VIP Pensacola - December 2021

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Volume VI • Issue XII

events 12 15 18 23 26 28 37 41 44

Stepping Out in Style Annual Chamber Meeting All Services Ball Cover Reveal Party A Celebration of Art BrunchFest Brunch & Bubbles Happiest of Hours Gulf Coast Blinds & Shades Grand Opening Hall of Fame Premier Workforce Solutions Grand Opening Cornhole Tournament Beach Hits Radio Music Festival Fairways to Freedom Pours and Encores Museum for Women Veterans Grand Opening Truth Rising Conference Stamped Film Festival The Order of Calliope’s Halloween Ball Pensacola Eggfest Pink Pedal Party

48 50 52 56 58 60 64 66 68 72 74 76

on the cover Gene & Amanda Hurd Photography by Kevin Houghton at VIP Pensacola Cover Reveal Party

departments 8 20 46 54 61 69 70 78

Straight Talk Swizzle Style Adventure Out Coastal Cuisine Locale Give Care Share I Am Pensacola

features 33 Medical Profiles

VIP Pensacola Staff Publisher Greg Alexander

Art Director Priscilla Atkins

Associate Publisher Verla Price

Graphic Designers Brian Goins Patti Hall

Publisher’s Assistant Nicole Partridge Advertising Stephanie Alvarez Kristin Moffitt Verla Price Content Creator Anna Stockton

Contributing Writers/ Photographers Patti Hall Kevin Houghton Anna Stockton Kristina Wright VIP Founder Jeff Watson

December 2021 | 7

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letter from the Associate Publisher Our December issue, with a focus on Health and Wellness, is here with help just in time for the holidays. Knowing that family gatherings are fi lled with so much delicious food, we will need weight loss tips and a better health plan as our New Year’s resolutions stare us in the face. I fell into turkey with sides and the dessert abyss for Thanksgiving, rolling out of the week heavier, happier, and looking forward to Christmas parties. Feeling good and staying healthy includes an enormous scope of things and we are bombarded daily with new diets, health regimens, and exercise plans. Take your pick from low carb diets to high carb diets, low fat to high fat, counting calories to Keto. Keto? I am not overly versed in Keto, but in my opinion, that diet looks suspiciously like a revitalization of the Atkins Diet from the ‘80s. Yes, I was on the Atkins train back in the day. But, alas, it was not my savior in weight loss or overall health. Over the years, I morphed back to my younger nutritional days and West Virginia roots. As a result, I feel great, I am in a good mood, and I am rarely sick. What is my secret? I think good health starts with a positive attitude. Remaining positive takes effort and I plan to be happy every day, rejecting negative thoughts, situations, and people that might steal my overall joy in life. I regularly go to bed early and rise around 5:30 am -- much to the chagrin of my friends as my text messages start arriving before dawn. Unfortunately, crazy exercise plans and I do not get along well. Therefore, I direct my calisthenics toward walking, running, and riding motorcycles -- preferably dirt bikes. I eat what I like in small quantities and load up on vegetables, fruits, and lean meats. Will I ever be that “Bo Derek 10” walking down the beach? Not a chance -- I like wine, beer, pasta, and an occasional donut. As I said, I eat what I like in small quantities, and I feel good! Last but not least, I utilize old family tonics and remedies as the answer to good health in my life. My mother was always boiling roots, seeping leaves, and making teas for our medical uses. Peppermint for upset stomachs and headaches, cloves for dental issues, poultices for wounds, and this list can go on and on. However, my family’s holy grail to overall health is a daily tonic that I took from childhood and still brew and consume. A nasty tasting concoction consisting of various herbs and roots with the main ingredients being ginseng and goldenseal, native to the Appalachian Mountains, where my family continues to harvest annually for personal use. I believe most weight loss and exercise programs work if you stay on the plan. However, everyone is different, and some things work for some people, and others don’t. Therefore, I encourage you to find something that works for you -- and go for it! In the pages of this issue, we have comprised a few reads to help you on this journey. Enjoy our Fitness Fashion ideas in Style, a healthy recipe for Ahi Tuna Steak in Coastal Cuisine, and our suggested seasonal smoothies among other things in Swizzle. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, and I wish you the very merriest of Christmases! If you know of a non-profit or charity holding an event you would like to see featured in VIP Pensacola, please call me. We will do our best to support you when we have space available. Thank YOU for supporting VIP Pensacola; please be kind, courteous, and shop local.

Associate Publisher 850-502-7970 10


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VIP Pensacola at Sanders Beach-Corinne Jones Resource Center


Stepping Out in Style photos & story by Kevin L Houghton

Kathy Oswald & Mark Faulkner


he Women’s Board of Baptist Health Care Foundation held their 45th Annual Stepping Out in Style Fashion Show and fundraiser on October 28. All 400 seats were sold out as attendees enjoyed a night of fun, fashion, and philanthropy. The event featured professional and local models who showcased the latest trends on the catwalk. The show also included hors d’oeuvres and live and silent auctions, all thanks to the partnership with local boutiques and generous sponsors. Proceeds from this year’s event will support the mission of “helping people throughout life’s journey,” and will continue to bring a modern and more accessible approach to health care. Their new home, located on the corner of Brent Lane and I-110, is going to be innovative, convenient, safe, and a compassionate place to provide and receive care, incorporating modern efficiencies in a healing environment. Baptist Health Care is making this investment to transform the community and improve the quality of life for generations to come.


Michael & Addie Murdock

Daniel Stoup & Betty Roberts

Jessica Lee & Summer Rasnick

Laura Worthylake & Ann Keiek

Jennifer Smith & Heather Moorer

Jen Grove, Monica Sherman, Liz Harrison & Rachel Herman


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Kristen Sitton & Amelia Sherrill

Penny Boyce & Yvonne Murphy

Christie Saffold & Maegan Leonard

Rhonda Gardipee, Hannah Gilliard, Melissa Carroll & Brittany Kilgen

Sara Presley & Rachael Johnson

Jackie St. John & Libby Walther

Sidney Heindl & Amanda Clayton

John & Cindy Zalar

Alea Williams & Carla Scarborough

Lesley Garcia, Louanne White, Hanna Thompson & Kolo Wilkinson December 2021 | 13

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VIP Pensacola at Court of De Luna Event Space


chamber meeting photos & story by Kristina Wright


he Greater Pensacola Chamber hosted their 131st Annual Meeting at the Court of Deluna Event Space. This meeting serves to inform the community and local businesses of the projected progress and growth intended for Pensacola over the next decade. The Pensacola 2030 Strategic Plan and Initiative is a community partnership housed under the Pensacola Chamber Foundation, whose mission is to drive economic prosperity, enhance the quality of life, and strengthen and sustain our community, businesses, and future. Sara Lefevers, Executive Director of the Pensacola Chamber Foundation said, “As we prepare for our projected, regional growth in the next eight years, Pensacola 2030 is our opportunity to come together to strengthen and sustain our community, businesses, and future. The Pensacola business community is committed to increasing economic development and job growth. Additionally, our community believes through collaboration we can broaden our impact to make innovation possible. We do so by strengthening vulnerable populations and creating a sustainable future for ALL families as we lead the Florida workforce and business community into the future. Pensacola 2030 is the result of many months studying best practices, research, convening focus groups, analyzing data, and establishing priorities.”

