VIP Destin Magazine July 2019

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S E L L I N G T H E L I F E S T Y L E F O R OV E R 25 Y E A R S






25297 US HIGHWAY 98 DAPHNE, AL 36526

J M I L L E R S F U R N I T U R E . C O M

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events 14 Step One Automotive Arteon Launch Event 16 Beachworx 1st Birthday 23 Power of Networking Luncheon 26 FRPA Personal Development Luncheon 31 Mac and Cheese Festival 36 St. Joe Company Groundbreaking Event 40 Okaloosa Island Fireworks 44 Nothing But Networking 52 Flag Day 59 Destin Chamber Business Before Hours 63 Heal Our Nation’s Warrior Gala 68 Billie Gaffrey Campbell Soup Series 72 Doggie Ice Cream Social 74 Theater Thursday Much Ado About Nothing 76 MKAF Concert Series

departments 18 28 34 47 56 66 70 78

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

features 39 Military Directory Check out these local businesses for military friendly shopping exeriences!


on the cover !"#$%"&'&()&*"#)+%, !"#$#%&'(")*+) !"#$%#&'(#))*+ '$*,-./*0#123&$*43&536

!"#$%&'() Greg Alexander

6(&%21() Sheila McDiarmid

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

7+1.)%#".%12/8)%.()&9 !'+.+2)-:'()& Greg Alexander Zhalman Harris Shanna Magnuson Beth Mangum Courtney Murray Verla Price Liesel Schmidt

0-1-2%12/34%.+) Steve Barber !)+4",.%+1/34%.+) Jessica GraĂąa *45().%&%12 Steve Barber Missy Kimbrough Elizabeth Netherland Linette Ragsdale

;<!/=+"14() Jeff Watson

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!"##"$%&$'(%#)"%*++',-.#"%/01!-+)"$ Summer has arrived! When we think summer, our brain makes the apparent connections — summer = hot beaches, school’s out, longer days, vacations, etc. I also think of jet ski’s, boats, paddle boards, and kayaking. Some people find the summer months as a time for family gatherings and friendly togetherness, maybe even over a big plate of juicy crab legs. In this issue’s Coastal Cuisine we visit the Crab Trap on Crystal Beach. Reading about the 15 crab-related menu items will have you running out there for dinner, and bringing all your friends along. Maybe you find that family time includes getting some exercise along the beach roads. If you want to take the kids out on their bikes but you aren’t in the mood for the strenuous activity of peddling, check out Adventure Out. A new business in town, e-Motion located on Holiday Road, rents electric personal transportation devices such as motorized bicycles. They also offer electric scooters, one wheels, and remote-controlled skateboards. I say this is the way to see the beaches and shops along 98. Shopping has always been a family bonding activity. As we roll into July, you will want to check out Salute To Style. Here you will find some fun, casual clothes and accessories sure to inspire you to add to your summer wardrobe. Once again, the magazine is filled with fundraisers, business parties, and networking events from 30 A to Fort Walton Beach. I enjoy seeing new, interesting events. For example, The Boys and Girls Club hosted a Mac & Cheese Festival at Destin Commons. I hate I missed this one because who doesn’t love Mac & Cheese! As the heat of summer entraps us, I hope you find the time for fun and activities that will create memories to cherish. If I am not out riding my motorcycles, I hope I will see you at Crab Island!

!"#$%&'#()" Associate Publisher


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! "#$%&"'(%)*+,$ %%)-.$,$// )$0/"1,$// %%23$,$//

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


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VIP Destin at Volkswagen Arteon

!"#$%&'#%()"#*'% Launch Event

Nico Gara & Christine Imper photos by Beth Mangum | story by Steve Barber


n June 20, Volkswagen of Fort Walton Beach celebrated the launch of the new Volkswagen Arteon. Guest were invited to party with the newest member of the Volkswagen family, powered by Step One Automotive Group. Food, drink and fun were provided with a chance to win prizes and giveaways. Step One Automotive Group is representing 14 premier brands in the automotive industry with 13 locations in the South Eastern United States. The company employs more than 500 passionate employees selling 10,000 cars and servicing the needs of over 40,000 customers.

Phil & Num Sollecito

Cynthia Toro & Robert Finger

Josh Rollins, Fernando Arellano & Shawn Petley

Kim & Josh Mendez 14

Missy Kimbrough, Young Kim & Verla Price


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Tori Jones & Meg Pettis

Stacey & Scarlett Young, Aida Wilkinson

Ian Verrett, Ryan Keesler & Brooks Bradley

Jose Gonell, Anne Grace & Bernard Johnson

Kathryn Brown, Mike McHugh, Lexee Tureskis & Matt Bloom

Judy Hoepfl & Maureen Bierman

Jared Marquardt & Amanda Davis

Shelley & Shannon Jandran July 2019 | 15

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VIP Destin at Beachworx

photos & story by Shanna Magnuson


eachworx innovative coworking office space celebrated it’s 1st birthday on May 22. Filled with delicious dishes from 790 on the Gulf and Market 21 Coastal Provisions, there was no way to leave on an empty stomach. The evening also had drinks from Props Brewery, and gifts from local shops and businesses. This office space is designed to be flexible, affordable, and hassle free to join. If you’re looking for a permanent space or even a great location to meet clients, this offers the amenities to do so. It also has become a location for local artist’s to showcase their work. Beachworx founder Steven Franco noted, “I felt so fortunate for the first year, and am looking forward to the coming year. We think it’s a great resource for the community, and can customize for everybody and what they need.”

Haley Hornbeck & Kevin Gray

Neely Jo Harrington & Tai Nguyen


JD & Whitney Whidden

Lindsay & Danny Westlake

Liliam De Medritos-Yates & Megan Wages

Wade Cotton, Bridgett Hall, Leslie Wyatt & James Adduct

Renee Launiere & Vladimir Babich


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Huston Locht & Olen Holston

Sharon McCreary, Debbie Dodge, Rene Groom, Amanda Schrand & Maggie Mejer

Steven Franco & Andy Poveda

Heath Rominger & Kari Painter

Maxine Orange & Erin Igram

Pamela Sparks & Kim Denman

Chuch & Ashleigh Woolly

Tim Kersanac & Todd Seagle

Taylor Sheekley, Jessica Bracken & Mayra Quinones July 2019 | 17

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!"#$%&'(% )"*(+($& photos & story submitted by e-Motion


