Superintendent Marcus Chambers and the District staff are hosting the first annual Okaloosa County School District Angel Tree Program to support students in need during the holidays. "Every day, our schools take care of our families, and we as a District want to add a layer of support by asking our community to join us in making sure our students have a happy holiday," stated Superintendent Marcus Chambers. There are two ways members of the public can sponsor a student. They can visit
The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) and South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) are proud to reveal the nine new sculpture designs, chosen by jury for permanent exhibition in the fifth installation of the Underwater Museum of Art (UMA). The 2024 installation will include the following pieces of sculpture: The Lost Kingdom of Artemis by Denna Ameen (New Orleans, LA), Mermaid. Siren. Galatea. By Raine Bedsole (Santa Rosa Beach, FL), Deep Sea Three by Matthew Gemmell and David Showalter
The Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) recently announced its newest Board of Directors member Shannon Amos. Originally from Tennessee, Amos moved to the Florida Panhandle in 2005, where she has been a Destin resident with her husband and their 10-year-old daughter. They also have three adult children. Amos is currently a real estate agent with World Impact Real Estate. She and her husband, Dr. Warren Amos, a radiation oncologist with Genesiscare, are in the real estate investment and rental
The Destin Library will be closed starting December 4 and will reopen January 2, 2024. This closure is necessary to install new carpeting throughout the Library. Programing will be suspended while the building is closed, and the Library’s collection will be unavailable to patrons for check out. However, the Library will be open for the annual “Visit with Santa” event on December 1 at 6 p.m. Bring the kids for cocoa, cookies, and a picture with Santa Claus! If you have any questions, please contact the
By Nathan Sparks, CEcD Executive Director of One Okaloosa EDC I hope that each and every one of you had a festive and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday! For the team here at One Okaloosa EDC, Thanksgiving offered a much needed break. Fall tends to be one of our busiest seasons, and this year has certainly been no exception. Along with working projects, hosting prospect site visits, advocating for our vital military missions, participating in multiple marketing events, and conducting “thank you” visits to the
The Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center successfully released four more rehabilitated sea turtle patients on Friday, November 17th, 2023 in Perdido Key, Florida. After a record summer of turtle intakes, the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center has been relieved with the slowing down of the season. As the weather cools down, sea turtles swim towards deeper, cooler water, and their activity in the shore of the Emerald Coast lessens. This public release was presented by the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center staff and volunteers, and
On this week’s episode of the Hello Frances podcast, our host Shantelle Dedicke continues a four-part series of episodes where she shares insights from what she and the Frances Roy team have learned throughout the last year. This week, she discusses the importance of intentional breathing - different from our daily instinctual breathing - and shares resources for learning more about breath work.Listen now.
The International Business Brokers Association (IBBA) is pleased to announce that Michelle Royce of Emerald Coast Business Intermediaries has earned the prestigious Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) designation. The CBI, which represents the gold standard in the business brokerage industry, is granted to individuals who complete required course work, pass an extensive competency exam, and agree to uphold the IBBA’s Professional Standards and Code of Ethics. “Earning the CBI takes dedication to the
On Nov. 15, RE/MAX Coastal Properties celebrated 50 years in business with a ribbon cutting. Owners Ed and Terri Smith are licensed real estate brokers, as well as having earned the professional designations of ABR (Accredited Buyer Representatives), CRS (Certified Residential Specialists), CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Experts), and CLHMS (Certified Luxury Specialists). Ed and Terri are founders of RE/MAX on the Emerald Coast and personally opened all three of the first RE/MAX offices in Destin
At Regatta Bay Golf & Yacht Club, we are proud to have been voted the #4 semi-private Golf Course in Florida by GolfDay. It is the only semi-private course north of Orlando to make the top four! Our stunning course, designed by acclaimed architect Robert C. Walker, offers a challenging yet enjoyable game for golfers of all skill levels. With meticulously maintained fairways and greens and breathtaking views of Choctawhatchee Bay, our course will impress even the most discerning golf enthusiasts. Regatta
Nominations are over! Now is the time to VOTE! The top ten nominees have moved on to phase two, it is now up to you to choose the Best in Destin. You can vote once per day between Monday, November 13, 2023 at 12:01 AM and Sunday, December 3, 2023 at 11:59 PM Central Time. Click here to vote.
Step One Automotive Group, in collaboration with Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC), is proud to announce the grand opening of the Automotive Center of Excellence Training Center. The ribbon cutting ceremony, set for today, marks an innovation milestone in the automotive and educational sectors. This state-of-the-art facility, situated in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, exemplifies the best in automotive training and services. From a dedicated used car reconditioning center, excelling in oil changes
On this week’s episode of the Hello Frances podcast, our host Shantelle Dedicke continues a four-part series of episodes where she shares insights from what she and the Frances Roy team have learned throughout the last year. This week, she poses the question “Do you provide the leadership you expect from others?”, and explains why this is important for leaders, managers, and even those who are led to consider.Listen now.
United Way Emerald Coast's Women United hosted their second EmpowHER Teen Mental Health Seminar presented by Eglin Federal Credit Union Saturday, Nov. 4 at Walton High School. This event is part of a series aimed to empower local teenagers with mental health resources and education. Women United selected Defuniak Springs as the location due to the high caseloads carried by counselors and the stigma surrounding mental health in the area. The event featured interactive workshops and presentations from
The Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners has approved extending a burn ban in Okaloosa County for another seven days due to persistent dry weather conditions. The extension will be effective through November 14 and can be extended in 7-day increments if needed. After continued coordination with the Florida Forest Service and Okaloosa Public Safety, Commissioners agreed that the danger posed by the existing and forecast weather conditions including low humidity and a lack of precipitation, justify
HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital and Okaloosa County School District Partner to Rollout Thank a Teacher Program
HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital and the Okaloosa County School District (OCSD) announced today the launch of a Thank a Teacher—a joint partnership between HCA Florida Fort-Walton Destin Hospital and OCSD. Thank a Teacher is a program celebrating the Okaloosa County School District's dedicated educators. Throughout the 2023-2024 school year, students, families, and staff members are encouraged to share their stories about a particular teacher's inspiring actions, supportive words, creative lessons,
We are thrilled to announce that Destinee Perdue has been honored as one of the winners of the Young Leader Award from Marina Dock Age. Destinee started at HarborWalk Marina as a dock attendant in 2000 and has worked in many different positions to gain understanding and insight into marina management. In 2022, Destinee was awarded her CMM (Certified Marina Manager), placing her among the marina profession elites and showcasing her dedication to the environment and boater safety. As Vice President of
Food for Thought is pleased to announce that its Annual Report for the fiscal year 2022-2023 is now available. Thank you to all those who contributed their time, talents, and resources to make FFT's 12th year a success! View the annual report here.
Impact100 Northwest Florida awarded $100,000 grants to four local nonprofits at its Annual Meeting on Sunday, November 5, 2023, at the Island Resort in Fort Walton Beach. The organizations receiving grants are as follows: Arts & Culture - Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida: Exhibit Hall to Save Our Local Historical Treasures Education - Emerald Coast Science Center: Across the Universe: Planetarium Project Family - Northwest Florida Guardian ad Litem Foundation: Cases for Kids Health and Wellness -
On Nov. 2, Beachside Chiropractic & Wellness celebrated a ribbon cutting. Beachside Chiropractic was created for people seeking a natural approach to healthcare. Services include chiropractic manipulative therapy, soft tissue therapies, x-ray imaging, functional nutrition assessments, health physicals, and more. The office is located at 36468 Emerald Coast Pkwy. Ste. 11101., in Destin. Visit MyBeachsideChiro.com to book your appointment today.
To kick off the most wonderful time of year, prepare to witness The Island Resort bathed in holiday cheer at, "Light Up The Island," on November 26, 2023, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. This free public event promises a spectacular evening filled with festive music and an interactive lighting display that will set the resort aglow. Last year featured performances by the Liza Jackson Band and the Fort Walton Beach High School Chorus. This year, we're excited to welcome back these talented groups, ensuring an
The Island Resort presents its 4th Annual, "A Beachy Little Christmas," event this year on December 2, 2023, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. This occasion, open to both hotel guests and local families, will take place on the beach patio, offering a unique holiday experience. Guests can sip on hot chocolate while enjoying live music and getting creative with themed crafts. The highlight of the event is the opportunity to meet the famous Misty the Mermaid, followed by a sandcastle-building session on the beach. Local
Mark your calendars for December 9th, as The Island Resort presents a new holiday addition and a special holiday treat in the lounge/bar area. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., guests can enjoy Christmas crafts and a screening of the beloved holiday classic movie, "Elf." It's the perfect movie to get into the holiday spirit with friends and family.
Double the Impact: Arby's Foundation Doubles Donations for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida's Birthday Celebration!
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida is celebrating 34 years of empowering youth and strengthening communities with a special celebration. In a powerful collaboration, the Arby's Foundation has pledged to match all donations dollar for dollar, up to an incredible $30,000 throughout the month of November. This generous gesture amplifies the impact of every contribution, making it a pivotal moment for supporters to get involved. "Turning 34 is a significant milestone for us," remarked Paula Shell,
The Northwest Florida Chapter of the FRLA recognizes the best of the best in our industry each year with the Hospitality Hero Awards. Category nominees are honored at a prestigious banquet with a spectacular dinner, ceremony, and cash prizes. Categories include the following: Restaurant FOH Employee • Restaurant BOH Employee Restaurant FOH Manager • Culinary Manager • Bartender Hotel/Resort FOH Employee • Hotel/Resort BOH Employee Hotel/Resort Manager • Spirit of Hospitality • And More Nominations are
The Okaloosa Arts Alliance (OAA) announces the Board of Directors for the current fiscal year. The Executive Board of Directors are President- Marlayna Goosby- Grow Your Gift Conservatory of Music, Vice President- Diane Fraser, Emerald Coast Science Center, Treasurer- Susan Kneller, Chair of the OAA Grants Committee, and Secretary-. The Board of Directors are Bill Head, Colonel (Ret), USAF, MSC, James K. Baughman Sr-Author, Jeanette Shires-Mattie Kelly Arts Center at NWFL State College, Niceville & NWFL
The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) announces the return of one of Walton County’s favorite fall events, the Flutterby Arts Festival, which will take place Sunday, November 12th from 10AM - 4PM in Watersound® Town Center. In its 31st year, the Flutterby Festival will feature many returning and new activities for kids of all ages, including arts & crafts projects, live performances, Art-O-Logy instructional classes, a student butterfly art exhibit, a butterfly wing creation
Every year, Food For Thought Outreach provides special services to the families enrolled in our program for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. The food-insecure children we serve face increased needs while schools are closed for the extended holiday breaks. Our services help bridge the meal gap and ensure critical access to food. Together, we can help make this season one of comfort and joy for the families we serve in Walton and Okaloosa counties. During the 2022 holiday season, we served 700 families
American Legion Boys State is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction for U.S. high school students. A participatory program in which students become part of the operation of local, county, and state government, Boys State was founded in 1935 to counter the socialism-inspired Young Pioneer Camps. The program was the idea of two Illinois Legionnaires, Hayes Kennedy and Harold Card, who organized the first Boys State at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in
Welcome to the Destin American Legion Post 296 for our local competition for the National American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program for grades 9-12. The purpose of The American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest is to develop a better understanding and appreciation of the Constitution of the United States on the part of high school students. Other objectives of the contest include: the development of leadership qualities; the ability to think and speak clearly and
Northwest Florida State College's Board of Trustees will be meeting on November 28, 2023, at 3 p.m. to review proposed course fee changes on aviation course effective Spring 2024. This meeting is part of the College's routine evaluation and updates to course fees. The proposed course and lab fees recommended for adjustment with the start of the Spring 2024 semester can be found at https://www.nwfsc.edu/tuition/. As itemized in the list, these flight fees cover expenses unique to course offerings
The Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners passed a local State of Emergency on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023, giving it the authority to enact a burn ban for Okaloosa County, effective immediately. After coordination with the Florida Forest Service, Commissioners agreed that the danger posed by the existing and forecast weather conditions that include low humidity, increased wind, and a lack of precipitation, justify an appropriate response in the best interest and safety of Okaloosa County
Ascension Sacred Heart Foundation’s first Wine Down Wednesday raises $10,000 for the Emerald Coast NICU and Family Birth Place
On September 27 Ascension Sacred Heart Foundation hosted a Wine Down Wednesday event benefiting Sacred Heart Emerald Coast Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Family Birth Place. The first-time event, held at Ambrosia 30A in Inlet Beach, raised $10,000 through ticket sales, donations, and raffle tickets. Guests enjoyed heavy hors d'oeuvres, glasses of Caymus Wines, and live music by Jacob Mohr, courtesy of Indigo Watercolor. Attendees also had the opportunity to participate in a wine pull, sponsored
In the spirit of giving and gratitude, Holi, a local Indian restaurant with locations in Panama City, Fort Walton Beach, and Miramar Beach, is excited to announce how they plan to give back to the community this year. This holiday season Holi will host a non-perishable and canned food drive spanning all three of its locations, each benefitting a different local hunger relief organization. The drive begins November 1, 2023, and ends December 23, 2023. Holi’s Fort Walton Beach location will be partnering
On Oct. 26, LegacyHouse Title celebrated its new Destin office with a ribbon cutting. LegacyHouse Title's knowledgeable team of attorneys, title agents, examiners and closers have access to the latest technology to ensure its clients and partners have the best closing experience possible. Visit the location at 4458 Legendary Dr. Ste. 210, in Destin's Regatta Commons office park. For more information, call (850) 200-0531 or visit LegacyHouseTitle.com.
On this week’s episode of the Hello Frances podcast, our host Shantelle Dedicke starts a four-part series of episodes where she shares insights from what she and the Frances Roy team have learned throughout the last year. This week, she discusses how to become a master of saying no, how this can preserve your mental health and the health of your business, and much more!Listen now.
Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida has made five key appointments to the Board of Trustees at Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC). Cory Fosdyck, Senior Vice President, and Senior Resident Director for Merrill Lynch is dedicated to community service. He’s spearheaded initiatives at the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center, offered his expertise to Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital, and once led the Walton County Chamber of Commerce. He is a Senior Vice President and Senior Resident Director for Merrill
Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC) is featured in season 9 of The College Tour, a groundbreaking series from Emmy-nominated producers Alex Boylan, Lisa Hennessy, and Burton Roberts, now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Hosted by The Amazing Race winner Alex Boylan, The College Tour travels the country telling the story of various institutions through the diverse lens ofstudents, giving the viewer an intimate portrayal of life on campus. Inspiring and motivating, the show serves as a vehicle to help
State of FloridaAwards $9M for Seacoast Collegiate High School & Northwest Florida State College's Dual Enrollment & Workforce Development Center
The Seaside School, Inc., in partnership with Northwest Florida State College, announces a significant milestone in its mission to transform educational opportunities in Walton County. The partnership between The Seaside School, Inc., a public charter school, and Northwest Florida State College has garnered the approval of $9 million in state funding, facilitating the expansion of Seacoast Collegiate High School and the creation of a Dual Enrollment & Workforce Development Center. This transformational
Okaloosa County will be celebrating the completion of an 11.6-mile reclaimed water pipeline with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 20, 2023 at 10 a.m. at the Mullet Festival site in Niceville. The new pipeline will allow residents and businesses to use reclaimed water, or treated wastewater, to irrigate their lawns instead of having to drill more wells into the aquifer. “We are proud of the work performed by our Water and Sewer Department and are excited for the positive environmental and economic
Jason Alves, CPA, a Member in the Audit and Transaction Advisory Divisions of Warren Averett’s Panama City office, has been selected to participate in Leadership Northwest Florida as part of its Class II. Leadership Northwest Florida is an educational program offered to professionals in all industries that helps participants grow their knowledgebase, networks and skillsets. Twenty-two leaders were selected to participate in this year’s class. Class II participants will be immersed in a seven-month
The Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center has been awarded a grant for $10,087.09 from the Florida Sea Turtle Grants Program. The C.A.R.E Center received the grant to help renovate a designated necropsy suite, as well as additional transport tubs to hold turtles for intake exams, release transport, dry docking after surgical procedures, and holding for necropsy. This grant will greatly increase the efficiency to conduct necropsies in a timely manner and increase the C.A.R.E. Center's knowledge and improve clinical
The Okaloosa County School District has partnered with the United Way Emerald Coast to help build a foundation of early literacy, social-emotional development, and mentorship. ReadingPals is a statewide early literacy initiative that provides volunteer mentors for local students from voluntary prekindergarten to third grade who may need extra help. Once a mentor passes their background screening, they undergo training before getting placed in a classroom where they work at a 1:2 ratio. For more
City Food Hall Introduces a Lineup of Themed Nights, Special Events, and New Coastal-Themed Bar Menu
City Food Hall, the culinary heart of Destin Commons, continues to shine as the hub of local gastronomy, hosting an eclectic community of chefs under one roof. Now, in addition to its diverse range of restaurant concepts, lively atmosphere, and TopGolf Swing Suites, City Food Hall is delighted to unveil an array of exciting themed nights, special events, and a brand-new coastal-themed bar menu. City Food Hall is the go-to destination for food and beverage enthusiasts as well as sports enthusiasts with their
During the Destin Chamber’s Oct. 13 Business Before Hours Sponsored by Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, Jearl McCall, Senior Executive Director of Golf at Emerald Bay Golf Club, was honored with the Chamber’s Business Person of the Month Award. This award is presented directly from the Chamber’s Board of Directors to a Destin area businessperson showing vision for his or her business and leadership in our community. McCall (right) is seen here with 2023 Chairman of the Board Jason Belcher of FNBT Bank. “Anyone
Subaru Fort Walton Beach is set to host its ‘Subaru Loves Pets’ event on October 14, 2023 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, featuring a mega adoption event and the exciting Screen Test Day for potential canine stars. The day promises to be a blend of community love for animals and the thrill of the limelight for our furry companions. Subaru Fort Walton Beach, in collaboration with Saving With Soul Pet Rescue, invites all pet lovers and animal enthusiasts to join a day dedicated to the love and care of pets, aiming
Okaloosa Technical College's (OTC) Practical Nursing Program proudly announces that the 2022-2023 Class had a 100% pass rate for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), earning their licensed practical nurse certification (LPN). The fourteen-month-long program, approved by the Florida State Board of Nursing, prepares students to become quality, safe, practical nurses in all areas of the medical field. Nineteen students underwent the rigorous course of study split between 675 hours of classroom
Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC) was honored to host the prestigious 2023 Higher Education Innovation (HEI) Presidents’ Conference from October 9-10, at its Niceville campus. This significant event attracted higher education leaders from all over the nation. With the dynamic shifts in the higher education sector, HEI underscores the imperative for transformative change in both institutional structures and leadership approaches. This year’s conference theme centered on “The
On this week’s episode of the Hello Frances Podcast, our host Shantelle Dedicke is joined by SKADI Cyber Defense’s CEO Rachel Clark and President Christie Buckley. Shantelle is SKADI’s Chief Marketing Officer, rounding out this power trio that comprises the company’s leadership team. They talk about the recent launch of SKADI, an innovative incorporation that provides comprehensive and fully monitored end-to-end solutions to guard against ever-evolving digital threats.Listen now.
Taster tickets are on sale now for the 9th Annual Eggs on the Beach Big Green Egg Cooking Competition to be held on Saturday, Oct. 14, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Seascape Resort in Miramar Beach. Tasters enjoy unlimited bites, and receive five votes to vote for their favorites and award the 2023 People’s Choice Awards. Presented by Bay Breeze Patio, the event has become one of the most popular and anticipated cooking competitions in the region. More than 20 cook teams will compete for cash and prizes.
In this episode of Let’s Talk Title with Emerald Coast Title Services, Dion and Ashley are joined by special guest Cathy Alley. Cathy is a realtor for the Cathy Alley Team, an Elected Official for Niceville City Council, Chair for the RPAC of ECAR, Director for ECAR for Florida Realtors, Director for the National Association of Realtors for Florida Realtors, 2016 Past President for ECAR, 2017 Graduate of Leadership Academy for Florida Realtors, and 2018 DVP for District 9 for Florida Realtors. They discuss
Enter your nominations for the Best In Destin 2024 once per day between Monday, Oct. 9, 2023, at 12:01 AM and Thursday, Oct., 26, 2023, at 11:59 PM Central Standard Time. You can vote once per day between Monday, Nov. 13, 2023, at 12:01 AM and Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, at 11:59 PM Central Standard Time. Click here to get started.
On Oct. 5, Stretch Zone Destin celebrated its 1-year anniversary with a ribbon cutting. Unlock your body's flexibility with Stretch Zone. Let trained stretch practitioners lead you through a series of dynamic stretches to increase mobility and muscle function and make daily movements more efficient. Visit the Destin location at 4507 Furling Ln. Ste. 114. For more information, visit Stretchzone.com/locations/destin or call (850) 407-8088.
October is National Arts & Humanities Month (NAHM)—a collective recognition of the importance of culture in America. NAHM was launched by Americans for the Arts more than 30 years ago as National Arts Week in honor of the twentieth anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1993, it was reestablished by Americans for the Arts and national arts partners as a month-long celebration with goals of: FOCUSING on equitable access to the arts at local, state,
Check out the latest news from Florida State Rep. Patt Maney's office, including the Okaloosa County Delegation Meeting, the first Legislative Committee Week, the Speaker Designation Ceremony, his award from the Florida Chamber of Commerce, and more.Read the entire newsletter here.
Historic Partnership: NWFSC and Seacoast Collegiate High School Break Ground on New Dual Enrollment & Workforce Development Center
In a partnership aimed at transforming educational opportunities in Walton County, Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC) and Seacoast Collegiate High School were thrilled to break ground on a new Dual Enrollment and Workforce Development Center. The highly anticipated celebration and ceremony was held on October 2, 2023, at Seacoast High School, with a reception held immediately following at North Beach Social. The strategic efforts of NWFSC and Seacoast Collegiate High School signify a shared
Newman-Dailey is passionate about giving back to the local community. Through the passion of the staff and generosity of friends, family, homeowners, vendors, guests and clients, the team at Newman-Dailey Resort Properties united to raise $38,496 and 2,558 food items for the Harvest House of Destin to help fight hunger and help area families in need. “We’re excited to partner with the Harvest House of Destin for our 2023 community service project,” said Newman-Dailey’s Founder and CEO Jeanne Dailey. “We’ve
By Nathan Sparks, CEcD Executive Director of One Okaloosa EDC Welcome to Fall! After the scorching hot summer that we experienced, the (slightly) cooler temperatures are, quite literally, a breath of fresh air. Fall not only brings cooler weather, lighter traffic, fewer crowds and, my personal favorite, FOOTBALL – it also brings a change of leadership at One Okaloosa as our new fiscal year begins Oct. 1. We cannot say enough about what a pleasure it has been to serve under Jillian McQueen, Hilton Garden
The 2024 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists and National Merit Scholarship Commended students were recently announced, and we are proud of our students who earned the distinctions. "I am extremely proud of these students and their efforts to earn this Scholarship. It is not an easy process, and those who are recognized at any level for their academic excellence deserve it," shared Superintendent Chambers. To qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program, students must take the Preliminary
Step One Automotive Group is excited to announce its annual "Drive Out Breast Cancer" campaign, an impactful initiative to support breast cancer research, awareness, prevention, and support in the Southeast. The month-long campaign runs from October 1st through October 31st, 2023. Event Highlights: Duration: October 1st to October 31st, 2023. Location: Various community events near Step One locations throughout Georgia, Central Alabama, Florida, and Andalusia. How It Works: Pink vehicles will be
NWFSC President, Dr. Devin Stephenson, Receives the University of Alabama College of Education’s 2023 Harold L. Bishop Award for Leadership
Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC) is proud to announce that NWFSC President, Dr. Devin Stephenson, will receive the University of Alabama College of Education’s 2023 Harold L. Bishop Award for Leadership on October 13, 2023. This esteemed recognition celebrates Dr. Stephenson’s remarkable 30-year career and his significant contributions to the field of education and leadership. The Harold L. Bishop Award for Leadership is a highly prestigious Capstone Education Society Alumni Award that
Inmates Earn Certifications at the Okaloosa County Correctional Institution through NWFSC Corrections Program
This summer, twenty-six inmates from the Okaloosa County Correctional Institution earned skilled trade certifications through Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC). The NWFSC Corrections Program had fourteen who received the Heavy Equipment Machinery certification and twelve who received the Carpentry certification. The NWFSC Corrections Program is a 6-month trades training program that offers industry certifications to inmates. Students become eligible and are selected in the program once they
We are proud to announce that Okaloosa County Commissioner Mel Ponder was recently appointed to serve a third consecutive year as an at-large member on the Board of Directors for the Florida Association of Counties (FAC). Additionally, Commissioner Ponder was appointed to serve on the Finance, Tax, and Administration Policy Committee (FTA) and as Co-Vice Chairman of the Presidential Select Committee on Preemption. “I truly appreciate being able to serve on the Board and these committees, working with my
The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of the Emerald Coast to expand its Youth Arts Education program for club members and produce a high-quality mural that will serve as a source of inspiration and education to club visitors and participants. The new 20’ x 20’ (approximate) mural installation is near completion and featured on the blue architectural wall at the entrance of the South Walton club on Boys & Girls Club Way near
The Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners was recently honored as the recipient of the 1776-2026 Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) America 250! Commendation Certificate and Medal. The award was presented to the Board during the Tuesday, September 19, 2023, regular meeting by the Choctawhatchee Bay Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. “I am thankful and humbled that the DAR would recognize the entire County with this distinction,” said Okaloosa County Commissioner Carolyn
The Okaloosa County School District is thrilled to announce that the Okaloosa STEMM Academy has achieved a remarkable milestone by being recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School. In January, the U.S. Florida Department of Education (FDOE) nominated STEMM Academy to the United States Department of Education (USDOE) due to exemplary high performance based on the 2021-2022 performance data. On Tuesday, September 19, USDOE recognized STEMM as one of 353 schools nationwide and one of 13 from Florida as a
We are proud to announce that Okaloosa County Commissioner and Vice Chairman Paul Mixon was recently appointed to the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) Health, Safety & Justice Policy Committee by the association’s president, Bill Truex of Charlotte County. “I’m honored to be chosen to work on this committee,” said Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners Vice Chairman Paul Mixon. “Healthcare, public safety, and substance abuse treatment are all topics that I am passionate about. I think that this
On this week’s episode of the Hello Frances podcast, our host Shantelle Dedicke speaks about what she looks for when recruiting and hiring a creative to the team. She shares her top three skills that she says make an ideal candidate! Have questions or thoughts about this episode?Listen now.
