VIP Pensacola, January 2020

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5033 N 12th Avenue ï Pensacola, FL 32504 (850) 477≠ 6818 ï Hours: Mon ≠ Fri: 9:30am ≠ 6:00pm | Sat: 10:00am ≠ 6:00pm | Sun: Closed

Forevermark Engagement & Commitment Collection Our vow to you is that each uniquely inscribed Forevermark diamond is beautiful, rare and responsibly sourced.

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Forevermark Icon™ Oval Diamond Engagement Ring with Diamond Band in Platinum

I t a ke yo u, unt i l fo reve r

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Todayí s Hits and

Yesterdayí s Favorites 06 cumulus.indd 1

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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty has expanded once again! G012/%34/5,+610,(7/7'890(:/12'/;-'865*/<,671/0(/=086-68/#'6+2H/.0+'9055'H/&'(76+,56H %6(16/>,76/#'6+2H/6(*/(,!/DEC)/#>;;F;I/&5'67'/2'5J/K7/!'5+,-'/12'7' 165'(1'*/8'65/'7161'/6:'(17/1,/12'/#'8L7208'/$6126!6M/1'6-"

.,!/!012/%34/5,+610,(7/7'890(:/12'/;-'865*/<,671 =3>?=?>/#;?<$/ 9375 Emerald Coast Parkway, Unit 18 | (850) 267≠ 0050 %?.@?/>A%?/#;?<$ 7684 W. County Highway 30A | (850) 267≠ 0013 .3<;B3CC;/ 1073 E. John Sims Parkway Suite | (850) 729≠ 0176 &;.%?<AC? 8775 Foxtail Loop | (850) 944≠ 3700 &;.%?<AC? 17 W. Cedar St. | (850) 434≠ 2244 DEC)/#>;;F; 836 Gulf Breeze Parkway | (850) 932≠ 6278


Commercial and Residential Real Estate Group

©2019 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 HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.Æ Equal Housing Opportunity.

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events 13 Glitz & Glam - The Opera Fashion Show 16 Under the Lights: Farm to Table 19 Seville Quarter Wine & Food Festival 22 McPlayroom Ribbon Cutting 30 81st Annual Camellia Flower Show 39 Rotary Holiday Celebration 42 Down to Derby Benefit 46 Ever’man Grand Opening 48 Thanks A Million and More Luncheon 51 IPS Holiday Happy Hour 56 Cox Pensacola 2019 Christmas Parade 58 Covenant Care Holiday Soirée 61 Krewe of LaFitte’s Pirates Storm the Brewery 63 Greater Pensacola Chamber Business After Hours 72 5th Annual Women United Tacky Sweater Social 74 Wine & Whiskers Holiday Open House 76 Wreaths of Joy

departments 24 32 36 44 54 66 68 78

Adventure Out Style Coastal Cuisine Swizzle Give Care Share Save the Date Locale I Am Pensacola

features 26 Newlyweds of Pensacola Get an inside look at the gorgeous White-Shore wedding at Scenic Hills.

business profiles 64 Powell Entertainment

on the cover

;<!/!(1&-,+$-/>.-?? !"#$%&'() Greg Alexander


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

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!)+4",.%+1/34%.+) Jessica Graña *45().%&%12 Steve Barber Missy Kimbrough Verla Price Penny Stricklin

6(&%21() Priscilla Atkins Sheila McDiarmid 7+1.)%#".%12/8)%.()&9 !'+.+2)-:'()& Mary Aho Greg Alexander Courtney Murray Verla Price Catherine Rowan Kristina Wright ;<!/=+"14() Jeff Watson January 2020 | 9

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Happy New Year 2020! Cheers!


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that make our area the destinationwedding mecca it has become. With the arrival of 2019, we eagerly look forward to signature winter events along the Emerald Coast. Cultural activities, fun festivals, lecture series, athletic events, and weddings. There’s always something happening on our sugarwhite shores. Here’s what’s up on the Emerald Coast… January kicks off with Happy New Year 2020… WOW! A New Year and a New Decade. Our January Art Wave,with a modern and sophisticated Issue celebrates New Beginnings our Wedding Issue. New beginnings for bazaar celebrating local artists, sipping newlyweds and new beginnings for a wonderful new year and the beginning of a photo by Scott Schaeffler and shopping at Bubbly Baytowne, new decade. and Destin Desserts benefiting the Girl In January we get a fresh startofand goals for a new beginning Scouts theset Florida Panhandle, just to and it’s a time name a few. to reflect and prepare for a new year. Here’s what’s up on the Emerald Coast… January kicks off with the Pensacola Orchestra’s Beethoven Blue on the Emerald Couples areSymphony creating memories every day with& weddings OurBig January issueBig is one of the most anticipated issues of the year with a Jeans and The Big Gala Coast. benefiting Brothers Sisters of Northwest Florida. concentration on all things wedding related in the area. Many of our advertisers Others include: The Downtown Trolley Dinner, the Pensacola Humane Society’s are weddingCordova based businesses. Be sure to check outFor wedding editorials from our Fat Cat Social, and the 25thAnnual Mall Ball, just to name a few. advertisers. more events visit our online calendar at Swizzle features Ice Champagne which changes champagne sipping as you Check out Give Care Share about completes The First Tee Northwest know to it,learn and Imore Am Destin our of Wedding issue with a spotlight on Florida and all their good work. Both Swizzle and Coastal Cuisine feature Destin event planner and restaurateur, Nicki Cox.great ideas for weddings, and Adventure explores theNew TinyYear Wedding trend. Take timeOut to enjoy all the activities, get out and enjoy all the winter events our areaget hasout to offer. Enjoy your issue of VIP Take time to enjoy all the January activities, and experience allJanuary of the events our areaDestin has to offer. Enjoy Magazine…and we look forward to seeing you again next month. your January Issue of VIP Pensacola… we look forward to seeing you again next month.

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A Special Thanks to our 2018 Cover Reveal Sponsor


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VIP Pensacola at New World Landing

The Opera Fashion Show photos & story by

Kristina Wright


ensacola Opera presented their Glitz & Glam Opera Fashion Show on December 5 at Skopelo’s at New World Landing. Guests were encouraged to enrich their opera and date night wardrobes with a luncheon fashion show featuring celebrity models, evening gowns, and cocktail dresses. Also available was an opportunity to shop a pop-up vendor area before the show featuring local shops and boutiques, and two complimentary glasses of champagne. VIP guests were treated to an early-entry shopping experience with the first look at the silent auction items. The Fashion Show featured over 50 local models in evening gowns and cocktail dresses. The runway show also featured casual and formal wear looks for men.

Christina Hawkins & Shirley Cronley

Jan Peterson & Sue- Sue Sherrill

Helen McDaniel & Josie Keck

Jennifer Jackson Keating & Debbie Ciano

Christin Mathis & Shannon Evans

Karen & Kelly Emmons January 2020 | 13

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VIP Pensacola at Glitz & Glam - The Opera Fashion Show

Scott Remington, Chris Crawford & Robert Bellanova

Truli Hartley, Jessica Reeder & Meighan Hobbs

Yvonne Boudreaux, Tracy Taramito, Jo Rich, Jen Rogers & Jessica Salter


Carter Lackey & Sue Binion

David & Eva Maloney

Angela D’Alessandro & Misty Ladnier

Sabrina Shaw & Patricia Russo

Dee Dee Davis, Catrina Crowe, Jenny Noonan & Karen Huang

Patricia Windham & David Dear


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Chandra McKern & Don Ruth

April Lackey, Sara Stackpole & Stephanie Taunton

Tina Tortomase & Jan Miller

Lyndi Kessler, Marte Picker & Lydia Abram January 2020 | 15

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VIP Pensacola at Wahoos Stadium


!"#$%&'%(")*+ photos & story by Kristina Wright


nder the Lights: Farm-to-Table was held on November 15 at Blue Wahoos Stadium. Ticketholders were treated to a one-of-a-kind dinner experience featuring a menu designed by celebrated executive Chef James Briscione. The full-course, family-style farm-to-table dinner was held on the field at Admiral Fetterman Field, giving ticketholders a chance to experience the ballpark from a perspective typically reserved for baseball players. Guests were treated to a menu highlighting fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, artfully prepared by Executive Chefs James Briscione and Travis Wilson, with wine selected by Brooke Parkhurst. James Briscione is a chef, author, and Food Network personality. He was the first-ever two-time Chopped champion and is the host of the award-winning Food Network digital series Man Crafted. Brooke Parkhurst is a novelist, cookbook author, and former host of ABC’s internet and digital cable food series. She is a noted wine speaker and entertainment personality. Brooke and James regularly appear on Dr. Oz and have been featured guests on The Today Show and Fox & Friends. Together, they authored the best-selling book The Flavor Matrix, a revolutionary new guide to understanding and creating flavor. Their follow-up cookbook, Flavor for All, will be published in 2020. They opened Angelena’s Ristorante Italiano in downtown Pensacola in the spring of 2019.

