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The Paradise Center is off to Cuba in 2023

Among the events coming soon to The Paradise Center is a trip to an exotic land.

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  • | 8:00 a.m. September 28, 2022
  • Longboat Key
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Whether residents are gathered for a movie or a Zumba class, The Paradise Center is already a hub of social activity and good health. Now, Executive Director Suzy Brenner has even more in store. 

She’s planning a group excursion to Cuba, leading a team for breast cancer awareness, setting up free memory screenings and welcoming a new doctor into the Paradise Center Medical Suite. She’s also inviting Longboat Key residents to join her. 

Brenner has wanted to return to Cuba since her first visit in 2019.

“It’s easy to get to, but it’s also a world away,” she said. “Not only is Cuba steeped in fascinating history and culture, but the revolution left much of the country stuck in the late 1950s.”

TPC’s first travel excursion is planned for March 2023, and they’ve planned everything from flights to most meals and daytime tours. The only planning required from residents is to register by Dec. 9. The cost is $2,950 a person (double occupancy) plus air fare. 

“You’ll make friends and memories,” Brenner said. “We will stay in a private hotel and patronize small, privately owned restaurants called paladars, helping to support the culture and citizens of Cuba.”

TPC will also be showing its support for breast cancer awareness. After last year’s successful Making Strides Against Breast Cancer satellite walk, participants will once again walk Bay Isles Road on Oct. 22 as the main event takes place at Nathan Benderson Park.     

The satellite walk was a result of COVID-19. Brenner thought the team would feel more comfortable in a smaller group, and the LBK Paradise Striders ended up as one of the top ten fundraising teams. 

Beyond social distancing and raising $5,800 for the American Cancer Society, it was also convenient for residents to stay on the island. 

“It provides an opportunity for breast cancer survivors, thrivers and their supporters in our community to come together closer to home,” Brenner said. 

Brenner co-captains the team with Liz Yerkes of Longboat Massage. Team members are welcome to walk, jog or simply stride through the three-mile loop. The walk kicks off at TPC at 9:30 a.m. and winds around the Longboat Key Club Harbourside community and back. Vendors will be set up in the parking lot before and after the walk offering refreshments and giveaways.

TPC is pushing their own giveaway right now because September is Alzheimer Awareness Month. They’ve set up free memory screenings for Oct. 27, Nov. 17 and Dec. 15. These are one-on-one private screenings sponsored by the Roskamp Institute.  

But remembering anything starts with having heard it first. If all goes to plan, Dr. Kelly Breese will be opening Doc Side Audiology on Sept. 30 in the same building. Breese specializes in the treatment of tinnitus and hearing loss and currently has an office in Sarasota.

“I’ve been practicing as a board certified audiologist for over seven years and have been on my own as a business owner since November 2020,” Breese said. “We’ll be starting satellite, and then as we build up, I’ll probably end up coming out here more.”

For more information on any of these opportunities and services, email [email protected] or call 383-6493.