Out2News Human Interest & Opinions

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.

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.

Health Officials Issue Blue-Green Algae Bloom Alert For Timer Powers Park In Indiantown

20 Oct MC Health Logo

Martin County - The Florida Department of Health in Martin County has issued a Health Alert for the presence of harmful blue-green algal toxins in the C-44 canal by Timer Powers Park in Indiantown. This is in response to a water sample taken on June 2. The public should exercise caution in and around the canal near the park.

Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:
• Do not drink, swim, wade, use personal watercraft, water ski or boat in waters where there is a visible bloom.
• Wash your skin and clothing with soap and water if you have contact with algae or discolored or smelly water.
• Keep pets away from the area. Waters where there are algae blooms are not safe for animals. Pets and livestock should have a different source of water when algae blooms are present.
• Do not cook or clean dishes with water contaminated by algae blooms. Boiling the water will not eliminate the toxins.
• Eating fillets from healthy fish caught in freshwater lakes experiencing blooms is safe. Rinse fish fillets with tap or bottled water, throw out the guts and cook fish well.
• Do not eat shellfish in waters with algae blooms.

What is blue-green algae?
Blue-green algae are a type of bacteria that is common in Florida’s freshwater environments. A bloom occurs when rapid growth of algae leads to an accumulation of individual cells that discolor water and often produce floating mats that emit unpleasant odors.
Some environmental factors that contribute to blue-green algae blooms are sunny days, warm water temperatures, still water conditions and excess nutrients. Blooms can appear year-round but are more frequent in summer and fall. Many types of blue-green algae can produce toxins.

Is it harmful?
Blue-green algae blooms can impact human health and ecosystems, including fish and other aquatic animals.
For additional information on potential health effects of algal blooms, visit floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/aquatic-toxins.
Find current information about Florida’s water quality status and public health notifications for harmful algal blooms and beach conditions by visiting ProtectingFloridaTogether.gov. Protecting Florida Together is the state’s joint effort to provide statewide water quality information to prioritize environmental transparency and commitment to action.

What do I do if I see an algal bloom?
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection collects and analyzes algal bloom samples. To report a bloom to DEP, call the toll-free hotline at 855-305-3903 or report online.

To report fish kills, contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute at 1-800-636-0511.

Report symptoms from exposure to a harmful algal bloom or any aquatic toxin to the Florida Poison Information Center, call 1-800-222-1222 to speak to a poison specialist immediately.

Contact your veterinarian if you believe your pet has become ill after consuming or having contact with blue-green algae contaminated water.

If you have other health questions or concerns about blue-green algae blooms, please call the Florida Department of Health in Martin County at 772-221-4000.

Treasure Coast Hospice Patient Fulfills Wish to Marry

Photo 1a

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.

Photo 2a

In Photo: Susan Solomon, Herbert Mills and Wendy Specter

Photo 4a

In Photo: Deborah & William Alala

Photo 5a

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

Photo 6a

In Photo: Marcia Gladstone and Janice Sonski

Photo 9a

In Photo: Marcia Gladstone, Janice Sonski and Robin Schneider


21 June 4 July

Treasure Coast - The City of Vero Beach is delighted to announce the return of fireworks on the Fourth of July, to Riverside Park thanks to the collaboration of multiple businesses and community members. The presenting sponsor is Mulligan’s Beach House, in cooperation with the City of Vero Beach and Indian River County. EverGreen Media at Idea Garden is assisting with the planning of “Boom On The Lagoon” on Sunday, July 4th, 2021 from 5 to 9pm.

Greg Schlitt of Navigate Restoration is our “Rockets Red Glare Title Sponsor” helping to bring the community a stellar family afternoon and evening packed with five-star fun. Events planned include kid’s activities, food trucks, trivia games, contests and much more to enjoy, all courtesy of additional funding from ”Lady Liberty” Community Sponsor, GHO Homes.

Through collaboration with Idea Garden, broadcast sponsors include I Heart Media and PlanetVero. I Heart stations, WAXE 107.9FM, WQOL 103.7FM and Real Radio 101.7FM will air synchronized music, choreographed to the fireworks right at Riverside Park. Those watching from a distance will be able to tune-in to hear the special Fourth of July holiday music to enhance their fireworks experience. Synchronized “Home of the Brave” music programming will start at 9pm, sponsored by Dales Sorensen Real Estate.

On the main stage, graciously sponsored by Affordable Water, “Johnny and the Blaze” will be playing country to rock and roll starting at 5pm. Under the direction of award-winning singer Lynn DiMenna, student protégé Reese Fox of St Helen Catholic School will deliver the National Anthem. Air Around The Clock is the “Star Spangled Sponsor” of the National Anthem.

I Heart also has a VIP section in the gazebo and listeners can win an opportunity for these prized seats, featuring relaxed comfortable seating and refreshments. Tune in to

WAXE, WQOL and Real radio for more details on how to win. The Victory VIP tent has been underwritten by Sunshine Furniture who will also supply the VIP furnishings.

Donna Roberts-Mitchell of PlanetVero reminisced that over 20 years ago, she and then media mogul the late Jim Pagano raised funds to make a fourth of July fireworks event happen in Vero Beach. Said Mitchell, “It is nice to be back, and with the power of EverGreen’s visual and digital elements and I-Heart, we’ve got a strong team to reach out to all demographics on all different media.”

“We are looking forward to welcoming families with their lawn chairs and blankets for the kind of Fourth of July celebration that defines the American experience,” said Tammy Bursick of the City of Vero Beach. Angie Schepers, Marketing Executive for Mulligans Beach House agreed. “We just couldn’t stand the thought of no fireworks for another year in Vero Beach. Mulligans Beach House stepped in early to make sure this event happened for our community!”

Spectacular fireworks by Zambelli Fireworks start at 9pm - bring your chairs & blankets. Additional sponsorships are still available.

For more information go to: COVB.ORG/fireworks or call 772-778-2832.

