Giving & Galas


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May 2013

Party Girl: Planned Parenthood Annual Dinner Celebration

Embracing the mission at Planned Parenthood’s annual dinner.

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March 2013

Party Girl: Circus Sarasota Gala

What amazed me at the Circus Sarasota Gala was not silly clowns or garish costumes but all the graceful girls and guys inside their Big Top, installed at the corner of Tuttle and 12th Street for this year’s winter season. I was surprised that the first young lady I met, draped in a sultry canary-yellow […]

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February 2013

Party Girl

What impressed me most, in an extremely impressive evening, was that the attendees at the Designing Women Boutique 10th anniversary gala genuinely enjoy each other’s company. So often at such events, if the people in the room even know each other, that’s about the extent of their relationships. But at the Designing Women Gala, the […]

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Architect John Potvin and his wife Kathy.
November 2012

Curtain Goes Up for Florida Studio Theatre’s New Additions

By Kay Kipling Florida Studio Theatre formally opened its new, renovated, revitalized Gompertz Theatre on First Street Thursday night during its “Next Act” gala, which also took a look back at the theater’s 38-year history in Sarasota. Theater patrons had actually glimpsed the inside of the venerable theater (which started life as a silent motion […]

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September 2012

Sarasota Gives

Capital Ideas Campaigns to build a better future.     One person’s dream can spark a great new organization. By Ilene Denton Barbara Richards, Project 180 “Why did I start this nonprofit? For 30,000 reasons.” Barbara Richards has been working toward launching Project 180—a free, two-year residential program to help former prisoners re-entering the community […]

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September 2012

My World: Karen Mersereau

What’s the hardest thing for a dog to learn? To stop for a branch or something blocking the path that the dog can pass under but the handler will hit. [They also have to learn] intelligent disobedience—refusing a command that would put the handler in immediate danger. What can every dog learn? Dogs are excellent […]

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September 2012

Volunteer of the Year 2012: Mr. Magic

They call him “Mr. Magic,” because many of his contributions occur when no one is looking. In two years, Robert Burns, a 50-year-old golf course irrigation specialist, has given more than 4,000 volunteer hours to Cat Depot—cleaning litter boxes, trapping strays and even parking cars at events. When they do see him, his Cat Depot […]

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September 2012

What Your Gift Can Buy

Want to lend a helping hand to our area’s myriad nonprofits, but not sure where to start? Here are a few of the many giving opportunities, in a range of choices that can fit your passions and your pocketbook. Whether big or small, every donation matters, and you’ll know exactly how you helped to change […]

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September 2012

Diary of a Trophy Wife

Sarasota Magazine’s humor columnist, Bob Plunket (aka Mr. Chatterbox), likes to tease me by calling me a trophy wife. My chance to actually deserve that title came over the phone on a sun-scorched August day from actor and philanthropist extraordinaire Carolyn Michel. “The Community AIDS Network would like for you to be their celebrity dancer […]

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September 2012

36 Hours to Give

5:15 a.m. On March 27 in the pre-dawn quiet throughout Sarasota and Manatee, a buzz was building. Well before sunrise, the windows of the Community Foundation of Sarasota shone bright onto Fruitville Road. Inside, laptops hummed, staffers fidgeted and a projector warmed the back wall of a balloon-filled banquet room. One mile north, Cat Depot […]

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September 2012

Gala Glam

It’s always a wonder how soon the next Sarasota social season arrives when the last one seriously feels like 20 minutes ago. But it is in fact time to transition into the social and stylish swing of things. To help you, I’ve pored over what’s trending from the New York, Paris and Milan runway shows […]

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September 2012

Insider: This Boy’s Life

When Kevin Stalker first went to the Boys and Girls Clubs at age nine, it was a refuge from a home that included violence and drugs. Nine years later, Kevin is honorary winner of the clubs’ regional Youth of the Year competition, with a $5,000 college scholarship. “They don’t usually give an honorary award, but […]

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