Toys for Tots Drop Off Location
is proudly participating in the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots toy collection drive. We are accepting new, unwrapped toys from now until Friday, Dec. 15, at our Destin branch, located at 34855 Emerald Coast Parkway. Our hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Hero’s Home Celebration
Join Building Homes for Heroes
for an amazing Hero’s Home Celebration for Air Force Capt. Nathan Nelson on Saturday, Dec. 10! The ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m., in Santa Rosa Beach. The address is available upon request. For details, call Kim at (407) 222-1216 or Ashleigh at (727) 543-1924 or visit BuildingHomesForHeroes.org
Medical Center Awarded Hospital Accreditation
Fort Walton Beach Medical Center
earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Hospital Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal of Approval is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care. Fort Walton Beach Medical Center underwent a rigorous, unannounced onsite survey earlier this year. During the review, a team of Joint Commission expert surveyors evaluated compliance with hospital standards related to several areas, including emergency management, environment of care, infection prevention and control, leadership, and medication management. Surveyors also conducted onsite observations and interviews.
Sacred Heart Hospital Continues Growth Adding Fifth Operating Suite
Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast
(SHHEC) announced the opening of its new fifth operating suite in their surgical center. The area’s fast-growing population has resulted in an immediate increase in the need for surgical services. Since opening in 2003, the numbers and complexity of surgical procedures at SHHEC have steadily increased. The surgical department now sees more than 8,100 patients a year and is consistently recognized nationwide for outstanding patient experience. The expansion is the latest phase in the hospital’s growth. Previous additions included 12 new inpatient rooms, 12 new post-partum rooms, and 13 new emergency rooms.
Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican Grows by 2 & Recognizes Accomplishments of Others
Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican
announced its award-winning team grew by two agents. Megan Justusson (left) is a graduate from the University of Mississippi. She moved to the area in 2016 after spending more than 10 years vacationing on the Emerald Coast. After beginning her career at a credit card processing company, Justusson will now begin her real estate career with a focus on the Sandestin community and areas along 30A, with a concentration on Seacrest.
Born in Fort Walton Beach, Shawn Norris has a surplus of knowledge for all the Emerald Coast has to offer. After graduating from Florida State University with a degree in Architecture, Norris made his way back to the area to start his own venture in the real estate industry as a title-closing agent. Having learned every facet of the closing process for mortgages, Norris moved into real estate sales in 2004. He now holds the Graduate Realtor Institute Certification and has been selling real estate for more than 13 years.
Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican also recognized two agents for outstanding achievement. Realtor Rita Montgomery, operating out of the 30A office adjacent to Alys Beach, recently closed three consecutive multi-million dollar sales in South Walton. With two homes situated in Rosemary Beach ranging in price from $5.9-$7.35M, and one home nestled within the prestigious neighborhood of Alys Beach, priced at $2.275M, Montgomery is upholding her reputation as a major realtor on the Emerald Coast.
Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican also recognized Mike Johnson for earning the Resort & Second-Home Property Specialist (RSPS) certification from the National Association of Realtors. The RSPS certification is designed for REALTORS® in resort and second-home markets around the world who wish to distinguish themselves among their peers and among consumers. Real estate agents who facilitate the buying, selling, or management of properties for investment, development, retirement, or second homes in a resort, recreational and/or vacation destination capacity are involved in this market niche. This certification showcases the dedication of a Realtor to lifestyle real estate.
Cultural Arts Alliance to Auction 2010 Tesla Roadster Sport
The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County
(CAA) announced they have recently been gifted a black 2010 Tesla Roadster Sport to include in the silent auction portion of the 9th Annual 30A Songwriters Festival, the CAA’s largest fundraiser, taking place January 12 - 15, 2018. The gift is from The St. Joe Community Foundation, Inc. Included in the Tesla bid lot is a Watersound Origins discovery weekend package, including a three-day/two-night stay in a one-bedroom condo in the Watersound Beach GateHouse, kayak or YOLO board on Lake Powell, breakfast or lunch for two at Watersound Café, and a two-day pass to Watersound Beach Club in the Watersound Beach community. The Tesla + Watersound Origins Discovery package kicks off the 30A Songwriters Festival silent auction, which will be done via mobile devices or online bidding through Gesture. Interested bidders can visit the auction site at www.Song2018.gesture.com
FWB Police Department Donates Food to CIC
Seen here, Fort Walton Beach Chief of Police Edward Ryan and other members of the FWB Police Department present Children In Crisis
(CIC) President and CEO Ken Hair a huge donation of food. The donation will help fill the CIC Neighborhood pantries with much needed items.
