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Volume V • Issue VIII
events 12 Bread & Table Sunset Cruise 14 Great Community Cookout 23 Seville Rotary Service Project Clean-up 25 SouthBark Bingo 34 FPRA Adaptive Thinking Training 39 Panhandle Cruisers Car Show 47 Annual Backpack Event at Harley-Davidson 55 Motor-Roll to the Polls 60 Gulf Breeze Rotary Change of Command Ceremony
30 Jason & Brittney Aldean
18 28 36 50 56 58 62
A luxury, celebrity-level experience right here on the Emerald Coast.
44 Best in Pensacola Winners The winners are announced for the Best in Pensacola 2020 Reader Choice Awards.
Adventure Out Swizzle #trending May We Suggest Locale Give Care Share I Am Pensacola 2020
on the cover
VIP Pensacola Staff
Sheryl & Marty Stanovich
Publisher Greg Alexander
Publisher’s Assistant Anna Stockton
Associate Publisher Verla Price
Designer Priscilla Atkins
Managing Editor Steve Barber
Photography by Daniel Rogers
Production Editor Jessica Graña
Contributing Writers/ Photographers Greg Alexander Steve Barber Verla Price Anna Stockton Kristina Wright
at Pensacola Bay
Advertising Steve Barber Verla Price Penny Stricklin
VIP Founder Jeff Watson August 2020 | 9
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letter from the Editor What a unique summer it has been so far. The countdown now begins to Labor Day and the official end of summer. However, many schools are pushed back for a later start and our tourists will be with us longer this year, continuing to support our local economy. With warm weather and lots of guests in town, we introduce our August Issue as our annual Spa & Resort Issue. Our cover speaks Happy New goodbye volumes with asYear! day As outwe onsay the water soaking up to 2018 and welcome 2019, we celebrate the the sunpast is the celebrate yearbest and way salutetothe new year.life here on the VOLUME XV • ISSUE 1 Emerald Coast. Our January issue celebrates Destin area weddings. VIP Destin Magazine Inhas thisbecome issue be sure not tofor miss our monthly a vital resource brides department such as trends Give Care Share where seeking thefeatures current wedding that make our area the destinationwe spotlight Bright Bridge Ministries and how PUBLISHER wedding mecca it has become. the they serve our community. WeWith highlight the easy GREG ALEXANDER arrival of 2019, we eagerly look forward classic cocktail, the Gin Rickey, in Swizzle, and In to signature winter events along the ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER EmeraldOut Coast. activities, Adventure youCultural will learn about local parks in the VERLA PRICE fun festivals, lecture series, athletic area so you can stay active and explore the outdoors during these uncertain times. MANAGING EDITOR events, and weddings. There’s always Take a special look aton our Pensacola feature where you get to know community STEVE BARBER something happening ourI Am sugarwhite shores. Here’s what’s up theResort Profile we learn about the recent Jason Aldean volunteer, Hong Potomski. Inon our PRODUCTION EDITOR Emerald Coast… January kicks off with video shoot where the Henderson Park Inn was the star of the show, and in our newestJESSICA GRAÑA Art Wave, a modern and sophisticated feature, share a story you don’t want to miss out on where two modern moms bazaar#trending, celebratingwe local artists, sipping ADVERTISING photo by Scott Schaeffl er BETH MANGUM and shoppingaatsavvy Bubbly Baytowne,podcast. have launched Southern ELIZABETH NETHERLAND and Destin Desserts benefiting the Girl Our August issue features live and virtual events. The live events are following social Scouts of the Florida Panhandle, just to SENIOR DESIGNER distancing guidelines and some attendees are proud to show off their masks for the camera name a few. PRISCILLA ATKINS whileCouples others are insist on taking it off long enough for a smile and a click. At virtual events, creating memories every day with weddings on the Emerald DESIGNER Coast. Our January issue one of the to most anticipated of cameras the year with many are still learning theisbest way strike a pose issues for our anda check out our SHEILA MACDIARMID concentration on all things wedding related in the area. Many of our advertisers LACEY RACHALL feature on our friend and photographer Kristina Wright’s A Bit Batty Creations – Custom are wedding based businesses. Be sure to check out wedding editorials from our Faceadvertisers. Mask project. CONTRIBUTING WRITERS/PHOTOGRAPHERS features Ice Champagne which as youit such a special place. WeSwizzle love seeing Pensacola support thechanges events champagne and causessipping that make MARY AHO know I Am Destin completes our a spotlight Invite usit, toand cover your special event soWedding that weissue maywith share them inonthe pages of an upcoming GREG ALEXANDER Destin event planner and restaurateur, Nicki Cox. JEN DEEB issue. ZHALMAN HARRIS Take time to enjoy all the New Year activities, get out and enjoy all the SHANNA MAGNUSON We are happy to bring you Pensacola’s monthly magazine. winter events our area has to offer. Enjoy your Januarysocial issue of VIP DestinEnjoy your August issue COURTNEY MURRAY Magazine…and we look to seeingto you again next of VIP Pensacola…and weforward look forward seeing you month. again next month. LIESEL SCHMIDT photo by Steve Mangum
letter from the editor
VIP FOUNDER JEFF WATSON
A Special Thanks to our 2018 Cover Reveal Sponsor
VIP DESTIN MAGAZINE
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La Riva 14241 Perdido Key Unit #3W Carrie Lee Cell: (850) 450-3931 Office: (850) 434-2244
$1,350,000 This west side condo in La Riva offers stunning golf views and custom décor from DUH of Pensacola. This unit was recently updated with new chandeliers, marble countertops, hardware, wood shutters, custom draperies, and more. Complete with two master suites and a one car garage parking space, this beautiful home is the perfect oasis to escape to or call yours year around. Enjoy the Gulf views that extend from the master suite through the dining living room and wrap around the guest master suite!
Tiger Point Village 1248 Ceylon Drive Nancy Grogan Cell: (850) 377-7578 Office: (850) 424-2244 email@example.com
$1,350,000 This beautiful six-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath home is a boater’s dream with amazing unobstructed views East and West. Located in the golf course community of Tiger Point, the property features plenty of outdoor space perfect for entertaining on the sprawling deck, pool area, and screened in patio complete with a gas grill. Inside, you will find a soaring foyer leading to a sophisticated living area showcasing cathedral ceilings and wall to wall windows with inviting views of Santa Rosa Sound. Other features include a three-car garage, chef's kitchen, butler’s pantry, gas fireplaces, hardwood floors and a large clawfoot tub in the master.
Now with FIVE locations serving the Emerald Coast PENSACOLA
17 W. Cedar St. | (850) 434-2244
MIRAMAR BEACH 9375 Emerald Coast Parkway, Unit 18 | (850) 267-0050 SANTA ROSA BEACH 7684 W. County Highway 30A | (850) 267-0013 NICEVILLE 1073 E. John Sims Parkway Suite | (850) 729-0176 GULF BREEZE
836 Gulf Breeze Parkway | (850) 932-6278
Commercial and Residential Real Estate Group
©2020 BHH Affiliates, LLC. Real Estate Brokerage Services are offered through the network member franchisees of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Most franchisees are independently owned and operated. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServicesand the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServicessymbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.
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VIP Pensacola at Pensacola Bay
Lisa & Jimmy Bradley
Bread & Table Sunset Cruise
photos by Daniel Rogers | story by Shelley Black
pectacular sunset, gorgeous views, great food, good wines, and tons of laughter equal one perfect Bread & Table Club evening. With so many charitable and sociable gatherings canceled, the members of B&T Club were thrilled to have the opportunity to come together once again. Social distancing etiquette was easily maintained on the large Pensacola Bay Cruise Ship. As a food and wine club, members went all out bringing wonderful appetizer dishes consisting of ceviche, seafood paella, unique sliders, mini quiches, dips and more! Pensacola Bay Cruises sailed the ship along the beautiful Pensacola Bay while members enjoyed connecting again after being apart for so many months.