In this episode of Let’s Talk Title with Emerald Coast Title Services, Dion Moniz and Ashley Bowen discuss a new federal law that comes into effect on January 1, 2024, called the Corporate Transparency Act. They share how this impacts LLCs used to buy real estate and much more! Listen now.
30A Songwriters Festival will celebrate its 15th year with performances on the main stage at presenting partner Grand Boulevard’s Town Center in Miramar Beach with headline performances by renowned artists JEFF TWEEDY, ELVIS COSTELLO & THE IMPOSTERS, ROSANNE CASH and KT TUNSTALL. The festival will also be welcoming the following first-timers to 30A: KELLY WILLIS, SHANNON WHITWORTH AND WOODY PLATT, SUNNY WAR, CHAPEL HART, JOHN MUQ, JACK BARKSDALE, THE PINK STONES, DAVID CHILDERS, MEGAN BURTT, RACHAEL
Emerald Coast Theatre Company (ECTC) at Grand Boulevard in Sandestin proudly presents four special events coming up in September and October. MDQ Mixtape, An Evening With Bryan Kennedy and Kevin Boyle, Comedy On the Boulevard, and Me and my Gal - A live Judy Garland and Gene Kelly Musical Tribute are all so different that they bring something for every audience. "There is nothing like a night at the theatre, whether you are signing along, laughing or grooving to the music. These four special events are
On Sept. 14, Trinity Title celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting. Trinity Title is an attorney/Veteran-owned, full-service title and escrow company. Its professionals work to eliminate unnecessary delays and exceptions that often come with the transfer of real estate titles, while prioritizing relationships and providing personalized customer service. Visit the office at 4507 Furling Ln. 104, in Destin, or visit TrinityTitleFla.com. For more information, please call (850) 848-5774.
Managed IT Services company, Bit-Wizards, encourages businesses of all sizes to assess their business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plans as we reach the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. 25% of businesses fail to reopen after a disaster, which is why it’s crucial for companies that could be affected by a hurricane to take BCDR seriously and plan in advance. “If a disaster impacts your business and you don’t have a plan, at the very least, you’re going to lose clients, you’re going to lose
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida has launched a bold new brand campaign "It Takes Little to be Big," to challenge the myths and shift perceptions of mentoring and why now, more than ever, mentorship is critical to the success of kids today. Today, one in three kids across the country are growing up without a sustained, positive adult mentor in their lives and over 100 kids are on the wait list for a mentor in Northwest Florida. The gap between mentorship and youth who need it most
Warren Averett CPAs and Advisors has been named the top firm in the large firm category (250+ employees) on Accounting Today’s 2023 Best Firms to Work For list. This distinction acknowledges and celebrates the leading employers within the accounting profession. This is the second consecutive year that the firm has achieved this recognition. To determine the 2023 list, Accounting Today collaborated with the Best Companies Group and ranked companies based on the results of anonymous employee surveys and
On Sept. 12, Tru by Hilton Destin celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting. Enjoy your Destin vacation with a hotel experience from Hilton that's vibrant, affordable and young-at-heart. Destin's newest hotel is conveniently located near shops, restaurants, and the beautiful Henderson Beach State Park, which offers more than 6,000 feet of sugary white sand along the famous clear emerald green Gulf waters. Designed to accommodate families, many guest rooms feature an alcove with bunk beds. WiFi
We are honored and excited to announce that we have been chosen to participate in a special charitable giving campaign, sponsored and funded by Target. And you have the chance to help direct a portion of Target's donation to us! Now through September 30th, vote for us through the Target Circle program to help determine how Target's donation will be divvied up. To join Target Circle and learn more about this program, click here: www.target.com/circle. We are asking
The public is invited to attend the City of Destin’s Open House on Wednesday, Oct. 25 from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., at the Destin Community Center. "This year’s theme is ‘Music to Our Ears’, and we'll have a local band to add a little flair to an already great annual event,” said Tamara Young, Public Information Director. “Jones and Company will share their talent, and the event gives City departments and important partners a chance to engage with the community on what we do." Nonprofit organizations
Do you have a heart for art? Then feel free to lend a hand. Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation is seeking volunteers for the 28th Annual Festival of the Arts kicks off on Friday, Oct. 27 with a reception at Henderson Beach Resort; the exhibition is Saturday, Oct. 28 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Sunday, Oct. 29 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) on The Dugas Pavilion lawn in Destin. Various shifts are available including set up (on Friday, Oct. 27), main entry, artist relief, children’s tent and beverage booths as well as break down
Dear Parents and Guardians, Our most precious asset is our children. The Okaloosa County School District's primary focus is to provide our students with the safest learning environment possible that promotes the highest levels of academic and personal achievement. In order to be prepared in the event of any crisis, Okaloosa County schools plan and execute active assailant, fire, and other emergency and severe weather drills and have protocols and employee training for many other crises. The OCSD Crisis
On this week’s episode of the Hello Frances Podcast, our host Shantelle Dedicke is joined by Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation’s President, Karah Fridley-Young, and Director of Marketing & Communications, Kate MacMillan. They discuss a few of the Foundation’s upcoming events, how they are able to make a long-lasting impact in our community with their charity partners, and much more! Listen now.
In honor of The Tatissa Zunguze Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Okaloosa Suicide Prevention and Support group, Mayor Bobby Wagner and the Destin City Council proclaimed September 2023 as National Suicide Prevention & Action Month in the City of Destin. All residents are encouraged to take time to understand mental health through education and recognize that we need to take care of ourselves while we take care of each other. Tatissa was one month from college graduation when she took her life. She
On Sept. 5, Causeway Coffee celebrated a ribbon cutting with the Destin Chamber. At Causeway Coffee, every sip tells a story! Its mission goes beyond serving exceptional coffee. Its founders aim to create a hub that fosters connections within our community and supports impactful missions around the world. As you step through the doors, you'll be greeted by the rich aroma of freshly brewed coffee, crafted with care and passion. With every cup you enjoy, you contribute to efforts in supporting missions
The Destin Chamber Trustee members are celebrating and thanking local first responders with a free cookout on Monday, Sept. 11. They will be grilling hamburgers and hot dogs and serving BBQ sliders and brisket at Destin Fire Station #9 at 848 Airport Road, in Destin, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. All police officers, firefighters, medical personnel, beach safety, EMS and military are invited. Trustee membership is the highest membership level in the Destin Chamber, and it shows a significant commitment to and
On Aug. 29, woman’s boutique Dress Up celebrated a ribbon cutting with the Destin Chamber. Located in Destin Commons, Dress Up offers women stylish wardrobe options, from dresses, rompers and jumpsuits to loungewear, shoes and accessories. It boasts 17 locations across the Southeast and has new arrivals weekly. Visit the store at 4121 Legendary Dr., in Destin. Call (770) 535-9010 or visit ShopDressUp.com for more information.
In a critical and deeply unsettling animal rescue operation, Alaqua Animal Refuge, led by founder Laurie Hood, intervened in a life-threatening situation involving dozens of animals. The effort was coordinated in partnership with Deputy Sheriff Greg Barton of Holmes County Sheriff's Office, Walton County Sheriff's Office, Florida, and Washington County Animal Control. Owner Faces Criminal ChargesThe owner of these distressed animals was arrested and is currently facing four 3rd degree felony charges and
On Aug. 24, Southern Tide’s 30A store celebrated its grand opening with the Destin Chamber. Southern Tide offers quality, coastal inspired apparel for men, women and kids. Its signature men’s line has everything for the modern refined man, from professional chinos for the office to moisture-wicking quarter-zip pullovers for breezy days by the coast. Its women’s designs feature stylish, preppy, and cozy pieces, whether your lifestyle takes you to the tailgate or the country club. The ever-growing
Step One Automotive Group Partners with Local Organizations to ''Stuff the Bus'' with Essential School Supplies for Students in Need
Step One Automotive Group, a leading automotive dealership network with locations across Florida, Alabama, and Georgia, proudly announces its successful participation in the community-led "Stuff the Bus" initiative. Focused on providing essential school supplies to students in low-income families, Step One Automotive Group transformed its various dealership locations into donation stations for the duration of the campaign. In a partnership with the United Way Emerald Coast and United Way of West Florida,
On this week’s episode of the Hello Frances Podcast, our host, Shantelle Dedicke shares one of her favorite ways to feed her creativity… reading cookbooks! In honor of her birthday, Shantelle discusses three of her favorite cookbooks, how they have pulled her out of a creative rut, what she plans to cook for her birthday meal, and much more. Listen now.
Saltwater Restaurants Inc. Partners with Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge to Release Blue Heron ''Bob''
Saltwater Restaurants Inc. is proud of its ongoing partnership with the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge. In a heartfelt collaboration, the organizations celebrated the release of a rehabilitated Blue Heron named "Bob" in honor of Robert "Bob" Bonezzi, founder of Saltwater Restaurants, Inc. The release event took place on Monday, August 21st, at the scenic Al's Beach Club and Burger Bar at The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island. This partnership signifies Saltwater Restaurants Inc.'s commitment to the local
The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) is proud to announce the regional artists recently chosen to exhibit their original work in The Foster Gallery’s Fall Rotation, which runs Aug. 15 through Nov. 11, 2023 in its Miramar Beach Creative Campus location at 13370 Emerald Coast Parkway (US Highway 98). The public is invited to attend the Foster Gallery Fête on Friday, Sept. 8, from 5 - 7 p.m. celebrating the selected artists. Guests will be treated to a special live demonstration from artist Laura
Newman-Dailey Resort Properties Real Estate Division Honors Shannyn Stevenson and Diane Green as the Top Producers for the Second Quarter 2023
Newman-Dailey Resort Properties Real Estate Division honors Shannyn Stevenson and Diane Green as the second quarter top producers. Shannyn Stevenson earned “Top Listing Agent”, and Diane Green achieved “Top Sales Agent” for April through June 2023. “Real Estate sales along Florida’s Emerald Coast have continued to thrive in spite of rising interest rates,” said Jeanne Dailey, founder and CEO of Newman-Dailey Resort Properties. “Our team of experienced agents have been guiding buyers and sellers through the
Okaloosa County Seeks Applicants Interested in Serving on the Northwest Florida Health Council Applications Due by September 5, 2023 Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners (“BCC”) will appoint three citizens to the Northwest Florida Health Council. Pursuant to section 408.033, Florida Statutes, this health council was established in accordance with the Health Facilities and Services Development Act as a private non-profit organization serving Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton Counties. The
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida, along with the West Florida Wheelmen Bicycle Club, present the annual Fenner Ride on Oct. 28, 2023. This cycling event gives riders a unique chance to experience Northwest Florida's native wildlife, natural environments, and beautiful scenery along the Blackwater Heritage Trail. The ride will start at the Clyde L. Gracey Community Center, located at 5629 Byrom St. Milton, Fla. Participants of all skill levels will have the opportunity to choose the course that
During the Destin Chamber’s Aug. 11 Business Before Hours Sponsored by Destin City Lifestyle Magazine, Clayton Bonjean, Broker/Owner of Mainsail Realty Company, was honored with the Chamber’s Business Person of the Month Award. This award is presented directly from the Chamber’s Board of Directors to a Destin area businessperson showing vision for his or her business and leadership in our community. Bonjean has personally closed more than 550 real estate transactions totaling more than $330 million
On this week’s episode of the Hello Frances podcast, our Art Director Janae Erickson and Graphic Designer Ana Sharp take over the microphone to discuss Canva, an easy-to-use, free online design tool! They share things they find most beneficial about Canva, fun projects they have worked on within the program, and much more. Listen now.
Destin-Fort Walton Beach Tourism was recently awarded the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) seal with distinction by Destinations International in recognition of the organization's commitment to industry excellence and meeting the industry standard for performance and accountability of destination organizations around the world. “This accreditation is a huge achievement for our County and our local tourism industry,” said Okaloosa County Board Chairman Trey Goodwin. “It demonstrates our
Okaloosa County is seeking public input via a community survey to assist in the development of an Attainable Workforce Housing Strategy. The questions in this survey will help local leaders to better understand public opinions about housing affordability, needs, and types of development. “Hearing from our residents is a critical component of our planning efforts to address affordable housing in Okaloosa County.” said Okaloosa County Board Chairman Trey Goodwin. “We want to address housing needs for all
HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital and HCA Florida Twin Cities Hospital Collect More than 3,000 School Supplies
HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital and HCA Florida Twin Cities Hospital joined HCA Florida Healthcare hospitals across the state throughout July to participate in the organization’s first statewide We Show Up for Our Schools month of service. In partnership with the Okaloosa County School District and United Way Emerald Coast, HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital and HCA Florida Twin Cities Hospital collected more than 3,000 supplies for students and teachers in our community ahead of the new
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida partners with Pensacola Cordova Rotary for Back to School - Lace Up 4 Kids
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida is excited to announce Pensacola Cordova Rotary selected us to partner with them for their District grant application. The project, Back to School - Lace Up 4 Kids, will provide shoes and socks for our Littles, as they are returning to school. Proper footwear plays a significant role in enabling children to attend school comfortably and confidently. Thanks to this partnership, we can make sure our Littles are better prepared for their academic journey. On
Welcome to a brand-new year in the Okaloosa County School District! I cannot begin my thoughts and hopes for this year without thanking our students, parents, and staff for an outstanding 2022-2023 school year. In a year that brought new, more rigorous statewide assessments in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics to Florida, Okaloosa students once again outperformed almost every other school district in the state in their proficiency rankings. A combined analysis of all test results recently
$7 Fills a backpack in our Backpack Program! #YouCanHelp fill a backpack with food and empower a child! Sponsor a student for one week or the entire 2023-24 school year for children in Walton & Okaloosa Counties. Click here to sponsor a student. To sponsor multiple children, just add multiple backpacks to your cart!
On this week’s episode of the Hello Frances podcast, our host Shantelle Dedicke explores the topic of rest and why most people feel like they have to work to earn rest. Shantelle discusses how leaders can prevent burnout and be more productive through recharging, giving their team the space to do the same, and much more! Listen now.
On Aug. 1, Pinch A Penny celebrated its grand opening with the Destin Chamber. Shop the Destin Pinch A Penny for a huge selection of pool supplies, including liquid chlorine, tablets, pumps, filters and more. Locally owned and operated by Luis, Bonita, Brian, and Kevin D'Jesus, this neighborhood pool store provides expert advice plus everything you need to care for your pool, patio or spa. Find details at https://pinchapenny.com/stores/destin-fl-278 or call (850) 533-5153. Visit the store at 4010
For the 14th year in a row, Bit-Wizards was named one of Florida's Best Companies To Work For in 2023. The annual Best Companies To Work For In Florida list, featured in the August issue of Florida Trend magazine, ranks 100 companies in small, medium, and large employer categories. After a couple of years of tremendous growth, Bit-Wizards moved from the Small to Midsized category in 2022. Coming in at #4, this is the second consecutive year that Bit-Wizards has secured a spot in the top
Grand Boulevard at Sandestin® is happy to announce Andrew “Andy” Peach as the new General Manager of the popular Town Center. Peach will assume oversight of all operations at the 52-acre property. He is a senior retail real estate professional experienced in managing and leasing upscale shopping centers, including mixed-use assets. He has been with retail centers in South Florida, Highland Park, TX and South Carolina. He was Senior General Manager for the Shops at Merrick Park, Coral Gables, Florida – a
HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital Nationally Recognized for Commitment to Providing High-Quality Stroke Care
HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital has received the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke Gold Plus quality achievement award for its commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines, ultimately leading to more lives saved and reduced disability. Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the U.S. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and
WIN-WIN! REACH 70,000+ BY ADVERTISING IN THE OFFICIAL 2023 FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS PROGRAM AND … SUPPORT THE MATTIE KELLY ARTS FOUNDATION! 8.125” X 12” BOOKLET (UP TO 72 PAGES) FINAL ARTWORK IS DUE AUG. 15, 2023. Click here to see rates.
Kindergarten students' first day of school can be a mix of emotions, including excitement, confusion, and worry about the unknown. Smooth transitions from preschool to Kindergarten depend on connections between schools and families and between preschool and kindergarten teachers and classrooms before kindergarten entry. The Okaloosa County School District provides transition activities from preschool to Kindergarten to help with this process. This year, eleven Title I schools offered "Kindergarten
United Way Emerald Coast (UWEC), a local non-profit dedicated to improving lives and building stronger communities, successfully concluded its Annual Meeting on Tuesday, July 25th at The Place on Beal. The sold-out event brought together a diverse group of stakeholders, including donors, volunteers, board members, elected officials, community leaders, and partners. The Annual Meeting served as a platform to celebrate UWEC’s accomplishments over the past year and engage with supporters, demonstrating the
The U.S. Amateur Qualifying Tournament, hosted at the beautiful Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club has concluded, and we're thrilled to let you know the champions and share images from the tournament with you. Nate Graham from Albany, GA, secured the top spot with a total score of 139, closely followed by Matthew Soucinek from Lake City, FL, with an impressive score of 140. These exceptional players have earned an official invitation to compete in the 123rd U.S. Amateur Championship. Congratulations to all
Eglin Federal Credit Union is pleased to announce Certified IRA Specialist Teri Broxson has been selected as the 5-Star Performer for the second quarter of 2023. Teri has been employed with the Credit Union for 26 years and currently resides in Fort Walton Beach. Member Service Supervisor Vanessa Cicchiani-Taylor said, “Teri is dedicated and proactive in helping our membership. She has also immersed herself in the community by volunteering to teach classes at the Center for Lifelong Learning at the
The Salvation Army of Okaloosa & Walton Counties has received their new Disaster/Community Canteen Vehicle with help from Impact100. This vehicle will be utilized to help during a Disaster and monthly to provide hot meals to our communities most needy population. Stop by our location at 425 Mary Esther Cutoff, Ft. Walton Beach to take a tour of the new vehicle. If you have ever thought about helping during a disaster we are offering FREE Emergency Disaster Training at our Ft. Walton Beach Salvation Army
Eco Clean Marine, a leading environmental organization committed to preserving our marine ecosystems, partnered with the renowned Original Oyster House to conduct a massive trash pick up event. The initiative took place on July 22ed and saw an overwhelming response from volunteers and local businesses, showcasing the power of collective efforts in safeguarding our environment. The event kicked off at 7:45 AM, with an enthusiastic team of 30 volunteers gathering at the Original Oyster House to embark on the
Bit-Wizards is proud to announce that they scored a 5 out of 5 on their latest external pen test and a 4.5 out of 5 on their internal pen test. The Managed IT Service provider chooses to undergo a penetration test every six months, allowing an outside company to perform an authorized attack on their network to evaluate its security posture. “The goal is to try to be one step ahead of the hackers at all times. Instead of going through a vulnerability assessment, which tends to be cheaper and less time
By Nathan Sparks, CEcD Executive Director of One Okaloosa EDC What a month it has been for economic development in Okaloosa County! First, on June 21, Boeing held a ribbon cutting for its new 20,000 SF F-18/A landing gear maintenance and repair facility in the Fort Walton Beach Commerce and Technology Park. For those keeping track, this is Boeing’s third facility in Okaloosa County, and our workforce’s continued ability to meet the exacting standards of a company like Boeing are particularly noteworthy.
Fish Window Cleaning®, the nation’s premier window cleaning service, is thrilled to announce its Destin, Fla., location is celebrating the first anniversary of its meaningful partnership with United Way Emerald Coast. For the past year, the crew has been offering free window cleaning to the charity as a way to give back to the community. It is one of the many initiatives of Fish Window Cleaning Franchisee Danica LaFaire, who is always looking for ways to integrate her company into the local
DestinFM is proud to announce that it has been named a NOAA Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador. This designation recognizes DestinFM’s commitment to working with NOAA to strengthen resilience against extreme weather on the Emerald Coast. As a NOAA Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador, DestinFM will promote readiness for hazardous weather within its organization and community. The station will also work with NOAA to share success stories and educate Destin residents on severe weather preparedness. “We are honored
In a year that brought new, more rigorous statewide assessments in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics to Florida, Okaloosa students once again outperformed almost every other school district in the state in their proficiency rankings. A combined analysis of all test results recently released by the Florida Department of Education shows that Okaloosa ranks 5th among 67 Florida school districts. These results continue the improvement in recent years from 8th and 7th, in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
The Coastal Resource team with Destin-Fort Walton Beach Tourism in Okaloosa County recently participated in a collaborative effort that led to the tagging of two whale sharks, Ivey and Oliver, in the Gulf of Mexico south of Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida. This unique research opportunity was successful due to a joint effort between, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the University of Southern Mississippi, Okaloosa County’s Coastal Resource team, and the fishing community. “We
Eglin Federal Credit Union partnered with Okaloosa Saves for the annual Teach a Child to Save campaign April 1 – June 30. Youth were encouraged to set a savings goal and make a deposit into a savings account at EFCU. This year there were 114 youth under the age of 18 who participated with deposits totaling $23,335.81. Their names were entered into a random drawing for six children to win a $50 deposit into their EFCU account from Okaloosa Saves. Since the program began in 2004, 2,286 children made deposits
Eglin Federal Credit Union today held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its DeFuniak Springs ATM/Video Teller Drive-thru located at 677 Highway 90. The first phase of this site is now open. A full-service branch will open at this location later in 2024. Members have the ability to speak with a live teller over two-way video during regular business hours. Video Tellers are available Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. These personalized tellers assist members
Okaloosa County Department of Public Safety - Emergency Medical Services Division was recently recognized by the America Heart Association on achieving Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold status for 2023. This is the ninth consecutive Mission Lifeline Gold award and 10th year with Mission Lifeline recognition. Okaloosa EMS achieved Silver status in 2014. “We are proud and honored to receive this continued achievement through the AHA and reassured that our Emergency Medical Services team is prepared to react when
In an effort to make needed improvements to the Northwest Florida Fairgrounds, the Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday, July 18, 2023, to create the Okaloosa County Fairgrounds Advisory Committee that will provide guidance to the Board on the enhancement and refurbishment of the property. The County closed on the property from the City of Fort Walton Beach in June 2023, with an intended purpose to preserve the history of the Fairgrounds and improve infrastructure, while
Northwest Florida State College’s Physical Therapist Assistant Program (PTA) announces a 100% ultimate pass rate with a 100% employment rate. Students can earn an Associate in Science (A.S.) degree in the 6-semester program that equips them with the education needed to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals seeking rehabilitation and improved quality of life. “I am deeply impressed by the caliber of our Physical Therapist Assistant program,” said NWFSC President Dr. Devin Stephenson. “The
With the 2023 – 2024 school year right around the corner, the Okaloosa County School District is preparing to welcome students back into its classrooms. The transportation department has created a QR code for easy access (or visit www.okaloosaschools.com) for parents and guardians to stay updated with notifications about their child's bus. They may also sign up for Bus Bulletin, which sends notifications to parents if there are unexpected delays or schedule changes involving a student's bus. Parents and
Lucy Buffett's LuLu's in Gulf Shores AL, Destin FL, and North Myrtle Beach SC, are renowned restaurants and entertainment destinations. They are pleased to announce the appointment of Tony Cline as their new Chief Operating Officer (COO). With his extensive industry experience and proven leadership skills, Cline is set to play a pivotal role in driving the growth and success of LuLu's. Tony Cline brings over three decades of valuable experience in the hospitality and entertainment sector, having held key
ADVERTISING IN THE SINFONIA SEASON PROGRAM OFFERS YOUR BUSINESS: Up to a ONE YEAR shelf life to spotlight your ad! Visibility to an exclusive, affluent clientele and patron base who are business and community leaders throughout Northwest Florida An economical and efficient way to reach your target market Ability to make multiple impressions on season subscribers, sponsors and key decision makers in the community Ability to offer special savings opportunities to potential clients A portion of each ad
On this week’s episode of the Hello Frances podcast, our host Shantelle Dedicke is joined by members of the Frances Roy team to celebrate the 7th anniversary of Frances Roy Agency! We discuss our favorite memories, things we manifest for our future, and much more.Listen now.
