Keys to Sarasota County's All America City Journey

New post on The Patterson Foundation Blog Network

Keys to Sarasota County’s 2013 All-America City journey

by Debra Jacobs
Sarasota County's 2013 All-America City journey starts and ends with everyone in our community. From our five outstanding youth, each ever-so-conscientious and impressive, to our older adults who are accelerating innovation for our world through the Institute for the Ages.
While a 2013 All-America City designation wasn't in the cards this year, the smiles from the delegation's homecoming tell you more than words alone.

As you've heard us mention before, The Patterson Foundation builds connective tissue to create new realities. It's connecting others and ideas to grow new possibilities. For us, the 2013 All-America City process was too enticing to miss. It would be too many opportunities for our community to connect if we hadn't helped accelerate the application and community team-building processes.
With "veterans" being one of the judging themes for this year's awards, and our partnership with the  National Cemetery Administration (NCA), this was an opportunity to share possibilities with other finalist communities.
Working with others to craft both a worthy application, a showcase video, a quilt square, Youth Award process, Community Marketplace, and a most exhilarating 10-minute presentation provided a connective tissue opportunity locally and beyond.

1.  While the 26 delegates didn't know each other when we began, each has new friends & perspectives from different orbits in our community.
2.  The three-minute video has been viewed by more than 4,400 folks...locally and beyond.
3. Thanks to the Herald Tribune’s outreach and selection process, Treyvon Thomas was chosen as the Youth Award competition nominee, representing our community with confidence and depth.
4.  Sarasota's quilt square is now part of a 20-community quilt that will tour the nation.
5.  Numerous local organizations contributed to our Community Marketplace
6.  The All-America City Awards has its first-ever keynote speaker in Undersecretary for Memorial Affairs Steve Muro.
Via All-America City, we wove a few more threads into our vibrant Sarasota County tapestry.

Keep reading for reflections from the Sarasota delegates.

Florida Studio Theatre Education Director by day and creative All-America City maestro by night, Beth Duda, a member of the delegation who worked tirelessly to 'direct' Sarasota's presentation, had this to say:
We stand tall and return to Sarasota County with a love of each other, a true appreciation for the extraordinary community we live in, a deep gratitude for The Patterson Foundation for facilitating our connections and new realities, and a certainty that Sarasota does indeed transcend.
For me, Sarasota County's participation in the All -America City Awards in Denver delivered an array of unexpected gifts. While we were not awarded one of the 10 titles given at the final ceremony, arguably, our take always will have a lasting importance which surpasses that of a title on a paper certificate.

The gifts? Let's start with unwavering integrity. Although their research indicated that the awards were often given to cities with home-spun presentations focusing on hardships, extreme challenges, or tragedies, Debra Jacobs and Carol Lipp of The Patterson Foundation encouraged us to tell the "real" story of Sarasota County.  The delegation delivered. We presented as intelligent, caring, diverse, talented people with a real love of the paradise we call home.

Our delegation also received the priceless gift off authentic connection. As the team was being assembled there was a real focus on diversity. Our team had high school students, senior citizens, and everything in between. Different ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, professions, life experiences, and vocations were invited on board.

At first glance, it would seem unlikely for such a group to bond and blend, but that we did. Through our rehearsal process and the purity of our intent to show the world the wonders of Sarasota, we created a family. Rehearsals led to conversations. Conversations led to commonalities.  Commonalities led to understandings. Understanding led to real friendships. In the "show biz" world we often hear the phrase, " Love ya' baby, but the season's over", indicating the transient nature of friendships, but it is very unlikely this group will lose track of one another. Our calendars are already full of dates to reassemble. We share a history and own a sense of purpose...our connections are honest and true.

