Kicking Off The Sarasota Grand Prix


Before the racers hit the water this weekend, the Sarasota Grand Prix is working to raise even more money for local kids.

The kickoff party is one of the biggest fundraisers for the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival raising money for Suncoast Charities for Children. Over 400 people attended the event to help get the weekend of races started.

“What it does is, when it raises the money for the charity it also impacts the lives of over 8,000 clients with special needs right here in our own community,” Festival Director Lucy Nicandri said. “So it’s not just the boats racing out on the water this weekend, it’s the fundraising dinner we have going on tonight, really having an impact on the community.”

Tonight’s fundraiser was sold out, featured live music and a silent auction. The auction had special guitars custom wrapped with images from boats that will be racing in the festival.

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Samantha Sonner
Multimedia Journalist Samantha Sonner comes to the Suncoast from Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she worked as a reporter and host for KRWG TV/FM reporting on local politics, immigration, and border issues. Samantha grew up on Long Island, New York. She received her Bachelor of Science in Broadcast and Digital Journalism from Syracuse University. At Syracuse, she worked at WAER, the campus NPR station and interned at television stations in Central New York. Samantha is excited for the Florida Sunshine, and to be living so close to fantastic beaches. Feel free to follow her on Facebook and Twitter for story updates and news, or to send her story tips and ideas. You can also email her at