VIP Destin Magazine, January 2020

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Where the South Comes for Smiles !"#$%& '"#$%& !"#$%&'(")$*+,+-")& !"#$"!%&'()&"%#*#!$



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!"#$"%&' (&)*"'&+,&' %,-'&,."')/0' 1-)2+"#"

Voted Best Boutique and Best Local Retailer VIP DESTIN MAGAZINE READER CHOICE AWARD 2019


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events 15 Sinfonia Gala Featuring Vanessa Williams 18 Fall Wine Walkabout 21 Destin Crafted 40 Don’t Be a Grinch - Holiday Happy Hour 42 Resort Real Estate Ribbon Cutting & Holiday Party 46 Walton Area Chamber Business After Hours 48 Dive into the Emerald Coast Fashion Show 52 33rd Annual Destin Harbor Boat Parade 54 Insurance Zone & Rum Runners Business After Hours 57 The Nutcracker VIP Party 62 VIP December 2019 Cover Reveal Party 64 7th Annual Bourbon at the Bay 66 Youth Village 20th Anniversary 70 Holiday Rosé Soirée 75 Toast of the Season

departments 28 36 44 50 60 68 72 78

Swizzle Coastal Cuisine Destin Style Adventure Out Give Care Share Save the Date Locale I Am Destin

features 25 Newlyweds of Destin Get an inside look at three gorgeous weddings that had Destin as their backdrop.

;<!/6(&.%1/0-2->%1(/?.-@@ !"#$%&'() Greg Alexander

on the cover

*&&+,%-.(/!"#$%&'() Verla Price


0-1-2%12/34%.+) Steve Barber !)+4",.%+1/34%.+) Jessica Graña

!"#$#%&'(")*+) !""#$%#&'()" '$*,"-*./-&'01*2&'31-*4* 2&'31-*5'00&##/

*45().%&%12 Steve Barber Missy Kimbrough Verla Price

6(&%21() Priscilla Atkins Sheila McDiarmid 7+1.)%#".%12/8)%.()&9 !'+.+2)-:'()& Mary Aho Greg Alexander Jen Deeb Zhalman Harris Shanna Magnuson Coutrney Murray Verla Price ;<!/=+"14() Jeff Watson

Correction - Safeco Check Presentation event, December 2019 Issue, Check was presented by Debbie Rhody of Safeco. January 2020 | 11

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letter from the editor Happy New Year! As we say goodbye to 2018 and welcome 2019, we celebrate the past year and salute the new year. VOLUME XV • ISSUE Our January issue celebrates Destin area weddings. VIP Destin Magazine has become a vital resource for brides seeking current wedding trends Happy Newthe Year 2020…WOW! A New Year and that make our area the destinationa New Decade. Our January Issue celebrates New !"#$%&'() wedding mecca it has become. With the Beginnings with our Wedding Issue. New beginnings for !"#!$%&#'%()#" arrival of 2019, we eagerly look forward newlyweds and new beginnings for a wonderful new year to signature winter events along the *&&+,%*-(.!"#$%&'() and the beginning of aCultural new decade. Emerald Coast. activities, *#"&%$+",-# fun festivals, lecture series, athletic In January we get a fresh start and set goals for a new /*0*1%01.(2%-+) events, There’s always beginning andand it’sweddings. a time to reflect and prepare for a ./#*#$0%"0#" something happening on our sugarnew year. Here’s what’s up on the Emerald Coast… white shores. Here’s what’s up on the !)+2",-%+0.(2%-+) January kicks off with welcoming ouroff winter Emerald Coast… January kicks withguests with 1#..,-%$!"%2% the Winter Guesta Fest andand the sophisticated anticipated annual 30A Art Wave, modern bazaar Festival. celebrating local artists, *23()-%&%01 Songwriter’s Emerald Coastsipping Theatre Company photo by Scott Schaeffl er 0#/3$4%(!54 andtheir shopping at Bubbly Baytowne, presents production of Buyer & Cellar and the #&,6%0#/3$(#/3#"&%() and Destin Desserts benefi ting theaGirl Emerald Coast Science Center presents Sip & Science: of the justevents to &(0%+).2(&%10() MardiScouts Gras, just toFlorida name aPanhandle, few. For more visit our name a few. +",.-,&&%$%/7,(. online calendar at Couples are creating memories every day with weddings on the Emerald 2(&%10() Check out Give Care Share onisLa “Hannah Coast. Our January issue oneLumière of the most anticipated issues of the year with a .3#,&%$4%-),%"4,) Martin’s Party” andon allall thethings good wedding causes it related supports. concentration in the area. Many of our advertisers &%-#8$"%-3%&& are weddingCoastal based businesses. Be sure to check Both Swizzle and Cuisine feature great ideas out for wedding editorials from our advertisers. ,+0-)%#"-%01 weddings and in Adventure Out learn about the Tiny 4)%-()&5!'+-+1)*!'()& Wedding trend.features Ice Champagne which changes champagne sipping as you Swizzle 4%"8$%39 know it, and I Am Destin completes our Wedding issue with a spotlight on !"#!$%&#'%()#" Take time to enjoy all the January activities, get out and experience all of the events our area has to Destin event planner and restaurateur, Nicki Cox. 1#($)##0 offer. Enjoy your January Issue of VIP Destin Magazine…and we look forward to seeing you again63%&4%($3%"",. next month. Take time to enjoy all the New Year activities, get out and enjoy all the .3%((%$4%!(5.9( winter events our area has to offer. Enjoy your January issue of VIP Destin -95"/(#8$45""%8 Magazine…and we look forward to seeing you again next month. &,#.#&$.-34,)/


photo by Steve Mangum


HappyCheers! New Year 2020!


3%!.6+"02() 1#::$;%/.9(


A Special Thanks to our 2018 Cover Reveal Sponsor


#*#(/.<*,+)#./,(4%!%6,(#=-94 ,(:9<*,+)#./,(4%!%6,(#=-94 ;;;=*,+)#./,(4%!%6,(#=-94 ;;;=:%-#0997=-94>*,+)#./,(4%!%6,(# 12



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You love this town, this neighborhood, this house!


NMLS# 401921

For a great foundation to your new start, come to Progress Bank for your mortgage. You’ll find competitive rates with quick-turn, inhouse decisions and closing. But our true value is in welcoming you to our community, our banking family. New beginnings to last a lifetime. Experience Progress.

Destin Office 35008 Emerald Coast Pkwy


Inlet Beach Office 12805 US Hwy 98 E

Barry Stanley, SVP NW Florida Area Mortgage Manager NMLS# 544522 850.714.6105 o 850.454.4591 c


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VIP Destin at The Henderson Beach Resort & Spa


Featuring Vanessa Williams photos & story by Zhalman Harris


aising money for school kids and enhancing Northwest Florida’s cultural vitality never sounded so good! The sold out gala at The Henderson on November 16, featuring one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in entertainment today, former Miss America and multiple award winner Vanessa Williams was a total blast. Before the outstanding performance of the evening, patrons enjoyed a three-course dinner and participated in online and live biddings which raised a total of $ 303,000 to help Sinfonia implement their initiatives here on the Gulf Coast. Founded in 2005, Sinfonia Gulf Coast is the region’s only fully professional symphony orchestra, committed to entertaining, educating, and inspiring the community through imaginative and innovative musical programming. Sinfonia’s goal is to enrich and expand the traditional orchestral experience through unique artistic disciplines and collaborations, enhancing Northwest Florida’s cultural vitality.