e≠ MOTION 18

ith the electric revolution fully underway, an entrepreneurial couple is taking full advantage of the phenomenon in the Destin market. e-Motion is Destin’s newest entertainment (and transportation) craze that you will not want to miss out on. Located at 50 S. Holiday Rd. in Miramar Beach, the family-operated business created by Jay and Kate Odinokov rents and sells electric personal transportation devices such as OneWheel, electric scooters, electric bikes, and electric remote controlled skateboards. Their innovative products fit all skill levels and age ranges, and they are excited to show you how to use them properly. Since opening on May 17 of this year, they promise you an experience like no other in the area. Imagine cruising down Scenic Hwy 98 with a cool breeze hitting your face, without any motor noise as you ride alongside your friends while having a conversation about the beautiful beaches, where you are going for dinner, or the people you are passing by. The large batteries on all devices will ensure you can cover 20-30 miles while reaching speeds as high as 20 miles per hour on a single charge. If you’ve never done anything like this and are skeptical, stop by their store and allow them to show you why this is one of the most fun things you can do in the Destin area, and see their variety of options for the entire family. The family oriented business is proud to be ambassadors for this rapidly evolving and exciting movement. After Jay and Kate discovered the incredible achievement in engineering that is the OneWheel, they couldn’t wait to share it with the world, beginning in Destin. The excitement that you will feel after getting comfortable on the OneWheel will be equal or greater to the that of when you learned to ride your first bicycle; it is truly that monumental. They have tested numerous other e-skateboards, e-scooters, and e-bikes and have only stocked the best of the best for their customers. Their products include only the most reliable, most practical, best valued, and overall most fun to ride pieces of equipment. When you stop by to see what they have, you are certain to be blown away by what the current technology is capable of. e-Motion is the pioneer of electric boardsports in Destin and they expect to see this field grow and become more widespread as more people discover this incredible sport.


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With rates starting as low as $20 per hour, e-Motion has something that will fit everyone’s needs. They will even deliver to your location on certain orders. Simply put, you can now surf the road on the most beautiful ride on the planet. Snowboard all season (without snow) and dominate any terrain, whether trails, turf, or pavement with their variety of products with some described as the smoothest skateboard ride ever, all with cool color options! These devices are easily portable whether in your car or on public transportation with onetouch folding systems. So whether you want to surf on land or bike without pedaling, e-Motion has something for you. e-Motion can be reached by telephone at 850-225-5010 or you can visit their website at They are open daily from 9a.m. – 6p.m. Jay and Kate will welcome you and show you and your friends and family all you need to know to own or rent the coolest electric transportation device you never even imagined. July 2019 | 19

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VIP Destin at AJ’s Grayton Beach


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


ttendees at the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce June Power of Networking Luncheon at AJ’s Grayton Beach had a blast mingling and networking with peers and other business professionals in a casual-business atmosphere. The event, which took place on June 12, was sponsored by A Superior Air Conditioning. There was a pre-networking activity called “I’ve Got Your Back” in which attendees had to play 20 questions to guess the Chamber Business on their back. For the seated business activity, they had guests create a flag that represents them professionally and personally. When they were finished they put their flags in a jar. The attendees at their table had to guess whose flag belonged to whom. Then the flag creator shared how their flag represents them. They closed with door prizes and announcements. The Walton Area Chamber puts on events like this to foster comradery and encourage networking amongst businesses in the area, to expand their reach and introduce new businesses to the community and other businesses.

Marta & Jimy Thorpe

Ashley Vannoy & Kate Price-Howard

Hannah Green & Britney Graves

Megan Harrison & Alivia Harris

Denise Kendust & Dave Jefferson

Kate Price & Bo Gaston

KK Ellis, Mayra Quinones, Taylor Sheekley & Jessica Bracken July 2019 | 23

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VIP Destin at Power of Networking Luncheon

Juliet Milam & Allison Smith

Kat Andrews, Rhonda Holley & Katrina Heuss

Jennifer Hoda & Jana Mandala

Judea Kring, Janet Piepul & Lisa Wainwright 24

Michelle Owen & Shimika Tomes

Carly Harmer & Chelsea Fox

Jill Bauer & Harmony Nagy

Denise Song & Cathy Jones

Carol Jones & Lesley Brown

Michael & Tina Ekblad, Bobby Wagner


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VIP Destin at Mezcal Mexican Grill


!"#$%&&'#()*+,%-%*#!.%(/+*0(12%#( photos & story by Zhalman Harris


n amazing Beachworx sponsored FPRA event took place at Mezcal Mexican Grill on May 21. The May Professional Development Luncheon was put together to benefit PR and communications professionals, nonprofit groups, and other interested individuals in the community by giving them the opportunity to meet news representatives face-to-face, learn first-hand the most effective ways to submit information for media placement consideration, strategies for influencing executive policy and new ways to drive media coverage for their news – straight from top reporters, editors and producers who will explain their coverage needs in this exclusive, intimate environment. At this Media Panel Q&A event, panelists from various local media outlets offered their expertise and advice for story pitching and developing authentic relationships with the media. Media panelists included : Jared Williams – owner, Get The Coast, Sarah Hanley – editor, 30A, Steve Barber – managing editor, VIP Destin Magazine and VIP Pensacola, Jessica Foster – morning and noon anchor, WJHG-TV, Peyton LoCicero – Okaloosa/Walton reporter, WMBB-TV and Lori Smith – publisher, Destin Life.


Rosalyn Wik & Stephanie Pettis

Lindsey Batchelor & Peyton LoCicero

Kim Denman & Veronica Deveau

Rachel Guidry & Chelsea Blaich

Andy Poveda & Steven Franco

Tracey Williams & Pam Burns


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Sarah Hanley & Jessica Foster

Kathy Whidden & M. Shaye Smith

Frank Berte & Tracy Louthain

Denise Song, Whitney Lee & Steve Barber July 2019 | 27

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Getting Crabby


photos provided by The Crab Trap | story by Liesel Schmidt

oasting a waterfront location on Crystal Beach that affords them easy access to public beaches and perks like pavilions, picnic tables, and dune walkovers as well as great seafood and refreshing cocktails, The Crab Trap isn’t just a beachside eatery—it’s an experience and often a tradition for families, year after year. In fact, that’s a point of pride for them, as they’ve placed a great deal of emphasis on offering fun for everyone, going so far as to create a beachfront playground that affords adults the opportunity to truly enjoy their experience while kids run wild and free on the beach. Talk about keeping the crabbiness away! Their success is clear; and for more than 25 years, this place has been a bustling hub of activity, feeding droves of hungry visitors and locals who crave the crab. As the name would indicate, that’s precisely what The Crab Trap’s menu centers around, offering 15 items on the menu that feature some iteration of the tasty crustacean, from crab dip and crab cakes to crab legs and crab-topped pasta. And they’re certainly doing something right, as they’ve got a reputation for their crabby attitude, utilizing sustainably sourced, wild-caught Alaska crab and running through tens of thousands of pounds of crabmeat on an annual basis. Alaska king crab, Alaska snow crab, Bairdi, Dungeness, jumbo lump crabmeat, and blue crab claws…they’re all present and accounted for, and diners can’t seem to get enough. So much so, in fact, that The Crab Trap now boasts two additional


locations—one at The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island and one in Perdido Key—each of which maintain that Crab Trap signature dedication to food and fun with their outstanding menus and beachfront playground. Obviously, if you’re coming to get a case of the crabs (and we know you are), you’ll want to go all out. For a taste of the best, the Bairdi Crab Dinner offers something truly special, serving up the meatier, sweeter crab with an ear of corn and new potatoes, making it the perfect seaside meal. Want more? A triple threat that’ll really get you crabby, the Ultimate Triple Crab Combo for Two features a full pound each of Dungeness crab, wild Alaska Bairdi crab, and Alaska snow crab legs, with double sides of corn and new potatoes, making it a feast for two that’ll really get you trapped up in deliciousness. Not to be forgotten, their signature crab cakes are a top seller— and with good reason, as these tasty cakes utilize very little fi ller, featuring 85 percent crab meat in each handmade cake and serving them atop a fried green tomato with roasted corn maque choux, Andouille sausage, and a spicy remoulade sauce to bring a bit of New Orleans to the Emerald Coast. Naturally, they realize that man (or woman—they see you, ladies) cannot live on crab alone, so The Crab Trap puts the same level of focus on every dish they put out, from juicy burgers featuring a premium blend of grain-fed Black Angus beef to bestsellers like their signature Crab Trap Mahi, a perfectly grilled


