Out2News Human Interest & Opinions

Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary Celebrates Christmas in July

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In Photo: Diane Olon, Lori Baird, Sherry Walker and Pat Northcutt

Article by Kim Johnson/Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham

Stuart– The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary recently held its first ever Christmas in July toy drive and fundraiser, a tropical holiday happy hour held at the Dolphin Bar & Shrimp House The event raised over $7300 and brought in more than 150 toys for the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Christmas assistance program.

Every year hundreds of underprivileged children receive toys and new clothes through the Angel Tree program. During the holidays, tags with each child’s wishes are displayed on Christmas trees at the Treasure Coast Square Mall and other businesses throughout the area. Most are “adopted” by generous donors who purchase the toys and clothes listed on their tags, but every year there are a few that do not get a sponsor. The Salvation Army relies on donations to fill those children’s toy bags. That’s where the idea for the toy drive came from.

“We are thrilled to have such a tremendous response,” says Captain Sheena Marquis, Corps Officer for the Salvation Army of Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties. “We now have enough to cover our overhead costs and fill every child’s Christmas wishes. We are so grateful to our Women’s Auxiliary and everyone who supported this event.”

The Women’s Auxiliary is a group of local women who have supported local Salvation Army programs for more than 20 years through volunteering and fundraising activities. For membership information, contact committee chair Judy Scott at judyscott0703@gmail.com.

For more information about the programs and mission of the Salvation Army in Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties, visit salvationarmymartin.org or call 772-288-1471.

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21 July Xmas in July Salvation 3

In Photo: Lois & Dick Giuffreda, Jill Campbell and Judy Scott

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In Photo: The Cookie Ladies

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In Photo: Kim Johnson and Cap't Sheena Marquis

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In Photo: Lynnann White, Liz Gerovac, Gretchen Dewey and Andrea Raffinan-Shaffer

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In Photo: Jeff Marquis and Justin Beyer

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In Photo: Dawn Blair, Robert Shaffer Esq. & Andrea Raffinan-Shaffer

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In Photo: Brenda Auer, Sue Yarasso and Sharon Daniel- the Knit Wits of PGA Village

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In Photo: Manouscheca Delicat, Cathleen & Gary Blackmon

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In Photo: Jean Lenz and Mary Zottoli

Local Scientist Edith Widder Releases Memoir Exploring Light & Life in the Deep Sea

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In Photo: Dr. Edith Widder, founder and CEO of ORCA

Treasure Coast – Dr. Edith Widder’s childhood dream of becoming a marine biologist was almost derailed in college when complications from a surgery gone wrong caused temporary blindness. A new reality of shifting shadows drew her fascination to the power of light.

Now an internationally renowned deep-sea explorer with a resume that includes filming the giant squid in its natural habitat for the first time ever, an Explorers Club Citation of Merit and a MacArthur Fellowship, Widder will release her memoir Below the Edge of Darkness July 27.

Widder, founder of Treasure Coast-based ORCA, the Ocean Research & Conservation Association, uses her book to reflect on her journey exploring light and life in the deep sea.

Her writing unites her passion in oceanic bioluminescence, a little-explored scientific field within Earth’s last great frontier: the deep ocean. Below the Edge of Darkness takes readers deep into our planet’s oceans as Widder pursues her questions about one of the most important and widely used forms of communication in nature. In the process, she reveals hidden worlds and a dazzling menagerie of behaviors and animals, from microbes to leviathans, many never before seen or, like the legendary giant squid, never before filmed in their deep-sea lairs.

Widder’s bioluminescence expertise has been integral in understanding the health of the Indian River Lagoon ecosystem. One of the first to sound the alarm on the deterioration of the estuary, Widder’s concern for the lagoon, which serves as the nursery for many open ocean dwellers, has led her to become a leading advocate and thought leader for applying scientific methods to furthering marine conservation.

With accolades from legendary explorers such as James Cameron, Widder’s Below the Edge of Darkness shows readers how pushing boundaries expands worlds, allowing discovery and wonder to follow.

TC Masterminds of Stuart July Meeting at Hampton Inn & Suites Stuart

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Stuart- On July 16, 2021 the TC Masterminds of Stuart group met at Hampton Inn & Suites in Stuart. Christine Franco Marketing Manager of the hotel welcomed all members with fresh coffee. The hotel is just off US 1 in North Stuart, five minutes from Treasure Coast Square shopping and Riverwalk dining by the St. Lucie River. We're 15 minutes from Jensen and Stuart beaches, home to the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center. Enjoy free hot breakfast, free WiFi, and our outdoor pool. They are located at: 1150 NW Federal Hwy, Stuart, FL 34994 Contact them at:772-692-6922

Gary Owen is the mastermind behind the TC Masterminds group, which is a business, professional and social networking organization comprised of small business owners, executive leaders and non-profit organizations, all of whom display and promote the highest values of ethics, integrity and professionalism.

Treasure Coast Masterminds has two group that meet in Stuart and Port St. Lucie. For more information to join one of the group contact Gary Owen at: 772.210.1020.

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New Leadership Team in Place at Hobe Sound Early Learning Center

21 July Hobe Sound Early Learning Ctr Logo

Article by: Jackie Holfelder / Photos by: Hobe Sound Early Learning Center
Hobe Sound Early Learning Center (HSELC), which has been a vital part of the community since 1965, has announced the members of a new leadership team that will direct the expansion of the school’s educational program.

Thomas (Tom) Weber, CEO, has had a connection and love for Martin County since he graduated from Florida Institute of Technology (located where Mansion at Tuckahoe now stands) with a degree in electronics in 1979.

He also holds a degree in finance from Texas State.

Weber held executive positions in banking and commercial real estate before starting his own businesses in investments and technology.

He’s a long-time member of nonprofit boards, especially those benefitting children and families. He has chaired both the Education Foundation and Children Services Council of Palm Beach County.

Weber says, “This is a cumulation of a dream come true. I’m able to focus 100-percent of my time overseeing the growth, learning and success of children in Hobe Sound and Martin County. Every day I get to come in to see my 150 new clients. all of whom are about 3 feet tall. I enjoy seeing their activity and growth and the passion of their teachers.”

Weber’s broad business experience will lead the HSELC into the next era and Center Director Mary King will dedicate her talents to faculty and program needs.

Patricia (Patty) Phillips is Executive Assistant to Weber and brings a great personal attachment to HSELC: her two grown children – now aged 28 and 30 - both were students at the Center.

