Sunday, November 7, 2021 at 5:00 PM

Michael’s on East
1212 S. East Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34239

Cocktail attire

Honorary Chair
Commissioner Liz Alpert

Gala Co-Chairs
Isabelle Eidet | Katherine Benoit Kenney DeCamp

Director of Events
Charlotte Hull (941) 201-7437

Silent Auction Team
Marianne Gordon, Lead
Linda Mercurio & Diane Heron

SPONSOR Opportunites

Table Sponsor for eight

Premium seating | Recognition & Corporate Logo on our Sponsor Page, Social Media, Member Newsletter, Gala Program and from the Podium | SCAS Gift Bag  SCAS Pin


Gold Sponsor – includes 2 tickets  

Premium seating | Recognition & Corporate Logo on our Sponsor Page, Social Media, Members Newsletter, Gala Program and from the Podium | SCAS Gift Bag  SCAS Pin


Contact VP Fundraising, Betty Greenspan (941) 780-1528 or betty.greenspan@gmail.com


5:00 PM

Cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres

Silent Auction

6:15 PM

Entertainment provided by the Sarasota Opera

6:30 PM Welcome Remarks from Commissioner Liz Alpert, Honorary OWA Gala Chair

6:45 PM Dinner is served

7:45 PM ONE WORLD AWARD Commences


The OWA Committee have modified the event layout to allow for more social distancing inside the ballroom. This includes limiting attendance and reducing seating capacities.

The Registration tables, the Silent Auction tables and the Bar will be located outside in the Atrium.

Our event venue: Michael’s on East, employs a professional sanitation service using CDC and EPA approved disinfectants and UVL fogging. There is nightly steam cleaning of kitchens and floors with high temperature dishwashing. All staff members are SafeServ certified and fully vaccinated, and masks are required on unvaccinated staff members.

Please observe posted Covid-19 safety protocols and guidelines prior to and during the entire duration of this event.

Visit our OWA event webpage for updates at: www.sarasotasistercities.org/special-events/





Thank you to our Table Sponsors. You truly make a difference.

We are grateful for your support.

Thank you to our generous OWA Sponsors & Donors


Katherine Benoit
John Brooks

Isabelle Eidet
Gary Eidet

Phillip Gordon
Marianne Gordon

Murray Bring
Kay Delaney

Marty Martel
Bonny Heet

Gerald Fickenscher
Wendy Babb

Francis Fergusson
John Bradbury

Peggy Allen
Steven Dixon

Russ Wiltshire
Margarete Wiltshire

Rabbi Jonathan Katz
Marty Katz




Kretzmer Family Charitable Foundation

City of Sarasota

Massimo Olivella, Wine Makers Import

Waldron Kraemer and Joan Lovell

David and Barbara Smith

Ronda and Joseph Montminy

Kathryn De Young

Linda Rosenbluth

Fred Bloom

Janet Hough

Peggy Allen and Steven Dixon

Barbara Hamilton

SCAS City Directors and Assistant City Directors

Kiev Deli 







Pictured: Maestro Victor DeRenzi, Principal Conductor & Artistic Director and Richard Russel, General Director

Photo Credit Matt Holler


Maestro Giuseppe Verdi 1813 – 1901

Sister Cities raised over $6,000 for Villa Verdi in Busseto, Italy

Maestro Victor DeRenzi’s passion for the music created by another Italian Master, Giuseppe Verdi, the greatest composer of Italian opera in the 19th century, was the inspiration for him to perform with the Sarasota Opera every piece of music Verdi ever wrote. This twenty-eight-year labor of love brought national and international attention to Sarasota, with Maestro DeRenzi and the Sarasota Opera the only conductor and opera company in the world to have completed the “Verdi Cycle,” making Sarasota the home of Verdi in America.

Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was born on October 9, 1813, in Le Roncole, a village near Busseto, Italy. At a Jesuit school in Busseto, he received his first lessons in music composition and the organ. At the tender age of 13, he was the reserve organist for the local church and played his compositions for the public. He moved to Milan at age 20 to continue his studies. There he received private composition lessons while attending operatic performances and concerts.

