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SRQ DAILY Jan 17, 2024

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

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Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"When we conserve land, we're also protecting that land's ability to store and clean water for generations to come."

- Christine P. Johnson, President, Conservation Foundation.

[Politics]  Liz Cheney Tells Sarasota Audience to Fear Trump
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Before Liz Cheney served in Congress herself, she volunteered for years for her father Dick Cheney’s Republican’s campaigns. She recalls watching the recount in Florida in 2000, which decided the presidential election and made her father vice president. While the outcome was contentious and the fight emotional, it struck her even then when Democrat Al Gore conceded on national television.

“He knew he was disappointed, his supporters were disappointed, but that disappointment had to be overcome by love of country,” she recalled.

Over the next few weeks, the Bill Clinton administration transitioned into the Bush administration. It had all occurred before and would again, until the end of Donald Trump’s term.

Following a bitter loss to Democrat Joe Biden, Trump called for his supporters to march on the Capitol, then refused to attend Biden’s inauguration, and for the first time ever since the creation of nuclear codes, there was no handoff from one military aide to another.

During a sold-out lecture as part of the Ringling College Library Association’s Town Hall series, Cheney focused much of her time on her concern about Trump’s continued involvement in U.S. politics. That’s largely the subject of her new book, Oath and Honor. She also discussed concerns ahead of the speech during a media roundtable at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.

The House GOP Conference Leader during much of Trump’s presidency, Cheney felt surprised at how long Trump resisted the outcome of the 2020 election. It didn’t surprise her he tried to exhaust legal options to challenge the election, as Gore had done decades before. Instead, he maintains to this day the election was stolen, as he makes a third White House run.

Cheney’s visit in Sarasota came the morning after Trump emerged as the clear victor of the Iowa caucuses, the first delegate-awarding contest on the 2024 election cycle. But she noted Trump even running effectively as a GOP incumbent failed to win more than about half the vote in Iowa.

“I think it tells you that he's beatable, and we've got to beat him. But again, it's going to be, I think, a long, long battle,” she said. “It's going to be a battle all the way until November, I would imagine.”

Cheney also discussed the state of Congress. She lost her own seat in 2022 in a Wyoming primary after Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and others supported her opponent. That came after Cheney voted to impeach Trump over the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and served as Vice Chair of the Jan. 6 Committee.

Republicans also won a narrow House majority in 2022, securing McCarthy the Speaker’s gavel, though he would hold it less than a year before a group of pro-Trump representatives ousted him. “What we saw with Kevin McCarthy was a willingness to placate and enable and embrace Donald Trump but also some of the most extremist voices within the Republican conference,” she said.

She said McCarthy showed a dangerous willingness to spread Trump’s lies about the presidential election. But she also holds distaste for new Speaker Mike Johnson, who rallied representatives to join a legal challenge of the 2020 election.

“He's a dangerous player in all of this as well,” she said of Johnson. “And I think the fact that just within the last 10 days or so, he's been unwilling to say that Joe Biden won the 2020 election shows that.” 

Photo courtesy RCLA: Liz Cheney speaks to media.

[Recognition]  Marla and Jim Doss Honored at SRQ's Good Hero Luncheon
Barbie Heit, barbie.heit@srqme.com

Each year, SRQ Media invites the community to nominate individuals with hearts of giving who have made a significant impact with local nonprofit organizations — from volunteers and board members to individual staff members and donors. Tuesday, December 5th, attendees happily joined together to recognize our annual Good Hero Philanthropic Award recipients at the SB2: Philanthropic Agenda and Good Hero Awards Luncheon at Michael’s on East in Sarasota. We are delighted to feature each of the twelve honorees in our Wednesday Philanthropic edition of SRQ Daily.

Today we are recognizing two good heroes, Marla and Jim Doss, for their incredible philanthropic work as donors in our community. Marla and Jim are champions for local children with a neverending list of contributions made possible through their generosity including: children's therapy scholarships through Suncoast Charities for Children, assistance packages for at-risk children at Children First and construction of a new preschool playground scheduled for 2024, recreational program support at Loveland's Bradenton Campus, summer camp scholarships for the blind organized by Venice Challenger Baseball, new sensory tool kits and calm-down supplies for mental health clinicians at The Florida Center for Early Childhood and new outdoor therapeutic activity area for individuals with special needs at Loveland Center. And that’s just a start! Marla and Jim, have provided funding for many years to Suncoast Charities for Children in support of numerous programs and services offered by six local nonprofit organizations that receive funding support from Suncoast Charities for Children. The impact they have made to organizations throughout Florida, is commendable. Congratulations, Marla and Jim. 

