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SRQ DAILY Feb 7, 2024

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

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Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"RoboNation is helping bridge the gap between the lessons students are learning in the classroom and the real world, positioning these students as ideal candidates to meet the demands of the global workforce."

- Lindsey Groark, Vice President of Programs, RoboNation.

[Competition]  Boatloads of Fun at the 17th Annual RoboBoat Competition
Barbie Heit, barbie.heit@srqme.com

This week, RoboNation, a nonprofit organization on a mission to provide hands-on robotics education is conducting the 17th Annual RoboBoat Competition at Nathan Benderson Park (NBP) in Sarasota. Nineteen student teams from around the world are visiting our region from February 5 – 11 to showcase their autonomous robotic boats in the exciting event. This marks the third year RoboBoat will be held at Nathan Benderson Park, highlighting the valued partnership with the park and the greater Sarasota community.

Competing teams have spent the last year designing and building self-driving robotic boats. During the competition, the boats will have to complete a series of tasks testing acoustic navigation, sensing, speed, object recognition, and more. Returning champion Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (Barunastra ITS) from Indonesia is joining a diverse field of university and high-performing high school teams. One such school is Cornell University, competing with the team's boat, Clifford the Big Red Boat. Named after the school’s unofficial mascot, the Big Red Bear, the school’s boat was designed and manufactured by 55 team members from all different years and backgrounds at the school.

“Clifford has a camera and uses gps and a compass for functionality and IT then uses that information to plan intelligent paths,” shares team member Joanna Lin. “We are just super excited to be here–Go Red!” adds Amelia Kovacs.

"In terms of education and workforce development, hands-on programs like the RoboBoat competition are very valuable. RoboNation is helping bridge the gap between the lessons students are learning in the classroom and the real world, positioning these students as ideal candidates to meet the demands of the global workforce,” stated Lindsey Groark, Vice President of Programs.

The RoboBoat Competition is open to the public from 9:00am to 5:00 pm February 5 – 11. RoboBoat Finals will take place on February 11, 2024, with the exact times to be determined. 

Pictured: Clifford the Big Red Boat is one of 19 boats competing in the 17th Annual RoboBoat Competition this week. Photo by Barbie Heit.

For more information click here

[Recognition]  John and Amanda Horne 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 Amanda and John Horne of Oysters Rock Hospitality who are known in the community and hospitality industry for constantly striving for excellence both in business operations and efforts to ensure that their company helps as many people as they possibly can. They are respected for their leadership, kindness and endless dedication to the staff and community. John and Amanda’s team shares that hospitality means ensuring that everyone at the table knows that they belong. Serving people in their restaurants allows the Hornes to build relationships within the community and give back through their Shuckin' Good Cause program, the philanthropic arm of Oysters Rock Hospitality. The Shuckin' Good Cause Fund, is designed to provide financial assistance and support to employees facing various hardships or emergencies. Shuckin Good Cause also raises funds for and contributes independently to a variety of partner and nonprofit organizations in the areas of education, heroes, advocacy groups for the hospitality industry and business community and organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals with health challenges along with their families and for all community members through arts, culture, and placemaking. Oysters Rock Hospitality is perhaps best known for its flagship summer reading program, Dive Into Reading, which aims to improve children’s reading levels by combating “Summer Slide.” Congratulations, John and Amanda. 

Pictured: Bart Lowther (left) of Mariash Lowther Wealth Management with Amanda and Joh Horne of Oysters Rock Hospitality. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

[Animal Welfare]  Adoption Event Reimagines Reality Show

Manatee County Animal Welfare (MCAW) is drawing from reality television for a new way to match adoptable pups with fur-ever homes. Inspired by the drama and excitement of the dating show The Bachelor, the "Barkelor" Dog Adoption Event is set to take place at Rocky Bluff Library, located at 6750 US Highway 301 North, Ellenton, on Saturday, February 10, 2024, from 12 to 3 p.m. Animal lovers will have the chance to meet the most eligible dogs from Manatee County Animal Welfare—loyal companions, vying for love and attention, just like contestants awaiting that coveted red rose. A Barkelor-themed photo booth will be available to capture some special moments. Presented by Manatee Library and Manatee County Animal Welfare, the event is open to everyone—singles, families and dog lovers alike. "This is a great opportunity to have some fun with some of our favorite furry friends,” said Manatee County Commission Chair Mike Rahn. “It’s just one of the many animal-centric initiatives ongoing in our Animal Welfare world.” Adoption fees will be waived for this event. All adoptable pets are spayed/neutered, microchipped, and vaccinated. Manatee County residents adopting a pet will be required to purchase an annual County pet license for $20, which can be obtained by going to mymanatee.org/petlicense. 

