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Opinion
Sarasota Thursday, Mar. 12, 2020 2 months ago

The back of his boxing robe would have said ‘Sarasota’s Champion’

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Kerry Kirschner died March 4.
by: Matt Walsh Editor & CEO

This was the photo on the cover of the program for the memorial service last Saturday for Kerry Kirschner, former Sarasota mayor and longtime executive director of the Argus Foundation, who died March 4.

It captures him perfectly.

The twinkle in his eyes. They beamed the can-do-ism and optimism of a man whose mind was always at work about how to make things better.

The smile. It always took just a few seconds of conversation before Kirschner would dish out a quick remark that would make you and him smile and laugh.

The boxing gloves. He was a scrappy fighter. Never one to rope-a-dope and dance around an issue.

In the ring as executive director of The Argus Foundation, he always went straight at you, passionate about addressing what was amiss in public policy and persuading  elected leaders to take actions to make it better.

We had the good fortune of working with Kirschner in 2007 and 2008 on 24 monthly essays in the Observers advocating free markets and limited government — favorite topics of Kirschner and principles for which he always fought in Sarasota. We admired that Kirschner was never afraid to voice his convictions in public.   

He might have been the face of The Argus Foundation, an organization of public-minded business leaders, but Kirschner fought not only for them but also to make Sarasota better for all.

If he were to have worn a boxer’s robe as he entered the ring, on the back it would have said, “Sarasota’s Champion.”

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