Sara Hand and Stan Schultes

Sara Hand and Stan Schultes of the Station 2 Innovation Center have been named as finalists in the Knight Cities Challenge for their Bradenton Innovations Project. TIFFANY TOMPKINS-CONDIE/Bradenton Herald ttompkins@bradenton.com

BRADENTON — Catherine Ferrer, community event coordinator for Realize Bradenton, was getting her children ready for school last week when the phone rang. On the other end was a representative from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, announcing that her Realize Bradenton project was named a finalist in the second annual Knight Cities Challenge.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Ferrer. “I stopped doing everything I was doing and ended up burning the toast. I was thrilled, thrilled, thrilled.”

Her finalist project this year is called “Play Social: Re-imagining the shuffleboard park for all generations,” by bringing together people from diverse populations through inter-generational play.

The other finalist from Bradenton is Spark Growth, which operates the Station 2 Innovation Center. Its project, dubbed “Bradenton Innovates,” is a “design thinking and strategic doing” project to actively engage citizens in developing community and civic innovations.

“It’s basically engaging the community to solve problems or work on issues that the community believes needs work,” said Spark Growth’s Stan Schultes.

Read the full article at The Bradenton Herald