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SRQ DAILY Feb 18, 2023

Saturday Perspectives Edition

Saturday Perspectives Edition

"We welcome and challenge our new neighbors to leave our region better than where they found it. Join our donors and nonprofit partners and make an impact by giving back. "

- Mark Pritchett, Gulf Coast Community Foundation

[Argus]  Foxworthy Improved Lives of Thousands
Christine Robinson, Christine@argusfoundation.org

Last month, we lost an amazing hero in Sarasota County. Ron Foxworthy passed away after a lifetime of amazingly good deeds and solid leadership that altered the course of Sarasota County for the better. We are lucky to have had him here; he touched thousands of lives. He was a founder of The Argus Foundation and served as an ex officio board member until his death.

Ronnie moved to Sarasota at the age of 6 months old and was a graduate of Sarasota High School and Sarasota Plumbing School. He worked here until he enlisted in the United States Navy, where he served in the Korean War and was awarded 3 Battle Stars and the U.S. Presidential Unit Citation Award, the top unit award issued in the Navy. It recognizes “the heroic or meritorious service or specific achievements of that unit,” according to the U.S. Department of Navy.

He started Rusty Plumbing, which is still in operation, and was responsible for so many important projects in our area, from the water and sewer treatment plants for Boca Grande to the Whitfield Industrial Center to Gator Creek and Laurel Oak Country Clubs. 

For 40 years, he served as a director for FCCI, which had less than $100,000 worth of insurance premium business when he started as a director. He helped build FCCI into a billion-dollar company when he retired from that Board. He founded and chaired Suncoast Bank and served on the board for several other banks. 

Ronnie was not a stranger to politics and had a hand in many elections locally, state-wide and nationally. He was invited to visit the White House on numerous occasions and was with President George W. Bush at Emma E. Booker Elementary School on September 11, 2001.

Some of the most important and pivotal work Ronnie did for our community was for children and disabled adults. Ronnie, along with Gene Whipp, Hollis Tucker, Cal Erb and John Stafford, founded the Suncoast Foundation for Handicapped Children in 1984. The mission of that organization, still in existence and serving our community today, is to ensure Sarasota County-based non-profit organizations can continue to serve special needs people in our community with facilities. 

Ronnie raised millions of dollars to construct and maintain 80,000 square feet of buildings with a market value of $20 million. He helped to create the Offshore Boat Races in Sarasota to help fund the building and maintenance of these buildings.

Today, Children First, The Haven, The Florida Center for Early Childhood, Venice Challenger Baseball League, The Sertoma Speech Clinic, Loveland Center and Boys and Girls Club are tenants in these facilities, serving between 6,000 and 7,000 children and disabled adults annually from Sarasota to North Port.

A recipient of Lifetime Achievement Awards from The Argus Foundation and also the Gulf Coast Builders Exchange, Sarasota County renamed Bypass Park in Venice to the Ronald Foxworthy Campus, a nod to the many facilities he helped build there.

On a personal level, Ron touched my life in many ways, most importantly with my son, who at a young age received services inside one of the buildings Foxworthy helped to construct. At that time, it was the only facilities south of Clark Road to offer the therapy he needed. That son is now in college. I think about the thousands of children his legacy continues to touch every single year.

We are extremely lucky Ron chose to spend his time making our community better. He left an amazing legacy and changed so many lives. The Argus Foundation will miss Ronnie and we are grateful for him and thankful to his family for allowing him to make our community better. 

Christine Robinson is executive director of The Argus Foundation. 

Photo courtesy The Argus Foundation.

[Gulf Coast]  Making a Difference
Mark Pritchett, mpritchett@gulfcoastcf.org

I was talking last week to the owner of a local moving company. I asked him, “So John, what states are making the most moves to Florida?” Without hesitation, he said, “New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It’s a big change. It used to be mostly Ohio, Illinois and other Midwestern states.”

There is no doubt that our region is feeling the surge of another Florida boom. This migration brings great opportunities and challenges as we try to accommodate thousands of new neighbors on our roads, in our waters and throughout our neighborhoods. 

At Gulf Coast Community Foundation, we focus on how we can sustain our region’s beauty, prosperity and culture in the face of this population surge. We do this by working with hundreds of donors and nonprofit partners in our community to transform our region through bold and proactive philanthropy.

In January, we were thrilled to announce that Gulf Coast Community Foundation surpassed $500 million in grants awarded, marking a significant moment in our foundation’s 27-year history.

Our grants have led to or supported transformational amenities like the Legacy Trail, our beautiful new bay front park The Bay, mentoring for our youth, scholarships for our students and support for low-income families such as food, job training and child care.

These grants were made by thousands of generous residents and visitors just like you who believe in making our region a better place than when they found it. Their charitable donations fund our nonprofit partners who keep food on the tables, provide scholarships to our students, keep our waters clean and beautiful, and enrich our lives through the arts.

We welcome and challenge our new neighbors to leave our region better than where they found it. Join our donors and nonprofit partners and make an impact by giving back. We are seeing an uptick in new-to-the-area donors. You can learn more at GulfCoastCF.org.