To learn more, visit

[Graduation]  Goodwill Manasota Celebrates First Graduates of JobsPlus Language Program

When Goodwill Manasota was the recipient of an unexpected $10 million donation from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott in December of 2020, the organization wasted little time expanding existing programs and adding select new ones. One such new program is JobsPlus Language, which assists those who speak little to no English with employment, the opportunity to learn and practice English on-the-clock, and a family-sustaining career path. Goodwill recently celebrated the first two graduates of the JPL program, Lisbeth Leal Suarez and Lazara Munoz Jimenez. In the short time they've been employed by Goodwill - both started in November of 2022 - they have gained significant English fluency, become Role Model workers, and been promoted to better-paying positions. They are a living testament to the value of investing in workers, which benefits the company/organization in terms of productivity and loyalty/retention, and the team members being given the opportunity to boost their work and life prospects. 

Pictured: Recent JobsPlus Language program graduates Lazara Munoz Jimenez (left) and Lisbeth Leal Suarez with JobsPlus Language program manager Natalie Caukwell (center) Provided photo/Goodwill Manasota.

[Recognition]  Sisterhood For Good Gains National Recognition

Sisterhood For Good, an all-volunteer organization that benefits local nonprofits through group philanthropy, is proud to announce it has been awarded the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid (formerly GuideStar). Candid is an information service specializing in reporting on U.S. nonprofit companies, whose database provided information on 2.5 million organizations. “We are honored to receive the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid and remain committed to being accountable to our donors and our community,” said founding donor and company president Angela Massaro-Fain. “We are filled with gratitude and look forward to empowering positive change for years to come."  The designation places Sisterhood For Good in the top 0.1% of charitable organizations nationally in terms of transparency, meaning the Lakewood Ranch nonprofit shares clear and vital information with the public about its goals, strategies, capabilities, and achievements. The elevation to Platinum Level comes after three years of maintaining the Gold Seal of Transparency, and from thousands of volunteer hours, fundraising and prudent business strategies. As a result of the award, donors can easily find financial information about Sisterhood For Good to help them make informed decisions when considering a gift that supports its mission.   

To learn more, visit

[Fundraising Event]  Mothers Helping Mothers Celebrates the 2nd Annual Power of Purple

February 17, 2024, at 5-10pm Mothers Helping Mothers (MHM) is celebrating the 2nd Annual Power of Purple at their fundraising gala. MHM is bringing together their extended family of sponsors, supporters, and volunteers, all of whom have played an integral role in their journey of service to our local community. The event is to raise money for an expansion of services desperately needed in the area. MHM is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization that provides basic necessities such as clothing free ofcharge to families in Sarasota, Manatee, and surrounding counties. MHM supports families in need by fostering resiliency, self-sufficiency, and family stability. Mothers Helping Mothers serves over 4,000 families annually through their storefront, representing an average of 11,000 children in need. Since 1990, MHM has relied on sponsorships, donations, and volunteerism of the community. MHM plans to add 1,700 square feet of space to the building by creating a new second-floor. This space will be used as a special event venue for their clients for back-to-school and toy day events. It will increase their educational classroom capacity to accommodate more than 30 clients, provide seasonal storage overflow, and enable MHM to maintain their donation levels and material supplies essential to meet the demands of their growing client base. Also in the plan, is installation of an ADA-compliant elevator to ensure that all clients have access to the space. The project estimate is $340,000 and MHM has raised $65,000 to date. The Power of Purple celebration includes: Sip and Stroll Tours - providing as inside look at the heart of operations and a glimpse into the impact MHM makes on a daily basis; Three-Course Dinner - guests will enjoy tray passed hors d'oeuvres, a fully plated dinner and dessert catered by Pier 22; Kid's Fashion Show – with MHM’s littlest clients showcasing some of the outfits provided to families in the cutest fashion show.; Silent and Live Auction – with the opportunity to bid on a range of fabulous items, knowing that contributions are directly helping families in need; Live Band and Dancing - We're excited to bring back 22N aka Noise Disturbance to bring the high energy and amplify the night; Drinks Included and More - Beer, wine and, our signature mystery purple cocktail. The Power of Purple is at Mothers Helping Mothers, 5933 N. Washington Blvd. For tickets ($175 per person) available thru 2/7/24 go to: https://www.mhmsarasota.com/pop-2024. 

