VIP Pensacola, June 2020

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Social Membership Benefi ts Starting at $85/mo, No Monthly Minimums, Club Charging Privileges, Member≠ Only Tournaments and Events, 10% Discount Food Purchases, 10% Discount Golf Shop Purchases, Preferred Rates on Golf, May Make Tee Times 14 days in Advance, Discount on Banquet Facilities.

Full Membership Benefi ts Starting at $145/mo, All Social Member Benefits, Unlimited Golf, Walking Option, Special Pricing on Lessions, Preferred Rates for Accompanied Guests, Club Cleaning and Storage, Member Locker Rooms.

Student Membership Benefi ts $150/Semester, Unlimited Golf Semester Membership is valid from the first day of classes of the membership semester until the first day of classes for the following semester. Membership dues must be paid in full at the beginning of each semester.

Scenic Hills Country Club boasts an 18 hole championship golf course with a wide selection of tee boxes to challenge players of all abilities. Scenic Hills has hosted many prestigious amateur and professional events and is currently the only course in Florida to host a USGA open event. Voted ì Best of the Bayî many times over, Scenic Hills is the perfect venue to play with family and friends, and for groups of any size and skill level.

Open to the Public

8 8 9 1 B U R N I N G T R E E R O A D | P E N S A C O L A , F L | S C E N I C H I L L S .C O M | 8 5 0 . 4 7 6 . 0 3 8 0

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4,#$'5(%%'2604 Yates Avenue Linda Turner BCDEF'GHIAIHGD %()&,=$-.)".J:")1"&.",%$0=8*9


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17 W. Cedar St. | (850) 434≠ 2244

@3A=@=A/#5=<$////9375 Emerald Coast Parkway, Unit 18 | (850) 267≠ 0050 %=.B=/A>%=/#5=<$ 7684 W. County Highway 30A | (850) 267≠ 0013 .3<543??5////1073 E. John Sims Parkway Suite | (850) 729≠ 0176 CD?)/#A55E5

836 Gulf Breeze Parkway | (850) 932≠ 6278


Commercial and Residential Real Estate Group

©2020 BHH Affiliates, LLC. Real Estate Brokerage Services are offered through the network member franchisees of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Most franchisees are independently owned and operated. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServicesand the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServicessymbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.Æ Equal Housing Opportunity.

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events Scenic Hills Country Club The Pop-up Movie Tour Palafox Market Palafox Street Open for Business Cordova Mall Soundside Splendor Men Who Cook Henry Chiropractic Moore Safe Shores Paws on Palafox After Paw-ty BMW Motorcycle Riders Club of the Emerald Coast 58 Dynamic Duo 60 Brunch & Bubbles 11 18 22 24 29 34 36 40 44 48 52 54

departments 16 26 32 38 42 56 62

Coastal Cuisine Swizzle May We Suggest Style Give Care Share Locale I Am Pensacola

features 46 Big Brothers Big Sisters of

Northwest Florida

Be inspired by these “Bigs” taking creative measures to stay connected to thier “Littles.”

50 Giving Back Learn more about how Step One Automotive Group supports the Okaloosa Fighting Covid Initiative with the Hsu Foundation.


on the cover

!"#$%&'() Greg Alexander

!"#$%&'()6&/*&&%&.-1. Anna Stockton


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

7(&%21() Sheila McDiarmid

12+-+3.452/&0/ !"#$%&'#()"

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

8+1.)%#".%12/9)%.()&: !'+.+2)-;'()& Greg Alexander Verla Price Kristina Wright


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

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

June 2020 | 7

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!"##"$%&$'(%#)"%*+,#'$ letter from the editor

photo by Steve Mangum

Happy NewBUSINESS Year! As we say goodbye OPEN FOR is the theme of our June to 2018 and welcome 2019, we celebrate 2020 Issue. The country and our local community are the past year and salute the new year. OPEN FOR BUSINESS! It Destin is unusual times but, we VOLUME XV • ISSUE 1 Our January issue celebrates area weddings. VIP normal. Destin Magazine are back with the new We have visited some has become a vital resource for bridesthem throughout local businesses and are highlighting seeking the current wedding trends the that issue. Weour alsoarea arethe updating you on rescheduled make destination!"#$%&'() events and sharing fromWith last year wedding mecca itimages has become. the in our !"#!$%&#'%()#" arrival ofEVENT 2019, we eagerly look forward CLASSIC spreads. to signature winter events along the *&&+,%*-(.!"#$%&'() The summer season is here, and we are hosting guest Emerald Coast. Cultural activities, *#"&%$+",-# fun festivals, series, athletic from around thelecture U.S. Pensacola has many fun events all /*0*1%01.(2%-+) and the weddings. There’s always yearevents, long, but summer season is when the days are ./#*#$0%"0#" something happening on our sugarlonger, and life slows down. white shores. Here’s what’s up on the !)+2",-%+0.(2%-+) kicks off with 1#..,-%$!"%2% BeEmerald sure notCoast… to missJanuary our monthly department features Art Wave, a modern and sophisticated suchbazaar as Give Care Share where sipping we spotlight Council celebrating local artists, *23()-%&%01 photo by Scott Schaeffler 0#/3$4%(!54 on Aging. Looking for a good summer book to read, and shopping at Bubbly Baytowne, #&,6%0#/3$(#/3#"&%() andout Destin DessertsBeach benefiting the Girl check our feature Reads this month and Scouts ofStyle the Florida Panhandle, just to &(0%+).2(&%10() Pensacola featuring Summer Forecast – new name a few. +",.-,&&%$%/7,(. trends for 2020. Couples are creating memories every day with weddings on the Emerald Coast. Our January one of the most anticipated issuesyou of the with aKevin Parekh, a 2(&%10() Take a special look atissue our is I Am Pensacola feature where getyear to know .3#,&%$4%-),%"4,) all things wedding related in theto area. of our advertisers localconcentration dentist whoon grew up and has now returned joinMany his mother’s dental practice. In Coastal &%-#8$"%-3%&& are wedding based businesses. Be sure to check out wedding editorials from our Cuisine we learn about a local favorite, the Satsuma Orange and we chill back with Swizzle,+0-)%#"-%01 as advertisers. the Sea Breeze cocktail highlighted. 4)%-()&5!'+-+1)*!'()& Swizzle features IceisChampagne which changes champagne sipping as you 4%"8$%39 know and I Am Destin completes our events Wedding issue withthat a spotlight We loveit,seeing Pensacola support the and causes make itonsuch a special place.!"#!$%&#'%()#" Invite restaurateur, Nicki us toDestin coverevent yourplanner specialand events so that we mayCox. share them in the pages of an upcoming issue. 1#($)##0 63%&4%($3%"",. Take time to enjoy all the New Year activities, get out and enjoy all the .3%((%$4%!(5.9( We are happy to bring you Pensacola’s monthly social magazine. Enjoy your June issue of VIP winter events our area has to offer. Enjoy your January issue of VIP Destin -95"/(#8$45""%8 Magazine…and lookforward forwardto toseeing seeing you you again Pensacola…and wewe look againnext nextmonth. month. &,#.#&$.-34,)/ Cheers!


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A Special Thanks to our 2018 Cover Reveal Sponsor 8


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VIP Pensacola at Scenic Hills Country Club

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photos & story by Verla Price

ike many other local businesses, Scenic Hills Country Club rallied through the CORONA virus restrictions by making changes - many that occurred almost daily it seemed. The golf course remained open during April and May. The restaurant started with curb service then had to close temporarily. After a soft re-opening with limited seating, Wednesday, May 20 Prime Rib night saw a group of happy patrons practicing social distancing while seeing their friends. Leo Lynne, general manager, commented that he worked with the recommendations from the CDC, local health department, and consulted with articles provided by the GCOAA, PGA of America, and the National Club Associations to ensure the health and well-being of the members, their families, guests, and staff. Extra cleaning and sanitizing procedures continue in the restaurant, golf shop, and on the golf carts. Golf patrons are required to leave the flag in the hole, pool noodles are in the cups to stop the balls from dropping, and group distancing continues. Management at Scenic Hills will move forward with more outside activities planned such as a Father’s Day shrimp boil.

