VIP Destin Magazine, October 2019

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with the newest autumn shades captured in luxurious pearls, gemstones and 18k gold. Couture jewelry by Renee Launiere, Owner and Designer.



by Renee Launiere • Designer & Owner

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events 14 Twilight in White 16 VIP Destin Magazine Cover Reveal 20 FPRA Annual Installation 22 Arts & Drafts 27 Wine & Art Walk 32 Food For Thought Stock the Pantry Party 37 Baytowne Art Walk 47 6th Annual Stake & Burger Dinner 53 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty Ribbon Cutting 69 The Next Big Thing 74 Makin’ Bacon 4 Beds 79 Wiggin’ Out for a Cause

on the cover

departments 35 41 50 58 62 72 76 82

May We Suggest Destin Quarters Adventure Out Coastal Cuisine Give Care Share Save the Date Locale I Am Destin

features 66 Best In Destin The Best in Destin categories are officially in! Check out the list and go to to cast your nominations October 1-20.

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

6(&%21() Sheila McDiarmid

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

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!)+4",.%+1/34%.+) Jessica Graña

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

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

*45().%&%12 Steve Barber Missy Kimbrough Elizabeth Netherland Linette Ragsdale

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

October 2019 | 11

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!"##"$%&$'(%#)"%*+,#'$ In October we celebrate Destin with our History and Heritage Issue. Located on Florida’s Emerald Coast, Destin is known for its white beaches and emerald green waters. Originating as a small fishing village, it is now a popular tourist destination. For the last 15 years, VIP Destin Magazine has been a part of my life. When I Happy New Year! As sayboth goodbye moved to Destin in 2004, we we were the new kids in to 2018 and welcome 2019, we celebrate town. We both were starting out in a new place. We both the past year and salute the new year. were interested in the same things, and I feel like I became VOLUME XV • ISSUE Our January issue celebrates Destin part ofarea the weddings. family when I convinced my employer at the VIP Destin Magazine time that we should advertise in the Today, has become a vital resource for publication. brides that business advertises with the magazine 15 years seeking still the current wedding trends thatboth makewanted our area destinationlater. We tothe learn about the past and present !"#$%&'() wedding mecca it has become. theAs I grew of Destin, and we attended the sameWith events. !"#!$%&#'%()#" arrival of professionally 2019, we eagerly forwardMagazine. personally and so look did Destin to signature winter events along the *&&+,%*-(.!"#$%&'() In 2009, my public relations company was hired to Emerald Coast. Cultural activities, *#"&%$+",-# coordinate and promote the publication’s fun festivals, lecture series, athletic fifth anniversary with an eventand at the EmeraldThere’s Grande. Appreciation, /*0*1%01.(2%-+) events, weddings. always ./#*#$0%"0#" great food, drink,happening and fireworks rounded something on our sugar- out the evening. white shores. Here’stowhat’s onwhat the started as an The magazine continued grow,up and !)+2",-%+0.(2%-+) Emerald Coast… January kicks off annual issue to a bi-annual to a quarterlywith printed magazine continued to gain growth. 1#..,-%$!"%2% Art Wave, a modern and sophisticated In 2014, Destin Magazine Destin Magazine and was published bi-monthly, and I was *23()-%&%01 bazaar celebrating localbecame artists,VIP sipping still involved as a contributor supporter through my public relations and event company. In 2015, photo by Scott Schaeffl er 0#/3$4%(!54 and shopping at Bubbly and Baytowne, #&,6%0#/3$(#/3#"&%() I officially becameDesserts a full-time part of the the Girl family when I accepted the position of Managing Editor. The and Destin benefi ting Scoutsgrowing of the Florida Panhandle, just towas so apparent in 2016 that VIP Destin Magazine became magazine’s readership and demand &(0%+).2(&%10() name a few. a monthly publication. I love our VIP Destin Magazine family, our team, and especially the advertisers +",.-,&&%$%/7,(. Couplesthat are creating every day with weddings the Emerald and supporters make usmemories the #1 social and lifestyle magazineonfrom Fort Walton Beach to Destin to Coast. Our January issue is one of the most anticipated issues of the year with a and we are proud 2(&%10() South Walton. Our event coverage keeps us busy and connected to the community, .3#,&%$4%-),%"4,) on all things wedding related in the area. Many ourSuggest, advertisers of our concentration monthly features - Destin Quarters, Adventure Out, MayofWe Swizzle, Give Care &%-#8$"%-3%&& are wedding based businesses. Be sure to check out wedding editorials from our Share, Locale, Save The Date, and I Am Destin. advertisers. ,+0-)%#"-%01 ThankSwizzle you forfeatures your encouraging words and support when we are out in the community. VIP Destin 4)%-()&5!'+-+1)*!'()& Ice Champagne which changes champagne sipping as you 4%"8$%39 Magazine is YOUR publication. I appreciate your suggestions fora story ideasonand letting us cover your know it, and I Am Destin completes our Wedding issue with spotlight !"#!$%&#'%()#" events.Destin event planner and restaurateur, Nicki Cox. 1#($)##0 63%&4%($3%"",. Take time to enjoy the New Year activities, get out and enjoy allbecome the I am proud of who I haveall become, and what VIP Destin Magazine has over the last 15 years, .3%((%$4%!(5.9( events our area has to offer. Enjoy January issuestyles of VIP Destin and wewinter look forward to growing together in theyour future. The city itself “The World’s Luckiest-95"/(#8$45""%8 Magazine…and to to seeing next month. &,#.#&$.-34,)/ Fishing Village” and I we amlook one forward lucky guy be a you partagain of VIP Destin Magazine. photo by Steve Mangum

letter from the editor



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A Special Thanks to our 2018 Cover Reveal Sponsor


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VIP Destin at Fort Walton Beach Landing Park

photos & story by Zhalman Harris

The 2nd Annual Twilight in White, benefiting 90Works, was held on September 8. Attendees arrived at The Landing in Ft Walton Beach donning their best all-white outfits. Live music by the Moos Brothers, a raffle, a photo booth, and a VIP experience were enjoyed by those who attended. Some guests brought white decor for their tables to compete in the table decorating contest. Food vendors were on-site for those who wanted to dine. Funds from Twilight in White went directly toward funding the Project90 Impact program, which is a casemanagement model that clearly defines, assesses, and measures six domains that are required for self-sufficiency in our culture. The webinar-based series teaches helping professionals how to case manage the first 90 days of service, what order to do it in, and how to get people to be self-sufficient. 90Works is a 501(c)3 organization that pushes to eradicate homelessness, poverty, and family-violence along the Emerald Coast through its holistic approach to developing self-sufficient citizens. With a focus on veterans and their families, it boasts a 90 percent success rate in helping people improve their lives within 90 days. Their program makes a dramatic impact improving the quality of life for those in Northwest Florida. The organization is now comprised of six major service programs (Emergency Shelter Grant, Family Support Team, Healthy Families, Marketplace Navigator, Panhandle Warrior Project, and Supportive Services for Veteran Families) aimed at meeting the needs of in-crisis and vulnerable populations throughout Northwest Florida.

Sharon Hines & Mike Makara

Michel Lough, Cadance Peebles & Marissa Rollins 14

Courtney Vicknair & Kathy Reeves

Waverly & Jeff Garnand

Sarah White, Erin Bakker & Ali Weil


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Kelly Longberg & Bethany Worley

Tara Montegut & Carly Harmer

Jami Searle & Linnette Kellar

Trish & Anthony Sawyer October 2019 | 15

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VIP Destin at Isidro Dunbar Modern Interiors Furniture Gallery

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


Shelley Albarado & Cris Ponce

IP Destin Magazine held their cover reveal party at party at Isidro Dunbar Modern Interiors Furniture Gallery on September 5. September was the Ladies’ Issue, and the cover was graced by four outstanding ladies- Kelly Layman, Sandy Sims, Debbie Davidson and Andi Mahoney. As the number one social and event magazine on the Emerald Coast, VIP Destin Magazine reveals each issue with a bang, at different local venues each month, with an after-work happy hour style event. Invited guests enjoyed drinks and delicious hors d’oeuveres provided by Dock on the Island and Chef Tommy LeMasters while mingling, chit-chatting, and being the first to see the latest cover- along with the reaction of the surprised cover subjects. Over $4,500 in prizes donated by local businesses were also given away to lucky winners who attended the event.

