Celebrate the Arts is Bigger and Better this Year!

 

Save the Date for Saturday, Jan 25th!

Celebrate the Arts Local Artists Market,  just got bigger and bolder thanks to Harley Davidson of Panama City Beach.

This year the event will also include a Celebrity Fashion Show and Live Auction, where local “celebrities” from Sheriff Frank McKeithen to Holly, Mandy and Miguel of Island 106 will not only be modeling the latest Harley fashions but will be auctioned off for a lunch date to benefit Beach Care Services.

In addition to the Fashion Show, with a $10 donation, participants can also enjoy a wine and cheese tasting.

The artists market portion of the event is free to the public, who can expect the same great wares from years before, with the addition of some new artists such as Roxanne Turnipseed who will be debuting her young girls’ bracelet line and Christon Anderson, whose works can be viewed from Main Street Gallery in Panama City to A.Wickey’s Gallery on 30A.

More About Celebrate the Arts

The event was born three years ago when business neighbors Karen Smith of Beachy Beach Real Estate and Roy Eure Jr., designer and owner of Cerulean Interiors fantasized about using art to help their community.  Eure, an artist himself, wanted to show his support for the local artist community and give them an opportunity to share their work while Smith saw an opportunity to fund raise for charity.  Artists would sell their wares and give a portion of the proceeds to Beach Care Services, a local charity that helps Panama City Beach locals in need.

This year’s event is expected to not only offer more, but more people will get an opportunity to take part due to Harley Davidson  providing the event location.   To stay tuned into the event, visit the Celebrate the Arts Facebook Page.

Information on how to pre-purchase Fashion Show and Wine Tasting tickets will be announced soon. Until then Save the Date for January 25th starting at 11 am.

 

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Help your Montego Bay Friends!!!

As many of you know, there was an unfortunate fire that occurred at Montego Bay Restaurant on Thomas Drive. Not only did we lose a great restaurant in our community, but several families lost a source of income just one short week away from Christmas. Let’s get together as a community and help these families out!! This Sunday (December 22nd) from 6-9pm, Willy’s Live will be hosting live music with Kevin Jacobs and Terry Brock, as well as serving up some heavy Hors d’oeuvres. All we ask for is a a $10 donation at the door for entrance. All money raised at the door, and a portion of the bar sales will be donated to the families that were impacted by the fire at Montego Bay.

Boys and Girls Club Needs Your Help

 

 

We all have our gifts to share and if yours happens to be working with kids, the Boys and Girls Club of Bay County needs your help.

The Youth Basketball League is registering players right now and they are short coaches!!!!  

If you have a gift of working with children, i.e you can motivate them, have fun with them and ENJOY working with them…..Boys and Girls Clubs needs your help.  And if you happen to know something about basketball, well that is a BONUS!  Intimate knowledge of basketball or coaching is not as important as a desire to use a physical sport as a vehicle for positive self esteem.

Who do you know that can get kids moving and having fun using a sport?  Man, woman, young or old, college student, retired teacher, the youth leader at church,….who do you know?

Please keep in mind, this volunteer position would require a time commitment of 2 to 3 hours during season and would require the person to be at least 18 years of age and a background check so all the Boys and Girls Clubs normal safety protocols are followed.

The Boys and Girls Club is an after care program that provides a safe place for kids to go after school and during the summer so parents can go to work with peace of mind.  In addition to providing affordable child care, the club provides enrichment activities, time for homework and FREE recreational co-ed sports such as street hockey and basketball.

Currently in Bay County there are three locations: C.C & Vivian Moore in St. Andrews (850-763-3546), The Chapman Unit in Millville (850-785-2747) and the Frank Brown Beach Unit just east of Hwy 79 on Panama City Beach.  (850-236-3030)

Not only do all three locations offer sports programs to members for FREE, the programs are open to non-members as well.

As street hockey winds down, Basketball is starting with registration open until October 25th.  The basketball league provides a positive outlet for co-ed students ages 7 to 16 years old and normally involves a time commitment of a couple hours a week.  It is a no pressure commitment with beginners always welcome.

Basketball practice begins November 4th with games beginning December 12th with a break for winter recess when school is out of session for the holidays.