Pictured: Bart Lowther (left) of Mariash Lowther Wealth Management with Jim and Marla Doss. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

[Nonprofit News]  Omar Guevara-Soto Joins Staff of Barancik Foundation

Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation has expanded its staff by hiring food and nutrition innovator and 2023 Bush Fellow Omar Guevara-Soto for the new position of Strategic Initiatives Officer. Guevara-Soto, who started his role on January 1, will help develop initiatives, foster collaborations, and drive grantmaking to advance the Foundation’s priorities, with a particular focus on food insecurity, nutrition, and food systems as they relate to health equity and economic stability in the Sarasota region. Guevara-Soto joined Barancik Foundation from Minneapolis Public Schools, where he helped to transform food-service operations across the 30,000-student school district over more than a decade. For the past seven years, he served as the district’s assistant director of culinary and nutrition services. Guevara-Soto is a 2023 Bush Fellow of the St. Paul, Minnesota-based Bush Foundation. The prestigious Bush Fellowship program funds leadership-development plans for individuals with extraordinary track records to become even more effective at leading community change. Guevara-Soto has centered his fellowship on learning from public- and social-sector innovators who are successfully addressing barriers that cause hunger. Guevara-Soto is also currently earning his executive MBA from the University of St. Thomas’s Opus College of Business. In addition to his professional experience, he has volunteered his leadership as a board member of YMCA Camp Warren and an advisory board member of Chef Ann Foundation. 

[Grant]  Culinary Training Academy Grant Awarded for Individuals with Disabilities

The Haven is pleased to announce they have received a $50,000 grant from the Gould Family Trust Foundation at Gulf Coast Community Foundation (Gulf Coast) for a Culinary Training Academy with Rise Up Café. This program, “The Culinary Academy: Empowering Through Experience!” is designed to provide individuals with disabilities the opportunity to gain valuable on-the-job experience and training in the dynamic and rewarding field of food service. The Haven has a large commercial kitchen on its 32-acre campus that provides culinary training and jobs for Haven clients. Daily, these clients plan, cook, and distribute meals for The Haven’s 66 Selby Preschool students. Rise Up Café, located across the street from Gulf Coast’s Sarasota Philanthropy Center, is a coffee shop in downtown Sarasota that provides dozens of jobs for adults with disabilities, with an additional 300 future employees on the waiting list. With this grant assistance from Gulf Coast, The Haven and Rise Up Café will launch a culinary training program that will allow current Rise Up Café employees and the individuals on their waiting list to receive culinary training on The Haven’s campus. Participants will have the chance to work alongside experienced professionals in a variety of food service settings, such as restaurants, cafes, and catering companies, and they will learn essential skills such as food preparation, cooking, customer service, table service, and kitchen operations in a supportive and inclusive environment. The program will develop important social and interpersonal skills for participants. Approximately 120 participants a year will receive 40 hours of training each. Upon completion of their training, participants receive a certificate and the opportunity to be placed into integrated employment with assistance from The Haven job coaches. The goal is to have each individual master skills to prepare them for secure employment in the restaurant industry. Visit thehavensrq.org/haven-rise-up-culinary-academy to apply for the Academy. 

Pictured: The Haven on-campus kitchen where the new Culinary Training Academy will take place. The culinary team at The Haven hosted their annual 150-person Thanksgiving luncheon for their education students and their families.

[Fundraising Event]  Lakewood Ranch Community Foundation Presents its Second Annual Run for the Beads Mardi Gras 5K Run/Walk on February 10 at Waterside Place in Lakewood Ranch

The Lakewood Ranch Community Foundation (LWRCF) is pleased to present its second annual Run for the Beads Mardi Gras 5K Run/Walk on February 10, 9:00 a.m., at Waterside Place in Lakewood Ranch. Registration ($35-$45) is now open at runforthebeads.com. Proceeds support LWRCF’s grant giving to nonprofits that make a direct impact in the lives of those in need in Lakewood Ranch and the surrounding eastern areas of Sarasota and Manatee counties, with the goal of fostering a vibrant and thriving community. Participants in this Mardi Gras-themed 5K run/walk will enjoy a scenic, meandering course through downtown Waterside, peninsulas, and parks. Runners and walkers receive a T-shirt, scored finishing time, finishers’ medal, and a free beverage. There will be a Mardi Gras costume contest, giveaways, and top finisher awards immediately following the race. A 100-yard kids dash begins at 8:30 a.m.; registration is required for this free event. Brayan Hernandez-Valdez, a finalist for LWRCF’s inaugural Junior Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2023, will officiate the race start. For more information and to register, visit runforthebeads.com. The race is sponsored, in part, by Stalnaker Law; Cileone Jewelers; Williams Parker; David Ahrens, REALTOR®, RE/MAX Platinum Realty; and New Balance Sarasota. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available; visit runforthebeads.com or call Adrienne Bookhamer, LWRCF’s executive director, at (941) 208-6799. For more information about the Lakewood Ranch Community Foundation, visit lwrcf.org or call (941) 208-6799.  

[Event]  Aqua Plumbing and Air Feeds 500 at the Sarasota Sheriff's Office

Aqua Plumbing & Air, a local heating, air conditioning, and plumbing company, partnered with Gorman Company, a plumbing wholesale company, to host the 7th annual “Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Appreciation Breakfast” on Friday, January 12, 2024. “It’s important to say ‘thank you’ to people who serve our community, and we are proud to continue this annual appreciation breakfast for our local heroes,” said Chuck Jacobson, Aqua Plumbing & Air co-owner. “Our Sheriff and his teamwork 24/7, 365 days a year, to keep our community safe. Not only is it good to give back, but we believe it is our responsibility as business owners to show appreciation to our community. We are proud to partner with Gorman Company to host this annual event and look forward to showing our gratitude, year after year.” The event was started by Aqua Plumbing & Air co-owners Skip Stanton and Chuck Jacobson in 2017. To learn more, visit www.aquaplumbing.com. 

