Out2News Human Interest & Opinions

14th Annual Festival of Trees & Lights Benefitting Tykes & Teens Taking Place November 14 – 20, 2021 in Downtown Stuart

21 Sept Fest Of Trees Logo

Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for 25 years, is once again kicking off the holiday season with its 14th annual Festival of Trees & Lights. Taking place at the Flagler Center in Downtown Stuart from November 14-20, 2021, the much-anticipated, annual week-long series of festivities brings joy and cheer to the Treasure Coast while raising vital funds for the high quality mental health care that Tykes & Teens provides.

“The past year-and-a-half have been difficult for everyone and mental health services in our community have become more important than ever,” said Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW. “Children and families are experiencing unprecedented uncertainty and fear, feelings of anxiety and depression are high, and issues of abuse and neglect have risen. As a result, the need for Tykes & Teens’ counseling services has nearly tripled over previous years. The need for additional funding for these services is vital and the revenue raised during the Festival of Trees & Lights helps to ensure all children and families seeking help can receive the highest quality care, regardless of their ability to pay.”

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21 Sept Fest of Trees Flyer
21 Sept Airshow

Palm City's Lesson in Consequences We All Will Share

21 Sept One Martin Logo

A missing tool in Martin County's arsenal for reviewing development applications might be a crystal ball to see future consequences of our decisions. We don't have one, of course, but we believe a good dose of common sense and respect for others would work just as well.

We suspect, with those “tools,” the Costco story would have ended differently.

Their story is an example – not the only example, unfortunately – of how localized protests overrode decisions normally governed by common sense and Martin County's Comprehensive Growth Management Plan.

Rewind the previous five years, when just the idea of having a Costco here with its great deals, its above-average wages, and tax revenue that could spell a real difference in Martin County was met with near jubilation.

At first.

County residents were assured that our Comp Plan would prevent construction of a ghastly box building with acres of asphalt surrounding it, oblivious to the environment.

Indeed, Costco changed its site plan, not only to accommodate Martin County's rules, but to create a facade design unlike any other in the Costco chain.

This would not be just another box store.

Our Comp Plan had already designated the 27.5-acre property at the southwest corner of High Meadow Avenue and Martin Highway as an industrial zone, primarily because it was at the outskirts of a suburban area, but still within the urban services district, as the county requires.

Costco would be exactly where the county had planned for that kind of business 30 years ago.

From Costco's perspective – or any retail business perspective – the location between exit ramps from both I-95 and the Florida Turnpike was near perfect. The socio-economic demographics of Palm City households matched the required benchmark of Costco's marketing research to justify its multi-million-dollar investment in Martin County.

It was a win for shoppers and job-seekers, a win for Martin County's tax base, and a win for Costco, but as we all know, the welcome mat got pulled out from under Costco within weeks.

Although Costco's proposed site would keep the bulk of out-of-town vehicles from clogging our county roads, an organized group of Palm City residents could not see beyond the possibility of additional traffic in their own neighborhood.

The majority of protest organizers lived in a gated residential community bisected by a public road, with an entrance at High Meadow Avenue – the exit ramp from northbound I-95. They could see more traffic on High Meadow headed to Costco, but they also saw the possibility that locals would take a shortcut on “their” public road to Costco.

The thought was just intolerable to them. As an alternative, they suggested such spots as US 1, or Pineland Prairie, or Indiantown, none of which have direct access to either I-95 or the turnpike.

They never considered that Costco would NEED the location they had found to justify their multi-million dollar investment in Martin County to have any hope of an acceptable return on that investment within a reasonable time frame.

They also did not consider what else might come to that ideal site between exits from two major thoroughfares, despite warnings even from their own District 5 Commissioner Ed Ciampi that “SOMETHING will be built there.”

On the cusp of their final approval, Costco pulled their development plan as protesters' drumbeats grew louder, not softer, over the nearly three-year review process. A year later, they handed a new site plan to the City of Stuart, and Costco found its new home – still between both exits, just two miles farther east..

And Palm City residents?

They'll now get the traffic going through the heart of Palm City on Martin Downs and Martin Highway, since shoppers will no longer turn immediately off exit ramps into Costco. That gated community with the public road also will have to bear the brunt of drivers exiting from I-95 on High Meadow, then using “their” road to take a shortcut on their way to Costco's new location in Stuart.

At the same time, they'll have to contend with five new stores on the former Costco site – a WaWa convenience store with an 18-pump gas station; a vehicular service shop with a car wash; a Tractor Supply; an Aldi grocery; and possibly a hotel, or another as-yet-unnamed retailer, only one with Costco's limited hours of operation.

Each of them will attract its own following with numerous shoppers that, in total, likely will exceed the traffic generated had Costco been on that site.

Did we need a crystal ball to see the unintended consequences of booting Costco out of Palm City? We don't think so.

All we needed was to treat Costco with a little more respect, follow our own rules, and trust our common sense. Let's hope those are lessons learned.


Rick Hartman

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Out2News. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion, and are not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.

Lake Okeechobee Current Status

21 Sept Water Drops

Out and About

21 Sept Water Drops 2

SFWMD Director Drew Bartlett, Senate President Wilton Simpson, Senator Albritton and Representative Tuck announced the implementation of the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project at the C-38S drilling site in Glades County.

Northern storage is crucial for the health of Lake Okeechobee and our estuaries. ASR wells will create flexibility and better management for the lake, in turn decreasing lake releases.

