Blaze of Hope, collected toys for All Children's Hospital this holiday season, ensuring that children who are unable to be home for Christmas will still be able to experience the joy of opening gifts. With the help from Sun Outdoors Sarasota, TKSweets, and Intercostal Medical Group, Blaze of Hope was able to gather a huge number of toys for the children at the hospital.
Vice President April Barnes played a crucial role in coordinating this effort, working tirelessly to make collection boxes, transport the gifts, and even storing them at her own home. Without her dedication and the support of the entire Blaze of Hope team of volunteers, this toy drive would not have been possible.
Over the weekend the toys were delivered to the All Children's Hospital, bringing joy and cheer to the children who are spending this holiday season in the hospital. Blaze of Hope would like to thank all of their supporters and volunteers for making this toy drive a success, and for bringing hope and happiness to the children at All Children's Hospital.
Blaze of Hope was founded when Lisa Moore's (part of Sarasota's LGBTQ community) son Blaze was diagnosed with liver cancer at 7 months old. This was the hardest time of her life by far. Blaze endured aggressive chemotherapy and multiple surgeries. Sadly, Blaze passed away at 13 months old. That experience has driven her whole life from that point forward. Her dream is to honor her son. "Blaze of Hope" is a 501c3 non-profit organization in which a family can fill out an application for financial assistance when they have a child hospitalized with a life threatening medical condition.
On January 9th, 2023, Kirsten Sponseller's weekly vlog "What's Up! Sarasota" will make it's television debut on local news station ABC 7. The vlog, which has been edited and posted on Facebook by Kirsten herself for the past several years, features local events and happenings around Sarasota.
The new reinvention of the show is highly anticipated by Sarasota residents, many of whom have been following "What's Up! Sarasota" online for years. The move to television allows the show to reach an even wider audience, bringing the latest happenings in the city to a larger group of viewers.
Kirsten has been praised for her dedication to showcasing the local community and promoting events in the area including many LGBTQ-friendly events. The success of "What's Up! Sarasota" is a testament to her hard work and commitment to staying connected with her community.
We congratulate Kirsten on the television debut of "What's Up! Sarasota" and look forward to seeing the show on tv in the future.
On December 17th, 2022 Blvd Cafe celebrated it's one-year anniversary. Owner, Mica England celebrated with a full house of customers at Blvd Cafe in the Rosemary District of Sarasota, Florida. The celebration included musical performances by Brenda Watty and TJ on keyboard.
In a statement, Chef Mica said, "Thanks to all of our loyal customers for helping us celebrate. I hope to see more of your happy faces in the future. All of your support is so appreciated."
Located at 1580 Blvd of the Arts, Sarasota, FL 34236, Blvd Cafe is a gourmet coffee and espresso shop that also offers pastries, breakfast, brunch, lunch, and wines and beer. In addition to being women-owned, the cafe is also LGBTQ+ owned by Chef Mica.
Customers can visit the cafe's website, Blvdcafesrq.com, to learn more about the menu and upcoming events. The celebration of the one-year anniversary of Blvd Cafe is a testament to the hard work and dedication of Chef Mica and her team. We wish them continued success in the future.
G2H2, the Gay Group Happy Hour in Sarasota, Florida, recently held a holiday happy hour event and collected toys for Streets of Paradise.
Held at the popular Meadows Country Club, the event was a chance for members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies to come together, socialize, and celebrate the holiday season. In the spirit of giving, G2H2 also organized a toy drive to benefit Streets of Paradise, a local non-profit organization that provides support and resources to homeless individuals and families in the Sarasota area.
The holiday happy hour and toy drive was a great success, with a large turnout and many toys were collected. G2H2 members and attendees expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to give back to the community and make a difference in the lives of those in need.
Overall, the holiday happy hour was a fun and festive event that brought joy to the LGBTQ+ community and helped make a positive impact in the lives of those in need. G2H2 is committed to continuing to support and give back to the Sarasota community, and is already planning its next event.
CLICK HERE to view photos from December's Gay Group Happy Hour.
The Fabulous Arts Foundation in Sarasota, Florida is on a mission to establish a LGBTQ performing arts center in the community. This organization, which was founded in 2010, is dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion through the arts, and has already made significant strides in achieving this goal.
The Fabulous Arts Foundation has held numerous events and workshops in the Sarasota area, including dance classes, theater performances, and film screenings. These events have been well-received by the community, and have served as a way for LGBTQ individuals to express themselves and share their talents with others.
Now, the Fabulous Arts Foundation is seeking a location to open a permanent performing arts center that will be dedicated to the LGBTQ community. This center will provide a safe and welcoming space for artists to create, perform, and connect with one another. It will also serve as a hub for the local LGBTQ community, offering a variety of events and programming that cater to the unique needs and interests of this population
The Fabulous Arts Foundation is currently working with local officials and real estate agents to find a suitable location for the center. They are seeking a space that is large enough to accommodate a variety of performances, and that is easily accessible to the community.
The establishment of a LGBTQ performing arts center in Sarasota would be a significant milestone for the community, and would provide a much-needed resource for LGBTQ artists and audience members. The Fabulous Arts Foundation is committed to making this dream a reality, and is confident that with the support of the community, they will be able to open the doors to their new center in the near future.
