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A Warm Welcome, World!

Who doesn’t recall the grade school history lesson on Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride, alerting the colonists of the impending Red Coats arrival, “The British are coming! The British are coming!”? As a 10-year-old, that story stuck with me; I imagined Paul and his ‘team’ frantically preparing the towns for the upcoming big event.

Back in September of 2013 Sarasota’s Nathan Benderson Park was awarded the hosting duties of 2017 World Rowing Championship - the first time this event would be coming to the United States in over 20 years! The International Federation of Rowing Associations cited choosing Sarasota because of the premier rowing facility, the commitment from elected officials, the community, the proximity of Park to Interstate 75, and Sarasota Bradenton International airport, calm waters and year-round good weather. 

You could begin to hear a collective cry throughout Sarasota-Bradenton, “The World is coming! The World is coming!” – Fortunately, Nathan Benderson Park had more notice than the colonists did in 1775 – they’ve had 4 years to get ready and prepare they have, indeed - the venue is phenomenal; they have outdone themselves. Considering the challenges of Hurricane Irma sweeping through just two weeks ago, and the event 'readiness' is even more impressive.

After years of hard work of so many factions coming together to launch this, the biggest-ever International sporting event hosted in Sarasota Bradenton is happening NOW. With over 900 athletes competing from 69 countries, and 40,000+ spectators to visit over this 9-day period. A whopping $25 million-dollar economic impact expected.  The finals of the competition will be broadcast to 130 million people worldwide. 

Check out all you need to know about the event here: www.wrch2017.com.

The excitement in the air is palpable! All accounts of the Opening Ceremony last evening were full of praise and pride. One of my Sarasota friends, quite familiar with Nathan Benderson Park and the rowing community, summed it up best:

“We have been around the world watching our kids row in World Championships – today’s opening ceremony at Nathan Benderson Park was the best by a mile – we are so lucky to live here!” 

Lucky, for sure. I couldn’t agree more. Cheers to all responsible for bringing this international spotlight to our beautiful Suncoast and to all those working so hard to execute a World-Class event, highlighting our beloved Sarasota Bradenton area and making your community oh, so proud. “The World is here! The World is here!” Join me in offering a Warm Welcome to All.

Have my tickets in hand and can’t wait to get to the Park! 

 

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    Sarasota: Golf To Gulf and So Much More

    Gulf of Mexico Sunset

    Miles of pristine Gulf of Mexico shoreline in the Sarasota, Bradenton area beckon visitors and residents alike. We have some of the most beautiful and top-rated beaches in the world. Six islands line the Sarasota coastline: Longboat Key, Lido Key, Siesta Key, Venice, Manasota Key and Casey Key.

    See VisitSarasota.org for a detailed list of all beaches and public access points.

    Bradenton boasts the barrier island of Anna Maria, with the white sand Coquina and Manatee beaches. Check out MyManatee.org to explore beaches and waterfront parks.

    Opportunities to hit the links in the Sarasota Bradenton area are plentiful. GolfAdvisor.com lists more than 100 golf courses in this region. While living in fabulous golf communities in Pinehurst, NC and Hot Springs, VA, I gained an appreciation for the history, enjoyment and challenge of golf. Playing Pinehurst #2 and The Cascades at The Homestead certainly prepared me for playing golf in venues around the world but I was especially surprised that my mountain golf experience would come in handy while playing at the amazing new Streamsong Resort north of Sarasota. Those courses certainly dispel the myth that all Florida courses are flat!

    I’m making it a personal goal to try to play as many of the 100+ golf course in the area; have played 15 so far. Here’s the problem with my lofty goal: There is SO MUCH to do and see and experience in Sarasota beyond Golf and Gulf and I want to do it ALL. There are simply not enough hours in the day!  No doubt playing golf and enjoying the beach are two of my favorite past times but what makes Sarasota such a vibrant, exciting community is the abundance and variety of other ‘things to do and see’ –  experience museums, theaters, opera, orchestra, ballet, lecture series, music festivals, food festivals, wine festivals, comedy clubs, boat races, botanical gardens, aquariums, farmers markets. Walk the Ringling Bridge, bike the Legacy Trail, hike the Celery Fields. Boat, fish, kayak, paddle board. Enjoy diverse, delicious dining. Shop till you drop. Volunteer; there are umpteen ways you can give back and make a difference. Endless opportunities exist for enriching and enlightening experiences - making Sarasota a very special place to call home.

    The John Ringling Bridge 

    Would love to hear from you! If you've been to Sarasota, or live in the area, what are your favorite things to do here? 

    Stay tuned for a series of posts on all Sarasota has to offer beyond the Golf and the Gulf.

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