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Star Struck Academy Theatre Host Mrs. & Ms. US Continental Pageant 2021

19 July Star Struck Academy logo
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In Photo: Ms. US. Continental is Ms. Stephanie Tide, the new Mrs. US Continental is Phaedra Pistone and Ms. Elite US Continental is Susan Nardone

Photo By: Christina Franco - Hampton Inn & Suites

Stuart - On Saturday, June 12, 2021, the US Continental Pageant was hosted at Star Struck Academy Theatre. Located 2101 S. Kanner Highway in Stuart Florida. Star Struck Academy Theatre is a non-profit Children’s Performing Arts Center developed to recognize the modern woman of the 21st century. It is the only children's theatre on the Treasure Coast for 20 years. The Theatre is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3). For more information contact them at: 772.283.2313.

The US Continental Program with its authentic purpose not only gives women a chance to promote their passion for service, but it is the the key ingredient that elevates them into an elite class of strong, successful, and intelligent women. The US Continental Pageant was developed to recognize the modern woman of the 21st century.  These women are recognized for their strengths, accomplishments achieved in their lives.  The pageant promotes intelligent women, women of integrity, women with strong moral values, and inner beauty.  The US Continental Pageant provides unique opportunities to women as they strive to reach their goals and dreams in life. 

The US Continental State and National Pageants give families, friends, and their community an opportunity to celebrate the success and accomplishment of these outstanding women.

Private Interviews with each contestant were held at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Stuart the night before the actual pageant.

The pageant started out with an opening number where each contestant dressed in beautiful cocktail length dresses. Next was the fitness competition where contestants modeled aerobic wear of their choice of many colors and styles. This showed off personality and appearance.

Last but not least the evening gown competition.  Each contestant was judged on their poise, posture and overall look.

Also, performing at the pageant was the Frost Family who performed many singing numbers for the audience to enjoy.

Crowning of the new Ms. US. Continental is Ms. Stephanie Tide, the new Mrs. US Continental is Phaedra Pistone and Ms. Elite US Continental is Susan Nardone, all were crowned at the end of the pageant.  Congratulations to all the lucky winners!

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 / Christina Franco - Hampton Inn & Suites

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

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In Photo: Local judge for the pageant - Christina Franco - Hampton Inn & Suites Stuart

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In Photo: 2021 Mrs. US Continental is Phaedra Pistone - Photo by: Christina Franco - Hampton Inn & Suites

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In Photo: 2020 Mrs. US Continental - Rigina Curran

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Raffle to Support Kiwanis Back to School Event

21 June 29 July Win a Charter Flyer

Public to allow it to provide service to the community. Copies of the Foundation’s documentation may be provided upon request.

A copy of the original registration and financial information may be obtained from the division of consumer services by calling toll-free 1.800.HELP-FLA (435-7352) within the state or 850.410.3800 from outside Florida. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state. www.floridaconsumerhelp.com. Our registration number is CH5176.

United Way Launches New Student Group

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In Photo: Sophie Bennet, Natalie Diez, Jocelyn Hlywa, Tiffany Miller, Evan McCarthy, Ty Raimann.

Stuart – During a most remarkable year amidst a global pandemic, United Way of Martin County launched an innovative new program to cultivate the next generation of philanthropic pioneers. The inaugural class of Students United was comprised of six students from the four Martin County high schools. Student members met monthly to learn about the community's needs and how United Way works to improve education, financial stability and health. They also participated in volunteer opportunities and served on a United Way citizen review panel to help decide where United Way funds are invested.

“Being a part of Students United has been a way for me to learn firsthand how to be of service and make a difference at the local level,” said Ty Raimann, a founding member of Students United and student at South Fork High School.

As part of the citizen review panel, the students reviewed a grant request from House of Hope for its client choice pantry – one of 43 grant requests that United Way of Martin County received this year. During the site visit, they listened to a presentation from House of Hope staff, took a tour of the food pantry and spent an hour volunteering in the nutrition center packaging sandwiches for House of Hope clients.

United Way plans to get feedback from members and expand the program to include more students and activities in the upcoming school year. For more information about the program and how to get involved, visit www.UnitedWayMartin.org/StudentsUnited

Students United founding members are:
• Sophie Bennet, Jensen Beach High School
• Natalie Diez, Martin County High School
• Jocelyn Hlywa, Martin County High School
• Evan McCarthy, Clark Advanced Learning Center
• Tiffany Miller, Martin County High School
• Ty Raimann, South Fork High School

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In Photo: United member Tiffany Miller prepares sandwiches during a United Way site visit at House of Hope

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In Photo: United members tour House of Hope as part of United Way’s citizen review process

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In Photo: United members Sophie Bennet and Natalie Diez

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In Photo: United members Evan McCarthy and Ty Raimann

Veggies and Fruits Increase Provides More Nutritional Access to WIC Families

20 Oct MC Health Logo

Martin County - On March 12, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) authorized State WIC Agencies to enhance the WIC benefit for a period of four months, expanding the vegetable and fruit voucher from $9/month for children and $11/month for women to $35 per month, per participant. WIC’s vegetable and fruit voucher is known as the Cash Value Benefit (CVB). The CVB is credited with improving the dietary quality of WIC participants and reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity among WIC toddlers.

Florida WIC will be implementing the CVB increase beginning June 1, 2021 until September 30, 2021. All women and children 1 – 4 years old who participate in the WIC Program will receive an increase in their fruits and vegetables cash voucher to $35 per participant, per month. For example, a pregnant woman and her 2-year-old child will receive a total of $70 cash voucher to use on fruits and vegetables per month from June – September 2021. Fruits and vegetables can be fresh, frozen or canned. Any brand, variety, size, with no added sugar, syrup, artificial sweeteners, fat, or oil. Organic fruits and vegetables are allowed.

For more information on enrollment and eligibility for the WIC Program at the Florida Department of Health in Martin County, as well as breastfeeding assistance please call 772-221-4986 or visit http://martin.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/clinical-and-nutrition-services/wic/index.html

Once Upon a Child Grand Opening  & Proclamation From the City of Stuart

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Stuart- On Saturday, June 5, 2021 Once Upon a Child celebrated their Grand Opening in their new location. The new store is located at 1011 NW 21st Street in Stuart. Rain could not keep the event from happening even though it did rain at the beginning of the event. Before you knew it the sun can out and the event was a huge success!

Suzanne Mogavero is the owner of the newest Once Upon a Child. She gave all guests who attended a warm welcome! The event was from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm vendors from around the community where on site to celebrate this grand opening!

Many dignitaries attended the special grand opening.  Stuart Police Department, Martin County Sheriff Office, Port St. Lucie and the Martin County Fire Department for a proclamation from the Mayor of Stuart Eula Clarke who did a special presentation to Suzanne Mogavero owner of Once Upon a Child.

They hosted a pizza eating contest at the event! The vendors who were there gave away many gift cards and other items. Cost of vendor spots were only $20.00 and all proceeds were donated to the GFNF4KIDS!

Once Upon a Child is one of the largest re-sale stores on the Treasure Coast with over 5600 sq. ft. They are the sister franchise to Plato’s Closet and Play It Again Sports. They buy and sell gently used kids stuff (clothing sizes 0-18/20 youth), shoes, equipment, toys and they pay cash on the spot.

For more info email ouac.jensenbeach@gmail.com

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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Kiwanis Club of Stuart raised $71,000 for Construction of Sensory Sensitive Garden Play Area in Stuart

20 Oct Kiwanis Logo
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Stuart - The Kiwanis Club of Stuart, one of Martin County’s most active and involved community service organizations, recently raised $71,000 that will go towards the construction of a Sensory Sensitive Garden Play area as part of a renovation of Kiwanis Youth Park at Woodlawn in downtown Stuart.

Partnering with March for Maddie, a fund established by Jeff and Malia Schramm in 2013 after their two-1/2-year-old daughter, Maddie, passed away from medical issues since birth, the two organizations held a Park After Dark dinner at Kiwanis Youth Park featuring dinner, auctions and raffles. The Sensory Sensitive Garden play area, which is geared towards children with autism, sensory or physical issues, will be named Maddie’s Garden.

According to Cher Fisher, president of the Kiwanis Club of Stuart, Maddie’s Garden will be just one part of the overall planned $700,000 renovation of the park built in the ‘90s. The renovation will also include a separate ‘tot lot’ for two-to-five year old children as well as an area for 5-12 year-olds which will feature a two-story slide, rock climbing wall and a ropes course.

“Kiwanis Youth Park is an extremely popular part of the culture here in Stuart,” Fisher explained. “But as the popularity has grown, so has the need to make certain areas more accessible to physically challenged kids and kids with sensory issues. For those children, Maddie’s Garden will be a small, quiet area for two or three kids at a time.”

So far, with proceeds from the Manatee Island Ladies Fishing Tournament, online magic show and the Park After Dark event, along with donors and funds accumulated, the club has raised $127,000 and a check will be presented to City of Stuart June 14. Work will begin on Maddie’s Garden and the tot lot-with plans to be finished by Fall, 2021. Work on the other area will be dependent on acquiring donations.

To see a drone integrated 3-D panorama of the finished park, go to www.kiwanis clubofstuart.org. While you’re there you may scroll down to the donate button and donate towards the park renovation.

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Indian River State College Awarded $485,842 from National Science Foundation

19 Oct IRSC Logo

Fort Pierce — Indian River State College (IRSC) is developing a three-course curriculum to assist incumbent photonics technicians in acquiring new quantum-related competencies. Funding for the project comes from a three-year National Science Foundation grant totaling $485,842 (NSF2055061).

"Recent advances in quantum research have created a significant mismatch between quantum scientists and industry, as there is no sizable trained workforce in this field," states Mo Hasanovic, IRSC Assistant Professor and Principal Investigator on the grant. "The proposed curriculum is expected to help American businesses maintain their world leadership in advanced laser and quantum technologies in an era of accelerated change and disruption."