Our Gulf Coast team is excited to work with you so that we can help you make a difference. 

Mark Pritchett is president and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation. 

Image via Pixabay.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens 2023 Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature , February 12 – June 26, During garden hours

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ 2023 Jean and Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature showcases the creativity and innovation of American artist and designer Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933). The first exhibition of its type to be presented in a botanical garden, the exhibition highlights the inspiring connection between Tiffany Studios and the natural world through unique horticultural displays in the Tropical Conservatory and the Gardens, accompanied by seminal examples of Tiffany’s work on view in the Museum of Botany and the Arts. To learn more, visit selby.org. Selby Gardens Downtown Sarasota campus, 1534 Mound St., Sarasota.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Thunder by the Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival , February 17 – February 19

The 25th Annual Thunder By The Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival. The iconic three-day Festival, organized by and benefitting Suncoast Charities for Children, is scheduled for February 17-19 at the Sarasota Fairgrounds. Continuous live music will be featured throughout the weekend, and attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets for outdoor seating in front of the stage. The Festival plans to feature over 100 vendors, a 17-class bike show, a motorcycle stereo sound off competition, motorcycle freestyle demonstrations, a tented full bar area with seating, a “little riders” kid zone, a food court, “Thunder Alley” inside Robarts Arena and so much more!  For tickets, vendor information, sponsorship opportunities, and a complete listing of all Festival events visit: THUNDERBYTHEBAY.ORG | (941) 487-7904. 

Sarasota Fairgrounds

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Saint Barbara 2023 Sarasota Greek Festival , February 17 – February 19, Various times

The 39th Annual St Barbara Greek Festival “Glendi” offers three days of pure family fun filled with delicious Greek dishes, domestic and imported beverages, amazing pastries, live Greek music and The St. Barbara Hellenic Dancers and all things Greek. The tents will be filled with amazing Greek food, Greek drinks, pastries dancing, vendors and more, including a raffle. Visit stbarbarafestival.org to learn more.

Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, 7671 Lockwood Ridge Rd, Sarasota.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Sarasota Opera: Madama Butterfly , February 18 – March 24, Varied

Madama Butterfly is an Opera in three acts. Music by Giacomo Puccini. Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. A young geisha known affectionately as Madama Butterfly is swept off her feet by an American Naval Officer. Left with a promise that he would return one day, Butterfly waits faithfully for three years, but is met with heartbreak in one of opera’s most enduring tragedies. Sung in Italian with Translations in English. February 18th-March 24 For tickets visit sarasotaopera.org or Ph. +1 941 328 1300

Sarasota Opera , 61 N Pineapple Ave. Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  THEATER: The Last Match at the Florida Studio Theatre , February 22 – March 17, Various times

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) presents the Regional Premiere of The Last Match by Anna Ziegler, a fast-paced play diving into the intense world of professional sports. Set during the semifinals of the U.S. Open, The Last Match follows Sergei Sergeyev, an up-and-coming Russian phenom, and Tim Porter, a great American superstar in the twilight of his career, during one of the most important matches of their careers. Called “Exceptional” and “Highly Engaging” by the Wall Street Journal, The Last Match begins playing February 22 in FST’s Bowne’s Lab. Single tickets range from $18-39 and are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or 941.366.9000.

[SOON]  THEATER: Network at Florida Studio Theatre , January 25 – March 19, Various times

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is proud to present Network, a fast-paced drama following the downward spiral of Howard Beale, a longtime news anchor who has worked at a television network, UBS, for 25 years. When Beale learns that he is being fired for poor ratings and low viewership, he unravels live on air during his final broadcast. As a result, his show’s ratings soar, and Howard becomes the biggest thing on television. Seeing Howard as a new populist prophet, UBS decides to leverage Howard’s newfound popularity to boost its bottom line. Network begins playing January 25, 2023, in FST’s Gompertz Theatre. Single tickets to Network range from $25-39. Subscriptions and single tickets are on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Jazz Thursday at Sarasota Art Museum , February 9 – June 8, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Join Sarasota Art Museum for Jazz Thursdays featuring live jazz music, contemporary art, and sips and bites from Bistro. Hosted by the Jazz Club of Sarasota. Jazz Thursday happens on the second Thursday of each month, 5:30-8 p.m. Galleries, Bistro, and SHOP open. FREE for Members, $20 for Not-Yet Members.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Sarasota Cars and Coffee at University Town Center , March 11 – December 9, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

This monthly gathering of car enthusiasts brings together automobile lovers from every walk of life, not to mention a wide array of spectacular cars. Bring your own vehicle (all makes and models are welcome) to show off, or check out the hundreds of cars on display. Each month, the event sponsors a different charity, and attendees are encouraged to donate $10 to benefit the charity. The event, occuring on the second Sunday of each month, will feature live music, complimentary coffee and more. To learn more, visit facebook.com/carsandcoffee941. Sarasota Cars and Coffee, The West District at University Town Center near Ford’s Garage, 295 N. Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota.

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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