McDonald’s Adding More Than 18,000 Jobs in Florida for Summer Season
McDonald’s is hiring and will add more than 18,000 jobs in Florida for the summer season. The company has also recently tripled its investment into the Archways to Opportunity education program and will allocate $150 million over a five-year period. The Archways to Opportunity program consists of free Career Online High School and college advisory services to its employees and now their family members. Tuition assistance has increased to $2,500 per year, up from $700, for eligible crew members and $3,000 per year, up from $1,050, for eligible managers. Eligibility requirements were lowered from nine months to 90 days of employment. Additionally, the minimum hour requirement to work each week dropped from 20 hours to 15 hours to enable restaurant employees more time to focus on studies.
Local franchise organization Costa Enterprises, who owns 20 restaurants from Navarre to Port St. Joe, and Crestview to Destin and Panama City Beach, will hire 200 more employees. It is offering a starting wage between $11-$12.50 for crew members and $15 for managers with anytime availability in the Destin market. Apply at careers.costamcd.com.
Regatta Bay Golf & Yacht Club 20th Anniversary Celebration Raises $36,000
Hosted from March 15 through March 17, at Regatta Bay Golf & Yacht Club, the 20th Anniversary Celebration event drew crowds of more than 300. The funds raised will provide One Hopeful Place with $27,000 to help in its endeavor to build more facilities to aid homeless and will provide $9,000 to help Emerald Coast Honor Games in raising funds for defenders of the front line.
Locally Owned Cups & Cones at Destin Commons
Cups & Cones, one of Destin Commons’ newer eateries, is locally owned by Bonnie Perry, a resident of Miramar Beach for the past 10 years. It is not a franchise, and, except for the Italian-made coffee, all of the store’s products are custom made in the store or purchased fresh from local suppliers. “Cups” denotes Cups & Cones’ cups of coffee products and blends offered that are exclusively by famed Italian coffee maker Guglielmo Papaleo. “Cones” stands for Cups & Cones’ offerings of Gelato Italian ice creams that are locally made and now available nation-wide. Customers may order a variety of items, such as cones, shakes, and other favorites, like hot lava cake sundaes, frozen floats, mud pies, frozen tropical cake, and more. All the Gelatos are served stand alone, or with freshly baked cakes, muffins, scones, cookies, key lime pies, or cheese cakes.
An Eggsellent Easter Egg Dash at LuLu’s
A tropically clad Easter Bunny delighted hundreds of kids and their families at Easter Sunday’s Easter Egg Dash hunt for eggs on the sandy beach at LuLu’s. An impressive 7,000 brightly colored plastic eggs filled with candy treats dotted the beach for kids, separated by age groups, to collect in their baskets. There were even some golden eggs with special prizes in them. The Easter Bunny was on hand to help the kids and for photos to capture the memory.
First Quarter Coins For A Cause Donations Tally Up to $4,892.25
It was a successful first quarter of 2018 for area charities receiving donations from Destin Commons. The outdoor lifestyle center’s Coins For A Cause (CFAC) initiative gave $4,892.25 to five charities.
•The State of Florida’s Distinguished Young Women’s Program received $1,000 towards the program’s prestigious scholarship program. Destin Commons also hosted an arrival ceremony at the center for the young women from all of the State of Florida.
•The Destin Chamber of Commerce’s Destin Forward class received $592.25 in support of the class project, the beautification of the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village in Destin.
•Another $2,500 was given to the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation for the non-profit’s Community Outreach programming to K-12 schools, Warrior Arts, and Arts for All Abilities for adults and children with special needs.
Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican Agent Featured in #1 New Release Book
Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican is pleased to announce that local agent Jordan Dennis is among nine Century 21 agents across the country to be featured in Amazon’s #1 new release Winning Real Estate: 9 Secrets to Success from Leading Pros. Exploring how to grow your sales with winning tips from nationally recognized Century 21 real estate agents, the book has been a #1 New Release on Amazon in the Buying & Selling Homes category since its release date of March 8, 2018. Individually chosen by Dave Kerpen, a New York Times best-selling author and CEO of Likeable Media, Dennis, along with eight other Century 21 agents, were selected specifically to write a chapter about their expertise in a unique market. “Chapter 4: Winning Facebook” delves into Dennis’ proficiency in the sumptuous harmony of social media and real estate. Dennis, originally a Los Angeles native, moved to the Emerald Coast in 2012. After 17 years in the military, Dennis made the transition into real estate in 2009. His passion and experience in the Marine Corps were key in aiding him to find a niche for military buyers and homeowners in the real estate business. Learn more at winningrealestatebook.com.
