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SRQ DAILY Feb 28, 2024

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

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Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"Get ready to smile, laugh, and have fun as we celebrate all we can accomplish together at our Better Together Block Party on April 4"

- Kelly Borgia, Strategic Engagement Manager, Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

-SRQ Magazine's Home of the Year 2024 Overall Home Over $4 Million Platinum Winner Blackburn Bay Home by Sweet Sparkman
[Home of the Year]  Overall Home Over $4 Million Platinum Winner Blackburn Bay Home by Sweet Sparkman

Set on a Gulf to Bay barrier island property, this residence was requested by the owners to be a contemporary home that avoided the ubiquitous look of “the white modern boxes” that were proliferating along the island. The homeowners sought an architecture that blurred the boundary between nature and architecture, land and water, straight lines and curved forms. To this end, the architects proposed what was ultimately coined the “split-level hugger plan,” a hybrid plan that borrows from the American suburban split-level house type, joins it (loosely) with a modified courtyard model, and elevates the whole to respond to the Federal Emergency Management Agency floodplain requirements and coastal resiliency standards of construction. The outcome is a response to the relationships inherent in building on a barrier island – on land that is bounded on the bay with its tea-colored brackish water and mangroves, rises gently toward the coastal strand that flourishes with native beach grasses and sea grape trees, and descends to the shallow beaches of the Gulf of Mexico (a veritable essay in Southwest Florida coastal habitats). The architectural response to this program and landscape relationship was one of sinuous lines, nonorthogonal form and inflection toward the Gulf and Bay. Materials like stucco, tabby, glass, wood and ground concrete floor slabs were chosen to endure the corrosive coastal environment. The landscape ground plane wraps around, up and under the home, suggesting that architecture and site are inseparable. The continuity of the architectural lines, hovering and tapering roof planes, and soffits that confine and release interior spaces, together speak a language that is neither rational nor unwelcome (in this context). 

Architect: Sweet Sparkman Architecture & Interiors Contractor/Builder: Josh Wynne Construction Landscape: John Wheeler Landscape, Inc. Photographer: Ryan Gamma

Click for the article in the March 2024 edition.

[Recognition]  Neil Lyons 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 5, 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 Neil Lyons, Associate with Luhrsen Goldberg. Neil is an attorney whose dedication to serving the underprivileged is deeply personal and is inspired by his father, who served in the Navy for twenty-five years, and his father-in-law, who spent the last twelve years of his medical career working for the health department in Sarasota. He has selflessly served the elderly, homeless and indigent members of our community on a pro-bono basis throughout his career and founded the Sarasota County Bar Association’s Access to Justice Task Force to coordinate pro bono work among SCBA members, legal aid organizations, and the court system. Through this work he was able to obtain commitments from more than twenty-five attorneys to partner with this task force. Neil started his pro bono service by volunteering hundreds of hours for Gulf Coast Legal Services where he represented indigent clients. He accepted court appointments of indigent wards in guardianship matters in lieu of being compensated through the Judicial Administrative Commission and contributed more than one hundred hours of pro bono service to indigent clients in 2015. He has volunteered to handle multiple cases for Legal Aid of Manasota and their “No Place Like Home” project. He worked with Sarasota County’s Homeless Outreach Team and personally represented several guardians helping homeless individuals get back on their feet. In 2014, he provided over sixty hours of pro bono service. In 2015 and 2016, he donated over 100 hours each year. He provided more than 125 hours in 2018 and over 100 in 2019. Between 2014 and 2023, Mr. Lyons provided more than 1,000 hours of pro bono representation. The number of hours Mr. Lyons dedicates to pro bono service on top of his private firm obligations is truly awe-inspiring. Congratulations Neil! 

Pictured: Bart Lowther (left) of Mariash Lowther Wealth Management with Neil Lyons of Luhrsen Goldberg Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

[Nonprofit News]  Safe Children Coalition Collecting Gift Baskets for Foster Families

