|CBA Volunteer Opportunity|
Volunteers are needed to help the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) of NWFSC with oyster reef construction on Oct. 24, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. The construction will take place behind the Marina Cove Townhomes on Marina Cove Drive, in Niceville. Wear clothes and close-toed shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty and wet. Bring a towel, sunscreen, snacks, a water bottle, and a hat. CBA will provide water and gloves. You will be unloading bagged oyster shell and helping to place the bagged shell in the water at a reef site. Please RSVP to Rachel Gwin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sinfonia Gulf Coast to perform 'Brothers in Arts'
History and music create a cultural crescendo on Nov. 1, as Sinfonia Gulf Coast presents the US premiere of "Brothers in Arts: 70 Years of Liberty," a piece created by acclaimed composers Chris Brubeck and Guillaume Saint-James to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day. The performance will take place at the Emerald Coast Convention Center at 7:30 p.m. It is the first concert of Sinfonia's ninth season, titled Seeing is Believing. Presenting Sponsor for the season is Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and Presenting Concerts Sponsor is LaFlorida Real Estate. Tickets may be purchased as part of a season package or individually starting at $29.50 at SinfoniaGulfCoast.org or (850) 269-7129.
Marine Science Students Discover Local Environment
The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA), in partnership with Walton High School, Northwest Florida State College, AmeriCorps, and Eden Gardens State Park, will spark environmental interest in students by hosting a field trip to learn about the local environment. The field trip, a collaboration between the marine science teachers of Walton High School and CBA, will offer students a chance to get out in the field with professionals in one of the most inviting natural areas in Walton County, Eden Gardens State Park. For more information, please contact Brandy Foley at (870) 200-4163 or email@example.com.
|Flutterby Children’s Arts Festival Issues Call to Artists|
The Cultural Arts Alliance calls for artists to apply for the Flutterby Children’s Arts Festival, now through Oct. 27. Applications are online at culturalartsalliance.com with a fee of $150, which includes a 10x10 exhibition space. This year’s festival will include a local “celebrity” dunking booth, paint-your-own butterfly wings, butterfly bushes with Master Naturalist Snookie Parrish, a science area, food vendors, live music, numerous children’s activities, and a chance to win exciting custom raffle prizes. Admission to the festival is free and open to the public, although some activities within the festival may require a fee. New this year, festival-goers wanting to experience Flutterby in groups may reserve tables with seating for up to 10 people. The fee is $50 per table, per hour. This opportunity offers the perfect space for painting butterfly wings with friends, group gatherings, playdates, and parties. Reservations may be made by firstname.lastname@example.org by Oct. 31. The festival takes place on Nov. 8 – 9, in Rosemary Beach.
Warren Averett Recognizes National Estate Planning Awareness Week
Warren Averett, LLC, will recognize National Estate Planning Week, Oct. 20 – 26, 2014. Estate planning is one of the most overlooked areas of personal financial management due to the following contributing factors:
• It is estimated that more than 120 million Americans do not have an up-to-date estate plan to protect themselves and their families in the event of sickness, accidents or untimely death.
• The majority of Americans over 65 are totally dependent on Social Security.
• Many people mistakenly believe that since they are not "rich" they do not need a comprehensive financial and estate plan.
• The majority of Americans are unlikely to plan adequately for their retirement without professional assistance.
To learn more about the firm, visit WarrenAverett.com.
United Way’s Jeans Day Brings in More Than $1,400
On Sept. 26, 266 people donated $5 to the United Way Annual Campaign and participated in its Jeans Day. Participating businesses included North Crestview Coastal Bank and Trust, Lisa Jo Spence, PA, Embassy Suites, Big Brother Big Sisters, Gulf Power, Warren Averett, BBVA Compass Bank, First City Bank, Crossroads Animal Clinic, Trustmark National Bank, FWB Chamber, Regions, Accounting with CJW, The Law Offices of Megan Blancho, and Wells Fargo. In total, $1,416 was raised for the 2014 Annual Campaign. For more information, visit United-Way.org.