Shelby Hamilton & Eddie Murray

Todd Thomson & Ray Walker

Ben & Kristina Zimmern

Jeff Mislevy & Roland Cleneay

Sara Lefevers & Genna Anderson

Christie Saffold & Angela Bottesini December 2021 | 15

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VIP Pensacola at 131st Annual Chamber Meeting

Audrey Preston & Angei Morris

Kristin Longley & Dr. Sherry Hartnett

Chuck Hoskin & Wes Reeder


Dr. Ed Meadows & Bo Carter

Whitney Fike, Robin Zimmern & Melissa Dandridge

Sherry Moore & Fran Crumpton

Nikki Clardy & Jamie Johnson

Charlie Murphy & Magi Thomley

Jamie Mitchell & Dana Hall

Mary & Dave Hoxeng

Willa Licata & Jessica Simpson


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VIP Pensacola at Court of De Luna

2nd Lt Devin Stauffer & Tricia Loftus

Ernest Dawson & Dr. Lusharon Wiley

Dr. Frank & Stefanie Watson

All Services Ball photos & story by Kevin L Houghton

Nancy Prevot & James Spire

Dr. Sandra Winborne & Grace Marshall

Carollyn Taylor & Lt Kathryn Kasten, (Ret) 18


he All Services Ball (ASB), held their inaugural, Honor Empower Rebuild, “HER” event at Court of De Luna on November 13. This ball not only celebrated the men and women of all our armed forces but also honored the first responders of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Walton, and Okaloosa counties. The ASB is a charity ball hosted by the Honor HER foundation of Northwest Florida and was open to the public. It was the first ball of its kind along the Gulf Coast. The goal was to bring together past and present members of all the armed forces, law enforcement, and first responders. There were multiple dinner stations with favorites like shrimp and grits and sliced tenderloin. A live band featuring Mr. Big and the Rhythm Sisters was also on stage for dinner music and then brought everyone to their feet for dancing. Many guests were recognized for their support for our surrounding communities. A silent auction with art pieces, a Pete Rose autographed jersey, and many more collectibles took in over $2,000.

Abby Eickhoff & Destiny Creel

Natasha Fuller & Tyron Dixon


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11/30/21 10:10 AM

Seasonal Smoothies for the

Holiday Spirit


story by Anna Stockton

ontrary to the previous year’s celebrations, the holidays don’t have to leave your pants too tight and your liver begging for mercy. Healthy options are available and can be just as fun, probably…maybe, well, they may not be as fun but your body will thank you as it soaks up nutrients instead of alcohol, vegetables instead of cheeses, and fruits instead of desserts. While you may think what we now call smoothies are an American invention, concocted to sell high power blenders in late-night informercials, smoothies actually date back hundreds of years to Eastern and Mediterranean cultures. They didn’t become popular in the United States until the 1930’s when the blender was invented -- c’mon, you didn’t think we were going to smash up all those ingredients by hand did you? Although smoothies really didn’t take off until people started taking natural eating seriously in the 1960’s. During this time, smoothie slinging health food shops started showing up throughout the country, especially in the health-conscious hub itself -- the West Coast. Then in 1970 a lactose intolerant teen named Steven Kuhnau, who was quite peeved at the lack of milkshakes in his life, decided to blend fresh fruit, ice, and fruit juice. The results not only allowed him to enjoy a sweet treat, but it also helped with his allergies and blood sugar. Excited about his invention, he borrowed the word “smoothie” from the hippies and opened a shop called Smoothie King. Smoothies are known as a power and nutrient packed drink, so what should you put in yours to ensure the most bang for your buck? People combine a variety of different ingredients to make their perfect smoothie, depending on things like taste and nutritional needs. Spinach and other greens are great ways to get your fiber and vitamins. While frozen fruits are perfect to add for sweetness and flavor while also packing in the vitamins and cooling off your smoothie without watering it down. Protein powders boost your nutrients and protein without overpowering the flavor. Other good additions to your smoothie are yogurts, chia seeds, nut butters, spices, and sweeteners. Adjusting your smoothie flavor for the season or holiday can keep your healthy habit from becoming boring and routine and possibly give you extra energy to deal with the holiday demands while giving your liver a much-needed break.



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no Smoothie INGREDIENTS: 1 scoop vanilla protein powder 1 cup unsweetened almond milk 1 frozen peeled banana 2 tsp natural almond butter 1 pitted Medjool date 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg dash of ground cloves 1/4 tsp each almond and vanilla extract (optional) 5-6 ice cubes DIRECTIONS: Place all ingredients except ice in a blender and blend until smooth. Add ice as needed to thicken. Continue blending until no chunks remain. Pour into a glass and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and cinnamon stick.

December 2021 | 21

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VIP Pensacola at Jo’s As Always Restaurant


EMBER 2021

Cover Reveal Party



photos & story by Kevin L Houghton

Madilyn Butler & Bayley Kornemann


n November 4 VIP Pensacola held their November cover reveal party. The event was held at the beautiful Jo’s As Always Restaurant in Pensacola. Approximately 60 clients and guests attended to share and enjoy an evening of some delicious and tantalizing treats, all prepared and served elegantly by Jo Heckler and her team. Jo truly believes her business is the heart and soul in good food, good friends, and great service. The November cover image was captured by Kristina Wright, showcasing the 5th Annual “Light up Learning” event. Throughout the evening, clients were given the opportunity to view their advertisements in place, while Associate Publisher Verla Price personally thanked each of them for their continued support. On the conclusion of the evening, door prizes that were donated by local businesses were awarded to lucky winners. Fletcher & Suzanne Spann

Barbara Dean, Jim Sparks, Fran Crumpton & Cheri Hlubeck

Eric Sanders, Verla Price & Dr. Craig Henry

Michelle & Phil Salzman

Nick Dever, Amanda & Gene Hurd December 2021 | 23

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VIP Pensacola at VIP Pensacola Cover Reveal Party

Dana Tripoli & Pat Windham

Janet & Chip Wood

Nick Toth, Crystal Stearns, Ben Nguyen & Claudia Simmons

Michelle Barrios & Jill Andrusko

Debbie Sapp & Patsy Roark

James Hutto & John McCorvey

Patti Hall, Lisa Kennedy & Sherri Ziegler 24

Frankie Pesce & Todd Thomson

David Apollo & Joanna Copes

Ahnen Levins, Jo Heckler, & Quarte` Watts


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VIP Pensacola at Pensacola Cultural Center

Ryan Novota & Elisabeth Buswell

Sid Williams-Heath & Chris Heaney

Chloe & Steve Ciolino

A Celebration of Art Tonya Zimmern & Danny Zimmern

Traci Holder & Nicklaus Williams-Heath

Samantha Ward, Maria Goldberg & Claire Campbell 26


photos & story by Kristina Wright

he Pensacola Cultural Center celebrated their new campaign reveal to redesign the center on November 11. Because of the generosity, longevity, and legacy of Cynthia and Dave Clark, the introduction of the new, reimagined, and renamed Clark Family Cultural Center was possible. Culture came alive at Pensacola Cultural Center’s Celebration of Art, which toasted to community, collaboration, and twenty-five years of taking center stage at 400 South Jefferson Street. During the event, a digital graffiti show bounced back and forth between Pensacola Little Theatre and Pensacola Museum of Art with live and virtual actors. The whimsical show could be viewed for free, or an enhanced experience with prime, private viewing and an open bar. Executive Director, Sid Williams-Heath says, “At the Pensacola Cultural Center, we believe that connection to arts, culture, history, and each other is what centers us. Our foundation is built on creating experiences that educate and inspire through the art of storytelling, by knowing that inside our walls, stories are created as much as they are told. Our mission is to create a place for the public where no matter what your story is, you can find your voice, your community, your stage, yourself, and your center. As a vital chapter in our story, you and your support are the center of attention as we raise the curtain on the next chapter of our home at the Cultural Center, a chapter which couldn’t be written without you.”

Susan Clark Waters, Cynthia & Dave Clark


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Best New Restaurant!

Don’t miss the famous Fin & Fork grouper pontchartrain!


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December 2021 | 27

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VIP Pensacola at Seville Quarter

Janie & Eric Hayes


Phil Higgins, Shantelle Dedicke, Kelly Grunt & Shervin Rassa

BrunchFest photos & story by Kristina Wright

he Boys & Girls Club of the Emerald Coast hosted their first-ever BrunchFest, on Sunday, November 7, at Seville Quarter. Presented by Cox Media and StarPoint Screening, local restaurant teams created delectable brunch samples for attendees. All proceeds from this event benefited the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast, which works in our community to promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of


competence, usefulness, belonging, and influence through its programs focused on academic success, good character, citizenship, and a healthy lifestyle. Cook Teams for this event included: Bodacious Shops, Pensacola Yacht Club, Scenic Hills Country Club, Cafe Rico, LesGo Personal Chef Services, From the Crown Catering, Cox Communications, Shaun Michael Personal Chef, and The Boys and Girls Clubs.