Phillips attended Broward College in Ft. Lauderdale and has lived in Hobe Sound and Martin County for 36 years.

With more than 30 years in the hospitality industry, she most recently has been employed in the nonprofit world, working to provide a positive impact in the community and improve the lives of others.

Previously, Phillips served as a Board Member of HSELC for several years.

Weber and Phillips will head up Phase 2 of the Center’s expansion to increase enrollment capacity to 200, provide infant care, and accelerate programs, with the support of the staff and by board members Rob Kloska, president, Phillip B. Rooney, vice-president, Ann Mehling, treasurer-VP Finance, Erin Smith, secretary and Steve Bartram, Dr. Ken Botsford, John Boyer, Susan Bubla, Philip Franke, Nick Matsoukis, Vincent Miller, Helen Pardoe, Jaime Schwartz and Natalie Whelan

For information about Hobe Sound Early Learning Center, visit www.hobesoundearlylearningcenter.org.

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In Photo: Thomas (Tom) Weber, CEO of Hobe Sound Early Learning

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In Photo: Patricia (Patty) Phillips, Executive Assistant to Thomas (Tom) Weber

Hope Lives Grants $15,000 to Families of the Treasure Coast Parent Warmline Program

a Chris Hartley, Donna Gibson, Chris Robertson, Kimberly Eardley, Tessa Falatovich and Devon Greene

In Photo: Chris Hartley, Donna Gibson, Chris Robertson, Kimberly Eardley, Tessa Falatovich and Devon Greene

Article by: MaryAnn Ketcham
During the COVID pandemic, many nonprofits seized the opportunity to think outside the box and transition their programs to fit the circumstances or, in some instances, to develop new programs.

Thanks to a generous grant of $15,000 from the Hope Lives Foundation, Families of the Treasure Coast can now expand its Parent Warmline, a program launched during the height of the COVID crisis and its resulting upheaval.

The Parent Warmline is a free service supporting parents, grandparents, and other caring adults of children ages 0-18 in St. Lucie County. Its goal is to provide family strengthening support and prevent a family crisis.

“Families went through major challenges and changes in their daily routines and home life during COVID,” said CEO Kimberly Eardley. “Families in need of parenting support, community resources, referrals, or a friendly ear have access to a caring Family Life Educator. The educator is experienced in providing a safe, non-judgmental environment encouraging parents to discuss issues related to their children.”

Trained and qualified family educators are available seven days a week by phone at 772 302-3147, text, and social media outlets Facebook and Instagram.

"What a great organization to partner with," said Hope Lives Foundation's Executive Director, Chris Robertson. "The Parent Warmline is taking technology and parenting need and connecting our local community. We look forward to helping them out in the future."

“Parenting is stressful,” said Hope Lives Board President Dr. Stephen Blank. “Having a helping hand can make all the difference. The Parent Warmline is making that difference for our local distressed families.”

Learn more about the Parent Warmline at FamiliesOfTheTreasureCoast.org

For more information on the Hope Lives Foundation and its grant process or events, please visit HopeLives.org The Hope Lives Foundation is a local 501c(3) that supports and strengthens community organizations that serve children and families on the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee Counties

Military Appeciation Weekend at Clover Park Honors Local Veterans and Benefits Nonprofit

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In Photo: Dr. Shamsher Singh, WWII Veterans Ray Glansberg and Bob Friese and Fort Pierce Mayor Linda Hudson

St. Lucie - Recently, the St. Lucie Mets hosted a three-night Military Appreciation event at Clover Park, honoring all active-duty military and veterans and providing them with free tickets.

Players wore custom-designed military-themed jerseys auctioned off to benefit the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter Michael F. Bradley Chapter 566’s Health and Welfare Fund, which assists veterans in St. Lucie County.

In attendance on night one of the series, special guest 99-year-old Staff Sergeant Ray Glansberg, a WWII Veteran, took the field and kicked off the series by tossing the first pitch! Accompanied by local philanthropist Dr. Shamsher Singh, 98-year-old fellow WWII Veteran Lt. Col. Bob Friese, and Fort Pierce Mayor Linda Hudson, Glansberg received enthusiastic cheers from the stands.

In awe, the many Veterans that surrounded him on the field, including Wally Vernon Walentiny, Wayne Teegardin, and Joseph Lusardi of the Vietnam Veterans of America and members of the St. Lucie Chapter of Do You Give a Ruck, saluted his effort!

Glansberg served in the 50th armored inventory in Patton’s 3rd Army after joining the service in 1942. He landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day, helped liberate the concentration camp at Buchenwald, fought in the battle of the bulge, and helped end the siege of Bastogne by the Germans.

After the Germans surrendered, Glansberg served as part of the Occupying Forces in Berlin.

“The St. Lucie Mets were honored to work with the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 566 Dr. Singh and Ray Glansberg,” said Kasey Blair, Assistant General Manager of the St. Lucie Mets.

“This is the 6th year in a row, minus 2020, that we have hosted our Military Appreciation weekend. It is always a privilege to highlight the amazing veterans in our community who sacrificed so much for us. We want to make sure that they know they are appreciated by our staff, players and fans.”

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In Photo: 99-year-old WWII Veteran Ray Glansberg throws out the first pitch!

Bingo Italian Night Resumes at St. Luke's

21 July 8 Nove Bingo

The monthly Bingo Italian Night will resume Thursday, Aug. 19 at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 5150 S.E. Railway Ave., Cove Road at Dixie Highway, Stuart.

For $12, each person will receive a small Bingo Card and a pasta dinner with salad and dessert.

Beer and wine will be available for a donation as will the purchase of additional cards and other specials.

Doors open at 5 p.m., dinner will be at 5:30 p.m. Bingo will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Subsequent Bingo nights will be Thursdays, Sept. 16, Oct. 21 and Nov. 18.

For more information, call 772-286-5455 or go to www.stlukesfl.org.

Tykes & Teens Painted the Town Green for May Mental Health Awareness Month

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Thank you to the students, families, educators, partners and communities we serve for helping us Paint the Town Green for May Mental Health Awareness Month!

Thanks to the generosity of the Children's Services Council of Martin County, we distributed May mental health self-care challenge calendars, green wristbands, stickers, green ribbons, mental health resources and more to schools and throughout the community!

And a special thank you to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and the City of Stuart for helping us light up downtown's Sailfish Fountain in green!

But our work doesn’t stop now that May has past, because Mental Health Matters Every Day of Every Month. Know that we’re always here to listen – you matter and you’re not alone.