Ocean Republic Hosts Treasure Coast Mastermind Networkers

21 May TC Masterminds Logo b

Stuart - On June 4, 2021 The Treasure Coast Mastermind networkers met for their morning meeting. Gary Owen the mastermind behind the group conducted the first a in person meeting at the Ocean Republic Brewery in Stuart.

Ocean Republic Brewery is proud to be Stuart’s only family-owned and operated craft brewery. The community celebrates a laid-back lifestyle which is a huge inspiration for who they are. The only thing missing from our town was a craft brewery to bring people together and they are happy to provide that.

Ocean Republic Brewery strives to become a staple of Stuart, a place to come relax with friends, a place to be proud of! Go to their website to learn more of what they have to offer - www.oceanrepublicbrewing.com.

TC Masterminds 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 of Stuart has approximately 75 members.

Out2News is your Treasure Coast online newspaper where you are the reporter, photographer and YOU report the news! Do you have something to say, an event to a talk about? An event you would like us to have covered. If you wish a high-resolution photo or would like to email your story or request to: rshall@out2news.com.

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IRSC Recognizes Take Stock in Children Scholarship Recipients and Graduates


Fort Pierce — The Indian River State College (IRSC) Foundation’s Take Stock in Children Program celebrated the newest recipients of four-year tuition scholarships during the annual Take Stock in Children recognition ceremony held on Monday, May 17. This year so far, 40 deserving ninth grade students from Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie, counties have earned this valuable incentive for future success.

In addition to recognizing new recipients, the outstanding accomplishments of 48 high school graduates for 2021 were highlighted along with special acknowledgement of 19 IRSC Associate level graduates who participated in the Take Stock in Children program.

Since 1997 more than 1,175 Take Stock in Children scholarships have been awarded to students through the IRSC Take Stock in Children program, with the provision that they meet the positive challenges of the program and graduate from high school.

Designed to motivate and assist students who show academic promise and who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend college, the program matches scholarship recipients with adult volunteer mentors from the community who provide guidance and encouragement. All selected scholarship recipients sign a contract, agree to maintain good grades, stay out of trouble, stay away from drugs and alcohol, and graduate from high school. Those meeting that challenge receive a Florida Prepaid four-year state college tuition plan scholarship allowing them to attend IRSC to achieve their associate degree, followed by two years at IRSC or another State of Florida public college to earn their Bachelor’s degree.

The Take Stock in Children Scholarship program is made possible through many program partners including the Florida Prepaid College Foundation, the Governor’s Mentoring Initiative, the Indian River State College Foundation, the School District of Indian River County, Martin County School District, Okeechobee County School District, and St. Lucie Public Schools, and Take Stock in Children Foundation, Inc.

Take Stock in Children, Inc. is a nonprofit organization, transforming Florida one student at a time. With programs serving in every county throughout Florida, their mission is to break the cycle of poverty for low-income, academically qualified students by providing opportunities for a post-secondary education. The organization offers college scholarships to students, provides caring volunteer mentors, and instills hope for a better life. For more information regarding Take Stock in Children at IRSC, visit www.irscfoundation.org or contact the IRSC Foundation Office by phone at 772-462-4786.

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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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Who Will Pay To Fix My Car After a Car Accident?

Zweben Final
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Retirement Confidence Remains Strong, Despite Pandemic


Despite the economic shock of the coronavirus pandemic, American workers and retirees remain largely optimistic about their financial prospects for retirement.

In its annual Retirement Confidence Survey conducted in January 2021, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) found that 80% of retirees and 72% of workers were either very or somewhat confident in their ability to afford a comfortable retirement.

Pandemic effects

"Even with changes in the labor market, workers' confidence in their ability to live comfortably in retirement remains high overall," said Craig Copeland, EBRI senior research associate and the study's co-author.

On the other hand, he continued, "Three in 10 workers say the pandemic has negatively impacted their ability to save for retirement due to reduced hours, income, or job changes." Workers who said their ability to save was negatively affected were those who have historically reported lower confidence, including individuals with low income and debt-management challenges.

Nearly four in 10 workers said their households experienced a negative job or income change since February 1, 2020. One in 10 were furloughed or temporarily laid off, while 18% said their hours and/or pay were reduced. Half of workers who reported a negative change said they were either somewhat or significantly less confident in their ability to retire comfortably because of the pandemic.

By contrast, 21% of workers reported having some type of positive change during the pandemic, and just 17% now plan to retire later than anticipated because of the crisis.

Retirees seemed even more resilient. Eight in 10 said their overall lifestyle is what they expected or better than they anticipated — results that remained virtually unchanged from the January 2020 survey. Just 26% of retirees said their expenses are higher than expected, a decrease from the 2020 results. About 70% said their retirement confidence was not affected by the pandemic. Study co-author Lisa Greenwald speculated that some of this confidence may be because retirees spent less overall during 2020, a year with limited opportunities to travel and enjoy other leisure activities.

The survey also revealed stronger confidence in Social Security and Medicare, perhaps because benefits continued uninterrupted throughout the challenging year. Both retirees and workers reported the highest-ever confidence levels in the ability of Social Security to continue providing benefits at least equal to what is received today. And despite critical health-care concerns during 2020, 75% of retirees and nearly 60% of workers were confident in the future of Medicare — another record high.

Other findings

The Retirement Confidence Survey consistently finds that workers expect to leave the workforce at a later age than that of actual retirees. In 2021, 64% of workers said they expect to retire at age 65 or older; however, 71% of retirees actually left work before age 65. Similarly, 72% of workers said they expect to earn a paycheck during their retirement years, while just 30% of retirees said they have worked for pay in retirement.

Half of workers said they and/or their spouse have tried to calculate how much they will need to save to live comfortably in retirement. Workers who participate in a retirement plan are far more likely to have performed this calculation than those who do not.

One-third of workers said they currently work with a financial professional. Of those who didn't, 38% expect to do so in the future. There is no assurance that working with a financial professional will improve investment results.

