SARASOTA, Fla. – The Rotary Club of Sarasota Sunrise is donating two beach access wheelchairs to Sarasota County Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources to be available to visitors at Lido Beach. There is a special presentation event at the Lido Beach Pavilion at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 22.
This is the fifth chair donated by the Rotary Club of Sarasota Sunrise over the last 12 months. Last year’s celebrations were crushed by Covid-19, so this year’s celebration has been a long time in the waiting. Join City Commissioners, Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources officials, Visit Sarasota County, and many Rotary club members from Area 8 and beyond.
Virginia Haley, President of Visit Sarasota County, happened to be the guest speaker at a recent Sarasota Sunrise Rotary meeting in which the members were discussing their plans to place the two new beach wheelchairs on Lido Beach. “That’s where the idea of this celebration began,” Haley said. “Making Sarasota’s beaches open to visitors and residents of all abilities is a priority and we applaud the Rotary Club of Sarasota Sunrise for providing these wheelchairs, enabling everyone to enjoy Lido Beach.”
Rotary Club of Sarasota Sunrise Foundation President, Teresa Taft, said “For me personally, this ACT of LOVE makes my heart happy. My mother would have loved to have been able to get to the water after she was no longer able to walk the distance from the car to the shore.”
Tony King, Wheelchair Committee Chair from the Rotary Club of Sarasota Sunrise, coordinated the purchase of these two chairs all the way from Spain. “Charity begins at home, and there is nothing illustrating this more than our Beach Wheelchair Project. Nothing can restrict the activities of a family more than having a family member who is wheelchair-bound. The use of a Beach Wheelchair permits all members of a family to visit the beach regardless of the sandy terrain. It is a privilege to be a member of a club who embraces such a concept.”
Some of the many representatives in attendance this year will be Liz Alpert, City of Sarasota Commissioner; Virginia Haley, President of Visit Sarasota; Jonathan Poyner, Siesta and South Lido Beach Coordinator; Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources; and Rotary members from multiple Rotary Clubs in Sarasota.
At lifeguarded county beaches (which include Lido, Nokomis, North Jetty, Venice, and Manasota Beaches), beach wheelchairs can be obtained from the lifeguard towers free of charge, every day between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. At Siesta Beach, beach wheelchairs are available at the beach concessionaire from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Anyone in need of a beach wheelchair outside those hours can contact the Sarasota County ADA Coordinator three days before their visit, and make an accommodation request 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 941-861-5000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are seven active Rotary clubs in the Sarasota area, an organization of men and women of all ages and diversity doing good in the community.
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