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SRQ DAILY Dec 14, 2022

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"The secret sauce in the success of this project has been the hardworking volunteers of VABI who have not been deterred by rain, heat, or hurricanes in their mission to create an accessible and beautiful walking trail forest for all."

- Jon Thaxton, Senior Vice President for Community Leadership, Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

[Grant Awarded]  Gulf Coast Community Foundation Supports the Venice Urban Forest
Barbie Heit, barbie.heit@srqme.com

Gulf Coast Community Foundation recently awarded Venice Area Beautification, Inc. (VABI), a 30-year-old, volunteer based organization, with a $100,000 grant to support Phase 3 of the Venice Urban Forest. Since 1998, Gulf Coast has provided over $1.5 million dollars in their historic partnership with VABI. Phase 3 is the final phase of the Urban Forest, along an industrial corridor, and focuses on installation of additional irrigation piping to irrigate all the new trees and understory plants. The grant will cover the cost for native trees to be bought and planted, including 400 slash pines, 200 red cedars, and 10 longleaf pines. The Urban Forest is home to over 90 different species of birds. It features nearly two miles of lush forest, where people of all ages can enjoy an oasis of relaxation and peace.

The grant is especially timely after the Urban Forest suffered damage from Hurricane Ian, losing approximately 125 trees. “The Venice Urban Forest, powered in part by funding from Gulf Coast, is an environmental safe haven for wildlife, clean water, and a place of natural respite for residents and visitors,” said Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s Senior Vice President of Community Leadership Jon Thaxton. “The secret sauce in the success of this project has been the hardworking volunteers of VABI who have not been deterred by rain, heat, or hurricanes in their mission to create an accessible and beautiful walking trail forest for all.”

The Urban Forest sretches from the Venice Train Depot to Center Road and provides a beautiful woodland trail for pedestrians parallel to the Venetian Waterway Park. All native trees and shrubs are being planted so that the forest provides habitat specifically for migratory songbirds and native wildlife.

“Gulf Coast Community Foundation has come through for us again. They have been a constant and strong supporter of VABI and many of its endeavors, and I am very thankful that I live in a community where such a generous foundation has supported this organization,” said VABI Board of Directors President Nancy Woodley. The future of the Urban Forest includes using natural materials to stabilize a maintenance pathway so the volunteers can continue to maintain the property. Phase 1 of the Venice Urban Forest is open to all from dawn to dusk. To learn more about the Venice Urban Forest, visit VeniceUrbanForest.com. 

For more information click here.

[Discover Sarasota]  See Sarasota In Style!

Discover Sarasota Tours is a local tour company offering entertaining and informative sightseeing tours of Sarasota’s most interesting people, places, neighborhoods, and communities as well as two interactive theatrical shows. These guide-led tours are a perfect way for locals and visitors to learn more about Sarasota in a fun and engaging way.  Our most popular year-round tours run daily or weekly and include City Sightseeing, Amish Experience, Circus Secrets, Psychic Sundays, Tiki Trolley Trivia, Haunted Sarasota and our newest theatrical musical, Murder Mystery Trolley, “Who Killed the Circus Queen?”

Seasonal tours running November-May include Art Crawl Gallery Tour, Leading Ladies of Sarasota, Sunset City Tour and a Public Art Tour. For the holidays, Discover Sarasota Tours offers fun tours for Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Saint Patrick’s Day. In addition to our full tour schedule, we also offer a charming Trolley Cottage Gift Shop filled with whimsical gifts, delightful souvenirs, and books about Sarasota, and The ChillMobile, our 1979 vintage ice cream truck.

To book your tickets or to find more information about our tours go to our website and Book Online.  

941-260-9818 The Trolley Cottage - 1826 Fourth Street, Downtown Sarasota with FREE PARKING!

