Gerry Swormstedt didn't have many words for what it felt like to be honored by the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations at its annual anniversary celebration.
"Flabbergasted," she said. "It's just really, really heartwarming."
Swormstedt is the Manatee-Sarasota Group of the Sierra Club board chair and has been a longtime neighborhood and environmental activist — an endeavor, she said, that has resulted in lasting friendships. Many of those friends gathered at Michael's Wine Cellar on Nov. 7 to celebrate Swormstedt as well as CONA's 56th anniversary.
Jodi John, her friend of 15 years, said Swormstedt's example and her dedication to social justice and the environment has been inspiring. But that's not the only reason John attended the event.
"She is an amazing friend," she said. "She has always come through."