Leo Lynne & Penny Stricklin

John & Romana Lopez

Martina & Mal Mason

Jeff & Vanessa Gulsby

Bobby Emmons & Gary Sapp

Jim & Beverly Liedle

Davis Allen, Amanda Nealis, Janet and Chip Wood & Matt Wood June 2020 | 11

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VIP Pensacola at Scenic Hills Country Club

Bubba Grover

Deena & Terry Williams

Karen Emmons, Debbie Sapp & Dixie Stewart


Jennifer & Jeremy Reese

Dr. Craig Henry, Dixie Stewart & Ed Villar

Susan & Bill Sears

Todd Hofstetter

Martin Jelenik & David Harvitz

Alex Mason & Kailey Lincke

Zeque Guerra, Isabella Guerra, BethAnn & Luciano Guerra


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Brian Moore & Mick Schrepf

Chea Kyle & Martin Jelenik

Wes & Kelly Young

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You Glad You Live in Florida? story by Anna Stockton

ong before the panhandle of Florida was the place of high-rise condos and fun beach bars, it had a surprising identity, an orange growing paradise. In the early 20th century, oranges grew aplenty in this area. When turpentine and shingle businesses depleted the forest lands, the locals found that oranges grew nicely in their place. Orange Beach was even named as such because of the rows of orange trees that flourished there. However, the new crop’s success was short lived. While the orange growing business boomed below the frostbelt, deep freezes and hard times forced most local orange growers in the area to abandon the orange business and move on to other crops that were better suited to the climate, such as pecans. In recent years, milder winters and the evolution of heartier varieties of oranges have made it possible for the orange growing operations in the panhandle to have a resurgence. Next time you order that sangria at one of our awesome local beach bars, the orange juice may be from just up the road. Oranges (and orange juice based drinks) not only have a positive impact on our brunch, they also have a positive impact on our health! We all know that oranges and orange juice are the go-to when we’re feeling under the weather, but they can also

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help with our long term health. Recent studies have shown just how powerful these juicy fruits can be. Oranges have been shown to have a protective aspect against heart disease, which is a leading cause of death in the U.S. They also have been identified to have a blood thinning affect if consumed regularly. Oranges can help with kidney stones and anemia as well. So, feel free to have another mimosa, you’re doing it for your health! Satsuma oranges are the most common type of oranges grown locally. In fact, Jackson County was once known as the satsuma capital of the world, bringing around 35,000 people to the area for the Satsuma Festival from 1928-1929. Often referred to as satsuma mandarins, they are an easily peeled, juicy type of orange with few or no seeds. Satsumas do well in the panhandle area because they thrive in the cooler climate. In fact, growers say the more nights that fall below 40 degrees, the sweeter the crop. The fall harvest season is relatively short, only lasting from October through December. When you’re at the store picking up your favorite football snacks, head on over to the produce section and check out the locally grown satsuma oranges.

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Want to try your hand (or green thumb) at growing your own orange crop? Here are some helpful hints: • As seed grown trees are more susceptible to rot, you’ll have more success with an established tree from a nursery. • You can either plant your tree or pot it. You can be a master orange grower either way. • Water depending on the climate, most new trees need about 1-1 ½ inches of water per week. • Fertilize according to the age of your tree.

INGREDIENTS ï Satsuma oranges, segmented ï 2 grapefruit, segmented ï zest of one lime ï 2 tablespoons honey ï 1 tablespoon minced fresh mint INSTRUCTIONS Segment fruit over a bowl. Remove segments from juice and place in another bowl. Add lime zest, honey, and mint to the citrus segments, stir gently to combine. Serve immediately or store in fridge until ready to serve.

• Keep an eye on the weather! Like most Floridians, a frost can cause your tree to give up the will to live. • Watch out for those pesky little critters! Ants and other bugs love to feast on all your hard work. INGREDIENTS ï 12 Satsuma Oranges ï 2 ½ cups of Sugar ï ¾ cups of water INSTRUCTIONS Peel oranges; scrape white pith from rind. Cut rind into 1/4≠ inch strips. Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar and 3/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cook 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Stir in rind; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat; cool completely. Strain rind mixture through a sieve into a bowl. Discard liquid. Pat rind dry with paper towels. Place remaining 1 cup sugar and rind in a medium bowl, tossing to coat.

April 2020 | 61

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VIP Pensacola at Pensacola Fairgrounds

Nicko & Maddy Noble


photos & story by Kristina Wright

n partnership with Pensacolebowski, and Drive-in Dudes, The Pop-Up Movie Tour hosted trivia, a virtual costume contest and a screening of The Big Lebowski on Saturday, May 23, at the Pensacola Interstate Fairgrounds. Additionally, they held a Customer Appreciation Day in which tickets for a showing of Sonic The Hedgehog were reduced from $23 per car to $10 per car on Sunday, May 24 at the same location. Attendees were able to order food on-site from an app called “,” with several drivein themed options including hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, popcorn, candy, and Pepsi products for liquid refreshment with contactless payment. Guests could enjoy the fi lm inside their vehicles, or set up chairs right inside their parking spots. Each car was directed by the staff to park with social distancing guidelines in mind. Since its debut on May 1, the Pop-Up Movie Tour has welcomed over 6,500 attendees to its drive-in theater. In that time, Drive-In Dudes has perfected the events’ operations by introducing inflatable 30- and 40-foot movie screens, upgrading sound systems and developing a streamlined parking system. Partnering with other local businesses including Vista Event Pro, Pep’s Place, Data Revolution and Social ICON Agency, it has created over 40 jobs for people in the area. “We are thankful that our hometown community in Pensacola has supported us, been patient with us and provided feedback for us to create a better experience,” said Michael Silver, owner of a Pensacola-based events company. “In less than thirty days, we were featured on several national news outlets and gave the people of Pensacola entertainment when there was nothing else to do.” In addition to drive-in movies, Drive-In Dudes is offering to host other local events in the drivein format, like graduation ceremonies, concerts, raves, church services and more.

Jesse Lockhart & Loren Castagna 18

Sierra & Scarlett Renz

Shauncey & Chloe Fury

Matthew & Moira Stachura


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Brian Bunch & Mariah Wilson with Bailey

Ibby Green, Yasmin Chromik & Anna Kennedy

Johnny & Lisa York

Denise Russel-Giese & Robert Giese June 2020 | 19

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compiled by Steve Barber

Emily Charlton is back in a new Devil Wears Prada novel . Perfect marriages. Perfect neighbors. Perfect lies. Everyone is guarding a secret in this picture-perfect town. When Karolina Hartwell is arrested driving her son home, the headlines don’t tell the full story. It seems nothing will stand in the way of her husband Graham’s political ambition not even his wife. Miriam Kagan is convinced her husband Paul is hiding something. But if she digs too deeply, she’s afraid of what might tumble out of the closet. Emily Charlton is new to Greenwich, but she soon discovers this is a small town built on big lies. And sometimes it takes an outsider to draw them out.

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VIP Pensacola at SCI Building Parking Lot

Roman & Susan Popovich

Carl Stewart & Johnna Edwards

Serena Woody & Chip Evans



photos & story by Kristina Wright

tuder Properties and the Downtown Improvement Board teamed up to host a “Pop-up” style market at the SCI Building, which was organized within the new city guidelines and CDC recommendations. Palafox Market at the SCI Building allowed local vendors; who have not had many opportunities to sell since the temporary hiatus of Palafox Market, a space to sell their produce, goods, and artwork. The outdoor market took place on May 23, and again on May 30, from 10 AM- 1 PM located at 220 W. Garden Street. The market was stationed in the plaza area of the SCI Building, and also in the parking area directly across from the building. Members from the Blue Wahoos staff were also in attendance to offer assistance to both vendors and customers. The vendors were required to wear gloves, masks, offer contactless payment options, and were spaced a substantial distance away from neighboring vendors to allow for proper physical distancing. There were many vendors at the market selling a wide range of various products usually sold only at Palafox Market, including Thrive Health selling elderberry syrups and immune boosting kits, Kneading Keto with their keto friendly and gluten free baked goods, Stewart Farms, with non-GMO vegetables grown without the use of pesticides, Redfox’s Gourmet Pet Treats, ID Jewelry Designs, Jordan’s Custom Woodwork and many more. In addition to multiple vendors, Joe’s Caribe Food Truck was on site serving incredible Caribbean cuisine. “We know that many of our local vendors and small business owners have been hurting financially since they have not had the opportunity to sell at the traditional Palafox Market. We decided to support them by allowing them the opportunity to sell at the SCI Building at this time,” says Charles Houston, operations manager at the SCI Building.

