Local Events

Lakewood Ranch High School ninth grader Maria Miller turns a T-Shirt Into $1,000

SARASOTA -- Lakewood Ranch High School freshman Maria Miller recently won the grand prize at Sarasota Guitar Company’s video shoot and giveaway.

Maria, who is a Lakewood Ranch resident, was one of more than 70 people to participate in the guitar, bass and accessories retailer’s promotional video filming at its Sarasota location, 4333 S. Tamiami Trail. A musician-owned family-run business, Sarasota Guitar Company also has a Bradenton store at 2111 Cortez Road West.

The $1,000 gift card giveaway was the brainchild of Sarasota Guitar Company owner Scott Cook who thought it would entice people to join in the video.

“My idea was to have people come to the store wearing our T-shirts, gather in front for the camera and yell out in unison, ‘I love Sarasota Guitar Company!’ The only requirement for participating in the video and the $1,000 gift card drawing was that you show up at our Sarasota location wearing a Sarasota Guitar Company T-shirt on April 1,” Cook explains. “So basically one lucky person was going to turn a T-shirt into $1,000.” To help promote the event and the four-figure giveaway, Cook elicited the services of the Lazy Fairy Improv Troupe. The troupe shot a promotional video at Sarasota Guitar Company’s Sarasota store in February, and that video has already received more than 20,000 hits.

Maria doesn’t play guitar, but her father Nick Miller plays lead guitar and rhythm guitar with his band Nick Miller and The Gathering.

Her brother, Nick Miller Jr., plays classical and electric guitar and was one of only 35 high school students chosen statewide to participate in the Florida Music Educator Association’s All-State Classical Guitar Ensemble.

A junior at Lakewood Ranch High School, Nick Jr. also plays saxophone in the school’s jazz band. Both father and brother are hoping Maria will see her way to letting them go on a shopping spree at Sarasota Guitar Company with her winnings.