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SRQ DAILY Jul 3, 2024

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"We are thrilled to partner with charities like Mothers Helping Mothers, reflecting our shared commitment to community empowerment and support."

- Gabriela McDonough, Founder, Millennials of SRQ.

[Fundraising Event]  Millennials of SRQ to Host Fundraising Event for Mothers Helping Mothers
Barbie Heit, barbie.heit@srqme.com

On Sunday, August 25*, Millennials of SRQ is hosting a fundraising mixer to benefit Mothers Helping Mothers, an an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization that provides basic necessities such as family clothing and baby items (including bassinets, car seats, strollers, formula, breast pumps, and more), free of charge to families in Sarasota, Manatee and surrounding counties. The event is free and open to all, from 3-7 pm at the Art Ovation Hotel Ballroom.

In addition to raising funds and awareness, the event aims to provide a unique opportunity to network and connect with local vendors and guests while enjoying inspirational talks from motivational guest speakers. There will be gift basket raffles and a live auction and children are welcome to attend, making it a family-friendly occasion.

The mission and purpose of Millennials of SRQ social club is to empower and support millennials in the SRQ community by providing resources, opportunities, and a platform for their personal and professional growth. "Millennials of SRQ social club is committed to fostering empowerment, networking, collaboration and community engagement. We work to create a positive, safe and inclusive environment where individuals can thrive both personally and professionally while contributing to the overall betterment of our community," shares Founder, Gabriela McDonough, a woman who is fueled by passion and perseverance to improve our precious community and the lifestyles within it. "We are thrilled to partner with charities like Mothers Helping Mothers, reflecting our shared commitment to community empowerment and support."

Shari Nastri, the owner/lead Instructor of Jazzercise Lakewood Ranch will be attending the fundraiser, hosting a table and donating to the event. “Jazzercise Lakewood Ranch prides itself in providing fun, effective, safe, functional workouts for every fitness level, age and stage while fostering a non-judgmental supportive community,” she says. “Giving back to our local community is an important part of our mission. We proudly support local groups like Mothers helping Mothers. It feels good to give back and it aligns with our whole body experience at Jazzercise Lakewood Ranch.”

To learn more about Millennials of SRQ, visit millennialsofsrq.com/. To learn more about Jazzercise Lakewood Ranch, visit jazzercise.com/studio/fl/lakewood-ranch-town-center-parkway-21581.

*Note: this event was originally scheduled for Saturday, July 13. The date has been changed to Sunday, August 25, same time and place. 

Pictured: Join Millennials of SRQ at the Art Ovation Hotel Ballroom on August 25th from 3-7 pm for a Fundraising Mixer benefiting Mothers Helping Mothers.

To register click here

[Recognition ]  Gov. Ron DeSantis Names Graci McGillicuddy to Florida Women's Hall of Fame

Gov. Ron DeSantis recently announced the selection of Sarasota resident Graci McGillicuddy to the 2024 Florida Women's Hall of Fame. Each year, the Governor selects three nominees from recommendations presented by the Florida Commission on the Status of Women. This prestigious honor recognizes women who have made significant contributions to the state of Florida and its residents through their professional and philanthropic endeavors. Graci McGillicuddy is the co-founder of the All Star Children’s Foundation, a Sarasota-based child advocacy center that combats child abuse and provides a safe place for foster children. She has dedicated her life to advocating for the rights and welfare of abused children. Her commitment extends to public service roles on various state councils and nonprofit boards where she contributes to arts, mentoring, and child abuse prevention initiatives. In 2022, she was recognized by The KNOW Women as a member of their “100 Women to Know in America” and was honored with the “Spirit of Service” Award by the Florida Senate in 2009.  In 2008, McGillicuddy spearheaded a $6 million capital campaign to build a state-of-the-art Child Protection Center in Sarasota. She is currently a Lifetime Director of the Child Protection Center after serving many years as board chair and a board member. The induction ceremony will take place later this year, celebrating the accomplishments of McGillicuddy and two other outstanding women—May Mann Jennings, and Penny Thompson—each of whom has significantly contributed to the betterment of Florida. 