Kathy Whidden & Brittney Henneberger

Greg Alexander, Maggie Yelverton & Jeff Watson

Rachel Herring & Ali Weil 16

Glenn Liguori & Kevin O’ Rourke

Fred & Ampy Cox, Lea & Joe Capers, George Hattaway


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Taylor Sheekley & Celia Jordan

Missy Kimbrough & Linette Ragsdale

Nancy Bown & Suzy Hunt

Peggy & Ken Lillie, Joni Alexander

Denise & Reggie Reed, Sherry Londe

Maleah Richardson, Dawn Jordan & Katie Robinson

Rebecca Magarites & Rosalyn Wik

Jorge Saiz & Todd Reeves

Javon Figures, Stephen Shorts, Marlon McLaughlin & Tommy LeMasters October 2019 | 17

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“Where Members Matter Most”


photos provided by Eglin Federal Credit Union | story by Courtney Murray

n October 11, 1954, Eglin Federal Credit Union was born. Sixty-five years later, they have grown into one of the largest financial institutions in Northwest Florida with nine branches throughout the area. A business is only as strong as their team. Eglin Federal Credit Union attributes their strength to their loyal members, both past and present, their dedicated employees and hardworking volunteer officials. With the celebration of their 65th anniversary, EFCU is reminiscing on their humble beginnings. Eglin Federal Credit Union’s motto is, “Where Members Matter Most.” Consumers have a variety of options when it comes to money management; EFCU doesn’t take for granted the trust that their loyal members place with them. 65 years ago, 44 military and civilian personnel applied for a Federal Charter at the Air Proving Ground Eglin Base Gate, 1954


Headquarters on Eglin Air Force Base. No one could have predicted what would come from one parttime employee in a borrowed office. That crisp fall day in 1954 turned into 225 members with $8,000 in assets by the end of the first year. As the company grew and flourished over the course of the next few years, they added staff and relocated operations to an old barracks building near Postl Point. Without the development of computers, services were limited Jerry Williams, CEO to loans and regular savings until the mid-70s. The staff and members had a vision for the Credit Union and have worked tirelessly over the past 65 years to transform the business. Now with $2 billion dollars in assets and more than 121,000 members, EFCU is like one big family. President/CEO Jerry Williams says that, “Providing exceptional service will always be our primary goal.” A credit union is a not-for-profit financial organization owned and operated by its members for the benefit of all who belong. The key words are, for the benefit of all. This is the motto for all credit unions, “Not for profit, not for charity, but for service.” Credit


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“Today, EFCU has $2 billion in assets and serves more than 121,000 members, composed of military and employees of 700 local businesses. We would not be one of the largest financial institutions in Northwest Florida and the success we are today without our dedicated employees, our volunteer officials, and, most importantly, our loyal members — past and present.” -CEO, Jerry Williams unions are unique because the moment you become a credit union member, you become one of its owners. In addition to being guided toward a successful financial future, members reap the benefits of the profits made by the credit union’s operations. The income from interest on loans and investments is returned to the members in the form of higher dividends on savings, lower interest rates on loans, low fees, and many free services. The concept of a credit union is to help people help themselves. Not to give a hand out, but to lend a hand up. “Eglin Federal Credit Union doesn’t only serve members, they also serve their community. It’s people helping people at the end of the day,” said Sherry Harlow, APR, Marketing and Public Relations Manager. “That’s the critical piece that sets us apart from other financial services.” EFCU has strong patriotic ties, partnering with Eglin Air Force Base in its First-Term Airman Classes and helping with financial literacy classes at every opportunity.

Jerry Williams at the Eglin AFB 53rd Wing Picnic

EFCU also partners with Hurlburt and the 7th Special Forces Group and Okaloosa Saves initiatives promoting savings and financial responsibility. EFCU is helping the youth of today learn wise money management, form strong financial foundations and create thoughtful spending plans for a successful future. EFCU also conducts school tours, hosts programs for young adults, sponsor scholarships, and participates in community outreach programs. Eglin Federal Credit Union has a bright future ahead as they continue to provide first class financial products and services to its members.

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Navarre Branch Military Appreciation Display

Military Family AppreciationDay

Toys for Tots October 2019 | 19

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VIP Destin at Grayton Brewery

FPRA Annual Installation photos & story by Zhalman Harris


he Northwest Florida Chapter of FPRA held their 2019-2020 installation ceremony of board members at Grayton Beer Taproom on August 29. Leslie Moland was presented with the President’s Award, Shaye Smith was named Member of the Year, and Lindy and Jason Wood were named Persons of the Year. Some other inductees were incoming President Stephanie Pettis, Treasurer Katie Macmillan, incoming Secretary Whitney Lee, and Events Chair & Co-Chairs respectively Amanda Bierbaum, Lori Smith and Chelsea Fox. “Our annual installation ceremony is a special time for our chapter to celebrate our success over the past year and recognize our members for their dedication to the practice of public relations,” said Stephanie Pettis, APR, CPRC, President for the local chapter. “What makes this evening even more special is the opportunity to recognize local leaders in our community who have not only made a difference in the lives of many in Northwest Florida, but have also embodied the spirit of public relations. Congratulations to all who were recognized this year.” FPRA is the oldest public relations association in the United States and entrusts each chapter to select a slate of board members who remain responsible for establishing policies, maintaining best practices, and providing opportunities for its members to develop professionally while making a positive impact on their local community.

Amanda & Todd Bierbaum

Julie Stuckey & Jessica Bracken

Whitney Lee & Leslie Moland

Karen Smith & Britt Gonzalez 20

Ken Rose & Corey Dobridnia

Shaye Smith & Chelsea Fox

Jason & Lindy Wood


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VIP Destin at Emerald Grande - HarborWalk Village

!"#$ % &"'(#$ photos & story by Jen Deeb


n September 13 (as well as Sept. 27), HarborWalk Village got everyone’s weekend going with an eventful evening of music, beers and art. Starting at the stage near The Fudgery, eventgoers strolled the Harbor sampling select beers, sangrias, and hard seltzers, while having the opportunity to shop for unique items. There were one-of-a-kind products created by talented, local artisans such as Maxine Orange, Courtney Dewrell, and many others. Live music was performed by Metz Barnes and Mike Ingram, with Jon Ballantyne playing near Crab Island Cantina. Visitors enjoyed the opportunity to get artistic- they could add to the community mural with Kelly Pierre, or create their own Fish Print T-Shirt with Harley of Gnarly Fish Prints. The event was free to all, and visitors to HarborWalk Village were delighted to happen upon this event. As the night progressed, the crowd grew and grew. For more information on future events taking place at The HarborWalk Village, visit:


Tony & Maria McCawley

Rachelle & Nick Zdan

Mckenzie Thrasher & Michelle Dillard

William Patterson & Lindsay Lacasse

Taylor Nesbit & Dan Bryce

Courtney Dewrell & Christy Rightly


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Stephanie McPherson & Marlow Evans

Chelsea & Kelly Taylor, Austin McCullough

Sharon Giaconia & Michelle Kuzila

Jeff Morhed, Heather Tolliver & AJ Armstrong October 2019 | 23

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VIP Destin at Emerald Coast Convention Center


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


n August 13, the Emerald Coast Convention Center welcomed the Destin and Greater Fort Walton Beach Chambers of Commerce with the Wine & Art Walk. The event showcased the new artwork, created by local artists, which lined the hallways. Four of the artists- Sarah Dowd, Estelle Grengs, Clint Eagar, and Jessica Moore, were on-site to show-off their work and answer questions. Other artists showcased, but not present, were Crystall Reder, Ruta Kanaporis, and Steve Underwood.

