The Henderson Beach Resort and Spa’s Quarterly Sweet Sunday Event Raises $3K
On May 12, The Henderson Beach Resort and Spa hosted the second Sweet Sunday event, titled “A Mother’s Day Market,” anchored by The Honey Hutch. The event drew locals to the resort who celebrated moms, while showcasing local artisans, and most importantly, raised a total of $3,000 for The Sonder Project. The Sonder Project is a global non-profit charity that focuses on strengthening communities through food security, clean water, housing and education. After Hurricane Michael, The Sonder Project has also had an enormous local impact on the affected areas by raising money, clearing debris, and working with volunteers, local businesses and contractors to help households recover. The money raised will directly benefit The Sonder Project’s efforts in the Panhandle and beyond. Seen here (left to right) are Amy Wright, The Honey Hutch; Taylor Sheekley, Proffitt PR; Kevin O'Rourke, The Henderson; David Mars, The Henderson; Hannah Putynkowski; Kim Catellier, The Sonder Project; Jessica Bracken, Proffitt PR; Megan Clements, The Henderson; Antonia Poate, The Henderson; and Mayra Quiñones, Proffitt PR.
Embassy Suites Staff Celebrates Hilton’s 100 Years
On May 31, the staff of the Embassy Suites Destin – Miramar Beach gathered on the beach directly across from the all-suite hotel located on Scenic Gulf Drive to celebrate the Hilton’s 100 year anniversary.
BBB® Serving Northwest Florida Foundation Announces Student Ethics Scholarship Winners
Your Better Business Bureau® Serving Northwest Florida Foundation announced the three recipients of the 2019 BBB Student Ethics Scholarships in District II (Okaloosa and Walton Counties). They are David Cathey (left) of Niceville High School, Rachel Kelsey (center) of Crestview High School and Emily Robinson (right) of Crestview High School. The program was created to recognize high school junior and senior students in the Florida Panhandle (14 county-wide service area) who personify personal character and integrity and have made the choice to lead by following a moral compass. An independent panel of judges selected the recipients based on leadership, community service, overall personal integrity and academic history. Each student selected received a $1,000 scholarship to the college/university of their choice.
TripShock Celebrates 10 Years of Growth and Excellence!
“We started TripShock because we wanted people to discover top tours and attractions in the Gulf Coast region,” said CEO Greg Fisher, who cofounded the business in 2009. Now, more than 1,000 activities are offered in multiple destinations throughout the northern Gulf Coast from Panama City Beach to New Orleans, South Carolina and other destinations in Florida. Last year alone, 80,000 reservations were booked, and the company has grown from two co-founders to a talented and diverse team of 60 employees who work remotely in TripShock’s markets.
Read more about TripShock’s 10 years in business and future plans here.
Emerald Coast Harley-Davidson Team Helps CIC Kids
Seen here (left to right), “Gus” Gusoff, owner of Emerald Coast Harley-Davidson of Fort Walton Beach, presents a donation of $900 to Ken Hair, president & CEO of Children In Crisis (CIC). The funds were from a recent fundraising and awareness event and will be used by CIC to give a home and care to the more than 100 at-risk children that will call the CIC Neighborhood home this year.
Fort Walton Beach Medical Center Introduces New Treatment to Help Reduce Life-Threatening Pulmonary Embolisms
Fort Walton Beach Medical Center introduces treatment of vascular thrombosis using the EkoSonic® Endovascular System (EKOS®) with Acoustic Pulse Thrombolysis™. This treatment is designed to quickly dissolve a blood clot (thrombus) and restore blood flow, while reducing risk to the patient. Like other leading institutions around the world, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center’s interventional radiologists, cardiologists, vascular and cardiothoracic surgeons use this new system to provide faster, safer and more complete dissolution of thrombus.
City of Destin Launches Nextdoor to Boost Neighborhood Communication
The City of Destin is now partnering with Nextdoor, which is a free government interface to communicate with the neighborhoods we serve. As part of the city’s initiative to build stronger communities, improve quality of life, and work together to make our neighborhoods an even better place to live, Nextdoor will play an integral role in achieving these goals. This platform will allow the city to communicate initiatives and share information with specific neighborhoods and residents using Nextdoor will receive those messages automatically. To sign up or learn more about Nextdoor, visit www.nextdoor.com or contact Public Information Manager Catherine Card at (850) 460-8538.
Fort Walton Beach Medical Center Receives American Heart Association Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus/Gold Plus Quality Achievement Awards
Fort Walton Beach Medical Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence. Fort Walton Beach Medical Center earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health and get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.
