Gulf Coast Community Foundation has awarded $410,000 in grants ranging from $30,000-$65,000 to nine regional arts and cultural organizations: Asolo Repertory Theatre ($65,000), Embracing Our Differences ($40,000), Florida Studio Theatre ($40,000), John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art ($50,000), Sarasota Ballet ($55,000), Sarasota Opera ($50,000), Sarasota Orchestra ($50,000), Venice Symphony ($30,000) and Venice Theatre ($30,000). The unrestricted grants may be used as the organizations best see fit to advance their artistic missions.
Manasota B.U.D.S. (Bringing Up Down Syndrome), a volunteer-based organization whose mission is to promote understanding and acceptance of Down Syndrome, will hold its 14th Annual Manasota B.U.D.S. Buddy Walk from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. tomorrow, Oct. 17 at Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival, 5500 C.R. 675 in Bradenton. The goals of The National Buddy Walk Program are to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome and to positively influence local and national policy and practice. Last year alone, Buddy Walk events raised nearly $13 million to benefit national advocacy initiatives, as well as local programs and services.
Through Veterans Day (Nov. 11), area businesses and restaurants will participate in Goodwill Manasota’s “Buck Up” program to benefit veterans. Participating businesses will invite patrons to contribute a dollar at the point of sale; proceeds from this initiative will benefit the Special Emergency Resources for Veterans (SERV) program. Businesses interested in joining should call (941) 355-2721 and request Veterans Services. To support Goodwill’s SERV initiative through a financial contribution, visit experiencegoodwill.org.
Shore brand raised $700 for Mote Marine Laboratory through a raffle during its week-long Locals Appreciation Week. The raffle featured prizes from local businesses, including Yoga SRQ, PAINT Nail Bar, Purity Med Spa, Darwin Brewing and ZU Vodka.
Attention, foodies: Tomorrow, Oct. 17, the Junior League of Sarasota will present the second annual Art of Food Festival from 6-10 p.m. at the Selby Public Library to raise funds to fight local hunger. The evening will consist of four courses: The Art of the Cocktail inspired by the Asolo Repertory Theatre; The Art of the Appetizer inspired by the Sarasota Opera; The Art of the Entrée inspired by the Sarasota Orchestra; and, The Art of Dessert inspired by the Sarasota Ballet. General admission tickets are $125. More information here. Then on Oct. 30, Easter Seals of Southwest Florida will host Un-Forked: A Grazing Event at the Easter Seals campus, 350 Braden Ave. Advance tickets are $35, or $45 at the door. Go here for details.
Today Cat Depot will honor National Feral Cat Day by working with local animal advocates and providing spay/neuter and provide any additional medical care for 16 feral cats from a local colony. Cat Depot will also hold a private ribbon cutting and dedication of the Caroline Resnick Surgery Suite in the Rose Durham Cat Care Clinic at 2 p.m. today.