Teresa Peck & Jan Mayberry 22

Amy Wadzita & Lynne-Marie Anderson

Roxanne Green & Josh Allen

Shirley Cotita, Angela Avery & Debi Kennedy


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VIP Pensacola at Palafox Street

!"#"$%&' ()*++) photos by Verla Price | story by Steve Barber

Merv & Kellie Griffin


alafox Street is open for business and Pensacola is out and enjoying the colorful Crepe Myrtle lined streets. The downtown basics include historic sites with more than 450 years of history, dining from food trucks, pub fare and down-home casual eateries to white-tablecloth establishments and of course the explosion of growth with interesting and unique shopping. Downtown and Palafox Street is the heart and soul of Pensacola. We found people celebrating and enjoying live entertainment on a weekday. Just a few steps off Palafox Street you can start a bicycle, Segway, vintage bus or walking tour. Explore Historic Pensacola Village, Pensacola Geo Tour, Colonial Archaeological Trail, African American Heritage Trail, Cultural Heritage Trail or the Maritime Trail. For a fun afternoon get out and enjoy Palafox Street. Rachel Wallace & Lauren Bakarian

Bill Christensen, Dixon Houston, Toni Christensen & Misti Houston

Brooke & Brian Harrison 24

Yasmine Humeda & Maya Humeda

Alfredo Angeles, Alysha LaPlant, Thor Thorsen & James Coffey


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story by Steve Barber


ince the 1920s people have celebrated “Breeze Season,” also known as the long hot days and balmy nights of summer. The need for cool refreshment in the heat of summer brought about the invention of the “Sea Breeze”. The Sea Breeze is a summer cocktail that is a mixture of cranberry and grapefruit juices over a vodka base. Over the years, the drink ingredients have evolved from the original 1920s recipe of gin and grenadine. The popularity of the drink and the marketing of cranberry juice in the 1950s by the cranberry co-operative gave rise to several delicious variations of the original including the Cape Codder and its descendants the Greyhound, the Salty Dog and the Bay Breeze. The Breeze

cocktails have maintained popularity through the years due to their refreshing quality and use of simple, easily accessible ingredients. The Sea Breeze is part of a collection of great tasting vodka and fruit juice drinks. Not only is it a popular cocktail, it’s also really easy to make. It requires just three ingredients: vodka, cranberry juice, and grapefruit juice. This delicious drink is served over ice and can be made as a tall or as short cocktail. The Sea Breeze is one of the few drinks in which the quality of your vodka is not going to make a significant difference. The fruit juices will mask slight impurities, so feel free to use your “well” vodka here! The Sea Breeze is a spiked fruit punch. Sit back and enjoy this refreshing twist to the vodka cranberry and chill out on the upcoming hot summer days. After one taste, you’ll quickly realize why this is a favorite summer drink.

If you like the Sea Breeze, try these alternate vodka and fuit juice combinations: The Greyhound is grapefruit juice only. The Madras is cranberry with orange juice. The Bay Breeze is equal parts pineapple and cranberry juices. The Cape Codder is cranberry juice alone. 26


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Sea Breeze Cocktail MAKES 1 DRINK !"#$%&!%"'( • 1 1/2 ounces vodka • 3 ounces cranberry juice • 1 ounce grapefruit juice • Garnish: grapefruit slice &!$%)'!*"( Pour the vodka and cranberry juice into a highball glass with ice cubes. Top with the grapefruit juice. Garnish with the grapefruit slice. +!,-'!, Shake It Up: The “Sea Breeze” can also be shaken and strained over fresh ice, adding more air to the drink.

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Highlighting Local Businesses


eauty is not all that you will find in the eye of the beholder – essential or non-essential businesses are very difficult to discern. Sure, there are many things we can go without when a pandemic strikes the entire world, but, oh how grateful we are when those named non-essential are available for us once again. Whether one is a retail business selling fashions, a coffee shop where we meet, sip, and relax, or even the beach where we go for solitude, fun, sun, fishing, or entertainment, or a dog groomer cleaning and clipping our preening pups, we will not again take these and many others for granted. As a publication about people, and as the Pensacola area started reopening, VIP Pensacola was ecstatic to get out and see the ways in which people were exiting the isolation of quarantine. We visited some local businesses and are happy to share the smiles we captured along the way.

Oí Briení s Bistro

VIP Pensacola at 4350 Bayou Blvd, Pensacola

photos by Verla Price

Jeri Shaffer & Marcia Nowlin

Mallie Rentz & Tara Woodfin

Britney Arnold & Kathy Manns

Linda Jenkins, Maryanne McDonald & Joan Gardner

David Greenfield

Linda Hawthorne, Jeanne McGreth & Becky Makla

Sammy Barkerí s

Joel Jacobs

VIP Pensacola at 875 E 9 Mile Rd, Pensacola photos by Verla Price

Morgan & James Craft

Eyvonna Rains

Rob Fila & Drew Hardgrave June 2020 | 29

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Coffee Guy Cafe

VIP Pensacola at 6700 N Davis Hwy, Pensacola

Jenny Hart

Rae McCullum & Katelyn Cleveland

Bon Bean

875 E 9 Mile Rd #3, Pensacola

Kelsey Jablonski

First Watch

La Di Da Boutique

875 E 9 Mile Rd, Pensacola

Megan Settlemiers & Regina Ramirez

Maynards Donut Company

875 E 9 Mile Rd #9, Pensacola

Graham Stumpf & Cindy Guttmann

VIP Pensacola at 1670 E 9 Mile Rd A, Pensacola

Jessica Pratt

Nathan Holley & Shelby Massingill 30

photos by Verla Price

Kaitlin & Zeth Hicks

photos by Verla Price


Katilyn Smith & Cameron Bozeman

Lindsey Flynn & Briana Spence

Max Cohen & Samantha Hill


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Husqvarna 450XH - $3499 Grēnbots Planet Table Lamp by Kartell, 21” - $735 Urban Objects

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Hampton Road Designs - $345 Bluetique

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Classic lashes - $175, Hybrid lashes - $200 Volume lashes - $250 Jo Rich Beauty

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November 2015 | XX

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VIP Pensacola at Cordova Mall

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


photos by Verla Price | story by Anna Stockton

fter nearly two months of being shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cordova Mall was back open for business starting May 4. With social distancing in place, along with other safety measures, the mall opened their doors to the general public with great anticipation. Shoppers looked forward to checking out their favorite stores and getting back to normal. Well, the “new normal” that is. The new vibrant summer dresses at Dillards caught the eye of eager shoppers as they walked by. Dick’s had a great selection of sweats to replace the ones you “may” have worn out while staying home during quarantine. Foot Locker displayed great new kicks to get you ready to hit the gym again. Many stores are even offering large clearance sections to clear out their spring stock. While the restaurants have been offering curbside service for weeks, some of the stores got in on the action. Shops like Beyond the Grape, Best Buy, and even Belk allow you to pick up your purchase without going into the store. So, whatever your comfort level, Cordova Mall has you covered.