Destin Snowbirds Donate To CIC
President Charles Cassell and Member-at-Large Dean Harper, both of the Destin Snowbirds, presented a $2,019 check to Children in Crisis (CIC) and the kids living at the CIC Neighborhood. This year’s donation was from a collection of blankets, food, and funds. The awesome gift to CIC will help feed, clothe and care for the at-risk foster children living at the CIC Neighborhood. Seen here, (left to right) Ken Hair, CIC president & CEO, receives the donation from Harper and Cassell.
Pediatric Cardiology Expands to Miramar Beach
Pediatric cardiologist Dr. Matthew Steiner has expanded his practice and will see patients at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast. Steiner serves on the faculty of the University of Florida College of Medicine, which is affiliated with The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart. As a pediatric cardiologist, Steiner diagnoses and treats congenital and acquired heart conditions in infants, children, and adolescents. Steiner is fellowship trained and board certified in pediatric cardiology. He graduated with his medical degree from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and he completed his pediatric residency training at Holtz Children’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial Medical Center in Miami. He completed a fellowship in pediatric cardiology at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and has practiced pediatric cardiology in the Pensacola community for four years. Steiner is a member of the American Medical Association, and he is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Cardiology.
Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast Launches Sacred Paws Pet Therapy Program
Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast (SHHEC) has started a new "Sacred Paws" Pet Therapy program, which is a volunteer animal-assisted pet therapy program. Volunteer animal-assisted activities are utilized within Sacred Heart Health System as short, diversional meet-and-greet activities that can produce positive health effects. SHHEC currently has two therapy dogs, Annie, a Golden Retriever, and Duffy, a West Highland terrier. They and their handler or a volunteer will visit patients on the in-patient floor and out-patient waiting rooms and common areas.
Hand Arendall Harrison Sale Adds New Attorney
Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC announced the addition of Attorney Leslie Sheekley to practice in the areas of business and commercial disputes, contract negotiation and litigation, and community association representation. Board certification in business litigation by the Florida Bar is the highest level recognition of competency in one or more of the 24 areas of law approved for certification by the Florida Supreme Court. Sheekley is recognized as a board certified business litigation attorney by the state and she is “AV Preeminent” rated (the highest level attainable) by Martindale-Hubble, which is based upon endorsements of colleagues in the area of professional conduct, ethics, and ability. She has extensive trial experience in many areas of law, including insurance defense, contract and business litigation and injunction actions. Licensed to practice in Florida since 1985, Sheekley graduated from the University of Florida, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in 1982 and her Juris Doctor in 1985.
Businesses Make Generous Contribution to Museum
Tempacure Heating & Cooling, along with distributors Aprilaire and Johnstone Supply, recently made generous contributions to the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida by donating and installing two new air conditioning/heating units, a commercial dehumidifier, an air purification system, and other supplies needed for efficient cooling, heating, and de-humidification of museum collections. Seen here (left to right, front row) are Erika Larson, office manager Tempacure Heating & Cooling; Carole Apfel, museum trustee; Barbara Palmgren, museum trustee chair; Gina Marini, museum manager; Diane Plank, museum trustee; Marie Hallion, museum trustee; (back row, left to right) Kelli Knudsen, museum assistant; Steve Czonstka, museum ex-officio; Brad Wilcox, Johnstone Supply; Bill Burke, owner of Tempacure Heating & Cooling; Scott Bruce, Johnstone Supply; and John Openshaw, museum trustee.
Smileology Donates $18,400 in Free Dental Services to Those in Need
Dr. Amber Wiebe and Dr. Olivier Broutin, along with Dr. Bibek Nakarmi, hosted their Fourth Annual Dentistry from the Heart event on Friday, March 30, 2018, at the Miramar Beach Smileology location. The team of professionals worked collaboratively to provide 56 patients with services. Patients chose from a complimentary filling, extraction, or cleaning. In addition to the time dedicated by hygienists, assistants, and other dental professionals, a total of $18,400 worth of dental care was donated to the community in good faith. A number of Smileology’s service providers, including 3M Products, Patterson Dental, and UltraDent, donated dental supplies. Several local area businesses also made in kind donations to the event, including The Donut Hole and Wells Fargo. This was Dr. Wiebe and Dr. Broutin’s fourth year hosting Dentistry from the Heart and its third year at Smileology’s location in Holiday Plaza in the heart of Miramar Beach. Seen here are Dr. Amber Wiebe (left) and Dr. Olivier Broutin.