21 Sept Colorado Pawn Ad
21 Sept Library Flyer

Candlelight Vigil "Remember for Change” Fort Pierce City Marina

21 Sept Lions Club MADD Multi

Article by Crystal Samuel

     With the support of Fort Pierce Lions Club, the Candlelight Vigil: "Remember for Change," is planned for 6:45-7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 29, 2021, at Gazebo Park and the south grounds near the Fort Pierce City Marina.

     This event honors those who have been impacted by impaired and distracted drivers.  We are encouraging St. Lucie County to come together and use this remembrance of our loved ones* as a catalyst for change through our hope and actions.

     This Candlelight Vigil will not only raise awareness, but it will also educate, inspire, and empower our community to bring about the lasting changes which saves lives.

      Special guest speakers will include a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) advocate, Mayor Linda Hudson, local law enforcement, and others. The goal is that everyone who attends will make a commitment to "be the change" in the life of a young person or adult, so that we can end impaired driving in St. Lucie County. 

     Please join us at 6:45pm on Friday, October 29th! For more information, kindly contact Lion's Zone Chair, Crystal Samuel, 772-940-9939 or Melanie Trewyn at 772-333-1533.

    * Attendees are invited to bring a display photo of a loved one who was the victim of an impaired driver. A display table will be available for the duration of the Vigil.

NAACP Sponsors First Annual Russell Holloway 5K/10K Walk and Run on October 16

21 Sept 16 Oct Mimi Fry

In Photo: Mimi Fry, Race Coordinator, and Jimmy Smith, President of the Martin County NAACP, are putting the final touches on the October 16 Russell Holloway Jr. 5K/10K Run/Walk.

Stuart - The first annual Russell Holloway Jr. 5K/10K Walk and Run, sponsored by the NAACP of Martin County, is ready to kick off at 7 a.m. on Saturday, October 16, 2021.

The race begins at the Russell Holloway Track at Guy Davis Field at Stuart’s 10th Street Rec Center. Runners and walkers will follow a course through historic Downtown and East Stuart, finishing back at the Rec Center for the awards festivities. All skills levels are welcome. Medals will be given in all age categories.

Mimi Fry, the volunteer coordinator of the Walk and Run, is looking forward to getting people across the community to come together in an outdoor activity. “The course is a real draw for walkers and runners,” says Fry. “It goes along a route that is different from the usual race routes in the area and will make for a fun event for participants and everyone who comes out to cheer them on.” Race organizers added a 10K to the event for runners who need timed races to qualify for upcoming half-marathons. Covid protocols will be in place for everyone’s safety.

The event is named after Russell Holloway, Jr., a star athlete and state track champion from East Stuart. He returned to the area after his college successes and coached many of the area’s youth. Russell’s sister Betty Holloway, his brother Greg Holloway, and his niece Jackie McCready will be at the starting line to begin the race and walk. “We lost Russell to cancer when he was much too young,” says Jimmy Smith, President of the local chapter of the NAACP, “but his spirit lives on in our community. I went to school with him, and I know he was a super person. He was the personification of what a true athlete should be.”

Betty has fond memories of her brother. “Russell always wanted to run, even when he was teaching. He was so motivated to do hurdles that he joined the Florida Track Team. Thanks to the support of my mother, he even ran in the European games. He had his eyes set on the Olympics, but his competition was Carl Lewis, who won that year, “Betty recalls. “I’ll be proud to be there on the starting line in his honor.”

The NAACP of Martin County is a branch of the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights organization. “Our chapter is a uniter, not a divider,” Smith says. “We’re excited about this opportunity to bring the community together regardless of race or creed, do something healthy for ourselves, and honor one of our own who brought such honor to East Stuart.”

Runners and walkers can sign up in several ways: at www.runsignup.com, at www.fleetfeet.com, and on the Facebook page for the NAACP of Martin County. The fee is $35 for the 5K and $45 for the 10K through September 21, when fees will increase by $10.

Sponsors for the event include Seacoast Bank, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Martin County, Law Office of Robert J. Watson, LEIF Therapies, Otto’s Bread Club, Anchors Aweigh Counseling, Pinder’s Nursery, The Stuart Center for Couples and Families, The Lotus Room Organic Salon, The Porter Law Firm, McCarthy Summers Wood Norman Melby & Schultz PA, The Lewis Law Group, Fleet Feet, Firefly Public Relations & Marketing, and The Art Department.

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Heathcote's Fall Garden Fest Has it All!

21 Sept 17 Heathocte 35 Annual Fall Fest

Gardeners and plant lovers mark your calendar to celebrate Heathcote’s 35th Annual Fall Festival October 16 -17th. Presented by the Heathcote Botanical Gardens, the festival includes a variety of plant and flower vendors, garden supplies, garden arts & crafts, children’s activities, refreshments, food, demonstrations, and more. Visitors will gain insights into conservation efforts that can be used in their home gardens as well as other garden-related instructions

Admission is free during the weekend festival, but donations are always accepted! Vendor space for garden supplies & services, landscapers & a variety of displays are still available. Please contact 772.464.4672 for further information. Heathcote is located at 210 Savannah Road, between Indian River Drive and U.S. Highway One in Fort Pierce, Florida 34982. Festival hours are:

Saturday, October 16th 11:00 am – 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 17th 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Presentations and activities will take place during the Fall Garden Fest for both adults and children. The children's activities will take place in the Children’s Garden. Some of the activities and presentations for the children will be by The Academy of Future Teachers Club of Indian River State College. The adult presentations will take place at the Bonsai Pavilion. Pruning advice, butterfly information, bonsai advice, and more will be shared over the 2-day event.