[Nonprofit News]  Community Harvest SRQ Joins Nonprofit Group, Resilience Incubator

Community Harvest SRQ, a non-profit organization committed to reducing food waste, addressing food insecurity, and fostering a vision of a sustainable, just and thriving local food system, is proud to announce they are part of the new Resilience Incubator.  The Resilience Incubator, located at 1760 Mound Street in Sarasota, is a shared space where like-minded nonprofits can work collaboratively to improve environmental health and support human resilience. The Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, and the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation are generously supporting the collaboration and funding has been committed for the first 16 months of occupancy. This makes it affordable for small nonprofits. Incubator participants will be seeking funding for continued success of the project. This is huge for Community Harvest SRQ, as well as all organizations involved. The opportunities for collaboration on shared projects and fundraising efforts is exciting. With access to an office and meeting spaces, it means that participants can more easily get together with volunteers, members, and grantors. Although the eleven nonprofits involved may have different missions, they are all centered around environmental health and human resilience. The ability to easily share resources and collaborate on projects will open new pathways for growth.  The organizations have put in hard work to paint their own offices, which all needed some TLC. Volunteers with Veterans for Common Sense painted some of the common areas. Gilbane Building Company supplied volunteers and also gallons of paint for shared areas. The dedication of the participating nonprofits to get the project up and running has been amazing! Participating in the Resilience Incubator are: Community Harvest SRQ, Elizabeth Moore/ Suncoast Stargazers, Florida Veterans for Common Sense Inc, Minorities in Shark Sciences, Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay, Sarasota Bay Watch, Southeast Sustainability Directors Network, Southface, Suncoast Waterkeepers, and The Recycling Partnership. 

Pictured: Joyce Norris, executive director of Community Harvest SRQ at ribbon-cutting event for Resilience Incubator.

[Inclusion]  Introducing The Haven Residences at UTC: A New Inclusive Community for People with Unique Abilities

The Haven is pleased to announce the purchase of a 3-acre property in the heart of University Town Center that will be home to an innovative supported living program that aims to enhance the lives of adults with disabilities. This new community will include a range of living options, including 2, 3- and 4-bedroom homes, designed to provide a safe and inclusive community for individuals seeking independence and support. The houses will be designed to face towards the center of the community to emphasize front-porch living, connecting with your neighbors, and creating a sense of community among residents. The community will also include a spacious clubhouse with a gym, game room and theatre. Situated in a prime location, residents are within walking distance to the UTC Mall, Nathan Benderson Rowing Facility, Mote Marine, and countless restaurants and entertainment choices. Down the road from The Haven’s main campus, residents will have access to our 32-acre property and benefit from 24/7 staff support. This proximity ensures that our community members are always connected and cared for. “The Haven Residences at UTC will be privately owned and operated, ensuring personalized care and a sense of ownership and independence for our residents,” said The Haven’s President and CEO Brad Jones.  The land purchase was made possible thanks to a generous donation from the Shapiro family. For more information on the project, or to make a capital contribution, please contact Alison Thomas at athomas@thehavensrq.org or Brad Jones at bjones@thehavensrq.org. 

To learn more, visit.

[Recognition ]  Children First Leader and Former Head Start Parent Wins National Award

Children First Vice President of Programs Kathleen Sullivan has received the 2023-2024 Aubrey Puckett Memorial Award from the National Head Start Association. The annual award “celebrates a Head Start alumna, alumnus, or parent now working for a Head Start or Early Head Start program who demonstrates their passion for serving through advocacy, career growth, and being actively involved in their program, community, or at the state or national level.” Ms. Sullivan is a former Head Start parent who has worked for Children First for nearly 14 years. She won the Dr. Arvern Moore Memorial Award earlier this year, a regional award that advanced her to the national level as a finalist for the Aubrey Puckett Memorial Award. She was first nominated at the state level by the Florida Head Start Association. "I am deeply honored to receive the Aubrey Puckett Memorial Award from the National Head Start Association. My journey with Head Start began with my own children, who all benefited from this incredible program. What inspired me to stay involved is the extraordinary dedication of the people who tirelessly advance this crucial work across our nation. I am proud to dedicate my life’s work to a mission that has given so much to me and continues to profoundly impact the lives of children and families," says Ms. Sullivan. Children First is the exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start services for Sarasota County, Children First, serving nearly 1,100 individuals daily at multiple sites across Sarasota, Venice, and North Port. The agency has been ranked in the top 1% of more than 1,800 programs nationwide and is a four-time designated Head Start Program of Excellence. 

