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Water Safety for Summer

Mar Communities connect
22 June Summer Photo CCKids

Article by: Lisa McBride, RN, BSN CCKids Nurse Care Coordinator

It's that time of year again; time to jump ocean waves, swim in a pool - and talk water safety! So let's get straight to the point. Please follow these rules to keep yourself and your children safe near water this summer:

1) Learn to swim. This one step can reduce by 88 percent the risk of drowning for children, ages 1-4. Check with your local YMCA, American Red Cross and other vendors for lesson times and cost.

For all you foster families, the Sunshine Health Child Welfare Specialty Plan offers a care grant for members through age 21, and provides $150 per child per calendar year for services or supplies for social use or physical activities.

In other words, this could pay for swimming lessons! Check with your dependency case manager, or if you are receiving post-adoption services, call Sunshine Health Member Services at 1-855-463-4100.

2) Always swim with a buddy.

3) Continuously watch kids in the water. A child can drown in the time it takes to reply to a text.

4) Create barriers/fences around your home pool with secure locks and audible alarms.

5) Swim at a guarded beach, and listen to the lifeguard’s instruction.

6) Face the ocean so you don’t get caught off guard by a rogue wave.

7) Know the weather forecast for the day, and stay out of water when thunder or lightning is in the area.

8) Wear sunscreen, and drink plenty of water.

9) If trapped in a rip current, swim parallel to shore until you get out of the current. Then swim to shore.

10) Do not dive or jump from cliffs or bridges. There could be many unknown hazards, such as submerged rocks or shallow water.

11) Wear life jackets approved by the U.S. Coast Guard while boating and/or near open water, no matter how good a swimmer you are.

12) If you fall into fast moving water, such as a river, do not try to stand up. Standing could result in your leg being pulled under and trapped beneath rocks or boulders. Instead, lie on your back with your feet pointing downstream and toes pointed up to fend off rocks and other hazards until you can get to shore.

13) Lastly, follow this advice from from the American Red Cross: Reach or Throw, Don’t Go! If you see someone struggling in the water, do not try to swim out to rescue them. Alert the lifeguard, and throw out a life ring or rope.

From our team to your family, may you have a fun and safe summer!

20 Aug Shears of Joy Business Card a

Big Brothers Big Sisters Wins Female Match of the Year for the State of Florida

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Photos by Sevin Bullwinkle

Local Big Brothers Big Sisters match from Indian River County, Nancy and Olivia, have been awarded the Big Brothers Big Sisters Association of Florida’s (BBBSAF) highest honor: Match of the Year.
The Association represents all eleven BBBS agencies across Florida and each year is tasked with choosing two exceptional pairs from the thousands of professionally managed mentoring teams across the state. The mentor, “Big,” and mentee, “Little” spend an hour a week focused on social, emotional and behavioral support that is rooted in individual needs and interests. The Big works alongside the Little’s family and Match Support Specialist to create safe learning environments and fun local experiences.

Olivia lives with her Grandmother and Grandfather and was facing issues in being comfortable with learning and stability. Her aversion to learning to read caused much worry for her grandparents. Because her Grandma had previous experience with a family member benefitting from the work of Big Brothers Big Sisters, she knew this was the place to seek help. “Olivia told me her Big always listens to her and helps her to figure out how she can do things differently to achieve the best result. I have seen more confidence with not only her reading and math but her attitude as well,” said her Grandma Deb.

Nancy and Olivia were matched four years ago and even during quarantine were able to connect through Zoom with books and materials provided to both the Big and Little to accomplish “together but apart,” activities said Match Support Specialist Kari Tankersly. “I have been blessed to see the BBBS model in live action form over the years of working with Olivia and Nancy. Their commitment to one another is admirable and something to be desired. I am truly honored they allow me to know them and be part of their lives. It has been an amazing journey and I am so excited to see where these two will go.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters has served the Treasure Coast since 1984 and the joy of seeing such successful mentorship is felt by everyone who comes in contact with this mentoring model. CEO Stacey Watson-Mesley said, “Mentoring is absolutely the most powerful way responsible adults can give back to our communities and children. It is a small investment of the gift of time, consistency and lived experience, which are three of the greatest ways to support young people as they grow.”
Olivia, now nine, who was matched with Nancy when she was five, agrees. When asked what makes her Big Sister Nancy special, Olivia said, “She always makes me feel loved. She is always there for me and makes me feel comfortable. She always wants to know how I am and my opinion during our conversations. She helps me with my school work when I am having problems or if I have a bad day she helps me figure out what I can do differently next time.” Olivia is excelling at school and recently was named a 2022 Young Scientist and had her artwork as one of only 50 student pieces displayed at the Vero Beach Museum of Art.

“Congratulations to our Florida Big Sister and Little Sister of the Year, Nancy and Olivia, as well as the Big Brothers Big Sisters of St. Lucie, Indian River, and Okeechobee Counties Agency. This match, which is in its fourth year, exemplifies our vision of meaningful one-to-one mentoring relationships that help youth reach their full potential,” said BBBSAF State CEO Dan Prinzing.
If you are interested in volunteering to become a Big Brother or Big Sister, or have a child that could benefit from mentoring, please call 772-466-8535 or visit the BBBS website at www.bbbsbigs.org.

