VIP Pensacola, March 2020

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Volume V • Issue III

events 13 16 18 20 22 30 34 36 41 44 48 50 52 54 59 64 69 72

25th Annual Cordova Mall Ball Krewe of Pierrettes Ball Krewe of Seville Ball February Business After Hours Once Upon a Time: Goose to Grimm VIP Pensacola’s February Cover Reveal Party Cirque du YaYa Ball 36th Annual Avante Garde Mardi Gras Ball Love at First Bite Grand Mardi Gras Parade Krewe of Daisy Dukes 15th Annual ThrillBilly Ball 40th Annual Krewe of Wrecks Pensacola Beach Parade Krewe of Warriors Ball UWF Mardi Gras Parade Krewe of Lafitte Ball Playing for a Purpose Krewe of Blues Ball 2nd Annual Valentine’s Masquerade Ball

on the cover Phil & Jennifer Jackson, Yvette & Tony Zembrzuski Photography by Kristina Wright Cordova Mall Ball at Cordova Mall

departments 24 32 38 46 56 62 66 74

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

features 28 Luxury & Financial Profiles Take a look at some of Pensacola’s leading professionals in the business of luxury and financial matters.

VIP Pensacola Staff Publisher Greg Alexander Associate Publisher Verla Price Managing Editor Steve Barber Production Editor Jessica Graña Advertising Steve Barber Verla Price Penny Stricklin

Designer Priscilla Atkins Sheila McDiarmid Contributing Writers/ Photographers Greg Alexander Verla Price Liesel Schmidt Kristina Wright VIP Founder Jeff Watson

March 2020 | 9

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As we March into spring with expectations of warmer weather, leaving behind the fun of Mardi Gras and masquerade balls, I look forward to the plethora of forthcoming outside events. In this issue, our writers and photographers present you with fundraisers, ball gowns, masks, and parades. As you flip through the pages you will find golden opportunities for festive drinks in Swizzle and a taste o’ the Irish in Coastal Cuisine. Give Care Share features an interesting story on Pensacola Area Impact 100. I try to attend as many events as I can throughout the month, and there are a few that I try not to miss. Each year I look forward to the Mall Ball as it was the first event I attended after moving to Pensacola. With so many opportunities for socializing, fundraising, and networking in Pensacola, it is impossible to attend them all … but we can read about many of them in the following pages. If you are looking for things to do in March, you will find our Save the Date a good resource for your plans, such as The Pilot Club Pancake Breakfast. Adventure Out features the 3rd annual Veg-Fest - a vegan food and music festival. Locale introduces us to the Gulf Coast Bike and Car Music Fest coming in June. I am excited to attend all of these events. This will be my 4th Pancake Festival, I am always interested in healthy foods at Veg-Fest, and I cannot wait to see the bikes at the June festival. If you cannot find things to do in Pensacola, you are not looking for fun. This issue closes with Megan Chapman featured as I am Pensacola. Read about Gulf Coast Kids House’s Out Reach and Development Director and find out how you can help this worthy cause. Finally, I have an important reminder. It is almost time for VIP Pensacola’s Readers’ Choice Awards – Best in Pensacola. Nominations start in April, so watch for the official category list to be released. Nominate the one best suited for you or your favorite businesses and ask all your friends to VOTE!

photo by Kristina Wright

letter from the Associate Publisher

Verla Price

Associate Publisher 850-502-7970


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VIP Pensacola at Cordova Mall

25th Annual

Cordova Mall Ball photos & story by Kristina Wright


ordova Mall, the Sacred Heart Foundation, and the Studer Family Children’s Hospital kicked off the 2020 Mardi Gras season with the 25th Annual Mall Ball on January 25, sponsored by Sandy Sansing Dealerships. The Cordova Mall Ball was an evening to be remembered, where over 2,500 friends and neighbors throughout the region came together to have a ball at the mall. Guests were invited to dance the night away to live entertainment from Starz, Reunion Band, and The Tommy Morse Band. A taste of Mardi Gras invited attendees to satisfy their sweet tooth with cookies, cakes, and confections, as well as enjoy tapas sized portions from more than 25 area restaurants. Guests were treated to a New Orleans atmosphere created by honoring the French Market highlighting jazz music from a trio of musicians, indulgung in traditional Hurricanes, having their fortunes told, faces painted, and wearing select one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras masks. A silent auction was available where bidders found a wide array of packages from signed guitars to one-of-a-kind works of art, jewelry, and trips. All proceeds from the event go to benefit the Bear Family Foundation Pediatric Oncology Center for Hope at Studer Family Children’s Hospital. Funds raised will support young cancer patients through the Bear Family Foundation Pediatric Oncology Center for Hope, which will be based at the Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart.

Delerice Tehrani & Kay Mitchell

Jason & Christie Parker

Rebba Dickerson & CJ Dancy

Leonard & Tammy Lee

Angela Jackson & Syara Perez

Vicky Dixon, Robert Scauzillo, Maryann Fye & Mary Kay Craven March 2020 | 13

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VIP Pensacola at Cordova Mall Ball

James & Katie Theisen

Aaron & Suzie West

Phil & Jennifer Jackson, Yvette & Tony Zembrzuski


Darlene Durant & Janie Hayes

Jennifer Cleveland & Stacy Robello

Katie & John Crawford

Jesse Drossos & Deborah Hart

Mark & Devon Brian

Roxy Resendiz & Kim Watson

Verla Price, Carol Ettelson, Doug Bunze & Carla Darlene


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Peggy & Sandy Sansing, Ed Morrison

April 5, 2020 @ 7 p.m. Ashley Cerverizzo, Tiffany Baker & Ashley Rohrman

Lea Ann Bullard, Jana Hand, Danielle Baker

Juanita Stevens, Barbara Francis & Nancy Prevot

March 5, 2020 @ 7:30 p.m. March 2020 | 15

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VIP Pensacola at Pensacola Country Club

photos & story by Kristina Wright


he Krewe of Pierrettes hosted their annual ball on February 1 at the Pensacola Country Club. The evening was themed after “A Night on Broadway,” and the presentation of the court included characters from Grease, Annie, Hair Spray, Mary Poppins, and Mama Mía. The Pensacola Children’s Chorus welcomed guests with a special performance upon their arrival. Shaner Crooke is this year’s krewe president, and the 2020 King and Queen were announced as Peter and Julie Dyson. The Krewe of Pierrettes is one of Pensacola’s oldest women’s Mardi Gras organizations, and was founded in 1956. The group’s history is based on a Pierrot, a pantomime character popular in 19th century France. Krewe members salute their heritage each carnival season by wearing a black and white costume modeled after the traditional French clown attire. Unlike many local krewes, the group does not parade but celebrates with a traditional Mardi Gras Ball. Each year a local charity is chosen for fundraising and outreach. Every fall, the krewe donates hundreds of pounds of food to the local chapter of Feeding the Gulf Coast. The krewe enjoys a fine and exciting reputation with a limited membership, which is obtained by being nominated by a current member. Members in good standing may propose one prospective member and/or second the nomination of up to two prospective members. All nominees must have one proposer as well as a second to be welcomed.

Peter & Julie Dyson

Lisa Mitchell & Allison Jones


Kim Chope & Sterling Gilliam

Landry & Emily Leidner

Veronica Bowden & Lauren Ruher

Neely & Randy Brown, Therese & Billy Harrell

Susan Davies & Susan Soule


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Beverly & Thomas Vaughn

Ann & Brent Scott, Shana Thomas

Laura Boyles & Jill Gonzalez

Heather Reese, Laura & Tosh Belsinger March 2020 | 17

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VIP Pensacola at Hadji Shrine Temple

Krewe of Seville Ball photos & story by Kristina Wright


he Krewe of Seville hosted their annual ball at the Hadji Shrine Temple on February 1. Guests were invited to enjoy an evening which started with a premium open bar, the opportunity to bid on incredible items from the silent auction, and dance the night away to live entertainment provided by Six Piece Suits. Heavy hors d’oeuvres were provided after the Coronation of the new king and queen, Jimmy Black and Becca Rutland. Krewe of Seville is a local Mardi Gras krewe in Pensacola, established in 1997, whose purpose is to have fun and participate in Mardi Gras events and parade. KOS chooses a local charity each year and provides a monetary donation voted on by the krewe. Krewe of Seville has two floats and 106 members. One float is always a representation of Seville Quarter, and the second float changes design every year with the new theme. Each September the krewe hosts a happy hour new member invitation party, and their membership drive closes in December. Two active members in good standing will need to sponsor an individual wishing to join. Current membership fee is $200 and requires the individual to serve on the float committee. Returning members pay $175 and serve on a committee of their choice.