IRSC will develop, test and disseminate a three-course hybrid curriculum in quantum research-enabled technologies. It will begin by assessing the industry demand for quantum-related skills, continuing with the curriculum development and course content creation, and ending with establishing a sustainable, open-access educational platform.

"The open-access platform will reduce geographical barriers between colleges, students and industry and help academic institutions with recruitment, retention and completion," continues Hasanovic. "More diversity will be added to this high-tech workforce, thus removing social barriers and fostering equal economic growth across our nation."

The National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education program focuses on the education of technicians for the advanced technology fields that drive the nation's economy. The program involves partnerships between academic institutions like IRSC and industry to promote improvement in the education of science and engineering technicians at the undergraduate and secondary institution school levels. IRSC's "Develop Curriculum in Advanced Optics and Quantum Research-Enabled Technologies" project contributes toward new quantum STEM workforce development goals.

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United Way Inspires the Next Generation of Community Leaders in Students United

21 May Students United

During a most remarkable year amidst a global pandemic, United Way of Martin County launched an innovative new program to cultivate the next generation of philanthropic pioneers.

The inaugural class of Students United was comprised of seven students from the four Martin County high schools. Student members met monthly to learn about the community needs and how United Way works to improve education, financial stability and health. They also participated in volunteer opportunities and served on a United Way citizen review panel to help decide where United Way funds are invested.

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

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“YOUR" Treasure Coast Newspaper & Photo Journal

Local Couple Honored as Historic Preservationists of the Year

19 July MC Commissioners logo

Stuart - As Martin County wraps up a month-long celebration of historic proportion, the spotlight shines on the most recent recipients of the Historic Preservationist of the Year awards. The Martin County Historic Preservation Board was proud to present this year's award to Rick and Donna Crary at the Elliott Museum.

The Crarys have been instrumental in preserving and sharing Martin County's history through published works and community service. Rick and Donna began publishing articles in Indian River Magazine in 2012, with Rick's first article on Governor John W. Martin, Martin County's namesake. Donna's first article, published in 2014, was on preserving Martin Grade as a historic highway. Rick published his book "A Treasure We Call Home," in 2015 and they continue be sought after contributors to Indian River Magazine.

Rick and Donna have participated in Historic Preservation Month for more than a decade, giving lectures and leading tours of the historic Crary House in downtown Stuart. Rick has gladly donated time and talent, serving on the steering committee for the House of Refuge Museum and the board of directors for the Historical Society of Martin County. Together, this dynamic duo has helped preserve, share and raise interest and awareness of the many historic treasures located in our community.

To learn more about historic preservation in Martin County, visit the county's website at www.martin.fl.us/historicpreservation. The website offers virtual tours of county-owned and managed historic sites, meeting dates and times for the Historic Preservation Board and information on digitization sessions offered by the county to help us gather the history of Martin County and help residents digitally preserve their personal images of historic significance. Learn how to participate at www.martin.fl.us/Digitization.

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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!

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

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Two May Fundraisers Benefit Catch the Wave of Hope

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In Photo: Clark Advanced Learning Center National Honor Society organized and volunteered at Race the Wave of Hope

Article by: Jackie Holfelder / Photos by: Catch the Wave of Hope

Catch the Wave of Hope (CWH) benefitted from two active and outdoor fundraisers during the month of May, raising not only much-needed funds for its mission to prevent the sex trafficking of children through awareness, education, restoration, and legislation, but adding to the number of people who support the non-profit.

On May 1, National Honor Society students from Clark Advanced Learning Center in Stuart assisted members of CWH in organizing and volunteering at Race the Wave of Hope on the IRSC Salerno Road Campus.

Participants of all ages took part in the one-mile run/walk.

Then, from May 1-8, a statewide fishing tournament called FISH4HOPE:HOPE4FISH drew scores of fishing enthusiasts of all ages.

Prizes for Anglers who caught the Longest Fish and the Angler who had a Grand Slam (Total Longest Combined-Snook, Redfish, and Trout), as well as Lucky Angler of the Day and Lucky Kid Fish of the Day prize drawings added to the fun.

Over the course of the eight-day tournament, more than $50,000 was raised from sponsorships and participants

Both events are being planned for 2022, with the possibility that the fishing tournament be a month-long event.

Catch the Wave of Hope was founded in 2016. To find out more about the 501(c)(3) or to learn how you can help, visit www.catchthewaveofhope.org.

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In Photo:  Adalynn Mercado, winner of the Lucky Kids of the Day division of the Fishing Tournament

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In Photo: Annie Laurine participated in the Fishing Tournament

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In Photo: Gary Oster, CWH Board Member and Fishing Tournament Chair participated in the Fishing Tournament

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In Photo: U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy participated in the Fishing Tournament

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In Photo: Karissa Bolden, CWH Executive Director, Dr. Kimberlie Massnick, CWH Board Member and Race organizer and Kelly Laurine, CWH Board Chair

Baron Academy, Concert and Cocktails Fundraiser

21 May Baron 1

In Photo: Kristine Erice and Debbie Butler

Article and Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham

A chance encounter, an introduction, and a handshake at a local restaurant brought Kristine Erice, Founder of the Exceptional Academy for Differently-Abled Learners, and Jeremiah Baron, President, and CEO of Jeremiah Baron & Co. Commercial Real Estate, LLC. into a partnership of possibilities for children on the autism spectrum.

In January 2020, Erice opened the Exceptional Academy in St. Lucie West. The private school was born out of frustration with the lack of choices in learning facilities dedicated to teaching children, like her son Dylan, diagnosed with autism.

“We knew from the very beginning that we needed to expand,” said Erice. “We had a waitlist for our school before we even opened our doors.”

The prospect of expansion appeared grim, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the cancellation of several fundraising events.

Enter Jeremiah Baron, who turns out to be a fellow autism parent. A conversation and a few text messages gave birth to the Baron Academy, located at 8556 Commerce Centre Dr. in Port St. Lucie. Erice will run the new, larger school that can serve nearly four times the amount of students as the current facility.

The recently held Concert and Cocktails event, sponsored by Baron Real Estate, A/C Now, Renegade Signs, LLC., Guardians for New Futures, Once Upon a Child, Bonner Mobile Bar, Collaborative Behavior Group, and AAPEX Electric Inc., raised funds for a playground for the new school. Music by the Catfish Hunter Band, raffles, a 50/50, and a cash bar provided an afternoon of fun and philanthropy!

“Our students need a place to play and burn off energy,” said Erice. “The playground allows them to learn social skills and demonstrates how their bodies can react to different heights and speeds. It also helps the children learn how to handle various kinds of inputs and sensory integration.”

The Baron Academy is currently enrolling students in grades K-8 for the 2021-2022 school year.

For more information, please email Kristine Erice at KErice@ExceptionalAcedemyPSL.com

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In Photo: Peter & Trish Hickey- Jones

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In Photo: Sponsors- AC Now Bree Wipperman, Chris Hargrave, Kevin & Brittany McGlynn, Bob & Lila Gorman and Julie & Sean Cucore

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In Photo: Gary Tenpas and Matt Saxton

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In Photo: Chris Comerford and Susan Burgher

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In Photo: Lady & Mark Lunn

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In Photo: David & Annette Cross

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In Photo: Alan & Julie and Christina Renken with Dylan, Kristine & Matt Saxton

Soroptimist of Stuart Awards Allow Women to Live Their Dreams

20 Nov Soropomist Logo

Article by: Jackie Holfelder / Photos by: Soroptimist of Stuart

The women who are awarded with Soroptimist International of Stuart’s (SIS) annual Live Your Dream Awards have overcome so many challenges to reach the places they’re at today that the changes that Covid-19 concerns made to the usual awards ceremony were but a blip on the radar screen.

Winners of these greatly appreciated monetary awards were notified by phone and received certificates and checks by mail, rather than at the festive dinner celebration held prior to 2020.

This year’s recipients received the welcome calls during Soroptimist’s recent monthly meeting.

Soroptimist national headquarters requested that each chapter present as many Live Your Dream as financially possible to compensate for Covid-related hardships.

The parameters for the Live Your Dream award specify the recipient be a primary breadwinner for themselves and their dependents and be attending an undergraduate degree program or a vocational skills training program and have a financial need.

This program has been in effect since 1972.

The first-place award recipient was Glenda Edwards, who is pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Digital Media at IRSC. She has two boys, one of whom is a senior in high school and the other a teenager who was diagnosed with Autism at the age of three.

When Glenda grew up, education was not a priority nor was it encouraged. Her philosophy now is that you can be whatever you want to be if you have a good support system.

She earned her GED as an adult before going on to IRSC. At 40 years of age, she wants to be there to support her two sons and their dreams and goals.

Second-place Live Your Dream Award winner Sara McGaha is enrolled in a full-time nursing program at IRSC. She returned to school after 20 years to pursue her dream. Her goal of becoming a nurse was put on hold until her children were older and more self-sufficient.

She enrolled in IRSC during the summer of 2019 after enduring domestic violence and abuse for several years.

As a survivor who is currently a massage therapist, Sara looks forward to serving the community as an RN. She was also recognized as an award recipient for the Women in Transition category, which is for an individual 40 or older, overcoming obstacles, to go to school to change her career path.

Third place Live Your Dream Award recipient Nicole Mayer is currently in Thailand in a program for students who have PTSD. She is working towards her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at Keiser University.

She, herself, knows many individuals who are affected by mental health or brain disorders. After being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and PTSD at 11 years of age and giving birth to a son with Autism, asthma and seizures, Nicole found a passion for understanding mental health and illness.

The Youth Service Award recognizes young women from sophomore to senior year of high school who have had a significant impact through volunteer activity in the area of drug prevention, crime, environment, and poverty.

