VIP Pensacola - May 2023

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Christian Healthcare: being Christian-based is critical in our mission to provide the highest quality healthcare. Residents will enjoy our optional daily bible study, Sunday church services and Christian sing-a-longs.

Affordable Prices: All Inclusive: 3 meals, snacks, medication management, housekeeping, activities, cable, wi-fi (no hidden cost).

Highly Trained Staff: specially for dementia residents, 24/7 assistance and care. As well as fully functioning security cameras inside our facility to enable WMC to remotely monitor our residents ensuring their health and safety.

Convenience: to hospitals, shopping centers and restaurants

Financial Programs: VA, long term, and others

Daily Living Assistance: Along with individually assisting in personal hygiene, our housekeeping staff does an incredible job to ensure cleanliness. Each member of our staff is also trained to accommodate the needs of difficult behaviors.

Beautiful Surroundings: A calm mind begins with peaceful surroundings. Our landscaping crew does an outstanding job of maintaining our lawns and foliage. Relax both inside and out where fresh air is accompanied by beautiful resting areas.

Casie Harris
Schedule a Tour Today! 850.477.1600 Meet our Windermere
“Taking Care of ose Who Took Care of Us.”
Family Owner/CEO Tyrah Young Marketing Director Shevonne Brown Administrator Synthia King Assistant Administrator Teresa Moffett Healthcare Coordinator
850-994-1078 Family Owned and Operated Since 1976 • REROOF & COMMERCIAL SPECIALIST • GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS Licensed in Florida #CCC1334173 and Alabama #30269 | 4201 Auckland Road, Pace, FL 32571 1850 Boy Scout Drive, Suite 101A, Ft. Meyers, FL 33907 COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL ROOFING FREE ESTIMATES BEST Specialty Contractor YOUR COMMERCIAL ROOFING EXPERTS
events departments contents Adventure Out Green Perspectives Coastal Cuisine Swizzle Give Care Share Style Locale I Am Pensacola 16 26 32 42 49 54 58 66 Publisher Greg Alexander Associate Publisher Verla Price Publisher’s Assistant Nicole Partridge Advertising Stephanie Alvarez Harmony Henry Kristin Moffitt Verla Price Graphic Designers Priscilla Atkins Brian Goins Patti Hall Art Director Priscilla Atkins Content Creator Anna McGauley Stockton Contributing Writers/ Photographers Steve Black Summer Breeze Kevin L Houghton Nicole Partridge Anna McGauley Stockton VIP Founder Jeff Watson VIP Pensacola Staff Volume VIII • Issue V Croquet & Rosé on the Bay Fred Levin Way Fest! Men Who Cook Art of Fashion 2023 Golf Ball Gala 2023 Murder Mystery Masquerade 2023 Cops, Cars and Crawfish Jazz Brunch 2023 Writing & Editing Intern Fair Arc Gateway Over the Edge 2023 Pace Awards 11 14 19 23 29 34 39 45 52 56 63 6 | Elena & Wadih El Khoury at Golf Ball Gala 2023 on the cover Photography by Kevin L Houghton Best in Pensacola 2023 Voting Ballot Pets & their People 36 60 features

For the Love of Pets

For many of us, pets are an essential part of our lives. They greet us at the door when we come home, snuggle up with us on the couch, and provide unconditional love and companionship. Pets also offer many other bene ts, including improving physical and mental health. It is said that pets can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Let’s stop right there and add a little truth to that statement. The stress from life will diminish and be redirected to your pet. You will nd yourself constantly worrying about your furry friend’s well-being, from making sure they are fed and walked to taking them to the vet. Your worldly possessions will suffer. The carpets need cleaned, the couch will be chewed, shoes hidden, and jewelry buried in the yard. The list goes on and on, yet you will be happier than you can imagine.

I have had my share of pets from farm animals to guppies and each have a special place in my heart. I am sure my mother dreaded seeing me at the door some days as many times I came home from school packing a stray or injured animal. I have some great rescue stories and some that crashed and burned. Like the time Dad was selling the calves and I let them out to run to safety in the elds. That little rescue attempt hurt me a lot more in my tush than in my heart.

Fred, a little Beagle Brittany Spaniel mix, holds the biggest part of my heart. I found him at a kill shelter on his last day which proved to be the luckiest day of my life. We were inseparable for 15 years and he was the bravest dog I have ever met. We sped along on four wheelers, street bikes, jet skis, and snowmobiles with Fred yelping in excitement. He begged to be included on the dirt bike rides so I glued carpet to the tank so he could stand and not slip off. His passing crushed my very soul and still hurts to this day. But even a broken heart could not stop me from saving yet another rescue, my beloved Lady Isabella Grace aka “Izzy,” who came from a puppy mill bust. All animals give their love to you when you become their person, and some are not always soft and uffy. I still think of my parakeet from time to time and a bearded dragon that sat on my dresser for a few years watching over me. As you read through the editorial in this issue maybe you will nd a few reasons to look for a new companion.

Best In Pensacola 2023 continues, as your top 10 most nominated businesses from each category have moved forward to the nal stage of voting starting May 10. Remember to vote daily on the of cial Best In Pensacola voting ballot on our website If you need a refresher on the categories, they are listed here in the magazine.

If you know of a non-pro t or charity holding an event you would like to see featured in VIP Pensacola, please call me. Our mission at VIP Pensacola is to support as many non-pro t causes as possible. Follow VIP Pensacola on our social media channels and follow me on Facebook @VerlaParsonsPrice.

Thank YOU for supporting VIP Pensacola; please be kind, courteous, and shop local.


letter from the Associate Publisher 8 |
Associate Publisher
Be on the lookout for our VIP Pensacola Ambassadors, Shelley & Steve Black, at area events.
Family Owned and Operated 6235 N. Davis Hwy Pensacola, FL 32504 (850) 637-1123 PetlandPensacola THANK YOU FOR VOTING US BEST PET STORE 6 YEARS IN A ROW! 415 Mary Esther Cut Off NW Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548 (850) 796-2424 PetlandFortWaltonBeach Come Play with Our Pets

Year Five is in the books for the Bread and Table Club’s Croquet & Rosé on the Bay that took place on April 22. The theme this year was the fable of Alice in Wonderland with guests dressed in white and Wonderland attire. Thirty-two teams participated in four hours of battle, but only one team walked away as the Croquet & Rosé 2023 Champions. The Ballbusters, last year’s winners, didn’t perform as well on the croquet eld this year, but they made up for it off the eld. The attire and decorations were spot on, but raising money for the backpack program and knowing more children won’t go hungry because of the hard work and dedication of the Bread and Table Club is the real highlight of the weekend. Shelley and Steve Black, and all of the committee members made the Croquet and Rose event a success yet again. Due to the gracious sponsors, donors, and auctions, the event this year raised over double than the previous year. Not to mention, 100% of all of the proceeds bene t the Children’s Backpack program through Feeding the Gulf Coast.

