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SRQ DAILY Aug 23, 2023

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

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Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"The summer food drives are some of the most critical for the community, so we began collecting donations in June"

- John A. Neal, President, Neal Land and Neighborhoods.

[Fundraising]  Neal Land and Neighborhoods Pays it Forward with Donation to Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee
Barbie Heit, barbie.heit@srqme.com

For the third consecutive year, North River Ranch, the flagship master-planned community of Neal Land and Neighborhoods, held a food drive as part of their Pay It Forward program at North River Ranch in support of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee. Exceeding its 2022 donation by 12 lbs. and making a $2,500 contribution with over 650 lbs. of food donated to the organization, the community-wide food drive was orchestrated by master-planned community developer Neal Land & Neighborhoods with the support of North River Ranch’s residents and home builders: Cardel Homes Florida, David Weekley Homes, Homes by WestBay, KB Home, Neal Communities, Pulte Homes and Park Square Homes.

“The summer food drives are some of the most critical for the community, so we began collecting donations in June,” shares Neal Land and Neighborhoods president, John A. Neal, “North River Ranch also hosted a FunDay community gathering and encouraged folks to bring food donations to this event. This year, we saw approximately 150 residents participate.”

Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee provides nutritional assistance and caring, supportive services to homebound seniors and disabled residents throughout Manatee County. Frank Perry, VP of Strategic Food Bank Programs for the nonprofit organization, collected the donation earlier this month. Since 1972, Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee has delivered over 11 million meals to homebound seniors, distributed tens of millions of pounds of food to local families and provided social services for local seniors. For more information, visit www.mealsonwheelsplus.org.

“Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee is a trusted community partner of our organization and we’re proud to continue supporting their cause,” said Neal. “We’re very grateful for the residents at North River Ranch who have come together to provide significant food donations, year after year. We also thank our builder partners for their contribution to this effort.”

Neal Land & Neighborhoods supports Step-Up Suncoast as a Founding 50 member – Step Up is a non-profit organization that helps over 12,000 individuals and families to achieve long-term economic stability through education, support services and community partnerships. Through an organized school supply drive, resident donations are collected during the summer in preparation for the upcoming school year. For more information on Neal Land & Neighborhoods, including the company’s latest development news, visit www.nealland.com. To learn more about the award-winning master-planned community North River Ranch, visit www.northriverranch.com. 

Pictured: Crystal Scherer, Frank Perry and Janice Snow. Photo courtesy of Neal Land and Neighborhoods.

[Fundraising Event]  SPARCC Hosts SPARCCle in the Garden

Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC) will host its annual black-tie gala, SPARCCle in Garden, on Friday, November 3, 2023, at the Marie Selby Botanical Garden. SPARCCle in the Garden promises to be a magical evening with a three-course dinner by Michael’s on East, live musical entertainment by The Bay Kings, raffles and curated live and silent auction packages, all to support of SPARCC's vital mission to provide a safe haven and promote empowerment, awareness, and social change to end domestic and sexual violence. In addition to a vibrant Live auction and a 7-day Holland America Cruise raffle, SPARCCle in the Garden will also feature a captivating silent auction, boasting a wide array of unique and desirable items. Live Auction items include: A 7-night stay for up to 12 guests at Birchwood Estate in the Village of Adare, Ireland, A 7-night stay for up to 14 guests at a private, gated luxury villa in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, A 4-day, 3-night stay for up to 4 guests in an 1,150 square foot luxury flat at The Residence at St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Scotland, overlooking the North Sea, Michael’s on East Wine Dinner for 10 This year’s event is Co-Chaired by long-time SPARCC supporters, Cathy Bachand, JoAnn Heisen, Bonnie McIntyre, Kimberley Pelyk and Sue Wilson. A limited number of individual tickets and sponsorships are still available. For reservations or sponsorship information, visit www.sparcc.net/events. 

[Women's Programming]  Women's Resource Center Offers Divorce 101, A Five-Part Workshop Series

