Circles - Vol. 5

Page 1

VOLUME 5 2019 – 2020

Twins born prematurely: one healthy, the other fighting for her life. Just 24 hours after twins Harbor and Lawton Lasher were born, Harbor became critically ill. Fighting for her life, she was brought to Wolfson Children’s Hospital of Jacksonville, where specialized neonatal teams stabilized her and surrounded her family with care. Now a thriving five-year-old, Harbor represents the tens of thousands of children throughout North Florida, South Georgia and beyond who depend on us for lifesaving care. As a not-forprofit organization ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation, we can provide cutting-edge care to even more children because of the generosity of people like you. A gift of any amount will help. Give now at See inside for more stories of hope.

Provide hope and healing to local kids.

Wolfson Children’s Hospital provides care to all children, regardless of their ability to pay. As a not-for-profit organization ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation, we can provide life-saving care to children because of the generosity of people like you. A gift of any amount will help. Give now at or call 904.202.2919.

Logan was diagnosed with a brain tumor when he was only 7 years old. Now the third-grader is working toward playing soccer again, thanks to care from Wolfson Children’s Hospital, ranked as one of America’s best. He’s a champion, and you can be one too.

Want to help?

Diagnosed with leukemia at age 3, Chase was in the race against cancer for half his life. His childhood cancer team at Wolfson Children’s Hospital was with him every step of the way. Hooray! His chemo treatments have now ended and Chase has won the race.

Want to make a difference?

Born with a rare heart defect, Emmett had his first open-heart surgery at only 2 weeks old. Thanks to the expertise of the cardiovascular team at Wolfson Children’s Hospital, supported by donors like you, Emmett is thriving.

Want to help children thrive?

Impacting Lives, Showcasing the Giving Spirit of Women The Women’s Board of Wolfson Children’s Hospital was founded in 1972 by Ellen Cavert to raise community awareness and much-needed funding to provide the best health care for all of the children in our community. Through the volunteerism of hundreds of women over the past four decades, The Women’s Board has raised more than $32 million for equipment, programs, and facilities. We are now in our second year of a funding target for Wolfson Children’s Hospital committing to raise $4 million over five years for a new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. We hope you will consider joining us this year by attending the Florida Forum and the Art & Antiques Show. Jacksonville is an exciting community filled with a heart for our children, and the proof can be found in the fruits of The Women’s Board.


NIKKI HALEY US Ambassador to the United Nations (2017-2019)

October 28, 2019 7:00 p.m.

JON MEACHAM Presidential Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning Author

January 22, 2020 7:00 p.m.


Hall of Fame Wide Receiver and Three-time Super Bowl Champion

February 25, 2020 7:00 p.m.

Special Events

Opening Night Party

December 6 6:30 – 7:30 pm Benefactor Reception 7:30 pm Gala and Dinner featuring the RiverTown Band. Black Tie Ticketed event.

Children’s Fashion Show

December 8 2 pm The Children’s Fashion Show features current and former patients of Wolfson Children’s Hospital. 3 pm Family friendly reception to follow Children’s Fashion Show.

December 6 - 8


Also Featuring

Art & Antiques dealers from across the country French Flower Market | Book Nook | Pastry Cafe Tea Room | Young Collectors Booth

q Show Schedule r

Friday, December 6 | Show Hours 11 am – 3 pm Jim & Phoebe Howard

Ray Booth

10 am | Jim, Phoebe and Andrew Howard, Mrs. Howard, Max & Company Family Affair | Book signing to follow. 11:30 am | Juli Catlin, FASID & William Nash, Art & Antiques Expert The New French: Louis XIV to Louis Vuitton

Andrew Howard

1 pm | Julia Reed, Southern Author Tales and Table Talk | Book signing to follow.

Margot Shaw

Opening Night Party Saturday, December 7 | Show Hours 11 am – 5 pm 10 am | Ray Booth, Interior Designer Evocative Interiors | Book signing to follow.

Juli Catlin & William Nash

Barry Dixon

1 pm | Margot Shaw, Editor-in-chief, flower magazine with Elaine Griffin and Barry Dixon, Interior Design Outside/In: Designing with Nature in Mind | Book signing to follow. Sunday, December 8 | Show Hours 11 am – 4 pm

Elaine Griffin

12 noon | Dr. Adam Levine, Director and CEO, The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens The Nuts and Bolts (and Do’s and Don’ts) of Collecting 2 pm | Children’s Fashion Show and Reception to follow Julia Reed

Dr. Adam Levine




gratitude Publishers’ Note

Charity makes all things possible. It triumphs, even amidst the negative discourse of the day. Politics divide us. Hurtful judgements stifle progress. And a lack of compassion can deflate us all, but not if we don’t let it. This fifth edition of Circles - Social Datebook & Charity Register is intended to be a refreshing change agent for conversations in our region, one that has potential to derail judgements, leave bias behind, and align the giving spirit of all members of our community – from young and old – established and newcomers alike. A charity magazine should inspire and engage, push new boundaries, and showcase the very best in a community by way of its content and coverage. Behind the passionate work of our staff and contributors is a mission – to deliver information and great stories that compel people to learn, grow and act on their discoveries. This year’s magazine has the power to ignite more great ideas on the First Coast yet reach far beyond our region when shared by thousands of passionate readers. Great ideas find ways to travel. This publication offers us all examples of life’s best teachings, straight from those that live their passion and encourage others to do so such as is displayed in Mary Wanser’s story, “Many Passions, One Purpose,” on page 46. Scientific research also shows that giving is the key to happiness. Giving your time, your skills and discovering your passion will lead to feeling good in mind, body and spirit. According to a book by artist and philanthropy adviser Jenny Santi, The Giving Way to Happiness: Stories and Science Behind the Life Changing Power of Giving, the author offers tips on how to give, so it feels fulfilling and purposeful. With Circles in hand, you hold an invaluable resource that has the power to deliver whether it be a single person struggling or thousands in need, all of whom are impacted when a donor learns of an opportunity to inject capital into a program or when political leaders change the way we govern. Philanthropy beckons us to love humanity, and this magazine delivers countless opportunities to do so right in your own backyard. Kandace Lankford’s story, “From Lockup to Leading Productive Lives,” on page 102, helps illustrate the conscious and thoughtful leadership of legislators that team up with nonprofits to offer alternatives to shackles and chains for inmates. Against all odds, people yearn for some sense of belonging and the feeling that their contribution or donation has meaning. Whether that’s helping animals in need, finding a child a forever home, helping someone learn to read, or going the extra mile to assist an elderly neighbor, we hope to connect readers to a cause, learn of a new philosophy or engage where their passions lead. Changing one life does matter, just ask someone that’s had a second lease on life because of the grace of a stranger. Giving feels good, change the world, but start right here.

