September 29, 2010

City of Sarasota, State of Florida Proclaim October 4-8 Licensed Midwives Week

At next week’s City Commission meeting (Monday, October 4, 6:00pm), Sarasota Mayor Kelly Kirschner will proclaim October 4th through 8th as Sarasota Licensed Midwives Week. Mayor Kirschner’s recognition will pay tribute to the skilled, individualized care that Sarasota’s licensed midwives offer women and their families throughout the childbearing cycle. It will signify the strong contribution licensed midwives make to the health and well-being of our community's mothers and babies through appropriate care and treatment in all phases of childbirth.

The week has also been proclaimed Florida Licensed Midwives Week by the office of Florida Governor Charlie Crist, coinciding with National Midwifery Week, a time to recognize the contributions of Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs), Certified Midwives (CMs) and Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) nationwide. The American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) publicly announces the week with an introduction to midwifery. "The heart of midwifery care for women and newborns lies more in the nature of that care than in its specific components. Midwifery practice has a firm foundation in the critical thought process and is focused on the prevention of disease and the promotion of health, taking the best from the disciplines of midwifery, nursing, public health and medicine to provide safe, holistic care."

HISTORY OF MIDWIFERY IN FLORIDA: Midwives have a long and valued history in Florida. The state first passed legislation to license direct-entry midwives in 1931. In the 79 years since, Florida’s licensed midwives have continued to tirelessly serve the families of Florida and to ensure the continued availability of safe, evidence-based birthing options for Florida’s families. In 1992, Governor Lawton Chiles declared the first-ever Licensed Midwives Week. More women than ever before are seeking out licensed midwives for maternity care.

ABOUT MIDWIFERY IN FLORIDA: In Florida, two types of midwives are allowed to practice: Certified Nurse-Midwives and Licensed Midwives (a Florida state licensure), also known as direct-entry midwives. Throughout the state, about 11.2 percent of births are estimated to be managed by midwives, rather than by OB-GYNs. Many birth centers and midwives have reported a significant increase in business in the past year. This increase is believed to be a result of various factors, primarily a greater number of women seeking alternative birthing choices due to an unhealthy increase in caesarean sections and other unnecessary interventions that frequently occur in hospital settings. In a 2006 report on Florida Licensed Midwives, midwives had a caesarean section rate of 6.3 percent compared to a 36.64 percent statewide average in hospitals the same year.
In honor of this week, Florida Friends of Midwives (FFOM), a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to promoting and supporting the practice of midwifery in Florida, will be hosting various community events throughout the state this week and during October to celebrate the more than 110 currently practicing licensed midwives. For more information of midwifery in Florida, please visit

“We are humbled by the dedication of the mothers who worked so hard to have this week declared licensed midwifery week,” says licensed midwife Miriam Pearson-Martinez. “We hope that the events happening all over the state this week serve to raise awareness regarding the benefits of midwifery care.”

The proclamation in Sarasota will be read by Mayor Kirschner at the beginning of the City Commission meeting, Monday, October 4th, at 6:00 pm in Sarasota’s City Hall. Florida Friends of Midwives encourages all families who have benefited from the care of licensed midwives to attend this special recognition.

About Florida Friends of Midwives: Florida Friends of Midwives is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to promoting the Midwives Model of Care and supporting the practice of midwifery in Florida. Florida Friends of Midwives was formed to support midwives who offer safe, cost-effective, evidence based care to Florida's families. For more information, please visit

September 28, 2010

Gilkey Associate to Chair ASLA Committee

Gavin Cain, Landscape Associate with Sarasota’s Michael A. Gilkey, Inc., has accepted the nomination to chair the 2010-2011 Emerging Professionals Committee for the Florida Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (FLASLA).

Cain will advise the membership and staff on ASLA Associate, Student, and Student Affiliate Member programs and services; facilitate communication with and among all emerging professional groups; promote the benefits of membership and encourage member recruitment at all levels; and communicate with faculty and chapter about ASLA programs and benefits pertaining to students and Associate Members. Cain will also develop and maintain student leadership training programs.

“As an emerging professional myself, I can relate to the up-and-down experiences of aspiring landscape designers in this challenging economy,” says Cain. “Our local communities, state, and world need the work and influences of landscape architects more than ever. We must keep our emerging professionals inspired and up-to-date on the pulse of our great profession.”

For more information about Michael A. Gilkey, Inc., please call (941) 924-0132, or visit The Florida Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects can be found on the web at

ABOUT MICHAEL A. GILKEY, INC.: Michael A. Gilkey, Inc. is a landscape architecture studio in Sarasota, Florida, established in 1981. Through a passion for pure design and personal relationships with architects, contractors and homeowners, Gilkey creates expressions of outdoor space that are direct translations of their clients’ visions. For more information, please visit or call (941) 924-0132.

