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Peggy Stephen Swanson Announced as Newest ECCAC Board Member

The Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) announces Peggy Stephen Swanson as the newest member of its Board of Directors. 

Originally from Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada, Swanson attended the University of Manitoba. As a child, she spent every summer in Panama City, Okaloosa Island and Destin, and knew early on she wanted to call NW Florida home. In Canada, prior to moving to the Destin area in 1991, Swanson owned and operated a restaurant and specialty store. During that time, she also worked closely with fundraising efforts for the global non-profit organization, Variety, The Children’s Society, that helps to transform children’s lives with independence, mobility and social inclusion.

After spending 19 years in the hospitality industry, including being in the restaurant business in Destin, Swanson made the decision to become actively involved in real estate in 1999.  She has an adult son living in Pensacola, and she married several years ago here in Destin.

Being a Board member of ECCAC falls in line nicely with Swanson’s desire to help children. She commented, “I will do my best to help, raise money, as well as making more people aware of ECCAC and the many ways this special organization helps children.”

Julie Porterfield, ECCAC CEO, added, “We are delighted to have Peggy on our Board. With her dedication, passion and experience, she will make a positive difference in the lives of children.”

ECCAC’s mission is to heal and prevent the trauma of childhood abuse and neglect by providing advocacy, child-friendly therapies, and a safe environment for kids to feel seen, heard, and understood. In 2023 alone, ECCAC assisted 1,585 kids and 17,480 students received Safety Matters prevention education in area schools. Though ECCAC doesn’t house children, they provide services to children and their families at no cost in their Okaloosa and Walton County centers.

For further information about ECCAC, visit If abuse is suspected, report it by calling the anonymous Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE. 

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