This year’s recipient was Jenny Nguyen who moved to California from Vietnam with her dad 12 years ago. The immigration process delayed her mother’s arrival for two years.

Living conditions were not good for Jenny prior to her mother’s arrival. Her father had fallen into addiction and when her mother finally got to America, she and Jenny moved to Florida.

This experience led to Jenny’s desire to pursue a career in mental health. While a senior at Treasure Coast High School simultaneously pursuing a degree at IRSC, she founded a psychology interest and mental health awareness club, organized fundraisers to provide resources like a hotline/helpline, a counselor and a bulletin board to encourage conversation and remove the stigma that surrounds mental illness. Jenny recently helped sponsor legislation and advocated to state legislators through American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Florida in Tallahassee on Florida Day.

Jenny will be attending Stanford University in California.

To learn more about these awards, visit www.soroptimistofstuart.org.

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In Photo: Glenda Edwards

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In Photo: Jenny Nguyen

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In Photo: Nicole Mayer

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In Photo: Sara McGaha

Two Non-profits Partner for Kentucky Derby Fundraiser

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In Photo: Derby Kathryn - Kathyrn Schmidt with one of the ERAF horses at the 3rd Annual Derby Day fundraiser

Article by: Jackie Holfelder / Photos provided by Caring Children Clothing Children
It was rockin’ at Rockin’ H Ranch in Palm City on May 1, when Caring Children Clothing Children (4Cs) and Equine Rescue and Adoption Foundation (ERAF) partnered to present the 3rd Annual Derby Day Benefit.

The fundraiser was sold out, with people enjoying both indoor and outdoor event venues, bar service - including the signature Derby Day Cocktail Mint Julep - provided by Bonner Mobile Bar and delicious hors d’oeuvres provided by Ellie’s Downtown Deli and Catering, located in downtown Stuart.

A Derby Hat contest, Derby Race competition, silent auction and visit from ERAF horses were among the festivities.

Sponsors included Advanced Technology Integrators, A3 Kleaning, Champion Property Management, South State Bank, Eberst Law Firm, PA., Rehmann, Tenzyk Family, Missigman Family and Denise Leclair-Robbins.

Monies raised will be shared by both nonprofits to support the programs and services they offer.

The mission of Caring Children Clothing Children is to provide top quality, gently used clothing and a helping hand for towards literacy to underserved children of Martin County at no cost. To learn more, visit www.4cmartin.org.

Equine Rescue and Adoption Foundation is devoted to the rescue, rehabilitation, retraining and adoption of abused, slaughter-bound, abandoned and neglected horses. To learn more, visit www.eraf.org.

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In Photo: Cathleen Owen, Betty Mulligan, Ellen Trocchia, Sue Borton and Missy Noyes Newman

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In Photo: Judy Tenzyk, Mimi Osborn and Minott Osborn

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In Photo: Harlan Zeenio, Catie Staszak, Karen Goodberlet and Joe Goodberlet

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In Photo: Margaret Hickey, Molly Vannucci, Joe Vann, Gary Missigman and Tom Hickey

Mulligan's Beach House Bar & Grill Host May Treasure Coast Women's Network

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Stuart - On May 19, 2021 the Treasure Coast Women's Network met for their May meeting at Mulligan's Beach House Bar & Grill. They served a wonderful salad for the luncheon. Mulligan’s is open seven days a week, 365 days a year to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each of their locations are family-friendly, waterfront restaurants serving up the freshest seafood and delicious American-style cuisine around. They are located at: 131 SW Flagler Avenue in Stuart. Contact them at: (772) 288-1881.

Created by Anna Tillery, the mission of the Treasure Coast Premier Women’s Network is to Uplift, Encourage and Inspire all women in business and career seekers to achieve their highest capabilities through networking and education.

As a brief overview, there are three meetings each month for women looking to network and promote. The Vero Beach Women’s Networking meets the 2nd Friday of each month. The Stuart luncheon meets the 3rd Wednesday of each month, and the Port St. Lucie luncheon meets the 1st Tuesday of each month. Each meeting opens for check-in at 11:30am and runs through 1:30pm with the program starting promptly at 12pm. The event host is Anna Valencia Tillery of White Glove Moving & Storage. To ensure your spot, one must pay online using Eventbrite and all questions can be sent via email to AnnaV@WhiteGloveUSA.net. Subsequently, our hostess will be your main contact before, during and after the event. For more information contact Anna:AnnaV@WhiteGloveUSA.net.

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"

Copyright © 2021 Out2News.com LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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Tykes & Teens Receives $3,000 Dyer Difference Award

21 May Dyer Tykes and Teens

The Dyer Difference Award is all about celebrating the beauty and kindness in our midst. Dyer’s generous donations are all about helping to make a positive difference in the community and are an acknowledgement of a recipients’ tireless efforts to do the same.

Tykes & Teens truly appreciates the recognition and the $3,000 financial contribution is helping us serve our mission of serving children and families in the community.

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)

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First Impression Everything With Patty D Photography

21 May Patty Marchesi

Article by: Kaitlin Hall
For Patty D Marchesi, getting to know a variety of people and hearing their amazing stories is the best part about being a professional photographer. She started her career as a computer programmer, but her love of technology combined with her artistic nature led her to starting Patty D Photography over 15 years ago.
Growing up in New Jersey as one of six kids, she was taught the importance of striving to be the best and making a good first impression. She’s got being ‘one of the best’ covered. She loves to learn and has taken courses at The International Center of Photography in NYC as well as various workshops with some well known photographers. Her computer skills come in handy when learning the latest trends in digital dark rooms,
including Photoshop.

She takes her philosophy of making a good first impression with her to every photoshoot. Not only does she make a good first impression with her top-of-the-line equipment and prepared shot lists, but she’s very intentional about her photos helping others make a good first impression as well. “Whether your photos are personal or for business, I concentrate on the person, and the settings and background are secondary,” she said. “I don’t take photos, I create them.” Since moving to Florida a little more than a year ago, she has continued her focus as a Portrait Photographer
helping businesses with their branding, including website images. She’s also the photographer for the one and only Ridge Life!

In addition to portraits, PattyD has added ‘Drone Photography’ to her tool kit. She recently earned her FAA 107 commercial drone ‘pilot’s license’ giving her a leg up on the competition. This is especially beneficial to her real estate clients.

“If you are a business owner, you need a great looking website, especially today when so many people only do business online,” said PattyD “I like thinking outside the box to get some unique images that help people and businesses stand out.”

PattyD said her real forte is making clients feel comfortable. Her sense of humor and patience are her best attributes which helps put people at ease so that she can get natural shots that highlight their personality and make them shine.
Some of her most memorable jobs include going up in a small Cessna aircraft to photograph the damage to the Jersey shore after Hurricane Sandy. She also took 300 head shots in one day at the ‘PA Conference for Women’ and was on Morgan Stanley’s ‘preferred’ photographer list.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family. As many Floridians do, she has recently taken up golf. Her and her husband Jack both love to cook. He is very supportive of her business and she refers to him as her ‘Roadie’ as he often helps carrying equipment and studio set ups.

Cleveland Clinic and Project LIFT Partner to Offer Nutrition Program to At -Risk Youth

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In Photo: Bob Zaccheo, Fanny Marzan, Elmira Gainey, Chris Jackson, August Lightfoot, Barbara Truitt, Tegan Bissell, Kellie Hensley

Palm City - There is growing evidence that nutrition plays a critical role in mental wellness, and thanks to a generous grant from Cleveland Clinic Martin Health, teens in the Project LIFT program in Palm City are now receiving hands-on education in nutrition, health, and food preparation in addition to high quality mental health services. The grant allowed Project LIFT to purchase commercial kitchen equipment and create a functional space for ongoing nutrition and culinary programming. As part of the collaboration, a Registered Dietician provided by Cleveland Clinic Martin Health and assisted by students from Keiser University is administering a 12-week nutrition curriculum to both the Boys and Girls Programs at Project LIFT.

“We are grateful for this amazing opportunity to partner with thought leaders like Cleveland Clinic,” said Project LIFT CEO Bob Zaccheo. “Working with Kellie and her team to put a fully functioning commercial grade prep kitchen into Project LIFT was a pleasure. We are excited to offer a Cleveland Clinic led health and nutrition program to our participants to complement our 11 skilled trades and robust mental health services.”

The curriculum includes both classroom instruction and hands-on food preparation activities. Topics range from Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables to Body Positivity and Managing Stress, and the teens have the opportunity to put their knowledge to use preparing smoothies, wraps, and more.

“Cleveland Clinic Martin Health is excited to collaborate with Project LIFT to benefit the community we serve,” said Cleveland Clinic Regional Director of Events & Community Partnerships Kellie Hensley. “Project LIFT does outstanding work to address serious health issues with at risk teens through their counseling, mentoring, and skills training. We look forward to positively impacting youth through education on nutrition and wellness.”

For more information about Project LIFT, a non-profit organization providing mental health and vocational training services to at-risk teens, visit projectliftmc.com or call 772-221-2244.

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Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza and Director of Continuous Quality Improvement Joni Thieling

21 May St Lucie Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens Awarded Behavioral Health Care and Human Services Accreditation from The Joint Commission for 4th Time

Tykes & Teens has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Behavioral Health Care and Human Services Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care. This is the fourth time in a row that Tykes & Teens has earned this accreditation, including 2011, 2014, 2017 and 2020!

“As a private accreditor, The Joint Commission surveys health care organizations to protect the public by identifying deficiencies in care and working with those organizations to correct them as quickly and sustainably as possible,” says Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “We commend Tykes & Teens for its continuous quality improvement efforts in patient safety and quality of care.”