The Women’s Resource Center presents Divorce 101, a free, five-part workshop series that provides a comprehensive understanding of the divorce process. It is divided into five sessions, each dedicated to a specific topic. The sessions will delve into the emotional aspects of divorce, the laws governing divorce in Florida, ways to assert your financial rights, dealing with children and the family home during divorce, and house and forensic accounting. The series launches on Wednesday, September 13, 6-7:30 p.m., with “Understanding and Conquering the Emotions of Divorce” with Kim Boyd, a board-certified divorce coach. The following sessions are: “Legal Considerations” with Chris Florand, a certified family and civil court mediator (September 20, 6-7:30 p.m.); “Parenting Through Divorce” with Chris Florand and Kim Boyd (September 27, 6-7:30 p.m.); “Family Home/Forensic Accounting” with Amanda Reichert, CDRE, a certified divorce real estate expert, and Susan Keeton, CPA, PA, CFE, a certified divorce financial analyst and CPA (October 4, 6-7:30 p.m.); and “Financial Decisions” with Dr. Laura Mattia, PH.D., MBA, CFP, a financial advisor, educator, and author (October 11, 6-7:30 p.m.) This in-person series is at the Women's Resource Center Sarasota, 340 S Tuttle Ave, Sarasota. Participants can attend one or all of the sessions. To register, visit mywrc.org/divorce101. For more information, call 941-366-1700. 

[Vision]  Center For Sight Ophthalmologists Perform Free Vision-Restoring Surgeries

Center For Sight has completed its annual Mission Cataract event at its Sarasota and Naples surgery centers. Cataract surgeons Dr. David Shoemaker, Dr. William Soscia, Dr. Joshua Kim, Dr. Joaquin De Rojas, Dr. Priya Mathews, Dr. Jon Berlie and Dr. George Brinning performed free life-changing cataract surgeries in the Sarasota and Naples AAAHC-accredited surgery centers. The event is funded by the Center For Sight Foundation and Operation Sight to help individuals in need receive vision correcting care, regardless of their ability to pay. The practice has been offering this service to uninsured patients through Mission Cataract for over 30 years. Since its inception, the program has helped thousands of patients regain their sight, at no cost. The entire Center For Sight team works together to process applications, diagnose patients, and perform surgeries at the annual Mission Cataract event. Stories of This Year’s Mission Cataract Recipients: Patient Jamori Fox, 26, traveled from Canton, GA to have surgery in Sarasota. At only 26 years old, he suffered from debilitating cataracts, causing him to lose his job as a driver. Speaking of Mission Cataract, he mentions, “I’m trying not to get emotional, but I truly appreciate what you’re doing for people who don’t have the income. The world is hard out here. I’m grateful for what you do for those less fortunate.” Heather Gordan, 55, has one personal hobby she’s greatly missed due to her failing vision – reading. She plans to make up for lost time now that she can see clearly again. A friend directed her to Center For Sight a couple years ago, and this year she was eligible for the program. “I am a server and don’t have insurance,” she said, “It’s been tough. This place has been a blessing.” For Cheryl Von Deck, 64, her poor eyesight has affected those around her as well. She shared, “I am a caregiver for someone who cannot drive. I can’t drive either and we’ve had to miss appointments. I can’t wait to be able to see again, I am so excited.” Partnerships to Ensure Continuation of Mission Cataract: To ensure ongoing funding for the annual Mission Cataract program, Shoemaker formed the Center For Sight Foundation, a donor-advised fund of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. Every dollar received is used to purchase medications, surgical supplies, protective post-operative glasses, and the intraocular lenses used during surgery. In addition, Center For Sight has partnered with Operation Sight, a national program through the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) Foundation in order to expand its reach nationwide. The goal of Operation Sight is to build a network of volunteer organizations that provide care to Americans unable to access or afford cataract surgery. Not only do the Center For Sight surgeons and Center For Sight Foundation donors participate in providing this service, but the laser technology company, LENSAR, Inc., donated the use of its advanced LENSAR laser system to be used on each case. 

[Grant]  Safe Children Coalition Receives Grant from Publix Super Markets Charities for Achievers Program

To assist at-risk middle and high school students in achieving their educational, career and life goals, Publix Super Markets Charities recently awarded a grant of $5,000 to Safe Children Coalition (SCC). These funds will directly support SCC’s Achievers program. The Achievers program empowers at-risk, minority, and students with other disadvantageous conditions to set and achieve goals in both their educational and personal lives. It encourages continuous growth in the areas of personal development, college preparation, community service and leadership, cultural enrichment, and career options. The program, which has served thousands of students in the community for over 30 years, is open to all middle and high school students in Sarasota County. It has been proven to increase student participation in school programs, decrease school absenteeism and dropout rates, and prevent delinquent behavior. Approximately 113 students participated in the Achievers program during the 2022-2023 school year. Career cluster programming this past year featured Achievers alumni as well as professionals from the community and surrounding areas currently serving in the fields of health/medical, engineering, journalism, mass communications, law enforcement and the legal field. Thanks in part to generous foundation and corporate support, the program also provides scholarship opportunities to successful participants as they transition from high school to college as well as college students who were engaged with the program as teens. Last month, Safe Children Coalition held the annual Achievers end-of-year celebration and scholarship awards, during which $31,800 in college scholarships were awarded to 12 “Class of 2023” high school graduates as well as 26 college students/Achievers alumni. In 1966, Publix Super Markets founder George W. Jenkins established a charitable foundation with the intention of caring for his community – and with a vision that the giving would continue long after he was gone. Today, Publix Super Markets Charities remains committed to serving the communities in which Publix operates. Publix Super Markets Charities supports organizations that focus on youth, education, reducing hunger, and alleviating homelessness. For more information about the Achievers program and how you can help, call program director Jone Williams at 941-487-6600. For more about Safe Children Coalition, visit sccfl.org. 