[Arts & Entertainment]  The Hermitage Artist Retreat Announces UK Playwright and Lyricist Chris Bush as Fourth Recipient of the $35,000 Hermitage Major Theater Award

Andy Sandberg, Artistic Director and CEO of the Hermitage Artist Retreat, announced today that UK-based playwright and Olivier Award-winning lyricist Chris Bush has been selected as the fourth recipient of the Hermitage Major Theater Award (HMTA). This jury-selected prize, established by the Hermitage in 2021 with generous support from Flora Major and the Kutya Major Foundation, offers one of the largest nonprofit theater commissions in the United States, and now adds the United Kingdom to its expanding international footprint. Bush will receive a cash prize of $35,000, as well as a residency at the Hermitage (Sarasota County, Florida) and a developmental workshop in a major arts capital – which for this commission will be London in late 2025. Chris Bush is an award-winning playwright, lyricist, and theater maker based in the United Kingdom. Her comprehensive body of work includes Standing at the Sky’s Edge, which won her an Olivier Award and a UK Theatre Award for Best Musical. Following sold-out runs at the National Theatre and Sheffield Theatres, the acclaimed production is opening this month on the West End and has been described as “the most exciting new British musical in years” by WhatsOnStage and heralded by The Times as “a moving and resonant piece of popular entertainment — magnificent and meaningful." Bush received a UK Theatre Award for Best Show for Children & Young People for her production Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World and a UK Theatre Award for Best Musical for Assassination of Katie Hopkins, heralded by The Guardian as “an intelligent, thoughtful, and often wryly enjoyable look at the polarization of public debate in the age of social media.” Raised in Sheffield, England, Chris Bush currently lives in London. “The Hermitage Major Theater Award is an incredible opportunity for an artist to develop their craft,” said Michael Grandage, “and Chris Bush is a hugely talented playwright who has already demonstrated that big ideas can change the world. I’m delighted this award will afford her an opportunity to continue to evolve in a fully supported environment.”  

[Workshop]  Women's Resource Center Presents: A Life Enrichment Workshop You Are Worthy With Chris Florand and Denise Whalin February 15-April 11

The Women’s Resource Center presents “You Are Worthy,” an eight-week series moderated by Chris Florand and Denise Whalin. This in-person series is part of the Women’s Resource Center’s life enrichment programs. The program is $25 for all sessions and takes place at WRC’s Sarasota office at 340 S. Tuttle Ave. To register, please call (941)256-9721 or visit mywrc.org/youareworthy.  In "You Are Worthy," Chris Florand and Denise Whalin will help participants develop improved self-confidence, assertiveness, boundary-setting, and negotiation skills. This program meets weekly, with each session focusing on developing self-awareness skills, the building block where real personal growth and power to change lives starts. Florand and Whalin help participants stop habits that hinder healthy self-esteem and replace self-defeating thoughts and behaviors with positive views. The "You Are Worthy" two-hour workshops help attendees develop healthy actions and boundaries for an improved life experience. This program meets every Thursday, 6-8 p.m. and consists of eight weekly sessions starting on February 15. There is a $25 registration fee for all eight sessions. The 'You Are Worthy' classes were incredibly valuable to me,” says a previous program attendee. “I learned so much through the classes and have made significant shifts in my mindset and outlook on life. The instructors were incredible in their approach to presenting the materials while also sharing their knowledge, compassion, and humor. I've already recommended these classes to several other women in the Sarasota area. Thank you, WRC, for hosting these valuable classes!” 

[Donation]  Culverhouse Donates Half a Million Dollars to the Church of the Redeemer