Pamela & Seth Williams





Table of Contents

12. It All Started With A Red Deer Fawn… 30. Rescuing Our Four-Legged Friends 38. Therapy Dogs 40. Canine Care 42. Enhancing The Expertise Of Fundraising Professionals 46. Many Passions, One Purpose 56. Better Than A Decade Ago. Diverse As Ever. 60. Charitable Tax Changes Not As Damaging As Feared 62. Passing The Torch Charity Register 69. Giving Back By Changing Lives 104. Diving Into Philanthropy 114. Big-Hearted Parents Urgently Needed 118. Raising Caring, Charitable Children 128. Gala Life 139. 146. Golf Ball Drops & Flashing Rings 157. Social Datebook

Generous donors help transform the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens into one of the region’s top zoos

Nonprofits and compassionate individuals work to save homeless and suffering animals

Well-trained pets assist in healing at Baptist Medical Center

For 25 years pets have helped make kids feel better at Wolfson Children’s Hospital

Scholarships help to raise the bar for fundraising professionals

Altruistic First Coast residents make a positive difference in Jacksonville and beyond

Ten-year report on the State of the Nonprofit Sector in Northeast Florida

Nonprofits survive wave of change in federal tax laws

An inside look at JAXChamber’s Hightower Emerging Leaders Fellowship

A comprehensive guide to more than 300 nonprofits

Nonprofits aid in ending recidivism due to broken prison system

New residents discover ways to quickly give back to their community

A look at the needs of Northeast Florida’s foster care system and nonprofits seeking to help

How to instill philanthropic values in the next generation

Fashion guide and tips for how to put your best foot forward at gala events

Unique ways nonprofits have used to generate energy during annual fundraisers

Get busy planning the year with Circles calendar of social events in Northeast Florida





5396 Bentpine Cove Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32224


Your home is more than a building or an address. It’s where you experience life, family, connection, growth. Your home should be as exceptional as you are, and as you are going to be. For a lifestyle inspired by your potential, there is only

Sotheby’s International Realty San Marco - 904.731.9770 | 5233 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville 32207 Ponte Vedra Beach - 904.285.7700 | 820 Highway A1A North Ste E15, Ponte Vedra Beach, 32082


Floyd Group Jane Chefan, Realtor® | Owner


Jeffrey Chefan, Broker® | Owner 904.400.3884

Nicholas Eklund, Realtor®


Michelle Floyd, Realtor® & Jack Floyd, Realtor®

904.343.5067 | 904.343.5196 |

Murray Day Group Christie Graziosi, Realtor®


Lisa Lapenes, Realtor®


Ritter Soares Team Angie Renn, Realtor®


Kasey Ritter, Realtor® & Catarina Soares, Realtor®

904.449.6648 | 352.222.2224

Brian Moorman, Broker Associate® | Owner 904.810.8744

Shannon Murray, Realtor® & Rachel Day, Realtor®

904.477.1722 | 904.547.1143

The Roleks Group Roberta Gjeloshaj, Realtor® & Aleks Pervaza, Realtor®


Jennifer Rowe, Realtor®


By giving back, we believe we’re making a difference and contributing to the health of our communities – from Palm Coast to Amelia Island – we are First Coast. Making a difference through a multitude of missions in Northeast Florida P.U.N.T. Foundation, Jay Fund, Wounded Warriors, Adoption Authority, V for Victory, Heal Foundation, Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital, Kate Amato Foundation, Flagler College Women of Vision Fund, K9s for Warriors, Labrador Retriver Rescue, Compassion International, Salvation Army, Epic, Okoa Refuge, among others. Amelia Island - 904.277.6522 | 5548 First Coast Hwy Ste 101, Amelia Island 32034 Ritz Carlton - Amelia Island - 904.277.6522 | 4750 Amelia Island Pkwy, Amelia Island 32034 Palm Coast - 386.276.9200 | 4440 N Oceanshore Blvd Ste 110, Palm Coast 32137




The Brocade Room at Restaurant Orsay is the perfect balance between style and substance. With a seating capacity of up to 40 guests, the private dining room is designed to evoke feelings of lush intimacy. The space is nonetheless perfect for meetings and conferences. The room features audiovisual equipment and internet access that will accommodate any need, from a bride and groom’s most cherished moments, to professional meetings requiring high-impact presentations.


Jacksonville’s guide to philanthropy — the events, people, companies, and places that define our charitable city. CIRCLESCHARIT YREGISTER.COM

PUBLISHERS Pamel a Bradford Williams & Set h William s CIRCLES MANAGING EDITOR Marcia Hodgs on SALES & MARKETING MANAGER Debra McGregor DIRECTOR OF MEDIA DEVELOPMENT Bet h Murphree ART DIRECTOR Joshua Garrett DESIGN Da n ielle Sm ith-Bold t PHOTOGRAPHY Dan Harris CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Su san Brandenburg L orrie DeFrank Jennifer E dwards Ju l ie Kerns Garm endi a K andace Lankford Karen Rieley Mar y Wans er INTERN PROOFREADER S ophia M. Williams

A Resident Community News Group Publication

1650-302 Margaret St. #310, Jacksonville, FL 32204 P: (904) 388-8839 F: (904) 423-1183 WWW.RESIDENTNEWS.NET Circles—Social Datebook & Charity Register is an annual magazine covering Northeast Florida. For advertising information, call (904) 388-8839. Facts and statements expressed in the editorial content are not necessarily those of The Resident Community News Group. All content is copyrighted and may not be reprinted, copied or reproduced without written permission from the publisher. ©2019-2020


n my most recent visit to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens I enjoyed what many would consider a once-in-a-lifetime experience. In touring some of the exhibits with Zoo Development Director Nikki Smith, Betsy Lovett, and Circles CoCo-Publisher Publisher Seth Williams, we explored the African Forest, and we were lucky enough to see the big daddy silverback, Rumpelstiltskin, lovingly nicknamed Rumpel, sitting overhead in one of the wire tunnels that link his large outside enclosure to the Zoo’s signature Kapok tree. Twice Rumpel stood up, beat his chest like King Kong, and let out a mighty roar. It was an unforgettable sight to behold. Over the past year, since I was asked to write the story on Zoo philanthropy that you will find on pages 16 -28 in this issue of Circles – Social Datebook and Charity Register, Register, I have spent time at the Zoo on at least three occasions and each time have been more impressed and appreciative of how this wonderful asset benefits our city. During my Zoo visits, I have wandered through spectacular gardens, watched patrons hand feed giraffes, and have come face to face with a jaguar, as it paced at the very front of its enclosure. I am so grateful to witness the educational and environmental benefits the zoological park now offers, and I am thankful so many big-hearted donors are largely responsible for making it one of the top attractions in Northeast Florida. It is far from the mediocre animal kingdom I recalled taking my small children to see when we first moved to Jacksonville 26 years ago. When I was asked to write the marquee story about the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens for what is our fifth issue of Circles Circles,, I quietly wondered why me? Zoos had never been my favorite places, mainly because, when I was a child, I visited a small zoo in Miami Beach and had a very unhappy experience with a monkey. I’m not sure if the primate planned our horrible encounter or not. As we looked at each other through the bars of his comparatively tiny enclosure, he cackled manically at me and leapt from a platform across the cage to a swinging trapeze. As he glided through the air, he let it rip with slimy green feces flying through the bars only to land smack dab in the center of my forehead. Unfortunately, I must say, I’ve never fully recovered from the experience, which has made me wary to visit the Zoo – any zoo – since.