VIP Pensacola at Museum Plaza
photos & story by Kevin L Houghton Lori & Keith Hoskins Shelley & Steve Black Jeff Gulsby, Vanessa Correia, Trey & Bridgette Myers, Dixie Stewart & Dr. Craig Henry Sue & David Dozer Ben & Kristina Zimmern
May 2023 | 11
Nina & Tommy Wagner Elena & Wadih El Khoury
VIP Pensacola at Croquet and Rosé on the Bay
Will Morris & Stephanie Alvarez Sue Griffioen & Carrie Lee Brian & Cristina Williams Brian Goins, Romana & John Lopez, Verla Price, Leo & Penny Lynne Chase & Katy Heard Karen Carrese & Ellen Jones Brittany & Caleb Cummings David Apollo & Joanna Cope Steve Black, Kit Nast, Ken House, Greg Park, Lisa Bradley & David Dozer
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Eric & Trish Luna, Victor Luna
May 2023 | 13
Debby Cherwak, Marie Currie, Leslie McGuire & Michele Thomas Higinio & Kristie Rodriguez, Maria & Todd LaDouceur Stacy Keller-Williams, Jennifer Belcher & Marli Burris Johnne Benken, Cathee Edmunds, Diana DePrisco & Jerre Peacock

Fred Levin Way Fest

Crowds lined the streets of historic downtown Pensacola on April 16 to take advantage of free essential items, as well as educational material donated by over 70 non-pro t organizations at the Fred Levin Fest. The theme was “Celebration of Giving” and it was truly just that.

This festival is held once a year and is intended to provide help to families and individuals in need. It’s a beautiful way for the community to come together and honor the legacy of Fred Levin and his desire to help children in need in Northwest Florida.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Mounted Unit were among those in attendance, showcasing their beautiful horses and were certainly a crowd favorite. There was no shortage of fun with the endless number of activities provided for everyone of all ages. Bounce houses, music, face painting, and even the Warrington Middle School marching band was on hand to provide entertainment. Food trucks cranked out thousands of delicious meals and the spirit of giving owed freely in the streets, ensuring that everyone left with not only bellies full, but hearts as well.

VIP Pensacola at Downtown Pensacola
photos & story by Summer Breeze Jonathan Halter & Lindsey Casey Shawn & Jackson Nickel Babsy Webb, Isabelle Carlton & Rick Cramer Tiffany King & Taxie Lambert Tammy Barca & Morgan Palmisano Haley Turner, Christine Correa, Lori Jordan, Tammy MacDonald & Jessica Wolford
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Sue Straughn, Tai Knight & Tammy Straughn
Joanna Boulton & Christina Gabriel Madison Kosmas, Melissa Kosmas & Christy Lewis Hylton Davis, Jade Hoye & Noreen Carnley
May 2023 | 15
Julie Tharpe, Darra Flanagan, Meghin Martin, Shannon Turbeville & Leo Flanagan

Author Jonathan Swift is quoted as saying, “every dog must have his day” and for WolfGang LLC Owners and Founders Jessica and Kim Wolford, they want all dogs to have their day one event at a time As lorida s first official dog event planning company, the couple creates and organizes events that are all about the pups They work with local dog friendly businesses to create fun events where the dogs are the guests of honor. And while WolfGang LLC always brings the fun, they also have a philanthropic side They ork ith nonprofits to help create events to raise money for their organization, such as the annual Pensacola Pawdi Gras event in do nto n Pensacola, hich benefited the Escambia County Department of Animal Welfare this year.

So ho did this uni ue company come about Owners and founders Jessica and Kim Wolford, who have been married for eight years, both came from the corporate orld and al ays had a desire to start a business that was centered around their love for dogs. They en oyed bringing their dogs ith them hen they ent places, but they realized that hen they did that, there wasn’t much for their dogs to do other than sit on a leash and be ith them The couple anted to create something that highlighted people ho love to bring their dogs to local dog loving businesses but make it all about the dogs. Once the idea for their new dog event planning business as put into place, the name came naturally The name WolfGang comes from their last name of Wolford and their “gang” of dogs They kne they anted

to make their logo personal to them and their family, so they used an actual drawing representing their dogs’ ears. Kira Doumas, a friend of the new business owners, asked them to send her headshots of their dogs to create the logo. The logo, in order from biggest to smallest is Hugh, Marie, Mama, and the late Oreo (who passed in October of 2022 at 17 years old). The newest addition to their family, Victor, was adopted about 2 weeks after they started the business and is not represented in the original logo.

Bringing dog centered activities to the area is exactly what WolfGang has succeeded in doing. They’ve hosted holiday events such as St. Pawtrick’s Day pup crawls, Santa Paws, Pupsgiving, Howl-a-ween events, doggy Easter egg hunts, and many more. They do a Pups for Pride event in June to help support the LGBTQ community. Other events they host include paw painting events, sip and shop markets, DIY bandana and dog treat events, and socials for people and pups. WolfGang also is available to plan private barkday pawties, where they offer a variety of packages. They also do private corporate events, working with businesses to create and organize an event for their employees and their dogs. They are

expanding their dog event planning business this year by adding new events like themed pup crawls, history walking tours, hiking and trail walks, beach socials, and are even working on a brick-and-mortar location.

Jessica and Kim Wolford take pride in the business they have built and are excited about new ideas and expanding their business. They feel WolfGang is a special company because they truly love dogs. They remember dog’s names, special things about them, and care about those who attend their events. They also care about the community and bringing dog lovers together. They work hard to help support local dog shelters and rescues by raising money and supplies for them, as well as having adoptable dogs attend their events in hopes of finding a forever home They are a uni ue business, the first of its kind, and the couple is truly doing what they love and are surrounded by things they love. While they recognize that owning a business is hard and it takes a lot of work and dedication, they know when they show up to an event and see the smiling faces and wagging tails, it shows them their hard work has paid off. And of course, the slobbery doggy kisses don’t hurt either.

LLC | (318) 264-5705
We believe in creating community by working with a wide variety of local businesses that will help make any event a memorable dog friendly time!

Men Who Cook

Men Who Cook was held on April 2 at the Sanders Beach-Corinne Jones Community Resource Center. This year marked their tenth anniversary and “come hungry – leave ful lled” was the event’s theme. The venue was wall to wall with amateur cooks as well as professional chefs preparing to whip up their culinary delicacies in hopes of snagging rst place, all while raising money for PACE Center for Girls of Escambia-Santa Rosa Counties. Adorned in their white aprons, the cooks mingled until it was showtime. Guests came in droves to enjoy this fun event as well as to show their support for such an amazing cause.

Whether you were in the mood for fresh sangria or whiskey there was something available for everyone. This exciting menu was sure to please all of the guests’ palates with dishes ranging from “the big moose wonder” to Mediterranean chicken, and even my personal childhood favorite, goulash. Desserts were on the table as well with bananas foster, crème brulé, red velvet cupcakes, and key lime pie just to name a few. Attendees were also treated to gift boxes lled with a variety of interesting items donated by local businesses as well as gift certi cates and a silent auction.

