud parents in the audience, and for anyone looking to enjoy a positive, joy-filled performance, (in air conditioning). The next performance will come at the end of the Spring cycle, April 1st. 

Pictured: Tasmin Henry (center) and her brother, Kepler (left) with the Sailor Circus Gold Academy clowns performing a Gilligans Island skit. Photo by Wes Roberts.

[Announcement]  Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast Proudly Announces Their 2022 Big Brother and Big Sister of the Year

Harriet Thompson, (Venice) and Carlos Bates, (Sarasota) have been selected as the 2022 Big Brother & Big Sister of the Year. “I was hesitant at first about becoming a Big Sister,” shared our Big Sister of the Year, Harriet Thompson. “What did I know about children, never having any of my own. What did I have to offer a child, and was I good enough? I soon discovered you do not have to be perfect (lucky me)! I think the most important quality of a Big is to listen, to share your life experiences (good and bad), and to sprinkle fun times along the way.” Amanda, Harriet’s Little Sister, and Harriet have been together for 11 years. When asked where Amanda thinks she would be without Harriet, she responded, “If I didn’t have Harriet in my life, I would most likely rely on others to get me where I want to go. Early in our relationship, I struggled a lot with people’s opinions of me, and without her, I would listen to what others would say or think about me. Harriet taught me to stand up for myself and not care about other people’s opinions. Because of her, I’ve been more comfortable being my true authentic self.” Harriet and Amanda’s relationship is inspiring to say the least, and one that will no doubt last a lifetime. Carlos is a long-time Big Brother. He first came to the agency in 2010. He is no stranger to mentoring--having a wealth of experience with both children and young adults. Carlos was matched with his Little Brother Mihretu in 2017. They were both a little nervous. The formality of the paperwork bored them both. It was obvious that they just wanted to get on with it. They were ready for “the fun part.” Mihretu did not hide the fact that he was sizing Carlos up the whole time, with questions such as, “Why are you so tall?” which Mihretu asked, as they were getting ready for a picture. “I was born this way.” Carlos responded, and then joked, “Why are you so short?” At that, Mihretu grabbed a chair and pulled it up next to his new friend. He climbed up and looked as squarely as he could at Carlos. “I’m not short. I am tall like you!” The shutter clicked--the first moment of their wisecracking, fun-loving friendship--captured forever.


Pictured: Big Sister of the Year, Harriet Thompson always has fun with her Little Sister Amanda, especially when modeling in the fashion show. Photo courtesy of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast.

[Grants]  Children First Catalyzes Child and Family Services with More than $100,000 in Support from Community

As communities across the country grapple with the ongoing effects of the pandemic and economic stability, among other issues, the already-vulnerable early childhood education system has been facing catastrophic changes that affect our youngest learners nationwide. Across the state of Florida alone, 38% of people live in a childcare desert, defined as any census tract with more than 50 children under age 5 that contains either no childcare providers or so few options that there are more than three times as many children as there are licensed childcare slots. As the exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start services for Sarasota County, Children First serves hundreds of children and their families living at or below the Federal Poverty Level ($23,030 for a family of 3) across 15 locations each year. To help combat the early childhood crisis in Sarasota County as well as enhance and expand its comprehensive services for those it serves, the agency has received more than $100,000 in support of its comprehensive services for children and families living at risk. Recent funding includes $50,000 from the McCune Family Foundation, $15,000 from the Evalyn Sadlier Jones Foundation, $15,000 from the Wilson-Wood Foundation, $10,000 from Suncoast Credit Union Foundation, $5,000 from the Bulova Gale Foundation, $5,000 from the Venice Yacht Club Charitable Foundation, and $1,500 from Cowles Charitable Trust for scholarship support. Other grants awarded include $3,000 from the Sarasota Kiwanis Foundation for classroom supplies as well as $1,500 from the Siesta Key Kiwanis Club and $1,000 from the MSC Foundation for comprehensive services. Scholarships support comprehensive services including early childhood education, nutrition, emotional and behavioral support, and family strengthening services for the most vulnerable children and families living in our community. By providing scholarships for full-day infant and toddler care and pre-school education, parents also receive the opportunity to strengthen their finances and ultimately achieve self-sufficiency. 