Chef James Briscone, Brooke Parkhurst & Chef Travis Wilson

Felicia Schneidman & Lindsey Spalding 16

Kevin & Jihan Cote

Nisarg & Katie Parikh

Doug & Margaret Dasinger

Butch & Lee Hansen, Judie Zitzewitz & Robyn Rose


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January 2020 | 17

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VIP Pensacola at Seville Quarter


photos & story by Kristina Wright

eville Quarter hosted their 9th annual Wine and Food Festival on November 17, featuring amazing local food paired with fantastic wines from around the world. Festival-goers enjoyed over two-hundred handpicked wines served throughout Seville Quarter’s beautiful and historic entertainment complex. Great cuisine, live entertainment, bourbon and microbrews were on the experience menu. In addition to the savory wines, Seville Quarter and Cheney Brothers Food Distributors teamed up with selected local restaurants and executive chefs to provide different culinary tasting dishes that complemented the featured wines. This year’s culinary partners that provided the food tastings were Crabs on the Beach, Flounder’s Chowder House, Mike D’s Culinary Productions, The Butcher Shoppe, Craft Gourmet Bakery, Seville Quarter, and The District: Seville Steak & Seafood. The festival also included a Champagne and Oyster Bar, as well as grilled ribeye sliders from The Butcher Shoppe paired with big, bold reds in the End O’the Alley Courtyard. To round out the festival, there was a Small Batch Bourbon Room and a Tap Handle Takeover with a microbrew tasting area. Top-notch entertainment was provided from several local musicians, including 18 String Army, Jack Grimley, Lyon & Morris, and Vintage 30.

Dianne Bakarian, Daniel Rogers & Ruth Holman

Shelley & Steve Black

Kelly Hogrede, Meaghan Leonard & Sarah Dowlatkhah

Buck Mitchell & Tim Kinsella

James & Donna Tormey January 2020 | 19

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VIP Pensacola at Seville Quarter Wine and Food Festival

Lyndi & Dave Kessler

Rick Vittoz & Dana Tripoli

Joe Abston, Aimee Wilson & Ed Smith

Lisa & Paul Knutson

April King & Bennett Griffith

Kathy Dreadin, Andra Morgan & Rebecca Dickinson

Angel Harp, Cathy Harp, Sara & Dillon Stackpole

Don Ruth, Gary Rhodes, Preston Murphy, Jason Ivanovic & Matthew Newton

Jamie Dittmer & Holly Casart

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Everyone has a style... Let's find yours!

Contact me for a complimentary consultation Tonya Zimmern, Realtor

TONYA ZIMMERN TEAM Keller Williams Gulf Coast Realty 850.293.9959

Rachael Lane ∑ 850.741.2310

Julie Smith, Senior Loan Officer NMLS #1201785 FL #LO26332

AMERICAN MORTGAGE SERVICE CO. C: 850≠ 501≠ 5851 | O: 850≠ 462≠ 8645

Find us on Facebook & Instagram January 2020 | 21

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VIP Pensacola at Studer Family Children’s Hospital

McPlayroom Ribbon Cutting Ceremony !"#$%&&'()*!+*,"$-.")/(," photos & story by Kristina Wright


osta Enterprises-McDonald’s hosted their ribbon cutting ceremony and celebratory luncheon to commemorate the opening of the new “McPlayroom,” located in the Ronald McDonald House Family Room at the Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart on December 3. The Ronald McDonald House Family Room opened earlier this year in the newly built Studer Family Children’s Hospital, and is an extension of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Florida. The Family Room is a 2,800-square-foot space located next to the neonatal intensive care unit on the second floor of the children’s hospital. The space includes an open living room, dining room, a full kitchen, three bathrooms, a shower room, a laundry room, computer area, and three private bedrooms for overnight accommodations when families need to be seconds away from their children who are in critical condition. The newly added “McPlayroom” will offer children of the Ronald McDonald House families a place to unwind, relax, play, and have fun while their siblings or family members are being cared for in the hospital. Costa Enterprises also incorporated some of their signature playland décor, similar to what you would find in one of their restaurants, into the new “McPlayroom.” Judy Burns, Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Florida spoke on behalf of the organization stating, “We want this to be a home away from home for the entire family. We’ve seen a tremendous need for this space since the children’s hospital opened, and we are so blessed to be able to help more families than ever before.” The community was invited to attend the official ribbon cutting ceremony with Costa Enterprises, the Greater Pensacola Chamber, Ronald McDonald House, and the Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart. The ceremony was also followed by a complimentary appreciation luncheon provided by McDonald’s. “We feel very lucky to sponsor the playroom whose goal is to provide a sense of home and normalcy for those families who need it most,” said David Costa Sr., president of Costa Enterprises. “As a company, we strive to bring joy and a “I’m Lovin’ It” sense of living to kids and families in order to keep spirits high and a smile on everyone’s face, even in the hardest of times.”

David Costa Jr. & Steven Killebrew

Sara Lefevers & Natalie Ales

Kevin McKone & Jackie Wells

Judy Burns, David & Helen Costa 22

Steve Gampher, Will Condon & Dawn Rudolph


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story by Courtney Murray


our wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. As the years go by, weddings have become increasingly extravagant and the price tag just continues to go up and up. However, there is a new trend that is headed in the opposite direction. Tiny weddings. Instead of spending a small fortune on your nuptials, many young people are choosing to save that money and form a nest egg for their future. They are forgoing the usual traditions and trappings that the wedding industry has convinced couples they “need” and they are blazing the trail towards scaled down weddings. If stressing over the perfect seating arrangement and choosing passed hors d’oeuvres that fit into everyone’s gluten free/lactose intolerant/vegan dietary needs doesn’t sound like your style, a tiny wedding might be just what you are searching for. You don’t need to sacrifice your dream wedding when trimming down your budget; instead focus on the key elements that mean the most to you and your significant other. By streamlining your wedding budget you can have what you are most passionate about be the focal point. Have your dress be the star of the show if you are a fashionista, you can hire the artistic photographer you’ve been following on Instagram for years, or if you live and breathe food and Chopped is always on at your house, you can have a sit-down gourmet 4-course dinner. These are the specialty options you have if you only have 30 guests instead of 300. 24


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Many couples who are focusing on what will create an intimate and special experience on their wedding day turn to DIY. 15 years ago a young bride would be cutting out photos from bridal magazines and saving articles for her scrapbook. In today’s Pinterest age, there are limitless ideas just a click away. Couples are bonding over making their own floral arrangements and favors. Backyard chic weddings are on the up rise as well. When you bring in some long farm tables and hang some twinkling market lights, it’s magical to dine and dance with your friends and families under the stars. Micro-style weddings aren’t only changing the way people get married, it’s changing the whole wedding industry. Venues are now having to adjust to the concept of smaller scale weddings to accommodate couples with this vision. Some venues are providing all-inclusive wedding packages that give couples the necessities without all of the extra accoutrements. A traditional wedding can be stressful to plan on top of using a lot of your time, money and energy. Which is leading a lot of brides towards choosing a more simple approach that celebrates what matters the most; your love for one another. Some other things that come along with a tiny wedding are fewer guests, a smaller budget, more flexibility and creativity. There are even companies who can make your wedding dreams come true in just a few days with a pop up wedding. So if you are ready to shed the typical trappings of an extravagant wedding, try going tiny!