After 17 years in the making, the Captain Royal Melvin Heritage Park officially opened to the public on Tuesday, July 18. Members of the City Council, Chamber of Commerce and relatives of Royal Melvin took part in cutting the ribbon to what has been nicknamed the “Gateway to the Harbor.” The park is located at 206 Harbor Boulevard. “We are the sons of Captain Royal Melvin,” began Bo Melvin, as he and his brother Scott took to the podium at the celebration. “It is an honor to be here today. It has been a
Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation Announces Call For The 28Th Annual Festival Of The Arts Collaborative Art Exhibit
Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation (MKAF) is now accepting applications for the Adult Collaborative Art Exhibit component of the 28th annual Festival of the Arts (Friday, Oct. 27 (Arty Kick Off Party at Henderson Beach Resort in Destin) October 28-29 (Festival weekend)) at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village in Destin, Florida. One of the unique features of MKAF’s Festival of the Arts is the Collaborative Art Exhibit, which showcases the work of seasoned and emerging adult artists and local student artists
Season 18 features the music of Tony Award-winning Broadway stars Laura Benanti and Brian Stokes Mitchell, Grammy-nominated Trombone Shorty, sirs Andrew Lloyd Webber, Elton John and Paul McCartney, award-winning saxophonist Steven Banks, John Williams’ epic Jurassic Park film score and moreSinfonia Gulf Coast continues its tradition of “redefining” the symphony experience as it enters its 18th season. With a mission to entertain, educate and inspire the Northwest Florida Gulf coast, the region’s only fully
Revitalize your Appearance & Restore Your Confidence with Barnett Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, PA
On July 13, Barnett Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, PA, celebrated a ribbon cutting with the Destin Chamber. Barnett Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, PA, is composed of a team of skilled and experienced professionals dedicated to providing the highest level of care and expertise in the field. Revitalize your appearance and restore your confidence through a wide range of beauty enhancement and reconstructive surgery services. For details, visit www.barnettfacialplastics.com or call
Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation (MKAF) has named Roger van Lieshout of Cape Coral, Florida, the 2023 Festival of the Arts poster contest winner
Recognized as one of Northwest Florida’s premier fine art shows, the Festival of the Arts, produced by MKAF, is one of the most anticipated cultural events of the year on the Emerald Coast. This year’s 28th annual event will kick off on Friday, Oct 27 evening with a Kick-Off Reception at Henderson Beach Resort. The Festival weekend follows on Saturday, Oct. 28, and Sunday, Oct. 29 at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village in Destin. An oil painter since childhood, Roger van Lieshout, a native of Winnipeg,
The Gulfarium's C.A.R.E. Center successfully released another three rehabilitated sea turtle patients on Thursday, July 13, 2023 at Henderson Beach State Park in Destin, Florida. So far this year the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center has taken in 91 sea turtles due to strandings, and has released 61 of them. Today, three sea turtles, two Loggerheads and one Kemps ridley, were returned to the Gulf of Mexico. Several dedicated C.A.R.E Center staff team members and their volunteers, as well as numerous beachgoers
The Okaloosa County School District (OCSD) seeks qualified personnel to join our team. The District's Educational Support Job Fair is FREE and will take place at the OCSD Administrative Complex Board Room (next to Edge Elementary) on Tuesday, July 25, from 10 am to 1 pm. Various career paths are available, including substitute teachers, bus drivers, paraprofessionals, mechanics, and more. We will be hiring on the spot!
Eglin Federal Credit Union recognizes Fort Walton Beach Teller Bonnie McIntosh for 25 years of service
Eglin Federal Credit Union is pleased to recognize Fort Walton Beach Teller Bonnie McIntosh for 25 years of service. Bonnie currently resides in Fort Walton Beach. “We congratulate Bonnie on becoming a member of the National Association of Federal Credit Union’s Quarter Century Club in recognition of her 25 years of service to the credit union industry,” said SVP/COO Kim Nauta. “Bonnie is a favorite with a lot of our long-time members, and we appreciate her knowledge, dedication and commitment to EFCU and
The City of Destin Public Works Department has rented a large Vacuum Truck from Vermeer to assist with cleaning the major stormwater drainage structures. Starting the week of July 10, work with structures along Highway 98 will begin, followed by the Weir on Gulf Shore Drive. After those two areas are completed, drain boxes and pipes throughout the City will be cleaned. Disruptions to residents and tourists will be kept as minimal as possible, but please be advised there could be traffic delays at times as
Stuff the Bus helps local students get the tools they need for the upcoming school year! In 2022, over $11,000 worth of supplies were collected, impacting over 10,000 students in 53 schools across Okaloosa and Walton counties. Without our community's generosity, students would lack the supplies they need to be successful during the school year. Regarding this initiative, Marcus Chambers, Superintendent of Okaloosa County School District, stated, "Any help you can give to allow our students to have their own
Earlier this year, the Florida Legislature passed House Bill 1. Included in this bill was a requirement that the Florida Department of Education develop and submit to the Governor and Legislature a set of recommendations to reduce regulation of public schools. The law also requires the Department to consider input from teachers, superintendents, administrators, home educators, and other entities. To solicit and collect suggestions, the Department has set up an online survey. The survey will be open until
Northwest Florida State College is proud to announce Shannon Tucker as the new Cheerleading Coach. Tucker is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Sports and Fitness, specializing in coaching and sports injuries, and has an impressive 17-year coaching background. Her extensive experience includes owning a cheer and tumbling facility in Niceville called Destination 850, serving as Cheer Coach at Destin High School since 2021, and successfully coaching teams including
Northwest Florida State College’s Medical Laboratory Technology Program (MLT) announces 100% pass rate! This 6-semester program offers students the opportunity to earn an Associate in Science (A.S.) degree in this vital rapidly growing field of study. “I am so proud of the NWFSC Medical Laboratory Program,” said NWFSC President Dr. Devin Stephenson. “This accomplishment, not only highlights the hard work of our dedicated leadership, but the commitment of our students to their education and future
Northwest Florida State College and Pensacola State College Announce Articulation Agreement for Cybersecurity
On June 22, 2023, Pensacola State College (PSC) and Northwest Florida State College signed an articulation agreement that will provide Cybersecurity students a more seamless pathway to a successful future. The agreement was signed during a press conference in the Dona and Milton Usry Board Room on the PSC Pensacola campus. This partnership establishes a continuity in course content and curriculum which will allow students who attend Northwest Florida State College to smoothly advance into the
Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC) was honored to present the Advancing Institutional Mission (AIM) Award to Senator Doug Broxson for his dedicated efforts in appropriating funds for the College and helping expand educational and workforce opportunities in Northwest Florida. Since 2016, Senator Broxson has served Florida’s District 1 which includes Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa Counties. Senator Broxson’s commitment to education has resulted in Northwest Florida State College receiving $250,000
The Gulfarium's C.A.R.E. Center successfully released six rehabilitated sea turtle patients on Wednesday, July 5, 2023 at Inlet Beach in the Florida panhandle. The Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center has taken in 89 patients this year, and so far has released 58 of them. Today, six sea turtles, four Loggerheads, one Kemps ridley, and one Green were able to return to the Gulf of Mexico. This marks the third release at Inlet Beach in the last month. Several dedicated C.A.R.E Center staff team members and their
On June 29, The Taylor Haugen Foundation celebrated its new location with a ribbon cutting. At the new Niceville location of 1145 John Sims Pkwy., the local non-profit organization will continue its mission of building and recognizing youth leaders and the promotion of youth sports safety to honor the legacy of Taylor Haugen. It will continue to provide awareness, education and abdominal injury protection to secondary aged schools and leagues in contact sports, through its YESS© Program (Youth Equipment
Emerald Coast Title Services (ECTS) is thrilled to announce the launch of its highly anticipated Third Annual Teacher Appreciation Nomination for School Supplies. The initiative aims to recognize and honor exceptional teachers who continue to make an impact on the lives of students and communities. The nomination process is open to anyone in the community, including parents, students, fellow educators, and community members who witness the exceptional work of an outstanding teacher. Nominators need to
On this week’s episode of the Hello Frances podcast, our host Shantelle Dedicke discusses how our team incorporates vision boards into our yearly planning and how you can use a vision board to help manifest your goals. She shares how vision boards have positively impacted our team over the years, why vision boarding is connected to personal growth and much more! Listen now.
Step One Automotive Group is thrilled to announce the successful Grand Opening of the Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Andalusia dealership, held on Thursday, June 22nd. The event was a resounding triumph, thanks to the overwhelming support and participation of the Andalusia community. The festivities began with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4:30 p.m., officiated by the esteemed members of the Andalusia Chamber of Commerce. Joining in the celebration were approximately 250 esteemed guests, including community
On June 27, First National Bank celebrated its new Destin location with a ribbon cutting. As a full-service bank, First National Bank offers local decision making, a wide range of competitive personal and business products, and experienced bankers dedicated to providing superior service in a warm and friendly environment. For more information, please call (850) 608-2088, visit https://fnbdc.com/about-us/hours-location/miramar-beach online, or stop by the new branch at 91 Scenic Gulf Drive, in Miramar
In a heartwarming turn of events, two resilient shelter dogs, Red and Gunner, have found their forever homes after enduring lengthy stays at Alaqua Animal Refuge. Red, with an astonishing 593 days of waiting, and Gunner, with 582 days, captivated the hearts of staff and volunteers during their time at the refuge. Their stories shed light on the challenges faced by larger black dogs in shelters, often leading to their overlooked status despite their lovable nature. Red, a lovable bulldog, and Gunner, a big
DestinFM, Destin’s Only Radio Station, is thrilled to announce an exciting new feature on its lineup called “The Crab Island Throw Down.” Hosted by local radio legend Dan Collins, the show is the ultimate non-stop music experience, bringing the biggest floating party on the planet to listeners every Saturday at 12 noon/central. “The Crab Island Throw Down” is the go-to on air destination for music lovers and party enthusiasts in Destin or anywhere in the world! With fun, familyfriendly, all party music,
Impact100 Northwest Florida announced today that 410 women have signed on to our organization during our recently concluded membership drive, which will make possible four $100,000 grants to nonprofits serving Okaloosa and Walton Counties this year. Grants are awarded in the following five focus areas: •Arts and Culture•Education•Environment, Recreation & Preservation•Family•Health and Wellness Local nonprofits have submitted grant proposals, and Impact100 Northwest Florida’s Focus Area Committees will
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida is pleased to announce to announce the opening of a new Commercial Real Estate Division, further enhancing the brokerage’s comprehensive range of real estate services. Headquartered in WaterColor, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida has eight offices across the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast serving communities from St. George Island to Destin. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida Sales Associate and
Emerald Coast Theatre Company (ECTC) is proud to announce the Season 11 lineup of Professional Shows and Theatre for Young Audiences. Opening the season is Million Dollar Quartet from September 15 - October 1, 2023. ECTC looks forward to a brilliant season loaded with enriching performances for all. For more information about ECTC, the shows, and other programs, visit emeraldcoasttheatre.org. Nathanael Fisher, Producing Artistic Director and co-founder of ECTC says, "From Elvis to Mary Poppins and plays
The United Way Emerald Coast Emerging Leaders 40 Under 40 award seeks to recognize Okaloosa and Walton counties’ top young leaders who are excelling in the areas of leadership, community involvement, and professional accomplishment. Know a rockstar individual? Nominate them by July 17th 40 Under 40 | United Way Emerald Coast (united-way.org)
Warren Averett CPAs and Advisors is pleased to announce our annual firmwide promotions. The firm promoted 10 individuals in our Destin and Fort Walton Beach offices. The list below highlights Senior Managers and Principals.•Fort Walton Beach’s Joel Bradley, CPA, was promoted to Principal in the firm’s Audit Division. He specializes in accounting and financial reporting for local governments, nonprofits and homeowner associations. He takes an active interest in adding value for his clients in addition to
Emerald Coast Theatre Company (ECTC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Heath Carroll as the new Education and Outreach Director. With his extensive experience and passion for arts education, Carroll will lead ECTC's efforts in enriching the community through innovative educational programs and outreach initiatives. Heath Carroll brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his new role. As a seasoned theatre professional, he has dedicated his career to nurturing young talent and fostering a love
On June 22, ORO Italian Street Food celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting. ORO Italian Street Food is a family-owned restaurant that brings the streets of Italy to your table. Located within City Food Hall at Destin Commons, its menu features authentic Italian street food made with fresh and locally sourced ingredients imported from Italy. Its dishes are inspired by the vibrant culture and diverse culinary traditions of Italy, and the owners pride themselves on providing a warm and welcoming
Town Square amenities include two-story Latitude Bar & Chill restaurant, Paradise Pool and moreLatitude Margaritaville Watersound development partners have announced the opening of the community’s Latitude Town Square amenities. Latitude Margaritaville Watersound is located on Northwest Florida’s gorgeous Emerald Coast near Panama City Beach and the Scenic Highway 30A corridor and is being developed in a dynamic partnership between master developer Minto Communities USA (“Minto”), global lifestyle brand
Check out the latest news from Florida State Rep. Patt Maney's office, including his sponsored bills recently signed by Gov. DeSantis, his "A" from the Foundation for Florida's Future, Disaster Preparedness, and more.Read the entire newsletter here.
On this week’s episode of the Hello Frances podcast, our host Shantelle Dedicke shares the top three takeaways that she has learned from her mentors, who have had a hand in her personal growth and the growth of Frances Roy Agency. She discusses why mentorships are crucial to your personal and professional lives, how they can help you set attainable goals, and much more!Listen now.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida Announces 2023 Virginia Thomas Big of the Year in Bay County
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida is proud to announce George Gilman as the recipient of the 2023 Virginia Thomas Big of the Year award in Bay County! This award is given to a Big who has made an exceptional difference in their Little's life. George was matched with his Little Brother Drionte in September of 2016. Over the past six years, their relationship has faced many challenges, including living miles apart. Drionte's family moved to the Marianna area, following Hurricane Michael, but
The Florida College System Student Activities Association (FCSAA) has announced their 2022-2023 All-Academic Team. Twelve Northwest Florida State College students have been named. At the end of each academic year, the FCSAA acknowledges students in their programs who completed the year achieving a minimum 3.30 GPA (on a 4.00 scale). The FCSAA is the governing body for all extracurricular activities of the member schools of the Florida College System. Activities include athletics, Brain Bowl, forensics,
Four of the legislative priorities submitted by the Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners to the Florida Legislature were approved in the State’s $115 billion budget that was signed Thursday by Gov. Ron DeSantis, for fiscal year-2023-24. Okaloosa County’s projects total $8,975,000 in state funding. Projects include: • $350,000 for continued support of the Okaloosa-Walton Mental Health and Substance Abuse Pre-Trial Diversion Program • $1.25 million for a special needs ball field and park • $7
Minto Communities USA has received seven 2023 Eliant HomeBuyers’ Choice Awards. The awards are presented annually to home builders judged by their own home buyers to have provided the best customer experience. Award-winning builders were selected based on results from 190,000 surveys administered by Eliant to all of the recent homeowners of more than 200 major home builders throughout the U.S. Minto received the first place HomeBuyers’ Choice Award in the category of First Year Quality: High-Volume
CALM Organization of Niceville “is truly grateful and thankful for partners like 100 Men Who Care Emerald Coast”, said Terri Steadman, President of the 501c3 nonprofit. CALM was selected recently as the organization’s quarterly recipient and presented with a check from representatives (left to right) Scott, Dave, Al, and Ed. 100 Men Who Care Emerald Coast was excited to make the award, “CALM is a great organization assisting single mothers to independently negotiate life challenges with tools gained in
On June 13, Aqua Vitae IV Hydration and Oxygen Bar held a ribbon cutting with the Destin Chamber to celebrate its new location. Aqua Vitae IV Hydration and Oxygen Bar is a premier IV therapy and oxygen bar dedicated to providing a safe alternative means for those wanting to improve their overall health and well-being. Its highly experienced, friendly and attentive medical staff provide multiple IV vitamin cocktails, injections and aromatherapy oxygen customized for you. With an on-site physician and
Destin Commons is celebrating Independence Day with a new event, the Star-Spangled Food Truck Festival. On Monday, July 3, the streets of Destin Commons will be home to 25+ different food trucks, giving guests endless access to an assortment of creative cuisine from Thai, to tacos, sweet treats and more. Attendees will also have access to a QR code that once scanned will enter them into a 2-night stay giveaway with The Island. That evening, guests will also enjoy live music from rock bands Duchess and
Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club is pleased to announce the appointment of Angela Smith as the new Membership Communications Manager. With a passion for exceptional customer service, Angela is thrilled to join the team and looks forward to serving the community and guests of Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club. In her new role, Angela will oversee club communications, plan member events, and ensure a fulfilling club experience for all members. A proud graduate of the University of West Florida with a Bachelor of
The White-Wilson Community Foundation (WWCF) will host the return of its award-winning fundraising event, The Little Black Dress Party, on Saturday, September 16. Guests will gather at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort to help raise funds to provide critical health services for individuals in Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton Counties. The Little Black Dress Party is an evening dedicated to celebrating good health and raising funds for community members in need. This will be the event’s 11th year and will
Your BBB Foundation serving Northwest Florida is proud to announce the recipient of the 18th annual Torch Award for Ethics program from its District II area: Okaloosa and Walton County. Island Time Mobile Detailing, LLC, DestinPictured: Island Time Mobile Detailing - Brandon Babb and Christine Mathis Philip Cryar Marine Works, Inc., Santa Rosa Beach Crossover all three districts – Hometown Contractors, Inc. “These recipients exemplify what your BBB stands for: trust, integrity, performance and ethics,”
The Gulfarium's C.A.R.E. Center successfully released five rehabilitated sea turtle patients on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, at Inlet Beach in the Florida panhandle. Since turtle season began in May, the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center has been very busy with the intake of injured turtles, sometimes receiving three to four turtles per day. The staff at the C.A.R.E. Center are working very hard and around the clock to give these turtles the care they need for a successful release into their natural
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida is proud to announce John Holguin as the 2023 Okaloosa County Big of the Year! This award is given to a mentor who goes above and beyond and is dedicated in helping their Little learn, grow and reach their full potential. John has provided mentorship and friendship to his Little Brother Isaiah for over two years. They enjoy all types of activities together, including disc golf, working on John's family farm, boating and sporting events. In addition, they've
The International Business Brokers Association (IBBA) has recognized Emerald Coast Business Intermediaries business broker Daniel Herring with the Chairman’s Circle Award for outstanding performance in 2022 as part of its Member Excellence Awards Program. Business brokers that achieve the Chairman’s Circle Award closed one or more qualified business deals amounting to $3M or over in total purchase price during the 2022 calendar year. This is the 2nd Chairman’s Circle Award that Daniel has earned! “The
In this episode of Let’s Talk Title with Emerald Coast Title Services, Dion Moniz and Ashley Bowen have a special guest, Jane Kerrigan from Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, who specializes in Estate Planning and Probate Administration. They discuss probate, how it could impact your real estate transaction or closing, and much more! Listen now.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida announces its 2023 Escambia County Big Sister of the Year
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida is grateful to have Alisha Lambert as part of our family and is ecstatic to present her with the 2023 Escambia County Big Sister of the Year award. This award is given to a Big Sister who goes above and beyond and has shown dedication in making sure their Little reaches their full potential. Alisha has demonstrated unwavering dedication and commitment to our program. She has been a Big Sister for over seven years and is a wonderful role model to her Little
On June 5, Emerald Coast Theatre Company celebrated its new sign with a ribbon cutting attended by the Destin Chamber and Walton Area Chamber. The new sign, visible from Highway 98, marks ECTC’s Grand Boulevard location. ECTC's mission is to enrich and entertain the Emerald Coast through professional and educational theatre. It inspires, educates and empowers the community and artists of all ages to achieve the highest level of cultural excellence through collaboration, productions and educational
On this week’s episode of the Hello Frances podcast, our host Shantelle Dedicke interviews Joanna Davis, the face behind @the850foodie Instagram account. Joanna discusses her journey as a foodie influencer, how being a Licensed Mental Health Counselor gives her the background to connect with people, and so much more. If you enjoy listening to this episode, keep up-to-date with Joanna and her showcases of all the delicious eats in our community on Instagram!Listen now.