Pictured: (L to R) Chuck Jacobson, Sarasota County Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman, Skip Stanton.

[Seniors]  Caring for Caregivers: Senior Friendship Center

According to the AARP, 2.7 million caregivers in Florida provide unpaid care valued at $40 billion in 2023 and an estimated 17-35% of family caregivers view their health as fair to the poor. By 2045, 1 in 5 Sarasota County residents will be 80 and older and will require daily assistance from at least one caregiver. To address the growing needs of caregivers, Senior Friendship Centers brings back the Caregiver’s Forum. The event features a keynote from international speaker Dr. Rivera, “The Dementia Doc,” and a Q&A panel from local caregiving experts.

Caregiver’s Forum, Senior Friendship Centers – Sarasota Campus | 1888 Brother Geenen Way, Sarasota, Saturday, February 17, 2024 | 9:30 AM – 1:00 PM. 

To learn more, visit

[Volunteers]  A Night Full of Stars: The Lakewood Ranch Community Appreciation Awards

On January 11th Lakewood Ranch Community Activities and the Lakewood Ranch Community Foundation hosted an extraordinary event, "A Night Full of Stars," to recognize and honor the remarkable efforts of volunteers, nonprofits, and organizations that have made a significant impact on the Lakewood Ranch community. The annual award ceremony celebrated their dedication and commitment to serving others selflessly. The remarkable individuals and organizations were selected based on their exceptional contributions to the Lakewood Ranch community. Their unwavering dedication, innovative ideas, and selfless service have played a pivotal role in making Lakewood Ranch a vibrant and flourishing community. The evening was filled with excitement and gratitude as members of the Lakewood Ranch community came together to celebrate the achievements of the award winners. The event showcased the incredible impact that volunteers and nonprofits have had on enhancing the quality of life in Lakewood Ranch. This inspiring event not only highlighted the award winners but also served as a reminder of the ongoing need for support and volunteerism within the community. It encouraged attendees to continue their efforts in making a difference and promoting positive change. For more information on Volunteering with Lakewood Ranch Community Activities, visit LWRCA.org or email us at info@lwrca.org. See you around The Ranch! 

[Nonprofit News]  Nancy Lieberman Charities Unveil Dream Court in Honor of Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer, Dick Vitale at the Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club

Nancy Lieberman Charities has teamed up with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties to present a new Dream Court™ to the community in Honor of Basketball Hall of Famer, Dick Vitale. The outdoor basketball court, located at the Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club, will provide a safe place for youth to play basketball, build positive relationships, and much more. After a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony, a basketball clinic was held for members of the Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club. “I was honored and proud to be the recipient of the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award presented to me by Nancy Lieberman Charities. This award provided me with the opportunity to select a youth group that would benefit by having a regulation-size basketball court in my name built for them.  My selection was the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties and with the help of Lee Wetherington, we were able to make this a reality. A big THANK YOU goes to Nancy Lieberman who has done wonders for so many young people with her Nancy Lieberman Charities events and programs.” said Basketball Hall of Famer The Dream Court is a supersized high school regulation size, 64-by-94 feet, and includes two new basketball goals. It features a high-performance PowerGame™ surface from Sport Court in red and black, with the Dream Court logo as its centerpiece.Nancy Lieberman Charities has donated over 125 Dream Courts throughout the U.S., to make basketball more accessible to children and provide a safe environment for them to play. Dream Courts serve over five and a half million youth each year. 

[Pet Adoption]  My Furry Valentine

Calling all dog lovers and their four-legged companions! The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime is thrilled to host the highly anticipated event of the season - My Furry Valentine! Saturday, Feb. 3 from 11-3pm, we will transform our venue into a canine haven for a day filled with tail-wagging fun, heartwarming rescues, and an epic dog costume contest. This pawsome event will feature four incredible dog rescues, Tenderheart Charities, Rescue Garage, Low Rider, and Satchel’s Last Resort. These organizations work tirelessly to provide abandoned and neglected dogs with a second chance at finding their forever homes. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet and interact with adorable, adoptable pups, and perhaps even find a new furry family member to take home! But wait, there's more! The highlight of the day will be the highly-anticipated Dog Costume Contest, which will kick off at 11:30 AM. Dog owners are invited to dress up their canine companions in the most creative, hilarious, or adorable costumes they can dream up. Whether it's a superhero, a princess, or a canine version of their favorite celebrity, the possibilities are endless! Prizes will be awarded to the top three winners, who will not only walk away with bragging rights but also some fantastic doggie goodies and human prizes. In addition to the rescues and the contest, local vendors will be on hand to showcase the latest pet products, pet grooming services, and much more. Attendees can also indulge in delicious food and refreshing beverages from Hamlet’s Eatery. Admission to this incredible event is free, but donations are strongly encouraged to support the participating dog rescues and their ongoing efforts to save and care for dogs in need. Don't miss out on the most exciting dog event of the year! Join us at the Bazaar on Saturday, Feb. 3 from 11-3. For more information, visit www.Bazaaronapricotandlime.com or call 941-445-1938. 

