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In Wealth

PNC Wealth Management


DEC 2013 $3.95 U.S.

Events that Matter People Making a Difference Causes to Support


THE PLACE TO PURSUE LIFE’S PASSIONS Originally from Florida’s East Coast, Lyn and Joe Deglman found the upkeep on their house in Longboat Key kept them from the many activities they enjoyed. They decided to trade lawn care and home maintenance for the freedom of condo living at Plymouth Harbor. Their new home, built to their specifications, even includes a custom doorway to accommodate an ornate rounded door and a faux fireplace and mantel that they brought with them from three previous homes. Both continue to work, as well as volunteer, while enjoying the friendships they have cultivated in the vibrant community at Plymouth Harbor. An expert

in clock care and repair, Joe keeps regular office hours at his clock shop in Sarasota, while Lyn, a retired school psychologist, works part-time at a CPA firm. Keeping their hand in daily business and engagement with the community is their passion. Plymouth Harbor is their home and they delight in the lifestyle they have discovered in this lively community. When quality of life, smart planning and the freedom to pursue passions and new interests are top priorities, Plymouth Harbor is the wise choice. Call us today for a tour of our award-winning campus, luxury accommodations and amenities.

Sarasota’s First Choice in Continuing Care Retirement Communities

700 John Ringling Blvd. Sarasota, FL 34236 • (941) 365-2600 • A Not-For-Profit Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). OIR #88039


Whether you need Skilled Nursing care or you need to “Bounce Back” after a major illness or trauma, the unique, not-for-profit facility that is Hawthorne Village of Sarasota has high quality healthcare and a full range of rehabilitative therapies.



• With its 120-bed Skilled Nursing facility, the amenities and services are exceptional • Personal Physician • 24-Hour Nurses • Highly-Trained Physical, Occupational & Speech Therapists • Registered Dietician and Nutritional Management • Social Services • Full-Time Activities Director

• Through the innovative “Bounce Back” program, you can Rehab, Recover, Return Home® • Interdisciplinary Team of Experienced Professionals • State-of-the-Art Therapy Equipment • Evidence-based care & Individualized Treatment • Physical, Occupational & Speech Rehabilitative Therapies • Case Management to Maximize Benefits • AJ’s Fitness Center at Hawthorne Village helps you focus on Flexibility, Strength Training, Balance & Endurance


CALL FOR YOUR PERSONAL TOUR 5381 Desoto Road | Sarasota, FL 34235 | 941.355.6111 | License # SNF130471051


Your Bridge to Get Pre-Construction Pricing While You Still Can. It’s little wonder that the new Manor and Estate designs at Lennar’s Bridgewater have quickly become the area’s star attractions! Combine upscale, luxurious homes with the amazing amenities and prestige of Lakewood Ranch. Hurry, opportunities are limited. Lakewood Ranch offers golf, resort pool with kids’ area, tennis, fitness center & spa, trails, multi-faceted sports campus, planned events & more.

Pre-construction prices from the $300s – $500s Up to 6 bedrooms and 4.5 baths from 2,200 - 3,800+ sq. ft.





888-214-1687 •

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LAKEWOOD RANCH 6310 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202 Open Mon.-Sat. 9am – 6pm, Sun. 10am – 6pm

Stated square footages are approximate and should not be used as representation of the home’s precise or actual size. Prices subject to change. Copyright © 2013 Lennar Corporation. Lennar, the Lennar logo and Everything’s Included Home are registered service marks of Lennar Corporation and/or its subsidiaries. CGC 1507191. 10/13

Philanthropy Issue December 2013 Volume 56 No. 12



48 WOMEN IN WEALTH PNC Wealth Management Jennifer Steube & Jennifer Rust By Sue Cullen

52 FST’S NEW SEASON Diversity & Variety By Steven J. Smith



68 FOR THE GOOD OF ALL Stories that “Tug at the Heartstrings” By Jake Hartvigsen & Julie Milton

80 THE GOOD WILL OF GOODWILL Impact Initiative By Ryan G. Van Cleave

82 SARASOTA ORCHESTRA POPS SERIES: Saluting American Music Icons By Ryan G. Van Cleave

COVER Photo of Jennifer Steube and Jennifer Rust at PNC Wealth Management’s office. Photo by Herb Booth/Booth Studio




December 2013

Life can be complicated. Sometimes things don’t fall into place as easily as we would like. You need a partner who can see the big picture and fit the pieces together. At Icard Merrill, our attorneys have the necessary skills and experience in a wide range of legal fields, including business, commercial and construction litigation, real estate, land use, family law and estate planning. We provide a comprehensive approach to the practice of law, with your goals and well-being always our top concern. Let us work with you to solve the puzzles in your life.

941.366.8100 • Manatee, Sarasota & Charlotte Counties



22 EVENTS CALENDAR SOCIALS 20 NHLS Celebrates 25 Years 31 Pines Foundation 4th Annual Wit & Wisdom of Aging Luncheon 32 Goodwill Ambassador of the Year Dinner 34 Asolo Rep’s Starry Night Dinner 40 2013 Key to the Cure 73 Children First Flip Flops & Fashion Luncheon 79 Rosedale Golf & CC Celebrates 20th Anniversary 84 Sarasota Opera’s 22nd Annual Curtain Raiser Dinner 87 USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Brunch on the Bay 88 Safe Sex Halloween Bash 93 Callaghan Tire Charity Pro-Am Golf Tournament


The Players Theatre “A Night to Remember”

30 PERFORMING ARTS CALENDAR 38 YARA’S WAY Recipes, Travel and Lifestyle Tips By Yara Shoemaker

44 CULTURE MATTERS Cultural events presented by The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County

GIVING 58 Peggy & Ken Abt: A Mission of Love 60 Mary Kay & Joe Henson: Bridging the Gap 62 Dr. Krista Toomre & Dr. Harold Johnson: A Natural Fit By Jake Hartvigsen

64 Daphne Collier: Puppy Love By Steven J. Smith

66 Ken & Lynn Fromer: Taking Center Stage By Jake Hartvigsen

89 BEHIND THE SCENE Sarasota’s Society Maven Gives the Latest Scoop By Debbi Benedict

94 STORIES OF JOY The People and Passion Behind Local Philanthropy

74 SCENES FROM AN INTERVIEW Philanthropist Skip Sack By Gus Mollasis

By Joy Weston

96 LITERARY SCENE By Ryan G. Van Cleave



USFSM’s Biology Degree Program

News Shaping Our Community

By Ryan G. Van Cleave




December 2013

Stuart J. Roth Founder and President

Salt & Light Productions is the award winning non-profit organization dedicated to providing multi-media program services to charities across the nation.

Salt & Light Radio WITH

Stuart J. Roth

Saturdays at Noon


1220 AM/106.9 FM

Salt & Light Radio with Stuart J. Roth shares compelling testimonies from people in our community who inspire us to greatness and action. We strive to address many of the social, economic and spiritual issues confronting families and individuals in life’s most challenging situations. Our radio program reflects the same commitment to public service that has been exemplified by our video program services at Salt & Light Productions.

Our mission is to serve others and be a source of inspiration and encouragement to those less fortunate. We remain cognizant that “to whom much is given, much is required.”

7357 Merchant Court • Sarasota, FL 34240 • Phone 941.487.4061 • Fax 941.487.4062

WE ENJOY the financial and spiritual benefits of giving.

For Bart and Joan Levenson, a lifetime of giving began early. “Seeing the example our parents set,” says Joan, “you just naturally want to honor that tradition.” Using gift annuities that provide income, the Levensons enjoy giving the rest away to causes benefiting youth programs, education and the arts. “It’s a very nice feeling to be in a position to give,” says Bart, “Very liberating.”

Bart and Joan Levenson

Whether you are a lifelong giver like Joan or Bart or you’re just starting to plan, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County offers the security and peace of mind that comes from the knowledge that your philanthropic wishes will be carried out – now and in perpetuity. Working with legal and financial advisors, we are committed to helping donors maximize the benefits of giving – for themselves and their family, for the causes they love, forever. To learn more, call 941.955.3000. Let us show you how easy and meaningful it is to leave a lasting legacy. 2635 Fruitville Road, Sarasota |

You Deserve a Smarter, Safer Fitness Experience

HealthFit, powered by Sarasota Memorial, combines health club-style amenities, professional fitness expertise and the resources of one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals for an all new fitness experience. As the area’s only medically integrated fitness center, HealthFit offers the best, safest way to be healthy and fit for life.

Back by popular demand, it’s HealthFit’s inspiring array of FREE classes and programs in January! Ready to kick start your 2014 New Year’s resolutions? Find the complete Solutions for Resolutions schedule on and register starting December 1 by calling (941) 917-7000.

5880 Rand Blvd. (off Clark Road), Sarasota, FL 34238


brilliant location sparkling views lustrous amenities...


t SCENE Magazine, our passion is our editorial mission — covering philanthropy and supporting the nonprofits in our community. Because many of our stories each month are about those who give freely of their

time, talent, and treasure to improve the lives of others and enrich our community, every issue of SCENE celebrates the people who make Sarasota/Manatee thrive. During the season of giving, in this, our Philanthropy Issue, we proudly present stories about several community philanthropists and volunteers supporting various causes in the areas of education, conservation, human services and the arts – Skip Sack; Ken and Peggy Abt; Drs. Krista Toomre and Harold Johnson; Ken and Lynn Fromer; Mary Kay & Joe Henson; and Daphne Collier. We also feature stories about people whose lives have been positively impacted by the dedication and unselfish work of local non-profit organizations that provide them with invaluable services. It is our hope these stories will fortify your belief that joy is both the motivation for and the end result of getting involved and helping others. As you’ve come to expect, many of our pages are also filled with stories and photos from parties with a philanthropic purpose. Throughout the year, SCENE sponsors many philanthropic events, which further fulfill our mission to connect the community and promote giving. This year alone, SCENE has once again donated more than $250,000 of its advertising space in support of area nonprofits. So get in the spirit, open your heart and your wallet, do a good deed, and smile more. I promise you that you will feel better too. Oh, one more thing. Give the gift of a subscription to SCENE Magazine – the feel good magazine covering the people and events that make this community so great. Happy Holidays!





December 2013

Discover What Makes Sarasota Bay Club So Different! Sarasota Bay Club offers outstanding services and amenities that are personalized to fit your lifestyle. From complimentary valet parking to fine dining on chef prepared meals, the freedom to design the ideal retirement lifestyle is all yours. Sarasota Bay Club ownership is carefree, with all maintenance included, and complete health care & rehabilitation services conveniently located on-site.


“We love the atmosphere and the talented staff at Sarasota Bay Club, which has drawn out a lot of talent in me. I am able to express myself more than ever before. We have been happy since the day we moved in!” Frank Levine Sarasota Bay Club Resident

Full-Service Retirement Living On Sarasota Bay Discover The Sarasota Bay Club Difference For Yourself Today!

Please Call To Attend Our Next Luncheon Event or Schedule A Personal Tour – Linda Ware or Dana Moe (941) 552-3284 Visit Us On The Web At (941) 366-7667 • 1301 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida 34236


Ronald Milton

Executive Editor

Julie A. Milton

Business Development

Salena Wilhoit

Account Executive Tammy Whalen

“I strongly recommend this book without reservation to anyone with dogs. We now have two loving, responsive, happy, and well-trained dogs, thanks to Southeastern Guide Dogs and their wonderful training techniques!”

Art Director Editorial Assistant Special Issue Director Distribution Contributing Writers

Michelle Cross Cheryl Galbraith Debbi Benedict Dick Jackson Debbi Benedict Sue Cullen Jake Hartvigsen Gus Mollasis

– Gerald M. Greene, Ph.D.

Yara Shoemaker Steven J. Smith Ryan G. Van Cleave Joy Weston Photographers Josh Baldo Herb Booth Jake Hartvigsen Cliff Roles

Available at: Southeastern Guide Dogs Training Center & Dog Boutique 1618 Main St Sarasota, FL 34236 And online at

Address Phone

7269 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota, FL 34241 941-365-1119

Fax 941-954-5067 Website SCENE Magazine publishes 12 issues a year by RJM Ventures, LLC. Address editorial, advertising and circulation correspondence to the above address. Sufficient return postage and self-addressed, stamped envelope must accompany all manuscripts, art work and photographs submitted if they are to be returned or acknowledged. Publisher assumes no responsibility for care of return of unsolicited materials. Subscription price: $12.95 per year, $19.95 for two years. All contents copyrighted. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. ISSN 1535-8895.

Special Publications: Arts & Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County's Arts & Culture Guide, Doctors On The Scene, The Giving Book, Leading the Scene, Men On The Scene & Women On The Scene.




December 2013

DiScovEr A nEw wAy to ExprESS yourSElf

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is Life.

Enjoy it to the Fullest.

Laurel Oak


Member-owned since 1999, at Laurel Oak you will find very warm, welcoming, and friendly members. With abundant natural beauty teeming with wildlife, the Club’s many amenities include 36 holes of championship golf, 12 Har Tru tennis courts, a junior Olympic-size pool and a 45,000 sq ft clubhouse. Whether you play golf or tennis, or like to socialize, dine and party with friends in a warm and inviting environment, we have a membership plan for your lifestyle. In addition to our retired members, there are many young families at Laurel Oak, giving the Club a very energetic, highly participatory membership with many family-oriented events throughout the year. We invite you for a Club tour anytime or take advantage of our try-us-out membership, designed to allow you to experience Laurel Oak Country Club, with virtually all the privileges of a full member, before making the commitment to full membership. Call today for your personal tour. Enjoy family and life to the fullest at Laurel Oak.

Try-Us-Out this Season! 90 day Trial Memberships

Golf & Tennis $2,500 Tennis $800 Social $500

941-378-3399 2700 Gary Player Blvd. Sarasota, FL 34240 A Private Club

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Inviting. Inspired. Incomparable.


NHLS Celebrates 25 Years The Sarasota law firm of Norton, Hammersley, Lopez & Skokos celebrated 25 years with a party for its clients and community partners at the Francis Ballroom. Firm partners Sam Norton, Phil Hammersley, John Lopez, Pete Skokos, John Compton and Darren Inverso, together with their associates and staff, hosted the party for its attendees and enjoyed an evening of great food and camaraderie. The firm, which has earned Martindale-Hubbell’s highest AV rating, practices in the areas of real estate, litigation, business, tax and estate planning.

Photos by Josh Baldo Jill Koon, Nancy Matyjasik, Sarah Hanson, Cheryl Stinson & Kim Fehre

John Compton, Mike Infanti, Derrick Maginness, Darren Inverso, John Lopez, Sam Norton, Eric Hoonhout, Phil Hammersley, Erik Hanson & Pete Skokos.

Lee DeLieto, Valarie Wadsworth & Alex Nathan

Steve Seidensticker, Sophie Cantin, Lem Sharp & Sam Norton




December 2013

John Compton, Sandra King & Jason Hughes

Iwan Mohamed & Mike Wick

Ian Wilbraham & Rich Gerrity

Mathew Arcari, Carrie Scupholm & Doug Parks

Quality time is precious.

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December Calendar For a complete listing of community events please visit

Aerial views east of I-75 by Cliff Roles

Santa Jaws at Mote Marine Through December 21 The Aquarium at Mote Marine 12:00 pm. Take pictures with Gilly the Shark, dressed as Santa Jaws. Free with paid Aquarium admission |

29th Annual Poinsettia Luncheon December 3 Michael’s On East 11:00 am. Fashion Show by Ana Molinari with silent auction and gift basket chances. Tickets: $70 | 941.346.8057 |

Turning Point’s A Bradenton Christmas Carol December 3 The Riverhouse Reef & Grill 6:00 pm. Enjoy an interactive dinner theatre experience narrated by John Vita featuring the classic Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol - Bradenton style! Tickets: $125.00 | 941.518.4997 |

The Venice Area Historical Society’s 8th Annual Style Show December 4 Plantation Golf and Country Club 11:00 am. Honoring Composer, Jazz Pianist, and Venice Resident, Dick Hyman. 941.412.0151 |

Holiday Splendor at The Ringling December 5 5:00 pm. Celebrate the holiday season and help support the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots. Free admission with one unwrapped toy per guest |

SO’s Visiting Artists Dinner II December 5 Darwin’s 6:00 pm. Featuring conductor and pianist, David Greilsammer. Tickets: $150 | 941.487.2737 |

The Child Protection Center’s Men, Whiskey, & Watches December 6 Ca D’Zan Cigar Lounge at the Ritz Carlton 2:00 pm. Enjoy premium cigars, whiskey




December 2013



an evening benefitting the C o n s e r vat i o n f o u n d at i o n of the gulf Coast

C o C kta i l s , d i n n e r a n d da n C i n g u n d e r t h e s ta r s s at u r d ay, f e b r u a r y 8 , 2 0 1 4 at 6 : 3 0 i n t h e e v e n i n g blaCk tie and Citrus -inspired gowns b ay p r e s e r v e at o s p r e y

Proceeds benefit critical land conservation initiatives on our bays, beaches, barrier islands and watersheds. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Please reserve early. Seating is limited. For information, call 941.918.2100.

This Land is Your Land

tasting, and display of men’s luxury watches and Lamborghinis. Tickets: $150 | 941.365.1277 |

Venice’s Downtown Christmas Walk December 6 5:00 pm. Live entertainment, food and drinks, holiday décor and Santa.

35th Annual St. Armands Holiday Night of Lights December 6 6:00 pm. The Circle “lights up” with thousands of white lights and lighted silhouette decorations. Santa also makes an appearance!

Florida Center’s 26th Annual Festival of Trees, Lights, & Holiday Gifts December 6 Michael’s On East 6:30 pm. Featuring cocktails, live music and entertainment, dancing, auctions, and dinner. Black-tie optional. Tickets: $175 | 941.371.8820 x1025 |

Annual Sarasota Craft Show December 6 - 8 Robarts Arena. Juried show featuring works in clay, wood, glass, fiber, mixed media, jewelry, sculpture, photography, and painting by over 125 of the nation’s top craft and fine artists. Tickets: $5 - $12 | 941.365.0818|

2013 Bradenton Blues Festival December 7 Riverwalk overlooking the Manatee River 11:00 am. Featuring a team of top blues artists. Enjoy food, drinks, art, vendors, and live music. Tickets: $10 - $40 |

“A Night Before Christmas” Celebration December 7 4:00 pm. Santa Claus flies into G.T. Bray Park by helicopter. Featuring 10 tons of snow, face painting, bounce houses, an 18’ inflatable slide, trampoline power jump, and hayrides.

Venice Christmas Boat Parade of Lights December 7 6:00 pm. “Christmas boat” parade along the Intercoastal Waterway in Venice from the North Jetty south to the Circus Bridge.

18th Annual Sarasota Holiday Parade December 7 7:00 pm. Starts at the Hollywood 20 and continues to Gulfstream Avenue.

Make A-Wish Foundation’s Christmas in Candyland December 8 Michael’s On East 12:00 pm. Enjoy Candyland come to life along with your favorite Christmas characters. Adults: $35 – Kids: $10 | 941.952.9474 |

The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee Women’s Day with Campbell Brown December 9 Michael’s On East 11:30 am. Benefits The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee. Tickets: $65 | 941.343. 2111 |




December 2013


VE !