To learn more, visit

[Grant]  Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative Receives Grant from The Cordelia Lee Beattie Foundation for “Visions in Black” Initiative

Michéle Des Verney Redwine, the founder of the Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative (SBAC), announced that the nonprofit was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from the Cordelia Lee Beattie Foundation. This grant, administered by Wells Fargo Philanthropic Services, is instrumental in allowing SBAC to present its second annual “Visions in Black” initiative. According to Redwine, the program includes a juried exhibition celebrating the work of talented artists of color who live in Florida. “’Visions in Black’” is encouraging regional college students of color and new emerging artists to discover opportunities to promote and exhibit their art,” says Redwine. She adds that the 2022 “Visions in Black” exhibition showcased the works of 26 artists. “This year, thanks to support from such foundations as the Cordelia Lee Beattie Foundation, the exhibit will be staged in three different galleries, which opens opportunities to more artists and a wider community engagement.” Redwine adds that SBAC’s focus is again on emerging professional artists, as well as college and graduate students as far north as Tallahassee. The exhibit, which runs February 2 to 25, will be presented in three venues in Sarasota and Manatee counties: the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, Arts Advocates Gallery at The Crossings at Siesta Key mall, and Manatee Performing Arts Center. For more information about the Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative, visit www.suncoastblackartscollaborative.org. 

Pictured: Michele Des Verney Redwine. Photo by Barbara Banks.

[Resilient Retreat]  Resilient Retreat help to Heal Those Impacted by Trauma

As our Southwest Florida community has recently experienced, trauma touches the lives of so many and in so many different ways. Studies have shown that as many as 70 percent of Americans have experienced some form of trauma, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to healing.  Located on 84 acres of conservation land on Fruitville Road, new non-profit Resilient Retreat is helping to heal those impacted by trauma with free and fully confidential programming, ranging from day-long and virtual programs to multi-day, overnight intensive retreats. The research-based, holistic, interdisciplinary programming includes support groups, neurofeedback, animal and equine therapy, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, time in nature, art and music therapies and more. On the heels of its grand opening, the organization has been busy supporting the local community, first responders, helping professionals and survivors of abuse. The non-profit also provides trainings to corporations, businesses, non-profits and non-governmental agencies.  Resilient Retreat’s trauma-informed staff also operate a Kind Line at 941-343-0039. 

Alongside the non-profit, a one-of-a-kind event space for corporate retreats, weddings and milestone events was created. The Retreat Sarasota serves as the “venue that saves lives,” with all proceeds from rental fees directly benefiting Resilient Retreat’s mission. Accommodating groups up to 500+, the venue encompasses an 18,000-square-foot Retreat Center, a 5,000-square-foot Community Center, overnight accommodations for up to 30 people and multiple breakout rooms and outdoor venues. To book your special event, visit www.theretreatsarasota.com.



Click here for more info.

[Hurricane Relief]  Lakewood Ranch Community Fund Partners to Raise Funds For Hurricane Ian Victims

The Lakewood Ranch Community Fund, in collaboration with Lakewood Ranch Community Activities and Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, the developers of Lakewood Ranch, partnered to raise money on Lakewood Main Street during Music on Main in October for a special Hurricane Ian Relief Fund. The monies raised went to nonprofits that were directly affected, including their clients, by Hurricane Ian. Also, on Oct. 28, BooFest was held on Lakewood Main Street, and hosted by Lakewood Ranch Community Activities, which donated the proceeds from beer sales paid by credit card to the Hurricane Ian Relief Fund. With the total amount raised of nearly $9,700, the next step was for the Lakewood Ranch Community Fund to gather questionnaires from nonprofits to determine the need for funding. The Fund’s grant allocation committee met in a special session to review the applications, determined the need, and then allocated the monies to four nonprofits affected by Hurricane Ian. The four nonprofits included: Big Brother Big Sisters of the Suncoast with a grant for $4,000, Manatee Children’s Services, Inc. with a grant for $2,500, Farmhouse Sanctuary with a grant for $1,600, Mayors Feed the Hungry with a grant for $1,600. Checks will be cut and distributed this week. 