Click Here To Learn More

[Grant]  Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Receives $50,000 Grant from the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota is pleased to announce that it has received a $50,000 grant from the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. Funds from the grant will be used to expand and enhance its educational outreach program by creating an artist residency program. Artist Series Concerts will increase the benefits of its educational outreach program to both students and artists by establishing an artist residency program which will enable the performing artists to extend their stay in Sarasota to allow for additional school visits. The funds will also assist in the distribution of reduced-price and complimentary tickets to students, their teachers, and parents. A central focus of Artist Series Concerts is to build a chain of cultural opportunity between student and professional musicians. Since 2011, through performance-based, interactive outreach programs, Artist Series Concerts has partnered with public schools in Manatee and Sarasota counties to create unique learning opportunities for students and educators. More than 27,000 students have been impacted by its educational outreach program to date. For more information about Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota, visit ArtistSeriesConcerts.org or call (941) 306-1202. 

[Hurricane Relief]  United Way of South Sarasota County Hosts Gallagher’s Gift Giveaway

In partnership with a few community-minded organizations, United Way of South Sarasota County is proud to announce Gallagher’s Gift Giveaway. This giveaway will help South Sarasota County residents replace lost household items due to the impact of Hurricane Ian. Selected recipients may receive items like decorative bathroom products, kitchenware, bakeware, and other household goodies! To be eligible you must live in South Sarasota County, interested participants must complete a simple online form. Submissions are open Tuesday, December 13 through Sunday, December 18, 2022. Submission of an application does not guarantee selection. Those who are chosen as a recipient will be contacted to coordinate pick-up details. To apply for Gallagher’s Gift Giveaway, please visit bit.ly/gallaghersgifts. For more information about United Way of South Sarasota County’s programs, services, or ways to get involved to help improve lives locally, visit www.uwssc.org or call 941-484-4811. 

[Grant]  BofA Awards Turning Points Grant to Help Prevent, Reduce Homelessness

Bank of America recently announced that Turning Points has been named as the 2022 Bank of America Neighborhood Champion for their work in the Manatee County community to remove economic barriers and advance economic opportunity. With multi-year grant funding, the organization will expand its ability to provide, coordinate, and facilitate services to prevent and reduce homelessness. As Neighborhood Champion, Turning Points will receive $50,000 in grant support and an opportunity for engagement in virtual leadership training delivered by experts in the nonprofit sector on topics like human capital management, increasing financial sustainability, and storytelling. With 43% of the Manatee County population at risk of experiencing homelessness, Turning Points provides services to low-income families and individuals in crisis. These services include building a pathway to employment, providing free medical and dental care, obtaining birth certificates and other government identification, and providing rental assistance. Last year, Turning Points ended or prevented homelessness for 685 households. The bank’s funding will support the addition of a new full-time Navigator position to help improve access to services, enhance coordination, and provide timely services for those in need. This new position is expected to help Turning Points serve an additional 300 new individuals of the neediest population. Since 2019, Bank of America has selected four Sarasota and Manatee nonprofits as Neighborhood Champions, investing $200,000 in these local organizations. The invitation-only program is highly competitive, and organizations are selected by a committee comprised of community leaders and past Neighborhood Champion honorees. The Neighborhood Champions program is an extension of the bank’s signature philanthropic initiative, Neighborhood Builders®, the largest corporate philanthropic investment in nonprofit leadership in the country. Through 2021, Bank of America has invested $6.3 million in 126 organizations within 42 communities through the Neighborhood Champions program. For more Bank of America news, including dividend announcements and other important information, register for email news alerts. 

Photo courtesy of Bank of America.

[Food Distribution]  Holiday Food Distribution Monday

Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee will distribute food to Manatee County families in need through the Food4Families program on Monday, December 19th. Food provided will include holiday hams, canned vegetables, and all the fixings for local families to prepare a traditional holiday meal at home. The drive-through distribution will take place at 811 23rd Avenue East, Bradenton, Florida 34208 from, 4:00-6:00pm on Monday, December 19th. Quantities are limited and will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. One of the PLUS programs of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee, The Food Bank of Manatee is the largest hunger relief organization based in Manatee County and is on pace to distribute over 3 million pounds of food to Manatee County residents in 2022. Those who are able to donate to help those in need can make a gift online at www.MealsOnWheelsPLUS.org or by mail to 811 23rd Ave. East, Bradenton, FL 34208. 