Jay Leno Friday, February 7Th, 2014 JOin us FOr The Van wezel FOundaTiOn’s 13Th annual Gala Cocktail Reception by the Bay • Dinner Party • Performance by Jay Leno • after Party

TickeTs On sale nOw! For tickets and sponsorship information Call 941.366.5578 or visit Gala Proceeds Support the Van Wezel Foundation’s Mission

Famiglio Family Joan Lieberman Mary Ann Robinson Bill & Judy Stanford West Wind Provisions

Sonata a Due

North Port’s Poinsettia Parade & Festival

December 9 Charles Ringling House, New College Campus 6:00 pm. Enjoy a recital with Federico Agostini, violin and Derek Han, piano, followed by dinner catered by Michaels on East. Tickets: $150 | 941.371.6798 |

December 14 6:00 pm. The parade will travel south on North Port Blvd. from Appomattox Dr. to Greenwood Ave., followed by the festival at Dallas White Park. 941.429.7275 |

16th Annual Bradenton Yacht Club’s Holiday Boat Parade Holidays Around The Ranch December 13 Main Street at Lakewood Ranch 6:00 pm. Watch the lighting of the tree, work on crafts in Santa’s workshop, ice skate on an acrylic ice rink, and welcome Santa’s arrival. Free |

5th Annual Gingerbread House Festival December 13 – 15 Westfield Sarasota Square Mall. Over 150 Gingerbread Houses created by school kids, youth groups, local businesses, and organizations. Benefits the CYD. Admission: $1 | 941. 922.5126 |

14th Annual Ditchfield Family Singers Christmas Show December 14 2:30 pm & 7:00 pm. A favorite Christmas tradition at the Sarasota Opera House. Tickets: $20 - $40 | 941.923.2013 |

December 14 6:30 pm. Parade starts on the Manatee River, passing the downtown Bradenton area around 8:00 pm - 8:30 pm.

5th Annual Downtown Sarasota Holiday Arts & Craft Show December 14 – 15 10:00 am. Featuring artists and craftsmen at Five Points Park at Main & Pineapple Street.

Annual Atomic Holiday Bazaar December 14 10:00 am & December 15 - 10:30 am. Crafts and holiday gifts from independent crafters at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium. Adults $5, 12 and under are free |

JFCS Gala: Celebrating the American Spirit December 15 Ritz Carlton. Featuring a performance by Sarasota Orchestra. RSVP required, call for details. 941.366.2224 |

27th Annual Christmas Boat Parade of Lights on Sarasota Bay

Asolo’s Starry Night Dinner: Philadelphia, Here I Come

December 14 6:00 pm. Boaters string lights and decorate their power and sailboats with holiday themes amazing spectators young and old.

December 20 The home of Richard and Michelle Perrone in Osprey 6:30 pm. Highlights the production of Philadelphia, Here I Come. Tickets: $250 | 941.351.9010 x407 |


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December 2013


Blinds & Decor 4540 Clark Road, Sarasota, FL 34233

941-922-2345 ®

Orioles’ “Ice on the Diamond – A Holiday Celebration” December 20 Ed Smith Stadium 7:00 pm. Holiday themed show featuring world-class ice skaters. Tickets: $5 - $30 | 941.893.6300 |

favors, champagne toast at midnight, elaborate buffet featuring beef tenderloin, lump crab cakes, and special dessert offerings. Tickets: $149 | 941.365.4232 |

Selby Lights In Bloom – A Tropical Holiday Celebration

Holiday Performances

December 20 – 23 & 26 – 30 6:00 pm. Stroll through magical gardens decked with brilliant light displays, including the new Children’s Rainforest Garden. Live holiday music, Santa, and games for the entire family. 941.366.5731 |

A Feast of Carols

Pineapple Drop New Year’s Eve Street Party December 31 Downtown Sarasota. Family friendly carnival during the day with rides for adults and kids. Live entertainment and street vendors into the night with the pineapple drop at midnight to ring in 2014. Free admission

Downtown Bradenton’s New Year’s Eve Celebration December 31 Old Main Street, Bradenton 2:00 pm. Live music, street vendors and more. Free admission.

December 2 First United Methodist Church 7:00 pm. Celebrate the holiday season with Gloria Musicae and a feast of carols from around the world, featuring guest artists Ann Hobson Pilot, harp, Ann Stephenson-Moe, organ, Rex Willis, guitar and the State College of Florida Chamber Choir under the direction of Melodie Dickerson. |

A Christmas Cactus December 4 – 22 Lemon Bay Playhouse. Christmas turns into a dickens of a holiday for private investigator Cactus O’Riley as she solves mysteries, delivers small miracles, and takes a second chance on love. Tickets: $18.00 | 941.475.6756 |

The Players Theatre’s White Christmas Ritz-Carlton’s New Year’s Eve Block Party December 31 Ca d’Zan at the Ritz-Carlton 8:00 pm. Enjoy live music and dancing, includes party favors and a glass of champagne. Tickets: $55 | 941.309.2000 |

December 5 – 15. Based on the beloved film, features 17 classic Irving Berlin songs including “Blue Skies,” “I Love a Piano,” and “White Christmas.” Adult: $25 - Child: $12 |

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever Marina Jack II New Year’s Eve Celebration Cruise December 31 Marina Jack 8:30 pm. Features a live band, party

December 5 – 22 Manatee Players. In this hilarious Christmas tale, a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is

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faced with casting the Herdman kids – probably the most inventively awful kids in history. 941.748.5875 |

The King’s Brass December 7 Venice Presbyterian Church 3:00 & 7:00 pm. The Brass has performed over 100 concerts each season with three trumpets, three trombones, a tuba, keyboards, and percussion. Tickets: $15 | 941.488.5525 |

Chorus of The Keys December 8 Glenridge Performing Arts Center 3:00 pm. Enjoy holiday harmonies including the standards. 941.552.5325 |

Sarasota Orchestra’s Let It Snow December 11 – 14 Holley Hall. Showcases Christmas favorites such as: It’s a Wonderful Life as we enjoy the “Christmas Jazz Suite”, “A Klezmer Nutcracker”, A Charlie Brown Christmas, “Deck the Halls”, “Silent Night”, “Joy to the World”, and “Let It Snow”. Tickets: $29 - $49 |

The Sounds of Christmas 2013 December 13 – 14 Venice Theatre 8:00 pm. Enjoy an intimate, cozy evening of holiday classics and maybe a new tune or two. Tickets: $24 | 941.488.1115 |

Sing Noel! Christmas At First United Methodist Church December 15 First United Methodist Church 7:00 pm. First Church Singers performing sublime holiday music with brass quintet, organ, and harp make it a tradition that keeps on giving. Parking available in the Zenith Garage. Freewill Offering | 941.955.0935 |

Danú Christmas In Ireland: An Nollaig In Éirinn December 16 Van Wezel 8:00 pm. The acclaimed Irish ensemble Danú celebrates a traditional Christmas in Ireland: An Nollaig in Éirinn. 941.955.7676 |

Winter Showcase Concert of The Riverview High School Kiltie Band December 17 Riverview Performing Arts Center 7:00 pm. A 90 minute performance of seasonal favorites. Donation: $5 |

Christmas At Riverwalk December 18 Riverwalk Amphitheater 6:00 pm. Enjoy a concert performance by the Woodland Community Church.

A Christmas Carol December 19 – 22 Venice Theatre. Musical version of Dickens’ classic tale that follows Ebenezer Scrooge as he reflects on his past, present, and possible future. Tickets: $10 – $17 | 941.488.1115 |




December 2013


Venice Symphony’s “Sounds of The Season” – Pops Concert


December 20 – 7:30 pm & December 21 – 3:30 pm & 7:30 pm. Holiday concert of familiar favorites including carols, tintinnabulations, and The Polar Express. 941.488.1010 |

Ready for an elegant upgrade to your master bath? Come see the beauty of ELECTRIC

Sarasota Ballet: John Ringling’s Circus Nutcracker December 20 – 8:00 pm & December 21 – 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm. Follow Clara’s dream as she runs away with the circus in this production of Sarasota’s own The Nutcracker by international choreographer Matthew Hart & award-winning designer Peter Docherty. 941.359.0099 x101 |

MIRROR® in our

showroom open Saturdays for your convenience.



A Christmas Jazz Concert December 22 Gazebo in Centennial Park in downtown Venice 1:00 pm. Bring your picnic basket and lawn chairs. Free admission


5678 Fruitville Road (just West of I-75) Sarasota, FL 34232 941.378.5678




A Christmas Carol December 22 Van Wezel 7:00 pm. This celebrated version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol brings the fable of redemption to life on a magical set with a full array of traditional Christmas carols woven into the classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge. 941.955.7676 |

Sailor Circus Holiday Spectacular December 27 – 30 Celebrate the holidays with wholesome family entertainment for people from age 2 to 92. Advanced ticket sales are recommended. 941.361.6350 |

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker December 29 Van Wezel 1:00 pm & 5:00 pm. Holiday performance for families with magical toys, falling snow, growing Christmas trees, and astounding ballet moves. 941.955.7676 |

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hood in the back alleys of Baltimore to

Hungarian State Folk Ensemble

the Supreme Court of the United States,

December 13

Justice Marshall overcame many adversities. A journey of epic proportions.

MANATEE PLAYERS 941.748.5875 / Peter Pan December 5 - 22 Featuring J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan with show-stopping songs, “Never Never Show Boat Through December 29 This lyric masterpiece follows the lives, loves, and losses of theater folk on the Mississippi while illuminating the racial and social changes that were shaping the country.


VENICE THEATRE 941.488.1115 /

Through December 8

THE PLAYERS THEATRE 941.365.2494 / See Holiday Performances (Pages 27-29)

SARASOTA BALLET 941.359.0099 /


of circus arts and the 100+ voices of Key Chorale, featuring the Cirque Orchestra

Setting New Courses

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December 6 – 8

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December 17


Cirque Des Voix


Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra

Main Stage Hairspray

See Holiday Performances (Pages 27-29)

A unique and exhilarating combination

December 15

Land,” “I Won’t Grow Up,” and “I’m

941.355.9805 /

December 13 - 15

Bernadette Peters

Showcases composers from four musical eras who stretched the boundaries of classical tradition.

A family-friendly treat piled bouffant-high with laughter, romance, and deliriously tuneful songs. Cabaret The Marvelous Wonderettes December 6 - 22 This musical takes you to the 1958 Springfield High School prom where we meet the Wonderettes, four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts! Special Concerts & Events Red, A Tribute by Tom Mullica December 27 – 28 Watch veteran entertainer Tom Mullica magically transform himself into America’s most beloved clown and funnyman, Red Skelton.

Monty Python’s Spamalot


Through January 11

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Lovingly ripped off from the classic

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December 2

ed group of performers sings and danc-

this outrageous parody tells the tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. The Prima Donnettes Through February 7 Featuring the 50s and 60s female singing groups with songs such as “Mama Said,” “One Fine Day,” and “Natural Woman.” Thurgood December 11 - February 22

Hello Dolly! December 3 - 4 Cheap Trick


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December 10


Under the Streetlamp

Through December 15

December 11

In this fun-loving musical, a dynamic trav-

December 12


explosion of music, dance, and costume

Michael McDonald

tice Thurgood Marshall. From a childDecember 2013

es its way through the decades with an


New York Tenors


December 29 - 31

December 5

A powerful play based on the life of Jus-


Red, Hot & Blue!

eling preacher, Purlie Victorious Judson, returns to his small Georgia town to shake things up and change lives.


Pines Foundation 4th Annual Wit & Wisdom of Aging Luncheon A $65,000 Challenge Grant was announced at Pines’ 65th Anniversary Wit & Wisdom luncheon. Roxie Jerde, Pres/CEO of the Community Foundation Sarasota County, announced the challenge from an anonymous donor. Attendees jumped in with over $15,000 getting the challenge started. Former President of Florida Atlantic University Mitch Maidique, Roxie Jerde, and International Tennis Hall of Fame member Mike Davies, all Wit & Wisdom of Aging panelists, fielded questions from journalist, Ray Collins. Co-Chairs Melissa Lerner and Dr. Laura Wazen decorated the tables with orange tablecloths so attendees will never forget Pines is on Orange Avenue! Photos by Cliff Roles

Jeannie & George Manser

Marji & Stew Bitterman

Melissa Lerner, Laura Wazen, Mike Davies, Roxie Jerde, Mitch Maidique & Estelle Crawford

Joyce & David Johnson & Carol Buchanan

Gloria Moss & Janet Hunter

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December 2013





Goodwill Ambassador of the Year Dinner Goodwill Manasota recently hosted its 3rd annual Goodwill Ambassador of the Year Awards Dinner at the Hyatt Regency, Sarasota. The event, emceed by Lulu from 106.5 CTQ, drew more than 350 guests to recognize Tana Sandefur, Stu Gregory, RE/MAX Alliance Group and Turning Points who received the Goodwill Ambassador of the Year awards for demonstrating exceptional leadership, commitment and dedication to our community. In addition, Margaretann “Annie” Villani, a blind employee who clips and hangs clothes in the Honore Avenue retail store, with her guide dog Alex by her side, was named the 2013 Goodwill Employee of the Year. Photos by Cliff Roles

Tana Sandefur & Jocelyn Stevens

Phil King & Gerri Aaron

Paul & Nikki Caraguilo

Jennifer Saslaw, Charles & Susan Hines & Roxie Jerde

Stuart Gregory

Jeremy & Veronica Miller

For Those Who Want What No One Else Has…...

Join us for our Holiday Open House on friday, December 6, 2013, 5-8P.M.

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December 2013

B.B. King Jan. 4 • 8pm ABBA the Concert Jan. 17 • 8pm

Merle Haggard Jan. 29 • 8pm

Katharine McPhee Jan. 13 • 8pm

Jerry Lewis Jan. 21 • 8pm


T N’




Engelbert Humperdinck Jan. 19 • 7pm



TICKETS! 941. 953. 3368 or vanwezel. org

s Rock of Age m p 8 Jan. 16 •

ilt atkis, & Gu Cannolis, L26 • 7pm Jan. In The A 1940’s Mu Mood sical Jan. 8 • 8pmRevue

Linda Eder Jan. 30 • 8pm

Preservation Hall Jazz Band Jan. 5 • 7pm

Godspell Jan. 15 • 8p m

The Haifa Symphony Orchestra of Israel Jan. 22 • 8pm

Neil Sedaka Jan. 7 • 8pm

Buy Tickets Visit the Box Office at 777 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota • or Call 941-953-3368 • or Online at Box Office Mon-Fri 10am-6pm • Sat 10am-4pm • Open later & Sunday on Show Dates Group Sales 941.955.7676 x2225 Mattison’s Bayside at the Van Wezel - dine before the show 941-921-3400 Performers, prices, dates and times are subject to change without notice.



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Over 75 guests gathered at Stanley Kane’s waterfront home for the opening Starry Night Dinner of the season. This event highlighted Asolo Rep’s opening production of SHOW BOAT and celebrated and honored Sarasota’s very own Southern Belle, the lovely Margaret Wise. Guests mingled to the sounds of “Just in Time,” a local fiddle and banjo duo, and enjoyed a delicious southern dinner by Michael’s On East. SHOW BOAT Director Rob Ruggiero introduced two performances from SHOW BOAT, which were performed by leads Marissa McGowan and Ben Davis, accompanied by Music Director Wade Russo. Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards concluded the evening with the honoree presentation to Margaret Wise. Dinner series sponsors are PNC Wealth Management and SCENE Magazine. The next Starry Night Dinner is Monday, December 16th at the Osprey home of Richard and Michelle Perrone, and will highlight the production of PHILADELPHIA, HERE I COME!, featuring Twotime Tony ® Award Winning Director Frank Galati. Tickets are available at Photos by Cliff Roles

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December 2013

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Year-End Review – Shining a Spotlight on Your Finances May Brighten Your Future year-end financial review can be instrumental to your future financial success. However, you may not want to wait until the end of the year to review your financial affairs. Consider doing it during the fall so you’ll have ample time to take any corrective action before year’s end. Here’s a quick look at some of the key issues you should consider when conducting your review. Review your retirement assets. Whether your retirement is a long way off or right around the corner, it is likely that you’ll have to make periodic adjustments to your retirement portfolio. Make sure the investments you’ve chosen are still an accurate ref lection of your risk tolerance and time horizon. Keep tabs on college funding plans. With college costs reaching astronomical heights, you need to utilize every available college funding resource. Financial aid and scholarships, as well as the Lifetime Learning Credit and Hope Scholarship Credit may help alleviate the college cost crunch. However, aid and tax credits alone generally will

not fund your child’s college education. Make sure you’re saving and investing enough to help meet your goals. At a minimum, take advantage of the tax savings offered through an Education IR A. Assess your income tax picture. You may be able to reduce your tax burden — sometimes significantly — by making strategic tax decisions before the end of the year. Your tax professional can alert you to any tax planning strategies that might make sense for your situation. Review critical documents. Because life’s circumstances continually change, you should review your legal documents and beneficiary designations every year. This will entail carefully combing through any wills, trusts, retirement plan documents and life insurance policies to make sure they’re up-to-date. Seek the assistance of a qualified adviser if any modifications are necessary. Set goals for next year and beyond. A year-end review is an excellent time to start thinking about next year and setting some long-term goals. Take a close look at your day-to-day finances to see if you can reduce expenses and save more. Then make an honest assessment of which goals are most important to you and then commit to meeting them. If you’d like to learn more, please contact Aimee Cogan.

Plan Right. The Bellwether Group at Morgan Stanley can be reached at 941.363.8515 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. This material was not intended or written to be used for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. Clients should consult their tax advisor for matters involving taxation and tax planning and their attorney for matters involving trust and estate planning and other legal matters. Article by McGraw Hill and provided courtesy of Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor. The author(s) are not employees of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“MSSB”). The opinions expressed by the authors are solely their own and do not necessarily ref lect those of MSSB. The information and data in the article or publication has been obtained from sources outside of MSSB and MSSB makes no representations or guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of information or data from sources outside of MSSB. Neither the information provided nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation by MSSB with respect to the purchase or sale of any security, investment, strategy or product that may be mentioned. Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor(s) engaged Scene Magazine to feature this article. Aimee Cogan may only transact business in states where she is registered or excluded or exempted from registration Transacting business, follow-up and individualized responses involving either effecting or attempting to effect transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, will not be made to persons in states where Aimee Cogan is not registered or excluded or exempt from registration. Investments and services offered through Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, member SIPC. CRC 580167 (11/12)


“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.’’

— Winston Churchill


Yara’s Way

By Yara Shoemaker

Simple Steps to Better, More Beautiful Sleep Sleeping Beauty had a good thing going, but not all of us have time to dream of Prince Charming for years. If you’re stuck counting flocks of sheep and still can’t get enough rest, it might be due to one of these factors: Daytime • Up with the sun: Our brains respond to sunlight by increasing our alertness, so make sure your body gets a good dose of sunshine each morning in order to wake up fully. • Naughty habits: Caffeine, energy drinks and sugary soda during the day tax your nervous system and heavy meals before bedtime will keep your digestive system too busy to shut down for a good night’s sleep. Long naps during the afternoon should be left to toddlers. A sedentary lifestyle is often the culprit, but that can be remedied with regular exercise like brisk walking! Before Bed • Down time: Take about 45 minutes before bedtime to pamper yourself with a warm shower or soak your feet in warm water with lavender essential oil. Then take a natural sleep aid, like Andrew Lessman’s Night Time. Wash it down with a relaxing tea of chamomile, cinnamon or anise and get cozy with a good book. • Get the room cool and dark: Cooler temperatures help your body shut down for sleep. Our bodies respond to darkness by producing the sleep hormone melatonin. Try to get to bed early – scientists say between 10:00pm and 4:00am is the best time to be resting. • Anxiety: Stress and worry are common sleep thieves. The majority of problems solve themselves no matter how you react, so why not breathe, meditate, walk, or simply remove yourself from the cause of the problem until things calm down.

Natural Allure

Peeling doesn’t have to be unappealing! Try my easy, natural mask and get fresh skin without the down time of a chemical peel.

Green Enzyme Express Peel Open two enzyme capsules and place the contents in a small bowl. Discard the outer casing. Repeat with 3 algae capsules. Add 4 drops of rose water and mix in just enough filtered water to form a thin paste. Apply to face and neck, leaving it for 20-25 minutes. In this time the enzymes will remove the first layer of skin and the algae will nourish the underlying layers, with rose water to calm any irritation and provide an anti-oxidant boost. Rinse off with warm water. You’ll immediately see a healthy glow; then repeat weekly to tighten and brighten your skin, and reduce fine lines.