In advance of National Foster Care Month in May, child welfare agency Safe Children Coalition (SCC) is encouraging the community to show foster families their deep appreciation for caring for children in crisis. The organization is collecting gift baskets and gift cards to present to foster families in Florida’s Circuit 12 (Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties) during a Foster Parent Appreciation event in early May. Gift baskets might cover themes including: movie night, with a Netflix gift card and snacks, or a restaurant gift card and movie theater tickets; game night, with board games and snacks; date night, with movie and/or restaurant gift cards, meal delivery service, or tickets to a local attraction; gardening supplies such as tools, plant nursery gift cards, and flower or vegetable seeds; or a theme of the donor’s choosing. Community members can also organize gift card drives for spa services, restaurants, recreational outings, groceries, gas, or other services or resources. Commitments are needed by March 15; community members can indicate their participation by filling out a simple form at sccfl.org/foster-parent-appreciation. Gift baskets can be dropped off at an SCC office between April 1-12. For further information or help in completing the form, email laldridge@sccfl.org or call 941-504-7420 to speak with program assistant, LeAnn Aldridge. Additionally, to make a monetary donation, visit sccfl.org/donate. These donations support critical lifesaving programs and services for children and families. The next information session for those interested in fostering children in Circuit 12 will take place March 13. For more information, visit sccfl.org/foster; to inquire about becoming a foster parent, contact foster parent recruitment specialist Melissa Hueser at 941-334-2971 or mhueser@sccfl.org. 

[Nonprofit Event]  Register for Gulf Coast Community Foundation's Free Better Together 2024 Event

Gulf Coast Community Foundation (Gulf Coast) is thrilled to announce that registration has opened for its outdoor, free, fun, vibrant, casual Better Together Block Party. Better Together will take place on Thursday, April 4, 2024, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on the 1500 block of State Street in downtown Sarasota. The theme of this year’s Better Together event is Transform Together, a celebration of all the ways we transform our community for the better, together. The Better Together Block Party will allow attendees to engage in Gulf Coast’s key initiatives: education, arts, health and human services, and the environment, and the entire community is invited to celebrate the nonprofit region and the impact of philanthropy. The first 350 attendees to arrive at Better Together will receive a complimentary gift. Parking is available at the State Street parking garage. Registration is requested for the event and can be done via gulfcoastcf.org/bt24. “We hope the community will join us in this uplifting event highlighting how we transform together for the greater good of all. Better Together is a fun and free opportunity for Gulf Coast’s nonprofit partners, philanthropists, and community members of all ages to celebrate transformation and connection. This event is a culmination of Gulf Coast’s impact over 29 years with all the people who have made it possible,” shared Gulf Coast’s President | CEO Phillip Lanham. Better Together will include live music from the talented artists of Jah Movement; an interactive activity to improve water quality with the Oyster Boys Conservation; a hands-on opportunity to create love-inspired origami with Megan Howell from Second Heart Homes; face painters, and more. Participating State Street restaurants will have food and beverages available for purchase. Gulf Coast will have an informational booth at the east side end of State Street, near the parking garage. “Get ready to smile, laugh, and have fun as we celebrate all we can accomplish together at our Better Together Block Party on April 4,” said Gulf Coast’s Strategic Engagement Manager Kelly Borgia. “This year’s theme, Transform Together, is indicative of Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s transformational impact. Our initiatives will be highlighted through entertaining interactive activities. You don’t want to miss this exceptionally fun event.” 

Pictured: Gulf Coast Community Foundation invites the community to celebrate at Better Together, a free block party on State Street on April 4 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. that celebrates the region’s philanthropic and nonprofit impact. Photo by Cliff Ro

[Mental Health]  Youth MOVE Suncoast Receives Chapter of the Year Award from Youth MOVE National

