• August 2017 Business Briefs / Member News

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    August 30, 2017
    Americans Urged to Donate Blood in the Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey
    Hurricane Harvey and its associated flooding are impacting the nation’s blood supply. The AABB Interorganizational Task Force on Domestic Disasters and Acts of Terrorism is urging eligible donors across America, especially those with type O-positive blood, to make and keep donation appointments as soon as possible. 
    To host a blood drive on the Emerald Coast, contact OneBlood’s Justin Malan at Justin.malan@oneblood.org or (208) 891-2951.

    Helping Texas in the Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey
    The Better Business Bureau and BBB Wise Giving Alliance are advising people to help as much as they can in the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, but to do so with caution and make sure their donations get to the people who need it most. BBBs are already seeing crowdfunding appeals of a dubious nature, and in the days ahead expect to see “storm chasers” looking to make a quick buck off of clean-up efforts (bbb.org/storm). Consumers can report suspected scams to BBB Scam Tracker (bbb.org/scamtracker) or the Texas Attorney General’s hotline (800-621-0508 or consumeremergency@nag.texas.gov).

    For more tips, click here.

    Twin Cities Hospital Donates to Boggy Bayou Fireworks Fund
    Twin Cities Hospital hosted its 3rd Annual Fireworks Fundraiser Luncheon on Friday, June 16, with all proceeds benefitting 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 $1,725.  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. 

    Costa Family McDonalds Makes Donation to CIC Children
    Costa Family McDonald's - Children In CrisisSeen here, the Costa Family McDonalds presents a $1,500 donation to its “McCafe with a Cause” Charity of the Month Children in Crisis (CIC). Ken Hair, CIC president and CEO, accepted the check on behalf of the organization.  Every Monday, Costa’s McDonalds donates 50 percent of its coffee proceeds to a Charity of the Month. 

    ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals Associate Wins 9 ADDY Awards
    Wyndham Vacation Rentals announced that ResortQuest associate Robyn Patterson was recently recognized with 9 prestigious ADDY Awards for her work on several print and digital campaigns.  Patterson received two Gold, one of which boasts Best of Show, and seven Silver awards at the 24rd Annual American Advertising Federation (AAF) Emerald Coast Chapter ADDY® Awards. Patterson was awarded a Gold ADDY award and Best of show for the company-produced publication, Beach Dreams guide and Silver ADDY and Judges Choice Award for Beach Dreams cover. She received an additional Gold ADDY Judges Choice Award for ResortQuest Email Blasts. Additional Silver ADDY Awards include company-produced publications, Destin Pointe Living and TOPS’L life.  Patterson also received Silver ADDY awards for the ResortQuest Vacation Voucher, 850 Magazine ad, Trolley Times Ad and a Silver ADDY Judges Choice Award for Bowlegs Charity Golf Invitation. 
    Big Brothers Big Sisters Announces Big of the Year for Okaloosa/Walton
    Big Brothers Big Sisters Northwest FloridaBig Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida presented the Big of the Year award for Okaloosa and Walton County to Chris Parker at Sacred Heart Hospital of the Emerald Coast. The Big of the Year award is presented to the Big Brother or Big Sister who has gone above and beyond as a positive role model. Parker, a radiographer at Sacred Heart, was surprised with the award by Big Brothers Big Sisters staff and his coworkers. He is one of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ most dedicated school-based mentors. He has been visiting his Little Brother, 10-year-old Daevious, weekly at school since they were first matched in December of 2014. In that time, Daevious has attended three different schools, and Chris has moved with him each time. 

    HarborWalk Village Recognizes The Float Brothers For Providing Relief to Veterans Diagnosed With PTSD
    HarborWalk Village - Float Brothers Float SpaOn Thursday, July 6, HarborWalk Village recognizes two incredible brothers known as the Float Brothers, during its Red, White, and Blue Hero Celebration. Chris and Trey Hearn, both Air Force veterans, opened the first float therapy spa (Float Brothers Float Spa) in Destin in January of 2016. Since then, they have floated more than 7,000 people in the local area and have become the #1 ranked spa on the Emerald Coast. Since float therapy has been helping to provide anxiety/PTSD relief, the Hearns started a special program to give back to fellow military/veterans. The Military/Veteran PTSD Free Float Program allows military members and veterans that are medically diagnosed with PTSD the opportunity to float for free in their spa on certain days each week. The program started upon opening in January 2016 and now has 88 members who are finding relief from anxiety and PTSD through float therapy. 

    Fort Walton Beach City Councilwoman To Chair Okaloosa-Walton TPO
    The West Florida Regional Planning Council is pleased to announce that Fort Walton Beach City Councilwoman Amy Jamieson assumed the role as chair for the Okaloosa-Walton Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) on July 1, and Okaloosa County Commissioner Nathan Boyles will serve as the Vice Chair. The Okaloosa-Walton TPO is the local, intergovernmental transportation policy board for Okaloosa and Walton counties in Florida. The board is comprised of local government officials who gather to make decisions regarding the region's transportation. The Okaloosa-Walton TPO is required by federal and state legislation to establish a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive planning process. It also works to increase safety, security, accessibility, mobility, and connectivity for people and goods.

