VIP Destin Magazine, May 2020

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9+*-0&'.'0 102 Vermillion Way

John Martin T'"5GT'"52+0*#5SL+;&'2 8-..H%IJKLM%REF>SRSE P11#&-H%IJKLMQNR>LLES

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

9+*-0&'.'0 1267 Western lake Drive

Dale Stackable /+.-G/+.-$*+&4+<.-;&'2 8-..H%IJKLM%NOO>EJJK P11#&-H%IJKLM%QNR>LLES

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

.,!/!012/%34/5,+610,(7/7'890(:/12'/;-'865*/<,671 =3>?=?>/#;?<$////9375 Emerald Coast Parkway, Unit 18 | (850) 267≠ 0050 %?.@?/>A%?/#;?<$ 7684 W. County Highway 30A | (850) 267≠ 0013 .3<;B3CC;////1073 E. John Sims Parkway Suite | (850) 729≠ 0176 &;.%?<AC?

8775 Foxtail Loop | (850) 944≠ 3700


17 W. Cedar St. | (850) 434≠ 2244


Commercial and Residential Real Estate Group

836 Gulf Breeze Parkway | (850) 932≠ 6278


Real Estate Team

©2020 BHH Affiliates, LLC. Real Estate Brokerage Services are offered through the network member franchisees of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Most franchisees are independently owned and operated. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServicesand the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServicessymbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.Æ Equal Housing Opportunity.

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events 14 11th Annual Caring & Sharing Fashion Show 17 WSRE Kids & Family Day 21 2nd Annual Mac & Cheese Festival 26 Doggy Ice Cream Social & Yappy Hour 26 Purses with a Purpose 27 5th Annual Tea Fore Her 27 Jimmy Choo Exclusive Shopping Event 27 Hops for Hounds Dog Walk 35 Mutts & Martinis 41 Sandestin Wine Festival 46 7th Annual Tequila & Taco Fest 57 Sip N Shop 64 VIP Destin Magazine Virtual Happy Hour 69 Chi Chi Miguel Throwdown 72 Precautions & Distance at Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club

departments 24 32 38 44 61 66 74

Adventure Out May We Suggest Coastal Cuisine Destin Style Give Care Share Locale I Am Destin

business profiles 18 Davis-Watkins Funeral

Homes & Crematory

features 29 Pets You Should Know Get to know some of the high-profile pets around Destin.


on the cover !"# $%&'()*+,+-.&'(/* !"#$%&'()*$+,-,.)*& !)/(0,1$2,334$250/ 6557

!"#$%&'() Greg Alexander

!"#$%&'()&/*&&%&.-1. Anna Stockton

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

6(&%21() Sheila McDiarmid

0-1-2%12/34%.+) Steve Barber

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

!)+4",.%+1/34%.+) Jessica GraĂąa *45().%&%12 Steve Barber Verla Price Jeff Sarault

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

May 2020 | 11

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!"##"$%&$'(%#)"%*++',-.#"%/01!-+)"$ My mother always said, “Do not wish your life away.” I thought of her often over the last 4 weeks as I found myself basically wishing away the month of April, sending a month of my life away as well. Often we say, Mother was right. April turned out to be memorably filled with change, reminding me of my personal determination to remain positive and happy in all circumstances. In this issue, you will see pages of fun as we morphed and adapted into new ways of doing business, entertaining, and finding interesting and inspirational things to share with you. VIP Destin Magazine is known for photos of people attending events with stories of the occasion. This issue, while a little different, is actually quite the same. It is still filled with people of the Emerald Coast attending events, some new ones, and some classics as we swept back the pages of time to revisit 2019 sharing some of our spring favorites with you. As we zoom into May, see our first VIP Destin Magazine Virtual Happy Hour. What fun we had as we learned together how to share Zoom! The use of virtual backgrounds became quite competitive before the evening was over. VIP’s management team resorted to virtual meetings for planning and executing this issue with some exciting new things for upcoming issues as well. I am sure most of you are familiar with virtual meetings by now and we felt it only appropriate to showcase some of ours on the cover. Your mainstays are intact in this issue. We compiled enticing helpful hints for a perfect picnic in Coastal Cuisine and found a plethora of hats to hide our quarantined coifs in Destin Style. May We Suggest is filled with pet-related products from ThunderShirt’s to hemp oil to calm your fur babies. You cannot have a pet issue without some funny things popping up. A horse made an appearance on the cover, and I cannot stop laughing at the cuteness of Phyllis, aptly named for her hair, in Pets You Should Know. Meet Izzy, my constant companion, as we share our personal story of her transition from puppy mill rescue to royalty in Adventure Out. Joe Capers shows up with Buckeye and Izzi for I am Destin. Here among other interesting facts, you will find out how many pens Insurance Zone has distributed in Destin. I am hopeful that this issue will share a little laughter, inspire some reminiscing, and lift your spirits as we face new challenges together.

!"#$%&'#()" Associate Publisher 850-502-7970


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VIP Destin at Vue on 30A

photos & story by Shanna Magnuson


aring & Sharing of South Walton organization held its 11th Annual Caring & Sharing Fashion show on February 29. This sold-out event beautifully showcased the theme ‘Paris in Spring!’ Guests enjoyed lunch and a gorgeous gulf-side view at the Vue on 30A, silent auction, door prizes, 30A Life Photo Booth, fashion show, and C&S thrift store boutique featured items. Spring-forward fashion was all around, bringing out the bright colors and floral patterns, even the entrance to the Vue on 30A was “dressed up” for the day with pastel colored balloons presented by Mingle 30A. All proceeds benefiting the Caring & Sharing of South Walton. The mission of the Caring & Sharing (C&S) is to provide food and assistance to those in need in the area through support of volunteers and contributors.With the sales from the C&S Thrift Store, it covers operating expenses and generates funds to help clients with food, medicine, rent, and utilities. The thrift store is located in Santa Rosa Beach and includes clothing, house decor, bedding, furniture, electronics, and books and is open 6 days a week. C&S also hosts special projects along with the year-long assistance and provides bags of groceries twice a month to low-income families in Walton County. Amy & Becca Robertson, Gretchen Nichols

Molly Hudson & Catherin Brannon

Wade & Wally Elderson, Nancy Darish 14

Rachel Neuman & Rita Ganser

Cheryl Pond & Karen Murphy

Kristen Laurent, Carly Hammer & Ali Weil


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Stephanie Brannon & Sarah Svoboda

Brandy Walker, Hannah & Jake Vermillion

Joanna Gann & Carla Oertli

Lisa Young, Janna & Kira Morrison

Tiffany Davis & Jeanie Zorn

Amy Giles & Jenni Kilpatrick

Mary Hughes, Debbie Kovalak & Evie Erdman

Sherry Sparks & Glenda King

Nancy Reinhadt & June Bratland

Olga Feliciano, Cindy Gervais & Carol Bishop May 2020 | 15

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VIP Destin at Gulfarium Marine & Adventure Park

photos & story by Zhalman Harris


amilies made a splash during the 5th annual WSRE PBS KIDS and Family Day at Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park on Okaloosa Island on March 7. Kids in attendance enjoyed kids’ activities and Gulfarium fun with The Cat in the Hat, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and Curious