[Conservation]  Land Conservation Vital to Safeguarding Fishable, Swimmable, Drinkable Water

Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast is delighted to announce their 20th Anniversary January spotlight, Safeguarding Our Water. As they celebrate twenty years of conservation and community, each month the not-for-profit land trust is spotlighting a different aspect of their work and the corresponding community impact. This 20th Anniversary spotlight series is generously sponsored by Elizabeth Moore. Land conservation is essential to protecting water quality because what happens on the land directly impacts the quality of the water flowing through and from it. In natural areas, such as marshes, prairies, grasslands, and forests, rainfall soaks into the soil, where it is naturally cleaned and stored. In more urban and industrial areas with pavement and buildings, instead of soaking into the soil, water flows directly over the pavement into gutters, ditches, and drains. “When humans pave over natural areas, the land cannot filter or store water, and instead, that water is forced through our cities and towns,” comments Christine P. Johnson, president of Conservation Foundation. “Not only does this increase our community’s flood risk, but it also means everything the water picks up on its way through town – pollution, fertilizers, etc. – ends up dumping directly into our rivers, bays, and ultimately the Gulf. When we conserve land, we’re also protecting that land’s ability to store and clean water for generations to come.” Whether it’s red tide, toxic algae, or a myriad of other water woes, Floridians are all too familiar with what happens when excess nutrients and pollution find their way into local waters. The wetlands, marshes, forests, and farmlands Conservation Foundation protects naturally clean contaminants from the water they store. This decreases our flood risk and reduces the amount of pollution that ends up in Southwest Florida’s water bodies, thereby safeguarding fishable, swimmable, and drinkable water throughout our region. To learn more about how Conservation Foundation is safeguarding water, visit conservationfoundation.com/januaryspotlight. 

[Retirement]  Forty Carrots Family Center Announces Jean Lolli's Retirement After 30 Years of service.

 Jean Lolli has played a central role in the growth and success of Forty Carrots Family Center for over 30 years as one of the organization’s original staff members.  After a long and meaningful career with Forty Carrots, Jean is set to retire from her position as Business & Facilities Manager as of January 31, 2024. Jean said “throughout my 30 years as an original staff member, knowing and connecting with Preschool and Parenting families and their children has provided my greatest joy.  The parents gave me a connection to the Sarasota community and the children warmed my heart and soul every single day.   I thank Betsy Kane-Hartnett and Diane Weiss for creating Forty Carrots and for having the confidence to bring me along this wonderful life's journey.” Jean has contributed to each chapter of our organization’s history since day one.  She has touched the lives of countless families and staff.  “While staff and families will undoubtedly miss seeing her each day at the front desk, I am excited for her and the next important chapter of her life.  Forty Carrots owes her a debt of gratitude for all her hard work and dedication” says Michelle Kapreilian, Forty Carrots CEO.  There will be an open house celebrating Jean’s accomplishments and wishing her well in retirement on Feb. 6, 2024, from 4pm – 6pm at the Kane Campus at 1500 S. Tuttle Ave.  All are welcome to drop in.   

[Donation]  Resilient Retreat Receives $2,500 Donation for Music-Based Programs

Resilient Retreat, a Sarasota non-profit providing free and confidential support for survivors of abuse, first responders and helping professionals, has received a donation of $2,500 from Music Heals: The David J. Keyes Memorial Foundation to support music based programs. Along with the funds, Resilient Retreat is honored to receive a 12-string guitar from Marilyn Keyes in honor of her late husband, David Keyes. David Keyes was an accomplished musician and recording artist. He avidly pursued his musical passion, practicing endlessly and performing with Bucky & John Pizzarelli, Killer Joe, The Kevin Osbourne Band, Rick Pberson, Early Warning and many others. He toured globally, recording with Annie Haslam and Renaissance. Arts-based programs incorporating music are just one of the many holistic options available to participants of Resilient Retreat. For more information or to donate, please visit www.resilientreat.org. 

[Fundraising Event]  Roskamp Institute's Polo for Brain Health February 25th 2024

Join us for The Roskamp Institute’s inaugural Polo for Brain Health event. Sunday February 25, 2024. 11:30am – 3:00pm. Watch the exciting Polo match from the club side pavilion or stroll along the sideline and get up close and personal to the action and thundering of hooves.Enjoy lunch and a silent auction of more than fifty must have items. At half time you are invited to participate in the tradition of (stomping the divots) stepping on the turf upturned by the horses and take a carriage ride on the Polo field. The event concludes with the winning team awards ceremony. Advance tickets $100. After 2/11 tickets $125. Proceeds benefit The Roskamp Institute’s research programs on: Alzheimer’s Disease, Traumatic Brain Injury, Red Tide, Gulf War Illness, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. For questions or to sponsor this event, email aprofit@roskampinstitute.org or call Ashley (941) 752-2949 X 3080. 