Cathy Powers & Gayle Wiley
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Sheryl & Marty Stanovich
As usual, all proceeds went to the local chapter of Feeding the Gulf Coastâ€™s Childrenâ€™s Backpack Program. These are trying times for many, especially for our local impoverished children. This amazing organization ensures these children do not go hungry. Bread & Table Club consists of over 130 members who love great food and wine and love sharing this passion with others. Our mission is simple: to support local efforts to combat childhood hunger through a series of culinary events and experiences. For more information please visit www.breadandtable.club
Patrice Williams & Sue Nast
Rene Abel, Lisa Bradley & Genevieve Kurpuis
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Car Not Running RightRun Right to Gary
Thanks for Voting Us Best Auto Repair 2 Years in a Row
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VIP Pensacola at Indian Motorcycle
Chuck Stoops & Tom Shields
Great Community Cookout
photos & story by Verla Price
ndian Motorcycle invited all local riders, owners, and community members to the 6th Annual Cookout on July 25. The celebration, a thank you to the community for their support through the COVID-19 pandemic, honored the resilience of the community for supporting the joy of hitting the open road. Adventure Motorsports of NWF, the host and home to the local Indian Motorcycle franchise, served up hot dogs, hamburgers, and free drinks from 10:30 to 2:00. The Indian Motorcycle is an American brand of motorcycles originally produced from 1901 to 1953 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Hendee Manufacturing Company initially produced the motorcycles but the name was changed to Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Company in 1923. The new Indian Motorcycle lineup builds on the reputation for performance and innovation. The result is an exceptional group of motorcycles that rule the road and inspire the imagination. Adventure Motorsports of NWFâ€™s showroom on Pensacola Blvd boasts a full lineup of Indian Motorcycles.
Chris Caceres & Lindsey Gafford
Jennifer & Bryce Hamm
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Jim Mencum & Paul Mollere
A small locally owned restaurant, where great food is paired with great wine. Thank you for voting us Best in Pensacola Place for a Date & Locally Owned Restaurant
Reservations Accepted Private Dining Room · Large Wine Selection
Lisa Houser & Abner Roberts
HOURS Lunch: M-Sat. 11:00 - 4:00 Dinner: M-Sat. 4:00 - 8:30 Brunch: Sun. 11:00 - 2:00
Cordova Marketplace 4350 Bayou Blvd · Pensacola, FL 850.477.9120 · obriensbistro.net August 2020 | 15
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Exploring Local Parks story by Anna Stockton
With travel restrictions in place and the closing of our usual go-to places for fun, we all seem to be getting back to basics. The basics of time together with family and getting out and exploring. Luckily, we live on the Gulf Coast where we have plenty of opportunities for adventure right in our own back yard!
University of West Florida
In northern Pensacola you’ll find the University of West Florida. It has everything you need for an outdoor adventure! With biking, equestrian and walking trails for every skill level, UWF boasts over 20 miles of trails on their campus. The West Trail is located on the westernmost 600 acres of the campus with robust trails for mountain biking and hiking. The Cross-Country trails wind through the BaarsFirestone wildlife sanctuary, taking you through many different habitats such as the hammock and wetlands. If you’re in the mood for more of a stroll, the Nature Trail will fit the bill. This half-acre boardwalk through Thompson’s Bayou gives you the ultimate in wildlife viewing where fish, mammals, and birds abound, and you could catch a glimpse of the most famous resident that may make you say “see ya later alligator.”
Pensacola Bay Bluff Park
Not far from UWF are the bluffs along Pensacola’s Scenic Highway, which have a history that goes all the way back to Yamassee Indians and the Spanish settlement in 1559. The area was a powerhouse of brick production from 1820 to 1860 and the railroad tracks were established there in the early 1880’s. Today, it’s a scenic area that rivals the beauty of the Pacific Coast Highway. This gem of Pensacola holds Bay Bluff Park, a beautiful 26-acre park with a magnificent walking trail. Bay Bluff Park’s walking trail may only be .8 miles of boardwalk in total but it’s still quite a workout. With plenty of stairs to make you wish you’d skipped leg day, the view is hard to beat!
photo provided by Visit Pensacola
Navy Point Park
On the west side of Pensacola, the Navy Point area is a closeknit neighborhood with WWII era cottages, tree lined streets and a community park. Located along Bayou Grande, this park has 60 acres of waterfront property, a boat ramp, exercise equipment and a beautiful walking trail. The paved walking trail is 2.5 miles but can be extended through the streets of the neighborhood. This park is also a great place to watch the various aircraft taking off and landing at NAS Pensacola. On practice days, the Blue Angels put on quite a show. Be prepared to practice the “Pensacola pause” though, this is when the jet noise makes the act of talking futile so you pause your conversation. 18
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Big Lagoon State Park
Further south, along Gulf Beach Highway you will find Big Lagoon State Park, a 705 acre preserve that sits along the Intracoastal Waterway. There are 5 miles of walking trails in the park. Sand Pine Trail is the most popular, this 3.5 mile trail winds along the back of the campground and along Long Pond and the salt marsh. The sandy trail has viewing areas to stop, rest, and check out the locals… the local wildlife that is. You’ll find deer, lizards, snakes, owls, and you might even get to see a bald eagle. When you visit Big Lagoon, don’t forget to check out the look-out tower. This 3 story structure gives you amazing views of the intracoastal, and those stairs give you a heck of a work out.
Fort Pickens – Gulf Island National Seashore Across the bay and east of Big Lagoon is Fort Pickens, located at the western tip of Santa Rosa Island near Pensacola Beach. Fort Pickens has a long history dating back to 1825 when President James Monroe signed a law establishing a new navy yard and depot in Pensacola Bay. Fort Pickens was then built to protect the bay from attack. There are two walking trails offered at Fort Pickens. The beach trail is a 5-mile trek along the soft sand of the Gulf, while the Fort Pickens trail offers a shadier, less difficult alternative. Both trails offer excellent wildlife viewing, with pelicans, ospreys and even eagles flying overhead. Whichever trail you take, make sure you stop by the visitor’s center afterwards to cool off in the air conditioning and learn about Fort Pickens’ notable history, inclusing the imprisonment of the Apache warrior, Geronimo.
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
If you want to turn your exploring into a day trip, check out Topsail Hill Preserve State Park on Santa Rosa Beach. Located about an hour and a half from Pensacola, this 1600 acre preserve boasts numerous hiking and biking trails. With over three miles of beaches, sand dunes up to 25 feet high and rare dune lakes, there is something interesting around every bend. Take the turpentine trail and check out the cat face pines, named that because of how the workers cut the pines to harvest turpentine in the early 20th century. This park also used to be a WWII missile testing sight, so keep an eye out and you can spot literal blasts from the past. August 2020 | 19
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VIP Pensacola at Seville Square
Service Project Clean-up
photos & story by Kristina Wright
he Seville Rotary teamed up with Keep Pensacola Beautiful for their monthly Service Project to clean up at Seville Square. This event also acted as a new-member social. Members met at the south side of the park near the fountain, and canvassed the park collecting trash and debris in their buckets contributed by Keep Pensacola Beautiful. Seville Rotary is dedicated to advancing world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty both locally and internationally. Seville Rotary is the newest Rotary Club in Pensacola, Florida. They are one of 13 Rotary Clubs in our area, all are included in District 6940 and Rotary International. Rotary International is the worldâ€™s first service club organization, with more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide.