Aubrey & Olivia Tyre

George. Even though Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park operated under regular park hours with their dolphin and sea lion shows, animal exhibits and aquariums, the kids were still able to enjoy hanging out with their favorite characters. A portion of the proceeds from the day’s admission fees were also donated to the WSRETV Foundation. Jill Hobbs of WSRE said their main aim was to reach out to the community and connect with families beyond the kids just watching TV, because they could take advantage of the beautiful space at The Gulfarium by learning about the animals that were on display and even hangout with their favorite cartoon characters all in one day. Sarah & Olivia Stuckey

Matt, Tucker & Jessie Timmons

Jill Hobbs & Bethel Goodwin

Brittany Hart, Eleria Norris & Anaia Stalling

Bridgette, Katie, Sonia & Mia Crosby May 2020 | 17

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!"#$%&##''Profile A Reputation Built on Trust... !"#$%&'()*+,'-'(.+/"0+,

Davis-Watkins Funeral Homes and Crematory has always taken great satisfaction in our diligent pursuit of superior service and our dedication to exceeding the expectations of the families we serve. Davis-Watkins was founded on dignity, integrity and the grace of God united with the belief that serving our community is our calling and purpose. We continue to be committed to focus on personal service and family values not corporate standardization, profit margins and contract averages. We are proud to be the first choice amongst family owned and operated funeral homes and crematory in Okaloosa and Walton counties.



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Due to the overwhelming support of our community, we have expanded, once again, to Miramar Beach. Our new office, located at 9561 US Hwy 98 West in Miramar Beach will enable us to comfortably offer funeral and cremation arrangements to all the families of South Walton as well as Destin.

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May 2020 | 19

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VIP Destin at Destin Commons

photos & story by Zhalman Harris


f you thought macaroni and cheese was just for kids, think again! The 2nd Annual Mac & Cheese Festival benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of the Emerald Coast was held at Destin Commons on March 8, and was a huge success. The family-friendly event featured gourmet, chef-inspired twists on the South’s favorite comfort food. There were 12 local restaurants and teams that competed for the best mac in town. The Judges Choice Award went to Fudpuckers, while the People’s Choice Award was snagged by Jackacudas, and the Kids’ Choice taken by Stanley’s Street Treats. The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast works in our community to promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging, and influence through its programs focused on academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles.

Taylor Coffield & Coriene Boone

Kelly & Alex Curry

Avery & Nicole Eisenberg

Katherine Green, Erin Bakker & Shervin Rassa

Kate & Jay MacMillan

Anthony Lanier, Nicole Lockwood & Chris Wade May 2020 | 21

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Sip the finest margarita Savor fresh seafood, enchiladas and more with sauces from scratch Join us for drinks, dinner, lunch or Sunday brunch

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GRAND BOULEVARD Sandestin 850.654.5649

5/4/20 8:15 AM

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Lady Isabela Grace, Izzy Adventuring In, and Out, from Home


zzy came to me in the spring of 2011 as a scared, starved, mentally broken puppy mill rescue. The way she was forced to live the first two years of her life, appalled me, and words cannot describe my anger at her captors. Izzy shared a tiny cage with other dogs. The space was so small they could barely turn around, received no medical attention, very little food, and no exercise. Over time I came to realize the worst thing she endured was the mental abuse and lack of human contact. When the call came asking me to foster two dogs for a couple of weeks until they could be vetted and adopted, I went quickly to get them. I returned with a small black and white Chihuahua and a little brown and white Pomeranian with a beautifully speckled half-face. The day I met her, she was a growling, snarling, ball of fur and set of teeth. I walked over, picked her up, and walked 24

photos & story by Verla Price

away, talking to her softly. She shook uncontrollably but never growled, and she never tried to bite me. The little Chihuahua was adopted immediately, yet no one came for the beautiful Pom. I later realized she had been listed as aggressive on the website, diminishing her chances for adoption. The transition was not smooth for either of us. Izzy sat in my laundry room for weeks, utterly terrified to come out in the house to eat or play. The lack of human contact the first two years other than being thrown around and yelled at left her terrified of people. It took weeks before she came to me for a treat. That day I knew I would keep her and protect her at all costs. The puppy mill people almost killed her very soul, so I decided she deserved a little royalty. I scheduled a house party in her honor, drew up the official documents for her introduction, and with a ceremonious reading, presented Lady Isabella Grace, Registered House Dog - Izzy. Over the years I watched her blossom from a shaking, crying mass of fur to a very opinionated little lady. She barks and talks a lot when she wants something, demanding attention and playtime. She has become quite the socialite traveling, meeting new people, and being featured in magazines such as VIP and Pensacola Mardi Gras. She now eagerly jumps into her car seat, which is more like a high throne in the back seat, ready to roll at a moment’s notice to see new places and try new things. A normal day for Izzy is to wake up at precisely 5:30 am, stand up on the bed, stretch, and then launch into a round of high pitch barks until I rush to prepare her breakfast. She eats, goes outside, and returns to her bed for lounging most of the day while watching TV.


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Please support your local animal rescues with time, monetary donations, or by sharing your life with the love of a rescue. Adopt a pet, save a life. On March 15 all of our lives were interrupted and I was forced to work from home. Without warning, Izzy’s days of travel and leisure were over, leaving her to transition into her new position as my home office assistant. I am energetic and active, so I pace and talk on the phone. Izzy walks behind me to see if we are leaving. I sit in the office for a few minutes, and she lays by the window in her bed. I walk outside and sit on the patio while working. Izzy sits in a chair, frowning at the sun as she is always hot and does not like “working” in the heat. To break up the monotony, we moved to the front terrace for a while. She had never sat out there in the red chairs; she thought those were for decoration. I decide we are bored, so we walk numerous times each day, to her dismay. She has now become reluctant to come to the leash when called; some days, she simply refuses to go with me. I am reading her mind as, “Enough is enough; we do not need this much exercise!” As our days go on, Zoom meetings take up most of our time. Again, I am reading Izzy’s mind, “What in the world are all those people talking about, and are they here in the house?” After no luck finding the people behind the voices anywhere in the house, she was satisfied and now even participates in Zoom meetings with many clients and colleagues and has met quite a few other pets over virtual happy hour. I caught her zoom chatting with her friend Ziva the other day as she has taken to her own social media tactics (and, yes, I am one of those dog Mama’s who stages their pets for photos). On the weekends, with no work for me, I spend quality time with Izzy. We had a spa day, a fashion day, we cleaned the garage, which went over like a lead balloon. We practiced Izzy riding in a backpack for longer walks, which has been deemed no fun so we will not be going on longer walks. Like you and me, Izzy’s life has been turned upside down the last two months. She has become quite finicky and more verbal requesting treats and more playtime, but, alas, I am sure I have not been the happiest of roommates. I know she misses her day-long naps in front of the TV and I can’t wait to go back to working outside the home. It is time for our lives to go back to normal, and If she could talk, I think she might say, “I have had enough of together time with you, let’s hit the road and go see some people!”

