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Smiles For Children

Riding For The Angels!!

| Sande Caplin |

By simply bringing a NEW stuffed toy for a little child with medical problems, you can be  a huge help to Sarasota Memorial Pediatric Ward and S.P.A.R.CC. Giving back to the community, Smiles for Children!  Sarasota, once again, will show the rest of the world how to give, how to help and how to lend support for those who need it most. It’s a remarkable community for rallying around and making fundraisers successful, bringing money to the many causes that exist locally, as well as nationally.

Henry LawrenceThe event, Riding for the Angels, will take place at Goodfella’s Café and Winery, at 4571 Clark Rd. in Sarasota, on Sunday, October 13th.  The first bike out will be at 10:30 am. and in by12:30 pm.  Some very special guests will be present, including Henry Lawrence, a 13-year veteran of the NFL Oakland Raiders, and  2 time Pro Bowler and winner of 3 Super bowl Rings, as well as China”The Dragon”Smith, 2 time former NBA World Heavyweight Boxing Champ currently pursuing his 3rd Heavyweight Title.

China SmithYou won’t want to miss the Sarasota Dove Release at 2 pm. Jackie Greenough will be bringing her Beautiful Doves and releasing them to create memories to last a lifetime.

The Poker Run Registration is $10,  plus a NEW stuffed animal at Goodfellas from 9 – 10 am. Raffles and Vendors, great food and drink, and the smokin’ hot sound of the Shift Change Band with guests, Kara Nally and Sudie Bratti will be the recipe for a great time.  They will play from 1 to 4 pm. This is an opportunity to have a super time while donating much-needed funds to several local organizations.

This organization touches my heart and makes me want to let all of you know  about The Compassionate Friends, who they are, and what they do. Outliving a child is not the natural order of life. The Sarasota Chapter of The Compassionate Friends is lovingly run by Vivian Kehrer, and I must mention her best friend and husband Greg, who is always present to help out and lend his talents.  This is an organization that addresses a very real need that exists everywhere…the loss of a child and the support needed to help heal those wounds by being there, listening, and extending loving help to the grief-stricken. Vivian Kehrer has headed up the local Sarasota Chapter for 7 years.  Unfortunately, Vivian is well- acquainted with the sorrow of losing a child.  Her own son, Edward Phillip Meyer, Jr., died at age 16 while driving to hockey practice.  Edward has been  remembered each year for 35 years by the award given in his name at his high school in New Hartford, NY.  Vivian knows in her heart that Edward would not want her to be unhappy, drowning her grief in alcohol, pills or depression, so in an effort to turn tragedy into a passion to help others, Vivian became involved with The Compassionate Friends.

Sarasota Dove ReleaseThe Compassionate Friends is a not-for-profit organization that describes itself as “An International support organization for families who have experienced the death of a child, offering friendship and understanding to bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents.  TCF believes that bereaved parents can help each other toward a positive resolution of their grief.  TCF Chapters are coordinated nationally to extend help to each other and to understand that every bereaved parent, sibling, and grandparent have individual needs and rights.”  The Sarasota Chapter meets on the 2nd Monday of the month from 7-9 pm at Homewood Suites on Fruitville Rd. in Sarasota. You can feel free to call Vivian at 941-365-4230 for more information on how to join or to donate to this invaluable group. There is literature available for those who are interested in learning more about The Compassionate Friends by logging  onto the national website at:, or call toll-free: 877-969-0010. 

Sponsors for this event are Budweiser, FOX Sports Sarasota, Sarasota Memorial Hospital, LIFESTYLATIONS, Car Care Connection, Pedraza Photography, Sarasota Sally, Sarasota Sign Machine, Sandra Washington Event Planning, SPARCC,  Suzanne O’ Neal of Caldwell Banker, The Fran Haasch Law Group, Shift Change Band, Amazing Universe Broadcasting, Pedraza Photography, Sarasota Fun Machine, Goodfella’s, Ricardo Morales DOM and Sarasota Dove Release.

Sarasota Sally, Vivian KeherWhat a great day Sunday, October 13th is going to be! Be sure and purchase your NEW stuffed animal, the price of ADMISSION to this fun happening event and bring your friends and family to meet Henry Lawrence, China “The Dragon” Smith, and listen to the music of the Shift Change Band. Shop the vendors’ wares and enter to win raffles prizes while enjoying this great day with your friends. Do not miss the Dove Release at 2 pm, sponsored by Sarasota Dove Release and The Compassionate Friends Organization. This will definitely be a day to remember!

Riding For Angels


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