Following are other sources of information workers use for retirement planning:
• Family and friends: 35%
• Online resources and independent research: 35%
• Their employer or information received at work: 22%
• Online advice or advisors who provide guidance based on formulas: 17%
• Representatives from their workplace retirement plan provider: 16%

For more information, please visit www.ebri.org.

19 Investment Planning 1

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

Project Lift Show Gratitude for Women In Construction

21 Mar Project Lift Logo New

Palm City - On May 20, 2021 from 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm Project Lift joined together with supporters and friends to show gratitude for the support of Project Lift and the women in construction. Recent women recognized for their outstanding fundraising and construction of the giant beach chairs for all the generous supporters at this year's Project Lift Clambake. The women who raised monies for this wonderful organization were: Tami Karol, Evie Klaassen, Candace Lopes and Niki Norton. Niki Norton was declared the winner of raising the most money for the 2021 Clambake's organization. All women were really winners for their donated design skills and time!

The women and many contributers were invited to celebrate together with cocktails and appetizers were the winner was announced. The event was held at Project Lift, 1330 SW 34th Street in Palm City.

Project LIFT is a non-profit organization that helps at-risk youth who are struggling with Drug and Alcohol Abuse or other trauma-like circumstances. They provide counseling, career training, mentorship and volunteer opportunities for teens to fast track their recovery and set them up for success.

Project Lift is dedicated to improbin the lives of at-risk teens and their families through substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, mentoring and vocational skills training.

Bob Zaccheo is the Founder & Executive Director of Project Lift. For more information contact them at: 772-221-2244.

Out2News is your Treasure Coast online newspaper where you are the reporter, photographer and YOU report the news! Do you have something to say, an event to a talk about? An event you would like us to have covered. If you wish a high-resolution photo or would like to email your story or request to: rshall@out2news.com.

Photo by: Robin Hall - Out2News.com

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"Your Treasure Coast Newspaper & Photo Journal"

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Kids’ Activities Announced for Treasure Coast Art & Mindfulness Fest

21 May Arts and Mind Fest

Port St Lucie — The Treasure Coast Arts & Mindfulness Fest, presented by the St. Lucie Cultural Alliance and MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Event Center, announces one-of-a-kind activities for kids. Not your usual bouncy balls, the Fest will present yoga for kids and Oxbow Eco-Center’s offering of scheduled programs along with interactive self-guided activities that will be available any time during festival hours.

This brand-new festival will take place at the MIDFLORIDA Event Center, located at 9221 SE Event Center Place, Port St. Lucie on May 22 and 23, from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

During the scheduled programs, children will have the opportunity to transform into wildlife. They will learn to mimic animal movements through dance, sign their favorite animals with an animal sign language lesson, and practice the Zen of making mandalas with leaf rubbing art. Guardians must always be present. No pre-registration is required but highly recommended. Pre-register at the website, https://artstlucie.org.

The scheduled activities are as follows:
Noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – Animal Movements & Dance
12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. – Leaf Rubbing Mandalas
12:45 p.m., 1:45 p.m., and 2:45 p.m. – Animal Sign Language

Self-guided activities at the Kid's Corner include a wildlife puppet theater where families can put their imaginations into action. They can help create a collaboratively built eco-art mosaic, an animal track box, and tree cookie necklaces (while supplies last).

“We are very excited about participating in the Art & Mindfulness Fest,” said Oxbow Eco-Center Senior Environmental Community Outreach Coordinator Erin Cartmill. “Nature goes hand-in-hand with art and wellbeing, and we, of course, love any opportunity to engage our community and teach about the natural world in creative ways."

Rescued books, designer purses, photography, painters, potters and jewelry are some examples represented by the arts in the Fest. The Mindfulness portion of the event will include crystal singing bowls in conjunction with live painting and interpretive dance, meditation and drum-making and drum circles, and vendors with experience in energy healing, belly dancing, meditation, yoga, reiki and more.

Artist, vendor and sponsorship opportunities are still available. To inquire, email info@artstlucie.org. For more information about the Treasure Coast Arts & Mindfulness Fest, visit https://artstlucie.org/event/art-fest or call 772-462-2783.

Doreen Poreba, APR, The PR Czar® Inc.
Office: 772-221-2425 • Mobile: 772-215-2333
Email: prczar@prczar.com

Tourist Development Council Vacancies

19 July MC Commissioners logo

Stuart - Martin County Parks and Recreation is accepting applications for a variety of full-time career opportunities. Workplace benefits include cool vibes and stunning views from beachside cafés with every paycheck!

Seaside Café, located at Stuart Beach and Sand Dune Café on beautiful Jensen Beach, currently have full-time career opportunities for qualified applicants. See all opportunities and apply at www.SandDuneCafe.com.

The Martin County Parks and Recreation department manages more than 1,700 acres of public land which consists of 71 public parks, beaches and causeways including a public golf course, waterpark, campground, community centers and much more. It starts in parks - launch your career with Martin County Parks and Recreation!

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is Coming to Martin County

21 May Library Foundation Logo

Stuart – The Library Foundation of Martin County, in Partnership with Martin County Library System is excited to announce that Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library will be available to all children living in Martin County who are 5 years old and under, starting this summer. Registration opens Monday, May 10, 2021.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free books to children from birth to age five. Specially selected high-quality, age appropriate books are personalized with each child’s name and mailed directly to their home to create a gifting experience that makes books exciting and encourages families to spend time enjoying books together. Best of all, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is available to all Martin County children age five and under, at no cost to the family.

The Library Foundation of Martin County, in partnership with the Martin County Library System, and sponsored by Children’s Services Council of Martin County, Hobe Sound Community Chest and The Community Foundation Martin-St. Lucie invite you to sign up your children who are age five and under to participate in this program. Sign up registration information is available online at www.imaginationlibrary.com and www.libraryfoundationmc.org or visit your local Martin County Library System branch to pick up forms.