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Re-visiting some of our favorite events from the past

Doggie Ice Cream Social & Yappy Hour, June 14, 2019

Alivia Harris & Fiona Bown

Andrew Farmer with Viv

Nancy Bown & Denise Song

Purses with a Purpose, March 28, 2019

Stephanie Petis & Katie Fuentis 26

Kristin Tugmon & Mary Weighknecht

Freddy Valle with Tiny

VIP Destin at William Sonoma photos by Zhalman Harris

Sabina Zunguze & Yena Esther

Hector & Rachel Gonzalez with Roux

VIP Destin at Grand Boulevard

photos by Zhalman Harris

Renee Launeire, Penny Worley, Ana Simpson & Mara Clark


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5th Annual Tea Fore Her, April 6, 2019

Winky Dowdle & Betty Feagle

Darien Runnels & Tracy Mcmorrow

VIP Destin at Vue on 30a

Daphne Martin, Ginny Richerson, Amy Walsh, Kellyanne Bartleson & Jennifer Crawford

Jimmy Choo Exclusive Shopping Event, April 11, 2019

Lauren Athalia & Gena Romans

VIP Destin at The Henderson photos by Shanna Magnuson

Patti Burcham, Mary Chris Murry, Lea Capers, Steve Barber & Malgorzata Hoffman

Hops for Hounds Dog Walk, February 16, 2019

DeeDee & Kristen Flowers with Pablo & Weeza

Staci & Luke Asbury with Sam

photos by Shanna Magnuson

Christine Fox & Susan Dunnam

VIP Destin at Grayton Beer Company Taproom photos by Shanna Magnuson

Landy Cash, Nancy Newell with Rory & Dale

Erin Bakker, Sarah White & Ali Weil

Kayla & Holly Bashore May 2020 | 27

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Pets You Should Know







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Dog-Harmony, a non-profit 501(c)3 dedicated to reducing the shelter dog population through ongoing humane education, has released a children’s book to further their mission of keeping dogs out of shelter’s through education.


ocally renowned artist Robin Wiesnthe recently collaborated with Dog-Harmony founder Nancy Bown to illustrate Human and Dog Harmony. “The book is designed to teach responsible dog ownership and will be used in our humane education children’s programs”, said Bown.

Bown was introduced to Wiesnthe during a book signing for Tails of the Imagination, Wiesnthe’s first book dedicated to dogs and cats in shelters everywhere; waiting for a chance to meet someone who will love and take care of them. Wiesnthe says, “that we are all underdogs in some way, even the brightest of us can feel small, helpless and lost. Shelter pets remind me that everyone matters.” Bown used the book in many reading programs with her therapy dog Sydney. Nancy had been trying to add a whimsical book to the current humane education curriculum when she received Wiesnthe’s offer to illustrate and layout some fun materials for the workshops. “The information in this book is so important for children to learn, by teaching responsible dog ownership at a young age we can cultivate adults that view dogs as family members not possessions, reducing the shelter pet population,” says Bown. The book will be used in programs designed for at risk youth, shelter workers and children’s reading programs. Civic organizations interested in sponsoring a workshop should contact Nancy Bown at www. Dog and Human Harmony can be purchased from the Dog-Harmony website or their kiosk in Grand Boulevard. Proceeds from the book will support educational programs in our community.

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Dog-Harmony Inc. is a different breed of rescue. Dog-Harmony is a non-profit 501(c)3 dedicated to reducing the shelter dog population through ongoing humane education. Founded by professional dog trainer Nancy Bown, CPDT-KA, the non-profit works to build positive relationships between canines and humans – preventing dogs from becoming homeless in the first place. What makes Dog-Harmony different? In addition to training dogs, they work to “train” the public and pet parents. For adoptions, individualized attention is given before, during and after to make sure the new family has the right tools to build a successful life together. The key element is education – of humans and dogs, no matter what age. The programs are low-cost or free, and include: Humane Education, Microchipping, Spay/Neuter Scholarship and Transport, Adoption, and Prong Collar Alternatives.

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5/4/20 8:38 AM

Pet Releaf CBD Hemp Oils 100% USDA Certified Organic from Seed to Sale Starting at $19.99 What’s Up Dog?

Oral-B Genius The Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry Animal Whimsey - Prices Vary Donna Pizarro

Churu - All-natural appetite motivator specifically designed for cats. Individual packets $1.13, case of 50 packets $56.50 30A Vet | 850-660-1892

ThunderShirt - $24.99 to $34.99 Petland

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“Nature Lashes” - naturally based lash growth serum, works perfectly with OR without lash extensions - also works on eyebrows! One package lasts about 4-6 months with daily use. - $80 Amazing Lash Studio 850-424-4779

5/4/20 8:51 AM

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VIP Destin at Pratt Aycock Title, LLC

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


his year’s Mutt’s & Martinis event was postponed due to quarantine but Dog Harmony, the event’s beneficiary, expects to be sharing martinis with friends and bringing their furry ones along later this summer. VIP Destin will keep you posted on the new date. The event supports Dog Harmony’s efforts in humane education for the mutts in our community. Learn more about Dog Harmony at

see the full story online in the original May 2019 Issue Liz Pfeifer with Carly

Kerry Becnel & Mendy Gregory

Kim Pataky, John & Mildred Nawa

Claire Bassett & John Hollan

Ada Bowman, Carmen Wilkinson, Jamie Sears & Elise Sears

Elaine Weeks & Kathy Pryce

May 2020 | 35

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VIP Destin at Pratt Aycock Title, LLC

Alisha Hasty & Bryce Whitener

Dustin Cahill & Tommy Hughes

Mike & Bronwyn Landis

Kathy Miller, Trish Jones & Nancy Bown 36

Mandy Dancer & Allie Woodring

Sue Smith & Denise Baiiey

Denise Song, Steve Barber & Stephen Clark

Kristin Terry & Ryan Foote

Renee Broxon & Sydney Bassett

Morgan & Sharon Pepple, Rita Noyce


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P !"#$"#% story provided by Steve Barber


icnics have a rich history as a fun social gathering where each attendee brings a share of the food. Originally picnics were developed as one would pull together a puzzle with each participant bringing a separate dish, with the results of a complete meal. With the coming of the 18th century, the picnic developed into a party theme with an elaborate or competitive sense in presenting the dishes by each individual. This was due to the very rigid, strict Victorian attitudes which prevailed and of course, stifled social contact by the young people. Not to be out-done, the picnic gave these free spirits an opportunity to express themselves socially. The youth headed to the outdoors, with all of the splendor and glamour of the formal dining room yet enabling them to set their rules. With the movement to the out-of-doors yet still to be refined, the youth developed the very fine crafted picnic hampers, complete with good china, linen napkins, tablecloths and champagne glasses. This was the era of finely crafted flatware, dinnerware and accessories. It also brought a fashion to the courting scene, young men in a crisp white suit, and the young ladies serving tea in a thin china cup and saucer, all outdoors. All of the comforts of home were taken out as the weather of spring encouraged the youth. As we moved outside, the food changed. The meals were of a lighter style with the majority of cold dishes and easy to eat simple plates. Convenience became the primary aim as the recipes dictated. Today, we still love the convenience attitude, but the romance of the picnic still is key.