Derek Ferebee & Delaine Andrews

Barbara Coffey, John & Rachel Ham

Cindy Rogers & Dan Harriott

Angela & Tim McMahan

Susan Williams, Helen Turner & Karen Harris

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Jason & Kristin Commander

Bill & Susan Sears, Curtis Krebs & Tracey Date

John & Romana Lopez

Adrianna Dixon & Corey Jess

Phil & Terri Alvarez, Michelle & Ernie Lewis

Donna Allen & Dale Estes

Jimmy Black & Becca Rutland

Jerry & Kris Sobski

Dave & Stephanie Moon March 2020 | 19

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VIP Pensacola at Apple Annie’s

Michelle Lamar-Acuff, Tad Brown, Amber Ellis & Lacey Mann

Chae Kyle & Eric McArthur

photos & story by Kristina Wright


or the past eight years, Gent’s Formal Wear and Pensacola Parade People have teamed up to sponsor the February Business After Hours, which was held inside Apple Annie’s at Seville Quarter. Attendees placed their business card in the bowl upon entry, which allotted each individual one free drink and a light snack from the buffet selection. Door prizes were available from both sponsors and guests, who brought in additional items for the raffle as well. This event also presented a great opportunity to discuss the upcoming Mardi Gras events in Pensacola,and develop partnerships with other like-minded individuals. Business After Hours events are designed to encourage local professionals to showcase their businesses, get involved in the community, and participate in strengthening the relationships of the area. Each month a different sponsor is chosen, and highlights a new or established business who would like to expand their reach and influence on potential clients. Business After Hours is held on the third Thursday of each month from 5 to 7pm, and encourages area businesses to showcase their establishments to the business community while making valuable contacts in the process.

Vanessa Ruark & Dr. Richard Chern

Betsy Tait & Ron Helms

Lindsay Blanton & Jack Williams 20

John Emsing, Leah Thornton, Dorian Zwierewicz & Kyle Polhlopek


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Prince Thomas & Dr. Aaron Hixon

Audrey Preston & Richard Crenshaw

Patty & Ron Spradling

Tonya Dalhaus & Don Heins March 2020 | 21

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VIP Pensacola at Palafox House

photos & story by Kristina Wright


uests were invited to enter into a world of fantasy and elegance at the Krewe of St. Patrick’s 10th Annual Mardi Gras ball, “Once Upon a Time: Goose to Grimm,” held on February 8 at the Palafox House in downtown Pensacola. This year’s theme helped celebrate the krewe’s 10th anniversary by honoring times past in a whimsical and charming atmosphere. An open bar was available with cocktails, beer, and wine, with food catered by the Fish House. The attire for the event was traditional black-tie, ball gown, formal kilt, or “elegant fantasy.” Classy, tastefully themed character representations were also permitted. A silent auction was held with funds to be donated to the krewe’s charity of choice, “Heroes on the Water,” which helps warriors relax, rehabilitate, and reintegrate through kayak fishing and the outdoors. A 501(c)(3) charity, Heroes on the Water provides wellness programs to serve veterans, active-duty military personnel, first responders, and their families. The Krewe of St. Patrick was founded in 2009, but they did not have their first ball until the following year. This year’s Lord and Lady were announced as Marty Hulsey and Selina Bryant. President Terry Godwin said, “This krewe is all about acceptance, diversity, and inclusion. We welcome people from all walks of life, and truly just enjoy having fun together, while celebrating the Mardi Gras season and raising funds for our charity.”

Jeff Evert, Terry Godwin & Mario Roberts

Anna Pope & Mark Crane 22

Stormy Wallace & Marvin Oliver

Angelique & Christopher Turner

Rich Rheuame & Bill Adair

Derrick & Amanda Nelms, Mark & Elizabeth Bear


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story by Liesel Schmidt



t’s long been considered a treasure, a precious metal that people have fought wars over, traversed thousands of miles in search of, spent countless hours seeking. And while most people think of it in the form of jewelry, it’s become quite the trend to incorporate gold into food and drink, fancifying these consumable creations and elevating them to a whole new level.


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Like most trends, the concept of gold consumption is not new. In fact, it’s got some very ancient roots, tracing back all the way to the times of the Egyptian pharaohs, when gold was often ingested for the purification of mind, body, and soul. Eastern cultures have also been in on the idea for centuries, using gold leaf as a decorative garnish for their food and beverages in addition to believing it to have effective healing properties. And in 16th century Europe, the nobility often decorated their food with it because it was believed to supplement health and longevity. Gold leaf was also added to drinks by alchemists to soothe sore limbs. Clearly, the idea of little flakes of gold floating in a drink are hardly novel. But instead of breaking out the 24-karat because

of its medicinal properties, we now do it…just because. We want that drink to be over the top, something absolutely unique and fabulous. And what’s more luxurious and extravagant when we’re wanting to go all out than GOLD? Not much. And the Instagram factor is off the charts. The key, of course, is choosing a cocktail or alcoholic beverage that lends itself well to the gold leaf, something whose color and transparency will allow the metal to shine through. Think clear alcohols like gin, schnapps, vodka, and, of course, champagne. Depending on the type of look you’re going for, you can float them in the drink or rim the glass. Whatever you do, you’ve got gold-level lavishness.

INGREDIENTS: 4 parts Citron vodka 2 parts Triple Sec 1 part fresh lime juice 2 parts cranberry juice Edible gold flake or dust DIRECTIONS: Rim a chilled martini glass with fresh lime and coat edge with edible gold flakes or dust. Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker and add more edible gold flakes or dust to the mix. Shake over ice, then strain into the martini glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

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Voted Best Payroll/HR Firm

Services Offered: Time Clock/Time Tracking Payroll Services

Solving issues in HR for companies with 5 to 5,000 employees. attract and retain top talent, and maximize your employee productivity.

100 S Pace Blvd, Pensacola • 850-475-1555 26


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From April 1-19, nominate your favorites in a variety of categories. Remember to nominate daily because entries with the most nominations in each category will move on to the of cial Best In Pensacola ballot starting May 11-31.

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Karen Pincelli Izzo


Pensacola’s Leading Professionals in the Business of Luxury and Financial Matters

Jeremy Harris Jeremy Harris wears many hats. He’s a husband, a father of seven, a pastor, and a business owner. He has some pretty amazing stories that he can share about his life that will leave you with your mouth wide open. After moving here and while pastoring Faith Church, he started a local business, Eight Five O, LLC, Exterior Cleaning, which has grown to have five-star reputation. With a love for entrepreneurship, a driving pursuit to provide a great life for his family, and a heart to better the Pensacola area, last December he decided to purchase local business Bon Beans Organic Coffee, Tea, and Juice. The business is again growing and reaching new customers. Jeremy stays busy, but he’s always busy doing something good, always ready to serve our community.

875 E 9 Mile Road #3 Pensacola, Florida 28

Karen Pincelli Izzo is a para-planner at Dragonfly Financial Services for Women, a financial advisory firm. A Brazilian native from Sao Paulo, she came to the States as a high school exchange student. Upon graduation, she was accepted into The University of West Florida’s prestigious College of Business. In 2019 she graduated Magna Cum Laude attaining her Bachelor of Science in Finance with a minor in Marketing. While in college, Karen served as President and Director of Finance of the Brazilian Student Association at UWF. She is also a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the International Business Honor Society. She worked as a marketing coordinator for the University’s athletics. As para-planner Karen works diligently to create Dragonfly brand recognition through social media, virtual marketing with LinkedIn, financial plan creation, application processing, event planning, charitable fundraising, and network marketing. She is proficient in four languages: Portuguese, English, Spanish, and German.