Perhaps the gift of pride in a job well done is the greatest take away.  In a world where children get trophies just for showing up and corporations have been forced to create employee of the week awards, we have accomplished something real that we can forever be proud of.  I'm not just talking of our ten minute presentation, which was resoundingly complimented, warm and wonderful. I'm talking about our team effort which set the example. On time, looking sharp, supporting every other team? That was Sarasota County. From workshop participation to social media to breaking the ice at large events, the Sarasota County delegation led by example.

While the final outcome wasn't what we had hoped -- and many other delegations expressed their surprise -- we were genuinely applauding for the cities that were honored. When we took the stage, we gratefully accepted our finalist certificate to the standing ovations given to us from every other delegation. Sarasota County was the only group to receive a standing ovation as we entered and exited the stage. Proud?  Oh, yes...we are proud.

The motto we adopted for our presentation was "Sarasota Transcends."  One meaning of transcend is to exceed all expectations. I believe our participation did transcend, and I expect Sarasota County will long feel the impact of 26 regular citizens who have a renewed sense of love for our county, coupled with a sense of purpose for our continued growth and transcendence.

Click to read more on the Patterson Foundation Blog

Rescheduled Luncheon and Harbor Cruise in August

Dear Member --

We have revised the July 2013 issue of the MOAS monthly newsletter, The Sarasota Breeze. The revised version is now on this blog and on the web site.  The revision pertains to the scheduled dates of two events in August — 

There are no changes to the July Board meeting (July 1) or the July Luncheon (July 19).

The August Luncheon has been moved to the fourth Friday of the month -- August 23 -- due to renovations being made to the Michael's on East Ballroom.  As a result of this move, the YAHOO Charlotte Harbor Cruise/Burnt Store Lunch has been moved to 
August 16We hope this change does not cause any inconvenience, and that you will all attend the Luncheon.  The luncheon program will discuss the work being undertaken by your chapter in concert with The Patterson Foundation and the Sarasota School Administration to formulate a Flag Etiquette curriculum to be taught in the Sarasota County School.

Looking forward to seeing all of you at our July 19 & August 23 Luncheons at our normal venue ... Michaels on East.

As usual, we hope you enjoy the issue of The Breeze —highlighting the Chapter’s hosting of the 2013 FCOC Convention --- and ask that you let us know if you have any suggestions for future issues.

Thank you

Len Friedlander & Patt Staley


   The Military Officers Association of Sarasota exists to improve the awareness, life style, and overall environment of its members; support and serve the citizens of the Sarasota area; influence the political process in matters pertaining to retired military personnel; and to enhance the image of America's uniformed services in our local area.

    MOAS is an affiliate of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) and the Florida Council of MOAA Members.

    MOAS has been awarded the MOAA Five Star Award for excellence, the highest level award within MOAA, for the Sarasota Chapter's activities 2004-2007 & 2009-2012. The activities that resulted in the award - luncheon attendance, JROTC support, scholarships, Support Our Troops, and the YAHOO program. Good work by all!

See the MOAS Newsletter, The Breeze, in color, for up-to-date club information.

Our Chapter hosted the successful 36th Annual Florida MOAA Convention at the Hyatt Regency here in Sarasota on June 7-9, 2013. Pictures in The Breeze and in our new MOAS Blog at 
and in the conference blog

      Send our troops a package of things they need and let them know we support them. It's easy, inexpensive, and will bless these men and women who are sacrificing to protect us in this war against terror.

     You'll want to read about the efforts that have resulted in hundreds of   S-O-T boxes headed to our troops in the war zone. Let's commit to wholeheartedly supporting our valiant warriors.