[Fundraising]  The Patterson Foundation Kickstarts Art Center Sarasota's Entrepreneurial Plan Fundraising With Up to $50,000 Match

The Patterson Foundation is strengthening Art Center Sarasota’s effort to implement entrepreneurial strategies by matching up to $50,000 in startup and growth capital investments toward its earned-income plan. Art Center Sarasota is one of the regional nonprofit organizations currently participating in Margin & Mission Ignition, an opportunity presented by The Patterson Foundation that helps nonprofits develop and implement an earned-income plan to strengthen their impact in our community. Nonprofits are selected to participate in Margin & Mission Ignition’s 30-month planning and implementation process after a months-long application period. No Margin, No Mission, a social enterprise and national consulting firm engaged by The Patterson Foundation, consults with the participating nonprofits on strategies and best practices to generate revenue throughout that process. Art Center Sarasota plans to launch an affordable facilities rental venture that will boost the organization's revenue AND increase mission impact. With both indoor galleries and outdoor spaces (sculpture garden and back lawn that can accommodate a range of options), ACS offers renters many options for the activities associated with their event. Art Center Sarasota recently shared its earned-income plan with potential investors during a fast-pitch-style event presented by The Patterson Foundation. Donations and investments contributed to Art Center Sarasota’s earned-income plan will be matched dollar for dollar by The Patterson Foundation up to 50 percent of its startup capital requirement – up to $50,000 maximum. Pledges, in-kind contributions and debt funding are not eligible to be matched. Margin & Mission Ignition is part of The Patterson Foundation’s Nonprofit Thrivability initiative. This initiative connects nonprofits with expertise and resources to learn concepts like strategic decision-making while adopting and implementing entrepreneurial principles to generate enough revenue to support and eventually grow their operations. For more information about Margin & Mission Ignition, please visit thepattersonfoundation.org or join the conversation using #TPFMarginMission on social media. 

To learn more, visit

[Grant]  Child Protection Center Receives Funds for Prevention Education

The Child Protection Center (CPC) was selected by the Matthews Children’s Foundation to receive a grant in support of CPC’s Personal Safety and Community Awareness (PSCA) program. The funds will provide new equipment to be used in presentations on child abuse prevention and personal safety. Established in 1992, PSCA is the longest tenured prevention program in the state of Florida as well as Sarasota County’s sole provider of this type of holistic and comprehensive child abuse prevention education. PSCA has served over 800,000 individuals in its 30-plus year history. The ultimate goal of the PSCA program is the elimination of child abuse in the community through educational programs for children, parents, and community members. Additionally, the expert professionals leading this program create an environment conducive to many children’s first disclosure of their abuse experience, functioning as a crucial entry point for a child victim to the system of crisis intervention and treatment services. This support from the Matthews Children’s Foundation will help the Child Protection Center more efficiently communicate these safety and prevention messages and protect children that are susceptible to abuse. “There is an immediate need to provide education to the community to protect vulnerable children,” explained Douglas Staley, the Executive Director of CPC. “Educating teachers, children, and the community must be prioritized to the level of providing food and shelter.” 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 or to book a personal safety workshop, visit www.cpcsarasota.org or call 941-365-1277. 

[Feature]  Surface Tone
Compiled by Kate Wight

SURFACE TONE | Countertops and floors play crucial roles in defining the overall style and aesthetic of a kitchen, July/August 2023. 

Read Here!