Jadellin Kelley & Jessica More

Whitney Lee & Maxine Orange-Bern

Desley Parker & Susan Orzbin

Ivana Coteat & Trisha Marks

Katy Heidenhoffer & Katie Bryd

Rachel Borgie & Kevin O’Rourke October 2019 | 27

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VIP Destin at Wine & Art Walk

Robin Donlon & Kim Denman

Gloria Whidden, Michelle Boswell & Jennifer Ward

Robert Reagan & Debbie Dodge

Clint & Effie Eagar 28

Melanie Smith & Carol Brown

Peter Bouchette & Josh Foster

Eppi Azzaretto, Jim & Lisa Curry

Jan Pooley & Skip Overdier

David & Teresa Allen

Tracy Reidinger, Narissa Jenkins & Michelle Proctor


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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 30.indd 1

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Dr. Squatrito specializes in forefront and rearfoot medical and surgical procedures for the entire family. Her areas of treatment *%;"47,9&*6.1"&%96$;,G !"#$%&'%"(")*++,-.',"/$-0,-1 !"2-.3-&.&4 !"2%56,"/7-*&%4 !"8-*9.$-,4 !":,%;'%"("<&0*+,%. """=,9'%4.-$9.&'% !">6*%.*-"8*49&&.&4 !"),,6"/7$-"/1%;-'+,

!"293&66,4":,%;&%&.&4 • Adult & Pediatric flatfoot !"<*.,-*6"2%56,"?%4.*@&6&.1 !"A&*@,.&9"8''."B*-, !"?%0-'C%":',%*&64"("D*&69*-, !"E*-.4 !"E'$%;"9*-, !"/7'-.4"?%F$-&,4

Come Visit the New Medical Spa On the Emerald Coast

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VIP Destin at Food for Thought Outreach INC

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Stock the Pantry Party photos & story by Shanna Magnuson


he 6th Annual Food for Thought Stock the Pantry Party in Santa Rosa Beach was held on August 22. To kick-off the 2019/2020 school year, attendees were asked to either bring five food items to donate or a small entry fee to go toward the food drive for the backpack and snack programs. With last year’s teams, that brought over 227,000 food items, the goal for this year was 300,000 and included 18 teams that competed against one another to bring the most food items. Founder of Food For Thought, Tiffanie Nelson, started this organization nine years ago, and with this being one of the most important events of the year for them, it helps start off the school year with the right message. Guests had some fun guessing how many food items were collected, going room to room estimating stock for a chance to win. Two people won half the money collected from the $10 fee, Seaside Swag, and an Ice Mule Cooler, but each of the winners gave back the money to the pantry to add to donations. The total food items collected this year was 336,850 and the winner was Newman-Dailey Resort with 78,399 food items given.

Zoe Mathews & Alexis Miller

Katy & Scot Copeland


Madison Kysel & Elissa Rodriguez

Megan Harrison & Tracy Louthain

Sharon Brainerd & Mary Beth Schrank

Nicole Taylor, Dinelle Putman, Katie Grace, Tiffanie Nelson, Jaime Eatep & Bennet Bastian

Wren Brasfield & Kim Mixson


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SAINTS Earrings: $26.99 ~ Beaded Bag: $49 50 Shatterproof Game-day Cups: $69 and up Frill Seekers Gifts in Destin

Phillip II Ancient Greek Gold Stater Pendant Circa 359-336 BC set in 18K Yellow Gold and Diamonds - $9,795 Emerald Lady Jewelry

M’Oktoberfest Beer - citrusy, malt-bold ale Available mid-September through mid-November at market. Destin Brewery

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Destin Fishing Rodeo Shirts Destin Fishing Rodeo

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VIP Destin at The Village of Baytowne Wharf

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


n Labor Day weekend, The Village of Baytowne Wharf held the annual Baytowne Art Walk. Friday, August 30- Sunday, September 1, each evening from 5-10 PM, a variety of artwork from local and regional artists filled the square. Friday evening was Casey Kearney and Scott Rockwood, and Saturday brought Coconut Radio and Matt McCarty. On Sunday there was Jessie Ritter, who had the crowd singing old favorites and joining in on her originals while the kids danced and played on the lawn. The last evening treated event-goers to a spectacular fireworks show. Along with shopping and music on the lawn, vendors offered face painting and even crafts for the kids. It was a free event and a rain or shine, the perfect way to celebrate the long weekend with family or friends after hitting the beach for the day. There was something for everyone, including pottery, jewelry, mixed media art, and home decor.

Melinda Hickey & Pam Kaplan

Angela & Rob Jackson

Daike Klement & Leighann Elliott

Hap Meadows & Lori King

Melanie Blackerby & Kelsi Adams

Chris Scott & Laura Lacey October 2019 | 37

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VIP Destin at Baytowne Art Walk

Shawn Phillips & Katherine Pot

Jarod & Sheena Holt

Jeff Waldorff & Angelique Waldorff

Katherine Gomez & Jim Shoughnessy

Lindsey, Lauren & Debra Elliott 38

Locklyn Brownell & Candace Gann

Nick Cantrell & Ryan Rayfield

Julie & John Rochell

Tracey Keim & Rebecca Tripoli

Brad Plante, Jessie Ritter & Debby Plante


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Ultimate House, Ultimate View story by Liesel Schmidt

| photos by Jenna Kaye Photography


o look at the outside of the sprawling 6,000 square foot home of Bryce and Teri Harvey in Santa Rosa Beach, one could almost imagine themselves on the California coast, that cool and breezy yet elegant aesthetic so inherent to the West Coast seemingly exuded from every single inch of the two story structure. Its exterior is so clean and white, its lines so simple; and while such a colorless palette might run the risk of being one-note, the interplay of texture and tones gives the house visual interest that hints at what lies inside, just behind the set of elegantly ornate French doors that welcome all who come. Welcoming people is something that the Harveys do often, as the couple love to entertain in their home; and the design is certainly conducive to that. Divided into North and South wings, each wing has two bedroom suites, some of them fitted with bunks to accommodate an influx of multiple October 2019 | 41

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guests, as their family gatherings can tend to be large. Each of these secondary rooms is designed with a clear eye for style, but none more so than the master suite, which is located on the first floor. “We love our master suite,” says Teri, who co-owns and operates Generic Pharmaceutical Companies with Bryce. “Because of its location on the south end of the house, it’s very private, and we have our own porch overlooking the bay.” That view is the main reason that the Harveys chose the location, the perfect starting point for what they deem their “ultimate dream home,” which was built by Andy Beno, an old friend of theirs from their days living in Pike Road, Alabama. “We knew we had to make the view the spotlight of the home, and we never get tired of seeing the magnificent view that reminds us of how blessed we are to live in paradise,” Bryce says. Spotlighting the view might have been the overall intent of the house, but it still needed to be a showpiece to properly compliment that view, and the team behind every aspect of the home’s construction, design, and décor achieved precisely that. “The Harvey project is memorable to us for many reasons,” says Beno. “The location was probably the prettiest we have ever built on, and Bryce and Teri made their first decision one of their best by asking Frank Davis to build their seawall and dock, but the greatest part about the project were the people Bryce and Teri enlisted to help with the details of the house. Mary Bonham of Beach Bum Chic Décor was Teri’s decorator du jour and turned the inside into a masterpiece, and Mary Ezell from the Fixture Exchange sourced the beautiful lighting and plumbing fixtures. Looking at the pictures, we’re still amazed at the results.” And those results are indeed spectacular. In the master suite, the bathroom is wrapped in marble, from the floors to the large walk-in shower. A decorative inlay adds elegance to the double vanity, while a large picture window overlooking the private enclosed lanai spills natural light and seems to bring the outdoors in. A freestanding tub and separate make-up vanity make up the balance of the capacious room, while separate “his and hers” closets continue the thread of marble, though Teri’s closet boasts what every well-dressed woman dreams of: a chandelier and center dresser. Being the naturally hospitable couple that they are, however, their dreamy