Robert & Rosalind Lewis

David & Jesse Sadergaski

Kristina & Wylie Hutchison

Velia Lala & Demetrius Fulller

Anne Hinze & Ragan Griggs

Cindy & Jeff Gerrard January 2020 | 15

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VIP Destin at Sinfonia Gala Featuring Vanessa Williams

Bob & Teresa Halverson

Jillian McCarthy, Stephanie Laushine, Rachelle Wyatt & Kristen Wyatt

Ed & Donna MacDonald, Dana & Tom Saffel


Vanessa Williams

Kate Kelley & Beth Clavier

Victor & Adnalena Williams

Mary Florence & Sallye Belton

Dion & Mindy Moniz, Meredith Wild & John McInerney


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VIP Destin at Ruth’s Chris Steak House

7th Annual

!"##$%&'($%"#)"*+,photos & story by Zhalman Harris


uth’s Chris Steak House at Silver Shells Resort in Destin hosted its 7th Annual Fall Wine Walkabout to benefit Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation’s community outreach programs on November 14, in the East Bar and Courtyard. Chef Ruston Johnson created a special menu featuring multiple culinary stations of heavy hors d’oeuvres paired with select fine wines courtesy of a variety of distributors. CEO Marcia Hull stated, “Once again, Mike Sable’s team at Ruth’s Chris stage an impressive culinary event as a valuable supporter of the arts.” Patrons had a chance to enter an amazing charity raffle where all guests had an opportunity to win travel excursions and experiences. The MKAF Wine Pull, which sells out in the first hour, is a popular tradition at this event. A collection of 100 bottles of fine wines donated from wine enthusiasts, private wine cellars, distributors and restaurants, were won by patrons purchasing numbered wine corks to match their winning bottle of wine. The Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation (MKAF) is an independently operated 501C3 not-for-profit corporation established in 1995, and is Northwest Florida’s premier cultural arts and arts education organization. Honoring the late Destin matriarch, Mattie M. Kelly (1912-1992), who throughout her life pursued dreams that brought not only progress to Destin, but educational, spiritual, and cultural opportunities that Destin still embraces today.

Haley & Ian Blaise

Shawn Tomasello & Nicole Sharpe 18

Herb Peterson & Marcia Hull

Shannah Hanks & Ashley Allen

Lane Redding, Ted Corcoran & Meredith Arth


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Ashley Burnette & Vickie Marion

Langley & Bill Lindsley

Amy Westlake, Stacy Liao, Karen Singleton & Scherie Knopes

Cara Roy, Ken & Kathy Whidden

Ed & Denise Kendust

Lisa & Kimy Sarra

Tori Hughes & Susan Connor

Debbie Roberts, Becky Westraw & Ann White

Bill Lindsley, Dion Moniz, Brian Beauchamp & Eric Navarre January 2020 | 19

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Miramar Beach

Seafood • Ribs • Oysters Destin, FL

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3≠ 6pm Daily 3.75 Wells & Wines 3.75 Bloody Marys 1.00≠ off Bottled Beer


3≠ 6pm Daily 5.00 Wells & Wines 1.00≠ off Domestic Beer 13.99 Shrimp Feast

Score your 15% off year≠ round localsí card!


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VIP Destin at The Henderson Beach Resort & Spa

photos & story by Zhalman Harris


he second annual craft beer, bourbon, and food festival, “Destin Crafted,” took place on November 9 at The Henderson Beach Resort & Spa. The cool weather made it a perfect day to enjoy live music by one of the area’s favorite bands, Boukou Groove, and sip and stroll around the pool at The Henderson. The event was organized by Chan’s Wine World and hosted by The Henderson Resort to invite craft beer and bourbon enthusiasts to come and enjoy a day of tasting. Guests had the opportunity to sample hundreds of rare and delicious beers and bourbons alongside local food hand-crafted by some of the area’s favorite restaurants, to benefit Children in Crisis, Inc. Florida. Founded in 2003, Children in Crisis is a community non-profit committed to “establishing homes and providing hope” for the abused, neglected, and abandoned children of our community. The Children’s Neighborhood provides an emergency shelter for young children, and the family foster homes help with the severe shortage of foster homes in our community. This is made possible with donations received from the community and events like Destin Crafted.

Tara Montegut & Alexis Poveda

Dylan Stacey & Kristin Conn

Ashley Lidester & Lacey Harper

Brittany Dykes & Ken Hair

Victor & Antika Darko

Macey Buchanan, Tawney Felde, Mary Aho & Crysta Weaver

Karen & Ross Carter

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VIP Destin at Destin Crafted

Gwen Peterson & Terry Blalock

Lynsie Matern, Melissa Watson & Jody Matern

Jeff & Amanda Paul

Julia & Jason Salinas, Christie Solomon 22

Laszlo Markus, Levi Tischler, Mesi Nagy & Alfonso Di Bonito

Antonia Poate, Jordyn Hoffmann & Taylor Sheekley

Brian & Kristina Barker, Vickie & Rick Woodruff

Haley McCain, Jessica Stewart & Katie Porter


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Denise Song & Renee Launiere

Robert Schomaker, Alyssa Jesmain & Mark Bartak

Cameron & Sarah Petrie, Tytus Moss

Kate Walker, Kristiy Jackson & Brea Kress January 2020 | 23

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Laci Renee Hoffpauir & Benjamin Dale Sellers In the Beginning !"#$%#&'()'%*'&&%+)%(%&,**&'%(-.+*%/.0%1.+%2'*3 45,6'$%7'%89'0%'(:/%.*/'5%;.5%(%;'0%1'(5)%-';.5'% 6(*,9<=%(96%0'%0'5'%(5.+96%*/'%)(2'%<5.+>%.;%;5,'96)?%% @/'5'%0()%(&0(1)%(9%(**5(:*,.9%-'*0''9%+)=%-+*%0'%0'5'%

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Married On !"#$%&'$%()* Ceremony Location +,-$./-0"12$30"42-$"5$6"07809"1:$;<11"=-$>$ ?"@5"<4AB$C-D: Parents of the Bride Parents of the Groom E<D:$F$?"5,#$G-11-0B First Dance Song

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Newlyweds of Destin

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!"#$%&"'("))%*+',-./$0%1#' 0*)'2-./$0%1# story by Courtney Murray


ou’ve said yes to the perfect dress. The band has been chosen and the buffet menu picked. You’ve tasted every possible cake option and the song list is set. You’ve found your soulmate and it is time for one of the most important days of your life. It’s the moment that you are forever joined with the love of your life….and now it is time to celebrate! No wedding is complete without drinks, and these days they can be as over the top as your nuptials. Most people choose to serve beer and wine during the reception. Some opt to have open bar and really let loose. Many couples choose to do a signature cocktail at their reception. This is where you can let your creativity really shine. From engraved glasses to creative names, a signature cocktail is a festive way to showcase your style as a couple to your guests. Cocktails are another way to incorporate your wedding theme as well. Try serving a martini in your color scheme or accenting your drink with a fruit, flower or garnish. You’ve put hours upon hours of research into your wedding. From pouring over fabric swatches for bridesmaids dresses, to wracking your brain for the perfect heartfelt vows to recite to your future spouse; don’t let the bar become an afterthought. Beautifully drawn chalkboard signs and creative drink tags with your newly married name and the recipe give a personal touch. Another fun way to have your beverages stand out is to tie them into the season.