Breanna Johnson & Kaylyn Neal

Debra Sloan & Greg Dedicke

Marcus & Ava Mickles

Bobby Parker & Steve Barber

Tanya Richardson, Rita Cummins, Nichole Parkton & Shakisha McDonald


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Matt Adams, Will Haynes, Elizabeth Adams & Allie Redden

Cecelia Potter, Theahmad Thomas & Kalea Smith

Jonathan Tucker, Phil Higgins & Jordan Higgins

Thanks for Voting Us Best Dermatologist

5 years in a row! K e vi n W e l ch , M D Board Certified Dermatologist

Leslie Mickles, Crystal Mayes & Lindsey Thomas December 2021 | 29

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ahul N. Chavan MD, PhD, is a dermatologist with Ascension Sacred Heart’s Summit Med Spa, which offers a comprehensive range of skin care services including both medical and cosmetic dermatology. From wrinkle treatments and skin cancer screening to laser hair removal and targeting stubborn fat, Dr. Chavan takes the time to help you understand your skin condition so you can help keep your skin as healthy as possible. Their team will follow up with you after treatments and answer any questions you have. Cosmetic Ascension Sacred Heart treatments offered at Summit Summit Med Spa Med Spa include laser treatments, microneedling, 850.746.0650 dermaplaning, IPL, 1890 Summit Blvd., #1D, Pensacola HydraFacials, and injections, as well as lip and eye perks. Dr. Chavan graduated with his medical degree from the University of South Florida College of Medicine. He earned his PhD in the biomedical and biological sciences at Emory University. He completed his internship and residency training in dermatology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He then completed a fellowship in dermatopathology, a subspecialty of pathology that focuses on diagnosis and treatment of skin diseases, at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Chavan has special interests in the treatment of melanoma and other skin cancers, for which he uses Mohs surgery.



r. Aaron Hixon grew up in Milton, FL. He received his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL. Following his undergraduate education, he went on to attend Palmer College of Chiropractic in Port Orange, FL. As a Palmer student, Dr. Aaron is trained in a variety of Chiropractic techniques such as Diversified, Gonstead Spinal Manipulation, Instrument Henry Chiropractic Assisted Soft Tissue 850.435.7777 Mobilization (IASTM), Myofascial Release 1602 N 9th Avenue, Pensacola Technique (MRT), and more. Dr. Aaron is a board-certified Chiropractor and a licensed Chiropractic physician in the state of Florida. He joined Henry Chiropractic in December 2018 and has not looked back. Dr. Henry and staff welcomed him with open arms and have built a great circle around him to succeed. As a Northwest Florida native, it brings him much pleasure to serve the community he grew up in. Dr. Aaron has always had a passion for helping others. Since childhood he has always volunteered his time at local community establishments such as Habitat for Humanity, community centers, and the YMCA. Some of his hobbies include working out, playing basketball, hiking, and exploring new restaurants. Dr. Aaron also loves spending time with his family, and friends.


Health & Wellness Profiles | 33

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r. Bonnie McLean is an OMD, Doctorate in Oriental Medicine and a Florida licensed Acupuncture Physician. Dr. Bonnie received her Masters in Counseling from Pepperdine University and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Duke University. She practiced nursing for 20 years and has now practiced acupuncture for 38 years. Dr. Bonnie is a lecturer and author. Her latest publication is Integrative Medicine: The Return of the Soul to Healthcare. Specializing in stress-related disorders such as PTSD and acute and chronic pain, Dr. Bonnie’s main modalities are acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, but using essential oils, flower essences, homeopathy, and herbal medicine. She works on imbalances in immunity and longevity, habit control, and women’s health.

DR. BONNIE McLEAN, OMD Empathic Practice 850.777.3334 2701 N 12th Avenue, Pensacola


r. Phillips joined Dermatology Specialists of Florida in 2014 after nearly thirty years of private dermatology practice in Louisiana and Mississippi. He is a board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic cosmetic surgeon offering expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer, acne, and rosacea, as well as the use of advanced medical technology to repair and restore damaged and aging skin. Dr. Phillips received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Board-Certified Dermatologist Tulane University, where Dermatology Specialists of FL he was given the Order & Aqua Medical Spa of the Gold Tipped Stethoscope Award for 850.932.1455 Outstanding Performance in Clinical Medicine. 2010 E. Johnson Avenue | Pensacola 3089 Gulf Breeze Parkway | Gulf Breeze He also completed an internship in internal medicine and his dermatology residency at Tulane University Affi liated Hospitals. Among many academic appointments, Dr. Phillips has served as a staff physician for hospitals in Louisiana and Mississippi, a clinical professor at Tulane University School of Medicine, and a visiting professor at New Orleans’ Charity Hospital since 1986. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatologic Surgery. Additionally, Dr. Phillips holds certifications by the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida state boards of medical examiners.




evin Welch, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist with over 25 years of experience. Originally from East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, Dr. Welch received his medical degree from State University of New York. He is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, The American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology, the Florida Medical Association, and the Escambia County Medical Society. “I have a true passion for cosmetic Welch SkinCare Center dermatology. I get 850.969.2689 great gratification from assisting people to 8333 N Davis Highway, Pensacola feel better about their appearance. If people are more confident about their appearance, it tends to be reflected in other parts of their life, both personal and professional. In terms of what sets me apart, I am a board-certified dermatologist. I keep on the cutting edge with regard to new procedures and techniques. Very importantly, I personally perform all BOTOX and fi ller injections.” Dr. Welch has extensive experience working with all ages and skin concerns and stays current on the latest procedures and techniques to offer his patients the most effective treatments. He has a true passion for cosmetic dermatology and specializes in laser treatments, injectable procedures such as Kybella and BOTOX, as well as noninvasive procedures such as CoolSculpting, EMSCULPT, Morpheus8, and Ultherapy.



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VIP Pensacola at Portofino Island Resort

photos & story by Kristina Wright

Mallory Studer & Rick Appleyard


ulf Coast Kid’s House hosted their 5th Annual Brunch and Bubbles at the Portofino Island Resort on October 24. Presenting sponsors were Sandy Sansing Dealerships, Premier Island Management Group, and Portofino Island Resort. Honorary chairs were Diane Appleyard and Tip McAlpin, these two philanthropic individuals lead the GCKH mission at everyone’s favorite bubbly event. Seven restaurants created delectable dishes for guests to enjoy, including Crabs on the Beach, Flounders, Grand Marlin, Agapi, Hot Spot BBQ, Portofino, and Another Broken Egg Cafe. Entertainment was provided by First Dance Ballroom Studio, as well as John Ripley on the piano. Many items were available for auction, as well as spontaneous contributed donations. Over $200,000 was raised, in this record-breaking year which was the first event held in two years due to the COVID pandemic.

Steve & Olevia McNally Xxxxxxxxx

Tip McAlpin & Diane Appleyard

Diane & John Ripley

Stephanie & Casey Mickler

Andrew & Nicole Hobbs, Whitney & Jake Lucas December 2021 | 37

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VIP Pensacola at Brunch & Bubbles

Jimmy & Megan Herlocker

Kristin Longley & Meri Asmar

John Adams & Laura Magan

Angela Lane & John Peacock

Gus Silivos & Bianca Whiteford

Susan & Chip Simmons

Magi Thomley & Phebe Gaines

Yvonne Heaney & Cheri Hlubek

Aimee Dumas & Brad Sanders

Phillip Salzman, Kristie Tobias & Michelle Salzman 38

Shelby Hamilton, April Davidson & Jennifer Belcher


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VIP Pensacola at Garden & Grain

Happiest of Hours photos & story by Patti Hall


ensacola’s real estate community came together strong at Garden & Grain for what Sunbelt Title calls its Happiest of Hours! The evening was relaxed as attendees enjoyed cocktails under the cafe lights while delicious food was served from the taco truck. This networking event was part of Sunbelt’s Real University weeklong education initiative with corporate real estate trainer Brad Dugger. Throughout the week, agents from Panama City to Perdido Key received instruction on everything from ethics to new contract changes; and they did it all while having fun. Sunbelt Title is dedicated to creating exceptional customer settlement experiences through the passionate delivery of remarkable service.