2018 Artist Of The Year Announced Today
The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County
(CAA) congratulated Cultural Arts Alliance Member Artists Kathleen Broaderick, 2018 Visit South Walton Artist of the Year; Jenna Varney, 2018 Best Acrylic Paint Artist; and Chris Alvarado, 2018 Best Mixed Media Artist. All were named and celebrated at the Visit South Walton Annual Lunch held recently at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. The Artist of the Year is a community program showcasing a collection of local artists representing a wide range of mediums. Through this program, the Walton County TDC promotes the destination's thriving arts community, which is certainly aligned with the CAA's vision to be the catalyst for Walton County's growth as a destination for cultural and artistic excellence through which lives are enriched, economy is stimulated, and community is strengthened.
Fang-tastic fun at Destin Commons Halloween Haunt
Thousands of families visited Destin Commons
for a fang-tastic good time at the center’s annual Halloween Haunt costume contest and store trick-or-treating. Kids in an array of unique, clever and imaginative costumes enjoyed face painting, arts & crafts projects, and dancing in the streets to DJ music. Costume contest winners were awarded in age groups 0-4, 5-8, and 9-12, as well as a first place for best dress canine.
LuLu’s 3rd Annual BooLu’s Was Spooktacular
Hundreds of families came out to enjoy a spooktacular day full of Halloween festivities and costume contest at LuLu’s
3rd Annual BooLu's. From the restaurant to the sandy beach outside and the parking lot offering Trunk-or-Treating, kids stayed plenty busy with free Halloween arts & crafts projects, face painting, caricatures, pumpkin painting, and an inflatable slide. This year, the costume contest named the top 10 winners in their respective age categories, and then the top three were announced for each group. Seen here are the top three winners in the 0-3 age category. In a people’s choice vote, Hancock Bank won for best decorated Trunk-or-Treat display.
Plaque Presentation - Sacred Heart Hospital Volunteer Guild
Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast
’s Volunteer Guild presented a plaque to Dr. Ray Morse of Aesthetic, Laser and Digital Dentistry in Panama City to express the Guild's appreciation for his continued support during the past six years as a Duck Regatta $1,000 Admiral Sponsor. Morse has been an integral community partner in generating funds used to improve healthcare in our community. Pictured with Dr. Morse is Joe Johnston, Volunteer Guild fundraiser chair, and Rowena Johnston, Guild secretary.
Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Twin Cities Hospital Earn “A” Grades for Patient Safety
The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit organization committed to driving quality, safety, and transparency in the US healthcare system, recently released new Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, which assign A, B, C, D and F letter grades to hospitals nationwide. Fort Walton Beach Medical Center
and Twin Cities Hospital
were two of 823 hospitals to receive an “A” for their commitment to reducing errors, infections, and accidents that can harm patients. Developed under the guidance of a Blue Ribbon National Expert Panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 27 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign A, B, C, D and F grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice per year. It is calculated by top patient safety experts, peer reviewed, fully transparent, and free to the public. To see Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Twin Cities Hospital’s scores as they compare nationally and locally, visit www.hospitalsafetyscore.org.
Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation Announces Festival Winners
On a sunny fall weekend the Emerald Coast arts scene sparkled a little brighter as 28 local and regional artists who ventured to the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast to exhibit in the 22nd Annual Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation
Festival of the Arts were awarded $10,000 in cash art prize awards honors. The two-day signature art celebration, held Oct. 28 – 29, featured exhibits of more than 200 artists from across the U.S. and Europe showcasing a diverse palette of artistic styles in 22 different art mediums. For the full list of winners, visit https://www.mattiekellyartsfoundation.org/media/2017MKAF-foa-winners.pdf
Newman-Dailey Real Estate Sales Division Announces 2017 Third Quarter Top Producers
Real Estate Agents Jerry Bielawski (left) and Eva Pickens (right) were recently recognized as the 2017 Third Quarter Top Producers in Newman-Dailey Resort Properties
’ Real Estate Division. Jerry Bielawski was the top listing agent and Eva Pickens was the top sales agent. Bielawski was listed among the top 7 percent of real estate sales agents in Northwest Florida in 2016, by the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors. Bielawski’s commitment to his clients drives his success in sales, and he has been awarded top sales or listing agent with Newman-Dailey more than 10 times over the last decade.
With designations including Florida Broker Associate, Community Association Manager (CAM), and REALTOR Institute (GRI), Pickens provides her clients with a holistic perspective of real estate sales and purchases that takes into account market conditions, financing, legal considerations, and community associations. Licensed in Alabama and Florida, Pickens specializes in new construction, commercial, and residential sales.