Sarasota County developer and attorney Hugh Culverhouse Jr. donates $500,000 to the Church of the Redeemer marking the contribution as the largest gift non-capital campaign donation in the parish history. Rev. Charleston Wilson, the Rector of the Church of the Redeemer, expressed gratitude for Culverhouse’s transformative gift, stating, “Hugh takes annual giving to a whole new level, and his generous donation will provide vital resources at a critical time when our parish and community are experiencing growth. Thanks to Hugh’s philanthropy, Redeemer will be able to expand every facet of ministry and outreach, from equipping local classrooms to facilitating youth mission trips, creating a ripple effect that uplifts our entire community.” Culverhouse’s donation is poised to serve as a challenge match, inspiring others to join in the spirit of giving. The impact is already evident, with thousands raised in just a few short days. The groundswell of support aligns with the church’s 139-year history of community engagement, solidifying its role as a cornerstone of Sarasota. To donate or learn more about how to get involved, visit the Church of the Redeemer donation page https://www.redeemersarasota.org/give/.The Church of the Redeemer, deeply rooted in Sarasota’s history, traces its origins to 1885, with Col. J. Hamilton Gillespie, one of its founders, also serving as the city’s inaugural mayor. Since settling at its present downtown location in 1934, the church has grown to nearly 3,000 members, making it the largest parish in the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida and among the largest in the country. Hugh Culverhouse Jr., currently serving as CEO of Palmer Ranch Holdings Ltd in Sarasota, has been at the helm of the 15,000-acre master-planned community for nearly three decades. Beyond his role in business, Culverhouse has been committed to creating positive change, having donated tens of millions of dollars to various community causes, higher education, mental health, social welfare initiatives. Last year, Culverhouse addressed the public funding shortfall for the Sarasota County Comprehensive Treatment Court (CTC) by contributing $150,000. This contribution ensured the full funding of the 2023 program, supporting a mental health diversion initiative that redirects non-violent offenders with mental health disorders from jails to treatment programs. Culverhouse’s career includes serving as a former assistant U.S. attorney, handling complex cases for the Southern District of Florida, and as a trial attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission in its division of enforcement. After his tenure in public service, he transitioned into private practice for over two decades. Holding degrees from the University of Florida in Business Administration and Law, Culverhouse has completed an MBA program with a focus on corporate finance at New York University. He has also received his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation, demonstrating his commitment to maintaining the highest professional standards in financial matters. 

[Seniors]  Senior Friendship Centers Highlights Programming that Addresses the Leading Drivers of Illness, Disability and Death

As the nation gears up to observe American Heart Month in February, Senior Friendship Centers (SFC) highlights its programs that help address the leading drivers of illness, disability, death, and escalating healthcare costs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as we age, we are more at risk for chronic diseases such as dementias, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and cancer. Heart disease alone costs the US healthcare system $216 billion per year and accounts for approximately 2 out of 10 deaths in Florida. The American Heart Association suggests that adhering to lifestyle behaviors such as being physically active, eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight has a positive impact on cardiovascular health. With 367,897 adults in Sarasota County, 156,703 being seniors, Senior Friendship Centers offers older adults’ programs that are designed to help prevent heart disease through Activity Centers, Adult Day Cares and Nutrition Services. Senior Friendship Centers serves as a vibrant hub for seniors, offering a wide variety of activities that improve cardiovascular fitness and maintain optimal physical health. At the Activity Centers, older adults enjoy classes such as Zumba, Tai Chi, Line Dancing, Pickleball, and Balance Movement, as well as Nutrition and Cooking workshops. Moreover, for seniors with dementia and other mild cognitive impairments, The Caregiving Place’s Adult Day Care program offers low-impact exercises such as chair yoga and stretching. In addition, meals served through our activity centers, adult day cares, neighborhood dining locations and home-delivered meals are reviewed by a registered dietician to ensure optimal intake and meet daily nutritional guidelines for older adults. Through these programs, seniors can actively reduce the risk of heart disease by participating in exercise activities and having access to nutrient-rich meals. For more information about our Activity Centers, visit our website at www.friendshipcenters.org or contact us at (941) 955- 2122. For more information about our Adult Day Care program or to schedule a tour, call (941) 556 3268. 

[Financial Access Federal Credit Union]  Gain Financial Guidance with Financial Access Federal Credit Union

Join us at Financial Access Federal Credit Union, where we strive to remove barriers and provide access to capital for your business. We provide flexibility and a consultative approach to lending. You never have to feel alone when seeking capital for your business. We also provide financial and operational support from our network of partners. We are much more than a traditional lending institution. Helping your business grow with innovative and flexible loan products and non-traditional underwriting is what we strive to do. We also provide credit-building assistance along with products and strategies if needed. This is the “Financial Access Difference.” We aim to grow businesses and provide access to low-cost capital by combining innovative lending strategies and a robust support system is how we will do it. Every business, at some point, needs access to capital in order to grow. Allow Financial Access to help you gain that much-needed access. Our name, “Financial Access,” says it all. Whether you need to restructure debt; lower interest payments; reduce revolving debt; free up working capital; buy vehicles or equipment, or other business needs. We are here to help. Need a smaller loan than is offered by traditional lenders? No problem. Need guidance on how to improve your credit profile? No problem.

Contact us today at 941-748-7704 or visit our website at www.financialaccessfcu.org to start growing your access. 