As a first time Jacksonville Zoo visitor more than 20 years ago, I again had a strange encounter with some monkeys. Even though the wily creatures are not my favorite – personally I adore the giraffes – I can’t stand the thought of any animal being mistreated. As my daughters and I viewed, from a safe distance, the primates on what was then Monkey Island, the three of us cheered as we watched the small rascals pick up some of their dung from the ground and throw it across the moat at several teenage bullies who had been taunting and laughing at them. Like in my childhood experience, one monkey’s aim was exceptional, as he hit one of the bullies on the arm before the teens scattered. Even then, the Zoo provided an educational adventure for my children, and I was able to use the opportunity to instruct my girls about the necessity of treating all animals with kindness and consideration. In this edition of Circles Circles,, not only do we celebrate what our city’s generous philanthropists have given to the exotic animals at the Zoo, but we also have turned our focus to the more vulnerable animals and people in our community. I know you will enjoy Julie Kerns Garmendia’s exhaustive story about the nonprofits that seek to save homeless and suffering animals as well as the compassionate cadre of individuals who are in the trenches doing the rescue work. Meanwhile, narratives by Kandace Lankford and Lorrie DeFrank, about our community’s charitable work to curb prison recidivism and the grim situation many Northeast Florida foster children face as they eagerly await big-hearted adoptive parents to step forward, do much to shine an important light on two constituencies that are often forgotten. What cannot be forgotten is the incredible generosity philanthropists in Northeast Florida have bestowed on its nonprofits, through their donations of time, talent and treasure. Their unselfish caring is what we choose to call attention to, not only in Circles,, but also in every edition of its sister publiCircles cation, The Resident Community News. News. It is our pleasure to highlight their work in these pages, and to express our sincere appreciation to all our advertisers who so graciously support the publications of The Resident Community News Group. Group. We couldn’t do it without you.

Marcia Hodgson

Managing Editor, Circles Magazine


beautiful life

Our exclusive and elegant private clubs offer members a gathering place in spectacular settings throughout the seasons of life. Beloved and highly trained staff deliver exceptional service and experiences where members are known and feel welcome. You’ll find a year-round playground of time-honored traditions, vibrant social events, children’s activities, health and wellness options, delicious dining opportunities, beach getaways, tennis, spa, and world-class golf. To learn more about one or more of our clubs, please contact Sarah Small at 904.273.7735. Allow us to make life more beautiful for you and yours.

Generous donors provide the funds to allow Jacksonville

and Gardens to expand and thrive.






he Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has come a long way since John F. May of the State Insurance Company donated its first exhibit – a red deer fawn – on May 12, 1914 at its location in Springfield near Hogans Creek. Today, thanks to a very successful public/private partnership between the City of Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Zoological Society, Inc., the nonprofit that operates and maintains the northside zoological park and botanical gardens, the Zoo has grown into a beautifully appointed, sprawling facility housing 2,500 individual animals representing 250 species, and more than 1,000 plants on 92 developed acres at the mouth of the Trout River. “Donors’ dollars have changed the face of the Zoo,” said Martha Baker, past president of the Zoo’s board of directors. And this is true. Although the City officially owns the Zoo, it only kicks in a small subsidy of 5% to offset the Zoo’s operating expenses, leaving the facility’s nonprofit arm to cover 95% of the cost of maintaining, feeding, and housing the animals and plants in its domain. To raise money, Zoo officials use revenue raised through admissions, including 25,000 paid family memberships, as well as funds generated from gift shops, food concessions, catering fees, special events, tickets for rides and temporary exhibits, such as the popular animatronic dinosaurs that make their way to the Zoo every two or three years. When it comes to bringing new exhibits to the Zoo, it is generous philanthropists, large and small, who provide the

funding. Their generosity, through donations of their time, talent and treasure, have transformed the Zoo into the best cultural attraction in northeast Florida and one of the top 25 zoos in the United States, according to TripAdvisor. “The private piece is very significant,” said Zoo Executive Director Tony Vecchio. “Between the 5% we receive from the City and the 95% we have to earn, we can operate the zoo, but if we are not growing and improving, that’s a bad business model. Business would start to decline. It’s the capital money given by private donors that allows us to add exhibits every year and get bigger and better.” “We are the top, most-attended attraction in this area. We are the only zoo in a 100-mile radius,” said Diane David, the Zoo’s former development director, who retired last year. “Zoos are important as an insurance policy in keeping animals from extinction. But I think people give to the Zoo because of the pride they have in our community. Great cities always have great zoos.” Each year, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens welcomes more than 1 million visitors, far surpassing the cumulative number of fans that attend Jaguar home games in a year. “Even if they made the playoffs and sold out all those games, we’d have more,” said Vecchio. However, the Zoo is much more than a form of enterenter tainment for tourists or residents on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Many see the Zoo as a City asset, one that serves many different constituencies and supports a variety of functions including conservation, sustainability, education, and enrichment. As an asset, the Zoo often bolsters up other nonprofits by giving them a venue to hold events at very low cost while perpetuating growth in Jacksonville and Northeast Florida. “The one thing I love about Jacksonville is that the arts and culture community is very collaborative,” said Vecchio. “We all work together. We all help each other. It’s not just the Zoo helping other people. MOSH and the Cummer, the Symphony and the libraries, we all work together to help each other.”

“The Zoo makes me

smile! It is such a happy family place where we can enjoy watching other people having fun. Through this gift, we hope people will enjoy these beautiful gardens within a great zoo.” Trout River Gardens