Celebrating 35 years in 2021 as the green heart of the Treasure Coast, Heathcote Botanical Gardens' mission is to educate and inspire by providing a place of botanical beauty and serve as a resource for the conservation of our environment. Heathcote is home to several themed tropical and native plant gardens including North America’s largest public display of tropical Bonsai on the five-acre campus. The historic Heathcote House, along with a replica of an 1880’s Pioneer Home connects visitors to the history of the region. Other Garden Galleries include the Reflection Garden, Rain Forest Garden, Farm-to-Table Community Garden, Children’s Garden, and Palm & Cycad Walk. For more information, visit www.heathcotebotanicalgardens.org.

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City of Fort Pierce Opens Free Beach Public Parking Lot Today

21 Sept City of Fort Pierce

The City of Fort Pierce opened a 165-space free public parking lot on the beach to provide additional parking for access to our beautiful beaches and other waterfront amenities. The parking lot is located on seven vacant parcels on the north side of Seaway Drive (1710, 1720, 1730, 1750, 1770, 1802, and 1820 Seaway Drive). The parking lot, which includes
7 handicapped parking spaces, is unpaved with drive aisles created from coquina rock.

The lot will be opened at a minimum of a year. The lease agreement was approved on July 6, 2021. It has an option to extend the lease on a month-to-month basis after the
12 months is up.

For more information, please contact Audria Moore-Wells, Special Projects Coordinator,
772-579-9738 (mobile)

Young Marines Celebrate ‘Marine Mike’s’ 97th Birthday

21 Aug Young Marine 1

In Photo: Veteran "Marine Mike" Arditis celebrates 97 years

Youth members of the Young Marines of Palm Beaches and PFC Bruce Carter Young Marines from Miami came together to honor and surprise Michael Emanuel Amditis, a World War II veteran, on his 97th birthday. Attended by more than 150 people, the celebration took place August 14, 2021, at the Clubhouse at Del Webb Tradition in Port Saint Lucie, Florida.

The Young Marines marched the colors. Mr. Amditis stood proud and strong as he saluted his country’s colors, and he was moved to tears when he heard his beloved Marine Corps Hymn.

“My dad always says, ‘Nobody is an ex-Marine,’” said Donna Morn, Mr. Amditis’ daughter. “There were so many veterans present. They are truly like a band of brothers. For next year, I wonder if we could parachute him into the pool. It would take that to top this year’s celebration.”

Mr. Amditis’ enlisted in the Navy, and after boot camp, in 1942. He was deployed by the Navy to the Aleutian Islands shortly after the Japanese invasion there. Upon returning to the US, he was re-assigned as a Marine and then deployed as a sharp shooter to the South Pacific on Guadalcanal, Tinian, and Saipan. He ended his service in Guam after the end of the conflict, where he was a driver for actor Tyrone Power.

Following the ceremony, Mr. Amditis shared his life story with several Young Marines, whose ages ranged from 9 – 17. The Young Marines listened attentively and were able to ask questions.

“We asked the Young Marines to participate, and they reacted so positively with very short notice,” said Nancy O’Neil, Mr. Amditis’ daughter. “I don’t know how they got it together so quickly, but they were wonderful and so polite.”

“These get-togethers are always a thrill,” said Cindy Townsend, adjutant of the Young Marines’ Alpha Battalion. “I’m always struck by how grateful the veterans are. Everyone gets so much out something like this.”

Young Marines units in Florida have strong relationships with many local veteran’s organizations. Requests to honor veterans are rarely, if ever, turned down.

Sadly, Michael Arditis pass away on August 27th, still a proud US Marine. He will be interred with his wife at the South Florida National Cemetary in Lake Worth.

The Young Marines

The Young Marines is a national non-profit 501c (3) youth education and service program for boys and girls, age eight through the completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral, and physical development of its members. The program focuses on teaching the values of leadership, teamwork, and self-discipline so its members can live and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

Since the Young Marines' humble beginnings in 1959 with one unit and a handful of boys, the organization has grown to 235 units with 7,500 youth and 2,500 adult volunteers in 40 states, the District of Columbia, Japan, and affiliates in other countries.

For more information, visit the official website at https://www.youngmarines.com.

21 Aug Young Marine 2

In Photo: Veteran "Marine Mike" Arditis surrounded by members of the Young Marines organization.

21 Aug Young Marine 3

In Photo: Local Veterans stand in honor with Michael Arditis

21 Aug Young Marine 4

In Photo: Members of the Young Marines kickoff the celebration

21 Aug Young Marine 5

In Photo: Abigail, Nancy O'Neil, Donna Morn, Michael Amditis, John Morn and Jack O'Neil

21 Aug Young Marine 6

In Photo: Rosanne Krueger, Michael Arditis and Bobby Krueger

Baron Academy Comedy Fundraiser for Playground at New Facility

21 Apr Baron Academy Logo
21 Aug 28 Baron Academy 1

In Photo: Joe & Suzanne Milles

Article by: Kristine Erice / Photos by: MaryAnn Ketcham

Port St. Lucie - Baron Academy, a Port St. Lucie based 501c3 non-profit private school that specializes in serving children with Autism and Related Disabilities, hosted a Comedy Show Fundraiser at the Baron Real Estate Ballroom on Sunday, August 22nd. All proceeds from the event will go towards an outdoor playground for the students at the school's new expanded Port St. Lucie Location. The event featured comedy by National Headlining Comedian and New England native Bill Simas. A raffle, 50/50 and live auction completed the afternoon of laughter and after all expenses, the school raised $5000 to go towards their playground project.