308 W Government Street Pensacola, Florida


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Leo Lynne

Leo Lynne, a commercial banker for many years, enjoys boating and golfing….so nobody was surprised when he sold his finance company and headed to the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. With his 100ton commercial captain license he began to charter private yachts. Never meeting a stranger he quickly learned the array of yachts and crew personalities and, with that knowledge, his company Caribbean Charter Yachts ( has become a top agent for 100 privately crewed yachts in the Caribbean from 40’240’. These turn-key exotic vacations can be customized to fit a wide range of budgets and create lifelong memories. In his ‘’off season,’’ Leo chose Pensacola, Florida, for his home. Presented with a unique opportunity to turn his second passion – golf, into a profession, Leo and a few of his friends purchased the Scenic Hills Golf Course and Country Club ( which keeps him on land more now than at sea. Scenic Hills Country Club was established in 1958, and recently Leo and his team have initiated plans to build resort style accommodations and residences to propel the Club to an award winning local and travel destination. 850.898.2271

John Manzanet

John Manzanet is originally from New York. He has been coming to Pensacola since 1985 where he was a Distinguished Naval Graduate of Aviation Officer Candidate School (AOCS). He earned a degree in Aerospace Engineering and a second Bachelor’s in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering from St. Louis University. His MBA comes from UWF. He retired Honorably as a Commander in 2013. In 2016 he launched Yolee Solutions, an Internet/Digital Marketing company specializing in Search Engine Optimization, Website Development, and Reputation Marketing. They set themselves apart from their competitors, by looking at a company from the 10,000 foot level and explore their entire internet presence before they decide what solution is best for them. No cookie-cutter approaches. John@ 850.232.1160

Bryce Potter Bryce Potter is a para-planner and Director of Marketing at Iron Plan Solutions Group, a financial advisory firm. Bryce attended top ranked business school, The University of Florida. While there he joined Greek life as a Sigma Chi Lambda Beta brother and loved supporting UWF athletics. In May of 2019 Bryce graduated with his Bachelor of Science, Business Administration majoring in Finance with a minor in Management. He began an internship program at Iron Plan prior to graduation and stayed on as a paraplanner. His skills quickly propelled him to Director of Marketing along with his paraplanning duties. Bryce uses social media to create brand recognition for Iron Plan as well as virtual marketing with LinkedIn. Iron Plan recently spun off a new marketing program, Organic Appointments, specializing in new client acquisition. Bryce’s dedication to the program earned him a place as junior partner.

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VIP Pensacola at Berkshire Hathaway Gulf Breeze

VIP Pensacola’s COVER REVEAL PARTY photos & story by Kristina Wright

Doug Bunze & Carol Ettelson


IP Pensacola held their February Cover Reveal Party at the brand-new location of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty in Gulf Breeze on February 4. Clients, guests, and treasured friends of VIP Pensacola and Berkshire Hathaway were invited to an evening filled with networking, delicious food from Hot Spot BBQ, and complimentary drinks. There were chances to win exciting door prizes graciously donated by local area businesses. The Berkshire Hathaway office was previously a REMAX franchise. Sam and Sherlyn Waghalter purchased the ReMax franchise in 2004 while they were evacuated from their home on Pensacola Beach after Hurricane Ivan. The franchise agreement ended in 2019, after which they had the opportunity to research different brands and opportunities in the world of real estate. They felt like Berkshire Hathaway represented the culture and offered the resources to take their office to another level. Sheryln has been one of the top-producing agents in the panhandle for twenty years. Without the responsibilities of owning a brokerage, she says she can stay true to her passion of selling real estate in the beautiful gulf coast area.

Isolde Rothery & Martina Mason


Carrie & Jeremy Carver

Brian, Sherlyn, Sam & Caroline Waghalter

Chip Wood & Elden Scott

Kathleen Ogden & Rosie Jackrre

Dana Hall & Sue Minnick


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Craig Weber & Patty Spradling

Margaret Cunningham & Patti Hall

Chae Kyle & Penny Stricklin

Steve Barber, Royce Mitchell & Verla Price

Katie Kingsman & Suzie West

Rick Appleyard & Mallory Studer

Ed Villar, John McDonald & Austin Shockley

Aaron West & Michelle Caldwell

Jeffery Walen & TJ Edwards

Holly Jurnovoy, Kristen Rhodes & Susan Clark March 2020 | 31

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Spring Forecast new trends for


Floral & Nature Print Flowers, foliage, petals, and leaves. Whether it’s on a classy dress or a fun top- floral is hot this season. High-Waisted Shorts/Hot Pants Long legs are here! Shorts are going higher and shorter to show off more leg. Minty Fresh One of the hottest colors for spring is mint. Add a pop to an accessory, or be bold with a solid skirt. Vests Dress up your work-day shirt with a vest. That’s rightvests are back! Play with a bold print or a textured fabric to add style and sophistication to your outfit. Fringe Benefits Playful. Whimsical. Chic. Fringe is the perfect touch to add a little personality to your ensemble. Crochet & Knit Try using a crocheted piece to elevate your wardrobe, adding texture, pattern, and a hint of skin through the stitches! Pleats & Layers Skirts have a lot to offer this season. Choose one with layers to add movement and shape to your look. Crop Tops Crop tops, tube tops, and bralettes are a fun way to shake things up this season. Paired with highwaisted shorts or a fringe skirt and you’re all set for the spring season!



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VIP Pensacola at New World Inn

James & Shelly Nutt

Kathy Klimkowski, Melissa Levanduski, Ken Staton & Amy Anders

photos & story by Kristina Wright


he Krewe du YaYas held their Cirque du YaYa Ball on February 15, at New World Inn. The night was filled with music by the Astronauts, and a chance to play at exciting casino tables, for which guests were given 500 “YaYa Dollars� upon entry to play with as they wished. On-site photobooth was provided by Good Vibrations. The theme of the evening was the celebration of life, as well as honoring the breast cancer survivors in our community. Sixteen survivors were honored in a special presentation during the event, including: Darlene Babcock, Bonnie Bell, Mandie Bignell, Tammy Edwards, Cherrie Eman, Patsy Enfinger, Marilyn Gleaton, Michelle Hinton, Kim Marsh, Sondra Massraf, Theresa Morehouse, Jennifer Morris, Carolyn Munhollon, Susan Sears, Barbara Shoulders, Lisa Jo Walborn, and one Metavivor (stage 4 breast cancer) Michelle Hedman. They are the reasons the YaYas fight, stand, and work as hard as they can, so that one day no one, or their families, has to experience what these ladies did.

David & Sondra Massraff

Jeri & Mike Cox

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Frank & Sharon Haller, Elizabeth & Brett Haymans


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Chris Taylor & Wendi Summers

Jennifer Maples & Michelle Hedman

Allen & Jennifer Netzer

Anthony & Sabrina Simpson March 2020 | 35

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VIP Pensacola at Pensacola Yacht Club


photos & story by Kristina Wright

he Krewe of Avant Garde hosted their 36th annual Mardi Gras Ball on February 7, at the Pensacola Yacht Club. The evening began with cocktails and a social hour, followed by the invocation and pledge, and the royal feast. Guests were then treated to the introduction of the court, the Grand March, and finished the evening with dancing. Formed in 1983, the Krewe of Avant Garde wanted to show their Military Pride during the Mardi Gras season with past and present military presence. Krewe of Avant Guard is comprised of our Nation’s military officers, wives, and family. Flying the flags of each military branch, and with the military symbols painted alongside their float. When you see them you are instantly filled with pride. The krewe has expanded its membership in recent years. Membership is now open to all members of the armed forces, their spouses and family members, as well as anyone that supports the military. The royal courts are composed of a King and Queen and up to two Prince and Princesses. There is a Board of Directors in which members may alternate positions and assist with chairing the various membership parties. The krewe has five parties per year, including an Aloha Party and Dinner to welcome new members, Holiday Dinner, Dance Party and Silent Auction, a black tie Masked Mardi Gras Ball and Dinner, and a pre-parade party near the float lineup the day of the Pensacola Mardi Gras Parade for members and guests who will be riding the Avant Garde float. A Spring Fling BBQ/annual meeting is held each May for election of new Board members.

Patty Veal, Ruth Gray, Andrea Semour & Jackie Scrimpshire

Pam Greene, J. Martinez & Tracie Polk 36

Estelle & Dean Kirschner

Ray Taylor & Linda Hawthorne

Ken & Lisa Verling

George & Suzie Van Dyke, Scott Wenzel


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april 4, 2020

seven thirty in the evening

Pensacola little theatre’s annual celebration of art Provisions libations live performances black tie sponsored by 850.432.2042 March 2020 | 37

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Obligatory Irish Foods You Should Eat on St. Patrick’s Day


story by Liesel Schmidt

hen St. Patrick’s Day rolls around, green beer, shamrocks, and garish green tee shirts emblazoned with phrases like, “Kiss me, I’m Irish” are pretty much a given. And though they might be festive and fun, they’re hardly authentic to the Emerald Isle—a land full of history, lore, and spirit whose time-honored traditions and culture are as rich and colorful as any rainbow. Sure, it’s fun to get in on the kitsch, but an even better way to get a taste of Ireland is to REALLY get a taste of Ireland. St. Patrick’s Day wouldn’t be complete without Irish soda bread, and with good reason. It has great ties to their history, making its mark in the late 1830s, when the first iteration of baking soda was introduced to the U.K. Because Ireland was in such a state of financial distress and lacked access to many ingredients, they had to make the most of the basic and inexpensive ingredients that were available to them—“soft” wheat flour, baking soda, salt, and soured milk. Hence, the creation of Irish soda bread. Soda bread was also ideal for families who lived in isolated areas with little access to cooking equipment and ovens, as the bread was cooked in iron pots or on griddles over open hearths rather than being oven-baked. This method of cooking also gave rise to the bread’s signature dense texture, slightly sour taste, and hard crust. One of the dishes most associated with St. Patrick’s Day here in America, corned beef, is actually an Irish-American dish.