Tom Thumb Donates Care Items to CIC Kids
Seen here, Ken Hair, Children In Crisis (CIC) president & CEO, accepts a huge donation of personal care items for the children living at CIC from Carl Blakey and Ray Ross of Tom Thumb convenience stores. The donation will help the more than 100 children that will live at the CIC Neighborhood this year.
Boys & Girls Club Golf Tournament a Huge Success
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast hosted its inaugural “A Round for the Kids” golf tournament at Emerald Bay Golf Club on March 24. The weather was perfect, the greens were rolling true, and more than 50 golfers participated in the event to help raise funds for Boys & Girls Clubs across the region. The event, sponsored by Coastal Accounting of NW Florida, P.A., was a huge success and not only raised funds for Boys & Girls Clubs, but it raised awareness of the impact that Boys & Girls Clubs has on our area’s youth. John Carter, part of the Crab Island Cantina Team, aced hole #12, a 201-yard hole-in-one, to claim a $10,000 cash prize.
Progress Bank Ranked as the 64th Top Performing Community Bank in U.S.
Progress Bank announced it was named the 64th top performing bank in the United States with total assets between $1 billion and $10 billion by SNL/S&P Global Market Intelligence, based on its financial results for 2017. Only three community banks from Alabama were included in the $1 billion to $10 billion ranking. SNL/S&P Global Market Intelligence’s rankings are based on six metrics: pretax return on average tangible common equity, net charge-offs as a percentage of average loans, efficiency ratio, adjusted Texas ratio, net interest margin on a fully taxable equivalent basis, and loan growth. More than 530 companies were eligible for the SNL/S&P Global Market Intelligence rankings.
Silver Sands Premium Outlets Welcomes New Additions
Silver Sands Premium Outlets recently announced the addition of several sought-after brands. Sea & Sand Jewelry, Pepper Palace, and Frios Gourmet Pops, which all opened their doors this spring, will expand the center’s dining and shopping selection for guests looking for enormous savings of up to 65 percent off on more than 110 top brands. Boasting top quality jewelry at affordable prices, Sea & Sand Jewelry offers some of the worlds' top designers, as well as up and coming jewelry crafters to a wide spectrum of budgets. Pepper Palace is dedicated to helping customers cultivate a more joyful and memorable culinary experience, while encouraging a fun and fiery environment with small batch, hand-crafted, all natural, and award-winning products. Frios Gourmet Pops is focused on using the freshest ingredients possible, creating the best frozen pops and bringing smiles to the faces of its customers.
The Sonder Project Issues Call for Volunteers
The Sonder Project is in search of dedicated volunteers to help organize and execute its annual 30A Half Marathon and 5K Race. Volunteer committee heads still needed. Are you organized? Great at planning and implementing? Have a heart forgiving? Love making new friends and having fun doing it? We need your help! The 30A Half Marathon & 5K is a labor of love, and as we grow, we need more caring hands to help us create the best race possible. We still have a few committees in need of leadership. If you think you have what it takes contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Destin Water Users and South Walton Utility Company Announces Completion of Thirteenth Well at Rockhill Well Field
On Tuesday, March 27, Destin Water Users (DWU) and South Walton Utility Company, Inc., (SWUCI) gathered to celebrate the completion of the 13th alternative water supply well at Rockhill Well Field. Beginning construction in 2016, the completion of this development marks the sixth well on Rockhill Well Field property and the 13th well in SWUCI’s system. Beginning in 1982, the Northwest Florida Water Management District (NWFWMD) began work on a Regional Water Supply Development Plan in response to rapid growth in the Destin and South Walton areas. Multiple studies showed the limitations of the coastal wells that were supplying water to the residents of the area and the stress they were under due to population density. In 1996 Water Resources Partners (WRP) was formed between DWU and SWUCI to work with the NWFWMD to develop an alternative water supply. The NWFWMD and WRP named Rockhill Well Field as the preferred location for this new endeavor. Rockhill Well Field, located in Freeport, Fla., is an inland well field that draws water from the Floridan Aquifer. Established in 2001, the Rockhill Well Field aimed to provide a safe and reliable alternative drinking water source to Destin and the beaches of South Walton County. Seen here (left to right) are Mike Richardson, SWUCI; Rick Scali, DWU; Jimmy Neilson, DWU; Jim Foreman, DWU; Bill McQuillan, SWUCI; Steve Dixon, SWUCI; Dave Brown, SWUCI; Tom Weidenhamer, DWU; and Jack Lubker, SWUCI.