[Tidewell Foundation]  Tidewell Foundation Brightens Lives in Our Community

One relationship at a time. That’s how Tidewell has grown and strengthened our community over the past 40+ years. Serving Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties, the Tidewell Foundation provides the philanthropic support needed to ensure all who need the world-class care of Tidewell Hospice can receive it, regardless of their ability to pay.

Tidewell isn’t just hospice care. They provide a variety of services to patients and the overall community such as music and pet therapy, final wishes through the Wishes fund, free grief services, and specialized care for Veterans. Tidewell brightens lives with compassionate, full-life care.

And it starts with generosity. The generosity of donors, volunteers, staff members, and our community. Help ensure care for those who need it most and uplift our community by getting involved. Give respite to a busy caregiver by volunteering, or a final bright memory by donating

Click here for more info.

[Good Hero]  Leveling the Playing Field
Barbie Heit, barbie.heit@srqme.com

LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD | Without a personal agenda or political aspiration, Mary Kay Henson provides opportunities for children to succeed, January 2024. 

Read Here!

[SOON]  SPORTS: 4th Annual Get Your Mutt Movin 5K Fun Run , February 24, 8:30am-1pm

Satchels Last Resort Animal Rescue and Sanctuary and Sarasota City YMCA are excited to announce the 4th annual Get Your Mutt Movin 5K Fun Run, Walk and Festival scheduled for February 24, 2024 at Payne Park. Runner registration is now open at RunSignUp.com. Get Your Mutt Movin features a 5K Fun Run, a choose-your-distance walk, a one-hour Zumba session with local favorite Yael Campbell, and a festival full of vendors, food trucks and more. The event kicks off with the 5K at 8:30am, followed by the walk at 9:30am, and Zumba at 10:30am. The festival will run from 9am-1pm. Funds raised from this event support both Satchels Last Resort and Sarasota City YMCA to provide support for programs like medical care for shelter animals, summer camp scholarships and more. Sponsorship opportunities are available. More information can be found at https://satchelslastresort.networkforgood.com/events/62387-get-your-mutt-movin-5k-road-race-and-fun-walk-2024.

[SOON]  GALA: Celebrate 75 Gala and Concert , February 15, 6pm
Celebrate 75 years of inspiring music all season long, and our Celebrate 75 special concert and gala experience will be the party to top them all. We invite you to support 75 more years, and beyond, of enriching lives through music by purchasing tickets to Celebrate 75. For access to the best seats and the full celebration, opt for a Gala ticket, which includes pre-concert cocktails and a gourmet dinner after the performance. Concert-only tickets are also available for purchase. The concert program, led by Creative Partner Peter Oundjian, captures all the euphoria of reaching this milestone in our history as Florida’s oldest continuously operating orchestra. After two stirring fanfares written by Aaron Copland and Joan Tower, legendary pianist Garrick Ohlsson joins Sarasota Orchestra for the monumental Piano Concerto No. 3 by Rachmaninoff. Paired with An American in Paris by Gershwin, a rhapsodic portrait of a stroll through the City of Lights, this one-night-only program promises to thrill. Gala begins at 6:00 pm, and concert begins at 7:00 pm. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, sarasotaorchestra.org.
[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Under the Sea ALSO Youth Annual Prom , February 3, 6-10pm
The ALSO Youth Annual Prom is the most highly anticipated event for our LGBTQ youth each year. Youth from Sarasota County, Manatee County and beyond attend this unique celebration where they are free to come as they are, with whoever they wish, without fear of judgment or needing to mask who they are. We anticipate between 250-300 youth sending their RSVP to attend the ALSO Youth Prom on Saturday, February 3, 2024. Attendees will enjoy fun music, dancing, games, themed crafts, an awesome photo booth, and so much more. alsoyouth.org
[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.
[SOON]  MUSIC: Van Wezel Presents The Concert, A Tribute to ABBA , May 4, 8pm

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is excited to welcome The Concert, A Tribute to ABBA to Sarasota on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at 8 p.m. The Concert: A Tribute To ABBA continues to be the top ABBA tribute group in the world, dazzling all who see with their fantastic performance while playing the most iconic hits from ABBA, including Mamma Mia, S.O.S, Money, Money, Money, The Winner Takes All, Waterloo, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, and Dancing Queen. Tickets are $30-$75 and can be purchased at www.VanWezel.org, by calling the box office at 941-263-6799 or by visiting the box office Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Groups of 10 or more should contact 941-263-6726. Pre-show dining is available through Mattisons at the Van Wezel which is located inside the theatre. Reservations can be made on VanWezel.org or through the box office.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Wild About Nature Festival , April 6, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Join us for a day of fun and outdoor adventure at the Wild About Nature Festival on Saturday, April 6, 2024 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Reconnect with the great outdoors and help foster a love of nature in the next generation as you spend a day in the sun on the beautiful shores of Little Sarasota Bay at Bay Preserve. Families of all ages are encouraged to take part in this fun-filled day of nature-based education and exploration. The wide variety of activities includes dip-netting, face painting, hula-hoop lessons, crafts, games, and more. There will be live music and food trucks making this a guaranteed good time. This is a FREE family festival open to all. Registration is not required. The event will take place at our Bay Preserve headquarters located at 400 Palmetto Ave. in Osprey. For more information, visit conservationfoundation.com.
[SOON]  MUSIC: Rick Springfield Returns to The Van Wezel , March 13, 7:30pm

