Anchorage Childrens Home Anchors Families in our Area



In a little over a week,  Anchorage Children’s Home will host The First Annual Anchors Away 6k and Family Fun Run  at Panama City Beach Conservation Park, or “Gayle’s Trails” as we call it.

Though formal sponsorship opportunities have closed, Anchorage is still looking for businesses and individuals that want to contribute to runner’s grab bags.

Each participant will receive a race T-shirt, along with a bag full of goodies from local vendors.  If you would like to donate an item for the grab bags whether it’s a restaurant coupon or a koozie,  please contact Brooke at 850 763 7102.


If you are not a business, but a resident that would like to enjoy the sunshine on race day, Anchorage encourages you to come out and cheer on your friends if you are not participating yourself.  Or if you want, you can sign up as late as right before the race on Saturday, June 23rd.  The race doesn’t start until 8 am, but get there earlier, around 630 am and you can still participate. And don’t forget, the family fun run is super relaxed, so bring your stroller and your puppy….it is for the WHOLE family, four legs and all.

If you are unable to come this year, Anchorage Children’s Home would appreciate your support in other ways.  Development director, Brooke Bullard explained to me that although eventually they would like this event to be a viable fundraising vehicle, that is not their sole intent.

“We do special events like this, not for fundraising, but for friend-raising.

She added, “because the more friends we have the more people can benefit from our programs and services in our community. “

And that community she is speaking of???? Well, it is a lot bigger than you think.  I did not realize how long and deep and wide it was until I sat down and visited with Brooke this Monday afternoon.

Anchorage Children’s Home serves our 6 county area, more specifically: Bay, Gulf, Jackson, Calhoun, Washington, and Holmes


Anchorage works to empower their residents with life skills they need
Computer room for residents to learn basic skills and work on school work


A lot of PCB residents do not realize that two of their very successful programs Hannah’s house and The Bridge Transitional Living Program are located on Panama City Beach.  Brooke shared proudly with me, “we just had three kids from that program graduate high school last week.”   Brooke like many involved in the organization, believe that the participants just need the right resources to be empowered and guided to make the choices they need to improve their situation.  “We are a hand UP, not a hand OUT”, Brooke continued.  And sometimes that “hand up” is all they need to see the light at the end of the tunnel and get that cap and gown.

A couple weeks ago when I told you about the event they were having I told you that Anchorage served homelesss and at risk youth in our area, but what does that even mean?

I have to be honest, until I went to Anchorage this past week, I myself had a very cloudy understanding.  But basically, Anchorage is about giving kids who have now where else to go, a safe place to go.  It is a 24 hour shelter that is often the transitional home when children are removed from their homes because of a dangerous situation or while they are waiting to be place with a foster family, which this area is short on, by the way.

But more than a shelter, they provide FREE services, that many families do not even know about, including counseling and other intervention services for parents who are having a hard time with their teenager’s defiant, truant, other wise risky behavior.

But their biggest means to success outside of their Mobile Outreach program, counseling programs, Hidle House,  Hannah’s House, The Bridge….. YOU.

While these program are funded by grants, every year they come up for renewal.  Without the help of area residents and friends, through their Annual Giving Program, they are in danger of being cut every year.  Anchorage just started a new facebook page, while you are on Pinterest reading the funny ecards and checking out skinny recipes…..why not throw a “like’ their way?

But even better….turn your “like” into a “love”…….schedule a tour of one of their facilities with a friend or your co-workers so you can see first hand the amazing strides this organziation has taken since its inception.  If you would like to schedule a tour or make a donation you can call Brooke at  850 763 7102 or you can also visit their website.  If you would like to make “in kind” donation, they also would appreciate that.

Items needed right now:

Travel Sized Toiletries (save your your bottles while travelling!)

Non Perishable food times for the Mobile Out Reach team (pop up lids, granola bars, water bottles, etc)

Socks, flip fops, undergarments especially for girls/young women (size 3 to 5)

Now I know at least a few of you have a couple of those mini Shampoos from the Holiday Inn or The Marriott in your bathroom drawer somewhere, right?

Beachy Beach Real Estate on the West End of Panama City Beach ( Just East of Publix) will be setting up a collection box for you to bring some of these donation items and will transport them to Anchorage on your behalf.  If your heart moves you to help this wonderful organization in another way….please call Brooke Bullard, Developement Director right away at 850 763 7102 or shoot her an email:

No gift, given with GREAT love, is too small.