The new school, Baron Academy, is enrolling grades K-8 for January 2022. Please visit the school’s website at www.exceptionalacademypsl.com for more information and contact Kristine Erice at kerice@exceptionalacademypsl.com

Contact: Kristine Erice, kerice@exceptionalacademypsl.com

21 Aug 28 Baron Academy 2

In Photo: Leo & Maureen Laquerre

21 Aug 28 Baron Academy 3

In Photo: Julie Cucore of AC Now, Donna and Linda Forte and Sean Cucore

21 Aug 28 Baron Academy 4

In Photo: Debbie Miller, Sharon Carr and Cindy Almeida

21 Aug 28 Baron Academy 5

In Photo: Bonner Bartender Charles Matthews, Maureen Caruolo and Marsha Tarcza

21 Aug 28 Baron Academy 6

In Photo: Julie and Christian Renken

21 Aug 28 Baron Academy 7

In Photo: Laurie Pearl and Suzanne Milles

21 Aug 28 Baron Academy 8

In Photo: Bill Simas, Steve Ruhle and Sa Sheag

21 Aug 28 Baron Academy 9

In Photo: Steve Ruhle, Bill Simas and Scott Orbany

21 Aug 28 Baron Academy 10

In Photo: Bill Simas, Kristine Erice and Scott Orbany

21 Aug 28 Baron Academy 11

In Photo: Liz Gonzalez, Bill Simas, Scott Orbany and Scott Weintraub

21 Aug 28 Baron Academy 12

In Photo: Headliner Bill Simas

Buckle Up for the Indiantown Rodeo in October

Dyami Nelson Bull Rider (a

Indiantown – Get a fun-filled taste of the Wild West at the 2021 Indiantown Rodeo on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 15-16. Yes, it's back and here to stay! The outdoor, family-oriented event is under roof with huge stadium fans in the bleachers at Timer Powers Park on Citrus Blvd., the perfect venue in these COVID-aware times!

Brought to you by the Indiantown Chamber of Commerce, be sure to mark your calendars for Sept. 1, when a limited number of tickets will go on sale to the public for $18 apiece at select Seacoast Bank locations. Kids five and under are admitted free of charge.

Or take your chances on Oct. 15 or Oct. 16 to buy tickets at the gate for $25 each – if the show is not already sold out!

The popular sawdust-under-foot performances are the real deal by professional cowboys and cowgirls competing in sanctioned events by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Women's Pro Rodeo Association. They set the standards for timing and techniques to qualify for national rodeo competitions and include the proper care and treatment of rodeo animals.

The events you'll see include bull riding, bronc riding, bareback bronc riding, steer wrestling, calf roping, among others. A part of American history and culture, the rodeo gives spectators a window into traditional cowboy activities needed to tame wild horses and cattle on the range.

Your ticket allows you on the grounds at 5 p.m., before the main event begins at 7:30 p.m., giving you extra family time to grab a snack or dinner, be tempted by an array of western attire and jewelry from visiting vendors, and to send your kids through the award-winning Kids Corral, which offers a dozen rodeo-themed, kid-friendly activities for ages 3 through 12.

The Indiantown Rodeo, with US Sugar as presenting sponsor this year, was selected twice previously by the Southeast Tourism Society as one of the top-20 tourist events in the southeastern U.S. Over its 70-plus year history, the Indiantown Rodeo continues to evolve, educate and entertain all ages.

For more information, check out the Indiantown Chamber of Commerce website at www.indiantownchamber.com, email questions to info@indiantownchamber.com, or call 772-597-2184. And dust off those cowboy boots!

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What is the Difference Between an LLC and an LLP?

19 Nov Woodward Logo

If you are starting a new business, the type of business entity you decide to establish will have an impact on the extent of personal liability, how the business is taxed, its management, the level of formality required, and many other factors. There are a wide variety of options, which can make this decision quite overwhelming. Limited liability companies (LLCs) and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) are two business forms that share some characteristics, but also have some important distinctions.


LLCs protect members and managers from personal liability for the LLC’s debts and obligations, as well as for any wrongdoing or negligence committed by the other owners or the employees of the LLC. However, it will not protect members from their own negligence or wrongdoing committed in relation to the business.

LLPs provide similar protection from personal liability for the partners. Generally, the partners in an LLP are not personally liable for business debts and obligations. Thus, creditors of LLPs cannot reach the personal assets of the partners and are limited to the assets of the business. In addition, in most states, partners in an LLP are not personally liable for the mistakes or wrongdoing (negligence, malpractice, or misconduct) of the other partners. However, as is the case with LLCs, partners can be personally liable for their own negligence or wrongdoing. The nature and extent of liability protection varies depending upon the state in which the LLP is formed, so it is important to meet with us to verify the scope of the protection in your state.

Note: A limited liability partnership is different from a limited partnership: In a limited partnership, the managing partner(s) are subject to personal liability for the business’s obligations. To qualify for limited liability, the limited partners cannot play a role in the management of the business but must be merely passive investors.

In certain limited circumstances, a court may “pierce the veil,” holding the members or partners of LLCs and LLPs personally liable for business debts or obligations: This could occur when the business is merely the “alter ego” of the members or partners, the business form is used to perpetuate a wrong, or there is a need to achieve an equitable result.