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City of Fort Pierce Invites Community to Participate in Downtown Master Planning Events the Week of June 27

21 Sept City of Fort Pierce

The City of Fort Pierce is welcoming members of the community to participate in a series of interactive events the week of June 27th as part of the Downtown Master Planning process. During the week, a team of design experts will meet with stakeholders like local citizens, businesses, community groups, and property owners to develop a shared vision for the future of Downtown Fort Pierce and adopt an implementation strategy to guide development. As part of this effort, the public will have three opportunities to collaborate and share their ideas with the project team as well as to learn more about the Downtown Master Planning process.

Opportunities for community participation include:

Monday, June 27, 2022
5:30 to 7:30 p.m. – Kick-off workshop at Incubate Neighborhood Center,
532 North 13th Street. Residents can meet the design team and share their
thoughts on the Downtown area and its potential.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022
5:30 to 7:30 p.m. – Halfway point design workshop at River Walk Center,
600 North Indian River Drive. Residents will see the progress on drawings and designs, speak with designers and add their input to the design process.

Thursday, June 30, 2022
5:30 to 7:30 p.m. – Final design workshop and presentation at Old City Hall,
315 Avenue A.

Stakeholders are also encouraged to provide their feedback online by visiting the Downtown Master Plan project website Fort Pierce Downtown Master Plan | Social Pinpoint (mysocialpinpoint.com). This interactive platform allows community members to take share insights by taking a brief survey; comment on development, mobility, arts and culture, and green space on an interactive map; and prioritize spending with a budget game.

With many new projects planned or already underway in Downtown Fort Pierce, it is important for the City to continue to have a strong vision for the future with a plan that is both comprehensive and current. Through this public participation phase of the plan, the City will seek input on issues facing the community, existing conditions within the Downtown, and how citizens envision Downtown growth over the next twenty years.

For more information on the Downtown Master Plan, please call 772-467-3786 or email fpra@cityoffortpierce.com.
Contact: Joe Sweat, Communications Specialist
772.467.3031 | jsweat@cityoffortpierce.com

21 Apr New Aycock Funeral Home Logo

Treasure Coast Hospice Dedicates Walls in Memory of Volunteers and Staff

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In Photo: Murray Fournie, VP of Philanthropy and Operations and Eileen Emery, sponsor of the Recognition Wall at the TCC center Fort Pierce

Article & Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham
Treasure Coast Hospice recently hosted two events to honor and remember the legacies of dedicated volunteers, board members, and staff who have passed away. Family members gathered in the gardens on both Treasure Coast Hospice campuses, the Mayes Center in Stuart and the Thomas Counseling Center in Fort Pierce, to dedicate two newly installed Recognition Walls.

After a warm welcome from CEO Jackie Kendrick, Treasure Coast Hospice chaplains and grief counselors offered comforting words and inspiration to family members and friends of those whose names are etched on the wall.

“Treasure Coast Hospice is forever grateful to the many volunteers and staff members who have dedicated countless hours to our mission, selflessly serving patients and families in our community for the past 40 years,” said Kendrick.
“These names add value to service and add virtue to vision. These names and the legacy that will live on will add vitality to the labor of those of us that now remain,” said Treasure Coast Hospice Chaplain Omar Palmer.

Dennis and Dianne Puskaric of The Dendi Trust, sponsors of the Recognition Wall at the Mayes Center, reflected on the impact of the individuals who have helped advance the organization’s mission.

For Eileen Emery, the underwriter of the Recognition Wall on the Fort Pierce campus, long-time supporter and former Director of Volunteer Services, the occasion held extra meaning as she had the opportunity to work with most of those listed throughout her tenure.

“This is what makes Treasure Coast Hospice special,” she said. “The recognition of the time and talent of those who helped make this organization what it is today the best it can be!”

After a reading of the names at the conclusion of each ceremony, attendees welcomed the opportunity to view and touch the walls and spend some time in the serenity of the reflective gardens.

This year marks the 40th Anniversary of Treasure Coast Hospice, a milestone made possible thanks to the commitment and generosity of volunteers, board members, donors, businesses and staff who have remained dedicated to providing the community with access to compassionate end-of-life care since the organization was founded in 1982.

For more information, please visit TreasureHealth.org.

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In Photo: Murray Fournie, VP of Philanthropy and Operations; Jackie Kendrick, CHPCA, CEO; Dianne Puskaric and Dennis Puskaric of The Dendi Trust, sponsors of the Recognition Wall at the Mayes Center (Photo by Maryellen Murphy)

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In Photo: Melanie Wiles and Liberta Scotto, in honor of Dorothy Scotto

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In Photo: Pastor Omar Palmer and Pastor Dorothy Grant

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In Photo: Nicole and Marie Perrotta for Marie Puglisi

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In Photo: Sue Mockin and Craig Perry

Treasure Coast Hospice Celebrates 104th Birthday for Patient

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In Photo: Birthday Girl Anna Soncarato in front, City Councilwoman PSL Stephanie Morgan, Sherine Paulvil, Joanne Fiengo, Francine Louis, Spiritual Care Coordinator for TC Hospice Dorothy Grant. In back- Romano Louis and Anthony Fiengo

Article by MaryAnn Ketcham and Photos by Sevin Bullwinkle

The Palms Nursing and Rehab at Port St Lucie was the scene of a milestone celebration for resident Anna Soncarato who turned 104 years of age on June 1, 2022. Adorned with balloons and banners, the facility’s private dining room exuded a festive atmosphere for the centenarian!

