The Thinking Center
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Community Support & Action

Smitten with the Players in Lakewood Ranch -SUNDAY, FEB. 10, 2019


Listening to those who attended the fundraiser Feb. 9 at Lakewood Ranch Country Club, it was easy to understand why they are smitten with the Players Centre for Performing Arts.
Sarasota's Erin Weinberger, who currently is performing in "Kiss Me Kate" at The Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg, said participating with The Players since she was 6 basically educated her.
"I would tell anyone who is aspiring to be a performer to go to the Players," Weinberger said. "They taught me how to walk into a room as a professional. They taught me how to work with a director, how to take notes, how to audition."
Weinberger and her mom, Amy Weinberger, were attending Smitten with the 70s, the Players' second annual benefit for its Arnold Simonsen Studio. The Players is building a new theater complex in the new Waterside Place hub of Lakewood Ranch.
Amy Weinberger said those living in the Lakewood Ranch area should be excited about the new theater as the Players' had a tremendous impact on her daughter.
"I thought it was the best-kept secret in town," Amy Weinberger said. "It raised so many great talents."
Next in line could be 10-year-old twins Liv and Gabe Tunks, who performed 1970s' style dances for the crowd at Smitten with the 70s. They both perform for both the Players Kids group as well as in the Players main performances.
Liv Tunks said she was excited about the new theater, but will be sad to leave the old one in Sarasota.
"It is where I did my first performance," she said.

Erin Weinberger, & her mom, Amy Weinberger credit The Players' to Erin's Musical Theater Successes

Student, Charlotte & JMom, Jodi Causey attend event
Photos by: Observer

Tali Schneider, Lael Hazan and
Amy Weinberger

​A Great Day of Giving & Receiving!

One Thing I Wish You Knew gave out
goody bags for attendees.

Taylor Muske is one of the speakers at the event, with her service dog at her side.

Click Here for Event Video

Click Here for article

Wilkinson Elementary School &
The Thinking Center

In a conversation with Tanice Marsh at a Starbucks in August 2018, she explained to Amy F. Weinberger, Founder/Director of The Thinking Center, that Temple Emanu-El has a collaboration with Wilkinson Elementary. It was Amy's intention to originally offer her reading expertise service to the Starfish Program, but once Tanice shared with Amy the gentleman who makes kalidoscopes for Wilkinson kids, she questioned whether or not the S.T.E.A.M. (Science Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Mathematics) program had any microscopes. She was actually curious how a science based program had no microscopes. She contacted her friends, Dennis and Jennifer Brock, the inventors of the Magiscope and immediately order enough for the S.T.E.A.M. program for this school year. The donation is in honor of Amy's mom, Marilyn Friedman, who passed June 6 from Lewy Body's Dementia and Parkinson's Disease. The microscopes are a sustainable gift for each new class.

L-R: Tanice Marsh, Temple Emanu-El's Starfish Coordinator, Dr. Todd Bowden, Dennis & Jennifer Brock, Inventors of the Magiscope, Amy F. Weinberger, MSEd., Founder/Director of The Thinking Center

​A Great Day of Giving & Receiving!

Steve Weinberger & The Reading House

Meanwhile, Steve Weinberger, The Thinking Center's Business Manager, put his carpentery skills to work to create a reading space in the S.T.E.A.M. kindergarten classroom at Wilkinson Elementary. Amy and Steve originally did not know that they were both working through the Starfish Collaboration for the same classrooms. Steve coordinated with Larry Barnet through Temple Emanu-El.

Everett Couto - Before & After

When you find out at 18 that you are on the Autism Spectrum, it may offer explanations of why your childhood experiences evolved the way they did. This is Everett Couto, a young man Amy F. Weinberger met when he was six years old. The first part of the story is a painful one, but the outcome has given hope and opportunity to the Couto family. Click here to read the Sarasota Herald's Tribune article about how Everett changed his electronic addictions into a health and running winning addiction. 

Our Olivia Haynes & Her Garden Club


Our Handwriting & Reading Queen, Olivia Haynes, has served as the Sarasota Garden Club President. Their organization awards seniors college scholarship opportunities. She is featured here with 2016 recipients and organization member, Andy Papineau.

Our Mentor, Jake Weinberger, 22, serves the Parrish Community as a Reservist FireFighter/EMT