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SRQ DAILY Dec 21, 2022

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

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Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"We instill in each child the belief that hard work, self-discipline, and drive may help them realize their objectives and goals."

- Joyce Mulcahy, Director of Development, Laurel Civic.

[Holiday Event]  Laurel Civic Breakfast in Paradise Brings Holiday Cheer to Underprivileged Children
Barbie Heit, barbie.heit@srqme.com

Laurel Civic hosted their children’s Holiday Party, Breakfast in Paradise, on Sunday, December 18th at Paradise Grill in Nokomis. Laurel Civic has been doing holiday gift-giving parties for their students/children for nearly 30 years.

The children who participated in this year’s morning festivities were from Laurel Civics’ Homework Assistance Program which helps underprivileged children in kindergarten through twelfth grade who struggle academically, often because their parents are stressed economically.

“Marybeth Hansen of Paradise Grill provides one meal a week for our Homework Assistance Program for our kids, and has been a generous partner to us at Laurel Civic,” shares Joyce Mulcahy, Director of Development for Laurel Civic. “When our E.D. asked if we could do the Christmas party at their restaurant, making it more festive for the kids, she happily agreed. Paradise Grill doesn’t open till 11am, and so she scheduled us from 9am-11am.” Hansen of Paradise Grill and her staff served a sumptuous meal including a generous stack of mouthwatering pancakes to over 50 people.

The main goal of the Homework Assistance Program is to help students succeed academically by boosting their knowledge and confidence. “For children in grades K–12, our homework assistance program had a 99% on-time grade progression rate last year. This past year we acquired three 86” ActivPanel smartboards that promote hands-on learning and give our students a technological edge,” says Mulcahy. “We also have 3 hired part-time teachers that help bring additional structure to our program, as well as help mentor the dedicated volunteers that help our students. We instill in each child the belief that hard work, self-discipline, and drive may help them realize their objectives and goals. Every day after finishing their homework, the kids in our program are expected to read, and 99% of them improved their reading proficiency.”

In many of the children’s homes, consistent nutritious meals and snacks are lacking. All of the students in the program receive a nourishing lunch when they attend after school. “We recognize that we are in a unique position to provide our students with a nutritious meal and encourage them to also practice healthy eating habits. We presently have 82 pupils enrolled and are filled to capacity due to space constraints,” adds Mulcahy.

The merry-making morning included a special Santa delivery from the Nokomis Fire Dept. Each child received a few presents they asked for, plus a little extra in the spirit of the season. Alicia Williams, Director of Youth Programs, coordinated the breakfast event and greeted each child personally. “This is the month when love, peace, and happiness are shared the most. Here at Laurel Civic, we are genuinely grateful for all the love given to the Youth Department from our generous community of donors and the organizations that support us.”

First grader, Zayla, who just started the Homework Assistance Program met Santa for the first time through Laurel Civic. She ran to him with unabashed joy and later said, “He makes me so happy. He’s very welcome to eat our cookies at our home!” 

Pictured: The children who attended the holiday breakfast were filled with grateful excitement. Photo courtesy of Laurel Civic.

If you would like to find out more about Laurel Civic, or to consider an end-of-year gift, please click here.

[Hurricane Relief]  Gulf Coast Community Foundation Commits $1 Million to Rebuild North Port's Boys & Girls Club Destroyed by Hurricane Ian

Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s Board of Directors has announced a funding commitment of $1 million to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties to rebuild the Gene Matthews Club in North Port that was destroyed by Hurricane Ian. The Gene Matthews Club has been serving North Port and its surrounding communities since 1997. Prior to the storm, the Club provided over 450 children and teens with award-winning programs that empower them to get good grades, become leaders, practice healthy habits, and create plans for success after high school. “This significant investment from long-time partner, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, will help fund the reconstruction of the Gene Matthews Club in North Port which sustained irreparable damage from Hurricane Ian,” said Bill Sadlo, President/CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties. “With this new facility, we can transform the way in which our organization serves the growing North Port community, by providing access to critical resources and ensuring a greater impact through innovative programming designed to help youth discover their full potential.” 

