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  • 13 Oct 2021 3:07 PM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    Children First is proud to announce that The Challenge for Changing Lives has raised over $2.3MM in honor of Children First’s 60th Anniversary.

    The matching gift challenge was led by the Diamond Circle, a dedicated group of extraordinary supporters leading the charge in advancing the mission of strengthening children and families.

    Their combined contribution matched, dollar for dollar $1,060,000, given by hundreds of individuals and couples, private foundations, and corporations, all within our local community.

    The key philanthropists comprising the Diamond Circle membership include: two anonymous donors providing gifts totaling just over $300,000; individuals, couples and foundations providing gifts of $60,000 each including: Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, Dawn and Mitchell Epstein, Julie and Brock Leach, Joan and Dr. Bart Levenson, Katherine and Frank Martucci, Elenor Maxheim in loving memory of John Maxheim, Keith Monda and Veronica Brady, Leslie and Dick Rivera, Gaye and Jack Schwarz, and Karen Solem in loving memory of Charles Forman; couples joining together to form Diamond Circles with combined gifts from $20,000 to $30,000 including: John Bean and Alexandra Jupin, Lisa and John Giglio, Carol and Richard Kalikow, and Bob and Lin Williams; and couples and individuals comprising a Diamond Circle with gifts from $10,000 including: Alison and Howie Madsen in loving memory of Gerri Aaron, Jo and Stan Rutstein, Mike Rutstein, and CEO Philip Tavill.

    “The shared commitment from our Diamond Circle members and all who joined The Challenge is an investment, not just in the futures of our children and families, but the future of our community and the world we live in. As we celebrate Children First’s 60th Anniversary, we are deeply grateful for this heartfelt support that will result in social, educational, and economic dividends now and well into the future,” says CEO Philip Tavill. 

    “It has been amazing to see this trailblazing philanthropy from some of our most passionate supporters inspire a community-wide challenge that was not just met but exceeded,” says Vice President of Philanthropy Jessica Rogers. “This is a beautiful representation not just of this historic milestone for our agency, but of the greater Sarasota community’s vision to create equal access to opportunities so that all can thrive.”

    In 1961, the Junior League of Sarasota founded the Sarasota Day Nursery with a mission to prepare children from low-income families for kindergarten. In 1994, the agency became Sarasota County’s exclusive provider of Head Start services. With Early Head Start services added in 1998 and a name change to Children First in 2000, the organization grew rapidly, driven by the high demand for quality early childhood education and family strengthening programs within economically vulnerable communities.

    Today, Children First has expanded to serve hundreds of children and their families annually at 15 locations across North Port, Sarasota, and Venice. As a four-time designated Head Start Program of Excellence, the agency ranks in the top 1% of over 1,800 programs nationwide.

    Children First’s founding principles are woven throughout its history, continuing the vision of providing children and families with opportunities for success, regardless of circumstance at birth or in life.

    About Children First:

    Founded in 1961 and ranked in the top 1% out of over 1,800 Head Starts nationwide, Children First strengthens children and families by improving the quality of their lives through a comprehensive approach to development, education, health, and well-being. At 15 sites throughout Sarasota County, Children First offers full-day preschool, infant and toddler care, and nutrition and health care assistance to children ages birth to five years old from low-income families. Through Children First, the children receive the social and cognitive skills needed to enter kindergarten and elementary school on track. For more information, call (941) 953-3877 or go to childrenfirst.net.


  • 12 Oct 2021 12:43 PM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    On Aug. 24, 2021, the Board of County Commissioners adopted Resolution No. 2021-140, replacing the attributes methodology currently used to calculate water and wastewater capacity fees with a fixture count methodology. This is based on published industry data, applicable values within the Florida Plumbing Code, and water and wastewater demand data that is readily available to the county for projects and properties with similar attributes and service conditions or characteristics. This includes other reasonable data and information as the county deems applicable, in accordance with the code and applicable county manuals, rules, policies, standards and/or regulations. The new methodology takes effect Jan. 1, 2022.