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Newlyweds of Pensacola

photography by Salt & Light Visuals

Olivia Sarah White & Bryan Joel Shore

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Married On !"#$%&'%()&* Ceremony Location +,#$%-./$01%2#,1$3%4$15.3,01%65"/75'%+$#087.98 Reception Location :7$#,7%;,990%6."#1/<%69"= Parents of the Bride >,7?%@%A815,$%B5,1$ Parents of the Groom B,99,8C%:5./$%@%+8"9,#$%D5.CE0.# First Dance Song F+/8<$3%-./%G."H%=<%4811%:1$99%

Newlyweds of Pensacola

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In the Beginning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VIP Pensacola at University of West Florida Conference Center


!"#$%%&"'(%)*$+',-)* photos & story by Kristina Wright


he Pensacola Camellia Club has a show and plant sale every year on the second weekend in December. Hobbyists from at least five states enter over 1,000 blooms in what is considered to be one of the top shows in the Southeast. The blooms are placed into two categories: those that are grown in a protected greenhouse environment, and those that are grown outdoors; as most home owners would landscape their home garden. Camellia blooms vary greatly in color, form, and size. The show is open to entries from any camellia grower whether you have only one bush or hundreds. Everyone is encouraged to participate. There is a classification of “novice� for new camellia growers to compete for prizes with their blooms. If your plant does not normally bloom in the month of December, club members are available with easy to follow instructions to force your plants to bloom early. Membership is not a requirement for attending meetings or placing blooms in the show. The club also collected donations for the local Toys for Toys toy drive.


Ingrid & Carl Backman

LeAnna Brennan & Michele Kobielnick

Marte Picker & Sally Leonard

Rita Elebash & Rita Perling

Christi Hankins & Mack Thetford

Pam & Clay Townsend


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Vicky Stever & Wen Livingston

John Davy, Vickie & Al Baugh

Paul Bruno, Neil McMillian & Alan McMillian

2nd Lt. Eric Davis, 2nd Lt. Travis Watson & 2nd Lt. Josh Cline January 2020 | 31

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Wedding Trends


for the new year

1 The Dress Lace, sleeves, organic necklines, and flowing fabrics are all making appearances. 2 Blue Suit A departure from the traditional black suit, grooms and groomsmen are opting for a navy look as the new neutral.


3 Oversized Floral Arrangements Bouquets, table settings, and décor are all going big to make a huge statement. 4 Outdoor Lighting Whether you’re having a garden party reception or an indoor soirée, setting the mood with beautiful, warm outdoor string lighting is a simple and elegant way to create the perfect venue. 5 Flower Wall Backdrops Floral walls are the perfect backdrop for vows, dancing, photos, and toasts. Go white for a classic, modern feel, or choose sunset colors for a gorgeous block of color. 6 Custom Invites The invitations, envelopes, save the dates, and even the menus all get custom designs to match the couple and the décor. 7 Floral Cake Modern cakes topped with edible flowers in sunset tones for bold pops of color. 8 Hair Accessories Pins, barrettes, flowers, pearls, and combs are all the perfect finishing touch to a classy loose braid, bun or ponytail.

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Wedding Brunch story by Mary Aho


edding season is upon us. While the ceremony is the most important part of a wedding, the reception is always anticipated as well. The reception is not only for celebrating with toasts and dance but wonderful food is always involved. While some couples decide to have a traditional wedding in all aspects, many couples are going for less traditional routes when it comes to their big day. That includes the menu. This year, one of the big trends we are seeing is an early wedding followed by a reception with a brunch menu. Here are some ideas to have a successful brunch wedding reception your guests are sure to enjoy. Like any great brunch, we need to start with cocktails. There are two brunch cocktail staples, a good bloody mary and mimosas. Setting up a build your own bloody mary and mimosa bar is the way to go. The set up for both is pretty similar and simple. The Bloody Mary bar needs vodka, a bloody mary tomato juice base, and plenty of toppings. Toppings like pickled vegetables, hot sauce, and protein like shrimp and bacon are all good choices. It can be as simple or adventurous as you choose. For mimosas, you will need champagne, a variety of juice, and add-ins. Some ideas are fresh fruit, rock candy, and syrups. Get creative and make it your own. Once you have a cocktail, it’s time for food. The possibilities are endless when it comes to brunch. The best thing about brunch is the lack of rules that come 36

with it. Having a mix of savory and sweet items on your menu gives you plenty of variety. An easy way to make sure you have both is a biscuit bar. Biscuits are easy to make and so versatile. They are the perfect base to build a tasty brunch entrĂŠe. Start with a basic biscuit. Then you can have a variety of flavored butters and jams. Syrup, honey and fresh fruit are also great toppings. If you prefer a savory biscuit, have options like fried chicken, sausage, and ham. You can also have toppings like mustard, gravy, and pickles. In addition to a biscuit bar, have other easy options. Fresh fruit is so easy and delicious. Serve it with yogurt and granola for mini parfaits. A charcuterie board is always a stunning addition to a brunch spread. They look amazing, they are easy to make, and everyone always loves them. Finger sandwiches like chicken salad and pimento cheese on croissants are a nice savory element. Mini quiche, bacon, and muffins are all good bite sized options to have as well. There are so many opportunities to be creative with a brunch menu.


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When it comes to a wedding cake, we are seeing more and more that people are going the less traditional route. A big trend for wedding dessert now is doughnuts. Doughnuts are the perfect addition to any brunch menu, especially a wedding brunch menu. There are two big ways we are seeing doughnuts at weddings. The first and easiest option is a doughnut tower. You start with a circle of doughnuts and stack them up in a circle getting smaller and smaller until you’ve built a pyramid. The second option is a doughnut wall. You take a pegboard and hang the doughnuts to display them. While not traditional, it is a fun, whimsical way to toast the happy couple. When you go to create your wedding brunch menu, just have fun and remember to have variety. Brunch is meant to be laid back with no rules. No matter how you choose to brunch your guests will enjoy your delicious menu.

Biscuits !"#$%&'%"()

3 cups all-purpose flour 3 tbsp sugar 1/2 tsp salt 4 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp cream of tartar 3/4 cup COLD butter 1 egg 1 cup whole milk


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. The secret to excellent biscuits is COLD BUTTER. Really cold. Many times the Sprinkle some flour on to the top of dough so it won’t biscuit dough gets worked so much that the butter softens stick to your fingers and knead 10-15 times. If the before the biscuits even go in the oven. Try cutting the butter dough is super sticky just sprinkle on some additional into small pieces and stick back in the fridge pulling out only flour. when ready to incorporate into the dough. 5. Pat the dough out to 3/4 - 1 inch thickness and cut with 1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. a biscuit cutter or glass. I ended up with nine this time 2. Use a pastry cutter to cut cold butter into flour mixture. but depending on who is snacking on biscuit dough, I Don’t go too crazy here - you want to see small, peacan get up to 12 biscuits. sized pieces of butter throughout the dough. 6. Place the biscuits on a lightly greased baking sheet or 3. Add in the milk and egg and mix just until the parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 ingredients are combined. The dough will be sticky minutes or until golden brown on top. but don’t keep working it. You should be able to see the For extra yumminess, brush the tops of the biscuits with butter pieces in the dough. melted butter... 4. Turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface. January 2020 | 37

