Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March 2015 Business Briefs / Member News Part 5

Southern Vacation Rentals Celebrates 20 Years of Excellence
Southern Vacation Rentals – a proud member of the Southern family of companies - is celebrating its 20 years of excellence in the Gulf Coast real estate, hospitality, and property management industries. Founded in 1995 by two sets of brothers, Mike and Brad Shoults and Kevin and Kerry Veach, Southern has quickly grown to become one of the largest locally owned companies in the area, garnered with a reputation of integrity, experience, and knowledge of the industry.

Southern will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a variety of exciting promotions throughout 2015. This includes everything from special sales on vacation homes and condo rentals in Destin, Perdido Key, Gulf Shores, and other areas along the Gulf Coast to social media giveaways and employee appreciation events. Other festivities to mark the momentous year will include local celebrations, recognition of loyal Southern guests, and an exclusive three-night stay in a condo presented to two winners during the year. Learn more about the Southern family of companies, their services and properties at GoSouthern.com.

ABC Fine Wine & Spirits Debuts in Destin
ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, one of the largest independent retailers of wine and spirits in the U.S., announced the opening of a new location in Destin. Opening in early April at 34715 Emerald Coast Parkway, the new location will be the first in Destin and the second west of Tallahassee.

The new ABC Fine Wine & Spirits will occupy a developing space located in front of The Home Depot. At 13,000-square-feet, the new store will be bigger than the average ABC store, and it will feature an 18-door beer cooler and offer more than 500 beers, 5,000 wines, 2,000 rare and popular spirits, 400 cigars, gourmet foods, custom gift baskets, glassware, and other related items. Locally brewed craft beers sold at the Destin store will include Pensacola Bay Brewery.

Free Tax Preparation
Free Tax Preparation is available through the United Way of Okaloosa & Walton Counties Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. If you are in need of assistance and earned less than $52,000 in 2014, contact the following sites:
- Goodwill Easter Seals, Ft. Walton Beach, by appointment only, call (251) 433-4900
- First Presbyterian Church, Crestview, first come-first serve assistance from 3 – 5 p.m., only on Friday, March 27, and Friday, April 10
For a list of required documents that must be brought to your appointment, visit United-Way.org/VITA.htm. To volunteer for VITA, call (850) 598-4945.

Pre-Game Activities Promote Reading at Wahoos’ Stadium
Families are invited to “Hit a Home Run for Early Literacy” during a pre-game WSRE Imagination Station event at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium on Sunday, April 12, from 2 – 4 p.m. The first 100 families in attendance will receive a free “Bats at the Ballgame” book. Activities are themed around the popular children’s book by Brian Lies and include meet and greet with Pensacola Blue Wahoos baseball players from 2:30 – 3 p.m.; appearances by Kazoo, “Readmore” The Dolphin, and the PBS KIDS characters; signup for free membership to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos Kids Club; and access to Imagination Station games and more. After the 4 p.m. game, kids can enjoy a “Fun Run for Reading” around the bases and a special jumbotron presentation of “Bats at the Ballgame” read by local dignitaries and familiar personalities.

All Types of Vendor Openings for 39th Saturday in the Park Festival
The Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida has openings for all types of vendors at the 39th Saturday in the Park Heritage Festival on April 25. Vendor spaces are available for art/craft/antique, non-profit/government agencies and clubs, community sponsors, re-enactors, and traditional craft demonstrators. Fees vary. For information, visit Heritage-Museum.org or call (850) 678-2615.

Destin Bay House Completes Renovations
The Destin Bay House – Northwest Florida’s premier event venue – is pleased to announce the completion of a redesigned space just in time for the spring season. Although the Bay House opened four short years ago, it has quickly emerged as a forerunner in the event industry, hosting everything from family reunions and corporate event to rehearsal dinners and weddings. The renovations, which include major overhauls and minor refinishes, will help to create a space that sets the Bay House further apart from the competition.

Improvements to the iconic 1950s home can be seen in the converted storage space that adds another outlet to personalize the layout, the refinished bar, and additions to onsite amenities. With these features, the Bay House will be better suited to cater to individual needs and create memories that will last a lifetime. For more information about the Destin Bay House and hosting an event, visit the DestinBayHouse.com.

4th Annual Food For Thought Golf Tournament
Thursday, April 9
Presented by Sunburst Beach Vacations and A Superior Air Conditioning Company
Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club
We've still got spots left for teams and sponsorship opportunities are available. To register a team or to become a sponsor, click here.

Students to Restore Dunes
As the school year begins to draw to an end, students across Okaloosa and Walton counties are also wrapping up a year-long restoration project. Throughout the 2014-2015 school year, around 500 students at four middle schools participated in Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance’s (CBA) Dunes in Schools Program.

Dunes in Schools encourages students to develop an interest in the local coastal environment by growing sea oats at their school. Throughout April, these students will see the hands-on, science program full circle by taking a field trip to the beach to plant their sea oats. Rotating through stations, students will not only explore the habitat they learned about all year, but will also plant their sea oats at a state park restoration site. Together, students at Emerald Coast Middle School, Destin Middle School, Shoal River Middle School and Seaside Neighborhood School will help to restore the dunes at three state parks by planting more than 1,000 sea oats. For more information, please contact Brittany Tate at (850)217-5382 or tateb@nwfsc.edu.