Kitchen Talk

Banish bacteria from your fridge by cleaning it weekly: sprinkle baking soda on shelves and in drawers, scrub with a sponge and warm water, then wipe dry. Use an open box of baking soda to absorb food odors and replace monthly.




December 2013

Yara’s Table Fresh Pumpkin Soup* Sip the flavor of fall and get a healthy boost from vitamins A, C, E, B5, potassium and magnesium in each velvety spoonful. Bonus: it’s both vegan and gluten-free! • 3 cups homemade vegetable stock* • 1 small fresh pumpkin • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra

• 3 cups water

• 1 small leek, sliced thinly

• 1 sprig each fresh rosemary & thyme

• 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cubed

• Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste

• 1 clove garlic, crushed Preheat oven to 350° F. Cut pumpkin into quarters and remove the seeds. Lightly brush with olive oil and bake on tray 25-30 minutes. Once cool, remove flesh from the rind and cut into cubes. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Sauté sliced leek for about 1 minute; add cubed sweet potato and sauté for another 5 minutes. Pour in vegetable stock and water. Stir and bring to a boil over medium high heat; add 2 cups of cubed pumpkin and reduce to a simmer. Add your herbs and simmer all ingredients together until the pumpkin and sweet potatoes are tender. Remove the herbs and add a pinch of salt. Blend soup until it reaches a thick, smooth consistency. Enjoy! * See my recipe at

No Men Allowed Save Your Falling Arches If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then the eyebrows are surely the curtains! These important arches are often the way we express our feelings, so it’s only natural that we would worry when they thin out. What can I do to prevent it naturally? • There are three miracle oils that, when applied nightly, can help your brows fill in faster: castor oil, almond oil, and good quality olive oil. • Reduce plucking in this sensitive area, because the more you pluck the slower they come back. What if my brows are already gone? • First, visit your dermatologist for a prescription of Latisse, the miracle eyelash growth serum that also works wonders for eyebrows. • In the meantime, pick up a quality eyebrow pencil. Choose the right color and use it to fill in where the hair is still sparse, but apply the less is more principle. • After 6 months, if your natural brows grow in but you’re still not satisfied, go for permanent makeup from a trusted esthetician. It should be drawn in pencil first to confirm that you like the shape, and the color should be chosen to suit your face.

On the Move Paris, France We all love Paris in the springtime, but how about a très chic Parisian holiday in December? Bring your most fashionable trench coat and a timeless French scarf, because temperatures will be in the 40’s as you stroll the Champs Elysees back to your luxurious room at the Four Seasons Hotel George V. Soak up the history of French cuisine at Maxim’s, the famed fine dining destination overlooking the Seine River and the Eiffel Tower. Enjoy a glass (or two) of Bordeaux: Chateau Lafite and Chateau Latour are two of the most famous wines from the region. In the morning, walk into any bakery for an authentic breakfast of croissant or baguette and a café au lait (latte). For lunch along the

For more amazing recipes look inside my new cookbook, Health On Your Plate, now available on Amazon!

river, stop in Le Voltaire for traditional favorites like Coq au Vin and Ratatouille. Enjoy the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower on New Year’s Eve for an unforgettable experience! is a complete online lifestyle guide with unique approaches to healthy cooking, natural beauty, personal style, luxury travel and more. Yara Shoemaker is passionate about sharing her experience and advice to improve the lives of others and help everyone be beautiful from the inside out.

Find more great tips and recipes at

December 2013





2013 Key to the Cure More than 700 guests attended the kickoff party for the annual Key to the Cure four-day shopping event, sponsored by Saks Fifth Avenue and Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation, Inc. Chaired by Allison Silver Schwartz, M.D., Nikki Taylor and Sally Schule, the “Key” event benefited women’s cancer programs at Sarasota Memorial Health Care System and netted approximately $90,000. Six hundred keys were sold for chances to win 520 prizes, including six grand prizes. The Master Key Sponsor was Saks Fifth Avenue and Key to Our Success Sponsors included: PNC Wealth Management, Tervis and Walgreens. SCENE Magazine was once again one of the “key” media sponsors! Photos by Cliff Roles

Jackie Cutrone, Marguerite Malone & Alex Quarles

Heidi Anderson & Alisa Pettingell Allison Silver-Schwartz, Nikki Taylor, Joel Ellzey & Sally Schule

Marjorie Broughton, Jean Irwin, Robyn Schmitt & Beth Cannata

Dottie Baehr Garner & Betsy Garner Wyant

Celebrating 65 years

Suncoast Communities Blood Bank

Saturday, January 18th 2014 Michael’s on East 1212 SE Ave, Sarasota, FL 34239 An evening of gaming, fine dining, auction and entertainment.

You can help our life saving mission! Purchase a ticket Be an Event Sponsor Donate Auction and Prize Items If interested, please contact Sherrie Davis 954-1600, ext 132




December 2013

FREEDOM. PASS IT ON. Every day, veterans and their families across Southwest Florida make personal sacrifices to protect our freedom. They are parents, siblings, neighbors and friends—like Anibal Martinez, of Bradenton, who wanted to help save lives and to be part of something bigger than himself. Join us in our mission to honor and support local veterans like Anibal, and their families. Help us pass freedom on at

Anibal Martinez Marine Enforcement Specialist US Coast Guard A campaign created by The Patterson Foundation.

Easy Layers Fashions available at Dream Weaver 364 St. Armands Circle, Sarasota | 941.388.1974

From the “5 Easy Pieces Collection� these outfits take you effortlessly from day to night during your travels. Layer the white Thai silk blouse with a quilted vest, pair the beautiful blouse with a cashmere shawl or grab the batwing jacket and wear it over your favorite leggings for the ultimate travel chic ensemble. Batwing Jacket pictured on this page, Thai Silk Placket Blouse with a Quilted Banded Vest pictured opposite.


1 1) Voices of Fuzión: Mélange December 7 and 8 Fuzion Dance Artists This program features four works by Fuzión Dance Company members, highlighting both seasoned and emerging choreographers who have not yet had a platform to create unique works of their own. Artistic Director Leymis Bolaños Wilmott has also choreographed a work commissioned by the Parkinson Research Foundation that will include participants from Sarasota's Parkinson Place, where Fuzión leads regular dance classes. Original music for this piece is by Scott Blum and Francis Schwartz. Why it Matters: What makes Fuzión so electric and eclectic is the individual voices of the artists. In this program, the audience will have a chance to explore what inspires those individual dancers; to witness their strengths, passions and varying styles. The company is also committed to creating work that is physically integrated, such as Propel for a quartet of male dancers, one of whom is in a wheelchair. The Parkinson piece will once again demonstrate what people with mixed abilities can accomplish artistically.


2) Purlie Through December 15 Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe


In this fun-loving musical, a dynamic traveling preacher, Purlie Victorious Judson, returns to his small Georgia town to shake things up and change lives. Despite the advent of the civil rights movement, many southern sharecroppers still lived under the Jim Crow laws. Purlie Judson wants to bring freedom to his people. A Tony Award- and Drama Desk Award-winning show, Purlie has a spirited charm that will “grab your feet and make them tap.” Why it Matters: Playwright Ossie Davis says, “The show's reason to be is to point a mocking finger at racial segregation and laugh it out of existence.” According to WBTT Founder/Artistic Director Nate Jacobs, “Purlie is one of my favorite musicals because it’s lively, yet shows how one person can change history. It’s also special to me because the talented Teresa Stanley debuted in our 1997 production at age 14. Presently, she’s starring in Broadway’s Rock of Ages.”


3) Tropical Splendor and Lights in Bloom Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Tropical Splendor, through February 27, 2014 Lights in Bloom, December 20 through 30, 2013 Children of all ages love exploring the Gardens aglow each night with holiday lights for the annual Lights in Bloom – this year they will be entranced by the new children’s rainforest




December 2013



us for

S a r a s o ta ’ s

G a l a C h a i r : M rs . C a r o l B r u a l d i

most elegant evening!

SATURDAY — FEBRUARY 1, 2014 — AT 6:30 P.M. H yat t R e g e n c y S a r a s o ta

Cocktail Hour, Silent Auction, Four-Course Epicurean Dinner, Performance by Principal Artists, Live Music by 42nd Street Big Band BLACK TIE/MASKS ENCOURAGED $250 PER PERSON

For reservations, please call Jennifer Simms 941-366-8450 ext. 402 or Online tickets available at



bedecked in holiday splendor for the first time! For the nine-night run, guests can enjoy a variety of holiday-themed refreshments available for sale along with live entertainment, activities and games. Admission to the museum is included with regular admission to the Gardens, while tickets for Lights in Bloom are available online at Why it Matters: Selby Gardens’ Year of the Rainforest continues with two complementary offerings this holiday season. Tropical Splendor, on display in the Museum of Botany & the Arts through Feb. 27, demonstrates Anna Mason and Tom Stephens’ fascination with Selby Gardens and its plants. Offering macro and micro perspectives, Stephens’ work will showcase Selby’s landscapes, while Mason will focus on distinctive tropical plants from Selby’s collections.

4) Season of Sculpture Through May 2014 Sarasota Bayfront Season of Sculpture (SoS) invites you to experience a free and open to the public museum of monumental and large scale sculpture for six months on Sarasota’s beautiful downtown bayfront. This season’s theme, Shared Ground, will feature eight artists and 18 installations with a high-tech dynamic: each of the sculpture labels will contain a QR code that can be scanned by your smart phone with an accompanying audio tour with details of the sculpture and the artist. Why it Matters: Season of Sculpture exhibitions become public art. Public Art plays an important role in defining any community it becomes a part of. Sarasota has a rich cultural heart that cannot be denied as one drives down Tamiami Trail/ Highway 41. Sarasota Season of Sculpture becomes a defining moment as travelers and tourist experience this visual arts show and know for the first time, the depth of the cultural core of this community. Visit for additional events, artist profiles and information about Sarasota’s exciting season of arts and culture.

Celebrate the season with us!

! great gifts e k a m s t e Tick 15

8-111 VeniceSta g


A Christmas Carol

The Marvelous Wonderettes

Red, A Tribute by Tom Mullica

The Sounds of Christmas

Red, Hot & Blue!

Thru Dec. 8

Dec. 6 - 22

Dec. 19 - 22

Dec. 27 & 28 Dec. 29 - 31

Dec. 13 & 14

Improve your Image

with a Professional Portrait

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Schedule your portrait with us: 941-359-3456 December 2013







December 2013

Jennifer Steube & Jennifer Rust

PNC Wealth Management


In Wealth By Sue Cullen

Photos by Herb Booth / Booth Studios

PNC Bank was named one the Top 50 Companies for Executive Women by the National Association for Female Executives in 2013. Meet two of PNC’s outstanding women in wealth who are passionate about serving and educating their clients and who are a part of the highly skilled team at one of Sarasota’s leading wealth management firms. PNC Wealth Management ® has built a reputation as one of Sarasota’s finest wealth management firms by bringing together professionals with both a high degree of knowledge and an aptitude for personal service. Building a team of over twenty individuals in Sarasota equipped with those traits has helped put PNC Wealth Management in a very strong position to assist clients in navigating the complexities of today’s markets and ever changing regulatory environment in order to attain their goals. PNC Wealth Management takes a team approach towards serving their clients. Each client is assigned five local professionals. Jennifer Steube, an investment advisor, and Jennifer Rust, a banking advisor, are two members of that team for many clients. They combine competence and compassion while delivering critical portfolio management and private banking services to their clients. According to Scott Collins, Senior Vice President and Market Executive of the Sarasota office, “Both Jennifer Steube and Jennifer Rust are talented professional women with great knowledge and they display that combination of confidence and integrity that leads to trust, which is all-important in our business.” Part of that confidence comes from a synergistic, trusting relationship among the team members who serve each of PNC Wealth Management’s clients. “I love our team approach because none of us could accommodate all of our clients’ needs independently,” Rust said. “As a banking advisor, I manage our clients day to day banking activities. If I need to collaborate with another team member about a client’s situation, I can simply walk down the hall and start a discussion right away.” Only a small percentage of financial institutions that deliver wealth management services assign so many local professionals to the client, she adds. “It is an expensive model for the bank, but it is worth it because our client satisfaction ratings are very high.” As well as having a private banking advisor and investment advisor on their team, each client also has a relationship manager who serves as their ombudsman, a trust advisor responsible for compliance and account management, and a wealth planner who focuses on the larger picture of financial planning, philanthropic planning and tax planning, in conjunction with a client’s attorneys or tax advisors.

December 2013




Front Row (L to R): Chris Wilkinson, David Dettmann, Elaine Smith, Aaron Thiel, April Woods, Jennifer Rust, Jennifer Steube, Chris McGee, Tina McLean, Nancy Masterson & Elise Buck Back Row (L to R): Anne Garlington, Brad Goddard, Susan Brennan, Scott Collins, Scott Merritt, Ashley Dooley, Stephanie Daubert & Jillian Lovergine

Steube speaks highly of the level of camaraderie and client

Having come into banking following a successful real estate

service that the PNC team approach creates. “No one has an ‘it’s

career in Atlanta, Rust understands how to exceed clients’ ex-

not my job’ attitude. Clients can call anyone on their team or in

pectations. Recently, she even gave one client a ride to a doc-

the entire office and that professional will respond,” she said.

tor’s appointment after their meeting. “From early in my career,

“Although I manage our clients’ investments, if someone calls me

I have always been focused on client satisfaction,” she says. “In

and asks about banking, I am going to help them. Our team is

real estate, the end goal is to make the client happy, and now

completely accessible to all of our clients. It creates trust among

working with high net worth individuals, the same is true. I real-

our team knowing that we are all focused on taking care of our

ize how important our clients’ time is to them. I can take away

clients, and clients see that synergy when we work with them.”

the burden of needing to be face to face for banking transactions

Steube, who is a Certified Investment Management Analyst ®

and help make my clients’ lives easier.”

from the Wharton School of Business, creates and oversees

“We strive for a concierge level of service in our private

the performance of customized investment portfolios for PNC

banking and I spend a lot of time building customized lending

Wealth Management clients. Her experience is in investment

solutions for our clients, everything from a need for quick li-

planning, asset allocation and risk management. “I work with

quidity to aircraft purchases.” Rust says. “We offer a multitude

PNC’s analysts, strategists and economists to stay informed of

of secured and unsecured loans, as well as very competitive

market conditions and remain knowledgeable on the latest in-

refinance options. All financial institutions have to adjust to sig-

vestment strategies.” she says. “I use those resources to build

nificant changes in lending practices that will go into effect in

customized portfolios specific to clients’ goals and objectives.

2014, particularly new standards regarding an applicant’s abil-

We listen to our clients and treat their concerns as passionately

ity to pay and more extensive documentation required for un-

as if they were our own.”

derwriting. Unfortunately, because of the new requirements in

With a total of thirteen years in the financial services industry and seven years in portfolio management, Steube says going through the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, while very difficult, also helped solidify her relationship with clients. “It was

2014, some institutions are choosing to limit services. PNC, on the other hand, has the resources to continue offering what clients need and confirming we will be compliant while making the loan process as painless as possible.”

an opportunity to build trust. Troubling economic environments

Another way PNC is making clients’ lives easier is through

are very emotional for our clients.” she said “That’s when you

significant investments in technology. For those who want 24-

have to step up as an advisor and give them advice, which may

hour access to their finances. PNC Wealth Insight ® gives clients a

not always be the most popular or what they want to hear. We

virtual dashboard on their home computer allowing them to eas-

have to look at the situation objectively with each individual cli-

ily access their entire portfolio viewing details such as income,

ent’s best interests in mind to help them stay on track. I believe

performance, net worth and asset allocation. The significant in-

our clients are reassured by the disciplined wealth management

vestment that PNC has made in technology for their clients is just

process we put in place for their long term financial goals.”

further evidence of the level of PNC’s commitment to the client.




December 2013

For the growing ranks of female clients, PNC offers a range of educational opportunities including an online newsletter and magazine, in-depth articles, as well as a series of webinars and podcasts. On the local level, PNC hosts networking lunches featuring local, prominent female business leaders. An internal designation, PNC- Certified Women’s Business Advocate, which is held by both Steube and Rust, helps provide insight into how best to serve female clients. “Our clients are intelligent and want detail about the recommendations we are making and why the portfolio is structured as it is. Our motto is to educate, educate, educate” Steube said. “We explain the purpose of each component of the portfolio. This approach helps encourage our clients to become more engaged and excited about their financial future. We don’t dumb things down, we educate, and I love that part of my job.” Scott Collins, Jennifer Rust & Jennifer Steube

Collins says the devotion to helping clients

Rust and Steube agree that being backed by the financial

demonstrated by Steube and Rust is reflected through-

strength and resources of one of the nation’s largest banks while

out the entire Sarasota team and PNC as a whole. “With

delivering client service at a highly personalized, one on one

team members like these, it is easy for clients to see

level helps to provide the best of both worlds for their client

our commitment and dedication,” he says. “We built

families. The two women also appreciate PNC’s understand-

a team of talented and experienced professionals who

ing of working women’s needs. In recognition of its support of

value strong relationships consistent with PNC’s cul-

women in the workplace, PNC Bank has been named among

ture of building trust by treating people right. That is an

the 100 Best Companies by “Working Mother” magazine for 13

outgrowth of our roots in small town banking, and for

years and was named one of the Top 50 Companies for Execu-

well over 100 years, PNC has never lost touch with that

tive Women by the National Association for Female Executives

heritage. You can expect to see us continue to grow in

in 2013. “Both Jennifer and I have long careers ahead of us,”

Sarasota by staying true to our principles and serving

Rust said, “and it makes us proud to work for a company that

clients passionately.”

supports our individual growth.”

1549 Ringling Boulevard, Sarasota, FL 34236 – 941.363.5050 The material presented in this article is of a general nature and does not constitute the provision by PNC of investment, legal, tax or accounting advice to any person, or a recommendation to buy or sell any security or adopt any investment strategy. Opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice.  The information was obtained from sources deemed reliable.  Such information is not guaranteed as to its accuracy.  You should seek the advice of an investment professional to tailor a financial plan to your particular needs.  For more information, please contact PNC at 1-888-762-6226. The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (“PNC”) uses the names PNC Wealth Management®,  Hawthorn, PNC Family Wealth® and PNC Institutional Investments® to provide investment and wealth management, fiduciary services, FDIC-insured banking products and services and lending of funds through its subsidiary, PNC Bank, National Association, which is a Member FDIC, and uses the names PNC Wealth Management® and Hawthorn, PNC Family Wealth® to provide certain fiduciary and agency services through its subsidiary, PNC Delaware Trust Company.  Brokerage and advisory products and services are offered through PNC Investments LLC, a registered broker-dealer and investment adviser and member of FINRA and SIPC.  Insurance products and advice may be provided by PNC Insurance Services, LLC, a licensed insurance agency affiliate of PNC, or by licensed insurance agencies that are not affiliated with PNC; in either case a licensed insurance affiliate will receive compensation if you choose to purchase insurance through these programs.  A decision to purchase insurance will not affect the cost or availability of other products or services from PNC or its affiliates.   Hawthorn and PNC do not provide legal or accounting advice and neither provides tax advice in the absence of a specific written engagement for Hawthorn to do so.   “PNC Wealth Management,” “Hawthorn, PNC Family Wealth” and “PNC Institutional Investments” are registered trademarks of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. Investments:  Not FDIC Insured.  No Bank Guarantee.  May Lose Value. Insurance:  Not FDIC Insured.  No Bank or Federal Government Guarantee.  May Lose Value PNC Wealth Insight® is a registered mark of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.