Until then….see you June 23rd at Gayle’s Trails!




“Anchors Away” kicks off it’s first year at “Gayles Trails” Next Month

How exciting!  “Gayles Trails” or Panama City Beach Converstation  Park will be the home of an annual event for Anchorage Childrens Home next month.  The “Anchors Away 6K Family Fun Run” will debut 8 am on June 23rd and give Bay county residents a chance to enjoy nature outside with their family and support an amazing organization that serves our area.  The 6k run will be catered to the runner crowd while the 1 mile Fun Run will be geared towards families, friends, and even your pets to just get outside and enjoy the fresh air!

The event will be very affordable, the 6k is $20 if you sign up before June 5th and the Family Fun Run is only $10 per family.  To find out more you can visit their facebook page or you can even sign up on

Anchorage Childrens Home, though located on Lisenby Avenue in Panama City, provides a place of shelter for homeless and runaway youths from all over.  In fact, two of their sucessful residential programs, including Hannah’s house, are operated in Panama City Beach.  Many local businesses that are aware of the good that Ancorage does are jumping at the opportunity to be involved in this new annual event.

Some sponsors include: Gulf Coast DermatologyGangwish, Grandy, and Melzer Family Dentistry, Freedom Sports,, Panama City Beach TDC, and the Panama City Beach Fire Department and others.  If you, or someone from your business would like to lend a helping hand to this event, there is something for everyone.  Maybe you want to donate some water for the atheletes like SETCO Services or perhaps you have some goodies you want to put in the participants’ grab bags??  Or maybe if you are blessed to give a little more….you might want to sponsor a mile marker or help with awards or race T-Shirts?  Sponsorship opportunities are available up until one week prior to event.

However your heart moves you….there is still time to get involved.  To find out how you can help, call Brooke Bullard, Development Director at 850-763-7102 or email her at


Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday in Pier Park

012609_mardigrasThis Saturday, February 14th, be sure to come out to Pier Park for the Mardi Gras Parade put on by the Krewe of Dominique Youx.  With around 50 floats expected and thousands of people to be there, it is sure to be a total blast.  The Parade starts at 3 pm at the intersection of Hills and Front Beach Road and will travel west-bound on Front Beach Road, enter into Pier Park and end at the end of the Boardwalk area at the round-a-bout.

The Krewe of Dominique Youx is Bay County’s original organization of over 185 members who have celebrated the festive Mardi Gras season here in Bay County for over 22 years.  Dominique Youx is the nickname used by the eldest member of the famous Lafitte family of buccaneers who sailed the southern seas in the early 1800’s plundering vessels of those deemed to be their enemies.  Dominique Youx was actually Fredric Alexander Lafitte, brother of Jean and Pierre Lafitte.  He was the first of the Brothers to become a buccaneer.  He was commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte as a privateer and served for France during the war with Spain. When the Lafitte’s moved to New Orleans, the charismatic Jean Lafitte organized hundreds of rogues into a band of pirates who became the scourge of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Local rumor has it that some of their loot is still hidden in the estuary of St.Andrew Bay.

After the parade, be sure to join Bootleg Barbeque’s 1st Annual Mardi Gras Party and Crawfish Boil to benefit the Anchorage Children’s Home.  Bootleg will be serving up true Louisiana-style crawfish boiled to the tune of live zydeco music performed by Heat & the Zydeco Gents at 4 pm with festivities expected to roll through 8 pm.

Bootleg Barbeque, a locally owned and operated business, appreciates the community support it has received in its first year and is sponsoring this event as a small way to give back to the community through this truly worthy cause.

Anchorage Children’s Home is a private, non-profit, Christian organization serving, protecting and strengthening children, families and community.  Anchorage offers emergency shelter for children and youth who have been abused, abandoned and neglected.  Anchorage also offers services to homeless youth through transitional living, street outreach and maternity home programs.  Anchorage Children’s Home’s mission is to be an Anchor for today’s children…strengthening tomorrow’s families.

For more information on Anchorage Children’s Home visit their web site at
Event information can be found at Bootleg Barbeque’s  web site