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21 July Peggys
21 July YMCA Soccer Flyer
21 June United Way Tools for Success FLyer

House of Hope Induction of 3 New Emeritus Board

House of Hope
21 July House of Hope

House of Hope inducted three new individuals to our Emeritus Board earlier this month at the Francis Langford Dockside Pavilion at Indian Riverside Park!

Tony Lang, Frank Doyle, and Father Noel McGrath were presented with recognition awards by some of our board members. After the awards were received, Martin County Commissioner Ed Ciampi swore in the Emeritus Board.

Treasure Coast Food Bank Receives Additional Grant From Bank of America Charitable Foundation for COVID-Relief

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Treasure Coast Food Bank is pleased to announce that it has received a grant from Bank of America Charitable Foundation that will help to provide food and support to people still recovering from the impacts of COVID-19.

With the demand for assistance more than 50 percent higher than before the pandemic, the new $25,000 grant will help Treasure Coast Food Bank provide for people still working to recover.

“Before COVID-19, our community had many people who were just one disaster away from hard times. Although jobs have returned, many people are left with a backlog of bills, and others still face issues preventing them from finding employment,” said Judith Cruz, President and CEO of Treasure Coast Food Bank. “We’re so thankful to Bank of America for continuing to support our work to help people struggling with hunger.”

The grant is part of Bank of America’s $1.25 billion commitment to COVID-relief. At Treasure Coast Food Bank, it will help support innovative programs initiated in the wake of COVID-19 to better serve families, seniors and children in the four-county area of Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin and Okeechobee counties.

“COVID-19 challenged us to find new ways to help people who faced all kinds of struggles in trying to obtain food while keeping themselves and their loved ones safe,” Cruz said. “In response, we developed innovative programs such as home delivery and an Order Ahead program that minimize exposure for vulnerable people. We also have rolled out our Market Fresh on the Move program that will bring nutritious, affordable food to neighborhoods where people lack access now.”

Bank of America has a longstanding partnership with Treasure Coast Food Bank. Last year, it was the signature sponsor of Out Laugh Hunger at the Drive-In, and each year many of its 220 Treasure Coast teammates donate numerous volunteer hours at Treasure Coast Food Bank.

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Which Documents Not To Sign After An Accident

Early Learning Coalition of St. Lucie County Awards $26,000 to Tykes & Teens for Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation

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St. Lucie – The Early Learning Coalition of St. Lucie County has awarded a $26,000 grant to Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for 25 years. The funding will support the agency’s Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation program. Tykes & Teens is the only provider of this high-fidelity, evidence-based programming on the Treasure Coast, and the only Infant Mental Health provider in the region serving clients from newborn to age five and their families.

"We greatly appreciate The Early Learning Coalition of St. Lucie County supporting our commitment to fostering social emotional development in early childcare settings in order to promote long-term community wellness,” says Elizabeth Appleton, Tykes & Teens’ Director of Childcare Mental Health Consultation. “This investment allows us to provide much-needed services that reduce disparities and supports a systems change resulting in long-term emotional healthiness benefits for our children, families and the community as a whole.”

“We have partnered with Tykes & Teens for several years on Infant Mental Health and Trauma Informed Care initiatives through funding provided by both our Children’s Service Council and the United Way of St. Lucie County,” said Tony Loupe, CEO, Early Learning Coalition of St. Lucie County. “We have seen the great work their specialized therapists do with children and families experiencing challenges, along with providing supports for the teachers of our childcare centers. When we were informed by Florida’s Office of Early Learning, Department of Education, of the ability to receive additional funding through the Federal Preschool Development Birth through Five Renewal Grant focusing on mental health initiatives, we immediately thought of Tykes & Teens. This funding will enhance our existing partnership commitment to our most vulnerable and youngest of children we serve while strengthening the childcare teacher and parent’s skills to support children’s healthy social emotional development.”

As part of its Infant Mental Health programming and services for individuals and families, Tykes & Teens collaborates with childcare centers throughout the Treasure Coast by providing Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC). The goal of IECMHC is to build the capacity of adult caregivers to strengthen and support the healthy social and emotional development of young children within the classroom setting. Through this evidence-based prevention approach, highly specialized child development therapists work with childcare center caregivers to promote social competence and addressing challenging behavior, early and before formalized intervention is needed. Through on-site Mental Health Consultation, therapists are able to create safe relationships with childcare center staff to address teacher stress, use of culturally responsive classroom practices, and the use of a trauma-informed care lens.

For more information on Tykes & Teens’ Infant Mental Health services, visit www.tykesandteens.org/infant-mental-health/ or call 772-220-3439.

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Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

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21 June YMCA Flyer

Participate in Summer Reading From May 28 to August 10


3 books read = 1st FREE book prize
6 books read = 2nd FREE book prize
9 books read = 3rd FREE book prize
10 books read = FREE Sailfish Splash Waterpark Pass
Record books read using a paper log provided or by using the Beanstack Tracker app. A free book prize will be earned for every 3 books read (up to a maximum of 9 books read). When you have read 10 books, you will receive a Sailfish Splash Waterpark Pass as the final prize! Download the Beanstack Tracker app to track your reading and/or go to mcls.beanstack.org to register, track reading, and to view Page Turner Adventures virtual events! Visit our online events calendar for all other Summer Reading events.

The Florida Association for Media In Education provides Sunshine State Young Readers Award (SSYRA) lists for kids in second grade or lower (K-2), grades three to five (3-5), and grades six to eight (6-8).

Each Book Review = 30 minutes of volunteer time + entry into $50 Amazon gift card raffle.
Submit a book review online by going to mcls.beanstack.org or via the Beanstack Tracker mobile app. A badge will be earned for each book review submitted. Each badge will count as 30 minutes of volunteer time and an entry into the $50 Amazon gift card raffle. Teens can submit up to 50 book reviews! Raffle will be drawn after August 10th.

Adults can participate all summer long and sign up at mcls.beanstack.org in order to receive weekly book recommendations!

The Summer Reading Program is sponsored by the Library Foundation of Martin County, Inc.

20 Nov South Florida Water

2021 Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) Well Science Plan Now Available

21 June ASR

After receiving input from the public, stakeholders, and an expert review panel, the 2021 Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) Well Science Plan is now available at SFWMD/asr. This inaugural plan is anticipated to be updated annually to reflect the latest science and best available information on the use of ASR wells in Everglades projects.