Drama and Musical Theater Summer Camps for Kids
Summertime means letting your heart sing. Emerald Coast Theatre Company (ECTC), a not-for-profit professional theater company based in Miramar Beach, has launched its 2015 summer theater camps series designed with kids in mind. ECTC’s third annual children’s theater summer series, presented with support from the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation, features three exciting programs. Dates and locations are as follows:
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
June 15–20, South Walton Campus of Northwest Florida State College, Santa Rosa Beach
June 22–27, Destin Elementary School, Destin
July 6-–11, A Class Act Studios, 80 Miracle Strip Parkway S.E., Unit 5, Fort Walton Beach

Camp Broadway
July 6–10, Seaside Neighborhood School

Disney’s “Peter Pan Jr.” Musical Theater Camp in partnership with Rise Dance Studios
July 13–25 at Rise Dance Center, 4489 AB Commons Drive West, Destin (in shopping center near The Fresh Market)

For more information, visit EmeraldCoastTheatre.org.

Fundraising Event For Local Nonprofit
The 360 Blue Foundation will be hosting These Boots Are Made For Giving - its premiere fundraising event at Arnett's Gulfside Stables in Santa Rosa Beach on the evening of May 9. Come out for a delicious dinner and stay for the fabulous live entertainment provided by the extremely talented Daphne Willis, who recently co-wrote a song with Megan Trainor. Daphne and her band will be performing original music, as well as a variety of classic cover songs. Don't forget to check out the awesome silent auction items! All proceeds benefit the 360 Blue Foundation and its goal of contributing to the end of extreme poverty worldwide by providing the resources needed for success to those who need it the most - especially those living on less than $1.25 a day.

In 2015, the Foundation partnered with buildOn and committed to building two (three, funds permitting) schools in Burkina Faso, Africa. In February, a small number of 360 Bue staff traveled to the country and began construction on the first school of the year in the small village of Roure.

If you or your business would like to donate something to be auctioned off at the event, please contact sarah@360blue.com. Tickets to the event are currently on sale and may be purchased here.

Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast Launches Interactive Patient Care System
Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast will launch the GetWellNetwork® interactive patient care system on March 31, to help educate, engage, and empower patients in its care. The system helps patients and their families take an active role in their health care, which results in improved patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes.

The GetWellNetwork will be installed in all inpatient rooms. Utilizing an in-room television, patients will receive customized education on their condition and medications, learn about various patient safety and infection control initiatives, and provide feedback on pain management measures. A direct link to various hospital services, such as ordering a meal or making a service request, are also available at the click of a button. Entertainment options, such as movies, shows, and games, round out the patient experience system.

Property Tax Installment Plan Available
Okaloosa County Tax Collector Ben Anderson is pleased to announce that taxpayers can now register for the Property Tax Installment Plan online. By utilizing the Installment Plan option, taxpayers receive a 3.375% discount, and payments may be divided into four payments over a one year period. To participate in the Tax Installment Plan, complete an Installment Application located on the Tax Collector’s website at OkaloosaTax.com. Click on the green “Taxes” link on the right side of the webpage. You will be directed to search for your account/property. Once you have located your account, select the green button labeled “Apply for the 2015 Installment Plan.” The application must be submitted no later than April 30.

Emerald Coast Magazine Presents 2015 Emerald Coast Top Salon Competition
One of the Emerald Coast’s most highly-anticipated charity events is back for its fourth year. Emerald Coast Top Salon gathers a who’s who of the salon industry for a night of makeovers, music, food, and fun. This year’s event is Friday, April 10, at 7 p.m. at the newly remodeled Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa.

This year’s event, presented by Emerald Coast magazine, is made possible by presenting sponsor Dr. Dennis Lichorwic and The Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry. Additional sponsors include BluePrint Health Studio, Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, Marsha Doll Models, and Emerald Coast Functional Family Medicine.

The 11 top salons selected to compete for the 2015 title and their chosen charity include: Avantgarde Salon (Emerald Coast Advocacy Center); C’est La Vie (Taylor Haugen Foundation); Euphoria (Rescued Rescuers: Dachsunds & Friends); Fushion Spa Salon Sandestin (Shelter House); La Renaissance (Sacred Heart Cancer Center); Pure & Couture (Fisher House Emerald Coast); Rollands Beauty Bar (Impact 100 NW Florida); Sanabella Spa and Salon (E.O. Wilson Biophili Center); Serenity by the sea (Bay Area Foodbank); Cutting Room Salon & Spa (Wounded Warrior Project); and The Kat House (Autism Speaks).

For more information about the 2015 Emerald Coast Top Salon competition, visit EmeraldCoastMagazine.com.

RE/MAX Southern Celebrates Annual Awards

RE/MAX Southern Realty – one of the largest teams providing real estate services in Northwest Florida – held its annual awards celebrating another successful year and honoring its many well-regarded agents. Longtime RE/MAX Southern agent Susie Kirkland ranked as the firm’s Top Sales Volume and Transactions leader for 2014, as well as the Destin Team’s Top Listing Agent and Top Sales Transactions. The Individual Top Listing Awards were presented to Matt Williams of the Destin office and Jim Murphy of Panama City Beach. Rounding out the awards is RE/MAX Southern agent Carole Pleasants, who in addition to receiving the brand’s Lifetime Achievement Award earlier this year, ranked high among agents in 2014 for Top Sales Commission Earned. RE/MAX Southern congratulates its top earning agents who have strived to uphold the greatest service, courtesy and professionalism that firm can offer. For more information about RE/MAX Southern Realty and their outstanding agents, visit REMAXSouthern.com.

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