Okaloosa County has completed the annual report for the Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS) that was adopted in 2021 by the County and municipalities. The LMS includes a comprehensive analysis of the County’s and municipalities’ floodplain areas and floodplain management strategies, as well as a review of all other hazards by which the County is threatened. The LMS is revised every five years as required by the federal Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (amended by the Disaster
Okaloosa County is working to improve the Emerald Coast (EC) Rider Transit System and has initiated a Comprehensive Operations Analysis (COA). This analysis is taking place with support from the Okaloosa-Walton Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) and will be an in-depth evaluation that includes public input. We encourage the public to utilize EC Rider and participate in an online or in-person survey of their experience. EC Rider has routes throughout the County to serve your transportation needs at
Okaloosa County Schools will be participating in the Summer Food Service Program this summer. Summer BreakSpot offers balanced breakfasts and lunches at no cost for kids 18 and under. Meals are served on site, at no cost. A list of sites and service times is available on the District’s website at the following link: https://www2.okaloosaschools.com/article/1119104. Summer feeding sites that are located at schools provide meals to all children in the immediate vicinity in addition to those enrolled in
The inaugural 30A Foam Fest, presented by Idyll Hound Proper and 30Avenue, raised $5,000 for Food for Thought Outreach. The festival made its debut at 30Avenue on Saturday, May 13 and welcomed over 500 guests to the shopping center for an afternoon filled with craft beer, live music, local food, shopping, activities and much more. Nineteen breweries from across the southeast lined the streets of 30Avenue including Abita Brewing Company, Alga Beer Co., Beach Camp Brewing Company, Cigar City Brewing,
The CAA is proud to be a benefiting non-profit partner of the inaugural Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles' 30A Showhouse with HALF of ticket proceeds from June 19 - June 29 going to the organization! The new seaside sanctuary is a 6,400-square-foot residence celebrating coastal simplicity in the Santimo development on Elysee Court, a 20-lot neighborhood nestled between the luxury communities of Rosemary Beach and Alys Beach on Scenic Highway 30A. The design-build team of Benecki Homes, Melanie Turner Interiors,
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida announces its 2023 Escambia County Big Brother of the Year
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida is proud to announce Kenon Beasley as the recipient of the 2023 Big Brother of the Year award in Escambia County. Kenon was selected to receive this honor due to his dedication in mentoring three Little Brothers. Kenon has volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters for over ten years and is a current mentor to three Little Brothers. He was matched with Apricio in 2012, Richard in 2021, and Zayshawn in 2022. This is a huge commitment and one that Kenon takes very
On May 30, IV Sea Hydration Spa LLC held a grand opening and ribbon cutting celebration with the Destin Chamber. IV Sea Hydration Spa LLC offers infusions that aid in improving dehydration, illnesses, hang overs, viral infections, chronic fatigue, oxidative stress, auto immune disorders, inflammation, weight loss, depression and even injections and infusions that may help slow and reverse the aging process. Its IV infusions and vitamin injections are formulated in house with additives from the most
We invite our area community to join us and this Memorial Service this Sunday at 11 AM at Faith Assembly Christian Church of Miramar Beach, FL. A community memorial day service where we will honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Our guest speaker is Major General Wolfe Davidson, Deputy Commander. Maj. Gen. Matthew Wolfe Davidson is the Deputy Commander Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Florida. The command is the Air Force component of U.S. Special Operations Command. AFSOC
Mattie Kelly Arts Center Galleries at Northwest Florida State College Announce National Call for Art
The Thirty-First Annual Emerald Coast National Juried Exhibition Call for Art is now open! What began as a regional show has evolved into far-reaching exciting programming of a range of art by emerging to established artists reflecting what creatives are doing today. A show that people travel to see and a program that locals look forward to all year! We typically see a few hundred applications from working artists who work in contemporary, experimental, and classical mediums, styles, and techniques. This
For over 40 years, Dr. Douglas Rigby has been caring for Fort Walton Beach area children and helping their parents navigate the ups and downs of parenthood. The special bond that he has with families is truly unique and spans three generations. In celebration of that bond and Dr. Rigby’s service to the community, White-Wilson Medical Center is inviting all to join them for a Retirement Celebration on Wednesday, May 31. The family-friendly celebration will take place at White-Wilson’s Fort Walton Beach
Okaloosa County School District Students with Disabilities Graduate from Project SEARCH High School Transition Program
The Okaloosa County School District (OCSD) and Project SEARCH recognized the accomplishments of six students with disabilities who participated in a year-long internship with the Hilton Garden Inn on Okaloosa Island. The program is for students 18-21 years of age who completed high school credits necessary for graduation, and they have chosen to defer their diploma. The students are referred to the program through the school district to participate in the business-led collaboration that enables young adults
Students from across the District participated in the annual "Change for Children" fundraiser campaign for Children in Crisis (CIC), Inc. The CIC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of caring people who provide homes to our community's abused, neglected, and abandoned children and keep siblings together. The Change for Children Campaign began in 2007 to raise funds in the Okaloosa County schools to help provide food, clothing, and school supplies for the children living in the Children in Crisis
The Destin Library staff would like to remind the community that they offer notary services free of charge. No library card is required. The Notary Public, Kitti Capps, is available on the following dates and times: • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 9-10 a.m. and 3-4 p.m. • Wednesday: 3-4 p.m. • Friday: 9-10 a.m. Please call 850-837-8572 to make your notary appointment or if you have any questions about what is required to notarize your documents.
The Boys and Girls Clubs family-friendly June Jam event is Saturday, June 24th, 2023 from 11 AM-4 PM at the Pensacola Boys and Girls Club. Bring your lawn chairs, enjoy music, entertainment, carnival games, community resources, free food, kick-ball games and more! "June Jam is a chance for families and friends to spend quality time together, and celebrate community, all while learning more about existing resources." - Leslie Mickles, Vice President of Financial Advancement of Boys and Girls Clubs of the
790 Restaurant is proud to announce its grand opening as a premier culinary destination, providing an exceptional dining experience and unparalleled catering services to both locals and visitors alike. Nestled in the heart of beautiful Destin, our restaurant promises to delight food enthusiasts with a diverse menu featuring mouthwatering delicacies and a vibrant atmosphere. 790 Restaurant caters to the discerning palates of guests seeking an unforgettable gastronomic adventure. From delectable seared tuna
Okaloosa County has compiled a variety of resources with information to help households and families prepare for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season which begins June 1, 2023. Hurricane GuidesThe County has printed a limited number of Hurricane Guides. The guide is a comprehensive document containing important phone numbers, checklists, information about evacuation zones and other storm-related information. The 2023 Hurricane Guide can be found online and downloaded here. While supplies last, physical
Eglin Federal Credit Union recognizes Senior Vice President/Chief Payments Officer Dawn Oravetz for 35 Years of Service
Eglin Federal Credit Union is pleased to congratulate Senior Vice President/Chief Payments Officer Dawn Oravetz for her 35 years of service. “Dawn has been an integral part of our team over the past 35 years, and we value her contributions to our growth,” said President/CEO Jerry Williams. “We are grateful for the loyalty, expertise and commitment she has shown, and the years of service she has dedicated to our organization.” Dawn joined the Credit Union in May 1988 as a Computer Aide in Data Processing.
Join Step One Automotive Group for an unforgettable experience at the Festival of Speed on Saturday, June 24th, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Five Flags Speedway (7451 Pine Forest Rd, Pensacola, FL 32526). This riveting event features exclusive meet-and-greet opportunities with professional racing drivers, thrilling high-speed Hot Laps, interactive motorsport games, and much more! The exclusive meet-and-greets with Chris Walsh, GT4 America Porsche, and 718 Cayman GT4 Driver, and Juan Manuel Correa,
Hidden Dunes Beach and Tennis Resort located in Miramar Beach, Florida near Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, continuously proves to be a top location for tennis and pickleball in the area. For the second consecutive year in a row, the Hidden Dunes Tennis and Pickleball Center has earned the title of #1 in the United States of America for Best Game Arranging. Furthermore, the resort has been named as a Silver Medal Resort for 11 consecutive years, a status only 20 resorts in the world can earn. While
With more than 1,200 babies born prematurely in Walton and Okaloosa counties in the past three years, families depend on access to critical services close to home at Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast’s nationally-recognized Family Birth Place. As the home of the only neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) serving Walton and Okaloosa county families, Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast continues to make significant investments by adding five new neonatal specialists to provide 24/7 coverage for sick and
By Nathan Sparks, CEcD Executive Director of One Okaloosa EDC As I reflect on the past couple of months here at One Okaloosa EDC, the old Willie Nelson standard “On the Road Again” comes to mind. Spring is always a busy season for our external marketing efforts, and this spring has certainly been no different in that regard. A prospecting trip to California at the end of March was followed by a trip to Atlanta in April for MRO Americas. Organized by Aviation Week magazine, MRO Americas is three day expo
Divers participating in the 5th Annual Emerald Coast Open Lionfish Tournament set a new record with the successful removal of 24,699 lionfish. Last year’s total was 13,835. Divers from around the country competed for prize money totaling over $100,000 in an effort to eradicate this invasive species in the Gulf of Mexico. Lionfish have few known predators due to their venomous spines. “Okaloosa County continues to be a leader in helping to create sustainable marine ecosystems,” said Okaloosa County Board
On this week’s episode of the Hello Frances podcast, our Junior Copywriter Jacie Chandler, takes the mic in celebration of her one-year anniversary at Frances Roy! She shares some of her favorite things about working with our team, what she looks forward to working on next, and much more!Listen now.
Okaloosa County Junior ROTC Cadets Receive Monetary Scholarships from the Eglin Air and Space Force Association
On Tuesday, May 16, five Okaloosa County high school JROTC Cadets and one University of South Florida AFROTC cadet, a graduate of Navarre High School, were recognized and awarded scholarships at the Air Force Armament Museum at Eglin Air Force Base. Each year, the Eglin Air and Space Force Association (Eglin AFA) scholarship committee reviews and scores scholarship applications submitted by cadets. Selections are based on the cadet’s strong academic achievement and demonstrated leadership accomplishments
WE'RE HIRING! We have seasonal and year positions available in Santa Rosa Beach, Destin, Crestview, Fort Walton Beach & DeFuniak Springs. Click here to learn more about joining our team.
The Okaloosa County School District, in conjunction with the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation, will host 12 free Career and Technical Education (CTE) Summer Camps for rising 5th graders in June. The camp's design is to inspire young students to learn more about CTE career fields and encourage them to enroll in a CTE course when they reach middle school. Campers will have options ranging from hands-on skills in building trades, welding, and automotive to learning apps, design, and coding in computer camps.
Northwest Florida State College’s Board of Trustees will be meeting on June 20, 2023, at 3 p.m. to review the proposed course fee changes for the 2023-2024 academic year. This meeting is part of the College’s annual budgeting process for each academic year and provides an opportunity to assess the ways to decrease students’ overall cost of instruction and associated activities. The proposed course and lab fees recommended for adjustment with the start of the Fall 2023 semester can be found at
Throughout the 2022-2023 school year, the Student Services Department and our mental health providers developed a monthly Mental Health Matters focus. Each month the Okaloosa County School District's (OCSD) mental health team, along with school administration, faculty, staff, and students, focused on one specific component of mental wellness and practiced self-care activities and resources to develop that area of focus for the month. "Our District's commitment to promoting mental health extends far beyond
Veteran Broadway Performer Amy Hamel Announced as Director for Emerald Coast Theatre Company's Summer Musical Theatre Intensive: Grease
Emerald Coast Theatre Company (ECTC) is thrilled to announce the appointment of esteemed Broadway performer Amy Hamel as the director for their upcoming Musical Theatre Intensive production of Grease (High School Version). Amy Hamel, renowned for her exceptional talent and extensive experience on Broadway, will bring her expertise and passion to the creative helm of ECTC's Musical Theatre Intensive. As director, Hamel will guide aspiring young performers through an intensive program, providing invaluable
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida is proud to announce Ginny Cranor as the 2023 Beyond School Walls Big of the Year. Ginny Cranor is the Chief of the Pensacola Fire Department and is responsible for strategic planning, administration, and operation of 7 divisions, 6 fire stations, and more than 130 men and women. Chief Cranor has graciously shared her time by volunteering as a mentor with our Beyond School Walls program since the Spring of 2022. The Beyond School Walls program is aimed at
During the Destin Chamber’s May 12 Business Before Hours Sponsored by BOTE, Justin Woodard, President - Walton County Division of Community Bank, was honored with the Chamber’s Business Person of the Month Award. This award is presented directly from the Chamber’s Board of Directors to a Destin area businessperson showing vision for his or her business and leadership in our community. He is seen here with 2023 Chamber Chairman Jason Belcher (right), FNBT Bank. “Justin has been heavily involved in the
Check out the latest news from Florida State Rep. Patt Maney's office, including information about wrapping up the 2023 Legislative Session.Read the entire newsletter here.
The Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation (OPSF) held its inaugural Spring Pickleball Smash April 28 thru 30 at Mooney Tennis & Pickleball Courts in Fort Walton Beach. The three-day tournament raised over $15,000, which will support and extend educational opportunities for the Take Stock in Children (TSIC) scholarship program, which currently provides two-year college scholarships and one-on-one mentoring for academically deserving high school students from low-income families. In addition, the money will also
HCA Florida Twin Cities Hospital has launched its first pet therapy program, in partnership with the nonprofit Dog Harmony. Patients and staff got a special visit Wednesday from 6-year-old Goldendoodle Maya to wrap up National Hospital Week and National Nurses Week. Maya stopped by each department – including the laboratory, respiratory therapy, surgical services, the emergency room and intensive care unit – giving kisses and lifting spirits. “We’ve been hoping to bring pet therapy to HCA Florida Twin
The Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners is continuing its tradition of celebrating veterans with a Women Veterans Day event and wreath laying at 8 a.m. on June 12, 2023. An indoor ceremony will take place inside the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the base of the Margaret Corbin statue at Women Veterans Monuments at Veterans’ Park. Women Veterans Day was recognized by the State of Florida by proclamation from Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2021. “Florida has the
The new version includes Fleet Management tracking and makes it easier for merchants to manage their rental fleet. With the integrated Fleet Management module, a rental merchant can check in a customer, sell add-ons, verify waivers, track fleet usage and report damages all from a single app. The new version also includes Document/Photo upload. With Document/Photo upload, merchants can automate getting copies of licenses, insurance papers, membership forms and other documents prior to the rental activity.
Holi on Wheels visited two Walton County schools to provide free meals to teachers in honor of Teacher Appreciation
On Tuesday, May 9, and Thursday, May 11, Holi on Wheels visited two Walton County schools to provide free meals to teachers in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. Over the two days, the food truck of Holi Indian Restaurants served over 150 free meals at Butler Elementary School and Gateway Academy as a way to give back to the teachers of the community. The restaurant group looks forward to future opportunities to give back to integral members of our society.
Eco Clean Marine and Keller Williams of Destin teamed up for their Red Day to conduct a trash pickup in the Harbor Walk area, where tourists frequently visit for the various restaurants and shops on the waterfront. The cleanup effort lasted for a little over an hour, and despite initial expectations, the team was pleasantly surprised to find less trash than anticipated. However, the team understands that this could be the calm before the storm as kids are still in school before summer break. Regardless,
The White-Wilson Medical Center Board of Directors recognized Imaging Technician Hank Taylor with the Lifetime Service Award during its quarterly shareholder meeting on May 2. Taylor will retire May 14 after more than 55 years with White-Wilson. “We are beyond grateful for the hard work and dedication Mr. Taylor has put into our organization,” said White-Wilson CEO Alan Gieseman. “His exemplary technical skills, volunteerism and service have made him a role model to many, and his lasting impact will be
Yesterday, Cox Communications hosted the annual Cox Inspirational Student Hero Awards in Okaloosa County, recognizing 37 students who have overcome extreme hardships in their lives. The Heroes were recognized at a ceremony on Wednesday, May 10, at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville. “Hearing the struggles these students have endured reminds us how difficult life can be, but our response to those adversities is what really matters,” said Cox Gulf Coast Market vice president David Deliman. “It’s
18 years of CVHN. As our ‘milestone’ birthday lit up on the April calendar, it caught us all by surprise. Our dental clinic was in full swing serving the children of Butler Elementary while our full team prepared to support the Destin Charity Wine Auction weekend. In that same week, our service summary report showed us another HUGE milestone - $8 Million in services provided free to children in need over these 18 years. These numbers leave us overwhelmed with gratitude. It is with the time, love, and
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida is excited to announce we have been selected to benefit from a scholarship award program that will provide a pathway to college for ten local high school students and graduates, who are involved in our mentoring programs. Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) is partnering with the Florida Prepaid College Foundation to award $4.2 million in college scholarships to students living in the most poverty-stricken zip codes in the state, providing 2-year scholarships
For the seventh year in a row, Bit-Wizards is named to Inc. Magazine’s annual Best Workplaces list. Featured in the May/June 2023 issues, which hits newsstands on May 16, 2023, and prominently featured on Inc.com, the list is the result of a comprehensive measurement of American companies that excel in creating exceptional workplaces and company culture, whether operating in a physical or virtual facility. After collecting data from thousands of submissions, Inc. selected 591 honorees this year. Each
Step One Automotive Group Presents $22,000 to Subaru Share the Love(R) Event Hometown Charities OCSO Sheriff's Star Charity and Healing Hoof Steps
On Monday, May 8, 2023, Step One Automotive Group presented donation checks to Subaru Share the Love Event Hometown Charities, OCSO Sheriff's Star Charity and Healing Hoof Steps Equine Assisted Mental Health Counseling and Therapeutic Riding. In 2022, Step One Automotive Group and Subaru Fort Walton Beach announced the organizations as the hometown charities for the 2022 Subaru Share the Love® Event. From November 17, 2022, to January 3, 2023, anyone who purchased or leased a new Subaru had the opportunity
On this week’s episode of the Hello Frances podcast, our host Shantelle Dedicke speaks from the heart about what it means to be part of a military family in honor of May being Military Appreciation Month. Shantelle shares what it is like to have a strong community of friends, how her spouse’s military service has impacted Frances Roy, and much more! Listen now.
Sinfonia Gulf Coast is pleased to announce that Maxine Sculthorpe of Shalimar, Florida, has been named the winner of the 2023 Grace Fulcher Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship, created in memory and honor of Grace Bernice Fulcher, is awarded annually to a Sinfonia Youth Orchestra high school senior. The 2023 scholarship recipient was announced following the Sinfonia Youth Orchestra Spring Concert on Sunday, May 7, 2023. This year's concert, which is free and open to the public, will feature Sinfonia
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida is proud to announce Ken Morris has been named the Ron Mobayed Military Big of the Year for 2023. Ken was selected to receive this honor because of his commitment to helping his Little Brother Aundray learn, grow and reach his full potential. This award was established to honor the life of Lt. Ronald Joseph Mobayed, who was an outstanding Big Brother while he was stationed in Pensacola for flight training in the early 1990’s. Tragically, on October 3, 1995, Ron
The end of the school year is approaching quickly. There are just two more weeks of backpack deliveries before we transition into our Summer Services beginning June 5th! We’ll be ready to serve Walton and Okaloosa counties across 5 distribution locations with 75% fresh food for the family. Last year we distributed 55 cases of fresh produce each week and over 8,000 Lunchables and cheese snacks per month. See how you can help support our summer efforts here.
The Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation (OPSF) is in its 26th year of sponsoring Take Stock in Children (TSIC) and celebrated the accomplishments of our 14 graduates and the potential of our 17 newly selected scholars on Thursday, May 4, 2023, at the Niceville Community Center. Special guest speakers included TSIC alumna, Justice Woods, and TSIC Leader 4 Life Fellow, Tyniyah Haughton, who shared a few words about their Take Stock experience and the impact the program and their mentors have had on their life.
On May 2, the Destin Chamber celebrated the graduation of 21 business professionals from its 14th Destin Forward class. During the event, the prestigious Destin Forward Leadership Award, chosen by class vote, was presented to Kayla O’Leary of Waypoint Title. She is seen in the photo on the left with Chamber Chairman Jason Belcher, FNBT Bank. Destin Forward, a community education and leadership program, was created to help find and educate future city and business leaders. After a retreat in August, the
May 5th was a very memorable day for the Emerald Coasts Children’s Advocacy’s (ECCAC) Niceville Center. Not only did it mark the official re-opening after the almost 9-month restoration and renovation of the Center after it experienced fire and significant water damage, it was also the official re-naming and dedication of the Center to the Julie Sacco Porterfield Children’s Advocacy Center. Guests at the ceremonies met the ECCAC team, took tours if the newly restored Center and learned about the numerous
The Okaloosa County School District announces the schedule of graduation ceremonies for the High School Class of 2023. All graduations will be live streamed and links are provided below. Baker School – Friday, May 19, Doug Griffith Stadium at 7:30 p.m.https://youtube.com/live/RkX7pz0-Ad0 Choctawhatchee High School – Wednesday, May 24, Joe Etheridge Stadium at 7:30 p.m.https://youtube.com/live/GgyiEeDoLX0 Crestview High School – Thursday, May 25, Jack Foster Stadium at 7
In this episode of Let’s Talk Title with Emerald Coast Title Services, Dion Moniz and Ashley Bowen discuss the different types of tenancies (the different ways you can take title to a property). They discuss the three types of tenancies and share the characteristics of each. Listen to the full episode to learn which tenancy is best for your situation!Listen now.
For the second time in as many months, Minto Communities USA has been recognized among the top 100 builders in the U.S. Minto ranked 45th on Builder magazine’s 2023 annual Builder 100 list — up from 55th position in 2022. Ranking is based on each builder’s 2022 closings and revenues. In 2022, Minto had 1,762 home closings and total revenue in excess of $822 million. This is Minto’s second top builder award this year. In March, Minto was ranked 18th among the Top 100 Private Home Builders in the U.S. by
To kick off its third year of partnership with the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society, Bit-Wizards' Be the Magic Foundation (BTMF) is doubling down on its support this year. On Saturday, April 29th, BTMF presented PAWS’ Executive Director, Ashley Degraaf, a check for $20,000 and spent the afternoon volunteering onsite. In addition to the cash donation and over 40 hours of Wizard volunteer time at the facility, PAWS will also receive a total of $20,000 in hardware and skill-based services. “Bit Wizards
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida is thrilled to announce that Chip and Caroline Wasson have joined the agency and will be operating out of its Destin location. With two decades of real estate experience, Louisiana native Caroline Wasson has called Destin home since 1995, using her background in sales and management to build a thriving real estate business alongside her husband, Chip. Born and raised in Destin, Chip has a unique and intimate knowledge of the coast, and the team is
The Okaloosa County School District is proud to offer the Military Veteran Certification Pathway for individuals who have retired or separated from the military and are interested in pursuing a career in education. Okaloosa County is a great place to live, and we are fortunate that many military veterans decide to stay or return to the area to begin a second career. Military veterans possess many of the traits needed to be excellent teachers: leadership, professionalism, organization, and commitment to
HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital Awarded Spring 2023 ‘A’ Hospital Safety Grade from Leapfrog Group
HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital received an “A” Hospital Safety Grade from The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit upholding the standard of patient safety in hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. This national distinction celebrates HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital’s achievements in prioritizing patient safety by protecting patients from preventable harm and errors. The new grades reflect performance primarily during the height of the pandemic. This is the third consecutive “A”
It has been a year since Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club (SRGBC) proudly announced its membership is full, ifs waitlist at full capacity and that it will be going fully private. A year later, and the club is proving to be more than the antiquated “country club.” In fact, at 47, the average age of members has actually dropped nearly 15 years in the last few years, defying the stereotype that many club memberships are for retirees. Although the club offers something for everyone of all ages. Going fully private
Check out the latest news from Florida State Rep. Patt Maney's office, including information about wrapping up the 2023 Legislative Session.Read the entire newsletter here.
