Good News Friday: Good Deeds - April 11, 2014

By Chelsey Lucas April 10, 2014

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For the third consecutive year, April has been proclaimed as Florida Landscape Architecture Month, a concurrent recognition with the national designation from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Landscape architect Michael A. Gilkey, ASLA, of Sarasota, is teaming up with Mariposa Nursery to lead Southside Elementary School’s youngest students in the design and construction of shoebox butterfly gardens. To learn more or to invite a Florida landscape architect to speak at your school, visit



New Balance Sarasota is hosting a free 5K Run for Boston Fun Run to show support for all who were involved in or affected by the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. All ages and abilities are welcome. Participants are asked to wear yellow and blue to celebrate the race and its history in running. The run starts at 7 a.m. next Saturday, April 19, at New Balance Sarasota, 1872 Stickney Point Road. Advance registration at is appreciated; day-of registration is available at 6:30 a.m.



Pat and John Neal of Neal Communities have donated $2,500 to the All Faiths Food Bank “Campaign Against Summer Hunger,” which kicked off on April 1 and will run through May 10. During the Campaign, nonperishable food donations will be accepted year-round at Goodwill Manasota locations as well as Sarasota County fire stations, and cash donations are welcome. The goal of the campaign is to gather 600,000 pounds of food, which is equivalent to $1 million, to keep children and their families fed over the summer when school is out of session.



Lakewood Ranch-based Halfacre Construction is a Boss Hog sponsor with a $2,500 donation to the fifth annual Suncoast BBQ & Bluegrass Bash taking place next Friday and Saturday, April 18-19, at the Venice Municipal Airport. Admission and parking are free. Events will include a BBQ cook-off contest that will serve as a qualifier for the Food Network’s World Food Championships, Jack Daniels World Championships and the American Royal World Series of Barbecuing competitions with $15,000 in prizes, as well as music, family activities and more. Proceeds will be used to support and maintain the Suncoast Foundation for Handicapped Children’s facilities in Sarasota County.



For the past 10 years, several employees from Benderson Development Company have volunteered to deliver meals for Meals on Wheels of Sarasota. To overcome the difficulties of delivering food along the route during lunch hours, the employees formed a team to share in the responsibilities, rather than individuals trying to accommodate their schedules singularly. Benderson is hopeful its approach can be adopted by other community-minded firms to aid in the distribution of meals.



The Foundation for Dreams and Dream Oaks Camp is the recipient of a $32,500 grant awarded by the Junior League of Manatee County to help assist in the construction of an all-accessible playground and a new program golf cart. The check was presented to the kids, who are so excited to play, explore and have a playground that is engaging and appropriate for all ability levels.



As part of the Legacy of Valor campaign, honor our veterans and their families at a USO-style show directed by Rick Kerby, creative director of the Manatee Performing Arts Center. The event takes place from 6-8:30 p.m. tomorrow, April 12, at McKechnie Field. Advance tickets are $2 at the box office, $4 online or $8 the day of the event. Proceeds will benefit Manasota Operation Troop Support.



The Gulf Coast Community Foundation has approved a $30,000 grant for Florida Studio Theatre’s development and production of “For the Ages: A Cultural Gerontology Project,” a new initiative that will create a premiere docudrama comprised of interviews with audience members and experts on the issues of aging. At 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 10, a working draft of the play will be the centerpiece of FST’s Richard and Betty Burdick New Play Festival in the Keating Theatre.



Able Challengers is hosting a symposium to the public from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. tomorrow, April 12, at The Institute for Advanced Medicine, 5880 Rand Blvd. in Sarasota. Service providers such as Vocational Rehab, Suncoast Center for Independent Living, Sarasota Memorial Hospital Group and SCAT will be available to educate the community on the resources available to the public at little or no cost. For more information, call (941) 917-4156.

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