Lindsey Meredith & Carolyn Reeves

Karen Stay & Robyn Stuart


Brittany Bright

Elise Bowab & Jane Breland

Kayla Miller & Sam Waterman

Alex Stitler, Jamyis Lyles & Nell Posey

Roger Johnson


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Bethany Cupp, Karleigh Acre & Haley Brown

Jake Benton & Autumn Barnes

Mark Savage & Hannah Savage

Keisha McMillan & Chelsea Hardy June 2020 | 35

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VIP Pensacola at Portofino Island Resort

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


he June issue of VIP Pensacola always provides coverage from the fabulous springtime event Soundside Splendor. This year, the fundraiser benefiting The Children’s Home Society of Florida will be held on Sunday, September 13 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. The Children’s Home Society provides programs that serve the most vulnerable children, teens and families. Soundside Splendor has become one of the Gulf Coast’s most anticipated annual dining and entertainment events. Honorary event Chairs, Jim and Ann Neal, invite everyone to the 15th annual event that has supports such a great local cause. This year’s Soundside Splendor will feature Chef Jim Shirley along with Pensacola’s celebrity chefs and include exquisite food, wine, entertainment, and frivolity. Guests will also enjoy the chance to bid on dozens of luxury items in the silent and live auctions at the event. The September event will be held at Portofino Island Resort. Tickets and sponsorships are available at We are recapping last year’s event in our pages here for those of you who missed the event. For for those of you who attended, you can relive the fun times you had and anticipate making new ones at the event in September. see the original story online in the June 2019 Issue


Christina Leavenworth Brunet-Sebastia & Milan Brunet-Sebastia

Blake Hughes & Aubrey Offerdahl

John & Amy Barren

Michelle & Phillip Salzman

Keith Hoskins & Steve Barber

Whitney Fike & Suzie West


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Beverly & Tom Vaughn

Frank Bozeman, Fran McCurdy & Dr. Peter Butler

Jeremy Johnson, Robert Reinke & Rachael Johnson

Stephanie Mickler & Krista Silverman

Amy Lorten, Bob Tyler & Lindsey Cannon

Karl & Kathy Summerlin

Lori & John Therrell

Bobby & Hong Potomski, Mambwe Mutanuka & Christian Hiebel June 2020 | 37

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!"##$%&'(%$)*+, 2020 new trends for

Tropical Prints Flowers, foliage, petals, and leaves. Whether it’s on a fun top or sling bag- tropical is hot this season. Chiffon Tops This flowy, breezy fabric is great for hot weather. Pair it with a different pop of color underneath for a completely new look! Retro Round Sunglasses These specs are all the rage this summer. With frames ranging from tortoise shell to thick, gloss white, you’re sure to find a pair for every outfit. Silver Sea Shells Ocean themes are in! Pick a seashell, starfish, or seahorse as a pendant or charm to add a hint of sparkle. Sandals Sandals are a staple of the summer, and this year is no different! Choose a flat, strappy sandal with details like beads, stones, or charms for a trendy touch. Purses There are lots of options this year- whether you want a chic clutch, a simple eco-friendly canvas tote, or a basket-weave bag, you’ll be on trend with your handbag pick! Swimwear One-shoulder, high-waisted, and cutout swimsuits are making a splash this season. Off-the-Shoulder Tops with off-the-shoulder necklines are a great way to go casual-chic! Whether you go with a bare shoulder, or show a hint of brightly colored bralette, this trend is sure to keep you cool! Bangles Stacked bangles are back! Keep it simple with silver or gold, or go bold with a pop of color. Rompers The one-piece, dress up or dress down romper is this season’s go-to for any occasion. With styles ranging from long pants to short shorts, and long sleeves to sleeveless, it’s well worth the closet space! 38


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June 2020 | 39

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VIP Pensacola at Sanders Beach Community Center


photos by Kristina Wright | story by Greg Alexander

clever and fun event started 8 years ago to support Pace Center for Girls. Men Who Cook is a signature tasting event and chef competition featuring local men – community leaders, businessmen, and all-around terrific guys who believe in girls and want to give back to the community. Brown Helicopter, Inc. and The Law Office of J.J. Talbott are proud to present the 8th Annual Men Who Cook event on August 30 from 4-7 pm at the Sanders Beach Community Center. Come and see real men wear aprons for a cause as you prepare your taste buds for a savory and sweet Sunday while supporting girls in our community. The event showcases the talents of over 40 amateur chefs who will prepare and serve everything from appetizers to desserts at tasting stations to an estimated 300 attendees. Each category awards a winning chef where an overall “Top Chef” is chosen, as well as a “People’s Choice Award.” Tickets are $60 and include unlimited bites along with wine and beer, live music, silent and live auctions, and a martini and wine wall pull. For the past 7 years, Men Who Cook has functioned as a flagship fundraiser that supports the operational costs of Pace Center for Girls Escambia – Santa Rosa. Proceeds help Pace provide girls and young women an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training, and advocacy. For tickets, or sponsorships, call 850.478.7060. The photos from last year’s event, shown here, will remind you that you will not want to miss this great time for a great cause.

Robert & Amy Bender

Cristina Williams & Karen Fleming

see the original story online in the June 2019 Issue


Denise Ables & Doug Alley

Tonya Zimmern & Greg Davis

Mark & Madrina Ciano

Alyssa Venn, Jennifer Jackson-Keating & Ann Neal

Jennifer Passeretti & Angela D’ Alessandro


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Laura Dees & Tyler Mann

Ed & Trisha Morrison

Brian Williams & Joe Passeretti

Nancy Anderson & Jerry Bennett

Cynthia Booker, Lisa Combs & Neely Brown

Margie & Alan Moore

Karen Brown, Cathy Butler & Rocky Darra

Amber & Ben Gordon

Will Taylor & Llewellyn Litbak

Dr. Stu Bonnin & Dr. Clay Sims June 2020 | 41

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photos provided by Council on Aging of West Florida

n 2017, about 16 percent of the American population was 65 years old or over; a figure which is expected to reach 22 percent by 2050. This is a significant increase from 1950, when only eight percent of the population was 65 or over. As we are living longer, there is an increasing need for services and care for our aging population. The Council on Aging of West Florida is an area nonprofit that exists only to support seniors in various ways to enhance their lives and allow them to live a more fulfi lling and healthy life. The Council of Aging provides various services and opportunities that fi ll in the gaps where aging adults may not have enough social, family, or financial support or just when additional services can enhance their daily lives. The Council on Aging of West Florida supports, advocates, and serves our community of aging adults in various ways. They offer senior volunteer programs. They provide meals, nutrition and socialization. They offer caregiver support and offer stimulating daytime experiences at The Retreat - a special place, and experience, that has been described as refreshing, supportive, fun, assuring, caring and heartwarming by those who participate and their families. It is a place that provides a positive change of environment that can be beneficial to participants and caregivers. 42

Just over the past year, the Council of Aging served nearly 200,000 meals to over 1,500 vulnerable senior adults. Their 56 senior volunteers know as Foster Grandparents have mentored 168 at-risk students for over 65,000 hours. Additionally, their 56 Senior Companions have served 66 senior adult peers in their own homes for nearly 50,000 hours. They trained or provided support to nearly 200 caregivers, and provided social services such as homemaking, respite, and personal care to more than 250 homebound elders. The Council on Aging staff and volunteers enables senior adults to remain living at home, with independence and dignity, for as long as possible through these services and more. Their agency, staff and volunteers have also been responsible for giving out hundreds of AC and heater units in the summer and winter, installing dozens of wheelchair ramps and advocating about the challenges that the elderly face to nearly 23,000 elected officials, business leaders, community members, and their families. Additionally, the agency distributes over $30,000 worth of Christmas gifts every year to make the holiday season a little brighter for our seniors. Learn more about how you, a family member, or a friend can benefit, volunteer, and brighten the day for this diverse and deserving part of our community at