Mellow Mushroom Sarasota has sponsored a Giving Tree with gift tags for children and their families who could use some help this year! The tree supports the great work being done by Hope 4 Communities and Bee Ridge Presbyterian Church! Visit Mellow Mushroom for lunch or dinner, pick up a tag, shop for the gift item, and return the unwrapped gift to the restaurant and place it under the tree. Living in poverty can affect a child’s ability to learn, grow and realize a future of hope. Children right here in our community lack the basics that kids need to focus and strive in the classroom, leading to lifelong struggles. Your support can make a difference! CLICK HERE for more information on Mellow Mushroom.
ROGER CAPOTE IS CAN Community Health’s senior vice president and chief communications officer. As the country’s second largest HIV/AIDS healthcare organization, CAN has established that excellent healthcare starts with a foundation of inclusion, compassion and respect for all communities regardless of race, color, gender, creed, personal beliefs, national origin, age, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or the ability to pay.
Roger has been with CAN for almost five years and was hired as the chief advancement officer. He has since been promoted and has had his role expanded due to his executive acumen, contribution and ability, and is currently responsible for leading the communications, community engagement, marketing, social media, prevention and outreach departments...
ALSO Youth recently opened a new youth center in Manatee County, and as attendance grows, so does the need for supplies and snacks. SarasotaOUT.com is calling on the community to donate snacks and supplies to ALSO Youth during the months of November and December. This is a chance for individuals and groups, such as teams, businesses, and families, to show support for LGBTQ youth and contribute to the community.
For over 25 years, ALSO Youth has provided outreach and a safe space drop-in center with weekly programming, including peer support groups for the LGBTQ+ youth in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Through partnerships with local school districts and other youth-serving organizations, they strive every day to create an inclusive community where our youth can live, study, work, and play without violence, fear, harassment, or discrimination based on real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
How can you help? Collect individually wrapped snacks and supplies to donate yourself, or organize a group, business, or church to collect needed items and donate them as a team. You can print our flyer to hang at the location you'll be collecting. Once your donation is ready, you can drop it off at the ALSO Youth center at 1470 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota, FL 34236. Please make sure to call 941- 951-2576 to make sure they are open and available to accept your donations.
CLICK HERE to view ALSO Youths Amazon wish list.
Favorite Community Leader: Shannon M Fortner
Favorite Youth Activist: Zander Moricz
Favorite Realtor: Kasey Truman
Favorite Doctor: Dr Tanya Schreibman
Favorite Therapist: Heather Eslien, LMHC
Favorite Social Media Personality: Joey Panek
Favorite Drag Personality: Autumn Vee
Favorite Lawyer: Erik J. Arroyo
Favorite Local Politician: Margaret Good
Favorite Makeup Artist: Vanessa Silvana
Favorite DJ: Joey Daskalidès
Favorite Teacher: Gail Foreman
Favorite Artist: Hector Esteban Art
Favorite Massage Therapist: Myra Moore
Favorite Musicians: Diversity: The Voices of Sarasota
Favorite Chef: Christopher Covelli
Favorite Interior Designer: Diego Ramirez
Favorite Photographer: Samantha Ponzillo Media
Favorite Actor: Brian Craft
Favorite Bartender: Dave Beason
Favorite LGBTQ Bar: Oasis Restaurant & Bar
Favorite Bar (Non-LGBTQ): Bahi Hut
Favorite Business: The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime
Favorite LGBTQ-Owned Business: Mellow Mushroom Sarasota
Favorite Area Attraction: Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
Favorite Performing Arts Venue: Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Favorite Movie Theater: CMX CinéBistro Siesta Key
Favorite Pet Service: SPOT srq Dog Grooming
Favorite Animal Hospital: Beneva Animal Hospital
Favorite Pizza: Mellow Mushroom Sarasota
Favorite CBD Store: Trusted CBD
Favorite Country Club: The Meadows Country Club
Favorite Coffee Spot: The Reserve Retreat
Favorite News Source: ABC7 Sarasota - WWSB
Favorite Insurance Agency: Richard Dean Insurance - Allstate Agency
Favorite Contractor: Michael Manzella
Favorite Hotel: Art Ovation Hotel, Autograph Collection
Favorite Travel Service: Here4You SRQ
Favorite Restaurant: Tsunami Sushi & Hibachi Grill
Favorite Apartment Community: ARCOS Apartments
Favorite Church: St. Andrew United Church of Christ, Sarasota
Favorite Shop: The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime
Favorite Adult Novelty Store: Giggles Sarasota
Favorite Fitness Center: Balance Health & Fitness
Favorite Health Care: CAN Community Health
Favorite Pharmacy: America's Pharmacy
Favorite Salon: Lisa Moore
Favorite Barbershop: Fresko Fadez Barbershop
Favorite Gallery: Art Center Sarasota
Favorite Beauty Spa: Elite Medical Spa of Sarasota
Favorite Non-Profit (Non-LGBTQ): BLAZE of HOPE
Favorite LGBTQ Non-Profit: ALSO Youth
Favorite LGBTQ Group: OUT with the GRLS
Favorite Sports League: A League Of Our Own (Sarasota, FL)
Favorite Event (Non-LGBTQ): Sarasota Farmers Market
Favorite LGBTQ Event: Sarasota Pride, Inc
Favorite Bingo: Leather Bingo at Purple Rhino - The Fun & Charity Of Sarasota's Gay Community
Favorite Happy Hour: G2H2 Sarasota - Gay Group Happy Hour