“The Zoo is a community asset. It’s one of the jewels of Jacksonville,” said David. “People want to give to a community asset, and not necessarily because they are animal lovers. Of course, we do have animal lovers as well as plant and garden lovers, and that might be some of their inspiration in giving, but I really think they give back because it is such a community asset for all of us. I’ve spoken to many donors, and that is the case with quite a few of them,” she continued. “We’ve proved ourselves. We’ve proved that we are good stewards of their donations. People trust us. We raise money, and we follow through. We build what we say we will with their donations. That’s something to be proud of.” Dr. Ann Harwood-Nuss agrees. “I don’t think there is any question that the Zoo plays a very important role in our city’s image,” said Harwood-Nuss, a board member. “It’s the No. 1 cultural attraction in the region. It has received many national, regional, and local recognitions over the past 10-15 years and only continues to get better each year. The Zoo’s leadership has responded successfully to the demanding task of balancing cultural elements, entertainment, education, conservation, and above all, animal welfare. Much of what the Zoo does depends on the giving nature of our community.” Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Zoo also serves as a wildlife refuge and a manatee critical care center. It supports 45 conservation programs. Four dollars from every membership and 75 cents from every ticket that is sold is donated to wildlife conservation locally and throughout the world. To assist in its conservation efforts, the Zoo is one of four zoos in the country that boasts an animal wellness team. Heading its wellness staff is Professorin-Residence Dr. Terry Maple, a veterinarian and the foremost zoo expert on animal care and wellness, who turned around the Atlanta Zoo when it was on the verge of closing. He came out of retirement to work in Jacksonville. His salary is underwritten by a wealthy out-of-town anonymous donor, who has followed his work for many years, said Vecchio. In addition, the Zoo’s Marine Mammal Response Team aids sick, stranded or injured marine mammals throughout north Florida at a moment’s notice. The team, which consists of 44 employees, provides critical volunteer support to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The Zoo’s Manatee Critical Care Center, which it operates in partnership with the Fish and Wildlife Commission, is the fourth of its kind in the state and the first manatee hospital facility in north Florida. The educational opportunities that the Zoo provides are another important reason many donors give. Each year the Zoo gives out approximately10,000 free tickets so children can visit the Zoo on school trips or through other activities or events, said Vecchio. “The students from any Duval County School that comes here on a field trip get free admission. We also have a policy that any social service agency can request tickets,” he said.




“We have summer camps where the children come out and learn about the animals and take care of the animals,” said Zoo Board Chairman Bill Rowe. “We allow kids from South Georgia to come down for free. I would say letting so many children come here for free is significant.” In fact, the Zoo offers more than 50 different educational programs serving all age groups. Included in its repertoire is the award-winning Wildlife Immersion Leadership Development program (W.I.L.D.) that employs at-risk teens from underserved communities as education interpretation staff while teaching them leadership skills. An on-line master’s degree program is also offered in partnership with Miami University in Ohio and features experiential learning locally at the Jacksonville Zoo. “The Zoo does play an important role, especially in education,” said Muriel Finken, a member of the Zoo’s Legacy Society. “Teaching people that these animals are beautiful and exciting is important but also emphasizing that they are wild and need to live in their own habitat is especially critical. They are not pets, and in some ways it is very sad that they are not living as wild creatures. Most children have a great deal of empathy, and it is very important that they learn conservation early. “A city does not need to be large to be great, but it must offer great educational opportunities. The Zoo does this,” Finken continued. “In today’s world, to get out and see animals and to learn about our impact on their habitat is crucial. Animal habitat conservation is a part of human conservation. Our world is very tightly entwined. By allowing habitat destruction and animal extinction we set our own path to extinction.”




Board of Directors for the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens: Row 1: Kerri Stewart, Director of Human Resources Paula Shields, President Bill Rowe, Immediate Past President Martha Baker, Director of Marketing Janet Wesley, Margaret Hicks, Hap Stewart. Row 2: Kelly Coker Daniel, Director of Education Leanne White, Chief Operating Officer Teresa Kennedy, Karen Estella Smith, Ann Harwood-Nuss. Row 3: Executive Director Tony Vecchio, Check Ged, Chief Financial Officer Holly Ellis, Deputy Zoo Director/ Animal Care and Conservation Dan Maloney.

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS, RICH HISTORY Before its humble beginning in 1914, when a young red deer and a few domestic animals comprised its collection, there were previous attractions in Jacksonville that stimulated public interest in having a zoo. According to Celebrating 100 Years, a book published by the Zoo in 2014, Jacksonville was host to the Sub-Tropical Exposition in 1888 that included exhibits of live deer, bears, and alligators. Later, in the 1890s, Charles D. Fraser opened an ostrich farm in the Fairfield area of the city, east of TIAA field to the St. Johns River. After 1901, Fraser moved his animals to Phoenix Park, naming his new venture the Florida Ostrich and Alligator Farm, which featured racing ostriches that pulled drivers in sulkies. The farm moved to St. Augustine in the 1920s. Another forerunner was Dixieland Park in South Jacksonville, which opened in 1907 and only lasted a year. It featured Bostock’s Arena of Wild Animals, a collection of more than 400 creatures, including 87 lions, as well as elephants, and camels for children to ride. The Zoo’s history is one of continuous growth, much of which was fueled by the generous donations of City philanthropists, according to Celebrating 100 Years.

Jacksonville’s official municipal zoo, sparked by area school children. On the opening day of the new May’s donation of the red deer fawn, was founded by Zoo, he had raised $1,959.51 for the Baby Elephant Jacksonville Park Commissioner Sydney C. Smith in Fund with $1,040.49 to go, according to an article in 1914. His collection quickly grew to 85 individual the Florida Times Union. A year after the opening of animals representing more than 20 species. the Zoo, a 3-year-old Indian elephant, which was In January 1916, the Jacksonville City Council named “Miss Chic,” after Acosta, was brought to the passed an ordinance allowing its Springfield Park Zoo Zoo and became perhaps its single most recognized to receive $500 to purchase animals, including an axis animal until her death in 1963. deer, a bison, llamas and two zebu cattle. Unfortunately, From the late 1920s until the 1950s, the Zoo, which later that year, the zoo was nearly lost when Hogans offered free admission, added more animals, growing Creek swelled due to heavy rain and high tides, flood- its number of exhibits to 1,000. In 1956, the Zoo’s ing its animal enclosures. Although no animals were first miniature railroad and “Showboat Ride,” a smalllost, the llama, bison and zebus were swamped in scale replica of an old Mississippi River showboat water to their shoulders, igniting the idea that a new debuted. At that time the City Zoo was recognized as zoo should be built on higher ground. However, eight “North Florida’s Outstanding Tourist Attraction,” acyears passed before any real action was taken to relocate cording to a Florida Times Union article dated the Zoo. August 8, 1956. In the late 1950s and 1960s, new buildings were With Springfield residents complaining about animal odors wafting into their neighborhood, Park added including Monkey Island, an attraction that Commissioner St. Elmo “Chic” Acosta spearheaded lasted 40 years. It was also in 1965 that a Zoo staffer a campaign to relocate the Zoo five miles north of the decided to breed a male Mexican donkey with a female City’s core on the mouth of the Trout River. Due to Grant’s zebra, coming up with odd-looking offspring his efforts, the Zoo was relocated to a 41-acre tract of named Donze and Dozeb. land that had once been part of a land grant to the By the end of the 1960s, the Zoo was reputed to Broward family. In 1925, the Municipal Zoo and the have the largest collection of exotic animals in the Museum of Natural History opened to a record crowd Southeast, but hard times came upon it. A great deal of money was needed to save the Zoo. At this time, of 10,000 visitors. Acosta was instrumental in securing an elephant for Jacksonville Mayor Hans Tanzler, Jr. established a the Zoo and spearheaded a “penny donation drive” by seven-member committee to explore possibilities for WWW.CIRCLESCHARITYREGISTER.COM




the Zoo, and as a result the Jacksonville Zoological Society, Inc., a nonprofit, was established in 1971, to take over the operations from the City. In 1972, after 58 years of being a “free zoo,” the facility began charging admission. Adopt-an-Animal programs began in 1973. For a few years there was much discussion about moving the Zoo downtown close to the Coliseum, but finally in 1988 it was decided the Zoo would remain where it was. Very few improvements were made to the Zoo at this time, however, due to a lack of investment by the City and gun-shy philanthropists, who were unwilling to donate new exhibits when it hadn’t been decided whether the Zoo would move to another location.

