Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September 2015 Business Briefs / Member News Part 1

Guest Chef Dinner: A Latin Affair
Enjoy a 5-course dinner with drink pairings and live entertainment in Havana Beach’s Dining Room at The Pearl. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Food for Thought Outreach. The event is Friday, Sept. 11, beginning at 6 p.m. Cost is $125 per person, and seating is limited. Reservations are required. Call (850) 588-2882.

Arts in Medicine Program Hosts September “Cool-Aid” Art Show
Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast - Art in MedicineAlong comes Fall.  Along come cooler temperatures on the Emerald Coast.  Usher in “Cool-Aid,” and come to Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast’s Atrium Gallery for a local art show and sell.  The exhibit opens Friday, Sept. 4, and continues until Oct. 30.  The public is invited to enjoy the art from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. every day.  Come meet the artists and enjoy refreshments and music Friday, Sept. 25, 5:30 – 7 p.m. Seen here is "Western Lake Wildflowers" by Joan Vienot.


Hurst Named FPRA Person of the Year
Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy CenterThe Northwest Florida Coast Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) named Julie Hurst of Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) “Person of the Year.” Hurst began working with the Office of the Florida State Attorney working with victims in the criminal justice system from 1982 to 1999. In 1999, she became the founding CEO of the ECCAC and was responsible for the overall operations, eventually building a 13,000-square-foot building in 2002 with a $1.2 million annual operating budget. The Center’s child-friendly facility in Niceville houses a multidisciplinary team of child protection personnel, prosecutors, law enforcement, DCF, therapists, and ECCAC staff and volunteers. Her diligence has enabled a second center, currently under construction in DeFuniak Springs, to accommodate Walton County children. Services are provided at no cost by ECCAC, a 501-C-3 non-profit organization. Hurst (right) is seen here with Andi Mahoney, White-Wilson Medical Center.

Biker’s Blast for the Past - “Centennial Ride & Scavenger Hunt”
All vehicles are welcome to join the Centennial Ride & Scavenger Hunt – Biker’s Blast for the Past on Saturday, Sept. 26. The Centennial Ride takes participants to five fabulous Museums in search of treasures of Okaloosa’s past 100 years.  Find and capture images of historic artifacts significant to Okaloosa County history and bring them to ClubLA in Destin for the Centennial Ride–Blast for the Past Party.  Participants can win grand prizes, including vacation stays, spa packages, and more.  For details, visit the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida's website at www.Heritage-Museum.org.

Annual Fenner Ride Benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida and Blackwater Heritage Trail Citizens Support Organization
More than 400 cyclists from around the region are expected to participate in the West Florida Wheelmen Cycling Club’s Annual Fenner Ride in Milton, Florida, on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 8 a.m. The Century ride, presented by Florida Blue, is in conjunction with the Beaches to Woodlands Tour in Santa Rosa County and begins at the Milton Community Center at 5629 Byrom St., Milton, Fla. The ride routes will start from the Blackwater Heritage Trail and are broken down into four distances of 18, 40, 62, and 100 miles. Registration is available on www.Active.com or contact Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida at (850) 433-5437 for additional registration information. Proceeds benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida and the Blackwater Heritage Trail Citizens Support Organization.   

Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast Launches Major Expansion
On Sept. 1, a groundbreaking ceremony was held to celebrate the $30 million expansion project of Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast (SHHEC). Hospital leaders explained how patients and the community will benefit from the multi-phase expansion of maternity, pediatric, inpatient, and emergency services. The event also celebrated the 100th anniversary of Sacred Heart Health System (SHHS), which was founded by the Daughters of Charity in Pensacola on Sept. 1, 1915.

The Premier Development Group Debuts 125 Crystal Beach Drive
After a successful launch of its sales program, The Premier Development Group has broken ground on 125 Crystal Beach Drive, a resort-style townhome community located in the heart of Crystal Beach. Ideally situated just three blocks off Destin’s sugar-white sand beaches and one block from the award-winning Destin Commons, 125 Crystal Beach Drive offers convenient walkability to the beach, numerous shops, restaurants, a movie theater, bowling alley, and much more. Within a few short weeks of releasing the project to the market, the entire first building of townhomes quickly sold out with a backup list of buyers who were unable to secure a unit in the initial building. Due to the projects high sales and market attention, The Premier Development Group released units in building two, which is already more than 50% sold. For additional information, contact The Premier Property Group atwww.ThePremierPropertyGroup.com or call (850) 337-1560. 
 