Organized by Soncarato’s daughter Joann, the gathering included family, friends, and several Treasure Coast Hospice team members. Port St. Lucie City Councilwoman Stephanie Morgan, at the request of Treasure Coast Hospice, attended the party and commemorated the occasion by presenting Soncarato with a Certificate of Achievement Award.

World War I ended, and an influenza pandemic raged back in 1918, the year Soncarato’s mom gave birth to her. She grew up in Harlem, N.Y. in a traditional Italian family.

At age 25, she married Joseph Soncarato, with whom she had three daughters. She later lived with her daughter Joann for over 40 years, first in Connecticut and then Port St. Lucie.

Soncarato’s numerous hobbies included sewing, cooking sauce for hours at a time, and eating pasta! One of her favorite activities was pickling eggplant and seasoning it with olive oil,

vinegar, hot pepper, and spices. She would preserve the specialty in mason jars for later pairing with chicken cutlets and deli sandwiches.

Today, Soncarato enjoys festive games of bingo with her gal pals at The Palms Nursing and Rehab at Port St Lucie.

As the crowd softly sang Happy Birthday and the photographer captured each precious moment, Soncarato reflected upon her life well-lived and gently blew out the candles on her cake.

Thanks to the compassion, diligence, and attention to detail that defines the team at Treasure Coast Hospice, more happy memories are created for patients and their families.

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In Photo - Dorothy Grant, Ingrid Williams-Graves, CNA, Sherine Paulvil, City Councilwoman PSL Stephanie Morgan, Joanne Fiengo, Craig Perry and Anna Soncarato, the birthday girl

Redeemer Lutheran Quilters: Angels with Thimbles

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In Photo: Members of Redeemer Lutheran Quilters with (standing) David Albers, Senior Pastor, Redeemer Lutheran Church; Katie Wenger, Director of Family & Outreach, Redeemer Lutheran Church; Rob Whitlach, Thrivent; Carolyn Moses, Healthy Families Program Manager, Helping People Succeed; (fourth from right) Tobi Kogut, Data Entry Specialist, Helping People Succeed; (far right) Glenna Parris, Gift Planning Officer, Helping People Succeed and (seated, far left) Amy Whitlach, Thrivent

Article by: Jackie Holfelder / Photo by: Kristen Cruz

The ladies who comprise the Redeemer Lutheran Quilters have been sharing their time, talent and treasure with the community since 2000.

Every Tuesday from 9 a.m.-noon, the talented sewers gather at the church on Ocean Boulevard in Stuart for socializing and to fabricate quilts and walker bags that they share with several Martin County nonprofits.

Jan Hanssen and Kathy Barger do the coordinating and organizing for the group, which has between 12 - 15 attendees at each weekly session. Last year, they gave away a total of 287 quilts.

Hanssen, who’s been a member since 2001 says, “We all want to give back, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin. If you are wondering how to make a difference, we can help.”

One of the nonprofits that enjoys the benevolence of the Redeemer Lutheran Quilters is Helping People Succeed, which has been a lucky recipient for years, using the quilts for those served in many of its programs. This year alone, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization has received 73 of the beautiful contributions to date.

Says Carolyn Moses, Healthy Families Program Manager of Helping People Succeed, “We are so grateful to have this wonderful partnership! These beautiful, one-of-a-kind quilts created with such love and care are deeply appreciated and treasured by the families who receive them.”

Although many of the members are experienced sewers, Hanssen says those who want to learn are welcome to join. One does not need to be a parishioner of the church.

In addition to Helping People Succeed, other fortunate organizations and businesses that have been gifted include Mrs. Rina’s House of Blessings/Elev8Hope, Guardian ad Litem and Palm City Nursing Home.

Much of the funding for Redeemer Lutheran Quilters comes to them as a Thrivent Action Team, a grant-driven program of Thrivent Financial. They are also happy to accept contributions in the form of sewing supplies and equipment in good condition or donated, unused 100% cotton fabric remnants.

To learn more about Redeemer Lutheran Quilters and how you can volunteer or donate, call Jan Hanssen at 772-285-8311 or Jan Barger at 772-530-5773.

Christine Georges Recognized for Services

11 June Georges

During the May Children’s Services Council board meeting, Christine Georges, the Council’s Administrative Services Manager was recognized for 5 years of service and for achieving her Human Resource Manager Certification from the Society for Human Resource Management. Christine is responsible for facility management, human resources management, records management, and Council Board Administration. Christine was described by David Heaton, Executive Director of the Children’s Services Council as a valuable and committed team member who is dedicated to the organization’s success. He said that Christine makes certain the Council’s meetings, facilities, board members, and staff provide the best possible service to our community. According to Mr. Heaton, Christine’s daily effort on behalf of these responsibilities often goes unnoticed but is essential to the Council's mission and community service. Happy Anniversary Christine!

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Treasure Coast Food Bank’s Summer Meals Program

20 Sept TC Food Bank
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Fort Pierce - Parents needing help to feed their kids in the wake of high food costs this summer can find it through Treasure Coast Food Bank’s Summer Meals program. Breakfasts, lunches and snacks will be available at sites across the Treasure Coast for all kids 18 and younger at no cost to them. The program begins on Monday June 6, and runs through August 5, 2022.