Fort Walton Beach Medical Center Welcomes New Chief Nursing Officer
Fort Walton Beach Medical Center welcomes new leadership, Caroline Stewart, RN, as chief nursing officer. Stewart is an accomplished and dedicated healthcare leader with more than 20 years of nursing experience and more than 20 years in leadership positions. She has successfully implemented strategic initiatives in the areas of patient experience, safety and financial stewardship resulting in exceptional quality metrics, decreased LOS, improved productivity, improved employee engagement and HCAHPS results. She has a diverse background that has contributed to her development as a dynamic healthcare leader, including serving as director of critical care, director of education for a level one Trauma Center, and associate chief nursing officer. Stewart is also a successful graduate of the HCA Executive Development Program in Houston, Texas.
Renée Pellegrino Joins ECCAC Board
Recently joining the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) board, Renée Pellegrino is a Destin resident who has spent the last 16 years in the area after relocating here from New York. After spending 15+ years as a commercial lender in the banking industry prior to children, she currently works part time for a real estate agency. Pellegrino has a Bachelor in Science in Finance from Utica College of Syracuse University and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Long-time friends with ECCAC supporters Caroline May and Shaun Eubanks, she became familiar with the various efforts of the non-profit organization and has served on the Gala & Golf committee. Her community involvement has revolved around area school/athletic fundraising, and she was an active and then sustaining member of Junior League in three states for 16 years. She was also a past board member for the Center for Children and Families when she lived in Shreveport, La.
Cook Family Dentistry hosts Toothbrush Drive for Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center
Cook Family Dentistry is asking for the local community to join its efforts in collecting new toothbrushes to be donated to local non-profit, Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center. The community can drop off their donations now through Aug. 1. Drs. Cass and Stephanie Cook have pledged to match every donation made by the community to help to provide a healthier smile for our children. To donate, drop off new toothbrushes at the Cook Family Dentistry office Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. The Cook Family Dentistry office is located at 2441 Hwy. 98 W. Ste. 107, in Santa Rosa Beach.
Gulf Power Foundation Amplify Helps CIC Kids
Children In Crisis received $15,000 from the Gulf Power Foundation Amplify grant. The funds will be used to purchase a new software system called KaleidaCare, which will provide accessibility to quality assurance and outcome data, streamlining procedures for children inCIC’s care. Seen here (left to right) are Marlene Santos, president of Gulf Power; Tammy Middleton, CIC; Laura Moore, CIC; Dr. Judy Manning, CIC; and Susan Melians, vice president of customer service external relations for Gulf Power.
The Market Shops Welcomes Hebert’s Specialty Meats to Tenant Mix
The Market Shops, located at the entrance to Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, welcomes Hebert’s Specialty Meats to the shopping center. Owned and operated by true Cajun Walter Hidalgo, along with partners Sean and Kelli Louvierre, Hebert’s opened the first Emerald Coast location in June 2018. After knowing Sammy Hebert, the original founder of Hebert’s Specialty Meats, for 35 years, Hidalgo decided to bring his own part of the company to the Emerald Coast. After visiting the area since 1980, Hidalgo saw a need for true Cajun-style cuisine. His long-time experience as an entrepreneur and restaurant owner helped prepare him to bring Hebert’s to the Destin area and beyond.
Hebert’s Specialty Meats will be open from 8 a.m.- 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. on Sunday. Hebert’s is located directly behind Jon Smith Subs adjacent to Sacred Heart Hospital.
The Legacy of Susan Myers Lives on at Northwest Florida State College
Before her passing earlier this year, Mrs. Susan Pryor Sloat Myers decided to link her name with Northwest Florida State College's Learning Resources Center with a $1 million dollar bequest. Today, her name is on permanent display on the Susan Myers Learning Resources Center at Northwest Florida State College’s Niceville Campus. Myers was the great-granddaughter of John Thomas and Harriet C. Brooks, amongst the first settlers in the Fort Walton Beach area. In 1868, the Brooks purchased 111 acres of what is now downtown Fort Walton Beach. Myers’ grandmother, Sarah Frances Brooks Pryor, was born in 1877. She married W. C. Pryor, who, in 1915, became the first superintendent of schools in newly formed Okaloosa County; W. C. Pryor Middle School is named in his honor.
Following in her family’s footsteps, Susan Pryor Sloat Myers, was active in the community, serving on the city council for the City of Fort Walton Beach and many other community organizations. Susan was inducted into the Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women’s Hall of Fame in 2005. Myers received an associate’s degree in humanities from the University of Florida, a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Colorado and a master’s degree in industrial psychology from Southern Methodist University. She was married to M. Scott Myers, a renowned industrial psychologist who earned his Ph.D. in industrial psychology from Purdue University. Together the couple started their own consulting practice and traveled for 28 years. They moved back to Fort Walton Beach in 1990.