Interestingly enough, the Irish were once historically too poor to eat the corned beef that they produced and exported to England. When they came to America and observed the holiday not as a religious one but instead as a celebration of their homeland, the Irish immigrants began to splurge on the corned beef that they had not been able to afford back home. Traditional accompaniments to the beef were potatoes and boiled cabbage.


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And speaking of cabbage…While cabbage was already once incredibly important to the farmers and the poor people of Ireland because it was nutrient dense and grew well, it became an even more crucial part of the Irish diet during the Great Potato Famine, when the potato blight wiped out their crops. Where once the country relied mostly on potatoes to feed them, they now relied on cabbage, making it a food whose presence in Irish cuisine is indelible. Shepherd’s pie is another dish quintessential to Ireland and, by extension, St. Paddy’s Day. A hearty, flavorful mixture of ground lamb, peas, onions, celery, corn, and carrots cooked in a gravy and topped with mashed potatoes, this “pie” has long been a part of Irish culture and is the perfect way to fill a

hungry belly. Traditionally, meat pies made with ground (or minced) meat and mashed potatoes were called cottage pies throughout the countries of Great Britain—Ireland among them. In the late 1800s, those made with ground lamb became known as shepherd’s pie due to the fact that shepherds tended sheep, while pies made with beef kept the name of cottage pie. Beloved enough to have its own song, colcannon is a traditional dish of mashed potatoes and cabbage. Most commonly made with potatoes, butter, milk, and cabbage, some recipes substitute the cabbage for kale, and it sometimes also contains such ingredients as scallions, leeks, onions, and chives. Because it was cheaply made, the dish was once a common part of the Irish meal.



3 lbs. potatoes, peeled and sliced 2 sticks butter 1 1/4 cups hot milk

1 head cabbage, cored and finely shredded 4 scallions, finely chopped Ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS: In a large pot of water, steam the potatoes for 30 minutes, then drain. Mash thoroughly to remove all the lumps and add 1 stick of butter in pieces. Gradually add hot milk while stirring. Season with a few grinds of black pepper. In another pot, boil the cabbage in unsalted water until it turns a darker color. Add 2 tbsp. butter. Cover with a lid for 2 minutes and continue cooking. Remove from heat and drain thoroughly before returning the cabbage to the pan. Chop into small pieces. Add cabbage and scallions to mashed potatoes, stirring them in gently. Serve in individual soup plates. Using a spoon, make an indentation on the top and put 1 tbsp. of butter into each indentation. March 2020 | 39

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VIP Pensacola at V. Paul’s Italian Ristorante

photos & story by Kristina Wright


avorHouse hosted their annual Love at First Bite tasting extravaganza on February 6 at V. Paul’s Italian Ristorante. Guests were treated to an evening full of bite-size samples of delicious sweet treats provided by local area chefs, bakeries, and restaurants. Upon entry, guests were encouraged to place their business cards into a bowl for a chance to win one of many available door prizes. A cash bar was also available with signature cocktails. All proceeds from the event benefited the FavorHouse of Northwest Florida. FavorHouse is the only safe haven for women and children affected by domestic violence in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. FavorHouse is the certified domestic violence center for Escambia and Santa Rosa counties of District I, commonly known as the Northwest Florida Panhandle. FavorHouse receives referrals that clearly identify services are needed to support the goals of family-centered services when the aggression is to a lesser degree, and physical abuse has not been admitted, documented, or presented. In these cases, referrals to Victim Services or Batterer’s Intervention Programs are not appropriate, and the end result is that sometimes no services are provided. As a Certified Domestic Violence Center, FavorHouse has developed a 12-week class designed to address this problem without labeling men or women as either victims or batterers. The class is designed to serve as an early intervention tool to educate men and women on how to develop, maintain, and practice healthy relationships.

Pam Rodgerson & Lumon May

Cheri Quade & Mary Ellen Thursby

Cheri Hlubek & Angela Davis

Gene & Amanda Hurd

Sheri & Joey Ziegler

Heather Pelham & Leslie White March 2020 | 41

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VIP Pensacola at Love at First Bite

Tatyana Eshelman, Belva Garland & Brenda Smith

Truli Hartley, Krista Silverman & Jennifer McDonald

Kate DeBlander, Lakesha Burton & Catherine Jehle

Christa Norton, Ashley Hawk & Ruth Thompson

Rhonda Ford, Bev DeJarnette & Scott Ford

Jean Nelson, DeeDee Rhodes & Joanne Selogy

Susan Foreman & Kristen Gilmore 42

Lindsey Steck, Katherine Ford, Kerri Smayda & Bridget Kaye


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2/28/20 12:21 PM

VIP Pensacola at Downtown Pensacola

photos & story by Kristina Wright


he Pensacola Grand Mardi Gras Parade is the largest and most extravagant parade held in Pensacola. This year, the parade was held on February 22. The Grand Mardi Gras Parade brings the most attention from the public during the season, and is a family friendly event. It produces the highest traffic with attendees and participants numbering in the hundreds of thousands, and is the largest gathering of people in downtown Pensacola during the entire year. The parade featured over 200 entries from the area, local organizations, companies, volunteer groups, educational institutions, and affiliates. Many parade entrants come from out of town, totaling over 6,000 people who participated in the parade, with over 100,000 attendees. The parade is broadcast live on local TV and coverage of the parade including radio, print, and social media to reach of millions of interested parties. The parade takes place on Palafox and Garden Streets in historic downtown Pensacola. Before, during, and after the parade, parade officials work to insure a children’s viewing area. This area is alcohol and tobacco free to ensure families have a great parade experience. The Grand Mardi Gras Parade is by far the largest event of the Mardi Gras season, and of downtown Pensacola annually.

Brianna & Crystal Silins

Chase Heard & Brent Isbell


Melissa & Thom Keener

Sandra Anderson & Andrea Comeau

Susan Sears & Shelly Nutt

Dixon & Misti Houston, Toni Dixon & Michelle Stanhope

Robin Verge & Stephen Davis


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Cristina & Brian Williams

Sara Bailey & Fenoy Butler

Caroline Huff, Therese McKenzie, Trang Huynh & Elizabeth Jones

Christie Parker, Jessica Duncan & Jennifer Adams

Paula Pelezo & John Pollock

Wendy Countryman & Angela D’Alessandro

Ashley Connell & India Lowery

Joe Oertel, Ray Albarado & Michael Arceneaux

Janise Roth, Stephanie Fischer, Christina Windham & Terra Brown March 2020 | 45

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story by Courtney Murray


ofu, sprouts and beans…yes please! Come one, come all to the Pensacola Veg Fest on March 28, 2020. This third annual vegan food and music festival will take place from 11:00am – 6:00pm at Community Maritime Park in Pensacola, Florida. Join the local community in celebrating health and wellness at this award-winning festival as you feed your mind, body, and soul. You don’t have to be a vegan or even a vegetarian to appreciate the incredible food that is available. Last year over 6,200 people flocked to the fest to sample mouthwatering vegan fare from around the globe including Indian, Brazilian, Ethiopian, and American dishes. There are endless surprises to what foods are available in delicious vegan versions including hamburgers, seafood, and more. Check out the interactive cooking demonstrations or stop by to listen to one of the speakers. The opportunity to learn about local animal sanctuaries and non-profits may lead you to become involved or want to volunteer. The fest is working towards normalizing veganism and educating people. After your taste buds are satisfied, you can shop everything from clothing and jewelry to soaps from talented vegan vendors that support a cruelty-free lifestyle. The fest is FREE ADMISSION and has something fun for the whole family with a bouncy house, face painting, and coloring tables. Your children can experiment with some healthy snacks and get their energy out all in one afternoon! Spread out a blanket and grab a beer or glass of wine to enjoy live music from Blue Levee, Nervous Pulp, Jordan Chase; a Pensacola native who was featured on The Voice – Team Blake. Throughout the day there will be free scheduled activities to expand your mind and better yourself through a Blessing of the Planet Mediation session and kid, beginner, intermediate, and advanced yoga practices. To wind down you can visit some of the local chiropractors and masseuses present to explore alternative medicine options. Don’t forget to stop by the welcome booth and get your free raffle ticket. Extra raffle tickets are available for a $2 donation and exciting items will be raffled off throughout the day.