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master suite isn’t the favorite part of their home. “We love the living room, which has double accordion slider doors that allow you to take in the spectacular view of the bay,” says Teri. “We also spend a lot of time on the covered porch that overlooks our pool, and everyone enjoys the outdoor living area. We love to entertain and have had several outdoor parties with our favorite local band, Forest Williams. It’s a fantastic venue for watching football, as well.” Outfitted with a full kitchen that boasts both a gas grill and a Big Green Egg, the outdoor living space also has a large fireplace, making entertaining easy no matter the time of year. But while the outdoor kitchen is certainly worthy of note, it is their indoor kitchen that deserves highest acclaim. And with good reason, as the perimeter cabinets continue the white and gray theme that runs throughout the house, their gray-glazed white finish the perfect compliment to the gray, black, and white quartz that crowns them. “The kitchen has always been the gathering place for our family, as it is for most people,” Teri notes. Ideal to their love of cooking, the appliances are every home chef’s dream, from the Wolf six-burner range with grill in the middle to the built-in SubZero refrigerator and a separate built-in freezer. The gray center island is large enough to accommodate seating for casual dining, with two sculpted metal spherical chandeliers hanging overhead that seem to bounce light onto every surface in the bright and airy kitchen. Perfect for Bryce’s love of coffee, a pull-out coffee station is hidden from view behind closed cabinetry; and the kitchen extends into the keeping room complete with wet bar that features quartzite countertops with under-mounted lights. “When we turn it on in the evening, it’s a beautiful feature,” says Teri. With its breathtaking views, soaring ceilings with exposed beams, and lavish finishes all throughout, there isn’t anything about the house that isn’t beautiful. But more than all the best materials and high-end furnishings could ever impart, the thing that makes their home the most beautiful of all is the feeling of openness and welcome that it offers. Theirs is a home of hospitality, and that, by far, is its greatest appeal.

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VIP Destin at Hilton Sandestin Beach Resort & Spa

6th Annual

Stake & Burger Dinner photos & story by Zhalman Harris


he 6th Annual Stake & Burger Dinner to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Coast was held on August 29 at Hilton Sandestin Beach Resort & Spa. The event featured keynote speaker and NFL Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks. VIP ticket holders and selected kids hung out with Derrick at the VIP reception. During the dinner, Derrick delivered his keynote address, and gave the audience an inside look on his life and the things that fulfill him. He talked about his family and the importance of family bonding, his life in the NFL, and the road to becoming a hall of famer. All proceeds raised during the evening went to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast, which 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. The Boys & Girls Club of the Emerald Coast currently has more than 1,200 children registered during the school year, and more than 1,300 enjoyed the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast last summer. The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast is a registered IRS 501(c) 3 charity, and receives funding from contributions, special events, grants, and major donors such as Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation and United Way agencies in Escambia and Okaloosa/Walton Counties.

Jamie McIntosh & Derrick Brooks

Laura Pentel-Klang & Darcy Pentel

Joe & Channing Gordon

Todd Wilkenson & Shervin Rassa

Stacy & Marshall Buscemi

Chris & Ewa Ruyan, Cindy & Jeff Garrard

Ashley Hice & Casey Kelley

October 2019 | 47

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VIP Destin at Stake & Burger Dinner

Katie MacMillan & Melissa Vidaurre


Lynn Wesson & Myra Williams

Hope & Ken Lovelace

Josh & Lamichele Laniere

Bob Perry & Shane Moody

Amanda & John Williams

Taylor Goode & Nelly Rondon

Katherine Green, Erin Bakker & Carly Hamer

Tammy & Steve Barber, Denise Song


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October 2019 | 49

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A Celebration Worthy of Dance photos provided by Bernadette Sims, NFB Archives | story by Liesel Schmidt


ith its grace and precision, the appeal of ballet is undeniable, capturing—and holding—the interest of audiences who gather to watch performances that seem to speak without the utterance of a single word. Every flutter of every arm, every leap and twist, every single look and touch and tilt of the head tells the details of a story, communicating in a way that bridges spoken languages and needs no translation. It is at once athleticism and art, the physicality of it all demanding intense practice and study, the poise and control requiring a particular understanding of the nuances of movement. And for those who show talent in this highly celebrated form of dance, it is a passion that carries into the hearts of audiences who are often moved to tears as they watch the stories they know and love unfold on the stage and leap to life. Watching these performances inspire children the world over, whispering to them dreams of one day becoming a dancer themselves. So, too, does it rouse the passions of older aspiring dancers; and for those who dream these dreams of one day being on the stage or simply for those who want to learn the art, ballet companies like the Northwest Florida Ballet offers the perfect opportunity to get en pointe. Begun in 1969, NFB has long been an asset to the local cultural arts, providing professional instruction in a variety of dance including ballet, Pointe, modern, jazz, and other contemporary styles to dancers of all ages and skill levels, offering aspiration and natural talent a place to be nurtured and given direction. “NFB is one of the oldest arts organizations in Northwest Florida and the oldest ballet company in our area,” notes NFB Artistic Director and CEO Todd Eric Allen. “Our founder, Bernadette Clement Sims, was one of the pioneers of dance in the state of Florida, establishing not only the first ballet schools in our community but also offering the opportunity for professional training. We strive for excellence in everything that we do—through our open community classes, the NFB Académie and Pre-Professional Program, and the NFB company,” Allen goes on. “We have a commitment to performing and teaching dance and have also proven through our NFB Académie that students thrive in an environment where academics are integrated into their passion—which, in our case, happens to be dance.” “Looking back, it’s easy to see that Northwest Florida Ballet is the cultural rock on which many of the other cultural organizations in


Bernadette Stone with her teacher Alexander Danilova from the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.


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Enger Clements-Dickey & Todd Eric Allen

Bernadette Stone

this area were built,” adds Sims. “Since it’s beginning in 1969, we blazed a trail, which made it possible for the cultural explosion that exists here in the Florida panhandle in 2019. The goal has always been excellence in every aspect of the organization—the training, the performances, the encouragement of dancers who want a career in dance. We also support other dancers who may seek scholarships to university dance programs offering academic degrees along with performance degrees. In addition, we recognize that our students may eventually decide that they prefer other careers in life, and we support those decisions and encourage them in their career choices.” Now in its 50th year, the ballet is celebrating in a big way, bringing a season fi lled with performances that will make the hearts of the audience dance and transport them to another world. “This season is incredibly special, as it marks a significant milestone in NFB’s history. It’s a rare achievement for arts organizations in our area, and we are thankful to be part of a community that celebrates the performing arts,” says Allen. “This truly is a labor of love and the result of a dedicated group of patrons, donors, dancers, parents, civic leaders, and staff members who genuinely care about NFB’s success.” Fitting to such a momentous occasion, NFB is welcoming the participation of some very special people. “The golden anniversary milestone allows us to formalize an official NFB alumni group comprised of former company members, graduates of the NFB Académie, and Pre-Professional Program as well as those who performed in our season productions over the years,” Allen offers. “We look forward to welcoming them back home.”

