Sarasota's OUT Award winners:
FAVORITE LOCAL LGBTQ ANNUAL EVENT: Harvey Milk Festival
FAVORITE LOCAL NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION: ALSO Youth
FAVORITE LOCAL LGBTQ ACTIVIST: Nate Quinn
FAVORITE LOCAL HAIR SALON: d. cole hair design
FAVORITE LOCAL FITNESS CENTER: CRUNCH
FAVORITE LOCAL REALTOR: Robert Krasow Realtor with Michael Saunders & Company
FAVORITE AREA MUSEUM OR GALLERY: The Ringling
FAVORITE AREA ATTRACTION: Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
FAVORITE LOCAL RESTAURANT: Clasico Sarasota
FAVORITE LOCAL BARTENDER: Hunter Vance
FAVORITE LOCAL BAR: Barrel 87
FAVORITE LOCAL LGBTQ NIGHTCLUB/BAR: Elevate - Level 2 at Starlite
FAVORITE LOCAL HOTEL: Aloft Sarasota
FAVORITE LOCAL TRAVEL AGENCY or AGENT: ALandCHUCK.travel
FAVORITE LOCAL COFFEE SHOP: Pastry Art
FAVORITE LOCAL HAPPY HOUR: Barrel 87
FAVORITE LOCAL PERFORMING ARTS VENUE: Manatee Performing Arts Center
FAVORITE LOCAL ACTOR: Brian Craft
FAVORITE LOCAL ACTRESS: Corinne Woodland
FAVORITE LOCAL MUSICIAN/BAND: Eduardo Correa
FAVORITE LOCAL SOCIAL MEDIA PERSONALITY: Mattyson Barksdale
FAVORITE LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHER: Barbara Banks
FAVORITE LOCAL DRAG PERSONALITY: Brianna Summers
FAVORITE LOCAL ADULT NOVELTY STORE: Giggles Sarasota
2017 OUT ICON AWARD: Beneva Fruitville
Dylonn Cole is the owner of d.cole Hair Design. He has been creating hair magic for the last 8 years in his trendy salon located in Laurel Park. Though, during the Holiday's, Dylonn creates a different type of magic. The type of magic that makes Christmas... Christmas!
Imagine an unsuspecting mother going into K-mart days before Christmas to make their final layaway payment on toys and clothing for their children. A Layaway that probably has been months in the making, only to find out that their balance is zero! It's the same magic we experience when we were young and find that Santa has mysteriously entered our home while we were sleeping and left us presents!
Dylonn's magic of helping families pay off holiday layaways has been happening for the past 4 years. "I was inspired to do it when my best friend told me about someone else doing it" Dylonn Said. "...we started the following season and haven't stopped since!"
"The cashier told her that we had just paid off her layaway right in front of us...
Last year Dylonn paid off 6 layaways totaling over $900. "The Staff is excited to do it again this year" Dylonn said.
We asked Dylonn if he ever experienced meeting any of the families he's helped? "We have met a few people and it's been amazing," Dylonn answered. "The first time we did it, we were standing at the layaway counter and noticed a very pregnant mother with a two-year-old toddler patiently waiting their turn. We told her to go ahead of us so she didn't have to keep waiting. We walked around the store for a few minutes while she did her thing, and then came back to continue paying things off. The cashier told her that we had just paid off her layaway right in front of us. She left crying because of how much it meant to her! I knew we would never quit doing it after that."
"We also had one single mother actually come into the salon and bring us flowers and tell us that she wouldn't have been able to finish paying for the gifts for her children if it wasn't for our generosity!"
The d.cole salon family is helping to make this season more magical. "The feeling of knowing that our clients, as well as the salon here, care enough about children to make this happen is the best feeling ever! I have always remembered Christmas as being magical as a child" Dylonn said. "...and knowing that we can make that happen for other children, gives me pure joy!"
Dylonn's tradition is one that makes the season a little merrier. We hope that it inspires you to find a way to create your own magic! A magic that could inspire others! We admire Dylonn for all his greatness, in beauty, kindness, and giving!
Seasons greetings from d.cole Hair Design and SarasotaOUT.com
By: Joshua Beadle, Editor & Chief of SarasotaOUT.com