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Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort

estled between the white sandy beaches and emerald green waters of the Gulf Coast and the living shorelines of Choctawhatchee Bay in Northwest Florida, Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort’s 2,400-acres features the most beautiful beaches with crystal clear emerald green waters, 1,300 deluxe accommodations, 4 championship golf courses, 15 tennis courts, 19 swimming pools, 123-slip marina, fitness center, spa, and The Village of Baytowne Wharf. In 2020, Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort will welcome two new properties to the resort: Hotel Effie Sandestin and Osprey Pointe at Sandestin while celebrating the full-renovation of Baytowne Conference Center. Wedding planners can utilize creative and unique landscape options including outdoor gathering spots—lawns, marina, pool decks, terraces and beach to create a sunset luau on the beach, a night of entertainment aboard a luxury yacht, charter boat fishing, and much more. Options for celebrations and private dining abound just steps away in the 26-acre pedestrian Village of Baytowne Wharf, offering several entertainment and dining options including a variety of restaurants, bars and nightclubs, retail merchants and a seasonal ice-skating rink. Sandestin has a professional and tenured staff of wedding planners that can assist you in planning your special day. Sandestin’s cutting-edge technology and support promise concert quality sound and lighting, videoconferencing and flawless presentations and our banquet staff delivers personalized menus and flavors designed to complement for your special day. From planning transportation needs to recreation activities, theme parties and receptions, the staff does it all. Voted the #1 Resort on Florida’s Emerald Coast, the experienced Sandestin staff will ensure your wedding day is seamless. On the big day the bridal party can begin by being pampered at Spa Sandestin while the groomsmen enjoy a round of golf on one of the four championship golf courses. Sandestin has such a wide range of venue options you will certainly be able to craft your perfect Florida wedding at this resort! At Sandestin, the most difficult decision will be choosing what to do first. No matter the decision, every choice is a great one.

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Ashley Catherine Jefferson & Jarrod Dalton King In the Beginning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

The Big Day !"#$%V,6%*/'%-5,6'%+)'%).2'*/,89%.&6D%).2'*/,89%8'0D% ).2'*/,89%-.55.0'6%(86%).2'*/,89%-&+'W 45,6'$%E.2'*/,89%I&6$%C%M5.))%8'M@&(M'%*/(*%0()% =(55.6L)%95(862.*/'5L)%8'M@&(M'%T0'%05(??'6%*/,)% (5.+86%21%-.+S+'*UD%E.2'*/,89%-.55.0'6$%N1%2.*/'5X ,8X&(0L)%@8,**'6%/(86@'5M/,'>%*/(*%)/'%M(55,'6%6+5,89% /'5%0'66,89%T(&).%05(??'6%(5.+86%21%-.+S+'*UD% E.2'*/,89%4&+'$%N1%95'(*%95(862.*/'5L)%.?(&%Y% E0(5.B)@,%5,89G !"#$%7'5'%*/'5'%(81%>+881%2.2'8*)%6+5,89%*/'% M'5'2.81W 45,6'$%H/'%2.)*%&(+9/)%0'%/(6%>5.2%*/'%M'5'2.81%0()% )+5?5,)'%(&&%21%9+')*)%(86%-')*%.>%(&&%21%95..2%()%*/'% 5,89%-'(5'5)G%=(55.6%,)%(%/+9'%!"#$%&#$'%>(8%).%*/,)%0()% (%-,9%)+5?5,)'%>.5%/,2G% !"#$%Z.0%6,6%1.+%&'(B'%*/'%5'M'?*,.8W 45,6'$%=(55.6%(86%"%6,6%.+5%'[,*%6.08%*/'%/(&&0(1%*/(*% &'(6)%.+*%*.%*/'%5').5*%&.--1%0/,&'%0'%5(8%*/5.+9/%.+5% 9+')*)%0/.%?.??'6%),&B'5%)*5'(2'5)G

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Married On !"#$%&'$()%* Ceremony Location +,-$."/0$"1$+,-$2-03-4560$7-"8,$9-5641$:$;<" Parents of the Bride Parents of the Groom =6>?@"5$"03$!"4#$AB0? Attending Guests %C) First Dance Song

Newlyweds of Destin

XX-XX Wedding_Jefferson-King.indd 2


12/27/19 12:49 PM

Where the South Comes for Smiles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Wedding Brunch story by Mary Aho


edding season is upon us. While the ceremony is the most important part of a wedding, the reception is always anticipated as well. The reception is not only for celebrating with toasts and dance but wonderful food is always involved. While some couples decide to have a traditional wedding in all aspects, many couples are going for less traditional routes when it comes to their big day. That includes the menu. This year, one of the big trends we are seeing is an early wedding followed by a reception with a brunch menu. Here are some ideas to have a successful brunch wedding reception your guests are sure to enjoy. Like any great brunch, we need to start with cocktails. There are two brunch cocktail staples, a good bloody mary and mimosas. Setting up a build your own bloody mary and mimosa bar is the way to go. The set up for both is pretty similar and simple. The Bloody Mary bar needs vodka, a bloody mary tomato juice base, and plenty of toppings. Toppings like pickled vegetables, hot sauce, and protein like shrimp and bacon are all good choices. It can be as simple or adventurous as you choose. For mimosas, you will need champagne, a variety of juice, and add-ins. Some ideas are fresh fruit, rock candy, and syrups. Get creative and make it your own. Once you have a cocktail, it’s time for food. The possibilities are endless when it comes to brunch. The best thing about brunch is the lack of rules that come 36

with it. Having a mix of savory and sweet items on your menu gives you plenty of variety. An easy way to make sure you have both is a biscuit bar. Biscuits are easy to make and so versatile. They are the perfect base to build a tasty brunch entrĂŠe. Start with a basic biscuit. Then you can have a variety of flavored butters and jams. Syrup, honey and fresh fruit are also great toppings. If you prefer a savory biscuit, have options like fried chicken, sausage, and ham. You can also have toppings like mustard, gravy, and pickles. In addition to a biscuit bar, have other easy options. Fresh fruit is so easy and delicious. Serve it with yogurt and granola for mini parfaits. A charcuterie board is always a stunning addition to a brunch spread. They look amazing, they are easy to make, and everyone always loves them. Finger sandwiches like chicken salad and pimento cheese on croissants are a nice savory element. Mini quiche, bacon, and muffins are all good bite sized options to have as well. There are so many opportunities to be creative with a brunch menu.


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When it comes to a wedding cake, we are seeing more and more that people are going the less traditional route. A big trend for wedding dessert now is doughnuts. Doughnuts are the perfect addition to any brunch menu, especially a wedding brunch menu. There are two big ways we are seeing doughnuts at weddings. The first and easiest option is a doughnut tower. You start with a circle of doughnuts and stack them up in a circle getting smaller and smaller until you’ve built a pyramid. The second option is a doughnut wall. You take a pegboard and hang the doughnuts to display them. While not traditional, it is a fun, whimsical way to toast the happy couple. When you go to create your wedding brunch menu, just have fun and remember to have variety. Brunch is meant to be laid back with no rules. No matter how you choose to brunch your guests will enjoy your delicious menu.

Biscuits !"#$%&'%"()

3 cups all-purpose flour 3 tbsp sugar 1/2 tsp salt 4 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp cream of tartar 3/4 cup COLD butter 1 egg 1 cup whole milk


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. The secret to excellent biscuits is COLD BUTTER. Really cold. Many times the Sprinkle some flour on to the top of dough so it won’t biscuit dough gets worked so much that the butter softens stick to your fingers and knead 10-15 times. If the before the biscuits even go in the oven. Try cutting the butter dough is super sticky just sprinkle on some additional into small pieces and stick back in the fridge pulling out only flour. when ready to incorporate into the dough. 5. Pat the dough out to 3/4 - 1 inch thickness and cut with 1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. a biscuit cutter or glass. I ended up with nine this time 2. Use a pastry cutter to cut cold butter into flour mixture. but depending on who is snacking on biscuit dough, I Don’t go too crazy here - you want to see small, peacan get up to 12 biscuits. sized pieces of butter throughout the dough. 6. Place the biscuits on a lightly greased baking sheet or 3. Add in the milk and egg and mix just until the parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 ingredients are combined. The dough will be sticky minutes or until golden brown on top. but don’t keep working it. You should be able to see the For extra yumminess, brush the tops of the biscuits with butter pieces in the dough. melted butter... 4. Turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface. January 2020 | 37