“Earning The Joint Commissions Accreditation for the fourth time in a row is a true testament to Tykes & Teens’ 100-plus passionate and professional team members who work tirelessly each and every day to provide the highest quality of mental health and prevention services for the children and families we serve throughout the Treasure Coast,” said Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW.

Family Meals- Black Ties, Blue Jeans & Bingo

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Article by: Martha Taylor / Photos by: MaryAnn Ketcham

Fort Pierce - Saturday night (May 1) the Pelican Yacht Club in Fort Pierce held an overjoyed crowd at the sold-out event for Family meals, Inc. The signature event that typically is held at the end of January was rescheduled. Black Ties, Blue Jeans & Bingo boasts of offering guests 5 Bingo games with each winner walking away with at least a prize worth $500.00 each.

Guests enjoyed a plated dinner, endless candy bar with a beautiful sunset backdrop luminating the room. Silent auction items and music provided by Traxx Entertainment. Bingo numbers were called randomly and were computer generated.

The crowd was lively and enthusiastic as they hoped to win a bingo game. Fun times were had especially knowing 100% of the profits were going to help local families enjoy a family meal.

Family Meals, Inc. president and founder Martha Taylor stated, “ It’s heartwarming and validating to see so many of our community come together to help local families. It was an amazing evening. “

Family Meals provides and delivers ingredients for a holiday home cooked family meal for the working poor, and for families who may not qualify for food stamps or free school lunch programs. The nonprofit’s goal is to create an outreach program to encourage family mealtimes by providing families the tools to get back to the basics; meal time together.

Family Meals is a 100% volunteer organization, launched locally to help families understand the importance of sharing family meals. The local nonprofit delivers to families along the Treasure Coast with the majority of the deliveries in St. Lucie County.

Thanksgiving 2012 Family Meals delivered to 20 families. The local grassroots nonprofit topped off 2020 with helping over 5,000 families throughout the Treasure Coast including Okeechobee county.

Educational material with supporting data is included in the meal bags to educate families on the importance of taking time out to share family meals.

To volunteer please call 772-210-0900 or email familymealsfl@gmail.com

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In Photo: Jessica & Kevin Palmer, Elizabeth Privateer and Juliana Walker

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In Photo: Monique & Scotty Bruhn

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In Photo: Pat & Jim Bansell

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In Photo: Jennifer Wiggins, Martha Taylor, Kathy Connor-Sewall

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In Photo: Christy & Chris Day and Kathy & Scott Sheets

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In Photo: Maddie Williams, Michelle Miller & Gary Morris and Dan Williams

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In Photo: Erika and Don Rinelli and Sharon Engle

Tykes & Teens Awarded Behavioral Health Care and Human Services Accreditation from The Joint Commission

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Palm City – Tykes & Teens has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Behavioral Health Care and Human Services Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care. This is the fourth time in a row that Tykes & Teens has earned this accreditation, including 2011, 2014, 2017 and 2020.

Tykes & Teens underwent a rigorous, unannounced onsite review December 29 – 30, 2010. During the visit, a team of Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with Behavioral Health Care and Human Services standards spanning several areas, including emergency management, infection prevention and control, and leadership among others.

The Joint Commission’s standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. They are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help health care organizations measure, assess and improve performance. The surveyors also conducted onsite observations and interviews.

“As a private accreditor, The Joint Commission surveys health care organizations to protect the public by identifying deficiencies in care and working with those organizations to correct them as quickly and sustainably as possible,” says Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “We commend Tykes & Teens for its continuous quality improvement efforts in patient safety and quality of care.”

“Earning The Joint Commissions Accreditation for the fourth time in a row is a true testament to Tykes & Teens’ 100-plus passionate and professional team members who work tirelessly each and every day to provide the highest quality of mental health and prevention services for the children and families we serve throughout the Treasure Coast,” Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW.

While The Joint Commission accreditation review happens every three years, Tykes & Teens’ preparation for the accreditation review is an ongoing process of continuous oversight of the agency’s policies and procedures in order to maintain compliance and ensure delivery of the highest level of standards. All new and revised standards are reviewed and interpreted by Tykes & Teens’ Continuous Quality Improvement Committee prior to policy and procedure updates and revisions.

For more information, please visit The Joint Commission website.

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Busch Family Foundation, Busch Rodeo and Concert 2021

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In Photo: Peter W. Busch with Sponsors Joey and Mickey Miller of St. Lucie Battery & Tire

Article and Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham
Each year, the Busch Family Foundation hosts two epic events. The recent 3rd Annual Professional Rodeo and Concert performance brought palpable excitement to the hundreds of fans who flocked to the St. Lucie County Fairgrounds in Fort Pierce.

Crowd-pleasing country/southern rock artist Randy McNeely kicked off the festivities with his soulful voice and guitar prowess. At the same time, attendees patronized the food concession, which offered a tasty selection of menu items, such as grilled chicken, burgers, hot dogs, and more! Thirst-quenching beverages, including various beer and wine offerings plus other libations, soft drinks, and water, were also available. Kona Ice was on hand with frosty treats.

Inside the packed Adams Ranch Equestrian Arena, fans delighted in watching traditional rodeo events from bareback and saddle bronc riding, tie-down and team roping, steer wrestling, and the electrifying sport of bull riding! Sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, the top riders and rodeo athletes competed for the grand prize.

Enhancing the family-friendly formula of this event, kids aged 12 and under received an invite to partake in a race on the red-dirt floor of the arena, with one shoe off. The first runner to retrieve their shoe, put it back on, and make it to the rodeo clown was the winner!

The festivities rose to a crescendo with a performance by country music artist Craig Campbell. The singer/songwriter and former piano player for country star Tracy Byrd and later, Luke Bryan, had the audience singing and dancing to his hit chart makers and other country standards.

All funds raised from this event go to the Busch Family Foundation, where 100% of the proceeds help support local charities. Some of this year's benefactors are Boys & Girls Clubs, Carebag, Inc., the Navy Seal Museum, United Way, the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, and other local charities.

The Busch family firmly believes in giving back to the community that keeps them in business! As the owners of Southern Eagle Distributors, they instill these same values in their employees, as evidenced by their spirit of volunteerism at each event!

The Busch family appreciates the event's sponsors Bud light, Modelo, WPBF News, Vatland Dodge, A&G pools, St. Lucie Battery & Tire, John Jacobs Construction, and many others.

The 2021 Busch Family Foundation Wild Game Dinner is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 8th!

For more information, please visit BuschFF.org

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

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In Photo: Beth Grosshaus, Sponsor Cindy O'Dare and David Busch

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In Photo: Liz Riley and Rob Kusch

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In Photo: Volunteer Chefs Michael Trabulsy and Gerritt Topp

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In Photo: Tiffany Busch, Rebecca and Colton Whitney

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Local Leader Celebrated at National Level

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Port St. Lucie - The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) announced 29 recipients of its 2021 Visionary Voice Awards — a diverse group of honorees from across the country who represent a wide range of disciplines and were selected for their outstanding work toward ending sexual harassment, misconduct and abuse.

This year's recipients include New Hampshire State Senator Jeb Bradley, who was instrumental in advancing several pieces of legislation that extended protections for survivors; the West Virginia Administrative Office of the Courts, whose staff piloted a virtual process for survivors to access protective orders during the pandemic; Good Shepherd Food Bank in Maine, which helped address food insecurity by providing food to the families of sexual assault victims; Bamby Salcedo, the president and CEO of TransLatin@ Coalition, a national organization that focuses on addressing the issues of transgender Latins in the U.S.; Sharon Sayles Belton, the first Black mayor and first woman mayor of Minneapolis, as well as a leader in sexual violence prevention and a voice for systems change; and Mindi Fetterman, local advocate, survivor and founder of The Inner Truth Project nonprofit, dedicated to providing mental health services to all victims of sex crimes.

The Visionary Voice Awards are presented annually by NSVRC, the leading nonprofit in providing information and tools to prevent and respond to sexual violence, in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). SAAM is a national campaign held each April to raise awareness about preventing sexual violence. This year's SAAM theme, "We Can Build Safe Online Spaces," highlights how to practice consent online and build respectful online communities.

To learn more about the 2021 Visionary Voice Award recipients, please visit https://www.nsvrc.org/saam/visionary-voice-awards/2021.

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Palm City Chamber of Commerce Kick Off Party Hosted by Ocean Republic Give Back Brew Series & Ribbon Cutting

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Stuart - On April 30, 2021 the Palm City Chamber of Commerce had a Kick Off Party at Ocean Republic Brewery in Stuart. The event was from 4-8 pm, tickets were $40.00 which included 2 beers, hamburger or Chicken sandwich and fries. The chamber received half of all of the ticket sales and you had a chance to try the chambers new brew! While at the event the chamber showed off and were selling their new swag!

Each month Ocean Republic highlights a non-profit member to showcase their mission. A portion of the proceeds from their brew is donated to each of their 12 non-profits. Ocean Republic is located at 1630 SE Federal Highway in Stuart. For more information call them at: 772.600.5596.

The Palm City Chamber of Commerce strives to promote the continuous improvement of the common good and the quality of life in the community through the pursuit of new business. They are located in Palm City at 3168 SW Martin Downs Blvd. Contact them at: 772-286-8121.

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St. Lucie Habitat for Humanity Golden Hammer Award

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Article & Photos by: MaryAnn Ketcham
Momentum is once again building at St. Lucie Habitat for Humanity. While the past year was a difficult one due to COVID 19 concerns and restrictions, impeding the ability of hands-on volunteers to visit job sites, this year is looking exceedingly better.

On-site volunteer opportunities recently re-launched with the Women Build2021. Eleven teams competed by fundraising to help build a home for Lucson and Benette Leroy. They also spent time team-building and getting their hands dirty by participating in various aspects of the build.