Todd Eric Allen in the center with company dancers

Bringing them back to showcase their talents, the season of celebration begins on October 12 with a mixed repertory performance entitled Beer & Ballet at Grayton Beer Company. The unique event includes a mix of contemporary, neoclassical, and classical pieces from guest choreographers and the NFB repertoire at the same time as it gives guests the opportunity to sample Grayton Beer Company’s wide range of beers along with light hors d’oeuvres. Getting back to the celebrated classics, performances of The Nutcracker will be presented on November 22 through 24 at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center, featuring a cast of more than 140 performers including international guest artists and more than 100 local children. Led by Music Director and Conductor David Ott, the NFB Symphony Orchestra will provide musical accompaniment. Performances of NFB Cinderella, with live music, on February 28 and March 1 conclude the season, and a commemorative 50thanniversary gala will be held on February 29, offering patrons the opportunity to celebrate the occasion and meet members of the ballet in style. Year after year, performance after performance, the Northwest Florida Ballet continues to inspire generations of dancers, passing on the traditions of story telling that transcend time and unite worlds—and that’s certainly worthy of celebration. Northwest Florida Ballet is located at 310 Perry Avenue SE, Fort Walton Beach, Florida 32548. For more information on the 2019-2020 schedule of performances and Community Classes at the Northwest Florida Ballet, call (850) 664-7787 or visit For information on NFB Académie, call (850) 226-8072 or visit the website. October 2019 | 51

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VIP Destin at Berkshire Hathaway at The Market Shops

Ribbon Cutting


photos & story by Zhalman Harris

he Market Shops’ newest merchant, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty, held a ribbon cutting for their fifth office location on September 19. The celebratory event, hosted by the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce, brought business men and women, as well as well-wishers to join the celebration and fun. Guests had a tour of the new location, and were able to get more information of BHHS. Head Broker Royce W. Mitchell welcomed his guests, and thanked his team for their unwavering support, which has led to success and growth. With locations on the west end of 30A, Pensacola, and Niceville, it was just a matter of time before one opened in a centralized location like Miramar Beach. The new location will service Miramar Beach and the surrounding areas in all aspects of home buying, selling, and ownership. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty is best known for streamlining this process into one seamless experience, while also building lasting relationships based on trust, integrity, and care with their clients.

Jennifer Howard, Royce Mitchell, Chris Sause & Rwandalee Ramos

Jeff & Cindy Gerrard

Victoria Ostrosky & Lynne Tanner

Carole Nelson & Carolynn Zonia

Maria Burke & Victoria Wyatt

October 2019 | 53

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VIP Destin at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty Ribbon Cutting

Evie Morrow, Verla Price & Lesslee Mitchell

Jennifer Howard & Hannah Green

Jane Cox, Jinny Dodson & Joy Poole

Jessica Stewart & Laura Pentel-Klang 54


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n celebration of 50 years, Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club announced plans to break ground in 2021 on a more than $3.3-million-dollar renovation to its golf course. Selected by Golf Inc. Magazine as one of the Top 10 most innovative people in golf, Bill Bergin of Bergin Golf Designs has been selected as the golf architect for this highly anticipated project. Bergin’s expertise will embrace the course’s natural beauty and in many ways bring it back to its roots – showing more pops of white sand throughout and allowing for the crisp Gulf breeze to pass through the fairways. In addition to fairways, tee boxes and drainage, the renovation will also be adding more than one acre of additional green space. Change is nothing new to this member-founded club. Starting out as a nine hole golf facility in 1969, a group of members founded, built and created their dream golf course and local hang out. The members made many of their own meals, sometimes cleaned their own golf carts and rest assured repaired their own divots. Today, the club is an award-winning club encompassing more than 85-acres in the heart of 30A, offering an 18-hole golf course, private pool and beach access, dining, traveling benefits to its members and more. “There are so many big changes to come for Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club,” said Michael Bickett, general manager for the club. “The one thing we don’t plan to change is keeping the inviting and fun atmosphere that has been a staple to our community for more than five decades.” On the heels of the renovation excitement; in September, the 56

club officially opened its new short-game area, available to its golfing members only. Short-game facilities are one of the fastest growing trends at successful golf clubs around the country, known to improve scoring and playing abilities for golfers of all skill level. “The game of golf continues to evolve and for us to retain and attract people to golf, we need to invest in ways that innovate and improve as well,” said Carter Murchison, PGA director of golf for Santa Rosa. “With time constraints due to schedules or age, a short-game area allows golfers to maximize their full potential while off the course.” The short-game area will play a crucial role in keeping members entertained during the anticipated six to eight-month renovation. !"#$"%&'("%)'*+%,%-."/0%1*23%%4%56789:;8999< =57>%?8%1'2#$@%AB@%C7"%4%!"#$"%&'("%-."/0D%EF%%C9=6<% BBB8("#$"G'("/*238/'H%4%BBB8I2.'#C7"8/'H

Vi Gorby, Harold Lucas, Winnie Morse, Emmett Pinkston

Walter Blessey, Back 9 Grand Opening


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Campfire Cooking story by Mary Aho


all is the season for camping. When it comes to camping, it’s all about simplicity and ease. One of the things that is the most challenging while roughing it in the great outdoors is cooking. Whether you are cooking over an open camp fire or outdoor grill, here are some tips, tricks, and meal planning ideas to make your stay in the wilderness easy and enjoyable. There is more to camping meals than sandwiches and hotdogs. Most people feel like they are quite limited when it comes to meals while camping. However, if you go prepared, you can have a variety of delicious and fi lling meals. Prepping things like fruits, vegetables, meat, and eggs, not only saves time but space in your cooler as well. Dice your vegetables and meats before your trip and store them in zip lock bags for space saving storage. Crack your eggs in a bowl, whisk, and pour into a container like a recycled coffee creamer container. That allows you to take more eggs and have a mess free pour at breakfast time. Freeze gallons of water and place them in the bottom of your cooler. The jugs will act as ice packs, when they melt you have extra drinking water. Store spices in a pill dispenser. That way you can take several spices without taking up extra space. When it’s time to cook, there are several essential supplies for cooking outdoors. The first is a cast iron skillet. Cast iron is a wonderful heat conductor. Since it stays seasoned, you don’t really have to clean it. Just give it a good wipe after eat use and keep it nice and oiled. The possibilities of what you can cook in a cast iron pan are endless. The other camping cooking must-have is aluminum foil. The easiest way to cook dinner is to take all of your ingredients, wrap them up in foil, and then put them over heat. You can put the foil packs on the grill or directly in the coals of the camp fire. In around ten minutes, you’ll have complete individual meals with almost no clean up. Whether you’ve fired up the grill or hanging around the fire, camping meals are easy to make and take no time at all to cook. Not only are these ideas perfect for camping but anytime of the year on your grill or in the oven at home. From vegetables to shrimp these recipes are going to have people flocking to your campsite this fall.

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Hawaiian Chicken Foil Pack !"#$%&!%"'() • 2 chicken breasts • 1 cup bbq sauce your favorite • 1 can pineapple slices drained • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

• 2 teaspoon garlic minced • 1 sweet bell pepper chopped • 1/4 onion sliced • salt and pepper to taste

&!$%*'!+"() 1. Preheat the grill to medium or 350°F. In two thin (or 1 heavy) sheets of aluminum foil, place 1 chicken breast each and season with salt and pepper. Place 2-3 pineapple slices on top of each chicken breast. Divide and top pineapple slices with the onion and sweet pepper. 2. In a bowl, combine the bbq sauce, soy sauce, and garlic. 3. Pour the sauce evenly over both foil packets, but reserve ¼ cup and set aside. 4. Seal the contents of the foil packets and place on the grill. Grill the packets for 10-13 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Flip the packets halfway through grilling. 5. When cooking time is up, open the packets and drizzle in the rest of the sauce remaining.

Campfire Cobbler !"#$%&!%"'() • 6 peaches, chopped • 2 cup raspberries • 1 cup blueberries • 1 cup chopped strawberries • 2 tbsp. cornstarch

• 2 tsp. ground cinnamon • pinch of kosher salt • 2 1/3 cup Bisquick Mix • 1/2 cup milk • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar, divided

&!$%*'!+"() 1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine fruit, 1/4 cup sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt. Seal tightly and shake bag until fruit is evenly coated. 2. In another large resealable plastic bag, combine Bisquick and milk. Seal and mix, kneading with your hands, until completely combined. 3. Butter a large cast-iron skillet. Add fruit mixture and top with Bisquick topping. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. 4. Cover with foil and cook over a campfire until biscuits are no longer doughy and fruit is warm and bubbly, 50 minutes. 5. Let cool 20 minutes, then serve.