[New Homes]  Sam Rodgers Homes Unveils Three Luxury Model Homes in Gran Place at Wellen Park

Three designer-decorated model homes by luxury Sarasota builder Sam Rodgers Homes are now open in Gran Place, an intimate enclave in the Playmore District at Wellen Park,
one of the top-selling communities in the United States. The models highlight Gran Place’s six semi-custom single-family floor plans offering 2,222 to 3,127 square feet of air-conditioned living space, three and four bedrooms, up to three full bathrooms, and three-car garages. The models also showcase flexible options for poolside cabanas, additional bedrooms, dens, offices and retreats and an array of possibilities for enhanced alfresco living with outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, pools and spas. Gran Place features a choice of architectural styles, including coastal, Florida and West Indies elevations. Nestled within 63 acres of nature preserves, lakes and wildlife habitat, the gated neighborhood offers just 42 luxury homes built on 21 acres. Homes in Gran Place are priced from the $800,000s to over $1 million. 

Pictured: Sam Rodgers’ Destin model home in Gran Place features modern farmhouse interior design rendered in muted shades of black, gray, ivory, sepia and earthy browns with rich textures in fabrics, furnishings and finishes.

To learn more click here.

[35 Under 35]  35 Under 35 Honoree - Jacquelyn O'Shaughnessy at HarborChase of Sarasota

Meet the region's 35 Under 35 Awards Honorees for the 2022 program produced by SRQ Magazine to recognize young professionals who are taking a leadership position at their company and in the community. Learn more about Jacquelyn O'Shaughnessy, Executive Director at HarborChase of Sarasota!

How did you make your start in your profession?

I started in the long-term care setting at a very young age of nine. My uncle was a nursing home administrator, and he would often take me to work as an intergenerational activity’s volunteer. During this time I would craft and sing songs with his residents, I became found of the time spent with the seniors, I felt I was making valuable connections and making their days better. I also was learning lessons and hearing stories of their lives. I stillfind it meaningful that I can be a part of helping create a person’s best days. 

To read the full article, click here.

[Giving Coast]  Diamond Circle
Barbie Heit, barbie.heit@srqme.com

GIVING COAST | The Children First, Inc. Diamond Circle shared their motive behind the 60th Anniversary matching gift challenge.

The local community accepted the challenge, allowing $2,120,000 to be raised and donated in support and recognition of the thousands of children and families whose lives have been changed over the past 60 years through Children First. Read more through the link, on our social medias, or in the December Edition! 

Read Here!

[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]  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]  PERFORMANCE: Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Presents Classical, Classical with a Contemporary Twist, and Genre-Defying Acoustic Concerts in December , December 6 – December 15

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota will present three concerts in December: Double Feature with violinists Blake Pouliot – performing the Southeastern premiere of Derrick Skye’s “god of the gaps” – and Simone Porter on December 6 at the Sarasota Opera House; The 442s, a genre-defying St. Louis-based acoustic quintet, on December 13 at the Historic Asolo Theater; and Vision Duo, featuring award-winning musicians Ariel Horowitz, violin, and Britton-René Collins, marimba, on December 15 at the Sarasota Yacht Club. For more information and tickets, visit ArtistSeriesConcerts.org or call (941) 306-1202.

[SOON]  FOOD: Make Your Christmas Feast Easy and Delicious! , December 6 – December 25

Holiday roast pre orders are now open! You can now order everything you need for your holiday feast! Tenderloin, Wagyu and Rib Roasts, Tomahawks, Turkeys, six home made take and bake side items, sauces and Der Dutchman Pies! Also featuring our Warface Marinated Tenderloin Roast!