December 2013




FST’s New Season

Diversity & Variety

By Steven J. Smith

The Hegner Theatre Wing Exterior hoto by Greg Wilson




December 2013

Montae Russell. Photo by Michael Henninger

Erin McGrath, Susan Haefner, Jannie Jones and Liz Power Photo by Maria Lyle.

The success of Florida Studio Theatre is

Rebecca’s husband, Artistic Director

reality to conquer death. Richard said audi-

attributable to many things but key among

Richard Hopkins, said he’s looking forward

ences should be intrigued and challenged by

them is that it sticks to one simple and very

to bringing a wide range of shows to Saraso-

it. “I chose it because it’s so relevant,” he said.

effective principle: select shows that will

ta area crowds. “I just thought Spamalot was

“It deals with technology and how it both en-

both entertain and challenge its audience.

an FST show,” Richard said, during a recent

hances and invades our lives. It’s a fascinating

FST’s 2013-2014 season is no exception.

break in rehearsals. “It highlights the funky

piece of theatre, bordering on science fiction

The lineup of plays, musicals, and cabaret

and funny kinds of shows that we’re known

and at the same time is very, very real.”

pieces — planned for its mainstage Keating

for doing. I was not a big Monty Python

As for the cabaret shows, FST has had

and Gompertz theaters and Goldstein and

fan, but I love what they did with this show,

great success with them and plans on carry-

John C. Court cabarets — is diverse and in-

because they made it really accessible for

ing on the tradition.

triguing, and promises to offer something for

people who were — or were not — Monty

“We’ve revolutionized cabaret,” Rebec-

everyone. The season kicks off on the win-

Python fans. They put the comedy back into

ca said. “The type of cabaret we do — with

ter mainstage with Monty Python’s Spama-

musical comedy.”

musical revues and socio-political comedy

lot (Nov.13-Jan. 11), followed by Thurgood

Richard said he saw FST’s second show,

— is so diverse in and of itself, that we have

(Dec. 11-Feb. 22), Daddy Long Legs (Feb.

Thurgood, in New York and immediately

10,500 subscribers to that. The average show

5-April 5), and Two Point Oh (April 9-June

wanted to produce it. “It operates on many

has to run 15 weeks just to meet the sub-

1). The winter cabaret will feature The Prima

levels,” he said. “First and foremost, it’s an

scription base. That’s amazing!”

Donnettes (Oct. 23-Feb. 7), Poems, Prayers

excellent portrait of a great African Ameri-

“When we first started with them about

and Promises (Jan. 1-April 20), and Too Darn

can, Thurgood Marshall, our first black Su-

15 years ago, we were hoping to do maybe

Hot (Feb. 19-June 7).

preme Court justice. Second, through his

three shows a week,” Richard added. “I’m

FST Managing Director Rebecca Hop-

journey and through his eyes we get a look

proud to take what is perceived by many to be

kins said it is an exciting time to be running a

at the entire era of the civil rights movement

a fringe form of theatre and sort of reignite it.”

theater that is growing in leaps and bounds,

— a fascinating view of American history

both physically and artistically.

and everybody’s role in it.”

And it won’t stop there. The newly-built John C. Court Cabaret will introduce an ex-

“It is a tremendous opportunity and I’m

Richard decided to produce Daddy

pansion in FST’s cabaret repertoire with new

very fortunate to have a community to work

Long Legs, a small, simple chamber musical,

musical works and what Richard described as

in that is so excited about the performing

after reading it. “I love the simplicity of it,”

“vaudeville performance work” — i.e., ven-

arts,” Rebecca said. “I know a lot of my col-

he said. “Based on a novel by the same title

triloquists, comedians, magicians, etc. “We

leagues in the field do not have this ‘prob-

it’s smart, insightful and theatrically written,

hearken back to the late 1800s when cabaret

lem.’ They’re trying to get people to come

conceived and directed by John Caird, who

originally started in Paris,” Richard said. “It

and I’m trying to keep up with everybody

directed the London and New York produc-

started as a pushback to the very rigid formal-

that’s coming.” Rebecca added FST’s most

tions of Nicholas Nickelby and Les Miz. So

ity that had developed in the French theatre

important mission point is to be affordable

he goes from these larger than life shows to

at the time. It had become so rigid, you could

and accessible to as many people as possible.

this very intimate, exquisitely minimalistic

only perform a play in a certain way. You

“You see it in everything we do,” she

play that deals with a young woman living in

had to do the lines and the blocking the way

said. “Affordability is why we have more

an orphanage and a philanthropist who thinks

they were originally done. The artists rebelled

subscribers than any theater in the state of

she has promise and funds her college educa-

against this and started performing in cabaret

Florida. The most you’re going to pay for a

tion. It’s their correspondence that leads rap-

theaters after their performances. They used

four-show subscription to our mainstage is

idly to a relationship over a five year period.”

the cabarets as minimalist theatre to perform

$75. That’s the equivalent to going out to a

Two Point Oh emerged from a work-

monologues, silhouette work, shadow pup-

movie. And our accessibility comes in the

shop production of a reading held in FST’s

petry, all sorts of art forms. It was everything

diversity of our programming. That’s where

new play festival last spring, about a software

theatre is, only small — and that’s what we’re

our growth has come from.”

genius thinks he’s found a way to use virtual

trying to give rebirth to.”

December 2013




More than a printer… Personalization

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FST is also developing a new play project called Older Than Dirt, borne from the idea that more new plays are needed that


deal with aging, the aging process, and what it means to be older. “We need this kind of

Direct Mail Hospitality

Business Development

Fundraising Real Estate

work because it needs to be dealt with,”

Self-publishing Authors

Richard said. “We have a huge population of baby boomers that’s about to enter the 65 and older group. Sarasota’s a great place to be doing this, because our demographic

Book Publishing

Graphic Design

today is very similar to what the national demographic will be in most major cities in

Tourism Business to Business


Member Recruitment and Retention

20-30 years.”


FST developed a team of interviewers that is currently going out into the community and asking older and younger people

Trade Show Marketing

Higher Education

Nonprofit Copywriting

about age and aging. That material will then go into the construction of a new play.

Collateral Printing

“We’ll have another public forum in

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DIRECT MAIL SERVICES The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce PAF – Printing Association of Florida

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terial for a panel of stakeholders,” Richard

that we don’t over-editorialize on the maFPRA – Florida Public Relations Assoc. XEROX – Premier Partner

terial. Then we’ll go out and do some more interviews. This will eventually culminate in a workshop production in our new play festival this spring.” If all of that isn’t enough, FST has plans to open its new Bowne Theatre Lab in January, which will be the theater’s home for its impro-

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visation program started by Rebecca about a decade ago. The Bowne will provide a space for young members of the theater’s apprentice acting program to perform as well. “We’re accessible with the children’s program and our education programs, reaching 50,000 kids a year,” Rebecca said. “We do that not because children are our future audience. We do it because children are an audience, and they should have theatre. As for the improv program, its audience is the most diverse group you’ll see anywhere — from teenagers to hip oldsters, as I call them.” “The Bowne Theatre Lab will be a room for us to experiment in with work that is edgy, challenging, and entertaining,” Rich-

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December 2013

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Monty Python’s Spamalot Book by Eric Idle, Score by Eric Idle and John Du Prez

Adapted from the book by Jean Webster. Music and Lyrics by Paul Gordon.Book by John Caird.

A TONY AWARD WINNER, lovingly ‘ripped off’from the classic lm, Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

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Two Point Oh

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Thurgood Marshall tells his journey to his position as the Supreme Court Justice.

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A new play that questions the limits of technology and the reality of existence.

“Playful sense of humor” - The New York Times

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3 shows for as little as $35!

The Prima Donnettes

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Female singing groups of the 50s and 60s make their break into pop music, bringing them to the forefront of the American stage.

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The Van Wezel Foundation’s

The Van Wezel Foundation’s mission is to enrich the lives of those in our Gulf Coast Community through the performing arts, with an emphasis on children, while supporting the needs of the Van Wezel – the region’s premier performing arts hall. In an effort to support this important mission, the Foundation recently launched its leadership donor campaign, Where Inspiration Takes Center Stage, which will specifically support the Van Wezel’s Schooltime Performances program as well as the maintenance and improvement of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Focusing on inspiring donors to provide higher funding levels by becoming members of the Van Wezel Foundation’s newly created Founders Society, the campaign to date has already attracted eight Founding Members at levels of $25,000 and more. These Founding Members include the Amicus Foundation, Inc.; James A. and Maryann Armour; Boar’s Head Provisions Co., Inc.; Charlie Huisking/Huisking Foundation; John and Rachel Payne Jakes; Joan Lieberman; Michael and Kathy Martella; Iris and Marty Rappaport; and Martin and Antoinette Sullivan. “I believe our immediate success is an indication of the leadership and dedication of these Founding Members, many of which were

responsible for bringing others into membership,” states Monica Van Buskirk, the Van Wezel Foundation’s president and CEO. As a means of demonstrating the Van Wezel Foundation’s appreciation for its Founding Members loyalty and leadership, each donor is recognized by inclusion on a celebratory wall in the Van Wezel’s Founders Lounge with portraits by photographer Barbara Banks of Sarasota. Where Inspiration Takes Center Stage has been created and supported by the Foundation’s Marketing Committee, chaired by board member John Jakes and supported by advertising and public relations counselor Cheray Keyes-Shima with KSC, Inc. and the Foundation staff. “The Board and I couldn’t be happier with the campaign theme and message, as we believe it is a true reflection of what the Van Wezel is all about. For more than 40 years, the performances that have been held at the Van Wezel have been inspiring audiences of all ages to dream, learn and achieve,” said Van Buskirk.

To learn more about the Van Wezel Foundation’s Founders Society, contact Monica Van Buskirk, President & CEO at 941.366.5578.

December 2013







December 2013


A Mission of Love Peggy & Ken Abt Story & Photo by Jake Hartvigsen

Growing up in the close-knit community of Middletown, New York, Peggy and Ken Abt say they learned two lessons which have shaped their lives. The first was that every human being deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. The second was that when you have the means, it is your obligation to give back to your community and to help those who are less fortunate. Since moving to Sarasota in 2010, the Abts have served as role models for both. “When we arrived in Sarasota, Peggy said, ‘This is our home now, and I’ve got to jump into things and get involved,’” Ken recalls. “And so within a year of our arrival, she had joined the boards of the Sarasota Ballet, Asolo Repertory Theatre and Planned Parenthood.” All helped the Abts gain a sense of connection to the local community. Yet, while they remain active in each of those organizations and are passionate about their support of Sarasota’s public schools and the arts, it is a more recent connection to Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JFCS) that has become a mission of special importance to this dynamic couple.

fectly positioned to help raise awareness outside the Jewish community about the more than two dozen services provided by the organization. It was a mission that Peggy and Ken eagerly accepted. “What many people don’t realize is that 80% of the services JFCS provides are for people who aren’t Jewish. Yet 95% of the money they raise from individual donors comes from the Jewish community,” says Peggy. “That just didn’t seem fair to us, so we decided to take on the very specific mission of making the non-Jewish community aware of all the wonderful things the organization does, as well as the fact that they serve the entire community.” That mission began with a series of long, personal letters from Peggy to friends encouraging them to join Ken and her on the gala committee. Virtually all of them said yes, and quickly the network of connections grew. By October, the gala had already sold out. More importantly, the couple says, their friends and others were made aware of the diverse array of services offered by JFCS. Those services include programs for at-risk children and their families, seniors, members of the homeless community, Veterans and caregivers.

“We were really fortunate to have friends who introduced us to JFCS a few years ago,” says Peggy. “We started attending their galas and served on the committee last year. Then, this past spring, they asked us to chair the committee for this year’s gala, which is scheduled to take place on December 15. We were rather dumbfounded at first and thought that perhaps they had made a mistake, because we’re not Jewish.”

“In many cases, we found that the leaders from JFCS were right,” says the couple. “People had no idea that they offered all of these services. It’s amazing, but if you are in this community and you have a need, it’s pretty definite that JFCS can help you.”

The Abts quickly learned, however, that it was no mistake. Recognizing the couple’s passion and determination to make a difference, JFCS leaders determined that the Abts were per-

To learn more about Jewish Family & Children’s Service and to help support the 26 programs they offer in our local community, visit their website at or call (941) 366-2224.

For Peggy and Ken Abt, helping spread that message is something they are more than happy to do.

December 2013







December 2013


Bridging the Gap Mary Kay & Joe Henson Story & Photo by Jake Hartvigsen

Spend a few minutes with Mary Kay and Joe Henson and you get the sense they are on a mission. Spend a few more and you become confident that when the Hensons — he was a CEO of two public computing companies and she was a marketing executive with IBM — put their minds to something, they are likely to make it happen. For Mary Kay and Joe, that mission is nothing less than eliminating the literacy gap that separates low-income children from their peers while helping families overcome the adverse affects of poverty. Thanks to a pilot program they started at Alta Vista Elementary School two years ago, and with strong support from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, they just might achieve their goal. “Children in poverty experience something that is called the summer slide, where they lose a lot of what they have learned throughout the school year during summer vacation,” says Mary Kay. “They can be more than two years behind affluent students by the time they reach kindergarten, and the problem only grows from there. The gist of what we are trying to do is to eliminate that gap.” The program, which is called the Eagle Academy, was started by the Hensons and Alta Vista Elementary School Principal Dr. Barbara Shirley (pictured on the right) in the summer of 2012. The program includes seven weeks of summer school, a full-time social worker, and master teachers who give individual instruction to lagging students. This past summer, with Community Foundation of Sarasota County support, the number of participants totaled nearly 200 and included students entering kindergarten and first grade. Next year, as a pre-second grade class is added, the numbers will reach almost 300. Eventually, the Hensons would like to see it open to students in grades K-5 at elementary schools throughout the district. One unique aspect of Eagle Academy is that rather than focus on young learners alone, it targets their parents as well. In order

to enroll their children in the Academy, parents must agree to attend a seven-week program called Parent University. Classes meet one night per week and include instruction on parenting skills, computer use, English, wellness, money management, and providing a supportive learning environment at home. “This is a two-generational approach to eliminating poverty,” states Joe. “First, you educate the kids to get them up to grade level with their reading. Then, you educate the parents to help them become economically self-sustaining.” So far the results are impressive. “We have data that show that keeping the kids in school really works,” says Mary Kay. “Early assessments show that 90% of the kids at Alta Vista who attended the Eagle Academy are reading and performing at grade level. If we could expand this program countywide, the return on investment would be incredible.” Funding, of course, remains an obstacle. At Alta Vista alone, the program cost several hundred thousand dollars last year. As new classes and grades levels are added, those costs will continue to increase. Yet, Mary Kay and Joe remain confident the funds can be raised. “When we speak with people, they get it,” the couple says. “They understand the challenges we face if we don’t improve our educational system. They just don’t know what to do. But maybe the answer lies in taking it on one community at a time. That is what excites us about Sarasota. We are a small city, and we should be able to pull together to fix this problem. That is what we are trying do with the Eagle Academy.” To learn how you can support the Eagle Academy, contact the Community Foundation of Sarasota County at (941) 955-3000 or visit December 2013







December 2013


A Natural Fit

Dr. Krista Toomre & Dr. Harold Johnson Story & Photo by Jake Hartvigsen Dr. Harold Johnson says it was a natural fit when Albert Joerger, his old roommate from Cornell University and a former director with The Nature Conservancy, contacted him in 2003 and asked him to join a new land trust Joerger was putting together called Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. After all, Johnson and his family had been enjoying southwest Florida’s coastal environment for three generations. “I grew up sailing, fishing and enjoying everything outdoors with my parents,” recalls Johnson. “It was the perfect childhood, but it also gave me a unique perspective as to the ways in which we impact the environment around us. I learned that even little things can make a big difference.” While Johnson’s wife, Dr. Krista Toomre, doesn’t share his same deep roots in the local area, she is just as passionate about protecting the environment. “I grew up in Colorado with the mountains as my playground,” she says. “But to me, our shorelines are just as tranquil and special. Our goal, and that of Conservation Foundation, is to ensure that the same love of outdoor spaces we enjoyed in our childhoods is available to our children and others for generations to come.” With assets of almost $30 million and a service area that covers Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and Lee counties, Conservation Foundation is an accredited land trust that has saved 8,600 acres on 31 properties stretching from the Manatee River in the north to Pine Island in the south. Its mission is to preserve open space and protect sensitive natural habitats, some for public use, while educating people on how they can help safeguard our precious natural resources. It is a goal that just a few years ago many thought would be impossible to achieve. That is because while land trusts exist

throughout the country, few have tried to operate in markets where the land is as expensive as it is along Florida’s Gulf Coast. “People didn’t think it would be possible to protect coastal property in southwest Florida,” says Johnson. “But we are doing it, and we are doing it by working with developers, contractors and landowners because we believe in smart development. We realize that the draw for our communities is the beauty of our waterfront, and that in order to be the community we want to be, we need to preserve that character.” A key element in accomplishing that goal is convincing property owners and developers to set aside conservation easements with Conservation Foundation. Such easements allow landowners to benefit from the value of their property while at the same time protecting it from unwanted future development. They can involve everything from limiting the size of buildings that can be constructed on a parcel to preserving certain sections of the property for specified uses. An example might be specifying that coastline must be preserved as open space for public use. As for the future, Johnson and Toomre say they are proud of the legacy being created by Conservation Foundation. “You know, Conservation Foundation has only been in existence for ten years, but we are right on the cusp of making big strides forward, and a lot of that has to do with a change in culture. By creating a bridge between the public and private sectors, we are helping people realize that if we all work together we can save the resources that make our area so special.” To learn more about Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, visit or call (941) 918-2100. December 2013







December 2013


Puppy Love Daphne Collier By Steven J. Smith | Photo by Daniel Perales Daphne Collier, a volunteer puppy raiser with Southeastern Guide Dogs, said she could not think of a more fulfilling way to help others.

“I am not a dog trainer,” she said. “I’m a puppy raiser. I am qualified to teach the puppy basic obedience, but I do not train the dog to be a guide dog.”

It’s Daphne’s job to instill basic behavioral and socialization skills in the puppies that will later undergo training as full-fledged guide dogs. She is currently raising her fourth puppy. Breeds she works with include Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, or a blend of the two, called goldadors. Puppy raisers receive their pups at about nine weeks of age, teach them basic obedience skills, and take them everywhere — to work, out to eat, on trips, even grocery shopping. This real-world exposure prepares the puppies for the actual situations they must master to later successfully guide a visually impaired person.

Daphne added most difficult part of raising a puppy is giving it back to Southeastern Guide Dogs for harness training. “You get very attached,” she said. “I mean, anybody would get attached to a little puppy! But you go into it with the thought that this is not my dog. I am doing this for someone else. It’s a gift for someone else. And at the end of the year when you’re ready to turn it back in, you have the hope your dog will be well matched and that you can meet that person. It also helps to get another puppy right away. If you get a new puppy, you don’t have time to really mourn the other one leaving.”

“You need to love dogs,” Daphne said. “That would be a big requirement for this job. And it is a big time commitment, watching the puppy and taking it out for exposures. Our job is to give the puppy a safe, loving home. They’re not housebroken yet, so we have to do that. A big thing is to teach them house manners. We teach them basic obedience skills and appropriate behaviors. And we socialize them so they’re not afraid of people, other dogs, and children.”

Daphne added she enjoys following the progress of her puppies as they mature into guide dogs. “After the dog goes back in for their harness training, we get monthly report cards on how the dog is doing,” she said. “Then, when the dog is matched, they have puppy raiser day. You know how you have special days in your life, like your wedding day or the birth of your children? Puppy raiser day ranks right up there, when your dog is matched and you get to go see your dog one more time and meet the person they have been matched with.”

As the puppy matures and the puppy raiser feels he is able to handle it, he is gradually exposed to increasingly complicated mixes of unusual and active situations that he might experience later on as a guide dog — such as walking in crowds or dealing with loud sounds. After about 14-16 months, puppies return to “school” for harness training.