“We know the high cost of food is hurting many peoples’ ability to have enough nutritious food for themselves and their families, and that problem only gets worse when school closes and children no longer have access to school cafeterias,” said Judith Cruz, President and CEO of Treasure Coast Food Bank. “Our Summer Meals program is vitally important for helping families fill that need.”

In addition to Treasure Coast Food Bank’s own sites in Martin and St. Lucie counties, Treasure Coast Food Bank has partnered with organizations throughout the region to provide easy access for families. Locations include community centers, churches, libraries, and summer camps. Find a location near you by visiting www.stophunger.org/summermeals.

Each weekday, kids can walk in to a Summer Meals site for a fresh, nutritious meal. Typically, the meals include fresh-made sandwiches and wraps, hand-made salads, and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, along with milk and juice. All the meals are made daily in Treasure Coast Food Bank’s Food Production Plant.

Treasure Coast Food Bank plans to continue adding additional sites for Summer Meals throughout the summer, so parents are encouraged to check frequently for sites convenient to them.

Anyone wanting to learn more about becoming a Summer Meals site may visit www.stophunger.org/summermeals for requirements.

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Newly Promoted Tykes & Teens Development Officer and Director of Communications and Marketing are Decking the Halls!

22 May Tykes and Teens

Palm City – Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for 25 years, has promoted two of its own to lead the agency’s development, communications and marketing efforts. Samantha Messina has been appointed Development Officer and Misty Stoller has been appointed Director of Communications and Marketing.

“We are truly happy to have this dynamic duo that collaborates so well together in carrying out our mission of prioritizing children’s mental health,” said Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW. “We are looking forward to Misty and Sam leading the way in the strategic communications and philanthropy endeavors for our community as our children and families continue to need mental health education and support more than ever.”
Just another day at Tykes & Teens for newly promoted Development Officer Samantha Messina (left) and newly promoted Director of Communications and Marketing Misty Stoller (right)!

While they continue to #ShineALight during May Mental Health Awareness Month, they are also already decking the halls and gearing up for the agency’s 15th Annual Festival of Trees & Lights taking place November 13 – 19, 2022, at Flagler Center in Downtown Stuart.

Samantha joined Tykes & Teens a year ago overseeing the agency’s grant applications and contracts. In her new role, Sam is responsible for planning, organizing, cultivating, and securing funding opportunities for the agency, as well as community engagement. A Martin County native and Jensen Beach High School alumna, she completed her degree at the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC) in 2020 where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music. Sam’s career in nonprofit development began back in 2016 when she fell in love with fundraising during an internship with a local youth symphony in Kansas City. After her internship, she transitioned into a part-time role in that organization, building her career in nonprofit development and grant writing. Her experience includes various types of nonprofit organizations spanning from performing arts to mental/behavioral health, as well as housing and human services.

Misty joined Tykes & Teens nearly two years ago following a 25-year career of successfully developing and executing results-driven integrated communications plans. She is responsible for developing and implementing the comprehensive strategic plan for all of the agency’s communications and marketing efforts, including corporate communications and branding, digital marketing and communications, community engagement, and media relations. Prior to Tykes & Teens, Misty served local, national and international clients with a full spectrum of corporation communications, public relations and marketing communications services for aviation, hospitality, and travel and tourism clients. During her time in the corporate world, Misty also spearheaded numerous corporate social responsibility programs and charitable giving projects for her clients. In addition, she spent hundreds of hours each year volunteering in her local Broward County community as PTA president, chairing school advisory boards, leading numerous fundraising efforts for area schools and youth sports, and served on the city’s education advisory board. She also assisted in setting up a non-profit organization focused on mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Misty attended Purdue University and earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus in marketing from the University of South Florida.

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

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

For more information on the 15th Annual Festival of Trees & Lights, visit https://www.tykesandteens.org/festival-of-trees-2022/.

Fred Ayres Memorial Playground Open to the Public

22 May Frank Ayers Photo

Stuart – Earlier this week, the County held a special dedication ceremony at the Fred Ayres Memorial Playground at Pineapple Park in Jensen Beach. The playground is the first of its kind in Martin County – 4,500 square feet of pure fun, a place for children to laugh and play with old friends and meet new ones, a place that honors a man who gave back to this community and continues to do so through his legacy.

The Ayres family started with a vision, paired it with a generous donation and approached the County with a way to honor their father while giving a lasting gift to the community. The playground is an exceptional example of the wonderful things that can be achieved with the support of private entities and individuals for the benefit of an entire community. Commissioner Doug Smith, Chairman and District 1 Commissioner, worked closely with the Ayres family, Parks & Recreation and Capital Projects staff, a playground design team and construction firm to turn the vision into an award-winning playground featuring equipment that follows best practices in youth fitness, a permanent roof structure, air circulation fans, lighting, water fountains, park benches and picnic tables.

“The generous gift from the Ayres family will have a lasting impact on the community and aligns with Martin County Parks and Recreation’s mission to improve quality of life and satisfy the community’s needs for recreation, fitness and leisure,” said Kevin Abbate, Martin County Parks & Recreation Director.