Destin Mayor Mel Ponder Appointed to Florida League of Mayors
City of Destin Mayor Mel PonderDestin Mayor Mel Ponder was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for the Florida League of Mayors. The board is composed of mayors throughout the state who help guide the activities of the organization. The League of Mayors serves as a forum for the general study of ideas and policies affecting municipalities, while providing a platform for a powerful tier of established and emerging leaders to speak out on issues of urgent interest to the citizens in their cities.

“I consider it a great honor to be a part of this wonderful organization,” said Ponder. “I look forward to sharing my experiences and successes in bringing people together. Our communities are stronger when elected officials and citizens share a common goal of unity and work together to build a positive sense of place.”

ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals Shows Support for the Destin Community by Sponsoring Events Integral to Tourism
Wyndham Vacation Rentals announced that its ResortQuest brand continues to support the Destin community by sponsoring fall events integral to tourism in Destin. The major sponsorships include Bluegrass at the Beach, the Destin Beer Festival in conjunction with Beer Week, the Destin Seafood Festival, and the Destin Fishing Rodeo

“We are thrilled to partner with these fall festivals and events that have a dynamic impact on the local community and its economy,” said Lino Maldonado, vice president of operations, Wyndham Vacation Rentals, Gulf Region. “Along with mild fall temperatures and the area’s beautiful beaches, these unique events are turning the fall into a prime time to visit the Emerald Coast.” 

Covenant Alzheimer’s Kicks Off Miles of Memories Event with Party 
The community is invited to a kick-off party on Thursday, Sept. 3, from 3:30 – 5 p.m. at the Tree Top Lounge inside Superior Residences at Bluewater Bay’s Independent Living Community to kick-off the fundraising for the 3rd annual Miles of Memories 5K Brunch Run/Walk. The kick-off party will be a great afternoon of complimentary beverages, cocktails and appetizers as Covenant Alzheimer’s Services celebrates last year’s successes and gets teams ready for this year’s event. Anyone interested in forming a team to support the 2015 Miles of Memories Run/Walk is encouraged to attend and find out more about the event and how to make your miles count for Alzheimer’s patients and families in Okaloosa and Walton counties. The 3rd Annual Miles of Memories, hosted byCovenant Hospice and Superior Residences of Niceville Memory Care, will be held Sunday, Nov. 15 in Niceville. For more information or to RSVP, click here or contact Melita Brantley at (850) 699-7777.

CBA Partners in Okaloosa County’s Coastal Clean-up Effort
The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) of Northwest Florida State College, in partnership with the City of Destin, the City of Fort Walton Beach and the Okaloosa County Environmental Council, is sponsoring numerous sites for the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Clean-Up on Saturday, Sept. 19. A list of sites and details may be viewed by visiting the Ocean Conservancy’s website at www.OceanConservancy.org. For information regarding the clean-up efforts at Norriego Point and Liza Jackson Park, please visit www.BasinAlliance.org

The Okaloosa County Environmental Council has been participating in the clean-up for almost two decades. This year, CBA is working with the Environmental Council, the City of Destin and the City of Fort Walton Beach to expand Okaloosa County’s site list, adding Norriego Point and Liza Jackson Park to the line-up. CBA will additionally host a site in Walton County, at Eglin AFB’s Bay Flats Recreation Area in Freeport. All locations will hold a clean-up event from 8 – 10 a.m.

Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation Donates $220K to Children in Crisis
Children In CrisisSeen here, the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation presents a check for $220,000 to Children in Crisis (CIC) President and CEO Ken Hair, CIC Board Chairman Kitty Johnson, and other CIC Board members and staff. Thanks to a record breaking 2015 Charity Wine Auction Event, the foundation raised more than $2 million, and money was donated to 14 different charities. This is the 10th consecutive year DCWAF has donated to CIC, totaling more than $1.5 million.


EmeraldCoastCon VIP Packages On Sale
EmeraldCoastCon is offering VIP passes at the price of regular weekend passes until Sept. 15. This is available to the first 300 to respond. EmeraldCoastCon will be held on Oct. 23 – 25, at the Emerald Coast Convention Center. All proceeds will benefit the Arc of the Emerald Coast and Destin Harvest. Visit www.EmeraldCoastCon.com for details.