Tax Treatment
LLCs are not typically taxed as a separate business entity; rather, the profits and losses pass through to the members, according to their percentage of membership interest in the business, who report them on their individual tax returns. Like an LLC, an LLP is not a tax-paying entity. Rather, its profits and losses are passed through to the partners according to their percentage shares in the business. The partners pay taxes on their shares at the individual tax rate.

By default, under IRS rules, LLCs and LLPs are treated as partnerships and must file a partnership information return. One exception to this is a single-member LLC, which is treated as a sole proprietorship (note that partnerships must have more than one partner) and does not have to file a partnership information return. Both LLCs and LLPs can elect to be taxed as an S or C corporation if they meet certain qualifications.


Both LLCs and LLPs avoid the extensive recordkeeping and operating requirements imposed on corporations. LLCs typically must file articles of organization providing basic information about the business with a state or local agency and pay a filing fee. This is the act that creates the LLC in most states.

Partnerships are created automatically when two or more individuals engage in a business enterprise for profit. However, partnerships that elect to become LLPs must typically file a registration form with their state’s secretary of state to acquire status as an LLP and enjoy limited liability benefits.

Both entities may also have to file an annual report with the state. Regardless of which entity you choose, we can help you make sure you are meeting your ongoing responsibilities to the state.


Business Purpose
Some states limit the use of LLPs to businesses offering professional services, such as lawyers, accountants, or doctors.

LLCs, on the other hand, usually can be formed for any type of business. In fact, many states allow LLCs to be formed for any lawful purpose. That is, a specific business purpose is not required. However, a few states prohibit certain licensed professionals from forming an LLC, and others require professionals to form a special kind of LLC called a professional limited liability company.

Because the law varies by state, it is essential to work with us to ascertain the types of entities your business is permitted to form.

In most states, LLCs can elect to be member managed, or the members can designate or hire one or more managers, creating a manager-managed LLC. All the members can participate in the management of a member-managed LLC, although they may choose to alter these rights and responsibilities in their operating agreement. Only managers can manage the operations of a manager-managed LLC. If the articles of organization do not specify that the parties have elected a manager-managed structure, state LLC statutes generally default to a member-managed LLC.

In an LLP, all the partners can participate in the management of the business, as is the case in a general partnership. Unlike an LLC, there is no option to hire an outside manager.

For more information contact them 772.497.6544.

Roxette Ojeda Joins Hobe Sound Early Learning Center

21 Aug HSELC a

Article by: Jackie Holfelder / Photo by: Roxette Ojeda, social worker at Hobe Sound Early Learning Center

Hobe Sound Early Learning Center (HSELC), which has been a vital part of the community since 1965, has added an important layer to the services it provides the community with the addition of Roxette Ojeda to its staff.

Ojeda earned her B.A. in Human Services from Indian River State College. As a social worker, she will serve as an integral link between the center and the families. Her focus is on supporting teachers and staff with behavioral management and conflict resolution.

Additionally, Ojeda will assess the children’s needs in order to provide direct support and refer to community resources when appropriate. Ojeda will also play a key role in working alongside parents to support their children’s school adjustment, alleviating family stressors that impact the household and increasing parent engagement.

Since joining HSELC this June, she has already connected with 19 families and continues to work with them to ensure their child’s success.

HSELC provides families, regardless of income, an affordable early-education program incorporating nurturing, education, and recreation to stimulate children’s healthy emotional and social development and help them excel in school and life.

To learn more about Hobe Sound Early Leaning Center and the services it provides, visit www.hobesoundearlylearningcenter.org.

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20 Aug Skin Serenity Spa Logo LG

Treasure Coast Food Bank Joins Feeding America Hunger Action Month

2021-HAM-Out-Run-Hunger (1) a
2021_HAM Committee photo with props 2 a

Treasure Coast - A year away from the shutdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic, one in four people on the Treasure Coast continue to face impossible choices between food and other critical needs.

This September, Treasure Coast Food Bank joins Feeding America and the national network of food banks to encourage everyone to take part in Hunger Action Month.

“Every day we meet people who face impossible choices between buying food and paying a utility bill, making a rent payment, or picking up a prescription. Every week, there are 250,000 people needing help with food, more than twice the number we saw before COVID,” said Judith Cruz, President and CEO of Treasure Coast Food Bank. “We’re asking everyone to join us during Hunger Action Month to take action to end hunger.”

Treasure Coast Food Bank has planned numerous opportunities for people to donate, advocate, or raise awareness. New this year is Out Run Hunger, a family-friendly 5K event taking place on Saturday, Sept. 18 at Causeway Cove Marina in Fort Pierce. Other highlights include Out Laugh Hunger, a comedy show slated for Sept. 10 at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, The Fall Flavors Food & Beer Pairing on Sept. 22 at Sailfish Brewery, and Hops Against Hunger, a month-long food drive taking place at craft breweries throughout the Treasure Coast. Register for any of the events at stophunger.org/ham.

Local governments are proclaiming September as Hunger Action Month, and buildings, businesses and landmarks across the Treasure Coast will glow with orange to shine a light on hunger.

There’s a downloadable calendar of activities for everyone to do to raise awareness or get involved. There’s also a calendar created especially for children. September 17th is Go Orange Day. Everyone in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin and Okeechobee counties can show support by wearing orange, using a Hunger Action Month Facebook frame and tagging #hungeractionmonth online. Learn more and download a copy of the calendar at stophunger.org/ham.