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Amore Restaurant Extends Savor Sarasota Promotion to December , June 1 – December 18

Amore Restaurant has decided to extend Savor Sarasota Menu through December 18th (not combined with any other offer and, not available on special occasions). Savor Sarasota is a 3 course menu dinner for $35.00 per person. The restaurant offers a Portuguese and an Italian menu. They are open Wednesday through Sunday from 5 to 9PM. Fridays and Sundays 5 to 9:30pm. With indoor and outdoor seating available. Easy and free parking. Menu can be viewed here:https://www.amorelbk.com/savor-sarasota/

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Imagine Museum Offering Free Admission to Veterans and First Responders Through November , November 1 – November 30

The Imagine Museum, a contemporary glass art gallery located in downtown St. Petersburg, announced Tuesday that veterans, active-duty military, first responders and their immediate family members will receive free admission throughout November in recognition of National Veterans and Military Families Month. Located on Central Avenue, the museum plans to showcase its “Flight and Illusion” installation, a series of military-themed glass art created by Imagine Museum Founder Trish Duggan. Additionally, the museum features artwork created by Harvey Littleton, founder of the American studio glass movement and World War II Army Signal Corpsman. The Imagine Museum is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon - 5 p.m.

[SOON]  FOOD: Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar Open For Waterfront Dining On Thanksgiving Day , November 24, 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM

Phillippi Creek is the perfect waterfront destination for gathering with family and friends. The award-winning Phillippi Creek restaurant will feature the regular menu with additional specials like fresh stone crabs, baked stuffed seafood, fresh steamed oysters, oysters on the half shell, and seafood boats for two along with a traditional Turkey Dinner for those craving the flavors of the holiday: oven roasted turkey, croissant sage andouille stuffing, sweet potato cobbler, broccoli au gratin, and sage gravy. For over 37 years, the “Creek” as locals like to call it, has been a favorite to gather for the freshest seafood, cocktails and daily specials for lunch and dinner. Large parties without reservations are welcome for al fresco dining or can enjoy one of the larger tables indoors. Prefer to dine at home? The Creek also offers family-style packages available for 4, 8 or 12 people. Pick up is Weds. Nov. 23 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.  Pre-order minimum of 48 hours in advance. Whether early lunch, late afternoon family meal, or a cozy dinner for two, Phillippi Creek is your destination to enjoy the holiday.

[SOON]  FOOD: Bijou Garden Cafe Announces Broadway Brunch for Thanksgiving Weekend , November 27, 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Bijou Garden Café, an iconic downtown restaurant offering fine dining with an intimate and inviting ambiance in the heart of Sarasota’s Theatre and arts district since 1986, will feature local performers for its November Bijou Broadway Brunch event. The popular monthly Broadway Brunch continues this month on Sunday, Nov. 27 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will be hosted by Joey Panek and feature George Dejong at the piano. Panek and Dejong will be joined by singers Laura McKenna and Ellen Kleinschmidt. The performers will entertain guests as they dine on a delicious menu designed specifically for the event. Guests will be able to order from a special menu prepared by executive chef Christopher Covelli and his culinary team. The menu will feature freshly baked quiche, eggs Benedict, salads and lunch fare. The restaurant is currently accepting reservations for this month’s Broadway Brunch. To make a reservation, visit BijouGardenCafe.com or call 941-366-8111.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Broadway's Record-Breaking, Tony Award-Winning Musical Smash , November 29 – November 30, 7:30 PM