VIP Pensacola at Sanders Beach-Corinne Jones Resource Center
photos & story by Summer Breeze Kathy Ostrander & Mary Gamble Brigette & Larry Brooks April Davidson & Nelson Munn Wade Beroset & Ahndre Rice Jacqueline Carter & Aaleigah Knight Laurie Rodgers & Jerre Peacock
May 2023 | 19
Danny Brazeale, Justin & Kristen Deese, Chris Gist
VIP Pensacola at Men Who Cook 20 |
Jay Meisenzahl & Jared Meisenzahl Ernie Lewis & Phil Alvarez Brittany Gansmann & Maya Andrews Tammy Timby, Donna Ward & Melissa Sidoti Grant Hofberger & Frank Watson Dick Bedics & Butch Branch Rachelle Fisher & Tony Williamson Jeff Gallagher & Sonny Greene Richard Penrose, Matt & Bonnie Primm ike Caufield & Dan Armstrong
May 2023 | 21
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Art of Fashion 2023

The Museum Plaza was the venue for the 17th Annual Covenant Care’s Art of Fashion event on April 6. The theme this year was New York City’s Studio 54. The pre-party was epic with pictures near the alpha-lit letters spelling out Studio 54 and the wall of champagne, not to mention the photo booth for pictures available for attendees. The runway was glamorous with Brent Lane from Cat Country 98.7 emceeing the show, and local celebrities, namely, Michelle Salzman, Phil Salzman, Gene Hurd, Angela Lane, Madrina Ciano, and Genevieve Kurpuis – just to name a few – modeling out ts from local vendors such as Dillard’s and S&K Boutique. The after-party was kickin’ with hot music and a dance oor where everyone showed off their hippest Studio 54-inspired out ts and danced the night away. But the raising of the paddles was the most important part, and the crowd did not disappoint in showing support for Covenant Care patients and their families. While the fashion show and magical night spent downtown with friends are major draws, the passion for this event has a purpose; Art of Fashion is a fundraising event that donates 100% of the proceeds to Covenant Care’s Children’s Support Programs and My Wish. Covenant Care is committed to caring for families in the communities they serve.

VIP Pensacola at Museum Plaza
photos & story by Kevin L Houghton Mayor D.C. Reeves & Taylor Dawson Jade Hoy & Elli Gentile Shelley & Steve Black Michelle & Phil Salzman Victor & Melanie Luna Gene & Amanda Hurd
May 2023 | 23
Pam Burke, Misty Stevens, Debbie Hyman, Jennifer Cobb & Bonnie Mowrey
VIP Pensacola at Art of Fashion 2023
Brent & Angela Lane Christie Saffold & Sarah Coleman Chris Ulrich & Mike Comerford Alison Davenport & Rodney Kehl Elizabeth Wright, Jamie Stewart, Stephene Garnett & Charish Bullard Dianna King & Summer Carter Amanda Naquin & Megan Lusio Tara & Shawn Dominguez Mindy Beck, Verna Plata, Jennifer Gonzalez & Tonya Cotton
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Linda Webb, Chad Dunn, Michelle Bellanova & Robert Bellanova Stacey Rising, Mary Mattheiss, Diana McRory & Amanda Hindsman Rebecca & Roy Oberto, Henry Evans, John & Melissa Godwin Jennifer Richardson, Heather Hobbs, Therese Ritchie & Julie Hasenbein
100 Pace Blvd, Pensacola 850-475-1555 Services Offered: Time Clock/Time Tracking Payroll Services Employee Benefits Risk Management & Safety Workers’ Compensation Insurance Human Resources Solving issues in HR for companies with 5 to 5,000 employees. Our goals are to increase your profitability, mitigate your employment related liabilities, help attract and retain top talent, and maximize your employee productivity. Thank You for Voting Us Best Payroll/HR Firm 4 Years in a Row May 2023 | 25
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Palm Trees

Ok… I will admit that locally the words above either excite ill feelings or stir the soul with positive tropical vibes. Many folks just want to see live oaks and southern magnolias presented in our landscapes.

When I meet clients for the first time and we begin discussing style, one of the first questions I ask is if they want to see palm trees in their landscape. I will ensure you that there is little compromise on their stance. Most people either love them or hate them. With over 2,600 species of palms on our planet you will come across them quite frequently. It’s a little known fact that Palms are monocots, so botanically speaking, palms are really big grass.

In my 37 years of owning a Landscape firm I have had the opportunity to learn much about palm trees. Way back, I was that guy that had installed the Medjool Palms (Phoenix Dactylifera) for Sacred Heart Hospital at the corner or 9th Avenue and Bayou Boulevard. There was such an uproar in the media that we took them out in the night so the pics would not end up on the front of PNJ! Later my company, Green Procedures Inc., was chosen to design and install landscapes such as Portofino Island Resort, Beach Club and Verandas on Pensacola Beach. Having installed thousands of palms early in my career I researched and gained much needed knowledge, many times gaining through trial and error.

We live in what I call a transition area. We are neither Tropical nor Northern. Many winters we will not see the temperatures dip below the freezing mark. But, occasionally we will have an

Arctic blast (much like this past Christmas) ride down on a rogue jet stream and remind us just how frigid we can get. With temperatures dipping well into the teens many of our less cold tolerant palms took a hit and some died. While many are beginning to put on new fronds some are not. If the most terminal bud pulls out of the center of the fronds (called pulling the spear), the palm is dead. However, while most palm species are found in the rain forest around the globe, many palms grow in areas that reach to zero degrees. Armed with the appropriate knowledge, it’s possible to create a tropical looking landscape along the Gulf Coast complete with those Caribbean vibes that palm trees bring into any equation.

Love them or hate them? My personal feelings are that I want to see Palm trees in Pensacola. Not always and certainly not in every design but, when called for…. A great design takes all things into account: The architecture of the new, The architecture of the surrounding, What am I trying to say to those around me through my design? … and What is the sustainability of this landscape?

The Sabal Palm (Cabbage Palm) is the most common palm tree in Florida and is native to Florida and all along the Southeastern US coasts. This cold hardy palm can handle the cold down into the mid-teens. Its palm fronds can also handle our windy conditions better than any other palm. The Sabal is commonly referred to as the Cabbage Palm since this is the species of palm that Hearts of Palm (cabbage like flavor) comes from. This practice kills the Palm and has been outlawed in Florida.

So let’s say you do like the idea of palms in your landscape. How does one achieve a desired result? First, you must have the knowledge of what palms can handle NW Florida winters. Secondly, the growth habit and overall look will determine how a palm is used in the landscape. Since we get to or below the 20 degree mark every few years I am only listing the palms that tolerate that condition.


Primarily utilized in groupings in design.

Sabal Palm - Sabal Palmetto (native)

Washingtonia Palm - Washingtonia Robusta

Desert Fan Palm - Washingtonia Filifera

Windmill Palms - Trachycarpus fortunei


Primarily utilized as center points or Street trees.

Canary Date Island Palm - Phoenix Carinesis

Medjool Date Palm - Phoenix Dactylifera

Wild Date Palm - Phoenix Sylvestris

Pindo Palm - Butia capitata (Jelly Palm)


Primarily used in planting beds or as accents.

Saw Palmetto - Serena reopens (native)

Coontie Palm - Zamia integrifolia (actually a cycad )

European (or Mediterranean ) Fan PalmChamaerops humilis

Sago Palm - Cycas revoluta (also a cycad)

Lady Palm - Rhapis excelsa

Needle palm - Rhapidophyllum hystrix (native)

Dwarf Palmetto - Sabal Minor (native)


When we are considering trimming a palm tree it should be noted that only yellowing or brown palm fronds should be removed. If green fronds must be removed, choose only the fronds growing downward. Horizontal and upward growing fronds should be left alone. Over trimming causes stress and only invites pests. Timely removal of the fruit or flowers reduces the number of potential seedlings and this practice is encouraged in designed landscapes. It should be noted that since palms lack the cambium layer that is just beneath the bark of a tree, the palm trunk will not heal itself from any injury. Thus, measures must be taken to protect the trunk from gouges or other mechanical damage since it will forever be a conduit for insects and disease.


Palms have specific needs when it comes to fertilizers. A good palm tree fertilizer is best and in addition to Nitrogen and Potassium, it will contain Magnesium (a secondary nutrient) and micronutrients as well. A palm tree that is deficient in Magnesium will demonstrate yellowing lower leaves (the older fronds) as the palm will rob the older fronds to support their new growth at the center bud. Look for a 8-0-12-4 fertilizer formulation that is slow release with that terminal number being Magnesium. The University of Florida has determined this to best for all palms and recommends the feeding every 3 months. Read the label for other specifics concerning the application.