Boeing Employee Community Fund Helps CIC Kids
Seen here, Ray Townsend and Miguel Cortes representing the Boeing Employee Community Fund present a donation check for $5,000 to Ken Hair, Children In Crisis
(CIC) president and CEO. Also pictured are Shawn Daugherty, Boeing; Allie Noah, CIC development director; and Jose Zapata Ayala, Boeing. The funds will be used to purchase much needed educational equipment for the at-risk children living at the CIC Children’s Neighborhood
Air Force Enlisted Village’s “Fun Never Gets Old” Campaign Selected as a Finalist for National Nonprofit Public Relations Award
The Air Force Enlisted Village
’s 2016 “Fun Never Gets Old” engagement campaign has been selected as a finalist for PR Daily’s Nonprofit PR Awards in the marketing campaign category. AFEV’s “Fun Never Gets Old” campaign included a short video of Bob Hope Village and Hawthorn House residents poking fun at aging myths. The video aired on Facebook and received over 330K views. The marketing campaign consisted of the video, and aging myth quiz, social media marketing, and email marketing. PR Daily’s Nonprofit PR Awards recognize excellence in public relations by philanthropic foundations, government agencies, professional associations, charitable organizations, academic institutions, and the agencies that represent them.
Our Superheroes Shined With The Arc of the Emerald Coast
There were plenty of Superheros present at the 2017 Arc of the Emerald Coast
Awards Dinner, held Oct. 26. It was a night to shine for many clients that were awarded for their accomplishments and hard work throughout the year. Prior to the Award Celebration was another long awaited celebration. The dedication of the Dixie Road building as The Kenneth J Herrholz Memorial Center 1941-1986. There was also another dedication of the Garden Center as The Quentin Cooper Memorial Garden. Eric Herrholz and his family along with The Turners were in attendance. Both families were instrumental in purchasing the Santa Rosa property and saving The Arc of the Emerald Coast - Santa Rosa programs and services. In addition to the awards presented to the clients, there were volunteer awards presented to Patti Bolek and Dean Dizon. Community Hero awards were presented to Daniel Auerbach, Face Dubose, Scout Troop 3, and VFW Post 4833. Corporate Hero Awards were presented to Cotton Electric, Inc., and Pace Publix Supermarket at Five Points.
Sinfonia Gulf Coast Partners with Eglin Federal Credit Union to Offer Discounted Tickets to Active Duty Military
Sinfonia Gulf Coast
has partnered with Eglin Federal Credit Union as the presenting underwriter for its discounted ticket program for our area’s active duty military members and their families. The discount of 30 percent off each choice or preferred ticket is offered for all of Sinfonia’s main season concerts, including the upcoming “A Rockin’ Holiday” with Mary Wilson of the Supremes on Friday, Dec. 15, at 7:30 p.m., at Destiny Worship Center. The 12th season continues with a stellar lineup that includes: SYBARITE5 string quintet on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018; violinist Corinne Stillwell on Saturday, March 3, 2018; and the Gala Event – the world premiere of Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man in Concert” – on Saturday, March 31, 2018. To purchase the discounted tickets, call the Sinfonia box office at (850) 460-8800 and mention the EFCU military ticket program. Purchased tickets will be held at will call and will require proof of military ID and service.
Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican’s 5th Annual Charity Golf Tournament Raises $31,500 for Five Local Charities
Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican
hosted its 5th Annual Charity Golf Tournament at Regatta Bay Golf & Yacht Club presented by The Henderson Beach Resort & Spa on Friday, Oct. 20, benefitting Alaqua Animal Refuge, Lighthouse Family Retreat, Special Olympics Florida - Okaloosa County, Trees on the Coast, and Youth Village (pictured here). Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican raised $31,500 for the local charities, which provides each charity with a total of $6,300 to go towards their organization and brings the charity golf tournament’s total raised over the course of five years to $111,000. Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican would like to extend a special thank you to our generous sponsors. Click here
to view the full list of sponsors.
Newman-Dailey Resort Properties Welcomes Debbie Wooley
Realtor Debbie Wooley has joined Newman-Dailey Resort Properties
' Real Estate team. With a passion for real estate on the beautiful Emerald Coast, Wooley has been buying, selling, and investing in real estate for the last 35 years. A native of Mountain Brook, Wooley graduated from Samford University in Birmingham with a degree in Nursing. After eight years of clinical experience, she made a move to the business side of the healthcare industry. She spent the last 25 years as an entrepreneur in medical device manufacturing, sales, and marketing. During that time, she also became a licensed Realtor in Alabama and Florida and has been an enthusiastic ambassador of the Emerald Coast due to the area’s thriving ecosystems and communities. Making the move as a permanent resident to Destin and as a full-time realtor with Newman-Dailey, she is dedicating her enthusiasm, energy, and expertise to guiding clients through buying or selling their dream home or investment property.