Mayor Karen M. Ostrand Honored with 2022 Home Rule Hero Award

22 May Fl League of Cities

Ocean Breeze, FL – The Florida League of Cities (FLC), celebrating its 100th anniversary as the united voice for Florida’s municipal governments, recently recognized Ocean Breeze’s Mayor, Karen M. Ostrand with a 2022 Home Rule Hero Award for her hard work and advocacy efforts during the 2022 Legislative Session. Mayor Ostrand worked tirelessly throughout session to promote local voices making local choices, protect the Home Rule powers of Florida’s municipalities and advance the League’s legislative agenda.

“On behalf of the League and its legislative team, we’re very proud to present this year’s Home Rule Hero Awards to a deserving group of municipal leaders,” said FLC Director of Legislative Affairs Casey Cook. “We had a record number of Home Rule Heroes this year, which shows the dedication and impact of local officials on behalf of their residents and businesses in protecting local decision-making. These local officials were constantly engaged and actively advocating for their communities throughout the 2022 Legislative Session. They’re heroes for Home Rule and we thank them for their efforts.”

Home Rule is the ability for a city to address local problems with local solutions with minimal state interference. Home Rule Hero Award recipients are local government officials, both elected and nonelected, who consistently responded to the League’s request to reach out to members of the legislature and help give a local perspective on an issue.

“Only local governments know their local challenges.” – Mayor Karen M. Ostrand Mayor Karen Ostrand is originally from Long Island Queens, New York. She has been married to James H. Ostrand for 39 years and they have six married children and 13 grandchildren.

Mayor Ostrand’s career background is in motivation, sales, marketing, promotion, management and leadership. She moved to Port St. Lucie, Florida in 1989 and Ocean Breeze in August 2015 where she has served as Mayor for three terms. She is active on the Treasure Coast Regional League of Cities Advocacy Committee as well as the Secretary for the Executive Board. She is on the Florida League of Cities Nominating Committee, Legislative Committee Land and Economic Development and on the Board of Directors of the Florida League of Mayors.

Founded in 1922, the Florida League of Cities is the united voice for Florida’s municipal governments. Its goals are to promote local self-government and serve the needs of Florida’s cities, which are formed and governed by their citizens. The League believes in “Local Voices Making Local Choices,” which focuses on the impact citizens and city leaders have in improving Florida’s communities. For more information, visit flcities.com.

William and Estelle Turney Commit $1,000,000 to GraceWay Village

Graceway Village Logo

Fort Pierce - GraceWay Village’s Board of Directors is excited to announce and celebrate the generous gift of $1 million from William and Estelle Turney of Port St. Lucie! The Turneys have pledged to match up to $1 million in donations to the Family Restorative Living Facility Capital Campaign which has just been launched. “A gift of this magnitude highlights the confidence that the Turneys and others have in the ongoing work of GraceWay Village, as well as the bold plans for the future,” said Cathie Mouring, CEO of GraceWay Village. “In just a few short months, we’ve been fortunate to purchase the property necessary to expand our services and launch the Capital Campaign with no current debt! We are so grateful for the Turneys and are confident that this will be the first of many gifts from the Treasure Coast Community.”

The Family Restorative Living Facility will provide homeless families a path forward towards healthy self-sufficiency, instilling hope for their future. Along with housing, professional guidance will assist in developing and strengthening the skills necessary for financial independence and healthy family relationships. Their success will positively impact those around them, increasing the benefits received from this much-needed residential program.

Children depend on a healthy childhood in order to become adults capable of caring for themselves and their families. This facility will be a positive springboard towards that end.

Founded in 2009, a powerful vision was cast by the original board of directors. Their vision was to give Treasure Coast community leaders and citizens an opportunity to address the needs of those marginalized by poverty and homelessness, those Jesus referred to as the “least of these” (Matthew 25:40). God has led this process step-by-step; with your faithfulness and support, this vision will be realized in a way that will improve the lives of every person in the Treasure Coast area and beyond.

For more information on how to become involved with GraceWay Village and the Family Restorative Living Facility, contact:Chief Executive Officer Cathie Mouring at 772-529-7860 or Director of Development Tracy Ebarb at 325-320-1377

GraceWay Village is located at: 1780 Hartman Road, Fort Pierce, FL 34947

www.gracewayvillage.net /info@gracewayvillage.co

Older Americans Month More Seniors Turning to Treasure Coast Food Bank for Help

20 Sept TC Food Bank

May is Older Americans Month, a time each year to honor the nation’s seniors and the contributions they’ve made to the country. But this year, with inflation keeping food costs high, many of the nation’s seniors are finding it especially hard to make ends meet and more seniors living on the Treasure Coast are turning to Treasure Coast Food Bank for assistance.

Each month, Treasure Coast Food Bank provides thousands of food boxes to low-income seniors to help them supplement their monthly groceries. Treasure Coast Food Bank also has been helping more seniors apply for food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

“This year has been especially difficult for seniors,” said Judith Cruz, President and CEO of Treasure Coast Food Bank. “Many of our seniors whose limited budgets might have afforded them a comfortable life in the past are finding themselves squeezed by the high cost of food. We’re seeing many seniors seek help for the first time in their lives.”

Between 2020 and 2021, Treasure Coast Food Bank saw a 53 percent increase in the number of seniors served at its Your Plate Health & Wellness Center in Fort Pierce. In the past months, seniors list the rising cost of food as their main reason for applying for SNAP benefits.