About The Library Foundation of Martin County

Founded in 1992, the mission of The Library Foundation of Martin County, Inc. is to acquire and administer funds to enrich library services and facilities not met by public funding and to endow the library system for future generations. In addition to the Kiplinger Literary Award Luncheon, the foundation hosts the annual A Literary Affair dinner in March in conjunction with the Book Mania! Festival. For more information, visit http://www.libraryfoundationmc.org.

About Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Since launching in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has become the preeminent early childhood book gifting program in the world. The flagship program of The Dollywood Foundation has mailed well over 100 million free books in Australia, Canada, The Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom and the United States. The Imagination Library mails more than 1.4 million high-quality, age-appropriate books each month to registered children from birth to age five. Dolly envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading, inspiring them to dream. The impact of the program has been widely researched and results suggest positive increases in key early childhood literacy metrics. Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. For more information, please visit http://www.imaginationlibrary.com.

FOR INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael F. Kenny, CEO 772-221-1409

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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Kiwanis Youth in Action Paints Youth Guidance Center Builds Gates for ARC

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Vero Beach - About seventy-five members of the Vero Beach Kiwanis Youth in Action (YIA) from Charter schools broken into two groups painted the 6500 sq ft Youth Guidance Center (YGC) and built a fence and gate for ARC on Saturday, April 24, 2021. The larger group painted the YGC three colors which required close coordination between the 18 groups of 3 painters each. Kiwanis members and

volunteers, totaling 27, helped supervise the groups with two professional painters volunteering to paint the high spots. At the same time a smaller group of YIA members with Kiwanis supervision were building a fence and 6 ft high gate for ARC.

These projects are typical of the many such activities that Kiwanis YIA performs throughout the year for the benefit of the Vero Beach community and its residents.

The Kiwanis Club of Vero-Treasure Coast was established in 1973. Its mission in our community is to help support children's education, activities and charities. Besides scholarships, our club actively sponsors Key Clubs in Vero Beach High School, Indian River County Charter High School, and Sebastian River High School. We also conduct community service work days involving Key Clubbers, have sponsored the Annual Take A Kid Fishing Tournament since 1991 and Youth In Action since 1998.

Kiwanis is a 100-year-old global service organization based in the US with clubs in 80 countries, all dedicated to improving the lives of children. Kiwanis has served Vero Beach and Indian River County since 1935. For more information on our activities, members and membership information, visit our website at www.verokiwanis.com or call Robi Robinson at (772) 460-092.

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Sansone Group Celebrates Legacy Park at Tradition

21 Apr Sansone Group Map

Port St. Lucie - The first ceremonial shovelful of dirt turned on Thursday, April 22 by Sansone Group and it’s partners, to celebrate the development of Legacy Park at Tradition.

Sansone Group, a full-service Commercial Real Estate firm located in St. Louis, is developing a multi-building industrial commerce park in the City of Port St. Lucie located at Tradition Center for Commerce along I-95 and SW Becker Road. The park is comprised of over 400 acres and will include 5.4 million square feet of Class-A Industrial facilities at build-out.

Nick Sansone, Principal at Sansone Group, the company who hosted the Groundbreaking, along with the St. Lucie EDC and the City of Port St. Lucie, spoke to the guests, including officials from Port St. Lucie, St. Lucie County, and the State of Florida, as well as project partners ARCO l Murray and Hercules Construction Management, and neighboring businesses. Nick explained that Legacy Park at Tradition is a significant and special project for Sansone Group and the Sansone Family - honoring the legacy of the company’s founder, Anthony F. Sansone Sr. “The company was his life. He lived and breathed it. On a Friday, just three days before his passing, our dad decided to visit this site… at 93 years old. He took a picture of himself at the site and sent it to my brothers and me. Maybe Dad knew his days were coming to an end to do something like that.” Nick continued, explaining the last conversations he and his brothers had with their dad was about his excitement about this site in Port. St. Lucie. “Up until

the very moment of his passing, he was talking about this project. When we mentioned this story to the City of Port St. Lucie – the best city we’ve ever worked with – the biggest differentiator is the compassion and empathy they had for our story. They allowed us to have this project be a celebration of our father’s legacy…They named a street after our father, right here off the main road, SW Anthony F. Sansone Sr., Blvd. and in addition, allowed us to name this development in honor of our father: Legacy Park at Tradition, it has quite a ring to it.”

The park is currently under development with new roads and utility infrastructure, and construction of two spec buildings totaling 688,000 square feet and the new home of FedEx Ground Sortation Center, a 245,000 square foot facility projected to create 490 new jobs in St. Lucie County.

Lenny Vaughn, Senior Manager – Metro Territory at FedEx Ground, also attended the Groundbreaking and shared, “more than a decade ago, we anticipated the shifting demands of e-commerce and began to transform our network by investing in automated facilities and real-time technology innovation to disrupt the ground industry. That includes the introduction of new regional sortation facilities, like the one under construction here in Port St. Lucie.”

Legacy Park at Tradition is one of the largest master-planned industrial parks in the state of Florida. “This location is in the heart of southeast Florida,” explains Jeff Greenwalt, National Director of Development for Sansone Group. “Legacy Park is a two-hour drive from eight million people and four-hour drive from over 20 million people. The South Florida industrial market has experienced surges in demand with the industrial vacancy below 6.5% and continued rental increases over the past five years. We are excited to become a major part of this flourishing market.”

Mayor Gregory J. Oravec shared the progress of Port St. Lucie as a city, “When it comes to the evolution of a city, in Port St. Lucie, I think we should be very proud of how far we have come in such a short time. As we approach our City’s sixtieth anniversary, it seems especially fitting to be celebrating our community’s economic development efforts truly coming of age. Through the first-class Legacy Park, we will add thousands of high-paying jobs to our local economy and grow the Tradition Center for Commerce, already impressive in its own right, into one of the best light-industrial, office, and R&D parks in the nation. Today marks the day our Tradition Center for Commerce indeed became the long-envisioned Tradition Jobs Corridor, and we would like to thank the Sansone Group, the EDC, all the community leaders, past and present, and citizens who helped make it possible. Onward and upward, Port St. Lucie!