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Interview with Josh Newby

Marketing & Communications Director– Council on Aging of West Florida What is the mission of Council on Aging of West Florida? We dedicate each day to serve, support and advocate for aging adults in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties, a mission we’ve been working toward since 1972. Council on Aging is designated by the State of Florida as the lead agency for home and community-based services to elder adults, and we work in conjunction with state and local partners to assist the region’s seniors. How long have you been involved with Council on Aging? I’ve been involved with Council on Aging in one way or another for the better part of a decade. I first became involved with the agency through my previous job at Ballinger Publishing, where I was editor of Council on Aging’s magazine, Coming of Age. I fell in love with the mission and when my current position became available at the non-profit, I just had to jump on it. Since then, my passion for the elderly has grown and I’ve realized just how much need there is for this population. They really are the invisible inhabitants of our area, many of them homebound and disabled, in need of assistance but without the means to access help. How is Council on Aging funded? We are funded through a variety of sources, including federal and state revenue streams, local government monies and grants, and of course we rely on the generosity of individual donors and corporate supporters. We have an over $5 million budget and we are very proud of the fact that about 92 percent of those monies go straight to the programs and services we offer, with very little overhead and fundraising expenses. What is the most rewarding part of your involvement with the organization? There is a big misconception existing in society today that senior adults are taken care of. I’ve been guilty of this delusion myself. We think that because of Social Security and Medicare, the elderly are mostly fine and we should turn our attention to other pressing needs

in the community. This could not be further from the truth. A lot of senior adults live in poverty, have crippling or impairing physical and cognitive diseases, are food-insecure, and completely disconnected from resources they need to live the lives they deserve. The most rewarding part of my involvement with Council on Aging is fi lling that gap, providing those needs and showing these valuable members of society that they have not been forgotten or overlooked. What sort of staff does Council on Aging have? We have a mixture of full-time office and social services staff, part-time dining site managers, and hundreds of volunteers. We really rely on our volunteers for many of our hands-on activities in the community, including delivery of Meals on Wheels, programs at our adult day care and senior dining sites, and in-home handyman assistance such as ramp installation and other light home repairs. Our staff are dedicated to our mission and always go above and beyond to not just provide adequate care, but to provide outstanding, lifeaffirming care. What is one thing you want readers to know about Council on Aging? We are here for the senior adult, parent or grandparent in your life. So many elderly adults, I suspect because of the generation they belong to, pride themselves on self-sufficiency and their ability to make it through the hard times. Let me assure you, your golden years are not the time to rough it out! You have paid your dues, you have paid your taxes, raised kids, worked and contributed to society. This is your time to let us take care of you. Don’t be shy about your needs. We want to help and we can truly make your life tangibly better, but you have to reach out by calling us at (850) 432-1475 or visiting our website How can someone become involved or donate? We love volunteers, community advocates and supporters. We couldn’t do what we do without them. I encourage anyone interested in getting more involved to visit our website, and poke around into some of the opportunities we have. You can also donate at our website. It’s important to note that most dollars donated to our agency are used for “match,” which means they are leveraged into larger public grants, generally at a 1:10 ratio. That means your $10 donation makes a $100 impact, and so on.

June 2020 | 43

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VIP Pensacola at Henry Chiropractic

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


any businesses and service providers were required to close during the quarantine. Dr. Craig Henry, an essential provider, maintained regular office hours while practicing social distancing guidelines. Now, back in full action and continuing to take extra safety precautions, days at the office are getting back to normal. On May 19, VIP Pensacola waited for an invitation to watch an ankle massage and view a consenting patient’s X-ray. The office staff signed in patients while visiting joyfully with them. Alec Shell, Henry Chirpractic’s current intern, was seen all over the office, demonstrating how to stand for an Xray then assisting Dr. Henry with adjustments. Patients could be heard sharing stories and enjoyed visiting with each other while waiting for their turn. Henry Chiropractic, 1602 9th Ave, Pensacola, accepts new patients and welcomes calls regarding injuries and insurance coverage.


Dr. Craig Henry & Alec Shell

Rachel McArthur

Dr. Craig Henry

Karen Radford

Dr. Aaron Hixon & Alec Shell

Dawn Pittman

Justice Cox


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Pensacola • Pensacola Beach • Perdido Key



calendars social events local cuisine community highlights business spotlights

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida has a 30 year history of

serving children ages 5-18 in our community. Last year alone, BBBSNWFL served 646 children. Those serving children in the organization certainly did not want children to go unserved during Social Distancing and took creative measures to become connected to new kids or stay connected with their existing “Little.”

Through BBBS new virtual matching process, Big Brother Michael and Little Brother Jonathan were connected -- a great example that shows being a Big has no age limit. Michael, a semi-retired engineer with lots of life experience will help guide Jonathan through challenging life decisions. Jonathan, excited to have Michael as his Big, looks for college advice and help navigating a career path. Michael is a huge Florida Gators fan, so we know his vote. We can’t wait to watch this match grow.

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Big Brother Michael and Little Brother Eli got matched right before quarantine. Since their initial meeting, Michael and Eli have been staying connected virtually. They FaceTime often and sometimes they even have virtual dance contests. Big Brother Michael dropped off a transformer on Little Brother Eli’s porch and as you can see from that smile he was beyond excited. Eli is a big brother to his three siblings so he is very excited to finally be a “little brother!”

Siblings, Emilia and Travion, were both matched with their Bigs on the same day. Both matches shared what they are most excited to do together after this is over. Big Sister Megan and Little Sister Emilia said they can’t wait to go to Fast Eddies; and Big Brother Walker and Little Brother Travion said they can’t wait to go eat sushi.

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!"#$%&$%''()*+()!,&-)+.' !"#$%&$%''/&-)+. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida has been taking steps to help children in our communities achieve more through one-to-one relationships since 1989. Now, more than ever, Northwest Florida youth are faced with substantial challenges such as changing family structures, homelessness, bullying, poverty, and low self-esteem, creating a greater need for bigger, bolder steps to influence positive change.

When Little Sister Stacey and Big Sister Allison were first matched, Stacey was extremely shy. She was introverted and didn’t connect with others. After being matched with Allison, Stacey has blossomed into the amazing young lady she is today. She is more confident and will speak up when around people. She is interested in art and loves playing volleyball. During quarantine, Big Sister Allison found fun ways to stay connected. She dropped off ingredients on Stacey’s porch and they made deviled eggs together over FaceTime.

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Big Sister Sally and Little Sister Serenity celebrated their oneyear match anniversary during quarantine. Since being matched, these two have been inseparable. Before social distancing, Sally loved taking Serenity to the beach, zoo, and assisting with her reading skills. Sally dropped off multiple activities and packages of fun ideas on Serenity’s doorstep for her and her sister to do during quarantine. They have gotten a movie package, plant package, and even fun surprises like nail polishes. Sally can’t wait to see Serenity again in person, but for now they will continue to stay connected virtually.

As the needs of Northwest Florida youth continue to grow, so must our response and resources to step in and create lasting, meaningful change. It all starts here. Our Bold Steps Campaign will provide BBBSNWFL with the additional means to train and support our youth and volunteers as they face challenging issues in a complex and changing world.

For more information visit our website at

6/1/20 10:47 AM

VIP Pensacola at Pensacola Beach Public Safety Building

Pete Moore Tribute photos by Tommy Grice

County Commissioner Robert Bender, Lauren Moore Cutter & Angela Ellis Moore


n Friday, May 22 a group of people assembled at the Pensacola Beach Public Safety Building for the reveal of a statue dedicated to the late Pete Moore. The statue, a pelican cleverly named Petro, will enliven the space and create a wonderful tribute for years to Pete Moore, who died May 1, 2019. Pete Moore was an automobile dealer but was also a local, generous philanthropist. The “Moore Safe Shores” pelican statue and a memorial plaque with Moore’s image will forever be a reminder of the Moore Safe Shores Program and its efforts to keep beachgoers safe. Moore has donated pick-up trucks to the Escambia County Water Safety staff for patrolling and rescuing beachgoers in distress since the program started in 2004, assisting in successfully saving many lives. Commissioner Robert Bender presented the Moore Family with a proclamation during the dedication. Also speaking was Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan who noted Moore’s willingness to donate money toward worthy causes in Escambia County. Morgan said he misses Moore, but his giving spirit will live forever. Pete’s daughter, Lauren Moore Cutter, shared with the crowd of about 50 people how much the dedication meant to the Moore family.