September 26, 2010

Ashley's Offers Plant-a-Seedling Activity

Ashley’s Food Delivery, the area’s only multi-restaurant delivery service, gave back to the community last Saturday, September 18th, by participating in the Whole Foods Market 30th Birthday Bash benefiting All Faiths Food Bank. Ashley’s hosted a “Plant-a-Seedling” activity, inspired by the company’s “Plant-a-Tree Program,” which has facilitated the planting of over 18,500 trees since 2,009.
Children visiting the Ashley’s Food Delivery booth planted certified organic vegetable seedlings (donated by Jessica’s Organic Farm) in biodegradable peat pots, then filled them with soil donated by Michael A. Gilkey, Inc. Landscape Architects. The planted pots, which children were able to take home with them, were completed with hand-decorated plant markers.

“We had a lot of fun participating in this event,” says Ashley’s Food Delivery owner Jeff Sniegocki. “Working with the kids to plant seedlings, and knowing that it was for the benefit of All Faiths Food Bank, was highly rewarding. We strongly support their mission and commitment to fight hunger in our community.”

The Ashley’s Food Delivery Plant-A-Tree program is part of the company’s green commitment. For every order placed, the restaurant delivery service plants a tree through the international Trees for the Future organization. “Our Plant-A-Tree program is one way we are trying to offset our ecological footprint,” says Sniegocki. More information about the Ashley’s Green Commitment is available on the company’s website,

Full delivery menus for all of Ashley’s restaurant partners are also available on the Ashley’s Food Delivery website. Delivery orders can be placed online, or with a customer service representative at 953-FOOD (953-3663).

About Ashley’s Food Delivery: The area’s only multi-restaurant delivery service, Ashley’s Food Delivery partners with over 25 restaurants in Sarasota to deliver everything from home-cooked, comfort food to elegant, gourmet dining. Ashley’s Food offers residential & corporate meal delivery, drop-off catering services and gift basket delivery. The service is open for lunch delivery Monday through Friday (Sarasota only) and dinner delivery every day. For more information, call 953-FOOD or visit

September 23, 2010

Girl Scouts to Host True Beauty Festival

Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida is recognizing National Love Your Body Day with a True Beauty Festival, October 23rd from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Girl Scouts Event and Conference Center (4740 Cattlemen Road, Sarasota, Florida). Open to the public, the True Beauty Festival offers girls in grades 4 through 12 a venue to learn about self-esteem, healthy body image and self-care in today’s environment. The program is sponsored by the National Organization for Women (NOW) and Uniquely Me!, an initiative created by Girl Scouts and funded by Dove to address the critical nationwide problem of low self-esteem among adolescent and pre-adolescent girls.

Love Your Body Day was developed by NOW in 1997 in response to a quickly growing American health crisis: negative body image among girls and women. Today, 80% of American women report being dissatisfied with their appearance. On the contrary, having a positive body image can lead to increased self-esteem, healthier habits, and lower rates of depression. Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida is committed to working with the community toward cultivating positive body image for young women.

The True Beauty Festival will include workshops from local female community leaders in a variety of disciplines, as well as performers, activities, a film and a fashion show, all dedicated to fostering positive body image. Participants will learn about holistic health, green eating and living, healthy relationships, goal-setting, fitness, self-defense, self-care, yoga, bullying, media awareness and more.

Registration for the True Beauty Festival is $5 for Girl Scouts and $17 for non-members (this includes a $12 annual membership to Girl Scouts; a limited number of scholarships available). The Festival is free for accompanying adults. Confirmation will include detailed information about the workshop schedule and lunch. Sponsorships are still available for local businesses. To register, or for more information about sponsorships, please contact Julia Onnie-Hay at (941) 921-5358, ext. 316, or

ABOUT GIRL SCOUTS OF GULFCOAST FLORIDA, INC.: Girl Scouting builds girls of Courage, Confidence and Character who make the world a better place. Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, Inc. is chartered by Girl Scouts of the USA and serves over 11,200 girls in ten counties including: Manatee, Hardee, Highlands, Sarasota, DeSoto, Charlotte, Glades, Lee, Hendry, and Collier. For more information please visit

September 13, 2010

Blonde Cow Photography Opens Burns Ct. Studio

Blonde Cow Photography, a Sarasota-based company owned by Kollene and Mattias Carlsson, has opened the doors to its new studio in historic Burns Court. The Carlssons have operated the business from their Arlington Park home for three years.
“We decided to move out of our home-based business which has truly been a dream come true,” says Kollene. “To open the doors of our downtown location and be able to separate business and family has been huge for us! We have so many things planned and are so excited to be a part of our community!”

A grand opening reception at the studio, located at 505 Burns Lane, is planned for October 1st. For more information about Blonde Cow Photography, please visit

About Blonde Cow Photography: We are Kollene and Mattias Carlsson, and Blonde Cow Photography is a Sarasota-based, full-service photography studio specializing in simple, fresh, happy images that will take you back to special moments and make you smile for years to come. At Blonde Cow Photography, we believe in simplicity, style, and a beautiful experience for our customers. Our new studio is now open at 505 Burns Lane in Sarasota, or at