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United Way of St. Lucie County Awards $40,000 to Tykes & Teens for Infant Mental Health

21 Aug 21 Tykes and Teens

Palm City – The United Way of St. Lucie County has awarded $40,000 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 Mental Health programs and services in St. Lucie County.

“Thank you United Way of St. Lucie County for your continued support of our mission of prioritizing children’s mental health,” said Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW. “We greatly appreciate your partnership, including your support in providing needed supplies during the pandemic.”

“We are thrilled to be able to provide this grant to Tykes & Teens for a critical need in our community – Infant Mental Health,” said United Way of St. Lucie County President and CEO Jessica Parrish. “We look forward to a wonderful partnership!”

What is Infant Mental Health?

The first few years of a child’s life are a blueprint for their entire future. When very young children are exposed to traumatic events, it increases their risk of long-term mental and physical health problems. Addressing issues early means healthier children who will require less intervention later in life and can reach their full potential.

Tykes & Teens Infant Mental Health therapists utilize Child Parent Psychotherapy and other evidence-based interventions for children who have experienced at least one traumatic event and as a result are exhibiting challenging behavior, attachment difficulties and/or experiencing social-emotional delays. The primary goal is to support and strengthen the relationship between a child and his or her caregiver, to restore the child’s sense of safety and attachment, and to improve the child’s cognitive, behavioral, and social functioning within all environments. Infant and toddler primary caregivers are active participants in treatment, which often includes play for facilitating communication between the child and the caregiver. With older children, the child is a more active participant in treatment, which uses multiple interventions as a vehicle for facilitating communication between the child and the caregiver, and builds resiliency and heals in the context of a relationship. When the caregiver has his or her own history of adverse experiences, the therapist helps the caregiver understand how this history can affect the child-caregiver relationship and helps the caregiver interact with the child in new developmentally-appropriate ways.

Infant Mental Health Helps:

Improve a child’s ability to regulate emotions
Strengthen the relationship between the child and caregivers
Heal from a traumatic experience for the parent and/or child that is interfering with a healthy attachment
Reduce suspension/expulsion from childcare or preschool
Enhance childcare center staffs’ use of social-emotional practices so that all caregivers are equipped to facilitate healthy social and emotional development

Tykes & Teens provides a variety of services from its outpatient office in Port St. Lucie and via telehealth, including general mental health counseling, infant mental health, early childhood mental health consultation, trauma informed care, targeted case management and psychiatric services, as well as school-based and after school services.

For more information on Tykes & Teens’ programs and services, visit www.tykesandteens.org or call 772-220-3439.

To learn more about how you can support children’s mental health in our community, visit www.tykesandteens.org/give-help/ or donate now.

Estimate Your Taxes Before You Buy A Home


In Photo: Jenny Fields, CFA
Martin County Property Appraiser

You are all settled into your new home and in November the next year you are sent your first tax bill. It is then you realize “Wait! Why are the taxes so different from last year? “

Two things I highly recommend before buying a home:

Please read this article; and Use our Property Tax Estimator found on our website. This easy and handy tool can save you “tax-bill-sticker-shock” when you receive your first tax bill the year following your home purchase.

The reality is when you purchase a new home, the property taxes will be affected. Please do not assume that the property taxes you’re looking at online or on a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) will be the same for you. The property taxes shown are representative of what the current homeowner is paying, and not what you will pay. The reason is that the assessed value of the property you are interested in purchasing will reset to full market value on January 1. When the value resets, your property taxes may be higher than what the prior owner was assessed.

That’s why our office recommends using the Property Tax Estimator before you purchase your home. It’s easy to use and only takes minutes to calculate the range of what you may pay.

The Property Tax Estimator is located at www.pa.martin.fl.us/tools-downloads/property-tax-estimator.

The first question asks: Will you apply homestead? Answer yes or no.

Next, you are asked to enter the market value and assessed value of your current home. If you don’t know the values, go to the Real Property Search section of our website and search for the address, parcel number or last name. Click on the link to the property and then select the Value History at the top of the page. Your home’s current market and assessed values will be found there.

Finally, fill in the sale price of the new home, and select if your home is in Martin County or a municipality in the county.

A variety of results will populate including the range of what you can expect to pay in property taxes the year following your sale. This will help you calculate what your monthly mortgage may be and avoid surprises in the future.

Before you purchase a new home, please make it a point to visit our website and use the Property Tax Estimator.

Next month, learn about the “Save Our Homes Benefit.”

Connect with us through social media below:






Martin County Property Appraiser Office: 3473 SE Willoughby Boulevard, Suite 101, Stuart, FL  34994

Phone number is:  772-288-5608

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Sunrise Theatre Receives Shuttered Venues Operators Grant

19 July Sunrise Theatre Logo

National Independent Venue Association Member Sunrise Theatre Receives Shuttered Venue Operators Grant & Thanks Florida Legislative Delegation for Their Support

Fort Pierce - National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) member Sunrise Theatre just received an approval notice from the Small Business Administration (SBA) stating that its Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) application has been approved. This emergency relief, outlined in the $16 billion Save Our Stages Act as part of the COVID-19 Relief Bill signed into law Dec. 27, 2020, will provide the Sunrise Theatre with $1,096,000 in funds to enable it to return to doing what it’s known for: putting on shows, welcoming artists and fans, and bringing vibrancy, jobs, and visitors to the historic downtown Fort Pierce. The Sunrise Theatre thanks our local Florida legislative delegation who co-sponsored the SOS Act, which will indeed Save Our Stages!