Olevia McNally & Candy Cullerton
Steve McNally, Jon Pytynia & Donnie Stokes
Jodi McCowen & Fenoy Butler
Monica Mortara, Julie Franklin & Erich Niederlehner
Simon Ivey & Dr. Craig Henry
Victoria & Johanna Friedman August 2020 | 23
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VIP Pensacola at Scenic Hills Country Club
Teresa Schiller & Delores McKay
Dave & Stephanie Moon, Susan & Bill Sears
photos & story by Verla Price
t was a pup-tastic evening as Scenic Hills Country Club hosted SouthBark Bingo on July 21. The warm night brought many happy participants, each one hoping to be the one to yell “BINGO.” Half of all game sales went to SouthBark Animal Rescue, while the other half went to the winners of the ten games. Following safety protocols, Scenic Hills utilized both the restaurant and the ballroom to allow for greater social distancing between tables. The jovial crowd bantered across the rooms as they enjoyed a festive
Lucy Baransy & Zoey Baransy
Aiden Wolfe & Drew Bilbrey
yet slightly competitive atmosphere. SouthBark is 100% volunteer and donation driven. Their goal is to decrease the number of healthy dogs in shelters by providing foster care and other services. There are many ways to help if you can’t foster a dog in your own home, such as posting a picture of a dog in need on your social media or even driving a pup to the vet for an appointment. Suppose you love Bingo and want to join in the fun, Scenic Hills hosts one bingo event each month. You can reach out to SouthBark at www.southbarkanimalrescue.org.
Jeremy Reese & Keith English
Nathan Freeman, Kristy Freeman, Darlene Behr & Crystal Wagner August 2020 | 25
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VIP Pensacola at SouthBark Bingo
Pam Quina, Ed Villar & Brenda Long
Rebecca Barretto & Molly Allbritten
Jenny Bilbrey & Melissa Stankard
Melinda Baransy, Mathew Baransy & Emma Baransy
Sherry English & Jennifer Reese
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Bailey Reese & Emma English
Kaitlyn Wilks & Summer Rhodes
Nadia Semaan, Jason Semaan & Naomi Semaan
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A friendly yarn shop in historic Downtown Pensacola
A fiber oasis for your crochet and knitting pleasure.
850-941-7400 7400 Pine Forest Road www.sou erngardensflorist.com
Thank you for voting us the best Florist in 2020! August 2020 | 27
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story by Greg Alexander
his summer, more than ever, many folks are staying home and hosting small porch parties and intimate, outdoor gatherings with close friends. One thing that always makes gatherings complete is a perfect cocktail. When it is an easy one with an exhilarating quench, both you and your guests will be winners. At the top of any cocktail lover’s summer drink list should be the superbly refreshing Gin Rickey. A Gin Rickey is pretty much a “gin and soda” with a solid dose of lime juice. Since they are incredibly thirst-quenching, you can hydrate and get a good dose of vitamin C as a bonus. Gin Rickey’s are easy to mix (and drink), while the low calorie and carb factor makes it an even more perfect cocktail. Most importantly, the gin is not covered up with other flavors, but enhanced by the citrus. I am not hating on any vodka soda lovers, but this cocktail is all about taste as the botanicals in the gin give it depth and variation, allowing you to enjoy some of the more subtle flavors in your gin of choice. Right now, I am crushing on Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin that is even satisfying on the rocks. It has undertones of sage and juniper with a spicy lavender finish softened by coolness of cucumber, each providing their own individual sensations. Like many, I had never had the pleasure of trying a Gin Rickey until recently attending one of those aforementioned porch parties. My host, Brad, who is a retina surgeon by profession, spent some time behind a bar during his formative years (and a lot on the other side of it, too). When he offered a slew of concoctions from his patio bar, the Gin Rickey being one, I asked what was in it and he just said, “Let me show you.” It was the perfect answer to the gentle summer evening, and I have easily repeated that recipe many times since then, and just as my friend expressed, fresh lime juice is key. The Gin Rickey is one of the few classic cocktails whose origin isn’t muddled by history as it was named after Joe Rickey, a late 19th century lobbyist who lived in Washington, D.C. Rickey instructed a local bartender to build a Bourbon Rickey, and with that, a proud line of cocktails was born. Soon, people were customizing the drink to their liking with the Gin Rickey eventually becoming the most popular of all Rickeys.
With the hot, muggy weather, it is naturally fitting to explore this classic summertime cooler to end your day with a highball glass in hand. Every year as the mercury rises, this gentle concoction will satisfy even those who declare they don’t like gin.
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MAKES 1 DRINK INGREDIENTS • 1 1/2 – 2 oz gin of choice (I am currently fond of Uncle Val’s Botanical) • Juice of ½ a lime • 4-6 oz carbonated water (Go with a mineral water for more flavor than a seltzer. I am currently loving Topo Chico) DIRECTIONS Fill a tall glass with ice. Seriously, fi ll it all the way. The more ice, the quicker the chill down and the less dilution overall. Using less ice will just give you a not-that-cold, watered down tasting drink. Pour the gin and lime juice over the ice and give it a stir. Top with your carbonated water of choice, stir gently, and enjoy! Garnish with a lime wheel and mint or other herbs that compliment your gin, if desired.
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A Luxury, Celebrity-Level Experience
Jason & Brittney Aldean
ust days after Henderson Park Inn reopened after being closed more than a month due to COVID-19 restrictions, General Manager and Owner Representation Shannon Howell answered a phone call of an old friend, Gail Morgan of the Okaloosa Film Commission. She was working with Destin-Fort Walton Beach’s Jennifer Adams on fi lming locations for a music video, and after another location fell through, they were hoping to use the inn for a few shots. Happy to help, Howell, of course, agreed, and hours later Jason Aldean’s red Ford Bronco pulled up to the 37-room, adultsonly property. On July 1, Jason Aldean released the official music video for “Got What I Got,” which is the fifth track on “9,” Aldean’s latest album that was released in November 2019. And since its introduction to the public, the song has gained popularity. The entire music video was fi lmed in Destin-Fort Walton Beach and featured shots of the Marler Bridge, Destin’s iconic welcome sign, the Pier and, of course, Henderson Park Inn. “When I said yes, we thought they’d just use our beach for the video,” said Howell. “I
photos & story provided by Henderson Park Inn
had no clue that we’d end up being a huge part of it.” A hidden gem nestled along the shores of Destin, Henderson Park Inn provides the ultimate sanctuary for secluded rest and relaxation, and its unique New-England style proved to be a perfect location for Aldean and his wife, Brittany, to shoot one of Billboard’s Top 25 US Hot Country Songs. “While we believe we provide a luxury, celebrity-level experience, we’re honored to have had the chance to work with Jason and his team,” said Howell. “We’ve had celebrities stay with us before, but not quite
on the level that Jason is. Getting this sort of exposure from a celebrity like this is huge for our area, and we can’t thank Destin-Fort Walton Beach enough for all that they do for our community.” After Jason and Brittney Aldean and their team finished shooting, they joined the guests of Henderson Park Inn on its main deck to enjoy cocktails and a variety of delicious food from Beach Walk Café, the inn’s in-house restaurant. Howell shared that the entire crew was incredibly kind, professional and respectful of the property’s new COVID-19 policies, and they had a blast that evening.
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“With all the nicely presented food, Brittney [Aldean] was craving French fries, something we don’t serve at Beach Walk Café. But Chef Daniel jumped into action and made her some, and she was delighted,” said Howell. “It’s good to see that the success and fame hasn’t changed the fact that they are good, down to earth country people that treat everyone with kindness and respect.” For more information about Henderson Park Inn or to book your stay, visit www. hendersonparkinn.com or call 866.398.4432.
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Karen E. Kennedy, MD, FACOG, RPh
Hormone optimization can help support the immune system, the body and mind through times of stress. Whether a person is undergoing stress and needs support, or if they are feeling run down and need a boost, hormones can often be the answer. Consider hormone replacement, especially pellets, for these functions. Hormone pellets can help manage fatigue, sleep, low libido, brain fog, weight changes, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, mood changes, muscle tone, and more. Supplements for immune system support:
This in-oďŹƒce laser procedure only takes a few minutes and improves dryness and irritation, painful sex, urinary urgency and bladder infections.