    On Aug. 24, 2021, the Board of County  Commissioners approved Resolution No. 2021-140 regarding the Sarasota County Utilities System Water and Wastewater Equivalent Dwelling Units Table replacing Resolution No. 2018-163.

    The EDU fixture count methodology determines the fees due pursuant to Chapter 126, Article II, and Chapter 70 Articles VI and VII of the Sarasota County Code and other such fees and assessments adopted by the Board of County Commissioners.


  • 12 Oct 2021 9:10 AM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    Starting this coming Saturday and continuing once a month through March 2022, Goodwill Manasota is making its Selby/Newtown Job Connection location available for free prostate screenings, offered by the Sarasota Prostate Initiative. The PSA blood tests will be done in the parking lot the third Saturday of every month, in an effort to help the surrounding community be aware of their health status and options for treatment, should a problem be identified.


  • 29 Sep 2021 10:58 AM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    PROPERTY APPRAISER AND TAX COLLECTOR OFFICES RE-OPEN IN NORTH PORT CITY HALL

    On October 5th, Sarasota County Property Appraiser Bill Furst and Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates will re-open their offices in North Port City Hall Tuesday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Due to the high volume of customers, Tax Collector services are available to Sarasota County residents only and an appointment is required. Customers can schedule an appointment at www.SarasotaTaxCollector.com or 941.861.8300 (walk-in customers will not be accepted). No appointments are necessary for the Office of the Property Appraiser.

    According to Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates, “Customer and staff safety is important; therefore, to help prevent community transmission, CDC guidelines will be followed.” Property Appraiser Bill Furst added, “We both have been eager to re-open the office, and are happy to once again provide these services to North Port residents.”

    In partnership with the City of North Port, the Property Appraiser and Tax Collector have maintained a permanent office in North Port City Hall since 2011. For more information about each elected official, visit:

    • www.SC-PA.com for the Property Appraiser, and
    • www.SarasotaTaxCollector.com for the Tax Collector.
  • 29 Sep 2021 9:38 AM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    Sarasota, FL (September 29, 2021) – Children First has been recognized as a top employer in Sarasota-Manatee in the “Best Places to Work” competition for the third consecutive year. Hosted by independent firm Best Companies Group and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the competition identifies and recognizes our area’s top employers who demonstrate workplace excellence and are known for retaining and recruiting the best and brightest employees.

    Companies representing thousands of local employees all vied to make the list. Children First was one of four nonprofit organizations to be recognized and ultimately selected for our mission-driven approach to employment. To qualify, our agency of more than 200 staff members was asked to complete a confidential Employee Engagement & Satisfaction Survey worth 75% of the overall score.

    “As we celebrate our 60th anniversary and my 25th anniversary as CEO, Children First is deeply

    honored to be recognized as a best place to work for the third year in a row. Since 1961, we’ve concentrated on our mission of strengthening children and families and providing each employee every opportunity to be successful. During this tumultuous time, our amazing team has remained laser-focused on their commitment to serving our community and now, together, we celebrate them in making Children First the best place to work every day!” says CEO Philip Tavill.

    About Children First:

    Founded in 1961 and ranked in the top 1% out of over 1,800 Head Starts nationwide, Children First strengthens children and families by improving the quality of their lives through a comprehensive approach to development, education, health, and well-being. At 15 sites throughout Sarasota County, Children First offers full-day preschool, infant and toddler care, and nutrition and health care assistance to children ages birth to five years old from low-income families. Through Children First, the children receive the social, emotional, and cognitive skills needed to enter kindergarten and elementary school on track. For more information, call (941) 953-3877 or go to childrenfirst.net.


  • 21 Sep 2021 1:39 PM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    BUSINESS TAX DUE BY SEPTEMBER 30TH

    Sarasota County Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates reminds all business owners that the 2021-2022 Sarasota County Business Tax is due by Thursday, September 30th. The county business tax is required if you are engaging in a business, profession or occupation located within Sarasota County. Any business that has not received a renewal notice or a new business that has not registered should contact the Tax Collector immediately at 941.861.8300, option 3 or Info@SarasotaTaxCollector.com.