CHICAGO is back in town and after 25 years, CHICAGO is still the one musical with everything that makes Broadway shimmy-shake: a universal tale of fame, fortune, and all that jazz, with one show stopping song after another and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen. CHICAGO is celebrating with the 25th Anniversary Tour that arrives in Sarasota, FL, November 29-30 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall! Tickets on sale now.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Holiday Splendor: Toys for Tots DEC 1, 8+15 , December 1 – December 15, 5:00 - 8:00 PM

Celebrate the holiday season and help support the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots, serving Sarasota and Manatee counties. Local schools will provide musical entertainment on the Bolger Campiello. Food and beverage will be available for purchase. All venues will be open for self-touring, including the Museum of Art, Ca' d'Zan, and the Circus Museum. Admission to this event is free with one unwrapped toy per person. Regular admission will apply without a toy donation. $15 Adult / $5 Child. Guests are encouraged to shop in the Museum Store, which has a large selection of toys under $20. Please enter through the Visitors Pavilion.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Players Centre: Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Musical Radio Play , December 1 – December 11, Varied

Join The Players in their 93rd season with Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Musical Radio Play.  Adapted from the 1947 Lux Radio Broadcast by Lance Arthur Smith. Original Songs and Arrangements by Jon Lorenz Original Songs and Arrangements by Jon Lorenz. When a department store Santa claims he’s the real Kris Kringle, his case gets taken all the way to the Supreme Court, and a little girl’s belief makes the difference in the ‘miracle.’ With live Foley effects and a score of holiday carols, Miracle on 34th Street is a beloved musical radio version of the classic film that will melt even the most cynical of hearts. December 1-11, 2022. For tickets visit theplayers.org, Ph. 941-365-2494, email BoxOffice@ThePlayers.org

The Players Centre For Performing Arts, Performance Venue & Box Office The Crossings at Siesta Key 3501 South Tamiami Trail, Suite 1130 Sarasota, FL 34239

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Free Concert Series and Block Party at Lakewood Ranch , December 2, 6:00-9:00 PM

Music on Main is a free concert series and block party with local food vendors, beer trucks, sponsor booths, and games and activities for the kids (presented by Grace Community Church). Proceeds from the event will benefit a different local non-profit organization each month. It’s a ton of fun, plus it’s all for a good cause! Juicy Purple will fill the air with R’n’B, soul and dance music; the deejay will keep you dancing with today’s Top 100 hits; and the event will benefit Southeastern Guide Dogs. 8100 Lakewood Main St.

[SOON]  MUSIC: FST's Family-Friendly Holiday Tradition, Deck the Halls, Returns with an All-New Show , December 3 – November 24, 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM on select dates

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is excited to bring children and their families the magic of the holiday season with the latest iteration of Deck the Halls. This interactive family-friendly, music-filled show celebrates everything that makes Hanukkah and Christmas in Sarasota special. Since Deck the Halls was first produced in 2016, the show has become a holiday tradition for many families here on the Suncoast. This year, the festivities return with all-new sketches, all-new songs, and all-new memories ready for the making. Created by Sarah Durham and Caroline Saldivar, Deck the Halls plays select Saturdays and Sundays starting December 3 in FST’s Keating Theatre. “I love that Deck the Halls is a holiday tradition for families in our community,” said Caroline Saldivar, who is also FST’s Director of Children’s Theatre. “It is especially exciting to see children come back year after year and grow up right in front of our eyes in the audience. Our goal has always been to make FST’s Children’s Theatre Series a regular part of families’ lives and to have that at the holidays is just icing on the cake.”