The winning team, Team Coastal Florida Real Estate Investors Association or CFREIA, was presented with the Golden Hammer Award at their April meeting at Keiser University in Port St. Lucie. Habitat Development Director Melissa Winstead and Executive Director Bob Calhoun bestowed the iconic plaque to Team Captain Erin Kelly, who then presented it to Charles Fischer, Founder of the CFREIA.

“CFREIA is proud to support our local communities,” said Kelly. “Our mission as Real Estate Investors is to help communities rebuild, and Habitat for Humanity allows us to do that. Our organization was committed to meeting our team goal. After some great fundraisers within the organization, we quickly exceeded that goal!”

Kelly’s dedicated team consisted of Kenya Solomon, Bobbi Spencer, Mary Lee Zealla, and Marybeth Pappas.

“St Lucie Habitat for Humanity is just one of the many organizations we as investors align ourselves with to rebuild and provide housing solutions for the community!”

Bob Calhoun explained the Habitat for Humanity concept to the crowd.

“The principle is that everybody can help each other to create safe and affordable housing that’s accessible. It’s a self-help model. Volunteers, donors, and the homeowners that benefit from the housing services contribute.

The homeowners put in 300 hours of work.”

St. Lucie Habitat for Humanity is in its 25th year of providing affordable homeownership opportunities.

For more information, please visit StLucieHabitat.org

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In Photo: Women Build Swag Bags & Golden Hammer Award

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In Photo: Women Build Hardhat

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In Photo: Marybeth Pappas, Melissa Winstead, Erin Kelly

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In Photo: Marybeth Pappas, Melissa Winstead, Erin Kelly, Charles Fischer, Bob Calhoun

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In Photo: Mary Lee Zealla, Erin Kelly, Marybeth Pappas

2nd Salute to Stuart

21 Feb 21 Apr Stuart Air Show Flyer

Photos by: Steve & Evie Klaassen - Colorado Pawn & Jewelry

Stuart - On April 24, 2021 the Stuart Air Show presented the 2nd Salute to Stuart. The event was 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm at the Martin County Airport / Witham Field. Tickets were purchased to go to a USO themed evening of food, drink, music, dancing and support of this community event! Tickets for the event included an open bar, Catering by KORK, professional dueling piano performances, 2 raffle tickets entries. The 2021 Stuart Air Show is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. They are located at: 1895 S.E. Flying Fortress Lane in Stuart.

All proceeds benefitted the 2021 Stuart Air Show.

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Martin County Republican Executive Club April Meeting

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Photos & Article by: Patty Marchesi - Pattydphotography

Stuart - The Martin County Republican Executive Club (REC) held their monthly meeting on Thursday 04/15/21 at the Flagler Center in Stuart. Sheriff Snyder was the guest speaker. The meeting was extremely well attended.

The purpose of the Republican Executive Committee is to provide grassroots support to federal, state, and local Republican candidates. Your local GOP is at work to increase Republican voter registration and turnout for all elections, provide information on important issues of concern, and to further the ideals and purposes of the Republican Party. All patriots are invited to attend.

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In Photo: Guest speaker Sheriff Snyder greeted by Rep Chair MaryLynn Magar

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In Photo: Rep. Chair MaryLynn Magar, Martin County Commissioner Stacey Hetherington and Republican Executive Director - Darlene VanRiper

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In Photo: K.C. Ingram - Radio host and news personality of the K.C Ingram Show

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In Photo: Sheriff Snyder address a packed room at REC Monthly meeting at the Flagler Center.

Sarah’s Kitchen, 10th Annual Carrabba’s Luncheon

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In Photo: Babes and Friends of PGA Village

Article and Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham

Supporters of Sarah's Kitchen of the Treasure Coast gathered, albeit in smaller numbers due to COVID-19, at Carrabba’s Italian Grill in St. Lucie West. This year marks the tenth year of the annual fundraising event. For 9 of those years, Danielle Piazza has served as proprietor, opening the doors and her heart by helping Sarah's Kitchen achieve its mission of providing hot, nutritious meals to local individuals who are hungry and struggling financially.

Diners savored a made from scratch meal wood-grilled, mushroom topped Chicken Marsala with Penne Pomodoro, Caesar’s salad, bread, and a beverage. Many supporters opted to purchase a takeout meal to eat in the safety of home.

"We love to help out with Sarah’s' Kitchen," said Piazza, "because they help directly in our community. Carrabba’s is happy to do what we can, especially after all that's occurred in this last year."

With five fixed feeding sites and a mobile unit, the need for this type of sponsorship is vast, especially since opening a new site opening at St. Marks Baptist Church in Fort Pierce in January and adding a fourth stop to the mobile feeding route.

"I'm so thankful for the long-term support of Carrabba’s and this community," said Co-founder Bob Carey. "I'm constantly amazed at how we've grown and how much our mission is needed, especially during a pandemic."

At its first feeding on June 6th, 2009, Sarah's Kitchen served 35 meals. Last year, thanks to its dedicated sponsors and volunteers, the organization fed tens of thousands of individuals.

"If you are hungry, we welcome you!"

To become a sponsor, donate, or volunteer, please visit SarahsKitchen.org

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In Photo: Bobbie Williams, Robin, Liam and Douglas Bynoe

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In Photo: Jessica Parrish, Eliana and Esperanza Morales

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In Photo: Christ Fellowship Group- Denise Jasiorkowski, Linda Young, Carol Berry, Cathy Hess, Marion Rock

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In Photo: Corinna Balderamos Robinson and Exec. Dir. Julie Summers

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In Photo: Dr. Quinton & Carol Hedgepeth and Houston Tate

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In Photo: Carol & Steve Berry

Indian River State College Celebrates Commencement with “Drive-In” Ceremonies on May 3 & 4, Virtual Ceremony on May 5

20 Dec IRSC New Resized

Fort Pierce — It's been an academic year like no other. With drive and perseverance—hallmarks of Indian River State College Pioneers—more than 3,200 students will have degrees conferred this spring, marking the ninth consecutive year that the IRSC graduating class has exceeded 3,000. More than one-quarter of graduates (807) will earn Baccalaureate degrees; 1,950 earn Associate in Arts degrees, and; 495 earn Associate in Science or Associate in Applied Science degrees.

The College will hold its spring commencement ceremonies "drive-in" style on Monday, May 3, and Tuesday, May 4, at the IRSC Treasure Coast Public Safety Training Complex in Fort Pierce. The Honorable Tobin "Toby" Overdorf will deliver the keynote address. Overdorf is a member of the Florida House of Representatives from the 83rd district, which includes parts of Martin and St. Lucie counties.

“Commencement is a special time in the lives of our graduates and for IRSC,” shares Dr. Timothy Moore, IRSC President. “This day is a celebration, and it’s a privilege to honor our students’ dedication, perseverance and great success. Indian River State College is only a starting point for so many individuals who will cross our stage and receive their diplomas. We look forward to the many future achievements of our 2021 graduates, across their lives and their careers.”

Monday, May 3, 2021—Spring Commencement Drive-in Ceremonies
11:00 a.m.: Associate Degree Ceremony, graduates with last names beginning with A-F
3:00 p.m.: Associate Degree Ceremony, graduates with last names beginning with G-O

Tuesday, May 4, 2021—Spring Commencement Drive-in Ceremonies
11:00 a.m.: Associate Degree Ceremony, graduates with last names beginning with P-Z
3:00 p.m.: Bachelor's Degree Ceremony
The College will present a virtual ceremony on Wednesday, May 5, for graduates who prefer a Commencement event that is not in-person. That ceremony will be streamed live on YouTube beginning at 11:00 a.m. Photos of graduates and a listing of their achievements will appear on screen as students' names are called. Participants are encouraged to host watch parties with their friends and family, wear their regalia and move their tassel when their degree is conferred.

More than 77,000 students have graduated from IRSC over the past six decades, building a dynamic workforce pipeline and extending economic opportunity to students and their families. IRSC graduates are employed in many of the region's fastest-growing and innovative industries and are on the frontlines serving our community as teachers, healthcare professionals and other first responders.

About Indian River State College
A leader in education and innovation, Indian River State College transforms lives by offering high-quality, affordable and accessible education to the residents of Florida’s Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, and St. Lucie counties through traditional and online delivery. IRSC is recipient of the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges. The College serves nearly 30,000 students annually and offers more than 100 programs leading to Bachelor’s degrees, Associate degrees, technical certificates and applied technology diplomas. Learn more at https://www.irsc.edu/.

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Photographed on Wednesday, December 16, 2020, on the Massey Campus in Fort Pierce.
AS, BAS, BS, AAS Commencement
Photographed on Wednesday, December 16, 2020, on the Massey Campus in Fort Pierce.

Enjoy Island of Hope and Fight Sex Trafficking

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In Photo: Catch the Wave of Hope Executive Director Karissa Bolden and (right) Catch the Wave of Hope Board Chair Kelly Laurine accept a proclamation from Stuart City Commissioner Mike Meier recognizing January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Photo was taken in 2020 but proclamation was given in 2021, as well.

Article by: Jackie Holfelder
Photo by: Catch the Wave of Hope
Catch the Wave of Hope, the nonprofit with the mission of preventing sex trafficking of children through awareness, education, restoration and legislation, will present its first post-pandemic fundraiser on April 24 at the Flagler Center in downtown Stuart.

The Island of Hope Benefit will take place from 6:30-10 p.m.

It will be a colorful and festive event to raise money for a serious cause that impacts people everywhere and in all walks of life.

In addition to a spectacular auction, enjoy first-class entertainment by the popular band Cindy Rapp and the Rapture and the award-winning Turn Up the Heat dance studio, featuring students from across the Treasure Coast.

Tickets are $100 each. Wear your favorite tropical attire.

100-percent of all proceeds go directly back to Catch the Wave of Hope to continue its important work in awareness and education about the detestable crime of sex trafficking.