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is excited to welcome Rick Springfield back to Sarasota on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $40 and can be purchased at VanWezel.org, by calling the box office at 941-263-6799 or by visiting the box office Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Groups of 10 or more should contact 941-263-6726.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Yayoi Kusama: A Letter to Georgia O Keeffe at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens , February 11 – June 30, n/a

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens will present Yayoi Kusama: A Letter to Georgia O Keeffe as the eighth iteration of its annual Jean and Alfred Goldstein Exhibition, which examines the work of major artists through the lens of their connection to nature. The exhibition, which will be on view from February 11 through June 30, 2024, at Selby Gardens Downtown Sarasota campus, will explore the unexpected yet profoundly impactful mentoring relationship that developed between iconic artists Yayoi Kusama and Georgia O Keeffe. The theme of the upcoming Goldstein Exhibition is the latest announcement of programming planned for Selby Gardens 50th anniversary season. For more information, visit selby.org.

[SOON]  GALA: Party in Paradise , February 3, 5:30-10:30pm

Prepare to be transported to a luxurious tropical escape at the unforgettable cocktail party experience, Party in Paradise. Enjoy endless culinary delights, including passed hors doeuvres and rotating food stations inspired by tropical destinations near and far. Savor signature Siesta Key Rum cocktails, along with non-alcoholic mocktail versions and premium traditional offerings. Explore inside the Burrows-Matson House to discover and purchase one-of-a-kind experiences in nature before they are sold out. You will also have the opportunity to protect the land and water of our Southwest Florida paradise during a fun and fast-paced paddle raise. Gaze upon twinkling stars reflected on Little Sarasota Bay or enjoy intimate conversation under Tuscan lights in our laid-back, waterfront Golden Hour Lounge. Show off your moves and dance the night away with the Deleon Band in our Island Dream Disco. Event proceeds support the vital mission of the Conservation Foundation to protect the land and water of Southwest Florida for the benefit of people and nature. Party in Paradise will take place at the historic Bay Preserve, located at 400 Palmetto Ave, Osprey. Learn more about tickets and sponsorships at conservationfoundation.com.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Under My Skin , February 2 – March 16, Various times

SPAACES is pleased to announce a new solo exhibition by Babs Reingold Under My Skin. This is the first solo exhibition by Babs in Sarasota. The exhibition includes a series of new stain paintings/assemblages, sculptures from the Luna Window series, and a group of small drawings. 2087 Princeton St., Sarasota, https://spaaces.art/under-my-skin/.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Luminescence Festival , January 20, 6-10pm
Wellen Park invites the community for an evening of illumination and music Saturday, Jan. 20, in Downtown Wellen. The Luminescence Festival, from 6 to 10 p.m., will have hundreds of glowing luminaries light up the Grand Lake shoreline. The festival includes signature jazz performed by Orlando-based Eighth Note Collective on the Solis Hall outdoor stage and a table-decorating contest as part of exclusive VIP experience. Guests must register in advance at wellenpark.com/events to receive a lantern bag, marker, and tealight. The Luminescence Festival VIP experience is $75 per person and includes a reserved seat at a communal table for eight with a premium location on the event lawn and a chef-driven six-course tasting menu with wine from The Banyan House restaurant. VIP guests also receive stemware, linens, plates, cutlery and a luminary. All VIP guests are encouraged to decorate their table with specialty linens, floral arrangements, candelabras, and more to create the ultimate tablescape. An undercover and incognito local design professional will judge tables based on overall design and creativity. Each person at the grand prize-winning table receives a $75 gift card to The Banyan House. Each person at the runner up-winning table will receive a $25 gift card to The Banyan House. For more information and to register for general admission tickets or VIP tickets, download the new Wellen Park app from the App Store or Google Play, or visit wellenparkapp.com.
[SOON]  SEMINAR: Listening to Women Series , January 18 – February 22, 1pm

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College, OLLI, presents its fifth annual Listening to Women, a six-session series that recognizes women whose brilliance and fortitude have reshaped industries and who are making a difference in our communities. The series takes place on Thursdays at 1 pm, from Jan. 18-Feb. 22, 2024, at Sarasota Art Museum, the Ringling College Museum Campus, 1001 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Registration for the complete series is $81 for OLLI Gold Members and $90 for OLLI Silver Members and general admission; register at www.OLLIatRinglingCollege.org.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Manatee County Fair , January 11 – January 21, Various times
The Manatee County Fair returns Jan. 11-21, 2024, and for the first time, fair lovers can purchase admission tickets online. Daily admission and parking prices are unchanged from recent years with adults 13 and older, $10, active duty military, $6, children ages 6-12, $6. Children 5 and under are admitted free. Parking near the Fair is available in several locations for $10. Adult tickets can be purchased at a $1.50 discount per person online at www.manateecountyfair.com and clicking on the Buy Tickets button at the top of the page. An individual ticket price is $8 and a 50-cent-per-ticket fee is added at checkout. The Fair begins Thursday, Jan. 11 when gates open at 5 p.m. Daily hours are listed on the website. This Fair theme is Fun is in the Air at the Manatee County Fair. The 2024 Fair is packed with fun activities for families of all ages including livestock shows, a petting zoo, camel rides, a one-man band, circus performers, pig racing, blacksmith demonstrations and more. To learn more about the 2024 Manatee County Fair, visit www.manateecountyfair.com.
[SOON]  MUSIC: Jazz Thursdays , January 11 – June 13, 5:30 pm-8 pm