Click Here To Learn More

[Food Program]  Mosaic Supports Efforts to End Hunger in DeSoto County

As it has since 2012, Mosaic is providing generous support to All Faiths Food Bank (AFFB) to help residents in need in DeSoto County. This year, Mosaic has awarded a grant of $65,000 to AFFB for the food bank’s BackPack and Mobile Pantry programs, aimed at ending hunger in rural communities. Mosaic’s support for AFFB in DeSoto County began in 2012 for mobile pantries and soon expanded to include support for the BackPack program, which provides students enrolled in DeSoto County schools with backpacks filled with nutritious foods for the weekends and during school holidays. Over the past 12 years, Mosaic has contributed more than $795,000 to AFFB in support of these programs. With the financial support provided by Mosaic, AFFB’s BackPack and Mobile Pantry programs reduced hunger and food insecurity for 4,000 residents of DeSoto County during the most recent funding year. Individuals and families obtained nutritious food on a regular basis from 89 mobile distribution sites located in their neighborhoods throughout the county. Approximately 60,000 pounds of fresh produce were distributed through the Mobile Pantry program in DeSoto County alone. Additionally, BackPacks filled with healthy, ready-to-eat snacks were handed out to more than 3,100 children each week from 20 schools and child-focused programs.  

[Grant]  The Florida Center for Early Childhood Receives a Grant from the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation

Studies show that strategic renovations to young children's learning environments significantly enhance their cognitive development and engagement. By replacing dilapidated, piecemeal furnishings with sturdy, wooden furniture, warm lighting, and natural accessories, young students gain an environment that is calming and conducive to exploration, self-discovery, and learning. This style of classroom setting, inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy, which emphasizes child-centered and experiential learning, is especially effective for children with needs related to diagnoses such as autism, sensory processing disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, prenatal exposure to alcohol or drugs, and others. 

Pictured: Free play in the 3 to 4-year-old class at Starfish Academy in North Port.

[SOON]  DANCE: Celtic Throne, The Royal Journey of Irish Dance , June 2, 7:30pm
Irish dancers and musicians from Edmonds Herbert W. Armstrong College and Armstrong Dance will embark on their fifth U.S. tour beginning May 5, visiting 10 states over seven weeks with their show Celtic Throne, The Royal Journey of Irish Dance. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall will host a one-night performance at 7:30 p.m., June 2. Celtic Throne, The Royal Journey of Irish Dance explores the ancient origins of Irish step dance and celebrates the millennia-long journey of a music-and-dance-loving people as they migrate from the ancient Near East to Ireland, Scotland, England and the United States. Tickets to Celtic Throne, The Royal Journey of Irish Dance begin at $25 and can be purchased at VanWezel.org. For more information, please visit celticthrone.com.
[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Theresa Caputo Live, The Experience , April 11, 7:30pm
For more than a decade, Theresa Caputo, known worldwide as the Long Island Medium, and star of the new Lifetime Series Raising Spirits, has touched the lives of millions of fans, comforting supporters when they need it most. Now Sarasota fans will get their chance at healing when the acclaimed medium and beloved personality appears live at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on Thursday, April 11 at 7:30pm. Known for her unique ability to communicate with those who have passed on, Theresa Caputo Live: The Experience brings Theresa face-to-face with her fans as Spirit guides her through the audience. A full-stage video display ensures that everyone in the theater has an up-close experience regardless of seat location. Through personal life stories, candid humor, and intimate details about her gift to communicate with those who have passed, the beloved television personality and best-selling author delivers healing messages to her audience, reassuring them with the revelation that their deceased loved ones are still with them, just in a different way. Recognized as one of the most renowned mediums for over 20 years, Theresa Caputo Live: The Experience is an awe-inspiring event you won’t want to miss. Learn more about Theresa at www.theresacaputo.com. Tickets start at $64.23 and can be purchased at www.VanWezel.org, by calling the box office at 941-263-6799 or by visiting the box office. Pre-show dining is available through Mattison’s at the Van Wezel which is located inside the theatre. Reservations can be made on VanWezel.org or through the box office.
[SOON]  GALA: Third Annual Polo for Parkinsons , March 24, 11am
The third annual Polo for Parkinsons fundraiser will be held at the Sarasota Polo grounds on Sunday, March 24, 2024. This annual fundraising event presented by Parkinson Place raises awareness for Parkinson Place Center, where community members with Parkinsons disease and other movement disorders, as well as their caregivers, can come together for support and participate in over 85 classes and activities. Companies, organizations and individuals have the opportunity to participate in this Luau-themed event. Sponsorships range from $10,000 to $1,000 with individual tickets priced at $100 per person. Parkinson Place Center will welcome you to the Polo Pavilion on Sunday, March 24, 2024 at 11am. Lunch will be catered at Noon with the Polo match starting at 1pm. For more information about tickets and sponsorship opportunities please call Suzanne Hudson-Smith, CFRE at 941-210-6275 or shudsonsmith@parkinsonplace.org.
[SOON]  GALA: 2024 Transformation Gala , March 22, 5-10pm
The Sarasota Performing Arts Foundation proudly announces the return of the 2024 Transformation Gala on Friday, March 22, 2024 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Featuring Kristin Chenoweth, New York Times best-selling author and Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress and singer, the 2024 Transformation Gala promises an incredible evening dedicated to experiencing the transformative power of the arts. Set along the beautiful waterfront of Sarasota Bay, the 22nd annual event supports the PAFs vision for a new Performing Arts Center and its transformative arts education work that touches the lives of more than 33,000 educators, military families, and students. The night begins with a bayside cocktail celebration and exceptional dining catered by Michael’s on East, followed by a thrilling concert featuring Tony Award-winning artist Kristin Chenoweth in the Van Wezel Hall. The celebration concludes with a rocking private afterparty in the grand foyer. Proceeds from the gala help to fund PAF educational programs, support our partnered educational programs at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, contribute to the planning of the new Sarasota Performing Arts Center, and solidify the future of the arts in Sarasota. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit sarasotaperformingartsfoundation.org.
[SOON]  GALA: ALSO Youth Brunch , March 3, 11am-2pm