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12/26/19 1:45 PM

VIP Pensacola at Pensacola Yacht Club

Rotary Holiday Celebration photos & story by Kristina Wright


he Rotary Club of Gulf Breeze hosted their Holiday Dinner at Pensacola Yacht Club on December 3. An annual festive celebration of fellowship and service to the community that is expertly organized by Club Service Officer Jeanne Prange, and her assistant Aimee Dumas, this year’s Holiday Dinner set a record for attendance; as well as highlighting the Club’s generous community engagement. With 140 members and founded in 1973, Gulf Breeze Rotary focuses on community service, as well as international service, with weekly meetings and monthly social gatherings. Gulf Breeze Rotary is part of Rotary International, the motto of which is “Service Above Self.” Gulf Breeze Rotary, like all other Rotary Clubs, strives to do just that while having great fun in the process. The evening featured gifts of 76 toys to Families First Network Toy Collection, a local program that provides toys for children who might not otherwise receive any during the holidays. Led by Gulf Breeze Rotarian Lee Brown, this year’s donation campaign compiled the most gifts ever collected by the Club throughout the existance of the program. At the dinner, Club President-Elect Bobby Potomski spoke of the great success of this Rotary year’s campaign to raise funds to support scholarships for deserving Gulf Breeze Rotary High Schoolers. More than $50,000 in pledges has been raised since the campaign kick-off in July 2019, propelling the club toward an eventual endowment for the Gulf Breeze Rotary Scholarship Foundation which since 1986 has awarded more than $800,000 in scholarships to nearly 200 graduating Gulf Breeze High School Seniors. Gulf Breeze Rotary honored a number of Rotarians who distinguished themselves by notable generosity to The Rotary Foundation and service to our community. Our Gulf Breeze Rotary Citizen of the Year for 2019-2020, Mayor Cherry Fitch, was honored at the dinner. Other notable honorees included Gulf Breeze Rotary’s four active charter members Gerry Brown, Bob Moulton, Eugene Presley, and Jim Reeves, as well as ten Paul Harris Fellow awards (Rotary’s premier recognition for service and philanthropy): Mike Stahl, Paul Stanley, Laura Magan, Patricia Russo, Kerry Anne Schultz, Jarrod Dawson, Aimee Dumas, Mike Egan, Michael Hoeflich, and Skip Snow. The evening concluded with the induction by Club President John Adams of two new members into the Noble Order of Sabrage, the art of opening a bottle of champagne with a saber: Patrick Saden and Dana Britt successfully decapitated bottles of Veuve Cliquot, sharing the delicious beverage with admiring and enthusiastic friends.

Beverly & Tom Vaughn

Jeremy Diamond & Dana Brent

Katie & Tory Sokul

Bonnie & Hal George

Skip Snow, Bill Delauan, Mark Denunzio & Paul Stanley January 2020 | 39

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VIP Pensacola at Rotary Holiday Celebration

Beau & Chloe Vignes

Sherrie Snider, Wes & Carolyn Reeder

Buz Eddy & Cheri Fitch

Woody Bradshaw, Katie Bradshaw & Jim Reeves 40

Jasmine Hunt & Maggie Davis

Mac & Brooke Hagan

Bobby & Hong Potomski

Monica Schneider & Brenda Penton

Jarrod & Kate Dawson

Nicklaus Williams-Heath, Aimee Dumas & Sid Williams-Heath


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12/27/19 8:55 AM

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12/26/19 1:46 PM

VIP Pensacola at Pensacola Little Theatre

!"#$%&"%!'()*%+'$',-& photos & story by Catherine Rowan


ensacola Little Theatre in Downtown Pensacola went to Churchill Downs and hosted their annual Raffle Benefit for their education programs. The Down to Derby Benefit went all out with big hats, Pensacola Little Theatre performances, Derby-inspired food and drinks, and a grand prize of two VIP tickets to the Kentucky Derby! This benefit directly supports PLT’s arts education programs, including classes, summer programs, and scholarships. Pensacola Little Theatre is committed to inspiring and challenging artists and audiences with diverse and stimulating programs of the highest standard and excellence.

Aimee Dumas & Jasmine Hunt

Katelyn Gen, Michaela Jacobs & Hannah Sharpe 42

Dee Barlow & Celeste Whisenant

Sid & Nick Williams-Heath

Delaney Dean, Anthony Broughton & Rendrah Wellman


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Susan Clark & Adam Myrick

Misty Stevens & Sharron Ellison

Ariane Gambold & Penny Duffey

Ms. Gross & Jessica Andrade

Jo McArthur & Brittany Simpson

Ashley McGlothren & Lynn Mitchell

John Switzer & Kitt Lough

Holiday Whisenant & Dave Clark

Katie Schutts & Cilia Barrett

Susan Jacobs, Sue-Sue Sherrill, Chris Heaney & Cilvia Switzer January 2020 | 43

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12/26/19 1:47 PM

!"#$%&"'("))%*+',-./$0%1#' 0*)'2-./$0%1# story by Courtney Murray


ou’ve said yes to the perfect dress. The band has been chosen and the buffet menu picked. You’ve tasted every possible cake option and the song list is set. You’ve found your soulmate and it is time for one of the most important days of your life. It’s the moment that you are forever joined with the love of your life….and now it is time to celebrate! No wedding is complete without drinks, and these days they can be as over the top as your nuptials. Most people choose to serve beer and wine during the reception. Some opt to have open bar and really let loose. Many couples choose to do a signature cocktail at their reception. This is where you can let your creativity really shine. From engraved glasses to creative names, a signature cocktail is a festive way to showcase your style as a couple to your guests. Cocktails are another way to incorporate your wedding theme as well. Try serving a martini in your color scheme or accenting your drink with a fruit, flower or garnish. You’ve put hours upon hours of research into your wedding from pouring over fabric swatches for bridesmaids dresses to wracking your brain for the perfect heartfelt vows to recite to your future spouse; so don’t let the bar become an afterthought. Beautifully drawn chalkboard signs and creative drink tags with your newly married name and the recipe give a personal touch. Another fun way to have your beverages stand out is to tie them into the season.

44 |

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January 2020 | 45

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12/26/19 1:48 PM

VIP Pensacola at Ever’man Cooperative Grocery & Café, 9 Mile Road

Everí man Grand Opening 9 Mile photos & story by Kristina Wright

Sonja Johnson & Regine Krammel


ver’man Cooperative Grocery & Café, Pensacola’s leading organic grocer, hosted the grand opening of their second location at 1000 E. Nine Mile Road on December 11. Boasting natural, locally sourced food and selfcare products, Ever’man has served as Pensacola’s hub of all things health and wellness for nearly 50 years. The downtown location features a cafe with a large selection of ready-to-eat options. It’s educational center holds classes, seminars, and workshops focused on nutrition, fitness, and environmental impacts. “Throughout the years, Ever’man has been known as the local experts on organic, natural and minimally processed food,” said William Rolfs, general manager. “We work hard to take the guesswork out of buying groceries. One of our core beliefs is to help educate our community about food and environmental issues affecting our lives. We do this in many ways including classes, support groups, cooking demonstrations, bi-monthly newsletters, store signage, attending community events, and our knowledgeable employees.” By supporting the rapidly expanding growth on the north side of Pensacola, Ever’man is fulfilling its mission to create a healthier, vibrant community. The uptown store will offer all current services from the downtown store, plus new features like a pizza bar, burrito/taco bar, hand dipped gelato, sushi, and kombucha on tap. There will be an expanded coffee presence as well as a beer and wine bar. Plans also call for a second Educational Center in the near future. The grand opening of the uptown store began with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 9:00am, followed by food demos and samples, Grand Opening specials, store tours, kombucha tastings, and afternoon craft beer and wine tastings. The first 100 customers received a special gift, as well as entry in free raffles and giveaways. Grand Opening festivities continued from Wednesday morning through Saturday evening. Ever’man Cooperative Grocery & Café is more than a store. Pensacola’s community food co-op helps people eat well, feel good, and live better. Everyone is welcome to shop, and membership has perks like exclusive deals and voting rights.