Kimberley Anderson & Brad Dugger

Brittani Smith & Martin Stewart

Wes & Mia Payne

Megan Stafford & Kalie Rajput

Frank & Mia Chairello

Patti Hall & Robert Hirt December 2021 | 41

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VIP Pensacola at Happiest of Hours

Sarah Hogan & Tim Bell

Bill Martin & Suzanne Pollard-Spann

Nan Foster & Greg Ammon

Douglas Garcia, Mary Kay & Jake Currera 42

Jennifer Benz & Jennifer Booker

Captain & Linda Moore

Daniel, Mirella & Amelia Savage

Mike Mangrum & Ben Mangrum

Jim Richmond & Sheila Romaine

Drew Banks, Kalab Hoover & Daniel Lewis


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We Can’t Wait to Make Your Home Safer, Cleaner, and More Comfortable

Call Now! (850) 983-6688 or visit 43 energy savers.indd 1

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VIP Pensacola at Gulf Coast Shades and Blinds

Gulf Coast Shades and Blinds

Grand Opening photos & story by Patti Hall


att Uhl, Ed Slatton, and Joe Selogy hosted the grand opening of their new showroom for Gulf Coast Shades and Blinds on October 29. Guests and friends mingled and enjoyed food from Meat Candy BBQ along with drinks. Josh Theriot provided background music to create a festive atmosphere for

the celebration. This trio of businessmen started the company in 2019 with the commitment to grow and give back to the community. GCSB offers residential and commercial motorized and manual options in roller shades, roman shades, plantation shutters, and blinds. They also provide exterior options such as Bahama Shutters, Hurricane Protection, Sun Sails and Shades, and Exterior Roller Shades. Gulf Coast Shades and Blinds services the residential and commercial markets in Pensacola, Pensacola Beach, Gulf Breeze, Perdido Key, Ono Island, Orange Beach, Destin, Ft Walton, Navarre, the 30A area, and beyond.

Gina & Louie Sanchez

Tracy Selogy & Lisa Uhl 44

Heather & Lee Irving

Pat & Frank Lovett

Joe Selogy, Ed Slatton & Matt Uhl

Crystal Selover & Rayan Hayes

Willa Licata & Jessica Simpson

Jay & Melissa Wright


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The best steps to take after you put a contract on a property…. We don’t typically buy a residential or commercial property on a monthly basis. That means it can be a stressful ordeal and having a great real estate agent can be key to taking the stress off. If there are deal breakers in a home, there are typically one of two things that do it. Either it has termites or the electrical wiring will be a major expense to correct. We always suggest you get the WDO (Wood Destroying Organisms) first. An inspection by a licensed WDO inspector is how termites are discovered. If they are found and it is a deal breaker, you have time to call off the home inspection and we do not charge if no service is performed. The other potential deal breaker in a purchase is when you happen to have an open ground in your potential new home. If so, there is an excellent technique to rectify the situation. Open grounds are most commonly a result in older homes that have the old 2 wire system. Open grounds are a hazard because if there is a surge, it cannot be diverted into the ground outside. On a home we inspected this year, a major electrical company shared that it can be rewired, which was several thousands of dollars, or there is another method that is to code. You can have a licensed electrician change the outlets with the open ground to a GFCI outlet and change the breaker to an AFCI breaker. This will protect that outlet and the home from surges along with potential electrical fires. Of course, always get your electrical system assessed by a licensed electrician to ensure there are no extenuating circumstances. The cost to implement this method is much cheaper. At Home Boss Inspection, we strive to protect a home buyer’s health, safety and any potential major out of pocket expense.

We wish you Happy Holidays and safe travels!

REED ROGERS, CPI InterNACHI Certified Professional Inspector® |

850-361-8577 | | Veteran owned business!


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story by Anna Stockton


emember when workout clothes were for, well … working out? Slowly over the past decade, active wear, also known as athleisure wear, crept into everyday wear, then the pandemic brought it screeching across the finish line and crowned it winner of “just try and get me out of these stretchy pants-wear.” Taking the place of jeans as the errand running, stop for a coffee, maybe fly somewhere, work from home staple, athleisure has become an accepted form of dress and I’m here for it. As the options for active wear become more diverse, so does my wardrobe. We’re going to show you the latest and greatest in style and function that’ll take you from personal training to traveling and from burpees to buying groceries.

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Just Breathe ~ I know it’s hard to look past how cute an outfit is but believe it or not, there are other factors to consider. Fabric is incredibly important when choosing active wear, it can be the difference between a light airy workout and feeling weighed down. Fabric choices have come a long way and options like moisture wicking fabrics are good for those heavy workout days and those days where running errands may come before a shower. This fabric works by pulling sweat away from your skin so it can evaporate -- I know, it sounds like magic but this fabric is actually readily available in many price points. Cotton is a good breathable fabric but is better for low intensity, light workout days as it tends to soak up sweat and weigh you down.

Fit and Function ~ Your comfort is key when it comes to finding the perfect workout clothes. First, are YOU comfortable in them? Some people prefer a more modest look -- whether it’s because they’re not comfortable showing their body or they just prefer a more low-key look, while others are proud to show a little skin while they’re working out. Secondly, are the clothes comfortable on you? Can you move and shake and squat and stretch in them? Do they feel good on your skin? Will you be tugging and constantly readjusting your clothes? These are all things to consider when shopping for workout clothes. Don’t just stand in them, do a high kick or two or see how low you can go, check out how they feel and only buy if they feel comfortable. With so many options and styles out there, you’re sure to find something that you’re comfortable in and is comfortable on while still being versatile enough to run errands in.

The Hues of your Shoes ~ As my friend was walking next to me the other day, in her brand new coral and aqua running shoes, we were discussing why … oh why, do athletic shoe colors have to be so loud. I’m not sure if we’ll ever get to the bottom of this mystery but in the meantime, we embrace the blues, yellows, reds, and greens that make our shoes look like they were designed by toddlers. The truth is, shoes are everything when it comes to your workout. Many underestimate how having the wrong shoes can affect your ability to get the most from your body. Going the extra mile (ha) and getting evaluated at a professional running shop can make a world of difference in your performance and help you avoid foot problems, shin splints, and other exercise related ailments.

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VIP Pensacola at Pensacola Country Club


HALL OF FAME photos & story by Kristina Wright

Gabriel & Danielle Waterman

Chance & Shannon Walsh



he Junior Achievement of NW Florida Hall of Fame event was held on November 4 at the Pensacola Country Club. Guests were invited to don their cocktail attire and celebrate the past year. Landrum HR was the sponsor, and inductees were Keith Hoskins and Commissioner Robert Bender. Awards were given out for Board Member of the Year, Large Business Partner, Small Business Partner, Professional, Community, and Volunteer of the Year. The Marshall Blaise Adams, Sr, Give Back Award, and the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award were also given. Junior Achievement’s Hall of Fame is the organization’s largest annual fundraiser and awards gala. At the event, Junior Achievement recognizes the individuals and businesses in the community that are the most remarkable of champions for youth financial literacy and workforce preparedness for young people. Junior Achievement’s Hall of Fame Laureates are the individuals in the community that are the greatest champions of youth financial literacy and workforce preparedness. The community leaders are honored each year as these Laureates have given hearty service to Junior Achievement and its mission to inspire youth to succeed in a global economy. The honorees have given considerable time to Junior Achievement as volunteers, and in most cases, they’ve also given considerable financial support to help area youth learn how to obtain and maintain employment, manage money, and prepare to enter the workforce.

Peter & Megan Bithos

Kendra, Harriott, Brian & Steven Wyer

Lori & Keith Hoskins

Frank & Brittany Giammaria

Cassandra Smith & Nicole Owens-Braggs


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Ildi Hosman, Brandon & Jennifer McFarren

Ginger Bender, Robert & Amy Bender

Aimee Dumas, Christine Williams, Jim Reeves & Madison Bales

Daniel Joyner, Christie & Darren Costello December 2021 | 49

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VIP Pensacola at Premier Workforce Solutions

James Robinson, Ted McKenzie, Dianne Timmering, Arden Barnett, Laurie Gutermuth, Dan Davis & Nick Porter




photos & story by Kristina Wright

he Greater Pensacola Chamber held a grand opening for Premier Workforce Solutions on November 16. The open house was held at 40 S. Palafox Street, Suite 500, followed by a ribbon cutting, light refreshments, and networking. The CEO of PWS, Nick Porter, and the CEO of Tresane Transformations, Dave Baumgartner, were both in attendance. Premier Workforce Solutions is a consulting firm derived from a need for unique solutions that resolve the workforce and clinical struggles every organization faces. They are an HR consulting company, but also offer benefit solutions, such as advisory services, fringe benefits, and health plan solutions. Premier Workforce Management’s program offers assistance with clinical staffing, recruitment services, and compensation.