Join us for a brunch benefitting ALSO Youth, a local non-profit organization serving the LGBTQ youth community in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, at Tsunami Sushi and Hibachi on Sunday, March 3rd, 2024. Enjoy incredible food courtesy of Tsunami Sushi and Hibachi, a unique auction, and live music during this event supporting our mission to empower LGBTQ youth and allies and create inclusive communities. Learn more and purchase tickets at alsoyouth.org.

[SOON]  SPORTS: 5K Fun Run and Walk , February 24, 7am

In the spirit of the new year and all things fit and healthy join us at the free Fun Run and Pancake Breakfast. This event is held In conjunction with the Zoomers non-profit running club at New Balance University 315 N. Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota. Check-in opens at 6.30am, run/walk starts at 7am. There will be pancakes for all after the race. RSVP required https://stores.newbalance.com/sarasota CLICK on EVENTS.

[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]  FESTIVAL: 42nd Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival , February 17 – February 18, 10am-6pm
Grab your sunglasses and your appetite, and come on out to celebrate a way of life on the shores of Sarasota Bay during the 42nd Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival. Celebrate a real working waterfront community dedicated to preserving their fishing way of life. Soak in the sunshine along Sarasota Bay while you boogie to live local music, browse aisles of original local artwork and nautical crafts, sip cold beverages and sample some really tasty seafood. Get up close and personal with local marine life and feed your science side during Dock Talks, educational spiels put on by the University of Florida and Florida Sea Grant. The touch tanks and the Dock Talks are located on the Fulford Docks, right across from the Kids area and next to Starfish Co. Check out the Florida Maritime Museum and the Cortez Cultural Center, which are steeped in the history of the region. Buy a raffle ticket to be entered to win one of the beautiful, refurbished custom boats lovingly restored by the F.I.S.H Boatworks. Tickets are $5, and children 12 and under get in free. To learn more, visit fishcortez.org.
[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Chorus of the Keys 75th Anniversary Concert , February 17, 2:30 and 7:30pm
Sarasota Chorus of the Keys, celebrating its 75th Anniversary, will present its Annual Show, Your Dreams Will Come True, on February 17, 2024, at 2:30 and 7 p.m. at the Riverview Performing Arts Center, 1 Ram Way, Sarasota. The Chorus will perform the exciting sounds of four-part acapella harmony and will be joined by a special guest quartet, My Three Sons, who are also members of the highly regarded Ditchfield Family Singers. It is a show you won’t want to miss. Order tickets online at www.ChorusoftheKeys.org. Call 941-224-0314 for information.
[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]  GALLERY: Florida Highwaymen Lectures and Tours , February 13, 10am, 2pm and 6pm
Lectures and tours of the Florida Highwaymen exhibit will be offered three times on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., in the Commission Chambers at City Hall, 1565 1st St. Each session will last approximately 60 minutes with lectures being led by Florida Highwaymen art collector Roger Lightle. There are no reservations, seating is first come, first served. The Florida Highwaymen started as a group of 26 young Black painters, 25 men and one woman, who had to think outside of the box to overcome racial barriers. Named The Highwaymen in the 1990s by Florida art expert Jim Fitch, these artists were well known for selling their vibrant landscapes from the trunks of their cars. This third installment of the Cultural Heritage Exhibit focuses on the beautiful Florida landscapes with vibrant colors embedded in every painting. The exhibit and lectures were planned to coincide with Black History Month. For more information visit www.Sarasotafl.gov/Florida-Highwaymen.
[SOON]  FOOD: The Big Game , February 11, Various times