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: 17 Annual Community Holiday: Shoebox Drive and Reception , December 3, 4:00-6:00 PM

Meals on Wheels PLUS hopes to collect 1,000 wrapped and filled shoeboxes to deliver to seniors throughout the holidays. These boxes are often times the only Holiday present seniors receive. Saturday, December 3rd: 4pm-6pm; Lakewood Ranch Elks Lodge, 4602 Lena Road, Bradenton. Admission is Free with: A wrapped and filled shoebox OR $20 Donation to Meals on Wheels PLUS. Any individual who is not attending the event but wishes to donate wrapped & filled shoeboxes can drop them off any weekday before Friday, December 9, 2022, between 8:30am-4:30pm. Our location is 811 23rd Ave E, Bradenton, FL 34208.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Wellen Park Announces Schedule of Holiday Events to Celebrate the Most Wonderful Time of the Year , December 3 – December 17

Wellen Park is lighting up the holiday season in its own signature style with a Bright Bike parade, lessons in mixology, the spirit of giving, a visit from Santa, and so much more. Throughout December, Wellen Park is hosting family-friendly and age-restricted events at its Welcome Center, which are complemented by CoolToday Park’s annual Braves Jingle Jam and Tomahawk 5K. “The holidays really capture the essence of Wellen Park and its emphasis on joy, heartfelt connections and community,” said Christine Masney, vice president of marketing of Wellen Park. “We have planned many fun, meaningful experiences that are unique to Wellen Park for families to create memories they will cherish for years to come.” The upcoming events take place in the Welcome Center, 12275 Mercado Drive, Venice, overlooking Downtown Wellen, where the first phase of the region’s newest gathering hub is nearing completion. From the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree, now through Dec. 4, to a fun-filled weekend of festivities, Dec. 16-17, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the holidays at Wellen Park.December’s fun-filled calendar reflects the vibrant spirit of Wellen Park and foreshadows a full winter season of activities and events beginning in mid-January 2023 with the opening of Downtown Wellen’s outdoor amenities. Most activities are free and open to the public, with advance registration required for some events. For more information or to register, visit wellenpark.com/events.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Holiday Celebration SPARCCles at SPARCC , December 6, 11:00 AM

Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC) is celebrating the holiday season with “A SPARCCling Holiday Luncheon,” its annual event designed to collect toys and gift cards for SPARCC’s smallest survivors. This year’s luncheon will be held at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, December 6, 2022 at Michael’s on East, 1212 S. East Avenue, Sarasota. Get in the spirit of the season and help spread good cheer! Guests will enjoy a fun-filled day complete with a delicious lunch, entertainment by the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe and much, much more. Bring unwrapped toys, gifts and gift cards for kids, teens and moms; bid on goodies from Sarasota’s most notable bakers in a spirited live auction, participate in a silent auction of amazing gift baskets, and purchase outstanding one-of-a-kind holiday decorations while helping the survivors and children SPARCC serves. Event Co-Chairs are SPARCC Auxiliary Members, Andrea Andrus and Maggie Shaw. All proceeds from the event help to support SPARCC’s free and confidential programs and services.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Southside Village Business Association Annual Holiday Stroll to benefit Girls, Inc. Dec. 9 , December 9, 5pm-9pm

The Southside Village Business Association invites our community, neighborhood residents and visitors to the annual Southside Village Holiday Stroll on Friday, December 9, 2022 from 5-9 p.m. The free, family-friendly annual celebration will feature a snow slide, bungy trampoline, bouncy house, hot cocoa, face painting and a holiday concert by Music Compound. Additionally, there will amazing raffles donated by local SSVBA business, a visit from Santa, festive activities and crafts organized and hosted by area businesses, plus a Southside Village storefront decorating contest to help guests catch the holiday spirit. Businesses will hold extended hours to welcome guests. Event proceeds will benefit Girls, Inc. of Sarasota County, the local affiliate of a national nonprofit youth organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold. Participants from Girls, Inc. chorus will perform and volunteer at the event. The Southside Village Holiday Stroll will be celebrated throughout the business district surrounding the intersection of Hillview Street and Osprey Ave in Sarasota. Free Parking is available courtesy of Sarasota Memorial Hospital in the south parking garage located at the intersection of Hillview and US 41. Guests are encouraged to follow the Southside Village Holiday Stroll Facebook page for updates about the event.

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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