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Heavy Hors D© oeuvres - Champagne Toast Raffl e - Silent Auction - DJ 30A BE N E FI T T I NG

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Harvest House photos provided by Harvest House

| story by Greg Alexander


ven in the paradise that many know as Destin, there is a large need for assistance with simple daily needs such as food, clothing, and shelter. Since 1987 there has been a place serving that need in Destin and neighboring communities through Harvest House. The mission of Harvest House is to provide food, clothing, and shelter to those who are at a point of need in their life. Jerry Ogle, a local Destin resident, saw a need where many families could benefit from receiving a Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner at no cost. After fundraising for this the first year, he landed an idea to help support and fund the need he was fi lling‌ and so the Harvest House began. “It was a simple thing. There were a lot of people in Destin that needed help,â€? Jerry said. They began accepting donations to process and sell at their own thrift store to support the need of a food pantry. Because the local community has such a giving heart, Harvest House can provide one week of food and clothing items monthly to families and individuals who walk through their door. Destin is an amazingly supportive community that believes in the work they do and Harvest House continues to be successful at serving those in need.

Harvest House Food Pantry 300 Mountain Drive, Destin FL 32541 Mon-Friday 10:00am-12:00pm Assistance provided every 30 days in the form of food, clothing, and hygiene items provided at no cost. Available to residents of Destin and Miramar Beach, and also to the homeless. ID, proof of residency, and Social Security cards for children are required.

Harvest House Thrift Store 300 Mountain Drive, Destin FL 32541 Mon-Friday 9:00am-4:30pm Saturday 8:30am-1:00pm Proceeds from donated items sold in the Harvest House thrift store directly support our mission. Harvest House thrift store is a retail store that offers a wide variety of unique items. We offer everything from clothing for the entire family to just about everything you need for your home. We offer quality items at bargain prices.



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Interview with Lori Joyner

Executive Director – Harvest House What impact has Harvest House had on the Destin community in the last year?

We have helped families involved and affected by Hurricane Michael. These are people who have had to relocate due to loss of homes, jobs, and their means to live. We have also assisted to alleviate layers of pressure to help keep families together. For instance, a father with three younger children came to our Food Pantry asking for assistance. When we put the large quantity of food on the table, packed and ready to go, a little boy’s eyes lit up and he turned to say, “All of this is for us? THANK YOU!” His response was so sincere and these are the moments we have to say you’re welcome and turn around to cry. We are so blessed to be able to bridge the gap or take away the stress of a food bill for a week so that their focus can go farther. What are some of the greatest challenges your organization faces?

with free food and drinks available on that day. The 11th Annual Christmas Bazaar will be held Saturday, November 9 from 8am2pm at 300 Mountain Drive. We are getting the community in the Christmas and giving spirit because when you shop with us you are giving back. Each year for Thanksgiving and Christmas, we like to bless our families that are on our assistance program with a full and complete holiday dinner at no cost. We like to call it our No Hunger Holidays – Give Your Best Gift. An all-inclusive meal to be cooked in their own home at cost ranges from $45-$55 each meal. If you would like to provide a meal to a family this Thanksgiving and Christmas, please go to HarvestHouseDestin. org. What is one thing you want readers to know about Harvest House?

We have always encountered the need for more space and faithful volunteers. We have been in the same building for almost 25 years, growing and expanding our little Food Pantry three times but the need for space still exists as we grow.

Harvest House TOO is now open, and you should come take a look! This is a new way of thrifting, and a boutique style of shopping. We have mostly new and tagged items, displayed nicely and tagged to sell! Located at 114 Palmetto Drive, Suite 1, in Destin, we are open Tuesday – Friday from 10am-4pm.

How did you become involved with Harvest House?

How can someone become involved or donate?

I was going through a transformation of my own asking The Lord to do whatever He wants me to do in life. God was working and started moving a few things around for me. As a move to central Florida fell through, I had the pleasure of meeting Jerry Ogle in June 2009. My sister-in-law and I volunteered to paint the Hosanna House. While painting the women’s area, Jerry and I learned more about each other and his vision for the Harvest House. I dropped in to see Jerry, and the progress of the Hosanna House. I told him we would not be moving, and he could not pull up a chair fast enough. It was a perfect fit for me as every tool I had in my belt, I needed for this job that God set before me. Fast forward ten years later and it has been the most rewarding opportunity of my life. I am truly honored to serve our community by assisting in so many ways, every single day. God is so good.

We have many avenues that everyone can take part in to make our community a stronger one. You can donate your time by volunteering weekly or for special events or donate slightly used or new items. You may donate monetarily by mail, drop-off at either of our stores, online with our donate link, on our website, or donate unexpired food items or host your own food drive.

Is Harvest House involved in any upcoming events?

Each year we have our biggest event, the Christmas Bazaar. Throughout the year we store the donations with a Christmas theme to them. We set it all out on the second Saturday in November, tables stacked high full of Holiday items. We are blessing our shoppers

We are always looking for like-minded businesses to collaborate with and team up with supporting each other to continue to change lives, be God’s hands and feet and hold families together. If you would like to partner with the Harvest House, get in touch with us. You can give us a call at (850)837-2277 Email Us: HarvestHouseDestin@ – Go to – or stop in and see us at 300 Mountain Drive – Destin, FL 32541. October 2019 | 63

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2019/2020 SEASON






MAY 14-17 Emerald Coast Theatre Company is located at 560 Grand Boulevard, Suite 200 in Miramar Beach. The entrance is on the south side of the building facing Highway 98, take the stairs or elevator to the second floor.

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



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9/12/19 10:00 4:28 PM 9/26/19 AM






!%$-2".&-( !"!#$%&'()*)!+&(&,Appetizer Asian Bar/Tavern Bartender BBQ Beer Selection Bloody Mary Breakfast Brunch Buffalo Wings Burger Casual Dining Catering

Locally Owned Restaurant

Locally owned Retailer

Medical Practice


Mení s Clothing

Medical Spa

Mexican/Latin American Restaurant

Outdoor Furniture


Outdoor Bar

Place to Spoil Her

Pain Management

Outdoor Dining

Place to Spoil Him



Seafood Market

Place for a Massage


Shoe store

Plastic Surgery

Place for Cocktails

Shopping/Lifestyle Center


Place for Coffee

Wine Shop/Liquor Store

Senior Living Community

Seafood Restaurant

Womení s Accessories

Urgent Care

Special Occasion Restaurant

Womení s Clothing

Vision Care

Steakhouse Sushi Wine List



Crab Cakes

Childrení s Clothing



Fine Dining



Home DÈ cor/ Accessories

Happy Hour

Gift Shop

Italian Restaurant


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/-%'$/)*)0-'',-(( Aesthetician Alternative/Natural Medicine Anti Aging Service Chiropractic Clinic Cosmetic Dentist Dental Practice Dermatology Practice Doctor Medical Center

Vein/Vascular Care Weight Loss Womení s Wellness Provider

(-.1&!-( A/V Provider Accounting Firm Alarm/Security Company Architect Automobile Dealership ≠ New Automobile Dealership ≠ Pre Owned