Rob Holton & Dave Baumgartner

Joe Steier, Sydney Dawson & DC Reeves

Sara Lefevers & Michela Vanjo

Woody Waters & Sarah Howlett

Christine Wendling, Kip Vernaglia & Jessica Simpson

Dan Davis & Tom Pusic


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Sarah Harris & Ted McKenzie

Thanks for voting us Best in Pensacola!

Locally Owned Restaurant & Restaurant - Cordova Area

Brian Wyer, Jim Fitzpatrick & Robert Bender

Large Wine Selection Full Bar NOW Open Outdoor Patio

Todd Thomson, Grover Robinson & John Porter

HOURS Lunch: Tuesday-Saturday: 11 am - 3 pm Dinner: Tuesday-Saturday: 4 pm - 8 pm Brunch: Sunday: 11 am - 2 pm

Gail Davis, Tony Farinella & LaChandra Barnes

Cordova Marketplace 4350 Bayou Blvd · Pensacola, FL 850.477.9120 · December 2021 | 51

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VIP Pensacola at Scenic Hills Country Club

Cornhole Tournament photos & story by Patti Hall

David Peaden & Wadih El Khoury


he Home Builders Association held a Cornhole Tournament on November 5 at Scenic Hills Country Club. Lunch and beverages were available as participants waited their turn to put their skills to the test. It was a real nail-biter at the end but a great time was had by all. When they categorize cornhole as “almost a sport,” they have clearly not attended the Annual Home Builders Association of West Florida’s Cornhole Tournament. Bragging rights went to 1st Place Trey Spann and Jerry Saurez, Alvis Thole and Travis Pollack took 2nd Place. The Home Builders Association of West Florida is a membership driven advocacy and networking group. They spotlight the unique needs of the building and development industry and related businesses. HBA of West Florida focuses on both Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. Chris Wilson & Vicki Pelletier

Chad Brown, Clay Smith & Terry Powell

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Kimberley Anderson, Meaghan Evans & Michele Ciesla

Trip Maygarden, Jamie Johnson, Rhonda & Steve Moorhead


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Holiday Happenings


hether it’s due to our good weather, good fortune, or maybe both, Pensacola offers a winter wonderland of holiday fun. So, dig out that jacket (you’ll need it until about noon), slide on those flip-flops, and grab your friends and family -- we’re going to tell you all about some of the most magical holiday happenings. story by Anna Stockton

Winterfest Pensacola

November 19 - December 24 223 S. Palafox Place Pensacola, FL 32502 It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in downtown Pensacola with the kick-off of Winterfest 2021. The annual elf parade and Christmas tree lighting courtesy of Mayor Augustus Maywho and his frenemy the Grinch start the holiday festivities. Once the tree is lit, Santa will call for the first snowfall of the season, then the Christmas carols will begin. And this is just the first night of the month-long Winterfest that happens every year. Other festival fun includes photos with Santa and the Grinch, the magical Polar Express tour that will bring the beloved storybook to life with a life-size steam engine and your favorite characters. The Grinch tour will take you on his personal trolley along with some Whoville favorites, your heart might just grow three sizes as you sing along with your favorite grumpy tunes. The Cajun Christmas experience is like no other -- a trolley will take you to the historic village, where you’ll hear stories from Papa Noel, the Cajun Santa Claus. Once in the village, you can tour the museum, wrestle with gators and even do a crawfish scavenger hunt. No Cajun Christmas would be complete without the roller skating gators though, yeah, you may want to take pictures of that, your relatives up North will never believe you. Please visit the Winterfest website for a full schedule and tickets.


December 11, 12, 18 & 19 Gulf Breeze Zoo 5701 Gulf Breeze Parkway Gulf Breeze, FL 32563 What do hippos and Santa have in common, other than their voluptuous figures of course, they’ll both be at the Gulf Breeze Zoo for their Christmas Zoobilee. This annual event is in its third year of bringing festive fun to Gulf Breeze. Santa and his main squeeze Mrs. Claus will be there to collect your last-minute wish-list letters. Photos with Santa in his sleigh as well as with that grumpy Grinch will also be available. The kids can enjoy the wintery bounce houses while parents can do some last-minute shopping at the Candy Cane Market, all while taking in the sights and sounds of the season. Please visit Gulf Breeze Zoo’s website for schedule of events.

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Pensacola Christmas Parade

December 11 - 5:15pm Downtown Pensacola Pensacola knows how to parade. We show off every year in the Mardi Gras parades as well as the upcoming annual Christmas Parade. This evening parade has all the fun of the other parades, just mixed in with some holiday spirit. With around 100 entries to entertain you and eight bands from as far away as New Orleans to help you rock around the Christmas tree, this is a mustdo for the holidays. Many of the krewes participate, along with their little elves, as members bring their kiddos on board the floats to parade. Many local organizations and businesses are represented in this parade, along with Pensacola’s very own sled team, the Blue Angels flight team. This event brings in a crowd of around 50,000 holly jolly spectators.

Nutcracker Ballet

December 17, 18 & 19 Saenger Theatre 118 South Palafox Place Pensacola, FL 32502 Whether it’s a ballet company presentation of the Nutcracker or your elementary school’s adaptation, where you, like my sister, still “casually mention” that you had the lead some 35 years later, the Nutcracker is a Christmas classic. Ballet Pensacola is bringing this classic to life at the Saenger Theatre in four breathtaking performances over three magical days. The Nutcracker is a classic story built around Clara and the Nutcracker Prince as they battle the Mouse King and journey through the lands of snow and sweets. Ballet Pensacola’s professional dancers from around the world and local student dancers are sure to entertain you as they bring you into the dreamy, sweet world of the Nutcracker. Please visit Saenger’s website for tickets and show times.

Pops! Celebrate the New Year

December 31 Saenger Theatre 118 South Palafox Place Pensacola, FL 32502 How about something a little fancier to ring in the new year than the usual crowded restaurants or sitting on the couch watching someone who’s lost the holiday spirit find it in their very successful, smalltown high school boyfriend on a Hallmark movie? Join the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra as they present Pops! Celebrate the New Year. Take in the sounds with Carmen Bradford on vocals and Byron Stripling on both vocals and the trumpet as they perform the legendary music of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. The Pensacola Symphony Orchestra has a nearly 100 year-long tradition of bringing live symphonic music to the Pensacola area through engaging musical activities, from performances from well-known artists to outreach programs that bring music to schools and other community involvement.

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VIP Pensacola at Casino Beach


MUSIC FESTIVAL photos & story by Kevin L Houghton


Dr. Frank & Stephanie Watson

he Beach Hits Radio Music Festival kicked off on November 20 at Casino Beach. Everyone was invited to this free concert event. The live, beachside musical event showcased three incredible bands playing all original music. Tribe Zion kicked it all off under perfect beach weather conditions. Originally from Boulder, Colorado, this band has toured many states and opened for bands like The Wailers and The Dirty Heads. Following them was Ben Loftin & The Family. Formed in 2011 in Pensacola they offer a vibrant blend of pop, funk, soul, and reggae. The final performance of the evening was Pensacola’s own songwriter and entertainer, Matt Powell of Qwiet Type. “This was such a huge undertaking, with all the local video production talent and supporters, the volunteers, and especially a big thanks to Mr. James Hutto and the Island Authority for getting this Music Festival out there. It was just an astonishing day and a lot of fun. We hope that this can continue to grow bigger and better next year, and I can’t thank everyone enough,” said Matt Powell, owner and operator of Powell Entertainment. Amelia Dixon, Mimi Bogan & Jay Sanders


Ricky & Tina Bryson

Michael Perkinson & James Hutto

Lynn & Greg Larson

David & Melissa Anderson

Chris Zailo & Karen Ler with Sophie

RaeAnna Askfeldt & Courtney Cauley


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VIP Pensacola at Scenic Hills Country Club

Ed Carson & Daniel Morse

Jason Grusenski, Doug Jolly, Jay Kania & Billy Nelson

Fairways to Freedom


photos & story by Patti Hall

he Gulf Breeze Chamber hosted the Fairways to Freedom Golf Tournament at Scenic Hills Country Club on November 5. The annual military appreciation month event honors active duty military personnel and veterans. Honorary teams representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard compete against each other for the Fairways to Freedom Cup, as well as bragging rights. The fun and competitive tournament was powered by Gulf Power as the title sponsor. The morning started with a bloody mary bar sponsored by Granny Nannies and breakfast by Chick-fi l-A (Gulf Breeze). The tournament began with a shotgun start at 9:00am. Teams competed in a 4-person scramble for special awards, door prizes, and giveaways on all 18 holes. A BBQ lunch was provided.