Most people that want palms in their landscapes are reaching back to a feeling they received while on vacation in a tropical setting. While Northwest Florida is not tropical, we certainly can create and maintain that look and feel that excites that young couple or family that visits our little part of the world. Let’s be good stewards of this beauty.

Steve R. Black Practicing Agronomist and Landscape Design along the Gulf Coast for 36 years
Questions or comments? Email
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Golf Ball Gala 2023

The 6th Annual Golf Ball Gala was held on April 7 at the Court of De Luna Event Space. Hundreds of supporters showed up in their sharpest golf attire, Caddy-Shack style. The putting contest challenged attendees with an opportunity to win $5,000. The party kicked off outside under perfect weather conditions and with the sounds of the ever-popular Bay Bridge Band, along with viewing a live feed of the second round of the 2023 Master’s Tournament. Hot Spot BBQ food truck was on hand with plated BBQ for those who liked to enjoy the outdoors. Inside was a beautiful arrangement of tables, and a oneof-kind Masters-Inspired buffet created by Culinary Productions. Live and silent auctions were also available, that included unique trips and golf memorabilia up for bid, including a golf bag signed by Bubba Watson and Boo Weekley. All proceeds bene ted the youth programs of First Tee Gulf Coast. The non-pro t organization teaches lifelong skills for women and men through the game of golf while advancing accessibility to one of the greatest games in America.

VIP Pensacola at Court of De Luna Event Space
photos & story by Kevin L Houghton Elena & Wadih El Khoury Summer Carter & Bailey Carter Scott & Dana Janik, Lea & David Richardson, Jane & Pete Lauter Sheryl & Marty Stanovich
May 2023 | 29
Cori Riesberg & Autumn Moore Jared Patterson, Kelsey McHargue & Ben Herring

VIP Pensacola at Golf Ball Gala 2023

Greg Boozer, Joe Romero, Joanne & Sarge Richards Katy & Damon Smith David Richardson & Pete Lauter Alison Houghton & Adrianne Walker Doug & Lynette Monroe Trey & Jennifer Morvant, Cristina & Brian Williams David Penzone & Sheila Martin Courtney Campbell & Dr. Michael Reisberg Shaner & Blair Crooke
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Sandy Ryan & Melanie Duvall Sandy Sansing, Judy & Jim Prim Amber Southard, Wendy Graham & Stacy Keller-Williams Don Hess, Pam Mitchell, Grace & Rick Byars
May 2023 | 31
Christine Schultz, Sharon Ellison & Jennifer Cobb

DeLuna’s Hideout Oyster Bar and Grill owner, Brittany Lynn Snyder, is a self-described go getter, so it’s no surprise that when an opportunity arose to run a restaurant, she jumped at the chance. Formerly a property manager, she and her fianc , Dustin Reeves, purchased a acre plot of land ith the intention of developing it into an RV park, but that land came with a bonus, a restaurant previously kno n as the S amp House While the idea of leasing out the restaurant was being thrown around, Brittany knew she wanted to take that challenge on and make it her o n She dove headfirst into making DeLuna s Hideout a fun and lively seafood restaurant with a Cajun twist. Brittany drew the inspiration for her new restaurant’s name from Pensacola history She discovered that Don Tristan De Luna ould sail his ships up the river to Alabama to hide out, especially during storms, possibly sailing right past the land where the restaurant is located, so she came up with the name DeLuna s Hideout

Sounds of live music from the patio dra guests in, hether they arrive by boat or by car The menu is ever evolving and has plenty to offer seafood lovers as ell as those ho en oy a good burger or salad The oyster bar has a variety of baked oysters such as ysters Parmesan and their very o n DeLuna ysters The menu s Ca un inspiration comes from Brittany s love of

Southern Louisiana cuisine and includes favorites like gumbo and po boys or those ho en oy a cold drink and live music on the ater, DeLuna s has you covered ith outdoor seating in a rela ed aterfront setting nside seating is also available for those not so great eather days Live music is featured on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as during brunch on Sundays And speaking of brunch, the brunch menu has all your favorite brunch items, along ith bloody arys and mimosas to start your eek off ith plenty of vitamin C and veggies

article by Anna McGauley Stockton photos by Jordyn Fulkerson

As a family owned and run restaurant, guests are served with a smile by staff that are family, as Brittany’s son, daughter, brother, and sister-in-law all help DeLuna’s run smoothly. She takes great pride in her staff and even spotlights them on DeLuna’s Facebook page so customers can get to know them better. She says she puts her heart and soul into her restaurant and loves meeting customers who share stories with her, reminiscing about the area and thanking her for breathing new life into this hidden gem.

Big things are ahead for DeLuna’s Hideout Oyster Bar and Grill o ner Brittany Snyder and her fianc , Dustin uture plans for the restaurant are to convert an existing dock into an event space and enclose a patio area to allow for larger functions. Not only are there big plans for the restaurant, but they’re also working on revamping the existing marina and have received approval for the planned RV park on their property.

Come check out DeLuna’s Hideout Oyster Bar and Grill at 10421 Mills Swamp House Road where they are open Wednesday through Sunday 11am – 9pm. Follow their Facebook page for specials and upcoming events.

(850) 378-0259 | 10421 Mills Swamp House Road |
photo by Kevin L Houghton

Murder Mystery Masquerade 2023

Attendees were dying to attend the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge’s (ECWR) Third Annual April Fool’s Murder Mystery Masquerade on April 1. The much-anticipated event was held at Holley by the Sea Beach House in Navarre. It was a well-organized costumed, puzzling, and fun- lled fundraiser that bene ted the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge. Each ticket purchased for the event included a character package to participate in the murder mystery, delicious bites, a couple of select beverages from the Vine Wine Bar, a swag bag with goodies to complete your masquerade out t, and other unique, fun chances to support ECWR.

Dr. Natalie Dyson spoke during the event and told a story about a brown pelican that was brought in due to accidently swallowing a sherman’s 5” knife, the doctor immediately performed surgery, removed the knife and days later, returned the pelican back to its natural habitat. She continued to say, “We have such an incredible community to thank, and all of the support pouring in - with this event and all year long is just remarkable.”

This year’s proceeds reached over $7,000, almost doubling last year’s proceeds, and will bene t this area’s native wildlife.