Youth MOVE Suncoast, hosted by NAMI Sarasota and Manatee Counties, is proud to announce it recently received the Chapter of the Year Award from Youth MOVE National. Founded in 2007, Youth MOVE National is dedicated to uniting the voices of youth nationwide. With chapters spread throughout the nation, the organization is founded on three principals: youth are the leaders of today, not tomorrow; all youth should be equal partners in the process of change; and youth can motivate others through their voices of experience. In 2021, NAMI Sarasota and Manatee Counties launched the local Youth MOVE Suncoast chapter to develop safe spaces for youth and young adults (ages 10-29) to connect in a supportive environment that would address mental health needs while engaging in fun activities. By design, Youth MOVE Suncoast’s programs are developed and led by area youth and young adults. Each month, Youth MOVE Suncoast hosts meet-ups in which area youth ages 13 to 18 assemble for group activities at NAMI Sarasota and Manatee Counties’ YANA (You Are Not Alone) Center off Tuttle Avenue. Those ages 18 to 29 are invited to participate in a weekly online meet-up to discuss their challenges and successes and to learn from and lean on each other. On Sept. 25, 2023, Youth MOVE Suncoast partnered with SRQ Strong and provided two representatives to present their personal testimonies during a webinar titled “It Takes a Community: Prevent Youth Suicide.” More than 70 viewers tuned in via Zoom and Facebook Live. In addition, members of Youth MOVE Suncoast have partnered with Safe Children Coalition to provide support group activities for youth, including yoga activities during the summer months and, most recently, monthly uplifting meetups. Most notably, Youth MOVE Suncoast partnered with Dr. Margaret McGladrey and the University of South Florida to better understand how youth and the community can serve youth and young adults through programming post-pandemic. The project included a photo activity in which participants were asked to submit photos and captions of barriers and supports as it relates to mental well-being. Large and small group discussions and focus groups also were held. The initiative resulted in a list of concerns (or barriers) that young adults and youth face. The activity also resulted in a long list of support activities that would help with their mental well-being, including more cost-effective activities, music and art, LBGTQ+ friendly/safe places, games, mentorships, the ability to meet new people, and the ability to help more people understand their needs. Meanwhile, Youth MOVE Suncoast continues to partner with other organizations to give youth and young adults an opportunity to make a difference. On February 24, 2024, the organization is working with ALSO Youth to host a beach cleanup at Siesta Key Beach. Youth will gather at 3:30 p.m. and clean the beach from 4 to 5 p.m. together and then watch the sunset. Anyone ages 10 to 29 is invited to join. For more information about Youth MOVE Suncoast or the Elevating Voices Workgroup, visit NAMISarasotaManatee.org, follow the chapter on Instagram at @YMSUNCOAST or contact Stonecypher at Jordan@NAMISarasotaManatee.org. 

[Leadership]  All Faiths Food Bank Executive Selected as Local HR Chapter President

Human resources professional DD Goerke, who serves as the Chief People Officer for All Faiths Food Bank, has assumed the role of president for the Sarasota-Manatee Human Resources Association, one of 28 statewide chapters comprising HR Florida. The mission of SHRA is to champion the highest professional standards of HR ethics and performance by providing ongoing professional development, resources, networking and support for its members and the community. Goerke has been involved with the local HR chapter since 2020. Goerke has worked for All Faiths Food Bank (AFFB) since 2022 – she was hired as the Senior Director of People & Culture and promoted to her current position in September 2023. Goerke’s strength as a leader and shaper of culture was particularly crucial as AFFB settled into its new five-year strategic plan and prepared for the retirement of 12-year CEO Sandra Frank, with Nelle S. Miller stepping into the role of president & CEO early this year. For more about AFFB, visit allfaithsfoodbank.org. 

[Fundraising Event]  The Library Foundation for Sarasota County Raises $414,000 to Support Sarasota County Libraries

The Library Foundation for Sarasota County welcomed 600 guests to its 12th annual “Love Our Libraries” Author Luncheon at the Municipal Auditorium on February 9, raising a record-setting $414,000 to support Sarasota County public libraries. The guest speaker was two-time Pulitzer Prize winning best-selling author Colson Whitehead. His talk was followed by a question-and-answer session led by Dr. Renee Di Pilato, Director of Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources. Event proceeds will help to fund Summer Learning programs at all ten Sarasota County public libraries, increase advocacy efforts, and send free books to Sarasota’s youngest residents through the Library Foundation’s partnership with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. The “Love Our Libraries” Author Luncheon was supported by 45 community partners, including Presenting Sponsor, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, and Author Reception Sponsor, Bookstore1 Sarasota. Since its founding in 2011, the nonprofit Library Foundation for Sarasota County has raised more than  $8 million in private funds for the benefit of Sarasota County public libraries. To learn more about the Library Foundation for Sarasota County and how you can support its mission, please visit SarasotaLibraryFoundation.org or call 941-404-3139. 