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Sponsors for the event include Natural Awakenings NWF, End of the Line Café, Dynamic Pain & Wellness, Saden Chiropractic, Baybridge Chiropractic Clinic, The Center for Pranic Healing, Vegan Pensacola, Sammy Barker’s, Vegan Social, Empathic Practice LLC, and Complete Landscaping Services. These amazing local businesses not only make this event possible, but they are committed to promoting cruelty-free eating and bringing healthy lifestyles to the forefront of the Pensacola community. The Pensacola VegFest office is located at 301 W. Main Street, Pensacola, FL. For more information, visit

3/2/20 9:32 AM

VIP Pensacola at Museum of Commerce

Katie McIntosh, Robin Kelly & Leslie Telatovich

Terry Avlger, Jule Hayes & Yvonne Boudreaux

photos & story by Kristina Wright


he Krewe of Daisy Dukes held their annual ThrillBilly Ball at Museum of Commerce on January 25. The ball was attended by members, friends, and guests who came out to support the entire Krewe of Daisy Dukes. The Krewe of Daisy Dukes are celebrating their 15th anniversary this year. Donations were accepted to ride the mechanical bull “Sparky” for their charity Called 2 Rescue. Called 2 Rescue is a nonprofit dedicated to supporting law enforcement and families with loved ones who have been abducted, trafficked, or exploited. Vista Event Productions was hand selected for lighting, sound, and DJ. The Time Travelers were the live entertainment for the evening. Catering was provided by Apple Market, and included barbecue and all the fixins’. Dessert was provided by Sweet Creations, which was a lemon cake with raspberry filling decorated with the Daisy’s 15-year pin design on the top. The Daisy Duke Line Dance Team performed during intermission. This year’s Boss Hogg displayed his white ‘65 Cadillac Deville for photo opportunities. The 2020 Mardi Gras Royalty is “Boss Hogg” Bill Leathers, and President Robin Leathers.

Bill & Robin Leathers

Taryn Golley & Justin Schwartz

Joshua & Jenise Roth 48

Dawn Sista, Tonya Stillwater, Lori Ludwig & Pam Bunyard


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2/28/20 12:23 PM

7-Day Hawaiian Islands Cruise Featuring $499 Per Person Roundtrip Airfare Pensacola to Honolulu*

available through Visit Us or Call Today: 850·434·2543

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*Limited Time Offer. Certain restictions apply . Subject to change at any time withouut notice. Subject to availability. Additional Terms & Conditions apply. Ships’ Registry: United States of America

March 2020 | 49

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VIP Pensacola at Pensacola Beach

photos & story by Kristina Wright

Phil & Jennifer Jackson

Selina Bryant & Marty Hulsey


he Krewe of Wrecks hosted the 40th Annual Pensacola Beach Parade, with the partial sponsorship of the Santa Rosa Island Authority. The Wrecks Parade was led by Grand Marshal, Liz Waters Hewson, daughter of founder and first Head Wreck, Jane Waters Cooper. The parade had 47 floats, mainly from the Pensacola area, but from as far east as Tallahassee and west to Alabama. It rolls along Via De Luna at Avenida 11 from east to west, ending at the Casino Beach Parking Lot. The parade was followed by an Awards Ceremony at the Pavilion at Casino Beach, featuring music by Boogie Inc. and dancing by the Mystic Krewe of Nerieds. The royalty for this season is led by Captain Art Parrish and First Mate Susie Mardis. Royalty rides in convertibles at the beginning of the parade, along with Coma King Dan and Queen Wanda Abshire, who crown their successors at the Coma Procession Mardi Gras night. The Krewe of Wrecks is shipwrecked on Santa Rosa Island, and its name is a spin-off on the major New Orleans Krewe, the Krewe of Rex. Jane Waters, Frank Douglass, and Larry Geisel, founded the first krewe on the Beach in 1979, to give Beach residents something to do and bring in revenue for businesses during the slow off-season. The first Champagne Breakfast, Grand Ball, Red Beans and Rice (billed as the World’s Largest Free Lunch), and Mardi Gras Parade were all first held in 1980. Three additional events have been added to the beach mardi gras circuit, including the Queens Dinner, the Kings Supper, and the Krewe of Coma procession. The Krewe of Wrecks sponsor the Krewe of Kids, who participate in the Kids and Kritters Parade. These events all lead up to Fat Tuesday, when the Krewe of Coma crowns the king and queen who will reign for the coming year. The krewe collects monetary donations throughout the year for a number of organizations, including hospice, interfaith ministries, Elks projects, and more.

Taryn Moser & Ashley Marcum

Jenny Shue & Jennifer Bolster 50

Amy Miller, Lee & Linda Hinse, Sherri & Dean Sternke


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Catie Traynom, Truli Hartley & Karen Huang

Michelle Hedman, Kathy Sherwin & Lisa Jo Walborn

Scarlet Johnson, Jordan McKinney & Jessica Chisholm

Derek Ferebee, Sharon & Billy Egan March 2020 | 51

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VIP Pensacola at Sanders Beach-Corinne Jones Center

Candy Smith & Nicole Brandt

Kirk & Tammy Kassebaum, John Hernandez & Michelle Phillips

Krewe of Warriors Ball photos & story by Kristina Wright


he Krewe of Warriors hosted their annual Mardi Gras ball at the Sanders Beach-Corinne Jones Center on February 7. This year the theme was “Animal House� and the presentation of the court was filled with appropriately themed costumes from the classic Animal House movie. Live music was provided by Fortag, and Jeff Kelly and Linda Alumbaugh were announced as Krewe of Warriors King and Queen. The Krewe of Warriors is proud to be celebrating their 34th year as a Pensacola Mardi Gras Krewe. Today the krewe has a membership cap of 120 members. They parade with three floats- one for the Court, one for the Krewe, and one for the Kids Court, as well as hosting an excellent ball every Mardi Gras season.


Donna Allen & Jackie Hattaway

Margaret-Anne West & Claudia Carlson

Peter & Ann Keiek

William & Mercedes Webb, Sally & Michael Barnes

Priscilla Bode & Kristie Anderson


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Cathy Saunders & Barbara Coffey

Danielle & Greg Baker, Debi Parker

Bob & Cecilia Sundius

Gale Grass, Linda Carleton & Kris Sobski

Kimberly Johnson & Sharika English

Sylvia & Paul Thrash

Terri Ralls, Cheryl Butler & Janet Penrose

Dawn Head & Margie Hobbs

Allen & Amber Galbreath

Bonnie Prim, Andrea Comeau & Tracy Johnson March 2020 | 53

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VIP Pensacola at UWF Campus

Ebony Guilford & Courtney Wootten

Jessica Coleman, Dr. Kim LeDuff, Shannon Ganley, Michele Manassah & Chelsea Scott

photos & story by Kristina Wright


he University of West Florida held their inaugural Mardi Gras parade on February 13. Over 30 groups participated in creating an event that students, staff, and faculty alike could all partake in, as well as a community experience new to the campus. Of those groups, entries to the line-up included law enforcement, Krewe of De Pez, Krewe of Airship Pirates, the Seville Quarter fire truck, middle and high school dance teams and bands. Over 200 athletic

Dr. Judy Bense, Danny Zimmern & Dr. Martha Saunders

Kendra Riley & Tameka Wiggins 54

group members were parade ambassadors, representing not only school spirit, but also the accreditations and accomplishments of the school as a whole. Several academic VIP members were highlighted during the event, including Dr. Kim LeDuff, Dr. Martha Saunders, and Dr. Judy Bense. In this very first year, the goal of the event was to get the community involved in campus atmosphere, and invite guests to enjoy and celebrate the accomplishments of the university.

Olivia Sanders, Alex Gibbs & Leesa Marie Price

Christina Kidd, Andres Deleon, Hasan Abusamhan, Natasha Prior & Brenna Wright


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photo provided by IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area

Interview with Brigette Brooks, President IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area


How long has Impact 100 been around?

How is the organization funded?

IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area was founded in 2003, and is entering our 17th year of giving. In our 16 years, we are proud to have awarded 109 grants for a total of $11,664,000 for transformative projects that have benefited our community. IMPACT 100 allows women to get involved as little or as much as they would like. I have been a member almost 8 years, dove in headfirst and have loved every minute. There’s no doubt that I am an IMPACTor for life!

IMPACT 100 is an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff. Membership is open to all women 18 or older and the membership donation is $1,000 annually. 100% of the membership donation is used to fund the grants awarded to nonprofits. IMPACT 100 focuses on awarding grants in the amount of $100,000 or more. Meet and Mingle membership events and administrative costs are funded through donations of community partners and sponsors.

How does Impact 100 select the nonprofits it supports?