VIP Pensacola at Holley by the Sea Beach House
photos & story by Kevin L Houghton Dollene & Cyrus Edwards Deborah Bradshaw & Dana Jeffries Matthew & Susan Strickler Sherri Kelley & Sharon Brault Colten & Regina Wright Rena & Joel Bretz
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Dr. Natalie Dyson, Denise Song & Pascal Robin Brian Ecenarro, Adam Grobmyer, Amy & Jason Benson Dana Cassady, Marisol & Gabriel Prado Capt. Charlie Green, Chase Pipkin, Josh Barber, Johanna Bowles & Claire Letendre
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Victor Gagliardi, Marie Taylor & Carla Encarnacion
CATEGORIES ENTERTAINMENT Annual Event Golf Course Live Entertainment/Music Venue Place for a Date Place for “Girl’s Night Out” Place to Go Dancing Place to See and be Seen Place to Take the Kids/ Family Entertainment Staycation SERVICES Accounting Firm Air Conditioning & Heating Company Alarm/Security Automobile Dealer - New Automobile Dealer - Pre Owned Automobile Repair Service Bank/Financial Institution Bank Banker Boat Sales & Service Charity/Non Profit Cleaning Service Countertops/Granite Credit Union Customer Service Dance Studio Electrician/Electrical Contractor Event Rentals Event/Banquet Space Financial Advisor Flooring Florist Funeral Home General Contractor General Manager Golf Cart/ATV Hair Salon Home Repair/Handyman Homebuilder Insurance Firm Interior Designer IT Services Landscaping Law Firm Limo/Transportation Service Luxury Automobile Sales Manicure/Pedicure Mortgage Company New Business Payroll/HR Pet Grooming/Boarding Photographer Place for Eyelashes Plumbing Service Pool/Spa Sales/Service Property Management Real Estate Agent - Commercial Real Estate Agent - Residential Real Estate Company Real Estate Professional - Female Real Estate Professional - Male Real Estate Team Restoration Company Roofing Company Specialty Cleaning (Chimney Sweep, Pressure Washing, Etc.) Specialty Contractor Staffing Company Title Company Veterinary Clinic Web Development Shopping & RETAIL Boutique Eyeglasses/Sunglasses Fashion Jewelry Fine Jewelry Furniture Gi Shop Home Decor/Accessories Lawn & Garden Store Liquor Store Locally Owned Retailer VOTE ONLINE! VIP PENSACOLA .COM SAVE THE DATE TO CELEBRATE THE WINNERS AT THE 7TH ANNUAL BLACK TIE BALL ON SEPTEMBER 16, 2023 POLLS OPEN MAY 10 - MAY 28

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Women’s Apparel


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Place for a Tux

Place for Rehearsal Dinner

Place to Buy Engagement Ring

Reception Venue

Wedding Cake/Confections

Wedding Caterer

Wedding Florist

Wedding Photography

Wedding Planner

Wedding Rentals



Alternative/Natural Medicine

Anti Aging Service

Assisted Living/Memory Care



Cosmetic Dentist


Eye Care Professional

Family Dentist

Famiy Care Physician

Hearing Care

Med Spa

Medical Center/Medical Group

Medical Practice


Pain Management


Permanent Make Up

Physical Therapy

Place for a Massage

Plastic/Cosmetic Surgery

Senior Living Community

Walk In Clinic/Urgent Care

Weight Loss Program

Women’s Wellness Provider

Cocktails & Cuisine




Beer Selection

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Casual Dining



Fine Dining

Happy Hour

Locally Owned Restaurant

New Restaurant


Place for Cocktails

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Restaurant - Cordova Area

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38 |

Cops, Cars Crawfish

The weather was absolutely perfect for the First Annual Cops, Cars, and Craw sh at Five Flags Speedway on April 15. All proceeds bene t the Escambia County Sheriff’s Of ce Foundation’s mission to support the heroes of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Of ce, while promoting their positive community engagement efforts. The event featured a car show, a craw sh boil, and Pixar’s “Cars” movie. With free admission, anyone and everyone could join in on the fun with many of our own Escambia County Sheriff’s of cers present, the ECSO Mounted Posse, a craw sh boil lunch from Cub’s Craw sh, a dessert from the TASTEBuds food truck, an amazing 150+ car show, ECSO K-9, and the most apropos movie on the big screen, while supporting a wonderful cause. They even had Brent Lane along with The Cat from Cat Country 98.7, special event T-shirts, and a 50/50 raf e bene ting the foundation as well. The car show entrants all had a chance to win trophies for Sheriff’s Choice, Foundation’s Choice, and Top 10 People’s Choice, while further supporting the mission and employees of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Of ce.

VIP Pensacola at Five Flags Speedway
photos & story by Kevin L Houghton Ronnie Rivera & Andrew Hobbs Wadih El Khoury & Nelson Munn Brittany & Deah Tate, elissa Bunn, ichelle Crutchfield, Patrick razier & indy oung David Apollo & JoAnna Phillips Cope
Barry Cole & Lewis Bear III
May 2023 | 39
Ho ard Enderson on Duke, Stephanie Whitfield on a , Karen Powell on Blue, Julie Harper on Scooter & Barbara Righter on Leonidas Bubba Peters, Tommi Lyter, Jessica Lee, Whitney Lucas, Sheriff Chip Simmons, Brian Williams, Jessica Rockhill, Wadih El Khoury & Chris Roney Samantha Westwood & Bobby Suarez with Diesel Chase & Elizabeth Sharp Joey Brazwell & Justin Toche Verla Price & Ed Villar Yuka, Emily, Josh & Sojiro Hanis, Randy Jr., Randy III, Hiroko & Kouji Budd Alison Houghton & Katie NeSmith
V P Pensacola at Cops, Cars & Cra fish 40 |
Karen Sztukowski, Kaylynn Williams, Cathleen Mill, Brandon Beech & David Ingram Vince Odenbrett, Chris Echele & Philip Folmar Gary Sapp & Rondel King Brent Lane, “The Cat” & William Flowers
Marvin Pawless, Clay & Delaney Cubley, Robbie & Carolynn Lundberg, Ryan Fowler PERSONAL SERVICE is what makes us different. We care about our customers and go the extra mile.
Derek Stephens, PharmD Natalie Malone, PharmD Pensacola’s Locally Owned Retail and Compounding Pharmacy From people to pets, RX’s for every need. 6005 College Pkwy., Unit 1 Pensacola, FL 32504 850-752-2100 | • Vaccinations • Supplements • Owners On Site • Personalized Compounding OPEN Monday - Friday 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM Saturday 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM May 2023 | 41

Pooch Inspired Hooch

Dogs have long been an inspiration for humans, he are man s es frien af er a . e pa ri e o hem in o r son s oo s p a s mo ies an in o r ai i es so wh no e an inspira ion for o r coc ai s as we .

The Regal Beagle

* his re a coc ai is fi for ro a min s he er p ic fami rama.

1 o o a

2 ime we es

1 tsp honey

5 oz grapefruit juice

p ash of r whi e wine

e he ime wi h hone an a ice efore po rin o a an rapefr i ice o er he op an a in a sp ash of wine. ir an arnish wi h a spri of rosemar if esire .

story by Anna McGauley Stockton

The Salty Dog Drink

* This drink can be altered to The Salty Chihuahua by using tequila instead of gin or o a no an e i in re ire .

1 ½ oz gin (or vodka)

3 oz grapefruit juice

Salt (for the rim)

im a ass wi h sa fi he ass wi h ice and add gin (or vodka) and grapefruit ice. arnish wi h ime we e.

The Bloodhound Cocktail

* o e ho on he rai of a oo ime wi h his ermo h forwar coc ai .

o . swee ermo h

o . r ermo h

1 oz gin

1 strawberry (cut into slices)

Mix the sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, an in in a coc ai sha er wi h ice. Strain, pour into chilled glass, and top wi h a s raw err .

The Great Dane

* This gentle giant of a cocktail stands a in he a or epar men wi ho wei hin o own.

2 oz gin

1 oz cherry brandy

½ oz dry vermouth

1 tsp kirsch

Fill cocktail shaker with ice and pour in a in re ien s efore sha in . rain in o a chi e coc ai ass. arnish wi h emon or ime pee .

The Pink Poodle Cocktail

* This one will make you feel as fancy as a freshly groomed poodle, so prance all o i e.