Austin Barnett & Ira Rowe

Roger Hungerford & Ed Hume

Terry Smith & Cody Johnston

Seth Taylor, Jeff Rouillier, Chad Swails & Drew Ayres

Terry Williams & Ricky Morris


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Isaac LaBelle & Daniel Perales

Stacy Clearman, Roger Jackson & Zach Lewis

Christian Polster & Crystal Selover

Sean & Laura Cassell, Becky McCaa

Susan Clark & Grace Arneault

Terry Smith & Mason Bradley

Michele Wood, Lynda & Doug Hyland

Angela Ball & Larissa Coffey

Christie Oliver & Patti Hall

Brian Davidson, Robert Gleim & Michael Thomas December 2021 | 59

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VIP Pensacola at Perfect Plain Brewing

Pours and Encores photos & story by Kristina Wright


he Pensacola Opera offers several smaller events throughout the season, in an effort to bring the sounds of the Opera to those who may not otherwise hear it. On October 28, Perfect Plain Brewing Company and the Pensacola Opera teamed up for a night of Pints and Puccini, Beers and Berlioz, Lager and Lehár, and more. Pours and Encores is a happy hour destination like no other, bringing live performances into area bars and breweries. The Artists in Residence performed a lively selection of drinking songs, showtunes, and operatic selections while guests enjoyed their beverage of choice at the end of the workday. Pensacola Opera’s Artists in Residence program, now in its nineteenth season, continues to provide training and performance experience for young opera professionals. In residence from September through March, these artists perform comprimario roles and cover principal roles in the mainstage productions, sing for numerous educational and community outreach programs, and present an annual showcase at the Pensacola Opera Center. The Artists in Residence coach/pianist works as the music director for the educational outreach performances and serves as rehearsal pianist for mainstage productions. In addition to numerous performance opportunities, Artists in Residence also receive regular musical coaching from Pensacola Opera’s music staff, as well as guest coaches and voice teachers, who work to prepare these artists for a successful professional career.


Harold Weber & Petra Schuler

Sooz Cobb & Erin Moline

Lalla & Walter Pierce

Savannah Bailey & Kristen Carter

Matthew Faller & Benedict Leonardi

Cody Martin & Chandra McKern


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Ferraris of the Sea story by Anna Stockton


e’re all trying to get healthier these days, especially following the holidays when the scale might make you cry a bit and send you running to your computer for healthy eating options. Well dry those tears my friends, our Gulf Coast waters provide healthy options that can easily slide in to replace that burger and those chicken wings. Tuna is one of the more versatile Gulf offerings with taste and health benefits to boot. Tuna are truly impressive creatures. They’ve been described as “the Ferraris of the sea” due to their amazing speed, which has been clocked at up to 43 miles per hour. They have a torpedo shaped body for ultimate performance with dorsal and pectoral fins that can retract into slots to reduce drag, while their crescent shaped tail supplies the power. How’s that for the speed and performance? Their speedy nature allows tuna to be ambitious in their migration -- some even cruise between North American and European waters a few times a year. They’re also warm blooded, a rarity among fish, which allows them to travel between warm and cold waters with ease. Some tuna only breed in our Gulf waters -- they then swim on over to Europe to feed then head back to the

Gulf to breed again. Hmm, I wonder if our bushwackers have anything to do with that? Not only are they impressive in speed, these feisty fish can get very large -- up to 10 feet in length and as much as 1500 pounds to be exact. Much like many of us dealing with holidays stress, there are few things that tuna won’t eat. Although they indulge to fuel their bodies while we indulge because, well…because those sweets are just sitting there. The tuna’s meals consist of everything from crustaceans, smaller fish, eels, and squid. They’ve even been known to filter-feed zooplankton. Constant feeding is what it takes to keep these large fish on their journeys. Tuna has been a favorite food for humans for centuries. Unfortunately, overfishing has put the tuna’s population in danger over the years. Newer, better, and more efficient ways of fishing were developed, meaning tuna couldn’t replenish themselves as fast as they were being fished. This caused the stock of breeding age tuna to plummet. While conservation efforts have been put into place, illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing are still problems being addressed worldwide. December 2021 | 61

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Ahi Tuna Steaks


2 ahi tuna (yellowfin tuna) steaks (about 4 oz. each, at least 1.5” thick) 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil 1 tablespoon honey 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to taste 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) 1 tablespoon canola oil or olive oil green onions, toasted sesame seeds, and lime wedges for serving (optional) DIRECTIONS: Pat the ahi tuna steaks dry with a paper towel. Place on a plate or inside a plastic bag. Mix the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, honey, kosher salt (OMIT if marinating for more than a couple hours), pepper, and cayenne pepper until honey is fully dissolved. Pour over the ahi tuna steaks and turn over to coat completely. Heat a medium skillet (preferably non-stick or a well-seasoned cast iron skillet) on medium-high to high until very hot (medium to medium-high for nonstick). Give cast iron 3-5 minutes to get hot and nonstick about 1 minute, depending on how thick it is.

Add the canola oil to the hot pan. Sear the tuna for 2 minutes on each side for medium rare (1.5 minutes on each side for rare; 3 on each side for medium). (Note: different burners get hotter depending on your stove. Use your best judgement whether you use medium, mediumhigh, or high heat, as the marinade may burn if too high heat is used) Remove to a cutting board and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes. Slice into 1/2 inch slices and serve garnished with green onions, toasted sesame seeds, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice, if desired.

Legally caught tuna can be a great addition to your diet as it’s essentially a powerhouse of nutrition. It’s a great source of B12, helping to rebuild red blood cells, which is great if you’re anemic. It can also lower your cholesterol and concurrently lower your risk of heart disease. Tuna also helps prevent vision problems, possibly helps slowing the growth of tumor cells, and helps to reduce inflammation thanks to its large amount of omega 3 fatty acids. The high protein and low calories of tuna help maintain weight and maybe even help you lose some of those holiday pounds. The versatility of tuna makes it an easy dish to prepare. Pan searing, baking, and grilling are all delicious ways to cook tuna to get the most out of your meal. Other ways to enjoy tuna are in sushi as well as smoky tuna spreads. Make sure you look for the Marine Stewardship Council stamp on your tuna and any seafood you buy. This council works with fisheries, scientists, and seafood companies to ensure practices are followed so seafood can be enjoyed for generations. 62


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VIP Pensacola at Amtrack Station

Dave Glassman & Michelle Caldwell

Anthony & Sabrina Simpson

Carolyn Grawi & Christopher Grimm

Museum for Women Veterans Grand Opening


photos & story by Kristina Wright

n 2020 the City of Pensacola agreed to a 50-year lease of the existing Amtrak train station on Heinberg Street for the Monument to Women Veterans to establish a Museum for Women Veterans. The Monument to Women Veterans planned to restore and remodel the existing facility and maintain the building and grounds throughout the lease term. On November 10, the Monument to Women Veterans hosted the grand opening of their Museum for Women Veterans. After a year of planning and development, the museum, dedicated to women veterans, opened its doors. This family-friendly event was open to the public, featuring live music, food, and drinks, as well as special guest veteran speakers including Florida House Representative Michelle Salzman. The museum displays were provided in partnership with the University of West Florida Historic Trust and the National Naval Aviation Museum. The University of West Florida honored those who have served in the armed forces and showcased several unique displays from UWF’s library. Monument to Women Veterans is a 501c3 nonprofit organization leading the charge to recognize and empower women veterans and women currently serving in the military.

