It Takes A Village

Most not-for-profits like the Hermitage are supported by heros, both “sung” and “unsung.” Often those of the “unsung” hue are merchants and service providers who give and do not receive enough credit for their gifts. I’m reminded of this as we wrap up the major annual maintenance work and upgrades on our facility. Let us begin with Sarasota County, through the Parks and Recreation Department, who are major unsung heros for underwriting the costs of this work. You see, we had wood rot, dry rot, and wool rot. Such is life under the Florida sun and humidity on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. And the County stepped up and helped us with the costly repair and we are so grateful for their help.

Libby's LogoThese extensive carpentry repairs were done by other unsung heros Pat Ball Construction and their foreman, Hitch Bier. Pat Ball and Hitch went way beyond what the needed to do, contributing approximately $3,000 of additional work beyond the scope of their contract. They did this because they care – they care about our community, they care about the history embedded in these old buildings, and they understand the importance of preserving the history the building represents. The entire Hermitage House was repainted by Coating Solutions, Inc represented by Bud Tippins and his crew. More work done above and beyond the scope. We had a sliding glass door donated by Jon Cole and Tom Dignam donated the labor to install it in the Whitney Garage, transforming that space into a year-round visual art studio with air conditioning and heat.

We have five A/C units on campus. They are maintained by Castle Air. We get a deal from company owner, Blaise Castellano – often free labor and used parts, and a “not-for-profit price” on other HVAC costs. Blinds Blinds is a window covering company who has donated blinds to us, and given us good prices on the rest.

We have also been blessed with generosity from Steve Seidensticker at Libby’s Cafe and Bar, and Ash Shukla and Denise May at Chutney’s, eateries that have fed both artists and VIPs for us.

We wanted you to know some of the people and organizations who, behind the scenes, have been heroic in their generosity. If you see them, please thank them for supporting the Hermitage. Even better, patronize their establishments or use their services. If you see a Sarasota County Commissioner thank them. We all benefit from the good will of all our unsung heroes.