    The quickest and easiest way to pay is at www.SarasotaTaxCollector.com. A Business Tax Receipt can be printed immediately after online payment. Payments can also be mailed to 101 S. Washington Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34236 or placed in a 24-hour drop box located at the:

    • Adams Lane entrance of the Terrace Building in downtown Sarasota, 101 S. Washington Blvd.
    • building entrance of the Mid-County Office, 6100 Sawyer Loop Rd.
    • north building entrance of the Anderson Administration Center in Venice, 4000 S. Tamiami Trl.
    • utility payment drive-thru “bypass lane” at North Port City Hall, 4970 City Hall Blvd.

    Customers wishing to pay in person are encouraged to schedule an appointment at www.SarasotaTaxCollector.com. While walk ins are accepted, there may be a wait or customers may be turned away if the office is at capacity.

    Any county business tax which remains unpaid after Thursday will be delinquent and additional money will be due. Businesses in the cities of Sarasota, Venice, North Port, and the Town of Longboat Key may also be required to pay a city business tax; contact city/town hall for more information.

    About the Sarasota County Tax Collector’s Office

    Sarasota County Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates has four offices located throughout Sarasota County. The Tax Collector’s Office handles property, tourist, and business taxes; motor vehicle, vessel, and manufactured home titles and registration; drivers’ licenses; disabled parking permits; and hunting & fishing licenses. For more information about the Sarasota County Tax Collector, visit www.SarasotaTaxCollector. “Like” and “follow” the Tax Collector on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SarasotaTaxCollector.


  • 21 Sep 2021 1:36 PM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    BECKSTEIN CHARITABLE FUND OF MANATEE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION AWARDS $250,000 TO MOTE SEA

    September 21, 2021 (Bradenton, FL)- The Beckstein Charitable Fund of Manatee Community Foundation has awarded a $200,000 grant to the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium’s Science Education Aquarium (SEA). The Fund has provided $250,000 to Mote SEA since 2018.

    “Gene and Anne Beckstein have invested in the transformational growth of many organizations with regional and national impact over the years, including Manatee Performing Arts Center, Southeastern Guide Dogs, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County, and Mote Marine Aquarium,” said Susie Bowie, executive director of Manatee Community Foundation. “They are true representatives of the humble and generous givers that support our community.”

    Mote SEA is being planned for 12 acres in the Sarasota County-owned Nathan Benderson Park. The site will double the number of residents and visitors within an hour’s drive of Mote’s outreach facility. Its interactive teaching labs will be accessible to all schools in the region, including no-cost opportunities, so that each child has the chance to discover marine science and technology, first-hand.

    "Our community is so very fortunate to have leading Manatee County philanthropists Gene and Anne Beckstein embrace Mote's vision of 'Oceans for All,’” said Mote President & CEO Dr. Michael P. Crosby. “Their leadership gift to this campaign for the Science Education Aquarium is setting the pace to ensure the new facility's educational programs become a reality for all the K-12 school children in Manatee County."

    Learn more about Manatee Community Foundation online at ManateeCF.org and more about Mote’s SEA at MoteOceansForAll.org.


  • 10 Sep 2021 3:23 PM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    FISHERMEN’S VILLAGE TO HOST 8th ANNUAL KEY LIME & TROPICAL FESTIVAL
    Saturday, September 25, 2021

    Punta Gorda, FL—Fishermen’s Village 8th annual Key Lime & Tropical Fest will be held Saturday, September 25, 2021, 12 noon-4 pm. Shops, Restaurants and Specialty Vendors will be showcasing Key Lime, Tropical and other delights!  Family friendly activities scheduled at various times throughout the day will include:

    • Caribbean Vibes by Nostaljah Band (Center Court)
    • Live music featuring performers Rich McGuire and Bill Crowley (first and third section)
    • Meet and Greet with Misty the Pony from Endless Trails (Harborwalk)
    • Jeff the Juggler Magic Show 1 pm (first section)
    • Star Valle Festival Glitter & Matte Tattoos (near center court)
    • Meet wildlife from Peace River Wildlife Center