Bradley Sanders & Megan Chapman

Dr. Sandra Winborne & Angelia Newsome

Kaya Man & Lindsey Steck 46

Sioux & Jim Hepburn, Tammy Rolfs & Laura Porter


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William Rolfs, Argie & Dave DeBlander

Larry Adams, Mayor Grover Robinson & John Tice

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850.477.2901 4220 N Davis Hwy Bldg A Pensacola FL. 32504 Cheryl Murphy, Kirk Waters & Audrey Preston January 2020 | 47

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12/26/19 1:49 PM

VIP Pensacola at The Lewis Bear Company

photos & story by Kristina Wright


he Bear Family Foundation hosted their “Thanks a Million and More Luncheon” where the family gave out almost $2.8 million to 40 area organizations. Among the major donations was a $300,000 donation to the Pace Center for Girls, $500,000 to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida, and $1.75 million presented to the Studer Family Children’s Hospital. This is a significant portion of the $4.5 million needed to construct a dedicated pediatric oncology unit, which will have between nine and twelve beds on the first floor of the hospital. Big Brothers Big Sisters will use their gift for their new Bear Family Foundation Center for Hope, said CEO Paula Shell. The donation was part of a matching grant to help construct the center, which serves as safe meeting spaces for matches. The Pace Center for Girls will use their donation to construct an addition onto their facility and remodel the kitchen. When completed, the center will be able to make breakfast and lunch for the girls in their own kitchen, instead of bringing it in from area schools. They’ll also have more room for programs for GED assistance, as well as career placement and maintenance. The foundation is made up of Bear, his wife Belle Yates Bear, along with their children and their spouses. The foundation gave its first grants in 2003, and through the years has donated a total of $8.1 million to area organizations.


David & Cindi Bear

Paula Shell & Laverne Baker

Jenn & Lewis Bear III

Chris & Jenny Roney

Fran Gersin & Trudy Campbell

Adrienne Maygarden & Will Condon


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Isabella DiPhilippo & Kristina Fairchild

Belle Bear, Marny Needle & Mary Hoxeng

Connie Bookman & Lumon May

Keri Smayda, DeDe Flounlacker & Stacey Kostevicki

Christina Hawkins & Laurie Rodgers

Rick Appleyard & Dick Appleyard

Cristina Williams, Lewis Bear & Brian Williams

Robin Zimmern & Sid Williams-Heath

Judy Barnes & Summer Jimmerson

Verla Price, Vanessa Mayes & Lee Hansen January 2020 | 49

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12/27/19 11:14 AM

VIP Pensacola at Seville Quarter

Iron Plan Solutions

!"#$%&'(!&))'(!"*+ photos & story by Kristina Wright


ron Plan Solutions hosted the December Business Happy Hour and annual Christmas Party at Apple Annie’s in Seville Quarter on December 4. Guests were invited to a fun-filled night featuring drinks, drinks, appetizers, and outstanding door prizes. Business After Hours events give guests an opportunity to network in a relaxed, casual atmosphere; and an opportunity to build potential client relationships. Leigh Anne White provided photo booth coverage for the event. Nationwide, Allianz, Securian/Minnesota Life, Gradient, and other local businesses all generously donated several raffle items including two vacation certificates, Basket of Dreams gift baskets, two wine and chocolate baskets, a supplements pack from Healthsource Chiropractics, and a floral arrangement from Southern Floral Gardens.

Bree McCastle & Liz Isphording

Dr. Richard Chern & Stephanie Alvarez

Chuck Chapleau, Bobbi & David Kramer, Renee Decker

Willa Licata & Patti Hall

Martina & Mal Mason

John Manzanet, Robyn Houghton, David Durden, Curtis Cantrell & Risa Alt January 2020 | 51

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VIP Pensacola at IPS Holiday Happy Hour

Stephen T. Holman, Karen & Bobby Emmons

Alex Mason, Karen Izzo & Bryce Potter

David Clark, Emily Fernandez, Dr. Patrick Saden & Susie Nix

Sabrina Simpson, Joshua Dye & Rick Antonoff

Heidi Palmquist & Michael Solliday 52

James Hutto & Ron Spradling

Michelle Lamar-Acuff, Angela Marchetti & Cecily Chundrlek

Kay Mitchell, Chae Kyle, Amber Godwin & Fred Barnett Sr.


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January 2020 | 53

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story by Greg Alexander

| photos provided by First Tee of Northwest Florida


hat is known today as The First Tee of Northwest Florida was initially founded in 1990 as The Greater Pensacola Junior Golf Association. They partnered with the international organization First Tee in 2003 to become a Chapter. The chapter is one of many in the First Tee network that is reaching young people in all 50 states and select international locations on golf courses, in elementary schools, and through other youth-serving organizations. In accordance with The First Tee of Northwest Florida’s mission, they are essentially trying to teach golf skills and life skills to young people ages 5-18, regardless of ability to pay. They only see two outcomes - good citizens and golfers for life. They believe that their efforts have as much in common with scouting as they do with a sports camp. They have never turned away a single youth participant because of the inability to pay a fee, which actually are already quite low. There have been many longitudinal studies proving that the core values of golf carry over beyond the golf course and into the classroom and the home. Values such as honesty, integrity, courtesy, and the like make a huge difference in the lives of young people and positively impacts their academic achievement. While golf sometimes has a reputation of being thought of as a rich person‘s sport, it has a core set of values that makes it unique. All sports are great in they eyes of many, but golf is the only sport in all of the world in which penalties are called by the players on themselves, with rules that begin with the presumption of the honesty and integrity of the player. It’s a sport that can open doors unlike any other and can be enjoyed for a lifetime.


Many of you have heard of local events that support The First Tee. In January and August they have winter and summer Downtown Trolley Dinners that begin and end at Seville Quarter, where patrons visit local restaurants for small plates with paired wines and craft beer. Their Annual Gala is always on the Friday of the Masters golf tournament, which this year will be April 10. Monikered as “The Golf Ball” and held at Skopelos at New World Landing, it is a cross between a day at the Masters and Caddyshack, and is a spoof on the traditional concept of a “Ball.” There is Masters inspired food, a great live band and a $5000 putting contest inside the ballroom. It is an absolute riot highlighted by a number of wild and crazy golf outfits – all for a great cause. The First Tee has a very robust website that details all of their offerings, including their once weekly clinics held in spring and fall at 15 different sites. Students progress through levels similar to scouting and become eligible for national participant opportunities at the 3 highest levels and have the opportunity to travel to fully funded tournaments, camps, clinics, and forums as well as academic honors and college scholarships. Visit the site at www.thefirstteenwfl. org for all event details for junior golf and fundraising. It details the process of volunteering, which involves an application, background check, and extensive training. There are also details on how to give, including a booster club for both individual donors and corporate sponsors. More details are available at 850-456–7010 or stop by their office 3924 West Navy Blvd. in Warrington. Information for the Goofy Golf is also listed on the website.


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Interview with Marty Stanovich, Executive Director First Tee of Northwest Florida

Values such as honesty, integrity, courtesy, and the like make a huge difference in the lives of young people and positively impacts their academic achievement. What is the mission and key purpose of The First Tee of Northwest Florida?

Our mission as a youth serving organization is to teach golf as a lifelong sport and to instill character education through the game’s inherent nine core values. How did you become involved with The First Tee of Northwest Florida?

Soon after returning to Pensacola in 1995, I joined the board of the GPJGA and was soon named chairman. I served in that capacity for eight years where I participated on a committee that partnered with Pensacola Sports and First City Sports. After a year and a half, and under the leadership of Hiram Cook, Jerry Pate, and Joe Durant, we were able to become a chapter of The First Tee. In the mid 90s we also took over operating the annual Divot Derby golf tournament, established in 1958 by Pensacola Sports and still operated as the oldest fully free junior golf tournament in the United States. Former champions include Jerry Pate, Adrian Stills, Heath Slocum and Bubba Watson. What impact has The First Tee of Northwest Florida had on the Pensacola community in the last year?