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Gulf-caught mahi-mahi fillet topped with tender lump crab meat and plump local shrimp drizzled in a light lemon butter sauce. There’s a clear understanding of ingredients and the way they play together on the plate, balancing the flavor profiles of the seafoods, fish, and meats with sauces and spices that compliment them and allow them to shine. And above all else, they recognize the importance of quality and sustainability—especially when it comes to their seafood. “One of the things that we place a great deal of emphasis on is our dedication to the Gulf-to-table movement, so we’ve created our very own wild fish processing facility,” says Marketing Director Misty Rae Ruthrauff. “It’s the hub for all locallysourced seafood used at The Crab Trap and its sister restaurants, receiving deliveries each day straight from the Gulf and preparing over 250,000 pounds of freshcaught Gulf seafood including shrimp, grouper, snapper, mahi-mahi, cobia, wahoo, and amberjack each year.” Doing those gorgeous goodies from the Gulf justice with every plate they present,

it’s no wonder that their grilled-daily catch catches a lot of attention, but so do their flavorful offerings from the fryer. Perfect if you’re craving that golden glow (and we’re not talking about your tan), The Captain’s Platter has just the thing to satisfy, offering Gulf shrimp, sea scallops, deviled crab, and fresh Gulf fish, hand-breaded and lightly fried to a crisp, golden crunch that’ll make you forget you’re supposed to be working on your bikini body.

Whatever you order, one thing’s for sure— The Crab Trap is all about the flavor and the fun, and this is one place where you’ll really want to get trapped. The Crab Trap Destin is located at 3500 Scenic Highway 98 East, Destin 32541. For more information, call (850) 654-2722 or visit sister locations in Perdido Key and Okaloosa Island.

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VIP Destin at Destin Commons

!"#$%$#&''(' !"#$%&'( photos & story by Zhalman Harris


he Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Coast held their first ever Mac & Cheese Festival on May 19, at Destin Commons. The event sold out within the first half hour of ticket sales, when over 1,000 Mac & Cheese lovers stormed the ticket booths to be a part of the tasting fest. Over 14 vendors, including Longhorn Steakhouse, Stinky’s Fish Camp, Redfish Taco, Bubba Gump, Panera Bread Company, Destin Cox Media, 98 BBq, 790 on the Gulf, Okaloosa Island Fire Department, Basil and Baxter’s Kitchen and Cocktails, SJP Network Solutions/ Kelsea Koch, and Paula Deens Kitchen participated in this amazing first ever Mac & Cheese Festival. The proceeds from the festival will benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast. “When Heather Ruiz, from the Destin Commons, brought this idea to us, we knew we had to make it happen! What better way to raise money for kids than showcase their favorite food. Kids are our most prized possession, and they are our legacy we leave behind. For us to be able to mentor them, advocate for them, and teach them and guide them to be productive adults is really the legacy we’re going to leave behind for our country and in perpetuity,” said Shervin Rassa, the CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Coast.

Michele & Shervin Rassa

Makala Weekley & Buck Locke

Danielle Buckner & Natasha Elliott

Chris & Holly Speigner

Evan & Alysa Wolff

Jacinda Rassa & Jacobe Turner

Jay Harvin, Ayden Kerry, Brody Baughman, Chloe Sanders & Nichole Parkton July 2019 | 31

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VIP Destin at Mac & CHeese Festival

Amber Jimenez & Brian Buhler

Mary Powel, Veronica Romo, Stacy Eckart, Tracy Phillips & Mo Sangria

Liz Beyer & Dana Melgar

Cara Riccio, Allen Bradley, Rob Riccio & Jennifer Bradley

Jason Perry, Phil Hagens & Jonathan Tucker 32

Emma Wagner & Madison Hadinger

Emily Werner & Alison Gilson

April Bailey, Mark Linscott & Don Oliver


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!"#$%&'()' !%*#& story by Courtney Murray