Tax Collector Saves Citizens More Money
The Okaloosa County Tax Collector’s Office saved County Motorists more than $258,000 when it removed the motor vehicle registration’s 2-year renewal option earlier this year. On April 4, 2014, Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill that would lower the cost of most vehicle registrations by up to $25 per year. While this was great news, it would not go into effect until Sept. 1. This prompted Okaloosa County Tax Collector Ben Anderson to be the first Tax Collector to remove the biennial (2-year renewal) option from vehicle renewals through August in an effort to prevent motorists from electing the 2nd year option at the higher rate. During those months, more than 11,500 registrations, which historically would have been renewed for two years, were saved the extra expense for the second year registration. For details, visit OkaloosaTax.com.
|Okaloosa Arts Alliance Announces Board of Directors for 2014-15|
The Okaloosa Arts Alliance (OAA) announces its new Board of Directors for 2014-2015. The Executive Board of Directors is comprised of President Keri Woods, Pyramid Inc.; Vice President Ken Hair, Children in Crisis, Inc.; Treasurer Susan Kneller, Chair of the OAA Grants Committee; and Secretary Becky Belcher, Arts & Design Society. Members of the board are Nellie Bogar, Youth Village; Demetrius Fuller, Sinfonia Gulf Coast; Ursel Behnken, German Club; Delores Merrill, Mattie Kelly Arts Center of NWFSC and NWFL Symphony Guild; Chris Manson, The Beachcomber; Jean Starkey, Stage Crafters; Gayle Vann, Chair of the Events Committee; Bill Head, Chair of Volunteer Committee; Ann Abell, The Painting Vine; James K Baughman, Sr., Author; Pat Federinko, Artist; and Bill Johnston, Emerald Coast Pipes & Drums. Pictured are Nancy Kruzek, Ursel Behnken, Pat Federinko, Bill Head, Becky Belcher, Keri Woods, Susan Kneller, and Jim Baughman. For more information, visit OkaloosaArts.org.
|Children in Crisis Golf Classic Raises $40K |
The Sugar Sands Charity Golf Classic benefiting Children in Crisis raised more than $40,000 to provide homes to local foster children. The tournament was held at Kelly Plantation, and more than 100 golfers from all around the panhandle came to enjoy the event. Seen here, Ken Hair, CIC president & CEO, (right) presents the winning prize to Eddie Rivera, representing the winning team. For details, visitChildrenInCrisisFL.org.
|United Way Awarded Boeing Grant to Assist with Career Training and Employment Needs|
The Boeing Company has awarded a grant to the United Way of Okaloosa-Walton Counties to assist with a program focusing on “Success to Stability.” The objective of the grant funds will support United Way agencies in three key focus areas, (1) increasing enrollment in and completion of degree, certification, and training programs, (2) providing access to family-sustaining employment in targeted industries and (3) providing support to help individuals retain employment and advance their careers. Seen here are Ronda Davenport, United Way VP of Campaign & Marketing; Angelika Guenther and Henry Sanders, The Boeing Company; and Martha Miller, Chair of United Way Board of Directors. For details, visit United-Way.org.
Summer Work and Travel Community Forum on Nov. 6
Others of Destin, the J-1 Outreach Team in Destin, will be hosting a SWT (Summer Work and Travel) Community Forum on Thursday, Nov. 6, from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., at the Destin Life Center in Destin United Methodist Church. The objective of this forum is to collaborate with key participants to develop a support system for welcoming, informing, safeguarding, and providing a quality cultural exchange program for international students who visit and work in our area on J-1 visas. For details and registration, please contact Terri McCollum at email@example.com by Friday, Oct. 31.
Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast is “Flocking for a Cure”
A flock of pink flamingos will be roosting on the front lawn of Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast during the last two weeks of October. The flamingos are available for “adoption” for a small fee to help raise awareness of breast cancer and to raise funds to support breast-cancer care on the Emerald Coast. “Adoption fees” are $10 for one and $25 for three flamingos. For more information, call the Gift Shop at (850) 278-3032. Proceeds of the “Flocking for a Cure” project go to the Sacred Heart Foundation and will benefit breast cancer care on the Emerald Coast.
|The Other End Beergarden Celebrates Grand Opening with $25K Donation|
During The Other End Beergarden’s grand opening on Oct. 2, The Other End owner Joe Campbell donated $25K to the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge from the Bill and Dianne Campbell Charitable Trust, formed by Campbell in memory of his parents, Bill and Dianne, who were longtime Destin residents. Seen here are Amanda Sutton, Joe Campbell, Matthew McGee, Gary Redden, Susan Levine, Rick Ricketts, and Jerry Melvin. For details about The Other End, which offers a unique atmosphere for guests to enjoy craft beers, wine, and pub-style cuisine, visit Facebook.com/TheOtherEndBeerGarden.