Monsignor Luke Hunt

Jacqueline Pommerening, Meghan Conklin, Lauren Moore Cutter & Angela Ellis Moore

Jacqueline Pommerening, Lauren Moore Cutter, Meghan Conklin & Angela Ellis Moore 48


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photos & story submitted

he Hsu Educational Foundation and Step One Automotive Group, working in league with area Air Force personnel, schools, businesses, and volunteers launched a Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) collaborative operation called Okaloosa Fighting COVID with collection, processing and distribution of donated and 3D printed face shields, masks, and mask extenders at its Hsu Innovation Institute location in Fort Walton Beach. This community effort powered by Step One Automotive Group is inspired by a shared interest of many to help provide much needed protection for healthcare and front-line essential workers, and is already drawing on the experience, equipment, and skills of at least 30 participants thus far, working to design, 3D print, collect, sanitize, package and distribute face shields, masks and other uncertified PPE as a donation to meet a pressing need. Extensive sanitary efforts are being made to provide these essentially home-made, unofficial items in as safe a manner as possible, although not intended to be treated as medical grade or certified in any way. This effort represents a full run of production for this volunteer led operation representing design, collection, and distribution of donated PPE that is 3D printed from multiple source sites across Okaloosa County. Requests to receive PPE may be made through an online form at https://hsu-foundation/okaloosafightingcovid/. Those interested in participating as a volunteer, supporting donor, or willing to help 3D print in support of the effort are also encouraged to visit the webpage. “Innovation is the application of better solutions to solve problems, meet new requirements, or answer market demand. Facing supply chain challenges to acquire critical PPE has inspired a drive for innovation from all corners of the world,” says Paul Hsu, Founder and President of Hsu Educational Foundation. “Whether it

is those social media stories of people pulling out grandma’s sewing machine for the first time to produce home-made fabric masks or students flexing hands-on engineering and technical expertise in building ventilators on University campuses, this COVID-19 pandemic is inspiring critical thinking and problem solving that will hopefully strengthen our resiliency overall.” Local participants such as the STEM School in Valparaiso jumped in the Okaloosa Fighting COVID initiative by applying additive manufacturing software

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and technologies already on hand in their classrooms. These efforts serve as a stop-gap solution until more efficient large scale manufacturing operations catch up with demand. Hsu Educational Foundation is inviting each of the project collaborators such as the Okaloosa School District schools and businesses like Navarre 3D Printing to collect video footage and document the steps of their own process engineering that can be used towards a collaborative virtual lesson series to help train and inspire the next generation of innovators. The objective of Okaloosa Fighting COVID hits home to many who appreciate the impact COVID-19 has on community health, business operations, and the state of the local and national economy. Step One Automotive Group, which owns 13 dealerships in Florida and Georgia, is headquartered in Northwest Florida and was built on a singular dedication to empower lives through smarter and easier ways of accessing mobility. Mobilizing to meet the demands for PPE through this type of operation requires enlisting volunteers to print, designing software, building and managing web pages/social media and handling logistics; securing work spaces; purchasing equipment parts, tubing, printer fi lament material, plastic sheets for shields, chemicals, tubs, racks, and gloves for sanitizing measures, as well as, paper packing and instruction materials. Hsu Educational Foundation, a 501c3 not-for-profit organization is committed to encouraging excellence in education and inspiring innovation in the classroom. Solving real-world challenges, such as those posed by the critical need for PPE among healthcare and first line essential workers, offers an excellent learning opportunity that will help prepare and inspire innovation among the next generation workforce. Step One Automotive Group is driven by a mission to leverage technology to disrupt the local automotive retail business by investing in their teams, empowering them to serve, and leaving a lasting legacy in our local communities. They strive to achieve excellence in execution and add value to the customer experience; always maintaining a strong financial position.

Visit okaloosafightingcovid/ for details on how you can donate, volunteer to participate or request PPE for your healthcare or front-line essential workers.

For more information on Step One Automotive Group visit and

June 2020 | 51

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VIP Pensacola at Plaza De Luna/ World of Beer


photos by Kristina Wright | story by Greg Alexander


After P w≠ ty

n July 25, 2020, hundreds of animal lovers will take to the streets of historic downtown Pensacola for Paws On Palafox, a family friendly 3K dog walk to support the Pensacola Humane Society. This year’s event will feature a fun new twist as participants are encouraged to dress up along with their dogs like a cat, or in roaring 20’s attire for “The Great Catsby” theme. This event is truly the most dog friendly event in the community as they host the event with your dog in mind. Each registered walker will receive a bandana for their pet. Along the route will be water and cooling stations for you and your four-legged friends. As you cross the finish line, you will be back in Plaza De Luna for a one of a kind celebration. Food and merchandise vendors, music, and an awards presentation for top fundraisers will keep the party going into the afternoon! Online registration will end 4:45 PM on July 24. Walkers who would like to participate in the event after online registration has closed are welcome to register Saturday, July 25 from 5:00 - 6:00 at the registration tents in Plaza De Luna. Online donations to Packs and Participants will close at 11:59 PM on July 24, 2020. The Pensacola Humane Society is committed to improving the lives of companion animals in our community through advocacy, adoption, education, and sanctuary. Photos from last year’s event are sure to make you want to participate, or just come join the fun. see the original story online in the June 2019 Issue


Maria Bush & Virginia Lee with Teddy

Jaco (Chris Smith) & Contessia Gibson

Chelsea Kasper & Eric Spear with Penny

Dr. Craig Henry & Ryan Galvin

Jon York & Charlie Birge with Sugar

Buddy Sea & Mariah Greiner


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Chip Herp & Darra Flanagan with Paco Taco & Snow White

Stacey Haworth, Melissa Buss, Hugo, & Luke

Osmel Alfonso with Suki

Janet Watson, Jennifer Bitner & Petya Hamilton with Maximillion

Alyssa Chandler & Shelby Vondenstein with Cooper & Willow

Kellie Greenfield & David Blanch with Maddie & Homer

Eric & Shanee Ducker with Shadow & Zelda

Kristina & Derek Hayden with Shunka June 2020 | 53

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VIP Pensacola at Adventure Motorsports of Pensacola

!"#$ "%&%'()(*+$ ,-.+'/$0*12 %3$&4+ 56+'7*.$0%7/& photos & story by Verla Price


n Saturday, May 30, the BMW Motorcycle Riders Club of the Emerald Coast held a rider’s meeting in the break room of Adventure Motorsports of Pensacola. The club, a long-time charter member of the BMW MOA (BMW Motorcycle Owners Group of America), resurrected in 2017 under the guidance of then-president Ron Winn. Over the last three years, the club sparked new life growing in membership to 36. The meeting started with lively discussions over hot cups of coffee and boxes of donuts provided by Adventure Motorsports. Topics ranged from past rides to planning a trip to Jennings GP, North Florida’s motorcycle only track boasting two miles of twisted black asphalt with fourteen turns. Here, a motorcycle rider can test their riding skills through twisty turns with no speed limit restrictions. A video providing safety precautions during a motorcycle wreck gave insight on the quickest way to triage a wound, how to stabilize the head and neck, and the best way to keep track of your distance to a town to assist the EMT’s in finding you. Contemplation of summer and fall trips continued as the group meeting came to a close. Jon Kagan, president, would like to invite all motorcycle riders to the club. Although it is a BMW club, motorcycle riders of all makes and models are welcome. Club dues are $25 per year with meetings on the last Saturday of each month at Adventure Motorsports. If you would like more information on the club meetings, rides, or membership, find them on Facebook or


Jon Kagan


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Pensacola Camellia Club Members are Prizewinners Several members of Pensacola Camellia Club (PCC) were winners in the current camellia show competition held by the Gulf Coast Camellia Society (GCCS). Federal Judge Roger Vinson was the individual grower who had the most points of all exhibitors for camellia blooms at shows held by GCCS. Skip Vogelsang ranked third overall and Dick & Bette Hooton ranked fourth. In the previous season 2018 -19, Roger Vinson again came in first with Dick and Bette Hooton ranked 5th and Skip Vogelsang at 6th. Vinson has won 1st in GCCS competitions among outside grown blooms for 4 straight years beginning with 201617 competition. Whereas the Pensacola Camellia Club, established in 1937 as the Pensacola Men’s Camellia Club, antedates the American Camellia Society by eight years making it the oldest camellia club in the U. S. it belongs to the regional organization, Gulf Coast Camellia Society which includes states of Texas to North Florida on the Gulf Coast. Roger Vinson, the only member of the local club who has been president of the ACS, explained that there are specific rules for exhibiting in the camellia shows sponsored by the ACS. Each variety is judged as a group by individuals who are accredited by the ACS. Greenhouse grown camellias are judged in a different group from those grown outside. The outside grown blooms, of course, make up the larger group of blooms shown. Vinson has a large backyard and he does his own care for the large numbers of camellias on his property. Skip Vogelsang has a similar story except that he needed extra space and a neighbor-friend allows him to use additional space. Dick and Bette Hooton have a home on Scenic Highway and property which allows them to have approximately 350 camellia plants. Interestingly, the Hooton property is part of an original Spanish land-grant which was given to an early ancestor of Hooton’s. Skip Vogelsang’s blooms have won “best of show” three times at the Atlanta Camellia Show during the five years that he has exhibited there. Here is Skip Vogelsang with “best bloom of show” along with Governor of Georgia Nathan Deal and Mrs. Dana Edwards in Feb. 2018. Photo courtesy of Skip Vogelsang.