“The situation was dire,” said Sharon Engle, Director of the Sunrise Theatre. “Like independent venues, promoters and festivals across the country, we were the first to close, had no revenue but we were overwhelmed with all of our usual overhead. Without this emergency relief, small business like ours would be shutting forever.” We owe enormous gratitude to those who spearheaded the funding legislation: Senators Amy Klobuchar and John Cornyn, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Representatives Roger Williams and Peter Welch, who led the charge to ensure that we will reopen, rehire, and return as the economic engines for our communities across the nation,” said Engle. “Together with 230 bipartisan cosponsors in the House and Senate, our Congressional champions, made it possible for us to once again be the magnet for commerce and renewal in our neighborhoods and bring back the joy and diversion we’ve all missed so much.”

The beautifully restored, intimate 1,200-seat Sunrise Theatre Mainstage and accompanying 210 seat Black Box Theatre, located in Historic Downtown Fort Pierce, presents national touring Broadway shows, musical and comedy acts, ballet and opera companies with full orchestras.

The Historic Sunrise Theatre, which opened in 1923, is owned and operated by The City of Fort Pierce. The Sunrise Theatre is located at 117 South Second Street, Fort Pierce, Florida. For Tickets and Membership Information, call the Box Office at 772-461-4775 or online at www.sunrisetheatre.com.

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Martin County Tax Collector New Chat Service

21 Aug Ruth Pier Photo

Have you ever had a problem or just needed a simple question answered and not been able to reach a human on a company’s electronic phone system and unfortunately their menu did not list the specific topic you needed help with-FRUSTRATING!

At the Martin County Tax Collector’s office, by calling 288-5600 or #TAX you will be connected to a clerk, not a menu. We have just added a virtual chat service, so you will have another option to speak with a live clerk, not an automated message system. Look for the chat icon on the bottom right of our website and start chatting with a live clerk. The service is fast and efficient-questions are answered immediately. It’s “On-The-Go” support! Support can be accessed from anywhere on any smart device and appeals to our tech savvy customers.

We can now communicate with non- English speaking customers with automatic translation. No more the burden of finding translators for the uncommon languages, since artificial intelligence provides us with translation in all languages. Customers can speak to us in their preferred language and the communication is instantly translated to English. When we respond back to them, it is instantaneously translated back to them in their preferred language, making for a more welcoming and satisfying interaction.

We continue to provide efficiencies and better conveniences for our taxpayers!

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Hibiscus Children’s Center Board of Directors Appoints Scott A. Roads as Board Chair and Announces New Member Marshall Sterling

Scott A. Roads.Hibiscus Chair a

Treasure Coast – Hibiscus Children’s Center (HCC), a non-profit that provides life-saving services to children and youth from across the State of Florida, announces the appointment of Scott A. Roads as the new Chair of the Board of Directors and welcomes Marshall Sterling to serve as a member of the Board.

For over three decades, Hibiscus has never wavered from its mission to maintain a safe shelter for children who are abused, abandoned and neglected by providing prevention, early intervention, and advocacy in quality residential, assessment and recovery programs. Hibiscus serves close to 200 children annually in our residential programs and over 1,600 children and families through our community outreach programs.

For the past year, Scott Roads has been a valued member of the HCC Board of Directors, lending his expertise and guidance in support of the organization’s mission. Scott Roads is Founder of Spectra Investment Management and will serve a two-year term as Board Chair.

Prior to joining the HCC Board, Roads served as Board Chair for Treasure Coast Hospice and Palliative Services, Inc. and served as a Trustee for Treasure Coast Hospice Foundation.

“For over 20 years, I have watched the tremendous impact HCC has on children and families in need on the Treasure Coast” said Roads. “I am honored to serve as Board Chair and look forward to supporting the HCC mission and staff with this essential community service to children with great needs.”

In addition to the appointment of Scott Roads, HCC welcomes Marshall Sterling to the Board of Directors.

Marshall Sterling is Owner/Broker of Sterling Auction and Realty Co. in Fort Pierce. He is a member of the Fort Pierce Elks Club and Fort Pierce Rotary Club.

Board officers include: Matt Markley, CEO of HCC, Michael LaPorta – Vice Chair, Dave Wilson – Treasurer, Mike Harrell – Secretary, and Frank Noonan - Past Chair.

Hibiscus recognizes returning members: Dr. Donna Ambrosino, Dan Braden, Barrie Damson, Tracey Dexter, Armund Ek, Beckett Horner, Deborah Kessler, Dr. Debra Mulrooney, Dr. Fernando Petry and Travis Walker. Hibiscus is honored to name LaVaughn Tilton, our late Founder, as Chairman Emerita. The Board of Directors is comprised of individuals from the medical, business, and volunteer communities. The Board oversees the operations, overall management, and fiscal responsibilities of Hibiscus Children’s Center.

For more information, visit hibiscuschildrenscenter.org or contact Michelle King, Chief Development Office at (561) 452-5791 or mking@hcc4kids.org. 

Kiwanis Club of Stuart Runner-Up for Florida District Kiwanis

21 Aug 6 Kiwanis

In Photo: Allison Wigley and Cher Fisher of Kiwanis club of Stuart, and Allen Yergovich, past governor of Kiwanis Club, Florida District.


