The Last Page: Karen Atwood

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The Last Page is dedicated to individuals who are making a positive impact on the LGBTQ community in Central Florida and Tampa Bay.

This issue, we check in with Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers owner Karen Atwood from Sarasota. Keep an eye on this space to learn more about the movers and shakers of your community.

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Venice Pride returns for second annual celebration

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Pridegoers prepare for the inaugural Venice Pride’s pet blessing Nov. 3, 2018. Photo by Ryan Williams-Jent.

Venice, Fla. | SunCoast Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) will hold the second annual Venice Pride on Nov. 2 to highlight Southern Sarasota’s growing LGBTQ community.

Suncoast MCC Senior Co-Pastors Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson and Rev. Vickie Miller will welcome attendees to the church’s five-acre campus from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The organization, which is described as a safe spiritual home for the LGBTQ community and its allies, hosted the inaugural Venice Pride in 2018.

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Watermark’s Sarasota Living with Pride Guide 2019

By : Dylan Todd
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Find all the greatest spots in Sarasota for arts and entertainment, dining, nightlife and much, much more!

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ALSO Youth executive director resigns

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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SARASOTA | Nathan Bruemmer, JD has resigned as the executive director of ALSO Youth effective Aug. 31, the organization shared Aug. 29.

ALSO Youth was founded in 1992 and exists to empower LGBTQ youth and their allies by creating inclusive communities. Bruemmer has served as executive director for two years.

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Watermark celebrates its silver anniversary with a look back at the LGBTQ headlines of the past 25 years

By : Jeremy Williams
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For 25 years, in nearly 700 issues, Watermark has been telling the stories of Central Florida and Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ communities.

First premiering in Orlando in 1994, and then expanding into Tampa Bay in 1995, Watermark now covers more than a dozen counties across the state. We can be found in many Florida cities including Daytona Beach, Orlando, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Sarasota—and thanks to WatermarkOnline.com, we have developed an international audience which relies on us for news, politics, sports, arts and entertainment as it pertains to the LGBTQ community.

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Sarasota Pride skips 2019, announces January 2020 celebration

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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SARASOTA | Sarasota Pride, Inc. announced Aug. 15 that its next PrideFest will be held Jan. 25, 2020 rather than in 2019, a departure from the organization’s traditional celebrations held in October.

Sarasota Pride aims to promote visibility and self-esteem among the LGBTQ community in Sarasota and throughout Florida. Chairman Cindy Barnes led the organization into its 29th year on Oct. 20, 2018 at J.D. Hamel Park.

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The Last Page with Senior Account Manager Russ Martin

By : Rick Claggett
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Share this story:

“I have newspaper in my blood and have worked in the industry for nearly 20 years,” says Russ Martin.

Russ began working for Watermark as a part time account manager in March of 2018. Within a few months Russ, and Watermark, realized the demands of managing marketing accounts were not conducive with a part-time schedule. Russ informed Watermark that his then current schedule would not allow him the time he needed to perform his tasks to the best of his ability, and he tendered his resignation.

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Watermark’s 2019 WAVE Awards Final Round – Tampa Bay/Sarasota

By : watermark staff
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We asked for your local favorites and you responded in the largest numbers we have ever seen. The 2019 WAVE Awards are now in full swing and, thanks to you faithful readers, we have our Top 3 in each category.

Now it’s time to tell us the top of the tops.

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Watermark’s 2019 WAVEs – Tampa Bay/Sarasota nomination round

By : Watermark Staff
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Welcome to 2019! Fresh off the historic blue wave that swept progressives into political offices in Central Florida, Tampa Bay and across the country; we bring you a wave of our own … the purple WAVE!!!

The Watermark Awards for Variety and Excellence, or the WAVEs for short, recognize the best in Tampa Bay and Sarasota’s LGBTQ community in the areas of activism, service, entertainment and more.

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Hunter Vance: OASIS Owner and Founder

By : Beneva Fruitville
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Beneva Fruitville

I am beyond thrilled to be honoring my dear friend Hunter Vance. He has been an integral part of the Sarasota LGBTQ community for over a decade.

I began performing as Beneva Fruitville in December 2008 and Hunter was an established dancer in the Sarasota, St. Pete and Tampa Bay area. He was always the first to say “Hi” with a genuine smile and friendly attitude. We established a strong friendship.

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PHOTOS: Equality Florida holds 2018 Suncoast Celebration

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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SARASOTA | Equality Florida held its annual Suncoast Celebration at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium Nov. 18, benefiting the organization’s work in fighting for statewide equality.

The evening featured live entertainment from Josh Walther and the Phase5 Band and honored community advocates throughout the celebration, beginning with Dr. Fred and Lee Brockmann. The duo, known for their outspoken advocacy, received the 2018 Voice for Equality honor. Dorothy Neufeld received the 2018 Spirit of Service and Leadership honor.

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PHOTOS: Venice Pride holds inaugural celebration

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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VENICE, Fla. | Venice’s LGBTQ community and its allies celebrated diversity and visibility during the inaugural Venice Pride Nov. 3.

The celebration, which proclaimed “We Are Here” with its theme, was held on the five-acre campus of SunCoast Cathedral Metropolitan Community Church from 1 – 5 p.m. According to Senior Co-Pastor Rev. Vickie Miller, one of the organizers, the theme was chosen to make a statement that the LGBTQ community exists in the area. “We want our voices to be a part of the community,” she shared with Watermark. “We want to be unified and work together on issues that impact us.”

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