Save-the-Date & Buy Your Tickets Now!!! … Sarasota Exotic Car Fest Set for February 21-23, 2014



By Lea T. Mei, Director of Development and Communications

One of the more eclectic festivals in Florida is back for another exciting event as the Sarasota’s Exotic Car Festival celebrates beauty, power and speed. Like last year, the 2014 Festival will benefit United Cerebral Palsy of Southwest Florida in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Over three days, attendees can see every imaginable exotic car up close and personal: Bentley, Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Lotus, McLaren and more.

The 2014 event will kick-off with a Luxury Lifestyle Jet Port Reception on Friday, February 21st and later includes a display of exotic cars on St. Armands Circle (free to the public), as well as cocktails and dinner at theSarasota Yacht Club, and road rally with a closing brunch. This incredible event is for a great cause and remains one of the best exotic car shows in the U.S.

Buy your tickets early!!

ONE DAY LEFT: “50 Years of Bond” to Kick-off on February 22, 2013 in Sarasota

007 skyfall aston martin 609x250

Car enthusiasts, exotic car owners and adrenaline-jockeys with a “need for speed” are counting down the minutes until the kick-off of the Annual Sarasota Exotic Car Fest tomorrow. This year’s charity event is a James Bond-themed weekend celebrating “50 years of Bond.” All proceeds will benefit the United Cerebral Palsy of Southwest Florida. UCP serves the community by providing a full array of beneficial services and resources to individuals with disabilities and their families and by advocating their full independence. The three-day event benefiting the charity will feature hundreds of breath-taking exotic cars filling the famed St. Armands Concoursin Sarasota.

The weekend will commence on Friday night with the Luxury Lifestyle Jet Port Reception at the Rectrix Aerodrome, then continued on Saturday with the Concours display of exotic cars at St. Armand’s Circle. Excitement will culminate on Sunday with a Road Rally and Lunch at The Founders Golf Club. For more information go to the SECF website,

As always, we are grateful for the community’s support of the people with intellectual and physical disabilities served by the United Cerebral palsy. The awareness and funds raised through this charitable event are vital to our mission. See you there!

Save-the-Date: Girls Night Out in Sarasota

girls night out ucpswfl evite

Gather all your girlfriends and join UCP of Southwest Florida, Inc. at Simply Spoiled for the ultimately Girls Night Out. Start your holiday shopping while sipping the bubbly and enjoying delicious food from Cafe Baci. Simply Spoiled has fabulous activities to entertain while browsing the holiday goodies with friends. And… special guest, Designer Diana E. Kelly, will be in attendance for the posh celebration! We hope to see you there!!

Sarasota Ford To Host Major Fundraiser For UCP of Southwest Florida

sarasota ford

Save-the-Date! On November 15, 2012 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, United Cerebral Palsy of Southwest Florida will be the charity of choice for Sarasota Ford as they host Go Further With Ford Night. This event is free of charge, but donations are welcome and will support the individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities who receive services from the local UCP. The event will feature a performance by American Idol Finalist Syesha Mercado. It will also feature the National Ford Fusion Giveaway and the American Idol contest where you can be a judge on American Idol. RSVP Here To Go Further With Ford!

Horsing Around in Sarasota

By Milena Park, ADT Director

Erick Erick loves horse riding or simply just being around them. Erick has been part of Sunrise/UCP Sarasota since July of 1998 and now lives in an In-Home Supports apartment with one of his peers along with a staff member. Luckily, he still visits his parents’ home where he can see the horses.

While volunteering for the Equestrian Special Olympics in 1995, I realized the way a horse could impact a person’s life. Since Erick has such a passion for horses, I started looking into therapeutic riding opportunities for him as well as other individuals who attend our Day Program and decided to contact the Sarasota-Manatee Association for Riding Therapy (SMART). Erick was very excited when I told him he would be able to learn how to drive a horse carriage. SMART has a carriage that has a special lift which raises the wheelchair and locks it into place at the front, so that the individual receiving the lesson can take the reins. After his first lesson, Erick was able to feed the horse grain out of a bucket. At first attempt, he placed the bucket in his lap so he could wrap his arms around the horse;s face! Erick is not able to hear, so the sensation of touch and feeling the motion of the carriage means a great deal to him. Erick loves to touch, smell and use all his other senses to get the full effect of everything hi does When I printed this picture and gave it to Erick, he look at it for a moment and then took it from me smiling, while nodding his head in approval. Seeing the joy this simple gesture brought to his face was a reminder of the “real” reason I love my job!