    Vets Helping Vets & First Responders
    A Superior Air Conditioning Company sponsored the First Responders and Vet’s Luncheon at Harley Davidson of Panama City Beach on July 11. During the Luncheon, A Superior Air Conditioning Company announced the winners of the quarterly Vets Helping Vets and First Responders Program. Through the Vets Helping Vets and First Responders Program a new AC unit is given to both a local Veteran and a Local First Responder each quarter. The Vets Helping Vets program started in 2015 and then expanded to include First Responders in 2016.  For details on the program, visit https://www.asuperiorac.com/vets-helping-vets-air-conditioning-heating-system-giveaway.

    Kelley Assumes AFWA Leadership Role
    Lori K. Kelley, CPA, has been named president of the 2017-2018 National Board of Directors for the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA). Kelley is a member of Warren Averett and serves with the AFWA Fort Walton Beach Chapter. She has been with Warren Averett since 1994 and is the tax service area leader for the Destin office. An AFWA member since 1992, Kelley has served on the board of directors, both locally and nationally in several capacities. She is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants. 

    Emerald Coast Parrot Head Club Helps Children in Crisis
    Children In CrisisThe Emerald Coast Parrot Head Club continued its support to Children in Crisis (CIC) by presenting a $1,597 donation to help feed, clothe, and care for the children living at the CIC Neighborhood.  Seen here, Ken Hair, CIC president and CEO, receives the donation.

    The Knights of Columbus Council 7667 Donates to The Arc
    The Arc of the Emerald CoastThe Knights of Columbus Howard Lesch Council 7667 donated to The Arc of the Emerald Coast and two other local charities serving persons with disabilities, following its 2017 Tootsie Roll drive. The Knights beat their 2016 donation and were able to give more than $600 dollars to The Arc of the Emerald Coast, Special Olympics, and Silver Sands School.

    Emerald Coast Theatre Company Launches 5th Anniversary Season
    Emerald Coast Theatre CompanyEmerald Coast Theatre Company (ECTC) takes the center stage spotlight for a moment to celebrate the launch of its fifth anniversary season on the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast. After five years, ECTC has clearly established itself as a professional theater company focused on staging thought-provoking productions, festivals, and creative collaborations, as well as a valued community resource for professional acting, improv workshops, and even creative corporate team building. ECTC has expanded its professional main stage productions to four. The 2017-18 season will include a musical comedy, a play, a docudrama, and a romantic comedy. For details on the 5th Anniversary Season, visit www.emeraldcoasttheatre.org. Pictured are ECTC founder's Anna and Nathaniel Fisher.

    Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation Names Poster Art Contest Winners
    Mattie Kelly Arts FoundationMattie Kelly Arts Foundation (MKAF) has named husband-wife duo Tony and Vivian Zack of Destin the 2017 Festival of the Arts poster contest winners. Recognized as one of Northwest Florida’s premier fine art shows, the Festival of the Arts, produced by MKAF, is one of the most anticipated cultural events of the year on the Emerald Coast. This year’s 22nd annual event is set for Oct. 28-29, at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village in Destin. The Zacks have been collaborating as an “art team” for more than 22 years. The unique individual styles of these two self-taught artists combine to create their signature whimsical form of “funky” folk art. 

    Publix Tops All Giving in United Way’s 59-Year History
    United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties - Publix Super MarketsPublix Super Markets associates and Publix Super Markets Charities reached a new goal during the 2016 Publix employees United Way campaign, with donations totaling $501,455 – more than any other company in United Way of Okaloosa & Walton Counties’ 59-year history.  The Publix employees campaign has consistently increased each year since 1999, with the opening of the first Publix store in this area – all to benefit United Way’s work in health, education,n and financial stability in Okaloosa & Walton counties. Seen here are Rick Owen, United Way president and CEO; Jamie Nichols; Charlie Kessler; Glenn Ward; Adam Jackson; Jacob Foreman; Adam Jett; and Jackie Gouge, Publix district manager. 

    Sacred Heart Hospital Offering Prevent Type 2 Diabetes Program
    Community members are preventing type 2 diabetes together with the PreventT2 Lifestyle Change Program offered by Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast. Guided by a trained lifestyle coach, groups of participants are learning the skills they need to make lasting changes, such as losing a modest amount of weight, being more physically active, and managing stress.  To learn more about this program, call Anne Townley at (850) 278-3683 or Stacy Froeschner at (850) 278-3519.

    Legendary Marine Presents Checks to Emerald Coast Autism Center and WAB Foundation
    Legendary MarineHall of Fame Dealer Legendary Marine presented checks to Emerald Coast Autism Center and William Augusts Bowles Museum and Historical Foundation from funds raised at the 2017 Billy Bowlegs Pirate Poker Run held on May 13, 2017.  Check presentation took place during the Destin Chamber Business After Hours event on June 22, at the Legendary Marine Showroom located in Destin. Legendary Marine was thrilled to partner again on its annual poker run with Emerald Coast Autism Center and welcomed aboard this year the William Augustus Bowles Museum & Historical Foundation.  Legendary Marine will continue this event next year on May 12, 2018.