The South Florida Water Management District and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers developed the 2021 ASR Well Science Plan to support a phased, science-based implementation of ASR wells as part of the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project (LOWRP).

Hope Lives Foundation, Holiday Magic Coming Soon!

21 June Christmas gift

Article by: MaryAnn Ketcham
Hope Lives Foundation's premier event, Holiday Magic, is coming back to town! After a year of lockdowns due to the Covid pandemic, nearly everyone is ready to gather again and return to the days of happier spirits and spirited giving!

This always festive occasion brings out the best in the community while raising funds to support and strengthen community organizations that serve children and families on the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee Counties.

The 2021 Holiday Magic takes place on Friday, Dec. 17th, at the rustic but merrily decorated Barn at Oleander in Port St. Lucie.

Grab some friends and enjoy the open bar provided by Bonner Mobile Bar and an assortment of tasty menu items served up buffet-style and cooked up by the chefs at the Rusty Putter. Hors d'oeuvres will be passed as guests peruse the wide variety of silent auction items, and a live and enthusiastic auction will also occur!

The Magic begins at 6 and runs until 10 pm, and the dress is casual. Tickets are $100 each or $175 per couple. Or, enjoy the evening with friends and colleagues and reserve an entire table (seats 8) for $1000.

Sponsorship opportunities abound and remain available.

The $8,000 Presenting Sponsor level includes event media advertising with your logo in all print materials; a full-page ad in the event program; Stage & Sponsor Board Recognition; and 8 tickets to attend and partake in the evening's enjoyment!

Gold Sponsorship for $4,000 includes six tickets, event media advertising with your logo, inclusion in all print materials, and Sponsor Board Recognition.

A $2,000 Silver Sponsorship includes 4 event tickets and all the same perks as the Gold.

The additional sponsorship opportunities include the $1,500 Cheer Sponsor, the $2,000 Open Bar Sponsor, and the $3,500 Evening Main Course Food Sponsor. The remaining details can be found on the website.

Please visit HLives.org/events to RSVP for tickets, sponsorship, or to donate.

For more information, call 772 464-6777 or email crobertson@HLives.org

Place of Hope Foster Family Blessed by RWB Construction Management

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New Old Friends: WWII Veterans Sharing Lives and Swapping Tales

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In Photo: Steve Blauvelt and Alyn Bell enjoyed an afternoon of combing through Alyn’s photos and clippings and sharing their memories of combat in WWII.


Article by: Pat Austin Novak - The Firefly Group

Palm City - A chance encounter at the 2021 Memorial Day commemoration ceremonies in Stuart has brought two World War II veterans together and started a lively conversation. The more they talked, the more the two vets discovered that they have even more in common than their military service.

Alyn Bell, 97, is a resident of Piper’s Landing in Palm City. After meeting Stuart resident Stephen Blauvelt, 103, on Memorial Day, Alyn and his wife Diane invited Steve and his son to lunch at Piper’s to swap stories about their shared experiences. They couldn’t have predicted how many similar threads run through both their lives.

During WWII, Alyn flew B25s in the Pacific Theater. A commissioned officer in the Army Air Force, he flew 24 combat bombing missions over Japanese strongholds. The combat was fierce and risky. “I graduated from flight school when I was just 19,” Alyn says. “At that age you think everything is an adventure. You don’t understand the danger of what you’re doing.”

He recalls that when he first flew a plane with rockets strapped under the wings, there was no one who even knew how to target them. “We did what we needed to do,” he says.

As a member of the Coast Guard, Steve preferred small planes. His mission in the Pacific was critical: to maintain the navigation lights on the atolls of the Pacific islands and to rescue downed pilots as needed. It’s easy for the two veterans to imagine that Steve could have been flying low in the area and available for rescue at the same time and place where Alyn was bringing his B25 in for a landing.

Unlike Alyn, who graduated from the Air Force cadet academy and then became an officer, Steve proclaims himself “the only cook who flew planes in the war.” He was a cook on a Coast Guard vehicle when the freighter he was escorting blew up, and the depth charges almost took out him and the escort crew. “We had no training, really,” he said. “Someone should have told us about depth charges in shallow water.” So he chose to make a change and went to flight school for the Coast Guard at Pensacola. “I still had my cook’s badge on my sleeve, though,” he says, “right under my flying patch.”

At war’s end, each man left military service and started civilian careers. “Flying without a machine gun is no fun,” Alyn says, as he jokes about why he didn’t continue a career as a pilot. Instead, Alyn bought his first piece of investment real estate in Los Angeles in 1946 and went on to build a successful career as an executive with multi-million-dollar textile companies. His entrepreneurial spirit led him out of the “box” of corporate America and into new enterprises as far flung as China. Eventually he developed his real estate investment business and still manages a portfolio with more than 250 investors.

Steve pursued a degree in Chemical Engineering and went to work for Chevron Oil, where he was a sales manager and had responsibility for quality control for their East Coast operations. He too saw the advantages of investing in and managing real estate, which he did along with his son in several parts of the country.

Both found joy in the game of golf. Steve says he started playing at 13 in New Jersey and took his golf bag with him even into the war in the Pacific. At 102, he was still playing every day and had a handicap of 9. “You’re my hero,” Alyn says in hearing this. He too played golf until recently and had the privilege of meeting some of the greats of the game.

During lunch, the vets traded stories of names and places that strike an emotional chord in anyone who served in or has studied WWII. Alyn has an extensive folder of photos and news clips that he and Steve pored over as they swapped war stories. Both immediately recognized the clipping about the USS Rocky Mount, the admiral’s flagship in the Pacific, that they would have both seen on their flight patterns, and the tales about Doolittle’s daring raid over Tokyo just after Pearl Harbor.

Flying planes in war time, risking their lives in service to their country, enjoying golf and building similar careers. These two strangers, serendipitously meeting in a park in Stuart, Florida, have now become fast friends, feeling the satisfaction of swapping tales with someone who truly understands their lives well lived.

4-H County Council Youth Supporting Youth

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Article & Photos by: Kim Bentz - Extension Program Assistant 4-H

Many Thanks to our Amazing 4-H County Council on their successful – “Youth Supporting Youth” – back pack drive to encourage the children of Hibiscus House (HH).

Youth: Evelyn, Gretchen, Vera, Emily, Madison, Savana, and Fletcher joined by Henry, Faith and Wade, packed the backpacks and art bags with goodies to deliver.
Hibiscus House staff is most appreciative of this supportive drive led by our youth leadership!