As a parent who has tried out many solutions for after care, I can say so far the Boys and Girls Club has been the most positive program for my child.  For the first time ever, he is showing an interest in team sports.   He even wants to play basketball and he has never held a basketball in his life, that I am aware!  So his desire to play is a testament to the kind of encouraging environment their staff and volunteers create in this program.

About a month ago during a street hockey game, my son Jack (he attends the Frank Brown club) kept looking at me during his game and smiling.  I was so overwhelmed with gratitude for this program, it was hard to hold back the tears.  My fervent hope is that right people and resources will continue to bless Boys and Girls Club so they continue with their mission that touches so many lives.

If you or someone you know might have interest in one of the volunteer coach positions or perhaps your business might want to help with supplies or sponsor a team, please email Ryan Roberts at robertsbgc@hotmail.com or call him at the Frank Brown Unit at 850-236-3030.

You can also see what the club is up to by visiting their FACEBOOK page.

 

Beginner Friendly Tennis Round Robin in Watercolor

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The renowned tennis resorts of Watercolor and Seaside, with the help of Tennis Pro Tracy Townsend is hosting the 3rd Annual Love All Round Robin Tennis Tournament to benefit local charity, Food for Thought Outreach on Saturday, September 21st. The Walton County based non-profit whose mission is to provide food and meals to local children in need, depends greatly on events like these to keep providing services.

The Love All Round Robin last year gained a lot of traction and in addition to raising thousands of dollars for FFT in just a matter of hours, helped bring awareness to an organization that not only serves Walton County, but also most recently expanded to help children in the Destin area.

Beachy Beach 30A Real Estate is the presenting sponsor again this year and will be helping facilitate this event with the help of 30A Tennis and will provide lunch and refreshments for players.  Attendees will enjoy a friendly Round Robin competition with other tennis aficionados like themselves as well as participate in a Silent Auction which will include items from local vendors such as designer jewelry from Blessings in Disguise, luxury home goods from Summer House Lifestyle, and unique home and garden items from Clay 30A Nursery and more.  Participants will also have a chance to purchase inaugural Food for Thought and Love All merchandise, with all profits going directly to the FFT mission.

Another exciting change for this year’s event, is that not only are all levels welcome to join in the game, both Men and Ladies can participate this year as there will be Men’s Doubles and Ladies’ Doubles.  The event is beginner friendly, so novices need not be shy!

Registration is also quick and easy as players can go online to www.lovealltennis.net and pay with their credit card, and even elect to give an extra donation to Food for Thought, should they choose.  For more information about the event, whether you want to play or you want to help out or donate an auction item, please email tennis@foodforthoughtfl.org or call 850-231-3060 and ask for Hilary or Britt.

In addition to getting a chance to play with tennis players like themselves, included in the cost of the admission ticket, players will enjoy lunch and swag from Beachy Beach 30A Real Estate as well as two raffle tickets for a chance to win a raffle prize from Cotton Land Title which has generously donated a Off Shore Fishing Trip with Salty Fish Coastal Outfitters.  If you can not make the event and still want a a chance at the raffle prize, you can email jennifer@cottonlandtitle.com for more details.

You can also stay connected to this year’s event by visiting the Facebook Page for 30A Tennis, where you can share the event with friends and get a sneak peak at some of the auction items as the event nears.

To find out how you can help Food for Thought Outreach as they work to serve more schools in our area, visit their website at www.foodforthoughtfl.org or email them directly at info@foodforthoughtfl.org.

The First Time I Wanted to Die I Was 12 years Old

 

Forgive me for my bluntness, or don’t .  But I knew if I made the subject line “National Suicide Prevention Week Sept 8 -13“, many of you would not click to read more.  Not out of apathy, it just probably would not have caught your eye.

I chose that heading because I know that first step to getting rid of the stigma associated with suicide is to talk about it.  The first time I wanted to die, I was in fact 12 years old.  I was at church camp and I scavenged through pill bottles looking for something I could overdose on, luckily my knowledge of pharmacology as a sixth grader were very limited and I ended up having an asthma attack before I could get my hands on anything.

I wanted to end my own life many times over the years, especially as my mental health worsened.  It is now twenty years later and thankfully I did not choose a permanent action for a temporary problem.  I owe my being here to my mother who made sure I got the help I needed so I would be safe and not do myself any harm when I was in these dark periods of my life.

Thanks to a support system of family and friends and the help of mental health professionals, I am here today.  But not everyone is so lucky, which is what this week is about.  I know if I had not received professional help, I would not be alive today.