[Fundraising Event]  Culverhouse's Wine Collection Up for Auction in Support of Sarasota Church

Sarasota County developer and attorney Hugh Culverhouse Jr. is donating more than 300 bottles of top-rated wine from his personal collection to an auction, with proceeds going directly to the Church of the Redeemer’s ministries and outreach program. The online auction will open on Monday, February 26th, at noon, and will conclude on Thursday, February 29th, at 11:45 pm, providing an opportunity for wine enthusiasts, philanthropists, and community members to come together to support the Church of the Redeemer. Featuring exquisite reds to elegant whites, a majority of the wine available for purchase has received ratings 95 or higher. Wines receiving a perfect 100 rating by wine critics and publications are often regarded as among the best in the world. The auction also offers several cases from the renowned California winemaker David Abreu, with some rare vintages retailing for more than $1,000 each. Starting bids for the wines range from $20 up to $1,250. For more information about the auction and wines available, visit https://www.redeemersarasota.org/wineauction/. In addition to donating this collection of fine wines to benefit the Church of the Redeemer, Culverhouse recently donated $500,000 -- marking the largest non-capital campaign donation in the parish’s 139-year history. The Church of the Redeemer, deeply rooted in Sarasota’s history, traces its origins to 1885, with Col. J. Hamilton Gillespie as one of its founders, who would later serve as the City of Sarasota’s inaugural mayor. 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., serves as CEO of Palmer Ranch Holdings Ltd in Sarasota, leading the 15,000-acre master-planned community for nearly three decades. Beyond his role in business, Culverhouse’s philanthropy has resulted in tens of millions of dollars to various community causes, higher education, mental health, and social welfare initiatives.  Culverhouse’s career includes serving as a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, overseeing 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 and community development. Holding degrees from the University of Florida in Business Administration and Law, Culverhouse 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. 

[Grant]  The Florida Center for Early Childhood Receives Grant from the Wawa Foundation

The Florida Center for Early Childhood Education announces the receipt of a $2,000 grant from the Wawa Foundation. This funding will bolster an initiative dedicated to revitalizing and modernizing sensory and activity equipment for indoor play at Starfish Academy campuses located in Sarasota and North Port. Kimberly Treharne, the chief programs officer at The Florida Center, clarifies that the grant will be allocated within a $50,000 budget aimed at acquiring new sensory kits and equipment tailored for infants and toddlers. "The grant will facilitate enhancements in the classroom and therapy areas across our Sarasota and North Port campuses,” she says. “The program enables us to replace worn-out, obsolete equipment with cohesive, meticulously designed spaces and sensory tools that foster experiential learning, mental well-being, and wholesome development. 

Pictured: Children in a 3- to4-year-old class explore gardening techniques in the sensory garden at The Florida Center for Early Childhood Education’s Starfish Academy in Sarasota.

[Fundraising Event]  SPARCC Runway Presents Seasons of Sarasota

Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC) is hosting its signature, annual fashion show on Friday, March 22, 2024 at The Ritz Carlton, Sarasota. The 2024 event, SPARCC Runway: Seasons of Sarasota will feature clothing styles and designs that showcase the Sarasota fashion scene throughout each season of the year! Guests will enjoy valet parking, shopping in our pop-up Treasure Chest fashion boutique, silent auction, chance drawings, a delicious luncheon complete with wine service, and an unforgettable and fantastic runway fashion show. This year guests can also avoid the valet rush and stay for an exclusive after-party with musical entertainment, cash bar and additional opportunities to shop the boutique. Registration and shopping begin at 10 AM, followed by the seated luncheon and fashion show at noon and the after-party immediately following. All festivities wrap-up by 2:30 PM. The 2024 SPARCC Runway Co-Chairs are Vickie Smith, Event Chair and Darci Jacob, Fashion Show Chair. In addition to a plethora of experience, this dynamic duo is sure to bring a fashion-forward and extraordinary event for all in attendance. All proceeds from the event support SPARCC’s free and confidential programs and services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. For tickets and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.sparcc.net/events or call 941-365-0208 ext. 110.  

[Fundraising Event]  Sarasota Firefighters to Raise Money for MDA at Sarasota Hooters

Make sure to visit Sarasota Hooters for a special Friend Raiser benefiting the Muscular Dystrophy Association on Tuesday, March 5 from 11 am to 11 pm.  20% of food and beverage sales during the entire day will be donated to support the Sarasota Firefighters efforts of MDA. This Friend Raiser is an extension of the firefighters and paramedics annual “Fill the Boot” fundraiser that will take place on Friday, March 1st. Sarasota Hooters will once again serve as a Fill the Boot hub for Sarasota’s firefighters and paramedics. Hooters of Sarasota is located at 6507 South Tamiami Trail in Sarasota.  Just mention this Friend Raiser to your server when dining in on Tuesday, March 5 and 20% of your food and beverage sales will be donated to the charity. “We are honored to support the Sarasota Firefighters long-standing efforts to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  We look forward to seeing our community at Sarasota Hooters to help raise additional funds for an important cause,” said LTP Director of Marketing Kristi Quarles.  Hooters created the Friend Raiser program for local non-profits and charitable organizations to raise additional funds for the community. For Friend Raiser information visit https://hootersflorida.com/friendraisers/. 