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Alicia C Mahowald & Taylor C Herda In the Beginning !"#$%#&'()'%*'&&%+)%(%&,**&'%(-.+*%/.0%1.+%2'*3 45,6'$%7(1&.5%(86%"%2'*%(*%*/'%9''6)%:;/..&%.<%4+),8'))% (*%*/'%=8,>'5),*1%.<%?.&.5(6.%,8%@+A+)*%.<%BCDBE%F'% 0()%(;*+(&&1%()),A8'6%*.%-'%21%2'8*.5%,8%*/'%-+),8'))% );/..&G%(86%,*%0()8H*%&.8A%(<*'5%2''*,8A%*/(*%0'%<'&&%/'(6% ?.&.5(6.IE%

The Big Day !"#$%J,>'%+)%).2'%6'*(,&)%(-.+*%*/'%;'5'2.81EEE

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Married On !"#$%%&$'(%) Ceremony Location *+",-+$."/-&$0"12"$345"$6-"78&$9. Reception Location :8-$;<-$41$=(> Parents of the Bride !"+?"$"1@$*"1$!"84A"B@ Parents of the Groom ."+?55"$"1@$02-C-$D-+@" First Dance Song $ED"BB-B<F"8G$"$C-+5?41$H#$I8+?5$;?4B"

Newlyweds of Destin

XX-XX Wedding_Mahowald-Herda.indd 2


12/27/19 12:50 PM

VIP Destin at Beachworx

Don't Be A Grinch !"#$%&'(!&))'(!"*+ photos & story by Zhalman Harris

Maxine Orange & Dana Bridges


n December 13, five local businesses sponsored a joint happy hour at Beachworx to raise funds for Children in Crisis. The owners of AB Plus Production, Beachworx, Capital Group Investments, Gateway Payments Gulf Coast, and Maxine Orange Art & Design came together to bring joy and smiles to underprivileged children in Okaloosa County by raising money to provide toys for them. Guests at the event, dubbed “Don’t be a Grinch,” not only raised money, but also brought unwrapped gifts to be sent to the organization. Harley VanHyning of Gnarly Fish Prints also did a live painting which was put up for auction that evening. Founded in 2003, Children in Crisis is a community non-profit charity committed to “establishing homes and providing hope” for the abused, neglected, and abandoned children of our community.

Matt & Danielle Staver


Mark Kramis & Lea Maraman

Brodie & Ada Bowman

Rachel Guidry & Dylan Hoover

Ken Hair, Steve Franco, Jamie Harris & Brittney Dykes

Amy Westlake & Karen Singleton


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VIP Destin at Resort Real Estate Group

Walton Area Chamber of Commerce

Ribbon Cutting & Holiday Party photos & story by Shanna Magnuson


he Resort Real Estate Group, located at Grand Boulevard at Sandestin along with the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce, hosted their ribbon cutting and holiday party on December 12. The event began at 3:00, soon after Broker and Owner Stephanie Phillips took on the big shears to mark the official Grand Opening. “I feel so blessed after 20 years, to have this office in the heart of the resort. It’s a dream come true!” said Stephanie. Many guests stayed well past 7:00 to enjoy tables filled with vast assortments of small bites and sweets, as well as holiday cocktails, and a fun photo booth to celebrate the ribbon cutting. Guests dressed in holiday attire, enjoyed festive music, and a holiday themed questionnaire game for a chance to win one of the many fabulous gifts from generous sponsors. The Resort Real Estate Group extended a special thank you to Customers First Title, My Vacation Haven, Renasant Bank, Serenity by the Sea Spa, Howard Group, and Destin Getaways for their continued support. The spacious and newly renovated location was packed with guests that came out to celebrate the event despite the rainy day. This was a very successful event with people truly excited about their business and their community.

Lisa Johnson & Cindy Manning

Linda Sherman & Jennifer Knight

Stepanie Phillips & Lauren Key

Bill Losquadro & Artie Kieffer

Bill Bubel & Gabrielle Kilgore-Woods

Lori Ward & DJ Villareal 42


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Susan Cornell & Meredith Neese

John Paulson & Emily Conner

Allison Smith & Dana McIntosh

Marianne Ireland, Ron Couget & Amanda Reeves January 2020 | 43

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Wedding Trends


for the new year

1 The Dress Lace, sleeves, organic necklines, and flowing fabrics are all making appearances. 2 Blue Suit A departure from the traditional black suit, grooms and groomsmen are opting for a navy look as the new neutral.


3 Oversized Floral Arrangements Bouquets, table settings, and décor are all going big to make a huge statement. 4 Outdoor Lighting Whether you’re having a garden party reception or an indoor soirée, setting the mood with beautiful, warm outdoor string lighting is a simple and elegant way to create the perfect venue. 5 Flower Wall Backdrops Floral walls are the perfect backdrop for vows, dancing, photos, and toasts. Go white for a classic, modern feel, or choose sunset colors for a gorgeous block of color. 6 Custom Invites The invitations, envelopes, save the dates, and even the menus all get custom designs to match the couple and the décor. 7 Floral Cake Modern cakes topped with edible flowers in sunset tones for bold pops of color. 8 Hair Accessories Pins, barrettes, flowers, pearls, and combs are all the perfect finishing touch to a classy loose braid, bun or ponytail.

6 44 |

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3 2 5


8 January 2020 | 45

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VIP Destin at Slick Lips Seafood & Oyster House

BUSINESS AFTER HOURS Walton Area Chamber of Commerce South photos & story by Shanna Magnuson


he last Walton Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours of 2019 was held on December 12 at Slick Lips Seafood & Oyster House at Baytowne Wharf. The monthly networking event brought in a full house for this holiday Business After Hours. Guests enjoyed the company, door prizes, and delicious food and drinks provided. Executive Chef and General Manager Jay Ammons spoke about the family-friendly restaurant, and what they are able to bring to the community with “fresh, local ingredients and the best products we can.” A spread of special appetizers included smoked tuna dip, alligator bites, and more; people couldn’t help but talk about the wonderful food that kept them going back for more. Although this was the last Business After Hours for the year, it’ll pick right back up again at the end of January, ready for the new year and a full schedule to start out 2020.

Audie Rowell & Mike Storey

Paula & Charles Musgrove


Dennis & Ginny Gagnon

Jay Ammons & Tim Brand

Kristie & Jacob Scheler

David Butler, Dave & Aleta Jefferson, Rene Butler

Lisa & JJ Foster


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January 2020 | 47

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VIP Destin at Louisiana Lagniappe

!"#$%&'()*+&,#'-./0 photos & story by Zhalman Harris


he Destin Woman’s Club held its Annual Fashion Show on Friday, November 8. The luncheon/ fashion show is the largest fundraiser for the Destin Woman’s Club, and this year was a huge success. Louisiana Lagniappe, with its beautiful view of the harbor, was yet again the perfect backdrop for this festive event. The ever-popular Wine and Night on the Town Cart, and the Silent Auction Tables, quickly became busy with guests buying tickets and placing bids. Local artist Cyndi Eastburn painted and donated a piece of her artwork that was used in all DWC advertising pieces. Current and past non-profit recipients of DWC fundraising participated in this year’s event as models. Volunteers from Fisher House on the Emerald Coast, Children In Crisis, Sacred Heart of The Emerald Coast, Children’s Volunteer Health Network, Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation, and Feline Friends of Destin, along with community representatives, modeled fashions available from SOHO, Kiki Risa, Boca, Chico’s, Brooks Brothers, Stein Mart, and Jos. A Bank. The crowd came alive as each model took to the runway wearing amazing fashions and dancing to the festive sounds provided by local entertainer Chuck Lawson. The funds raised from the “Dive into the Emerald Coast Fashions” fashion show will go to the Fisher House of the Emerald Coast and the Destin Woman’s Club Assistance Fund, which serves to aid and assist the needy in our area.