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!"#$"%&'(!(#)"*+#&(+,($!#&-$.-$ Pick the right spot, somewhere scenic with plenty of shade. Pack correctly, wicker baskets are charming but not always practical. Try an insulated bag. Pick the right blanket, with enough cushioning and easy to clean. Pack throw pillows, to create comfort and seating options. Pack food in Mason jars, condiments, sides and salads so they won’t spill. Use a tray, it helps carry essentials from your car to the picnic spot. Clean up after yourself, bring garbage bags so you can leave your picnic spot as litter free as you found it. Don’t forget- napkins, flatware, glasses, paring knife, bottle opener, corkscrew, condiments, maybe a small table and bugspray. Flexibility is important for planning a picnic. A picnic can be held almost anywhere: in the woods during a hike, at the beach or on a boat, on the roadside while traveling, or in a venue before a concert. At home, picnics can be casual, in the backyard under a tree or on a deck or patio. Picnics do not have to be complicated meals, just take the time to plan for best results. Once you have a location, date set and menu planned, go outside and enjoy one of the life’s simple pleasures…the picnic.

C+8,+8#C()*(#?(-(3 @*19*)"A"B"#: C'51*(3*'.) !"""#"$%&'(")*+),*--"$+).+ !""#"/&$"/,%$$*("0&),1%%0) !""#"/&$"/,%$$*("/&/&02*1 !""#"/&$"/,%$$*("21%//%-3 !""#"/&$"4,3.*")&5+1 !""678"/&$"9*5*.+2-*"%3!""#78"/&$"$1*$+1*("0&).+1( !"":".+2-*)$%%')"0+;%''+3)* !""#78"/&$"(3).3--*("4,3.*"93'*5+1 !""#78"/&$"),1*((*("<,*((+1"/,**)* !"")+-.".%".+).* !""51%&'("2-+/="$*$$*1".%".+).*

D31*/.3%') !"#$%%&#'()*(#+,#-(./0#'%*#%1#2%+-+,/#)(-*03# 4(*0.#5,*+-#(-#30,*0"#6+,)0#4+*7#8%%-#4(*0."# 9.(+,#40--" :"#$%;2+,0#87%''03#<0/0*(2-0)=#)5/(.=#%+-=# ;5)*(.3=#;(>%,,(+)0=#<+,0/(.=#(,3#)7.03303# $7033(.#8700)0#+,#(#-(./0#2%4-"#?0()%,#4+*7# )(-*#(,3#'0''0.#*%#*()*0"#@+A#40--"#?*+.#+,#'()*("# 601.+/0.(*0#1%.#:#*%#B#7%5.)#201%.0#)0.<+,/"

May 2020 | 39

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VIP Destin at Baytowne Wharf

The Sandestin Wine Festival 2020 has been cancelled. Join us April 15-18 2021.


Wine Festival photos & story by Zhalman Harris


he Sandestin Wine Festival was held at Baytowne Wharf on April 12 and 13 of last year. With this year’s festivities cancelled, we wanted to bring you some of the fun from last year and offer some anticipation of the event for 2021, which is sure to make up for lost time. The two day event, known as the Grand Wine Tastings, showcases more than 500 domestic and international wines. Guests have opportunities to interact and query the vineyard owners and winemakers. Make your plans now to attend this grand event. see the full story online in the original May 2019 Issue

Adrianna Hernandez & Griffin Smith

Jenny Larson & Britney Graves

Renee Miller & Sarah Schindler

Alyssa Hoffman & Gil Osterloh

Andrew & Misty Rae Ruthrauff, Debbie Segale, Dawn Montalvo & Scott Parker May 2020 | 41

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VIP Destin at Sandestin Wine Festival

Nicole Vandermeulen & Amy Miller

Michelle & Von Birch

Dria Thro, Aimee Centorbi & Jessica Weeks

Cynthia Roberson & Debra Greenhow

Raeann Firkas & Dee Jones 42

Shelby Mikul & Katie Wynn

Casey Sauls, Mandy Buchanan, Molly Sexton & Ann Landgraf

Mark & Jackie Austin

Kayla Campbell & Christian Lawrence

Stephanie Corley, Emilie Gudger, Sheree Brown & Debbie Denhard


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Jen Sjostrom, Tiffany Bryant & Meg Stockings

Jeanie Bennett, Tami Kettle, Isabel & Matt Vorhies

!"#$%&'()*"(+#,(-&#,.(/, 850.650.8511

DESTIN FLOORING AMERICA 12889 Emerald Coast Parkway Suite 113B ∑ Miramar Beach, FL Sherry Machowski, Heather Trichell & Regan Barnes


DESTIN FLOORING AMERICA 2254 South Ferdon Boulevard Crestview, FL

Rachel Roedel & Steve Rowland

de s t in flo oring americades tin. com May 2020 | 43

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Desperate times call for desperate measures- but when it comes to hiding those weeks-neglected roots, thankfully, there is a chic solution that has you covered... literally! We’re talking about hats. Sun hats, fedoras, big brim, cloches, floppy hats, baseball caps, Panama hats, and any other fashionable head-covering attire that will elevate your look while keeping your secret safe until your stylist is once again available to restore your “natural� look.



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VIP Destin at Seascape Towne Centre

Valerie Leonard & Tiffany Auer

Julie Shaffran & Kealie Phillips

Brittany Sellers & Jennifer Tucker

photos & story by Shanna Magnuson


pring season was kicked off at the Seascape Towne Center in Miramar Beach on March 7 with three days of culinary events at the 7th Annual Tequila & Taco Fest. Area restaurants competed for the Best Taco on The Emerald Coast with a grand prize of $2500. This event has grown since it was founded by Carlos Shaffran with over 40 types of tequilas and delicious margaritas. Along with taste testing tequila and unlimited tacos, other activities like face painting, a tortilla tossing contest, Chihuahua beauty contest, nacho eating contest, and best dressed also kept the energy high and fun-filled. Live music was also provided by Meringue 4 and Eli Young Band at the after party at The Village Door Music Hall. With perfect spring weather, the Seascape Towne Centre stayed buzzing for the whole event, and Carlos Shaffran added, “Guests from all over the Southeast come to celebrate this unique event on the Emerald Coast.� The whole weekend also included the Pre Party on March 6 at Mezcal Mexican Bar & Grill, followed by Bye Bye Brunch on March 8 at ACME Oyster House.

Bobby & Jodi Howell

Amber Birch & Renaldo Maroney

Genesis Mendes & Kunal Desai 46

Rachel Smith, Britany Rodriguez, Michelle Ecker & Abigail Rotolo


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Kristin Hamlet & Kelli Creamer

Geoff Berschmeider, Ashley Posada, Carly Laing & Emily Porter

Christina Jones & Onisha Simmons

Robyn Picks & Lisa Meyers

Madison Whitmeyer & Rebekah Manley

Kristie Garrison & Renee Watson

Ragan Emberton, Michelle Eckenrob & Brittany Grimes

Sydney & Sterling Carr

April Woodward, Nichole Cook & Brandy Metz May 2020 | 47

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compiled by Steve Barber

Emily Charlton is back in a new Devil Wears Prada novel . Perfect marriages. Perfect neighbors. Perfect lies. Everyone is guarding a secret in this picture-perfect town. When Karolina Hartwell is arrested driving her son home, the headlines don’t tell the full story. It seems nothing will stand in the way of her husband Graham’s political ambition not even his wife. Miriam Kagan is convinced her husband Paul is hiding something. But if she digs too deeply, she’s afraid of what might tumble out of the closet. Emily Charlton is new to Greenwich, but she soon discovers this is a small town built on big lies. And sometimes it takes an outsider to draw them out.