The Okaloosa Arts Alliance would like to thank all the Okaloosa County School students that participated in the 14th annual OAA Okaloosa County School Poster Contest. This year the theme was “What art means to me”. Although we were not able to make everyone a 1st place winner, all 105 entries are on display at Enlightened Studios through May 6, 2022. Enlightened is located at 142 Miracle Strip Parkway SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548. Photo gallery also available online at
Food For Thought is pleased to announce the purchased a new 6,500 square-foot warehouse in Santa Rosa Beach. This new location will expand the space available for purchasing and storing food along with distribution preparation. The new warehouse is steps away from our current Santa Rosa Beach location, where we will continue administrative operations and have room to expand the impact of the Emeril Lagasse Full Circle Kitchen program. We will also continue to serve Okaloosa County through our Destin
Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation Provides Take Stock in Children Scholarships to Seventeen Okaloosa County Students
One of the primary focuses of the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation is the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program, which provides two-year scholarships to deserving youth who may not attend college because of their family's financial situation. Seventeen Okaloosa students were recently selected to participate in the program. Each student signs a contract with their parent, promising to maintain a good school record, remain drug and crime free, and meet weekly with a mentor. Students who hold the terms
Eglin Federal Credit Union Partners with the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation to bring a ''Reality Check'' financial education program to Laurel Hill students
The Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation and Eglin Federal Credit Union have teamed up to bring a financial education experience called Reality Check to Okaloosa County for the first time. Approximately 60 high school students from the 9th to 12th grades participated in lessons facilitated by EFCU Financial Education Specialist Courtney Dollson at Laurel Hill School April 12 and 19 with the final Reality Check simulation at the Crestview Community Center April 26. The Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation
Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation (MKAF) kicked off its highly-anticipated 2023 Concerts in the Village on Thursday, April 20 with Post Modern Jukebox. The first of 10 concerts drew record-breaking attendance with nearly 3,000 music lovers flocking to the Dugas Pavilion in the tree-lined Cultural Arts Village in Destin. “The kickoff to the 28th annual MKAF Concerts in the Village was a stellar success with an incredible range of patrons who showed up in full force to support the organization. Proceeds from the
Collectively, we volunteered 1,160 hours working on 27 projects this week and built 1,000+ resource kits to be distributed to our community. Congratulations to our award winners: Mary Farruggia - Volunteer of the Year; Life Enrichment Senior Center - Volunteer Partner of the Year; Susan Cota - Presidential Service Award, Gold (500+ Volunteer hours); Charlotte Slay - Presidential Service Award, Silver (200+ Volunteer hours); Juanita "Nina" Flores - Presidential Service Award, Bronze (100+ Volunteer
Eglin Federal Credit Union is pleased to announce HR Training and Development Coordinator Kelsey Mitchell has been selected as the 5-Star Performer for the first quarter of 2023. Kelsey has been employed with the Credit Union since July 2012 and currently resides in Fort Walton Beach. "Kelsey has consistently proven to be a valuable team member within the HR Department and EFCU as a whole,” said HR Manager Daniel Anderson. “She practices patience when assisting her EFCU team members, displays the core
Congratulations to Jeff Moody on receiving his Certified Mergers & Acquisitions Professional designation from the M&A Source. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University offers this training for serious M&A practitioners. Moody is the Managing Intermediary/Broker of Emerald Coast Business Intermediaries in Destin and is a member of the International Business Brokers Association and M&A Source. He is a Certified Business Intermediary and has more than 25 years of experience helping companies to
With only 4 weeks left in the school year, we are getting ready to start our Summer Services. Food for Thought helps bridge the meal gap with 8 weeks of Summer Services, across 5 distribution locations in Walton and Okaloosa Counties. We’ll be serving the families of children in our programs and providing 75% fresh food items. #youcanhelp support our efforts by donating food and sponsoring a family for the summer. Sponsor a FamilyThrough our Summer Services, we feed the entire family with weekly
Congratulations to Saltwater Restaurants’ Director of Operations Clint Rogers and Director of Marketing Misty Rae Ruthrauff, who were honored with the Destin Chamber’s Business Persons of the Month Award! The Chamber's Board of Directors created the award to honor Destin area businesspersons showing vision for their business and leadership in our community. The award was presented on Tuesday, April 25, by the Chamber's President & CEO Shane A. Moody, CCE, FCCP (center). “Any business that’s successful is
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs has recently approved the flight school, Destin Flight Works, to train veterans who would like to use their VA benefits for flight training at Destin Executive Airport (DTS). Destin Flight Works is an aircraft and helicopter training company approved by the Federal Aviation Administration under Title 14 CFR, Part 141. “The aviation industry needs more pilots and we are pleased that the VA is allowing Okaloosa County Airports to help meet that need,” said Okaloosa
Art Month Walton County, an initiative led by the Cultural Arts Alliance (CAA) of Walton County and sponsored in part by Visit South Walton, will provide a full month of creative offerings in May, including the “Under The Sea” fundraiser for the Underwater Museum of Art, 35th Annual ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival, Longleaf Writers Conference, Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach, The Sound of Music at Emerald Coast Theatre Company, Open Mic Night with Emerald Coast Storytellers, Sinfonia Goes Pop in Alys Beach,
On this week’s episode of the Hello Frances podcast, our host Shantelle Dedicke breaks down what it means to give feedback that will inspire your team to do their best work and feel good about it. She shares how you can incorporate feedback into one-on-one conversations with your team, how we all have different reactions to feedback, and much more!Listen now.
Impact 100 is Recruiting Women in Okaloosa and Walton Counties to Join Them in Supporting Local Nonprofit Organizations
Impact 100 of Northwest Florida (Impact 100 NWF) is currently recruiting women interested in making a positive impact on the nonprofits in our community during their 2023 Membership Year. The concept behind Impact100 is simple: 100 women donate $1,000 each to form a $100,000 grant that will be awarded to a local nonprofit that has put together a transformational project intended to take the organization to a new level. Grants are awarded to nonprofits in the following five focus areas: ● Arts and
Auditions for the Northwest Florida Ballet (NFB) Company, Trainee and Pre-Professional Program (PPP) will take place on May 13, at the main studio building in downtown Fort Walton Beach. Trainee auditions will take place from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and auditions for the PPP and Company programs will be conducted from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Company auditions are open to students entering the eighth grade and up with no less than six years of formal ballet training and two years of pointe experience for
Niceville High School Web Programming Instructor Carrie Foxhall and two of her Web students, Gabe Jacobs and Hannah Castor, were invited to the US Capitol to present their award-winning "Coastal" app at the Congressional App Challenge in November. Gabe and Hannah designed and programmed their app to educate locals and tourists about the dangers of the beautiful Emerald Coast waters. Students from across the nation had the opportunity to present their apps at the competition. Jacob and Hannah connected the
United Way Emerald Coast's Women United hosted their first EmpowHER Seminar on Saturday, April 22nd, at Crestview High School. The event aimed to empower teenagers with mental health resources and education. Women United selected Crestview as the location for the event due to the high caseloads carried by mental health counselors in the area. The seminar featured interactive workshops and presentations from partner organizations donating their time to support the cause. Participants had the opportunity to
Eco Clean Marine, a local organization dedicated to preserving and protecting our beaches and oceans, hosted two successful events this past weekend. On April 22, in honor of Earth Day, Eco Clean Marine hosted a monthly trash pick-up event in the east past Marina area of Destin. Despite the early start time, 18 volunteers showed up to help within just one hour, resulting in 15 5-gallon buckets of trash being removed from the area. The event was a huge success, with prizes donated by Extreme H2O and BOTE
On Friday, April 21, Pedro's Tacos & Tequila Bar celebrated its grand reopening with a ribbon cutting. Pedro's Tacos & Tequila Bar is a multi-sensational, Mexican/American restaurant where your experience begins the moment you set foot through the door. Enjoy tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, burritos, Mexican-inspired drinks and more. For details, call (850) 353-2588 or visit Pedroseastcoast.com.
HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital will join Donate Life Florida to celebrate National Donate Life Month with a special flag-raising ceremony in honor of the hundreds of thousands of donors and recipients whose lives have been touched by organ donation. This year’s guest speaker is Kim McMahon, of Pensacola, whose 16-year-old son, William, died while waiting for his second liver transplant. McMahon later became a tissue recipient herself – receiving donor bone during a spinal fusion surgery to repair
Okaloosa County is proud to announce that we have promoted Brad Embry to Okaloosa County Clerk’s Chief of Staff
The Okaloosa County Clerk of Court’s Office is pleased to announce Brad Embry as the new Chief of Staff. Brad was promoted from Inspector General to the position of Chief of Staff by the Honorable JD Peacock. As the Chief of Staff, Brad is responsible for proactively providing professional-level support to the Clerk. He maintains awareness of state and local issues, and any legislation with the potential to impact the office. He acts as the liaison between the Clerk and employees, management, the
On Thursday, April 20, The Palms Bistro celebrated its new owners and new menu with a ribbon cutting.Located inside The Palms of Destin Resort, The Palms Bistro's newly updated menu features Quesa Birria tacos, burgers, pizza and more. Don't miss Chef Young's live gourmet omelet station on Fridays through Sundays from 8 a.m - noon, and be sure to ask about the house-made candied bacon! The space also features the cozy Coffeehouse and outdoor The Good Vibes bar.The restaurant is open to the public seven days
The Gator Lakes Golf Course, located on Hurlburt Field, will be open to the public beginning April 2
Those interested in accessing the course and its facilities can register at https://www.myhurlburt.com/pages/golf.html and complete the affidavit at the top of the site. After completing and printing the affidavit, individuals must take it to the Hurlburt Visitor Control Center located at the Main Entrance to Hurlburt Field, where they will undergo a basic background check and receive an installation access card valid for six months. Patrons can then enter the base via the East Gate and present their access
Heather Parrish recently joined the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center’s (ECCAC) Board of Directors. A Miramar Beach resident with her family, Parrish is a real estate agent and investor specializing in income and luxury properties with Keller Williams Realty. Previously, she was a Registered Nurse working primarily in Critical Care in both Memphis, Tennessee and with Sacred Heart of the Emerald Coast here in Miramar Beach, Florida. “My husband and I, along with our children, feel very connected to
StretchLab, a leading national assisted stretching franchise, announced a new franchise agreement today that will bring a new studio to the Destin, FL market. Behind this agreement is Chris Puckett, a U.S. Air Force veteran who moved to the area from Castle Rock, CO in 2017 to enjoy the friendly Emerald Coast atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and warm weather. “Destin is filled with individuals who put a large emphasis on their health and wellness routines which makes it an ideal market to continue
Pathway of Hope is The Salvation Army’s nationwide initiative providing high-quality case management and outreach services to families with children desiring to take action to break the cycle of crisis and intergenerational poverty.
The Okaloosa County Mosquito Control Program schedule for treatment by broadcast spraying pesticide for control of adult mosquito populations is detailed below. Maps of showing general treatment area by days of the week are also linked. Broadcast treatment is conducted in the evening and is required by State Law to be justified. Justification is based on mosquito population surveillance data and other methods. Treatments will begin 1 hour before sunset. Map Links: North Okaloosa County - Crestview Area
The start of the 2023 Hurricane Season is only a few weeks away. The City’s Department of Public Works provides one-on-one flood protection consultations to home and business owners within our City limits. These consultations include a review of existing documentation (Elevation Certificates, V-Zone certificates, photos, development plans, etc.), an evaluation of the structural and/or mechanical vulnerabilities of the structure to flood damage from rising waters, the recommendation of best management
In this episode of Let’s Talk Title with Emerald Coast Title Services, Dion Moniz and Ashley Bowen explain the revisions to the new condo building safety law that they discussed in our last episode. Since that episode, there has been an update to the condo rider form for both the CRSP and FAR/BAR contracts. Dion and Ashley share all you need to know about the updates! Listen now.
In this episode of Let’s Talk Title with Emerald Coast Title Services, Dion Moniz and Ashley Bowen discuss short term rentals and how you should address them in a contract for purchase of real estate. For many years, short term rentals were not addressed in the contract at all, but were recently added in November of 2021 in the rider of FAR/BAR. Dion and Ashley break down the components of the rider and share their expertise regarding how common issues should be handled.Listen now.
The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) continues to celebrate its 30th year of fostering creativity with the announcement of further expansion of its programs and services with the addition of its Digital Creative Campus and new program partnership with Emerald Coast Storytellers. Arts Education is at the heart of the CAA and the Digital Creative Campus is a natural, necessary extension of its in-person educational programming and its popular Art on Demand experience which garnered over 500,000
The Okaloosa Arts Alliance (OAA) invites all Okaloosa County school students from K-12th grade to enter the 14th annual poster contest. The deadline to enter the poster contest is this Friday, April 21st by 3 pm. Posters will be on display at Enlightened Studios from April 22- May 6th. There will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners for elementary school students (K-4th), middle school students (5th-8th), and high school students (9th-12th) in Okaloosa County. Poster winners will be chosen by a panel of
Make-A-Wish® Central & Northern Florida needs the public’s support in the Northwest Region of Florida to grant more wishes to children with critical illnesses. Make-A-Wish Central & Northern Florida is working to establish a presence across 18 counites in the Florida Panhandle. Make-A-Wish set a goal to Grant 50 Wishes to children with life-changing illnesses by the end of August 2023. Extraordinary things happen to very sick children when they are given permission to dream about something beyond their
Emerald Coast Theatre Company (ECTC) will be offering many summer camp options for children this summer. Dance, sing, act, or be behind the scenes in one (or more) of these fantastic summer camps. Many of the camps are being held at ECTC in Grand Boulevard in Miramar Beach, but there are a few options in Seaside, Panama City and Defuniak Springs. Payment plans are always available. More information on the camps and registration is available at emeraldcoasttheatre.org/summer-camps. The Mini Player Camps
In an effort to evaluate and further develop strategies around attainable housing needs, the Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners has hired consulting firm Thomas P. Miller and Associates to undertake the creation of a Countywide Comprehensive Attainable Workforce Housing Strategic Plan. Thomas P. Miller and Associates will work with County staff and the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee to perform economic research and analyses, conduct engagement sessions, and formulate recommendations designed
On Thursday, April 13, 2023, the Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners approved an operating agreement with Timberview Helicopters allowing them to resume commercial operations out of Destin Executive Airport (DTS) due to a ruling by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) earlier this year. The vote took place following an Executive Session during a Special Meeting at the Okaloosa County Administration Building. In 2021, in an effort to address various concerns related to Timberview tour helicopter
Readers of VIP Destin Magazine have voted White-Wilson Medical Center as Best Medical Group and Best Urgent Care in the magazine’s annual Best in Destin awards. Dr. Richard Reno of White-Wilson Pediatric Clinic in Destin was also named Best Pediatrician. Following a two-week voting period late last year, White-Wilson and Dr. Reno secured the 2023 winning titles and accepted the awards during VIP Destin’s Black Tie Ball on March 25. White-Wilson CEO Alan Gieseman and White-Wilson Board of Directors
Northwest Florida State College is pleased to announce its 2023 Commencement Keynote speakers, Marcus Chambers and Russell Hughes. Northwest Florida State College will host two commencement ceremonies on May 6, 2023, at 10 AM and 2 PM. Delivering remarks at the 10 AM ceremony will be Marcus D. Chambers, Superintendent of Okaloosa County (FL) School District. Chambers has served students, parents, his community, and fellow educators for more than 25 years. Having served in a variety of educational
Anderson Engineering is changing its name to OWN effective today and rebranding to celebrate and unleash the power of its successful business culture built on 100 percent employee ownership. The rebranding builds upon the firm’s significant growth over the past few years, with staff expanding from 70 to 230 employees across ten offices in Missouri, Arkansas and Florida including 23 in Destin, and its share price doubling twice. “Our new name grew out of the idea that our greatest asset is our ability to
McCain's Creations Photography has been selected as a winner of the prestigious WeddingWire Couple's Choice Award 2023. This award recognizes the top wedding professionals across the globe who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness, and professionalism. McCain's Creations Photography is a boutique photography company specializing in wedding, small business, and real estate photography. The company is owned and operated by John and Natalie McCain, who have more than 14 years of
On this week’s episode of the Hello Frances podcast, our host Shantelle Dedicke interviews Bobby Wagner, Mayor of Destin and Owner of Land Air Sea Productions. Bobby shares his aspirations for the City of Destin, specifically, generational thinking, a way to invest in the families that live here so that they will stay in the area for generations. Bobby also discusses the importance of a fresh perspective in local government, how creativity fuels everything he does, and much more! Listen now.
Step One Motorsports is excited to share the latest weekly highlights and progress in motorsports. This past weekend was a historic moment for Step One Motorsports ambassadors as we had a quadruple header for the first time ever. Representing drivers Juan Manuel Correa, Chris Walsh, Chandler Smith, and Romain Grosjean all competed in different races and categories. Juan Manuel Correa represented the team in F2 and placed 10th in Australia, claiming points for the team. Chris Walsh drove in GT4 America,
Lucy Buffett’s LuLu’s restaurant in Destin hosted its annual Easter event. Despite a windy day, the rain held off and the tropically clad Easter Bunny helped the kids find special golden eggs at the Easter Egg Dash. Divided by age groups, Easter eggs, along with prizes, were placed all over the sandy beach for kids to put in their Easter baskets. The Easter bunny also visited on the stage with kids and their families. Jerry Daly, LuLu’s GM said, “We were glad we could do the Easter Egg Dash this year, it
Dress Up Destin is now officially open at Destin Commons. The Georgia-based retailer, Dress Up, makes its inaugural Florida appearance with their April 1 opening. Known for the ever-changing collections and weekly drops, Dress Up Destin carries women’s clothing and accessories geared towards the fun-loving, year-round beach enthusiast. Dress Up Destin also offers an exclusive line of local tees and hats. “We are thrilled to open our latest store in Destin, FL at Destin Commons. Our goal has been
Eglin Federal Credit Union is pleased to recognize Mary Esther Head Teller Kimberly Stovall for 25 years of service. Kimberly currently resides in Fort Walton Beach. “We congratulate Kimberly on becoming a member of the National Association of Federal Credit Union’s Quarter Century Club in recognition of her 25 years of service to the credit union industry,” said SVP/COO Kim Nauta. “She does a great job building trusted relationships with our members, and we appreciate her five-star service and commitment
Students registered for Kindergarten in an Okaloosa County School District (OCSD) Public School for the 2023-2024 school year by April 30, 2023, will automatically be entered into a drawing for one of two Florida Prepaid 529 College Savings Plan valued at $500 each. The registration process begins in the FOCUS Parent Portal. Information can be found on our website here: https://www.okaloosaschools.com. To win, students must be eligible for a Florida Prepaid 529 Savings Plan and have completed the
Step One Automotive Group Celebrates Teacher Appreciation Week with the inaugural Learning Legacy Awards
Step One Automotive Group is proud to announce the inaugural Learning Legacy Awards, celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week. This award will be granted to three teachers from Florida, Alabama, and Georgia who are transforming the lives of their students and innovating the classroom experience. Applications will be accepted from April 1, 2023, to April 21, 2023, and are open to public school teachers in Grades K-12 in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. The Learning Legacy Awards will provide three $3,000 grants
At Eco Clean Marine, we are committed to making a positive impact on our environment. We are excited to announce that we will head to Destin this month to continue our mission of keeping our beaches and oceans clean. We invite you to join us for our upcoming trash pick-up event at East Pass Marina. On April 22, we will begin our cleanup efforts at 8:45 a.m., and spend about an hour picking up trash. At the end of the event, we will be raffling off some amazing prizes to show our appreciation for your
Superintendent Marcus Chambers is very excited to have the opportunity to offer an $8,000 Florida Prepaid College Scholarship to a current Okaloosa County School District Student!Who qualifies?•Student must be a Senior•Student must attend a public high school in the Okaloosa County School District•Student is going to pursue a career in education•Student must meet the basic requirements to hold a Florida Prepaid College Plan Application Deadline:Applications will be available beginning Friday, March 31,
Destin-Fort Walton Beach Tourism and Saltwater Restaurants is excited to host the Earth Day Cleanup on Saturday, April 29, 2023 from 8-10 a.m. Volunteers from businesses, government agencies, communities and families are all welcome to attend. The goal of the cleanup is to remove as much trash and debris from local beaches. There are multiple locations where volunteers of all ages can participate. Join this local effort at any of the below cleanup locations by registering here. • The Boardwalk on Okaloosa
The NJCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship trophy is headed back to the campus of Northwest Florida State College. The Raiders claimed the national title on Monday night against Trinity Valley Community College in a gutsy 66-63 victory at the Rip Griffin Center. The 2023 Championship marks the Raiders thirteenth national tournament appearance and second national title in program history. The Raiders won their first national tournament championship title in 2021. Down by 10 in the first quarter,
Cumulus Media’s WYZB-FM Turns Up the Country on the Emerald Coast as it Rebrands Today as Y1055 – The Best Country
Cumulus Media announces that Heritage Country radio station WYZB-FM in Fort Walton Beach/Destin, FL, has rebranded today as Y1055 – The Best Country. The station, formerly known as NASH FM 105.5, will continue to play the biggest Country hits. Cumulus Fort Walton Beach/Destin also launched Y1055’s new website today at: y1055country.com. The rebrand celebrates the rebuilding of the radio station from the ground up, with a new transmitter and antenna, a new studio, and state-of-the-art processing. The
On this week’s episode of the Hello Frances podcast, our host Shantelle Dedicke shares what it is like to have a workplace culture that embraces change and why this is important in the world we live in today. Shantelle breaks down how we expect and embrace change at Frances Roy, what leaders in the workplace can do to support their employees during times of change, and much more! Listen now.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida Welcomes Hana Hawkins as Destin Managing Broker
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida is pleased to announce that Hana Hawkins will be joining the agency assuming the role of Managing Broker for the Destin location. Hawkins will be responsible for overseeing daily operations, managing brokerage transactions, implementing agent training programs to ensure the delivery of quality customer service, and recruitment. The Destin office is located at 151 Regions Way, Suite 4A. “We are thrilled to welcome Hana to the executive team at
Ambition, drive and a rock ‘n’ roll vision helped two Auburn graduates build a global outdoor lifestyle brand...Read more in Auburn Magazine's Spring Edition.
The Okaloosa Arts Alliance (OAA) would like to invite all Okaloosa County School students to participate in the 14th Annual OAA Okaloosa County School Poster Contest. The theme for the contest is “What art means to me”. It can be anything you can create on paper with markers, pencils, paint, pastels, charcoal, mixed media, or crayons. There will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners for elementary school students (K-4th), middle school students (5th-8th), and high school students (9th-12th) in Okaloosa
By Nathan Sparks, CEcD Executive Director of One Okaloosa EDC Whew! What a fantastic – and incredibly busy – month it has been so far! The annual FPL Northwest Florida Economic Symposium at Sandestin got things kicked off, and the pace certainly hasn’t slowed since then. In the past two weeks alone, One Okaloosa’s Business Leadership Council (BLC), Defense Support Initiatives (DSI) committee, TeCMEN committee and Tri-County Community Partnership Initiative (TCPI) committee all held productive meetings.
