Aside from three days of great music, food and fun at the Save The Gulf music festival in Holmes Beach Nov. 19-21 there were prizes.
And among the most coveted of prizes were three guitars donated to the cause of raising money for the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage by the Sarasota Guitar Co. The store donated a Jay Turser shark-shaped electric guitar, a Luna electric guitar and a Dean Daytona acoustic guitar that Save The Gulf musicians autographed.
Wayne King was first to show up at The Islander office, where the STG prizes were distributed. He was the winner of a “shark” guitar — a cool-looking electric guitar with a shark shape and design.
He was ecstatic. He frequents Anna Maria Island and his home at Paradise Bay RV Park on Cortez Road for long weekends and holidays. He owns a business in Greenville, Mich., a town of about 9,000 people, where, King said he frequents karaoke contests, and frequently wins. “Now I’m going to learn to play guitar,” he said.
The signed acoustic was the prize for Troy Seim, manager of the Anna Maria Motel in Anna Maria. He, too, was thrilled to be a winner. Seim said he had pawned and lost a few guitars in the past year, and he was pleased to have music back in his hands. He immediately opened the case, sat down at the office and began to strum the guitar.
The last guitar to head home — the Luna Sol Aquarius — was won by Mark Brewer, whose son Tab played tenor saxophone at the STG event with Jimi G’s All Stars Rockin’ Jazz Band.
Tab was pretty laid back about the prize, but dad was enthusiastic. Tab is a student at Suncoast Polytechnical High School in Sarasota and now plans to take up guitar. Both father and son had praise for the event, and for Tab’s music coach, Jimi G, who previously taught music at a now-defunct Island middle school.
It was a good ending for a great first effort on the music festival, and all of the 30 or so winners who claimed prizes at The Islander echoed this sentiment: “Do it again.”