As I have written previously, I am an active member of the Sertoma Club of Greater Sarasota, and February and March are a very busy time for me. If you will indulge me for a moment, I’d like to talk about two very important events that I am involved with regarding that club.

Sertoma, which stands for SERvice TO MAnkind, is an International group that focuses its charitable efforts primarily helping people with speech and hearing issues, with an emphasis on children. Locally our club has done amazing things – including the funding and development of the “First Sound” program at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. That program, which provided specialized equipment and volunteers to test newborns for hearing loss, was so successful Florida now mandates it for all newborns across the state. Over 50 infants from SMH have been referred for early interventional hearing treatment from that program.

Help support children with hearing impairmentsThose are kids that will have a shot at a normal life; a life they may have otherwise been denied.

We do a variety of other things, but one of our main efforts is the continual funding of Sertoma Kids, a speech clinic for children that we have run for over 30 years. This is an important mission, and we work hard to raise funds to keep it going.

I am chair and “Roastmaster” of the Sertoma Sarasota Celebrity Roast. Our next Roast, scheduled for March 8th, will be dishonoring our local Sarasota County Sheriff, Tom Knight. It will be the 6th Roast we have held, and he will be our second Sheriff, having previously roasted his predecessor Sheriff Bill Balkwill. I love doing the Roast, as we have had the opportunity to also poke fun at State Senators, TV weathermen, and college presidents. Roasting a Sheriff is a bit trickier, as they tend to be heavily armed and can call for backup, but Tom Knight (who has been on two of our Roasting panels) appears to be a relatively good natured guy who looks like he will be able to take it.

If you are in the Sarasota area and would like to attend, you can get information and purchase tickets at Ticket sales are outpacing previous Roasts, and we hope to raise more than $30,000 that night. It is going to be tremendous fun for a good cause, so I hope you can join us.

The second event in March, “Celebrate Sound – Don’t Walk in Silence”, is scheduled for March 22nd. It is a charity walk, and this is where all you folks in faraway places can still be with us in spirit. I will be walking, and am actively seeking sponsors for the day. I am asking (begging, pleading, groveling if you will) for people who are willing to spare $5, $10, $20 dollars or more to support me in that event. 50% of all proceeds will be supporting the local clubs efforts, and the other half will support the larger charitable programs of Sertoma International.

And I am not above begging, pleading and groveling in future blog posts, so you might as well save us all the trouble and help me now. I've set a relatively modest goal to avoid total national humiliation, plus I promise to walk with true commitment worthy of your support.

You may sponsor me here. If my blog is worth $5 a year in entertainment, or at least incredulous shock and dismay, this is the place to demonstrate that. Your contributions and support of this very noble cause will be noted and appreciated.

Thank you.

(Did I mention you could sponsor me here?)

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