Sponsors include Stuart Periodontics, Realty One Group Engage, Leighton Realtors, The Norman Page Team, JetLoan Capital, Paradise Carwash, Ocean Republic Brewing Company, Diversified Roofing Systems and Stuart Yacht and Country Club.

To get more information, buy tickets, learn about sponsorships or donate, visit https://www.catchthewaveofhope.org/island-of-hope-gala-2021

Growing Bolder with Suzy Hutcheson

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In Photo: Suzy Hutcheson - Helping People Succeed

Article by: Jackie Holfelder
Photo by: PBS

If you have watched either of the local PBS stations -WPBT or WXEL – during the month of March, you might have been pleasantly surprised to see one of the Treasure Coast’s brightest luminaries: Suzy Hutcheson.

South Florida PBS and Growing Bolder TV partnered on a special called, “Ordinary People Living Extraordinary Lives”, which featured individuals 50 years and older who are role models, living with passion and purpose.

As those who know Suzy Hutcheson can attest, that’s a description she wears well.

Since joining Helping People Succeed (then known as Tri-County Rehabilitation Center) in 1975, this proud ‘Nole has helped steer the non-profit through unparalleled decades of growth.

As Glenna Parris, Gift Planning Officer of Helping People Succeed, said in her nominating letter, “Suzanne (Suzy) Hutcheson is certainly a Rock Star of Aging.”

Starting with her childhood as the daughter of a Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army, through her skills sailing, to being licensed to fly hot air balloons, to the empathy, passion and compassion she brings not only to her job but her staff and her family, Hutcheson personifies someone who is living an extraordinary life.

Parris noted in her nominating letter, “Suzy Hutcheson is a role model and has a passion with a purpose. The world is a better place with her in it.”

One can view the full interview by visiting Helping People Succeed’s website at www.hpsfl.org.

Ocean Republic Brewing Gives Back

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Stuart – On Friday, April 9, 2021 Ocean Republic Brewing had the first of their Give Back Nights. The event was of the collaborative brew series. The event was from 4-8 pm. Tickets were $40.00 which included a generous donation, 2 beers a choice of burger or chicken sandwich from Ocean Republic.

The kickoff party was for the ARC of Martin County which is a 501 C3 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. They are in Stuart at 2001 S Kanner Highway. Contact them at: 772.283.2525 or more information.

Ocean Republic Brewing will have more of these collaborative brew series in the upcoming months. This month on April 24th from 12 – 5pm is their Spring Brew Fest. Proceeds benefitting Operation 300 in honor of SOC Aaron Vaughn. Musical performances included Ryan Owens and Burnt Biscuit. Tickets for $25.00 for a sampling package can be purchased on their website. For more information call them at: 954-241-0395. Ocean Republic Brewing is located at 1630 SE. Federal Highway in Stuart.

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SFWMD Governing Board Declares April Water Conservation Month

20 Nov South Florida Water

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board today declared April to be Water Conservation Month, an annual declaration highlighting the District's efforts with communities, utilities, and local partners to encourage water conservation efforts.

Demand for water is projected to increase by 533 million gallons per year (15 percent increase) Districtwide over the next 20 years. These projected demands could be reduced by using water more efficiently through conservation measures.

One of the biggest impacts residents can make to conserve water is to adjust irrigation controller settings to reduce the irrigation frequency and duration. South Florida yards normally only need to be irrigated up to twice a week for 15 minutes. The majority of residential water use occurs outdoors with landscape irrigation accounting for 50 percent of home water use on average.

The District supports community outreach efforts to educate the public about ways to conserve water as well as supporting Florida Water Star aimed at helping new construction projects save water and Water CHAMP aimed at helping hotels save water.

SFWMD also supports water conservation projects by providing cost sharing grants with its local partners for more than 10 years. In the past two years, the District has provided more than $2.1 million in grants to 24 projects that are estimated to conserve approximately 963 million gallons per year.

Residents can learn more about things they can do around the house to conserve water including:

Ensuring rain sensors are operating properly. Irrigating during or after significant rainfall is a major cause of outdoor water waste and can cost you money.
Replacing aerators in kitchen and bathroom sinks.
Switching to WaterSense-labeled and high-efficiency including indoor showerheads, bathroom facets and toilets.
Implement Florida-Friendly landscaping by using native plants.
Update appliances like dishwashers and washing machines to Energy Star rated products.
Wash only full loads of laundry.
Thawing frozen food in the refrigerator.
Scraping your dishes before loading in the dishwasher without rinsing.

The efforts being highlighted by the Water Conservation Month declaration are working. Since 2005 the average amount of water used by each resident in South Florida has decreased from about 170 gallons per day to less than 130 gallons per day.

21 Apr SFWM Flyer

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

21 Apr Joey Photo

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

Dredging for Bathtub Beach Renourishment Project Begins

21 Feb Bathtub

Stuart- With the staging of submerged, floating and shore pipeline now complete, dredging operations will begin for the Bathtub Reef Beach Renourishment project this week.

Dredging will begin in the Sailfish Point Navigation Channel and move to the impoundment basin located at the mouth of the St. Lucie Inlet. Martin County's contracted dredging company, Weeks Marine, will dredge approximately 220,000 cubic yards of sand through the pipelines onto designated beach areas. The company is using larger, high production barges and equipment than in previous renourishment projects, to shorten the duration of the project timeline.

During the renourishment process, the beach itself will remain closed. Boaters are asked to be patient and remain safe by avoiding the barges, pipelines and other equipment, to prevent accidents and unnecessary interruptions to the construction schedule.

Dredging operations will be conducted 24/7 and the project will be completed by April 30, 2021, in advance of the beginning of sea turtle nesting season.

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United Way of Martin County Foundation Announces John Loewenberg has Joined its Board

21 Apr Loewenberg

United Way of Martin County Foundation has announced John Loewenberg has joined the United Way of Martin County Foundation Board of Directors. Loewenberg has had extensive senior management experiences with IBM, Mass Mutual, Capital Holding, Aetna, and Connecticut Mutual. After retirement, he became very active with the Venture Capital firm Safeguard Scientifics.

He was non-executive chairman of Applix, NEIC, Precision Systems, and Wang Healthcare Information Systems, as well as being a Director of Sherwood International; a public London, UK, based Software Company, and a Director of four other US-based Public Companies including, CompuCom, Diamond Partners International, DocuCorp and CompuCom.

Over the years, Loewenberg has volunteered extensively. He was a Trustee of Springfield College, the National Computer Museum, The Clarke School for the Deaf, the Pioneer Valley United Way, a Director of the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast, and participated in several Treasure Coast nonprofit advisory committees.

In 2011, Loewenberg joined the Martin Health System Board of Directors and was chairman from 2015 to 2019. As chairman, he played a key role in the merger of Martin Health System with the Cleveland Clinic.

He and his wife Linda have lived on the Treasure Coast for the past 25 years.

“We are so honored to have John Loewenberg join our Foundation Board of Directors,” said United Way of Martin County Director of Philanthropy Elisabeth Glynn, CFRE. “His vast professional experience and commitment to this community will help guide the Foundation’s mission to build an endowment fund to meet the current and future unmet needs of Martin County.”

The United Way Foundation is solely focused on building a permanent endowment to support the work of our local United Way here in Martin County for generations to come. For more information, visit www.UnitedWayMartin.org/Foundation.

Salute to Stuart 2021 - Stuart Air Show

21 Mar Stuart Airshow Logo

IRSC Names Room at Pruitt Campus for VITAS Healthcare

2021-vitas a

Port St. Lucie - A room at the Indian River State College Pruitt Campus in Port St. Lucie has been named in recognition of VITAS Healthcare—a leading provider in end-of-life care with locations ranging across 14 states and the District of Columbia. The VITAS Healthcare Simulation Room houses a state-of-the-art, end-of-life human patient simulator donated by VITAS, providing immersive and true end-of-life patient encounter experiences for students in IRSC Nursing program.

“VITAS is proud to support the next generation of healthcare and hospice professionals,” said Susan Acocella, General Manager for VITAS. “With a growing focus on compassionate end-of-life care, this kind of technology exposes students to patient symptoms and end-of-life scenarios that are instructive, safe, and as real as possible. Providing this technology is one way that we can contribute to students’ understanding and delivery of empathetic hospice care.”

The IRSC Nursing program takes a holistic approach to prepare students for a career in healthcare. This includes the critical aspect of palliative care education. In the VITAS Healthcare Simulation Room, students train on how to respond in scenarios that include communication skills and understanding family dynamics between the patient’s family members regarding how to proceed with their loved one’s care. Students can evaluate their performance with the professor post-simulation, tracking progress as they go through their clinicals.

To learn more information about the donation, visit https://www.irsc.edu/news/articles/irsc-receives-vitas-donation-for-hospice-simulator-052820.html.

Head, Heart and Hands of Indian River Club Awards $10,000 to Tykes & Teens to Support Infant Mental Health Program

21 Mar Tykes and Teens

In Photo: Tykes & Teens Director of Infant Mental Health Laura Girlando; Head, Heart and Hands Board Member Marybeth Cunningham; Head, Heart and Hands Board Member Sally Bryan; Head, Heart and Hands Board Member Becky Stiles; Tykes & Teens Board Member Theresa Kelso; Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza; Head, Heart and Hands Donor Linda Braun

Article & Photo by: Misty Stoller

Palm City – Head, Heart and Hands of Indian River Club has awarded $10,000 to Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for nearly 25 years. The funding will support the agency’s Infant Mental Health Programming in Indian River County.

“We are truly grateful to Head, Heart and Hands for their generosity and sharing our commitment to serving children and families throughout the Indian River community who are in need of mental health services,” said Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW. “The need has never been greater and this funding allows us to further our mission of prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through prevention, education and treatment.”