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IP Destin Magazine has always aimed to create covers which embody the true VIP spirit of socializing throughout the area. Choosing that one special photo each month is no small feat, but always results in giving readers a sneak peek into what the rest of the pages hold. From fundraisers to celebrations, and ribbon cuttings to groundbreakings, VIP Destin Magazine is the place to look when you want to see what’s going on around town. May is the last month of spring, ushering us through transitions into summer with warmer weather and a full calendar. This year, while some of our usual spring events might happen later in the year, there is still plenty to celebrate during this shift into the coming summer months. Take a look back with us at our May Covers as we look forward to making many more May memories with the community.

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photos by Tim Cramer | story provided by Berkshire Hathaway

his Majestic Bay-Front Mediterranean home is nestled in perhaps the most remote and desirable waterfront location in Destin, The Estates at Indian Pointe. Representing the pinnacle of luxury bayfront living, this estate home offers over 7,000 square feet of living space on 147 feet of bay-front, manicured grounds on Choctawhatchee Bay and Indian Bayou. Stunning views along with lush, mature landscaped grounds make this estate a must see! Relax in your private, bay-front pool and enjoy the views and outdoor summer kitchen located on a spacious screened porch with outdoor fireplace. Completing the home is a masterfully constructed dock with durable composite decking leading to a deep-water boat slip which easily accommodates a 70-foot vessel. The Estates at Indian Pointe is a distinctive gated community with only 13 homesites on Choctawhatchee Bay-one of Destin’s finest Bay Front neighborhoods. Offering an extraordinary lifestyle where one can enjoy life in your own private castle on the water yet just minutes away is all Destin has to offer with the world’s best beaches, shopping, dining and golfing. It’s ideal for the boating enthusiast and yachtsman alike with easy access to big game fishing in the Gulf and a deep-water boat slip that will accommodate a 70-foot vessel with a 6-foot draft. This two-story Bay Front Mediterranean custom-built estate is comprised of 7,524 sq. ft of living area, seven bedrooms, and eight baths. The two-story grand foyer with marble flooring opens to the main living area and formal dining area overlooking the pool and Bay. Custom cabinetry and top of the line appliances shine in this gourmet kitchen with an island, and the home also features a large family room with a wet bar and fireplace fronting the Bay. Nearby is a wine room with built in storage/ cooler. At the far south side is a large guest room with a private bath.



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The north side features a den with hardwood floors, fireplace, and custom built in shelves and a breathtaking Master Suite including a sitting area with fireplace overlooking the Bay, two large walk-in closets and a spa-like Master bath with his and her vanities, a jetted tub, fireplace, and duel entry shower with stained glass and seating. In the Foyer, the stairway leads to a second level media room with projection screen and stadium seating along with five generous guest rooms with luxury baths - one bedroom features a kitchenette, sitting room and private covered balcony.

May 2020 | 53

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The exterior amenities include a pool with spa, fountain and waterfall; screened porch with fireplace, media cabinet and summer kitchen overlooking the Bay; boat slip that will accommodate a 70-foot vessel with a 6-foot draft and access to deep water. Peaceful and private, the perfect place to call home.

!"#$%&'($% 4145 Belcourt Drive Destin, FL 32541 Call 850-737-0567 today to schedule your private appointment. Royce Mitchell, Broker Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty

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Bracken Law, PA serves the areas of Destin, 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, Miramar Beach, Panama City Beach, Niceville and Fort Walton Beach, Florida.


(850) 792-2677 | | 30A | 2930 W. County Highway 30A, Suite 210 | Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 Holiday Plaza | 12273 Emerald Coast Parkway, Suite 107 | Miramar Beach, FL 32550


2014 - 2019

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2016 - 2019

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VIP Destin at Emeril’s Coastal Italian


Lisa Turpin & Rita Sherwood

photos & story by Zhalman Harris


s part of the annual Chi Chi Miguel Weekend of events, this year’s Sip N Shop was not held, but was included as part of their first ever virtual event. Last year’s Sip N Shop, the 9th annual, was held at Emeril;s Coastal Italian restaurant in Miramar Beach. The event was presented in partnership with the Emeril Lagasse Foundation and was one of five fundraising events included in the annual Chi Chi Miguel Throwdown Weekend held each spring in support of children’s charities in our area. At last year’s event, guests had fun bidding on some incredible packages including unique experiences, travel stays, jewelry, and artwork. A highlight of the day was a ‘meet and greet’ with four of Alaqua’s baby goats who were in attendance for petting, and posing for pictures. Insurance Zone and Residence Inn Sandestin at Grand Boulevard were the sponsors of the magnificent event which raised over $225,000. This annual occasion also happens to be one of Alaqua’s signature fundraisers in support of the Refuge. The fun and excitement of last year’s Sip N Shop is evident in our Classic revist to the event.

see the full story online in the original May 2019 Issue

Verla Price & Young Kim

Heather Williams & Stephania Crisafulli

Melissa Mercer Brown & Angel Mabry

Kelly Layman, Angela Ragsdale, Marisol Gullo & Lea Capers May 2020 | 57

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VIP Destin at Sip N Shop

Megan Trent & Christie Casillo


Bobby Parker & Cathy Jones

Julia Vijacka & Demetrius Fuller

JR Hendricks, Sherry Flecther, Connie Yabro & Christy Burke

Taylor & Laurie Hood

Alissa Parsons & Mary Chris Murry

Tamra & Trent Gill

Maggie & Patrick McNutt

Karen Holder & Demetria McNeese

Renee Launiere, Debra Greenhow, Cynthia Roberson & Mara Clark


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Adrianne Brackett, Stacey Brady & Gabrielle O’Connell

Nancy Strother, Patti Barker & Peggy Adams

Karen Hartley, Jessica Jones & Jennifer Howard

Becky Fisher, Riley Wolf & Julieanne Hall May 2020 | 59

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The Impact of


photos & story by Teresa Allen

mpact 100 Northwest Florida is one of the largest nonprofit grant providers in Okaloosa and Walton counties. A chapter of the national IMPACT 100 movement, IMPACT 100 is based on a very simple concept; 100 women each donate $1,000 and 100% of the donations are joined together to create $100,000 grants for local non-profits to be used in transformational projects. The local chapter has grown to over 500 women and last year donated $508,000 in five separate grants. Since the local chapter was founded in 2012, Impact100 Northwest Florida has donated over $2.7 million to area non-profits. That’s the great news‌ the more difficult reality is that every spring the group starts over with zero members and holds member recruitment events across our area to renew memberships and sign up new members. With the COVID-19 situation, many events were put on hold forcing the group to form new strategies for renewals and getting the word out to new members. In addition, IMPACT 100 board members wanted to find a way to help local non-profits benefit not only from the $100,000 grants to be awarded in the fall, but to also somehow help them to meet short term and intermediate needs brought on by the COVID crisis. Local non-profits were contacted and a wish list was formed which can be accessed at May 2020 | 61

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Interview with Cindy McCue 2020 President – IMPACT 100