Join us for live jazz at Sarasota Art Museum, hosted by the Jazz Club of Sarasota, featuring Hot Club of SRQ, and extended hours in the galleries, Bistro, and SHOP. Sip on refreshing cocktails and enjoy small bites in the Bistro. Each second Thursday of the month features a different style of jazz, from straight-ahead to free jazz, bebop to swing-programmed in partnership with Jazz Club of Sarasota. Galleries are open until 7 pm on Jazz Thursdays. Learn more and purchase tickets at sarasotaartmuseum.org.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Global Issues , January 9 – March 29, Various times
2024 marks the 53rd anniversary of Sarasota Institute of the Lifetime Learning Global Issues series. This hard-hitting series, which runs January 9-March 29, features 24 internationally renowned experts discussing a vast range of domestic and global issues. The lectures are presented on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Sarasota; Tuesdays at 2:30 p.m. and Fridays at 10 a.m. at the Venice Community Center in Venice; and Wednesdays at 11 a.m. and Thursdays at 5 p.m. at the Cornerstone Church in Lakewood Ranch. Lectures will also be available for purchase on video. https://sillsarasota.org/index.htm.
[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College Winter Semester , January 8 – March 1, Various times

Registration is open for the 2024 winter semester at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, OLLI, at Ringling College, which offers noncredit educational opportunities for adults to pursue new interests, expand intellectual horizons, and enrich their lives. The semester, which runs Jan. 8-March 1, 2024, features more than 50 courses, workshops, lectures, and special presentations covering a wide variety of topics, including arts and entertainment, history, music appreciation, health, literature, philosophy, religion, and science. Semester highlights include Searching Dr. Google. What Should I Believe, The History of Psychiatry: Winners and Losers; Voting Behavior and the Electoral Process; Glass: The New Hot Contemporary Art Form; and The Historic First Federal Prosecution of a U.S. President. Classes are offered at the Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College of Art and Design, 1001 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; and online via Zoom. To register, or for more information about becoming an OLLI member, visit www.OLLIatRinglingCollege.org or call 941-309-5111.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Rainforest Masks of Costa Rica , January 6 – January 21, Various times
Natural wonders of the tropical rainforest as depicted on the handcrafted masks of the Indigenous artists of Boruca, Costa Rica will be on view in the Museum of Botany and the Arts from January 6-21, 2024. The cultural practice of mask-making honors the heritage of the Borucan people and reflects the strong connection they maintain with their beautiful natural environment. This exhibition will highlight the history and tradition of Borucan mask-making, as well as celebrate the 20th anniversary of displaying masks at Selby Gardens. Since it was first launched in 2004, this popular annual event at Selby Gardens has brought the beauty of a unique art form to a wider audience, while also empowering the artists to earn income from mask sales that help support their village and their growing conservation efforts. Proceeds from mask sales support the Borucan village and also benefit Selby Gardens education, research, horticulture, and scientific work. Learn more and purchase tickets at selby.org.
[SOON]  MUSEUM: Shinique Smith, Parade , January 4 – January 5, Various times

Enjoy the extraordinary opportunity to experience the work of contemporary artist Shinique Smith in conversation with the collection of European art at The Ringling. Unfolding across six galleries of the Museum of Art, the exhibition creates a series of unique stories that together form an abstract narrative of the parade as a metaphor for life. Well known for her monumental sculptures created from an array of materials, including luxurious textiles, personal clothing, dyed fabrics, ribbon, and wood, and for her abstract paintings of calligraphy and collage, Smiths work in this exhibition speaks to various facets of the European artistic tradition, such as classical drapery and religious iconography, while foregrounding notions of Black femininity and the history of the circus. Learn more at ringling.org.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Coffee with a Scientist , December 12 – March 26, 10am

Join us for our Coffee With A Scientist series, a free public event held on Tuesdays in Boca Grande and hosted by Mote Marine Laboratory. Hear from Mote scientists on January 16, February 13 and March 26 as they share with you the latest in their groundbreaking research and their plans for the future with a Q and A session to follow. On Visit mote.org/pages/coffee to sign up and for more information.

[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]  BUSINESS: Business Networking and Cowork Session , August 22 – June 25, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Attention all business professionals. Join us for a productive and inspiring coworking event every Tuesday at Out and About Coffee in downtown Sarasota. Take advantage of this opportunity to network and collaborate with fellow professionals in a relaxed and comfortable environment. Limited spots available, so register now on Eventbrite. O and A Coffee Supply, 1316 Main St., Sarasota.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Lets Connect at Oscura in Old Manatee , August 31 – December 26, 8:30-10am

Connect with local business owners at every Thursday at Oscura. Lets Connect is a community of collaborative business professionals from the Manatee and Sarasota County areas. RSVP on Eventbrite to attend, admission is free.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Collaborative Coworking Meetup at UTC , September 1 – December 27, 11am-4pm

Attention all business professionals, join us for a productive and inspiring coworking event at Panera Bread at the UTC Mall every Friday. Take advantage of this opportunity to network and collaborate with fellow professionals in a relaxed and comfortable environment. Limited spots available, so register now on Eventbrite. Panera Bread, 215 N. Cattlemen Road, Sarasota.