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Concert Association announces Free Music Matinees , January 4 – April 19, 12:00 PM

The Sarasota Concert Association announces its 2023 Music Matinees concert series. These four free noon-time concerts showcase exceptional regional musicians performing a variety of musical styles, including classical and folk music. Scheduled this season: Passerine; Wednesday, January 4 at noon. With inventive vocal harmonies and song-writing skills, supported by the sounds of acoustic strings, Passerine offers a fresh take on traditional folk and bluegrass music, as well as a repertoire of original songs that range from ballads to contemporary Americana. Duo Pianists Michael Baron and Priscila Navarro; Wednesday, February 22 at noon; The Baron-Navarro Piano Duo performs a wide range of music, from classical to popular, for two pianos and piano four–hands with electric energy and melting lyricism. Their New York City debut as a piano duo at Carnegie Hall in March of 2022 was sold out and met with critical acclaim. Soprano Hein Jung and pianist Gregorios Zamparas; Friday, March 17 at noon Soprano Hein Jung has performed in recitals and with opera companies in major cities throughout the U.S, Italy and South Korea. She will be accompanied by pianist Gregorios Zamparas who has been praised for his versatility as a recitalist, orchestra soloist and chamber musician throughout the U.S. and Europe. Cellist Natalie Helm and Pianist Jesse Martins; Wednesday, April 19 at noon Principal Cellist of the Sarasota Orchestra, Natalie Helm is a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, and educator. For this performance she will collaborate with pianist Jesse Martins, who also serves as conductor and vocal coach with the Sarasota Opera. The concerts are free but pre-registration is required and available 30 days before each concert at SCAsarasota.org. Performances take place at David Cohen Hall in the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail. Visit www.SCAsarasota.org or call the box office at 941-966-6161.

[SOON]  THEATER: Asolo Repertory Theatre: Silent Sky , January 19 – March 5, Varied

At the turn of the 20th century, years before women had the right to vote, one woman’s breakthrough changed our perception of the stars. Full of wonder, humor, and heart, SILENT SKY is the remarkable true story of Henrietta Leavitt, one of the pioneering women astronomers working at Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s. You will be enthralled by the story of this extraordinary woman who took on the astronomy establishment in order to discover the mysteries embedded in the sky. Henrietta transcended the odds while navigating love, family, and the universe, going on to make a world-altering advancement to the field of astronomy that forever changed our view of the cosmos.  Written by one of today’s leading playwrights, Lauren Gunderson, this mesmerizing drama is directed by Seema Sueko, who recently brought this work to life at Washington D.C.’s Ford’s Theatre. 

Asolo Repertory Theatre

[SOON]  : The Players Centre: Godspell , March 9 – March 19, Varied

Book by John Michael Tebelak. Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. Godspell touches on the parables and wisdom that grapple with maybe the most important mystery of all. It was the first major musical theatre offering from three-time Grammy and Academy Award winner, Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Children of Eden), and took the world by storm led by the international hit, “Day by Day.” Godspell features a parade of beloved songs, including “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord,” “Learn Your Lessons Well,” “All for the Best,” “All Good Gifts,” “Turn Back, O Man” and “By My Side.” March 9-19, 2023. 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]  DANCE: Sarasota Ballet: Program 6 - La Sylphide , March 24 – March 25

The Sarasota Ballet is excited to announce the Company’s 2022 – 2023 Season. Over seven programs, The Sarasota Ballet will perform 15 works by some of the most celebrated and prestigious choreographers and composers of the ballet world. Program 6 - La Sylphide. March 24-25, 2023. At the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. La Sylphide (Company Premiere) Choreography by Johan Kobborg after August Bournonville, Music by Herman Severin Lovenskiold. For more information visit www.sarasotaballet.org, Box office 941.359.0099

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall , 777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236

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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