Linda Bryan & Patti Burcham

Maggie Laney & Anne Kelz 48

Kim McCain & Linda Ramirez

Sylvia Vazquez & Sherry Sheldon

Mary Chalmers & Debbie Wilson


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story by Courtney Murray


our wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. As the years go by, weddings have become increasingly extravagant and the price tag just continues to go up and up. However, there is a new trend that is headed in the opposite direction. Tiny weddings. Instead of spending a small fortune on your nuptials, many young people are choosing to save that money and form a nest egg for their future. They are forgoing the usual traditions and trappings that the wedding industry has convinced couples they “need” and they are blazing the trail towards scaled down weddings. If stressing over the perfect seating arrangement and choosing passed hors d’oeuvres that fit into everyone’s gluten free/lactose intolerant/vegan dietary needs doesn’t sound like your style, a tiny wedding might be just what you are searching for. You don’t need to sacrifice your dream wedding when trimming down your budget; instead focus on the key elements that mean the most to you and your significant other. By streamlining your wedding budget you can have what you are most passionate about be the focal point. Have your dress be the star of the show if you are a fashionista, you can hire the artistic photographer you’ve been following on Instagram for years, or if you live and breathe food and Chopped is always on at your house, you can have a sit-down gourmet 4-course dinner. These are the specialty options you have if you only have 30 guests instead of 300. 50


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Many couples who are focusing on what will create an intimate and special experience on their wedding day turn to DIY. 15 years ago a young bride would be cutting out photos from bridal magazines and saving articles for her scrapbook. In today’s Pinterest age, there are limitless ideas just a click away. Couples are bonding over making their own floral arrangements and favors. Backyard chic weddings are on the up rise as well. When you bring in some long farm tables and hang some twinkling market lights, it’s magical to dine and dance with your friends and families under the stars. Micro-style weddings aren’t only changing the way people get married, it’s changing the whole wedding industry. Venues are now having to adjust to the concept of smaller scale weddings to accommodate couples with this vision. Some venues are providing all-inclusive wedding packages that give couples the necessities without all of the extra accoutrements. A traditional wedding can be stressful to plan on top of using a lot of your time, money and energy. Which is leading a lot of brides towards choosing a more simple approach that celebrates what matters the most; your love for one another. Some other things that come along with a tiny wedding are fewer guests, a smaller budget, more flexibility and creativity. There are even companies who can make your wedding dreams come true in just a few days with a pop up wedding. So if you are ready to shed the typical trappings of an extravagant wedding, try going tiny!

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VIP Destin at Destin Harbor

33rd Annual DESTIN HARBOR Boat Parade photos & story by Zhalman Harris


othing says Christmas like the dazzle of Christmas lights and decorations. When you get boats in on the action, it’s taken to a whole new level. The Destin Harbor was dancing with Holiday lights, and children from the CW Ruckell Middle School took to the stage to serenade the crowd with carols before the parade started around 6 pm. People were lined up along the harbor and at vantage points in a few restaurants to get a better view of the sparkling boats. The evening spectacular ended with a great fireworks display over the harbor to send onlookers home with a bang! Jamie, Kalli & Michael Janetis


Kelsey Godwin & Collin Adkisson

Gaby Salenar, Alex & Paolo Alexander

Lorie, Addyson & India Wooddard

Julie & Tim McSwain


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12/27/19 12:58 PM

VIP Destin at Rum Runner’s

11th Annual

Insurance Zone and Rum Runner’s Business After Hours photos & story by Shanna Magnuson


he 11th Annual Insurance Zone and Rum Runner’s Business After Hours was a huge hit. From 5:30- 7:30pm, Rum Runner’s in Sandestin at the Village of Baytowne Wharf was packed with football fans wearing their favorite fare from all teams. Event-goers were ready to win fabulous door prizes, participate in games led by Joe Capers (owner and partner of Insurance Zone), and enjoy delicious drinks and appetizers. Over 100 people attended this Thursday evening event and stayed to enjoy the atmosphere long after the event was over. Some of the prizes included tickets to Sinfonia Gulf Coast, tickets to Every Christmas Story Ever Told from the Seaside Repertory Theatre, $100 gift card to Vintij Food & Wine, and much much more! Joe and Lea Capers, along with all of Insurance Zone, were dressed head to toe in the referee apparel, complete with light-up sneakers. Easy to spot the group, the energy was high and all were excited to talk about their teams and the prizes along with celebrating the 11 years of this fun event.

Clark Turnupseed & Gabrielle Heffron

Patti & Steve Wolfrom


Christine & Dennis Quinto

Jessica Bracken & Taylor Sheekley

Ryan Golden & Austin Bentley

Dave & Aleta Jefferson, Lea & Joe Capers

Cindy Russell & Allison Smith


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12/27/19 12:59 PM

Jennifer Dodge & Joey Boudreaux

Denise Reed, Jimmy Chambers, Kay Phelan, Reggie Reed & Lynn Wesson

Lance Sneddon & Jake Gorman

Vicky Kerlagon, Verla Price, Evie & John Morrow

Andy Poveda & Josh Foster

Jacob & Kristie Scheler

Mayes Chrmento & Leta Dehon

Megan Harrison, Laura Andrews, Gabby Kilgorewoods, Marianne Ireland & Hannah Green January 2020 | 55

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VIP Destin at Mattie Kelly Arts Center, Niceville

The Nutcracker VIP Party photos & story by Shanna Magnuson


orthwest Florida Ballet presented a full-length production of The Nutcracker with live music by the NFB Symphony Orchestra at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center in Niceville on November 22-24. The evening of November 23, a thank you and celebration for all performers and alumni alike, came together for a VIP after party starting at 9:30pm in the balcony after the last evening performance. One 20, a Modern Bistro with Chef Dan Pettis located in Niceville, served sandwiches, appetizers, desserts, and a special pumpkin soup to guests as they filtered in the balcony lined with poinsettias and holiday decor. Todd and Shari Allen, the Artistic Director/CEO and Assistant Director, welcomed and thanked all who came, excited for the 50th anniversary year that the 2019-2020 season brings. With over 3,000 people in the audience for the weekend, it was a successful performance and a special ‘thank you’ to “the 120 children performing, NFB company dancers, guests artists, David Ott and musicians for NFB Symphony Orchestra.”

Kendall & Robert Ard

Amber Hill & Terri Brown

Demeta Ransom & Ut Buck

Anastasia & Amy Tovrea

Aliyah & Jackie Sylvester

Gabe Stone Shayer, Jonathan Carter, Wyatt Mier, Todd Eric Allen, Mason Jefferson & Thomas Tona

Mark Wise & Lydia Phillips

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VIP Destin at the Nutcracker VIP Party

Rachel Hultquist & Alex Rinaldi

Rick, Brooke & Jille Austin

Alex Fike & Pono Santoz

Arthur Harbeson, Dorothy Lister & Elise Preston 58

Oana Potur & Allyson Royal

Shari & Todd Eric Allen

Monica Bowes, Kevin & Nicole McGowan

Theresa King & Jeff Prescott

Dan Pettis & Jose Cruz

Laila Brouwer, Emily Reed & Danielle Stallings


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story by Proffitt PR

| photos provided by La Lumière Foundation



he La Lumière Foundation started in 2014 as a way for local real estate agent, Hannah Martin, to turn her birthday celebration into an opportunity to give back to her community. Martin, 31, has sold and assisted in the sale of some $300 million in real estate over the past 11 years in the industry. She currently works for Erin Oden’s Coastal Luxury Real Estate as a broker associate since January 2019. Over the past six years, Martin has proven that her passion for philanthropy is just as strong as her passion for her work. From a simple idea, Martin has transformed her birthday from an ordinary celebration into an extraordinary cause.

before. The party has been held at various venues and centered around different themes throughout the years. Most recently “La Lumiere: Party of the Gods” was held over three days in February 2019 at the Hilton Sandestin Golf Beach Resort & Spa. Guests donned their best “God-ly” attire for an out-of-thisworld experience. Through ticket sales, donations, live auction, and silent auction the party raised over $60,000 for three local charities including the Walton County Special Olympics, South Walton Academy, and Westonwood Ranch. Funds raised are used to propel the charities’ missions and goals into fruition and help the kids and families in our community who need it most.

