• February 2015 Business Briefs / Member News Part 2

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    February 10, 2015

    United Way FREE TAX PREPARATION Through VITA 
    Free Tax Preparation is available through the United Way 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:
    1. Goodwill Easter Seals in Ft. Walton Beach is providing this assistance by appointment only. You must call (251) 433-4900 for an appointment.
    2. First Presbyterian Church in Crestview will be offering first come first serve assistance from 3 - 5 p.m. on Feb. 13 and 27, March 13 and 27, and April 10. Help will be available on Saturday, March 14, will be from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
    For a list of required documents that must be brought to your appointment, visit United-Way.org and check under VITA. If you are interested in volunteering for the VITA program, please call (850) 243-8172.

    Emerald Coast Toys for Tots Finishes Strong
    Members of the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors task force that spearheaded the Toys for Tots 2014 drive announced the effort collected 16,906 toys that were distributed to 10,204 local children in Okaloosa and Walton counties. The goal of the drive is to provide each child with two toys, according to Ashley Botelho, Emerald Coast Toys for Tots Coordinator. The drive fell just short of goal, providing an average of 1.66 toys per child. The task force was thrilled with the results, especially since the need for toys in the two-county area rose by more than 20 percent between the 2013 and 2014 holiday season. Additionally, 91.67 percent of every dollar raised locally was used to purchase toys for local children. The goal for the group was 85 percent.

    Destin History & Fishing Museum Gumbo Contest and Silent Auction 
    The Destin History and Fishing Museum held its annual Gumbo Contest and Silent Auction Saturday, Jan. 31, at the Destin Community Center. Nearly six hundred attended the popular event. Ticket holders enjoyed a Silent Auction of 80 packages, live music by FLASHFLOOD, and gumbo from local contestants. There were 10 restaurants and 19 individuals registered in the event. The winners were as follows: Individual Category First Place Britten Gisi, Individual 2nd Place Jeannie Hanks, Restaurant Category First Place Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Restaurant Category Second Place Dewey Destin’s Harborside, People’s Choice Restaurant Award Harry T’s Lighthouse, and People’s Choice Individual Award Elaine Rogers.

    Emerald Coast Relay For Life February Fundraising Events
    With American Cancer Society's Emerald Coast Relay for Life event only three months away, fundraising and team recruiting is in high gear. Join us as we work to raise funds for the fight against cancer at these events through the month of February:
    - Team Party - Wed., Feb. 18 - Destin Middle School Cafeteria 6 p.m.
    - Sealand Dinner FUNdraiser - Tues., Feb. 17 - 47 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach 6 p.m.
    - Emerald Coast Parrot Head Memorial Chili Cook-Off - HarborWalk Village - 12 - 4 p.m.

    For more information on Relay For Life, please contact Michelle Wright at (850) 428-1803 or michelle.wright@cancer.org. For more information on parties, teams, and how you can get involved, visit RelayForLife.org/EmeraldCoastFL.
     
    World Impact Real Estate Welcomes New Agent Robyn Hansen
    Robyn Hansen is new to the real estate world and recently joined World Impact Real Estate. She received her license in April of 2014. As an Air Force brat, Hansen lived all over the United States and Germany. She attended high school at Choctawhatchee and graduated from LSU. She sings in a jazz band, likes to paddle board, and is a member of the Kiwanis International Real Estate Navigators. You may reach her at (850) 830-8085.
     
    HarborWalk Hosts Successful Mardi Gras Parade 
    More than 80 parade entries rolled through more than 10,000 revelers Saturday, during HarborWalk Village's Mardi Gras Parade. The waterfront parade route stretched along Destin Boardwalk from Crab Island Cantina to AJ's Seafood and Oyster Bar. Shane Moody, president and CEO of the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce, and Suzy Hunt, events coordinator at the Destin Area Chamber, served as this year's King and Queen. Moody's children, Harper and Alex, and Steve Barber and Lauren Tate Gall of barber & gall promotions completed the royal court.

    The winning floats in this year’s event included 1st Place Kitty Hawk Kites, 2nd Place Emerald Coast Gator Club, and 3rd Place Chick-Fil-A. Seaside Neighborhood School was recognized for the largest krewe, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park was best themed krewe, and Emerald Coast Parrot Heads / Harry T’s Lighthouse was most spirited krewe.

    Okaloosa Arts Fest Call to Artists
    The Okaloosa Arts Alliance announces a call for artists and crafters for the Okaloosa Arts Fest, which will be held Saturday, April 18, from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., at Destin Commons. The event is free and family friendly. It will feature artists and artwork from around the Emerald Coast. In addition, there will be live entertainment on the stage and free family hands on activities. For more information, please contact Amy at amybaty1@gmail.com or (850) 499-8335. The vendor application is available online at OkaloosaArts.org.
     
    Hahn Promoted to Vice President of Real Estate for Howard Group
    Dana Hahn has been promoted to Howard Group’s vice president of real estate. She will be responsible for Howard Group’s office leasing, acquisitions, and leasing management and will also serve as a broker for Howard Realty Inc.

    Prior to her eight years at Howard Group as a leasing manager, Hahn handled Commercial and Industrial Land Sales at the St. Joe Company. In addition to the above, Hahn will be responsible for brokerage management and certain aspects of retail leasing for Howard Group’s properties, to include Grand Boulevard at Sandestin, Silver Sands Premium Outlets, and Heron Harbor.

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