[SOON]  GALA: Casino Night Benefiting Suncoast Charities for Children , August 26, 6-10pm

Cool off and try your luck at The Suncoast Summer Fest Casino Night, benefiting Suncoast Charities for Children. Enjoy classic casino games, raffles and music and dancing. Tickets are $75 per person and $125 per couple, and they include $1,000 in free chips, light bites and two drink tickets. Ages 21 and up only. Visit suncoastsummerfest.org to learn more and purchase tickets. Sarasota Event Center, 600 N. Beneva Rd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: FASD Awareness Walk , September 9, 9am
September is not only a month of transitioning seasons but also a time for raising awareness about a critical issue that affects countless lives. September is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, FASD, Awareness Month and to raise awareness, The Florida Center for Early Childhood will be hosting a 5K walk or run that will go on in various locations all over Florida. By walking together, we can amplify our voices, raise awareness about the risks of prenatal alcohol exposure, and stand in solidarity with those affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Let's stride towards a healthier future for all children and families. Your steps matter, join us on this empowering journey as we make every step count. See you at the starting line! Our Local Location will be at Oasis Church, 5215 Lorraine Rd., Bradenton, on September 9th, starting at 9am. For more information visit thefloridacenter.org.
[SOON]  GALA: 21st Annual Buddy Walk with Bringing Up Down Syndrome , October 28, 10 am to 2 pm

Bringing Up Down Syndrome will hold its 21st annual Buddy Walk on Saturday, October 28th from 10 am to 2 pm at Bayside Community Church, located at 15800 FL64 in Bradenton, Florida. This exciting event is the largest Down syndrome awareness and celebration experience in the area. This event will feature live music with celebrated vocalist and DJ, MoTown Ross Brown, silent auction, carnival games, a 50/50 raffle, food and beverages, and a variety of other family friendly activities. All donations support programs and services offered to over 250 families across Manatee and Sarasota counties. Register now at manasotabuds.org.

[SOON]  GALA: SPARCCle in the Garden with SPARCC , November 3, 6 pm

The annual SPARCC black tie gala, SPARCCle in the Garden will take place on Friday, November 3 at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Enjoy live musical entertainment by The Bay Kings, an open bar and passed hors doeuvres, a delicious three course dinner and exclusive live auction packages. All proceeds support free and confidential SPARCC programs and services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

[SOON]  GALA: Night of Hope and Healing with the Child Protection Center , November 9, 6 to 9 p.m.

Join us in bringing hope and healing to the fight against child abuse in our community. Night of Hope and Healing will feature a wide selection of tastings from crowd favorite restaurants, fantastic live and silent auctions, and most importantly, you will leave the event knowing that you are bringing change, protection, and hope to the most vulnerable children of our community. Sponsoring this event will expose your business to a compassionate, caring, and loyal community while providing the necessary support to give local children access to life saving services. These partnerships provide hope in raising awareness, hope in bringing comfort and joy, and hope in building a world where kids can just be kids. We look forward to seeing you there. Plantation Golf and Country Club, 500 Rockley Blvd., Venice, https://cpcsarasota.org/events/night-of-hope/.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Choral Artists of Sarasota Present Veterans Day in Song , November 11, 1pm

Choral Artists of Sarasota presents the songs that brought hope and inspiration during military conflicts, from the Revolutionary War through Desert Storm. The featured guest artist is baritone Bob McDonald, a retired Sergeant Major from The US Army Chorus. The performance will be on Saturday, November 11, 1pm, at Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Avenue, Sarasota. Tickets are $40 for guests and $25 for Veterans. Student tickets are $5. For more information, visit www.ChoralArtistsSarasota.org.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Reclaiming Home, Contemporary Seminole Art at Ringling Museum , March 29 – September 4, Museum hours

Reclaiming Home, Contemporary Seminole Art group exhibition will mark The Ringling’s first presentation of contemporary art by Native American artists with ancestral, historical, and present-day connections to Florida. An imperative step toward establishing a meaningful relationship with the Native American artistic community, Reclaiming Home will highlight the breadth and depth of the artwork by Seminole, Miccosukee, and mixed-heritage artists from Florida with the important work by internationally-recognized artists. The exhibition will expand the conceptual framework of Native American art made in Florida today and provide a fuller understanding of the complexities of issues within the art of the Seminole diaspora. Ringling Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota, ringling.org.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Eco Engineers , April 12 – September 3, During museum hours

Eco Engineers are plants and animals that profoundly impact their ecosystem. Through their presence or behavior, eco engineers create microhabitats, or unique areas within an ecosystem. Other species have taken notice of these microhabitats and decided to move in! In this exhibition, explore nine of Florida’s eco engineers and discover why our landscape wouldn’t be the same without them. Eco Engineers is a bilingual (English and Spanish) special exhibition created by our own Museum curators. Included with museum admission. The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton, bishopscience.org.

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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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