Held over several days in the second weekend of February, Martin’s birthday party is one of the biggest fundraising events along the Emerald Coast. Martin’s friends, family, colleagues, clients, and community partners have come together each year to put on the extravagant party featuring lavish food, drinks, entertainment, auction items, and more all in the hopes of raising more money than the year

Now in the party’s sixth year and over $285,000 later, Martin and the foundation have created an advocacy network for the Walton County special needs community. It is the hope that with continued success of this annual event, this fund will develop into a steadfast support system where all members of the special needs community can grow and prosper without the need of funding.


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Interview with Hannah Martin The La Lumière Foundation Our mission is ì Live to Give.î

What is the mission of Hannah Martin’s Party – La Lumière?

Our mission is “Live to Give.” The La Lumière Foundation is a community give back project that originally started to help raise seed money for the Special Olympics of Walton County. After the first party in 2015, I felt a greater calling to donate money to other special needs programs in Walton County. Thus far the foundation has raised over $180,000. La Lumière hopes to help create a brighter, healthier future for the Walton County special needs community. How long have you been hosting Hannah Martin’s Party – La Lumière?

This year will not only be our sixth La Lumière but it will be our most exciting yet! What led you to begin this annual, charitable event?

My long-time business partner, Jimbo Holloway. Jimbo introduced me to my career in real estate at the ripe age of 20, and in which I’ve grown over the last 11 years. Jimbo has a son with down syndrome and when he asked me to help raise seed money for the Special Olympics program, I saw it as an opportunity to give back to the person who had given me the opportunity to find my passion in real estate. What has been the most rewarding experience you have gained from hosting La Lumière?

I’m not sure that there is one single thing that has been more rewarding than the other. Everything about La Lumière and this party is rewarding. I very much live my

life in the moment and my time is very important to me. So, I think taking into consideration that the community has given their time to listen, participate, and support the foundation in the capacity that we have experienced has been overwhelmingly remarkable to me. Most importantly, watching what the beneficiaries have been able to accomplish with the resources we supply them is what keeps all of our hearts working to keep this going every year. How do you pull it all together – you must have lots of volunteers?

That’s a good question (I’m laughing as I say that). We have a small board of directors who all volunteer their time to pull this 600+ person event off seamlessly. We rely heavily on our beneficiaries to pull in volunteers for assistance throughout the evening. We could not do the event without our presenting sponsors, Destin Plastic Surgery and Duckie’s, along with our strategic partners including Proffitt PR, Setco, Coastal Luxury, 360Blue, Clutch Media Works, Fisher’s Flowers, Aerial Dragons, and so many more. I can’t forget our MVP, Tori Stapleton, who

runs our ticketing program and is an incredibly heart filled asset. If you ever see her around town or at the party hug her because she’s a pivotal member of La Lumière. It is always a glamorously, over the top celebration. How do keep making it fresh and so different each year?

I have always loved entertaining and throwing parties, so this has given my creative side a platform to run wild. Though this party has morphed into a brainchild of its own, everyone on our board is always on the same page and brings in so many new and exciting ideas to help elevate the experience each year. We seek what is trending and what is different that we can bring to our community for a unique and exciting way to raise money. What are the plans for this year’s event?

WE ARE SOOOOOO EXCITED about this year. The party is called ‘Madly Giving’, an Alice in Wonderland themed afternoon brunch. It will be held on Sunday, February 9, 2020 from 3:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. We are hosting it where the party began at the WaterColor LakeHouse and will have a limited number of tables and tickets available. We are creating a very intimate “night life” experience for you that will include brunch, cocktails, performances, and many more surprises for your imagination to run wild. This will not just be any nightlife, this intimate experience will evoke all your childhood dreams and bring an experience that will not be forgotten. Find out more at

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VIP Destin at Bric à Brac


!"#$%&'$#$()&*(%+, photos & story by Shanna Magnuson


Mary-Frances Mullins & Keasha Jones

he December issue VIP Destin Magazine Cover Reveal Party was held at Bric à Brac Restaurant on Gulf Shore Drive on December 4. As in months before, everyone trickled in ready to network, enjoy buffet-styled appetizers, drinks, and chances to win door prizes. The Cover Reveal Party is an invitation-only event that brings in local business owners and guests to see who is featured monthly. The December Health & Beauty issue showcased Melissa and Antonio Love. Bric à Brac is a family-friendly, eclectic restaurant opened in 2014, known for the crab cakes and artsy vibe serving up American-styled food. Owners Rodolfo and Fernando Petit definitley have the business gene, with their father and uncle also recognized in the area for the famous Red Bar.

Steven Franco & Ada Bowman

Rodolfo Petit, Verla Price & Fernando Petit

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Joe Capers & Charles Bari

Cindy Hyatt, Teresa Allen, Shane Moody & Nancy Bown


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Greg & Allycin Alexander

Jake Gormon, Dillon Justisson & Bill Blanken

Tim Brand & Maggie White

Rosalyn Wik & Leslie Moland

Mary Lamb, Mary Chris Murry & Todd Reeves

Steve Barber, Stephanie Phillips & Bill Losquadro

Kim & Jim Dettle

Jess Whidden & Stephanie White

Stevie McInnes, BJ Bentley & Larkin Devaux January 2020 | 63

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VIP Destin at Regatta Bay Golf & Yacht Club

7th Annual

!"#$%"&'()')*+'!(, photos & story by Jen Deeb


uests who attended the 7th Annual Bourbon at the Bay, presented by Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, LLC, started their holiday season off with a bang! Tasting, mingling, and shopping, all while dressed in your best, was the theme for the night. Sampling various bourbons, scotches, and champagnes, guests felt the warmth of the season, if you know what I mean! Other fun aspects of the night were the Destin Commons wine pull, a silent auction filled with various gifts, trips, packages, and more- plus all the delicious food available. As always, Regatta Bay Golf & Yacht Club was a great location for the event. Upon arrival, guests signed in, received an adorable but perfectly sized bourbon tasting glass, and tickets for tasting. There was a room set up with bourbons, scotches, and champagnes, as well as a large spread of dinner and dessert foods. As the night progressed, the room filled with laughs, conversation and the holiday spirit.


Kevin Andrews & Jennifer Mayo

Chris Prem & Laura McDade

Suzy Hunt & Steve Barber

Terra Brister & Josh Brister

Beth Jones & Beverly Schmitt

Kevin O’Rourke & Denise Song


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Justin Phelps & Cory Fosdyck

Scott Webster, Barry Barnes & Jim Graves

Hank Carlstrom & Scot Copeland

Rebecca Raabe, Skylar Lacy & Lucinda Hollis January 2020 | 65

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VIP Destin at Elegance on the Bayou

Youth Village 20th Anniversary photos & story by Zhalman Harris



outh Village held their 20th Anniversary Fundraiser “Under the Oaks” at the Elegance on the Bayou in Ft. Walton Beach on December 12. The fundraiser was held to help fund scholarships for children who otherwise would not be able to afford their program. “When I leave this place, I want to leave this place a better place than when I came to this place,” said Nellie Bogar, CEO/Founder of Youth Village. She achieves this by executing their mission statement- providing a safe place, a fun place, a learning place, and a place of caring for the children of Youth Village. The new 7,400 sq.ft. facility, which is slated to open in the spring of 2020, will permanently display a giant “Sponsorship Tree” in the lobby. It will be custom designed by local artist Velia Lala and will showcase each sponsor’s name and their level of sponsorship.