[Antisemitism]  AJC West Coast Florida hosts CEO Ted Deutch in Sarasota

American Jewish Committee (AJC) West Coast Florida invites the community to its Spring Lunch & Learn on Sunday, March 17, 2024, with Keynote Speaker, AJC’s Chief Executive Officer Ted Deutch.  The former congressman became AJC’s CEO in October of 2022. Deutch will address the state of Jewish affairs around the world and how current events in Israel and global antisemitism are affecting our community. Event Chairs are David & Edie Chaifetz, Joel & Gail Morganroth, and the Benderson Family. The luncheon is sponsored by Williams Parker Attorneys at Law & Gulf Coast Community Foundation. Seating is limited for this event, which will be held at 12:00pm at Michael’s On East. Advance registration is required. Tickets are $39 and can be purchased at ajc.org/sarasota/spring2024. You may also call 941.365.4955 or email sarasota@ajc.org. AJC’s mission is to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel, and to advance human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world. 

[Arts & Entertainment]  Embracing Our Differences Opens St. Pete Exhibit With Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday, March 2

For the first time in 21 years, Embracing Our Differences (EOD) will be displaying its international outdoor art exhibit in St. Petersburg as part of its 2024 exhibition season. A free Grand Opening Celebration is Saturday, March 2, noon-2 p.m., in Poynter Park in downtown St. Petersburg. The event features music by Shelby Sol, an announcement by St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch, and booths featuring area arts groups. 

Pictured: “Pieces of You” by Brianna Medina, 11th grade, Florida Virtual School, Indialantic, Florida. Photo courtesy of EOD.

[Grant]  Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation Receives Over $2,500,000 to Support Kolshowsky Research and Education Institute at SMH

Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation recently received a generous gift of over $2,500,000 from Drs. Gail and Joel Morganroth in support of the Kolschowsky Research and Education Institute at Sarasota Memorial. Their gift will help train medical staff to perform at their highest level, expand the health system’s residency programs and attract and retain top medical professionals from around the country. “Philanthropy plays a significant role in ensuring that the research and education teams secure the funding they need to develop a state-of-the-art institute,” says Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation president Stacey Corley. “The Morganroth’s are long-term supporters of SMH, and we are grateful for their vision and continued generosity.” Joel is a board-certified academic cardiologist with over 30 years’ experience in clinical research and serves as an officer of the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation board and Gail, a board-certified nephrologist and transformative leader in academic medicine at University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. They have been observing the substantial growth of the clinical research and graduate medical education programs at SMH. “Professionally, we have a passion for research and education,” said Joel. “Both programs are critical for recruiting and retaining outstanding physicians and medical staff,” “We also have a personal passion,” added Gail. “We’re interested in making our community a better place for all who live here.” Opening in 2025, the Kolschowsky Research and Education Institute will be a state-of-the-art training and research center that expands research and training opportunities for physicians and clinicians caring for patients throughout the region. In addition to supporting clinical trials and research studies, the Kolschowsky Institute will offer a range of education programs including a state-of-the-art simulation center that expands hands-on training opportunities for physicians, nurses and students mastering new treatments and technologies.In recognition of their gift, the new auditorium at the Institute will be named the Morganroth Family Auditorium. The first-floor, high-tech space will be a hub for system-level events, board meetings, lectures, conferences, educational classes and more. 