Each year IMPACT 100 encourages nonprofits serving Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties to submit a Letter of Intent to apply for an IMPACT grant by April 20. Eligibility is open to nonprofits that are a 501(c)(3) public charity, fi le an Annual Report with the Department of State, and be registered with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Grant applications are due by June 16. During July and August, each of the five


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The mission of IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area is three-fold: to know and serve the community; to collectively fund significant grants to charitable initiatives; and to set an example of effective philanthropy. focus area committees, Arts & Culture; Education; Environment, Recreation, and Preservation; Family; and Health and Wellness, meet weekly to discuss the grant applications, conduct site visits to applicants, and ultimately vote to advance 3 applicants from each focus area as a finalist, resulting in 15 finalists. These 15 finalists are announced publicly in September and in October each presents at the IMPACT 100 Annual Meeting where members vote for the award recipients. On what we call our “Million Dollar Sunday,” the award recipients are named and an oversized check for their grant amount presented. Although a great photo op, from there each award recipient is assigned a grant liaison who ensures the funds are expended exactly as IMPACT 100 voted they should be. Grant amounts each year are based on the number of members we have at the end of our membership season. Awards are made in increments of $100,000 or more and each award recipient receives the same amount. For the last two years, because our membership has exceeded 1100 women, we have been able to award 11 grants to nonprofit organizations. For the 4 years preceding that, we awarded 10 grants of $100,000 or more based on our membership number. Does Impact 100 have regularly scheduled meetings?

From November through February, IMPACT 100 has 12 Meet & Mingle Membership Events that are held in local venues. After membership season, we host a Nonprofit Workshop and Social, which will be held on April 16 this year, and is open to all nonprofits in our area regardless of eligibility. It is part of our mission “to know and serve our community.” We also host a series of events to assist nonprofits that intend to apply for an IMPACT 100 grant. How much was awarded to help the community in the last year?

Last year, we awarded $1,166,000 to 11 nonprofit organizations in the amount of

$106,000 each. Each organization has up to 2 years to expend the funds awarded. What is the most rewarding part of your involvement with the organization?

I love IMPACT and will always be a cheerleader for the organization and its impact on our community. There are so many rich and rewarding experiences my involvement has brought, but the most rewarding is attending our “Million Dollar Sunday” when representatives from organizations, many of whom have applied multiple times, named as award recipients shed tears of joy knowing the difference that a $100,000 plus award will make to their organization. Similarly, I love hearing the impact the award has made. Then there are the days that past award recipients or those affiliated with nonprofits who see the IMPACT magnet on my car stop and thank me in parking lots, etc. for the work that IMPACT does and share a story of the difference the grant made or is making for their organization. How did you become involved with Impact 100?

It was an organization whose work I admired, and between hearing an interview on a local radio station with the president of the organization one year and the encouragement of a friend to attend a Meet & Mingle, I decided to join. The only thing I regret is that I didn’t join sooner. The difference the grants have made in our community, what I have learned about our wonderful community, and the lifelong philanthropic friends I have met have endeared me to IMPACT 100 for life. Is Impact 100 specific to Pensacola or is it part of a larger, national organization?

There are over 50 Impact 100 chapters across the world, with just as many in formation. Each chapter is its own autonomous entity, but the Impact 100 Council headed by the founder of the Impact model is available to share tools, best practices, and encourage collaboration among the Impact chapters. Pensacola recently served as the host location to

the Impact Global Conference where representatives from Impact organizations across the globe attended workshops and networking events designed to help grow and improve our organizations. Collectively, Impact organizations have awarded over $80 million to nonprofits in the communities they serve. IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area is the largest Impact organization in the world. This is a feat at which many of our fellow organizations marvel, given the size and demographics of our community. I attribute it to the tremendous hearts the women of our community have for continuing to improve the area we all love so much. I have the highest admiration and respect for our local founder, Debbie Ritchie, who tells the story of how she read about Impact in People Magazine, contacted the organization’s founder to learn more about it, and took the lead to start one locally. That first year they hoped to reach out to 100 women to join but instead 233 women joined and it has continued to grow since then. I am thankful for her taking the initiative to begin this movement that has grown to over 1,100 women strong and I am thankful for all the women who commit their time, talent, and resources each year to collectively make a $1 million dollar plus impact in our community. What is one thing you want readers to know about Impact 100?

That the power of collective giving cannot be underestimated. I love that my $1000 membership donation combined with that of at least 999 other women turns into an opportunity to make a $1 million impact in our community. While I’m not in a position to make a single $100,000 donation to a nonprofit organization I may know and love, through my IMPACT membership, I’m able to do this for 11 nonprofit organizations. Whether you dive in and get involved or donate your $1000 and allow the women serving on the focus area committees to vet the finalists, your donation makes an impactful difference.

March 2020 | 57

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Mor Choice


3/2/20 8:54 AM

VIP Pensacola at Pensacola Bay Center

photos & story by Kristina Wright


he Krewe of Lafitte held their 65th annual Mardi Gras Ball on February 21. The evening was filled with dancing, several drink stations were available throughout the floor, and live entertainment was provided by Fortag. Breakfast was served in the VIP room, and guests were able to take a break from the party and enjoy a variety of delectable offerings. The Krewe of Lafitte hosts the Illuminated Night Parade the night before the Grand Mardi Gras Parade every season, and is the largest men’s krewe along the Florida panhandle. The krewe consists of 300 “Gentleman Pirates,” has twelve floats, participate in ten parades, three formal balls, and enjoy fellowship, camaraderie, goodwill, and community service. The krewe has members all over the southeast who travel to attend the annual ball. Originally, the krewe was founded to participate in the Fiesta of Five Flags, eventually growing into a full parading Mardi Gras krewe. The Krewe of Lafitte hosts a golf tournament every year to raise funds for Prostate Cancer Awareness, benefiting “Us, Too.” The krewe has assisted in several disaster relief efforts and supply drives for Texas and southern Florida. Many members focus their community service efforts towards helping children’s hospitals, local elementary schools, and The Arc Gateway by visiting with patients. Leann Whichard & Sonny Campbell

Jamie & Shannon Smith

Paul & Amy Macip

Susan Sears & Lauren Sherrill

Joshua & Janise Roth, Brad & Gina Rennor, Shannon Westmoreland

Latrelle & BJ Tronu

March 2020 | 59

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VIP Pensacola at Krewe of Lafitte Ball

Jeri & Mike Cox


Tina & David Sellers

Amanda & Todd Stannard

Debbie Brown, John Simmons, Lamar Wheeler & Susan Williams

Tina & Gary James

Tracy Carreola & Melissa Payne

Warren & Esther Culbertson

Chet & Connie Rice

Ken Staton & Amy Anders

Elizabeth Ware, Mandy Wright, Susan Carter & Jennifer Gaffney


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Golf & Tournament Event Displays

Golf Giveaways Available!


March 2020 | 61

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MARCH 6 Women’s Empowerment Luncheon Pensacola Country Club 1500 Bayshore Drive | Pensacola 11:00am – 2:00pm The Junior League of Pensacola invites you to join us as we celebrate our local women in leadership. The luncheon will honor 6 women who will receive a Women’s Empowerment Award. The purpose of these awards is to build up women in the community who display the traits of what it truly means to be a woman leader in the Pensacola community. Visit for more information.



40th Annual Pilot Club of Pensacola Pancake Festival

McGuire’s 2020 43rd Annual St. Patrick’s Day 5k Run

Asbury Place at Cokesbury Methodist Church 750 College Boulevard | Pensacola 7:00am – 11:00am

McGuire’s Irish Pub 600 E Gregory Street | Pensacola 9:00am – 12:00pm

It’s that time of the year again, pancakes for breakfast! There will also be a variety of baked goods, casseroles, soups, and other homemade goodies for purchase. All tickets are $5.00. We will also serving bacon, coffee, juice, and milk. Local personalities from the community will be pouring coffee, answering questions and smiling for the camera.

This is Pensacola’s largest run and prediction run. Awards to the fastest as well as the most accurate in predicting the time it will take them to complete the 3.1-mile course. 5K certified course (3.1 miles) starts and finishes at McGuire’s Irish Pub in Downtown Pensacola. You must be able to run or walk 3.1 miles in under one hour. The course will open to traffic at 10:00am, stragglers will be picked up by McGuire’s bus.

The Pilot Club of Pensacola dedicates its volunteer time and services to providers who care for individuals in the community who live with brain related disorders and brain injuries. Our fundraising efforts help these groups to continue with much needed services and all funds raised stay in the Pensacola area.

MARCH 7 Crawfish for a Cause Seville Quarter 130 E Government Street | Pensacola 12:00pm – 7:00pm

At Crawfish for a Cause you get 3 lbs of crawfish, corn, potatoes, and sausage per ticket. You can purchase tickets on line or at the door for a slightly higher price. Crawfish for a Cause benefits Pensacola’s Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, that empowers volunteers across the country to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research to find better treatments with fewer long-term side effects and, ultimately, cures.

