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SRQ DAILY Aug 17, 2023

Thursday Family and Recreation Edition

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Thursday Family and Recreation Edition

"I have always wanted to try some type of golf world record such as flying across the country and playing in every state in a set amount of time, but when I got to Sarasota, it became pretty evident that pickleball was going to be my new hobby."

- Dean Matt, Pilot and Pickleball Enthusiast.

[Pickleball]  Dean Matt's Pickleball Adventure
Dylan Campbell, dylan@srqme.com

On May 1st, Dean Matt set out to do something that has never been done before: play 48 matches of pickleball, in 48 states in under 48 days. So he packed up his single engine Cessna turbo 206H with pickleball gear, took a deep breath, and set off to break a world record.

Matt, recently retired from a career in finance, moved to Sarasota in 2021 by way of Chicago. An avid pilot, Matt was used to flying with his golf clubs and thought life on the Gulf Coast would be much of the same–that is, until he began playing pickleball just over a year ago. “I’ve been a pilot since high school and have owned airplanes since 1998,” says Matt. “My wife and I would fly around the country and golf–I’ve always wanted to try some type of golf world record such as flying across the country and playing in every state in a set amount of time, but when I got to Sarasota, it became pretty evident that pickleball was going to be my new hobby. It wasn’t long after we moved here that we were spending four to five days a week at the courts.”

Armed with support from sponsors like the pickleball outfitter Selkirk, Matt departed from SRQ Airport on May 1st with the goal of returning to Sarasota on May 26th after playing a match in each of the lower 48 states. The route itself took around six months to conceive–not only did Matt have to play matches in each state, most days hitting two to three states at a time, but he had to coordinate with local sports commissions to set up his matches and housing accommodations when needed.

The venues and Matt’s opponents were as varied as each state. Matt played in country clubs, local parks, private residences and even an airport tarmac. He played with professional pickleball players, fellow enthusiasts and senior citizens. Although inclement weather in Salt Lake City caused Matt to miss out on four states–Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and Nebraska–he still managed to play in 44 in just 26 days, ending with his final match at his home court in University Park. “The world record attempt was just the hook to get the media to come out. It was really about telling 48 different stories,” says Matt. 

Pictured: Dean Matt and his Cessna airplane. Photo courtesy of Dean Matt.

[Leadership]  District Announces Organizational Realignment Hires

Sarasota County, FL, August 15, 2023 – Sarasota County Schools is pleased to announce the school district’s organizational realignment hires that will assist the Superintendent of Schools in supporting the students, families, teachers, and staff members throughout the school district. A Statement from Superintendent Terry Connor: “These individuals have been selected & appointed after a thorough evaluation that weighed their expertise, leadership capabilities, and dedication to improving our educational community. Some are new to the Sarasota County School District family, and some are familiar faces that have had a tremendous impact on countless lives in the community over many years. I believe the careful blending of existing and new perspectives – drawing on a wealth of varied areas of combined educational and organizational expertise – will further strengthen our team’s commitment to excellence in education. I am confident that together, with the continued support of our amazing community, we will be able to steadfastly serve the best interests of each student, family, teacher, and staff member that calls Sarasota County Schools their “home” for learning, teaching, and working.” Please join us in congratulating the following existing & new team members on this next chapter of growth with Sarasota County Schools: Chris Renouf – Chief of Staff, Rachael O'Dea – Deputy Superintendent, Chief Academic Officer, Jennifer Mainelli – Chief, Elementary Schools, Dr. Brandon Johnson – Chief, Middle Schools, Dr. Megan Green – Chief, High Schools, David Jones – Executive Director, Professional Learning & Leadership Development, Chris Parenteau – Supervisor, Government Affairs. 

[Visit Sarasota County]  Discover Natural Sarasota - Brohard Beach and Paw Park

Brohard Beach and Paw Park

It’s the life for our canine companions at Brohard Beach and Paw Park, the only beach area in Sarasota County where dogs are invited to enjoy the sand and surf. The park has two separate fenced play yards–one for small dogs and one for larger dogs–both leading to the beach area. Amenities include dog-waste bags, showers, benches and drinking fountains. 

1850 Harbor Drive S., Venice, FL.

Check out more on this feature!

[Grand Opening]  Pura Vida coming to UTC

Pura Vida, South Florida’s leading wellness and lifestyle brand known for its beloved balance of nutritious and delectable menu offerings sourced sustainably from high-quality, fresh local ingredients, is coming to University Town Center (UTC) in Sarasota. The Miami-based all-day cafe is bringing its signature aesthetic to a 2,000-square-foot space along Cattlemen Road in the West District at UTC. What began as a passion project in 2012 for husband-wife duo Omer and Jennifer Horev has since established itself as a premier wellness brand for South Florida and beyond. Scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2024, guests at the new Pura Vida UTC can anticipate the brand’s acclaimed “feel-good” menu sourced using local and organic ingredients whenever available in a beautiful indoor-outdoor setting. Pura Vida’s menu includes an All-Day Breakfast showcasing a range of avocado toasts, pasture-raised egg sandwiches, fresh bagels, and raw organic Acai Bowls; clean chef-driven Salads that are customizable with the protein of your choice; Wraps, Sandwiches, and Bowls featuring a variety of bases and proteins; as well as a wide array of gluten-free and vegan Sweet Treats; and a simple Kids Menu which includes gluten-free offerings like the Tiny Toasted Chicken, Cheesy Grilled Cheese, and Kid’s Acai Bowl. Additionally, Pura Vida’s menu includes a series of cold-pressed juices and wellness shots, superfood smoothies, kombucha, and artisanal coffees and teas. UTC is a premier lifestyle destination by Benderson Development located off I-75 and University Parkway on the border of Sarasota and Manatee counties. Spanning over 4 million square feet, the district features more than 250 specialty stores, 80-plus restaurants, three hotels and over 250,000 square feet of premier office space. Pura Vida is among an exciting lineup of new businesses coming to UTC. Other new shops and restaurants opening soon include farm-to-fork concept Naked Farmer; Orlando’s famed Foxtail Coffee Co; locally owned The Breakfast Company; J.Crew Factory; specialty outdoor retailer REI Co-op; Sarasota-Bradenton’s first Drybar; Greek restaurant Blu Kouzina; and more. For more information on Pura Vida, visit https://www.puravidamiami.com. For more information on University Town Center, visit www.utcsarasota.com. 