[Leadership]  Gulf Coast Community Foundation Announces Philanthropic Leadership

Gulf Coast Community Foundation (Gulf Coast) is pleased to announce the selection of Joe Carter, CAP® as its new Vice President of Philanthropy, and the promotion of Sasha Pyatte, CFRE to Director of Philanthropic Partnerships. Carter and Pyatte will play key roles in the execution of Gulf Coast’s strategic plan focused on providing donors and professional advisors with opportunities to deepen their philanthropic impact. “Joe Carter brings over 30 years of experience and knowledge in stewarding philanthropic partnerships,” shared Gulf Coast’s President | CEO Phillip Lanham, CAP®. “His passion for community was evident during his time with the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, and I'm thrilled that he will bring that expertise and compassion here for our community. “With the promotion of Sasha Pyatte to Director of Philanthropic Partnerships, our donors will experience a renewed sense of energy including bespoke services and Sasha’s unique ability to connect philanthropists with transformational community projects,” said Lanham. Carter shared that he is thrilled to immerse himself in his new community, “I am ready and excited to partner with our donors and professional advisors to create a legacy of bold and proactive philanthropy in the areas they care about most.” For the past 20 years, Carter served as Vice President of Development at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation where his focus on philanthropic strategies for donors allowed them to meet their charitable and financial goals and support the foundation’s nearly $750 million in community impact. He is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®) serving as an American College facilitator and moderator for the CAP program, and currently serves on the board of the Advancement Network (AdNet), the national association of community foundation development professionals. During his tenure in Oklahoma, Carter presented to nonprofits and all disciplines of professional advisors throughout the state, region, and at national conferences on various charitable topics as it relates to business, tax, and estate planning. Carter’s expertise in continuing education and training will provide Gulf Coast’s donor families and professional advisors with exceptional experiences and opportunities. Pyatte joined Gulf Coast in May 2022 as a Philanthropic Advisor, served as Interim Vice President of Philanthropy, and now serves as Director of Philanthropic Partnerships. In this new role, she will lead the team that works directly with donors to help them reach their philanthropic goals through co-investment and leveraging opportunities to create meaningful impact together. In the past, Pyatte served as Director of Advancement & Strategic Partnerships at the Sarasota Performing Arts Foundation, and she was the Director of Philanthropy for Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida for 10 years. Learn more about how you can make a meaningful difference through philanthropy at Gulf Coast by visiting www.gulfcoastcf.org/your-philanthropy.



Pictured: Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s new Vice President of Philanthropy Joe Carter, CAP® and Director of Philanthropic Partnerships Sasha Pyatte, CFRE. Provided photo.

[Grant]  Embracing Our Differences Receives Grant from Community Foundation of Sarasota County to Establish Parent Advisory Council

Embracing Our Differences (EOD) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $6,500 grant from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County to launch a Parent Advisory Council (PAC). This initiative is designed to enhance communication with parents and gain valuable insights for EOD's educational programming. Sarah Wertheimer, EOD’s executive director, explains that the organization has enjoyed a longstanding partnership with Sarasota County Schools, engaging students and educators through various educational initiatives, including reading days, field trips, school clubs, and workshops. Wertheimer explains that the PAC will convene quarterly, providing a platform for parents to receive updates on current programs and share their perspectives. Led by Ben Jewell-Plocher, EOD's learning and engagement director, each meeting will include parental discussions on ongoing and past initiatives. Their input will help EOD address current challenges and explore opportunities for future programming. Jewell-Plocher explains that the Community Foundation grant will support the operational costs of the PAC, including meeting logistics, outreach materials for parents, and resources to facilitate fruitful discussions. He adds that the group will meet quarterly. At each PAC meeting, he will provide an overview of EOD’s current and previous programs. For 21 years, Embracing Our Differences has delighted viewers with its annual outdoor display of 50 billboard-sized works of art and accompanying quotes. This high-profile art exhibition draws on the passion and perception of artists, students, and writers, to create powerful statements of inclusion, kindness and respect. The scale and impact of this open-air art show has continued to grow, attracting more than 4.8 million visitors since its inception. EOD’s annual exhibit is the heart of a year-round program of activities using art as a catalyst to create awareness and promote diversity. Embracing Our Differences’ next outdoor exhibition runs Jan. 19-April 13, 2025, in Bayfront Park, Sarasota; and March 1-March 31, 2025, in Flora Wylie Park, St. Petersburg. For more information about Embracing Our Differences, call 941-404-5710, or visit embracingourdifferences.org.