1 ½ oz vanilla vodka splash of grenadine syrup

Lemon/lime soda (such as 7-up or Sprite)

Pour the vanilla vodka and a splash of rena ine o er ice an hen fi he res of he ass wi h 7 p. op wi h a cherr for he fina e.

The Greyhound Drink

* While this drink will make you think o re s per fas we isco ra e an foo races pos coc ai .

1 ½ oz vodka

3 oz grapefruit juice

Fill a glass with ice, pour in your vodka hen a rapefr i ice. ir. arnish wi h a emon or ime we e if esire .

Jazz Brunch 2023

The Pensacola Country Club hosted the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra’s Jazz Brunch on April 16. Marte Picker PSO Event Chair began the morning with amazing and talented musicians. Tate High School String Quintet, directed by Catherine McConnell, greeted guests as they entered, and a featured performance from New York’s Ike Sturm + HEART entertained guests during brunch. During this celebration of music, Dana and Milton Usry, who serve as honorary chairs, recognized the long-term support of our community and PSO. The Jazz Brunch was held to support Beyond the Stage, a new event created to raise funds in support of PSO’s community engagement and music education initiatives. The Pensacola Symphony Orchestra and Emcee Dan Shugart thanked everyone for their generosity and support of the Jazz Brunch. Additionally, it was noted the event was a great success, and provides for meaningful music experiences in our community.

VIP Pensacola at Pensacola Country Club
photos & story by Kevin L Houghton Max Levesque & Jim Green Marte Picker & Bart Byrd Noah Javier, Jazmyn Bishop, Taylor Walker, Hayden Ballinger, Garret Groff & Catherine McConnell, Director Tate High School Quintet Julie Green & Hannah Denaro
May 2023 | 45
Bonnie & Richard Bedics Bret Barrow, Jessica Hyche & Courtney Dell David Richbourg, Beverly Donahue, Sue-Sue Sherrill & Rick Harper John & Romana Lopez Olivia Endacott-Ellis & Pamela Endacott Lyndi & David Kessler Dan & Beth Shugart Dr. Fredrick & Sandy Bryan, Dr. Mary & Dr. Edwin Park Denny & Lauren Turner Chandra McKern & Kiara Ramirez-Smith
VIP Pensacola at Jazz Brunch 2023 46 |
Dawn Cooper & Carol Cooper Maryette & Scott Huntinghouse Bobbye Olney Carroll & Trisha Woodburn Milton & Dona Usry, Hedi Salanki-Rubardt & Peter Rubardt
4111 N Davis Highway • Pensacola 850-479-4100 Thanks for voting us Best Flooring in Pensacola! May 2023 | 47
C J Lydon & Bunny Barnan

Interview with Debbie Johnson, President and Founder K9s United

photos provided by K9s United

What is K9s United?

K9s United is a 501(c)(3) nonpro t committed to supporting K-9 law enforcement of cers who detect, protect, and serve our communities by giving them the necessary equipment, amenities and quality of life during their service, as well as memorializing those who give the ultimate sacri ce.

How did this organization come about? / What is your role and how did you get involved with K9s United?

When news broke that a eeing suspect murdered K-9 Baron on October 7, 2014, I had never experienced something that laid so heavy on my heart. I attended K-9 Baron’s funeral, made a donation, but still I felt moved to do more. To educate myself, I met with my local K-9 Unit and attended their Civilian Law Enforcement Academy. It was during my ride along class with a K-9 handler that I learned that the K-9 unit is one of the most expensive units within an agency and their needs aren’t always met due to budgetary constraints. So, in June 2015, I founded K9s United with the mission to help K-9 units nationwide receive the tools and resources they need to bring their furry and human of cers home safe.

What impact does K9s United have on the community?

K9s United positively impacts the local community by providing free life-saving trainings, seminars, and equipment to law enforcement and EMS agencies, allowing the units to safely protect the community and care for K-9 of cers.

Our EMS trainings coach EMS professionals and K-9 handlers on all K-9 protocols for when unexpected injuries occur. This training includes combat injuries, treatment protocols, hemorrhage control, airway management, prevention and treatment of shock, wound management, movement techniques, hypo/hyperthermia, burns, poisoning, snake bites and bloat, among other life-saving techniques K-9s may require in a moment’s notice.

Our training seminars are for K-9 handlers and teach human detection such as tracking, trailing, area and building searches; criminal apprehension techniques and scenario-based training; odor and narcotics/explosive detection; along with basic and advanced obedience training. We also extend an invite on the nal day of the seminars to local EMS professionals to provide a rst-aid crash course.

What are some future goals?

Our main goal is always to assist and provide for K-9s who protect and serve our communities. We’ve been able to do this thanks to our monthly K9 Corps supporters, online store sales, annual events, and generous donors; but the need is tremendous and to help more K-9 of cers we must raise additional funds. This year, we have a goal to pre-sell 3,000 K9s United Florida specialty license plates which will provide additional annual funds for our mission and honor our voiceless K-9 of cers. We are half-way to our goal with nearly 1,600 purchased. If readers are interested in purchasing a license plate, please visit

In 2019 we helped to pass Senate Bill 96, which creates harsher penalties for those who harm a working K-9. The legislation makes killing a K-9 of cer a second-degree felony, triples the maximum jail sentence to 15 years and raises the ne to $15,000. We also recently passed legislation that allows for injured working dogs to be transported by emergency vehicles in the state of Florida. Now, we’re working to pass this bill federally to help dogs nationwide.


What challenges does your organization face?

Our biggest challenge is fundraising. We receive lists of needs from K-9 units nationwide and we must ask them to prioritize their needs because the items are costly, and funds are limited. We also face the challenge of nding new donors. We are well known by our law enforcement family, but we want civilians to understand the dire need to support our K-9 of cers.

What events does your organization host? Are any open to the public?

We host a fully remote Fallen K-9 Virtual Run each year on Sept. 1 to honor all fallen K-9s and we will host a second 9K for K9s in October in Central Florida. K9s United also hosts an annual K-9 Competition that brings Florida’s K-9 of cers together to compete and show off their skills, allowing bystanders to observe and better understand what these dogs do. For current event information please visit,

What would you like our readers to know about K9s United?

I simply want readers to know about K9s United and what we are doing to help K-9s and their handlers.

By supporting K9s United with a donation or by purchasing our specialty license plate, you are helping these incredible working dogs by allowing us to either provide the necessary training they seek or speci c equipment to keep them safe, such as bullet proof vests, heat alarms and door poppers.

How can someone get involved and/or support your nonprofit?

K9 Corps is one fantastic way to support with a monthly donation. By joining K9 Corps you will also join an inspiring group of supporters who have a passion for supporting K9 heroes and as a member of K9 Corps, you become a close part of our family and will have a direct impact on ensuring the success of the K9s United vision.

Florida drivers also have one of the most unique ways to get involved via our specialty license plate. For each plate sold, $25 will be donated to K9s United to support our mission to educate, train and provide vital equipment and services to K9s who protect and serve their communities.