John Hayt, Carl Cannon, J. Wayne Weaver and former Zoo Executive Director Dennis Pate celebrate the $2 million donation from the Florida Times Union to name the Range of the Jaguar exhibit.

GAME CHANGING NEW VISION When Dale Tuttle, an elephant expert, became the Zoo director, he inspired the Board of Directors with a new vision – to make the Zoo a first-class park. He recruited some heavy hitters from the city to sit on the Zoo’s board, including Carl Cannon, publisher of The Florida Times Union, and John Hayt, both of whom are still involved with the Zoo. A. Dano Davis, a board member and CEO of Winn-Dixie Stores, was tapped to lead the first Capital Campaign in the Zoo’s history. Also, in June 1988 the City Council included $11.5 million in funding for the Zoo in the River City Renaissance Bond Issue. A master plan of a “new zoo” was drawn up, and $22.5 million was invested to complete Phase One of the master plan, which included the front entry gate and parking lot, the Main Camp Safari Lodge, Birds of the Rift Valley Aviary, a baby animal nursery, an expanded train ride, an elephant exhibit and breeding complex and the redevelopment of the 11-acre Plains of East Africa. In 1996 after Tuttle resigned, C. Douglas Page DVM, the Zoo’s veterinarian, was named executive director and he and the board set the goal of going further – creating a world-class zoo. The PepsiCo Foundation Education Campus, the Great Apes of the World presented by Winn Dixie, the River Branch Foundation Animal Medical Center and the Wild Florida exhibits were added, while the Zoo’s animal collection became more diverse. Singer Michael

Jackson’s elephant, Ali, was relocated to the Zoo from Jackson’s Neverland Ranch in California in 1997. It was approximately 10 years after the first capital campaign that the Zoo’s board contemplated doing another. At that time, it chose to hire professional fundraising consultants to conduct a “feasibility study” to see how strong community support was for the Zoo, said David. “The consultants said we would probably be able to raise “$3 million, or maybe, if we were lucky, $5 million. The Capital Campaign committee did not like those results. They said, ‘We’re not hiring consultants. We’re going to do it ourselves.’ Even now we don’t use consultants,” she said, noting that with the City’s help, the second campaign raised $37 million. Leading that successful capital campaign was Cannon. He was instrumental in securing $17 million from Mayor John Delaney’s Better Jacksonville Plan in 2003, which, when supplemented by $20 million in funding from private donors, allowed the Zoo to move forward with plans for its $14.6 million Range of the Jaguar exhibit and the Outback Steakhouse Australian Adventure exhibit in 2004. Providing the lead gift for the Jaguar exhibit were J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver, who generously donated what remains as the largest gift in Zoo history. The Jaguar exhibit won the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s coveted “Best Exhibit” award in 2005. In addition to igniting the Zoo’s transformation to a more modern facility where animals roam freely

in enclosures resembling their natural habitat, the second capital campaign also changed the Zoo’s approach when reaching out to its donor base. “Before that time, we really didn’t have dedicated donors. Instead we had people who gave to the zoo because certain people were asking. In the first capital campaign in the early 1990s, it was community leaders doing the asking. A lot of the gifts came because the people had asked and not because the Zoo was anything outstanding,” David explained. “We didn’t have a product back then and having something to sell is important. During my first capital campaign, the one where we raised $37 million, we had a product. We had Range of the Jaguar, and we had the Kid’s Zone, and we had the gardens. We had quite a bit.” In the years following, the Zoo has followed its business model of working to have something new and different for its visitors every single year, said Vecchio. With help from an array of committed donors, the Zoo has continuously raised enough money to expand and grow. Modern exhibits such as the $9 million Land of the Tiger, with its innovative trail system, came by way of a $12 million capital campaign sparked by another lead gift by the Weavers in 2014. Also built with the money from that campaign was the Manatee Critical Care Center and an animal education holding building on the Zoo’s education campus. The Zoo’s most recent addition in 2018, the $9.2 million African Forest, a naturalistic habitat for gorillas,


bonobos, mandrills and lemurs, grew from another capital campaign to fund a substantial reno renovation of the 20-year-old Great Apes Loop. The African Forest renovation was fueled by a lead gift by the Davis Family and many other generous donors, including a $1 million gift from a wealthy out-of-town anonymous donor, who underwrote its trademark Kapok tree. The Kapok, a towering replica of a tropical tree, connects a network of overhead trails, allowing gorillas and bonobos to have fun climbing on the tree without ever meeting each other. The tree’s hollow interior includes a spiral staircase allowing it to be accessible to zookeepers, researchers, and the occasional well-heeled donor who, having donated a hefty amount, qualified for a behind-the-scenes tour. However, the Zoo is not only a sanctuary for animals. Botanical gardens line its corridors thanks to the late Ann Baker, who spearheaded an effort to add a

horticultural component to the Zoo. Lamenting that there were no botanical gardens in Jacksonville, a group of avid gardeners had aimed to establish a botanical garden at FSCJ only to see their plans fall through, recalled Martha Baker. “I went to my mother-in-law and we talked to some of the people who were interested,” Baker said. “We felt it was a shame for a city the size of Jacksonville not to have a botanical garden. It is very unusual in the zoo world to have integrated botanic gardens on the same campus,” she said noting that by bringing the gardens to the Zoo, the Zoo immediately expanded its donor base. Thanks to Ann Baker’s fundraising efforts, the Zoo sports the largest public garden in the region. She and her husband, Ted, provided the lead gift for the Master Plan of the Botanical Gardens and are recognized by the Zoo’s first themed garden, Savanna Blooms, which is fashioned after a South African oasis and serves as the forecourt of the Giraffe Overlook Exhibit, which opened in April 2005. The Giraffe Overlook Exhibit was a gift from The David A. Stein Foundation and allows visitors to look a giraffe in the eye as they feed them for a nominal fee. Later the Trout River Gardens and the Oriental Gardens near the Land of the Tiger exhibit were added. The Zoo is currently embarking on another Capital Fundraising campaign, one where it will

seek to raise at least $50 million. “The City has put us in its Capital Improvement Plan, the CIP, and has committed $5 million a year for the next five years, contingent on us matching it with privately raised money,” said Vecchio. “It will be a game-changer.” With the money, it plans to add additional parking to allow the Zoo to accommodate 1.5 million visitors per year, relocate the front entrance, create a new “first impression” manatee exhibit and nature trails to teach kids about Florida wildlife and birdwatching, and reconfigure the Zoo to include two new loops, north and south, said Vecchio. “The entrance we have was built when we had less than 500,000 visitors. Now, with consistently a million visitors, it is maxed out. By the time the new master plan is done, we will probably have 1.5 million visitors,” he said, noting that few donors want to put their names on a parking lot, which is essential so the Zoo can expand and accommodate more visitors. “Generous donors will be needed to ensure the Zoo can qualify for funds to be matched by the city,” said Rowe, a three-year member of the Zoo’s Finance Committee and chairman of the board. “We wouldn’t have the Zoo we have today without our donors,” he said. “Oh, we’d have a zoo, but it wouldn’t be of the quality and standards that we enjoy today, because, frankly, we just wouldn’t have the money.”