This is non-invasive laser body contouring is designed to reduce stubborn fat. It helps to achieve a slimmer, more natural-looking appearance without surgery or downtime.
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FPRA Adaptive Thinking Training
PRA Pensacola, a local chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association state-wide association, offers professionals in public relations, and associated fields, professional development and opportunities to network – typically through monthly meetings with a speaker. When 2020 brought COVID, and ended in-person meetings, FPRA Pensacola had to adapt. On July 16, FPRA Pensacola teamed up with Courtney Clark, a motivational speaker from Austin, Texas, to bring attendees an opportunity to experience Courtney’s presentation on adaptive thinking by taking advantage of 2020’s hot new technology, Zoom! Clark explained that life throws fundamental shifts at us, at work or in our private lives. Often these shifts happen in ways we can’t control and that can be frustrating and even scary. The question then is how are we going to react and respond? Clark explained that the key is to “stop being predictable. Be adaptable.” To learn more about adaptive thinking, Clark is working with researchers from the University of Southern Colorado. How can we learn to be more adaptable? How can we accept that old goals may not be the best goals anymore? She challenged everyone to create four lists. 1. Things I always do. 2. The way I always do them, 3. New things I could do, and 4. New ways to do the things I have always done (and want or need to keep doing). To learn more about Clark’s current presentations, books or to sign up for her newsletter, visit courtneyclark.com. story by Kim Stefansson
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Two modern moms bringing you the hearts and stories of the people creating the best of the South. photos provided by Say it Southern | story by Greg Alexander
hether you are currently a podcast listener or not, you must immediately subscribe to Say it Southern (finish this article first, but seriously – then go subscribe). With over 700,000 podcasts out there, finding a favorite can be overwhelming. With Say It Southern, you will leave inspired, encouraged, and maybe even have a southern accent. Say it Southern is a place to join real, warm conversation, as if you were sitting together on the back porch. Say it Southern tells the stories that matter from the creators and curators of the beautiful South. Say it Southern was co-founded and is co-hosted by two of the savviest Southern sweethearts you will ever meet. Courtney Goolsby and Sarah Smith are mothers, doers, and dreamers who want to do good, live well, and leave their mark – and always find a reason to celebrate. Plato said, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” and that was the case for starting Say It Southern. As Sarah Stone Smith – former Bachelor Season 8 “winner” was approaching her 40th birthday, she wanted a new challenge. She described, “I felt like this was the perfect time for me to do and create something I was passionate about, something for me. I had just started listening to podcasts and was searching for podcasts about the people and places of the South. I couldn’t find one I liked so I thought, I’ll start one of my own. I’ll get to meet people and hear stories from all over. But I knew I couldn’t do it alone. I needed someone as passionate as I was about creating something they could be proud of, who would work hard and hold me accountable. I immediately thought of Courtney. She is smart, funny, and real. I was always drawn to her. She is a Christian woman that loves and values family
but also knows and shares that life is not always easy. Being a good mother, wife, sister, friend is tough and she is open about sharing that with others. When I told her about my crazy idea she was ALL in and the rest is history.” The duo had no clue how to create a podcast but they figured it out, and now, it has become something they are proud of with listeners all over the world, 7% in Australia, oddly enough! With thousands of downloads they receive DMs thanking them for doing this- “your work means something, keep on keeping on.” So that’s what they plan to do. Their goal was to shine a light on all the inspiring, one of a kind stories of the movers, shakers, and tastemakers of the South. They wanted to celebrate their successes, learn from their failures and be encouraged by the journey, and Courtney and Sarah have done exactly that in just over a year with no sign of slowing down. Their guests are people and products they love and want to learn more about. Sometimes potential guests reach out to them but most of the time they curate them organically. We all know the South has interesting people and culture. That fact brings lots of color, comedy, and even tears to Say It Southern. When asking Courtney about a favorite episode she didn’t have an answer, and Courtney always has an answer! She finally claimed, “It’s really hard to say- Do you pick the lawyer turned East Tennessee Moonshiner? The girl who called 911 to enter her prize pie in county fair only to then be included on Oprah’s favorite things list? The mother who lost her son in a drowning accident and has been advocating for water safety in Washington, on the Today Showlobbying for more education about drownings... it’s too had to pick a
Courtney and Sarah have an exciting Say It Southern Getaway at the end of September planned on the Emerald Coast with speakers and participants from all over the South, including some Emerald Coast locals. Find more details on that and more about them on their website: thesayitsouthern.com.
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single one. And it makes the South, the South. We have a grit about us. If we can’t find a way, we make one. Each story becomes my new favorite story.” As they continue their journey, they plan on doing more public speaking and events for women across the South. Both women love speaking to crowds, sharing their passion and successes they have achieved. But most of all they love meeting people and connecting
FIND THEM ON: Insta: @thesayitsouthern, Facebook: Say it Southern Podcast Web: www.thesayitsouthern.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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to Southerners from all over. Each listener, man or woman, Southern or not, will be magnetized by these beautiful souls and their special gift of engaging the listeners and helping to promote the stories and accomplishments of each of their guests. And if you even think about stopping before an episode ends – don’t, because they finish each one with their self-conceived “Popcorn Round.”
LISTEN: Itunes, Stitcher, Spotify SUBSCRIBE: New episodes EVERY MONDAY
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Thank You for Voting Us Best Veterinarian
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VIP Pensacola at Nine Mile Road
Car Show photos & story by Verla Price
anhandle Cruisers Car Club met Saturday, July 18, in a parking lot on Nine Mile Road in Pensacola. Some of the eye-catching vehicles on display were a 52 MG replica, a 1947 Ford Coupe, and a Moonshine Runner. A few Mustangs from different years, a Z28, and a 79 Firebird. Founded in 1981, it is the oldest car club in the area. Panhandle Cruisers, a nonprofit corporation, encourages car enthusiasts of all ages interested in restoration, repair, and modification of vehicles. The club, not just for classics, appreciates every automotive taste. They welcome new members of all ages, with cars of any make and year. A yearly membership fee of $10.00 allows car owners cruises to different places, any special events, and to vote at membership meetings. Members and non-members participate in the show and shine on Saturday nights. Each year the Panhandle Cruisers pick a charity for the proceeds from the annual car show and other events. The car show, usually held in May, will be rescheduled soon. Jonna Musselwhite, president of the club, sends out an open invitation to join in the fun. Check the next cruise-in date and location on the Panhandle Cruisers Car Club Facebook page.
Mitch Heaton & Belinda Carlson
Ed Villar & Austin Shockley August 2020 | 39
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VIP Pensacola at Panhandle Cruisers Car Show
Nicholas Swort & Billy Swort Sr.
Amy & Chad Mauldine
Judy & Kirk Lytton
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Austyn Borland, Alexia Walsh, Tina Wiles & Amanda Bake
Debbie Swort, Kellie Swort & Billy Swort Jr.