When asked why Myers wanted to support NWF State College, she stated, “The College has a permanent presence in Northwest Florida, with deep roots in the community, much like my family.”
In addition to the named building, Myers also bequeathed $90,000 to establish the Susan Pryor Sloat Myers Scholarship Fund. This fund will provide six named scholarships each year for graduates of Choctawhatchee High School, Fort Walton Beach High School, and any other high school that may be constructed in the future to service students of the Fort Walton Beach area.
Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa Announces New Summer Menu at Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood
The Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa has announced a new summer menu at Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood. Executive Chef Lee Guidry has crafted several new flavorful dishes, including Beef Tataki with charred prime filet, ginger, yuzu aioli, crisp garlic, scallion, radish, enoki mushroom and cucumber; Jumbo Lump Blue Crab with cucumber and avocado gazpacho, lime, basil, olive oil, heirloom tomato and nasturtium; and Prosciutto and Melon with Prosciutto Di Parma, cantaloupe, lavash, lemon, topped with olive oil and arugula. The newest entrée added to the menu includes Pan Roaster Gulf Grouper accompanied with charred sweet corn, rock shrimp, zucchini noodles, bell peppers and sundried tomato beurre balance. More of the refreshing flavors of summer are present in the white chocolate-passion fruit flan, lemon meringue, candied papaya, mango sorbet and mango crisp. For more information, visit Seagars.com/menus.
The new summer menu will be available through August 2019. Seagar’s is open Sunday through Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m.
Student Hired By Emeril’s Italian Cuisine
Food for Thought Outreach announced that one of the students from the Emeril Lagasse Full Circle Kitchen, Donnell, was just hired by Emeril's Coastal Italian. Donnell has been taking cooking classes with Food For Thought in the Full Circle Kitchen since he was a junior in high school and has had a passion for learning how to improve his culinary skills. Food for Thought Outreach is proud of Donnell for pursuing his dreams to work in the kitchen of a restaurant.
The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County Receives Grants To Open New Pottery Studio At Bayou Arts Center
The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) is excited to announce it has opened a new Pottery Studio at the Bayou Arts Center in Santa Rosa Beach. Classes will begin in fall with reservations being on a first-come, first-served basis. The gift of pottery equipment several years ago by long-time CAA members and artists Tom and Karen McGee was the catalyst for the idea of the Pottery Studio, which came to fruition through a generous donation from Shawn and Richard Tomasello.
“Richard and I are grateful for the opportunity to support our community via the Pottery Studio, said Shawn. “Research has shown the positive mental and spiritual effects of pottery for students and participants. We see the Pottery Studio as one more way to influence community wellness.”
Brotula’s Raises More Than $10K for Employee in Need
On June 22, Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer packed the deck with big hearted locals, family and friends of Danielle Maudlin. Maudlin is a long-time employee of Brotula’s, who has recently undergone multiple emergency surgeries due to life threatening blood clots discovered in May. She was originally given 24 hours to live, but has since fought the odds and is currently in Cleveland, Ohio, awaiting a transplant. Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer organized an event to celebrate her birthday, while raising money to assist her and her family with medical expenses. The event raised $10,386 through raffles, silent auction packages, bar sales and donations. The owners Chris Ruyan and Tyler Jarvis generously matched the donations to bring the total funds raised for the evening to $20,386.
NWF State College Board of Trustees Approves Budget - No Increase in Tuition and Fees
In an unanimous decision, the Northwest Florida State College’s Board of Trustees voted to approve the College’s budget for the 2019-2020 academic year with no increases to tuition or fees. This will be the sixth consecutive year the Board of Trustees has held tuition flat for students.
“NWF State College remains committed to being the first choice for accessible, affordable and relevant higher education,” said Brian Pennington, chairman, NWF State Board of Trustees. “On behalf of the College’s Board of Trustees, we will continue to make every effort to remove financial barriers so we can be an open door for anyone who wants to improve their lives through higher education.”
Kiwanis Club of South Walton Donates to Children in Crisis
The Kiwanis Club of South Walton recently donated a BIG flat screen TV to the children living at the Children in Crisis (CIC) Neighborhood. The TV will be mounted in the CIC Kids’ Club recreation center and will make movie night a real big deal. Seen here, Wanda Pitts of the Kiwanis Club of South Walton presents the donation to Ken Hair, CIC president and CEO, along with Allie Noah, CIC development director, and Moe Stouse, South Walton Kiwanis president.