Each runner/walker predicts how long it will take them to complete the course. The finishers who come closest to the time predicted on their registration form wins. For more information visit

MARCH 17 Go Irish on the Island Starts at Crabs We Got ‘Em 6 Casino Beach Boardwalk | Gulf Breeze 9:15am – 6:00pm Go Irish on the Island for this year’s annual St. Paddy’s Day Pub Crawl. The pub crawl along Pensacola Beach features about a dozen participating beach bars, restaurants, and hotels serving up Irish drink specials, music, and mischief all day long. Each stop lasts about 45 minutes. Revelers can jump in and join the fun mid-day at any of the locations and times! While it’s a celebration of Irish culture and traditions, the St. Paddy’s Day Pub Crawl is also a benefit for Covenant Care. The Pensacola Beach Chamber of Commerce donates proceeds from the sale of pub crawl t-shirts to the organization. The t-shirts are $15 each and available at each of the stops and the Visitor Information Center on Pensacola Beach. Visit for more information.

Please visit for more information.

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Gumbo Ya Ya Cook-Off 2020

2020 Rock N Fly Half Marathon & 5K

Phineas Phogg’s at Seville Quarter 130 E Government Street | Pensacola Public Tasting 4:00pm – 6:00pm

NAS Pesnsacola Both races start at Radford Blvd. and Fred Bauer 8:00am – 11:00am

Here on the Gulf Coast nothing represents us better than a big pot of homemade Gumbo! Join us for Pensacola’s spiciest event yet. From 3:00pm to 6:00pm amateur and professional teams will compete for bragging rights for the best Gumbo in Pensacola. Each individual gumbo will be judged on taste, smell, color and consistency. Trophies will be awarded to the top three winners. In addition, there is a Showmanship trophy, given for best decoration and entertainment, and the coveted People’s Choice trophy! All proceeds will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida.

The Rock N Fly is one of the biggest running events in Pensacola and the South. Great post-race after party! Roaring flyover to kick off race, two DJs, motorcycle parade, and music along course! All participants receive a T-shirt and poster! The funds raised will go to support Navy Marine Corps Relief Society and 2020 Navy Ball. All proceeds go to support the NavyMarine Corps Relief Society and Navy Ball. Please go to for parking, weather updates, security information, and further details.

Visit for more information to sign up your team.

MARCH 22 2020 Battle of the Badges William Bartram Memorial Park 279 E Main Street | Pensacola 9:00am – 3:00pm The Pensacola Police and Pensacola Fire Departments along with Smokin’ in the Square bring you the 4th Annual Battle of the Badges, a day of Olympic style events and overall shenanigans. All proceeds to benefit local charities. The games will be played at the beautiful Bartram Park in downtown Pensacola.

MARCH 28 Ciclovía Pensacola Downtown Pensacola 10:00am – 3:00pm Ciclovía (seek-low-via) — originated in Bogota, Columbia in the 1970s and took off around the world in the 1990s. Pensacola joined the movement in 2017 with our very first Ciclovía! This event closes major streets in downtown Pensacola to motorized traffic and opens them up for people to ride bikes, walk, run, play, or whatever moves them! Come join us for a day of fresh air and open streets! Visit for more information.



Pensacola Veg-Fest 2020

MESS Hall Goes Gourmet

Community Maritime Park 301 W Main Street | Pensacola 11:00pm – 6:00pm

Sanders Beach – Corinne Jones Resource Center 913 S I Street | Pensacola 5:00pm – 8:00pm

“Pensacola Veg-Fest is about normalizing compassionate living and focusing on making that a more accessible reality.” Join us for FREE for an amazing day celebrating all the wonderful local vegan vendors from food to clothing, soaps, and much more. Watch Cooking demonstrations and try the food. Bring your entire family for a fun-fi lled day.

Join us for a special event combining science and food. It is a fun and unique fine dining experience with Pensacola’s favorite local chefs – you don’t want to miss it! This fundraiser for the Pensacola MESS Hall supports the Gulf Coast Science Festival and engages learners in science discovery year-round. Get ready for an entertaining science adventure!

Visit for more information.

Visit for more information.

Visit for more events! March 2020 | 63

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VIP Pensacola at Sanders Beach-Corinne Jones Resource Center

photos & story by Kristina Wright


hain Reaction Teen Leadership Institute hosted their annual Playing for a Purpose benefit on February 20, at the Sanders Beach-Corinne Jones Resource Center. Honorary Chair Justine Simoni invited guests to enjoy and participate in life-size games, a silent auction, chemistry themed cocktails presented by The Kennedy Cocktail Bar, and hors d’oeuvres created by Chef Travis Wilson of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. All proceeds from the evening went to benefit Chain Reaction. Chain Reaction is the Teen Leadership Institute of the Emerald Coast. Each investment helps to give students the opportunity to transform their efforts into great talent. Through several phenomenal service learning and leadership development programs, teens are taught the fundamentals of behaviors that will help them grow into generous citizens and build a strong future workforce. Chain Reaction also provides access to character education programs that use volunteerism as a teaching tool focused on helping teens become all they can be, while learning life’s lessons. By utilizing each teen’s passion and talent to create volunteer opportunities that are fun and educational, the institute operates under a scientific approach to create a positive force that impacts our local community. They leverage a proven curriculum to mix teens with the elements of service to empower teens to discover their innate strengths and untapped abilities while uniting as a team of connected, committed citizens who aspire to see the good in all things.

John & Adrianne Intile

Sam Laggan & Kate Wiggins

Lacey Marshall, William Concepcion & Pariss Stark

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Melissa Speck, MariCarmen Josephs & Jennifer Russell

Chris & Kristina Cobb, Caroline Trantham, Andy Barnes


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Christi Barry, Billy Fairchild & Virgie Charlery

Feature Your Business in the April

Robert Harrison, Will Fairchild & Cali Scully

Real Estate & Home Issue

Cihan Uzunpinar, Catherine & Joe Suriano

Anna Kathryn Speck, Josiah Mayberry & Brennan Dampier

For More Information Call 850-502-7970 March 2020 | 65

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Gulf Coast Bike & Car Music Fest This festival is a three-day, fun-fi lled festival that features exotic and domestic specialty cars and motorcycles, with additional celebratory events also taking place at Pensacola Beach. The festival is set to take place at the Pensacola Fairgrounds from June 12-13th, with additional celebratory events also taking place at Pensacola Beach on June 11th and 12th. Many of the Gulf Coast’s most well-recognized, hotly sought after vehicles will be on display.

A variety of music from R&B to country, to southern soul to rock n’ roll, will also be featured at the festival. Dennis Edwards’ Temptations Revue is slated to perform as a headliner. Presented by the Mobile Mardi Gras Party Group and C.C. Biggs Productions, proceeds from the event are aimed at helping veterans. Nonprofit organizations such as AHERO and the Monument to Women Veterans will receive support from any profits collected. “We are so excited to be a part of the Gulf Coast Bike & Car Music Fest, which will bring people together from all walks of life while celebrating different cultures and interests,” says Michelle Caldwell, founder of the Monument for Women Veterans. “We look forward to seeing the success of this fantastic event.” Attendees are invited to not only enjoy the cars, bikes, and music, but to also join in on the biggest line dance on the Gulf Coast, which will feature Big Mucci, who will perform his smash hit party anthem, the “Biker’s Shuffle.” The special weekend for car and bike enthusiasts will include additional events which will take place along Pensacola Beach. On Thursday night, June 11th, the group will host The Bike & Car Mardi Gras Beach Party at Pensacola Beach. For more information, please visit


Pensacola Children’s Chorus Celebrates 30 Years by Developing Student Leaders

Pensacola Children’s Chorus (PCC) celebrates three decades of developing student leaders and kicks off its 30th Anniversary week. On Feb. 15 the festivities began with a student-led talent show called “PCC’s Got Talent” that featured 15 student acts performing to over 100 people. On Feb. 16, alumni and parents attended PCC’s Beer Choir at Perfect Plain Brewery. This Sunday, Feb. 23 will be the annual One World, Many Voices (OWMV) concert at the Pensacola Saenger. OWMV shares the musical abilities of PCC singers through a variety of music styles and genres. This year’s concert will feature songs from musicals, cinema and tunes from around the world. Patrons will hear classic, original music by PCC’s founding director, Allen Pote, songs collaborated with Pensacola Opera and music written with local non-profit organizations that PCC supports. Student leadership is a big focus of PCC according to artistic director Alex Gartner. “At PCC we’re developing strong student leaders,” said Gartner. “We have created a new task force called the Student Activities Squad, a group made up of appointed and elected singers from our upper choirs, and they are tasked with planning singer-focused events throughout the year.” The SASquad organized its first ever talent show along with a Penny Wars campaign that raised over $1,000 to help restore quality music education programs in Bahamian schools who were destroyed during last season’s hurricanes. Like the title of its concert, PCC educates its singers on embracing one world and many voices and cultural differences with its 300 singers on stage singing as one unit.