Blair & Cory Hinch, Juliette Davis

Nancy Prevot & Phil Ehr

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Melanie Dillon & Marilyn Shalk

Ron Helms & Brian Wyer


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VIP Pensacola at Marcus Pointe Baptist Church

Truth Rising Conference photos & story by Kevin L Houghton


arcus Pointe Baptist Church of Pensacola hosted the first “Truth Rising Conference” for all military and first responder spouses on November 13. It was a free event that offered messages of truth and encouragement, opportunities for women to create new relationships, find time to relax, and most of all, have fun! “Through networking and fellowship, we all know too well, military and first responder wives have a unique set of challenges,” said Tiffany Gardner. “This conference has now given them a new opportunity to meet like-minded women, share in their struggles, learn where to find hope, and leave feeling refreshed and restored.” Christie Costello, founder of Kimberly Tauer Foundation (KTF) and owner of Costello’s Butcher and Deli, was on hand and spoke about KTF, a nonprofit organization for women and children in our community, offering fellowship and encouragement. All attendees enjoyed lunch and desserts. Prizes included a 3-night condo stay on Pensacola Beach, several $100 gift cards, and a gift package from De NOVO Salon. Tiffany Gardner shared her goal for the conference saying, “We hope that we can continue to grow this conference larger each year, it’s so important that we share our encouragement to all our service and first responder wives in our community.”

Brittany Moulton & Tiffany Gardner

Christie Costello & Craig Hindsman

Theresa Nagel & Megan Bral

Kenya Wilbanks & Joan Coleman

Norma Garcia & Stefanie Barnes

Brittany Moulton, Mariangela Gordon, Tiffany Gardner, Chrissie Kenaston, Taylor Blackburn, Kristina Guadagnoli, Christie Costello, Mary Elaine Baker, Shawnee Trowbridge, Cassie Keever & Alyssa Gavulic 66


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VIP Pensacola at Clark Family Cultural Center

Julie Still-Rolin & Mia Bolden

photos & story by Kristina Wright

Jennifer Knisbell & Mandy Brown

T Robert Lambrisky & Flavo Souza

Conner Lawston & Molly O’Brien

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he Stamped Film Festival hosted a VIP Reception, immediately followed by the short fi lms mashup on Friday, November 12. Also presented were their selections for featurelength matinees, and another showing of the short fi lms mashup. Finally, Sunday was family friendly day, featuring fi lms that involve, or help to educate children and families in the LGBTQ+ community. Awards were given for Best Narrative and Best Documentary short and feature length fi lms, as well as Best Animation, and Audience Favorite. The Stamped Film Festival is dedicated to providing a vibrant cultural experience to Pensacola by using the unique expression of fi lms with a specific focus on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community to foster awareness, inclusion, and diversity. The Stamped Film Festival highlights the artistic contributions both nationally and internationally of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) fi lms and fi lmmakers. The unique ability of fi lm to transcend stereotypes and relate to the viewer opens the door to a dialogue about the LGBTQ experience, building a stronger and more open Pensacola.

Forrest Dixon & Elijah Leuth

Jamie Dickerman & Meredith Edwards

Gary Rhodes, Trudy King & Don Ruth


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LOCALE O IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area Announces 2021 Grant Recipients

IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area, a women’s philanthropic organization, recently announced the eleven grant recipients selected at this year’s Annual Meeting. The following nonprofit organizations will each receive a grant of $101,820 from the members of IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area.

ARTS, CULTURE & HISTORY • Pensacola Children’s Chorus, Inc. Project: PUMP UP THE VOLUME • Pensacola Lighthouse Association, Inc. dba Pensacola Lighthouse & Museum Project: Shining Light on Buried History EDUCATION • Escambia County Public Schools Foundation for Excellence, Inc. Project: Pensacola High School Innovation Center Revitalization • United Methodist Children’s Home dba Embrace Florida Kids Project: A Higher Education Home ENVIRONMENT, RECREATION & PRESERVATION • The Arc Gateway, Inc. Project: The Arc Gateway SHRED WORKS • Bream Fishermen Association, Inc. and PYC Satori Foundation, Inc. Project: Taking the Coast to the Kids – Improving our Waterways through Science and Recreation

FAMILY • Martha’s Vineyard Foundation, Inc. dba Vineyard Family House Project: Caring for Families in Crisis • Rally Foundation, Inc. Project: Rally Resource Room powered by IMPACT100 HEALTH & WELLNESS • Pace Center for Girls, Inc. Project: Girls Going Places • United for a Good Cause, Inc. Project: Hope Squad Peer-to-Peer Suicide • Prevention for Schools United Service Organization, Inc. Project: Pop-Up USO “Hundreds of IMPACT 100 members participated in the process to review each grant application, conduct site visits, and select finalists from each Focus Area Committee. We are so thankful for our members who participated and to our volunteer board who facilitated both the in-person and virtual committee meetings, enabling IMPACT 100 to continue serving the community we love,” stated Roz Leahy. With 1,120 members this year, IMPACT 100 was able to award $101,820 each to eleven nonprofit organizations in our community for a total impact of $1,120,020. In the 18 years since its inception, IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area has awarded 131 grants to 91 nonprofit organizations totaling $13,950,000.

Fill the Mayflower 2021 Food Drive Raises 105,000 Healthy Meals for Neighbors in Need

Food collected during Fill the Mayflower will be distributed through Manna’s programs and partners in the two-county area, which have experienced increased need for food assistance over the past year and a half. In response to the effects of coronavirus and Hurricane Sally, Manna has focused on supporting the needs of at-risk, vulnerable populations served pre-COVID-19, as well as those who find themselves in challenging financial situations and have unmet needs. “Over the course of the past two years, Manna has provided food to more than 66,000 people – double the number of people served in 2018 and 2019 combined,” said DeDe Flounlacker, Executive Director of Manna. “Fill the Mayflower raised the food and funds we need to help feed the hungry in the coming months. We’re so grateful to the Northwest Florida community for supporting this event and continuing to show an amazing capacity to help those in need.” “Many thanks to Jay and Jennifer Bradshaw, owners of Coastal Moving and Storage, for sponsoring Fill the Mayflower, and to our media sponsors Cat Country 98.7, NewsRadio, and WEAR,” said Flounlacker.

The Northwest Florida community united in the fight against hunger right before Thanksgiving for Manna’s largest food drive of the year, Fill the Mayflower. Generous donors brought food and funds to support Manna Food Bank. Donations from the twoday event will provide 105,000 healthy meals to neighbors in need in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

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Here are some of the many places

The Giving Spirit


story by Anna Stockton

he Pensacola area is so very

fortunate to have many charities to help our residents by promoting dignity, safety, basic needs, and the overall betterment of the community. As we celebrate this holiday season and reflect on our family, friends, and good fortune, we here at VIP Pensacola want to encourage readers to open up your hearts to a local charity of your choice. Generous donations of money, goods, and time allow these organizations to provide help to the residents of Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties, not just during the holiday season but throughout the year.