"#$%&'(&)%*+,)',-&.%(/%0"&"1'(&(2**%.&3'"1&+&,4)&"4&*'$'"+.#& /.')%5&61%.%&+.%&*+,#&3+#(&"4&',04./4.+"%&"1'(&".%,)&',"4& #42.&3+.).47%8&(4*%&7%',-&*4.%&479'42(&"1+,&4"1%.(5&:;& #42&3+,"&"4&"+<%&"1%&*4.%&$'"%.+$&+//.4+018&',9%("&',&(4*%& 0+*4&0$4"1',-5&61'(&%$2('9%&/.',"&'(&/4//',-&2/&%9%.#31%.%&;.4*& denim camo skirts and shorts to structured jackets, loose fitting tees +,)&04*;#&0+*4&=4--%.(5&:;&#42&+.%,>"&?2'"%&.%+)#&"4&@).4/&+,)&-'9%& "3%,"#>&+,)&;2$$#&04**'"&"4&0+*48&(/4."',-&"1%&04$4.&(01%*%&'(&+& -.%+"&7+7#&("%/&"4&+.*#A0.+3$&#42.&3+#&',"4&"1%&".%,)5&B.*#&-.%%,& '(&+&34,)%.;2$&+$"%.,+"'9%&,%2".+$&"1+"&0+,&/2$$&%'"1%.&*+(02$',%&4.& ;%*',',%5&B&-.%%,&2"'$'"#&=+0<%"&0+,&7%&%+('$#&).%((%)&)43,&3'"1& )'(".%((%)&)%,'*8&('*/$%&<,4""%)&"%%&(1'."&+,)&($'/&4,&(,%+<%.(5&:"& also looks adorable thrown over a sweet floral dress with sandals or *2$%(5&C+/%.&7+-&3+'("&$',%(&+.%&+$$&"1%&.+-%8&+,)&+&31'"%&74)#&(2'"& $44<(&01'0&"20<%)&',"4&+&/+'.&4;&4$'9%&-.%%,&/+/%.&7+-&(14."(5&D1+<'& is another color that can give an outfit a bit of military flair. Try /+'.',-&+&31'"%&4.&4$'9%&(3%+"%.&"+,<&3'"1&+&('$<#&/+'.&4;&0.4//%)& /+,"(&',&+&$2E2.'42(&"+,&4.&3%+.&+&(".'/%)&"A(1'."&3'"1&F)+.%&:&(+#& "1%&34.)555G&<1+<'&0+.-4&/+,"(H&!$'*A02"&0+.-4&/+,"(&0+,&7%& both trendy and flattering, unlike their frumpy counterpart 4;&-%,%.+"'4,(&/+("5& &&&B,4"1%.&3+#&"4&(+$2"%&#42.&("#$%&"1'(&(%+(4,&'(&3'"1& .%)8&31'"%&+,)&7$2%5&I42&0+,&14,4.&"1%&("+.(&+,)& (".'/%(&7#&$'"%.+$$#&3%+.',-&"1%*5&J+',"#&-4$)&("+.& ,%0<$+0%(&+.%&7%',-&(%%,&4,&0%$%7.'"'%(&+,)&+$$& 49%.&:,("+-.+*&"1%(%&)+#(5&K'"1&1+'.&+00%((4.'%(& *+<',-&+&12-%&04*%7+0<8&".#&42"&04*7',',-& ".%,)(&3'"1&+&("+.&(1+/%)&1+'.&0$'/5 L%/.%(%,"&"1%&M+9#&+,)&"1%&N4+("&O2+.)& 3'"1&(4*%&,+2"'0+$&(".'/%(5&61%.%>(&,4"1',-& ?2'"%&+(&0$+(('0&+(&+&0.'(/&/+'.&4;&31'"%&=%+,(&+,)& +&,+9#&+,)&31'"%&(".'/%)&74+"&,%0<&"4/5&P','(1&"1%&$44<& 3'"1&-4$)&+00%((4.'%(&+,)&+&,2)%&(".+//#&(+,)+$555&#42>.%& .%+)#&"4&1'"&"1%&1'-1&(%+(&',&("#$%5&& &&&&&C+"01%(&+,)&',('-,'+&(1430+(%&"1%&.+,<&+,)&+004$+)%(& 4;&+&(4$)'%.8&72"&31%,&34.,&4,&+&)%,'*&=+0<%"8&'">(&=2("&/$+',& 02"%5&K%&+.%&(%%',-&+&.%/%+"&4;&"1%&/+"01&".%,)&;.4*&"1%&QR(& "1+"&"1%,&.%+//%+.%)&',&"1%&SR(5&B,)&';&#42&,%%)&(4*%31%.%& "4&/2"&#42.&%E".+&/+"01%(8&7+0</+0<(&4;&+$$&(1+/%(&+,)&('T%(& +.%&(2/%.&/4/2$+.&.'-1"&,435&K1%"1%.&"1%#&+.%&0+,9+(&4.& $%+"1%.8&+&7+0</+0<&$44<(&("#$'(1&3'"1&+"1$%'(2.%&3%+.8&0+(2+$& 0$4"1%(&+,)&%9%,&3'"1&+&).%((5



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VIP Destin at Watersound Origins

St. Joe Company Groundbreaking Event

for Sacred Heart Medical Facility photos & story by Shanna Magnuson


t. Joe Company and Sacred Heart Health System announced their plan for a new healthcare facility last August. On May 28, groundbreaking for the new structure at Watersound Origins Community took place alongside of Anderson Construction Company. This new facility located along Highway 98 in an up and coming business, office, and retail space, initially plans to open as a 6,700 square foot multi-specials ambulatory clinic, offering primary care and OB/GYN services. With future hopes to expand to 13,000 square feet for additional care, “This new facility supports our mission to offer residents of our community convenient access to expert healthcare covering a wide range of needs,” said Roger Hall, President of Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast. Dan Velazquez from St. Joe Company added his excitement to celebrate the newest collaboration of which without the leadership of Roger Hall wouldn’t have been possible. The Watersound community is a tucked away gem that offers year-round vacation-style living, hosting events for the locals and guests. Less than three miles from South Walton beaches and the excitement of 30A, Watersound Origins offers the Cafe, pool at Village Commons, hiking trails, Origins Golf Course, Fitness Center, and more. It is a great location for growth and adding more care for our community.

Roger Hall

Lisa Jones, Jordan Rosenau & Daphne Lee 36

Matthew Hawley, Garett Anderson & Erik Brown

Catherine McCloy, Felicia Bosland, Rachel Childs


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PepperĂ­ s Panama City Now Open! newly remodeled after the hurricane and ready to serve bay county!

best happy hour & drink specials!

2 for 1 everything, any fl avor, any size including top shelfdaily 1pm - 5pm and all day sundays!

House margaritas and draft beer 2 for 1 all day every day. shalimar - 1176 eglin pkwy, shalimar fl 32579 - 850.398.5042 crestview - 1900 s ferdon blvd suite 140, crestview, fl 32536 - 850.631.6970 panama city - 2061 N Cove Blvd, Panama City, FL 32405 - 850.785-2227 37.indd 1

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Military Discount Directory The following business offer some of Destin’s best military friendly services. Give them a call to find out what kind of discounts they offer. | (850)-460-8884 9375 Emerald Coast Parkway • Miramar Beach | (850)-424-3823 34940 Emerald Coast Parkway, Suite 161 • Destin | (850) 424-6979 11275 US-98 #7 • Miramar Beach Locations in Niceville, Crestview and Fort Walton Beach | (850) 654-8665 4635 Gulfstarr Dr #200 • Destin | (850) 837-5565 4433 Commons Dr E • Destin

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VIP Destin at The Boardwalk Okaloosa Island


!"#$%&#'( photos & story by Shanna Magnuson


he Okaloosa Island Fireworks Show at The Boadwalk kicked off on May 26 and continues every Wednesday night as the fireworks series May 29- August 14 at 9pm. A great summer get together with The Crab Trap, Floyd’s Shrimp House, Rockin’ Tacos Grill and Tequila Bar, and Al’s Beach Club and Burger Bar offers a a variety of music, food, atmosphere and dancing to celebrate with loved ones. Grab a beach chair, your favorite dancing partner, and some drinks and food, and set-up to watch the fireworks over the iconic Okaloosa Island Pier. If you’re looking for something fun that’s family friendly after the hot beach day is done, watch this fabulous 15 minute fireworks show and enjoy some of the beach games right outside of Al’s Beach Club. The BoardWalk on Okaloosa Island has been a popular destination for friends and families for years. With it’s great location, convenient parking and huge range of activities for families and groups of friends, it makes for a fun stop whether you’re local or visiting and fresh off the beach- sandy toes and salt swimsuits are welcome.