We also offer an online shop for those interested in purchasing a t-shirt, travel thermos, dog bandana or coffee mug, in support of K9s United. Every dollar donated to K9s United supports the nonpro t’s mission to educate, train and provide vital equipment and services to K-9 teams. For more information please visit,

May 2023 | 51 Enjoy our pet friendly outdoor dining Happy Hour ~ M-F 4pm-6pm 1/2 o house wine & well drinks | $2 o Beer 25% o Select Call Liquor Cordova Marketplace 4350 Bayou Blvd · Pensacola, FL 850.477.9120 · Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11 am - 3 pm Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 4 pm - 9 pm Brunch: Sunday: 11 am - 2 pm Upscale Dining in a Relaxed Atmosphere Thanks for voting us Best in Pensacola! Casual Dining & Locally Owned Restaurant ProHealth is a Hidden Gem in Pensacola! ProHealth is a premier clinical and laboratory medical care provider with 7 locations along the Panhandle serving tens of thousands of gulf coast residents and tourists annually. ProHealth offers affordable award-winning medical care that includes Primary Care, Urgent Care, Laboratory Testing, Occupational Health, Medical Weight Loss, and even a fantastic $45 Medical Membership plan. 3298 Summit Blvd. Suite 33 Pensacola, FL 32503 850.434.6168 Find us online at + Facebook Health Medical Care Pr EMPLOYEE BENEFITS AND HEALTH INSURANCE, SIMPLIFIED. We are Florida and South Alabama’s choice for Group Benefits, Health Plans, and Executive Benefits. •Employee benefits •individual health/ •medicare •executive benefits Courtney B Peterson Owner, Licensed Insurance Agent 850-741-1015 Email.

Writing & Editing Intern Fair

The University of West Florida (UWF) English Department hosted a Writing & Editing Intern Fair at the UWF Commons Auditorium. Various local businesses were on hand to encourage students to apply for an internship to gain valuable skills to boost student resumes and connect with potential future employers.

The student attendees visited the booths to learn about each entity. Regina Sakalarios-Rogers, Ph.D. coordinated the fair. Area businesses, non-pro t organizations like the Council on Aging and Open Books-Pensacola, as well as local publishers including our very own VIP Pensacola, Associate Publisher Verla Price were there to share expertise. Writers were also present including a Poet Laureate with Emerald Coast Writers and the UWF Creative Writing Lab. The University Archives and West Florida History Center Archives Manager brought a unique, local, advertising book which predated ‘phone books and Google’.

Dr. Rogers stated, “We hold the Intern Fair each spring semester so students can nd community partners who are willing to provide experiences that will shape career goals and further develop their writing and editing skills.”

VIP Pensacola at University of West Florida Commons Auditorium
photos & story by Nicole Partridge Chloe Cadenhead & Richard Jackson Deborah Nagle & Atangila Willis Verla Price & Pamela Holt Olivia West & Tim Bulger, III Regina Sakalarios-Rogers & Johnny Ardis Savannah Weeks & Molly Callahan Kevin Scott & Pamela Meyers
52 |
Anne MacDonald & River Chau
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PetYourPerfecting Home

I’ll be the rst to admit, I’m a little pet crazy. My dog, Johnny, has his own seat on the couch, and sometimes I make spaghetti just because he loves it (my kids hate it), and maybe sometimes, okay all the time, I tell him how much I love him and when I’ll be back before I leave the house, I don’t want him to worry after all. And if Instagram is any indication, I’m not alone in this obsession... I mean, we love of our pets. They are our family, and our home is their home, our space is their space, and we’re making accommodations in our homes to give our four-legged friends all the creature comforts they desire.

Splish Splash One of the more ingenious ideas I’ve heard for perfecting your pet home is a dog wash station. No more bending over and hurting your back giving them a bath or chasing them around outside with a water hose. These stations can easily be built into your laundry room or utility room, complete with a choice of heights, a faucet, a ramp or steps for your pup to easily get in and out, and an artistic license to make the area as fun or functional as you’d like. If building your own isn’t an option, there are dog wash stations available from places like Wayfair at various price points. While these are less custom, they’re still handy to have. No matter which of these options you choose, make sure the area surrounding your dog wash station is as waterproof as possible, as that after-bath shake is inevitable.

story by Anna McGauley Stockton Johnny

Great Crates Crating or kenneling your dog is a great way to train and create a safe environment for them, especially when they’re puppies. The downside of this practice is that there’s now a crate somewhere in your house and they can be a bit unsightly. Luckily, there are crating options that are part of your furniture or are completely hidden from view and dog owners are rejoicing. Dog crate tables, television stands, and more are all great options to keep your pup contained without interrupting the flow of your furniture. Some dog owners are choosing to build kennels into their utility or laundry rooms, this is great for nervous or high-strung pups as it allows them to have a quiet sanctuary, away from visitors and those pesky doorbells.

Pet Function Junction

Simply setting up a pet station in your house will help you streamline and make your home more pet friendly. Having an area with your pet’s food safely stored away with easy access for the caregiver, and no access for the overly enthusiastic food lover, will not only help keep things tidy, but it will also avoid any potentially harmful overeating by your pet. Having a space for toys in your pet stations will keep toys away when not in use and keep you from possibly going into cardiac arrest when you step on something wet, squishy, and very squeaky in the middle of the night. Hooks for leashes and other dog accessories can also be put in this area using fun, pet themed hooks will add some pet pizazz to the area. We haven’t forgotten the cat owners here; the same concept can be applied to their pet station. All their pet needs can be stored in one place, with the addition of the litterbox, whether it’s of the traditional sort or one of the fancy and super clean high-tech litter box machines.

Slumber in Style Pet beds have come a long way and are more stylish than ever. Beds are available in styles to match the décor of your home and give your pet a perfect place to sleep. Dog beds come in big balls of poof for those who like a warm, calm nest, special cushioning for those dogs who need support, chew proof dog beds, and even a chaise lounge dog bed for the more sophisticated pups. And from mid-century to glam to farmhouse, dog beds come in all styles and colors to suit your décor.

Unlike dogs, cats often prefer a more secure bed to fit their elusive, ‘too cool for you’ personalities. A variety of enclosed pet beds are available in many di erent styles to match your style and a cat’s desire for a comfortable, secure bed.

Arc Gateway Over the Edge

The Arc Gateway held their Over the Edge event on April 22, with a reception held the evening before, on April 21. The Over the Edge event is a fundraiser bene ting ARC Gateway’s programs. For a $1,000 dollar donation, participants repelled down the side of all 11 stories of the Studer Community Institute building. All ropes and safety gear were inspected and certi ed for everyone’s safety. The weather was spot on

with local WEAR Chief Meteorologist, Alan Strum on location and on-hand giving the go ahead. Notably and not to be out done “Homer” from the Miracle League of Pensacola was extremely excited to challenge the 11-story building, along with Kazoo from the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, and many others. Over 60 people signed up to rappel the edge, with over $60,960 raised for The Arc Gateway, which supports all ages with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

VIP Pensacola at Studer Community Institute
photos & story by Kevin L Houghton Tara Arceneaux & Jimmy Rodgers Matt Sapp & Jack Koerner Tonya Zimmern & Jade Hoy Darlene Carco, Tazmya Kelly, Joe Carco & Judy Koerner Jeremy Glekler & “Homer” Madrina Ciano, Jenni Perkins & Alan Stum
56 |
Stephen Rampershed & Missy Rogers
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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida Gumbo Ya-Ya Cook-Off

Gumbo lovers and supporters of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida came together on April 22 for the Gumbo Ya-Ya Cook-Off. This annual event supports BBBS’s cause, which is to make meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers and children to develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people. For this cook off, three person teams must make gumbo from scratch, the gumbo was then judged by a panel of gumbo experts, as well as the fans in attendance.