Verdi returned to Busseto in 1830 to give his first public performance at the home of Antonio Barezzi, a local merchant and music lover who had long supported his musical ambitions. Verdi met his daughter, Margherita Barezzi, and became her music teacher. They soon married and had two children that died in infancy during the period that Verdi was working on his first opera. Margherita died shortly afterwards at age 26.

During the mid-1840s, Verdi met and fell in love with soprano Giuseppina Strepponi, who became his lifelong companion. Their cohabitation prior to marriage was regarded as scandalous at the time. After his mother’s death in 1851, they made the Villa Verdi at Sant’Agata in Villanova sull’Arda near Busseto their home. They were married on 29 August 1859.

Busseto is located in the province of Parma, in Emilia-Romagna, and for almost five hundred years it was the capital of Stato Pallavicino. Today in Busseto  one may visit monuments dedicated to Verdi. In the Piazza Verdi, a bronze statue of the Maestro dominates the square in front of a historic building, the Verdi theatre, which dates to 1856 and 1868, and Casa Barezzi, where the composer lived with his first wife, Margherita Barezzi. The Villa Pallavicino nearby is a beautiful renaissance building that houses the National Museum.

The Villa Verdi is now a museum and the descendants of the Verdi family still live there. Maestro DeRenzi’s visits to Busseto and close ties with the Verdi family inspired him to request our City Leaders and Sister Cities Association of Sarasota to begin a Sister Cities partnership between Busseto, Italy, the home of Maestro Giuseppe Verdi, and Verdi’s American musical “home” of Sarasota in early 2019.

In December 2019, Sarasota’s Mayor, Liz Alpert, signed a Letter of Friendship that was sent to the Mayor of Busseto, Sindaco Giancarlo Contini. He signed and dated the Letter of Friendship on the 119th anniversary of Verdi’s passing on January 27, 2020, thus making Busseto our newest Friendship City.

This past year during the pandemic, as a gesture of goodwill and friendship, our Sister Cities members and friends raised just over $6,000 to help to fund the renovation due to water damage of Maestro Giuseppe Verdi’s home in Busseto, Italy.

Please join us in celebrating this beautiful new friendship between our cities. Become a Citizen Diplomat and help us work on new exchanges with the citizens of Busseto.



Bid on fantastic gift baskets and items donated by our very generous donors from local vendors to unique items sourced from our Sister and Friendship Cities and Countries and donated by the Sarasota Sister Cities Directors and Assistant City Directors.

The Silent Auction Team have assembled a variety of themed baskets that will appeal to virtually all bidders. There’s something for everyone, at all spending capacities.

A “Take Me Home” table auction of our beautiful floral centerpieces created by Beneva Flowers & Plantscapes will also be available for bidding.

Payment by credit card, checks and/or cash accepted.

Thank you to the Silent Auction Team and to all of our generous and supportive Donors.

Marianne Gordon – Lead
Linda Mercurio
Diane Heron

How You Can Get Involved

Contact President,  Miriam Kramer to get involved in Sister Cities mrkramer@sarasotasistercities.com

Become a Citizen Diplomat

We invite you to become a peace builder and join us to carve a path toward peace. Anyone can make a difference and be an effective changemaker by working together with us and our Sister Cities partners.

At Sister Cities, we let dialogue and mutual respect drive our actions to engage with other citizen diplomats in our Friendship and Sister Cities with projects and exchanges that strengthen and build peace.

Sponsor a Sister Cities Program

If you have visited one of our global Sister Cities or have an interest in a Friendship City, we invite you to contact one of our Sister Cities Directors to sponsor programs in youth and education, art & culture, business development or community outreach.

Contact Sister Cities Association of Sarasota (SCAS) President, Miriam Kramer (571) 332-1191, mrkramer@sarasotasistercities.com

To find out more about our Sarasota Sister Cities, visit our Sister Cities page.

Spark Action

Empower other Citizen Diplomats in Sarasota to make a difference in the world.

Start a project or an exchange, work with our Youth Ambassador and City Directors on educational, art, cultural, and sports exchanges, among others. Share your knowledge and skills with us.

We are an all-volunteer Board and dues paying membership, and we appreciate our members and friends’ sharing their talents and skills with us.

Take part in our Speaker’s Bureau or share your knowledge as a guest Speaker at one of our monthly Luncheons.


Get in Touch. Get Involved.





Call Us: (941) 201-7437

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