Future plans are for Fall activities and a Holiday Wish list project for the children at HH. We will keep you updated.

Many thanks to all our contributors:
MC Fair Association (Backpacks)
Council Families and the Gilliam Family
Clubs: Boots & Buckles, MC Excellerators (Art Bags), MC First Robotics Club, PC Feathers & Furs
Staff: Encomio Family, Jennifer Pelham, Mary McNulty, MCMG individuals
And much gratitude to the supportive parents who assisted and drove their youth!

We have much to be proud of in our 4-H County Council – Great job!

Out2News.com LLC. is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

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Call For Nominations 2021 National Philanthropy Day

Dana Trabulsy receiving AFP Award - 2019a

MARTIN, OKEECHOBEE and ST. LUCIE COUNTY - The Treasure Coast Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) is honoring community volunteers and philanthropists at a special in-person event in November to celebrate our Home Town Heroes.

National Philanthropy Day is celebrated in more than 500 locations across the United States, Canada and Mexico. The Treasure Coast Chapter has hosted its National Philanthropy Day celebration since 1995. Since its inception, nearly 200 outstanding groups and individuals from the Treasure Coast have joined the elite group of recipients. This year we continue to celebrate those in Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie Counties whose contributions make a significant impact in our community.

To honor its many donors and volunteers, the Treasure Coast Chapter has established the following recognition categories: Individual Philanthropist, Volunteer Fundraiser, Corporate Philanthropist, Group or Foundation Supporting Philanthropy, Youth in Philanthropy, Unsung Hero, and the Legacy Award.

Nomination forms can be found online at: afptreasurecoast.org

Nominations must be received by MIDNIGHT, Saturday, July 31, 2021 to be considered. ALL honorees will be celebrated and recognized, and all award recipients will be announced on November 18. You do not have to be a member of AFP to nominate someone.

“Receiving the Outstanding Individual Philanthropist Award was both humbling and validating for me. I love my community so much, and although I’ve never sought accolades or awards, when this honor was presented to me, I was incredibly moved.” State Representative Dana Trabulsy

For information about the 2021 National Philanthropy Day celebration, the nomination process or sponsorship opportunities, please contact NPD Chair Elisabeth Glynn at (772) 244-2212, NPD Co-Chair Keith Fletcher at (772) 545-1255, or info@afptreasurecoast.org.

Treasure Coast Hospice Patient Fulfills Wish to Marry

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In Photo: Lisa Paparella, Marcia Gladstone and David Brasfield

Article by: Treasure Coast Hospice
Photos by: MaryAnn Ketcham

The recent wedding of 66-year-old Treasure Coast Hospice patient Marcia Gladstone to her beloved David Brasfield brought together a small gathering of close friends and loved ones for a home-based and very intimate ceremony.

When Gladstone mentioned to hospice nurse Tammy Lewis her desire to marry her partner of 16 years, the team at Treasure Coast Hospice quickly got to work and helped make the necessary arrangements so she can spend the remainder of her life with him.

Treasure Coast Hospice Social Worker Romide Dorsaint, MSW worked with the patient and learned that she wanted a simple gathering. Together, they designed a menu that consisted of two Berry Fresh quiches, a large platter of fruit, and a beautifully decorated ocean-themed cake that Publix Supermarkets ultimately donated. Champagne, flowers, a photographer, and a humble wedding arch added to the ambiance of the observance. Arrangements were also made to ensure family and friends could join the nuptial via Zoom.

As a community-based organization with a reputation for consistently providing that special touch, Treasure Coast Hospice even purchased a bowtie for the couple’s treasured dog, Georgie!

“Our team loves to do special things for those we care for,” said Romide Dorsaint, MSW. “It is truly rewarding to be able to help our patients and their loved ones create beautiful memories and find joy in quality time together.”

Following the vows, guests shared stories about how the couple met at a biker event and their mutual love of motorcycles.

Sitting amongst Gladstone’s extensive collection of Betty Boop collectibles and memorabilia, recollections of her many other hobbies also filled the air. She traveled extensively, avidly scuba-dived, and reveled in jewelry creation, crafting both glass and metal beads, taught the art of jewelry-making, and participated in the St. Lucie Rock & Gem Club.

Thanks to the support and care of the team at Treasure Coast Hospice, this friendly and outgoing woman fights on with peace and dignity, and most importantly, lives her life on her own terms with her new husband right by her side.

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In Photo: Susan Solomon, Herbert Mills and Wendy Specter

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In Photo: Deborah & William Alala

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In Photo: Romide Dorsaint MSW, Tammy Lewis Rn and Lisa Paparella

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In Photo: Marcia Gladstone and Janice Sonski

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In Photo: Marcia Gladstone, Janice Sonski and Robin Schneider

The Ins and Outs of Driving Safely Through Roundabouts

Root Family Foundation Puts Down Roots in Martin County Through United Way

21 May United Way

Stuart - Representing the Root Family Foundation, John Root recently presented the United Way of Martin County with a $10,000 gift to its Community Impact Fund.

For generations, the Root Family Foundation has been supporting their communities through United Way because the Foundation’s focus on critical needs aligns with United Way’s focus areas of health, education and financial stability.

“Since the turn of the 20th century, the Root Family Foundation has been focused on improving the quality of life for those in need,” Root said. “Even without the pandemic, there are people in need in our community.”

The family’s original business, Root Glass Company, designed the first Coca-Cola bottle in 1916 and made canning jars. After the glass company was sold to the Mason Co. in the 1930s, the family operated a Coca-Cola bottling business until 1985 and then invested in such diverse fields as hospitality, aviation and citrus.

Today, several generations of Root family members are directly involved with the charities that the Foundation supports. John and his wife Judy raised their four children with the philanthropic mindset.

“United Way provides us with a meaningful way for our family members to give back to the communities in which we live,” Root said. For more information about United Way, visit www.UnitedWayMartin.org.

Treasure Coast Food Bank’s Spring Online Auction Raises Enough for 180,000 Meals

20 Sept TC Food Bank
Clayton and Susan Cook b

Treasure Coast Food Bank’s first Spring Online Auction raised more than $23,000, enough to provide more than 180,000 meals for people in need of food.

Proceeds from the auction, which wrapped earlier this month, will support Treasure Coast Food Bank’s programs for feeding children and families throughout the summer.

“Thanks to everyone who took part in our first Spring Online Auction, which will go a long way to help provide food for children and families during summer when it can be difficult for families to make ends meet,” said Judith Cruz, President and CEO of Treasure Coast Food Bank. “Special thanks go out to this year’s presenting sponsor, Bank of America for supporting our auction.”