Christine Clark & Valerie Bogar

Laury & Bob Gelardi

May Heimen, Trinitee Armstrong, Sakari & Sanaii Thomas

Kate & Dennis Blount 66

Alexa Lindsay & Jed Reposar

Bob & Laury Gelardi, Valerie Bogar, Jimmy James, Shantelle Dedicke & Nellie Bogar


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You heard it here first!

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Earrings provided by McCaskill & Company Fine Jewelry. Photos by Alissa Aryn Commercial.

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JANUARY 15 The Greatest Love of All: A Tribute to Whitney Houston Mattie Kelly Arts Center 100 College Blvd. E | Niceville 7:30pm – 9:00pm Starring Belinda Davids, Houston’s most memorable tunes are recognized and of course all of her most iconic and timeless ballads including I Have Nothing, Didn’t We Almost Have it All, Run to You, One Moment in Time and I Will Always Love You. Conductor and arranger Matt Catingub will lead the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra in what is sure to be a sold-out performance! Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.

JANUARY 16 JANUARY 17 - 20 30A Songwriters Festival Santa Rosa Beach The 30A Songwriters Festival is all about songwriting from a variety of musical styles, performed by well-known to unknown musicians. Over the course of the weekend, the festival will take place in 32 venues along coastal Florida’s scenic Hwy 30A, and will feature headliners Brian Wilson, John Prine, Indigo Girls, Tanya Tucker, Don McLean, Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone. For schedule, venue information and tickets visit

Winter Guest Fest Emerald Coast Convention Center 1250 Miracle Strip Pkwy, SE | Fort Walton Beach 8:00am – 12:00pm Presented by ResortQuest, for over a decade this is the area’s largest seasonal guest expo - with fabulous vendors, wonderful giveaways, and door prizes. Payment of $2 per person accepted at the door. For more information visit

JANUARY 23 – 26 Buyer & Cellar Emerald Coast Theatre Company 560 Grand Boulevard, Upstairs | Miramar Beach Thursday – Saturday 7:30pm – 9:00pm Sunday 2:00pm – 4:30pm Buyer & Cellar is a one-man comedy about the price of fame, the oddest of all odd jobs, and winner of the 2014–2015 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show. Jonathan Tolins has concocted an irresistible one-man play from the most peculiar of fictitious premises—an underemployed Los Angeles actor goes to work in Barbra Streisand’s Malibu, CA basement. It’s a fantasy so delightful you wish it were true!! For Ages 13 and up. To learn more visit



Sip & Science: Mardi Gras

Walton Area Chamber Annual Gala

Emerald Coast Science Center 31 Memorial Pkwy SW Fort Walton Beach, 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa 4000 S Sandestin Blvd., | Miramar Beach 5:30pm – 9:00pm


Bring your friends, grab a drink, and let the good times roll. Between our Bourbon Street bead toss, Canal Street coin challenge, and Mardi Gras SMALLab trivia, this night will transport you to New Orleans--literally! Snap your photo in front of our green screen and pose with your krewe in front of some of The Big Easy’s most famous locations. Come dressed in your best Mardi Gras costumes or purple, green, or gold attire for a chance to win our costume contest. Stop by our masquerade corner to make your very own mask to wear at all your Mardi Gras parties. Guests age 21+, IDs will be checked at the door. Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.

Join the WACC for our masquerade themed Annual Chamber Awards Gala. The event will kick off with a cocktail reception, followed by a seated dinner, the chamber awards ceremony, passing of the gavel, and top-notch entertainment.

Visit for more information and to register.

Visit for more events!

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VIP Destin at Bijoux De Mer Fine Jewelry

!"#$%&'()"*+(,"$-+. photos & story by

Shanna Magnuson


ijoux De Mer, partnering with Sinfonia Gulf Coast, held a rosé-tinted holiday party to help introduce Crescendo! 2020: la vie en rosé (life in pink), on December 4. The Holiday Rosé Soirée sold a limited 100 tickets for a chance to win a 3-carat cushion-cut Morganite ring set in 18k gold valued at $3,500. Guests were dressed in head to toe rosé sparkles as they sipped on glitter lattes and lavender mochas surrounded by pink lights and pink bubbly, this party was all things glamorous. Marrow Private Chefs served appetizers and dessert. Bijoux De Mer, meaning “jewels of the sea,” was launched in 2007 by jewelry designer Renee Launiere. Available in over 60 stores in the US, the gallery was opened in Destin in 2016. Proceeds from the event benefited Sinfonia Gulf Coast and its music education initiatives throughout the community. Established in 2005, the only Emerald Coast fully-professional symphony orchestra is committed to the community for “entertainment, education, and inspiring through imaginative and innovative musical programming.”

Kim Pataky & Melissa Rowland

Aaron Vaughn & Veila Lala


Marta & Enrique Garza

Renee Launiere & Vladimir Babich

Charolette Boyt & Janice Bishop

Beth Claiver, Whitney Lee, Demetrius Fuller, Anne Hinze & Kate Kelley

Steve Gilmore & Robert Orr


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LOCALE O Shelter House’s 4th Annual Palate & Palette Five-Course Wine Dinner and Live Painting Features MotherDaughter Artists Tickets are now officially on sale for Shelter House’s 4th Annual Palate & Palette Dinner, to be held February 1, 2020, at Legendary Marine’s showroom in Destin. This year’s featured artists, (yes, TWO) will be a unique mother-daughter duo, Kathy & Krista Schumacher, who specialize in palette knife oil painting. At the end of the evening, both paintings will be auctioned off to the highest bidder in an exciting and competitive live auction! This chic, pop-up style wine dinner is a unique experience, as Legendary Marine’s show room is transformed into a chic, intimate venue with a trendy, metropolitan feel. Attendees will indulge in a five-course seated dinner featuring five of the area’s most respected chefs. Each chef will create a dish for their course, and Elite Worldwide Imports will be hand selecting fine wines to pair with each dish. Additionally, local distillery, Timber Creek, will be offering craft cocktails and Grayton Beer Company will feature their brews throughout the night. B-Boy Productions’ live DJ will command the music of the event, floating high above the dining area aboard one of the newest bay cruising yachts. Guests can also say “cheese” in the Epic Photo Booth and explore the expansive silent auction offering prize packages including fishing trips, restaurant experiences, custom art, spa packages and more. Tickets can be purchased online at 850tix. com. All proceeds benefit Shelter House, the state-certified domestic and sexual violence center serving both Okaloosa and Walton counties. For information on sponsorship, contact the Shelter House team at 850-243-1201 or email

7th Annual Suicide Prevention Walk Raises Over $40,000 Over 200 participants throughout Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, and nearby communities walked in the 7th Annual Emerald Coast Out of the Darkness Community Walk hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Florida 72

Panhandle Chapter on November 16th at John Beasley Park on Okaloosa Island. It was a day fi lled with hope, strength, tears, hugs and community. “Our goal was to raise $15,000 and the community stepped up in a big way,” says Donna Williamson, Event Chair. “We are continuously amazed by the giving hearts of our neighbors, community partners, walkers, donors, and sponsors. We are thrilled to have raised over $40,000 and this will go a long way in increasing our suicide prevention efforts here locally and nationally.” The Emerald Coast Out of the Darkness Walk is one of more than 550 Out of the Darkness Overnight, Community, and Campus Walks held nationwide this year. The walks are expected to unite more than 300,000 walkers and raise millions for suicide prevention efforts. Last year, the Emerald Coast Walk raised $22,000 and had 300 participants. Funds raised during the event support bringing programs like Talk Saves Lives and More Than Sad to the local community and bring AFSP one step closer to their goal to reduce the suicide rate 20% by 2025.

photo by Sue Gambla of Ciao Bella Arte

“These walks are about turning hope into action,” said AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia. “Suicide is a serious problem, but it’s a problem we can solve. The research has shown us how to fight suicide, and if we keep up the fight the science is only going to get better, our culture will get smarter about mental health, and we’ll be able to save more people from dying from depression and other mental health conditions.”