Cullen & Leah Simmons

Aaron Young & Hailey Dean

Mark Tenore, Johnny Llivingston & Joe Livingston

Marion Cabral & Gina Padilla 40

Juliana & Domingo Sanchez

Josh Joran, Lauren Sehman, Chris Colonm, Jessica Costello & Alexis Parra


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VIP Destin at Brooks Beal Center

Nothing but Networking

Greater Fort Walton Chamber photos & story by Zhalman Harris


he Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce held their monthly networking event dubbed “Nothing But Networking” at the Brooks-Beal Center in Fort Walton Beach. The luau-themed event was catered by Moe’s Southern Grill, serving some delicious Tex-Mex bites. Attendees did not only enjoy the food, but had a fun time playing games and networking with other local business professionals. The host of the event, Erica Hollon, welcomed and thanked the guests for attending the event and helping to make it a fun one. The Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce brings together the business, non-profit, and cultural leaders of the area, strengthening local businesses and enhancing the quality of life in this community by providing services which help businesses help themselves. As the largest Chamber from Pensacola to Tallahassee, they host the largest regular business networking events in Northwest Florida.

Mary Tinsley & Jason Monroe

Neil Tabot & Rachelle Graves


Lisa Jo Spencer & Meagan Speares

Stephanie Shea & Erica Hollon

Nancy Ambinder & Kim Denman

Debbie Dodge, Rachelle Graves, Eppi Azzaretto & Ted Corcoran

Kiana Caraballo & Natalie Harris Schmidt


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Elaine Sheldon & Sarene Zummo

Daniel Simmons & Donna Tashik

Jessa Anderson & Mary Florence

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Breaking Waves story by Liesel Schmidt

| photos by Emerald Coast Real Estate Photography, LLC


ffering unobstructed views of the sandy beaches along the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico punctuated by the swaying fronds of palm trees, the second floor location of Steve and Connie Connelly’s condo at the Breakers had the most important thing they could have wanted in a space when they were looking to move to the beach full time. After all, you can’t change the where in real estate. It’s the number one rule. You can, however, change the what; and while The Breakers of Fort Walton Beach might have been a great condo community that the Connelly’s had long dreamed of having ownership in, there were things about their new space that needed re-imagining to make it perfect. Coming in at 1678 square feet, the two bedrooms and three baths of the spacious end unit gave Connie plenty of room to play, serving as a blank canvas as she stripped away the vestiges of the old to recreate their new home as something new—something that was not only respective of the environment around it, but something that also seemed to bring it from outside to in. Looking around the space as it is now, with walls painted in a palette of complementary shades of blues, it’s clear that the Connelly’s wanted to inject their home with a coastal feel that was a departure from the norm. Rather than working with the July 2019 | 47

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beiges or grays that so often serve as a neutral background for touches here and there of coastally inspired design, they immersed themselves in it, using one very unexpected central feature as the jumping off point for everything else. “I found and fell in love with a slab of quartz from Cambria called Blue Sky, and literally almost everything else in the condo came about as a result of that quartz,” says Connie, an active volunteer for various community organizations and passionate supporter of Alaqua Wildlife Refuge. With its breathtaking color and movement, one can’t help but see just what it was that so captured Connie’s heart. It is the quartz equivalent of water, the embodiment of just what it is that people pay millions of dollars to look at when they live at the beach. And with the real estate it claims in what is, in Connie’s words, “my dream kitchen,” it could easily be said that the space is awash in that coastal calm, that the counters have created their very own tidal wave of design that pulls you in and doesn’t let go. The crown jewel atop dark blue European style cabinets that play a stark contrast to sleek white upper cabinetry, the quartz countertops are complemented by the dark gray appliances and a silver backsplash that offer just the right amount of visual interest without distracting the eye from the key player in the room. Flowing underfoot from one space to the next, the entire condo features wood-

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look luxury vinyl plank flooring that can withstand beach life and all it brings without sacrificing even an inch of beachy sophistication. Much like Connie, retired Air Force veteran Steve spends a great deal of time volunteering and works actively with the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and its fundraising efforts in the local area. Coming home to that view, relaxing out on the balcony overlooking the beach and watching the spectacular sunsets is a reward, the perfect way to unwind and reconnect. “We’re blessed to be able to watch the ever-changing Gulf of Mexico and look out at the powder-white sand beach every day,” says Connie. “And the sunsets…there aren’t words!” When coming home and coming to the beach are one in the same, you know you’ve reached paradise. And for Steve and Connie Connelly, they’re ready to get swept up in high tide. 50


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ì Weí re blessed to be able to watch the ever≠ changing Gulf of Mexico and look out at the powder≠ white sand beach every day. And the sunsetsÖ there arení t words!î

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VIP Destin at Vue on 30A

!"#$%&#'% ()#*+,'%-./,+01 photos & story by Kaitlin Hardy


anta Rosa Golf & Beach Club members hosted their annual Flag Day Charity Auction on June 14 at Vue on 30a, raising more than $7,500 in support of the Fisher House of the Emerald Coast. Located on Eglin Air Force Base, the Fisher House of the Emerald Coast provides needed resources for military families in crisis. Eglin’s Fisher House has 12 suites and serves as a home away from home so that military families can be together during treatment for serious illness or needed therapies.

Kay & Mike Baggett

Kristen & Steve Junker 52


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photos provided by Scenic Walton

| story by Greg Alexander


art of the charm and quaint culture of any area comes from the welcoming feeling you experience as you arrive and pass along the roadways. South Walton has many quaint and charming characteristics and the non-profit organization, Scenic Walton exists to punctuate the area’s many attributes. As communities begin to grow and new businesses develop, it is important to protect and preserve the history, culture, and beauty of the communities and roadways. Scenic Walton’s mission is to preserve and protect the scenic nature and beauty along the roadways of Walton County, which leads to increased property values, a robust business climate, beautiful surroundings, and enhanced quality of life. Their primary focuses are landscaping medians, reducing litter, placing utilities underground, promoting safe and interconnected pedestrian and cyclist facilities, and advocating for excellent design standards for development. Scenic Walton has implemented measures, advocated for, and connected agencies that led to projects such as: significantly increasing mowing, edging, and trash pick-up along developed areas of US 98 and US 331 South, and improved the installation of beautiful landscaping in the medians along US 331 from the Clyde B. Wells Bridge to US 98.

Scenic Walton is determined to make a significant impact on keeping Walton County beautiful as they grow and develop by advocating for and participating in projects to improve public spaces and promote good guidelines for private development so that it is all well done and in character with our various communities. You, too, can make an impact by becoming a member.



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Interview with Leigh Moore Board President, Scenic Walton

What are some of Scenic Walton’s current projects?