What is the primary mission of IMPACT 100? Our mission at IMPACT 100 of Northwest Florida is to financially support nonprofit organizations in Northwest Florida, bridging the geographic areas of our region and leveraging the talents of our members to be a positive force for good in our communities. How did you become involved with IMPACT 100? A friend was talking about it at a neighborhood lunch. I heard her say “100% of your donation goes to the grants”. I called her later to ask her about it because so many times I had given money to a charity that looked like such a good cause and later found that 75% of my money was going to administrative costs. I didn’t realize until I talked to her that 100% also stays local in Okaloosa and Walton County. I was SOLD! How does IMPACT 100 select the nonprofits it supports? The number of members determines the total amount given each year. Each member donates $1000 and 100% of that is given in the grants. The grants are always a minimum of $100,000. In 2019 with 508 members we gave five grants of $101,600 each for a total of $508,000. The recipients are chosen by our members. After the nonprofits apply in late spring, they are first reviewed for financial stability, then our review committees visit every applicant to learn more about their specific transformational project. The grant committees bring forward two finalists in each of our focus areas for a final vote by all members at our annual meeting. Does IMPACT 100 have regularly scheduled events? IMPACT 100 has membership recruiting events and member socials. They are often hosted by our wonderful community partners, such as Ruth’s Chris, Tuscany, Solaris, Surfing Deer, Twisted Grape, and Bay Café. Our members and prospective members gather to hear about IMPACT 100, and hear from a prior grant recipient. We also have had events at prior grant recipient locations such as Gulfarium and Emerald Coast Science Center, so they can show the members how their donation was used. There are no required meetings and members like that they can be as involved as is desired. At our social events in the summer, members get together, network, and just enjoy the comradery. We have two special events every year. Our ‘number reveal’ usually in May, but it is unsure when it will be held this year. That is when we announce the total dollar amount we have for the grants for the year based on how many members have signed up. Our second big event is our annual meeting where our members hear from the two finalists in each grant category and then vote on who will receive the grants. It is a very special day for our members. If a member chooses to work on a standing committee such as finance, communication, or membership, those committee meetings are held throughout the year. Special committees such as grant review committees or our annual meeting committees meet at specific times during the year. Involvement can range just like the ebb and flow of life and our members appreciate that. The only “requirement” for membership is a $1,000 donation. It is important to note that ALL of the work of the organization is done by the members and thus there is no administrative cost deducted from the $1,000 donations. This is one 62

of the most unique things about IMPACT 100 and the reason many members join… They know that 100% of their donation goes to our nonprofit grants. What grants were most recently awarded to help the community? We have 5 focus areas of service and we were able to award a grant in each of the areas. Arts and Culture: Muscogee Nation of Florida will be developing a museum in a historic three room school house, along with a film of local history. Education: AMI Kids will fund a Career Coordinator for GED students age 16-24; Environment: Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance will fund oyster shell recycling program and seagrass bed restoration for a healthy Bay; Family: A bed 4 Me is providing beds to children without beds in Okaloosa county; Health: Destin Harvest will purchase two additional trucks for recovering food from grocery and restaurants to be delivered to shelters and food distribution centers. What is the greatest challenge facing IMPACT 100? Every year we give away 100% of the grant monies collected for that year and we start at $0 again collecting memberships. We work hard at renewing members and recruiting new members to grow our grants. This year the Covid-19 crisis forced cancellation of several member recruitment events and operationally, necessitated moving our board meetings to Zoom. We have extended our deadline for membership to May 31st and are trying hard to meet our goal. The financial challenges to many of our members and the astronomical needs of our nonprofits is a double hit this year. As we come out of this crisis, we expect that the emotional and financial trauma will be great and the women of IMPACT 100 want to be able to meet as many of those needs as we can, so we need more members! We have a category of membership called ‘Evergreen’. These special members pledge to renew every year. IMPACT 100 also wants to develop a new generation of generous women. It is for this reason that we now have a category of membership for women under 40 called NextGen. NextGen memberships are partially sponsored by other members during their first two years. This is a great way for young professionals to tap into the vast connections of IMPACT 100 while developing their personal philanthropy. Is IMPACT 100 specific to Destin or is it part of a larger, national organization? IMPACT 100 of Northwest Florida is specific to Okaloosa and Walton County. There are 53 other Impact 100 chapters around the country and in Australia, but each one stands alone. The chapters of IMPACT 100 share information and ideas and a common model developed in 2001 by Wendy Steele, but each chapter stands alone. What is one thing you want readers to know about IMPACT 100? One of our founding members said it best. “We are not looking for wealthy women, we are looking for generous women.” The needs of our community moving through 2020 and beyond after the COVID crisis cannot be overstated. We invite all generous women of Northwest Florida to join us in making an impact in Okaloosa and Walton counties!


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Amanda Gordon & Cindy McCue

2019 Grant Recipients

Priscilla Rose & Barbara Britt

Kay Crawford & Teresa Allen

Cathy Campbell & Catherine Herndon

Lori Echols, Karen Waterfield, Tracey Williams, Teresa Bolton & Sandy Trammell

Our membership deadline has been extended to May 31st! Visit our website to find out more and join. To view the emergency wish list compiled from area nonprofits go to: Teresa Imdieke May 2020 | 63

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VIP Destin


irtual happy hours have become the new going out. On April 9, some of our VIP Destin Magazine family and friends came together for a virtual happy hour on Zoom. Computers from Destin, all the way to Tennessee, logged in to discuss Destin happenings and to laugh, talk, and enjoy a break from the mundane. Topics like working from home, grooming pets, and who would get the first hair appointment were covered. Children made quick appearances, pet introductions occurred, and the jovial discussions continued. Air tippings of wine glasses joined the fun as great ideas were cheered on how to adapt and gain ground in the temperate economy. The evening ended with a few trivia games and prizes from area businesses. Are you planning a virtual happy hour of your own? Here are some helpful tips: Dress up! This may be your only chance to wear real pants all week. Put up a fun virtual background. The beach, the Swiss Alps, the possibilities are endless. Everyone loves a furry friend, so include your pets in fun. Tidy up your area, it’s an excellent excuse to do some of those chores you’ve been avoiding.

story by Verla Price


Steve Barber with Hansel

Verla Price with Izzy

Denise Song with Piesche

Renee Launiere with Gus

Laurie Hood with Moonpie

Royce Mitchell

Jeff Watson & Maggie Yelverton

Lea Capers

Jacqui Luberto

Joe Capers

Valery Figueroa

Todd Reeves & Mary Chris Murray


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Continuing to Serve Our Community Even in the Hardest of Times

Best Public Relations Firm 2013≠ 2020 Best Event Planner 2018≠ 2020 Best New Business 2012

9375 Emerald Coast Parkway, Unit 24 |

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Best Public Relations / Advertising Firm 2015≠ 2018 Best Event Planning Firm 2015≠ 2018