Step By Step Ballroom Showcase Raises Funds for CIC Kids
Children In Crisis
(CIC) Volunteer and Events Director Laura Moore and CIC President and CEO Ken Hair receive a donation of $1,100 from Step By Step Ballroom of Niceville Owner Patrick Scharmen and Dance Instructor Sarah Tate. The funds will be used to help give a home to the more than 100 at-risk children that will live at the CIC Neighborhood this year.
Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican Hosts 7th Annual Toy Drive
Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican
has partnered with Porsche of Destin, Gregg ORR Auto, and the North Florida Region Porsche Club of America to collect toys for children who will visit the Emergency Room at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast
this holiday season. Whether the children are at the local hospital to receive care themselves or for a loved one, the toys bring joy to the children and help make their time in the hospital a little brighter. The community is encouraged to drop unwrapped new or gently used toys at Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican’s Destin, Miramar Beach, or Santa Rosa Beach office locations before Friday, Dec. 15. Toys may also be dropped off at Porsche of Destin, Greg ORR Auto, and the North Florida Region Porsche Club of America Destin location.
Mid-Bay Rotary Makes Donation to Museum
Mid-Bay Rotary Club President Steve Gardner and Rotarian Kim Freudenreich present Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida
Manager Gina Marini with a check for $750. Marini spoke to the group about the museum and shared how the annual contribution is helping to Keep History Alive! in our community.
Graphic Strategist Honored With American Graphic Design Award
Excerpt from Emerald Coast Brew Review
Remember when we told you that Lacey Pyle, owner of Graphic Strategist
, a Destin-based graphic design company, was a badass? Well, if you didn’t believe us the first time, we’re here to say we told you so. Pyle was recently honored by Graphic Design USA, a 54-year-old organization that sponsors competitions that shine light on creative excellence. In our original profile story about Pyle and her business, we told you that she designed the can labels for Destin Brewery. It was her label art for the brewery’s Destin Ale, Red Sky Rye Pale Ale, East Pass IPA and Bridge Rubble Double IPA that took home honors for Pyle. Click here
to keep reading.
Emerald Coast Helps Save the World's Rarest Marine Mammal
Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
and the team at Painting with a Twist welcomed guests on Nov. 16, to "Paint with a Porpoise." The event was held to raise funds for the Consortium for Vaquita Conservation, Protection, and Recovery (VaquitaCPR), a bold effort to save the few Vaquita that remain. Nearly 60 people were in attendance to enjoy the event and paint a picture of the Vaquita porpoise. Delicious hors d'oeuvres were provided by the Black Pearl, and every guest went home with a complimentary admission pass to visit the Gulfarium. At the end of the evening, Meredith Horn, Gulfarium’s director of marketing and communications, announced $1,645 was raised for VaquitaCPR. David Presnell of Painting with a Twist presented a giant check at that time as the crowd cheered.
Kiwanis Club of South Walton Donates to Children in Crisis
Seen here, Allie Noah, Children in Crisis
(CIC) development director, and Ken Hair, CIC president and CEO, receive a $1,000 donation check from Wanda Pitts of the Kiwanis Club of South Walton. The donation will be used to help feed, clothe, and provide a home to the children living at the CIC Neighborhood in Fort Walton Beach.
Vela Brings Thanksgiving Cheer to CIC Kids
Thanks to the generous donations from Ana Vela and friends, all the kids living at the Children in Crisis
Neighborhood received a Thanksgiving Cheer bag filled with goodies. Seen here, Ken Hair, CIC president and CEO, receives more than 50 Thanksgiving goodies bags from Vela.
C.A.R.E. Center Releases Three Rehabilitated Sea Turtles
The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
's C.A.R.E. Center released three rehabilitated sea turtles on Nov. 20, at Topsail Preserve State Park, with more than 700 people in attendance. The three turtles included Kudzu, a juvenile Green sea turtle; Peanut, a juvenile Kemp's ridley; and O'Giblet, a juvenile Green sea turtle. Visit the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center Facebook page
to learn more about the organization and these turtles.
Twin Cities Hospital Recognized by Healthgrades as Five-Star Recipient
Twin Cities Hospital
has been recognized as a Five-Star Recipient for Appendectomy and Hip Fracture Treatment, according to this year’s evaluation from Healthgrades, the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. Every year, Healthgrades evaluates hospital performance at nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide for 34 of the most common inpatient procedures and conditions. This is the second consecutive year Twin Cities Hospital received the Five-Star Rating for Hip Fracture Treatment. Additionally, Twin Cities Hospital received the Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Award in 2017.
Artist Gives Time & Talent to Commemorate Local Mayor
Julia Vanover, artist and owner of Kind Design Fine Art studio and gallery in Valparaiso, recently donated a pen and ink portrait she created of the late Mayor Bruce Arnold to the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida
. The portrait will remain on permanent display at the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida. Vanover is seen here with Museum Chairman Steve Czonstka and Museum Manager Gina Marini.