The East Corridor Improvement Project Committee is developing multi-use paths, median landscaping, a pedestrian/ cyclist underpass at US 98 and CR 30A, and other safety improvements in the Inlet Beach area. The geography includes US 98 from Watersound Parkway to the Walton-Bay County Line and CR 30A from east of Rosemary Beach to US 98. Sections of median landscaping and multi-use path improvements as well as safety enhancements and lighting at the 98/30A intersection have been completed to date. The muchneeded pedestrian/cyclist underpass at the 98/30A intersection is the current focus of the project. Over two-thirds of the funding has been obtained and completion is expected in 2021. One of our most vital goals is to see overhead utility lines and poles buried underground, which is a very complicated and expensive undertaking, but provides benefits in a multitude of areas, some of which include storm resiliency, outage reduction, safety improvements, and the facilitation of landscaping and better cyclist and pedestrian facilities. The tremendous aesthetic improvements it brings are a substantial bonus as well. To do this, we are gathering letters of support for an initiative that is being proposed by the Walton County Tourist Development Council to begin working on a plan to underground all utilities in South Walton wherever it makes sense to do so. We plan to advocate for similar efforts in other areas of the county with South Walton being a top priority due to its proximity to the coast and vulnerability to devastating economic impacts from storm damage. We recently started our Development Design Excellence Award Program. We recognize businesses and developers who build or renovate projects that best exemplify the intent of the aesthetic guidelines in the Walton County Land Development Code. We have been proud to honor several award recipients thus far including Tom Thumb for renovation of their Sandestin location on US 98, John Fayard Self Storage, Donut Hole in Inlet Beach, McCaskill & Company, and Dixielectricar. What are some of the greatest challenges Scenic Walton faces?

Competing for community resources like board members and volunteers is always a challenge. In addition, building awareness of our organization in a rapidly growing community is daunting for an all-volunteer board on a tight budget, but we put a lot of sweat equity into it and get a great deal of help from our board members and the media. Another challenge is that we tend to pursue projects that cost hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars and require cooperation and resource input from local government agencies, FDOT, businesses, and the resident community. We are very proud of the partnerships we have built with these entities over the years and are extremely grateful for their past and continuing support and willingness to participate in the improvements we advocate for.

What is the most rewarding part of your involvement with the organization?

As a board member and now president of the organization, the most rewarding thing is to watch the beautification and safety improvements that we champion actually happen, many times after years of persistence and hard work. I find it very fulfilling knowing that the positive impacts of these projects and programs are making a real difference for all residents, visitors and businesses in our area. It is a wonderful bonus that I am able to experience it for my own community. I was hired as the part-time Executive Director for the organization back in 2008 and served for three years. When my family came back to Walton County after a brief relocation to California, I got involved again as a board member. I believe passionately in the mission of this organization and strongly desire to see our goals come to fruition. Where does funding come from for Scenic Walton?

Currently, our operations and programs are 100% funded by the annual membership dues of our members. This is why it is so important for individuals and businesses who support what we do to become members. Is Scenic Walton involved in any upcoming events?

We are thrilled to have been selected by Scenic America through a competitive process to co-host their annual affiliate conference this year. In addition to an exciting and fun welcome reception on the evening of October 24, we will hold a day of conference activities on October 25 that will bring valued scenic principles together in a creative, educational atmosphere. Scenic America will also hold their quarterly board meeting and an affiliate meeting here on October 26. We are so excited to showcase our area to people involved in the scenic movement from around the country. Tell us about the relationship with affiliate organizations: Citizens for a Scenic Florida, Scenic America.

By recently becoming an affiliate of both of these organizations, we officially joined a nationwide movement to promote and support beautification projects in communities throughout the country. These alliances provide important and exciting access to resources and ideas from other affiliated communities working to make their homes and businesses more beautiful and more valuable. We are very proud to be affiliates of these organizations and believe these relationships will be an important part of taking our organization to the next level.

Become a member or learn more at Annual memberships start at $50/month and can be paid by check or online.

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VIP Destin at Lulu’s Destin

Destin Chamber Business Before Hours photos & story by Zhalman Harris


he Destin Chamber of Commerce held their monthly breakfast, also known as Business Before Hours, at Lulu’s in Destin, enjoying a beautiful Bay view and delicious breakfast. The event, which was sponsored by Destin Commons, served as a start to the day get-together for professionals in the area. While having coffee and breakfast, attendees were able to get first-hand information from speakers, including Mark Wilson President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of commerce, Representative Mel Ponder, Kim Catellier from the Sonder Project, and Bob Conrad from SOF Mission. Representative Ponder also received an Honor Roll certificate from the Florida Chamber of Commerce, for being an outstanding statesman who has represented his district and people well. Ms. Cantellier from the Sonder Project touched on their various projects, but primarily spoke in-depth about their involvement in Panama City, due to the devastation caused by hurricane Michael. Bob Conrad of SOF (Special Operations Forces Mission) talked about their non-profit and gave some statistics on ex-servicemen and women who suffer from PTSD and other related issues due to missions they have been on. Representative Ponder mentioned a few things going on in the House and the Senate and bills that have been passed in Florida; including Felon Voting rights, Tax cuts and kickbacks, Sanctuary City bill and the policy on texting and driving.

Ryan Keesler & Dion Moniz

Trisha Marks & Ashley Bailey

Lynn Wesson & Myra Williams

Shane Moody & Kim Catellier

Heather Ruiz & Denise Kendust

Mark Wilson & Mel Ponder July 2019 | 59

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VIP Destin at Business Before Hours

Brandon Graves & Andrew Franco

Jason Belcher, Lockwood Wernet & Bob Perry

Ken Hair, Ayesha & Dan Jones

Bob Conrad & Kristi Beckman 60


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VIP Destin at The Henderson Beach Resort & Spa

4th Annual

Heal Our Nation’s Warrior Gala photos & story by Zhalman Harris


he 4th Annual Healing our Nation’s Warrior Gala hosted by Shield of Faith (SOF) was held at the Henderson Beach Resort in Destin on June 22. This event brought the community together to raise funds, awareness, and much-needed support for our military veterans and their families. The gala demonstrated the power of community which provided individuals and businesses the unique opportunity to sponsor warriors through a four-part healing process called The Resiliency Project. The four-parts process includes the psychological, spiritual, social and physical aspects. Ms. Kristi Beckman SOF explained, “Our aim is to collectively heal warriors who are struggling with the visible and invisible scars of war, and it’s our ultimate goal to see to it that our veterans get the help they need to heal and the resources they need to live a better life.”

“We put this gala together to bring about the awareness that is needed, due to the mind-blowing numbers of veterans and activeduty service members, guardsmen, and reservists who commit suicide in this country,” said Dr. Damon Friedman, president of SOF Missions. “There aren’t enough people and systems to help our warriors who sacrifice so much of themselves to defend our great nation. We have to change this, with the number being at more than 20 suicides each day.” At the Gala that evening, 3 veterans spoke to attendees and gave them an in-depth look on their struggles, their lives, their experiences and their triumphs. SOF Missions is a nonprofit organization of veterans, healthcare professionals, contractors, group leaders, missionaries, volunteers, and every day people allpassionate about doing what they can to make a positive difference.