Studer Community Institute (850) 934-8444 220 Garden Street Suite 506 Pensacola, FL 32502 The Studer Community Institute, Inc. is dedicated to helping people understand and improve their community’s quality of life. The goal is to create a nonpartisan process that allows citizens to identify the critical issues needed to be addressed and to move forward. These issues include education, the economy, government, environment, health, culture, and entrepreneurship. The institute is a local source for research, education, and the use of dashboards to help build a better Pensacola metropolitan area. The Studer Community Institute is focused on improving our community’s quality of life. We do that by focusing on skill building for employees and businesses and creating tools and interventions to help parents understand the power and importance of early brain development. Wish List: Monetary Donations

Council on Aging of West Florida (850) 432-1475 PO Box 17066 Pensacola, FL 32522 The Council on Aging dedicates each day to serve, support, and advocate for aging adults in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. Offering programs such as: home delivered meals - nutritionally balanced meals delivered to homebound individuals, congregate meals - a neighborhood-based program which offers the opportunity for active adults to share their noon meal with others their age and to participate in recreational activities, nutrition education, arts and crafts, and other social activities. And in-home respite care – which provides the primary caregiver relief for a specified time-period from the constant, continued care of a functionally impaired older person in the home environment. Wish List: Volunteers, Monetary Donations



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where YOU can put a smile on so many faces --

Manna Food Pantry (850) 432-2053 3030 N E Street Pensacola, FL 32501 Manna Food Pantry offers emergency food assistance, services the food-related needs of vulnerable populations, and engages the entire community in the fight against hunger. They are community focused and volunteer supported. This organization distributed 456,234 pounds of food to approximately 20,269 needy individuals or 11,310 families throughout Escambia and Santa Rosa counties in northwest Florida by operating 3 pantries and many partnership programs with other agencies. Wish List: Monetary and Food Donations, Volunteers

Gulf Coast Kids House (850) 595-5800 3401 12th Avenue Pensacola, FL 32503 The Gulf Coast Kids House mission is to end child abuse and heal families through collaborative intervention, family support, and prevention education. They serve over 3,000 child victims of abuse through streamlined intervention and over 20,000 community members through prevention education. Wish List: Monetary Donations, Volunteers Honor H.E.R. Foundation (850)-444-8527 Honor HER is committed to providing meals, lodging, access to medical care and job placement services for identified women veterans who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless. They provide shelter and restore hope, honor, and dignity in every female veteran who seeks comfort, support, and assistance through their programs. Their focus is on homeless women veterans, both single and with families in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. They accomplish this through their service programs, volunteer efforts, and community education of the needs of veterans. Wish List: Monetary Donations, Volunteers

Society of St. Vincent de Paul (850) 434-6615 2200 W. De Soto Pensacola, FL 32505 The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is part of a worldwide organization of lay Catholic men and women who are committed to live and grow in their Christian faith through prayer and personal involvement in charitable works. The Society’s mission is accomplished through parish and community-based groups called conferences (volunteers) and programs called special works. The Society’s work includes any actions that promote the dignity of the person, alleviate suffering and distress, while correcting the conditions that cause them. Wish List: Volunteers, Monetary Donations

Pensacola Humane Society (850) 432-4260 5 N Q Street Pensacola, FL 32505 The Humane Society of Pensacola operates and maintains a no kill shelter and adoption center for homeless animals on private donations and fundraising activities. They receive no city, state, or federal government funding. Their staff cares for the abandoned or neglected animals until they go to good homes. Wish List: Dog/Cat Food, Carriers, Leashes, Collars, Pet Beds, Blankets, etc.

Thank you for your continued support. December 2021 | 71

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VIP Pensacola at Museum of Commerce

Thomas Kassabian & Melissa Stoker

Back: Tony Garrett, Colt Walden, Lance Kelly & Zack Smith Front: Katie Garrett, Meighan Hobbs & Suzie Kelly

The Order of Calliope’s


Halloween Ball photos & story by Kristina Wright

he Order of Calliope casted darkness over Downtown Pensacola for their 1st annual Halloween Ball at the Museum of Commerce. Guests were invited to experience indulgent and sinful cocktails. Music was in the air, palms were read, and tarot cards were turned. Prizes were given for best costume, and best dancer. The night was fi lled with goblins, ghouls, and costumes of all kinds, fi lling up the dance floor and bringing in the Halloween season. The Order of Calliope aims to bring together a diverse collection of those wishing to celebrate traditional carnival in a fun, engaging, and safe environment. Their main objective is to create a krewe that praises the unique qualities of their members and shine light on the elaborate festivities of the Mardi Gras heritage.


Crystal Caraballo & Elizabeth Kissel

Laura Tate & Nathan Williams

Danny & Jennifer Cook

Kelly Rhodes & Jessie Drossos

Laura Griffin, Lindsay Rozier, Katherine Murphy, Jennifer Mock & Lindsay Durtschi


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VIP Pensacola at Blue Wahoos Stadium

Pensacola Eggfest photos & story by Kevin L Houghton


he Pensacola Eggfest took place on Sunday, November 14 at Blue Wahoos Stadium. The stadium was fi lled with tents, the smell of BBQ, and Green Eggs aplenty. Shelly and Brian Gurney of Oregon traveled to Pensacola for a third time to defend their Iron Egg Chef Best in BBQ trophy. This event hosts BBQ teams and backyard cooks from all over the United States who share two things: the love of cooking and the joy of giving back to this community. Since 2013, over $420,000 has been donated to our local charities from this amazing BBQ party. People arrived on a cloudless sky to sample brisket, pulled pork, secret BBQ rubs, and other backyard favorites. As the judging continued through the afternoon, families and friends enjoyed good BBQ for a good cause.

Chris & Natalie Pelly

Matt Richardson & Daniel Gonzalez

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Shelly & Brian Gurney

Ian Kincade & Handsel Reid

Ty Hubbart, Brayden Dillard, Harrison Lewis, Kevin & Megan Lewis


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Michael Capps, Mary Rose Lee & Beth Skarda

Zachery & Sophia Goodyear, Theresa & Jesse Smith

Craig Norman, Christopher Powers, Steve Siege, Ben Frick & Edwin Jones

Sam & Erin Kirk

Jeff Gulsby & Venessa Correia

Rachael Gillette & Doug Jolly

Jennifer Harrison & Shawn Kessler

Chris Leverett, Jason Donnelly, Kevin Green & Jack Reid

Chris & Trina Turner

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VIP Pensacola at Pensacola Beach

Melisssa Levanduski, Lyndsey Gibson & Cyndi Mercer

Barbara Curry, Leata Sloan & Lorraine Lewis

Pink Pedal Party photos & story by Patti Hall

Richard & Debbie LeVaugh


he The Krewe du YaYas held the 8th Annual Pink Pedal Party at various bars across Pensacola Beach on November 13. The Pink Pedal Party is a fundraiser for the membership of the YaYas. Although a bit chilly, it was a beautiful day as over 250 participants pedaled from Sandshaker Lounge to Casino Beach Bar, then to The Dock, Paradise, and on to Bamboo Willie’s where lunch was served. After lunch participants went on to The Sandbar, and the last stop was the after-party, back at the Sandshaker. Among the many prizes was a “wagon of cheer” consisting of everything you need to make cocktails for 100 people. There were two grand prizes including a 2-night stay at Paradise with dinner and cocktails and a 2-night stay at Hampton Inn with dinner and cocktails. At each stop, Crazy Sevens Dice Game was played where the highest and lowest scorers received prizes. In addition to the Pink Pedal Party, the YaYas’ also host the Keeping Abreast Foundation’s 17th Annual One Stroke Closer to a Cure Golf Tournament.

Misty Rogers, Bill Strength & Susan Findley

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Jeri Cox, Michelle Phillips & Patti Ellingson


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Chandra Smiley

What is your hometown and how did you end up in Pensacola? I grew up in Baldwin County, Alabama. As a child, we would frequently come to Pensacola for fun – entertainment, shopping. After living in a handful of other cities in Florida, I chose to settle in Pensacola to be close to my family and raise my children. What is your profession? I am so honored to serve as the CEO of Community Health Northwest Florida. We are a Federally Qualified Health Care Center that serves as the primary medical home for over fifty-five thousand residents of Escambia and Santa Rosa counties regardless of circumstance, insurance status, or ability to pay. What are some of your favorite things about Pensacola? Saturday Palafox Markets, Gallery Nights, festivals, fun runs, listening to live music – no matter the season there is always something to do! Three words that best describe you. Compassionate, Focused, Loyal Favorite place to go in Pensacola? One of my favorite things to do is take a run through the Veterans Memorial Park and downtown, taking in the views and the historical architecture that symbolizes each era of our beautiful town. I love to go to Taste of Jerusalem for lunch, you can never go wrong with McGuire’s, and there is always something great to eat or fun to do at the beach. What is one thing that you do not go a day without?

photo by Kristina Wright

Connecting with my family. Finish this statement, I AM PENSACOLA because… There is no other place where you can experience rural wide open spaces in the morning and finish your day by watching the sun set on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Pensacolians are rooted in a history of true grit, and are full of character and charm. This is a place where neighbors still help each other, and when the chips are down we have each other’s back.

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