Legacy Park offers large tenants the ability to have modern state-of-the-art facilities for manufacturing and distribution, and Port St. Lucie provides an ideal location and has a tremendous labor pool for these facilities. The Park has immediate access directly onto I-95 and excellent access to the Florida Turnpike. Alex Pappas and Peter Crane were the brokers involved in the land transaction, and Robert Smith and Kirk Nelson with CBRE are the listing brokers. Completion of the first buildings in the park is planned for the Fall of 2021.

Island Dunes’ Two Years of Support for SafeSpace

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In Photo: Members of Island Dunes Ladies Golf Association presented a check for $19,000 to SafeSpace, which was raised in the 2020 and 2021 golf tournaments

Article by: Jackie Holfelder / Photo by: Safespace
The Island Dunes Ladies Golf Association (IDLGA) hosted one of the last fundraisers on the Treasure Coast last year, right before COVID-19 forced everyone into quarantine.

SafeSpace, which was founded in 1979 and has provided nearly half a million safe nights of shelter to more than 40,000 domestic violence victims and their children in the tri-county area, was beneficiary of the tournament.

On March 11, 2020, IDLGA Plays 4 SafeSpace included 56 women who attended a ladies’ golf event at the Jensen Beach course and enjoyed a luncheon at Pietro’s on the River. A total of $12,000 was raised from a silent auction, hole sponsorships, and a raffle and was used to replace appliances in the SafeSpace shelter's two kitchens.

This year, limited by the pandemic, IDLGA members gave it their “best shot” with a Pitch-In for SafeSpace event, which was held on March 24, 2021. Although there was no formal luncheon or silent auction, there was golf, hole sponsorships and a pitching game for 48 participants.

A wish list of kitchen items for SafeSpace was created and IDLGA members either gave cash donations or bought something specific that was on the list.

Some donations were made in honor of past president, Darlene Clark, and in memory of John Pietro Valentini, son of the owner of Pietro’s. $7,000 was raised and many items were donated to SafeSpace.

Eighteen members worked on this and last year’s benefit committees, which were led by event chairs Alegra Best, Jill Holly, Janie Tighe and golf pro Kathy Cassese. The combined cash raised over the two years was $19,000.

IDLGA chooses to fundraise for SafeSpace because its members, many of whom are seasonal residents, support domestic violence organizations wherever they live.

While here, it is important to them that their contributions stay local to help domestic violence victims on the Treasure Coast.

IDLGA members also like that SafeSpace provides a lot more than a crisis hotline and an emergency shelter. Legal assistance, financial literacy training, emotional and mental health counseling, advocacy, community outreach and prevention education are some of their other services.

Dr. Teresa Albizu, CEO of SafeSpace, offers her heartfelt appreciation to association president, Alegra Best. “IDGLA’s continued support means the world to us. Your members recognize that with the incidence of domestic violence rising during the pandemic, SafeSpace services are more important now than ever. Your contributions help us to keep saving and changing lives.”

For information about SafeSpace, visit www.safespacefl.org or call 772-223-2399.
It is the only Certified Domestic Violence Center saving lives and preventing domestic violence throughout Indian River, Martin and St. Lucie counties. Help is available 24/7 by calling the Hotline, 772-288-7023.

Two Nonprofits Partner to Fund Sensory Park

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In Photo: Committee members Ricki Carmody, Kerry Caruso, Jenny Laychur, Colleen Schramm, Malia Schramm, Stacey Van Duyn, Allison Wigley, Kali Flood, Deborah Conn and Mercedes Matthews

Article by: Jackie Holfelder
Photos by Liz McKinley

On April 17, Kiwanis Club of Stuart and March for Maddie partnered to raise funds for a Sensory Sensitive Garden Play Area at Kiwanis Youth Park in downtown Stuart. The play area will be named Maddie’s Garden

At the end of the evening, Park After Dark had raised more than $71,000 for Maddie’s Garden.

March for Maddie was established by Jeff and Malia Schramm in 2013 after their two-1/2-year-old daughter, Maddie, passed away from birth defects.

The nonprofit has held annual fundraising walks since its earliest beginnings, but this year collaborated with Kiwanis Club of Stuart to provide underwriting for the Sensory Sensitive Garden, which is a play area geared towards children with Autism or other sensory issues.

Chef’s Table catered the adult dinner party, G&A Bartending provided the full bar, 48 local artists and businesses donated to auctions and raffles, and East Coast Encore provided custom lighting. Live music by Zach Jones from the Gravel Kings added to the festivities.

Any funds left after Maddie’s Garden is completed, will go towards renovation of the rest of Kiwanis Youth Park.

For more information, visit kiwanisclubofstuart.org. Visit https://secure.qgiv.com/for/paraftdar to donate to Maddie’s Garden.

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In Photo: Carie Barrata, Angela Schramm, Jaci Ingeman and Carrie Proctor

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In Photo: Doug Schramm and Stacey Van Duyn

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In Photo: Chad Pickard, Mindy Nunnelee, Holly Carmody, Mac Schramm, Nina Rubio and Marty Carmody

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In Photo: Cher Fisher, Jason Fisher and Allison Wigley

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In Photo: Tina Kitto and Kitty Schramm

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In Photo: Zach Jones of The Gravel Kings

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

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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

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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.

“Heroes” Exhibit Salutes First Responders

21 Apr Heroes First Resp

Lynne Barletta, Founder/Executive Director of VSOA, flanked by Martin County Sheriff Office Deputy Ed Fitzgerald, Major John Budensiek, Deputy Cystal Nash, Community Police Deputy Michael Vitello and Manager Trisha Kukuvka

Article & Photos by: Jackie Holfelder
During the heart of the Pandemic, leading up to the 2020 holiday season, Lynne Barletta, Founder of Visionary School of Arts (VSOA), the staff and the students were looking for a way to show their gratitude to Martin County’s first responders.