Miramar Beach, FL 32550


Finest Public Relations / Ad Agency 2016

(850) 460≠7 777


5/4/20 9:42 AM

LOCALE O Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Twin Cities Hospital Move to Universal Masking Protocol Fort Walton Beach Medical Center (FWBMC) and Twin Cities Hospital (TCH) announced today that all staff and providers in all patient care areas will now wear masks, expanding their use beyond suspected or positive COVID cases. Masks will be optional only for staff in non-patient care areas who can consistently maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet aside from brief interactions with colleagues. “Our top priority is protecting our patients, clinicians, nurses, and colleagues so we can best serve our communities through the duration of this pandemic,” said Mitch Mongell, CEO of FWBMC. “These new guidelines apply to all areas of our patient care facilities, not just those where suspected COVID or COVIDpositive patients are being treated. We are taking this step now because of evidence we see that, while social distancing is a key strategy for interrupting the spread of coronavirus, it is difficult to maintain in the busy patient care environment. Also, HCA Healthcare’s latest analysis of our ability to meet the demand for additional use of masks gives us confidence that our colleagues in supply chain are prepared to address our needs. Even though HCA Healthcare currently has adequate supplies of personal protective equipment, we will continue to take steps to conserve PPE, including reuse and reprocessing of PPE where appropriate.” Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Twin Cities Hospital has deployed guidance for the three types of masks, depending on the clinical role, the type of care the patient is receiving, and the level of suspicion for infection with COVID. · Level I “procedure” masks for all staff not needing higher levels of protection. These masks can also be used for caring for suspected or confirmed COVID patients when paired with a full face shield. · Level 3 masks for additional protection from fluids and droplets, and for use by staff caring directly for suspected COVID or COVID positive patients, except when performing aerosolized procedures. 66

· N-95 respirators for staff caring for suspected COVID or COVID positive patients, and are the only mask that should be used during aerosolizing procedures, such as intubation, nebulization, bronchoscopy, or suctioning. As this crisis evolves, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Twin Cities Hospital and HCA Healthcare will continue to evolve to meet the challenges. Since January, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Twin Cities Hospital has continued to monitored PPE usage, carefully analyzing and implementing the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration for best PPE practices. HCA Healthcare’s supply chain has continually worked with epidemiologists and data scientists to track usage and anticipated demand so we can allocate our supplies appropriately, even as these professionals work around the clock to safeguard existing supplies and secure additional shipments. This month, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Twin Cities Hospital also appointed a PPE czar to manage supplies to prepare for potential surge needs. “We are grateful to our dedicated colleagues who have stepped up, as they always do, to support our community when it is needed most,” Dave Whalen, CEO of Twin Cities Hospital said. “We are appreciative of the efforts of professionals at all levels of our hospital and HCA Healthcare to ensure Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Twin Cities Hospital is able to meet this challenge head on while continuing to keep the safety of our colleagues, patients and the community at large our top priority.” Costa Enterprises McDonald’s Serves 9,056 Free Meals to Hospital Employees in Northwest Florida Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

Costa Enterprises McDonald’s served 9,056 free combo meals to medical workers as a part of their “Free Meals for Heroes” initiative which launched on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 and ended on Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Costa Enterprises McDonald’s created the initiative as a way to say “thank you” to all of the men and women who have been dedicating their time and putting themselves at risk to work in their medical professions during this global pandemic. While most of the population is self-quarantining or practicing socialdistancing, hospital workers have been continuing to work diligently and operating normal and extended hours. The original post announcing the initiative was shared over 1,600 times and garnered 273 comments. It reached over 100,000 people nationwide and was covered by Fox News. The offer was originally created with hospital workers in mind. However, after the initial announcement, the Costa family decided to expand the offer to all professionals in the medical field including hospice nurses, pharmacists, nursing home employees, and other various healthcare workers. The offer was valid for one free combo meal of choice per customer that presented a valid hospital ID badge or medical ID per day. Over the course of two weeks, a total of 9,056 meals were served from the 24 Costa Family McDonald’s locations in the Southeast. Costa Family McDonald’s locations include Bluewater Bay, Niceville, all Navarre locations, Mossy Head, all Crestview locations, Marianna I-10, Marianna Lafayette, Cottondale, Bonifay, Chipley, DeFuniak Springs, Harrison, Long Beach, Long Beach Walmart, Surfside, Lynn Haven, Blountstown, Callaway Walmart, Port St. Joe, Pier Park, and 23rd Street in Panama City, Fla. This effort was created as part of Costa Enterprises’ “Costa Cares” program, whose mission is to provide outstanding community service through various fundraising efforts such as supporting local schools, partnering with churches, involvement in international and national charities, and offering any help or services that the community may need. To learn


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LOCALE O more about Costa Enterprises McDonald’s community efforts, visit https://costamcd. com. To stay up to date on upcoming offers, follow Costa Enterprises McDonald’s on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. The Destin High School Project Will Be Delayed Destin High School’s (DHS) Governing

Board announced Thursday that the school project will be delayed until August of 2021. The board entered into a contract to purchase Destin United Methodist Church’s (DUMC) campus. Per the contract, DUMC was to enter into their own contract to purchase Grace Lutheran Church’s campus. DUMC required that the closings be simultaneous. On the scheduled closing date, March 30, 2020, DUMC had not yet entered into their contract, due to a variety of factors. “With this closing delay, the high school would not have a sufficient amount of time to do the necessary renovations to retrofit the campus, continue student recruiting and enrollment, and fundraising activities prior to the scheduled opening date of August of 2020,” said DHS Governing Board President, Prebble Ramswell. Additionally, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, all schools are closed until May 1, 2020, with Governor DeSantis issuing an official “Stay at Home” order for 30 days starting April 2, 2020. Due to this order being in place, the school will not be able to continue hosting informational sessions for interested families. Florida Statute allows charter schools to defer opening without a penalty, and the DHS board intends to request a one year deferral to the Okaloosa County School District. The field of 150 applicants for the school principal job, has been narrowed down to three candidates. Once the “Stay at Home” order is lifted, the board intends to have the final three candidates travel to Destin,

for one-on-one interviews with the board and a parent advisory group, to make the final recommendation and selection of the principal. The plan is to bring the principal on board to work with Collaborative Educational Network to recruit students and teachers, finalize course offerings, and help establish community partnerships for the career academies. Governing Board member, and former principal of Destin Elementary, Al Gardner said, “Parents and students who have confirmed their seats at DHS will be able to attend their Okaloosa County School District zoned school for the 2020-21 school year. We will also be personally reaching out to enrolled DHS students and their families, with additional information.” “The people of Grace Lutheran Church share in the disappointment coming from Destin High School deferring its plans, yet remain prayerful for and supportive of the high school group as they consider their future,” commented Grace Lutheran spokesperson, Mike Wind. Strategic planning property discussion sessions with DUMC and Grace Lutheran will resume, once groups of 10 or more can publicly gather in the state of Florida. The board will also review an additional Destin property, that an out of state landowner has proposed as a potential site for the school. Sarah Stone, DHS Governing Board Treasurer, concluded, “This has been a difficult decision for the board to make, but we know that it is in the best interest of our students and families and we want to be mindful of the current pandemic and uncertainty that is happening in both our community and world. We are grateful to all the families who have committed to support DHS, and community members who have assisted us financially and in other ways. We look forward to continuing this journey together and to opening our school in August of 2021.” Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation Postpones Select Events in Response to COVID-19

canceled the following events: April 23, 2020: Concerts in the Village with Jeffrey Steele - POSTPONED April 30, 2020: Concerts in the Village with the M-80s - POSTPONED May 1, 2020: Vin’tij Wine Dinner benefiting MKAF - CANCELED May 7, 2020: Concerts in the Village with Accent - POSTPONED May 14, 2020: Concerts in the Village with Shania Twin - POSTPONED

All MKAF committees are working diligently to reschedule these great events! The MKAF Executive Committee will continue to evaluate events in the coming weeks and will provide updated information as soon as possible. The Foundation thanks its members, volunteers, donors, and the community for their support. For the latest news and information please check www.MKAF. org, and follow the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation Facebook page for dates, information, and inspiring arts and culturerelated posts. As we navigate through the unknown, the Foundation hopes everyone will look to the Arts as a hopeful way to process the uncertainty. Listen to music, watch a creative documentary, paint, draw, cook and find comfort in knowing that Art is Life and we will emerge from this together.

