Newtown Centennial

YES! Awareness 2nd Annual Youth Empowerment Symposium added to Newtown Centennial Line-Up of Community Events

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Yes! Awareness is presenting its 2nd Annual Youth Empowerment Symposium on YES!logoAlone
Saturday, October 4, 201411:30 am to 2:00 pm
Michael’s on East
1212 East Avenue South
Sarasota, Florida

Doors open at 11:00 a.m.  Advance registration begins on 8/9/14 and  tickets are $29 for youth attendees/$35 for adults and can be purchased on line at  Registration forms can also be downloaded from the site or picked up at several sites around town and mailed in with your payment.

This interactive and educational event is especially for girls ages 9 to 18 seeking opportunities to excel in life though adults attending will appreciate and grow from the event’s positive message.

Produced by Sandra Washington and Youth Empowerment Symposia, Inc., the mission of YES! is to empower youth through awareness and relevant growth experiences to become confident and self-sufficient individuals.

Attendees will enjoy Lunch, Door Prizes, Entertainment, and a Scholarship Awards presentation. Featured speakers include Sarasota Chief of Police  Bernadette A. DiPino,  and Dr. M. Tina Dupree, Founder of Professional Speakers Network, Inc. Additionally, in recognition of the Newtown Centennial, YES! will make a special presentation honoring the eldest female in Newtown.

Show your support for Sandra Washington and our area’s young ladies by spreading the word, attending the luncheon, or becoming a sponsor of the event. Details at or by calling 941-993-7971.

Donations to the scholarship fund can be made throught this link:

July 24th Community Political Forum Seeks to Educate and Engage

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Women of Action is collaborating with Newtown’s Faith Based Leaders to present a Community Political Forum on Thursday, July 24th, 6:00 p.m., at Bethlehem Bible Church, 1680 18th Street in Sarasota.  The Forum is the first in  a series that provides  an opportunity for members of the community to learn and share important information, meet the candidates, and discuss the issues that are important during the upcoming  mid-term elections.  During the series of forums, anticipate meeting candidates running for local seats on the Sarasota County Commission, Charter Review Board, and Sarasota School Board as well as representatives from Federal and State campaigns including the gubernatorial race.

The July 24th Forum will feature candidates running for Sarasota County School Board seats in Districts 1,4, and 5.

Women of Action is a non-partisan coalition with a mission to educate, inform, and engage the community in the political process via the vote. Recognition of the 50th Year Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (July 2, 1964) shines a light on the continuing battle to end voter suppression and discrimination at the polls. Let’s support Women of Action and our Faith Based Leaders as they work to educate the community and ensure that we are ready to vote.

What a great way to empower Newtown  during this Centennial year by increasing our knowledge of the political process. Let’s learn together.  Pass the information and bring a friend to this special event.

For more information on Women of Action and the Community Political Forum call 941-955-8834 or 941-228-8191.

Dr. Ben Carson Salutes The Newtown Centennial

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Birthday wishes for Newtown continue to flow in, most recently from world renown pediatric surgeon and author,  Dr. Ben Carson. During the Sarasota stop of his national book tour, Dr. Carson presented the Newtown Centennial with a signed copy of his New York Times Best Seller One Nation: What We Can All Do To Save America’s Future.  We thank Dr. Carson for his generosity and Newtown Centennial Volunteer, “A.J.” Janson for making it all happen.


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Leon Middleton
Leon Middleton

Two venues will host exhibitions of multimedia works in celebration of the Newtown Centennial, June 20 – July 2, 2014.

All of the artists participating in the juried shows have a connection to Newtown via their creative work and/or service to the community and a special highlight of the exhibits focuses on artists that live in Newtown. The artistic expressions of students from the Booker elementary, middle & high schools, and youth participants in the Roy McBean Boys & Girls Club after school programs are included in the exhibit.

Professional and Amateur Artists Exhibit June 20 – July 2
Selby Gallery at Ringling College of Art + Design
Opening reception with the artists: Friday, June 20, 5-7pm.
Reception and ongoing exhibit free and open to the public
Monday – Friday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Phone: 941.359.7563 or 941.351.5100 Web:
Selby Gallery is located on the Ringling College of Art and Design campus, one-half block east of 2700 N. Tamiami Trail on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Way in Sarasota.