Other sponsors of the Spring Online Auction were Paul Jacquin and Sons, UBU Brands, and George E. Warren LLC.

Committee members Sue Dannahower of Fort Pierce and Maureen Pringle of Sebastian helped to collect a diverse array of more than 70 items donated from local businesses throughout the Treasure Coast, which attracted spirited bidding throughout the 9-day auction. Participants placed “bids to beat hunger” on excursions, artwork and spa packages.

“We’re grateful to the business community and numerous artists who donated wonderful gifts that made this auction possible,” Cruz said. “Our Spring Online Auction really showed the great support the Treasure Coast community has for Treasure Coast Food Bank and our mission to fight hunger and poverty.”

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Guardian’s for New Futures, Demolition Day at the New Child Advocacy Center

21 May Guardians 1

In Photo: Jason Yarborough, Mark Bock, Brandon Nobile, Linda French, Debbie Butler and Mascot Gus, and Kristine Erice-Saxton

Article and Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham

Port St. Lucie - Debbie Butler, President at Guardians for New Futures, is unstoppable when it comes to tearing down walls and advocating for children. With a sledgehammer nearly as big as this small-statured dynamo, she ceremoniously took the first swing at the interior walls of the Baron Real Estate property at the former PGA Learning Center in Port St. Lucie. Following the demolition and new build-out, the site will serve as the Child Advocacy Center, the first in St. Lucie County history.

The Center will serve abused children from all four counties within the 19th Judicial Circuit- St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River, and Okeechobee Counties basing all the necessary resources for an abused child under one roof.

Butler credits her “pre-build” team of angels for bringing this much-needed Center from a wish to a reality.

Richard Tambone, the founder of Tambone Companies, helped with the initial step of finding a location that would suit the Center’s many needs. Once determined that the buildings at 8565 Commerce Center Drive in Port St. Lucie could deliver, owner Jeremiah Baron of Jeremiah Baron & Company worked with Butler on the terms for a ten-year lease.

Consulting on the development of the plans, the assistance provided by Architect Peter Jones proved immeasurable.

Contractor Remnant Construction CEO Brian Garcia and his team made several trips to Brevard County to visit its Child Advocacy Center to ensure that the new facility meets all the necessary standards.

Thanks to being given some free office space within the Baron Real Estate office next door, Butler maintains a close working relationship with CEO Jason Yarborough. The latter extends a hand by hosting fundraisers, including the recent Chili Cookoff and the upcoming Charity Golf Tournament at St. Lucie Trails on Sat. July 24 at 8:30 am.

“All of these pre-build activities,” said Butler, “have been done by these angels at no cost to us. I am beyond grateful!”

To learn more about the Child Advocacy Center and sponsorship opportunities, please visit Facebook.com/GuardiansForNewFutures

21 May Guardians 2

In Photo: Debbie Butler, Founder and President at Guardians for New Futures

United Way of Martin County Honors Senior Volunteers During National Volunteer Appreciation Week

21 May United Way 1

Stuart – While some senior volunteers were sidelined for much of the year, many volunteers still came through to assist nonprofits despite the obstacles. To celebrate and honor volunteers during National Volunteer Appreciation Week, United Way of Martin County held an appreciation event for AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers at Indian Riverside Park. More than 60 volunteers enjoyed the beautiful weather, boxed lunches, music, camaraderie, and a sweet ice cream treat.

“The pandemic has reinforced the importance of volunteers and how vital their services are to keeping nonprofits functioning,” United Way of Martin County Director of AmeriCorps Seniors Kathleen Stacey said. “Now that more people are getting vaccinated we’re able to celebrate the volunteers that have hung in there with us as well as welcome back volunteers who we haven’t seen in a while.”

Nonprofits’ volunteer needs have changed since the onset of the pandemic. Beyond the ongoing need for daily support to maintain the safety net of services, volunteers were also called into action to assist the Florida Department of Health in Martin County with the vaccine clinics.

United Way of Martin County helped recruit and coordinate placement for over 50 medical and nonmedical volunteers who devoted nearly 400 hours of service at vaccine clinics throughout the county. One of their volunteers, United Way of Martin County board member and retired nurse Jane Cebelak, spoke at the volunteer appreciation event about the many days, nights and weekends she dedicated at volunteer clinics throughout the county. “Giving my time to assist with vaccination clinics in my hometown is a great way to act locally and think globally as it is important to our nation’s overall efforts to recover from the pandemic,” Cebelak said.

AmeriCorps Seniors engages older adults in volunteer service. It is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency for volunteering and is administered locally by United Way of Martin County. For more information, visit www.UnitedWayMartin.org.

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Ambitious Land Purchase Initiative Underway to Create Permanent Wildlife Corridor, Protect the Uniqueness of Hobe Sound

Loxa-Lucie Headwaters photo credit Geoffrey Smith a

Vision to conserve nearly 70,000 acres of environmentally valuable habitat already garnering widespread support.

Hobe Sound, Fla. – Martin County has a statewide reputation for its conservation ethic and disciplined approach to growth and development. Residents are passionate about protecting and preserving the natural environment, including the historic waterways that play a critical role in the quality of life for those who call Martin County home.

Now, a bold plan to create a permanently protected ecological corridor in south county between the Loxahatchee and St. Lucie rivers is underway, with a long-term vision of conserving a landscape spanning nearly 70,000 acres. The newly formed Loxa-Lucie Initiative has launched a multi-year acquisition and conservation campaign to raise funds for strategic land purchases that is already gaining momentum.

Environmental Benefits. Properties to be acquired for conservation will have their potential for future development removed, so they can serve as part of a permanent critical wildlife buffer and ecological corridor connecting Jonathan Dickinson and Atlantic Ridge Preserve State Parks. These lands will improve water quality in the South Fork of the St. Lucie River and aid in restoring the historic sheet-flow of fresh water that once moved from the Atlantic Ridge to the federally designated Loxahatchee Wild and Scenic River to the south.

Protecting Community Character. Just as important, land acquisition efforts will provide a permanent conservation buffer along Bridge Road to protect the character of Hobe Sound and limit development along the corridor. Restoring the hydrology in this area will also help reduce flooding issues that have become more prevalent in the Hobe Sound area.