We are excited to share with you the amazing success of our recent trash pick-up event at Pensacola Beach. Last Saturday, Eco Clean Marine hosted a beach clean-up event, and despite the cold weather and high winds, we had an outstanding turnout of 68 dedicated Eco-Warriors. It was incredible to see what we could achieve together as a team. In just one hour, we were able to pick up an impressive 162 5-gallon buckets of trash! This was a remarkable accomplishment, and we couldn't have done it without the
I am reaching out to update you on the continuing great work being done here at the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation during the 2022-2023 school year and to ask for your support as a valued sponsor of our inaugural Spring Pickleball Smash for Schools being held April 28-30 in Fort Walton Beach. As you may be aware, the Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to support and extend educational opportunities for all students within Okaloosa County. One of the primary ways we do
The Northwest Florida Ballet (NFB) Académie is now taking audition appointment reservations for the 2023-2024 academic year. Auditions for incoming third-grade students will take place on April 22 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and April 23 from 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Incoming fourth-grade students will audition on April 22 from 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Appointment reservations are required and must be made by 2 p.m. on April 20 for all auditions. All auditions will take place at the NFB studios, the Sybil Lebherz
The Okaloosa County School District has partnered with the United Way Emerald Coast to help build a foundation of early literacy, social-emotional development, and mentorship. ReadingPals is a statewide early literacy initiative that provides volunteer mentors for local students from voluntary prekindergarten to third grade who may need extra help. Once a mentor passes their background screening, they undergo training before getting placed in a classroom where they work at a 1:2 ratio. For more
HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital today announced that it has been recognized by Healthgrades as a 2023 Patient Safety Excellence Award™ recipient. This is the second year in a row that HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital has received this honor, which places the facility among the top 5% of all short-term acute care hospitals as evaluated by Healthgrades, the leading marketplace connecting patients and providers. HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital has a robust Infection Prevention program,
Each year, we recruit volunteers to serve during our Community Investment Process. Volunteering is a rewarding experience where you’ll be responsible for reviewing grant applications from our non-profit partners, listening to presentations, and determining where the dollars we’ve raised will have the greatest impact. This opportunity is open to anyone who has made a donation (of any amount) to United Way Emerald Coast this fiscal year (July1, 2022 – now). If you haven’t yet made a gift, you may visit
Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners (“BCC”) will appoint one or more citizens to serve as a volunteer on the Okaloosa County Code Enforcement Board. Pursuant to Section 11-607 of the County Code as well as Chapter 162 of Florida Statutes, the Code Enforcement Board is tasked with enforcing various provisions of the County Code, the Okaloosa Island Covenants, and appeals of administrative decisions. Members of the Code Enforcement Board serve without compensation and will be required to complete a
We understand there have been reports of a large amount of Sargassum seaweed headed towards Florida. There is currently no Sargassum on Destin-Fort Walton beaches, but we are making preparations if seaweed accumulations reach excessive levels. As you are probably aware, algae and seagrasses are naturally occurring in the marine environment worldwide. They are also an important ecosystem for marine life like sea turtles and small fish. While we have typically allowed nature to dispose of Sargassum on our
Episode #36: Enhancing Culture through the Arts Supporting music and the arts is vital to the health of a community. Music and artistic director Demetrius Fuller of the revered Sinfonia Gulf Coast orchestra knows this is an intrinsically important way to foster community, raise money for good, and bring joy to the people. Demetrius and Lisa talk about the storied history of Sinfonia, past VIE partnerships such as the tenth-anniversary photo shoot featuring Kristin Chenoweth, its upcoming events and
There's STILL time to align your business with the thriving arts and culture scene this May for Art Month Walton! There are a variety of ways for you to support this community-wide initiative:Create an Art Month Signature event: If you have an idea for an event, learn more about how you can host your own gathering and be included on the *offical* Art Month online calendar. It's that easy! Join Us As An Event Partner: Event partner sponsorships are available for both ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival and Under
The community, sponsors and supporters of the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) rallied at this year’s Gala in the Garden and Golf Weekend to raise an impressive $685,000. This substantial amount broke all previous records at ECCAC’s annual signature event that has been ongoing for 24 years. Julie Porterfield, ECCAC CEO commented, “We are so thankful for the incredible generosity of our sponsors and guests. The weekend benefited children in Okaloosa and Walton Counties to help ECCAC provide
The Ascension Sacred Heart Foundation announced today that the Emerald Ball raised approximately $172,000 benefiting Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast’s acquisition of a state-of-the-art CT scanner for children and adults. The Foundation held the Emerald Ball at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa on Saturday, February 4, where guests enjoyed a curated dinner with filet and grouper, dancing to Mr. Big and the Rhythm Sisters, Epic Photo Booth, a wine and bourbon pull. The black-tie event was
On Wednesday, March 15, local families gathered at White-Wilson Medical Center for a vision clinic during which eight children with severe visual impairments received Electronic Video Magnifiers (EVMs) funded by The White-Wilson Community Foundation (WWCF) in collaboration with Sight Savers America (SSA). The high-tech equipment opens a new world of opportunity, allowing the children to see more clearly what they have not been able to before. The vision clinic was made possible through a $15,670 grant
The 4th Annual Shrimp & Grits Festival held on Saturday, February 25th, 2023, at Brotula's Seafood House & Steamer was a huge success. The event raised a record-breaking $50,000 and welcomed more than 1,500 attendees in support of all local club kids. "We are truly blessed to live in a Community that continuously comes together to support the next generation and invest in the youth of our region. We must continue to seek out opportunities to speak light into the next generation and provide them with the
Sinfonia Gulf Coast Swells To An Orchestra Of 2,000 Members For Special Interactive Student Performance
On March 8, the Emerald Coast Convention Center in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. was transformed into an electrifying concert hall when Sinfonia Gulf Coast — the only fully professional non-profit orchestra on the Emerald Coast — presented its 9th live Link Up concert performance "The Orchestra Moves," a national program presented in partnership with New York's Carnegie Hall Weill Institute of Music. This year's Link Up program showcased the talents of more than 2,000 local 3rd-5th grade students from Okaloosa
Back Beach Barbecue and Idyll Hounds Brewing Company Beer Dinner Raises $2,670 for HCA Florida Gulf Coast Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Back Beach Barbecue and Idyll Hounds Brewing Company hosted an intimate Beer Dinner at Back Beach Barbecue on Thursday, March 2. Through donations and ticket sales, the evening raised $2,670 in support of HCA Florida Gulf Coast Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Over 50 guests gathered for a private dining experience, featuring a five-course meal prepared by Back Beach Barbecue Pitmaster, Shane Kirkland. Each course was accompanied by a specially selected beer by local brewery, Idyll Hounds
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast Proudly Announces 2023 Youth of the Year and Junior Youth of the Year Winners
On Thursday, March 9, the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast announced the winners of the Youth of the Year and Junior Youth of the Year program at their Annual Dinner at The Island Resort. Since 1947, the Youth of the Year program has been the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier recognition program, providing the highest honor any teen member can receive. The addition of the Junior Youth of the Year extends these opportunities to youth ages 10-13 years old. The Youth of the Year (YOY) embodies
The Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation is seeking volunteers for the upcoming Concerts in the Park! Sign up here.
Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center is there for the kids …April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month
National abuse statistics are alarming. According to the National Children’s Alliance, the national association and accrediting body for Children’s Advocacy Centers, nearly 700,000 children are abused in the U.S. annually. Neglect is the most common form of maltreatment with 75% suffering from neglect, 17.2% from physical abuse, and 8.4% from sexual abuse. About 4 out of 5 abusers are the child victim’s parents. With National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, it brings to light the fact that many do
Eglin Federal Credit Union is pleased to recognize Mastercard Specialist Gail Evans for 45 years of service. She currently resides in Ft. Walton Beach. “We would like to thank Gail for her 45 years of service to Eglin Federal Credit Union,” said President/CEO Jerry Williams. “She plans to retire from EFCU this year, and we recognize and appreciate her loyalty and dedication to the Credit Union and in turn, our members.” Gail started her career at the Credit Union in 1978 as a Loan Typist. She was promoted
Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort® celebrates fifty years as the most visited Northwest Florida resort destination for vacationers, group and business travelers, families, and adventurers. In recognition of five decades of experiences, progress, innovations and memories, the year-long celebration includes fresh new experiences, delightful surprises for resort guests, social media throwbacks and trips down memory lane. When asked about the success of this journey, Sara Becnel, Asset Manager and Vice
The Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC) Forensics Team recently competed in the Florida Intercollegiate Forensics Association (FIFA) Tournament at the University of West Florida and the Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA) Tournament hosted virtually by Miami Dade College. The team’s performance earned multiple accolades at both tournaments with the most wins among the top five of competitors. At the FIFA Tournament, the team earned first place in the Limited Entry Individual Events
Eglin Air Force Base's 4th Quarter Wing Award Winners: Airman of the Quarter - SrA Donald Roberts, 96 MXG NCO of the Quarter - SSgt Kimberlee Hernandez, 96 MDG SNCO of the Quarter - MSgt Travis Cumpston, 96 CEG CGO of the Quarter - Capt Owen Cameron, 96 MDG Civilian Category I of the Quarter - Mrs. Casey Haldane, 96 MSG Civilian Category II of the Quarter - Mr. Karl Day, 96 MDG Civilian Category III of the Quarter - Mr. John Carter, 96 MDG Honor Guardsman of the Quarter - SrA Jarod Holley, 33
On this week’s episode of the Hello Frances podcast, our host Shantelle Dedicke shares her knowledge of ChatGPT, a chatbot developed by OpenAI that launched in November 2022. Shantelle discusses the implications of ChatGPT and other natural language processing tools on certain career fields, how it can be used to spark ideas, and much more!Listen now.
On Monday, March 13, Destin Middle School celebrated its new tennis courts with a ribbon cutting. Just after the ribbon was cut, the DMS Tennis Team took to the courts for the first ever true home tennis game. "Our school community would like to thank Superintendent Marcus Chambers, the Okaloosa County School District, former DMS Principal Grant Meyer, Coaches Brett Chipser and Allison Frankfurt, and Brett Driver for helping make our vision a reality," said DMS Principal Dr. Belinda Small. The school is
Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center Successfully Releases Three Cold Stun Sea Turtles After Months of Treatment
The Gulfarium's C.A.R.E. Center successfully released three rehabilitated cold stun sea turtle patients on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at Cape San Blas, Florida. Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center received eight juvenile Kemps Ridley sea turtles back in December 2022 from Cape Cod Massachusetts after a massive cold stun event struck the area. On Wednesday, the C.A.R.E. team was able to release three of these turtles. Daisy weighed 5.5 lbs when she first arrived to the CARE Center and weighed 6.5lbs on the day of
Superintendent Marcus Chambers kicked off the Okaloosa County School District's Anti-Vape Campaign today alongside Sheriff Aden in a video message on the District’s Social Media accounts and Website. In the video, Chambers and Aden express that their intent with this campaign is to help students make the right choices and deter them from vaping while educating families about the consequences of vaping on school property as outlined in Okaloosa County School Board Policy. A letter to parents will be sent
With ten weeks remaining in the school year, now is the time to come together and help our community finish strong! Join us in helping to serve food-insecure students across Walton and Okaloosa County for their final ten weeks before summer begins.Sponsor a student Organize a food drive
Step One Automotive Group, a community-involved organization, recognizes the importance of mobility in changing lives. That's why they created the Driving Opportunity program to provide a reliable vehicle to families in need. The program has received an overwhelming response from families over the years, prompting the organization to partner with United Way agencies and their partner organizations to create a fair selection process. "From day one we have been committed to empowering lives through smarter
As part of our mission to foster the inclusive and collaborative advancement of the Arts in Walton County, the CAA may establish program partnerships with mission-aligned nonprofit and for-profit arts and cultural organizations in support of our vision for a thriving Walton County in which everyone can experience the power of the Arts. We're thrilled to announce one such new partnership with Emerald Coast Storytellers! Emerald Coast Storytellers (ECS) is a local writers group that seeks to provide
A2Z Specialty Advertising, a leading promotional products and advertising company, is proud to announce its 25th anniversary in business. Since its founding in 1998, A2Z has been dedicated to providing innovative marketing solutions and high-quality promotional products to businesses of all sizes. Over the past 25 years, A2Z has established itself as a trusted partner for businesses looking to increase their brand visibility and market share. With a team of experienced professionals and a commitment to
HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital and HCA Florida Twin Cities Hospital Join HCA Florida Healthcare’s Second Statewide Service Week
HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital and HCA Florida Twin Cities Hospital Join HCA Florida Healthcare’s Second Statewide Service Week Hospital colleagues to volunteer at two local non-profit organizations in recognition of first anniversary of HCA Florida Healthcare WHAT: HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital and HCA Florida Twin Cities Hospital are among many HCA Florida Healthcare hospitals across Florida participating in the organization’s second statewide We Show Up for Our Communities service
The Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA) announced that Steve DeMeo will be inducted in the Men’s Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2023. DeMeo is the head coach for the Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC) Raiders men’s basketball team and will be recognized during this week’s FCSAA/NJCAA Region VIII Men’s Basketball Tournament at Raider Arena. Spanning three decades and across all levels of the college game, DeMeo’s achievements are well-known throughout the greater
Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast is bringing a new Computed Tomography (CT) scanner to the community in order to improve diagnostic capabilities, patient safety and comfort. This equipment will offer state-of-the-art technology close to home for people in need. The upgrade was made possible by the Ascension Sacred Heart Foundation through generous donations by community members. "This new CT scanner is faster and more precise, which only enhances treatment for those we serve," said Bryan Walrath,
If you are a condo owner or potential condo owner, Emerald Coast Title Services' latest Let's Talk Title Podcast episode is for YOU! Dion and Ashley break down Florida’s Senate Bill 4-D (the “Surfside Legislation” or Condo Building Safety Law) and discuss how it will affect the condo community.Listen now.
Check out the latest news from Florida State Rep. Patt Maney's office, including information about the Intrepid Spirit Center, Dr. Ben Carson's Niceville appearance, Reverend Thigpen's retirement, Legislative Updates and more.Read the entire newsletter here.
Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation Calls For Artist Applications And Poster Art Artists For 28th Festival Of The Arts
Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation's Festival of the Arts is one of the Southeast's premier festivals and showcases more than 100 artists from across the U.S. The Festival is a celebration of art, music, food, and family fun and features a live music lineup, a food bistro, a wine and beer garden, art activities for kids, merchandise, and more. The 28th annual Festival will be held on Saturday, Oct. 28, and Sunday, Oct. 29 at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village in Destin, Florida. This is a juried show that
The 5th Annual Mac & Cheese Festival held on Sunday, March 5, 2023, at Destin Commons was a huge success. The event raised $63,000 and welcomed roughly 1,600 attendees throughout the day. Proceeds from the event benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast, a local non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging, and influence through its programs focused on academic success, good character
Hurlburt Field would like to announce the new Team Hurlburt Honorary Commanders for 2023-2024:-1 SOW: Jennifer Conoley, President and CEO, Florida’s Great Northwest-1 SOW/CCC: Dawn Massey, Principal, Florosa Elementary-1 SOMDG: April Sutton, Council Member, City of Mary Esther-1 SOMSG: Colton Wright, Santa Rosa County Commissioner District 5; Owner, The Tool Shack-1 SOG: Alan Baggett, Executive Vice President, Building Industry Association of Okaloosa-Walton Counties, Inc.-1 SOMXG: Amanda Negron, CEO,
City Food Hall Destin is now officially open at Destin Commons. Showcasing emerging and established local chefs from more than 10 specialty restaurant concepts, City Food Hall at Destin Commons is a 14,000 square-foot gathering place offering international cuisine, craft beer and cocktails, state-of-the-art entertainment, and more. Located next to Foot Locker near Uncle Buck’s, City Food Hall will become Destin’s top culinary and nightlife destination. Locals and visitors can enjoy an expansive 32 seat
On Friday, March 3, City Food Hall Destin celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting.Located in Destin Commons, City Food Hall Destin is a culinary and entertainment destination. The 14,000-square-foot space showcases 10 restaurant concepts, indoor/outdoor bar, and 2 Topgolf full swing simulators. Visit the dining and entertainment complex at 4237 Legendary Dr. H104, in Destin. For more information and a list of vendors, please visit cityfoodhall.com.
On Thursday, March 3, Destin Pointe Realty, LLC, celebrated a ribbon cutting. Located on Holiday Isle, the Destin Pointe Resort Community offers 3000 feet of secluded white sandy beaches and views of both the Gulf of Mexico and Destin's East Pass. Inside this gated luxury community, you will find quiet streets lined with ornate beach homes and the Magnolia House Condominium. Enjoy the lush tropical landscaping, green space, and wildlife as the Destin Pointe community is a protected wildlife sanctuary.
On this week’s episode of the Hello Frances podcast, our host Shantelle Dedicke is joined by Ted Corcoran, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce. Ted shares what it means to be a part of the chamber, how the chamber honors military heroes in our area, and much more!Listen now.
Secure your spot in our 2023 Destin Seafood Festival! Applications are now open for all vendors. This is an application process, and vendor spaces are available on a first come, first serve basis. Booth spaces start at 10x10 for all vendor types. Your 10x10 space is empty; tables/chairs/tents are not provided. Booth locations can be requested but not guaranteed. We do our best to accommodate all special requests! Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Find applications here.
The Destin Library will celebrate 20 years in its current Sibert Avenue building on March 17, and an entire week of festivities is planned to mark the occasion. On Friday, March 10 at 6 p.m., the celebration begins with a Spring Fling on the lawn with face painting, lawn games and craft activities. All ages are welcome. Throughout the day on Monday 13, there will be a special origami craft for patrons to try. On Tuesday, March 14 at 2 p.m., author and Coast Guard veteran Ashlee Leppert will offer an
The Florida College System announced that 10 Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC) students are members of the 2023 All-Florida Academic Team. The students were selected by the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society and will be recognized at an awards ceremony on Friday, March 31, 2023, in Orlando, Florida. Students are nominated to the All-Florida Academic Team competition by their respective colleges in recognition of their academic achievement, leadership, and service to the community.
On Tuesday, Feb. 28, Klean Wash celebrated its 5-year anniversary and new mobile payment option with a ribbon cutting. Klean Wash is a locally owned and operated laundry service, offering wash, dry and fold for commercial accounts and individual clients. It is also open to the public with coin operated and mobile pay self-serve machines. Visit the location at 5008 Hwy. 98 Ste. 7, in Santa Rosa Beach, near 98 BBQ. For details, call (850) 608-2041 or visit http://klean-wash-laundromat.business.site.
Major market meteorologist Alberto Romero joins DestinFM! Alberto is a combat veteran with over a decade of experience providing accurate weather forecasts and updates to millions of viewers and listeners on TV and Radio. A Florida native, Romero has worked for Gannett (a USA Today Network), KYTX CBS19, FOX Dallas, and is a meteorologist for the United States Air Force. Romero is the first and only local Destin meteorologist. His love for the Emerald Coast, his expertise in the field of meteorology, and
Eco Clean Marine, a local nonprofit dedicated to protecting and preserving the marine environment, has received a new sponsorship from A2Z Specialty Advertising. The company has generously sponsored a fish feeding machine, which will help Eco Clean Marine in its mission to promote sustainability and protect the local ecosystem. Fish Feeding machines, which are located at various waterfront restaurants and marinas throughout the Gulf Coast, offer a unique experience for families to interact with nature. In
Loving the option to shop hyper-local? As the weather warms up, more and more guests are looking for an outdoor shopping experience. One that offers personal interaction with vendors, allowing guests to shop with a purpose. Thanks to its popularity, The Destin Commons Market is adding a second Sunday per month for the months of March - May, and again in the Fall from September - November. Starting Sunday, March 12th, guests can access their favorite vendors and shops twice; once mid-month and a second
Eglin Federal Credit Union recognizes Member Service Counselor Rita Crusett-Vogel for 30 years of service
Eglin Federal Credit Union is pleased to recognize Member Service Counselor Rita Crusett-Vogel for her 30 years of service. She currently resides in Niceville. “We would like to thank Rita for her 30 years of service to Eglin Federal Credit Union,” said President/CEO Jerry Williams. “Dedicated, long-standing employees like Rita contribute to our success and help us achieve our mission.” Rita joined the Credit Union in 1993 as a Teller in Fort Walton Beach. She transferred to Bluewater Bay in 1997 where
Volunteer Week: April 16th – April 22nd, 2023 Learn morehere Sponsorship Opportunity: Looking for ways to align your brand with making a difference in our community? Put your brand in front of hundreds of local volunteers and businesses. Sponsorships start as low as $500. SPONSORSHIP DEADLINE: MARCH 10 Project Submission Deadline: Are you a non-profit, school, or community organization with a project that could use some manpower? Our volunteers are here to help. Submit your project request
HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital has launched its first adolescent intensive outpatient program (IOP) offering behavioral health services to teens between the ages of 12 and 17. The S.A.I.L. (Seeking an Incredible Life) adolescent IOP provides evidence-based treatment consisting of group therapy sessions as well as individual visits with a therapist and psychiatrist. Group sessions are led by a licensed therapist trained in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and
Bit-Wizards’ magical team was awarded Gold and Silver “ADDYs” by the American Advertising Federation Pensacola chapter for the 13th year in a row. The ADDY Awards are the largest and most representative competition in the advertising industry, recognizing and rewarding the creative spirit of excellence in the art of advertising. For their work in 2022, Bit-Wizards earned two Gold and 12 Silver ADDYs, totaling 14 awards. Recognitions spanned various categories, including graphic design, social media,
The Okaloosa County School District (OCSD) is grateful for the community’s support of donating $1 to their favorite participating OCSD team or organization for a chance to win a pristine 1956 Chevrolet Belaire. There is still time to participate, and donations will be accepted through May 15, 2023, and the proceeds stay with the student team/organization that raised them. The drawing for the winning ticket will take place on May 22, 2023, at 11 am at the OCSD Central Office in Niceville, located at 202 A
The 11th Annual Paddle at the Park Sponsored by HCA Florida Destin Emergency is moving its location and date! This standup paddle board race will take place in the Gulf of Mexico behind The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island on Saturday, May 6, 2023. It features 1- and 3-mile recreational races, a 6-mile elite race and a kids' fun out-and-back paddle. The weekend fun begins on Friday, May 5, with a Racer Welcome Party at Al’s Beach Club at The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island. It continues on Saturday morning with
On Feb. 13, 2023, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection announced that Okaloosa County will receive $600,000 to conduct a Vulnerability Assessment and create an Adaptation Plan. Okaloosa County will partner with its municipalities to evaluate and identify risks from flooding and sea level rise and develop an adaptation plan that prioritizes mitigation projects. Completing the vulnerability assessment will allow the County and its municipalities to be eligible for implementation grants through
The media are invited to join Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC) as it hosts a press conference with Alex Boylan, the founder and executive producer of “The College Tour” (TCT), to announce NWFSC’s future episode on the show’s ninth season. The episode will share information from select students, faculty, staff, locations, and resources with viewers everywhere through Amazon Prime Video and The College Tour’s website. Boylan, who won The Amazing Race at the age of 23, created TCT to make typical
The public is invited to attend a meeting to discuss the City of Destin’s ADA Transition Plan for Pedestrian Walking Facilities. The meeting will take place on February 24th at 9 a.m. at the City Hall Annex (Council Chambers) located at 4100 Indian Bayou Trail. The Departments of Community Development and Public Works are seeking public input on pedestrian access to the City's parks and public facilities/areas as well as suggestions on how best to improve the City’s existing pedestrian infrastructure. The
Step One Automotive Group Named 2022 Corporate Citizen of the Year by Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce
The Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce recently announced that Step One Automotive Group has been named the 2022 Corporate Citizen of the Year. This prestigious award is presented annually to a business in the Navarre area that has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the community through philanthropy, volunteerism, and other forms of social responsibility. Step One Automotive Group, which operates several dealerships throughout the region, has a long history of supporting local charitable
Alaqua Animal Refuge is pleased to announce the formal opening of their new, one-of-a-kind facility, located at 155 Dugas Way, and invites the community to celebrate the momentous occasion with a month-long celebration of events titled “Celebrate! Alaqua” beginning March 4. As the Southeast’s premier 501(c)3 refuge and sanctuary, Alaqua believes that every abused, neglected, and homeless animal deserves a second chance. Originally located on 10 acres in Freeport, the new 100-acre facility will allow
On this week’s episode of the Hello Frances podcast, our host Shantelle Dedicke is joined by Jared Williams, founder of Get the Coast. Jared and Shantelle discuss newsletter marketing tactics, how to handle the naysayers as a business founder, and much more!Listen now.
In this episode of Let’s Talk Title with Emerald Coast Title Services, Dion and Ashley discuss powers of attorney and how they should and should not be used for real estate estate transactions. They cover the different types of powers of attorney, which is best for real estate purposes, and much more.Listen now.
The Okaloosa County School District Legislative Priorities for 2023 focus on the recruitment and retention of employees and continued funding for safe and secure schools. Superintendent Marcus Chambers is in the process of presenting these items to the Northwest Florida Legislative Delegation with the intention of impacting upcoming legislation in these critical areas for education. “A lot of thought has gone into these priorities. We want to be impactful and create positive change in these areas of
The Okaloosa County School District (OCSD) strives to lead the way for Career and Technical Education in Florida. We are constantly looking for new ways to meet the needs of local industry and prepare our students to explore, compete, and succeed as lifelong learners in careers that are available in our area and the entire state of Florida. A few statistics about CTE in the OCSD: •OCSD offers 19 different CTE Programs and 101 different courses •School Year 2021-2022 o1,382 Industry
On Thursday, Feb. 16, LiveOak Fiber held a ribbon cutting celebration with the Destin, Greater Fort Walton Beach and Niceville Valparaiso chambers of commerce. The celebration also included a groundbreaking on internet service for Shalimar.LiveOak Fiber is a new Internet Service Provider headquartered in Brunswick, Ga., with offices extending west to Niceville. It offers fast internet speeds, world-class customer service, accessibility and localization. Its application allows you to control all your
&##129312;New to the idea of buying Farm Fresh Custom &##129385; Beef? &##129312;Wanting to fill your freezer with &##129385; meat? &##129312;Questions about 1/4’s 1/2’s or a Whole Beef? &##128242; Contact Circle JM Farms at 850.598.4211 to get in on Feb. 22 processing date of custom beef!