They decided that the theme of the Rising Star Spring, 2021 exhibit would be “Heroes” and included in the holiday gift basket that each first responder received from VSOA was an invitation to the show, which took place the weekend of April 9-11 at Stuart Infiniti’s showroom.

In the interim, the talented VSOA artists (students are aged 5-18) and teachers created masterpieces that paid tribute to law enforcement, first responders and medical personnel.

An invitation only VIP Reception was held on April 9. It included speeches of gratitude to the real-life heroes of the evening, delicious food and beverages and an auction of three outstanding works of art, conducted by esteemed auctioneer, Elliot Paul.

The trio of three original pieces were created by VSOA students Christopher Carnes and Alexandra Trejo, VSOA teacher Alice Laputka and Barletta, herself.

Visionary School of Arts, founded by Lynne Barletta in 2010, is a 501(c) (3) non-profit that uses art to not only provide a creative outlet for students of all ages, but to use art as a vehicle, in order to bring messages of leadership, values and change.

For more information, visit VisionarySchoolofArts.org or call 772-283-4888.

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Lynn Corrie, VSOA Administrative Director and Elaine Racicot, VSOA Board Member


In Photo: Denise Thalacker, VSOA Board Member and Alicia Jones, VSOA Teaching Director


In Photo: Mary Rose Morris - “Saviors of the States”


In Photo: Jodi Maxwell - “America’s Heroes”


In Photo: Alexandra Trejo and Christopher Carnes with “Guardian”


In Photo: Alice Laputka,Martin County Commissioner Ed Ciampi and Liz Ciampi

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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New Festival Planned for Treasure Coast in May Artists, Vendors and Sponsors Still Being Accepted

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In Photo: Sound healing practitioner Deena Rahill will be playing a set of crystal bowls in a live performance while Lisa Jill Allison paints a canvas for a symbiotic art and sound experience. Photo credit: City of Port St. Lucie

Article by: Doreen Poreba, APR, The PR Czar® Inc.

Port St. Lucie — A new event called The Treasure Coast Arts & Mindfulness Fest is coming to the Treasure Coast. Organized by the St. Lucie Cultural Alliance, in partnership with the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Event Center, located at 9221 SE Event Center Place, Port St. Lucie, the festival will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 22, and Sunday, May 23. Admission is free.

“Combining the mind-opening benefits of art with the healing benefits of mindfulness is a perfect marriage,” said St. Lucie Cultural Alliance Executive Director Alyona Ushe.

All sponsorship, vendor, auction and raffle proceeds will go into the Cultural Alliance’s Grant Fund to be awarded to artists and cultural organizations. The Fest is designed to enhance the cultural community and inspire guests to improve their everyday lives through art and mindfulness activities and practices, while the fundraiser will further empower the organization to showcase local and regional talent.

“Arts and cultural activities inspire civic pride, connect generations, bridge diverse groups and serve as a symbol of Port St. Lucie,” said MIDFLORIDA Event Center Director Linda McCarthy.

The Fest reflects the diversity of the artists and the scope of alternative health modalities. Examples of participating artists and crafters include painters, potters, photographers and sculptors; artists who create works from recycled components; fashion designers; and jewelers. Live music, dance productions and spoken-word performance pieces will take place on stage. A children’s corner featuring family activities and crafts will provide the opportunity to create hands-on art. Multiple food trucks with healthy food choices also will be on hand.

Deena Rahill, a certified sound healing practitioner, is organizing the mindfulness portion of the Fest. She will be playing a set of crystal bowls in a live performance while Lisa Jill Allison paints a canvas for a symbiotic art and sound experience.

“Sound can be used to unblock creativity and focus the mind,” said Rahill. “A crystal bowl sound bath is like a meditative acoustic sound concert. It is quite an experience to be immersed in vibrational sound, one that lulls the listener into a peaceful and mindful state of being.”

Participating alternative health practitioners will address areas of acupuncture, nutrition, massage, hypnotherapy, yoga, Pilates, reiki and tai chi. Visitors will find all-natural soaps, hand-made crystal jewelry and sound healing instruments and can have a Tarot card reading or a chakra analysis. Numerous vendors have already donated items for a chance auction, including original jewelry, an all-natural cleaning starter set and a Ghana djembe, to name a few.

Artist, vendor and sponsorship opportunities are still available. To inquire, email info@artstlucie.org. For more information about the Treasure Coast Arts & Mindfulness Fest, visit https://artstlucie.org/event/art-fest or call 772-462-2783

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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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In Photo: Belly dance instructor and performer Helia Mondou will be among the entertainers at the Art & Mindfulness Fest. Photo credit: City of Port St. Lucie 

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In Photo: Linda McCarthy and Alyona Ushe. Back row, from left, Helia Mondou, Deena Rahill, Kyrianna Hoffses, Dieulanie Claude, Christine Murphy, Mendy Solorzano, Meredith Flynn and Lisa Jill Allison. Photo credit: City of Port St. Lucie

Bid to Beat Hunger in Treasure Coast Food Bank’s Spring Online Auction

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Join Treasure Coast Food Bank in a bid to beat hunger during its Spring Online Auction for Hunger presented by Bank of America. It begins on April 23 at stophunger.org/springauction. With more than 50 auction items donated for the event, there are numerous opportunities to assist children, families and seniors in need of food on the Treasure Coast.

“The number of people seeking groceries from our Food Bank has increased by 55 percent since pre-COVID days. Our Spring Online Auction will give everyone an opportunity to help their neighbors who may be struggling with food insecurity,” said Judith Cruz, President and CEO of Treasure Coast Food Bank. “While some people are able to gather together for events, others feel the need to remain socially distanced, so an online auction is a great way for everyone to get involved. I’m so appreciative to have Bank of America as our presenting sponsor and very thankful for the many donors who already have supported us by providing items for the auction.”

More than 50 items already have been donated from theme parks, entertainment venues, restaurants and other businesses. There will be something for everyone on your spring gift list.