[Leadership]  All Faiths Food Bank Announces 2024 Board of Directors

All Faiths Food Bank, guided by its expert senior leadership team and dedicated volunteer board of directors, is committed to meeting immediate needs as well as bringing attention to – and working to break down – the social and systemic barriers that contribute to food insecurity. All Faiths is pleased to announce its 2024 board of directors, who will help to support and continue the organization’s decades of service as a trusted organization committed to bettering the community. New to the board this year is David Nichols, a retired financial professional with national public accounting and healthcare experience. Nichols spent 26 years with Dental Care Alliance, being promoted to CFO, then co-CEO and CFO (during this period, in 2014, the Tampa Bay Business Journal named Nichols “CFO of the Year”), before his retirement in January of 2018. He then served as a board member from 2018-2023. Prior positions include VP of finance for Biodynamics in Tampa and VP of finance for Central Park Lodges. The former CPA has significant community service to his credit, including the Sarasota County Industrial Development Bond Advisory Board (2001-present), Sarasota County Public Facility Financing Board (2001-2003), treasurer for South County Habitat for Humanity Catholic Charities (2021), and Van Wezel Foundation Society member (2017-2022). He began volunteering with All Faiths Food Bank in 2018. All Faiths Food Bank’s 2024 officers of the board are: Terri Vitale, chair; Patricia Courtois, vice chair; Rich Cautero, treasurer; and LaShawn Frost, secretary. Nichols joins fellow directors Dennis Doughty, Ben Hanan, Ron Jadin, Mitch Olan, Lisa Keverian-Press, Barton Lowther and Elton White. The board’s immediate priorities are to continue implementing and fine-tuning the organization’s five-year strategic plan – which provides bold new ideas, approaches and partnerships to address not just food insecurity, but its systemic, root-level causes – and supporting the continued seamless leadership transition, with new President & CEO Nelle S. Miller having assumed her role on January 2 of this year. 

[Feature]  Design, Unfolded
Kate Wight

DESIGN, UNFOLDED | The innovative thinking behind the one-of-a-kind Origami House, February 2024. 

Read Here!

[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]  SPORTS: Wellen Park Half Marathon and 5K , March 16, 7:45am

Wellen Park invites the community to participate in its second annual Half Marathon and 5K, presented by Hotwire Communications, Saturday, March 16, 2024. The 13.1-mile course is certified by USA Track and Field. Both races start and finish at Solis Hall in Downtown Wellen, with an awards ceremony to recognize male and female winners in the following categories: overall, masters, grand masters, senior grandmasters, veterans grandmasters and top three finishers in each age group. Runners and attendees are encouraged to dress up and celebrate St. Patricks Day with festive green gear. Attendees will also enjoy live music from Solis Hall’s outdoor stage, beverages and food from different Downtown Wellen restaurants and The Yard eateries. The half marathon is open to runners 15 and older and starts at 7:30 a.m. The 5K run starts at 7:45 a.m. and is open to runners and walkers of all ages, with strollers and leashed dogs permitted. The half marathon and the 5K have also been cleared for disabled runners. The course is flat, paved and will be well-marked. Entry fees are $85 for the half marathon and $35 for the 5K, spots are limited. Registration for the half marathon and 5K closes March 15 at 5 p.m. Registration and event details, such as race packet pick-up, are available at runsignup.com/Race/FL/Venice/WellenParkHalfMarathonand5K.

[SOON]  GALA: Garden to Plate Wine Dinner , March 8, 6-9pm
Join us on the Great Lawn of Selby Gardens Downtown Sarasota campus for a casually elegant outdoor Garden to Plate dining experience. Enjoy fine wines selected by Michael Klauber that complement a multi-course dinner personally designed by Phil Mancini. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit selby.org.
[SOON]  SPORTS: Oyster Boys Fundraiser with the Baltimore Orioles , March 4, 1:05pm
Support the Oyster Boys and enjoy a spring training game with the Baltimore Orioles on March 4. $5 of every purchase made through the following link goes directly towards the Oyster Boys Conservation. https://fevo-enterprise.com/event/Oysterboys20240212-14581004
[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]  FOOD: Winederlust Dinner , February 29, 6pm
To celebrate Leap Year on Feb. 29, Viento Kitchen at Zota Beach Resort is hosting a one-night-only Worldly Wine Dinner, Winederlust Dinner, a blend of the words wine and wanderlust, which refers to the act of exploring and experiencing different wines from around the world. Hosted exclusively at select Florida Opal resort restaurants for one night, the series, created in collaboration with Jackson Family Wines, features five-course prix-fixe dinners highlighting varietals plucked from all over the globe. Each course is expertly crafted to accentuate the flavors of the showcased wines. The Winederlust Dinner at Viento Kitchen on Longboat Key will begin at 6 p.m. and costs $139.70 per person. Book now at OpalCollection.com/leap-day-winederlust-dinners.
[SOON]  GALLERY: Expressions of Experience, Two Generations, Two Perspectives. , January 17 – February 29, 11am to 4pm daily
Please join us to experience this unique exhibition featuring father/daughter local artists, Pamela Olin and Richard Olin. This premiere exhibition features three-dimensional works that offer a glimpse from the perspective of two distinctly different generations. The pieces address the transitions they have experienced over the last several years, making them relatable to all ages. As a duo, this public exhibit is both a curiosity and an insight into the self-expression of two generations of artists linked by DNA. Plymouth Harbour Gallery, 700 John Ringling Blvd., Sarasota. Visit www.pamelaolin.com and www.olinrich.com to learn more.
[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]  THEATER: Improvisational Drama Workshop Series , January 24 – March 12, 1-3pm

