Business Briefs: TreeUmph! Adventure Course to help fight pediatric cancer

April 27, 2013 

MANATEE -- The Lauren O'Hara Memorial Fund and TreeUmph! Adventure Course are teaming up to raise funds for children being treated for cancer at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg. TreeUmph!, Southwest Florida's first treetop obstacle course, will donate 25 percent of all ticket sales May 5 from 10 a.m. to noon. Adventures will begin every half hour. Tickets purchased for the event can be used at a later date for anyone unable to attend. Reserve tickets by visiting or by calling (941) 504-6705.

This is the first fundraiser for the Lauren O'Hara Memorial Fund, also known affectionately as "Lauren's Army," a donor-advised fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota formed by Jean and Patrick O'Hara to honor the memory of their daughter. Lauren was a Sarasota High School student who succumbed to leukemia at age 18, only nine months after she was diagnosed.

In addition to climbing, swinging and zip-lining through the trees, participants will enjoy food, T-shirts, a raffle and the opportunity to add their name to a donor registry by Be the Match, which helps match patients with donors for potentially life-saving bone marrow transplants. Lauren's Army also is asking for donations of new DVDs in their original packaging the day of the event to be donated to All Children's Hematology/Oncology unit.

Senate OKs craft distillers bill to allow on-site sales

TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida Senate has given final approval to a bill allowing on-site sales of liquor at the state's craft liquor distilleries.The measure (HB 347) passed on a 36-0 vote Friday and now goes to Gov. Rick Scott. It previously cleared the House.

A distillery cannot produce more than 75,000 gallons to remain eligible for retail sales. Liquor distributors and retailers had opposed the bill until the bottle limit was changed to two from 24.

Florida wineries and craft brewers are already able to sell their products on-site for customers to take home.

Nelson Homes on track to double sales over 2012

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Nelson Homes Inc. an independently owned and operated Arthur Rutenberg Homes franchise, sold 15 homes in the first quarter of 2013, almost half of all the sales reported in 2012.

After opening the new home building franchise in 2010, the company reported 12 sales in 2011 and 33 sales in 2012.

The builder also doubled the size of its Lakewood Ranch office space this year and is growing its staff quickly. Seven people were hired near the end of 2012, three more came on in 2013 and Nelson expects to add even more jobs during the next few months in all areas.

After selling all three of its model homes in Country Club East at Lakewood

Ranch, The Lake Club at Lakewood Ranch and The Concession, Nelson Homes will begin construction on three models this summer with brand new floor plans. The new home builder has already experienced two price increases this year. The average sales price at Nelson Homes is $711,253.

Webtivity Designs helps in "Coding for Not-for-Profit Day"

MANATEE -- Webtivity Designs is donating a senior developer to participate May 2 in the Sarasota-Bradenton BarCamp "Coding for Not-for-profit Day."

Amanda Pasko, art director for Webtivity, will be lending her expertise to help develop a new website platform for Realize Bradenton and Riverwalk. The platform to be used for this project has been donated by Shaun Walker, CTO and Founder of DotNetNuke (DNN). Pasko met Walker in 2012 at an event in Sarasota.

DotNetNuke is a Content Management System that Webtivity has embraced and recommended to their clients since its release in 2003. Webtivity has used the platform for local organizations such as the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce, Bradenton Downtown Development Authority and South Florida Museum.

"Coding for Not-for-Profit Day" is just one day of the four-day destination event.

"One of the major reasons we relocated our business downtown was because of Riverwalk and the great downtown revitalization efforts, said Terry Thompson, president and CEO of Webtivity. "Donating a staff member to this event is just a small way of giving back to our community and helping to draw tech talent to our area."

-- Herald staff and wires report

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