The Initiative, a collaboration between three non-profit environmental powerhouses including the Guardians of Martin County, the Treasured Lands Foundation and The Conservation Fund, is already receiving widespread support from citizens, community groups, government entities and businesses, including the Town of Jupiter Island, the Martin County Board of County Commissioners, the Loxahatchee River Management Coordinating Council, Friends of Jonathan Dickinson State Park, the Rivers Coalition, the Martin County Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, the Hobe Sound Golf Club, Jupiter Island Residents Association, and landowners along the Bridge Road corridor.

“This initiative serves so many purposes that are important to Martin County - and especially to south county residents. All of us who value the beauty of Hobe Sound, including the natural environment as well as our small-town charm, recognize this as a unique opportunity to limit future development along this area of Bridge Road and protect our community character,” said Barbara Birdsey, a member of the Loxa-Lucie Headwaters Initiative Steering Committee who serves on the boards of both the Guardians of Martin County and the Treasured Lands Foundation.

Historically, this land mass was recognized by the state as indispensable in the preservation of the Loxahatchee Watershed and the South Fork of the St. Lucie River and was part of an acquisition program known at the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Program (CERP), Indian River Lagoon South Project. While the concept is not new, the need to preserve the remaining lands that are part of these important watersheds is greater than ever due to saltwater intrusion issues in the Loxahatchee, higher demand for consumable fresh water, and the increase in development pressure in the area.

“Our long-term vision to create a large-scale permanently protected natural buffer along Bridge Road and beyond will require significant financial resources. Contributions from individuals, businesses, foundations and governmental entities are critical to the on-going success of the overall project,” added Birdsey.

To make a tax-deductible contribution, click here: click here
To schedule a presentation to your group, contact Greg Braun at 561.758.3417 or dgregbraun@aol.com
For more information, visit www.LoxaLucieHeadwaters.org

Martin County Loxa Lucie Location Map a

United Way Foundation Honors Fred and Betty Kopf for Humanitarian Efforts

21 Apr United Way

In Photo: United Way Foundation honors Fred and Betty Kopf for humanitarian efforts. Pictured left to right: Elisabeth Glynn, Fred Kopf, Carol G. Houwaart-Diez.

Stuart – The United Way of Martin County Foundation recently presented Fred and Betty Kopf with the 2021 Frances Langford Humanitarian Award for their extensive philanthropic efforts throughout Martin County. The prestigious Frances Langford Humanitarian Award recognizes community leaders who demonstrate caring dedication and compassion for humanity in their lives and deeds.

Fred and Betty Kopf have been long-time supporters of United Way and have been honored with several awards for their generosity and devotion to improving the community. They have been members of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society since 2005. In 2017, they were awarded the Alexis de Tocqueville Outstanding Philanthropist Award by United Way of Martin County.

“This community has long been known for its generous residents, like Fred and Betty Kopf, who have a deep commitment to philanthropy,” said Elisabeth Glynn, CFRE, United Way of Martin County director of philanthropy. “In fact, Martin County was recently named the No. 2 most generous county in the state, and at no time has that been more apparent than in the last year when many of our community members needed extra support.”

Due to pandemic concerns, the United Way of Martin County Foundation made the difficult decision to cancel the Frances Langford Award Reception. The lack of fanfare, while disappointing, was a fitting way to honor the Kopf’s sense of modesty and their quiet, humble, and inconspicuous giving that has spanned several decades.

Originally from Baldwin, NY, Fred received a bachelor’s degree from Brown and an MBA from NYU and had a 40-year career as an investment analyst in New York. After graduating from Bucknell University, Betty moved to New York, where she was the office manager of the animal behavior department at the America Museum of National History. While raising three children in New Jersey, she was an active volunteer, including serving as Captain of Westfield Rescue Squad. The couple has been Florida residents for over 25 years.

Previous humanitarian award recipients include:
2011 – Robert & Carol Weissman
2013 – Barbara Briggs Trimble
2014 – Prestley & Helen Blake
2015 – Douglass & Patricia Stewart
2016 – John & Susan Sullivan
2017 – H. William Lichtenberger
2018 – Bob and Jan Crandall & Bill and Audrey Crandall
2019 – Joe and Margaret R. Temple
2020 - John & Linda Loewenberg

The Frances Langford Humanitarian Award reception is the signature event of the United Way of Martin County Foundation. The Frances Langford Humanitarian Award honors the memory of Frances Langford, singer, and actress who resided in Martin County until she died in 2005. Langford listened to the needs expressed by her community and tried to give back in ways that made all stronger. She trusted the United Way of Martin County to help the people and causes she cared about in our community.

The Frances Langford Humanitarian Award sculpture is a signature piece by Geoffrey C. Smith created especially for the United Way of Martin County Foundation.

Top sponsors include Bob and Jan Crandall & Bill and Audrey Crandall; John and Linda Loewenberg; Robert and Carol Weissman; Saelzer/Atlas Wealth Management Group of Raymond James; and H.W. Lichtenberger.

About the United Way of Martin County Foundation

The United Way of Martin County Foundation is an independent public charity uniquely positioned to accept legacy gifts and build an endowment fund to meet the current and future unmet needs of Martin County. Please remember the United Way of Martin County Foundation in your will or estate plan.

Many donors give generously to United Way of Martin County’s annual campaign as a way to combat the daunting challenges our community is facing today. By leaving a legacy gift to the United Way Foundation, donors can continue to support our beloved community into the future.

The gift principal will be held in perpetuity with our Foundation as an endowment. Earnings from these endowment gifts will continue to grow and be used to support the community’s future needs through the Foundation as a supporting organization of United Way of Martin County.

Funds are managed by a team of independent investment professionals under the watchful eye of an Investment Committee comprised of knowledgeable investment experts.

United Way of Martin County’s mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community. Since 1972, the United Way has been working to create long-term social change and provide support to Martin County residents by investing in programs that strive to enhance healthy living, improve education and support financial stability.

For more information about United Way of Martin County, visit www.UnitedWayMartin.org or call 772-283-4800, ext. 2212.

Silver Buying Fenzy!!

21 Apr 9 Morgan Coin

Article by: Steve Klaassen, Owner/operator – Colorado Pawn & Jewelry

I HAVE NEVER SEEN HIGH DEMAND ON SILVER LIKE THIS IN LAST 25 YEARS! The Coronavirus pandemic has put our business economy in a frenzy. Uncertainty & government bailouts is causing us to question the future. Gold & silver coins are hot! Customers are buying them up.