Place a bid to beat hunger on Disney one-day Park Hopper passes, tickets to Busch Gardens, or admission to McKee Botanical Gardens. There’s also a wine tasting for 6 at Summer Crush Winery in Fort Pierce and a golf foursome from PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie.

There are also several pieces of art from well-known area artists – Reel Art by Pat Sievers, a Highwayman-style painting by Doretha Hair Truesdell, an acrylic by Ann Steakin, and a mosaic picture frame by Anita Prentice, the artist behind the mosaic benches located throughout Fort Pierce. The auction also will include an original limited edition A.E. Backus print.

Fans of pampering gifts won’t be disappointed with choices including a one-hour Swedish massage, complementary consultation and Botox, and Vera Bradley purses.

Need a kid-sized gift? The auction will include a 6-volt battery-powered authentic BMW i8 concept ride-on toy car and a kid-sized Yamaha Raptor 700r ride-on ATV.

Sponsorship opportunities still are available. Anyone wanting to become a sponsor or donate an auction item can contact Beverly Shea at bshea@tcfoodbank.org.

The auction opens at 8 a.m. Friday, April 23, and concludes at 11 p.m. Sunday, May 2. But if you’re chasing a popular item, you may find yourself in a bidding war where time is extended an additional 10 minutes with each new bid.

For more information, visit stophunger.org/springauction.

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2021 Spring Online Auction_flamingo painting a
2021 Spring Online Auction_Lisa Jill Allison Paintinga
2021 Spring Online Auction+Maureen Pringle Committee Member
2021 Spring Online Auction-Sue Dannahower_Committee member, with artist Lisa Jill Allison
21 Apr YMCA Swim Lessons

10th Annual National Walk to End Brain Tumors and Silent Auction

21 Mar 1 May Brain Tumors Photo

Jensen Beach - As part of the National Walk to End Brain Tumors, Team “Go Joey Go” of Jensen Beach has been formed. All walker runners are welcome to join them Saturday, May 1, 2021, 7:00 am at Indian Riverside Park, 1707 NE Indian River Drive in Jensen Beach. Registration begins at 7:00 am, Run/Walk at 8:00 am, Fun Run at 9:00 am. Silent Auction to be conducted immediately after.

Team “Go Joey Go” has had firsthand experience with the challenges of a brain tumor when in 2011; 4-year old Joey Swanson of Jensen Beach was diagnosed with pilomyxoid astrocytoma, an extremely rare and lethal form of cancer. He had surgery on September 9, 2011 and during a 10-hour surgery, doctors removed part of the tumor on Joey’s brain, however, an inoperable tumor remains on his brainstem. Doctors implanted chemotherapy wafers in Joey’s brain. Joey has had several procedures and after his January, 2014 MRI it seems to be in remission.

Joey and his family live in a Jensen Beach neighborhood with both sets of grandparents, three aunts and two uncles. Their strong family ties are important as the family fights for Joey and all those affected by brain tumors. Everyone is encouraged to join them for this very important cause.

You can register online at JensenBeachRace.com and sign up to join Team “Go Joey Go.” A free T-shirt for each runner/walker is included with registrations paid at least 10 days in advance. Adults: $30.00, Children 8-17 yrs: $15.00

Children 7 and under do not need to register unless they want a t-shirt.

Fun Run is $40.00 for the whole Family (T-Shirt Sold Separately)

For more information on Team “Go Joey Go” contact Nancy Swanson 772-530-1504 or Susan Parisi 772-215-8662.

To See Auction Items: Visit JensenBeachRace.com & Click Auction Items

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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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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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Youth of the Year Uses Adoption Story as Platform for Change

21 Mar Bailey

Port St Lucie - Service comes naturally - if not genetically - to Elyse Bailey, the 2021 St. Lucie County Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year.

Parents Rose and Brian Bailey are givers and servers who have dedicated their lives to foster care, and Elyse is part of their 8-child family created through the love of adoption.

Now Elyse is sharing her adoption story to help improve life for the hundreds of children still living in foster care in Okeechobee and the Treasure Coast. It was that story and her advocacy on behalf of other children that won Elyse her most recent accolade and a $5,000 scholarship from the Boys and Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County.

Elyse, a junior at St. Lucie West Centennial High School, was named the organization's Youth of the Year for its Ken Pruitt location during a ceremony February 19 at the clubs' new Westside Club facility in Fort Pierce.

Elyse wishes to pursue a degree in law and one day become a public defense attorney.

“Before coming to the Boys and Girls Club, I dealt with a lot of depression and anxiety connected to my labels,” Elyse said in her candidate profile. “At one point, I felt like I was losing myself. My club has empowered me to go out into my community and help other teens who are also adopted.”

"We are so proud that Elyse has chosen to use foster care and adoption as part of her platform," said her mother, Rose Bailey. "This is her life and she has seen the positivity and benefits it has brought to her life."

Elyse said she is is excited to talk about foster care and adoption to a larger audience. "It's good for other kids to know they are not alone," she said. "It's their chance, and they can walk proud in it."

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.

Treasure Coast Hospice - Felix Taborda Romero, A Proud American Citizen

21 Mar Hospice Photo 1a

In Photo: Eugenio Rosado, Supervisory Immigration Services Officer with Laura Abitz de Taborda & Felix Taborda Romero

Article & Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham
When Treasure Coast Hospice Social Worker Kelley Thompson first began working with her new patient Felix Taborda three months ago, she never dreamed that she would help facilitate one of his final wishes of becoming a United States citizen.

Last month, from the comfort of home, Taborda raised his right hand and recited the Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States. He then said the words he's waited so long to say, "I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God!"

With a small American flag in hand, he said, "I'm very proud!"

Taborda and his wife Laura fled the toxic political situation in Venezuela and, thanks to their sons' sponsorship, became residents of the U.S. The highly-educated couple, he with a Masters and a Ph.D. and she with a Masters, ultimately settled in Stuart a few years ago.