9/26/19 10:01 AM

Automobile Repair/Service

Heating & Air Service

Real Estate ≠ Residential

Place to be Seen

Luxury Automobile Sales

Insurance Firm

Real Estate Professional ≠ Female

Place to go Dancing

Bank/Financial Institution

Interior Design Firm

Real Estate Professional ≠ Male

Place to People Watch


Interior Designer/Decorator

Real Estate Team

Place to take the Kids

Boat Sales & Service

IT Firm/Web Design

Real Estate Company

Place to watch a Sunset


Landscaping/Lawn Service

Sign Company


General Contractor

Law Firm

Title Company

Water Sports Experience

Specialty Contractor

Limo/Transportation Service

Vacation Rental

Charity/Non Profi t

Mortgage Lender


New Business


Place for Rehearsal Dinner

Customer Service Event Planner

Payroll Firm/Human Resources

Event Rentals

Pet Care & Accessories

Event Venue


Financial Advisor

Place for Eyelashes, Nails, or Makeup


Pool Building/Service


Property Management

Golf Cart/ATV

Public Relations Firm

Hair Salon

Real Estate ≠ Commercial

Charter Fishing Experience Golf Course Hotel

Place for Stationery/Invites Place to buy Engagement Ring Place to buy Wedding Dress Place to get a tuxedo

Local Annual Event Party Boat Experience

Place to Pop The Question Reception Venue

Place for ì Girlí s Night Outî Place for a Date

Wedding Planner

Place for a Weekend Getaway

Wedding Venue

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Remember to nominate daily because entries with the most nominations in each category will move on to the official Best In Destin voting ballot!


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with membership options starting at $75 per month

See our website for a full list of membership options including Family, Military, and Corporate rates.

Social Membership Benefi ts

Full Membership Benefi ts

No Monthly Minimums, Club Charging Privileges, Member≠Only Tournaments and Events, 10% Discount Food & Beverage Purchases, 10% Discount Golf Shop Purchases, Preferred Rates on Golf, May Make Tee Times 14 days in Advance, 10% Discount on Banquet Facilities.

All Social Member Benefits, Unlimited Golf Cart Fee Applies, Walking Option, Unlimited Cart Plan Option, Special Pricing on Lessons, Preferred Rates for Accompanied Guests, Club Cleaning and Storage, Member Locker Rooms, Monthly Member Only Receptions, 20% Discount on Banquet Faciliities.






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Thank You to All Our Supporters





8 8 9 1 B U R N I N G T R E E R OA D | P E N SACO L A , F L | S C E N I C H I L L S .CO M | 8 5 0. 476 .0 3 8 0

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VIP Destin at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort Baytowne Conference Center

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


he Next Big Thing 2019 was held at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort Baytowne Conference on August 27. This leadership development conference was hosted by Walton Area Chamber of Commerce and presented by Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. Guests joined them in pursuit of professional development with an engaging way to face the common issues within the organizations. Megan Harrison, President and CEO of Walton Area Chamber of Commerce, welcomed each of the attendees at the breakfast and encouraged each to “focus and use the day as a recharge” to refuel their drive. The day began at 8am with registration, business headshots taken by Epic Photo Co. and the opportunity to meet some local vendors in the vendor hall while grabbing some food and coffee for breakfast. There was a giveaway for guests who visited 20 vendors on the bingo card given to each attendee, helping people get involved and connected with other local businesses. Keynote speakers Linda Larsen, Ryan Giles, and Michael LeSure had the whole group reaching for the “next big thing” and there were four other breakout sessions to dig deeper into the conference. The evening ended with a cocktail reception by 5:00, and door prizes.

Allison Smith & Colleen Riddle

Jennifer Knight & Kevin Moran

Britney Graves & Hannah Green

Rhonda Johnson & Michelle Schrenker

Chelsea Blaich & Jessica Bracken

Melissa Taylor & Rosa Coll

Amy Meyer & Micha Everett

Amy Coleman & Juliet Milam October 2019 | 69

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SAVOR THE CLASSIC & SOPHISTICATED One of the fi nest dining destinations along Floridaí s Gulf Coast, Seagarí s Prime Steaks & Seafood features an award≠ winning 600≠ label wine list, hand selected prime steaks and Gulf≠ to≠ table seafood dishes. With fresh, seasonally inspired ingredients, Seagarí s prides itself on providing the most decadent and indulgent meals. The Emerald Coastí s only AAA Four≠ Diamond Steakhouse


4000 Sandestin Blvd. South, Miramar Beach, FL 32550 RESERVATIONS 877≠ 345≠ 3064 |



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OCTOBER 4-6 Destin Seafood Festival Destin Harbor Boardwalk Friday | 4:00pm - 10:00pm Saturday | 10:00am - 10:00pm Sunday | 11:00am - 4:00pm Come enjoy the 41st Annual Destin Seafood Festival hosted on the Destin Harbor Boardwalk. This exciting event is family friendly with shopping, music, and tons of delicious food. For more information visit

OCTOBER 11-12 OCTOBER 11 30A BBQ Festival Gulf Place Stops Open | 5:30pm-9:00pm

Baytowne Wharf Beer Festival The Village of Baytowne Wharf Friday, Beer from Around Here | 6:00pm-8:00pm Saturday, VIP Event | 1:00pm - 2:00pm Saturday, Grand Tasting | Noon - 6:00pm Bring together the #1 Resort on Florida’s Emerald Coast, beautiful October weather, a festive beer tasting, and you have a winning combination for fun in the sun at the Baytowne Beer Festival this October. Known as the “Best Beer Fest on the Emerald Coast,” this popular event features more than 40 on-site craft brewers, nearly 200 domestic and international craft beers, seminars, samplings and live music. Beer novices to beer lovers will be able to sample delicious options, including specialty, seasonal, and not-yet-released beers. For tickets and more information visit

OCTOBER 24 Barktoberfest Dog Social What better way to kick off the 30A Half Marathon & 5K weekend than with some of the best BBQ on the coast, all the beer you can drink, and great music from The Heritage Band! 100% of this event’s proceeds will benefit The Sonder Project and support their mission to strengthen communities through food security, clean water, housing, and education. For more information check out 30A BBQ Festival on Facebook.

Grand Park, Grand Boulevard 5:00pm - 7:00pm Contest Winners Announced | 6:30pm Dog Friendly Event Don’t miss Dog-Harmony’s annual doggie social and fundraising event. Attendees and their pets are encouraged to dress in their Halloween best and enjoy a canine-only trick-or-treating event. Judging for the best “Pet & Parent Matching Costume” Contest will take place during the event with the prize-winning duo announced at 6:30pm. Donations are greatly appreciated. No prong collars, please. For more information visit Barktoberfest on Facebook.



Harvest Wine & Food Festival

MKAF Festival of the Arts

Thursday, Celebrity Winemaker Dinners | 6:00pm - 9:00pm | Tickets: $150 Friday, Al Fresco Reserve Tasting | 6:00pm - 8:00pm | Tickets: $200 Saturday, Seminar: Mad About Malbec | 12:00pm - 1:00pm | Tickets: $50 Saturday, Grand Tasting | 1:00pm - 4:00pm | Tickets: $150 General Admission, $300 VIP

Saturday | 9:00am - 5:00pm Sunday | 10:00am - 4:00pm

Harvest Wine & Food Festival provides patrons the opportunity to sip and savor some of the world’s finest wine and culinary selections over two days in October.

One of the Southeast’s premier art festivals, the two-day signature event features art exhibits of nearly 200 total artists (including the juried and collaborative exhibit) from 13 states showcasing a diverse palette of artistic styles in 22 different art mediums.

For more information visit

For more information visit

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VIP Destin at Destin Commons

Makiní Bacon 4 Beds photos & story by Zhalman Harris


he non-profit foundation A Bed 4 Me, held their first ever Makin’ Bacon 4 Beds event at Destin Commons on September 7. The organization was founded by Diane Freeman and Ginger Davis. After learning of another out of state charity that provided furniture to those less fortunate, Diane approached Ginger, a social worker, to start a similar orgaization. Ginger had many children in her caseload that didn’t have beds to sleep on. This idea led to A Bed 4 Me. Since its inception, 774 children in Okaloosa County have gotten new beds from this organization. Through its yearly fundraisers A Bed 4 Me hopes to expand into Walton and Escambia counties. Event attendees participated in auctions, raffles and a $10,000 drawing sponsored by Certainty Home Loans, as well as t-shirt sales hosted by A Bed 4 Me.