Rally Foundation’s Annual Spring Shopping Soiree & Day Of Shopping Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research invites you to shop for a cause at Rally Pen-sacola’s annual Spring Shopping Soiree on Friday, March 27 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. The Spring Shopping Soiree, featuring local boutiques and pop-up vendors, will take place in the atrium of the Studer Community Institute building. Shoppers will enjoy compli-mentary hors d’oeuvres, mimosas and musical entertainment while mingling and shopping for a great cause. A percentage of sales will be donated to Rally Foundation. The Spring Shopping Soiree is the kickoff to Rally Pensacola’s “Day of Shopping” during which stores in Pensacola and Gulf Breeze partner with Rally to give back a percentage of sales on March 27. Restaurants including Carmen’s Lunch Bar & Tapas, Jackson’s Steakhouse and Petunia’s Bakery are also donating a percentage of food sales during specified time frames throughout the day.

To participate in Rally Pensacola’s Day of Shopping, simply visit any of the following store part-ners on March 27 and a percentage of your purchase will be donated back to Rally: Aqua Decor & Design, Artesana, Bella Bridesmaids, Bluetique, Gibson Girl, Gray Boutique, Indigeaux Denim Bar & Boutique, Innerlight Surf Shop, Jen’s Designer Deals, Melobay, Pure Pilates, Rusted Arrow Mercantile, Stay The Spa, The Blowout Bar of Pensacola and The Market and Mainly Shoes The Spring Shopping Soiree and Day of Shopping are in conjunction with Rally’s signature event, Rally On the Runway, to be held on Friday, April 24. Money raised from these events will support Rally’s mission to fund childhood cancer research to find better treatments with fewer long-term side effects and, ultimately, cures for childhood cancer. To learn more, visit Rally-Pensacola.


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A friendly yarn shop in historic Downtown Pensacola




A fiber oasis for your crochet and knitting pleasure.

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Open to the Public with membership options starting at $85 per month See our website for a full list of membership options including Family, Military, and Corporate rates.

Social Membership Benefits No Monthly Minimums, Club Charging Privileges, Member-Only Tournaments and Events, 10% Discount Food & Beverage Purchases, 10% Discount Golf Shop Purchases, Preferred Rates on Golf, May Make Tee Times 14 days in Advance, Discount on Banquet Facilities.

Full Membership Benefits All Social Member Benefits, Unlimited Golf Cart Fee Applies, Walking Option, Preferred Rates for Accompanied Guests, Club Cleaning and Storage, Member Locker Rooms, Discounts on Banquet Faciliities.

Learn Some Tips About Golfing While Sipping Wine with David March 26, April 2 & April 9 • All Aspects of the game will be covered. • No golf shoes? No clubs? No problem. • $25.00 per week 5:30- 7:30

For more info contact David Errington at or 850-341-6942 8 8 9 1 B U R N I N G T R E E R OA D | P E N SACO L A , F L | S C E N I C H I L L S .CO M | 8 5 0. 476 .0 3 8 0

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VIP Pensacola at Sander’s Beach-Corinne Jones Resource Center

Krewe of Blues Ball photos & story by Kristina Wright


he Krewe of Blues held their 10th Annual Mardi Gras Ball on February 8, at the Sanders Beach-Corinne Jones Resource Center. Over 200 guests were in attendance, and catering was provided by Culinary Productions. Local bartenders were on hand to provide libations and liquid refreshments, and Fortag entertained guests with live music to dance the night away. The KOB Ball started out as a small social gathering and has grown tremendously into the elegant and spectacular ball it is today. Previously elected royalty members were permitted to wear their crowns until the coronation of the new king and queen, who were announced this year as Duane and Carla Watson. “We party with a purpose and that purpose is to promote positivity through productive partying, parading, and supporting local charities all year long.” Founded in 2010, the newly-formed krewe joined in on the Mardi Gras revelry with seven members. During the Pensacola Grand Mardi Gras Parade two dressed in Blues Brothers’ garb and tossed beads from the roof of what was then Blazzues Blues and Jazz Club. In their inaugural year the krewe, given the nickname KOB by its members, worked feverishly to deliver KOB’s original float, which depicted scenes from what is arguably the most famous jazz and blues city in the world, New Orleans. Their float hit Palafox Street for its first public showing at Pensacola’s 12th Night Celebration in 2011.

Dennis Monroe & Paula Prewett

Duane & Carla Watson

Marie & Billy Bumgarner

Kevin & Marvel White

Charles Freeny & Andrea Washington

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VIP Pensacola at Krewe of Blues Ball

Tim & Mary Mattheiss

Tylynne Faruzzi, Kristen Daniels, Anna Robicheaux & Jennifer Lowe

Brenda Chestnut, Helena Waldie, Suman Pandey & Lisa Fudala


Renee Lampley & Tara Contant

Robin Verge & Scott Berg

Dedra & Dick Padlo

Jennifer Frey, Vance DeHart, Mary & Jan Hruska

Susie Argeris & Tina Verazo


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Amy & Don Newsome

Tia McCombs & Priscilla Reynolds

Patricia Russo & Ken MacLean

Patty Veal, Paco Burrell & Kathy Holmes March 2020 | 71

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VIP Pensacola at Court of de Luna Event Space

photos & story by Kristina Wright


ethany Lauren Productions hosted their 2nd Annual Valentine’s Masquerade Ball “A Night at the Moulin Rouge,” on February 14 at the Court of de Luna Event Space. Guests were treated to a night of entertainment like no other, including ten aerialists from vertical pole studio performing on the silks, hoop, and lollipop demonstrations, as well as stilts walker Betty Long Legs. Fire dancers were on site from Entertainment Ignited with a unique fire-breathing performance by Bethany Lauren. A special dance performance was featured by the Fred Astaire Dance Studio featuring Angela D’Alessandro and instructor Isidro Erreguin. Proceeds from the bar went to non-profit De Luna World Education to raise money for art supplies for low-income public school art teachers. Court of de Luna Event Space houses a 25,000 sq.ft. indoor/outdoor event location that is second to none in Northwest Florida. The family-friendly space includes a breathtaking 1,000 sq.ft. bridal salon, a true vintage man cave, lots of comfortable outdoor couches and chairs, fire pits, a stage for live band performances, a stone waterfall, water misters to keep everybody cool, and a number of outdoor games including giant Jenga, giant chess, giant checkers, corn hole, horseshoes, and more.


Dallas Cain & Bethany Lauren

Dan & Josie Keck

Michelle & Jason Sutton

Bobby Parker & Stacy Smith

Vanessa Reynolds & Martha Perez

John & Tami Royal


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Daniel Dougherty & Devin Blackmarr


Maria & Doug Joy

Isidro Erreguin & Angela D’Alessandro

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Megan Chapman

What is your hometown, what brought you to PENSACOLA, and how long have you been here? Pensacola is finally my permanent home! I was born at the NAS Pensacola Navy Hospital while my father was in fl ight school for the U.S. Coast Guard. His career moved us all over the country, but I was lucky enough to return to the gulf coast to finish high school at Gulf Breeze High. I went off to college at the University of South Alabama and on to my early career in Michigan. I returned to the area in 2013 and hope to never leave again! What is your profession and what led you to choose it? I like to think my profession chose me. I stumbled into my role as the Outreach & Development Director for Gulf Coast Kid’s House and the not for profit world by accident, honestly, and immediately fell in love. A mutual friend of my boss and mine recommended me for a position with this amazing organization and the rest is history. Not many people can say they get paid to make new friends, to serve their community and change the future for innocent children all at the same time. What do you like best about Pensacola? What makes it unique? I love the sense of community we have here and that is unique because most people I meet who love Pensacola aren’t originally from here. I’ve lived all over the country and something about this place makes it feel like home, even if it’s not where you started. Give us three words that best describe you. Driven. Compassionate. Bold.

Pensacola is constantly evolving and changing for the better and I love being able to be a part of that. There is always something to do, new events coming to town, restaurants and bars opening, economic change, and a growing community with pride for their city. Finish this statement, I AM PENSACOLA because… It’s everyone’s responsibility to leave the world a better place than when we all got here and I’m going to do that with my toes in the sand.

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photo by Kristina Wright

What are some of your favorite things about Pensacola?

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