Bert Penegar & Ryan Ward
Sherry Whiteside & Leonard Smith
Perry Doggrell August 2020 | 41
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VIP Pensacola at Panhandle Cruisers Car Show
Tina Summers 42
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Shopping & Retail Motorcycle Shop Adventure Motorsports of NWF Gift Shop Artesana Nursery/Plants Bailey’s Produce & Nursery Liquor Store Bambooze Fine Wine & Liquor Women’s Accessories Ciao Bella Boutique and Salon Men’s Apparel Don Alans Shoe Store DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse Furniture duh
Home Decor/Accessories duh
Senior Living Community The Arbors of Gulf Breeze
Walk In Clinic/Urgent Care Medical Center Clinic
Boutique Duke and Stella
Plastic Surgeon Peter Butler, MD - Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery
Alternative/Natural Medicine Crystal Silins
Eyeglasses/Sunglasses Fifty Dollar Eye Guy Jewelry Store Jewelers Trade Shop Seafood Market Joe Patti’s Seafood Pet Store Petland Women’s Apparel The Pink Pineapple Boutique Wine Shop The Bottle Shop Locally Owned Retailer The Butcher Shoppe
Wedding & Bridal Place to Buy Engagement Ring Beré Jewelers
Reception Venue Pensacola Yacht Club
Wedding Cake/Confections Betty Weber Cakes
Wedding Photography Salz Studio
Wedding Caterer Classic City Catering
Bridal Store Simply Elegant Couture Bridal
Ceremony Venue Court of De Luna Event Space Place for a Tux Gent’s Formal Wear - Downtown Photo Booth Good Vibrations DJ and Photobooth Services Wedding Florist Just Judy’s Flowers, Local Art & Gifts
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Health & Wellness
Place for Rehearsal Dinner Skopelos at New World Wedding Planner Kelly Rhodes Southern Frills Weddings & Events Wedding Rentals Wedding Walls
Medical Practice Clearway Pain Solutions Weight Loss Program Doctor’s Diet Program of FL Physical Therapy Casey Dull PT Medical Center Clinic Pain Management Dynamic Pain & Wellness Surgery Center Endoscopy Center of Pensacola Women’s Wellness Provider Karen E. Kennedy, MD, PA Eye Care Professional Robert C. Harbour, MD Anti Aging Service JDCC Skin Care, LLC Podiatrist Matthew Etheridge, DPM
Pediatrician Pensacola Pediatrics Permanent Makeup Permanent Make-Up Clinic Aesthetician Jo Rich Beauty Palafox Glamour Bar Family Care Physician Mark Ryan, MD Med Spa Still Waters Day & Medical Spa Dentist Dr. Stephanie F. Tilley, DMD Dermatologist Dr. Kevin L. Welch Medical Center Woodlands Medical Specialists Orthodontist
Entertainment Place to People Watch Casino Beach Bar & Grille
Annual Event Pensacola Mardi Gras
Place for “Girls’ Night Out” Casks & Flights Place to Stay Hilton Pensacola Beach
Music Venue Saenger Theatre
Place to Take the Kids/Family Entertainment Naval Aviation Museum
Golf Course Scenic Hills Country Club Place to go Dancing Seville Quarter
Place for a Date
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Services Hair Salon 10th Avenue Hair Design Locksmith Ace Unlocks of Pensacola Flooring Act 1 Flooring Luxury Automobile Sales Alfa Romeo Pensacola Real Estate Professional - Female Amanda Hurd Mortgage Co American Mortgage Service Co. Payroll/HR Avalon HR General Contractor Bear General Contractors
New Business Something Old Salvage (S.O.S.)
Customer Service Craters & Freighters
Property Management Main Street Property Management
Florist Southern Gardens Florist and Gifts
Landscaping Dreamscape Designs
Financial Advisor Iron Plan Solutions Group, LLC
Place for a Massage Still Waters Day & Medical Spa
Law Firm Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon
Boat Sales & Service MarineMax Pensacola
Pet Grooming/Boarding Everything’s Irie
Nail Salon Nail Lounge
Videographer Cameron Zane Storyteller Visuals
Homebuilder Flynn Built
Veterinary Clinic Olive Branch Pet Hospital Dr. Mark Sprayberry
Interior Designer Constance Crosby Interiors, Inc. Allied A.S.I.D.
Home Repair/Handyman Freedom Appliance Specialty Contractor
Real Estate Company Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Main Street Properties
Automobile Repair Service Gary Sapp Automotive, Inc.
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Apartments Governor’s Gate
Real Estate Professional - Male Brant Peacher - aDoor Real Estate
Bank/Financial Institution Hancock Whitney Bank
Automobile Dealer - New Cadillac Pensacola
Banker Jeri Cox - Synovus Bank University Branch
Accounting Firm Christina Powers Tax
Real Estate Agent- Commercial Jessica Duncan
Limo/Transportation Service Pensacola Party Bus Title Company Pensacola Title Company, LLC Automobile Dealer - Pre Owned Pete Moore Chevrolet Barber Shop Pilcher’s Barber Shop Pool/Spa Sales/Service Pool Scouts of Pensacola Photographer Salz Studio Event Space Scenic Hills Country Club
Real Estate Team The Hurd Team powered by Keller Williams Insurance Firm Thompson-Walden Insurance Real Estate Agent-Residential Tonya Zimmern Air Conditioning & Heating Company Trinity Heating and Air Conditioning LLC Event Rentals Wedding Walls Event Design & Decor Rentals Computer/IT Firm Yolee Solutions Alarm/Security YourTEK Professionals
Golf Cart/ATV Kool Karts, Inc.
Cocktails & Cuisine Chef Alex McPhail - Restaurant IRON
Pizza East Hill Pizza
Steakhouse Jackson’s Steakhouse
Bar The Establishment
Italian Restaurant Angelena’s Ristorante Italiano
Restaurant - Pensacola Beach Frank & Lola Love Pensacola Café
Locally Owned Restaurant O’Brien’s Bistro
Seafood Restaurant The Oar House
Bloody Mary Another Broken Egg Cafe
Food Truck Fresh Food Factory
Place for cocktails Pot Roast & Pinot
Burger The Tin Cow
Breakfast Another Broken Egg Cafe
Brunch George Bistro + Bar
Special Occasion Restaurant Restaruant IRON
Happy Hour The Wine Bar On Palafox
Bartender Ashley Johnson - Sandshaker
Appetizers Global Grill
Restaurant - North/Nine Mile/UWF Sammy Barker’s
Wine List The Wine Bar On Palafox
Casual Dining Calvert’s in The Heights
Restaurant -Overall Global Grill
Sports Bar Ticket Sports Bar 1
Dessert Chrisoula’s Cheesecake Shoppe and Café
Brewery/Craft Beer Gulf Coast Brewery
Food Delivery Sky’s Pizza Pie
Fine Dining V. Paul’s Italian Restaurant
BBQ Hot Spot Barbecue
Asian Sushi Masa Hibachi And Grill
New Restaurant Wacked Out Weiner Pensacola
Neighborhood Bar Hub Stacey’s
Restaurant - Downtown The District - Seville Steak & Seafood
Beer Selection World of Beer
Place for Coffee Coffee Guy Cafe Catering Culinary Productions, Inc.
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VIP Pensacola at Harley-Davidson Pensacola
Candy Knight & Michele Young
at H arley-Davidson photos & story by Verla Price
Cheyenne Davis & Patti Hall
arley Davidson of Pensacola partnered with ABATE of Florida, Gulf Coast Chapter to host its annual back to school collection drive on July 18. The collected money and school supplies support students of Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. Harley Davidson of Pensacola was quite the host, providing a fun and festive atmosphere for the event. Food truck 3D Eats and Tea were on hand with delicious food, and Harleyâ€™s Angels were handing out free beer and water. ABATE is a nearly nation-wide organization of motorcycle enthusiasts from all walks of life. Their goal is to promote motorcycle safety and create a positive image of the motorcycle community.