Each year is a building block and this last year we had 798 unique youth participate in our programs, about 450 of them becoming multi year participants and about 200 of them playing some form of competitive golf. On the development front we were able to bring David Feherty, TV personality

and former pro golfer, to the Saenger Theater in September, which was a huge undertaking for a small organization such as ours, but proved to be very successful and very well attended (and well covered by VIP Pensacola. I might add). How is your organization funded?

We receive no funding from the global headquarters in Saint Augustine, Florida, but I’m also glad to say that we do not have to pay any fees to the home office either. All money is raised locally and spent locally. Only about one dollar out of every five comes from a participation fee, with the rest from individual donors, corporate donors, grants, and events. What is the most rewarding part of your involvement with the organization?

Watching all the young people grow and become leaders, mentors, and volunteers. If one of them becomes a great golfer, that is fabulous. It’s definitely part of what we try to do, but the endgame is to raise good young people who then become welleducated productive citizens. We send a great number of students off to college to play golf, including many on women’s

golf teams. I am most proud that almost 100% of our alumni attend college — a far higher number than programs that are only about sports. Describe a situation working with the organization that really stood out and touched you.

We have had great success working with high functioning youth with autism and one of the greatest moments was when a mom came to me describing how much golf had meant to her son. He had wanted to participate in other sports but could not function amidst the cacophony environment of so many team sports. Through golf, he was learning focus and showing the core value of perseverance. The course has become his happy place and has positively affected all of the other aspects of his life. It made his home relationship with his family and his siblings even better and gave him something to look forward to every day after school. What does the future of your organization look like?

Our future is incredibly bright. We are just months away from finishing our Golf and Life Skills Training Facility at the site of the historic 1958 “Goofy Golf.” When completed in late spring, we will have 36 holes of miniature golf, a 7000 square-foot pitching and chipping green with a practice bunker, and an 11-bay floating golf ball driving range, as well as the reopening of our baseball and softball batting cages in partnership with the Leadership Pensacola class of 2020. All proceeds from those who come out and play miniature golf support the operations of our organization. January 2020 | 55

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VIP Pensacola at Downtown Pensacola

Cox Pensacola

!"#$%&'()*+,-*%.-(-/0 photos & story by Kristina Wright


he 2019 Cox Pensacola Christmas Parade was held on December 14 in downtown Pensacola. The parade featured the nationally renowned Blue Angels flight team and a host of organizations from around the region. The Cox Pensacola Christmas Parade draws over 50,000 people to downtown Pensacola each year. The parade has grown to over 110 entries, including more than 70 floats! It is televised live on WKRG-TV5 (CBS), pays tribute to the Navy’s Blue Angels, and hosts six local high school bands. Preceding the parade was the 1.2 mile Christmas Parade Dash, sponsored by the Pensacola Runners Association. Judges for the highly competitive selection of “Best in Parade” normally include a military official, school official, and someone from the media. Winners are named for Schools Division, Church Division, Business Division, Dancing Teams, and Open Division. All profits of the Cox Pensacola Christmas Parade go to the local high school band booster organizations. Over $25,000 has been donated to area high schools.

Jennifer & Harper Bolster

Caitlin Stone & Heather Pelham

Jim, Heather, Jacob & James Richardson

Mark Lowery & Nicole Pepoon 56

Danielle & Heather Wheeler

Jennifer Belcher, Lindsy Viviano, Veronica Carder, April King & Angie Lang


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VIP Pensacola at The Establishment


!"#$%&'()"$*+, photos & story by Kristina Wright


ovenant Care hosted their invitation-only Holiday Soirée on December 6. Covenant Care donors, supporters, and annual partners attended, and for the first time the annual party was held at The Establishment 1898 in Downtown Pensacola. “It was a wonderful time connecting with our supporters and talking about our incredible My Wish program,” said Christie Parker, Director of Development. “My Wish helps make special moments for those with serious illnesses and their families. This event says thank you to our partners for their support of Covenant Care and My Wish and helps us to spread the word about this amazing program.” Covenant Care is widely recognized as one of the largest and most comprehensive non-profit post-acute providers in the nation. They offer hospice care, home health care, personal home care, palliative care, and Alzheimer’s and memory care. Covenant Care does more to meet the needs and wishes of their patients and families through all the services they provide. For more than 36 years, they’ve helped thousands of families navigate the process of providing the best care for their loved ones. Covenant Care invests back into the community and their patients through special programs like My Wish and We Honor Veterans.


Gene & Amanda Hurd

Christian Dejesus & Stephene Garnett

Rick Appleyard & Mallory Studer

Christie Parker & Angela D’Alessandro

Amy Lorton & Bob Tyler

Micah Hallmanm, Wanda Breaux, Gary Fudala & Lisa Ragusa Fudala

Cristina & Brian Williams


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Christina Powers Tax Professional Tax and Bookkeeping Services

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VIP Pensacola at Big Top Brewery


+,-./$,01$2.131.4 photos & story by

Kristina Wright


n December 4, the Krewe of Lafitte held their “Storm the Brewery” social night at Big Top Brewery. Now in its seventh year, this event serves as an opportunity for new members to get to know the krewe in a casual atmosphere, as well as learn about the missions and goals in store for the upcoming year. This event is coordinated by the Board of Directors and is an opportunity for members to share comradery after Fiesta, but before the Mardi Gras season is in full swing. The Krewe of Lafitte, based in Pensacola, is the largest all male Mardi Gras Krewe in the Florida Panhandle. The organization was founded in 1954 to promote and celebrate Carnival. Members enjoy a strong bond between themselves, as well as their families. Krewe of Lafitte fills the Christmas, Mardi Gras, and Fiesta parade routes with up to 13 lighted floats, all built and maintained by the members and housed in two warehouses owned by the Krewe. The Krewe also participates in all of the local parades. Their activities do not stop with parades; they also “float around” to local schools, assisted living facilities, and retirement homes spreading cheer and happiness.

Joshua Roth & Jim Wilson

Travis Miller, David Durden & Chase Gatyas

Michelle Phillips & Jon Hernandez

Kirk Kassebaun & Doug Taylor

Laura Orr, Larry Carian & Priscilla Bode January 2020 | 61

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Call for more information 850-206-8379 62


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VIP Pensacola at Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon

Greater Pensacola Chamber

!"#$%&##'()*&+',-"+# photos & story by Kristina Wright


he Greater Pensacola Chamber hosted a Business After Hours event at the downtown office of Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon. Area businesses were able to showcase their establishments to the business community while making valuable contacts. Guests were able to take advantage of networking in a fun and relaxed environment, while developing potential leads and building business relationships at one of our most popular networking events. Door prizes are always a favorite attraction, with many contributions from local businesses. Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon has served its clients for over 100 years, and has established a proud tradition of integrity and excellence in the legal profession. As a full service firm, ESC’s experienced lawyers provide services to individuals and institutions alike with legal matters ranging from commercial litigation, real estate loan closings, and estate planning to personal injury, employment, social security, and domestic law.