“Head, Heart and Hands of Indian River Club is very pleased to present a grant to Tykes & Teens to further their work in the area of infant and toddler mental health,” said Head, Heart and Hands Board Member Marybeth Cunningham. “Mental health is a growing concern in our county and, while we need to support it for all age groups, it is vitally important to start at birth to support our children at their most vulnerable age while helping parents raise a healthy happy child.”

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 traumatic issues early means healthier children who will require less intervention later in life and can reach their full potential. The Tykes & Teens Infant Mental Health Program is an evidence-based program for children from birth to age five that is typically done in the child’s home or in select childcare centers. The primary goal is to support and strengthen the relationship between a child and his or her parent or caregiver in order to restore the child’s sense of safety and attachment, and to improve the child’s cognitive, behavioral and social functioning. It helps improve a child’s behavior and ability to regulate emotions; strengthens the relationship between the child and the parent or caregiver; helps healing from a traumatic experience for the parent or child that is interfer
ing with a healthy attachment; and helps avoid suspension or expulsion from childcare or preschool.

In addition to Infant Mental Health, Tykes & Teens’ Indian River programming includes Healthy Families Indian River County, School-Based Services and Prevention Services, including Trauma-Informed Care and ALTOSS (Alternative to Out of School Suspension), as well as Psychiatric Services and Targeted Case Management.

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

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Fewer Children Removed from Home; Rate at 10-Year Low

Mar Communities connect

St. Lucie West – Communities Connected for Kids has much to celebrate this month, beginning with the number of children removed from home due to abuse or neglect.

That number decreased significantly in Florida’s southeast region, which includes Broward, Palm Beach, and the counties covered by CCKids – Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties.

From July 2020 to January 2021, Child-welfare professionals in the area removed 205 fewer children than the same period the year before. Even better, Judicial Circuit 19, which is made up of Okeechobee and the Treasure Coast - the smallest part of the southeast region - was responsible for 45 percent of the total reduction.

While last spring's school closures and resultant decrease in calls to Florida’s abuse hotline may have had something to do with that reduction, it's not the whole story, said Christina Kaiser, CCKids community relations director.

There may be fewer children coming into care because of last year's shutdown, she said, but the rate by which those same children are removed from home also is down – from 5.38 children per 100 alleged victims to 3.96.

That’s the lowest the measure has been since 2011.

"And while our numbers were going down, other regions throughout Florida experienced an increase in removals during the same time," Kaiser said.

This says a great deal about the local system of care and the mental-health, substance-abuse and child-abuse prevention providers whose programs are engaging families early and preventing removals down the road.

“Safely serving children in their own homes greatly diminishes the trauma and disruptions that occur as a result of removal,” Kaiser said. “That requires strong programs and services that can be trusted to keep children safe.”

House of Hope Put the FUN in Raising FUNds During Their First Annual Hunt for Hope Scavenger Hunt

21 Mar Hunt for Hope 1

Stuart – An enthusiastic and diverse group of more than 40 participants scattered across Martin County on a sunny Saturday as part of House of Hope’s first annual Hunt for Hope scavenger hunt presented by Crary Buchanan Attorneys at Law. On February 27, teams used House of Hope’s customized app to compete for unique prizes by completing various challenges and missions at local landmarks, businesses, and attractions in Stuart, Indiantown, Palm City, Hobe Sound, and Jensen Beach. The scavenger hunt was a clever new way for the organization to raise funds to support its critical programs.

Scavenger hunt challenges included problem-solving, performances, gathering items, taking videos or selfies, and other hilarious or thought-provoking tasks closely related to the House of Hope’s mission. Some of the group’s favorite tasks were performing a catwalk at the House of Hope Stuart Thrift Store in their best-thrifted outfit, packing food for distribution at House of Hope’s largest pantry in Stuart, making smoothies on the manpowered “smoothie bike” machine in the East Stuart Nutrition Garden, and learning about the history of the Golden Gate Center for Enrichment and the New Monrovia One-Room Schoolhouse. Children enjoyed showing off their best t-rex dinosaur impressions, having karaoke showdowns against their teammates, and reenacting scenes as National Geographic explorers.

“Hunt for Hope was designed to incorporate COVID-19 safety protocols while engaging participants in a fun, team-based scavenger hunt. We weren’t sure what to expect with Hunt for Hope being a brand-new event, but the feedback we received from participants was overwhelmingly positive,” said Rob Ranieri, Chief Executive Officer of House of Hope.

After teams completed the scavenger hunt, they went to Growing Hope Farm in Palm City for the outdoor after-party. In addition to the announcement of winners and prizes awarded, teams enjoyed delicious, boxed lunches from Jimmy’s BBQ Food Truck and received tours of the Growing Hope Farm to learn more about their nutrition initiatives.

The grand prize, valued at $4,700, was awarded to Team Nozzle Nolen, including Glenda Vander Wilt, Mark Davis, Shaun Jones, and Kevin Eaton and featured gift certificates for hotel stays, fine dining, and fun experiences like axe throwing and trampoline parks. Second-place prize, valued at $2,400, was awarded to the Super Scavengers including Sue and Tom Whittington, Brigite Babine, Kelly McIntyre, Farrah Taylor, and Lexington Taylor.

Team ESP including Elaine Matts, Sonita Farr, and Pattie Dunn, was awarded a Hunt for Hope medal for being the top fundraiser team, raising approximately $4,250.

Team Safari Madness, including Debbie Lovequist, Lorraine Cardarelli, Melanie Scanlon, and Darlene Kane won for best team theme.

More than fifty sponsors and in-kind donors supported the inaugural event for which House of Hope is grateful. Lead sponsor: Crary Buchanan Attorneys at Law. Other sponsors include: HBKS Wealth Advisors; Cleveland Clinic Martin Health; Pinder’s Nursery; and Nozzle Nolen. In-kind sponsors include: Anthony’s Apparel; Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza; April Daze Boutique; Balanced Body Works; Barre Necessities; Bella Bella Skin Care Pros; Berry Fresh Café; Black Marlin Restaurant; Carson’s Tavern; Children’s Museum of the Treasure Coast; Conchy Joe’s & Dolphin Bar; Diamonds by Terry Tea Room & Bistro; Dolphin Bar & Shrimp House; Dr. Breslauer of South Florida Orthopedics; Evelyn & Arthur’s; Florida Oceanographic Society; Game of Axes; Giuseppe’s Restaurant; Golf Gear; Gumbo Limbo Coastal Chic & Coastal Kids; Hard Exercise Works; Inn Shepard’s Park Bed & Breakfast; Jan’s Place; Jensen Beach Inn; Kilwins; Kyle G’s; Luna Italian Cuisine; Matilda’s; Miles Grant Country Club; Monarch Country Club; Monkee’s of Stuart; Must
Boutique; Old Colorado Inn; Painting With A Twist; Piper’s Landing; Play Money; Quill & Press; River Palm Cottages & Fish Camp; RUSH Jensen Beach; Sailors Return; Salon Alchemy; Sam Matthews House; Seminole Inn; Shrimpers Grill & Raw Bar; Skin Serenity Spa; South Florida Shooting Club; Spritz City Bistro; Stuart Ceramics; Summer Crush Winery; Tootsies; Top Drawer Boutique; Transitions Float Studio; Urban Air; and YMCA of the Treasure Coast.

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

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Chad Cianciulli Confirmed as New Fire Chief of Martin County Fire Rescue

21 Mar Fire Releases
21 Mar Fire Chief

Martin County - Martin County Board of County Commissioners unanimously confirmed the appointment of Chad Cianciulli as the new fire chief of Martin County Fire Rescue (MCFR) this morning, at the March 9 Board of County Commissioners meeting.

Cianciulli has served Martin County since 1995, joining MCFR as a firefighter/EMT, earning his first officer-level promotion to fire captain (lieutenant) in 2003. Most recently, Cianciulli was appointed interim deputy chief in October of 2020 as a result of Fire Chief William Schobel's retirement and following Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Herndon's retirement in March of 2021, Cianciulli assumed the interim fire chief position.

As the fire chief of MCFR, Cianciulli will lead Martin County's largest department with 384 total personnel. MCFR encompasses Emergency Management, Fire Rescue Communications, Fire Prevention, Ocean Rescue, Fire Rescue Administration, Fleet Maintenance & Logistics, Fire Rescue Operations and Special Operations (aeromedical rapid transport services, HazMat, technical rescue, and dive) services.

MCFR protects and serves approximately 528 square miles of a mix of suburban, agricultural/rural lands, and waterfront with a population estimate of 161,000 residents.

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Martin County Fire Rescue Announces Participation in Florida's State Opioid Response Project

21 Mar Fire Releases

Martin County Fire Rescue (MCFR) is excited to announce participation in Florida's State Opioid Response Project (SOR) through the Narcan© Leave Behind Project.

MCFR Community Paramedic Rob Chagnon and EMS Bureau Chief Christopher Kammel joined Martin County Medical Director Dr. Michael Ferraro in introducing the new program that supplies the MCFR Community Paramedic program with naloxone (Narcan©) nasal spray in the Narcan© Leave Behind kits to distribute to the families, loved ones or those likely to be in imminent proximity of individuals treated by MCFR emergency responders for Opioid misuse and addiction. Naloxone (Narcan©) is the life-saving medication that acts as an Opioid antagonist and can reverse Opioid overdoses when administered properly during an emergency.

According to the Florida Department of Health, in 2019, Martin County suffered 398 drug overdoses of which 109 non-fatal overdoses were suspected to involve Opioid misuse and 27 fatalities directly resulting from Opioid misuse as identified by the Florida Medical Examiners.

Martin County's Narcan© Leave Behind Project is funded through Florida Department of Children and Families' (DCF) SOR project. A total of 100 kits will be available to MCFR Community Paramedic program on March 8, 2021. The kits encompass two nasal units of the life-saving drug Narcan©, instructions for use, as well as treatment and prevention resources.