Daphne’s voice choked with emotion as she recalled a recent puppy of hers that was matched with a sightless woman who is an independent living specialist. “She teaches other blind people how to function and get along in a sighted world,” she said. “So not only has my dog given her independence where she can hold this job, but it also helps her to be able to teach other blind people. So I sort of feel like I’ve not only impacted her life, but I’ve impacted all of these other lives through her. It’s an amazing thing.”

“We want to raise them so they’re confident to make competent decisions,” Daphne said. “We don’t want them indecisive or scared.” Daphne said there is a big difference between what she does and what the harness trainers do at Southeastern Guide dogs.

To learn more about Southeastern Guide Dogs or becoming a puppy raiser for them, visit their website at December 2013







December 2013


Taking Center Stage Ken & Lynn Fromer Story & Photo by Jake Hartvigsen Blame it on the weather. At least that is what Ken and Lynn Fromer say that is what first introduced them to Venice Theatre. Twelve years, a dozen performances for Ken and a successful youth scholarship program later, and Venice Theatre couldn’t be happier.

firsthand, Ken and Lynn avidly support a scholarship program for Venice Theatre’s Youth Summer Camps started in 2005. Each year, the camps attract dozens of area youngsters who attend classes and take part in productions. Many are supported by scholarships from the Fromers.

“It was 2001, and we had just purchased a house in Venice. Lynn went back to New Jersey to pick up her mom, and she left me here alone,” recalls Ken. “This tropical depression hit, and I couldn’t golf, couldn’t go out in my boat, couldn’t do anything. So I opened up the newspaper and saw an ad for Venice Theatre saying they were looking for a few good men. I figured it was a social club, but it turned out to be an audition for the play A Few Good Men. I ended up being cast as the sergeantat-arms, and that’s how it all began.”

According to Ken and Lynn, what makes the scholarship program and the youth summer camps special is the way in which they transform the children involved. “I’ve been an athlete my entire life,” says Ken, “and sports is a great thing. But there are a lot of negative aspects to sports. Theater is just the opposite. It’s all about the positive, and I’ve literally seen these kids bloom as they gain poise, composure, and self-confidence.”

Once bitten by the theater bug, Ken admits that it has been a hard itch to stop. Over the past decade, he has performed in twelve plays at Venice Theatre, starred in eight television commercials and even landed a principal part in an independent film. All of it has come as a surprise to Lynn. She says she never dreamed that her husband, who has spent his professional career in manufacturing and real estate development, would become an actor.

In addition to the youth camps, Ken and Lynn point to Venice Theatre’s community outreach programs as another key reason for their support. Such programs include Troupe in a Trunk, where performers visit area schools, and the Loveland Follies. Now entering its 19th season, the Follies are a partnership between the theatre and the Loveland Center, which provides assistance to adults with developmental disabilities. Each spring, actors from Venice Theatre work with adults from the center to produce a song and dance extravaganza that is open to the community. The shows almost always sell out.

“I was totally astounded when Ken told me what he had done,” she says with a laugh. “I thought, ‘Where did this come from?’ Now, our whole house is covered with playbills, and we can’t walk down the street without seeing posters for upcoming performances.”

“Venice Theatre is so much more than a place that puts on productions. It services the community,” says the couple. “We encourage everyone to come out and see a show. You will be amazed at the quality. But after that, get involved. There are so many ways you can help.”

But the couple’s involvement with Venice Theatre goes far beyond Ken’s time on stage and their support as season ticket holders and volunteers. Struck by what they have experienced

To learn how you can help support Venice Theatre or to purchase tickets to an upcoming show, visit their website at or call (941) 488-1115.

December 2013




For the

Good of All




December 2013

A mother searching for a better life for her children. A ninth grade dropout with a chance to become a doctor. A woman, down on her luck and needing a break, finds one. A good, hard-working family of six fighting to make ends meet needs affordable and accessible, high quality healthcare. These are real people whose life circumstances have brought them hardships along the way. But through their own will and through the good work of some local nonprofits or foundations that came to their rescue, they have been given the chance to be productive members of our community and be shining examples to others. Hopefully, their stories will tug at your heartstrings and inspire you to get involved and help however you can.

Children First Helps Families Strive to Make a Better Life By Jake Hartvigsen evia Shatteen dreams of a better life for her kids. A life filled with opportunity where her daughter A’raina, age 4, can one day take the stage as an actress and where 3-year-old Antonio can become a football player or a pilot. But for tonight she would settle for knowing they can find an apartment to live in and have food on the table. Tevia and her kids are among more than 500 low-income families in Sarasota County who receive assistance every day from Children First, the area’s exclusive Head Start provider. Most live below the federal poverty level of $19,500 per year for a family of three. For them, each day brings both the challenge and hope that they can avoid homelessness, afford food and medical care, and give their children a high quality education that will prepare them for kindergarten and beyond. “We were on the verge of being homeless, but Children First helped us with that situation,” says Tevia. “I was sort of down and out before coming here, but Chil-

bined with $700 in rent, plus transportation, utilities and food

dren First has exceeded anything I could have wished for. I can’t

costs, made it difficult to make ends meet. The hardship came

say enough about the quality of their teachers and staff.”

despite the fact that Tevia is employed full-time and keeps up a

Prior to discovering Children First, A’raina and Antonio, who

schedule that would exhaust most people.

suffers from a mild learning disability, were enrolled in a private

A typical day for Tevia starts at 5 a.m. when she wakes up

day care where Tevia was paying $800 per month. That com-

in order to be at work by 6. Her mother gets the kids ready for

December 2013




school, which Tevia takes them to during her break-time at around

through these screenings that Tevia found out about Antonio’s

8 am. After work, she picks up the kids from Children First and

learning disability. Children First subsequently helped connect her

takes them to the library and then to the Robert Taylor Commu-

with the school district so Antonio can receive daily therapy.

nity Center so they can play. Following dinner, she reads to the

While the family still faces many challenges, Tevia says she

kids and then studies for her degree in nursing from SCF, which

has noticed a big change in the kids and in her own outlook

she hopes to complete by spring 2015. She tries to be in bed each

since they found Children First. “Every day is a struggle, but I

night by 11 so that she can start all over again the next day.

can’t imagine what we would do without Children First. I’m so

Fortunately for Tevia, Children First helps ease some of the burden by providing two nutritious meals each day for A’raina and Antonio. Highly trained and certified teachers make sure the kids are on track developmentally, and on-site staff and a network of community partners provide healthcare screenings for the children, something the family could not afford previously. It was

grateful for the resources they have given me and the outlook that there is hope.” CONNECT: Federal budget cuts have dramatically impacted Children First. To find out how you can help support their mission and the low-income families they serve, call (941) 953-3877, email or visit them online at

Finding that Inner Strength

How SCF Transformed a High School Dropout into a Future MD By Jake Hartivgsen hen Vida Biggins was in 8th grade her social studies teacher told her that school wasn’t a good fit for her. She was 13 years old. Ironically, the teacher’s name was Mrs. Love. It wasn’t the first time Vida had encountered cruelty from an adult in her life. At age 7, she and her mother fled their home in order to escape her father, who was abusive and a drug addict. She was then molested by a live-in relative from the time she was 8 until she was 10 years old. She admits that she lost focus both socially and academically as a result. “I was afraid to tell my mom what I was going through so I didn’t really feel like I had anyone to talk to,” she says, “and that ended up impacting my school work. I was a really good student up until then, but I got so distracted that I stopped focusing and concentrating.” By the time she reached 9th grade, Vida dropped out of school. She found a job and spent the next ten years working

Vida is quick to credit SCF with helping her achieve success. “I love SCF. There are so many people here who have supported me. They’ve nurtured and pushed me in just the right amounts. It’s been a totally different experience than I had in my past.”

in retail and customer service. In fact, she might have spent the

While at SCF, she has also interned at the Roskamp Institute,

rest of her life working that way if it hadn’t been for her dis-

where she assists Dr. Rad Tzekov with research studying the cor-

covery of a podcast called Radiolab, produced by PBS station

relation between traumatic brain injury and optic nerve damage

WNYC and broadcast throughout the country.

in mice. The findings, which are scheduled for publication in a

What happened next is the stuff of fairy tales. Through Radiolab, Vida discovered a passion for neuroscience and started

leading scholarly journal, have medical implications for seniors and for athletes.

visiting the library to read every textbook she could find on the

Asked what she would say to Mrs. Love if she encountered her

subject. She earned her GED and in 2012 entered State College

these days, Vida ponders the thought for a moment. “It probably

of Florida (SCF) as a freshman.

depends on the day. But ultimately you learn lessons from the

Since then, she has received a William G. and Marie Selby Foundation Scholarship and was recently accepted to Columbia University, where she plans to complete her bachelor’s degree in neurobiology. Eventually, she hopes to attend medical school at either Harvard or Johns Hopkins.




December 2013

things that hurt you. So I wouldn’t change anything that happened to me, even the worst things, because they made me stronger.” CONNECT: To learn how you can help support Vida and other students at State College of Florida, contact The State College of Florida Foundation at 941-752-5390. Or email

On Solid Ground

The Impact of Second Chance Last Opportunity By Julie Milton n late September, SCENE was proud to be a sponsor of Second Chance Last Opportunity’s Share the Light Luncheon. If you are not familiar with the work of this important nonprofit, SCLO, as it is known, provides a holistic and empowering approach to help at-risk teens and low income and homeless families by providing strategies and skills for success. The purple Newtown building that houses SCLO calls out to those who need help and sits proudly as the important place that it is. SCLO’s founder is an amazing and caring woman named April Glasco. After working as a Corrections Officer and a Juvenile Detention Case Worker, April opened a convenience store in the heart of Sarasota’s Newtown, a community which continually struggles with big-city issues like crime, drugs, domestic violence, and unemployment. According to April, she watched young people make bad choices and ruin their lives so she decided to take action. April closed her store, gave away its contents, and in 1995 opened the building as an intervention center called Second Chance-Last Opportunity. Since then, SCLO programs have grown to include life-management skills training, parenting skills training, counseling, mentoring, HIV-AIDS education and counseling, summer and after-school youth programs, food, clothing and shelter referrals, and holiday meals and food distribution. Back to the SCLO Luncheon in late September. As I listened to the compelling speakers, I was very moved and in-


My life has been a test. In my life there is no rest, no righteousness for the just. But God knows best. Carrying a lot of weight on my shoulders, but I’m learning how to be bolder, to be an Upholder! Every day I get a little older. Life is full of surprises – you never know what to expect. I have been abused and used. Every one of my footsteps has been stepped on. Life is like a merry-go-round, when we step off we don’t know where we are going to land. On solid ground or soft ground, life is a challenge with the everyday process of things, and schedules, and obligations, destinations, so I’m just trying to hold on, keep the fight, looking for a higher flight, moving on…. not dwelling on the past. When everything is a plot and scheme, you lose the dream. Promised a rose garden, but only got tears and snares, reaping and reaping. Then weeping trying to take care of babies, I didn’t need a lot of maybes. Share my life once; share my life twice; three times you’re out. Confused, abused I’m not going to lose. I’m looking forward to a higher flight, as high as a kite. Don’t look for me; I’ll look for you in the sky.

spired to help. One of the speakers was a woman who benefited from SCLO’s programs and turned around her life. She wrote two impactful poems that she read to the hushed audience who hung on her every word. I would like to share one of her poems with you.

CONNECT: Wow. If that doesn’t put a tear in your eye, make you pause, make you think, I don’t know what will. If you would like to help April and SCLO provide services to those in need, contact April at 941.360.8660.

Insuring our Future:

The building of the new Children’s Health Facility at the Glasser / Schoenbaum Human Services Center By Julie Milton ne of the first people in the community I met after tak-

low income and at-risk adults, children and families achieve

ing over the editorial duties at SCENE Magazine was

and maintain productive lives.

Dr. Kay Glasser. Dr. Glasser passed away in June of

I can’t help but think how Dr. Glasser would be smiling

2010 but for the almost four years I knew this diminutive giant,

brightly if she could witness the new and important work now

her passion for her cause was so infectious that I couldn’t help

being done at this center of caring – the building of a new Chil-

get on board and support the Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Ser-

dren’s Health Facility, spearheaded by Executive Director Phil

vices Center. Somehow you just couldn’t say no to her.

King and made possible by lead donors Sam and Sally Shapiro,

The center, located on 17th Street in Sarasota, is home to

for whom the new center will be named. The need for this

over 17 nonprofit health and human services agencies that help

larger healthcare facility is great. The present children’s clinic

December 2013




is too small to serve the needs of the many children in need of the accessible and affordable healthcare services it provides. Lori Babyak, operations manager at the Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center, shared a story with me about the Malgarejo family, whose children’s healthcare needs are provided by the current Children’s Clinic. “Yolanda, the mother, told me that family didn’t have any healthcare. Max and Melody, the two youngest children (pictured in the photo), started out on Medicaid and now they are on the Florida Kid Care program. Their two oldest children are high school/college age. They have lived in Sarasota since 2001 and came from Peru. They are now U.S. Citizens. Yolanda’s husband works two jobs at local restaurants (Carabba’s and Ruby Tuesday) and Yolanda works

who knows the cost of college and that is why they are working

at McDonald’s. They have four children. One of the children did

so hard to ensure that he becomes a top Oncologist and is able

not have any healthcare at one time. Luckily he wasn’t sick that

to help our great community here in Sarasota. Yolanda said the staff at the Children’s Clinic has seen her chil-

often but they did have to go to the emergency room once. Melody, who is 10-years-old, participated in Healthy He-

dren grow year after year. The staff, including doctors and nurses

roes, a nutrition program for children sponsored through the

and everyone who runs the clinic, has been nothing short of ex-

Children’s Clinic. Yolanda said Dr. Good and the program were

traordinary. She hopes to count on this clinic for years to come.

great because it taught them what portions to eat as well as facts about nutrition and exercising. Melody is now participating in a Run Club and both Max and Melody are doing gymnastics. Yolanda was proud to say that her oldest son, who's 23 years old, graduated from Florida State University and his future goals include going to Medical School. It is him, more than anyone,

CONNECT: The Children’s Health facility at the Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center needs your help so families like the Malgarejos will have affordable and accessible, high quality healthcare. The center is close to reaching its goal. If you would like help and ensure that no children in our community go without healthcare, call

“Our family has been impressed with the post-stroke rehabilitation therapy our mother received at the Benderson Family Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center,” says David Klein, retired chief executive officer, Excellus Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Ruth Klein says, “We are thrilled that our mother is safe and secure, with help if needed. She has many friends at Kobernick House, and she is joyfully embracing this new chapter in her life.”

Ruth, Sandy and David Klein

“How lucky am I? After one month of therapy at Benderson, I am happily living independently in Kobernick House.” – Sandy Klein

Call Esther for a tour: 941-225-8369 1951 North Honore Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34235 INDEPENDENT & ASSISTED LIVING • SKILLED NURSING • REHABILITATION Sponsored by Sarasota-Manatee Jewish Housing Council, Inc., Kobernick-Anchin-Benderson operates on a non-discriminatory basis for admissions, services and employment. Assisted Living Facility # 8951 • Skilled Nursing Facility # 130471046




December 2013


Children First Flip Flops & Fashion Children First held its 6th annual Flip Flops & Fashion Luncheon as guests sat beachside under a tent at Sharky’s on the Pier while enjoying fabulous fashions and a delicious Florida cuisine lunch. The fashion show featured clothing and swimsuits from L. Boutique, Lilly Pulitzer, SunBug, and Captains Landing. The clothes were modeled by local leading ladies from our community. This tropical event was chaired by Jennifer Horiuchi, Leslie Jones, Debbie LaPinksa and Jennifer Rust. Proceeds from the event benefit Children First, Sarasota County’s designated Head Start provider. Photos by Cliff Roles

Jennifer Rust, Leslie Jones, Jennifer Horiuchi & Debbie LaPinska

NO CHILD SHOULD GO WITHOUT HEALTHCARE The Children’s Health facility at Glasser/ Schoenbaum Human Services Center

Jamie Becker, Mindy Rollins, Karen Misantone, Aurelie van der Broek, & Bianca Lawrence

needs your help to build a larger facility to provide affordable and accessible, high quality healthcare to children and families in need.

We are so close!

HELP US REACH OUR GOAL! Every dollar raised helps at-risk children receive the care they need.

Debbie Dannheisser, Paul Bowman, Pat Martin, Gigi Freeman & Carina Bowman

1750 17TH STREET, SARASOTA FL 34234 941.365.4545 Phil King, Executive Director Katie Hollingsworth, Melissa Caldwell, Alison O’Donoghue, Amanda Morris, Retta Wagner, Ariane Dart, Lesley France & Stephanie Kempton

December 2013







December 2013

Scenes from an Interview:


Skip Sack

by Gus Mollasis

It’s all about service and work to this man nicknamed Skip. Service and work have dominated his way of life. It matters not if it is in the Marine Corps, the restaurant business, or the numerous philanthropic endeavors he becomes attached to, he serves them all well. To Burton M. “Skip” Sack, service comes with a smile no matter what job he has performed over his rich and diverse career. A tune came to mind while I interviewed this fascinating man - “Whistle While You Work.” Heck you can almost hear it as you picture him washing dishes at Howard Johnson’s as a teenager or giving a speech as president of the National Restaurant Association to his respected colleagues many years later. For Skip, service and work are the things that keep him happy, focused, and grateful. His positive attitude is as strong today as ever and it enables him to start every day with the “go get ‘em” drive of his youth; while the fruits of his labor provide him with the means to give back so much to so many, even as the locks on his head have changed from chestnut brown to the white of a fresh New England snowfall. Recently, Skip Sack did me the service of sitting down to take a look at some of the scenes from an interview of his life. Where were you born? Melrose, Massachusetts. Paint me a picture of your childhood growing up. Perfectly middle class. My dad was a fur salesman. We lived in Brookline outside of Boston. I had a normal childhood but I was always anxious to go to work. I was also very uneasy about being lazy and not doing anything. I always had to keep busy. I remember when my mother and dad rented a place on the beach in Cape Cod for two weeks when I was about twelve years old. I spent one day on the beach and I was bored to tears. So the second day, I started walking around picking up bottles on the beach, which in those days you could redeem for two cents. I think I made 14 cents that day. On the third day, I was still bored, so I went into town and saw a sign on a little snack bar on Main Street that said, “Dishwasher Wanted.” I applied and told them I was 14 years old because I was big for my age. They gave me the job and I washed dishes for two weeks and I loved it. I absolutely loved the restaurant business from that time, the pace of it, and the people that I was working with. I was washing dishes by hand, but I absolutely loved it. When I went back after the summer, there was a Howard Johnson’s Restaurant that was opening in my hometown of Brookline. I had just turned 13 and I got a job there as a dishwasher because I had experience. That’s how I got started in the restaurant business. What is the greatest thing that your parents taught you? Integrity and to be ethical, and above all, to be honest.

