• February 2016 Business Briefs / Member News Part 1

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    February 02, 2016

    OAA Wine Tasting a Success & Grants Awarded
    Okaloosa Arts AllianceThe Okaloosa Arts Alliance (OAA) thanks the Twisted Grape for hosting a wine tasting on Jan. 24, and to Sinfonia Gulf Coast, Mattie Kelly Arts Center, Emerald Coast Theatre Company, and the OAA Board for donating items to the drawings. Everyone enjoyed live entertainment by the Emerald Coast Chorus, Pyramid Players, and the Fort Walton Beach High School Drama Club. The OAA also awarded two $1,000 grants on Sunday to Emerald Coast Theatre Company (seen here) and to Pyramid Inc.  Both organizations will be using the grant money toward their theater productions this year.

    Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast Summer Youth Development Program Registration 
    Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast announces enrollment for its summer youth development programming. Programs offer members something fun, educational, and exciting to do during the school break at an affordable price. Because of the high demand of Boys & Girls Clubs intentional impact programming, early registration is highly recommended. Registration opens to all current Club Members on Feb. 16, to 2015 summer members on Feb. 29, and to the general public on March 7. It is on a first come, first serve basis until each club has reached capacity. Visit EmeraldCoastBGC.org for details.

    World Impact Real Estate Welcomes Realtor Ricardo Betanzo
    World Impact Real Estate - Ricardo BetanzoRealtor Ricardo Betanzo is an active duty military member and has become extremely passionate about real estate. He was born in Mexico and moved to the United States when he was 11 years old. He studied at Radford University, where he earned a double major in Business Management and Marketing. He then began his career in Florida, but shortly after decided to join the Army. He has now settled back in Florida and is fortunate enough to be able to do two things he enjoys - serve in the military and be a realtor. Now with World Impact Real Estate, Bentanzo may be contacted at (214) 842-9878.

    Unusual Fundraiser Benefits Pierce Family Children’s Advocacy Center
    Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center723 Whiskey Bravo owners Skip and Victoria Moore announced an unusual fundraiser that will benefit the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center’s (ECCAC) new Pierce Family Children’s Center slated to open in April in Defuniak Springs. The restaurant will be placing stuffed animal “Riley Therapy Dogs” on each table and guests can purchase them for $20 each that will directly benefit the new Walton County center. The Riley stuffed animal dog sales will be on-going at 723 Whiskey Bravo. The real Riley, a 10-year old Maltese dog, is a registered AKC Therapy Dog who is on the “staff” of ECCAC. He earned his American Kennel Club credentials by completing more than 400 therapy visits with the kids at the Center dealing with abusive situations. The Moores are seen here with ECCAC CEO Julie Hurst (left).

    Shelter House Receives Economic Empowerment Grant
    The Allstate Foundation recently awarded Shelter House a grant for $30,625 to continue its economic empowerment program. Shelter House first received this grant in 2009, and has since earned recognition and offered training to other domestic violence centers on its innovative programs.

    Employees Recognized for 10 Years of Service
    The Arc of the Emerald Coast wishes to congratulate and recognize three outstanding dedicated employees for their 10 years of service to the agency. Nikki Owen, director of quality management, originally started in 1994 as receptionist/administrative assistant and worked off and on as both direct care and supervisor in various programs until 2004.  Nikki returned in 2005 as a manager for group homes and then supported living program until her promotion to her current position in August 2015. Linda Murphy, adult day treatment program coordinator Fort Walton Beach, began in 1994 as an on call staff person. Linda worked there until 2004 and then returned in 2005. Since starting she has been a group home manager, certified behavior analyst, supported employment coach, and now program coordinator. Michael Bauchwitz, support employment Santa Rosa County, grew up in the agency because his mother has worked with the agency through many transitions during 30 years. He began his career with the agency directly after high school and has worked with the mobile work crew, in home supports, and supported employment.  

    Emerald Coast Foundation Announces New Board President
    Arc of the Emerald CoastFounded in 1992, the Emerald Coast Foundation (ECF) is a charitable organization committed to "investing in the youth" of Northwest Florida. Its 2016 president is LA Woodall. Woodall has served as Horizons director of community development the last six years and now serves as director of the Horizons Foundation.  He has served on the ECF Board for many years and held the vice president position in 2015.  

    CIC Breaks Ground on Pennington Foster Home
    Children In CrisisChildren in Crisis (CIC) broke ground on its seventh foster home, the Ty Pennington Home.  The Pennington Family and CIC Board and staff celebrated the groundbreaking at the CIC Children’s Neighborhood located in Fort Walton Beach.  This is another giant step forward and a significant milestone for CIC. Seen here are Bill and Bobbi Pennington, Brian and Kim Pennington, and other members of the Pennington Family, along with the CIC Board of Directors and staff. The new home, which is in memory of Ty Author Pennington, is scheduled to open in the fall 2016.

    Apply for 2016 ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival
    The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County invites artists to apply to exhibit in the 28th annual ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival happening May 7-8, 2016, at Grand Boulevard at Sandestin’s Town Center. Located along the Scenic Hwy. 98 Corridor, Grand Boulevard is easily accessible from regional drive and fly markets, including Houston, Memphis, Atlanta, Nashville, Birmingham, Mobile, Pensacola, and Tallahassee. There will be a preview night on Friday, May 6.


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