CCB Community Bank Donates to Help Keep History Alive!
Danny Smith, Annie Harris-Sutera, and Alan Wood from CCB Community Bank in Niceville present a check for $1,100 to Gina Marini, manager of the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida. Their contribution is in support of the museum’s annual Mardi Gras Golf Scramble, the Heritage 5K at the 42nd Saturday in the Park Festival, and the museum’s educational programs and tours.
Foundations Medical Announces Newest Team Member
Elizabeth Trapp, now with Foundations Medical Center, is a registered dietitian with a special interest in helping patients feel their best through diet modifications. As a dietitian, Trapp has always understood the importance of a healthy diet. However, it was through her own health struggles that she found her passion in functional medicine and nutrition, realizing just how significant even small changes in one’s diet can make a major impact on one’s health. Trapp obtained her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Dietetics from Louisiana State University and completed her dietetic internship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She also completed a Master’s of Science in Clinical Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin. Trapp has worked as both an outpatient and an inpatient clinical dietitian since completing her education, but her passion lies is helping patients find and implement the nutrition approach that allows them to feel their very best.
Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast Receives Awards for Intensive Care Unit and Emergency Department Services
Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast has received the highest Overall Top Performer Award for its Intensive Care Unit (ICU) services and a 5-Star Award in the category of Emergency Department Services Overall Quality of Care from Professional Research Consultants, Inc. (PRC), an independent research-marketing firm dedicated to the improvement of healthcare nationwide. PRC’s highest honor, the Overall Top Performer Award, is given to healthcare facilities, providers, outpatient service lines, and inpatient units that scored at the 100th percentile for the Overall Quality of Care “Excellent” score in PRC’s national client database for the prior calendar year. 5-Star Awards are given to those scoring at or above the 90th percentile. The scores are based on data collected from patients who rate the hospital as “Excellent” when asked about the overall quality of care in the post-discharge patient satisfaction survey.
ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals Donates $2,000 to EOD Warrior Foundation
ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals presented a check to Melissa Tackitt with the EOD Warrior Foundation for $2,000. The EOD Warrior Foundation (EODWF) serves the EOD community by providing financial assistance and support to active-duty and veteran wounded, injured or ill EOD warriors, families of our wounded and fallen EOD warriors, and by maintaining the EOD Memorial. Funds were raised through the 21st Annual South Walton Celebrity Golf Classic held in the fall. During the three-day event golf enthusiasts had the chance to hit the links with dozens of sports legends, such as Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Pete Smith, Jim McMahon, Von Hayes, and Rick Reuschel, as well as Gold Star parents. Seen here (left to right) are Keri Pici, ResortQuest; Charlie Haje, tournament director; Del Hatches, ResortQuest tournament co-chair; Melissa Tackitt, EOD Warrior Foundation representative; Mike Griffin, tournament official; Lino Maldonado, Wyndham Vacation Rentals, North America; and Mary-Lu Lazzaro, ResortQuest.
D. L. Curtis Construction Donates to CIC Golf for Kids
Seen here, Ken Hair, Children In Crisis (CIC) president & CEO, receives a donation of $5,000 from Damian Curtis of D. L. Curtis Construction, as a major sponsor for the CIC Sugar Sands Charity Golf Classic to be held on Columbus Day, Oct. 8, at Kelly Plantation. The prestigious tournament was established by Tommy Bahama’s Restaurant in 2009 to raise vital funds to help give a home, feed, clothe, and care for the kids living at the CIC Neighborhood. CIC has run the tournament since 2012, and it has become one of the premier tournaments in the area.
Kids Discovery Helps “Keep History Alive!”
Helping to “Keep History Alive,” Kid’s Discovery Learning Center owner Lisa Drake (left) presents Gina Marini and Kelli Knudsen of the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida with a check for $625 in support of education and the 42nd Saturday in the Park Festival, which was held on April 28.