 Youth Artists Exhibit June 21-July 2
North Sarasota Library
Opening reception with artists: June 21, 1:30-3:30 pm.
Reception and ongoing exhibit free and open to the public
Monday –Saturday 10 am – 5pm Tuesday & Thursday til 8 pm
Phone: 941-861-1360
North Sarasota Library is located at 2801 Newtown Estates Blvd. (SCAT Route #7)

The Newtown Artists Exhibits are the result of a collaboration spearheaded by County Commissioner Carolyn Mason that includes local artists, Ringling College of Art + Design, and the North Sarasota Public Library and are an expression of congratulations to Newtown on its 100th Anniversary!


Newtown Centennial 100 Hour Kick-Off

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All are invited to birthday celebrations during the Official Newtown Centennial Opening Ceremony, Thursday April 17, 2014 at Fredd Atkins Park from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Newtown elders, elected officials, community residents and a host of well wishers will gather to commemorate 100 years since the initial platting of the neighborhood. Events continue through Monday, April 21, 2014 with a “100 Hour Kick-Off” featuring family-oriented activities organized by neighborhood groups, that are free and open to the public. Check out the calendar for more information.


Multicultural Health Institute Event Includes Newtown’s Centennial

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Dr. Lisa Merritt of MHI (center rear) and community presenters
Dr. Lisa Merritt of MHI (center rear) and community presenters

The MultiCultural Health Institute and the Friends of the North Sarasota Library presented a health rights and culture event that tied the 50th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act with today’s current issue of the Affordable Care Act.

Students and adults were treated to a presentation by Dr. Lisa Merritt, Director of the MHI who spoke of the importance of the Health Care Act and the opportunity it presents for equity in the delivery of healthcare in the United States. Manatee County Rural Health Services was on hand to guide the audience on how to sign up for healthcare and navigate the website. Cast members from Florida Studio Theatre’s Thurgood stage production based on the life of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and his influence on the Civil Rights Act presented an excerpt from the play.  Genesis Health Services offered free health screenings.

Members of the Newtown Centennial Committee were in attendance including Euline Myrick, who is also the President of the North County Community Organization. He spoke of how the tragic death of a child at play, turned young and old in his neighborhood into advocates. Through action and collaboration Lime Lake Park was built, providing young people with a safe place to play and the entire neighborhood with a beautiful fresh air space for exercise and social gatherings; basic health rights that we should all have access to.

Euline Myrick speaks on the importance of community action and activism
Euline Myrick speaks on the importance of community action and activism

Che Barnett, Chair of the Newtown Centennial Committee, commented “ Mr. Myrick’s presentation was a  great message for the younger members in today’s audience, helping them understand that public service and advocacy is not just the work of our elected officials; they too can initiate and successfully achieve positive change in their communities.  It’s a story that resounds throughout Newtown’s 100 year legacy; people achieving against the odds. And, it mirrors the revolutionary spirit championed by Thurgood Marshall.

The event concluded with comments from Lovette Harper from Friends of the North Sarasota Library, citing the importance of both pieces of legislation.  Mrs. Harper and Dr. Cheryl Smith then lead the group through a tour of the new Cultural Resource Center housed at the library pointing out many items related to the Civil Rights era as well as Newtown’s history and the Centennial observance.

Lovette Harper speaks on history and legacy.
Lovette Harper speaks on history and legacy
Dr. Cheryl Smith leads tour of NSL Cultural Resource Center
Dr. Cheryl Smith leads tour of NSL Cultural Resource Center
Newtown the Next 100 Years!
Newtown the Next 100 Years!







Much appreciation to Dr. Lisa Merritt and the MultiCultural Health Institute for organizing a great Black History Month event and for inviting the Newtown Centennial to participate.

Newtown Centennial at Sarasota MLK Celebration

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Sarasota’s 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration was a partner event of the Newtown Centennial. Check out the neighborhood rallying community spirit around the centennial while giving tribute to Dr. King on this special day.

Community members march in honor of Dr. King
Community members march in honor of Dr. King
Teens Amara Merritt & Imani Barnette clean up the bayou during MLK Day of Service
Golfers teed off in honor of Dr. King to raise scholarship funds for college bound youth


It’s all about the next generation – the Next 100 Years.

                  Register your group’s event today!