Business briefs: Tropiflora hosts annual plant sale this weekend

April 2, 2013 

Tropiflora is hosting its 14th annual plant festival and sale beginning Friday.

The spring festival takes place April 5-7 and features thousands of Tropiflora's plants in special tents and on benches set up for the sale. In addition to their own plants, Tropiflora hosts about 20 outside vendors selling plant material from bamboo to bougainvilleas, crotons, aroids, ferns, orchids, succulents, shrubs, annuals, fruit trees and palms and even artwork.

The sale at 3530 Tallevast Rd. includes free coffee and donuts in the morning. The Oaks barbecue restaurant will have a tent with lunch for sale. Hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. For details visit or call 941-351-2267.

Golf tournament to benefit homeless children

Paul Sysak, owner of the Manatee County landscape company Pacific Pavers, Inc., is seeking sponsors and participants for a golf tournament he is organizing, to support Feeding Empty Little Tummies (FELT), a nonprofit organization that provides weekend backpack meals for homeless school children throughout Manatee.

The tournament, Golfin' FORE Children, is scheduled for May 11 at LegacyGolf Club at Lakewood Ranch, 8255 Legacy Blvd.

The four-person scramble is $100 per player; registration the day of the tournament begins at 7:30 a.m. with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. Cost to participate includes a continental breakfast, barbecue luncheon, one beer ticket, raffle prizes and contests.

FELT works with 14 schools throughout Manatee County to provide homeless children with backpacks filled with enough food for complete meals for weekend days, when children often go hungry because they do not have access to the school and lunch program. FELT volunteers deliver them to schools that discreetly dispense the packs to the students identified by the school board as being homeless. Mid-week, volunteers pick up the empty backpacks and refill them.

"Events, such as this tournament, and the efforts extended by Paul Sysak and others enable FELT to continue meeting its goals for providing nourishing food to hundreds of children in our community," said Jane Evers, founder of FELT. "We're ever grateful for the efforts of all those who participate in and support this tournament, and because of these individual efforts and the continued support, we can clearly make a difference in the lives of many children."

Sysak decided he wanted to help the community's homeless children while encouraging his own son to appreciate all that he has. He figured a golf tournament was one of the best, most visible ways to do so.

All proceeds from the tournament will go

directly to the backpack program. All money raised for FELT's backpack program is tax deductible.

Tournament sponsors currently include Stabil Brick Pavers, Smoothie King and Remax Alliance Group.

For information about sponsoring or registering for the tournament, call Paul Sysakat 941-238-7854 or email LeAnn Holloway of Legacy Park Golf Club at

Art gallery to host photo impressionism exhibit

Island Gallery West will feature Richard Stewart's photography in an exhibit titled "Photo Impressionism." The gallery, 5368 Gulf Dr., will host a public reception honoring Richard from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 12 during Holmes Beach's artWALK.

Stewart's work encompasses both traditional and now digital photography techniques, producing award-winning results.

The exhibit runs through April 30. Regular gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Visit or call 941-778-6648 for gallery updates.

-- Herald staff reports

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