Photos - Send us your photos to Post

More Info on the Blog:  

MOAA Sarasota Photos

The Breeze

Flag Day

New post on The Patterson Foundation Blog Network

Flag Day, A Legacy of Valor: 236 years of the Stars and Stripes

by Melissa Thompson
Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the official United States flag. Given our commitment to honor veterans, inspire patriotism and embrace freedom during the Legacy of Valor campaign, we're sharing some interesting facts about the day and ways you can get involved this weekend to honor our nation's flag.
On June 141777 the Second Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States of America. The first Flag Act stated “Resolved, the flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation."
Since its inception 236 years ago, the flag itself has gone through 27 different variations, with the most recent being adopted on July 4, 1960 as Hawaii gained statehood. To see how the flag has evolved over the years please click here.
Flag Day was officially established in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson:
I, therefore, suggest and request that throughout the nation, and if possible in every community, the 14th day of June be observed as Flag Day with special patriotic exercises, at which means shall be taken to give significant expression to our thoughtful love of America…” The full speech can be read here.
Flag Day in Our Region
While it is still not a federal holiday, celebrations in its honor have spread nationwide. Here's a snapshot of Flag Day events happening in our region.
Sarasota Chalk Festival - To commemorate Flag Day 2013,  Sarasota Chalk Festival will be host its 2nd Annual Flag Day Celebration this Friday from 8 am until 8 pm Five Points Park.
Here's a run-down of the activities for the day, including all-day strolling street performers and fun:
8 am - Chalking starts in early morning. Artists and students can help complete an interactive 3D piece and everyone is welcome to participate or create their own chalk flag - prizes for all participating.
9 am - Student Opera Performance
10 am - Student Opera Performance
11 am - Reveille, Star Spangled Banner, Police Dept. Honor Guard, Opening statements/welcome, City Commissioner reads Proclamation, Student Opera Performance
5:30 PM - 2nd ceremony -- Vietnam Honor Guard Flag Planting, County Proclamations read by official. Introductions/MC, brief talks, Tom Paine, music, clowns, bubbles, and magic fun continues
(The Chalk Festival is also a Legacy of Valor partner -- the festival this November will take on a "Legacy of Valor" theme!)
Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity (also a Legacy of Valor partner) will be hosting on Flag Day a Veteran Home Repair and Build Campaign Kick-off Event. The event begins at 10 am at Fisherman's Village in Punta Gorda with a reception to follow at the Military Heritage Museum.

Comment   See all comments

Network of Partnerships

Legacy of Valor: A network of partnerships to support veterans in our community

by Linda Gould

Recently, more than 20 organizations that serve veterans met at the State College of Florida for an event organized by Habitat for Humanity South Sarasota (a Legacy of Valor partner) and an amazing team of connectors in our community. The goal of the event, which was hosted by the Veterans Exchange Services, a chapter of Student Veterans of America (SVA), was simple: get people talking to each other to share information and get to know each other. 
Just one connection can end up with amazing possibilities. Want an example?
Two weeks prior to this event, I went to the All Faiths Food Bank in Sarasota County for a tour and to learn about their Veterans Appreciation Program, which provides food to Veterans. All Faiths Food Bank has been operating the program for more than a year but recently established a specific day and time (Tuesday mornings from 10 am-12 pm) to give the Veterans Appreciation Program some structure and focus.
The following week, I volunteered at the food bank during the Veterans Appreciation Program. While the program is indeed amazing, it seemed it would be helpful if it could be moved or replicated in a more accessible area. With a quick call to Goodwill Manasota, we made a virtual introduction between two professionals dedicated to supporting veterans in the community and a new partnership was started.
With e-mails, phone coordination and then a personal meeting at that Veterans Roundtable, Goodwill Manasota is working on an agreement that will enable All Faiths Food Bank to use some of their spaces to bring food to veterans. This is what can happen when people talk to each other.
Comment   See all comments

Florida MOAA Convention 2103 Is Complete

 Convention 2103 is over!!!!!!

    We have received so many positive comments about all aspects of  our convention. We are so very pleased!!  Everyone had a great time and we showed the Sarasota Chapter at its best and everyone loved it.  We have received nothing but accolades from all attendees.

    Linda and I are so thankful for all the work you put in, we were the faces in front, but we know that nothing would have been accomplished without the teamwork that you provided.

    Again,  Thank you so very much for all your help.

Troy Scott and Linda Gould, Co Chairs

Click for More Photos