Pictured: Riverview High School students participate in EOD’s Coexistence Club program, one of eight education initiatives impacting more than 55,000 students annually. Photo courtesy of EOD.

[Scholarship]  Fruitville Gecko's 10th Anniversary Party and BBQ to benefit 4-H

Join your buddies, our wonderful East County guests, the Gecko's teams & the 4-H families for a 10th Anniversary Party & BBQ to benefit 4-H Children’s Animal Project! We'll have Chef James house-smoking Gecko’s BBQ with all the fixins, lots of exciting raffles, giveaways, our Farmer's Daughter specialty cocktail ($1 from every Farmer’s Daughter will be donated to 4-H), fabulous Music Compound performances on the patio & FUN! All to benefit the 4-H Children and to say thank you to YOU, our guests who have been with us for the past 10 years of good fun & good cheer! The Gecko’s Hospitality Group has been proud Business Partners with 4-H for over a decade.  In past efforts, Gecko’s has raised over $20,000 towards scholarships for 4-H children who wished to continue their education in the field of Agriculture or other areas where the many life lessons in citizenship they have gained through 4-H have inspired their passions.  The Fruitville Gecko’s Anniversary party is a celebration of that partnership and the children and families of 4-H and is a benefit for the 4-H Children’s Animal projects.  In participating in the long tradition of 4-H programming in continuing Agriculture & business training, the 4-H kids raise all manner of animals to show and sell at the Fair.  The commitment is significant.  They manage the feed, care, rent, vet bills, grooming and incidentals that are all part of learning how to care for and market their animal projects.  With farming and ranching families under increased pressure to be able to continue in Agriculture, the 4-H program is essential for continuing to share the Agricultural legacy of the great state of Florida with the next generation…and we are committed to continue our support for that effort through 4-H. 

[Grant]  Bank of America Awards $10,000 to Easterseals Southwest Florida

Easterseals Southwest Florida announces that it has received a $10,000 economic mobility grant from Bank of America for Easterseals Academy, a K-12 academic program for students with intellectual and/or physical disabilities, including autism. This grant reflects a shared commitment to fostering inclusivity and equal opportunities for all members of our community. With a specialized curriculum tailored to the unique needs of its students, Easterseals Academy recognizes the importance of equipping young adults with the skills and confidence needed to navigate the workforce successfully. The Workforce Track at Easterseals Academy provides students with the tools, resources and training needed to thrive in the workforce, including vocational training, job readiness workshops and technology programs. The Workforce Track Program at Easterseals Academy is more than just a pathway to employment, it’s also a holistic approach to personal and professional growth. By fostering a supportive and inclusive environment, students are empowered to overcome obstacles, embrace their strengths and work towards an independent future. Easterseals Southwest Florida is just one of 11 Sarasota/Manatee nonprofits Bank of America is supporting with economic mobility grants awarded to nonprofits through the year to help tackle society’s biggest challenges. This first round of grants is focused on improving the lives of individuals and families by investing in health and jobs. To learn more about Easterseals programs and services, including Easterseals Academy, Autism Services, Children Services, Adult Services, Employment Services, Therapy Services, Family Support Services, Hippotherapy and more, visit www.easterseals-swfl.org. 