Janet Edwards & Tom Wilkie
Carol Robarts & Julie Dufur
Mary Palmer Rosenau & Kaylan Lambert
Paula Broward & Jaynie Sieber August 2020 | 47
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VIP Pensacola at Annual Backpack Event at Harley-Davidson
James Calvert, Tom Babb & Martha Harris
ANY SPECIAL OCCASION BACHELOR /BACHELORETTE PARTIES PROMS Â· WEDDINGS
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Beau Poole, Dustin Gilland & Jim Masino
Thank You for Voting Us Best Limo Transportation /Service
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P E N SACO L A PA R T Y B U S .CO M
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Tyler Candle - prices vary between $7.50 - 21.00 depending on size. Southern Gardens southerngardensflorist.com
Swig Life, insulated for hot and cold drinks 22oz tumbler - $34, 14oz stemless wine - $30 Artesana artesanaimports.com
$770-1820 weekly rate depending on season 2 bedroom/2 bathroom Soundside Holiday Beach Resort soundsideholidaybeach.com
Scenic Hills Country Club is a semi-private golf and country club with superb facilities and a warm and welcoming membership family - Memberships starting as low as $85.00 Scenic Hills Country Club scenichills.com
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Summer in Pensacola Towel - $14 Artesana artesanaimports.com
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Custom Monogram Towel - $22 Artesana artesanaimports.com
Arcadian Scene 12”x48” porcelain tile, color: Terrain. Perfect for high traffic and wet areas. $6.39/sq ft. Act 1 Flooring act1flooring.com
VI Peel - Buy 1, Get 50% Off your second JDCC Skincare jdccskincare.com
SkinCeuticals Custom D.O.S.E. This is a serum created by a machine in-office. The formulation is based on the individual patient’s unique skin concerns and can be customized each time. $195 Welch SkinCare kevinwelchmd.com
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Handmade by Kristina Wright hile Kristina Wright spends most of her time behind a camera for some of Pensacolaâ€™s biggest events, social gatherings, and special moments, she also has another passion that has certainly come in handy recently. Since her grandmother taught her to sew when she was six years old, Kristina has developed a love for the hobby that spans from costumes to daily wear, and most noteably, she can now add masks to that growing list of projects. Making masks for people to wear while out and about during the COVID pandemic seemed like the perfect fit during a time when her photography career has ground to a hault due to newly implemented guidelines. Kristina not only strives for quality, but also accessiblity, making each mask available through donation and with a variety of delivery options. Visit www.facebook.com/A-Bit-Batty-Creations-514061742019837/ to pick out your custom mask!
Why are you mak making masks? Multiple reasons. The most important one, is that everyone needs at least one right now. Making them is also allowing me keep myself above water during all this, since my primary job is out of commission with the cancellation of events.
Had you ever made a mask before COVID? Not in the same fashion. Iâ€™ve made (or helped make) masks for cosplay, or costumes over the years. This is a brand-new experience, though. Yes. I have sewn a few surgical caps and aprons as well. These are a bit more detailed and take a bit more time to complete, so they tend to have a set price.
What is cost of a mask? I am only accepting donations for them, no set price. I want everyone to be able to order one, whether they can afford $2, or $20. Every dollar either goes back into materials, towards my bills, or keeping food in my fridge.
How do you pick fabric for masks? I usually let folks pick their own. I take photos of the fabric that is donated, or what I purchase; and I send the photos over for selection. I also have a craft page on Facebook, which people can look at for current options as well. www.facebook.com/A-Bit-Batty-Creations-514061742019837/
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I try to make them as customized as possible. Each face is different, so I try to get measurements from the bridge of the nose to the chin, as well as from ear to ear. I do. I have made the accordion pleated style, interpreter masks with a vinyl speech window, and more recently, the fitted to the face style. That one seems to be more popular, and versatile. Probably pajama pants! But I honestly like adapting to challenges, so I like to discover new patterns and articles all the time.
I have been providing â€œno contact deliveryâ€? to homes, drop-offs at a specified location, and have shipped to Texas, California, Oklahoma, and Alabama so far. I have been making masks to order, (meaning people can pick their fabric, give measurements, and have each mask slightly customized). But, if the need arises, I can make universal batches and deliver large quantities with about a week notice. On average, turn around is 1-2 days for locals. If the mask needs to be shipped, of course this takes a few extra days.
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IP Pensacola has always aimed to create covers which embody the true VIP spirit of socializing throughout the area. Choosing that one special photo each month is no small feat, but always results in giving readers a sneak peek into what the rest of the pages hold. From fundraisers to celebrations, and ribbon cuttings to groundbreakings, VIP Pensacola is the place to look when you want to see whatâ€™s going on around town. Take a look back with us at our August Covers as we look forward to making many more August memories with the community.
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VIP Pensacola at Ivy House
Motor-Roll to the Polls
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photos & story by Kristina Wright
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his motorcade of vehicles, decorated in the sorority’s colors of pink and green with messages that include election dates and registration website data proceeded through the neighborhoods of Gonzalez Court, Attucks Court, Moreno Court, and Warrington. In these areas where the privilege of voting may not be exercised, the “Motor-Roll to the Polls” event was aimed to promote the all-important message that every vote counts. Although Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® is a nonpartisan organization that does not endorse any specific candidate or political party, the local chapter of AKA, Inc., wants to inform Pensacola area residents of the importance of voting and to encourage voter registration and participation in the upcoming local, state, and national elections. AKA is an international service organization that was founded on the campus of Howard University in 1908. It is the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African-American college-trained women and is comprised of nearly 300,000 members in the United States and abroad. The local chapter of AKA was chartered in 1946. For 74 years, this chapter has been dedicated not only in its civic duty but also in its “service to all mankind.”
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Zarzaur Named One of Florida’s Legal Elite™
Joe Zarzaur, a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer and founder of Zarzaur Law, P.A., has been voted by peers as one of Florida’s Legal Elite™. This distinction was based on success in service to the State of Florida and Zarzaur’s exceptional legal skills in civil trial law in representing plaintiffs in personal injury cases. As a member of the is prominent group for 2020, Zarzaur will be a part of the Legal Elite special report in the July 2020 issue of FLORIDA TREND. The Legal Elite elections process invited all members of here. Florida Bar to provide the names of Florida lawyers they hold in the digest regards - lawyers they have worked with personally or world recommend to others. The votes were tallied by an independent research firm, and a Blue Ribbon Panel of prominent lawyers reviewed the list of attorneys who garnered the most votes. Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial lawyer and has record jury verdicts in both Escambia and Santa Rosa County in injury cases. He obtained a 9.3 million dollar verdict from an Escambia County jury and has a 2.5 million dollar verdict from a Santa Rosa County jury. These were both injury cases that did not involve death. Only about one percent of Florida lawyers are Board Certified and there are only a handful lawyers between Pensacola and Panama City who have the same Board Certifications that Mr. Zarzaur has earned.
General Daniel “Chappie” James Memorial Jr. Foundation Inc. Celebrates Signing of Senate Bill 78 The Board of the General Daniel “Chappie” James, Jr. Memorial Foundation, Inc. is profoundly excited to announce that Governor Ron DeSantis has signed into law Senate Bill 78 designating the new bridge across Pensacola Bay the General Daniel “Chappie” James, Jr. Bridge. We thank Governor DeSantis for recognizing our hometown hero, and we especially thank Senator Doug Broxson, the Senate bill sponsor, and Representative Mike Hill, Air Force veteran and corresponding bill sponsor in the Florida House, for their commitment to our community and diligent support in carrying the bill across the finish line to an incredible victory for the Pensacola and Gulf Breeze communities. We are grateful to Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson and Gulf Breeze Mayor Cherry Fitch, Commissioner Chair Lumon May of Escambia County and Commissioner Chair Sam Parker of Santa Rosa County for standing with us and for their enthusiastic and steadfast support. We also recognize Escambia County Commissioner Doug Underhill for his continued military service, wise counsel, and earnest regard for the veterans’ community. We also want to acknowledge the support of Mr. Claude James, son of the General, as well as granddaughter Brittany and grandson Ryan for sharing with the community General James’ family history and legacy of military service. In addition, we recognize Mr. Ellis Jones, President of the Chappie James Museum, local historian Teniade Broughton, and Mr. Cliff Curtis, President of the Chappie James Flight Academy for keeping General James legacy and mission alive. We believe this monumental recognition of General James’ life to be a testament of Pensacola’s sincere desire to transform itself into a community worthy of emulation. We hope and pray this new and beautiful bridge beckons a future full of promise, opportunity, and prosperity for our region and its citizens.
