Pace Center Girls Embrace Hope; NPR in Sarasota for ‘Listen Up’

Rhythm Girls Embrace Hope

Bay Park Conservancy receives
$100,000 for phase 2 of La Baie

The Van Wezel Foundation Board of Directors has committed $100,000 to help fund Phase 2 of The Bay, the recently opened public park and environmental showcase for Sarasota Bay.

“The Van Wezel Foundation is an important community partner in our aspirations to create a place where arts, culture, environment, nature and recreation intersect,” said AG Lafley, founding CEO of The Bay Park Conservancy. “We are grateful for this meaningful gift as we continue to build a park for all.”

The bay, in development since 2019, opened on October 14 and features over 14 acres of green space, a playground, communal lawns, a fountain garden, multiple walkways, an outdoor “reading room” , an ADA-accessible boat launch, and restored mangroves and shorelines.

The park will cost around $150 million and take 7-10 years to complete in three or more phases. For more information, visit or contact Julia Groom at 941-786-8732 or [email protected]

All Faiths raises $188,000
at the first “FriendsGiving” event

The All Faiths Food Bank raised $188,000 on Sunday for its ThankFULL Tummies campaign, an annual effort to distribute turkeys to neighbors facing hunger during the holidays.

The first “FriendsGiving” fundraiser, which will become All Faiths’ flagship event for the holidays, hosted 150 guests at Mattison’s Forty-One. Major sponsors included Mariner Wealth Advisors, Bruce and Elaine Burton, Dennis and Dawn Doughty, and Ron and Jo Jadin.

“Tough economic conditions, rising cost of living across the state, and now the impacts of Hurricane Ian are hitting hardest on those most at risk in our community,” said Sandra Frank, CEO of All Faiths. “We are so grateful to all of our sponsors and guests who ensured that thousands of our hungry neighbors had the opportunity to enjoy a delicious, healthy holiday meal.”

All Faiths’ goal is to distribute over 13,000 turkeys and 3.6 million holiday meals through its own distributions and through a network of 200 agency partners. For more information or to donate to the ThankFULL campaign, visit

WUSF ‘Listen Up’ to host
NPR’s Meghna Chakrabarti

Meghna Chakrabarti, host of National Public Radio “On Point,” will travel to Sarasota on Nov. 1 for WUSF’s “Listen Up Luncheon” series at the Sarasota Yacht Club, 1100 John Ringling Blvd.

Meghna Chakrabarti is an award-winning NPR radio host based in Boston.

Chakrabarti, an award-winning radio host based in Boston, is an environmental scientist with degrees from Oregon State, Harvard and Boston University. She is the former host of “Modern Love: The Podcast” (a collaboration with the New York Times). She has won awards for her reporting from the Associated Press and the Radio Television News Directors Association.

Dorey Scheimer, editor of “On Point,” will lead the discussion, which begins at noon. Registration is at 11:30 a.m. For more information on the program, tickets and sponsorships, including a meet and greet with Chakrabarti, visit

Youth Empowerment Program
receives a donation of $25,000

The Laurel Civic Association recently received $25,000 from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County to support the youth empowerment program.

“Our youth programs have set the stage for great success by ensuring that every child and teen who comes to us is empowered to succeed,” said Laurel Civic Executive Director Peter Casamento.

The Community Foundation partners with Laurel Civic to support John Jefferson youth empowerment programs, including advanced technology, dynamic speakers and enhanced learning opportunities. Programs include the Homework Help Program, Teen Empowerment Summer Camp, and Summer Reading Program for Young Children. Visit to learn more.

Around and around…

The Fifth Annual Team Tony Cancer Foundation Gran Fondo Sarasota Cycling Fundraiser — postponed Oct. 16 due to damage from Hurricane Ida — was rescheduled to Dec. 4 at Nathan Benderson Park.

The event supports the Sarasota-based nonprofit organization’s mission to provide free peer-to-peer cancer support and resources to cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers. For tickets and information, visit or call 941-227-4404.

• The The Mustang Club of West Central Florida will hold its 30th annual Ponies Under the Palm Trees charity car show Nov. 20 at Lakewood Ranch Main Street. The event benefits the Denis V. Cooper Foundation’s “Wishes for Heroes” and Take Stock in Children programs. Visit for more details and to register or contact Tracey at 920-944-8137 or [email protected]

• The Gulf Coast Conservation Foundation was selected as one of the 10 finalists in this year’s competition Impact100 SRQ Grants. Six finalists will receive scholarships of $110,500. Formed in 2018, Impact100 SRQ brings together a diverse group of women who fund transformational projects and programs at nonprofits in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Visit and to learn more.

Submissions by Julia Groom, Sharon Kunkel, Alex Greco, Joyce Mulcahy, Lori Kayser, David Bishop, Sam Valentin, Kendall Toothe.

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