I offer these candid words because I know unless you know my history, you would never have pegged me as someone who struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts over the years.

I post happy pictures and optimistic quotes and love to laugh.  I have above average intelligence, am attractive and physically skilled.  I can sing, dance, and throw a great party when in a pinch.  I generally “succeed” at just about any task I tackle.  I say all these things because often after a suicide I hear people say things “But he was so talented or she was so smart….” as if to beg the question “What do they have to be sad about?”

That is precisely the point.  Mental Illness is not rational nor does it discriminate which is why we need to take it more seriously.  There is a local group in our community hoping we will join together and do that very thing.

SPARE which stands for Suicide, Prevention, Awareness, Response and Education,  is a coalition of several local organizations and citizens who want to spread the word about suicide to prevent future suicides.  They are hosting a walk this Saturday, September 14th at Gulf Coast State College, meeting at the Hwy 98 side at 8:30 am and beginning the walk over Hathaway Bridge at 9 am.

Everyone is welcome to join the walk and will get a T-shirt with a $10 dollar donation.

SPARE hopes to bring awareness to the public about suicide and its devastation on families, increase prevention and proper response to signs and symptoms, and educate about ways to help prevent Suicide. This walk is an effort to help SPARE accomplish their goals.

For more information, please call Christine Hurst at 850.522.1516 or email nwflspare@gmail.com or visit their Facebook page www.facebook.com/sparenwfl

If you or someone you know is in crisis, have them call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or locally the Life Management Crisis Center Hotline at 850-873-8573.

 

 

Quack Quack Happy Happy Happy

Happy Happy Happy is a term that our friends At Duck Dynasty love to shout!!! We are shouting it also because we are excited about our upcoming Duck Race to support Beach Care Services.

Beach Care Services is a group of people who come together with the help of a benevolent community to help our neighbors. BCS offers short-term assistance to those who would not find help in other places. We celebrate the giving because it makes all of us better and happier.

Our Duck Race this year should prove to be a grand event and it is held At Grand Panama Resort at their gorgeous pool deck. There will be food, drink, music and lots of fun. Tickets are only 10 per person and will give you the chance of having he winning duck. You will also have the joy of seeing grown adults trying to ride a big duck…. now that is worth coming out for. WE hope to see you all there!!!

Dancing For Life is this Saturday!

 

If you have ever wanted to see Sheriff Frank McKeithen shake his tail feathers, you can this Saturday, August 10th at Arnold High Theatre.

 

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McKeithen along with other law enforcement officers such as Police Chief Drew Whitman, Sergeant Emily Melton and Teresa Anglin will show off their best moves with professional dancers from Fred Astaire Dance Studios.

Event Attendees will also enjoy something that is quite a treat for our area, a dance performance from nationally acclaimed dancers who waived their performance fee so all event profits could go to Relay for Life.  In addition to helping judge the event, World Mambo Champions Ronald and Katie Guillen as well as World Cabaret Champions Kimalee Piedad and Justin Guilmette will be performing.

Bay County law enforcement will go head to head with the Panama City Beach Police Department after spending twenty five hours to prepare a choreographed dance routine to be performed live with their professional partner.  The winner will be decided by a combination of votes from judges, audience applause, and the number of “votes” or dollar donations each dance couple receives.

The donations will aid in Fred Astaire’s fundraising efforts for their Relay for Life team for the American Cancer Society. Fred Astaire was moved to start this event five years ago when a beloved student, Dr. Joan Elzawahry passed away from cancer. It was then that the Fred Astaire of Panama City decided to use their gift of dance to help the fight against cancer and their efforts are gaining traction with each passing year.

Show organizer and Ballroom Dance Instructor Stephanie Van Wick reports that “I have been involved with this project since the beginning and have watched it grow.  This year it has been especially amazing seeing the level of community involvement, it has inspired me to work harder to make our contributions count.”

You can start voting for your favorite couple now by making a donation as well as purchase tickets for the show by going to www.fredastairepanamacity.com or calling their studio in Panama City at 850-873-6269.  General admission tickets are $25 per person but VIP tickets which include preferred seating and a cast party directly following the show at Boatyard restaurant are only $45.

Showtime is 6:30 pm at this Saturday, August 10th at Arnold High School Theatre on Alf Coleman Road in Panama City Beach.