"The goal of this initiative is to reduce the tragedy of Opioid overdoses in our community by giving essential resources to individuals and their loved ones who are battling addiction, Chief Kammel said. "Through our Community Paramedic Program and support from the community agencies, the distribution of Narcan© Leave Behind kits will help accelerate emergency treatment of patients suffering from an Opioid overdose, decrease patient hospitalization, and aid in facilitating a pathway for long-term addiction recovery."

"It is important to keep in mind that the distribution of the Narcan© Leave Behind kits is not the solution to the overdose crisis," said Community Paramedic Chagnon. "This initiative will serve as a mechanism to interact with patients, begin conversations about access to care, substance abuse treatment, and recovery." in facilitating a pathway for long-term addiction recovery."

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20 Oct Owen Top Sponsor Ad Final
21 Mar Open Enrollment

What is ACA Open Enrollment?

In 2014, Obamacare, also known as ACA or the Affordable Care Act, was established and an ‘Open Enrollment’ was established between Nov 01 – DEC 15 each year to ensure individuals can make changes or join a medical health insurance plan that’s more suitable for them. This nationwide enrollment is your only chance you get to make such changes (unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period – like losing employer/group coverage) and it can certainly save you a ton of headaches and frustration with future medical situations. Due to the coronavirus emergency via Presidential Executive Order, you are able to now enroll in health coverage February 15th through May 15th, 2021. Your effective date will be on the 1st of the following month. For example, if you enroll on March 15, your effective date will be April 01.

Failing to join a new insurance plan within the enrollment period will result in your buying options being extremely limited until late the following year when you’re able to apply again. It’s essential that you re-analyze your current plan as you may be able to find something more suitable for you or insurance that is cheaper and can save you some money.

You could also qualify for a subsidy meaning that you could have a $0 or very low premium. This is based on your household income and the number of people living in your home. There are more choices available for health plans today than were previously offered so be sure to review each plan carefully.

What Can YOU Do During the ACA Open Enrollment?

During the ACA ‘Open Enrollment’ period, you’re able to make changes and updates in the following ways:

• Renew your current policy – If you have reviewed and analyzed your existing plan and the upcoming changes that may occur in the years ahead. You can renew your current ACA insurance plan, so you’re covered for another year.

• Make changes to employer-based health insurance – In some cases, you may get health insurance through your current employer. If your employer offers this, the nationwide enrollment period doesn’t affect you. Your employer will have its own enrollment period that you’ll need to be aware of. All insurances including the ones supplied by an employer, are likely to change through the years. Be sure that you’re aware of any possible changes before enrolling back into it.

• Purchase a short-term health plan – Not so long ago, short-term health insurance plans were only available to the younger generation that couldn’t afford long-term health coverage. However, nowadays it’s available for most individuals. These plans can work well if you have a coverage gap and go from 30 day up to 03 year plans. However, this may change with the new administration.

Short-term health plans may not cover the basic services that the ACA policy generously offers. These short-term health plans may exclude pre-existing conditions, prescriptions, mental health and maternity. Short-term plans may seem like a better deal and much more inviting due to their affordability. But before diving into a short-term plan, be sure that you know exactly what is and what is not covered. These plans are very popular for the younger population and/or those with good to excellent health.

If you need additional advice, would like a “NO COST – NO OBLIGATION” quote, or would like to change your current medical health insurance plan, contact one of our insurance experts today. Get your personalized and free consultation today at 772-210-1020.

Treasure Coast Food Bank Seeks Partners for Sit-down & Grab-n-go Summer Meals for Kids

20 Sept TC Food Bank

Treasure Coast - Stay for a meal – or grab-n-go. This summer, Treasure Coast Food Bank will be providing summer meals for kids in both formats, and it’s seeking partners who can help.

For several years, Treasure Coast Food Bank has worked with partners across Indian River, St. Lucie, and Martin counties to provide meals to children during summer when school cafeterias are closed. This year, the program will include the option to provide them “grab-n-go” style meals, opening the opportunity for more partners to participate.

Each year, Treasure Coast Food Bank partners with organizations like social service agencies, churches and summer camps that feed children at their sites during summer. This year, other organizations that might not offer a summer program or have enough space for sit-down meals will be able to participate as well.

“This change will allow us to bring on partners who may have the desire to help, but not have room for kids to eat at their location,” said Judith Cruz, President and CEO of Treasure Coast Food Bank. “It also will help families who might have a parent working remotely at home or who feel more comfortable with their children eating meals at home.”

Treasure Coast Food Bank provides all the meals to partner locations at no charge. The nutritious food is made daily, and typically includes fresh-made sandwiches and wraps, salads, and fresh cut fruits and vegetables.

To become a Summer Meals site, you must:

• Complete Treasure Coast Food Bank’s online training
• Provide a sheltered, supervised area for eating or a grab-n-go style distribution
• Use social distancing measures
• Serve meals to children
• Supervise meal service
• Keep daily records of meals served

For more information, visit www.stophunger.org/sfsp or contact Program Coordinator Jade Alexander at 561-771-6213 or ealexander@tcfoodbank.org.

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A Financial Wellness Plan Can Help Pave the Road to Retirement

21 Mar Financial

If we've learned any lesson over the past year, it's that no matter how carefully we plan and prepare, we'll likely encounter unexpected hurdles. While a global pandemic has certainly underscored the need to pay close attention to our physical wellness, it has also revealed the need to shore up our financial wellness.

According to PwC's 9th Annual Financial Wellness Survey conducted in January 2020, financial matters were the top cause of stress for employees even well before the pandemic hit in earnest. More than one-third of full-time employed millennials, Gen Xers, and baby boomers had less than $1,000 in emergency savings. Only 29% of women said they would be able to cover their basic necessities if they found themselves out of work for an extended period, compared with 55% of men. And more than half of millennials and Gen Xers and 35% of baby boomers said they would likely use their retirement funds for something other than retirement, with most noting it would be for an unexpected expense or medical bills.1

Although tapping your retirement savings can help you get through a crisis, it can hinder your ability to afford a comfortable retirement. Having a plan to guard your financial wellness throughout your working years can help you avoid putting your retirement at risk.

What Is Financial Wellness?
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) defines financial well-being as:2

1) Having control over day-to-day and month-to-month finances. In order to achieve this, your expenses need to be lower than your income.

2) Maintaining the capacity to absorb a financial shock. This typically refers to having adequate emergency savings and insurance.

21 Mar Financial 2

3) Being on track to meet financial goals, meaning you have either a formal or informal plan to meet your goals and you are actively pursuing them.

4) Having the financial freedom to make choices that allow you to enjoy life, such as a splurge vacation.

The CFPB has identified several key factors that contribute to an individual's ability to achieve financial well-being. Among them are: (1) having the skills needed to find, process, and use relevant financial information when it's needed; and (2) exhibiting day-to-day financial behaviors and saving habits.

Assistance Is Available
Many employers have begun offering financial wellness benefits over the past decade. These programs have evolved from a focus on basic retirement readiness to those addressing broader financial challenges as health-care costs, general finance and budgeting, and credit/debt management.3

If you have access to work-based financial wellness benefits, be sure to take time and explore all that is offered. The education and services can provide valuable information and help you build the skills to make sound decisions in challenging circumstances.

In addition, a financial professional can become a trusted coach throughout your life. A qualified financial professional can provide an objective third-party view during tough times, while helping you anticipate and manage challenges and risks and, most important, stay on course toward a comfortable retirement.

Drive-Thru Food Distributions at Clover Park Made Possible by the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation

27 Family Church Marie Brown & Warren White a

In Photo: Family Church Volunteers Marie Brown and Warren White

As new Mets owner, Cohen supports Spring Training hometown

Fort Pierce – The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation has partnered with Treasure Coast Food Bank to provide additional opportunities for people who are struggling to obtain food.

With support from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, Treasure Coast Food Bank has held two drive-thru mobile food distributions in recent weeks at Clover Park in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Fresh produce, meat, and shelf-stable food items were distributed to 1,000 families in need.

At a distribution on Feb. 13, Mets Outfielder Brandon Nimmo greeted families and lent a hand distributing food. Mets President Sandy Alderson and several local officials pitched in as well.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation to help families impacted by COVID-19 here in Port St. Lucie,” said Judith Cruz, President and CEO of Treasure Coast Food Bank. “We’ve had a longstanding relationship with the Mets organization, and we’re looking forward to growing those partnerships under the Cohen’s ownership of the Mets.”

In November, Steven Cohen became the owner of the Mets, whose Spring Training home is Clover Park. The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation was launched in 2001, and has given more than $675 million to organizations that improve children’s healthcare and education, serve the underserved, support the arts, protect the environment, and further Lyme and tick-borne disease research.

“Hunger relief is such an important and central focus for our giving, and we’ve seen the need increase dramatically during the pandemic,” said Alex Cohen, President, Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation. “We also care deeply about our communities, which have expanded recently due to our involvement with the Mets. We are happy to partner with the Treasure Coast Food Bank to support our neighbors during this difficult time.”

36 Shelly McEwen and Carol Schiff a

In Photo: Volunteers Shelly McEwen and Carol Shiff

71 Mets staff and NY Mets player Brandon Nimmo a

In Photo: Mets staff and Mets Left fielder Brandon Nimmo

90 SLC Sheriff's Chief of Staff Garry Wilson with Traer Van Allen of Mets organization a

In Photo: SLC Sheriff Chief of Staff Garry Wilson and Traer Van Allen of the Mets Organization

106 TC Food Bank CEO Judy Cruz with NY Mets Player Brandon Nimmo a

In Photo: TC Food Bank CEO Judith Cruz and Mets Left Fielder Brandon Nimmo