Dick Hooton mentions the fact that serious camellia growers who exhibit in shows also make a commitment of time, travel and expense. There are camellia shows almost every weekend between 56

October and the end of February. In order to score high in the ratings one must have a large number of camellia shrubs and be willing to make the commitment to travel to numerous shows. One couple, for example brings about 300 blooms to enter. They have a vehicle large enough to carry about a dozen iceboxes which look like small coffins. Now, that is serious dedication! The club members all express the joy of attending these shows because of the camaraderie involved. The camellia growers all enjoy socializing and exchanging growing tips. Many of them also help judge the blooms so there is another opportunity to exchange information. (The blooms are judged without knowing the grower. If a judge recognizes his own bloom in contention for a prize, he/she does not vote on that bloom.) Other Pensacola Camellia Club members who have won prizes in recent GCCS competitions include Paul Bruno, John Davy, Al & Vickie Baugh, Alan McMillan, Patricia Moran, Greg Taylor and Mack Thetford.

Two Seniors Awarded Collegiate Scholarships from the Pensacola Children’s Chorus The Pensacola Children’s Chorus (PCC) is pleased to award two Spirit of Pensacola Collegiate Scholarships to graduating seniors Laura Looper and Ethan Middleton. Both were selected for their demonstrated traits of honor and courage as well as their impactful service to PCC and to the Greater Pensacola community. Laura Looper attends Trinitas Christian Academy and has been a member of the Pensacola Children’s Chorus for 3 years. She has also appeared on stage at the Brevard Music Center (NC) and at Carnegie Hall (NY). In addition to her performing activities, Looper volunteers locally at numerous soup kitchens and food pantries as well as remaining active in her school and church communities. In her scholarship application essay, Looper says that her experience with PCC has made her feel “big yet small.” Looper explains, “big in that I value my voice and everyone else’s as equal contributions to make up a chorus—a family—and small as I recognize that being a member of PCC is not all about me, but a journey of humility and recognizing the talent, potential, and remarkable worth of everyone around me.” Ethan Middleton attends West Florida High School and has been a member of the Pensacola Children’s Chorus for 8 years. He

has also appeared on stage with Pensacola Opera, Pensacola State College, and Pensacola Little Theater. In addition to his performing activities, Middleton serves as the co-chair of PCC’s student leadership council. Says Middleton, “the Pensacola Children’s Chorus has helped mold me into a person who truly takes pride in my community.” Both he and Looper are members of PCC’s Ambassador Choir, an ensemble which partners with local nonprofits on projects which combine music and service. Middleton continues, “I have learned that giving back to the community is of utmost importance.” “Ethan and Laura are very worthy recipients of our Spirit of Pensacola Scholarship,” says Alex Gartner, Artistic & Executive Director. “Both are incredible leaders who never hesitate to motivate and build up those around them. They are model examples of what it means to put service over self.” The Spirit of Pensacola Scholarship was established in 2018 as a way to continue PCC’s mission of molding a new generation of leaders beyond high school. Interested applicants submitted an essay and résumé which were blindly reviewed by a subcommittee of PCC’s Board of Directors. Funding is generously provided by individual donations secured by PCC’s Board President, Jerry Unruh, VADM, USN (Ret.). To date, PCC has awarded $12,000 in collegiate scholarships over the past 3 years.

Feeding the Gulf Coast’s Child Nutrition Team Serves Over 100,000 Meals Since School Closed

When schools closed early in March, kids in need would have missed much-needed meals along the Central Gulf Coast. However, Feeding the Gulf Coast quickly sprang into action to organize and start their Summer Meals Program, a process that typically takes several months. With only three days to plan this year, Feeding the Gulf Coast started the program on March 19 so that kids in need in our area had a place to receive a healthy meal. To date, their child nutrition team has served over 100,000 meals in response to schools closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Each summer we operate the Summer Meals Program,” said Eugenie Sellier, Child Nutrition Programs Director at Feeding the Gulf Coast. The program typically kicks off at the end of May, but with schools closing early, we knew that we needed to quickly set up the program to ensure that children in need had access to meals. We are partnering with over 60 sites to provide 5,000 meals on a daily basis.” Site partners have stated that the program has been a blessing for kids who might not receive meals without the program. “When the program began in March, we were excited to see how we might make an impact in our community


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by providing the drive-thru meals for hungry children,” said Bellview Assembly of God volunteer, Dianne Roark. “What a delightful surprise! Parents and grandparents drive through with grins, while the children in the back seat may be bouncing with joy to receive the snacks and lunches! I am touched by the sincere thank you’s from both the adults, and the little ones as they drive by to go home to eat the [meals provided through Feeding the Gulf Coast]. Thank you for letting us play a part in this much-needed intervention!” Feeding the Gulf Coast received a grant to help support the program from No Kid Hungry, a national campaign run by Share Our Strength, a nonprofit working to solve problems of hunger and poverty in the United States and around the world. No Kid Hungry runs a texting service to help parents and caregivers find free summer meal sites in their neighborhood. Parents and caregivers seeking meals for children, ages 18 and younger, can text the word “FOOD” (or “COMIDA”) to 877-877 to find emergency food distribution sites near them. As families are faced with an increased need for food due to school closures, inability to work, or facing self-quarantine requirements, the “Find Help” feature available at www. is the best source of information for families and individuals seeking assistance. Individuals can also call (888) 704FOOD.

King.s. Serves Message-Heavy & Atmospheric R&B/Pop Album ‘Dear Love’ With New Project Releasing In Summer

King.s. releases his latest powerful, emotional, and message-heavy R&B/pop album ‘Dear Love’. The eight-track album contains strong basslines, catchy melodic elements, groovy beats, and grasping vocals by King.s. From the intimate ‘WWYD’ to the emotional ‘Lust’, King.s. delivers melodic bliss combined with lyrical depth across the album. King.s.’s immersing voice and flow will grasp the listener’s attention. Undoubtedly, the album can impact the listener as it contains every

anthemic and grand element for an R&B album. ‘Dear Love’ contains lyricism that will hook the listener due to the artist’s wordplay and relatable messages. This upcoming summer King.s. is set to release his new project, ‘Stephen/Stephon’ with singles destined to chart such as ‘head above,’ ‘Thinking about,’ and ‘sicka.’ King.s. is a rising artist, singer, and songwriter originating from Pensacola, Florida. The Florida native seeks to inspire people around the world, and captivate them through his music. Moreover, his music serves as an outlet for people to enjoy and escape the struggles of everyday life. King.s. has a unique style and sound that will mesmerize people and keep them wanting more. His storytelling lyricism will hook people in and keep them engaged, as his music is rooted in emotions and real-life experiences. King.s. is an artist to keep an eye on and ear out for as he is set to leave his footprint in the music scene. Achievements: Performed for a sold-out show at the Shrine in Harlem New York, Performed at the first annual Urban Culture Music Festival in Augusta ,Ga. Music is currently played on renowned radio stations around the United States .