Kay Mitchell & Alicia Christy

Holly Jurnovoy & Suzanne Blankenship

Wanda Radcliffe & Chip Simmons

Toni Pettigrew, Wayne Garrison & Sally Fox

Willa Licata & Al Brown

Liko Crump & Audrey Preston

Ashley Avery, Sigrid Solgard & Lauren Glass January 2020 | 63

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Making People

!"##$ story by Courtney Murray


ntertainment can make or break an event. Nothing can spoil a wedding like a cheesy DJ or ruin a party like bad lighting. Entertainment guru Matt Powell knows a thing or two about pulling off event entertainment seamlessly! He’s been a musician practically his entire life, getting his first set of drums and first stepping into the limelight in the 3rd grade. Matt took the stage live in front of his whole school which spawned his love for drumming and performing. These were the stepping stones for building his passion for DJ’ing, which led to receiving his first job at the age of 14 DJ’ing at the local skating rink. Matt continued drumming his way through high school and DJ’ing all the parties, even playing in an all original band. “After high school our original band stuck together for another 5 years and I also became one of Atlanta’s big club DJ’s on the weekends,” said Matt. Matt then felt it was time to shift his entertainment angle to the wedding and private events scene and started his own business in Atlanta DJ’ing weddings and events. With all of this experience under his belt, Matt went on to be hired by Princess Cruise Lines as Entertainment Director where he spent nearly four years entertaining thousands of people every day all over the world. After having his fi ll of life at sea, Matt decided he needed a change of pace. Instead of returning to Atlanta, he picked up and moved to Pensacola and became the Entertainment Director of Seville Quarter. “It was the closest thing to being a cruise director that I could find,” Matt explained, “It’s basically a cruise ship on land.” It was after six years in that position that he decided to start his own company alongside his wife Janie; Powell Entertainment.

ì My favorite part of the job is watching people enjoy our workÖ making people happy is my passion.î Their statistics are staggering; in three short years they have done over 300 weddings and over 400 special events. Their team is constantly evolving, “DJ’ing is the backbone of my career that got us to where we are. Making sure we are the best DJ’s in town will never move to the backburner as we explore new, exciting parts of the entertainment business such as lighting design décor,” explained Matt. They are now a team of six crew and DJ’s with a downtown warehouse and office space. In addition to Powell Entertainment, in the past year they have also opened Janie’s hair salon, Birchfield Beauty, and opened their downtown event space, the Rails on Wright St. Powell Entertainment is a jack of all trades where they provide DJ services, custom design lighting, draping, and audio/visuals for weddings, parties and events. Matt described, “My favorite part of the job is watching people enjoy our work... making people happy is my passion. When I see someone dancing and smiling or in awe of the environment that we created, it’s truly a rewarding experience that fi lls me with joy.” As they move forward, Powell Entertainment plans to keep evolving and keeping up with new technology to make their events and Pensacola the best they can be.

Details on packages and prices available at: 850.501.1078 ∑ 64


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JANUARY 11 PSO: Beethoven & Blue Jeans Saenger Theatre 118 Palafox Place | Pensacola 7:30pm This Pensacola Symphony Orchestra concert features a variety of musical styles from Beethoven’s Egmont Overture to Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Tracy Silverman returns to Pensacola with his trademark six-string electric violin for The Dharma at Big Sur. Celebrating 20 years as concertmaster, Leonid Yanovskiy will be the featured soloist for Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending. Enjoy these works and a brief movement from Rautavaara’s Cantus Arcticus that includes bird sounds! Tickets may be purchased online at

JANUARY 12 All Krewe Food Drive Weigh-In Party Manna Food Bank 3030 North E Street | Pensacola 1:00pm – 5:00pm

JANUARY 17 The Big Gala 2020 Skopelos at New World 600 S Palafox Street | Pensacola 6:00pm – 12:00am Mark your calendars for our signature black tie affair, The Big Gala, presented by Escambia County Sheriff’s Office! Get ready for an exciting night fi lled with friends, entertainment, dancing, silent and live auctions, and a beautiful plated dinner hand crafted by Gus Silvos.

Join Krewe of Sparta for our Annual Food Drive Challenge weigh-in party at Manna Food Pantries. This year, your Krewe can schedule a weigh-in time to avoid waiting in line. No double points or bonus points, whomever brings in the most weight in food takes home the trophy for their division (Large Krewe/Small Krewe). Winners will be announced at the Pensacola Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday Priscus celebration on Mardi Gras Night, February 25!

JANUARY 19 Downtown Trolley Dinner Seville Quarter 130 E Government Street | Pensacola 4:00pm – 8:30pm The First Tee of Northwest Florida invites you to join the fun and hop aboard the trolley to enjoy the finest food and beverages of Pensacola! Your tour includes five courses from Pensacola’s most passionate establishments paired with wine from Southern Glazer’s and craft beer from Goldring Gulf Distributing. All proceeds benefit the programs of the First Tee of Northwest Florida. Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.




Fat Cat Social

Winter Wonderland

Cordova Mall Ball

Skopelos at New World 600 S Palafox Street | Pensacola 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Pensacola MRW 450 Radford Boulevard | Pensacola 11:00am – 3:00pm

Cordova Mall 5100 N 9th Avenue | Pensacola 8:00pm – 12:00am

Grab a cocktail and dance along to Six Piece Suits as we raise money for the Pensacola Humane Society! This action-packed evening will include a drawing for a 1971 VW Convertible Super Beetle, a Mardi Gras themed Live Auction, silent auction, and fun worthy of a true Fat Cat! This is the companion event to the Fur Ball that will be held on March 28.

Mark your calendars! Saturday, Jan 25th from 11am – 3pm for our annual Winter Wonderland event! Downhill sledding on REAL SNOW, bounce houses, face painting, games & more! This FREE event is open to all authorized MWR patrons and their families.

Celebrate Mardi Gras in style each year at the Cordova Mall Ball! Enjoy a night of live entertainment, music and dancing—plus food tasting and drink stations throughout the mall. This annual party is held by the Krewe of Les Petits Enfants (the Order of the Small Children) to benefit the sick and injured children at The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart.

For more information visit

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Visit for more information.

Purchase tickets and reserve tables of eight online at

Visit for more events! 12/26/19 1:55 PM

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LOCALE O Five Honorees to be Inducted into PSC’s 2020 Athletics Hall of Fame Five of Pensacola State’s most-accomplished Pirates will make up the College’s 2020 Athletes Hall of Fame class. Hall of Fame inductees include studentathletes, participants, advisers, coaches, directors, administrators, contest officials, media personnel, sports medicine personnel, athletic trainers or distinguished volunteers who exemplify the highest standards of sportsmanship, moral character and ethical conduct. The 2020 inductees: Doug Bates, a Pensacola Junior College standout first basemen and outfielder, is an attorney with Clark Partington, Attorneys at Law in Pensacola. An active member of the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar, Bates serves on the section’s Executive Council as well as several substantive committees. He also is a member of the Florida Bar Standing Committee on Student Education and Bar Admissions, and numerous other local, state and national organizations. In 2018, Bates received the Pensacola Chamber’s PACE Award as the city’s Emerging Business Leader of the Year. And in 2019, he was named Member of the Year by the Florida Bar Business Law Section. Vicki Carson spent nearly 35 years at Pensacola State with 25 of those years as the Lady Pirates’ head basketball coach. She placed 100 percent of her student-athletes in universities, and her players had a 98 percent graduation rate. The Panhandle Conference Trophy was named in her honor and she has been inducted into the Pensacola Sports Association Hall of Fame, the FCCAA Hall of Fame in 2006, the Florida Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007. Dr. Donn Peery is a 1957 Pensacola Junior College graduate, and a military veteran – having served in the U.S. Army as a police officer. In 1978, he returned to Pensacola State as the Director 68

of Athletics. Over the next 21 years, he served as Physical Education Chairman, District Dean of Student Affairs, Interim Vice President of Academics and Provost of the Community Campus. Peery was the Panhandle Conference Chairman of Athletics for 15 years, vice president and president of the FCAA, a member of the executive board for National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators and the founding president of the Florida Council of Athletic Affairs. Peery retired from Pensacola State College in 2000. He had worked 37 ½ years in Florida’s public education system - 31 ½ of that time in the Florida Community College System. Brenda Pena is a Pensacola native and a Pensacola Junior College graduate. A former PSC softball player, Pena served as the head softball coach and academic adviser at Pensacola State from 1997 to 2015. In 2019, the Panhandle Conference Softball Academic Award has renamed the Brenda Pena Academic Trophy. Active in the community, Pena currently serves on the board of directors of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She was the first female inducted into the Pensacola North Rotary in 1999 and was named Rotarian Paul Harris Fellow in 2001. She also received a special award from the Florida Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Dan Shugart has covered Pensacola State College athletics since 1981. He began his broadcasting career in 1980 when he took a part-time reporting job at WBSR-1450 AM in Pensacola. In March 1981 he was hired at WEAR. He was promoted to sports director in December 1982. In 2015, he received the Southern League Media Award, has twice earned the Associated Press award for the top story in Florida, and was cited by Special Olympics as Florida’s Broadcaster of the Year. Shugart joined his father in the Pensacola Sports Hall of Fame with his election in 2006.