Sacred Heart Inaugural Emerald Ball Raises $217,631 for Comprehensive Spine Program Expansion
The Sacred Heart Foundation announced that the Inaugural Emerald Ball raised $217,631 benefiting the Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast’s Comprehensive Spine Program expansion. The black-tie event was presented by The St. Joe Community Foundation, Inc., Howard Group and the Alys Foundation. More than 325 community members, physicians and supporters of the hospital attended the inaugural event. The Emerald Ball was held at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa where guests enjoyed an evening of dinner and dancing, while raising funds to help expand the Comprehensive Spine Program at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast. Proceeds generated from the event will further the hospital's continued growth and expansion of its spine program by helping fund equipment for a 5th operating room. More than 600 spine surgeries are currently performed each year.
Twin Cities Hospital Donates to Boggy Bayou Fireworks Fund
Twin Cities Hospital recently hosted its 5th Annual Fireworks Fundraiser Luncheon on June 21, with all proceeds benefiting the Boggy Bayou Fireworks. Community leaders, hospital visitors, employees, and many more enjoyed home cooked barbeque ribs, sides, and dessert at an event that raised $1,420! A special thanks to everyone who supported this event. With your continued participation, Twin Cities Hospital looks forward to supporting the community’s annual Fourth of July celebration for many years to come.
Crane Fund for Widows and Children Helps CIC Kids
Seen here, Ken Hair, Children In Crisis (CIC) president & CEO, receives a check for $5,000 from Scott Samols of Crane Aerospace Electronics, representing Crane Fund for Widows and Children and its workforce of more than 150 who voted for CIC to receive the donation. The donation will help provide a home, food, clothing and care for the foster children living at the CIC Neighborhood.
The Henderson Beach Resort and Spa Announces Exclusive Spa and Fitness Membership Package
The Henderson, a Salamander Beach & Spa Resort, has launched an exclusive Spa and Fitness Membership Package. Members receive full access to the Salamander Spa, The Henderson’s 24-hour fitness center, resort pools, and daily recreational activities, including complimentary bike rentals. The Salamander Spa will host members for private, invitation-only special events throughout the year, and members will receive an annual complimentary spa treatment. Once members sign up, they will receive a welcome gift and a membership card that can be used resort wide. Membership also includes special discounts and rates for the spa, retail, and food and beverage. The package is only available for limited time and has a cap on numbers.
Those interested in becoming a member can sign up for the program over the phone by calling (850) 424-4482 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Primary members pay a one-time initiation fee of $1,500 and monthly payments of $125. If members would like to add a spouse or significant other, the additional member will pay the one-time initiation fee of $500 and monthly payments of $50. For more information, please contact Salamander Spa at (850) 424-4482 or visit www.hendersonbeachresort.com/spa/membership.
Sacred Heart Nurse Honored with 2019 Nursing Excellence Award
Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast (SHHEC) recently honored one of its nurses with the 2019 Nurse Excellence Award in recognition of the exceptional care she provides to patients. BJ Fontaine, vice president of nursing for Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast, recognized Heike Wasden, RN, of the hospital’s IV therapy department with this award. Wasden has been a nurse for almost 40 years and has been with Sacred Heart Hospital since 2004.
Wasden was recognized for her long-time commitment to her nursing career, positive attitude and being an excellent example and mentor to others.
Fontaine also recognized all nominees for their outstanding dedication, patient care and superior performance in their nursing careers.
-Luanne Smith, RN – Intensive Care Unit
-Blake Ramirez, RN – Intensive Care Unit
-Ken Wetherell, RN – Intensive Care Unit
-Elizabeth Rodriguez, RN – Intensive Care Unit
-Angela Reed, RN – Intensive Care Unit
-Tanya Hollingsworth, RN – Intensive Care Unit
-Necole Ducati, RN – Intensive Care Unit
-Heather Buhl-Henderson, RN – Emergency Department
-Christine Collier, RN – Operating Room
CAA & SWARA Partner To Expand the UMA With Second Deployment
Recently, 10 new sculptures were added to the nation’s first permanent Underwater Museum of Art (UMA) in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Grayton Beach State Park in South Walton, Fla. Recently named by TIME Magazine as one of 100 “World’s Greatest Places,” the UMA is the first presentation of the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA)’s Art In Public Spaces Program and is produced in collaboration with the South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA). The purpose of the UMA is to create art that becomes marine habitat, expanding fishery populations and providing enhanced creative, cultural, economic and educational opportunities for the benefit, education and enjoyment of residents, students and visitors in South Walton.