Monday, September 27, 2010

Help for Dylan

Eighteen-year-old Dylan Kersey was critically injured Sept.1 in a predawn head-on crash on State Road 70.

His father, Otter Kersey, was among the firefighters helping to pull him from the wreckage.

This afternoon, we received some good news from Myakka Fire Chief Danny Cacchiotti:
"The Saturday fundraiser was a huge success, between dinners served, donations collected, cake sale, signature guitar raffle and the silent auction we raised over $18,000 with donations continuing to come in.

"What started out as a Myakka Community event quickly grew into a multi-county effort to help this young man and his family. The outpouring of support from the public sector and the public safety community is beyond words, it was great to see you all there supporting a very worthy cause.

"As an update, Dylan's ventilator has been removed and he is breathing on his own, he has been transferred to a critical care rehabilitation center where he continues to improve.

"Thank You, for what you have helped to accomplished."

Chief Dan Cacchiotti

Thanks for the update, Danny,

Dylan Kersey

Monday, September 20, 2010

A new outreach for veterans

Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy has been around since 1987, helping folks recover their health.

But until recently, SMART did not have an outreach specifically for veterans. Now it does, and one of the first two vets who have signed up for the program is 87-year-old  Arthur Bieser of University Park.

Recently, we caught up with Bieser at the SMART facility on County Road 675. He was all smiles as he drove a buggy pulled by a gray Percheron named Sterling.

Just what you might expect from a senior citizen who likes to stay busy. Bieser worked for the federal government 40 years before retiring at age 71, and then worked for another dozen years with a tax-preparation company.

For more, see Tuesday's Herald.
Art Bieser gets ready to meet Sterling, a gray Percheron, who is a buggy horse.

Art Bieser goes for a horse and buggy ride with instructor SamanthaToomey.

Friday, September 10, 2010

No red light, but lots of heart

Here's two photos for you that have something in common.

But you'll need to read the Eastword column Sunday in the Bradenton Herald and Lakewood Ranch Herald to find out. Have a great weekend.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Christmas present for Myakka

The new Myakka Community Center should be ready for occupancy about Christmas time.

It's been a hard-fought struggle to get the center built. So there were plenty of smiles Thursday when ground was finally broken out on Wauchula Road.

There was just one little complication. It rained at precisely 6:30 p.m., just as the shovels were getting ready to dig in. It's been raining a lot in Myakka lately, so much so that when you leave the asphalt roadways, better make sure that's not deep mud you're driving into.

County commissioner Carol Whitmore saw my predictament as I was trying to take notes and shoot photos with the rain coming down. Gallantly, she handed me her umbrella. And Bruce Illese, senior vice president and general counsel for the contractor, Zirkelbach of Palmetto, held it for me. Seldom has an ink-stained wretch like me had such high-powered help.

Thanks, Carol and Bruce. And congratulations, citizens of Myakka!

For more, see Friday's Herald.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Can you name them?

Lakewood Ranch is preparing to "party like it's 1995."

Fifteen years ago, the first home was sold at Lakewood Ranch, and now there are more than 7,000.

On Oct. 15, the public is invited to an outdoor party at Sarasota Polo Club to celebrate.

Events include music by the Billy Rice Band, a hay maze, roping contest, hay rides, face painting, bounce house, Charlie Brown movie, pumpkin patch and more. The hours are 4-9 p.m.

Wednesday, Rex Jensen, CEO of developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, talked to the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliances about the evolution of the community. For more of his reflections, see Thursday's Herald.

And the three people in the photo? They all played key roles as CEOs of SMR over the years. From left, John Clarke, Rex Jensen and Mary Fran Carroll.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A night out at a price that can't be beat

Come out and take a look at some lovely Chinese brush paintings, meet the artist, and enjoy complimentary light hors d'oeuvres and wine.

The venue is ComCenter Lakewood Ranch, 9040 Town Center Parkway, and the event is a reception for the artist, Renee Vickery. The free event is set for 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9.

You've got to admit the price is right, and it sounds like a very pleasant evening.

Vickery, who has lived in Asia for the last 15 years, says in a press release we received: “My Chinese brush stroke paintings rely upon the use of traditional implements, ink stick, ink stone, oriental color pigments and Zhuan, or rice paper. My painting has been influenced by a long history of art interest which includes the study of Western water colorists to pop art, hard-edge work and collage. This eclectic background has exerted a powerful influence on my current pursuit of the art of Chinese brush painting and the ancient art of calligraphy.”

If your schedule doesn't allow you to attend the reception, but you would still like to see the paintings, never fear. The exhibition continues during normal daylight business hours Monday-Friday through Oct. 31.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Deadline nears for Humanitarian award nominations

The deadline is fast approaching for submittal of nominations for the 6th Annual John A. Clarke Humanitarian of the Year Award.

Nominations must be submitted to the Lakewood Ranch Community Fund by 5 p.m. Sept. 10.

The Lakewood Ranch Community Fund will honor an individual, or individuals, who has made outstanding, sustained, and unselfish contributions to community enrichment and whose commitment and dedication exemplify the ideal of service to the community. Past recipients include John Clarke, Don O’Leary, Pat Neal, Lorraine and Dick Vitale and Darrell Turner

The Humanitarian selected for 2010 will be recognized at a reception on Oct. 15.

Nomination forms are available and may be downloaded from the Lakewood Ranch Community Fund website ( Nominations should be mailed to Lakewood Ranch Community Fund, c/o Manatee Community Foundation, 3103 Manatee Ave. West, Bradenton, FL 34205. For further information, contact Marilyn Howard at