A recent USDA Food Price Outlook for 2022 released on March 31 predicted that the cost of food is expected to increase between 4.5 and 5.5 percent overall this year. In some food categories, the anticipated increases are higher - 16 percent for beef and veal, 12.5 percent for poultry, 5 percent for dairy, 10 percent for fresh fruits and 4 percent for fresh vegetables.

According to an annual report on food insecurity among seniors 60 and older, the rate of food insecurity persisted at higher rates than prior to the Great Recession in 2020, the most recent data available. The annual State of Senior Hunger report was released by Feeding America earlier this month. Among older Americans ages 50-59 the food insecurity rate in 2020 grew to 10 percent nationwide. It’s a 35 percent increase since 2001.

“Many older Americans who were working before the pandemic, especially those who worked front-line jobs, never were able to return to the workforce because their health makes them especially vulnerable to COVID-19,” Cruz said. “Now they’re dealing with very limited resources and rising costs of food and other essentials.”

Treasure Coast Food Bank works with senior resource organizations and housing developments to provide mobile distributions and food boxes on a monthly basis. The Market Fresh on the Move mobile grocery store also targets low-income senior communities to provide another outlet for them to obtain food.

To support Treasure Coast Food Bank’s programs for seniors, make a donation at www.stophunger.org.

Family Meals, Emergency Food Distribution

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In Photo: Pastor Richard Cox and Family Meals Pres. and Founder Martha Taylor

Article & Photos by: MaryAnn Ketcham

Because of rising inflation, some local families must now prioritize their basic needs. Do they put gas in their car to get to work, or do they buy groceries to feed their families? Without a doubt, it is an overwhelming decision to make.

Family Meals, Inc. recently hosted an Emergency Food Drive Through Giveaway to help alleviate some of the worries of families wondering if they can provide enough for their families, including their dogs.

As those in need drove through the parking lot at Trinity Lutheran Church of Fort Pierce, an army of community-minded volunteers loaded their vehicles with an assortment of staples, including fresh carrots, corn, potatoes, onions, watermelons, dog food, and more.

Leading up to the event, Louden Bonded Pools and Dyer Chevrolet of Fort Pierce served as donation points for an array of nonperishable items.

Family Meals' mission is "to provide the ingredients for a holiday home-cooked family meal for the working poor and families who may not qualify for food stamps or free lunch programs." They also strive to bring individual family members back to the dinner table as a whole. In keeping with their mission, they also provided table talk questions, simple mealtime prayers, and statistical information about how sharing a meal benefits families.

Thanks to the efforts of all involved, nearly 500 families received food.
"We feel so blessed to have the opportunity to serve God and the community through the ministry of Family Meals," said Trinity Lutheran Pastor Richard Cox, an active participant in the event.

In addition to Louden Bonded Pools, Trinity Lutheran Church, and Dyer Chevrolet of Fort Pierce, additional sponsors include Anchor Financial CPA's, the Farm Dog Rescue, St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office, and Nelson Family Farms.

For more information or to donate, please visit www.familymealsinc.org/

Out2News.com LLC. is an your online newspaper, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”?

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

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Copyright © 2022 Out2News.com LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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In Photo: Maddie Williams, Mary Muse and Monique Bruhn

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In Photo: SLC Property Appraiser Michelle Franklin and SLC Clerk of Court Michelle Miller

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In Photo: Terri Sloan Bartz and Maddie Williams

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In Photo: Christy Lopez

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In Photo: Jay Taylor and Pastor Richard Cox

Former Boys & Girls Club COO is New Board Chair for CCKids

22 May Melanie Wiles

In Photo: Melanie Wiles

St. Lucie West - Communities Connected for Kids congratulates Melanie Wiles for her new position as chair of the nonprofit organization’s Board of Directors.

Wiles, the director of parish development at St. Anastasia Catholic Church and former chief operating officer of the St. Lucie County Boys and Girls Club, is taking the place of Kathryn Hensley.

Hensley served as chair for five years and is stepping down from that post to focus on other projects. She will remain on the Board.

During her time as chair, she oversaw CCKids’ growth as the organization transitioned to a new name, became financially viable, instituted new program to reduce the number of children.

Wiles, who served as Hensley’s vice chair, said she looks forward to serving with a team that will provide families with the support services they need.

“I am honored to serve as the chair of CCKids’ Board and have enjoyed the last few years working with our Board of caring adults and dedicated staff to ensure the safety, permanency and well-being of children in our area,” Wiles said.

Wiles also has served on the Treasure Coast Opioids Taskforce Education Committee and the Economic Development Council. She has been involved with youth development for more than 10 years and has an extensive background in marketing and resource development.

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20 Aug Shears of Joy Business Card a

Celebrate the Red “White” and Blue at Helping People Succeed’s White Shirt Night

22 May Humana

In Photo: Rob Gluckman, Jeannie Mackin, Dan Mackin, Glenna Parris, Helping People Succeed Gift Planning Officer and Michele Libman

Article by: Jackie Holfelder / Photos by: Helping People Succeed

Martin County - An idea born from a doodle on a cocktail napkin by talented artist Dan Mackin has grown into a decade-long fundraiser that is the highlight of June in Martin County.