[Grant]  Fab Lab Awarded $20,000 Grant from the Selby Foundation

The Suncoast Science Center/Faulhaber Fab Lab is thrilled to announce it was recently awarded a $20,000 grant from The William G. and Marie Selby Foundation to help enhance its fabrication lab and student-led programming, propelling efforts to ignite curiosity and innovation in the community. The grant funds will help upgrade the Fab Lab with cutting-edge technology, strengthening its status as a leading hub of science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) education. New equipment will amplify the impact of various high school student-led programs such as Summer Camps, LEGO Robotics, RC Car competition, Rocketry Club and more. By empowering the next generation with state-of-the-art resources and technical and life skill building opportunities, students will be equipped for success in college, careers, and beyond. The grant will also allow the Fab Lab to expand its outreach efforts with Title I schools and community organizations. Through strategic partnerships, efforts are underway to introduce a larger number of underprivileged children to the world of STEAM, fostering curiosity and exploration. 

Pictured: Expanded summer camps provide endless fun and learning thanks in part to Selby Foundation support.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Workforce Development Program , June 12 – September 1

All current jobs through the Department of Transportation for road/construction are listed on a map of Florida. Clients of the Women's Resource Center will first apply online and then begin the job search. Local agent for Manatee and Sarasota counties will work directly with client helping with job search and building a resume. Currently, they are working to promote womrn in this field. 

The Womens Resource Center, 340 S Tuttle Ave, Sarasota, FL 34237

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Project Phoenix and Resale , June 12 – September 1

Project Phoenix and Resale will help clients who are starting over due to losing a home through a fire or other life changing events. Residents Sarasota and Charlotte County who have experience said events get household, personal, and or food items at no cost. Must first call for an appointment and be reffered by a local nonprofit.

Project Phoenix and Resale, 36 W Dearborn St., Englewood, FL 34223

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Awaken Outreach , May 30 – September 1, 9:00am

Awaken Outreach in North Port/Venice has a drive through food pantry every Friday from 9:00am-12:00opm. Food is supplied by All Faiths Food Bank. Food pantry for walk in clients is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9:00am - 1:00pm and Wednesday from 3:00pm - 7:00pm. The first Saturday of every month from 9:00 am- 1:00pm clients may get a hot meal, haircut, and shower, clothing and household items.

Awaken Outreach , 4940 Pan American Blvd. in North Port

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Salvation Army of Sarasota Food Pantry , May 30 – September 1, 12pm

The Salvation Army of Sarasota has a new Food Pantry that is now open Mondays and Thursdays from 12:00om to 2:00pm at 1701 South Tuttle Avenue. Food is being supplies by All Faiths Food Bank. 

Salvation Army of Sarasota , 1701 South Tuttle Avenue

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Divorce Support Group , May 1 – January 6, Every Wednesday from 5-6:30pm

The Womens Resource Center presents a Divorce Support Group facilitated by Paula Falk, BS. This in-person, free program happens every Wednesday, 5-6:30 p.m., starting May 1, at the Womens Resource Center Sarasota, 340 S Tuttle Ave., Sarasota. Participants can attend one or all of the sessions. To register, visit www.mywrc.org/divorcesupportgroup. For more information, call 941-366-1700.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Free Second Sundays , March 10 – December 8, 11am-5pm
Enjoy a day of art and family fun at Sarasota Art Museum. On the second Sunday of each month, we offer free admission for visitors, special performances, and art-making activities for the whole family. To learn more, visit sarasotaartmuseum.org.
[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Sarasota Improv Festival , July 12 – July 13

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is proud to announce the return of the annual Sarasota Improv Festival. The 14th Annual Sarasota Improv Festival will be held on FST's downtown Sarasota campus Friday, July 12th and Saturday, July 13, 2024. Past festivals have drawn international talent from Mexico, Frace, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Makinf their festival debut this year is Lospleimovil, an improv group from Chile. Returning fro the Festival are several fan favorite troups, including Available Cupholders, Big Bang Improv, Parallelogramophonograph, North Coast, and of course, FST improv.