New WSRE Production Remembers Country Legend Hank Locklin

WSRE is producing a new film about country music recording artist Hank Locklin, who hailed from the piney woods of Santa Rosa County in McLellan, Fla. “Hank Locklin: Country Music’s Timeless Tenor” is scheduled for release this fall, commemorating the 60th anniversary of two career milestones: the release of “Please Help Me, I’m Falling” and Locklin’s Grand Ole Opry induction. Production has been supported by grants from “Country Music: A Film By Ken Burns” and the Bear Family Foundation. The WSRE-TV Foundation is seeking additional funders to help secure archival footage and photos and the rights clearance required for distribution of the film beyond noncommercial broadcast and streaming, making possible screening events and DVD production. WSRE will submit the film for national feed to other PBS stations through the National Educational Telecommunications Association. “We are confident that the film will have national appeal and will be broadcast on a number of PBS stations with particular interest coming from stations in the Southeast,” said Jill Hubbs, WSRE general manager. Locklin made his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry in 1953, following his first No. 1 hit, “Let Me Be The One.” He performed for the first time as an Opry member on Nov. 12, 1960, following the success of “Please Help Me, I’m Falling.” He remained a member for 49 years, making his last Opry performance in 2007 at age

Grand Ole Opry Archives: Photograph by Les Leverett

89 and remarkably hitting the same high notes of his heyday as he performed his self-penned hit, “Send Me The Pillow You Dream On.” “Please Help Me, I’m Falling,” written by Don Robertson and Hal Blair, was a monster hit on both the country and pop music charts in 1960. The song introduced a unique piano style and advanced the Nashville sound known for influencing country music as we know it today. The song peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart on May 15, 1960. It remained on the chart for nine months—30 weeks in the Top 10, holding the top spot for 14 weeks, and it crossed over to Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, peaking at No. 8. Other popular hits recorded by Locklin included “Geisha Girl,” “Country Music Hall of Fame,” and “Danny Boy.” Locklin is admired within the country music community for both his influence on the artists who followed him and for the genuine kindness of his character, as evidenced by the cast of industry icons who agreed to interview for the WSRE documentary about his music and career. In the film, Locklin’s story is told by his youngest son, Hank Adam Locklin, with help from country greats, including Bill Anderson, Ralph Emery, Crystal Gayle, Vince Gill, William Lee Golden, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Jeannie Seely, Ray Stevens, Marty Stuart, Dwight Yoakam and others. About Locklin, producer Chet Atkins and the Nashville A-Team session musicians who first recorded “Please Help Me, I’m Falling,” legendary Grand Ole Opry and session guitarist Jimmy Capps said, “They knocked down all the bushes, and we drove in on paved roads.” WSRE has scheduled the local broadcast premiere of “Hank Locklin: Country Music’s Timeless Tenor” for October 15. The film is being produced by Mary Riker. Emily Mitchell is associate producer, James Roy is director, and Ted King is assistant director. For information about becoming a funder of this project, contact Tracie Hodson at 850-484-1246 or June 2020 | 57

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Debbie Sapp

Gary & Debbie Sapp

photos & story by Verla Price


hoever said opposites attract obviously never met Debbie and Gary Sapp. The entrepreneurial couple are a dynamic business duo operating two businesses while staying engaged in various worthwhile community causes. With 29 years together and over 20 years in business, they have a solid foundation to endure economic ups and downs. BBB Accredited, Gary Sapp Automotive provides automotive and truck repair, and maintenance services to the Pensacola, FL area. Gary Sapp (owner), is the only World Class ASE Master Auto and Truck Technician in the area, holding 37 certifications, which gives his customers peace of mind knowing they can trust their vehicle is in the most capable hands.

Athena & Julie Gates

Angie Willis, Becky Madden & Taylor Bellow 58

Debbie’s business Southern Gardens Florist and Gifts hand-delivers premium floral arrangements and gift baskets to help strengthen relationships, give love and support, and celebrate life’s special moments. Debbie’s slogan “Flowers are my business card” and Gary’s “If your car is not running right, run right to Gary Sapp Automotive” demonstrate the care and support both give to their customers. Stop in and visit both businesses located on Pine Forrest Road in Pensacola just a few miles from each other, or visit them online and

Joe Abston & Gary Sapp

Sarah Baker & Emily Shelton

Ian Vance & AJ Gates


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June 2020 | 59

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VIP Pensacola at Brunch & Bubbles

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


nce again, Sandy Sansing Dealerships is presenting the 5th annual Brunch & Bubbles benefiting Gulf Coast Kid’s House. Honorary chairs, Mr. Tip McAlpin and Ms. Lori Storey, invite you to join them sound side for a fantastic champagne brunch prepared by local chefs from many of your favorite restaurants. This favorite event of many in the community will now be held on October 25 at 11:00 am at Portofino Island Resort. Guests will enjoy live music provided by the talented John Ripley while sipping endless brunch cocktails and bidding on silent and live auctions of “experience” packages. Gulf Coast Kid’s House, Inc (GCKH) is the only child advocacy center and child abuse prevention center serving as both a physical center for the coordinated response to child abuse and the facilitating agency for the Escambia County Multidisciplinary Team. As a child advocacy center, GCKH is a child-friendly facility which houses partner agencies who are able to provide comprehensive, multidisciplinary services to children suspected of having been physically or sexually abused or neglected. Last year’s event was a smashing success and VIP Pensacola was glad to attend. We are happy to review last year’s event as a Classic on these pages and can hardly wait for the re-scheduled event in October. Email for sponsorship and ticket information. see the original story online in the June 2019 Issue


Brent & Angela Lane

Kevin & Jihan Cote

Deborah Dunlap & Krista Silverman

Melissa & Thom Keener

Madrina & Mark Ciano

Gene & Amanda Hurd


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Brian & Cristina Williams

Davis Allen, Amanda Nealis, Jarrett & Cali Scully

Steve & Olivia McNally

Diane Ripley, Mike Papantonio, Barbara McVoy & Terri Papantonio

Maty Claire Medina, Hal George & Aimee Dumas

Meagan Chapman & Lisa Nellesen-Salvage

Amber & Ben Gordon

Paige Bindi, Sue Nast & Susan Belter June 2020 | 61

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What is your hometown, what brought you to PENSACOLA and how long have you been here? I am a Pensacola Native. I attended Lipscomb Elementary School, Brown Barge Middle School, and Pensacola High School Health Academy. After 8 years at The University of Florida (Go Gators!) and serving on 3 aircraft carriers in the U.S. Navy Dental Corps, I found my way back home to join my mother Geeta Parekh’s practice, Landmark Dental Care. Now, for the past year, I’ve enjoyed rediscovering the place I grew up. What is your profession, and what led you to chose it? My four years at the Health Academy at Pensacola High School gave me the opportunity to spend several hours a week shadowing doctors and healthcare professionals at Baptist Hospital. It was then that I realized my passion for science, aesthetics, and public healthcare. During my undergraduate studies at UF I decided to pursue a DMD degree for a career in Dentistry. What do you like best about Pensacola? What makes it unique? Pensacola has changed and expanded rapidly since I left for undergrad at UF in 2004. This city is unique because it is a laid back coastal town mixed with the excitement of the Blue Angels and diversity that NAS Pensacola brings. This town is steeped in history and offers plenty of historical sites to explore. As an added perk, Pensacola has housing that is affordable compared to other parts of the country, making it an amazing place to call home. Give us three words that best describe you. Driven. Optimistic. Caring. What are some of your favorite things about Pensacola? I was a bit hesitant to move back to a small city after living in San Diego for 5 years where there was always so much going on. However, I quickly found out that Pensacola has a vibrant nightlife, a strong salsa dancing community, excellent weather for sailing, and some great places to trap and skeet shoot. This small city has a surprising amount of options! My parents immigrated from India. They established their roots first in Baton Rouge and then in Pensacola. My mom was the 2nd female dentist in town. She started Landmark Dental care in the Heart of Pensacola. I learned from amazing teachers in Public Schools in Pensacola. I cannot ever thank my teachers enough : Mrs. Gray, Mr. and Mrs. Roh, and Mrs. Ennis who taught me early on that hard work and vision can change your life. I achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at Saint Luke’s on Nine Mile Road. Pensacola is in my veins, in my mind, and in my heart. I love the fact that our city is growing and citizens are prospering, and that we always have the water and beaches to enjoy. FINALLY I AM HOME SWEET HOME.

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photo by Kristina Wright

Finish this statement, I AM PENSACOLA because…

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