Twelve local artists will be bringing their creativity and sense of fun to Taste Casual Dining in Hobe Sound on Saturday, June 25, ready to wield their “paint” brushes on white t-shirts, ball caps, aprons and tote bags, all to support Helping People Succeed and its popular White Shirt Night.

The dozen artisans will offer themes as varied as riverscapes, bucolic images, pelicans and turtles – truly something for everyone.

Each artist will design and present three or four scenes from which guests select a favorite – or two.

Taste Casual Dining is owned by Craig Kingston, who has hosted the White Shirt Night for more than ten years – from the very beginning. It is located at 11750 SE Dixie Highway, Hobe Sound.

In a special patriotic twist, veterans will again receive 50-percent off when they register for the event.

Tickets for general admission between 6-9 p.m. are $50 per person and include one drink, hors d’oeuvres and a t-shirt. A special Meet and Greet with the artists, at $100 per person, takes place between 5-6 p.m. and will include two drinks, hors d’oeuvres and a selection of one of the White Shirt items to be “painted” by an artist.

Proceeds of the event will benefit Helping People Succeed’s Camp Success, a therapeutic summer camp led by master’s level therapists for children six-12 years of age.

The camp is available to families who fall under the poverty level. There is no charge for this summer program. Each year, kids embrace this eight-week camp as an incredible cultural education within their own community. They have so much fun being creative and exploring!

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. For questions or to RSVP contact Glenna Parris at 772-320-0778 or online at www.hpsfl.org.

Helping People Succeed is a local nonprofit that has been serving the Treasure Coast for over 50 years. Through its diversified, effective program services, the most vulnerable local children, families and adults have been able to improve their lives through education, counseling, training and employment.

For more information, visit www.hpsfl.org and click on the YouTube logo to view Helping People Succeed’s “Making a Difference” video… Building Successful Families and Futures – One Life at a Time.

Local Artist Displays Colors In Flight at Bridge Road Fine Arts Gallery

22 May HS Artist 1

In Photo: Lois Fink  with her painting "Colors in Flight."

Article by: Lois Fink - Artist

Hobe Sound - Though I majored in education in college, SUNY, Cobleskill, and minored in art, most of my formal training and interest has been achieved by enrolling in individual classes simply for my own personal advancement, at various colleges throughout my adult life. I have studied illustration, printmaking, history of printing, and design at Central Piedmont College in Charlotte, North Carolina. I have studied perspective and figure drawing, and acrylic painting at University of North Texas. I have studied creative writing and publishing at Brookhaven College in Dallas, Texas. Though I excelled at all of these endeavors, I feel the most beneficial and rewarding came about by enrolling in Art Appreciation classes, three separate times, and plan on enrolling again in the near future. Inspiration, for me, is always acquired from other artists.

The idea behind “Colors in Flight,” the framed, 54”x 66” ‘color wheel’ stemmed from the Design II class at Central Piedmont. All of the elements of color theory, and especially, the elements of the color wheel, including the study of primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, and how they relate to each other, complementary colors, or those opposite each other on the wheel, analogous colors, the difference between tone and shade, color value, and brilliance, etc. The final assignment in the class was to create a ‘color wheel’ that incorporated all of the elements of the color wheel, except it could not be a circle, or wheel, with the various spokes of the wheel representing the colors, as in a traditional color wheel. So, I created a 14”x 14”circular pattern of leaves, and my love for abstract realism was born. Colors in Flight consists of 25 different birds, repeated a total of 227 times, in a circular pattern, whereby all of the birds, except one, touch each other, or rather, are related analogously, as in a true color wheel. I worked on this particular project off and on, over the course of six years, and one month after completion, I entered it into a juried art exhibit and was awarded the top prize, The Keller City Arts Board Award, in Keller, Texas. At the award ceremony, the speaker introduced Colors in Flight by saying, “Imagine being the smallest of all the birds, yet having more courage than any of the others to break free from the flock and take a little bit of all the colors with you.” The speaker referenced the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, of course, the only one not touching any of the others, and so, the only bird painted in its natural coloring. The work has also been referenced as a symbol of all the diversity of our human race.

Aside from the creation of color wheels, I have a passion for creating pen and ink renderings of special places in peoples lives. Because the renderings are so personal, I almost always create them on a commission basis. The most popular requests are childhood homes, and grandparents’ homes. My attraction to the medium is two-fold: special places represent special memories for people, and the fact that pen and ink renderings are extremely challenging. Because once the ink is put down, it is permanent, and can not be erased or done over, I go to great extremes in preparing for the actual work, including, photographs, black and white copies increased in size at various degrees, preparing the actual finished size on the cold-press, archival, watercolor paper, and having the finished, double mat, created to exact size.

Some of the works I’ve created include a grandparents’ home located in Grapevine, Texas, that is on the city’s historical registry, a childhood home in Colleyville, Texas, for someone who now lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and a bed and breakfast, The Kuebler-Waldrip Haus, that was a getaway for a client and his family, while home for a short visit from Afghanistan. I am currently working on a rendering of the Lincoln and Martha Miller home, built in early 1900, which was originally part of the “Hammock”, a tract of land settled by friends and Bahamian relatives in the section of Hobe Sound, known originally as Gomez. This wonderful project has been commissioned by Mr. and Mrs. John Moore, as the home was owned by Mrs. Moore’s grandparents.