Vue on 30a Announces New Executive Chef Isley Whyte, a more than ten-year veteran to the culinary industry, has been named new executive chef at Vue on 30a. Originally from Jamaica, Whyte brings to the table an array of cooking techniques with different spices and flavors passed down to him from family in addition to his culinary training in the United States. Creating delicious meals where people can gather is nothing short of a staple in Whyte’s life. Growing up as the oldest of 11 children, he became a natural leader and teacher. It was his job to gather foods for his family to

take to the market every day, but his favorite part of the day was cooking with his “auntie”. “We would cook for the family during the week and bake desserts on the weekend,” says Whyte. “I’ve always loved learning to create new dishes and cooking for family and friends.”

In 2005, Whyte had the opportunity to move to the United States. Over the years, working his way up – proving his seat at the table - starting as a dishwasher, pantry attendant, lead grill cook and key associate and sous chef among other roles. During this time, Whyte studied culinary creations alongside some of South Walton’s best chefs and has been the backbone of several establishments in the with his positivity and contagious smile. “I have had the honor of seeing and experiencing many different cuisines and have learned from the best in the industry which has all shaped me into the chef I am today,” says Whyte. “I am thrilled to be at Vue on 30a where I can share my passion for food and cooking with the 30A community.” Visit or call 850.267.2305. Northwest Florida State College Fine Dining Experience Seagrass Restaurant is Northwest Florida State College’s Culinary Management and Hospitality and Tourism Management programs’ fine dining experience. Students practice cooking, serving and hospitality skills in this real-life restaurant environment. During the spring, (January-April), NWFSC will host pop-up dinners once a month. Seagrass will open up the reservations to the public January 8; seating times will be at 5:00, 5:30 and 6:00 pm. 30-Jan: Florabean (Floridian and Caribbean Cuisine) 13-Feb: French Cuisine 27-Feb: Cajun Cuisine 12-Mar: Italian Cuisine 2-Apr: Pacific Northwest & California Cuisine 23-Apr: Asian Cuisine

These dinners will be a 5-course meal at $20 per person, reservations are required.


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Life On Tap South Walton's newest taproom located in the heart of 30A. ï F amily Owned and Operated

Stop by today for a cold brew on the beach!

ï Featuring a 30-Tap Perlick Tap System ï Pints, Half Pints, and Beer Flights ï Best FrosÈ on 30A ï Growlers & Prowlers To-Go

Bring the whole family along. Our taproom is kid and canine friendly.

ï Beer Delivery ï Wine and Non-Alcoholic Beverages ï Free Wifi ï Multiple Flat Screen Televisions ï Private Parties & Events ï Merchandise and More!

Sip With Us

10343 East County Hwy 30A, Unit #110 Seacrest Beach, FL 32461

Buzz Us

(850) 534-0844

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Cheers With Us @beachandbrew30a

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VIP Destin at McCaskill and Company Fine Jewelry

!"#$! %&'()* $+#$",' photos & story by Shanna Magnuson


cCaskill and Company Fine Jewelry celebrated their 25th Anniversary with their sucessful Toast of the Season with over 300 guests in attendance. On November 22, guests gathered in the beautifully holiday-decorated Destin storefront to shop, sip on drinks, enjoy live music, and have some food from Sushi By Jeff. There was also a special presentation by Niveet Nagpal, president and head designer of Omi Privé. With seven generations of gemstones, and having won 10 prestigious awards, Niveet spoke of passion for each of the rare gemstones that pass through their hands. Also in celebration, Niveet announced the money the company was donating to teach a new generation of talented designers. McCaskill and Company has been recognized by Harper’s Bazaar as one of the “Best jewelry and watch retailers in America.” Founders and owners Bill and Elizabeth Campbell and their daughter Carolyn Brigman spoke about love and family values, their dream for this community, and how McCaskill began with Bill following his heart and dream of a business in jewelry.

Wendy Pearce & Robert Borrelli

Niveet Nagpal & Carolyn Brigman

David & Nikki Walker

Lisa & Jeff Margaretten

Dr. Bill & Pam Burden

Velina Sweatt & Donna Pink January 2020 | 75

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VIP Destin at Toast of the Season

Mike & Jovette Mosing

Terry Collins, Alexa & Michael Castle

Angela Botemps & Maggie Poetz

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Sandy Tucker & Sarah Schreifer

Veronica Trout & Ben Schwartz

Janet Ingle, Peggy Megging & Lee Curtis

Joey Gantt & Debra Gantt

Gene Rice & Rex Lysinger

Carolyn Brigman, Bill & Elizabeth Campbell


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Peggy Steven, Pamela Burden & Joey Adams

January 23rd - 26th Jonathan Tolins has concocted an irresistible one-man play from the most peculiar of fictitious premises—an underemployed Los Angeles actor goes to work in Barbra Streisand’s Malibu, CA basement.

Kimberly Elliott, Richard Campbell & John Kazek

STORYTELLER SERIES January 9th at 7pm

Gileah Taylor: A Life Lived in Song

Don’t miss this one night only event as Gileah breathes new life into her favorite songs on stage at Emerald Coast Theatre Company.

January 16th at 7pm

Winston Churchill: Through the Storm Over brandy and cigars Churchill reminisces about his personal and public life, the war, and the possible future.

January 30th at 7pm Resurrecting van Gogh

Resurrecting van Gogh is a play based on the life, work and writings of Andy Martin.

February 6th at 7pm Vicky & Kendall McEachern, Sara Keith

Dinner with Booker T.

Booker T. Washington became the first Negro to dine at the White House. Through song and dance, multiple characters are portrayed in this solo show in which Mr. Washington recalls the joys and racial aftermath of this infamous dinner.

Emerald Coast Theatre Company is located at 560 Grand Boulevard, Suite 200 in Miramar Beach. The entrance is on the south side of the building facing Highway 98, take the stairs or elevator to the second floor.

Tickets or info, call 850-684-0323 or visit

Janet Windsor, Nancy & Rick Jones


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What is your hometown, what brought you here to the Emerald Coast, and how long have you lived here? I’m originally from Columbus Ohio, and I graduated from high school and college in South Bend Indiana. I moved to Destin almost exactly one decade ago because I missed my best friend who moved here a year before. What led you to choose this profession? When I was 15, I really wanted to get a job so that I could buy a car when I turned 16. My mom (an amazing artist and mentor) mentioned that she saw an ad for a neighborhood florist that was hiring. I got the job. I practiced arranging with old flowers and eventually got the hang of it. This led to a passion for design and color theory, and eventually a degree in interior design.

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What are some of your favorite things about Destin? My favorite thing about Destin is the loving and welcoming atmosphere. My “Midwest Nice” met it’s match with “Southern Hospitality”. And the beaches... they’re second to none. This is super cliché but walking on and enjoying the beach… it never gets old. Also, the benefits of a small tight knit community with the opportunity to meet people from all over the country and world who come here to vacation. That makes Destin unique and beautiful. What are three words that best describe you? Genuine. Adaptable. Loving. Finish this statement, I AM DESTIN because… Like so many people that live here, I took a chance, moved somewhere that I love, and made a beautiful life in the process.

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