The Ringling invites older adults to participate in this free improvisational drama workshop series on the Strengths and Challenges of aging. The workshop series is free for all 55 and older community residents. No acting experience is necessary. Please note that this is not taking place at The Ringling. The weekly workshops will be held at: The Pines of Sarasota Healthcare, Cullers Hall, 1501 N Orange Ave, Sarasota. Your talents, abilities, and creativity will be explored through fun-filled improvisational theater games in a safe, creative, and inspiring environment. Through creating various drama characters, participants will experience the strengths, joys, and challenges of aging. Improvisational drama is a form of theater in which characters and dialogue of a story are made up in the moment…there are no written scripts. Participants tap into and celebrate their creativity while interacting and learning from their peers. The program will culminate in a celebration of your work, held at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Please email education@ringling.org or call 941-358-2693 to register. Space in this workshop is limited; please register as soon as possible.

[SOON]  FOOD: A Taste of Art , February 1 – January 31, 5:30-8pm
Longtime friends Chef Charles Amherst of Chaz 51 Steakhouse in Venice and Barbara Gerdeman, co-founder of Creative Liberties Artist Studios in Sarasota, have joined forces to create a series of interactive live art dinner showcases called A Taste of Art. The first of these events takes place Thursday, February 1, 5:30-8 p.m., at Chaz 51 Steakhouse, 549 US 41 Bypass N, Venice. The events will continue on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings. Guests who visit Chaz 51 on these evenings will be able to witness the creation of captivating works of art in real-time. To make a reservation, call Chaz 51 Steakhouse at 941-484-6200. To find out which artists are scheduled for February, check out the calendar at CreativeLiberties.net.
[SOON]  SEMINAR: You Are Worthy Life Enrichment Workshop , February 15 – April 11, 6-8pm
The Womens 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 Womens Resource Center’s life enrichment programs and helps participants improve self-confidence, boundary-setting, and negotiation skills. No program the week of March 14. The program is $25 for all sessions and takes place at WRCs Sarasota office at 340 S. Tuttle Ave. To register, please call 941-256-9721 or visit mywrc.org/youareworthy.
[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]  THEATER: Ruby , February 28 – April 7, Various times

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is thrilled to finally bring to the stage the world-premiere musical, Ruby. The show is a musical retelling of the true story of the shocking killing of a White doctor in Live Oak, Fla., and the Black woman, Ruby McCollum, who was accused of his murder. Ruby is a fascinating, powerful story, one that has been touched upon in books and documentary films. Now it finally takes the stage live in what promises to be an emotional musical drama. Performances take place in the Donelly Theatre at 1012 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are $50/adults, $20/students and active military. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit westcoastblacktheatre.org or call the Box Office at 941-366-1505.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: One Book, One Community , March 1, 10:30am and 7pm

Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources invites the community to attend two events featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ed Yong. Yong will discuss his book An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us during two events on March 1. Join Yong at 10:30 a.m. Suncoast Technical College, 4445 Career Lane, North Port, and 7 p.m. Selby Library, 1331 First St., Sarasota. An Immense World was chosen as the 2024 One Book, One Community selection. The book explores the various ways in which animals perceive their environment. While many people may be familiar with some of these senses, most are outside of the human range of perception. Yong encourages readers to go beyond what they think they know to better understand themselves and the world around them. His combination of anecdotal encounters in conjunction with scientific research contributes a light-hearted, often humorous approach. In addition to author talks, Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources are offering animal-themed programming to complement the book throughout February and March. There is no registration for Yong's author talks. Seating is available on a first-come, first-seated basis. There will be books available for sale and book signing by the author at both presentations. For additional information, please visit www.SarasotaCountyLibraries.org or call 311 or 941-861-1110.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Fresh Fridays, Neighbors and Newcomers , March 1, 7-10pm
As we head into spring and the warmer weather is upon us, Fresh Fridays gears up for a night highlighting our slice of paradise. The popular downtown community block party is back on State Street, March 1, from 7-10 pm, between Lemon Avenue and S. Orange Avenue, for an all-out gathering with their newest event, Neighbors and Newcomers. Neighbors and Newcomers welcomes visitors and locals alike to experience the culture that makes downtown Sarasota shine. Attendees will enjoy live entertainment from the local band Southbound 75, downtown bites and beverages, and inclusive fun and games. In addition to spectacular live music and mouthwatering bites, attendees can take a load off and keep it casual with some leisurely lawn games such as Cornhole, oversized Connect Four and Jenga. Accessible and convenient parking will be available at Palm Avenue and State Street parking garages. Guests can stay up to date by following Fresh Fridays on their social media channels or by visiting their website at www.downtownsarasotadid.com/fresh-fridays.
[SOON]  MUSIC: Hannah Cope and Marcelina Suchocka , March 3, 4pm
Former and current Sarasota Orchestra principal musicians Hannah Cope, harp and Marcelina Suchocka, percussion, join forces for an innovative program of standards for each instrument along with classics reimagined for marimba and harp duet. Cope made her mark on the harp world as the 2020 winner of the American Harp Society Foundation Grandjany Memorial Competition and is now the principal harpist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. When Suchocka is not in Sarasota, she performs as principal percussion of the Britt Festival Orchestra and as an extra with many major American orchestras. The pair perform at First Presbyterian Church on March 3 at 4:00 pm. Single ticket: $40. For tickets and more information, visit ArtistSeriesConcerts.org or call 941-306-1202.
[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]  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]  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 will not 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]  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]  BUSINESS: Borrow Smart, Choosing the Right Loan for Your Business Needs , March 27, 12pm
This presentation will highlight the various types of bank loans from consumer and residential to commercial loans for business. Free, online webinar. score.org/manasota.
[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Family Saturdays , March 23 – May 25, 10am-12pm
Kids and kids at heart can enjoy fun art and nature activities on Saturday mornings, at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens on March 23, April 27, and May 25. Activities will run from 10 a.m. to noon each day, and participation is included in admission to the Gardens, which is always free for Selby Gardens members. These Family Saturdays celebrate the current exhibition on view, Yayoi Kusama: A Letter to Georgia OKeeffe. Several activity stations with different art-focused projects will be set up in the Ann Goldstein Childrens Rainforest Garden during each monthly event. The goal is to invite kids of all ages to explore the artwork of Yayoi Kusama and Georgia OKeeffe through activities that also connect them to the natural environment. Admission to Selby Gardens Downtown Sarasota campus is $26 for adults, $11 for ages 5 to 17, and free for children 4 and under. Tickets may be purchased online in advance at selby.org. Selby Gardens members always receive complimentary admission as well as discounts for guests. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit selby.org.
[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Jazz Festival , March 17 – March 23, Various times

The Sarasota Jazz Festival returns this March. The event will feature concerts, the jazz trolley pub crawl, late-night jazz jams, jazz films and more. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit jazzclubsarasota.org.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Lunch and Learn , March 13, 11:30am-1pm
Join Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast for an in-depth look at the role we play in protecting the places that make a difference in our community, giving us clean water to drink, protected habitat for plants and animals, beautiful natural places to enjoy, great spots to hike and fish, and a world-class shoreline. During this one-hour presentation, we will discuss the history of our organization, programs, past and present initiatives, and ways for you to become a part of our conservation community. As a special bonus, after lunch, we will take you on a guided tour of Bay Preserve. Registration for this free event is required and space is limited. To learn more and register, visit conservationfoundation.com.
[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]  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]  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]  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]  THEATER: Born with Teeth , February 21 – March 29, Various times
Do not miss the opportunity to witness the fascinating dynamic between Shakespeare and Marlowe as their secrets unravel on stage. Born with Teeth runs through March 29, 2024. Visit asolorep.org for a full performance schedule. Tickets start at $35 and are available now in person at the Asolo Rep Box Office at 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, by phone at 941-351-8000 or 800-361-8388, or online at asolorep.org.

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SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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