Gulf Winds Credit Union Gifted $15K to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida On December 4, 2019, Gulf Winds Credit Union presented a gift of $15,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida (BBBSNWFL) in support of the 30th Anniversary Bold Steps Campaign. This gift included support and expansion of our Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program.

The program, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, is centered around grandparents who accept the responsibility for their grandchildren. Currently, we serve 60+ children whose primary caregivers are their grandparents or even great grandparents. Gulf Winds serves the community, so giving a gift to support this program was important to them. This program is available service area wide. “We are extremely grateful for our strong partnership with Gulf Winds and their commitment to our community and constant support of our mission.” Said Paula Shell, CEO of BBSNWFL. “Care-giving grandparents often face many challenges. Poverty, isolation and greater health issues are just a few of the many. But the research is clear: children raised by relatives experience greater stability, perform better in school and have stronger cultural and community ties compared to children raised by nonrelatives. We are truly grateful Gulf Winds is partnering with us to provide just a little bit of guidance and support to this needed population.” “Gulf Winds believes in Big Brothers Big Sisters and the work they have done in our community for the last 30 years. We are proud to support this important program to help grandparents raise their grandchildren,” said Chris Rutledge, President and CEO of Gulf Winds.


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al 2 5th Annu

January 25 8:00 p.m. Cordova Mall

Presented by:

Join us for an evening of entertainment Starz | Reunion Band | The Tommy Morse Band Food Tastings from Area’s Top Restaurants, New Orleans-style French Market, Silent Auction, and so much more. For tickets and more information:


at Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart

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VIP Pensacola at Jo’s, As Always

5th Annual


Tacky Sweater Social photos & story by Kristina Wright


he 5th Annual Women United Tacky Sweater Social was hosted by United Way of Pensacola on December 10 at Jo’s, As Always. Current and prospective members were invited to join Women United for holiday fun, and an evening of working for the greater good. The top prize went to the tackiest holiday sweater, determined by who received the most silver clothespins on their sweater. Beverages and hors d’oeuvres were also served. Attendees were invited to consider a small monetary contribution, or to help fill holiday gift bags for the 4-year-old ReadingPals program, in which Women United shares a partnership with Every Child A Reader in Escambia. A few of the suggested items included: play-doh, crayons, toothbrushes, toothpaste, gloves, socks, and mini coloring books. The goal for the night was to fill 200 gift bags for the program.

Becky Biggs & Barbara MacNeil

Jean Odom & Fran Switzer 72

Myra Van Hoose & Laura Gilliam

Donna Edwards & Rita Lay

Naomi Kjer, Kristy Craig & Chandler McLane


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VIP Pensacola at Pensacola Humane Society

Wine & Whiskers Holiday Open House


photos & story by

Kristina Wright

he Pensacola Humane Society hosted their Wine & Whiskers Holiday Open House on December 5 at their adoption center. Guests were invited to enjoy a light snack and beverage and had the opportunity to tour the adoption center as well as the low cost spay and neuter clinic. The Executive Director, staff, and board members were all on hand to show guests the many programs offered by the facility, including programs to help homeless animals. The Pensacola Humane Society is committed to improving the lives of companion animals in our community through advocacy, adoption, education, and sanctuary. They service the entire Gulf Coast, providing food, shelter, and medical care for companion animals until they can find their forever homes. To be agents of change within the community, the Pensacola Humane Society believes in offering unique services that help others in need, including the Lucky Penny Program, The Humane Express, Educational Outreach services, Barbara Grice Memorial Spay and Neuter Clinic, Bathe-Ins, Food Pantry, Heart for Hearts, Pennies for Paws, Kitten Fund, and foster programs. In the forefront of spay and neuter education, the Pensacola Humane Society has led the way for over seven decades in the belief that animals are sentient beings who experience pain and suffering, and that it is our responsibility to attend to their needs and treat them with dignity and respect. Join the Pensacola Humane Society in its endeavors to make Pensacola a no-kill community, where there are homes enough for every animal and no need to euthanize healthy animals.

Lauren Capp with Bentley & Melissa Garrett

Wendi Summers & Darra Flanagan 74

Stephanie Kohn with Aurelia & Sheri Kinkaid

Jennifer Bitner, Eloise Lautier de Varona & Michelle Sauls

Pam Stroble, Deborah Dunlap, Cindy Pedersen & Lester Michael


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VIP Pensacola at Pensacola Bay Center

The Arc Gateway Foundation W reaths of Joy photos & story by Kristina Wright


he Arc Gateway Foundation presented their much-anticipated Wreaths of Joy Gala on December 6. This is the foundation’s largest annual fundraising event. Every year businesses, organizations, and individuals gather at this esteemed celebration to enjoy a three-course dinner, entertainment, auctions, and more. Proceeds benefit The Arc Gateway, a Pensacola area non-profit which provides programs and services to over 850 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). With the help of members, supporters, and volunteers, they are able to provide a variety of programs and develop innovative ways to help children and adults with I/DD reach their full potential, including: early intervention, vocational training, children’s therapy, employment education, residential support, recreation, and transportation. Guests were also invited to consider a sponsorship, which will help sustain the services at The Arc Gateway to make a vital difference in the lives of children and adults with disabilities in our community. $5,000 would provide six months of art therapy to 10 adults. $7,500 would replace the AC for the van used for Pollak Training Center’s Shredding Services. $10,000 would provide 100 hours of therapy to children at the Pearl Nelson Child Development Center. $15,000 would purchase an eight-passenger van for the Transportation Department. These are all services that constantly need to be available, and contributions allow the foundation to continue to serve the community in the best way possible.

Cali & Jarrett Scully

Victoria Mullet, Brigette Brooks & Kristin Longley 76

Ananda Nealis & Davis Allen

Laura & Barry Cole

Ashley Hawk, Gaye Hawk & Judy Burnes


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Chase & Becca McKeithen

Marny Needle & Brittany Houghton

Genevieve Kurpuis, Katie & Kilton Kingsman

Mary Zaledonis & Willa Licata

Cat Outzen, Mallory Studer & Marguerite Johnson

Dave & Mary Hoxeng

Kaipo & Stacey Robello

Vera Ledesma & Sarah Martinez

John Adams & Laura Magan

Anne LaFrance, Betty Weber, Angela Bottesini & Carmen Jones January 2020 | 77

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What is your hometown, what brought you to PENSACOLA and how long have you been here?

photography as much as possible in the evenings and weekends until going full-time as a freelancer in 2018.

I grew up across the bridge in Gulf Breeze. Pensacola, Gulf Breeze, and Pensacola Beach have been part of my entire life but I officially moved into Pensacola in 2013.

What do you like best about Pensacola? What makes it unique?

photo by Annie Gray

What led you to choose this profession? I fell in love with photography when I was sixteen. The more I invested into it as a hobby, the surer I was that I wanted to pursue it as a profession. No matter what job actually paid the bills, I made sure to include

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The older I get, the more I appreciate the variety of options Pensacola offers. For a town of this size, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to dining, the arts, and outdoor activities. Give us three words that best describe you.


Favorite Things you like about Pensacola. A growing city is a whitewashed tomb without a real sense of community, and I think that is my favorite thing about this place. Even as the city grows, I feel like Pensacola genuinely retains its humanity. Finish this statement, I AM PENSACOLA because… I’m investing back into the city that invested in me.

Driven. Disciplined. Pragmatic.

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