[Library News]  Rev Up Your Reading, New Mobile Library Puts Books in the Fast Lane

A new mobile, Pop-Up Library equipped with a diverse collection of materials and technology may be headed to a neighborhood near you! This fully staffed vehicle delivers library services and programs throughout the community, making it easy for residents to take advantage of the amenity. The Pop-Up Library will be on display at the Osprey Library and History Center, 337 N. Tamiami Trail, from 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, during a special open house. “Our goal with this library is to bring much-needed resources to adults and families that may not have the means to travel to their local library,” said Renée Di Pilato, Director of Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources. “With the Pop-Up Library, we can provide lifelong learning opportunities to all residents, despite scheduling or transportation challenges.” The mobile library provides a chance to renew or register for a library card, check out and drop off materials, receive reading recommendations from staff, get assistance with library technology, access free Wi-Fi, and participate in special programs. “This could be a game changer by providing residents access to the thousands of resources,” Di Pilato said. “Our system of libraries has an extensive collection including books, movies, music, and more. We have audiobooks and digital books that can be accessed through our app, but first, you need a library card.” The Pop-Up Library will visit various sites in Sarasota County, which will be listed on a monthly calendar available at: www.scgov.net/library. For more questions about the Pop-Up Library, please visit the website or call 941-861-1110. Initial funding for the Pop-Up Library was provided by the Library Foundation for Sarasota County and the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation. Sarasota County prohibits discrimination in all services, programs, or activities. View the complete policy at scgov.net/ADA. 

[Feature]  Dolly Jacobs On Her Father, The Iconic Legendary Lou Jacobs.
Barbie Heit, barbie.heit@srqme.com

DOLLY JACOBS ON HER FATHER, THE ICONIC LEGENDARY LOU JACOBS | As a little girl on the sidelines watching my father, I knew from a very young age that's what I wanted to do, July/August 2023. 

Read Here!

[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.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Bradenton Public Market , June 24 – August 26, 9 am to 2 pm

Realize Bradenton is pleased to announce the continuation of the Bradenton Public Market through the summer months. The summer Markets are scheduled once a month on the last Saturdays of each month, on June 24th, July 29th and August 26th on Old Main Street and 3rd Ave West in Bradenton. Our Market family is excited to see their customers throughout the summer while still enjoying some well-earned time off. The Market was founded in April of 1979 in a Downtown Bradenton parking lot. Over the past 44 years, the Market has grown and evolved to fill Old Main Street with produce, local artisans, and prepared foods. realizebradenton.com/market.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Fresh Harvest Farmers Market at Wellen Park , June 25 – December 29, 9 am to 1 pm

Visit Fresh Harvest, the newly launched weekly farmers market in Downtown Wellen. Fresh Harvest offers a selection of local goods from nearly 40 local vendors. Fresh Harvest takes place every Sunday in Downtown Wellen from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees can peruse different vendor booths and stock up on a variety of goods. Vendors will offer a wide variety of locally grown and produced food, including herbs, spices, cut flowers, teas, canned and preserved fruits and vegetables, syrups, baked goods, pickled foods, fresh seafood, meats, poultry, eggs, milk and prepared food and beverages. A limited selection of craft vendors also participate in the farmers market. For a listing of participating vendors and more information on Fresh Harvest Farmers Market, visit wellenpark.com/events/fresh-harvest-farmers-market. Downtown Wellen, 19745 Wellen Park Blvd., Venice.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Jazz Thursdays , July 13 – December 14, 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]  PERFORMANCE: Sights and Sounds at Waterside Place , July 28 – May 31, 6 to 9 p.m.

Head out to Waterside Place for a rocking evening as part of the Lakewood Ranch Sights and Sounds Program. Enjoy a live concert in partnership with Easterseals and EveryoneRocks, featuring artists who are rocking their spectrum. This event is free and open to the public; there is limited seating at the Plaza, but attendees are welcome to bring their own seats. Food and beverages will be available from numerous Waterside Place merchants. For more information on shows, dates, and times, visit lakewoodranch.com/sights-sounds/. Waterside Place, 1560 Lakefront Dr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  FOOD: Forks and Corks Food and Wine Festival , January 25 – January 29, Various times
The 2024 Forks and Corks Food and Wine Festival, hosted by the Sarasota Manatee Originals, will take place January 25 to 29. Grand Tasting tickets go on sale in October. A full five day slate of food and wine themed fun is planned, including the University Master Classes, wine dinners at area restaurants, wine shop tasting events, a trade tasting and the much anticipated Grand Tasting at The Ringling Museum of Art. Due to the unprecedented demand for tickets, ticket sales for The Grand Tasting launch on two consecutive Tuesdays: On October 10 at 9 a.m. there is a presale of the VIP and Early Access tickets and on October 17 at 7 p.m. General Admission tickets will be available and historically have sold out in a matter of minutes. All Forks and Corks Grand Tasting tickets will be available online only. For more information, please visit www.eatlikealocal.com.

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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