Did you have a favorite place to hang out when you were a kid? I started working for Howard Johnson’s in 1951. I worked full time in the summers and I worked after school. I got out of school at 2:10 and at 2:30 I went to work until 7:30 at night, not because I had to, but because I wanted to and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Basically I didn’t play sports. I went to work and I loved it. Where did you attend college? I received my Bachelor’s degree from Cornell. Then I was sent to the Harvard Business School for their 16-week PMD (Program for Management Development) program. There’s an interesting story about how I got into Cornell. I literally quit high school in my senior year, which was during the Korean crisis. In those days we had a military obligation of at least two years. I decided that I was going to join the Marine Corps for three years because I wanted the regimentation and the discipline. After getting out of the Corps, my plan was to work for Howard Johnson’s and hopefully one day manage one if its restaurants. I got my high school degree while in the service. I was stationed at Camp Upshur where all the second lieutenants who were college graduates attended. Even with their gold bars of graduation, they still had to go to officer’s boot camp. I was stationed at the officer’s boot camp as an enlisted person and saw them living two to a room while I was in a squad bay with 65 guys. I was eating at picnic tables for 12 and they were December 2013




eating at tables with two and four. I’m saluting them all day long and I am thinking to myself that there’s something wrong with this picture. I realized that the difference between these guys and me was that they had college degrees and I didn’t. I decided I was going to college. My marks in high school were very average. I was a C student. I applied to several colleges and never heard back from most of them. I applied to Cornell because they offered the best hotel and restaurant programs around and they still do today. They wanted a letter of reference from a previous employer so I wrote my former supervisor at Howard Johnson’s for a letter of reference. Well I hadn’t heard from Cornell and I was going to my last mail call which was January 27, 1958. What awaited me was a letter from Cornell accepting me for the spring semester term which began the next week. I was shocked because this was literally my last mail call. If I had left the service one day before, I would have gotten the letter three weeks later and I would have missed the start of school. I called my parents and told them that I’m not coming home and that I’ve been accepted to Cornell. After two weeks there, the dean at Cornell told me he wanted to see me in his office. He said, “Do you know why you’re here?” I told him no. He said, “It’s because of this wonderful letter I got from Howard Johnson.” Howard Johnson in those days was one of the most recognizable names in the country. What had happened was my supervisor who had written a letter for me had given the letter to Howard Johnson to sign and put it on his letterhead. That’s what got me into Cornell. How did you find your way to Sarasota? My wife’s mother lived here and we came to visit. I became totally enthralled with the culture here…the arts, the theater, the Orchestra, the museums. It blew me away. There’s no place in Florida that has the culture of Sarasota. We live in a highly competitive restaurant industry in Sarasota. As a past president of the National Restaurant Association, what is your advice to those out there opening a restaurant here in our town? (Laughing) Sarasota is an extremely competitive community and there are a lot of outstanding restaurants here both chef-owner operated and chain operated. If you open a restaurant in this town you better be damn sure what you’re doing. You really should be filling a niche that needs to be filled rather than just piling on with another concept that is already endemic in the community. A lot of people go into business out of ego. To restaurateurs that have been in the business for years, it’s another business for them. People who have not been in the restaurant business, but who have always wanted to open a restaurant, are usually the type of people who don’t make it because they don’t have the experience level and the rationale needed to be successful. Are great restaurant men made or are they born? That’s a great question. I would say that they evolve. If they have the character to begin with, they evolve into great restaurant people. They become perfectionists. I look at someone like my partner, Sean Murphy, at Eat Here (Sarasota restaurant). He started as a lawyer in Canada, worked as a waiter in New Orleans and then at The Colony on Longboat Key before he




December 2013

and his wife opened their first place. He’s a perfectionist and is detail oriented, which is what you have to be in this business. Give me two things that a good restaurant owner should always do and two things that they should never do. If you take good care of the help they will take good care of the customers. Secondly, everything emanates from the top down. People emulate the person at the top. If you do things that you should be doing, and are respectful of others, are service oriented, or quality oriented and you are passionate and take pride in what you are doing, that will permeate the organization. Others will copy you. One of the things that I have never done as a restaurant operator is take things out of the restaurant, like take home a bottle of wine, or some meat or anything else. Any time I’ve gone into one of my restaurants and taken something out, I’ve paid for it. It sets an example for everybody else because if people see me taking something out, they can rationalize that it’s okay for them take things out. I’ve had managers say to me, “Skip, you don’t need to do this.” To which I would always say, “Oh yes, I need to do this.” What did you learn from your days as a dishwasher at the Howard Johnson’s restaurants? I learned to do what they told me to do and to work hard. The harder I worked the more I enjoyed it. The busier I got the faster time flew by. What is the greatest lesson that you learned while attending Harvard Business School? One of the most important aspects of learning is learning from the failures of others because it gives you a very good perspective and a good lesson as to what not to do. I try to emulate people that I respect, but I also look at people who I don’t respect and say to myself, “I never want to do this and I never want to be like him.” So I learned lessons both ways, from success and from other people’s failures. Was there a mentor along the way who you feel had a great influence in contributing to your success? I’d say Bill Pendergast who was supervisor when I first started working at Howard Johnson’s. He took a liking to me. He would approach me when I got done with a shift and see if I was willing to go to another restaurant because a dishwasher didn’t show up. I’d get on my bike and ride or take the subway in Boston an hour and a half and then come home at 2 o’clock in the morning. He was a great motivator, which I responded to by working harder. You have been involved with the Applebee’s restaurant chain. What is the secret to the success in your opinion of Applebee’s? I have not been involved with Applebee’s since 2007 when the company was sold. I got involved with them in 1984 when they had only two restaurants. When the company was sold in 2007, there were 2,000 restaurants. There are several secrets to the success of Applebee’s. I’ll answer that question by telling you why I bought a franchise in 1984 in Atlanta. I was looking at another restaurant concept and someone told me I should take a look at Applebee’s. I went down there and I fell in love with the concept for a lot of reasons.

Number one is the quality orientation. Everything we did had a quality orientation to it. Number two, training. Everybody was overly-trained. The front and the back of the house were trained. When we opened a restaurant we spent two weeks and $75,000 dollars on pre-opening training to make sure the restaurant opened. We would also hire 125 people, knowing that we needed 100, and knowing that some people would drop out and some people we would push out. Applebee’s had a pre-opening training crew that went from one restaurant to another 52 weeks a year opening restaurants. One of the things they would do was create an ice-breaker with the employees by sending out a form that would say something like, “What’s your favorite hobby?” “Do you have a motorcycle?” “Have you ever sky dived?” They would get the answers to these general questions and say, “Okay, there are three people who drive motorcycles. Joe, John, and Sally – can you please stand up.” During a coffee break, these folks would get together and share these things they had in common. It created rapport based on common interests and it helped build the team. The people were extraordinary. When I first got my franchise, Dick Rivera, who lives here, and who is a former chairman of the National Restaurant Association, was the Vice-President of Operations. Dick went on to become President of Fridays, Charthouse, Longhorn and Vice-Chairman of Darden. Applebee’s had great, quality people working for them. A little word Association; The genius of Ray Kroc was… The way he franchised. He forced people to relocate so their focus was only on their restaurant. For example: If you lived in Sarasota and wanted a McDonald’s franchise, you went on a list. Ray would say, “Gus, we have a McDonald’s franchise in Raleigh, North Carolina. Do you want it? If you don’t want it you can go to the bottom of the list.” So if you wanted it you would have to relocate your family and it assured him that you were 100% focused and committed to making that restaurant a success. A good dinner house has to have... Exceptional service and exceptional quality. People come back to a restaurant because... Many things. Of course the food, service and hospitality. But if you ask me why a place is someone’s favorite restaurant, it’s not the food or service, it’s the hospitality. It’s that they know you. They know who you are, they greet you, they might buy you an after dinner drink or dessert. It’s the hospitality that gets people to come back. To me service is… Probably the single most important thing in the restaurant business. There are two types of service. There is efficacious service and warm and friendly service. If you want efficacious service, you go to New York. You get someone who’s very efficacious but doesn’t smile and has no warmth. He does everything he should be doing. In another restaurant you get good service accompanied with warmth from someone who is friendly and considerate.

In the restaurant business, who is the customer and what do owe them? The customer is our reason for being. It’s absolutely critical that we satisfy that customer because if we don’t they don’t come back and they will tell ten people that won’t come in. What compelled you to join the Marines and serve when you did? In 1955, we had a military obligation, so rather than being called into the Army, Navy or Air Force, I decided I will pick the time and the branch. I picked the Marine Corps because I wanted the discipline and regimentation that went with it. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. What is the greatest thing that you learned from your days serving your country? I served in the Korean conflict after the fighting had ended in July of 1953. I want to be very clear about that. The Korean Crisis ended in July of 1955. I went in January of 1955 when I was 17 years old. The greatest lessons I learned were those of loyalty to this country for the freedoms that we enjoy. So many people before us gave up their lives to provide us with this opportunity. I still get goose bumps when I hear the National Anthem. I think loyalty above all else and patriotism. I think of what the World War II Veterans and all Veterans went through to maintain our freedoms. Do you think we do enough to say thank you to our Veterans? Not at all. When I think of the Veterans who came back from the Vietnam War and how they were treated with such disrespect after fighting for their country, I just couldn’t comprehend it. It still bothers me to this day. No, we don’t do enough for our Veterans. There are a tremendous amount of Veterans who are homeless and out of work. It’s a shame that we are not providing them with everything they need. There are Veterans who have lost limbs and who need electronic wheelchairs and we are not providing them with these essential needs yet we are providing cell phones to people. What do you think of the Unconditional Surrender statue on our waterfront? I absolutely love it. And the thing I like the best about it is that every time I pass by the statue, there are always people stopping by to have their picture taken by the statue. It makes me mad and I can’t understand how this city didn’t want to bring the Iwo Jima statue here and place it near Unconditional Surrender. Sarasota is a philanthropic town and there are many people in our town, of which you are one, that give to many causes. How do you decide to get involved with a certain charity or cause? There are two ways we get involved. One way is through friends like Dennis and Graci McGillicuddy who got us involved in the Child Protection Center and Florida Studio Theatre because they are so involved. Another reason we get involved is that we recognize the needs and the work that various organizations do. So every year we give to All Faiths Food Bank because we know there are hungry people out there who don’t get a square meal. We’ve given money to the Renaissance House, and we’ve never spoken to anybody there, but we are aware of the work that they do. We have a December 2013




foundation. We don’t accept requests for grants. We do things that we feel are necessary and needed within the community. The Jewish Family Children’s Services has a program working with Veterans. I went over to see what they do and they provide housing for the Veterans. They try to get them on their feet or get them a job, so we support them. We support the arts in town because we think that’s important to the community. We support Asolo Rep, Sarasota Orchestra, The Ringling, and others. Culture is a pillar of the community. You are currently involved with the Center for Building Hope, which does such great work providing cancer support for families and caregivers. How and why did you get involved with them? Originally, we got involved when they had offices on Clark Road and they were looking to retire a mortgage. Later when they came up with the plans for the Lakewood Ranch campus, my wife and I saw the proposal, renderings and site, we made a lead donation for the land and building project. They wanted to name it after us. We thought our name would detract from the Wellness Community, which is called The Center For Building Hope. It’s a worthwhile organization that serves about 5,000 people. Sarasota is a great town for the arts, and you and your wife provide a 4-year scholarship fund in the arts for Booker High School students. Why is this cause so important to you and your wife Gail? My wife and friends have been going to Booker High for the last several years to see a musical every spring and every time Gail would come home she would say, “These kids are amazing.” And we realized that Booker High is in an area where kids are not coming from affluent backgrounds and so I called up Veronica Brady at Gulf Coast Community Foundation and asked her about Booker High and the arts program and if there was a need there. She talked with the principal who conveyed that there are many students at Booker who didn’t have the means to pursue higher education or their artistic dreams after high school. That’s when we decided to establish the scholarship. It is a $2500 scholarship, each year for four years. We’ve funded it and our friend, Jean DeLynn, has put some money into it. We hope that other people will put some money toward this worthwhile cause. We don’t need our name on the scholarship. We get great satisfaction with being able to help out financially and we don’t need the recognition. Are there any people around town that you look up to regarding their philanthropy? Dennis and Graci McGillicuddy first and foremost, mainly because not only do they provide a tremendous amount of money to various organizations within the community, but they work. They work hours and hours every single week on behalf of some of these organizations. The time and effort that they contribute in addition to the money they give is incredible. Usually people contribute money or they contribute time. Usually people who contribute time don’t contribute money. Dennis and Graci do both. They’re both amazing people. And they’re an inspiration. I look at people like Betty Schoenbaum, now in her 90s, who gives so much of herself. She is so generous and is as sharp as a tack. Up until a few years ago she was




December 2013

tap dancing. There are numerous others in town who give in the same way and spirit. You really do believe that it is better to give than receive. Absolutely. And we are blessed to be in a position to be able to do that. I’ve been very lucky in my business career. A lot of it has been talent. When I lecture, I tell people, especially the kids, that success is a confluence of three things and they all have to come together. Talent, luck and timing – all three have to converge. You can have all the talent in the world but if the timing isn’t right and you aren’t lucky, it doesn’t happen. I was the beneficiary. I am at a stage in my life beyond anything I ever comprehended. We feel blessed and we want to give back. I’ve given back ever since I graduated from Cornell. Back then I volunteered at Children’s Hospital in Boston and I did card tricks for the kids. I volunteered for the Greater Boston Association for Retarded Citizens. I used to give money to Children’s Hospital and Beth Israel Hospital when I was making $6,500 a year and I’d give a couple of hundred dollars to each organization. Where did this sense of philanthropy and giving back come from? When I was at school I had no money and my parents could have afforded to send me to Cornell, but I didn’t want to take any money from my parents. I wanted to prove to myself that I could get through school on my own. I wanted to prove that if I could do it on my own, then anybody could do it. I worked my way through school as a Deputy Sheriff assigned to the Cornell police. I spent three and a half years driving the patrol car at Cornell. I was the only full time student ever to be on the campus police working a full time shift. Why are you involved with so many philanthropic organizations? Because the need exists. You’re a bit of an old ad man. What does your billboard for Sarasota say? To me, Sarasota is the cultural capital of Florida and it is probably the most generous city in Florida. Is there a quote or mantra that you live by? In Hamlet, Polonius’s speech to his son. “This above all: To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” You have been married over 23 years. What is the secret to a great marriage? We respect each other. She does her thing and I do my thing. Gail’s is playing tennis and golf and my thing is working. I’m a workaholic. When you reach the end of your life and the final Howard Johnson’s milk shake has been served, how would you like to be remembered? (Laughing – followed by long pause) I guess all I can ask for is that I would be remembered as a nice guy and as someone who did the best he could for as many people as he could.


Rosedale Golf & CC Celebrates 20th Anniversary Rosedale Golf and Country Club recently celebrated its 20th anniversary in high style, commencing the weekend’s festivities at its clubhouse with a private performance by Opera Tampa. It was standing-room only as members and their guests gathered for cocktails and a gourmet meal before the evening’s entertainment. Opera Tampa is the resident opera company of the Straz Center and presents full-scale productions under the director of world-renowned composer/conductor Daniel Lipton. Rosedale is one of Manatee County’s most established country clubs and is known for its pristine fairways and majestic tree-lined boulevard.

Irene & Brian Ward

Photos by Josh Baldo

Tish & Bob Whitesell & Gloria Buzanis

Nancy Ward, Gloria & Robert Johnston & Aline McAllister

Barry & Tony Robbins with Jim & Phyllis Letellier

Kristi & Johnny Greenslade



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December 2013




The Good Will of

Goodwill: IMPACT INITIATIVE By Ryan G. Van Cleave

From the new 30,000-square-foot thrift store and community and job placement center on North Tamiami Trail by Sarasota Brandenton International Airport to the Donation Center or the Clearance Store on South Tamiami Trail by Westfield Sarasota Square Mall, Goodwill is a distinct part of our community. What it represents, though, is far more reaching than a store where people can buy second-hand goods. Goodwill is about dignity, empowerment, and opportunity. “Like the pebble in the pond, our mission to individuals creates a profound ripple effect,” says Veronica Miller, vice president of Goodwill Industries Manasota. One way that happens is through their mission of “Changing Lives Through the Power of Work,” which is changing our workforce. Miller says, “Our job placement and career services help reduce unemployment, poverty, and crime by creating higher value employees. It also affects the local environment and helps boost education.” Don Roberts, past CEO of Goodwill Manasota, adds, “Goodwill is a place to be shared, providing an opportunity for people to grow and creating a better economy.”




December 2013

Since its inception 110 years ago, Goodwill has existed to create work opportunities, skills development, and social integration for people with disabilities or facing other barriers to employment. Goodwill believes that when people are working, communities are working. In short, work helps people to belong, to matter, and to connect to each other, which ultimately makes communities stronger and healthier. Something most people don’t realize is that Goodwill Manasota is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that in essence belongs to this community. It’s not owned by any individual or company — the only “big business” accountability they have is to a local Board of Directors. To support Goodwill Manasota is to support ourselves. More to the point, by donating or shopping at Goodwill, we help them place local people in jobs. Whether we’re clearing out our closets or making a charitable donation, it helps in big ways. Miller notes that donors do need to be conscientious and careful. “Not all thrift stores are charities, and some parking lot drop boxes are scams. Donating household goods is philanthropy, and just as you would not write a check to

an organization without knowing why, please be conscious of where you are leaving your donations. Some drop boxes sell donations for profit at flea markets, and some thrift stores and other operations solicit donations but give as little as 5% of the revenue to charity.” Taking donations to a Goodwill store directly ensures that all the proceeds support their mission. It might not seem like dropping off a box of old Perry Como records, a bag of Beanie Babies, or a never-used unicycle will make that much of a difference. Miller explains, “This simple business of reselling people’s unwanted items has allowed us to serve more than 15,000 people annually and placed more than 400 in jobs with an economic impact greater than 20 million dollars. We’re amazed at how many people are still unaware of what we do with your donations and how we impact the community. These are not just numbers but proof of our fiscal, economic, and social impact and what it means to have a Goodwill in your community.”

Recently, Goodwill Manasota launched their Impact Initiative, which is an ongoing funding strategy designed to support four areas of focus. The idea is to be prepared to adapt and evolve to address any future needs. Employment Impact

Goodwill Manasota helps provide jobs and job training, thereby creating a more employable community.

Education Impact

Goodwill Manasota provides extensive educational opportunities for people to increase their skills and advance their careers.

Economic Impact

Goodwill Manasota provides an economic impact of more than $20 million dollars in wages to our community.

Environmental Impact

Goodwill Manasota is the pioneer of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement. This past year, they diverted 86% of donated items from the landfill — that’s 34 million pounds!

To help support the Impact Initiative, just follow the advice of supermodel Isabella Rosselini’s fashion model daughter, Elettra Rosselini Wiedemann, who admits, “I have a biannual clean-out of my apartment. I throw out raggedy things and things I never wear, and there’s a Goodwill around the corner for anything worthwhile.” Rummage through your goodies a few times a year and send whatever you don’t need, don’t want, or don’t like, to Goodwill. They’ll find someone who WILL buy it and appreciate it more. Plus you’ll feel a lot better at having done your part to make a difference in your community. An added bonus is that it’s a way to increase tax deductions and make room for holiday gifts at the end of the year. Another thing to note is how Veterans and their families are being helped through Goodwill’s American Veterans and their Families Initiative, which has provided over 500 different services for them. Goodwill recognizes the range of challenges faced by Veterans, their families, and the families of active service people. They also provide comprehensive case management and vocational services that address barriers to employment, disabilities, housing, transportation, mental health issues, education, or training needed to succeed in the workplace, and access to other support services. The ultimate goal is putting these American heroes and their families back to work. Today’s economic climate is a challenge to everyone, especially those who have disabilities, lack of expertise, and other barriers. They need services and training to help them succeed in the workplace. Goodwill Manasota’s commitment to serving these populations is ongoing and deep. Help them make a difference today. For more information about Goodwill Manasota or the Impact Initiative, please visit

December 2013




The Sarasota Orchestra Pops Series: By Ryan G. Van Cleave

S N O C I C I S U M N A C I R E M A G N I SA LU T Virtually every orchestra in the United States has a pops concert or series, and the Sarasota Orchestra is no exception. “Pops” can mean different things to different people — it certainly implies a great range of music genres, from jazz, rock, pop, Broadway musicals, to even familiar classical works. For the 2013-2014 season of the Sarasota Orchestra — their 65th season — its Pops series is being billed as a salute to American musical icons. About the theme of this year’s series, Maestro Andrew Lane says, “There are a great many options for interesting and exciting pops concerts. Featuring great American composers and arrangers is a simple formula for a great performance.” Indeed, the musical selections for the concerts in the Pops series showcase a wealth of familiar, sentimental, and popular music selections that is sure to please audiences of all ages. Here’s what the 2013-2014 Pops series looks like: 82



December 2013

BROADWAY BOUND January 24 & 25 8 p.m.