Join Geckos Grill and Pubs for the Big Game and the most super seat outside of Nevada. Seating is limited so reserve today with a $25 per person deposit. Reserved guests will receive a $25 GC to use on Big Game day, but they must be present 15 minutes before kick-off. Enjoy giveaways, a special football menu and new cocktail menu, small batch spirits and our usual huge variety of craft beer. Ask your friendly server or barkeep for more details and reserve today! www.GeckosGrill.com.

[SOON]  GALA: The 50th Anniversary Orchid Ball, Infinity , February 10, 6pm
We hope you will join us Saturday, February 10, at 6 p.m. for The 50th Anniversary Orchid Ball: Infinity. This elegant evening will celebrate the 2024 Jean and Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Yayoi Kusama: A Letter to Georgia OKeeffe throughout the grounds of the Selby Gardens Downtown Sarasota campus. Enjoy champagne, dinner, dancing and a silent disco. Proceeds support Selby Gardens in their community education programs, international research, conservation, and beautiful world-class horticulture displays, while enabling thousands of underserved children and their families to connect with our bayfront sanctuaries. For more information, please visit selby.org or contact the Institutional Advancement team at 941.248.3583 or orchidball@selby.org.
[SOON]  GALA: SRQ Social Valentines Formal , February 10, 7:30 to 10:30pm
The SRQ Social Valentines Formal on February 10th will be held in the exquisite Sarasota Art Museum lobby. This exclusive event promises an enchanting evening filled with waltzing, live music, and sophisticated entertainment, creating a classy affair with formal attire, a live violin performance, a photo booth, delectable food and drinks, and even a touch of poker. SRQ Social is a group dedicated to building a vibrant community of young adults in Sarasota. To learn more, visit facebook.com/groups/srqsocial or instagram.com/srq.social.
[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Geckos Grill and Pubs Trivia , July 1 – June 1, 7:30 pm

Geckos Grill & Pub’s Award-winning Trivia-Think While You Drink! If you love Trivia, join the fun at Geckos all year round. All Trivia starts at 7:30pm. We will have prizes, giveaways and specials plus the Geckos made-to-order fare, signature cocktails and hospitality you love. Monday trivia will be held at the Clark Road location in Palmer Crossing and on Tuesdays at the SR 64 location in Braden River Plaza. The SR 64 location will be taking a break from Trivia in October, but will start back up in April. On Wednesdays, trivia will take place at the Hillview Street location in Southside Village. www.GeckosGrill.com.

[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]  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]  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]  GRAB BAG: Not Your Typical Trivia Night , January 10 – June 12, 6:30-8pm
Trivia is back at Hamlets Eatery in 2024 with a twist. Not Your Typical Trivia with co-hosts Mark Klecka and Scott Malouf of Sarasota Street Talk Podcast starts Wednesday, Jan 10. These two will not only test your knowledge but keep you entertained throughout the night. There will be Weekly prizes for 1st, 2nd and Place and surprises throughout the night. You can also join the cool kids club and win prizes just for coming each week. Doors open at 5:45 for dinner. Trivia starts at 6:30pm and will end at 8pm. Reserve a table for your team by calling 941-445-1938. Hamlets is located in the courtyard of The Bazaar on Apricot and Lime. 821 Apricot Ave. Seating is outdoors under a covered patio. For more info visit www.Hamletseatery.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: 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]  GALLERY: Embracing Our Differences , January 24 – April 14, Various times
Embracing Our Differences celebrates its 21st anniversary this year. Visit the exhibit at the downtown Bayfront Park in Sarasota. The winning artworks combine a deep understanding of both medium and message. Awards are given for Best-in-Show Adult, Best-in-Show Student, and Peoples Choice categories, with the last chosen by visitors to the exhibit. Adult winners each receive $2,000, and students receive $2,000 to be split with their school’s art or writing program. The statements accompanying each artwork are also vital and provide insight into our common humanity as well as the differences that make us all unique. For more information, visit www.embracingourdifferences.org.
[SOON]  MUSIC: Hooray for Hollywood with Michael Feinstein , February 9 – February 10, Various times
This is your opportunity to see Hooray for Hollywood with Michael Feinstein, February 9-10 at the Venice Performing Arts Center. You will be enraptured as this legendary artist sings New York, New York, The Way You Look Tonight, Singin in the Rain, and more in his signature style backed by Maestro Troy Quinn and the full Venice Symphony. Feinstein has played at The Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, Buckingham Palace, and the White House. Now you can see this 5-time Grammy Nominee up close and personal in Venice at this special event concert. Visit thevenicesymphony.org. or call The Symphony box office at 941-207-8822 to purchase tickets.
[SOON]  FOOD: Super Bowl Party at Daiquiri Deck , February 11, 6:45-10pm