Eglin Federal Credit Union Named Large Business of the Year by the Niceville Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce
Eglin Federal Credit Union was named the Large Business of the Year by the Niceville Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce at their annual awards celebration held at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center Feb. 9, 2023. Chamber Chair of the Board Dr. Michael Mosley of Rocky Bayou Christian School announced, “This company has been everywhere you look over the past year or more. It seems like they are always there to support military causes, non-profit organizations, including all the Chambers of Commerce. With us, they have
The popular complimentary Tropical Re-Union wedding vow renewal event was held just in time for Valentine’s Day at LuLu’s in Destin. Despite the inclement weather, romance was in the air with 150+ loving couples gathering indoors to renew their wedding vows. Ted Corcoran emceed the afternoon, as well as being the officiant to renew the couples’ vows in a loving ceremony. Prizes were given to the couples married the shortest, 3 years, and the longest, 61 years. The “newly-weds” were given official
Impact100 of Northwest Florida invites nonprofit organizations across Okaloosa County and Walton County to attend our new Grant Mini Workshop Informational Sessions. The small group mini workshops will provide information to facilitate the nonprofits understanding of the grant application process and timeline. The Annual Grant Workshop is also listed below. The locations and corresponding dates and times are as follows: Fort Walton Beach – February 24, 2:00 -3:30, Emerald Coast Science Center,
CARFAX, the leading provider of vehicle history information, recently announced that Buick GMC Cadillac Fort Walton Beach, Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram South Savannah, and Volkswagen Fort Walton Beach have earned the title of 2022 CARFAX Top-Rated LIFETIME Dealer. This achievement is based on verified ratings and reviews from customers on CARFAX.com, demonstrating their commitment to providing exceptional customer service and high-quality vehicles "At Step One Automotive Group, we are proud to have earned the
All hands on deck! The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance is looking for volunteers to help us in our Grasses in Classes field trips this spring. If you enjoy educating children and are passionate about the environment, this is the opportunity for you! Spend time outdoors and help CBA continue offering excellent opportunities for children to engage in the natural environment. See flyer for more information. #volunteer #allhandsondeck #environment
Okaloosa County’s Coastal Resource Team with Destin-Fort Walton Beach Tourism recently initiated and assisted a team of researchers in identifying and tagging devil rays in the Gulf of Mexico. While installing three miles of sand fencing on Okaloosa Island in 2021, members of the Coastal Resource team noticed a number of devil rays swimming close to the beach. The Coastal Resource Team’s curiosity into the migratory patterns of these rays prompted them to contact researchers from Mote Marine Laboratory &
Troy Young, a Crestview High School Senior, received the Robert and Amy Harper Scholarship at the International Builders Show (IBS) in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 31-February 2. The scholarship is awarded to one high school student who plans a trade career. Out of 72 schools in the State of Florida and over 300 nationwide, Troy won the award for his achievements in the Building program at Crestview High School. He has earned six certifications in construction and HVAC and is a lead project manager and
The Okaloosa County School District is proud to announce this year’s Education Staff Professional of the Year is Ms. Shawna Crist, Media Assistant at Plew Elementary School. Mrs. Crist spent thirteen years in the classroom before becoming a mom and choosing to become a full-time volunteer at Plew Elementary, where she received the 2012 Senior Adult Volunteer of the year award. Now, in her eleventh year as the Media Assistant, she shares ideas with others throughout our District and is known to staff and
Effective February 14th, the City of Destin’s new version of COMPASS (COMmunity Permitting and Support System) will be going live as a cloud-based system. This migration from on-premises system to a SaaS (Software as a Service) will improve performance and reliability of the city’s permitting, licensing and code compliance system. To make the system-wide upgrade, COMPASS will be offline beginning Thursday, February 9th at 4 p.m. until the morning of Tuesday, February 14th. During this time, the system will
Vaping is not exclusive to Okaloosa County students. It is a national issue. In a partnership with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers, our middle and high school students are participating in a contest to produce video Public Service Announcements in an effort to decrease and end teen vaping. Thanks to the Okaloosa County School Board’s support, we are in the process of purchasing vape detection devices that will be placed on campuses to help deter students from bringing
United Way Emerald Coast presents Volunteer Week: Day of Caring and Our 2nd Annual Volunteer Celebration!
Volunteer Week is an opportunity to honor the individuals that donate their time and dedication towards tackling issues in our community. Join us in a week of volunteerism through hands-on and virtual opportunities to support some of our region's nonprofits and end the week with a luncheon as we celebrate YOU and your impacts! Download our flyer here, check out the sponsorship opportunities here, or sign up to volunteer here! Special thanks to our presenting sponsor, United Fidelity Bank.
Hello Destin, Each year, we have the chance to come together, get dressed up and enjoy an evening of fun, entertainment and celebration at our SOF Missions Destin Gala. I’m excited to share that this year’s event has officially been set for Saturday, April 8 — and I would love for YOU to be there! Whether you attend on your own, host a table or choose to sponsor this year's event, your participation in this incredible night will make a lasting impact for the veterans we serve. Will you mark your calendar
On Tuesday, Feb. 7, Elevated Laundry celebrated a ribbon cutting with the Destin Chamber. Elevated Laundry, a brand new 8,000-square-foot commercial laundry facility locally owned and operated in Miramar Beach, offers cutting-edge equipment and streamlined logistic methods to ensure prompt service of fully sanitized, soft, well-packed linens. With the capacity to turn 2.6 tons of laundry daily, Elevated Laundry is ready to help solve one of the largest issues the property management, hotel, fitness,
Eco Clean Marine, a leading non-profit organization dedicated to ocean conservation, is proud to announce a new sponsorship opportunity for companies looking to show their commitment to the environment while promoting their brand. Through the sponsorship, companies can support Eco Clean Marine's efforts to reduce ocean debris and waste, while also gaining exposure to a highly engaged and environmentally conscious audience. Sponsors will have their company logo and a link to their website displayed on Eco
Eco Clean Marine, a leading advocate for ocean conservation and cleanliness, is proud to announce its first sponsor, Ram Tail. The sponsorship will provide funds for the maintenance of Eco Clean Marine's fish feeding machine at OSO Bear Point Harbor, as well as support for their monthly trash pickup initiatives. Ram Tail is a company that is dedicated to giving back to the environment and preserving the natural beauty of our oceans. By sponsoring a fish feeding machine from Eco Clean Marine, they are
Minto Communities USA Receives Eight Gold and Silver NAHB Awards for Latitude Margaritaville Communities
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) presented Minto Communities USA with eight awards at the 2023 International Builders Show (IBS) held in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 31 through February 2. The awards included recognition by NAHB’s 55+ Housing Industry Council (Best in 55+ Housing Awards) and the National Sales and Marketing Council (The Nationals Awards) for Minto’s Latitude Margaritaville communities.Latitude Margaritaville Watersound, located near Panama City Beach, Florida received a total
Impact100 of Northwest Florida, Inc. will hold its annual Grant Workshop on March 3, 2023, from 9am -12pm. This in-person event is free and open to all nonprofit organizations serving Okaloosa and Walton Counties. Impact100 NWF is seeking grant applications that focus on projects in the following areas: Arts & Culture; Education; Environment, Recreation and Preservation; Family; and Health & Wellness. Grants for 2023 will be awarded in November. The Annual Workshop is designed to help provide information
We're excited to announce that we are the proud recipient of Boys & Girls Clubs of America's Hero for Youth award for our dedicated advocacy around issues impacting our local youth.
A nearly 340-ft beachfront “Tarpon Beach Park” is now on its way to becoming a reality thanks to the partnership between the City of Destin, the Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners, the Tourist Development Council and Trust for Public Land. To celebrate this project, on Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, at 10 a.m., located at 3310 Scenic Highway 98, the City of Destin hosted ceremony as the current structures on the three parcels adjacent to the Tarpon Beach Trail will be cleared to make way for the park
The Okaloosa County School District is proud to announce this year’s Teacher of the Year is Mr. Royal Preston, Construction Teacher at Okaloosa Technical College. Preston is a product of Okaloosa County Schools. During his senior year, he spent half his school day studying Carpentry at the Bay Area Vo-Tech School, now the Okaloosa Technical College (CTE), where he teaches Carpentry and Building Trades. “I always love celebrating our teachers who spend day in and day out going above and beyond to educate our
The Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) is putting on their annual signature Gala in the Garden and Golf Weekend, this year presented by George and Janice Hendricks. The Gala features a cocktail hour starting at 5:30 p.m., with dinner being served at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, March 10, at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. Guests will enjoy dinner and live entertainment by popular local musicians, The Will Thompson Band, live auction, as well as a featured guest speaker. The Gala is an
Check out the latest news from Florida State Rep. Patt Maney's office, including information about the Florida Defense Support Taskforce, Film Florida Award, the Taylor Haugen Award, the Okaloosa County Legislative Delegation's recent meeting, and more.Read the entire newsletter here.
The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) is proud to announce the regional artists recently chosen to exhibit their original work in The Foster Gallery’s Spring Rotation, which runs February 1st through May 27th, 2023 in its Miramar Beach Creative Campus location at 13370 Emerald Coast Parkway (US Highway 98). The public is invited to attend the First Friday Fête on Friday, February 3rd from 5-7 p.m. celebrating the selected artists. Enjoy tasty sips and snacks while perusing all of the beautiful
The Radical Raiders robotics team at the Collegiate High School (CHS) at Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC) placed first in the FIRST Tech Challenge’s FL AeroCoast League Tournament. The CHS Radical Raiders competed against eight teams from the panhandle area at Northwood Elementary School for a spot in the statewide competition. After spending hundreds of hours on creating and programming its robot, crafting its engineering notebook, and participating in community outreach events, the team’s efforts
See George Rodrigue’s Blue Dog paintings like never before in this mini-exhibition of rarely seen original artworks from the artist’s private collection, shared by his widow, Wendy Rodrigue. This one-day-only creative event includes the culinary masterpieces of Chef Jack McGuckin of Bijoux Restaurant + Spirits in Miramar Beach. Purchase tickets here
Right now at Dune Allen Realty, we're offering our friends up to 20% off on some of our gorgeous family homes. (A beautiful home at a bargain price? Um... yes, please!) Does a spring break trip to the shore sound just about perfect right now? Here are a few homes offering a staggering 20% discount on new spring break bookings. Call us at 888-267-2121 for more info (quick before we change our minds!)
On Thursday, Feb. 2, Soleil celebrated a ribbon cutting with the Destin Chamber. Located inside the Inn at Crystal Beach, the exquisite beachfront setting is reflected in seasonal lunch and dinner menus. Enjoy dining in the dining room, al fresco on the beachfront patio or at the cocktail bar. The starter menu now includes Fried Buffalo Crab Claws, Fried Fish Bites, Ceviche and the already famous hand cut fries. For your entree, enjoy Shrimp and Grits, Chicken Piccata, an 8oz Filet, Fried Whole Fish,
On Wednesday, Feb. 1, BlueMahoe celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting. This small farm-to-table restaurant uses the freshest local seafood and produce to create mouthwatering culinary inspired dishes. Chef Jahnoy Turner, a Jamaican native turned Emerald Coast local, is creating a tropical breakfast and lunch experience on the Destin Harbor. Also enjoy specialty cocktails, draft beer and wines by the glass. Hours are 6 a.m. - 2 p.m., at 300 Harbor Blvd., in Destin. For details, visit
In a landmark private property rights case that will shape the Destin Harbor for years to come, the City of Destin has prevailed against the Destin Fishing Fleet, Inc., as to all counts, after a legal battle that was ongoing for almost five years. The Fleet was seeking nearly $15 million dollars from the City pursuant to the Bert J. Harris Private Property Act. However, the First Circuit Judge found that the Fleet wrongly accused the City of Destin of violating the Bert Harris Act, which allows demands for
Eglin Federal Credit Union is pleased to announce Loan Services Representative Juliana Powell has been selected as the 5-Star Performer of the 4th Quarter of 2022. Juliana has been employed with the Credit Union since September 2013 and currently resides in Navarre. “Juliana promotes the values of EFCU daily with her team and our membership,” said Call Center Ops Manager Ruth Fennell. “She is respected by her peers, trusted, dedicated and stays engaged with staff. During our recent auto loan promotion,
On Saturday, Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast commemorated the 20-year anniversary of the hospital. The celebratory event was held under a tent on the campus. Attendees included community supporters as well as dozens of hospital associates, providers and volunteers who have been with the facility since it opened. “Having nearly 60 people who have been here since Day One is a special statement,” said Bryan Walrath, President, Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast. “We have a culture that is second to
HURRY BEFORE THE SUN SETS ON THIS OFFER! INN-Joy up to 23% off plus breakfast for two when you stay 2 or more nights! Escape to the relaxing, adults-only retreat at Henderson Park Inn and enjoy up to 23% off when you stay a minimum of two nights or more. Indulge in breakfast for two, complimentary beach service, daily happy hour, unlimited Starbucks and snacks, and complimentary cruiser bikes, all included with your reservation. Stay right on the beach and enjoy beautiful sunsets along with the
Bit-Wizards Be the Magic Foundation’s Monetary and Skills-Based Donations Total More than $426k in 2022
Bit-Wizards’ Be the Magic Foundation (BTMF) reached new heights during its second year of conception. Through a variety of partnerships, a total of 24 local nonprofits, organizations, and students received a combined $176,362 in cash donations and over $249,800 in services and volunteer support throughout 2022. Founded in 2021, BTMF is committed to making the future of its community stronger and more viable through the support of Youth Development, Adults & Children with Special Needs, Animal
On Wednesday, Feb. 1, Ruby Slipper Baytowne Wharf celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting. Ruby Slipper offers a vibrant and inviting atmosphere for locals and visitors alike. Brunch is front and center every day. The menu features inspired and playful twists on traditional Southern brunch favorites, including Eggs Benedicts, Beignets, Bananas Foster Pain Perdu and White Chocolate Bread Pudding Pancakes, as well as eye-opening cocktails. Ruby Slipper Baytowne Wharf is part of the Ruby Slipper
Plans are officially in place for the 2nd Annual Soiree on the Bay, benefiting Children's Volunteer Health Network! Sponsored by the Dugas Family, this event will take place on their family estate and will be filled with lavish festivities on Friday, March 10, 2023, and Saturday, March 11, 2023 Enjoy a lavish gathering with fine wine, food and spirits at the 2nd Annual Soiree on the Bay, benefiting Children’s Volunteer Health Network. This weekend is presented by the Dugas Family and will take place on
The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) and South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) are proud to reveal the seven new sculpture designs, chosen by jury for permanent exhibition in the fifth installation of the Underwater Museum of Art (UMA). The 2023 installation will include the following pieces of sculpture: Quantum Reef by Chris Chubb (Tallahassee, FL), Space Nest by Frank Henderson (Evanston, IL), Welcome Home by Zachery Long (Oklahoma City, OK), Madam Nature by Andrew Luy
February 2023 marks 790’s 20th Year in Business. As a Thank You, we are offering two fantastic dinner specials all month long from 3PM until close EVERY NIGHT for only $20! Reserve your table here.
Emerald Coast Business Intermediaries announces Michael Moody as its newest Business Intermediary. Michael has a degree in Finance from Auburn University and a Masters in Theology from Asbury Seminary. He has worked several jobs in business and construction, most recently in construction plumbing in the Emerald Coast area. Michael is a member of the international Business Brokers Association where he will be pursuing their Certified Business Intermediary designation. In his spare time, he is active in his
On this episode of the Hello Frances podcast, our host Shantelle Dedicke is joined by Maureen Bierman, Director of Marketing and Community Relations at Step One Automotive Group. Maureen discusses her new role as the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce Chair, a new private foundation that Step One Automotive Group has launched called Forever Warriors, and much more!Listen now.
Newman-Dailey Resort Properties Honors Real Estate Agent Mark DeSalvo as the 2022 4th Quarter Top Producer in Both Listings and Sales
Newman-Dailey Resort Properties honors Real Estate Agent Mark DeSalvo as the 2022 4th Quarter Top Producer in both listings and sales. This impressive achievement is due to DeSalvo’s dedication, expertise and longevity in the Emerald Coast real estate market, which has made him a multi-time recipient of Top Producer Awards at Newman-Dailey. In fact, DeSalvo is celebrating 21 years with Newman-Dailey Resort Properties Real Estate Division and has been successfully helping clients buy and sell properties
Newman-Dailey Resort Properties honors Shannyn Stevenson as the 2022 Top Producer of the Year. Stevenson earned both the Top Sales Agent and the Top Listing Agent for 2022. This is the fifth year in a row in which Shannyn Stevenson has earned a Top Producer award. She achieved Top Sales Agent for 2018 and 2019, and Top Listing Agent for 2020 and 2021. This year, Stevenson adds both Top Listing and Sales Agent to her list of accolades. A local since 1980, Stevenson began her real estate career in Destin,
By Nathan Sparks, CEcD Executive Director of One Okaloosa EDC Is it just me, or do the holidays already seem like a distant memory? We sincerely hope that 2023 is off to a fine start for each of you. As busy as 2022 was for the One Okaloosa EDC team, 2023 is shaping up to be even busier. Along with continuing to work an incredible pipeline of active investment opportunities, our organization has added some new talent to our small but mighty team. Specifically, John Ferrandini was selected as our new
The Okaloosa STEMM Academy has been selected to participate in the 2022-2023 National Blue Ribbon Program. The program honors public elementary and secondary schools whose students achieve at very high levels. The Okaloosa STEMM Academy is a public middle school with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Medical fields. Due to the rigorous, advanced program of study with high school-level classes offered beginning in 6th grade, students are selected to attend based on a solid academic
In partnership with the St. Joe Community Foundation and The Walton County Public Schools, we are excited to announce our 2nd year of the Read To Feed Program. The St. Joe Community Foundation will award a grant for each advanced reader test scored 80% and above on by a Walton County School District student will raise $0.25 for Food For Thought Outreach to use to provide free, healthy meals to local students in need. The St. Joe Community Foundation is excited to announce that it will once again be
Did you miss the event or are you ready to watch now? Is bad I.T. costing you? It's time to talk about the elephant in the room. Brought to you by Bit-Wizards. The full presentation is available here.
Musician/music instructor Margaret Gordon has joined Sinfonia Gulf Coast to lead its Youth Orchestras and coordinate its music education community outreach efforts. A native of Fort Walton Beach, Gordon’s passion for music began at Kenwood Elementary School where she began learning the viola. She was in Sinfonia Youth Orchestra while a student at Choctawhatchee High school. She went on to earn her undergraduate degree at the University of West Florida in Music Performance and a master’s degree in Viola
The Junior League of the Emerald Coast is hosting a Gumbo Cookoff to benefit the Junior League of the Emerald Coast's Child Clothing Project at 3rd Planet Brewing Co. in Niceville on February 25th from 5-8. Please see the attached form if you'd like to compete. The cost is only $20 and it is for a very good cause. Click Here for registration details.
Step One Automotive Group, through Healing Paws for Warriors, is sponsoring a service dog that will later be matched with a veteran in need. Through an online social media contest, the puppy was named "Liberty". In addition to the highly anticipated reveal of Liberty's name, Step One Automotive Group presented a $6,000 check to support Healing Paws for Warriors. "We are so excited to be involved in raising and training Liberty, a wonderful support dog that will one day support a veteran in need." -
Last week, we got some very exciting updates that I couldn’t wait to share with our SOF Missions family! As of January 17, the Veterans Comprehensive Act of 2020 has FINALLY been activated! Among other things, this act allows veterans in suicidal crises to go to ANY healthcare facility for FREE emergency health care. This means that, with your support, we’ll be able to get more help for our nation’s warriors around the country than ever before! JOIN THE CAUSE You can catch an interview where I had the
In light of the recent national and state increase in fentanyl-related overdoses, officers at Okaloosa County Department of Corrections are taking action to combat this issue within the facility. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, has become a major public health concern in recent years. The drug is often mixed with other substances, such as heroin and cocaine, making it even more dangerous. To address this problem, several measures have been implemented to
On Wednesday, Jan. 25, Chick-fil-A celebrated its new, larger Destin location with a ribbon cutting! The restaurant will officially open its doors tomorrow, Jan. 26, at 6 a.m., at 1021 Hwy. 98 E., in Destin.Chick-fil-A focuses on freshly prepared food crafted with quality ingredients. It's famous chicken sandwiches, nuggets and strips are made from breast meat, breaded by hand in-restaurant. Fresh produce is delivered to the kitchen several times a week. Salads are prepared throughout the day. The delicious
The Emerald Coast of Florida is known for its white sand beaches and emerald-green waters. Now, it will also be known for having industry leading fiber optic broadband. Residents, tourists and businesses alike will have the opportunity to grow to new heights utilizing high speed internet that once wasn't available to them. We know that the small-town America is often forgotten, and current internet service providers just aren't doing enough to serve and improve the lives of the residents of the Emerald
We at Eco Clean Marine would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the businesses and organizations who generously donated and supported us throughout 2022. Our first year of cleaning up local shores was a huge success because of you, and your contributions have helped us fulfill our mission of keeping our shorelines clean and healthy for our marine friends. At Eco Clean Marine, we believe in taking care of our environment by picking up our trash, and we work to educate and inspire others to do the
Florida Power & Light Company Donates $5,000 to Okaloosa County School District Career and Technical Education Summer Camp Programs
A generous donation by Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) will enhance the summer camp experience for rising 5th graders to help spark interest in coding, construction, biomedical, automotive, welding, culinary, entrepreneurship, digital design, and cosmetology. On Thursday, January 19th, FPL Regional External Affairs Manager Bernard Johnson presented a $5,000 check to District staff, which will help provide free week-long summer camps to students. The donation will help expand camp offerings, support
Katie Crowe and Karina Caraballo Assume New Roles at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida is pleased to announce the promotion of Katie Crowe to Marketing/Operations Supervisor and Karina Caraballo to Marketing Manager for the brokerage headquartered in WaterColor, FL. Both Crowe and Caraballo are expanding their existing roles with the brokerage to take on additional responsibilities and management duties. “We’re thrilled to see Katie and Karina grow within our brokerage and assume these key roles,” said Jimmy Burgess, Chief Executive
Last week, Speaker Paul Renner appointed Representative T. Patt Maney to the Florida Defense Support Task Force, filling one of two seats that opened in November. Representative Patt Maney was a prior member of the FDSTF. He is also a member of the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame, and is the namesake of the "T. Patt Maney Veterans Treatment Act." His term will expire in November 2024.
The Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) recently announced that Debra “Debi” Riley-Broadnax will be joining their team as the non-profit’s new CARES Program Manager. In this newly established position as Manager, Riley-Broadnax will be responsible for creating, managing and sustaining the CARES Program. CARES stands for Community, Awareness, Resources, and Support. The CARES Program is being established because of the need for elevating ECCAC’s community abuse prevention education in Okaloosa
We are so excited for this year's Palate and Palette event and cannot wait to see this amazing production that this night will generate within our community. Your commitment and hard work is invaluable to Shelter House and all the victims of Domestic Violence that we will serve. We look forward to seeing you all there. Various volunteer shifts and duties are available from Friday, February 3rd to Saturday, February 4th. Please see sign up link below for more information. Don't miss out on a great time for
On Thursday, Jan. 19, Crumbl Cookies celebrated its new Destin location with a ribbon cutting. Bringing friends and family together, Crumbl Cookies' 170+ unique cookie flavors rotate weekly and are served in the famous pink box. Visit Crumbl Cookies in the Shoppes at Paradise Key, behind Bonefish Grill. For details, call (850) 389-4689 or visit crumblcookies.com.
In this week’s episode of the Hello Frances podcast, our host Shantelle Dedicke reflects on the time she spent reviewing, revising, and resting in the month of December. She shares the most meaningful ways she found to rest, how she plans to continue to make small but impactful changes this year, and much more!Listen now.
On Tuesday, Jan. 17, the Youth Village, Inc., celebrated its newly remodeled playground with a ribbon cutting. Named "The Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation presents the Youth Village Outdoor Experience," the playground's remodel was due to a large donation from the foundation. Opened in 1999, the Youth Village is a non-profit after school care program and summer camp for preschool children, ages 3-5, and elementary and middle school children from kindergarten through 8th grade. Its goal is to
The St. Joe Community Foundation is excited to announce that it will once again be providing a grant to the local non-profit Food for Thought Outreach to fund the “Read to Feed” initiative that helps Walton County School District students raise funds to provide free lunches to fellow students in need. The Read to Feed initiative grants $0.25 to Food For Thought Outreach for each successfully completed accelerated reader test with a score of 80% and above. “The Read to Feed program has been inspiring, as
"We, the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance, are in great need of a new Water Quality Citizen Scientist to help us sample and monitor the beautiful Destin Harbor and Crab Island. This volunteer must have their own vessel and requires a once-a-month commitment to sampling 3 stations from Crab Island into the Harbor. Be a part of our mission in maintaining swimmable, fishable waterways for our community. Interested? Email Program Manager Jenna at email@example.com to learn more today!" Choctawhatchee Basin
The Okaloosa County Tourist Development Department (TDD) Destin-Fort Walton Beach Tourism continues to focus their efforts on ecotourism with the deployment of the research vessel R/V MANTA. This expansion supports a long-term vision of continuing to grow as a sought-after destination for those seeking premier fishing and diving opportunities. The deployment of R/V MANTA took place approximately 16 nautical miles offshore on January 15, 2023. The sister ship, R/V DOLPHIN is set to deploy in the weeks
Warren Averett CPAs and Advisors is happy to announce that four individuals have been promoted to Members of the firm. We are pleased to recognize their past accomplishments, and we celebrate their future endeavors as they embark on this new chapter of their careers. Below, we have highlighted the new Member in Fort Walton Beach. Jeri Groce, CPA (Audit, Montgomery), provides auditing, attestation and consulting services, specializing in nonprofit, higher education and governmental entities. She also has
During its Jan. 13 Business Before Hours and Annual Membership Meeting at LuLu’s Destin, the Destin Chamber honored some of its most outstanding volunteers and installed its 2023 Chairman and Board of Directors. Before passing the gavel to 2023 Chairman of the Board Jason Belcher of FNBT Bank, 2022 Chairman Jennifer Gutai Comella of Hand Arendall Harrison Sale presented the James D. Neilson, Sr., Chairman’s Award for Volunteer Service and the Paul Woolman Ambassador of the Year Award. These awards are
The 2022-2023 Parent Climate Survey is available now. We invite parents and guardians to take a moment to complete this valuable survey about your child's school. We rely on your feedback to continuously improve our schools. You can complete one survey per child enrolled. The survey is available in English and Spanish. Please visit www.okaloosaschools.com. Thank you for your continued partnership which helps to make Okaloosa County Schools even better!