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The City of Fort Pierce Publishes 2022 Strategic Plan

21 Sept City of Fort Pierce

The City of Fort Pierce is proud to present the 2022 Strategic Plan which has been published in digital format and is now available online: https://cityoffortpierce.com/1028/Strategic-Plan-2022

This comprehensive report utilizes five key points (Serving, Developing, Engaging, Beautifying, and Enjoying Our Community) to blend innovative thinking, objective analysis, and prioritization of goals to ensure continued success for our community. The 2022 Strategic Plan clarifies the vision, mission, and values, outlining specific milestones which chart the course for City leaders and staff to produce the best quality of life for all residents, visitors, and businesses in Fort Pierce.

“The City of Fort Pierce has utilized the strategic planning process on an annual basis to provide clarity of our vision, identify actionable items, and determine a distinct path for our operational success” ~ Nicholas C. Mimms, P.E., ICMA-CM Fort Pierce continues to be an exceptional place to live, work, learn and enjoy. We are excited about the future and the collaborative efforts to help keep Fort Pierce shining brighter and brighter. We hope you will take the time to review the 2022 Strategic Plan to stay informed of your city’s future.

For additional information, please call 772-467-3031.

Palm City Chamber of Commerce News

21 June Missi Campbell Multi

Article by: Missi Campbell - Executive Director Palm City Chamber of Commerce

Palm City - The Palm City Chamber of Commerce is grateful to District 5 Commissioner Ed Ciampi and Martin County for providing us the opportunity to rent office space in the Palm City Center at Charlie Leighton Park. We believe that this lease will benefit the residents of Martin County, especially in Palm City, with the ability that we will have to feature this wonderful rental facility.

The space the Palm City Chamber is leasing is only a very small portion of the facility, approximately 325 square feet of the 3500 square foot building. The office being leased has been designed so that we will be tucked into a small corner that does not detract from the large rectangular shape of the room. It is an office that would likely otherwise go unused all or most of the time, and by allowing us to use this small portion of the building our goal and intention is to promote the facility and property so that the citizens of Martin County know that it is available and lovely. Our lease will not detract from the ability of others to use the facility and in fact part of our obligation under the lease is to promote and encourage the increased use of the facility and property by the public. The renovated building will be and remain open for the public’s use and enjoyment. We hope that Charlie Leighton Park will act as a gateway in to Palm City and we are excited about the opportunity to help promote and showcase this wonderful park.

The Palm City Chamber of Commerce is proud to be #YourCommunityChamber. We understand the importance of our local nonprofits to our community members. Therefore, we intend to highlight the new space for them to use for small meetings so that when it is time to have events, they will think of renting the Palm City Center at Charlie Leighton Park first. We hope to work with a variety of local agencies and nonprofits, such as the Florida Wildlife Commission and the US Coast Guard Auxiliary to schedule boater and hunter safety courses. There are also opportunities to promote and use the space in conjunction with the County and other organizations, such as the Small Business Development Center at Indian River State College. The Martin County Parks and Recreation Department will continue to operate the park and its facilities, and we will be there to help support its efforts. Commissioner Ciampi and the Martin County Board of County Commissioners have a lot of exciting renovations proposed for Charlie Leighton Park, in addition to the renovated building, and the Palm City Chamber of Commerce will be there, in the building, every day to show the space to interested parties as well as hold our smaller events which will showcase the beautiful rental facility as well as the improvements coming to the park.

We believe this is a great opportunity for both the County and the Chamber and a great example of a public-private partnership between the County and a not-for-profit. We thank Martin County Board of County Commissioners for this opportunity and, though we are only leasing a small office in a much larger facility, our efforts and involvement will in large part promote the County and this wonderful facility you have at Charlie Leighton Park.

City of Fort Pierce Announces Impact Fee Moratorium for New Residential and Commercial Construction in Redevelopment Area

21 Sept City of Fort Pierce

Fort Pierce - Considering building a new home or business in the urban core of Fort Pierce? Take advantage of this economic incentive! Fort Pierce impact fees are currently suspended for new construction in the redevelopment area until September 7, 2022.

The City of Fort Pierce is pleased to announce an incentive that will reduce development costs for new residential or commercial construction in the redevelopment area. On March 7, 2022, the Fort Pierce City Commission approved an ordinance suspending the collection of City impact fees in an effort to stimulate and encourage new development within the boundaries of the Urban Infill and Redevelopment Area. Act now! Time is of the essence as this moratorium is temporary and set to expire in six months. To view the boundaries of the Redevelopment Area, visit: FPRA-District-Map (cityoffortpierce.com)

Urban infill and redevelopment projects are intended to improve existing neighborhoods and encourage investment within these areas. The intent of this moratorium is to assist businesses and residents in the redevelopment area by reducing startup costs and contribute to the sense of vitality that occurs when buildings are occupied by commercial businesses and new homes are constructed. Since infill locations are within the urban core of our community, typically they already have much of the needed infrastructure. Unless extraordinary capital improvements are required, infrastructure costs can be substantially lower for infill development relative to a similar project in an undeveloped area.

The moratorium applies to all new residential and commercial construction within the boundaries of the City’s Designated Urban Infill and Redevelopment Area for which a building permit is issued between March 7, 2022, and September 7, 2022.

For more information, please contact the City Manager’s Office at ecodev@cityoffortpierce.com.