We, as a Foundation, see it as our solemn duty and obligation to carry on the legacy of General James’ commitment to hold our nation’s hand during times of difficulty and challenge, always mindful of his mother Lillie Anna James’ admonition to her young students- thou shalt not quit! There is no quitting on America in the Panhandle of Northwest Florida!
Naval Aviation Museum Foundation Announces Retirement of CEO Lt. Gen. Duane Thiessen, USMC (Ret.); Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad, USN (Ret.) Named as Successor
The Naval Aviation Museum Foundation announced the retirement of Lt. Gen. Duane Thiessen, USMC (Ret.) and named Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad, USN (Ret.) as his successor. Thiessen has served as the president and CEO for the past seven years supporting the National Naval Aviation Museum and the National Flight Academy, after retiring from the U.S. Marine Corps. Thiessen will continue his role as CEO until later this fall when Cozad will take over as CEO. The date is still to be determined. Thiessen has been a committed steward of the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation’s mission, overseeing budgeting, fundraising and administration. He has been instrumental in guiding the board and staff in setting
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strategy, taking action and leadership. Thiessen was instrumental in the complete build out for the National Flight Academy, the Foundation’s aviation-themed educational program. Prior to joining the Foundation, Thiessen spent 38 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, including Commanding General of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific. In recapping his years with the Foundation, Thiessen said, “It’s been an honor to be a part of an organization so rich with heritage and pride, centered on Naval Aviation but dedicated to honoring the past and inspiring future generations. Will miss coming to the office and all the wonderful people we get to work with.” “Lt. Gen. Thiessen has been a superb leader of the Foundation for the last seven years. He deftly moved the mission of the National Naval Aviation Museum and the National Flight Academy through many challenges. One behalf of the Board, we thank him and wish him well in his next endeavors,” said Vice Adm. Jim Zortman, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. “With Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad, we are extremely fortunate to welcome a dynamic leader as the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation President and CEO,” added Zortman. “His vision and deep roots in every part of Naval Aviation will be key to ensuring our Museum continues to grow and be an internationally recognized institution telling the story of Naval Aviation.” Cozad becomes President and CEO of the
Foundation after serving as the commander of the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) at NAS Pensacola. Before taking command at NETC, Cozad commanded a squadron, wing and reconnaissance group. He also served as Senior Director of the White House Situation Room and led Joint Task Force Guantanamo. “I am proud and humbled to be given the opportunity to succeed ‘Drano’ as CEO of a truly special organization,” said Cozad. “After my 35 years in the military, I look forward to continuing the legacy of Naval Aviation.”
Visit Pensacola Grant Program Paused, Will Resume Oct. 1, 2021
The Visit Pensacola Board of Directors voted Wednesday to pause the Visit Pensacola grant program for fiscal year 2021 beginning Oct. 1, 2020. The grant program will resume for fiscal year 2022 beginning Oct. 1, 2021. For events taking place between Oct. 1, 2021 – April 30, 2022, workshops will begin April 2021. “In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we don’t know the future of events right now and our highest priority is the health and safety of those in our community,” Grant Committee Chairman Tish Patel said. “Following Phase II of the governor’s plan for the state, groups over 50 are discouraged and groups under 50 are advised to practice social distancing by maintaining a distance of at least six feet from each other and wearing a face covering. That’s really difficult to do and we do don’t want to put anyone at risk.” Developed in 2016, the Visit Pensacola grant program was established to aid local organizations that coordinate events with a demonstrated history or significant potential
of visitor impact to the area. Visit Pensacola allocates funds from its annual budget to the grant program in an effort to increase the tourism development tax and spending within the Escambia County community. “Due to the pandemic, we know that our annual budget will be impacted. We have to take that into consideration when thinking about the future of the grant program,” Director of Marketing and Communications Nicole Stacey said. We want to ensure that by allocating these dollars from our budget that we’re being good stewards of the tourist development tax and getting the highest return on investment.” Over the next year while the grant program is paused, Visit Pensacola will be continuing its efforts to market destination events that are already taking place. Events in Escambia County are encouraged to take part in the organization’s free marketing opportunities starting with submitting to the calendar of events on the website at www.visitpensacola. com/events/submit-your-event/.
For more information on the Visit Pensacola grant program, contact Director of Marketing and Communications Nicole Stacey at email@example.com.
If you have any announcements you’d like to submit for Locale, contact editor Steve Barber at firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries are subject to review or edit as space provides.
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photos provided by Bright Bridge Ministries | story by Greg Alexander
hat started in 2007 as a resource for those in need of food has evolved into so much more than food and nourishment provisions. Now known as Bright Bridge Ministries (BBM), this wide-reaching organization saw additional needs of those who were coming for food and began finding ways to source those needs. Committed to becoming a bridge for brighter days for individuals experiencing homelessness, addiction, hunger, and more, BBM is anchored in Christian values providing programs and resources that offer community members an opportunity for hope, healing, and life renewal. People come to BBM who are physically, mentally, and spiritually broken. They are overwhelmed and BBM exists to serve as a bridge over troubled water. BBM is located in the Brownsville community of Pensacola, one of the most under-resourced areas in Escambia County. Within two miles of their property there are three homeless camps and multiple abandoned houses where groups in the community squat. More than 70% of their neighbors in this census tract live well below the poverty level and live in housing that exceeds half of their income. Motivated by Christâ€™s teachings, BBM treats people with dignity, care, and acceptance so they can shape their own lives, and ultimately inspire others to do the same. BBM requires accountability while providing support for their participants. They help facilitate the
transition from homelessness or addiction to becoming a contributing member of society. Lives are being changed through BBM as people are realize what they can do and what is in them â€“ they are finding a better life because they found Bright Bridge Ministries.
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7/31/20 9:32 AM
Interview with Robin Noble
Executive Director – Bright Bridge Ministries What is the mission of Bright Bridge Ministries? The mission of Bright Bridge Ministries is to promote the dignity and welfare of the under-resourced in our community by addressing their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. In late 2019 we changed our name from Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries to Bright Bridge Ministries. This intentional change came as a result of being granted a complete brand transformation, courtesy of idgroup’s Brand on Us initiative. With this change, we propelled with a renewed sense of purpose, passionately serving men, women, and children regardless of faith or circumstance. Our organization was founded in 2007 to address the many faces of hunger in Pensacola. Initially, bagged lunches were handed out as people approached a local church in need of food. We have grown over the years into an empowering organization that addresses more than just the hunger of those in the area. BBM provides our services to the community at large. Our hot, healthy meal service is often a way in to introduce those in need of all of the services that we offer. What services are provided? Programs have been added as needs and resources have been identified, including mail service, basic needs, addiction resources, job placement, and other empowering services. In the past three years we have served over 83,693 hot meals and distributed 3450 hygiene kits. At least 120 individuals have earned a bike through volunteering at least 30 hours at our organization. In 2017 we launched successful short-term supportive shelters designed to provide a safe place for individuals to develop independent living skills. Many of our participants come to us upon their completion of a stay at an inpatient rehabilitation facility. We are able to provide a place of safety and support to individuals at perhaps their most vulnerable time. Our staff meets with each participant to develop the skills needed as they move from crisis to stability. We have space to house 51 individuals and have housed a total of 90 men and women since we opened. Approximately 74% of our shelter individuals have had successful outcomes. How do you find the people you serve?