While Laura became a citizen in 2020, Felix Taborda encountered a few issues with his paperwork, causing a delay. Sadly, he was diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer last year.

Wanting to enjoy quality time with his family at home, he opted to decline radiation, chemo, and other treatments that would leave him feeling even more ill. Although he generally feels well, ambulation is very difficult for him.

The Taborda family is grateful for the assistance from Treasure Coast Hospice. Without hesitation, Thompson stepped right in, made phone calls, arranged meetings, and helped them navigate the process by securing the necessary documentation, including from the Treasure Coast Hospice physician.

The administration of a citizenship exam and the Oath of Allegiance at home is a rare occurrence. Working hand-in-hand with Eugenio Rosado of U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) and further assistance from U.S. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, Thompson helped make it happen!

"I'm so happy this day is finally here," she said.

Felix Taborda plans to spend his days enjoying his hobbies; writing, reading, engaging in technology, and celebrating his newly found citizenship!

Laura Taborda expressed the family's gratitude, "Kelley, and her team at Treasure Coast Hospice, gave us hope. She is an angel!"

For more information about Treasure Coast Hospice, please visit TreasureHealth.org.

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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 Mar Hospice Photo 2a

In Photo: Felix Taborda Romero and Kelley Thompson, Treasure Coast Hospice LCSW

21 Mar Hospice Photo 3a

In Photo: Felix Taborda Romero takes the oath of citizenship

Helping People Succeed Offers Art for Living Online Gallery

21 Feb Julie Kelly

Article by: Jackie Holfelder
Photo provided by Helping People Succeed
Artist: Julia Kelly gets help hanging one of her paintings in the Art for Living Online Gallery

For 22 years, Helping People Succeed’s Art for Living Calendar has brought exceptional paintings from some of the Treasure Coast’s most esteemed artists into homes and offices.

In spite of Covid-19, the 2021 Art for Living calendar was offered once again – this time with a unique twist lets you view the artwork that comprised the calendar in an exciting new way.

Helping People Succeed has created the Art for Living Online Gallery, in which the original paintings are available for purchase.

Presenting artists are:
• Pam Patterson
• Susan Roberts
• Mary Neal
• Marian Vitale
• Diane Raymond
• Dan Mackin
• Chris Kling
• Pay Hoshino
• Stacy Ranieri
• Julia Kelly
• Sue Ann Saleeby-Mosley
• Arundathi Wijetilleke
• Amber Moran

In addition to each calendar selection, all artists have a collection of their work hanging in the gallery and each piece is also available for sale.

The Art for Living Gallery is easy to access and navigate, offering you the opportunity to pause and get close-up views.

Both Helping People Succeed and the artists will benefit from all sales, with 35-percent going to the nonprofit and 65-percent going to the artists.

Monies raised will help the 501(c)(3) in its goal by helping each child, family and adult they serve reach their fullest potential. This nonprofit helps develop healthy families by providing new parents with education and resources and school-age children with mental health support. Helping People Succeed provides assistance to adults with special needs in order to achieve community participation and employment.

Visit the Art for Living Online Gallery at www.hpsfl.org. For information, call Glenna Parris at 772-320-0778.

Lure of Florida Fishing Exhibit and New Café Open at Elliott Museum

21 Feb 123

Article & Photos: Doreen Marcial Poreba, APR
President • The PR Czar® Inc.

Stuart — There’s something fishy going on at the Elliott Museum on Hutchinson Island in Stuart — the Lure of Florida Fishing exhibit, which was just unveiled along with a recently opened restaurant — Philly Down South Café. The exhibit will remain through May 31, 2021 at the museum, 825 NE Ocean Blvd. Daily museum hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

“This fishing exhibit fits in perfectly within Martin County because our area is noted as the Sailfish Capital of the World,” said Rob Steele, president of the Historical Society of Martin County, which operates the Elliott Museum and House of Refuge Museum.

The Lure of Florida Fishing exhibit showcases the rich history, evolution and art of this age-old sport and its impact on a local and statewide scale. Guests may explore vintage and state-of-the-art equipment, mounts, sculpture, old photographs depicting fishing history, and handcrafted lures for fresh and saltwater fishing. Visitors also can cast a line on a fishing simulator to see what they can reel in!

The Philly Down South Café at the Elliott offers visitors a chance to take a break for a tasty snack, meal, a sweet treat, or a glass of wine or beer. Proprietor Jim Leary also welcomes guests who are looking to enjoy an afternoon or evening out for lunch or dinner. There is no museum admission for those coming solely to the restaurant, which is located on the museum’s second floor.

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19 Dec Zweben Logo

Al Sammartino 2021 President of The Kiwanis Club of Vero-Treasure Coast

21 Jan All Kiwanis Pres

The Kiwanis Club of Vero-Treasure Coast is pleased to announce our new club President Mr. Al Sammartino. Past President, Tom Maher recently passed the duties to Sammartino and praised him on his ongoing efforts and support for the Kiwanis mission and helping children throughout Indian River County.
Sammartino is a very familiar face on many community projects here in the county. As the leader of Kiwanis Youth in Action, established over 25 years ago, he coordinates engagement of hundreds of youth volunteers to assist community residents in need. Working with the high school Key Clubs, other youth and adult volunteers, and club members Sammartino responds to residents who need home repairs. These may include house painting, building ramps, and making other home hammer and nail repairs all at no cost to the residents. Additionally, Kiwanis Youth in Action helps to regularly clean Indian River County beaches. Last year they also painted rooms and built benches at the Environmental Learning Center. Maher says “if you want a job done well get Sammartino involved.” A few years back Sammartino and fellow Kiwanis member Richard Schlitt took youth and adult volunteers to Puerto Rico and rebuilt a pre-school for children. The list of Sammartino’s dedicated efforts to well serve Indian River County is long.
The Kiwanis Club of Vero-Treasure Coast looks forward to Sammartino’s leadership in 2021 and we welcome those who would like to learn more about Kiwanis to visit our website at www.verokiwanis.com. Join us in helping serve our youth and community.

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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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