The US coins that we have for sale are going quick. US coins- dimes, quarters, half-dollars, and one dollars that are 1964 or earlier are 90% silver! We are currently selling our US silver coins, below $1 denomination, at 15% above “spot”. (Current Market Silver Price). Our $1 denominations like Silver Eagles, Morgans, & Peace Dollars are priced differently. Morgans are getting rare & fetching higher prices. Silver content is .77 oz in Morgans & Peace dollars. Depending on condition, we get $30 - $39 on ungraded ones. Some graded Morgans have fetched up over $1,000! Our Silver Eagles we are currently selling at $38 each. Online these are fetching $40-$45 each!!

Want to stash some cash, or teach someone to put some $ away? Old US coins are a solid option---and FUN!! Purchase some coins for your child/grandkid, & place them in a vault for safe-keeping! Five to ten years from today, they will be worth more!

We also have silver bullion. Bullion, are non-Legal Tender coins or bars that usually have a content of .999. They are also good investments, and sell for a lower price than our 1oz coins. We price bullion, today, at $33/oz bar, vs. 1oz coins- Silver Eagles currently at $38! Once in awhile, we will have a cool collection of 1oz bullion bars. Some are cool collections, that feature past U.S. Presidents, different model cars, or even just important events. We even have foreign silver coins, like Canadian, Mexican, Panama, Colombian & more!

HAVE SOME COINS? NOT SURE WHAT THEY ARE WORTH? Bring them in! We will evaluate them, look them up, show you their value, & even make you an offer to buy them! Many people are coming in with silver & gold coins & bullion to cash in! Come see what you can get!

LIKE WE SAY…… “You Never Know What Treasures You Might Find!”

Just REMEMBER-these Prices can change with Silver Price!

Stuart: 772-283-3660. PSL: 772-335-1896 CALL or TEXT US!!

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The ARC of Martin County, Advocates for the Rights of the Challenged

21 Mar ARC Photo

The ARC of Martin County, (Advocates for the Rights of the Challenged) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to empowering children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to achieve their fullest potential through residential, vocational, educational, behavioral, and other healthcare services.

The ARC of Martin County received a $25,000 grant award from Frances Langford Fund for Martin County at the Community Foundation Martin - St. Lucie (TCFMSL). The grant will support the "ARC on the Move" program, a recreation program designed to provide physical, social, and emotional wellbeing opportunities to holistically improve the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities while minimizing proximity, and public interaction to protect the safety of individuals from COVID-19 exposure. This full-scale program began on January 4th and will continue the entire calendar year.

Find out how you can support and empower these amazing children and adults today by clicking here!

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Foster and Adoptive Dad Teaches "Power to Stand" from Wheelchair

21 Mar Chris Norton

Wellington – Chris Norton was given a 3 percent chance to move again after suffering a spinal-cord injury on the football field his freshman year of college. He defied those odds and inspired the nation with a now-famous walk across Iowa’s Luther College graduation stage.

He and his then fiancé, Emily, moved to Port St. Lucie, started the Chris Norton Foundation, published a book and became a motivational speaker with his mantra, "the power to stand."

Then fatherhood taught him something new: that the power to stand – especially for those you love – can come without ever leaving your seat.

Norton, who spent thousands of hours preparing himself to walk, first across his graduation stage in 2015, and then at his wedding in 2018, said his focus now is on being a dad and challenging others to foster and adopt.

A new documentary, 7 Yards: The Chris Norton Story, captures his recovery and his life now as a husband and father. His children, adopted from Communities Connected for Kids’ system of care in Okeechobee and the Treasure Coast in 2019, are a large part of that story.

He and Emily have been foster parents since 2016, and he hopes his story will inspire others to take the same journey.

“I hope people will see me and think, ‘If he can do it, I can do it’,” Norton said.
It started with Whittley, a teen-ager Emily worked with when the couple still lived in Iowa. Whittley asked the Nortons to foster her when she was 17-year-old. Two years later she became the young couple’s adopted daughter.

“Every child deserves to have a safe, loving, encouraging environment to grow,” Norton said. “If we had the chance to help her get going in the right direction, that wasn’t something we could say no to.”

They adopted four little girls a few years later, relocated to Wellington, and, to this day, have fostered 18 children from the Treasure Coast and Palm Beach areas.

“We fell in love with it,” he said.

The Nortons' passion – their power to stand for their children – has paid off. Whittley moved back to her home state of Iowa and is a caregiver to people with autism. Norton has come to see his injury as a source of strength, one that gives him a unique perspective into the lives of his children and others like them who are still in the foster care system.

“Children are in these situations not by their own choices,” he said. “I get that. It sucks, because you didn’t want this, but that’s what you have and now how are you going to respond?”

7 Yards, the Chris Norton Story is available on Apple TV and Prime Video. For more information on becoming a foster or adoptive parent, please call (772) 873-7800 and ask for Jerra or visit cckids.net.

If you are interested in learning more about Chris Norton or his foundation, which provides resources to people with neuromuscular injuries, visit chrisnorton.org. For a link to the documentary, visit 7 Yards.

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Martin County Tourism and Marketing Director Brings Creativity, Expertise to Southeast Tourism Society Board

19 July MC Commissioners logo

Stuart - Nerissa Okiye, Martin County Tourism and Marketing Director, has been elected to a two-year term on the board of the Southeast Tourism Society (STS), a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and development of tourism throughout the Southeast United States. Okiye, who has been with Martin County since November 2014, will serve through 2022. "I'm honored to serve with my colleagues on the board of the Southeast Tourism Society and work together to promote safe travel throughout the region," said Ms. Okiye.

The STS focuses on education, advocacy, recognition and networking. Advocacy is an important component of the Southeast Tourism Society and the agency develops an annual legislative agenda, creates informational guides, monitors federal legislation and keeps members informed about policy issues impacting tourism.

Ms. Okiye has a long history of launching successful advocacy campaigns to support local businesses in response to events that negatively impact travel and tourism. "Tourism is a vital component of the Martin County economy and can be a catalyst to help with our economic recovery," said Ms. Okiye. "We're proud to leverage funds, work with industry partners, travel news and industry sites, trade publications and influencers to help local businesses rebound," she continued.

Under the direction of Ms. Okiye, the office was named Tourism Office of the Year in 2016, by the STS. And in subsequent years, several advocacy campaigns were recognized by the STS with Best Marketing Shining Example Awards, a Bronze Flagler Award and a coveted Best of Show Flagler Trophy, showing strong dedication to local businesses and an excellence in Florida tourism marketing.

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