[Holiday Donations]  Sheriff's Office Announces Results of 6th Annual Holiday Toy Drive

Sarasota County Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman is pleased to announce the agency's sixth annual holiday toy drive results. From December 1 through December 14, employees, local businesses, and citizens brought toys and gift cards to the agency’s headquarters to benefit children enrolled in the 12th Judicial Circuit’s Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) program and thier two new community partners Teen Court and All-Star Children’s Foundation. Gifts were selected for children ranging from newborn to 18 years old who reside in Sarasota, Manatee, or Desoto counties. The agency collected 2,468 gifts this year, including $12,055 in gift cards. On Thursday, Teen Court and All-Star Children’s Foundation sent representatives to gather the gifts needed for the children they serve. On Friday, sheriff’s office personnel made the official delivery to the GAL offices. Over the next several days, guardians will select individual gifts for children in their care. “It is always a highlight of the holiday season to collect and deliver thousands of gifts for deserving children in need,” said Sheriff Hoffman. “We are overwhelmed yearly by the generosity of our employees and the entire Sarasota community.” Significant contributions from US Health Advisors GP Region and Moss Construction supported this year’s initiative. Special thanks to the Sarasota Memorial Hospital Public Safety Department and Sam’s Club Cattlemen for their support. 

[Hurricane Relief]  Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation Board Approves Additional $607,662 in Hurricane Ian Relief

Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation recently approved grants for Hurricane Ian relief, including assistance to repair homes damaged by the storm and owned by low-income resident of DeSoto County and to support capacity-building efforts aimed at case management and financial support for clients of one of the region’s oldest community action agencies. Helping An Established Housing Provider in DeSoto County Repair Storm-Damaged Homes--Investment: A $50,000 grant to Arcadia-DeSoto County Habitat for Humanity to provide certified home repair services to residents impacted by Hurricane Ian. Since the hurricane struck, Habitat managers have been working to expand their existing Critical Home Repair (CHR) Program into a Disaster Recovery CHR Program to meet the increased needs DeSoto County, which saw an estimated 35% of its housing damaged by Ian. Helping A 50-year-old Agency Empowering Individuals and Families Boost Its Capacity for Aid--Investment: A $557,662 grant to Step Up Suncoast support capacity building efforts to assist with case management and financial support for clients. With the grant, StepUp plans to strategically expand staff capacity and modify existing job functions to meet the increased demand for its services. That effort will enable the agency to distribute available funds more efficiently, provide the wrap-around support its clients need, and strengthen families in the community. 

To learn more click here.

[Grants]  Gulf Coast Community Foundation Provides Over $2 Million in Hurricane Relief to More Than 50 Nonprofits

Gulf Coast Community Foundation (Gulf Coast) has now provided over 50 nonprofit organizations with transformational assistance post-Hurricane Ian, totaling over $2 million dollars. Over fifty grants have been awarded from Gulf Coast’s initiative thanks to generous donor’s contributions and Gulf Coast’s match to provide life-sustaining support after the devastating storm. “Our team has been diligently working around the clock to assist our region as it recovers from this monstrous storm. We are grateful to work with such inspirational and resilient nonprofit partners who utilize the initiative’s funding to provide opportunities for all. We have reached over 50 nonprofit organizations with funding and our commitment will be steadfast into the future,” said President|CEO Mark Pritchett of Gulf Coast Community Foundation. Recent grants from Gulf Coast’s initiative include: Venice Theatre; Boys & Girls Club of Sarasota and Desoto Counties, Inc.; When All Else Fails; Gulf Coast Partnership; Veterans Outreach; United Cajun Navy, and MEANS Database. The Atlanta Braves Foundation partnered with Gulf Coast to provide a $20,000 grant to Florida Center for Early Childhood to assist families at their Starfish Academy in North Port impacted by Hurricane Ian. Together with the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, Gulf Coast awarded a $25,000 grant to First Step of Sarasota to assist staff and clients in recovery, as well as a $25,000 grant to Premier Mobile Health Services to support clients in Lee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties impacted by Hurricane Ian. With continuing generosity from our community, additional support will be provided. The transformative Hurricane Ian recovery from Gulf Coast Community Foundation will be ongoing for many months to come. 

[Donor Matching]  Child Protection Center Receives $100,000 Match Opportunity

The Child Protection Center (CPC) has received a $100,000 matching opportunity from an anonymous donor. This matching opportunity comes at the perfect time, to match healing for child abuse victims this holiday season. The Child Protection Center continues to face the rising need for child abuse services across Sarasota County. In its recent fiscal year (July 2021- June 2022), CPC’s Therapy Programs provided 3,553 hours for child abuse victims. The Therapy Team has expanded its staffing by hiring more trauma-informed therapists to meet the increasing needs of treatment plans for child victims, their families, and adult survivors of child abuse. CPC’s Personal Safety and Community Awareness Team (PSCA) is highly requested in schools across the county for abuse prevention lessons. In 2022, PSCA reached 67,040 participants and conducted 234 sexual abuse prevention workshops. The population growth in North Port requires Prevention Educators to be in classrooms nearly full time in south county schools. Child abuse reports can be made to the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-962-2873. 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 on CPC, visit www.cpcsarasota.org or call 941-365-1277. 