A faith-based ministry connecting goods and services with partner agencies who serve those in need. • Clothing for people. • Volunteers for service. • Housing for homeless. 4115 Post St., Jacksonville, FL 32205 904.338.0920 WWW.CIRCLESCHARITYREGISTER.COM



The following are donors who have given $250,000 or more to the Jacksonville Zoo J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver Ann and Ted Baker Chartrand Family CSX Transportation Dano and Brenda Davis Family The Florida Times Union State of Florida John and Gerri Hayt Charlotte W. Holt Robert E. and Monica Flynn Jacoby Nancy M. McDonald Betty and Tom Petway Family U.S. Assure The David A. Stein Family Foundation Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. Adecco Group North America Anheuser Busch The Sunset Fund J.B. Coxwell Contracting, Inc. The Henry and Lucy Gooding Endowment Trust The Kresge Foundation W. Radford Lovett and Lindley Tolbert The C.M. Neviaser Charitable Foundation, Inc. PepsiCo Publix Super Markets Charities, Inc. Ring Power Corporation River Branch Foundation Wells Fargo John and Anne Baker JP Morgan Chase & Company The Francis and Miranda Childress Foundation, Inc. The Alfred I. duPont Foundation, Inc. Florida Rock Industries Patty Howell and the Howell Family J.M. Family Enterprises Gasper and Irene Lazzara Charitable Foundation David and Katharine Loeb The Donald C. McGraw Foundation, Inc. Joannie and Russell B. Newton, Jr. Sallyn S. Pajcic Steve and Anne Pajcic PGA Tour Skinners Nursery of Jacksonville Brooke and Hap Stein C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry Mrs. Gladys H. Thompson

hen it comes to fundraising for the benefit the Zoo offers different perks for each of its different of animals, even Jacksonville’s zookeepers classifications of membership including its Heart of get involved. Each year the animal care- the Zoo Society, for folks who donate $500 or more givers at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens get out per year, and the Legacy Society, for those who choose their bowling balls to compete in Bowling for Rhinos, to designate the Zoo as a beneficiary in their wills. an international fundraiser sponsored by the American “For Legacy members, we try to recognize them in their Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK), an international lifetime, if they choose to tell us. professional organization with chapters worldwide. “The key to any organization’s fundraising success is Over the past few years Jacksonville’s zookeepers having a strong board,” David shared. “People give to have been recognized nationally by placing in the top people, and they also give to organizations that they five of more than 85 AAZK Chapters, by generating know and love. We’ve been fortunate over the years approximately $20,000 of the more than $600,000 to have a lot of Jacksonville philanthropists get interraised annually for rhino conservation overseas. “They ested in the Zoo, so we’ve done really well.” place in a field that includes the San Diego Zoo and zoological parks in Los Angeles or New York, said Tony Vecchio, executive director. “For our keepers to be in the top three or four zoos every year is pretty impressive,” he said, noting in 2018 and 2019, a zookeeper from Jacksonville has placed among the top three individual fundraisers, winning a trip to Africa or Indonesia. Whether donors are zookeepers seeking to aid in rhino conservation, folks who join the Heart of the Zoo, or those who sponsor large animal exhibits or pay to name the baby creatures during the Zoo’s major fundraiser, ExZOOberation, every effort in support of the Zoo is important, said Diane David, former director of development. And the Zoo shows its appreciation in numerous ways. Front and center as visitors enter the main gate is “Donor Plaza,” where the names of those who have given to the Zoo’s capital campaigns are listed. And, throughout the Zoo, visitors feel the love of those who have given because it is impossible to travel anywhere without spotting the numerous recognition signs that dot every exhibit. “We have different naming opportunities for donor recognition. That’s what we always do for our projects. Some people don’t want to be recognized, but it is good for us to have the names out there because it inspires other people to give,” said David, noting to have a sign usually requires a donation of $10,000 or more, with the size of the feature or element it adorns determined by the size of the donation. The gift of a bench goes for around $5,000, she said, and

In the pages that follow, longtime board members, as well as Heart of the Zoo and Legacy Society members share some of the reasons they cherish the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens and have chosen to give.






Laughter and joy of children make Zoo work worthwhile


There are many reasons Bill Rowe can list for giving his time, talent, and treasure to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, but perhaps the most important is the personal satisfaction he receives from hearing the laughter of children as they wait in line to enter the zoo. “The Zoo does several important things in our community. It provides a critical educational experience for children. It provides a place for animals to be expertly maintained and cared for. In many cases it protects species development,” he said. “But on a personal level, when I am in the board room, I can hear what is going on outside right by the entry gate where people buy their tickets. At times we have long lines and I can hear the sheer joy of the children, jumping up and down, and laughing. That joy they have in going to the Zoo makes me realize why I want to support the Zoo. When you have a combined educational experience and you assist in the preservation of a species or special animal and at the same time can bring joy to people, who could ask for more than that in terms of volunteer involvement?” After three years as a board and finance committee member, Rowe, a retired executive, recently took over from Martha Baker as the Zoo’s board chairman in September 2019. A marketing guru who only a few years ago ended his 40-year career as CEO and President of Stewart Enterprises, a publicly traded company that was the world’s second largest owner of cemeteries and funeral homes, Rowe first volunteered as a greeter at the Mayo Clinic after he retired. “I told my wife I’m not going to work for profit anymore. I want to give my time,” he said. However, he decided to switch to the Zoo after attending a cocktail party on Harbour Island in Marsh Landing. It was at the party that Rowe was surprised to hear that his friend, Bill Greene, enjoyed his vol- the Zoo with my involvement, if they wanted me, and unteer work at the Zoo. that we would make a financial commitment to “My wife, Rhendy, and I are big animal lovers. We the Zoo.” Over the years, Rowe and his wife have donated to have three cats, all rescues, and have had dogs and cats throughout the years,” he said, noting he donates to several exhibits including funding a gorilla viewing several charities each year, all animal related. “I asked window in the African Forest exhibit and naming a Bill, what do you do when you volunteer at the Zoo? baby giraffe, Jojo, in honor of Rhendy’s birthday. “I Clean stalls? I had no clue. Then he explained to me just love watching the movement of the giraffes,” Rowe that he was on the board and was on the Gardens said. “They look like stuffed animals they are so perfect. Committee because he knows a lot about flowers.” At the Zoo you can hand feed them and pet their noses Greene’s comments ignited a spark. Soon Rowe and – you can’t do that with many animals. The fact that his wife made an appointment to speak with Zoo you can have a close encounter with them is really Executive Director Tony Vecchio. “After that, Rhendy cool. Where else are children going to get to do that? and I made two decisions – that we would support We have thousands of children come to our zoo each