Join the Sarasota Orchestra on a tour of more than five decades of the best music Broadway has ever known. Showcasing the vocal talents of three guest Broadway stars, (left to right: Christiane Noll, Gary Mauer & Susan Egan), this concert begins with 1949’s South Pacific and Cole Porter’s Kiss Me Kate. Next up are the classics West Side Story, The Sound of Music, and Cabaret. To round things off with a contemporary flavor, the evening closes with hit selections from Phantom of the Opera, Beauty and the Beast, Wicked, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Les Misérables.

SATCHMO, FATS & THE DUKE March 28 & 29 8 p.m.

The musical guest of the night is trumpet and vocal star Byron Stripling, who has played for the Count Basie Orchestra, the Boston Pops, and fifty other symphonies and pop orchestras, plus he starred as Louis Armstrong in the musical Satchmo: America’s Musical Legend. On this special night, Stripling and the Sarasota Orchestra will showcase the greatest hits of Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, and Duke Ellington. Among the favorites that will be played are “It Don’t Mean a Thing,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” and “Sweet Georgia Brown.”

THE BEATLES IN AMERICA April 11 & 12 8 p.m.

It’s the 50th anniversary of the British invasion and joining the Orchestra for this special event are the four musicians from The Classical Mystery Tour ( who look and sound just like the Fab Four. The musical lineup will feature “Eleanor Rigby” accompanied with a full string section, “All You Need is Love” with orchestra brass, and other favorites such as “Yesterday” and “A Day in the Life.” Come out and remind yourself why the Beatles are the #1 best-selling band in the United States by re-experiencing their own brand of musical magic. Gary Maur, one of the guests for the Broadway Bound concert,

the audience, share those ridiculous behind-the-scenes stories, sing

says that a Pop series is important because it brings in music that kids

with lush 60-85 piece orchestras and every single song is a hit. You

can relate to, which gets a younger audience into the concert hall.

don’t get any of that on Broadway.”

Maur is also looking forward to singing in Sarasota. “A long-running

Among her range of professional experiences, Hartmann has

Broadway production means a paycheck every week, but it’s a huge

voiced animated characters for films, such as Meg from Hercules,

time commitment. And it makes singing anything else virtually impos-

Gina from Porco Rosso, and Angel from Lady and the Tramp II.

sible.” Thankfully, he’s free to join us for this amazing night.

What she quickly realized is that when you’re recording for an

He adds that there’s a particular challenge to this type of guest

animated character’s voice, no one can see your face. All you have

spot opportunity. “Artistically speaking, singing music in a symphonic

to convey, everything that you want to express is your voice. “The

setting that was meant for theater has its challenges. We need to try

more I worked in animation,” she explains, “the more expressive

to re-create the environment in which a song lives, without the help

my voice became, both in the speaking and singing roles. Soon

of sets and costumes,” he explains. “It’s a fine line here. Too little and

after I began this kind of voiceover work, I realized that on stage,

it’s boring. Too much and it runs the risk of looking silly in front of

most of the audience past the 10th row ALSO couldn’t see my

an orchestra. We’re singing actors, but in this case, the music usually

facial expressions, so I began applying what I’d learned in the re-

takes the lead.” But as someone who’s sung “All I Ask of You” on LIVE

cording booth to how I perform on stage — for those folks in the

with Regis and Kathy Lee and The View, it’s clear that Maur knows

back of the balcony!”

how to bring the house down whether there’s Broadway staging and costuming or not.

Add in the always-impressive talent of the Sarasota Orchestra and these concerts look to be another fine addition to the rich musi-

One of the guests who’ll sing alongside Maur for the Broadway

cal offerings our area enjoys. “These will truly be special evenings of

Bound concert is Susan Egan Hartmann. She loves these types of

music,” promises Maestro Lane, and with stars like Maur, Hartmann,

events, too, saying, “I started out wanting to play characters and hide

and Stripling coming to town, he couldn’t be more right.

behind costumes and a scripted play. Now I’m simply loving doing concerts because that fourth wall is down. Performers can chat with

For more information about the Sarasota Orchestra, please visit or call 941-953-3434. December 2013





Sarasota Opera’s 22nd Annual Curtain Raiser Dinner The Curtain Raiser celebrated the start of the opera’s social season as well as the opening of Die Fledermaus. The evening featured a cocktail reception and three course gourmet dinner in the beautiful ambiance of Michael’s Wine Cellar. Guests were entertained by a selection of arias performed by Sarasota Opera’s Studio Artists. Artistic Director Victor DeRenzi and Executive Director Richard Russell welcomed the group and discussed the upcoming opera season. Event Sponsors included Gulf Coast Community Foundation, SunTrust, Scene Magazine and Michael’s on East.

Isabelle Wright & Carol English

Photos by Cliff Roles

Rachele Rivolta, Les & Carol Brualdi

Leslie Kahn, Peggy March, Dorothy Lawrence, Leonard Apfelbach & Dick Johnson

David Chaifetz, Larry English, Jack Wright & Richard Russell Luisa Bustamante & Harry Leopold

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December 2013


The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee is now a four-year institution offering a unique biology degree program, and boasts undergraduate science labs situated right on the bay front at Mote Marine Laboratory. But it wasn’t always that way‌

Dr. Jane Rose

Education Matters By Ryan G. Van Cleave

Since USF first opened a satellite campus on the border of Sarasota and Manatee counties in 1974, USFSM has delivered a selection of undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as certificates that meet emerging community needs. However, because it did not offer a general-education curriculum, undergraduate students could not attend for the full four years. Before pursuing a degree on the USFSM campus, students needed to complete their first 60 credits elsewhere. In a 2009 survey of local high schools, USFSM learned that approximately 1,000 area students indicated that they might attend if four-year degrees were offered. By becoming separately accredited in 2011, USFSM was poised to expand the options of a truly hometown university, hiring its own faculty and granting its own degrees, while still benefitting from the shared resources of the USF system. In August 2013, USFSM admitted its first freshman class. One of the most exciting components of this recent growth and development is the B.S. in biology that starts officially in fall 2014. New or currently enrolled students can now declare biology as their major. Until now, the majority of local high school and community college graduates left our area if they wanted to pursue a degree in biology or related sciences. Considering that Governor Rick Scott and President Obama have both identified science, technology,

December 2013




engineering and math (STEM) education as state and national priorities, it makes sense for USFSM to establish this degree. Students who earn a degree in biology can proceed directly into the workforce in many in-demand professions, including healthcare, industrial R&D, nonprofit research, or education. Graduates are also prepared for success in a range of advanced graduate and professional programs that can lead to leadership positions in the biomedical sciences, pharmacy, chemistry, medicine, marine science, etc. No other higher-education institution in our area offers a B.S. degree in biology quite like the new degree at USFSM. Part of what makes USFSM’s biology degree so outstanding is the partnership with Mote Marine Laboratory. As Dr. Jane Rose, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, points out, “many of our students’ courses are taught by Mote's internationally-recognized scientists, who are now courtesy faculty at USFSM. Students will have the opportunity to take part in local, state, national, and international research projects, as well as entrepreneurial applications of research, which add significant caché to their undergraduate degrees.” USFSM is also building its full-time biology faculty and is currently conducting national searches for four new professors for the program. Some of these faculty members will also be active researchers. This means that USFSM biology majors will enjoy opportunities to experience real research being done by their professors, both in their labs and in the field. These types of experiences are typically only available to graduate students. Dr. Rose notes that USFSM is also “pursuing ways to assure a smooth pathway for our biology graduates who wish to advance into the health professions. Currently, we are working with USF Health in Tampa to plan elective options for biology students who seek entry into schools of medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, or public health. We have also begun a similar conversation with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) in Lakewood Ranch.” A significant strength of the program is its small class size, in contrast to most colleges and universities where a lower-level science class might have hundreds of students. Dr. Rose explains that “large biology programs manage capacity by having big lecture classes taught by research faculty separated from their lab complements, which are taught by graduate students or instructors. In our program, however, both the course lecture and its lab will be taught in small classes by the same professor.” Another highlight of this new degree is that it is affordable. “People might be surprised to learn that, of all the Florida state universities, the cost of attending USFSM is the least expensive option,” says Dr. Rose. “Local residents with family and friends in other states may be interested to know that it costs less to pay out-of-state tuition at USFSM than it does to pay in-state tuition in some other states, particularly in the Northeast.” Dr. Erin Martin, a USFSM biology instructor who teaches in the new labs and helped create the biology and general education curriculum, adds, “The setting at Mote is an excellent place to study science. As students walk to the labs, they walk past researchers in the Mote Marine Laboratory Animal Hospital who are trying to solve problems related to diseases in animals. Students also see researchers who are working with dolphins and manatees to answer questions about their behavior and physiological requirements. Once the students are in the labs, we practice science as science is done.” This is crucial since this is how science happens in the real world. To put it plainly, no Nobel Prize winner ever won their prize because they simply followed someone else’s directions. When the students are finished with the USFSM program, they will understand how to use the knowledge they’ve acquired in a real world setting. It’s not just theoretical, it’s practical and applicable. The classes at Mote are already popular with students; many show up hours early and stay after class to study in the common areas. And when it’s time to do field work, they can simply walk outside and be at the magnificent water’s edge near Longboat Key. USFSM is committed to providing access to the best quality educational experience for every student, including undergraduate research internships for advanced biology majors, which can be quite costly. The university welcomes donations that will help underwrite these value-added educational opportunities. “USFSM is delighted to provide a biology degree for our students, and we are proud of the unique qualities that distinguish it,” Dr. Rose concludes. This is only the beginning for development of a robust STEM curriculum of the highest level, and we look forward to bringing our community even more exciting higher-education options in the future.” For more information about USF Sarasota-Manatee, please visit or call 941-359-4200.




December 2013


USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Brunch on the Bay The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee marked the 20th anniversary of its signature annual fundraising event, Brunch on the Bay, welcoming over 1,000 supporters who helped raise money for local undergraduate scholarships. Under tents on the beautiful USFSM campus, corporate and individual donors, community leaders, volunteers, faculty, staff, students and friends enjoyed signature dishes prepared by 19 Sarasota and Manatee restaurants and caterers, including students of the USFSM College of Hospitality and Technology Leadership. More than 150 corporate and individual donors gave $360,000 in support of undergraduate scholarships, including the co-chairs of the event, Charles Baumann and Amy Drake. Over two decades, Brunch has generated an endowment of $1.3 million and awarded more than $530,000 in scholarships to over 1,000 USF Sarasota-Manatee students, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college.

Gerri Aaron & Marvin Albert

Mona Jain & Dennis Stover

Photos by Cliff Roles

Charles Baumann, Paul Mattison, Kristina Grainger, Phil Mancini & Amy Drake

Mary Jane & David Schenck & Stan & Sandy Krawetz

Sophia T. Wisniewska, Arthur Guilford & Judy Genshaft


The great “ AMERICAN

musical ”



Music by JEROME

Directed by ROB

KERN| Book and Lyrics by OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II| Based on the novel by Edna Ferber

RUGGIERO| Choreography by NOAH RACEY


941.351.8000 | ASOLOREP.ORG


December 2013





Safe Sex Halloween Bash Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida recently hosted their 3rd Annual Safe Sex Halloween Bash. Michael’s on East was transformed into the dark & sexy Studio 13: The Undead Disco where 400 guests mingled, nibbled, and grooved the night away amidst a sea of glitter, glamour, and gore. Guests enjoyed an open bar, tantalizing nighttime nibbles, the hot beats of DJ Imminent, along with a plethora of surprise entertainment and seventies swagger! Abundant reminders were scattered throughout the party stressing the importance of safer sex and the reproductive health services provided by Planned Parenthood. Major events sponsors included Ann Winslow Donelly & Norbert P. Donelly, Mike & Yen Reed, Mark Steinwachs & Jarred Wilson, Black Diamond Burlesque, Sarasota Architectural Salvage, and Mike Gray, Century 21.

Canyon & Suzette Jones

Photos by Cliff Roles

Andrew Judson & Jan Chester

Stacey Bloom, Kyla Yaeger Weiner & Danielle Beatt

David Haenel & Patricia Dore





December 2013

Zara, Ritchie & Lynn Barrie



Behind the Scene

Society Maven Debbi Benedict Gives the Latest Scoop The holiday season in the land of sand and sequins, (Oh, that’s good. I need to trademark that!) is a bit different than where most of us came from. No snow, no Jack Frost nipping at your nose, just lots of jingle belling – that would be from the Salvation Army bell ringers as ubiquitous at Publix during the holiday season as the Girl Scouts selling cookies are in the spring. And Santa’s little pointy-eared elf – you know which public official I am talking about and no, I am not revealing the name in the spirit of the holidays, leading us to the most wonderful time of the year – Sarasota in December – a holiday gift to us all! One of the most successful, if not THE most successful event in the Sarasota social season is the Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JFCS) Gala, this year called Celebrating American Spirit. They are sold out with more Patron tickets sold (578) than ever before! The gala is chaired this year by Ken and Peggy Abt. The mainstay of this event is the out of this world entertainment – a thrilling performance by the Sarasota Orchestra, always underwritten by philanthropist Bea Friedman. And guess what? The conductor is Sarasota favorite, Dirk Meyer, coming back from his new position in Duluth, MN. Another favorite is teen singer phenom, Maria Wirries, who will also be performing. Staying with the patriotic theme, the decorations in colors of red, blue, and gold, under the artistic eye of George Allison, will imbue the Ritz Carlton ballroom with a sense of pride and majesty. Dress is black tie or military uniform and who doesn’t love a man (or woman for that matter) in uniform? A nice touch is that the day after the gala, the Boxes of Hope centerpieces, filled with toys, presents, and gift cards for holiday meals, are distributed to 55 families served by JFCS. Major sponsors in addition to Bea, include Gerri Aaron, Margie and Chuck Barancik, and Clare and Rich Segall, followed by The Benderson Family, the Isermann Family Foundation, Ora and Joe Mendels, and Betty Schoenbaum. If Charles and Edith Ringling had opened their marble manse on the bay for a little holiday musicale and dinner, it would closely resemble the atmosphere at La Musica’s Sonata A Due. The event is one of my favorites for just that reason. It is so intimate and chic, with an air of refinement – a very special evening during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Starting with cocktails

December 2013




on the bay and moving into the spacious walnut paneled music room, under the glow of antique chandeliers, violinist Federico Agostini and pianist Derek Han will present a recital of luscious classical favorites to an adoring crowd. Then it’s on to dinner in the glorious living room, festooned with beautifully decorated tables and candlelight celebrating the season. Of course, it would be even more perfect if the Michael’s On East catering staff could wear costumes and play Ringling family staff members! That would be just a little too, too much, though, wouldn’t it? Oh, a girl can dream! SCENE Magazine is the evening’s sponsor. One of the most heartwarming events of the holiday season is The Florida Center for Early Childhood Development’s Festival of Trees, Lights, and Holiday Gifts chaired by Jessica Richardson and Mary Mapp at Michael’s On East. Lots of red and white and candlelight will be decorating the room and getting everyone in the holiday spirit, including several decorated trees, which will be for sale. They always have a client who has been served by the organization speak and tell the audience what that experience has been like for them. This year the parents of a young man will be sharing their son’s success as a result of the services and support their family received at the center’s education program. It’s a terrific way to remind guests why they are actually at the event. Also on hand to entertain is local veteran comedian Tim Wilkins and there will be dancing to the sounds and vocals of DJ Jonathan Cortez. A special part of the menu will be a dessert buffet – yum! Auction items include a flight simulation package, golf outings, and holiday decorations! Sponsors include Caldwell Trust and CAE Healthcare Sarasota, followed by Bouchard Insurance, Douglas and Mary Mapp, and Dr. and Mrs. Eddy Regnier. Puppy kisses and soft purring from adoptable dogs and cats will greet you as you enter the Sarasota Yacht Club for the Humane Society of Sarasota County’s Hot Dogs and Cool Cats Gala. Surrounded by the festive Christmas decorations of the club, chairs Chris Voelker and Molly Crawford will surely be visions of holiday magic. Also visions of delight, will be local comedic legends Les McCurdy and Ken Sons, as the emcees and auctioneers for the evening. They will introduce animal lover and oh yes, you might know her as a comedian, Elayne Boosler. I am told she has been performing for almost 40 years! How can that be?! She also has her own non-profit animal rescue and advocacy organization, Tails of Joy. What a happy name! The live auction will include jewelry, designer handbags, and exotic trips. The Cat’s Meow sponsor is Jeff and Joanna Roberti. Puppy Love sponsors include Mercedes Medical, Smile Sarasota, Eating House, Norton Hammersley, Syprett Meshad, and Perrone Construction, among others. Make a Wish Foundation’s new Regional Director, Wendy Merriman, told me I had to go through the Peppermint Forest and over Gum Drop Pass, or as it is more commonly know, Michael’s On East ballroom, to get to Christmas in Candy Land. Who might I see there? I bet ol’ Mr. Claus will make a jolly appearance, bringing teddy bears from his helper, Kohl’s. Lots of other fun




December 2013

stuff will be on tap including interactive edibles (I think that might mean decorating

Michelle Crabtree

cookies), face painting, balloon sculpting, along with eating delish treats from Phil Mancini and also The Short Giraffe. You don’t have to tag along with a child to get in, but if you want to be on the “nice”

Realtor, Broker Associate, CLHMS, CRS, CIPS, GRI, PMN, ABR, TRC, RSPS, AHWD, SFR, GREEN

2011 Five Star Real Estate Agents “Best In Client Satisfaction” – 6 Years

list, make sure you add a little something

2010 Florida Realtor Honor

to your ticket price. Sponsors include

Society – 6 Years

Gateway Bank, Ritz Carlton Members Club, and Shumaker, Loop, and Kendrick.

2010 Director, Sarasota

Did you know that TV news anchor,

Association of Realtors (SAR)

Campbell Brown was raised Catholic, but

– 3 year term

converted to Judaism upon marriage to

2009 Women’s Council of

her husband, Dan Senor, whom she had

Realtors (WCR) Sarasota

met in Iraq? Or that her mother-in-law never really liked her until they bonded over the telling and hearing of the motherin-law’s escape from the Nazis? You’ll hear all about this and even more at the Jewish Federation’s Women’s Day with Campbell as the keynote speaker. Among other things she will be speaking about is that Israel is a start-up nation and has

“Business Woman of the Year”

Cell: 941.724.HOME (4663) Office: 941.907.9595 Email: A third generation local & Broker Sales Associate since 1982; dedicated to your needs. Serving Sarasota, Bradenton & Lakewood Ranch.

more business start-ups than any other

2008 WCR Sarasota Chapter President 2007 SAR “Meritorious Service Award” 2005 WCR Sarasota “Realtor of the Year”

place. Who knew? The event chair is Lynn Carvel, a retired radiologist from Memphis. SCENE Magazine is a sponsor, along with Speaker Sponsor Helen Glaser and Luncheon Sponsor Susan Milman. Twinkling starlight over the brightly decorated fleet at Sarasota Yacht Club is


the backdrop of Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center’s SPARCCle by the Bay. The dinner


dance, sans auction, thank goodness, is chaired by Lisa Walsh, Sandra Lindqvist, Pat Good, and Carol Chiarella, mixing board members with auxiliary members. Dr. Randall Morgan’s Soul Sensations band will provide the dance music. I always remember Dr. Morgan as the surgeon

We Protect What’s Important To You Because You’re What’s Important To Us!

who repaired my broken ankle several years ago right after he came to town. I

Full-Service Agency:

am sure he doesn’t remember me, though my three breaks were quite impressive!

• Auto • Life

The presenting sponsor is Observer Media Group, followed by Cutting Loose Salon, Gilbane, and Sandra and Per-Erik Lindqvist. Tradition Sarasota






941-921-6630 |

the Ball.