Florida Studio Theater, 1241 N Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Sarasota Jewish Theatre Announces Newish Jewish Play Reading Series , July 15 – July 19, 7:00

 Sarasota Jewish Theatre (SJT) is pleased to announce a summer play reading series, Newish Jewish Plays, which takes place on Mondays, July 15-29, at 7:00 p.m. The series includes “Dancing on Glass” by Gary Morgenstein, “Original Tenants” by Carole Braverman, and “We Are the Levinsons” by Wendy Kout. The play readings are presented at The Players Centre Studio 1130 at the Crossings at Siesta Key mall, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets are $12 per reading or $30 for the three-play series. To purchase single tickets, visit ThePlayers.org or call 941-365-2494; the three-play series can only be purchased by calling 941-365-2494. For information, visit SarasotaJewishTheatre.org.

Sarasota Jewish Theatre , The Crossings at Siesta Key, 3501 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34239

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Senior Friendship Centers Presents Joyful Journeys Authors Series , June 27 – August 15, 5:00pm

Senior Friendship Centers announces the continuation of its popular monthly authors series, “Joyful Journeys.” This engaging, free series celebrates the art of storytelling and highlights local authors. Each month, “Joyful Journeys” features a different author who will share their unique insights, captivating stories, and personal experiences. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in lively discussions, participate in Q&A sessions, and connect with fellow literature enthusiasts. These monthly events are on Thursdays, 5-6:30 p.m., at Senior Friendship Centers, 1888 Brother Geenen Way, Sarasota.  “Joyful Journeys” is free, but registration is required. 

Senior Friendship Centers, Senior Friendship Centers, 1888 Brother Geenen Way, Sarasota

[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]  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]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Space Saturdays , March 2 – December 7, 10am-2:30pm
Join us for Space Saturday, the first Saturday of every month, as we explore a different topic in the world of astronomy. During Space Saturdays, you will discover an out-of-this-world activity during Backyard Science, formerly Science Sprouts, in The Mosaic Backyard Universe, explore space with a staff astronomer during KidSpace in The Planetarium, and finish your day with an astronomy-themed story during Tales Under the Tree. To learn more, visit bishopscience.org.
[SOON]  FOOD: Geckos Grill and Pubs Trivia and Bar BINGO , April 26 – April 30, 7:30pm
If you love a made-to-order meal, cocktail specials and prizes while you play Trivia and Bar Bingo, join the fun at Geckos all year round. We will have prizes, giveaways and specials plus the Geckos hospitality you love. Monday TRIVIA will be held at the Clark Road location in Palmer Crossing with BAR BINGO on Hillview Street in Southside Village. Tuesdays is BAR BINGO at SR 70 and TRIVIA at Geckos on SR 64 and Stickney Point. On Wednesdays, TRIVIA will take place at the Hillview Street location in Southside Village. We will keep the good time flowing and make your week more fun. www.GeckosGrill.com.
[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Laser Light Nights , May 23 – August 31, 7pm and 9pm
Break out your big hair and acid-washed denims and get ready to rock out with some of your favorite artists in The Planetarium. The event takes place every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night from May 23 through August 31. There are various food and drink options available for purchase onsite with cash or card. Please note that Laser Light Nights involve bright, flashing lasers that may not be suitable for people with photo sensitivities. Viewer discretion is advised. Laser Light Nights are at a volume similar to a rock concert, so earplugs are recommended for those who prefer a lower volume. To learn more, visit bishopscience.org.
[SOON]  GALLERY: Art Center Sarasota's Annual Regional Juried Exhibition , May 23 – July 27

Art Center Sarasota unveils its much-anticipated annual regional juried exhibit, "Beyond Comfort," on May 23. Juried by Virginia Shearer, the executive director of Sarasota Art Museum, the exhibition calls upon artists statewide to delve into their interpretations of beauty and the grotesque within contemporary art and society. The exhibit, which spans all four galleries, runs through July 27. The opening reception is Thursday, May 23, 6-8 p.m. A critique with Virginia Shearer will take place on Thursday, May 30, 3:30 p.m. at Art Center Sarasota.