Winners were:

Winners in the Judge’s Category:

1st Place - Seville Quarter

2nd Place - Mama C’s Cajun Cooking

3rd Place Solaris Health Care

Winners in the Showmanship Category (decoration, theme, and spirit):

1st Place Mama C’s Cajun Cooking

2nd Place Solaris Healthcare

3rd Place Peace, Love Gumbo Winners in the coveted People’s Choice Category:

1st Place Louisana Gumbreaux

2nd Place Solaris Healthcare

3rd Place West Florida Sea Pirates

The 2023 Clover Pick A Bowl Fill A Bowl a success.

The 2023 Clover Pick A Bowl Fill A Bowl raised more than $63,300 the most ever raised in the event’s history thanks to the generosity of several local sponsors, artists, restaurants/food vendors, donors, and event attendees. Money raised will provide the equivalent of 38,030 healthy meals for hungry neighbors in need in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties!

The 2023 Clover Pick A Bowl Fill A Bowl was made possible by the faculty, students, and friends of the Pensacola State College Visual Arts Department, First City Arts Center, local artists, businesses, and vendors that provided sponsorships and donations of art, food, beverages, and other in-kind goods and services. Cat Country 98.7; Kerrigan, Estess, Rankin, McLeod Thompson, LLP; Margie and Alan Moore; Pensacola State College; and WEAR ABC 3 were the 2023 Porcelain level sponsors.

This year’s restaurants and food vendors included Apple Market, Azalea Trace, The Farm, Four Winds Fine Foods Market, The Grand Marlin, Khon’s on Palafox, Mr. Pollo Pensacola, Nouveau Pastries and Catering, Panera Bread, Pensacola Yacht Club, Scenic Hills Country Club, South Market, and Whataburger.

Animal Tales, Cat Country 98.7, Duncan McCall, Evergreen Printing and Mailing, First City Art Center, The Lewis Bear Company, Merchants Paper Company, Pensacola State College, Republic National Distributing Company, and WEAR ABC 3 were the 2023 in-kind sponsors.


In 2018, the annual event was renamed in honor and memory of longtime supporter Bill Clover. Clover, a Pensacola State College Visual Arts professor for 52 years, was instrumental in starting and sustaining the 16-year event that has raised money to help thousands of hungry people.

Memorial Day Run to the Wall South to be held on May 28

Join fellow riders as they honor the fallen on Memorial

Day weekend. Ride starts at American Legion Post 340 on Ashland Avenue in Pensacola and ends at the Veterans Memorial Park in downtown Pensacola. Registration from 9am-11am with a $15 per bike donation to participate in event, kickstands up at noon. All are welcome at the post ride celebration at the Vietnam Vets Legacy Vets Clubhouse (12 Paul Street Pensacola).

O May 2023 | 59

Pets & Their People

— Karen Kennedy MD — Onyx with Dr. Karen Kennedy — Summer’s Sushi — Bruce with Summer Rushing — Welch SkinCare Cener — Dax with Dr. Kevin Welch — Connell & Company — Vixen, Oliver & Zena — First City Drugs — Charleigh with Natalie Malone — Paradise Home Solutions — Archer & Smokey with Chris Gist — First City Drugs — Calvin with Derek Stephen

PACE Awards

The Hilton on Pensacola Beach was the venue for the 63rd Annual Pensacola Area Commitment to Excellence (PACE) Awards by the Greater Pensacola Chamber on March 28. Over 350 guests attended the event, with 30 sponsors that helped to make this evening possible, however, Titanium Wireless was the Title Sponsor. With eight different categories, the numerous nominees were narrowed down to eight deserving individuals in the Pensacola Community. Kara Cardona was named Business Leader of the Year; Sheriff Chip Simmons, Community Leader of the Year; and, Grover Robinson IV, Spirit of Pensacola, just to name a few of the recipients. PACE Awards are given each year by the Greater Pensacola Chamber to honor and recognize the outstanding individuals in the community who are local leaders in business, civics, education, etc. Todd Thomson, President, and CEO of the Greater Pensacola Chamber spoke of the night’s mission, “We have so many wonderful people in Pensacola and in Escambia County who do so much for our community. It’s always an honor to celebrate these people who exemplify excellence of what it means to be a Pensacolean.”

VIP Pensacola at Hilton Pensacola Beach
photos & story by Kevin L Houghton Mayor DC Reeves & Sydney Dawson Kristin Longley & Amy Brown John Hopkins, Amber Southard, Jordan Conti, Bill Dagnal, Tiffany Joyner, Nicole Coxwell & KC Gartman
Kara Cardona & Keith Hoskins Lewis & Jenn Bear
May 2023 | 63
Mark Van Wagenen, Kirk Waters, Glenn McDuffy, Monique Brown, Patti Mohan & Tina Newton

VIP Pensacola at 2023 Pace Awards

Todd Thomson, Willa Licata & Quinn Breaux Vinay Pallekonda & April Tsatsanis Gene Hurd & Phillip Salzman Mark Faulkner & Dr. Kimberly Thomas James & Ildi Hosman Kelly Davies, Amishha Gujral & Jennifer Henry Sheryl & Marty Stanovich Keith Hoskins & Sheriff Chip Simmons Ryan & Mindy Young
64 |
Kelly Davies, Courtney & Luke Henderson Marlon Graham & Labarian Turner Cmd. Tommi Lyter & Christal Bell-Rivera
May 2023 | 65
Brent Lane & Rui Ramos

What is your hometown and how did you end up in the Pensacola area?

I grew up in rural Maine in a small town named East Holden on the way from Bangor to Bar Harbor. My best friend who lived 4 miles down the road moved to Pensacola over 25 years ago. After visiting her here for almost two decades, I knew that I wanted to live here. I’ve been here almost 4 years now.

What is your profession and what led you to choose it?

I work with the Better Business Bureau. I am a Trust Advisor that shares the BBB’s vision of an ethical marketplace where buyers and sellers can trust each other and the BBB’s mission to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. It is a perfect t for me in Pensacola. In my previous professional career, I had plenty of opportunities to hone my natural talent of connecting business owners and consumers with one another to move them ahead in the world. Being a champion for business in my local community is my passion.

What are some of your favorite things about Pensacola?

All the wonderful festivals, fairs, live music, and outdoor activities for the community. Pawdi Gras, Pensacola Seafood Festival, and Bands on the Beach are my favorites. Every weekend there are at least 3 to 10 activities to choose from. Pensacola is unique because at one moment you can be enjoying the downtown vibe and within minutes you can be out at the beach enjoying all the bene ts of beach life. Three words that best describe you.

Knowledgeable, Natural-Connector, Vivacious.

Favorite place for going out?

My favorite places to dine out with friends are Drift, Restaurant Iron, and Agapi Bistro + Garden. My favorite places to dine out with my dog are Red Fish Blue Fish, Cafe Nola, and The Wine Bar on Palafox. My favorite thing to do for entertainment/outdoor activity is a personal musical beach crawl on Pensacola Beach. Starting at Paradise Bar and Grill, I listen to the band and when they take a break, I move on to the next great establishment to listen to their band and so on until I end my afternoon at The Sandshaker. What is one thing that you do not go a day without?

Bringing Gemini to one of our great dog parks - Dog Beach West Pensacola Beach, Shoreline Bark Park, and Bayview Dog Beach are her favorites.

Finish this statement, I AM PENSACOLA because… I love to share with anyone who will listen - all the knowledge of Pensacola Life that I have learned since moving here. All the “best kept secrets” and tips/tricks to make the best of the Pensacola Area whether they are a local or a visitor.

AM PENSACOLA Jill Andrusko
photo by Verla Price
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