Marti Ross & Lynn Watson

Joe, Brennan & Crystal Matta

Angel Ballard & Rachel Holley

Heidi Mauro & Tasha Phillips

Antonia Poate, Bagas Nugroho, Gary Palm & Brigitta Helena


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October 2019 | 75

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida announces Santa Rosa County Big of the Year

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida announced that Big Brother Robert Keith was selected as the Santa Rosa County 2019 Big of the Year. Big Brothers Big Sisters staff chose Robert for this honor because he is dedicated, consistent, and supportive of his two Little Brothers. Robert applied to be a Big in the program because he understood firsthand the importance of having a strong mentor at a young age. “Being the product of a single parent household myself, I felt it was my responsibility to become what I wished was available for me when I was that age.” Says Robert. A year and a half ago Robert was matched with his Little Brother Cayden, who was being raised by his great grandmother. She enrolled both her grandkids, Cayden and Christian, into the program because she was not in good health and unable to leave the house with the boys as much as she wished she could. After a few outings with his Little, Cayden, Robert decided he couldn’t stand to see Christian without a Big Brother. He promptly came into our office and asked if he could be matched with both of the siblings. The brothers were so excited to be matched with the same Big that the second match took place. Robert goes above and beyond the minimum responsibilities as a Big Brother. He makes sure to see both Littles every week. He even makes sure that they both get their own individual time in order to provide both boys with the attention they need. Robert mentors the boys and studies with them. He goes to school to visit them and frequently corresponds with their teachers to make sure he can help anyway he can if they

are struggling. They go to church together and Robert includes them in activities with his own son and daughter. “Being a Big means everything to me” says Robert “Our relationship has evolved to the point where they are part of the family.” Christian and Cayden’s great grandmother describes Robert as not only part of their family but as the boys’ guardian angel. “I am so very thankful for all he has done for my boys” she says. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida has been the area’s leader in oneto-one mentoring for 30 years by serving children ages K to 18. Our mission is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. Last year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida served 660 children in Northwest Florida.

Destin Commons Welcomes Yuga Sushi & Sake House and Gulf Coast Burger Co. to Their Lineup of Delicious Eateries

The wait is over! Destin Commons is excited to announce local favorites, Yuga Sushi & Sake House and Gulf Coast Burger Co. are now open for all to enjoy. These additions are part of Destin Commons’ overall development plans for this year, with aggressive goals to add new and energizing dining and shopping experiences. This announcement comes on the heels of the highly anticipated Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen grand opening, as well as retail additions such as Ridemakerz, Innerlight Surf Shop, and Kovy Nails and Spa. “We are pleased to have Yuga Sushi & Sake House and Gulf Coast Burger Co. join the growing portfolio of retail brands and eateries at Destin Commons. For the past 15 years, locals and tourists alike have enjoyed Destin

Commons as a place to gather with family and friends, and these new experiences give all of us the opportunity to celebrate something new in our great community.” - Heather Ruiz, Senior Director Marketing & Leasing, Destin Commons

Stanley Joins Progress Bank Woody Woodfin, Mortgage Division Manager, announced today that Barry Stanley has joined Progress Bank as SVP, Northwest Florida Area Manager. Stanley is the first mortgage team member to be located in the Bank’s Destin, Florida office. “Since I joined the Bank earlier this year, we have been working to expand our mortgage team to our Florida market. With more than 17 years of mortgage experience, many of which have been spent in Florida, I am confident that Barry possesses the local expertise and knowledge to be successful in helping to grow our presence throughout the area,” said Woodfin. “As we have grown the Destin and Inlet Beach offices the past few years, mortgage production is a service I have longed to increase. I am excited to have Barry join our Destin team and work alongside him to provide our community with an excellent mortgage experience,” said Dewayne Youngblood, Okaloosa & Walton County Market President. Stanley graduated from East Carolina University and spent his early mortgage banking career in Metro- Atlanta, before being transferred to northwest Florida seven years ago. Throughout his career, he has closed more than 3,200 loans for nearly $700 million. He has been involved with the Rotary Club for more than 10 years in Atlanta, Gulf Breeze and Destin. Stanley also spent time volunteering with relief efforts in Panama City after Hurricane Michael last Fall.

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VIP Destin at Emerald Coast Theater Center

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photos & story by Zhalman Harris

adies, wigs, and the 20s came alive at the Emerald Coast Theater Company during the 5th Annual Wiggin’ Out for a Cause party. The ladies’ night out event, which took place on September 5 with a Great Gatsby theme, showed some great 20s fashion with flapper dresses, sequins, ruffled skirts, and beautiful wig choices. Ladies picked from an assortment of wigs and were whisked off to the styling station to make sure they were all “glamoured” up for the evening. Guests enjoyed some great food, wine, and a live DJ who had the floor filled with ladies dancing the night away. The ladies not only came out to have fun, but most importantly, they came out to raise funds to benefit Emerald Coast Children Advocacy Center. The ECCA uses these funds to help save lives and futures of child abuse victims who have found themselves in situations beyond their control. Emerald Coast Children Advocacy Center was founded in 1998 and is a 501-C-3 non-profit organization. Their mission is to prevent child abuse and neglect, protect children, and restore the lives and futures of impacted children. The Centers in Walton and Okaloosa Counties house a multidisciplinary team of child protection personnel, prosecutors, law enforcement, DCF, therapists, staff and volunteers.

Tonya Peterson & Ashley Needler

Annette Morozc & Vanessa Goodson

Nicole Hornback & Alexandra Jordan

Stephanie White & Hope Traylor

Juliet Haikes & Velia Lala

Merrisa Ingram & Mindy Moniz October 2019 | 79

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VIP Destin at Wiggin’ Out for a Cause

Mary Morgan & Stephanie Murphy

Pam Wellborn, Debra Henry, Mary Chris Murry, Jennifer Katalinic & Lea Capers

Tina Vital, Ashley Kohls, Peyton Bradley & Crissy Thibodeau

Mary Frances Mullins & Keisha Jones

Carly Harmer & Nancy Barnes

Jordan Magee & Lacey Flynn

Emily Schuscer & Miranda Bushnell 80


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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 raised in a small town in western Pennsylvania. I was hired by Intrawest to manage the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in 2009 before taking over as President of Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation in 2012. My wife and I have lived here for 11 years. What is your profession? For 33 years my profession was hospitality, first with Hyatt Hotels, then Ritz-Carlton, and finally the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. Now I am the President of the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation. I joined the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation board in 2009, and became Chairman in 2010 while I was President of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. I was struck by the tremendous amount of good DCWAF was doing for the children of our community. When the former President of DCWAF informed me of his intention to resign I made a monumental decision to move to the non-profit world, and I have never looked back. I believe in the value of high purpose work and leading the DCWAF team provides me a chance to apply what I learned running hotels to make a difference in the lives of children in need. What do you like best about Destin? What makes it unique? There are so many things to like about living here. I moved 20 times in my career and never really found a place to call home. When my wife, Michelle, and I moved here we knew this was it. Besides the obvious physical beauty, we love the fact that there is so much life here. Whether it is spotting a pod of dolphins while boating, or watching an Osprey with a fresh catch, nature surprises us with amazing sights if we just take a minute to observe what is going on around us. While the beauty of Destin is amazing, the people who live here are the real reason we stayed. There is a generous spirit here, a willingness to give back, that eclipses anything I have ever seen. We are honored to be a part of this community. What are three words that best describe you? Honest. Driven. Mentor. Finish this statement, I AM DESTIN because‌

photo by Steve Mangum

I found in Destin a home and a way to give back in a very meaningful way.

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