     
    Key Lime Specialties available at Village restaurants, in stores and on the promenade to include:

    Good ‘Ole Days Coffee and Ice Cream – Key lime pie ice cream, key lime pie shakes, key lime cookies

    • Simply Sweet – Key Lime Fudge, Key Lime Pie, Key Lime Pie on a stick
    • Turtle Bay and The Pier FV – Key Lime Shooters, drink table with key lime specialty drinks out of fresh pineapples!
    • Asian Professionals Association – Key Lime Inspired chicken and pork
    • Kristi’s Key Lime Cookies
    • Home Performance Alliance – Key Lime Slushie samples
    • Caribbean American Cultural Connections – Key lime dessert
    • Village Fish Market – Key Lime Beer, Cocktails and Pie!
    • Village Brewhouse – dessert, craft beers
    • Captain’s Table and Harpoon Harry’s – cocktails, desserts, chef’s specialties
    Admission and parking for the Key Lime Festival is free and the public is encouraged to attend.
     Fishermen’s Village is located off Marion Avenue in Punta Gorda, FL. 
    1 800 639-0020 or visit on line www.fishermensvillage.com.
     


  • 31 Aug 2021 3:15 PM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    Attorney Kimlyn Walker

    Joins Icard Merrill

    SARASOTA, FL – The law firm of Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen, and Ginsburg, P.A., is pleased to announce that Kimlyn M. Walker has joined the firm as an associate in their Sarasota office. Kimlyn focuses her practice in the areas of land use, zoning, municipal law, and real estate.

    Prior to obtaining her law degree, Kimlyn worked for the Hillsborough County Planning Commission as a land use planner. She has in-depth knowledge and expertise in rezonings, special use requests, land development regulations, comprehensive plans, plan amendments, developments of regional impact, community redevelopment area plans, and neighborhood studies.

    Kimlyn also brings her knowledge and experience in land use planning, including local, regional, and state planning regulations, approval processes, and governmental issues. She has counseled and advised clients on development issues in both unincorporated county and city municipalities.

    With an extensive history in real estate, Kimlyn has excelled in handling residential and commercial real estate matters including negotiating, drafting, and representing clients in real estate purchases, sales, and closings. She has first-hand experience in the acquisition, planning, rezoning, and pre-development of residential projects.

    Kimlyn received her undergraduate degree in education from the University of Florida, and her  J.D. from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

    Icard Merrill is a full-service law firm based in Sarasota, Florida, delivering innovative and effective legal solutions through dedicated and caring professionals. Since 1953, Icard Merrill has offered clients comprehensive legal experience in multiple practice areas, including business and corporate, construction, community association law, estate planning, family law, government and administrative, land use and zoning, litigation, mobile home and manufactured housing, real estate, securities arbitration and litigation, and mediation services. The cornerstone of Icard Merrill is an enduring commitment to excellence, integrity, teamwork, and the community. More information is available at icardmerrill.com.


  • 31 Aug 2021 12:49 PM | Kristie Calandro (Administrator)

    Goodwill helping low-income community members connect to the internet
    With federal assistance through Emergency Broadband Benefit program, Goodwill Manasota is helping those struggling to afford internet service

    BRADENTON/SARASOTA, FL – According to the 2018 Eighth Broadband Progress Report of the Federation Communications Commission (FCC), while broadband is essential to innovation, jobs and global competitiveness, approximately 19 million Americans lack access to high-speed internet. Having appropriate technology and internet access is vital for obtaining information and job-seeking; in our own community, many low-income adults and students are at a disadvantage because they lack the tools and sufficient access to the internet.

    Due to the economic impacts of the pandemic, the digital divide has only widened. In order to help those who are struggling to afford internet service, the Goodwill Industries International network – including Goodwill Manasota – is helping community members to benefit from the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB). This new benefit will help connect eligible households to jobs, critical healthcare services, virtual classrooms, and so much more.

