Tour de Cure is March 30 in Lakewood Ranch

March 18, 2014 

Cyclists have quickly adopted the El Conquistador Parkway extension between 34th Street West and 53rd Avenue West, using it for interval training or adding to a loop through west Bradenton. FILE PHOTO TIFFANY TOMPKINS-CONDIE/Bradenton Herald

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LAKEWOOD RANCH --There's still time to join the Southwest Tour de Cure, a cycling fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association on March 30 in Lakewood Ranch. The annual cycling event features four routes to choose from: 10 miles, 35 miles, 65 miles and 100 miles.

The registration fee is $25 and riders are required to raise a minimum of $200. It's OK to register the day of the race, said Melissa Parsons, manager of special events at the American Diabetes Association Southwest Florida.

In the past, many late registrants have given a check for the minimum fundraising goal along with their registration fee, said Parsons. Day-of-race registration is $35.

Last year's event attracted more than 700 riders and this year's goal is to raise $300,000, she said. Most riders are from the Manatee-Sarasota area but the Tour de Cure is also a destination ride for cyclists from other states.

The routes start at 8131 Lakewood Main St., Lakewood Ranch, with staggered check-in times based on route distance. For information, call 813-885-5007.

Autism Resource Expo is March 29 in Sarasota

SARASOTA -- The third annual Autism Resource Expo will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 29 at Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School, 4171 Fruitville Road, Sarasota.

Sponsored by Face Autism, the event will feature more than 30 vendors with services for children with autism. Face Autism is a non-profit organization formed in 2009 to offer sensory-friendly events, education and support to families in Manatee and Sarasota.

"What we like to do once a year is to have everything in one building for parents and grandparents to see what is available," said Colleen Buccieri, who founded Face Autism.

Families can talk one-on-one with local resource providers, including schools, healthcare companies, special programs and therapy providers. Organizations will include the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at the University of South Florida.

A sensory-friendly play area will be available for children.

Autism can cause sensitivity to noise, bright lights and crowds; one of Face Autism's missions is to offer sensory-friendly events throughout the year for children such as a fall festival.

In September, Face Autism will be sponsoring its first walk, the Flip Flop Walk for Autism Awareness, in Sarasota, said

Buccieri.

For more information, call Buccieri at 813-240-3044 or visit www.face-autism.org.

Learn more about qigong at library

BRADENTON -- Acupuncture physician John Orsborn will be presenting "Qigong: The Ancient Art of Science and Health Care" from 1 to 2:30 p.m. March 20 at the South Manatee Branch Library, 6081 26th St. W., Bradenton.

Orsborn has practiced qigong, an Oriental exercise, for more than 30 years. As a volunteer for the Center for Building Hope, he teaches classes in Bradenton for people affected by cancer.

Qigong is more than 5,000 years old and one of its offshoots is tai chi, said Orsborn. He will talk about its history and effects on health. There are various styles of qigong and one of its offshoots is the martial art of tai chi.

Students practicing qigong two to three times a week can experience dramatic changes after several months, said Orsborn.

One of its benefits is increased lung capacity from qigong's emphasis on the breath and respiration.

The talk is free; no advance registration required.

Yoga for cancer patients at Renaissance on 9th

BRADENTON -- A new yoga series for people affected by cancer is from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays at Renaissance on 9th, 1816 Ninth St. W., Bradenton.

Taught by yoga teacher Anne Silverman, classes focus on cultivating healing and awareness in a safe environment.

Students are encouraged to go at that own pace. Silverman is a certified teacher of kripalu yoga, a form of yoga that guides students in listening within to the wisdom of their own bodies.

A benefit for cancer patients is that the classes can promote self-empowerment instead of fear, said Silverman.

"There are no expectations for how a student looks or moves. Any student can do some variation of the poses -- and they also have the option of not doing the pose at all," she said.

Classes are free and only people who are cancer survivors or patients can attend. For information, call 941-749-0100.

Susan Hemmingway, Herald health correspondent, can be reached at shemmingway@hotmail.com.

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