Harvesters (50+)

Harvesters is our connect group for people who are 50 years +. We  provide a way to connect with the Harvest family,  meet new friends, study the Bible, and serve the church and community.   We gather once a month for a fellowship activity like museum visits, movies at the church, train rides, and live theater performances. A meal is usually included with each gathering. 

If you have  questions  and/or would like to be included on the Harvesters’ e-mail list, please contact Bob and Mary Stark, Harvesters Coordinators, at 231-564-0677 or 

Harvesters to Witness a Part of Equine History


If you can reach back far enough into your memory as a child, you may remember a Disney movie called “The Miracle of the White Stallions.” The movie was based on an actual historical event toward the end of World War II when the Allied Forces intervened to save the beautiful Lippizan horses that were part of the famed Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria. 

Do you know that a small part of that equine history and heritage resides about 17 miles from Harvest?  Located on Singletary Road near Myakka City is Hermann’s Royal Lipizzan Stallion Farm. 

The Harvesters will visit the farm on Saturday, March 9, to learn more about these magnificent horses.

Colonel Ottomar Herrmann, joined by two subsequent generations of Herrmanns, created an American lineage of the Lipizzans.  Only about 3,000 of these horses exist today worldwide. Founded in the 16th century for the exclusive use of the Hapsburg Royal family of Austria, the Royal Lipizzans are unquestionably the rarest, most aristocratic breed of horses in the world. The pride of the Hapsburg Empire, the Lipizzan breed was first established by Archduke Charles at Lipizza (now part of Slovenia).

The Hermann family, now led by Col. Hermann’s daughter Gabriella maintains a 200-acre ranch on Singletary Road to ensure the propagation of this extraordinary breed.

It is a contemporary miracle of sorts that this precious bloodline is not extinct, having barely been saved by General George Patton from the Russian advance during World War II.  Assisting Patton in the clandestine mission to rescue the regal Lipizzans, Colonel Herrmann and his father, Colonel Ottomar Herrmann, Sr., smuggled the horses out from far behind enemy lines, riding at night and hiding by day. "We moved out into the night with nothing," recalled Herrmann, "only a handful of horses." The Lipizzans they saved under the protection granted by Patton, were "more precious than jewels," he declared.

The Lipizzans tour during the summer months.  During the rest of the year they reside at the farm where they train horses for the upcoming touring season.  The Harvesters will  view one of the three training sessions that are open to the public weekly between December and April.  During the 90-minute session, in a lively and informative narrative throughout the presentation of Hermann’s remarkable stallions, the history, evolution and contemporary application of this most sophisticated horse and rider training will be told.  You will see the stallions perform the Airs Above Ground, the maneuvers for which they are world-renowned.

Reserved bleacher seating will be available around the arena, but you may also bring your own lawn chair and sit closer to the arena fence.  Cost for the presentation is by donation (requested $5 minimum) which will be payable when you arrive.  The presentation starts promptly at 10 AM.  Following the presentation, you may tour the barn and visit the stallions.

The Harvesters have lunch reservations at Miller's Ale House in Sarasota following the visit to the Lipizzans. You will be ordering from the menu and cost of lunch will be on your own.

Since this is a local event, there will be no formal carpool. However, a list of particpants will be sent out to those who have registered so that you can form your own carpool if you wish.

To join the Harvesters on this adventure into equine history, please go to the Harvest website: welcometoharvest.org/harvesters. When you register, please be sure to indicate by checking the “add-ons” whether you will be joining the group for lunch and whether you will need bleacher seating or be bringing your own chairs. Registration deadline is Friday, March 1.

If you have any questions about this or any other Harvester event, please contact Bob and Mary Stark at 231-564-0677.


Harvesters to Go Around the Musical World in April


If you love piano music, or even if you don’t but want to experience an evening of musical entertainment, the Harvesters will have a unique opportunity to enjoy the piano and voice virtuosity of Brian Gurl and Katherine Alexandra at the Sarasota Players’ Theateron Friday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m. The program Around the World in 88 Keysis part of the SNAP (Something New At Players) series presented each year by the Players’ Theater. This series brings in programs beyond what is locally produced by the Players’ organization.

Around the World in 88 Keyswill entertain you with powerful piano renditions, soaring vocals and dazzling, fun-filled dueling piano pieces from this one-of-a-kind piano team backed up by bass and drums. The musical selections will take us from Broadway to Billy Joel to Bach. This act has been thrilling audiences throughout the Southeast for over five years with their unique creativity and delightful audience rapport.

The evening promises to be one of great music, pure excitement and intoxicating joy – with hints of Victor Borge (remember him?)!

Cost for premium reserved seating at Around the World in 88 Keyswill be $25/person.

Prior to the show, dinner reservations have been made for 5:30 p.m. at Duff’s Original Buffetlocated on US 41 and 60thStreet West in the Bayshore Shopping Plaza in Bradenton. Cost for the buffet will be $18.61/person which includes the buffet, beverage, tax and gratuity.

Since this is a local event, there will be no formal carpool. We will be sending out a list of participants a week in advance should you wish to form your own carpool.

If you would like to join the Harvesters for this musical evening, please go to the Harvest website: welcometoharvest.org/harvesters to register. As part of the registration, please check the “add-on” to indicate whether or not you will be joining the group at Duff’s. We have reserved a block of 40 tickets so get your reservation in early. The registration deadline is March 22.

Any questions?  If so, please contact Bob and Mary Stark at 231-564-0677.