    HarborWalk Honors Hunting For Healing Founders
    HarborWalk VillageOn Thursday, July 13, HarborWalk Village recognized a local non-profit organization, Hunting For Healing and its founders, former Navy SEAL Kevin Lacz and his wife Lindsey, during its Red, White, and Blue Hero Celebration. Hunting For Healing provides meaningful charitable outdoor and hunting experiences to any service member, past or present, who has incurred a service related disability. It promotes communication and bonding between these veterans and their spouses through positive outdoor and hunting experiences. 

    Graphic Strategist Interviewed by Emerald Coast Brew Review
    Recently, Emerald Coast Brew Review interviewed Graphic Strategist Lacey Pyle about her work on Destin Brewery’s website and can labels. She has been working closely with Destin Brewery for two years. Read the full interview here.

    Fort Walton Beach Medical Center Auxiliary Awards Scholarships to Five Local High School Students 
    Fort Walton Beach Medical CenterThe Fort Walton Beach Medical Center (FWBMC) Auxiliary believes the more knowledge our young people can gain, the better adults they will become. Each year, the FWBMC Auxiliary awards $12,000 in scholarships to high school students of Fort Walton Beach High School and Choctawhatchee High School so they may further their education into college. In June, five students from Fort Walton Beach High School were awarded scholarships: Ethan Lipnicky ($3,000), Sabrina Locht ($3,000), Alyssa Bettinger ($2,000), John Parker ($2,000), and Tristin Woodruff, who was also a FWBMC Volunteen ($2,000). Pictured left to right are Cindy Halsey, Auxiliary Member; Ginger Kelly, Auxiliary president; Jennifer Meade, Auxiliary member; Alyssa Bettinger, scholarship recipient; John Parker, scholarship recipient; Debbie Wagoner, Auxiliary member; Tristan Woodruff, scholarship recipient; and Vicki Tarro, FWBMC director of volunteers. 
    Rock Painting Raises Funds for CIC Kids
    Children In CrisisIt’s could be just a simple act of kindness but its making a big impact in communities across the country.  Rock painting groups are brightening the days of strangers, one beautiful rock at a time.  Rob and Amy Sparks, Children In Crisis (CIC) Neighborhood house parents, started rock panting a few months ago, and it’s really become very popular at CIC. Lauren Helms of Helms Hauling and Materials started raising funds for CIC and other charities by donating the revenue from the rocks that were purchased for the purpose of rock painting.  She made an awesome donation of $984.68 to give back to the community and help CIC feed and clothe the children living at the CIC neighborhood. She is seen here with Ken Hair, CIC president and CEO.

    Fee Change for Concealed Weapons Applications
    Beginning July 1, all individuals who wish to apply for or renew a Florida concealed weapon license will save $5.  Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam worked with the Florida Legislature to bring the application fee down.  A background check, which includes fingerprinting, is needed for all first-time applicants.  Most initial licenses typically cost $119, while renewals cost $57.  Both prices include a fingerprint processing and convenience fee.  The Okaloosa County Tax Collector’s Office is authorized to take fingerprints, photographs, and accept applications on behalf of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  Same day renewals are also available for eligible Florida Residents.    

    Destin’s Newest Chiropractor 
    Emerald Coast ChiropracticEmerald Coast Chiropractic announced the addition of Destin’s newest chiropractor to its staff. Dr. J.D. Whidden officially joined the team in March and has been busy over the last few months getting involved throughout the community in Okaloosa and Walton counties. Whidden is originally from Destin and graduated from Fort Walton Beach High School.  He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science from Auburn University, and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life University in Marietta, GA. After completing a preceptorship at Zook Chiropractic in Niceville, Whidden decided to join the family business and begin his chiropractic career. 

    Five Juvenile Green Sea Turtles Are Scheduled for Release
    Gulfarium's C.A.R.E. Center released five rehabilitated juvenile Green sea turtles. Parsley, Serrano, Basil, Celery, and Phyll into the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday July 19. All five turtles are smaller in size averaging 28 pounds. They were walked several feet into the water, beyond the surf, and released at Henderson Beach State Park. Follow the C.A.R.E. Center on Facebook to learn more about sea turtles, their individual stories, and rehabilitation efforts.  

    Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon Relocates to Destin
    Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald CoastPediatric orthopedic surgeon Dr. Robert Huang has relocated his office to Sacred Heart Medical Group, located at 36500 Emerald Coast Pkwy., in Destin. Huang is fellowship trained and board certified in pediatric orthopedic surgery. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Rochester. Huang received his medical degree and completed his residency training in orthopedic surgery at Stony Brook University Medical Center, where he was resident research scholar in the musculoskeletal research laboratory. He performed a fellowship in pediatric orthopedic surgery at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. He has served as a staff orthopedic surgeon at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Houston, Texas, and as director of academics and research for Banner Pediatric Specialists Orthopedic Clinic in Mesa, Ariz. Prior to joining Sacred Heart Medical Group, Huang served in the division of pediatric orthopedics for Nemours Children’s Specialty Care Pensacola. To schedule an appointment, please call (850) 278-3422. 
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