Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Peace in the Chaos

As a community based organization, we at the VWF like to be in on all things Sarasota. With that said, there is something that has come to our attention; freak accidents involving pedestrians and moving vehicles. The shocking number of accidents involving pedestrians in the Sarasota area is not only devastating, but alarming. What could be the reason behind such accidents?

Of course these days there are many distractions that drivers face; the usual chaos of daily life, work thoughts, family thoughts, rushing to get to a destination on time, cell phones, ipods, and much more. With all of those distractions it is easy to forget that we as humans are extremely vulnerable, and that life is precious thing; it can be ripped away in an instant. No one is immune to disastrous situations like these, no matter what age, gender, or social standing.

This article from the Herald Tribune shows yet another accident in the Sarasota area.

So what can we do? It seems that as a single person it is impossible to make such a large change, but a big change it starts with one person. take the time to look at your life from a broad picture, look at the decisions you are making, assess whether or not you are making a wise decision, and learn to value what you do have. Slow down, and realize that your actions could affect others.

Of course we are not trying to preach here, and we do usually keep a very upbeat spirit here at the VWF, but when something as horrific as this occurs, we cannot help but address the situation.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Time sure flies...

...When you're having fun, and boy are we! Here at the Van Wezel Foundation we are approaching the end of our fourth week of our two new staff members joining us! Have you heard about these two new lovely ladies?

First we have Michele Strauss, our new Director of Development. She is originally from N.J. and moved to Florida in 1989. She was in Sarasota for 20 years, moved to Rotonda West to be close to her job as Executive Director of Royal Palm Players on Boca Grande. We are glad to have her back in Sarasota and on board with us as our Director of Development. Michele loves animals and has 2 dogs and 2 cats. She is also an International Judge for United Feline Organization and has traveled to many exotic ports of call to judge cats. Michele is an accomplished Actress, appearing in over 80 productions and a talented Director, having directed over 35 plays. She is also an avid Trekkie and thinks Captain Kirk is the Cat’s Meow!

Next we have Kimberly Holowiak, our new marketing intern. Kimberly is (kind of) a Sarasota native. She grew up in Connecticut, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Oregon, and Florida... What a little traveler! For the past eight years Kimberly has been stationed in Sarasota where she attended Riverview High School, and continued on to Florida State University in Tallahassee where she recently graduated with a double degree in Editing, Writing and Media and French. She was also a nationally competitive gymnast for sixteen years, and worked at Scene Magazine in Sarasota twice; once as an intern as a high school senior, and again as an editorial assistant towards the end of her college career at Florida State University. She is now our marketing intern and we are loving it!

Here they are together at our last Friday Fest having a blast!

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

And The Performer Is...

Sheryl Crow!!

Yesterday we announced publicly that our 2013 Gala Star will be Grammy Award Winner Sheryl Crow, and we couldn't be more excited!

The Gala will be Friday, February 15th, 2013. Tickets will be available as well as Gala reservations starting September 8th

Click  HERE for our facebook, and HERE for The Bradenton Herald's blog posting about our star!

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Friday, August 3, 2012

All about our CEO and President!

Our CEO and President, Monica Van Buskirk's press release! Though she came on board back in January, we would like to recognize our wonderful CEO and President!

Here is our Monica with her husband Dr. Richard Van Buskirk

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To Take a Look Back in Time...

So before we get into the news and special events, maybe a brief history of The Van Wezel Foundation would be good. Here are some facts you may not have known!

The Van Wezel Foundation was established in 1987 to augment the Hall’s resources and make it's programs accessible to a wider range of theater goers including school children. In addition, the VWF helps with upgrades and maintenance of the building.

The ultimate goal of the Foundation was to help the Van Wezel continue its leading role as the “amethyst jewel in the crown” of Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Over the last 25 years The Van Wezel Foundation has contributed more than $10,000,000 to help the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. The Foundation helped fund the major renovation and expansion of the Hall in 2000-2001.
The Foundation has helped thousands of tickets to area non-profits to obtain tickets to shows.
The Van Wezel Foundation educates teachers in arts integration teaching methods, basically, how to use the arts in the classroom to enhance the learning experience.
Above all, the Foundation helps support the educational activities of the Hall. The Foundation underwrites the Schooltime Performance series, providing performing arts access to children in Sarasota, Manatee, Desoto, and Charlotte counties.
These were just a few of the many things you will continue to learn about The VWF, and of course there will be more to come!

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