Sarah & TJ James

Chris & Kristi Beckman

Diana & Brandon Graves

Renee Pippy & Lezli Keebaugh

Norman Brozenick & Chris Larkin

Mia Hughes & Regina Piazza July 2019 | 63

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VIP Destin at Heal Our Nation’s Warrior Gala

Megan Mee & Garrett Panko

Teddy & Lupe Bataran

Jennifer & Chas Theriot

Liz Thomas & Johnathan Williams

Heather Christman & Trey Nicks 64

Trei & Lesby Mcmullen

Mel Ponder & Ron Bachman

David & Jackie Saviola

Lori Harrington & Jojo Devine

Tyler & Robin Hardy, Hunter Friedman


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David M. Rutherford ∑ Honorable USMC Veteran *Military Discounts Available*



850.460.2995 127 Harbor Blvd. | Suite 3A | Destin, FL

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JULY 3 Smoke on the Coast BBQ and Fireworks Festival Destin Commons | 5pm - 9pm The 9th annual Smoke on the Coast BBQ and Fireworks Festival will kick off with family entertainment and live music. At 5:30pm BBQ aficionados can enjoy $1 samples from 18 area restaurants and BBQ groups, and vote for their favorite as People’s Choice winners with over $85,000 in donations benefiting local charities. Stop by for family fun activities including an Independence Day firework extravaganza. For more information visit

JULY 9, 16, 23 & 30 Movies on the Beach The Boardwalk | 7pm - 10pm

JULY 11, 18 & 25 Throwback Thursdays HarborWalk Village | 6:30pm Live Music | 7pm-9pm July 11 | British Invasion

July 9 | Beauty and the Beast July 16 | Tangled July 23 | Alice in Wonderland July 30 | Moana For more information visit The Boardwalk on Facebook.

July 18 | Flash Flood July 25 | Modern Eledorados

JULY 11 Mingling and Margs La Cocina | 10342 E. County Hwy. 30A, Seacreast Beach Thursday | 5:30pm - 7:30pm Sponsored by Progress Bank, YPWC members and non-members are invited to mix and mingle with one another while sipping on handcrafted margaritas. Each attendee will receive one complimentary margarita as well as free chips and salsa. There will be special networking opportunities as well as giveaways throughout the evening. This event is free to attend and open to the public. To accommodate all guests, YPWC asks those interested in attending to RSVP online. For more information visit

JULY 27 Throwback Thursdays happen every Thursday at HarborWalk Village kicking off with a Vintage Flyover at 6:30pm. Then enjoy some tribute bands as they rock the HarborWalk Village main stage starting at 7:00pm. After the concert, make sure to see the fireworks show over the Destin Harbor at 9:00pm with Firespinning to follow on the main stage.

Red, White & Bowl with Brunch!

For more information visit

This fundraiser is to benefit the Ronda Coon Women’s Home, a local transitional home in Okaloosa County dedicated to helping women get from crisis to self-sufficiency.

Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl at Destin Commons | 8am - 10am Check out the 2nd annual Red, White & Bowl with Brunch Fundraiser, and have a great time knocking down pins for a great cause. There will be two hours of bowling with shoes, silent auction, and trophies.

Register at

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VIP Destin at Anne Hunter Galleries




photos & story by Shanna Magnuson

he sun peaked through and the rain stopped just before the opening reception for Billie Gaffrey’s Campbell Soup Series exhibition at Anne Hunter Galleries in Seaside. Guests were welcome to view her latest series while enjoying delicious appetizers from Chef Calvin and Nancy Hicks. Billie Gaffrey noted, “ I like to stick to themes for each series, and thought of this particular one two months ago while I was in the middle of teaching pop art to the students. It’s all about sticking to a theme and the variations of said theme. This is all about what we can relate art to, and labels in life growing up.” Billie grew up in the country and has a folk art style. Her parents both painted and were crafty so she was inspired by them, and when she was younger she always leaned in to painting as her way of “finding something to do” around the house. Billie opened her first gallery in 1994 and served on the board of directors for Seaside Neighborhood School, and now has joined the faculty as a beloved local art teacher thriving as an artist. Anne Hunter Galleries is a lovely space that’s dedicated to exposing the works of artists around the area.


Billie Gaffrey & Anne Hunter

Chris Szostek & Kaleigh Hampton

LIz Hilderbrand & Donny Mall

Julie Jager & Leah Jones

Bonnie Johnson, Jeff Gritzmacher, Ella Gritzmacher & Jake Gritzmacher


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Karen McGee, Lauren Reese & Brenda Reese

Bert, Melissa, Robby & Henry Hunter

Willow Scott, Shelley Scott, Debby Hampton & Kent Hampton

Melissa Wilcox, Krstine Meade & Kathy Meade July 2019 | 69

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The Arc of the Emerald Coast receives funds from The Knights of Columbus

Donna Tashik, Arc of the Emerald Coast and Bob Gualtieri, Grand Knight Council 13527

The Arc of the Emerald Coast was once again a recipient of funds from the Knights of Columbus Council 13527. These funds were raised during the Knights of Columbus annual Tootsie Roll drive. The Arc appreciates the annual efforts of Knights of Columbus in helping continue their mission “From disability to capability”. Said Donna Tashik, Foundation and Development Director for the Arc of the Emerald Coast “These men work tirelessly each year to support people with disabilities who cannot help themselves. They are a true blessing to our community”. The Arc of the Emerald Coast provides services to over 450 men, women and children in Okaloosa, Walton and Santa Rosa counties with intellectual and developmental disabilities such as Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Autism. For more information about this program and many other services provided contact our offices in Fort Walton Beach at (850) 863.1530 or Milton at (850) 623-9320. Additional information can be found on our website at Gulfarium’s Endangered Penguin Chick Undergoes Surgery Fort Walton Beach, FL - Within the first two months of hatching, one of the Gulfarium’s new African penguin chicks began holding its ankles abnormally. Following a series of medical examinations by the Gulfarium animal care and veterinary team, it was discovered that the tendons in the chick’s legs were too loose, allowing the joint to slip out of place. Even though the issue was initially found in the right leg, it was soon determined that the left leg was also


affected, but to a lesser degree. With the leg joints slipping out of place, the penguin chick was unable to walk. Possible causes for the issue, as seen in other bird species, include a congenital defect, an abnormal growth rate or other undetermined causes. Due to her inability to walk, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park reached out to specialists in the Zoological Medicine Department at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. A veterinary orthopedic surgeon there, Vanessa Ferraz, had experience with similar cases in other birds and penguins. It was decided that external fixators would be placed on the chick’s legs which would allow the ankles to be held in position so that the tendon would not slip out of place. This solution would enable the penguin to walk, and have some range of motion as the legs continue to grow. Exercise would help develop the muscles of the legs, thus tightening the tendons. A team of zoo veterinarians, residents, interns and vet students worked tirelessly to assist in the chick’s surgeries and recovery. During the healing process, the Integrative Medicine department, prescribed exercises to strengthen the muscles in the chick’s legs and improve its ability to walk.