Pictured: The Child Protection Center brings healing to child abuse victims.

[Grant]  Children First Receives $50,000 from Truist Foundation to Help Provide Access to Economic Mobility Resources

Children First has received a $50,000 grant from Truist Foundation that will help build pathways to economic mobility for Children First families by providing access to resources through the re-design of the agency’s website. This is the largest gift Children First has ever received from the foundation. 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 three) across North Port, Sarasota and Venice each year. For the re-design, Children First is partnering with Captivation Agency, an award-winning creative storytelling collective based in Sarasota with more than 20 years of industry experience. The creation of the new organizational web property will be designed to maximize the opportunity for future growth and expansion. “As the children and families we serve across Sarasota County are seeking self-sufficiency, having access to the resources they need to thrive is critical to their overall well-being and success,” says CEO Philip Tavill. “We are deeply appreciative to Truist Foundation for their support as it will allow us to serve every single stakeholder within the Children First community.”

“At Truist, our purpose is to inspire and build better lives and communities, which drives us to create meaningful change for families in Sarasota,” says Keith Johnson, Truist Senior Vice President & Wealth Advisor and Children First Board Director. “We are proud of Truist Foundation’s longstanding partnership with Children First because of the shared vision both organizations have for building pathways to economic mobility by helping ensure opportunity for all within our community, leading to a better quality of life for everyone.” 

Pictured: (L-R) Jessica Rogers, Mark Irwin, Keith Johnson, Philip Tavill and Fermin Miranda.

To learn more click here.

[35 Under 35]  35 Under 35 Honoree - Brittany Lamont at Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance

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 Brittany Lamont, President/CEO at Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance!


BRITTANY LAMONT IS THE PRESIDENT/CEO OF THE LAKEWOOD RANCH BUSINESS ALLIANCE, a 600+ business organization focused on supporting businesses in the Manatee and Sarasota region. Before her current role, she spent over a decade at the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. Starting as an intern, she worked through various positions leading to the Vice President role focused on membership retention, engagement, events and communications. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Marketing and Management. Brittany is active member of the community serving as a Board Member for the Early Learning Coalition, Take Stock in Children Sarasota County, and the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation. She is a past Board Member of the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals, the Florida Public Relations Association, and American Advertising Federation. Brittany’s most rewarding role is being a mother to her three children – Payton, Harper and David. Her weekends are spent enjoying time with family and friends. 

To read the full article, click here.

[SRQIST]  Oyster Boys
OYSTER BOYS | Two local brothers are making waves to clean our local waters with their nonprofit organization, Oyster Boys Conservation.
Suncoast native brothers, Dom and Vince Marino have taken the initiative to conserve our local Gulf Coast waters. By equipping every dock in Sarasota bay with a vertical oyster garden, they hope to restore the oyster population within the Florida waterways. Read about their efforts through the link, on our social medias, or in the December Edition!

Read Here!

[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]  BUSINESS: Festive Food and Drink at the Ritz Carlton , December 31 – January 1

Festive Food & Drink This year, the resort will be bringing back its lavish Grand Ballroom festive dining experiences – a guest and local favorite. The experiences will kick off with a Christmas Day Brunch featuring a traditional feast curated by the resort’s master chefs. Followed by an exquisite Christmas Grand Ballroom Brunch featuring chef-attended action stations. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners are also available for guest reservations at Jack Dusty and Ridley’s Porch, both serving seasonally themed menus. In the lobby, overnight guests can indulge in daily surprise and delight experiences including culinary creations from the resort’s talented chefs, après-sun hand-shaved ice-cold snow cones, decadent holiday-inspired shooters, morning fresh squeezed juices, and more. Club Lounge guests will enjoy exclusive culinary programming and offerings like Autumn Sangria, cookie decorating and hot cocoa, twelve-days of Christmas champagne pairings, and more.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Ring In the New Year At the Waterside Place Plaza , December 31 – January 1, 6:00 PM - 12:00 AM

Join us at the Waterside Place Plaza on December 31st from 6pm – midnight to ring in the New Year! DJ Truth will be spinning tunes and food will be available to purchase at Good Liquid Brewing Co., KORE, and participating food trucks. Beverages will be available to purchase and enjoy from participating BITS program merchants.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: This Lakewood Ranch Expo Will Help You Keep Your Health and Wellness New Year's Resolution , January 7, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Join us on January 7th to kick off the new year with the "New Year, New You" Health and Wellness Expo, presented by Lakewood Ranch Medical Center! Visit vendors from Sarasota and Manatee counties and enjoy the speaker series at center court, complete with various doctors and wellness professionals from a wide range of specialties, kicking off every hour from 10am-3pm. This event is free to the public!