year. Most of them pay nothing, and they get to feed a giraffe or see a live manatee or watch the gorillas. And those are just a few of the 2,000-plus animals we have at the Zoo. “Working with the Zoo, I’ve gotten the satisfaction of feeling that I’m making a contribution to a great organization,” Rowe continued. “That contribution is my time, my experience, my knowledge, if you will. There is a lot of satisfaction in knowing that you are contributing to the health and growth and success of an organization. The reason I left Mayo and began volunteering at the Zoo is that the Zoo allows me to use my business experience – my financial and marketing background—and I love that.” WWW.CIRCLESCHARITYREGISTER.COM






The purchase of a commemorative brick many years collection of animals and plants, but it goes far beyond ago is what sparked Dr. Ann Harwood-Nuss’s long- this,” she said, noting she brings her family and friends time commitment to the Jacksonville Zoo to the zoo on a regular basis and especially enjoys and Gardens. taking a behind-the-scenes tour. “I thought I’d buy a little commemorative brick to “The Zoo has long been deeply committed to support honor my mother and father, but once I was shown global conservation efforts for endangered species. Not the prospectus for the Land of the Tiger, I was totally only does the Zoo contribute to conservation programs on board for a more substantial gift,” she said, adding world-wide, it also includes sponsorship of educational that convincing her husband came later. “Seriously, opportunities for our community,” she continued. we were entranced by the vision of a world-class zoo “Lecture series are offered year around and special events and wanted to be part of it.” feature world-class speakers and other opportunities Conservation and the zoo’s ability to convey with that heighten our awareness about the critical threats a “velvet glove” its critical message about the environ- animals face in the wild.” ment, threats to animal extinction due to habitat loss Although Harwood-Nuss never visited the and climate change are the primary reasons Harwood- Jacksonville Zoo as a child, she treasures a vivid Nuss, a board member, said she continues to give to memory of her first zoo experience in 1959 at the San the Jacksonville Zoo. Diego Zoo, when she was 11 years old. “My father “The Zoo is a very special place because of its broad- and I were in the orangutan exhibit. To this day, I can based mission. It clearly offers a rich wonderland to still remember standing with my father and admiring children and adults to learn about its remarkable this beautiful animal. Given the close genetic





relationship orangutans have with humans, you might well be able to imagine how special our visit was. I’m trying to be polite here because the orangutan was a bit sassy with us!” she recalled. Over the years, Harwood-Nuss has named bongos and lemurs and donated to the Land of the Tiger, black bear exhibit, and given a gorilla water feature to The African Forest. “The brilliant design and execution of the Land of the Tiger and an additional subsequent giving opportunity, The African Forest, were compelling opportunities for anyone who had the capacity and desire to see the implementation of best practice exhibits with the focus on animal wellness,” she explained. “As the zoo moves forward with its master plan this year, there will be ample opportunity to continue our gifts. You can’t put a price on enrichment and education and the inspiration of the next generation to care deeply about conservation and wildlife. At the end of the day, I feel so fortunate to be able to give back to my community.”



Giving back, a way to say ‘thank you’ for the good times


o e


For Howard Coker, giving back to the Jacksonville cages – concrete and fencing – as opposed to exhibits Zoo and Gardens is a natural way of saying ‘thank you’ where many of today’s animals enjoy grasses and plants for the good times it has provided throughout his life. from their native habitat. I would have to say that the “Since I was a child, I have always loved the Zoo. It experiences with my family at the Zoo were very special. certainly wasn’t the modern facility that we have now, We sometimes had family reunions at the Zoo. My but a place that my family enjoyed throughout my memories of the Zoo are fond indeed. “Overall, it was a very special place then and it is a childhood. The Zoo and Gardens are truly remarkable. The Zoo contributes substantially to the quality of our very special place now,” he continued, adding that he life here in Jacksonville,” Coker said. visits the Zoo many times during the year. “I will admit An accomplished lawyer who is a principal at Coker that during the hotter months of the summer, I don’t Law, Howard Coker grew up in Jacksonville and has visit as often. There are many different events which fond memories of Jacksonville Zoological Park before allow individuals to pick and choose their participation its radical transformation into the Jacksonville Zoo level. I particularly like cool fall days. To walk through and Gardens over the past 20 years. In fact, Coker the gardens at the Zoo during that time of year is a had the opportunity to visit the Zoo in the late 1950s special treat. There is nothing that I don’t like about and early 1960s, when Monkey Island and the min- the Zoo. I think it’s a great combination of exhibits, iature railroad made their debut, the showboat ride animal habitat, flora and fauna of our area and that opened, and baby elephants came to reside on the of the actual animals. It is a great place to relax and Trout River campus. He also was able to experience enjoy nature and her creatures big and small,” he said. several animals acquired by the Zoo in the late 1950s Coker said he became interested in taking an active and early 60s including sea lions, otters, polar bears, role in Zoo affairs when he was asked to become a baby chimps, a giraffe, spotted and striped hyenas, board member several years ago. Since then he has grizzly, speckled and sun bears, Grevy’s zebra, Southern donated the fish collection to the Range of the Jaguar white rhinoceros, Nile and pygmy hippopotamus, exhibit, as well as a Komodo Dragon sculpture and guanaco and Cape buffalo. During that era, many who has also supported the Asian Gardens. “I was fortunate enough to be asked to be on the visited the Zoo recalled the lime green polar bear, who in seeking to survive the heat, had soaked up so much Board of the Zoo many years ago and it was then I algae-filled water that its fur unintentionally really became much more familiar with the intricate workings of the Zoo,” he said. “It just seemed like a turned green. “I visited the Jacksonville Zoo often as a child,” Coker natural place to invest in by giving financial assistance. recalled. “I grew up in Jacksonville and the Zoo was My children and grandchildren have always loved the an intriguing place. It certainly was far different in Zoo. Supporting it seemed like a good way to say, the 50’s and 60s. There were a lot more of what I call ‘thank you’ for all the good times.”