For the Super Bowl, all five Daiquiri Deck locations will have fun festivities going on, making Daiquiri Deck the perfect option for those who want to watch at the deck, pregame, pick up a platter for their watch party, or celebrate after. On Sunday, Feb. 11, from 6:45 to 10 p.m., all locations will be offering a free Super Bowl party. Attendees can enjoy giveaways, along with great food and drink specials, including wing platters, taco platters, frozen daiquiris, Landshark and margaritas. Learn more at daiquirideck.com.

[SOON]  MUSIC: An Encore with Patti Smith Dedicated to Georgia OKeeffe , February 15, 7pm
Global icon and Artist in Residence at Selby Gardens, Patti Smith returns with a special encore performance at the Downtown Sarasota campus on February 15, 2024, at 7:00 p.m. The one-hour performance, An Encore with Patti Smith Dedicated to Georgia OKeeffe, commemorates the eighth iteration of the 2024 Jean and Alfred Goldstein Exhibition, Yayoi Kusama: A Letter to Georgia O’Keeffe, at Selby Gardens, on view February 11 through June 30, 2024. Advance tickets for Selby Gardens Members will go on sale Thursday, January 18. The remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday, January 19, and can be purchased at selby.org.
[SOON]  GALA: Annual Catholic Charities Ball , February 17, 6pm

Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice, Inc. celebrates a significant milestone, 40 years of dedicated service in Sarasota County, at the Annual Catholic Charities Ball. The distinguished gala is scheduled for Saturday, February 17, 2024, at 6 p.m., hosted at Michaels On East Ballroom located at 1259 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. The Annual Catholic Charities Ball has functioned as a unifying force within the community, garnering support for impactful programs and services delivered by the Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice. The theme, 40 Years of Serving All, reflects on four decades of unwavering dedication and the profound impact made possible through the collective support of the community taking center stage. The 40th-anniversary celebration promises an evening of camaraderie, philanthropy, and gratitude. An invitation is extended to all members of the community to join in this occasion, reflecting on four decades of service and looking forward to positive change together. For more information about the Annual Catholic Charities Ball or the services available, visit www.catholiccharitiesdov.org or call 941-376-7854.

[SOON]  THEATER: A Night in November , February 21 – March 15, Various times
One of the most highly acclaimed Irish comedies, A Night in November is a hard and humorous look at The Troubles in Northern Ireland during the 1990s. The play follows Kenneth McCallister, an opinionated government clerk who, barely, tolerates his wife, his in-laws, and his Catholic boss. On one fateful night in Belfast, as the Republic of Ireland qualifies against Northern Ireland for the World Cup, Kenneth finds himself watching the fanatical hatred of the crowd rather than the match, an event that profoundly changes his life. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit floridastudiotheatre.org.
[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Shrek The Musical , April 16 – April 17, 7:30 pm
Shrek The Musical will stop in Sarasota on April 16-17, 2023. Audiences can expect a SHREK that feels both familiar and refreshingly new. Tickets are currently on sale. Tickets start at $45 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. Tickets make the perfect holiday gift! Gift certificates are also available for purchase at the Van Wezel box office.
[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 Mattison’s at the Van Wezel which is located inside the theatre. Reservations can be made on VanWezel.org or through the box office.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Kenny G , May 5, 7pm

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is excited to welcome Kenny G to Sarasota on Sunday, May 5, 2024 at 7pm.  Tickets start at $40 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]  THEATER: Ugly Lies the Bone , January 17 – February 9, Various times
Ugly Lies the Bone is a compelling drama by Florida native Lindsey Ferrentino. The play follows Jess, a female veteran who returns to her hometown after three tours in Afghanistan. She brings vivid memories of war and painful burns with her and faces months of physical rehabilitation. Jess begins to transition to civilian life, soon realizing that things in Titusville, FL, have changed even more than she has. Through a new form of computer-simulated therapy, Jess finally finds a way to escape her pain, but can she find the strength to not only survive but actually thrive, in the real world? For more information and to purchase tickets, visit floridastudiotheatre.org.

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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