What impact has BBM had on the Pensacola community in the last year? We serve hot healthy meals M-F from 10:00 to 12:00. In 2019 from Jan – June we served 9,479 meals. In 2020 from Jan. – June we served 19, 117 meals, all prepared here on site. We have housed over 100 men in transitional housing program since 2017 who had nowhere else to go and most came in with only the clothes on their backs. WE average serving 800 individuals annually. Is there a staff or is Bright Bridge Ministries volunteer driven? We have two full time employees, the director and the kitchen manager. We are volunteer driven with a few who receive stipends or who work part time. How did you become involved with Bright Bridge Ministries? I was appointed by the United Methodist Church to pastor Richard’s Memorial Church and to be the executive director of Bright Bridge Ministries, which was housed in the church building in 2014. What is the most rewarding part of your involvement with the organization? I see people’s lives being changed. People in need receive an opportunity to get back on their feet, restore broken relationships, and become productive members of society again. The video testimonies on our website reflect the lives that are being transformed by what we do. I encourage anyone to view those short clips from our participants at brightbridgeministries.org. What is one thing you want readers to know about Bright Bridge Ministries? We are making a positive difference in our community, helping individuals regardless of race, religion, creed, age, or sexual orientation. How can someone become involved or donate? Visit our webpage, come by and see firsthand, or donate to Bright Bridge Ministries, 2600 W. Strong Street, Pensacola, 32505.
Word of mouth. Based on our past participant data, approximately 73% of our participants are between the ages of 18-59 years old and 10% are veterans. Over 90% of our participants have a history of addiction issues. All of our participants live below the poverty level, they need help finding their next meal, a safe place to sleep, and a job that provides a livable wage. The needs of this population are significant, individualized, and complex. Our approach offers a bridge to brighter days, empowering each person with dignity, care, and acceptance to equip them for their journey toward recovery and life renewal. Where does funding come from? Individuals, churches, grants, civic organizations.
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7/31/20 9:33 AM
VIP Pensacola at Pensacola Yacht Club
Patricia Russo & Kerry-Ann Schultz
Cathy & Billy Ray Hendrix
Jeremy Diamond & Dana Britt
Gulf Breeze Rotary Change of Command Ceremony photos & story by Kristina Wright
he Gulf Breeze Rotary Club hosted their Change of Command Dinner to celebrate the end of the 2019-2020 Rotary Year on July 1, at the Pensacola Yacht Club. This event signified the passing of the gavel from outgoing President John Adams, to incoming President Bobby Potomski. Attended by members and treasured guests, the dinner was followed by a special awards ceremony. Rotarian TJ Edwards received the Service Above Self Award for outstanding service on behalf of the club. Rotarian Patricia Russo received the Rotarian of the Year Award for her excellent service to the club and the community. This year’s Change of Command Dinner brought club members together for safe fellowship in the time of COVID, and highlighted the club’s generous community engagement with an annual festive celebration of service to the community, organized by Club Service Officer Jeanne Prange and her assistant Aimee Dumas. The club also highlighted this year’s new initiative, a fundraising effort to build toward an endowment for the club’s Scholarship Foundation. This year alone, the club raised more than $27,000, with an additional $30,000 in pledges; from which all funds raised go to scholarships for deserving and needy Gulf Breeze High School students. With 135 members and founded in 1973, Gulf Breeze Rotary focuses on community service as well as international service, highlighted by weekly meetings and monthly social gatherings. Gulf Breeze Rotary is part of Rotary International, the motto of which is “Service Above Self.”
Rachel & Chris Heaney 60
Paul Stanley & Katie Kingsman
Tom & Beverly Vaughn
T. Bubba Bechtol & Mary Jane Bass
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7/31/20 9:36 AM
Jim Reeves, Jo McArthur, Hal George & Aimee Dumas
Sid Williams-Heath, Dr. Kacey Gibson & Dr. Nicklaus Williams-Heath
Laura Magan, John Adams, Bobby & Hong Potomski
Allen Lee, Beau Pollard & Lee Brown August 2020 | 61
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7/31/20 9:36 AM
I AM PENSACOLA
Hong Potomski What is your hometown, what brought you to PENSACOLA and how long have you been here? I am incredibly grateful for my amazing parents that chased the American dream and were able to build a foundation for our family in this community. After the Vietnam war, my parents escaped to Hong Kong, where I was born. Two weeks later, our family left for the US and ended up in Chicago. Because my parents wanted warmer weather and to be near the water for my dad’s work, we migrated to Pensacola. With help from the community, my parents were able to establish a foundation. Our journey has taught me the importance of community and I am very thankful for that. Pensacola is Florida’s best kept secret and I am proud to call it home. What is your profession, and what led you to chose it? Healthcare has always been an interest of mine. I love that every person plays a critical role in taking care of the patients we serve. The complexity allows for opportunities for growth and development. With over 15 years of health care experience, ranging from data analytics to strategic planning, business development to program implementation, and operational excellence, I have had the opportunity to see many facets of the health care industry. In my current role as Executive Director of Andrews Research & Education Foundation, I am able to be part of a team that is on the forefront of innovation for orthopaedics and sports medicine. Research and education is critical in order to advance sports medicine and to be able to directly elevate the care delivery system. I love being in a role where I can help drive change and know that it is improving the way care is delivered. What do you like best about Pensacola? What makes it unique? Wow, where do I start. Over the years, I have been able to witness the transformation of our city. I love the small town feel, but still have the amenities of a larger city. The people in this community are warm, compassionate and generous – I think that is what makes Pensacola unique. Give us three words that best describe you. Kind. Passionate. Fierce.
photo by Kristina Wright
What are some of your favorite things about Pensacola?
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The quality of life here in Pensacola is incredible. There is something for everyone. If you are in need of some relaxation, you can wind down at the beach. If you are into the arts, you can check out a performance at the Pensacola Little Theatre. If you are a foodie, there are amazing, diverse restaurants all over town. If you want to get involved, there are many great non-profits to connect with. If you want to catch up with friends, there are fun hang outs – baseball games, breweries, and parks. I love the variety of options and all the amazing people that makes this community great! Finish this statement, I AM PENSACOLA because… I embrace and live the values of this great community. I am grateful for the people and the opportunities that makes our city what it is.
7/31/20 9:36 AM
Golf Course • Bar • Restaurant • Events
Social Membership Benefits Starting at $85/mo, No Monthly Minimums, Club Charging Privileges, Member-Only Tournaments and Events, 10% Discount Food Purchases, 10% Discount Golf Shop Purchases, Preferred Rates on Golf, May Make Tee Times 14 days in Advance, Discount on Banquet Facilities.
Full Membership Benefits Starting at $145/mo, All Social Member Benefits, Unlimited Golf, Walking Option, Special Pricing on Lessions, Preferred Rates for Accompanied Guests, Club Cleaning and Storage, Member Locker Rooms.
Student Membership Benefits $150/Semester, Unlimited Golf Semester Membership is valid from the first day of classes of the membership semester until the first day of classes for the following semester. Membership dues must be paid in full at the beginning of each semester.
Scenic Hills Country Club boasts an 18 hole championship golf course with a wide selection of tee boxes to challenge players of all abilities. Scenic Hills has hosted many prestigious amateur and professional events and is currently the only course in Florida to host a USGA open event. Voted “Best of the Bay” many times over, Scenic Hills is the perfect venue to play with family and friends, and for groups of any size and skill level.
Open to the Public
Scenic Hills Weddings • Accommodates Up to 225 guests • Free Champagne Tour and Consultation • Experienced Venue Manager • Ceremony Space • Reception Space • Custom Layout Options • House Linen (chair cover add on option available) • Dance Floor • In House Catering Menu(s) • Custom Menu Options Available • Cake Cutting • Bride and Groom Ready Rooms • Bridal Lunch • Grooms Golf Package (upgrade options available) • Free Guest Parking
Thank you for voting us Best Golf Course and Event Space 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
7/31/20 9:38 AM
7/31/20 9:38 AM
VIP Pensacola - August 2020 Edition