Thousands of Okaloosa County School District parents have set up their FOCUS parent accounts through our website and connected their students to their accounts. We encourage all parents to visit our website, www.okaloosaschools.com, to set up their accounts and link their students to it if necessary. Contact your school if you need help connecting your students to your account. As a reminder, the OCSD Focus App can be found in the Apple App and Google Play Stores for download. You can find it by searching
The Bit-Wizards Managed IT Services team is getting ready to host its first webinar of the year, “How Bad IT is Costing Your Business.” This will be a virtual presentation and live Q&A session focused on how outsourcing IT to a managed services provider (MSP) can prevent your business from wasting money. “As a new year begins and inflation continues to cause concern, many business owners are looking to tighten their purse strings. We want to make sure they fully understand how downtime, security
Check out the latest news from Florida State Rep. Patt Maney's office, including special session and committee week recap, recent legislative actions, and what's to come.Read the entire newsletter here.
Founded in Destin, Florida, in 2015, Sociallee, now known as True Story PR, started with Whitney Lee, APR, CPRC, as a 29 year old solo practitioner. Lee had previously served as the Director of Marketing at the Hilton Sandestin, as well as the Events and Marketing Manager at Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village. Sociallee served small businesses in Okaloosa and Walton counties, from vacation rental companies, to restaurants, boutiques, non-profits and more. Today, True Story has grown to a team of eight
Minto Communities USA (“Minto”) and The St. Joe Company (NYSE: JOE) (“St. Joe”) announce that Latitude Margaritaville Watersound, located on Northwest Florida’s Emerald Coast, sold its 1,000th home in December 2022. In addition, homeowners soon will enjoy the four pillars of Latitude Margaritaville — fun, food, music and escapism — to the fullest with the grand opening of the Latitude Town Center this spring. Latitude Margaritaville Watersound opened to a resounding response from home buyers in May 2021,
Northwest Florida State College’s Culinary and Hospitality Management programs present the Seagrass Restaurant student learning lab Spring Dinners, beginning February 2. The attached flier provides dates, themes, prices and reservation information. Dinner Details: •Reception will begin at 5:30pm, with dinner seating at 5:50pm •Banquet-family style, Set theme menu (sample menus attached) •Tables of 6 people •Substitutions are not possible due to this being a student learning lab •One dinner per guest
The Gulfarium's C.A.R.E. Center successfully released three rehabilitated sea turtles on Wednesday, January 11, 2023 at Topsail Hill State Park, Florida. Grace, an adult female Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, weighs 70lbs. Grace was found entangled in a buoy line on July 23, 2022. Stranding coordinator Tabitha Siegfried paired up with Fort Walton Beach Parasailing to rescue Grace right offshore in front of the Four Points Resort on Okaloosa Island. Grace had been reportedly stuck to the buoy line for over 24
Our Be Resilient Clinics are at the heart of everything we do here at SOF Missions. We do this work because there are thousands of struggling warriors across our nation who are in need of purpose, resilience and hope. That's what YOU are helping us bring when you support our Be Resilient Clinics. This January, our team is excited and expectant as we prepare for the clinics we already have scheduled for the year. 2023 Be Resilient Clinics •&##128467;️ February 2-6•&##128467;️ March 9-13•&##128467;️ April
The Okaloosa Arts Alliance (OAA) announces the Board of Directors for the current fiscal year. The Executive Board of Directors are President Bill Head, Colonel (Ret), USAF, MSC; Vice President Marlayna Goosby, Grow Your Gift Conservatory of Music; Treasurer Susan Kneller, Chair of the OAA Grants Committee; and Secretary Becky Belcher with the Arts & Design Society. The Board of Directors are James K. Baughman Sr., Author; Jeanette Shires, Mattie Kelly Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College &
In this episode of Let’s Talk Title with Emerald Coast Title Services, Dion Moniz and Ashley Bowen discuss a current trend regarding vacant land fraud and what you can do to avoid it. Listen to the full episode to learn the different types of fraudulent activity, red flags to look out for, how you can be proactive in avoiding fraudulent contracts, and more. Listen now.
We are excited to launch the most publicized magazine on the Emerald Coast. This magazine is a quarterly publication and there is space left in the Spring (April 2023) issue. For marketing opportunities for your business, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Minto Communities USA announces that four of their five master-planned communities have been named on the John Burns Real Estate Consulting list of Top 50 Master-Planned Communities in the United States for 2022. All four Minto communities were ranked among the top 25 on the list. Minto is the only master-planned community developer and home builder in the U.S. to achieve this result. The Minto communities that ranked in the top 25 include Latitude Margaritaville communities in Daytona Beach, Florida,
Jan Sirmans Appointed Chief Operating Officer at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida is pleased to announce the promotion of Jan Sirmans to Chief Operating Officer for the brokerage headquartered in WaterColor, FL. Formerly the Vice President of Operations, Sirmans will expand her role on the brokerage’s executive team overseeing daily operations, implementing strategic goals, and ensuring the delivery of quality customer service to clients and associates. “We are delighted and fortunate to have Jan assume this key leadership
Step into spring 2023 with a song in your heart. Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation (MKAF) announces the lineup for its 2023 Concerts in the Village. The area’s first live concert series is held each spring on Thursday evenings at the MKAF Dugas Pavilion in Destin. This year’s 28th annual family-friendly series will run from April 20 to June 22. The 10-concert live music series will feature premier regional and national musicians and bands performing everything from classic rock, reggae, and disco to modern
To celebrate with us, consider becoming a mentor. It just takes ONE person to open a door and put a child on the path to a great future. There are numerous ways that you can help our organization, whether it is through volunteering or making a donation in honor or memory of a mentor. We look forward to you being a part of the movement and helping to make someone’s future great! Click here to learn more about our mentor program.
Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners (“BCC”), with the mutual approval of the Fort Walton Beach City Council, will appoint one or more citizens to the Okaloosa County/Fort Walton Beach Affordable Housing Advisory Committee (“AHAC”). Pursuant to section 420.9076, Florida Statutes, the AHAC serves in an advisory capacity to the Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners and the Fort Walton Beach City Council on issues related to affordable housing in Okaloosa County, including the development of
Triumph Gulf Coast Awards $21 Million Grant for Expansion of Nursing Program at Northwest Florida State College
The Triumph Gulf Coast board has awarded Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC) $21,787,560 for its Nursing Program Expansion project. Triumph Gulf Coast is a competitive development fund in Northwest Florida that supports infrastructure needs and develops industry-driven workforce and education training programs. With the support from Triumph Gulf Coast, the College will be able to meet health care industry needs and expand the availability of qualified nurses throughout Northwest Florida. The Nursing
Café Thirty-A’s Annual Christmas Charity Ball, held on Friday, December 2, raised a record-breaking $50,000 for Caring and Sharing of South Walton, an organization that provides food and financial assistance to area families and individuals in need. The sold-out event welcomed over 250 guests to the festively decorated restaurant where they were greeted with complimentary valet, sponsored by Corcoran Reverie, and a glass of champagne, courtesy of Foundation Title and Escrow. Inside, event goers enjoyed
Preliminary construction activities will begin this month to allow for the construction of the new Brooks Bridge in Okaloosa County scheduled to begin this spring. This work includes relocating utilities on and around Brooks Street, U.S. 98, and the south side of Publix at the Shoppes at Paradise Point shopping center. In the coming weeks, crews plan to realign Brooks Street, from Perry Avenue to the Brooks Bridge, to provide space to construct the new westbound structure. Other activities include
HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital recently celebrated the grand opening of its expanded Cardiac Rehabilitation Center, which has moved into a newly-renovated building. Within walking distance of the former Cardiac Rehabilitation Center, the new facility is located at 1020 Titan Court Suite 101 – and more than doubled its space from 992 square feet to 2,300 square feet – including a gym with upgraded equipment, exam room, two patient treatment rooms and two changing rooms. Cardiac rehabilitation at
On this week’s episode of the Hello Frances podcast, our host Shantelle Dedicke is joined by Hillaree Durso, our Senior Director of Content & Marketing. Shantelle and Hillaree discuss Enneagram stress and growth stages, embracing your Enneagram number, and why you don’t need to reinvent yourself in the new year. Listen to the full episode to learn more! Listen now.
Thank you to our generous donors this holiday season! Your contributions fueled our services over Thanksgiving and Christmas and made an immediate impact in the lives of the children we serve. •Giving Tuesday - Just over $34,000 raised •Sponsor a Family - Just over $8,000 raised•Holiday Food Drive - 12,000 food items donated •Brunch with Santa raised $6,0000 On behalf of the Children we serve, Thank You! With the generosity of our volunteers, FFT was able to serve more than 1,400 families for
Merry Christmas and happy holidays from the CVHN family! &##127876;&##127877;&##127873; Looking back on this past year, we could not be more thankful for the generosity of each individual who has supported us and our mission. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you all for your time, donations, and loyalty as we provide free accessible dental and mental health care services to the underserved children in our community. As excited as we are for what's to come in the new year, 2022 isn't over yet, and
Save The Dates For Sinfonia Gulf Coast Annual Fundraiser Crescendo! 2023: A Cultural & Culinary Extravaganza!
Crescendo! 2023 Kick off Thursday, Jan. 26 Crescendo! Vintner Dinners Friday, Feb. 24 Crescendo! Main Event Sunday, Feb. 26 Crescendo is “the highest point reached in a progressive increase of intensity” and an apt name for the event of the 2023 Northwest Florida social season. Sinfonia Gulf Coast, our region’s only fully professional symphony orchestra, is pleased to announce the full lineup for its annual fundraiser Crescendo! A Cultural and Culinary extravaganza, slated for February 24 & 26,
This holiday season, the employees of Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon (ESC) have been active in adding holiday cheer to the local Pensacola area. Collecting donations from employees and clients from its three locations along the Gulf Coast, ESC has been able to amply supply four major projects that all have special meaning to the firm and its personnel. This year, Toys for Tots, Florida Guardian ad Litem, C.A. Weis Elementary School, and Escambia County Animal Shelter were among some of the recipients of
Florida Power and Light Company Donates $20,000 to Okaloosa County Public Schools Foundation Teacher Grant Program
On Friday, December 16th, Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) graciously donated $20,000 to the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation (OPSF) to support the Teacher Grant Program. The check presentation took place at Meigs Middle School, and the donation will help support grants for teachers of students in grades K-12. “We are grateful for the strong community partnership with FPL, and it means a great deal to our teachers who are pursuing meaningful programs in their classrooms to engage students and enhance
Since 1970, the All Sports Association (ASA) has supported and honored the "best of the best" High School, Collegiate, Amateur, Professional, and Special Olympic athletes and recognized individuals who have fostered youth activities in Northwest Florida. The ASA, made up of dues-paying volunteers, has donated their time and raised money for non-profit organizations emphasizing local youth sports programs. This year, the ASA has made a generous donation of $50,000 to the Okaloosa County Public Schools
On this week’s episode of the Hello Frances podcast, our host Shantelle Dedicke wraps up the third year of our podcast with a solo episode. During the episode she shares three things she plans to do in December as the end of the year draws to a close: review, revise, and rest!Listen now!
Thank you to our Volunteers! Over Thanksgiving and Christmas our Food For Thought volunteers gave over 400 hours of their time to help pack and distribute our services. We are so thankful for your time and energy!
It’s Christmastime, and for the Wizards that means shopping, wrapping, and gifting is afoot! Several years ago, the team at Bit-Wizards decided that in lieu of client gifts and holiday cards, the company would donate Christmas gifts to families in need. For 2022, Bit-Wizards’ Be the Magic Foundation chose to donate to 14 families, including 25 kids, that reside at Fresh Start for Children and Families. Fresh Start’s mission is to share love and compassion through a comprehensive educational, vocational,
On Wednesday, the Florida Legislature passed three bills, one of which is aimed at stabilizing the property insurance market in Florida: Senate Bill 2A, legislation that is designed to improve the property insurance marketplace for homeowners. Over the last 18 months, Florida has witnessed multiple insurance carriers fail or decide to stop doing business in our state. There are a multitude of reasons why, but three major reasons include the increase in Florida property values, litigation costs, and the
Margaretia Mwale, 60, was supposed to be entering her golden years. All five of her children were grown and had families of their own. She only needed to focus on herself and her husband. At least that’s how things were supposed to be—until one of her sons passed away from complications of anemia, and all six of his children came to live with her. The biggest challenge was water. It took two hours to collect water from an open creek bed, and the water wasn’t clean. During the driest part of the year, the
HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital Thursday awarded a $15,000 scholarship to Okaloosa Technical College to support efforts to strengthen and expand the state’s healthcare workforce. The funding is part of HCA Healthcare’s ongoing commitment to partnering with organizations to help develop a diverse pool of future healthcare leaders and is designed to ensure that every student has the same opportunity to graduate and attain a high-quality degree or industry certification. “The ability to provide
On Saturday, December 10, 2022, the Gulfarium hosted Breakfast with Santa for the third year in a row for Feed Fosters of Northwest Florida with the First City Church. This event provides foster children a unique opportunity to celebrate the holidays and honor their foster families. The event welcomed foster children and their families in the panhandle area throughout Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton counties. This year they had 682 kids and their families, totaling 1,037 guests with over 150
Branden Crosby has been named as the new leader for Warren Averett’s Retail and Consumer Industry Group
Warren Averett CPAs and Advisors’Branden Crosby, CPA, CGMA has been named as the new leader for the firm’s Retail and Consumer Industry Group. The Retail and Consumer Industry Group works with more than 400 retail and consumer clients and has proven industry expertise and customized services to help support the ever-changing market forces and challenges affecting retail and consumer companies. From minimizing taxes and retail tax planning compliance to financial statement audits and cash flow
Welcome to Christmas Service Week at Food For Thought Outreach. The children we serve at Food For Thought depend upon the Free/Reduced Breakfast and Lunch program at their school for their main access to food. Over the extended holiday break from school, the needs of the children in our programs only increase. This week, we will provide critical access to food across Walton and Okaloosa Counties to ensure it is Happy Holiday for the children and families in need of our help. With the support of our
Tickets are on sale now for South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival, taking place April 27 – April 30, 2023, in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin® (not to be confused with the Sandestin resort or Sandestin wine festival). Pre-sale ticket prices are good through Dec. 31, 2022. With more than 600 quality wines to taste over four days, this annual award-winning charity event delivers a wine experience unparalleled among Northwest Florida wine festivals. In addition to the vast selection of wines from
Step One Automotive Group Receives Florida Department of Education Commissioner's Business Recognition Award
Step One Automotive Group has been named a recipient of the Florida Department of Education's 2022 Commissioner's Business Recognition Award. The award recognizes Florida’s business leaders and partners that have shown the most commitment to bringing positive change and implementing bold, innovative approaches to improve the academic performance of students in Florida’s education system and communities. These educational connections help Florida school districts gain a competitive edge in providing enhanced
We are currently accepting food donations for Holiday Meals this December so that we can provide a delicious Holiday feast for those living in the Emergency Shelter and for survivors of domestic violence in Okaloosa and Walton counties. If you are willing and able to donate, please drop off your donations by December 20 at our Main Office at 16 Ferry Road SE in Fort Walton Beach. We are thankful for your help! See volunteer opportunities here
On Dec. 13, Destin Chamber members celebrated the holidays and the Chamber’s most outstanding individuals and businesses, during the Annual Holiday & Awards Party Presented by Trustmark. Amid poinsettias, twinkling lights and Christmas trees at the Destin – Fort Walton Beach Convention Center, 2022 Destin Chamber Chairman Jennifer Gutai Comella of Hand Arendall Harrison Sale and Destin Chamber President & CEO Shane A. Moody, CCE, FCCP led the awards presentation. Alan Gieseman, CEO of White-Wilson Medical
Today, local employee management solution company, SimpleHR, celebrates a milestone with 20 years in business. Well-known as a "Best in Class" provider of payroll, human resources, benefits administration and workers’ compensation, SimpleHR is a five-time earner of the annual Best Companies To Work For In Florida list by Florida Trend magazine. The people-centric business is driven by a team of committed and certified professionals. "At our deepest core, our people differentiate us from other companies.
Over the years, the Flying Needles Quilt Guild in Niceville has donated Christmas stockings and quilts to the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC), and the organization is doing it again this year. In addition to ECCAC, other organizations who received these home-made gifts of stockings, quilts, blankets, pillowcases and drawstring bags are Children in Crisis, Catholic Charities and the Northwest Florida Guardian Ad Litem Foundation. The Guild also supports the Quilt of Valor Foundation by
Be mindful of these scams that could cut into your holiday cheer 1. Misleading social media ads: As you scroll through your social media feed, you often see products advertised. Always research before you buy. BBB Scam Tracker receives daily reports of people paying for items that they never receive, getting charged monthly for a free trial they never signed up for, or receiving an item that is counterfeit or much different from the one advertised. The 2022 BBB Online Scams Report found that online
If you're gifting experiences instead of material items this year, we have the perfect holiday gifts for you! Tickets to the 4th Annual Shrimp & Grits Festival and the 5th Annual Mac & Cheese Festival benefitting the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast are great gifts for everyone on your list. Calling all Shrimp & Grits fanatics… the 4th Annual Shrimp & Grits Festival benefiting the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast returns to Destin Harbor on Feb. 25, 2023! Enjoy creative twists of this
Happy Holidays, Friends! I hope this finds you well and that your holiday season is off to a wonderful start. First and foremost, thank you for your dedication and support of the Northwest Florida Ballet. I also wanted to update you on a terrific opportunity to consider for your year-end giving. As you may know, we initially kicked off our Académie Classroom Capital Campaign just before the pandemic and temporarily suspended it until last year, when we reinitiated it. Below you will find out how to access
Yesterday, State Representative Patt Maney convened with members of the Florida House of Representatives in Tallahassee for the first week of Legislative Committee meetings for the 2022-2023 Regular Session, as well as Special Legislative Session 2022-A to address rising property insurance costs to Florida families. “For folks in the Panhandle, the stakes are too high to let up now,” said State Representative Patt Maney. “Storm after storm, Florida communities are in near-constant states of short and
Hello Destin, As a 20-year veteran in Special Operations, I’ve gone through many challenges because of my military service and time in combat. So in 2011, my wife and I felt called to start SOF Missions as a way to serve our fellow brothers and sisters in arms. The hard reality is that, every day, more than 20 of our nation's veterans take their own lives. I could have been one of them... These are the brave men and women who fight so courageously to protect our livelihood and this should not be the end
Families enjoyed a memorable 7th Annual Billy Claus and The LuLuBelles experience at LuLu’s Destin. Billy Claus is Santa’s warm weather-loving brother who lives in the Caribbean, but comes this way to help Santa during the holiday season. The LuLuBelles are Billy’s version of Santa’s elves. True to his island tradition, Billy arrived by boat from the Choctawhatchee Bay right behind LuLu’s. The free event featured kid’s Christmas arts & crafts activities; the LuLuBelles reading of the children’s book
The White-Wilson Community Foundation partnered with Special Olympics Florida to provide free sports physicals to local athletes throughout Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton Counties on Saturday, December 10 at White-Wilson Medical Center’s main campus in Fort Walton Beach, 1005 Mar Walt Drive. Volunteers from White-Wilson Medical Center conducted the routine physicals for nearly 30 athletes in need of renewal to ensure they may continue to benefit from Special Olympics training and
Tickets are now on sale for the Ascension Sacred Heart Foundation’s 2023 Emerald Ball to benefit Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast, the event is Saturday, February 4 at 6 p.m. at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Resort Golf and Spa and is presented by Howard Group, Grand Boulevard, and Silver Sands Premium Outlets. Proceeds from this year’s event will go toward purchasing a new computerized tomography (CT) scanner for both adults and
Okaloosa Superintendent Marcus Chambers and District Programs Highlighted by the Florida Association
We are pleased to announce that Okaloosa County Schools Superintendent Marcus Chambers was recently recognized by the Florida Association of District School Superintendents (FADSS) for his accomplishments during his tenure. In addition, several innovative district programs and awards were mentioned, which included the following: •The Okaloosa County School District (OCSD) was one of 38 school systems worldwide to receive the Cognia's District of Distinction award.•OCSD has returned to an authentic and
Special Olympics Florida athletes to receive free sports physicals provided by the White-Wilson Community Foundation. These physical exams will provide valuable health services and ensure that athletes from throughout Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties may continue to benefit from Special Olympics training and competition. Who: The White-Wilson Community Foundation and Special Olympics FloridaWhat: Special Olympics Athlete Physical EventWhen: December 10, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.Where: 1005 Mar Walt Drive,
Northwest Florida State College Joins AWS Academy to Equip Students with In-Demand Cloud Computing Skills
Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC) is pleased to announce its participation in AWS Academy, an Amazon Web Services (AWS) program that provides higher education institutions with a ready-to-teach cloud computing curriculum. NWFSC’s AWS Academy Cloud Foundations is intended for students who seek an overall understanding of cloud computing concepts to include AWS core services, security, architecture, pricing, and support. This free, non-credit, 20-hour course is entirely online and self-paced. Funding
From Supplying Office Equipment to Medical Supplies, Find Out How You Can Help Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge
Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge needs your help to meet its mission. Check out the list of needs below: - 4 Newer model laptops - 24 Matching conference chairs (stackable and foldable chairs would be welcomed as well) - Office conference table and matching chairs - Reception or small retail check out desk - Portable room dividers (5 panels) - Medical and surgical supplies If you can help or know of a company upgrading equipment or going out of business, please contact Denise Song at
Take a look at our catering menu & special events menu! One of our Catering Managers will respond to you ASAP. Let us bring brunch to you or reserve your local Ruby after hours for your own private event!
Tickets for the 7th annual Palate & Palette, a Five-Course Wine Dinner and live Painting event are now on sale! The event will be held Saturday, February 4th at Legendary Marine and will feature hand-selected wine pairings by Elite Worldwide and a pop-up dinner from five of the most sought after premier local chefs. Complete with signature craft cocktails, the trendy beats of our feature DJ, and the experience of a live painting. This chic, intimate dinner is one you do not want to miss! This holiday
The 38th annual “Elf on the Shelf” Christmas Parade will be held on Saturday, December 10th, 2022, at 10 a.m. *UPDATE* The parade will begin at the intersection of Beach Drive and Highway 98, then travel west down Harbor Boulevard (Hwy 98) to Stahlman Avenue. Spectators are asked to stand on the north side of Harbor Boulevard to watch the parade. At no time should parade spectators enter the street area. We ask that parents and guardians closely monitor their children and keep them out of the street at all
Congratulations to the following winners of the 96th Test Wing's 3rd Quarter Awards: Airman of the Quarter - SrA Zhedryk D. Zacarias 96 MDG NCO of the Quarter - TSgt Stephanie A. Gilmartin 96 MSG SNCO of the Quarter - MSgt LaDonna S. Ford 96 MDG CGO of the Quarter - Capt Troy D. Soileau 96 CTG Honor Guardsman of the Quarter - SrA Rodney V. Williams We appreciate your service!
Giving Tuesday is here and Shelter House is thrilled to participate this year! There are several ways you can give back to ourmission. You can sign up to volunteer your time, donate items