“We knew that surgery was necessary in order to give the chick a chance at a future and the ability to walk,” states Dr. Rebecca Wells, Gulfarium’s veterinarian. “The chick continues to thrive and is improving every day. We are very thankful to the team at University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine for their help on this case. We are cautiously optimistic that the chick will continue to thrive and enjoy the life of a normal penguin. We will continue to learn from this case in order to help this endangered species.” The chick is currently undergoing rehabilitation at the Gulfarium while the animal care staff monitor its progress daily. Updates on the chick’s progress will be made available on Gulfarium’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation Receives Single Largest Donation in Foundation History from the Jumonville Family

Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation (DCWAF) is excited to announce that it has received the largest single donation in DCWAF’s 15-year history. The gift was made by Ryan D. “Jume” Jumonville and his wife Raven who live in the Destin area with their four young children. “This financial commitment by Mr. Jumonville will positively impact the lives of hundreds of children,” said John Russell, president of DCWAF. “We have never received a gift of this magnitude and we are so very grateful to be chosen as the recipient of such magnanimous support of our mission to help the children of Northwest Florida.” Originally from Louisiana, Jumonville started his first company at age 24. Among other business ventures, he is currently the chairman of United Networks of America, which provides products and services that reduce healthcare costs for clients such as insurance companies, governments, associations, organizations, large employers and more. Jumonville’s generous donation to DCWAF comes on the heels of his announcement of joining The Giving Pledge, a philanthropic organization founded by Bill and Melinda Gates and comprised of the world’s wealthiest individuals and families that have pledged to dedicate the majority of their wealth to giving back. The organization currently has 204 members. With his pledge, Jumonville joins the ranks of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Richard Branson, MacKenzie Bezos, David Rockefeller, and many more. A portion of Jumonville’s gift will be distributed to DCWAF’s 16 benefiting local children’s charities on September 4 at the Henderson Beach Resort during their annual check presentation ceremony. The remainder of his gift will be invested into the newly renamed Jumonville Family Children’s Fund to solidify the sustainability of the organization and the charities it supports into the future. The 15th Annual Destin Charity Wine is scheduled for April 24-26, 2020 in Grand Boulevard. Patron packages will go on sale in November.


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VIP Destin at Williams Sonoma


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


og Harmony hosted an ice cream social at Williams Sonoma at Grand Boulevard on June 14. Dog owners in the community came to hang out with their fourlegged companions, have some fun and raise funds for the Dog Harmony. Guests also enjoyed light bites and beverages, and ice cream for their pooches. Dog-Harmony is a non-profit dedicated to keeping dogs out of shelters through ongoing humane education and non-coercion training for both people and dogs. Dog Harmony, Inc. is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization, made up of passionate and determined problem solving dog lovers who want to make a difference using personalized and ongoing education, support, and training for people and dogs.


Andrew Farmer with Viv

Olivia with Kathy Lamb

Hector & Rachel Gonzalez with Roux

Freddy Valle with Tiny

Jason Salinis & Clare Bassett

Alivia Harris & Fiona Bown

Sabina Zunguze & Yena Esther


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Thereí s nothing we caní t handle!

} !"#$%& '"#$%& !"#$%&'(")$*+,+-")& !"#$"!%&'()&"%#*#!$









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

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VIP Destin at Grand Boulevard

Theater Thursday

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


merald Coast Theatre Company presented an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing at their Theater Thursday series in Grand Park at Sandestin on June 13. This hilarious comedy about misunderstandings, love and deception was adapted by Gillette Elvgren. Made possible by the Grand Boulevard Arts & Entertainment Program, these series run through August 1. Guests brought their own chairs and blankets for this family-friendly theatre performance. To add to the fun, Abrakadoodle Art Education and Parties- NWF offered a themed kids’ craft pre-show.

Avery & Courtney Spitler

Sandra & Bruce O’Neal

Anastasia Dengerud, Mike MCoy, Brandon Ellington, Beca Lake, Taylor Williams & Dillon Garafolo

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Anthony Allen & Frank Flores

Kay Burton, Thersa Sones, Estelle Sones, Sundy Holmes, Carrie Sones & Brittney Sones


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VIP Destin at Mattie Kelly

CONCERT SERIES photos & story by Zhalman Harris


t was a lovely summer evening with a soothing breeze to cool off concert goers on May 24 when Mattie Kelly Concerts in the Village hosted the band On the Border (The Ultimate Eagles Tribute). The talented artist Sherry Tewell (Sweet Tea) hand painted a guitar right on sight during the band’s performance, and had it auctioned at the end of the show. Some lucky concert goers also got to win some lovely prizes during the raffle draw. Season ticket holders, corporate sponsors, VIPs and regular ticket holders got to enjoy great music every Thursday, from April 25th –June 27th during the summer series and will again September 12th – October 10th for the fall series of their 24th annual Concerts in the Village. Mattie Kelly will be bringing in a slew of great bands from around the country to entertain us right here on the Emerald Coast.

Stevie Smith

Rita Sherwood, Lisa Turpin, Angela Blair & Eichele Bordelon

Pat Ritchie & Gwyn Wendt 76

Aly Bockler & Marcia Hull

Bill Morgan, Andy Young, & Casey Maples


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Nate & Megan Waldstein

Curt & Renee Couch

Denise & Ed Kendust

Aiden Riccio, Jennifer Bradley & Bobby McClintock July 2019 | 77

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What is your hometown, what brought you here to the Emerald Coast and how long have you been here? I was born in Tampa, Florida, and grew up on the Suncoast. I went to undergrad and started my professional acting career in West Palm Beach, then eventually moved to Orlando working in theatre and at Universal Orlando as Spiderman. My wife, Anna Ogle-Fisher, was born and grew up here in Destin, so my first visit was in 2002 when we first started dating. We moved back home to Destin June of 2012. We relocated here to transition from graduate school to the larger field of theatre, but saw a need here locally, and founded Emerald Coast Theatre Company in October 2012. Since then we have been fulfi lling our dream of offering excellent educational theatre opportunities to the children of this community and creative professional theatre for adults and families. What led you to choose this profession? From an early age, I have been passionate about the art of theatre and the stories that theatre artists tell. It affects our world when we see our fellow humans experiencing nuanced situations on stage. When we see life through that character’s eyes it changes our perspective. When I first met Anna I asked her what her dream was and she shared her vision of producing meaningful theatre. Now every day we get to see children engage in this art form we love, we have parents sharing stories of how their child has been positively affected by being involved, and we have adults share how a show changed their perspective or lifted their spirits. Anna and I are thrilled to get to do what we love and at the same time enhancing the art scene here in Destin. Choose three words that best describe you. Passionate. Dreamer/Doer. Tenacious. What is your favorite thing about Destin? Being a Florida native, and a native along the Gulf, too, there is nothing like a big piece of grouper! Also, I enjoy the beach...the way the wind blows and clears my head of the business of life and waves wash away any worry for a time, the sand squishes between my toes and frees me of any stress for a moment. I also love the people. When Anna and I first started Emerald Coast Theatre Company, we prayed for the right people to come alongside us and dream with us. We have some incredible people in our tribe. We at Emerald Coast Theatre Company are dedicated to this community and to creating opportunities for people to connect to the theatrical arts; to offer a chance for young and old to experience the educational, enriching, and inspiring aspects of live theatre. Some people have moved here from larger cities with a rich cultural heritage. And some, like Anna, grew up here and have always longed for a thriving arts environment. We hope to serve this community with excellence for many years to come and contribute to a rich cultural heritage right here in Destin.

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photo by Zhalman Harris

Finish this statement, I AM DESTIN because‌

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