Art Center Sarasota, 707 N Tamiami Trl, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Summer Trivia Series , May 17 – July 19, 5-8pm
Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast is excited to announce the return of their monthly summer trivia series. Each month will have a different theme with a variety of questions covering categories ranging from history and pop culture to science and nature. The free community events will take place at the Bay Preserve headquarters in Osprey from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Trivia begins at 6:00 pm. Teams can have up to eight members and multi-generational teams are encouraged. Each month a different food truck will be onsite offering tasty options for the whole family to enjoy. One of our newest corporate partners, Sun King Brewery will also be present with samples of their award-winning craft beers. Be sure to stop by their Sarasota location on Thursday, May 30, when the brewery will be donating $1 to Conservation Foundation for every pint purchased. Learn more and RSVP at conservationfoundation.com/events.
[SOON]  FOOD: Geckos Grill and Pubs New Summer Menu , May 13 – July 31, 11am

NEW!! Gecko’s Grill & Pub’s have launched a special Summer Lunch Menu at all of our six locations.  With specials from our menu sure to delight you, including our award-winning ½ lb. USDA Choice Angus Gecko’s Burger, Sandwiches, our Signature 1992 Salad and more…for $8 you can enjoy our favorite time of the year with some of your fav Gecko’s dishes when you dine in with us for Lunch.  Always fresh, always made-to-order, join us to kickstart your Summer with our Summer Lunch specials from 11-3 Monday-Friday.  Dine In only. 

Gecko's, 1900 Hillview St, Sarasota, F

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Sarasota County Connect Business Networking and Panel Discussion , May 9 – July 11, 5:30-8pm

Offered in conjunction with 26 West, the State College of Florida Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation, the monthly Sarasota County Connect Business Networking and Panel Discussion series held through July is for those interested in entrepreneurialism. The program taps into the fast-growing small business climate. Upcoming sessions include: the May 9 workshop with Zeev Wexler, a digital industry leader, marketing automation disrupter and the CEO of a growing marketing firm, who will present on brand-boosting with AI, the June 13 session which features Problem-Solving for Entrepreneurs by Stephen Diasio, a podcaster and professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of South Florida, and July 11 Business IDEA Lab, community forum moderated by Chris Williams, managing director of a Sarasota digital marketing firm, offers an opportunity for participants to share business ideas and gain expert feedback. Sarasota County Connect events run from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and are free with advanced registration required at 26west.scf.edu/sarasotaconnect.

[SOON]  FOOD: Farmers Market at Lakewood Ranch , September 3 – September 30, 10am-2pm

Experience some of the best food and flavors of the region with more than 100, and still growing, curated vendors. The Farmers Market at Lakewood Ranch has fast become a favorite weekly tradition for people from all over the region seeking farm-fresh produce, delicious prepared foods, and specialty items and gifts. Aside from all the goodies you can shop at the Farmers Market, find your flow in a free yoga class or have the kiddos get creative during weekly-hosted workshops. 1561 Lakefront Dr., Lakewood Ranch.

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

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

[SOON]  GALA: Celebrating Regional Art and Artists at Creative Liberties , June 1 – July 6

Creative Liberties Artist Studios and Gallery continues its season’s offerings with an all-packed June starting with the exhibit, “True Colors: Celebrating Pride,” June 1-July 6. Local artists will exhibit works in a color scheme that represents one of the colors on the LGBTQ+ Progress flag.

Creative Liberties, 901B Apricot Ave, Sarasota, FL 34237

[SOON]  MUSIC: Friday Fest , May 24 – October 4, 5-9pm
Friday Fest, the free, outdoor summertime concert series at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall returns with an exciting lineup of bands who will bring the audience to their feet. This year the festivities kick off in May. Each event runs from 5-9 p.m. on the lawn of the Van Wezel overlooking beautiful Sarasota Bay. Bring blankets or lawn chairs, take in the music and the sunset, and enjoy food and beverages from local vendors. Bringing in food, beverages and coolers from outside Friday Fest is prohibited. For additional information, visit VanWezel.org.
[SOON]  BUSINESS: Collaborative Coworking Meetup at UTC , September 1 – December 27, 11am-4pm

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

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

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

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Magic, Myths, and Mysteries , July 1 – July 3, 8:30

There are many things to explore and discover at The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature Summer Camp. Learn, explore, craft, play, snack, and have fun every day! Camp Times are 9am-3:30pm Monday through Friday with 8:30-9am Drop off & Pick up 3:30-4pm. $250 members/$300 non-members per week. Summer Science Camp is for campers in Grades 2-5, Ages 7-11 (starting second grade/Leaving fifth grade). Real or Magic? Truth or Myth? Who done it? Those are the questions we will be asking in this new and exciting mini-week.