Stuart - Kiwanis club of Stuart was awarded runner-up to club of the year for Florida district Kiwanis. Out of 238 clubs, this is a high distinction and the result of incredible effort by a group of volunteers who work to serve the children of our community

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Score Treasure Coast Announces Partnership with Women's Foundation of Florida

21 Aug SCORE Womens Logo Multi

Fort Pierce - In its continuing Community Outreach efforts, SCORE Treasure Coast has joined forces with the Women’s Foundation of Florida.

Established 2007, in West Palm Beach Florida, the Women’s Foundation of Florida’s mission is to “empower women and girls to be leaders, so they can change the world.” They invest in their ideas and encourage their leadership to positively affect the economic, political, and social status of women and girls across Florida.

“The Women’s Foundation is excited to partner with SCORE Treasure Coast to provide additional tools and resources for women to achieve their entrepreneurial goals”, stated Takeata King Pang, Executive Director of the Women’s Foundation of Florida.

SCORE is well positioned to support the Women’s Foundation with its goals, and have tools created especially for women entrepreneurs.

SCORE has helped over 12 million small businesses prosper since its inception in 1964.

SCORE Treasure Coast offers free and confidential business mentoring, business-related workshops, and other customized programs to small business owners.

To learn more about SCORE Treasure Coast, visit www.treasurecoast.score.org

For information on the Women’s Foundation of Florida, visit www.WomensFoundationFL.org

SCORE Treasure Coast provides no-cost confidential business mentoring and also presents a variety of business-related workshops.

Individuals interested in mentoring may call 772-489-0548 for assistance. The Chapter’s listing of workshops can be found at www.treasurecoast.score.org.

SCORE is a resource partner with the Small Business Administration.

SCORE Treasure Coast Chapter 0308, 3220 South US 1, Fort Pierce, FL 34982
Phone: 772-489-0548 Email: ch.admin0308@scorevolunteer.org
Website: www.treasurecoast.score.org

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Kiwanis Club of Stuart Back to School Event

21 Aug Kiwanis 4

Stuart - The Kiwanis of Stuart "Back to School " event was a huge success! For the sixth year, provided a backpack full of clothes and sneakers for 146 children, as selected by guidance counselors from all Martin County Schools and area nonprofits.

Our picnic at the park provided Hamburgers & Hotdogs cooked by the Martin County Sheriff's Department. Children and Adults could get their face painting by Joanne and DJ Tony played music which we danced to.

The City of Stuart provided snow cones while we saw police officers from the Stuart Police Department walking around the park.

Children played with LEGO's and one girl posed next to a Robot as other kids created boats out of wood and picked out books. An Eagle and Owl were seen close up as the trainer danced with a Alligator to the song, " Crocodile Rock". Two children won bikes in a drawing and the adults were just as excited as the children. Fun was had by all.

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United Way Community Impact Awards Opportunities for Disabled

21 July ARC Logo Update
2021-06-25 United Way Community Impact Grant Attendees a

The United Way of Martin County recently celebrated the investment of over $5.9 million in the local community over the past year, ensuring children and families were supported throughout the pandemic and beyond. The ARC of Martin County is excited to receive two United Way Awards in support of further education for persons with disabilities.

Project ABLE received $29, 995 in funding, to assist in providing education and training on employable skills such as behavioral, communication, computer, and other related vocational skills to adult persons with disabilities who have no other funding source for services. Participants engage in training opportunities M-F disguised as fun activities such as music, art, dance, cooking, volunteerism, and leadership through service.

Youth After-School/Summer Camp is a program that provides life empowering after-school and summer camp opportunities for youth ages 3-22 years of age, diagnosed with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. The after-school program, like Project ABLE, provides fun activities that are designed to teach and train. The 2021 Summer Camp program is delighted to be offering RISE, Realizing Independence Supporting Employment with a focus on young adults ages 18-22. RISE encompasses all the fun of summer camp while also preparing for what comes next by teaching resume writing, interview techniques and job skill training. United Way’s $12,500 grant makes RISE, a pilot program newly introduced this year, a reality for many young adults with disabilities to be better prepared for their futures.

The ARC of Martin County, (Advocates for the Rights of the Challenged) is a 501(c)(3) non-for-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. “Our goal”, said ARC President & CEO Keith Muniz, “is to provide support, assistance and training that will enhance the abilities for children and adults with disabilities to thrive each day and achieve their fullest potential.”

Helping people with disabilities to lead more fulfilling lives by achieving higher levels of independence and responsibility is an attainable goal with incredible partners such as Publix Super Markets, Publix Charities, PepsiCo, FritoLay, CocaCola and so many others that help achieve those goals of providing support, training and housing to those in our communities with special needs. If you or someone you know might benefit from the ARC of Martin’s services, please visit our website, arcmc.org, for more programs and information. Help is a phone call away.

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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.

21 July Tom Weber a

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

21 July Patty Phillips a

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

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

2021 Judy Cruz with Bank of America grant big check_resizeda

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

21 June Early Learning St Lucie

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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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

21 June 23 21 Ruth

New Old Friends: WWII Veterans Sharing Lives and Swapping Tales

Steve and Alyn a

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.

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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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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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“YOUR" Treasure Coast Newspaper & Photo Journal

21 Apr 9 Coin Case
19 Dec Zweben Logo

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.

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!

Email your story or request to: rshall@out2news.com

Out2News adheres to full compliance with C.O.P.P.A. (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998)

“YOUR" Treasure Coast Newspaper & Photo Journal