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Golf Tournament Raises Funds for Domestic and Sexual Violence Survivors , January 16 – February 7, 11:00 AM

Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC) is hosting its annual golf tournament, Scramble for SPARCC, at the Laurel Oak Country Club on Monday, January 16, 2023. With the support of sponsors, community donations and golfers, this tournament raises funds to help provide life-saving, free and confidential programs and services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Entry fee is $185.00 per person and includes green fees, individual carts, happy hour light bites, beverages (cash bar available) and player awards. Registration opens at 11:00 AM with a shotgun start at 12:30 PM to kick off the 18-hole scramble. In addition to the golf tournament, there is also a closet to the pin contest, closest to the line contest, golf ball launcher, 50/50 chance drawing, and awards celebration. Co-Chairs for this event are Sandy Fulkerson and Bonnie VanOverbeke.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Urbanite Theatre: 2023 Modern Works Festival , May 3 – May 7

2023 MODERN WORKS FESTIVAL Presented by Summer Wallace. May 3 - May 7, 2023. Urbanite Theatre. Back for the fourth time and returning to an in-person experience, the Modern Works Festival is a playwriting contest, reading festival and celebration of women in theatre. See all three finalist readings and become eligible to vote on the festival-winning playwright! Titles of finalist plays will be announced in 2023. For information contact - phone (941) 321-1397, email info@urbanitetheatre.com, website www.urbanitetheatre.com

Urbanite Theatre , 1487 2nd Street Sarasota FL, 34236

[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

[SOON]  THEATER: Asolo Rep: Incident at Our Lady of Perpetual Help , March 15 – April 22, Varied

Take a trip back to 1973 with the Irish Catholic OShea family in the uproarious INCIDENT AT OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP. This boisterous and moving new memory play introduces us to young Linda, as she recalls a week she’ll never forget. When Linda’s mother instructs her to tell her sister about the birds and the bees, things quickly snowball into a potential crisis after the conversation is overheard by the parish priest. Secrets are unintentionally revealed, and a quick-witted group of women realize what really matters as they work to protect their family reputation and each other. This wild and tender comedy directed by Asolo Rep Associate Artistic Director Celine Rosenthal explores the foolishness of first love, the pains of Catholic guilt, and ultimately, the power of family.  

Asolo Repertory Theatre

[SOON]  GALLERY: Elements by Cheryl Moody to be Featured at Art Uptown Gallery in February , January 27 – February 23

From January 27, 2023 to February 23, Art Uptown Gallery will exhibit Elements by Cheryl Moody. Cheryl loves being outdoors and painting subjects in oils that spark her interest, whether it's the way light filters through leaves, reflects on water, creates patterns of color in the landscape, or how palm fronds twist in the wind. Cheryl enjoys hearing from people saying they could “ feel the wind blowing” or “smell the salt air,” and knowing that they have been transported to her special places. Meet the artist at the gallery on Saturday, January 28 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and at the monthly First Friday, 6 p.m. public reception on February 3. Art Uptown Gallery welcomes patrons and friends at 1367 Main Street daily where the diverse art works of regional, award-winning artists are exhibited. Telephone 941-955-5409 or visit www.artuptown.com for hours and further information.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Art Museum: Jazz Thursdays , January 13 – January 12, 5:30pm-8:30pm

Jazz Thursdays at Sarasota Art Museum will runs through January 12, 2023 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. FREE for Members, $20 for Not-Yet Members. Sarasota Art Museum invites you to be our guest at our first Jazz Thursday at SAM, featuring Hot Club of SRQ. Sarasota Art Museum is partnering with the Jazz Club of Sarasota for Jazz Thursdays. Join us for our special late-night performances on the Marcy & Michael Klein Plaza. Jazz Thursdays will occur on the second Thursday of each month until January 12, 2023. Galleries + Bistro + Shop will be open.

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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