After careful consideration and observation, the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation (MKAF) has postponed or May 2020 | 67

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VIP Destin at Churchill Oaks Clubhouse

Virtual Throwdown & Online Auction was held on Saturday, April 4 from 5-7pm.

Chi Chi Miguel

Ewa & Chris Ruyan

THROWDOWN photos & story by Kay Phelan


lthough social distancing and stay at home orders were in place, the annual Chi Chi Miguel weekend took place ... virtually. For 13 years, the Chi Chi events have supported charities along the Gulf Coast, including the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC). On April 4th, the organizers continued their efforts on Facebook for their first virtual Throwdown and Online Auction successfully raising over $250,000. ECCAC received $25,104 of the funds raised. Nearly 100 posts, images and videos were shared on the virtual event page by attendees, all showing their support for the cause. Founded in 2006 by Valerie and Mike “Chi Chi Miguel” Thompson as a small backyard barbeque competition, the Throwdown Benefit Auction & BBQ has since expanded to a three-day, star-studded event and one of the most successful fundraisers along the Emerald Coast. For the past three years, the Emerald Lagasse Foundation staff has organized and implemented the events. Mike Thompson, who has served on the ECCAC board for many years and serves on the ELF board, commented, “We are so gratified with how the community came forth to help with our virtual event that benefited 8 area charities. ECCAC has been a beneficiary for all of the years of Chi Chi. It feels so right that the Chi Chi events have been able to benefit the children ECCAC serves at no cost who are experiencing abuse, abandonment and neglect right here in Walton and Okaloosa Counties.” Please enjoy these images of last year’s event. see the full story online in the original May 2019 Issue

Katy Weiss Porter & Deborah Elmore

Elaine Tucker & Debra Henry

Tracy & Alan Wood

Alden & Emeril Lagasse, Mike & Val Thompson May 2019 | 69

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VIP Destin at Chi Chi Miguel Throwdown

Velia Lala & Cindy Cole

Dave & Penny Loane, Mark Bourgeois & Trent Kelley

Talladega Tailgate BBQ team


Lynn Dugas & Julia Dorminy Vijacka

Keri & Greg Atchley

Dinelle Putman, Tiffany Nelson, Eli Smartt, Ryland Nunn, Donell Reed, Emeril Lagasse, Keshon Holmes, Stephanie Williams & Brian Kish

Diana Phelps & Chelsea Blaich

Emeril Lagasse’s Pork Rangers BBQ team


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Pam Welborn, Vicky Camp & Joy Adams

Chelsea Fox, Nautica Brinegar & Samantha Collazo

Wren Brasfield, Kim Mixson & Teresa Horton

Lea Capers, Kate Holland, Laurie Hood & Joe Capers May 2020 | 71

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VIP Destin at Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club

!"#$%&'()*+,-,.(+'%*$# At Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club photos by Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club


story by Steve Barber


olfers are on the course at Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club enjoying the beautiful weather and adjusting to the new normal in play. The many new safety precautions that are being taken to ensure a healthy experience at Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club are certainly not hindering the golfers. In order to limit play, the golf course and practice areas are open to members only (no guests of members will be allowed). Additional information and best practices while on the course are available upon arrival. Walking is encouraged. Carts are available for single passengers only unless you live in the same household. The cart staff disinfects all carts prior to use and will not be handling member’s bags to and from cars to carts. Tee times are being 15 minutes apart with no group gatherings before or after play. All seating arrangements have been removed from the clubhouse porch. Only one group is allowed on a tee box at the same time while practicing proper social distancing. Every other station on the driving range will be available. Social distancing safes practice are in place for golf shop staff, cart/bag staff, starter and beverage cart staff and all golf staff will be wearing gloves and masks/scarfs. Touching the flag stick is prohibited so PVC pipe has been placed in the hole to reduce player contact to the flagstick and cup. Rakes have been removed from all bunkers, all water stations have been removed and golf ball washers have been covered.

Distance on the Green - Shown here from left to right: Bob Garey, Rick Parker & Tommy Brantley 72


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Driving Range - Extra Spacing between hitting mats Shown here from left to right: John Andrulot, William Crane & David Moore

Walking is highly encouraged - Shown here from left to right: David Noto, Bob Baird & Ken Colbert

Social Distancing Stick - Staff members created distancing sticks to demonstrate 6 feet distances required while playing. Shown here is staff member, Mike Hall.

Riders must be single occupancy - no exceptions Shown here from left to right: Rick Parker, Bob Garey, Roy Acosta & Tommy Brantley

Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club is the only member owned golf course and private beach club located on scenic Highway 30A in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Hugging the sugar-white sandy beaches of South Walton, the club spans across more than 85 acres providing members, guests and the public with access to golf, dining and more. The club is in constant contact with other courses in the area and around the country for best practices ideas. May 2020 | 73

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!"#$%&'#() What is your hometown, what brought you here to the Emerald Coast, and how log have you lived here? I was born and raised in a little town in Eastern Ohio called Adena. My wife, Lea, and I used to vacation here when we lived in Atlanta. We loved it so much that we ended up building a second home here in 1999. After too many tearful car rides back to Atlanta, we decided to make it our full-time residence in 2005. On our ninth wedding anniversary, we put our home on the market, packed up our pups, and have never looked back! What is your profession, and what led you to choose it? I got accepted into The Ohio State University’s business school, which was a huge feat! It seemed that everyone was choosing marketing as their major, and I knew I wanted to do something different so I selected Risk Management and Insurance as my major. Looking back, it was the perfect choice as I love what I do. What do you like best about Destin? What makes it unique? There are so many wonderful things to love about Destin. I think first and foremost, the people that live here are truly amazing and incredibly community and charityminded. At least once a month you can count on an event that usually includes wine! Give us a few of your favorite things about Destin. It’s easy to say the beaches and golf are my favorite things here. But the overall culture and community is a huge draw and I have loved getting to know the many people that call the place home and our little slice of paradise. I am also a big fan of Alaqua Animal Refuge and the other charitable organizations that support kids and animals. When I am not selling insurance, golfing, working on my tan, or attending a wine event, you can find me handing out Insurance Zone pens to all of the restaurants and businesses in the area. Finish this statement, I AM DESTIN because… I have supplied the community with over 150,000 Insurance Zone pens! Seriously, I AM DESTIN because I am a part of this amazing community—whether I am assisting with someone’s insurance needs, supporting a cause that is important to me, or enjoying our beautiful surroundings.

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