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Billy Rice, Bob Slicker, Sande Caplin, Laura Bell Adams

The Sarasota Post Takes a Look Back at 2016

| Sande Caplin |

As 2016 winds down, the folks at The Sarasota Post are thinking, “What a year!”  We’ve had the immense pleasure of bringing you the best that the area has to offer.  We’ve reviewed the most amazing restaurants, both new and old, bringing you tempting menus from venues all over town.  We’ve told you where you can catch good, old-fashioned, live music in a town that has long supported musicians and artists. 

We’ve brought you stories of people giving their time, talents, treasures, and tenacious efforts to help others.  There have been countless stories of selfless philanthropic ventures by your neighbors, friends, and business associates.  We’ve introduced you to people living amazing lives, who represent our area with style, heart, and flair, being goodwill ambassadors for the Suncoast.  Yes, 2016 has been one amazing ride and we’re taking a look at some of the stories we’ve featured.

Let’s talk food, shall we?  If you’ve read Patti Pearson’s reviews, you’ve been propelled to hunger-inducing action, heading to diners and restaurants from Downtown Sarasota to Siesta Key, Anna Maria Island, Venice, Bradenton and beyond. No wonder Conde’ Nast Traveler named Sarasota “one of the best food cities in the United States” this year!  We loved the stories about the amazing Maurizio Colucci, owner of Primos! Ristorante, Clayton Thompson of Clayton’s Siesta Grille, and the updates about longtime local favorite Phillippi Creek Restaurant, Wyre’s- Cortez Bait and Seafood, Angelo Difiore at Angelo’s, and so many in between.  Our mouths were watering and appetites on fire after reading about these fine restaurants we are graced with.  And we have so many great restaurants with fantastic views like Swordfish Grill and The Bearded Clam.  Speaking of Swordfish Grill, did everyone see the mannequin challenge?  I don’t think Bob Slicker moved the entire time.

Jack Elka and Laura Bell Adams

And how about the photos this past year?  It’s not every day that your local online news source has a photographer delivering intimate, real-time photos of people like Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Steven Tyler, Carrie Underwood and an impressive resume of celebrities and bands.  Wow!  Vicky Sullivan and Rock The Lens Photography, YOU rock.  The photos are the icing on the cake because your reviews for The Sarasota Post are often written immediately after you’ve left a major musical performance, so they are raw and exciting, to say the least.  Speaking of phenomenal, vivid photography, it has been so fun watching Laura Bell Adams and Jack Elka become commercially licensed drone pilots.  The video over Cortez and various other locations has been awe-inspiring.  What a beautiful land we live in and how lucky that on any given day Laura and Jack are reminding us of that fact with their drone photography.  Look for plenty more to come from the “Drone Zone” in 2017.

Twinkle and Rock Soul Radio

This year has been an amazing musical journey for so many outstanding local musicians and The Sarasota Post was there to promote, encourage, and tell the stories of many of them.  Twinkle’s soulful posts have affirmed that she’s not only a wordsmith in song, but also in heartfelt, uplifting messages for her tribe of loyal followers.  We’ve been fortunate to follow the paths of Rock Soul Radio, The Billy Rice Band, Dana Lawrence and Kettle of Fish, Sarasota Rhythm Section, Greg Stretch Gerdes, Kim Betts & Gamble Creek Band, and so many more.  What a mecca for great musicians Sarasota is, and The Sarasota Post has always been there to promote live music venues and events. We’ve brought you stories about the thread that binds many of these musicians, which is that aside from their stellar musical talent, they have a deep desire to give back to the community and to help whomever is in need at the time.  It’s amazing how these artists are the first to jump on board for fundraisers, even though they could justifiably claim they’re busy searching out new gigs and fighting City Hall for the right to be heard. (Literally.) Stories we have brought to you about Resurrection House, Loveland Center, International Rowing Competition, Thunder by The Bay, World Aids Day, and Beach Road issues on Siesta key have brought awareness to community and civic happenings we should all be focusing on.

And speaking of giving back, Sande Caplin and Associates have been involved with many benefits from the Giving Back event raising money for Feeding Empty Little Tummies, to the Billy Rice and the Wounded Warrior Project.  Sande, Laura, James Newton, Shelby Hartshorn and friends of The Sarasota Post have worked tirelessly on behalf of others all year, and it has been inspiring to witness.   The latter event, though, the video release party, was a culmination of months long preparation: location scouting, shooting, editing, promoting, planning and so forth by Sande, his team, Billy, and dozens of others.  For many who attended the world premiere at Primo’s of Billy Rice’s new video for his song, “Back to the USA”, the evening proved to be touching as well as beneficial for Wounded Warrior Project.  It was a particularly special Veteran’s Day, being in the company of Billy’s nephew, a decorated marine and the inspiration for his amazing video.  Many people came out to support an important cause and to celebrate Billy’s great successes.  There was a lot of love in that room on that evening as many of Sarasota’s core group, including Sarasota Sally were in attendance.

Kim Betts

If you’ve laughed with The Sarasota Post this year you can thank Renee Fisher and Life in the Boomer Lane.  Her articles spanned advice for the singles scene to funny political pieces, and we thank her for the grins.  Maggie Wood shined the light on chic events and restaurants that you immediately wanted to experience after reading her updates.   And as for me, I have had so much fun interviewing some remarkable people, who have provided us with colorful, sometimes surprising, heartfelt stories of their lives.  We caught up with Bruce Famiglio, single dad extraordinaire, and it was fun to see Flying Dog Café fans reminiscing about “back in the day.”  Lori Davis showed us that being JustaBasketcase is really fun, totally hip, and wildly entertaining.  The sophisticated Tia Castle let us take a peek into the lives of the rich and famous with her unique Home & Castle TV.  We interviewed local news celebrities Max Winitz and Hailey Wielgus and brought you the inspiring stories of Gail Gerdes, Ray Rodriguez, Decades Rewind, and many more who make doing for other people look as natural as breathing.

As we close out 2016, all of us at The Sarasota Post would like to say we’ve enjoyed bringing you the latest music, business, restaurant, event, and charity news around Sarasota and Bradenton.  To all the folks who send in press releases, keep them coming.  Readership is growing and we are being read in 67 countries.  For those who tune into The Sarasota Post on a daily basis, keep on keepin’on!  Don’t forget to share our articles with your friends because you never know what we’ll be talking about next in The Sarasota Post.

The Sarasota Post Team

photos from Facebook, Vicky Sullivan and Rock The Lens Photograpy

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