[SOON]  FOOD: Siesta Key Rum Distillery Tours , September 2 – September 30, Various times

Siesta Key Rum runs free year-round tours for guests to learn the story of the craft distillery, the awards they have won and the secret to how they make their rums taste so good. During our 30-45 minute tour we will discuss the following topics: history of Siesta Key Rum, an overview of the awards our small company has won, what makes our rums taste so good, the rum-making process from mashing and fermentation to distillation, barrel aging and bottling of our rums. After the tour, we welcome you to sample a freshly made Siesta Key Rum cocktail, stock up on your favorite rums and browse our gift shop. 2212 Industrial Blvd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Clyde Butcher: Nature Through the Lens , November 11 – August 31, N/a

Clyde Butcher: Nature Through the Lens will be on view through August 31, 2024 at the Historic Spanish Point campus. Selby Gardens is excited to present the extraordinary imagery of photographer and conservationist Clyde Butcher throughout the grounds of the Historic Spanish Point campus. Large-scale prints on aluminum of Butcher’s beautiful photographs of plants, animals, and habitats of Florida will be exhibited amid the natural landscape of the 30-acre waterfront preserve, enabling the public to engage with the artist’s work like never before. In the tradition of earlier landscape photographers like Ansel Adams, Butcher captures the beauty and majesty of America’s natural treasures in dramatic black and white. The unique environments of Florida have been subjects of particular interest to Butcher since the 1980s, when he was first introduced to the magic and mystery of sites such as Big Cypress National Preserve and Everglades National Park. Nature Through the Lens will include Butcher’s photographs of regional locales such as Myakka River State Park and Casey Key. This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Clyde Butcher Gallery & Studio in Venice, Florida. For more information, visit selby.org.

[SOON]  GALLERY: ChromaShock, A Modern and Vibrant Exploration , January 4 – January 31, Various times
MARA Art Studio and Gallery presents ChromaShock: A Modern and Vibrant Exploration, an exhibition of work by 13 artists that pushes the boundaries of chromatic expression, inviting viewers into a mesmerizing world of vivid hues and dynamic compositions. The exhibit runs January 4-31, with an opening reception on Friday, January 12, 5:30-7:30 p.m. The exhibit features work by Laura Arteaga Charlton, Ralph Berger, Bill Buchman, Lori Childers, David Erdman, Christina Jensen Vicente, Midge Johnson, Pamela Olin, Julia Rivera, Ashley Rivers, Jack Shapiro, Javi Suarez and Mara Torres Gonzalez. The gallery is located at 76 S. Palm Avenue, Sarasota. MaraStudioGallery.com.
[SOON]  MUSEUM: Working Conditions at The Ringling , August 26 – March 3, varied times

Explore labor through The Ringlings Working Conditions photography exhibit, running until March 3, 2024. The Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries radically changed the nature of human labor. That era is defined by a global shift from producing goods by hand to manufacturing by machines and technologies that emphasized efficiency. Working Conditions explores the myriad ways in which photographs have communicated ideas about labor since the nineteenth century through examples from The Ringlings photography permanent collection. For more information, visit ringling.org.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Bradenton Market Returns , October 7 – May 25, 9am-2pm

Realize Bradenton is happy to announce the return of the Bradenton Market to its weekly schedule. This beloved community gathering will be held Saturdays through May 25, 2024 from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm on Old Main Street in Bradenton. Founded in 1979, the Market has expanded to include more than 90 local vendors. In addition to the weekly shopping and music, the Market hosts special event days throughout the season. Halloween at the Market will be held on Saturday, October 28. This family-friendly event includes trick or treating with vendors, face painting with Manatee School for the Arts Academic Team from 9:30 am - 12:30 pm, and a dance performance by Slick Motion Studios at 10:00 am. For more information, visit RealizeBradenton.com.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Music Mondays , January 8 – March 25, Various times

The 2024 season of Sarasota Institute of the Lifetime Learning Music Monday Series presents performances and lively conversations with renowned and emerging performers, January 8-March 25, on Mondays at 10:30 a.m. at Church of the Palms in Sarasota; and Mondays at 3 p.m. at Venice Presbyterian Church in Venice. https://sillsarasota.org/index.htm.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Odyssey , January 11 – January 23, Various times
SPAACES is proud to present Odyssey, featuring works from the Ringling College of Art and Design Fine Arts graduating class of 2024. Odyssey features eight artists who explore the nuances of human connection through painting, fiber arts, and time-based media. Each artist delves into individual odysseys of their own experiences to create a harmonious group exhibition. A reception will be held on Thursday, January 11th 2024, 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm, SPAACES, 2051 Princeton St., Sarasota, https://spaaces.art/.

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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