FWB HS Students Lead the Way to Mary Esther Tobacco Resolution
The Mary Esther City Council is urging tobacco retailers to stop the sale and marketing of flavored tobacco products. On Oct. 6, it made its position official by passing Resolution 2014-05. The resolution was presented by students from the Fort Walton Beach High School chapter of Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) during the Sept. 15 City Workshop. Students Itzel Rea and Jordan Thomas addressed Council members about the trends in tobacco use among adolescents and the role played by the marketing of flavored tobacco products to youth consumers. For further information about SWAT, visit floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/young-adults/tobacco-free-florida/index.html.
14th Annual Best of the Emerald Coast Celebration Showcases Winning Businesses
Emerald Coast Magazine and the Junior League of the Emerald Coast have been busy preparing for the 2014 Best of the Emerald Coast event. The 2014 winners, as voted by the readers of Emerald Coast Magazine, will be on display at Grand Boulevard at Sandestin on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 6 - 9 p.m. to showcase their goods and services. The event is open to the public. Admission is $30 per person for advance tickets and $40 the day of the event. Only 125 VIP tickets will be sold in advance and exclusively online at emeraldcoastmagazine.com or jlec.org. For details, call (850) 269-7234 or followFacebook.com/BestoftheEmeraldCoast.
|Duck Regatta Raises Community Support for Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast |
The 4th Annual Duck Regatta made a huge splash during the family-fun event at Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin Beach and Golf Resort on Oct. 11. A total of 3,000 ducks raced across the lagoon toward the finish line. The $5,000 lucky duck was adopted by Dr. Mike O’Donnell, DMD, on behalf of his daughters, Haley and Megan. As the rest of the flock made it across the finish line, nine other duck “adopters” won prizes, including a paddle board, airline tickets, iPads and dinner packages. The popular community event benefits Sacred Heart Hospital on Emerald Coast Volunteer Guild. For more information, visit EmeraldCoastDuckRegatta.com andFacebook.com/EmeraldCoastDuckRegatta. Joe Johnston (far right) SHHEC Volunteer Guild Fundraising Chair, presents Drs. Lan & Mike O’Donnell, center, and members of their family, with a check for $5,000. Also pictured is Carol Miller (far left) who sold the winning duck to Dr. O'Donnell.
|Bolton Joins World Impact Real Estate|
Gena Bolton is a full-time, full-service realtor at World Impact Real Estate. She has been married for 30 years, and her son currently serves in the Navy. She is an active member of her church and this community. As a 30A, Sandestin, and Destin specialist, Bolton is 100 percent dedicated to helping her clients find their dream homes or sell their existing properties. Call her at (251) 366-0423, email Gena@SoWal30A.com, or visit SoWal30A.com.
BancorpSouth Announces Third Quarter 2014 Earnings
BancorpSouth, Inc., announced financial results for the quarter and nine months, ending Sept. 30, 2014. Highlights include net income of $28.8M, net operating income of $30.8M, progress toward remediating Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money-laundering compliance weaknesses, generated net loan growth of $198.9M, net interest margin increased to 3.62 percent from 3.59 percent, meaningful growth in several non-interest revenue sources, and non-performing loans and leases declined $4.7M, while non-performing assets decreased $17.3M. For more information about BancorpSouth, contact the local branch of BancorpSouth Bank at (850) 269-4300 or visit BancorpSouth.com.
BBB® Warns of Award Scam Targeting Local Businesses
The Better Business Bureau serving Northwest Florida is warning businesses about the US Institute for Advancement of Trade and Commerce (USIATC), an organization claiming local businesses are recipients of a “Florida Excellence Award” and offering an opportunity to buy one or more awards to mark the honor. An email advises the business that further details on the selection process can be viewed at www.USIATC.org and includes a reference code and a press release that was produced for the occasion. The business then has an option to purchase the press release and the award with packages ranging from $97 to $588. “From what we can find, this is a money-making scheme and the award does not have any actual merit,” said Norman Wright, president and CEO of BBB serving Northwest Florida. “If you are approached about receiving a business award, research the opportunity carefully and be cautious if asked to pay money.” For additional information and advice you can trust as a business owner, start with bbb.org.