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, 201 10th St. West Bradenton

[SOON]  FOOD: Catch all of the Soccer Action at Hooters , June 20 – July 14

Make sure to visit your neighborhood Hooters during the Copa America tournament from June 20 to July 14.  Catch the soccer action while enjoying world famous Hooters wings and other favorite menu items. This summer your neighborhood Hooters restaurant is offering several Surfside Summer specials including crab legs ($20), Blue Point Oysters (6 for $6) and 10 Buffalo Shrimp and Fries ($10).  Add an ice-cold draft beer for only $3 with the purchase of the Surfside Summer Specials. Choices include Kona Big Wave, Michelob Ultra and Samuel Adams Summer Ale.

Hooters, 6507 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

[SOON]  FOOD: Sushi Lovers are Invited to Sushi Thursdays at Jack Dusty , June 19 – August 15, 4:30

We are thrilled to announce an exciting new addition to our culinary offerings at Jack Dusty, The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota’s signature restaurant. Starting this Thursday, May 30, join us for Sushi Thursdays from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Dive into an exquisite selection of sushi and specialty rolls, crafted with the freshest ingredients and inspired by the rich maritime traditions of Sarasota. This weekly event promises a delectable experience while supplies last, so be sure to arrive early and indulge in these flavorful creations. We look forward to welcoming our guests and local residents to Sushi Thursdays at Jack Dusty for an unforgettable dining experience. Reservations can be made on OpenTable or by calling (941) 309-2266.


Jack Dusty, 1111 Ritz Carlton Dr, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Summer Circus Spectacular , June 14 – August 17

The Ringling, in collaboration with The Circus Art Conservatory of Sarasota, presents a fantastic, jaw-dropping, fun-filled show for the entire family. The Summer Circus Spectacular showcases some of the most thrilling circus artists from around the world in performances that will entertain and delight audiences of all ages.

The Ringling , 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34243

[SOON]  FOOD: Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar Celebrates Summer Early with Creative Lunch Specials , June 3 – August 1

Located on the banks of historic Phillippi Creek in Sarasota, The Creek Village consists of the Oyster Bar & Restaurant and The Creekside Trader Gift Shop.  Call ahead seating for large parties and plenty of room on the enclosed porch, deck and inside dining rooms. Full Bar and Catering available. The best of your old time favorites and the new flavors of the season, always the best quality with freshness the key and a view on the water like no other.

Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar, 5353 Tamiami Trail Sarasota, Fl. 34231

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Red White and BOOM at The Bishop , July 4, 7pm

Join us for Red, White, & BOOM! at The Bishop and celebrate Independence Day in style! Looking for a safe and spectacular way to celebrate the Fourth of July? Look no further than The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature! Whether you’re a VIP or joining the general festivities, The Bishop offers the perfect environment to create lasting memories with your loved ones this Independence Day!

The Bishop, 201 10th St W, Bradenton, FL 34205

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Celebrate Fourth of July at Selby Gardens , July 4, 5:30pm

Don’t miss one of Selby Gardens’ most beloved summer traditions! Celebrate Independence Day at our annual Fourth of July All-American Cookout. Enjoy family-friendly activities and games on the Great Lawn, and then take in the spectacular fireworks display over Sarasota Bay! This is a rain or shine event. Tickets available on our website.

Selby Gardens, 1534 Mound St, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  FILM: On the Waterfront at Sarasota Opera , July 5, 7:30pm

From May 10th- October 18th, Sarasota Opera House will be showing classic movies as timeless as the theater itself. Our Classic Movies at the Opera House series begins on Friday, May 10. HD at the Opera House series begins on June 9. Tickets on sale now! One of the greatest films ever made, receiving twelve Academy Award nominations and winning eight. The film focuses on union violence and corruption among longshoremen on the waterfront of New Jersey. The musical score was composed by Leonard Bernstein. Directed by Elia Kazan and starring Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, and Eva Marie Saint. Running time: 1 hour, 48 minutes.

Sarasota Opera, 61 N Pineapple Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

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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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