You will see teenage girls, in their frothy

• Home • Retirement

George & Mary Dakkak

“Protecting you is our family business.” December 2013




white gowns and pearl necklaces, doing the deep curtsy to the crowd and then dancing with their uber proud papas in the most formal white tie. The Municipal Auditorium is transformed into a winter white wonderland of graciousness as families gather to usher their darling daughters into society. Each deb has her own big party to celebrate either before or after the big day. I actually heard that one family joined the Field Club just so they could have their daughter’s Deb party there. Well, that does sound reasonable, doesn’t it? This year’s chairs are Bill and Debbie Partridge, whose own daughter, Cameron, made her debut several years ago. Lots of well known names crowd the deb list, but since I don’t have room to list them all, I am forbidden, I tell you, forbidden, by the Deb committee president, to list only a few! Though lots of charity luncheons are mostly inhabited by women, every once in a while you have an event designed for the men in our lives, such as the Child Protection Center’s Men, Whiskey and Watches held


in the Ca D’Zan Cigar Lounge at the Ritz Carlton. And you know something funny? The two chairs are women – Angela Nutter and Courtney Edbrooke. This is what they tell me the event will be like - a speakeasy, stylish event for gentlemen who enjoy the finer things in life while enjoying premium cigars, whiskey tasting, and previewing


                   


     




December 2013

a display of men’s luxury watches and other distinguished men’s retailers. And considering who the sponsor is, let’s not forget the Lamborghinis that will be on display! Who IS the presenting sponsor? It’s Lamborghini and BMW of Sarasota, followed by Diamond Vault and Graci and Dennis McGillicuddy. Here is hoping all your days are merry and bright and filled with all the good things that are offered in the land of sand and sequins! Happy Holidays! Until next time…TaTa! Debbi Benedict is SCENE’s society maven and Special Issues Director. Contact Debbi at 941-483-4460 or


Annual Callaghan Tire Charity Pro-Am Golf Tournament

Over 27 pro-legends of golf were on hand for the three-day Callaghan Tire Charity Pro-Am Golf Tournament held at both The Concession Golf Club and the Ritz-Carlton Members Club. Golf legends included Tony Jacklin, Dana Quigley, Larry Laoretti, Dow Finsterwald, Bobby Nichols and Hollis Stacy to name a few. The fun kicked-off with a practice round and pairings party the first day, tournament play and “Tall Tales” Party on day two, and concluded with third day play and an awards ceremony. Organized by Dan Callaghan, CEO of Callaghan Tire, one hundred percent of the tournament proceeds go to Golfers Against Cancer, which supports cancer research. Event sponsors were Scene Magazine and Hooters Restaurant. Over the past seven years, the event has generated over $300,000 for Golfers Against Cancer. Photos by Josh Baldo

David Edwards

Joe Bornstein & David Brooks

Betty Callaghan, Dow Finsterwald & Marry Ellen Adamski

Margaret Henderson, Ian & Betty Dunn

Denise & Robert Gamez

The Players Theatre “A Night to Remember”

The Board of Directors, Committee and Staff at The Players Theatre worked together to plan, market and produce “A Night to Remember”, with 12 nominees and attendees being wined and dined by the culinary arts of Michaels on East. Entertainment included Catherine Randazzo singing “How Lucky can You Get”; Joseph Strickland joining her for “Money Money”; Jen Baker singing “Diamonds are Forever”; and  Sarah Farnum singing “Glitter and be Gay”.  Four incredible kids who are part of The Players Studio stole the show with “There’s No Business like Show Business.”  Honorary chair Eve Caballero entertained with her raucous rendition of “Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend.” Joyce Valentine rounded out the entertainment by accompanying the stars and performing timeless Gershwin hits throughout the evening.  The entire evening proved to be not only a successful Karen Koblenz, Christine Jennings & Michelle Bianchi Pingel

Jeffery Kin & Eve Caballero

Bob Trisolini & Bob Nosal

fundraiser, but an incredible night of giving thanks and showing appreciation to The Players valued volunteer nominees.

Photos by

Nathaniel & JoAnn Green & Barbara & Dick Johnson

Janet Schaberg, Catherine Randazzo & Maria Llovio December 2013




By Joy Weston

T H E P E O P L E & PA S S I O N B E H I N D C O M M U N I T Y P H I L A N T H R O P Y

“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.” – Eleanor Roosevelt Want to know the feeling of joy? Give a little. Want to really

entering its 14th year, was created by the Herald-Tribune Me-

be filled with joy? Give a lot. Give yourself to another through

dia Group and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.

a kind gesture, thoughtful action, compassion, generosity and

Season of Sharing has raised and distributed more than $9 mil-

support in challenging times, and your own life will change in

lion since its inception. The partnership is enhanced by a col-

ways unimaginable. Even though we grew up being told that it's

laboration of media partners; significant matching dollars from

better to give than to receive, until there was actual scientific

The Patterson Foundation and the William G. and Marie Selby

proof as to the personal benefits, many never fully embraced

Foundation; over 60 businesses; and, us ordinary folk. While the

the idea. But now there is definitive research that shows simply

average gift amount was $169, more than 70% of gifts were $100

contemplating generosity boosts your immune system; love and

or less, proving everyone can be a philanthropist.

a tender touch heals wounds, relieves pain and makes the heart much stronger for a healthier longer life. How’s that for a ROI?

SOS was created to help individuals and families on the verge of homelessness who reside in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte

A study on altruism showed that subjects watching a movie

and DeSoto counties. The funds are used for rental assistance,

about Mother Theresa helping orphans saw the number of pro-

utility bills, child care, transportation, food vouchers and oth-

tective antibodies in their saliva surge and when focusing on times

er expenses associated with helping families get back on their

when they've loved or been loved by others, their antibody levels

feet. Thirteen nonprofit agencies distribute the funds: All Faiths

stayed elevated for hours. Those listening to and connecting with

Food Bank; Catholic Charities for Sarasota and DeSoto Coun-

others, who are experiencing a similar pain, felt their own pain

ty; Community Coalition on Homelessness for Manatee County;

greatly reduced. It also revealed that when people simply made

Jewish Family & Children’s Service for Sarasota County; Manatee

the decision to donate to what they felt was a worthy organization,

Community Action Agency; North Port Social Services for Sara-

parts of the midbrain lit up – the same region that controls cravings

sota County; Resurrection House for Sarasota County; Salvation

for food and sex. It’s the release of endorphins as the brain churns

Army Sarasota; Senior Friendship Centers for Sarasota County;

out another pleasurable response when we engage in the act of

United Way 2-1-1 of Manasota; United Way for Charlotte Coun-

being generous that is actually inherently rewarding.

ty; and 75 other agencies can request funds on behalf of clients

Living in a paradise as we do can sometimes be like a mi-

and the funds are distributed throughout the year.

rage in the desert – everything looks and feels so beautiful. The

United Way 2-1-1 of Manasota’s Executive Director Jessica

harsh realities of the difficult circumstances and challenges oth-

Ventimiglia spoke to the importance of SOS. “United Way 2-1-1

ers are experiencing just minutes away from our door are often

of Manasota is honored to partner as a fiscal agent for the SOS

defused and overlooked. Yet it’s important to remember that no

Fund to help those in need in Sarasota County. The SOS Fund

matter how bad you think your life is, someone somewhere is

provides a “hand up” and not just a “hand out” for residents

fighting just to survive. Fortunately we have the privilege of be-

who, due to losing employment, having hours reduced, illness,

ing able to support some incredible organizations that not only

and other unexpected expenses, fall behind on their payments

see beyond, but day after day, year after year, continue to make

for housing, utilities and other basic needs. Our 2-1-1 prevention

a difference in changing lives. Hopefully what you are about to

and screening forms are designed to ensure the wonderful do-

read will inspire you to help and give what you can now, never

nations from the community are used properly as “last resort”

forgetting that some small thing you do can mean everything in

assistance. The Community Foundation and partner agencies

another person’s life.

cover all expenses of administering the SOS monies so 100%

Season of Sharing (SOS), an annual philanthropic fund now




December 2013

of the donations received are used to assist our grateful clients.”

Ventimiglia shared a story of a family who benefited directly from the SOS fund. “Recently, we helped a mother with three teenagers obtain housing. This mom was a nurse that had her job eliminated, was evicted from her home and essentially homeless. Subsequently, she found a job, but the long commute aggravated a health issue and the cost of car repairs and gas caused financial difficulties for her family again. Through the generous contributions of donors to the SOS Fund, we were able to relocate this hard working mom to a small house near her job at the hospital. In her words, gratitude and


thankfulness doesn’t come close to how her family feels.” For Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Sarasota-Manatee (JFCS), SOS funds have helped them provide valuable community assistance. According to Phil Gorelick, VP for Programs at JFCS, “The SOS funds have been an invaluable resource for the community and enables JFCS to support people who are literally homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. SOS funds help fill financial assistance gaps which cannot be provided through mainstream federal or state funding. In addition to providing SOS funds for JFCS participants in the Building Strong Families Homeless Prevention Program and the Operation Military Assistance Program for Veterans and their family members, JFCS acts as a fiscal intermediary for SOS funds providing funds to clients served by other organizations throughout Sarasota County. JFCS is a proud partner of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County providing these much needed financial supports to the citizens of Sarasota County.” “Without Season of Sharing, there often would be no funding for the many people we see struggling to keep themselves and their families housed. It is difficult if not impossible to calculate the value this fund provides to our communities,” said Steve Wilson, Board President of Turning Points. "This community would look very different without Season of Sharing, especially as we approach the holidays.  We have families with children that have nowhere to go. Individuals and couples who lost their home due to a fire


or the families whose homes were condemned because the building was deemed unsafe

furniture • clothing • home décor

to live in. Those clichés like "living paycheck to paycheck" or "one step away from being

bedding • artwork

on the street" is real life. We have an overwhelming number of applications that come in every month for financial assistance. Whether they are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, they have hope that they can get back on their feet.  With SOS this is possible. It is measurable help that makes a difference in people’s lives. It provides a new life, change and an opportunity to live." According to Major Ethan Frizzel of The Salvation Army, “The effective compassion of the SOS funds allow the community to invest in the efforts of individuals on a journey of self sufficiency and self-worth. SOS funds are the preferred tool of case managers as the funds remove barriers and creates those opportunities for self sufficiency. Season for Sharing is a concept we all need to embrace all year long if we truly want to make a difference.”

appliances • doors • windows lighting • cabinets

Funds from the ReStore support affordable housing for families! For store donation pick up:

(941) 363-0777

Feeling blessed? I hope so, because if you are reading this piece, you are. With the campaign about to begin, think about these words and dig deep. “When giving away your money, it helps to think of it as more than bits of paper and scraps of metal. That's not a $20 bill you're slipping into the envelope or quarters into a jar. It's soup or a blanket or a bottle of medicine… possibly a new drug trial, respite care or a light against enveloping darkness. Charity in its finest sense is always an act of the creative imagination (and love).” (March 2008, O, The Oprah Magazine).

Joy Weston is an International Best-Selling Author, Inspiring Speaker, Communications Coach, and a devotee of making a difference. Contact

Habitat for Humanity ReStore 2095 17th Street 4408 Bee Ridge Road Store Hours: Mon. - Sat. 9am - 5pm Closed Sunday December 2013





LITERARY S By Ryan G. Van Cleave

Montooth 3: Red Cross of Gold by Robert Jay (Cloverleaf, hardcover, 534 pages, $21.99)

Robert Jay’s new action adventure book is the third in his award-winning Montooth quintet. The good news is that even if this is the first of the series you’re encountering, the story works well enough on its own. Here’s what’s happening in book 3. It’s 1954. Carty Andersson and The Crew — Blake, Hale, and Mack — are finishing their senior year of high school and readying to attend Purdue University. They soon find themselves swept up into the bizarre murder of a university professor. The prime suspect? Carty, thanks to her skill with a bow and arrow. To make matters worse, Dolder, Carty’s nemesis, is hatching new plans to make her life miserable even as the police increase their own brand of pressure on Carty. Clearly, Jay likes to give his stories additional depth by using historical backdrops in this series. Montooth 1 features the ins and outs of the cigar industry in 1900s Tampa. Montooth 2 has British Burma. “By setting the Montooth quintet in the 1950s,” Jay notes, “I am able to play the innocence of the period against the developing Cuban Revolution that gains prominence as the series progresses.” Plus he includes the advent of rock ‘n roll, which is one of the most exciting parts of the mid 1950s. In the spirit of W.E.B. Griffin, this fast-moving tale blends history, action, and mystery. While this book is billed as a young adult title, the complex relationships and richly described world of the characters will readily appeal to adult readers, too. Give it a shot and watch how tomboy Carty’s pluck and luck will carry her through some amazing adventures. For those who want a sneak peek of books 4 and 5, Jay admits that once college is behind the main characters, they’ll become deeply involved with the Cuban Revolution in a variety of ways. Sounds exciting! For more information on Robert Jay or Montooth 3: Red Cross of Gold, please visit

The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M. Edsel (Center Street Press, paperback, 512 pages, $16.99)

If you haven’t heard of this book, you sure will soon. It’s being made into a movie featuring George Clooney, John Goodman, Billy Murray, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, and other household Hollywood names. Watch for it in February of 2014. As World War II moved on, Adolf Hitler charged his armies with finding and hoarding all the art treasures of Europe. Those that he deemed “degenerate” were to be destroyed. That’s the story this book covers — the eleventh-month period between D-Day (June 6, 1944) and V-E Day (May 8, 1945) where a team of American and British volunteers risked their lives to travel through Europe with the goal of rescuing as many art works as they could. These art rescuers were called “The Monuments Men.” These people (women and men) weren’t your typical heroes — they were architects, museum directors, artists, and scholars. And they often went unarmed into dangerous situations in order to do their work. The Nazis were thorough in their plundering. In Paris alone, it was




December 2013

estimated that they stole 22,000 pieces of art. But the Monuments Men were committed to saving and preserving as many of the cultural artifacts as they could. From 13 nations they came, and all told, about 350 people ultimately participated in this amazing endeavor that had for too long gone untold. By 1945 alone, they had recovered an astonishing 5 million artistic and cultural items, ranging from masterpiece paintings (Rembrandt, Da Vinci, and Michelangelo) to insect collections to tapestries to engravings to jewelry. For WWII buffs, author Robert Edsel covers some of the wars most notable battles. Salerno. D-Day. Saint-Lo. Aachen. The Bulge. Naples. Even General Dwight D. Eisenhower has a real presence in the book, starting with his decision to add art preservation to his war goals af-

ProuDly Present:

People of the booK Thursday Jan. 16, 2014 • 7:00 pm Riverview

High School Auditorium,

1 Ram Way, Sarasota, FL

ter the destruction of the mountain-top abbey in Monte Cassino in southern Italy by Ally bombs. From then on, he had standing orders to “protect and respect” which were carried out through the voices and actions of the Monuments Men. After a career in the oil and gas business, Edsel moved to Europe to pursue his interests in the arts. While there, he started wondering about how WWII affected the art world. The Monuments Men is part of what he learned after extensive research. He also coproduced the related documentary film The Rape of Europa and co-wrote Rescuing Da Vinci, a photographic history that reveals the extent of the Nazis’ looting and the Allies’ work to retrieve those pieces of art. Edsel didn’t stop by sharing this story via films and books.


robert edsel

Author, producer, founder and president of the Monuments Men Foundation

tiCKetS ARe FRee with minimum gift of $36 (individual) or $72 (family) to the 2013 development efforts of the Jewish Federation.

He is the founder and president of the 501(c)(3) Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, which earned him a National Humanities Medal in 2007. The foundation is still on the hunt for finding lost art or adding to their archive of information on the Monuments Men. Have a tip for them? Use the contact form on the website or call 1-866-WWII-ART. The Monuments Men is an exciting read. While Edsel took some liberties by imagining the conversations and thoughts of the Monuments Men, the rest of the stories are firmly based on historical documents and records. Taken together, it’s a compelling, fascinating story that’s well-told. For more information on The Monuments Men book, foundation, or film, please visit

A soon-to-be major motion picture, starring George Clooney Bill Murray & Matt Damon!

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newSpaper SponSor

December 2013






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ASOLO REPERTORY THEATRE REPORTS ON ITS ENDOWMENT MATCHING CHALLENGE GRANT Asolo Repertory Theatre announced that two anonymous donors have put forth a matching challenge for Asolo Rep’s Endowment in partnership with Gulf Coast Community Foundation. The mission of the Campaign is to secure debt-free facilities and equipment essential to Asolo Rep’s mission, and to build and strengthen the theatre’s endowment. With the Matching Challenge, the focus of the Campaign has been shifted to building Asolo Rep’s endowment in order to protect investments and expand the theatre’s artistic and educational possibilities. The Matching Challenge Grant officially began in the summer of 2013. The goal of the Challenge, which will end June 30, 2018, is to raise $6 million in outright endowment gifts, which will result in $2 million from the Matching Grant. The grant will match $1 for every $3 Asolo Rep raises, and the minimum gift to be matched is $5,000.

SARASOTA OPERA RECEIVES $50,000 GRANT FROM GCCF Sarasota Opera was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, which will complete the necessary funding for film projection equipment for the Opera House. The equipment will enable Sarasota Opera to create an opera broadcast and film series during the off-season, expanding Sarasota Opera’s programming from the fall and winter season to yeararound.  In addition, the increased technical capacity will allow rental partners the opportunity to increase their programming possibilities. This new capability will also add to Sarasota Opera’s extensive educational offerings and give it more flexibility to engage new audiences in opera. Additional support for this project includes a grant of $60,000 from the William and Marie Selby Foundation as well as an $18,000 “Building Opera Audiences” grant from Opera America, the service organization for opera companies in the U.S. and Canada.

CIRCUS SARASOTA ANNOUNCES NEW BRAND, POSITIONING AND EXPANDED SEASON Pedro Reis and Dolly Jacobs, the co-founders of Circus Sarasota, have announced a new brand: The Circus Arts Conservatory. The Circus Arts Conservatory supports a non-profit vision of taking its programs, Circus Sarasota, the newly named Sailor Circus Academy and dedicated Education and Humor Therapy programs to the next level, improving facilities and leveraging a reputation as a nationally recognized center for Circus Arts, performance, training and outreach.

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF SARASOTA COUNTY APPROVES OVER $2.3 MILLION IN GRANTS AND SCHOLARSHIPS At its October meeting, the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County approved more than $2.3 million in grants and scholarships. This total included more than $250,000 for scholarships: $180,000 for adult learner, theater and performing arts, and certified nursing scholarships, and $73,000 for multi-year continuing college scholarships. Also included was $600,000 for distribution to nonprofit partners in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto Counties from the Season of Sharing Fund, which provides targeted financial assistance – primarily for rent or mortgage, or utilities – for individuals and families on the verge of homelessness.

SARASOTA MEMORIAL HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION, INC. FISCAL YEAR GRANTS REACH $1.4 MILLION 259 South Links Avenue Sarasota, Florida 34236 Michael B. Edwards, Broker Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Certified by National Association of Realtors




December 2013

Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation, Inc.’s board of trustees approved grants totaling $1.4 million during the past fiscal year—Oct. 1, 2012 through Sept. 30, 2013, bringing the total of grants made to more than $50 million with $75 million raised since 1976. The Healthcare Foundation’s ENVISION philosophy is designed to seek support for the community’s current and future healthcare needs. Some examples of these recent grants to Sarasota Memorial Health Care System and other qualified community organizations include: $152,051 for six new LED surgical lights for the Cape Surgery Center. $150,806 for 45 continuing education grants to benefit more than 100 hospital staff members; and $128,600 for two zero-gravity radiation protection shields for the cath labs.

Tomorrow’s medical care, today.


the possibilities.

GIVE TOday fOr TOmOrrOw.




December 2013 issue of Scene Magazine

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