    To be eligible for EBB, community members must have experienced a job loss or furlough, experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020 because they lost their job or were furloughed, or use SNAP, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit, or Tribal Specific Programs.

     This federal benefit program helps qualified households by providing:

    • Up to $50/month discount for broadband service;
    • Up to $75/month discount for households on qualifying Tribal lands; and
    • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet purchased through a participating provider if they contribute more than $10 but less than $50 toward the purchase price.
    Time is limited to access these funds: the EBB program will end when the fund runs out, or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency, whichever is sooner.

    To learn more about Goodwill’s Digital Navigator program and how to access EBB funds, visit Goodwill’s Community Connection office (2705 51st Ave. E., Bradenton) or call Ivette Gonzalez at 941-355-2721, ext. 190. For more about Goodwill, visit experiencegoodwill.org.


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Recent Member News





Hook Kids on Fishing

 

Anglers for Conservation (AFC)

 a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization, in partnership with Fisherman’s Village, is coordinating its engaging Hook Kids on Fishing Program to be held on Saturday, April 11th, 2015 from 10am- 12:00pm at Fishermen's Village (1200 West Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda).

 Kids ages 6 to 16, are welcome and must be accompanied by an adult. The first 100 kids registered and complete the training will receive a free rod and reel to take home! Registration is mandatory by calling King Fisher Fleet at 941-639-2628.

 This hands-on, conservation-minded program teaches casting, fishing safety, knot tying, boating safety, tackle box essentials, catch and release tactics, fishing habitats and conservation, and is taught by professional guides and knowledgeable anglers.

 Community support also provided by Fisherman's Village, King Fisher Fleet, local bait and tackle shops, and local Captains, Aylesworth's Fish & Bait, Canoe Outpost-Peace River, Coastal Angler Magazine, Diiachi Hooks, Fish Florida Foundation and Rio Villa Bait & Tackle

AFC’s mission is to inspire new generations of marine stewards through angling education, habitat restoration and applied conservation practices. For more information, please visit www.AnglersForConservation.org.

 Volunteers are needed and donations are greatly appreciated.

If you’re interested in volunteering please contact Theresa at tellershaw@aol.com or call me 321-433-3340/302-6260

If you would like to sponsor this event, please contact Heather Sears at Heather@AnglersForConservation.org or 321-474-8202.

Hook Kids on Fishing

 

Anglers for Conservation (AFC)

 a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization, in partnership with Fisherman’s Village, is coordinating its engaging Hook Kids on Fishing Program to be held on Saturday, April 11th, 2015 from 10am- 12:00pm at Fishermen's Village (1200 West Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda).

 Kids ages 6 to 16, are welcome and must be accompanied by an adult. The first 100 kids registered and complete the training will receive a free rod and reel to take home! Registration is mandatory by calling King Fisher Fleet at 941-639-2628.

 This hands-on, conservation-minded program teaches casting, fishing safety, knot tying, boating safety, tackle box essentials, catch and release tactics, fishing habitats and conservation, and is taught by professional guides and knowledgeable anglers.

 Community support also provided by Fisherman's Village, King Fisher Fleet, local bait and tackle shops, and local Captains, Aylesworth's Fish & Bait, Canoe Outpost-Peace River, Coastal Angler Magazine, Diiachi Hooks, Fish Florida Foundation and Rio Villa Bait & Tackle

AFC’s mission is to inspire new generations of marine stewards through angling education, habitat restoration and applied conservation practices. For more information, please visit www.AnglersForConservation.org.

 Volunteers are needed and donations are greatly appreciated.

If you’re interested in volunteering please contact Theresa at tellershaw@aol.com or call me 321-433-3340/302-6260

If you would like to sponsor this event, please contact Heather Sears at Heather@AnglersForConservation.org or 321-474-8202.

8430 Enterprise Circle, STE 140
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202

941-757-1664 | info@lwrba.org

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