Komodo Dragon sculpture donated by Howard Coker

Appreciating the vital role that the Zoo plays in animal conservation, education and entertainment, Coker said he feels the Zoo has something for everyone regardless of their age, gender, place of residence, or interests. “Many high school students visit the Zoo for educational purposes each year. The animals are cared for extremely well, and the Zoo contributes to the conservation of many species. Obviously, when out-of-town guests come to Jacksonville, it’s a great place to take family and friends,” he said. “Certainly, the Zoo is an important part of our Jacksonville community. I believe in coming years it will offer much more in the way of exhibits, gardens, education, and animals. It is my hope that it will become a destination for people who visit Jacksonville. The number of people attending each year is going up with regularity. People are finding out about the Zoo and enjoying it. The Zoo has something for everyone.” WWW.CIRCLESCHARITYREGISTER.COM




Creating a community asset Jacksonville can be proud of

Although he doesn’t feel cheated because he never was able to visit a zoo while growing up in the small town of Vidalia, Georgia, Carl Cannon has certainly made up for the loss during the past 20 years. The former publisher of the Florida Times Union has visited the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens countless times while serving on the board of directors off and on since he was invited to do so in the mid-1990s. In that time, he has been involved in every major capital campaign, transforming the once mediocre animal attraction into the world-class regional zoo it is today. “I have a number of interests going back 25 years or so, and I’ve been involved in fundraising for three or four different organizations. I took a particular liking to the Zoo because it’s a community asset and one that has been enjoyed by more attendees than anything else in Jacksonville,” Cannon said. “We have grown what we call the ‘new zoo,’ going back 20 years or so, and every time we add an exhibit, we add more people to the attraction. I enjoy doing that. I enjoy having people exposed to the high-quality exhibits, and I think our work has been well rewarded by the number of people who continue to come,” he explained, noting





when he first joined the board in 1997, Zoo attendance Working with J. Wayne Weaver and his wife, Delores, hovered around 400,000. Cannon helped to inspire the couple to donate the “We average about a million visitors a year, and that’s lead gift to the Zoo’s first transformative exhibit, the more than any other attraction in Jacksonville. If you $15 million Range of the Jaguar, in 2004. “That was add up the attendance at all the Jaguar games, which Wayne’s first real exposure to the Zoo, I think, in terms are probably second, you don’t come anywhere close of a major gift,” Cannon said. to a million visitors.” Since then, Cannon has been a board member several Although over the years Cannon and his wife, Rita, times in the past 20 years and a mainstay on the Zoo’s have generously gifted the giant arapaima in the Range Capital Campaign Committee throughout his tenure. of the Jaguar exhibit as well as a tiger viewing platform Over that time his enthusiasm for the Zoo and its in the Land of the Tiger and a donor wall in the new possibilities has never waned. “I think the fact that African Forest exhibit, it is really Cannon’s time, con- every three or four years we come up with a new exhibit nections, and fundraising expertise that have been is what feeds my passion,” he said. “I just like the fact that the people in our city get to come to a place that perhaps his greatest gift to the Zoo. When Cannon came on board more than 22 years the city owns, one of which they can be very proud ago, he worked alongside A. Dano Davis and others, of. That’s what we are funding. People who have not forming a vision to create a city-owned Zoo that all been to the Zoo in many years will be kind of blown Jacksonville residents could be proud of. In 2001, he away by what we have here. “That’s what has kept me interested,” he continued. was one of a cadre of committed volunteers who traveled to various zoos throughout the United States “I’ve always been involved with the planning of the with the goal of figuring out “what we might want to exhibits, and I sit on the committees where we start become,” he said. “One of the things that we decided the planning. I have an interest in that, and my overall was if we wanted everything to be first class from that interest is in helping a community asset. That’s really point forward, we would have to raise a lot of money.” why I volunteer.”



l  l


Zoo benefits when serving becomes a family affair MARTHA BAKER PHOTO BY DAN HARRIS

“Serving on the board has been such a pleasure, because I had been involved in such heavy things, but the Zoo has always been so positive,” she said. “What we do is positive and happy. It’s been such a joy being a small part of the wonderful transformation and vision that has taken place at the Zoo over these past couple of decades, and it’s only getting better. The Zoo today is hardly recognizable from the Jacksonville Zoo of the late 1980s!” Over the years, in addition to her time and talent, Baker’s family has donated the Goliath bird-eating tarantula, which is part of the Range of the Jaguar exhibit, and a Bonobo viewing window to The African Forest. “When we give, I always say, put it wherever it is needed – hence we ended up with the tarantula exhibit. Apparently, no one else was interested,” she laughed. But perhaps Baker’s greatest gift was getting her late mother-in-law, Ann Baker, interested in serving. “The most important thing we have ever given was that I got my mother-in-law on the board,” said Baker. “I told John Hayt and Carl Cannon I’m happy to give my talent and time, but I can also give my influence. I got my mother-in-law on the board and she chaired the board when Tony Vecchio was hired. She really drove the gardens, and that elevated and separated our Zoo from others. It helped us grow the Zoo to where we have a million visitors today. When I first came on the board in 2001, it really was a different world.” Ann Baker served on the board and led a fundrais fundraising effort to establish the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens as the largest public garden in the region. She and her husband, Ted, donated a lead gift for the master plan of the botanical gardens and are recognized in the first themed pocket garden, Savanna Blooms, which opened near the giraffe exhibit in April 2005. Ann and Ted Baker also donated heavily to the Zoo and were responsible for purchasing and bringing the two giant elephant statutes – lovingly referred to as Ann and Ted – over from Europe to be on permanent display. “As one of the top-rated zoos in the country, The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens plays a huge role as a source of learning and experience here in our commuJacksonville 30 years ago, the Jacksonville Zoo and nity, reaching 1 million visitors a year, and, thanks to Gardens became a favorite spot for my husband, Tom, our education and conservation programs, the Zoo and me, as well as for our children. It has become a has an impact by teaching families and our next genlarge part of our family story with many happy times eration of volunteers and donors how to make the spent there,” she said. most positive difference not only in Jacksonville but Baker first became involved with the Jacksonville in tomorrow’s world,” Baker said. “I imagine that Zoo when she was asked to chair its annual before long the Jacksonville Zoo will be as synonymous ExZOOberation fundraiser in 2000. Soon after, she with Jacksonville as the San Diego Zoo is with San was named to the board and has taken an active role Diego. It’s all very exciting and a necessary conversation in fundraising and strategic planning ever since. in today’s challenging environment.”


Ever since she was a child, Martha Baker has had a “happy relationship” with zoos, so it comes as no surprise that she has taken an active role on the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens board of directors and on various committees for more than 20 years. “I grew up close to the North Carolina Zoo, which we visited often. It was cutting edge at the time with the animals and visitors having plenty of room to roam around,” she said. I believe it remains the world’s largest natural habitat zoo. After marrying and moving to






J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver with Tom and Betty Petway and Carl Cannon

Philanthropists’ largesse ensures Zoo is ‘best of the best’

elo e  B Many charitable enterprises throughout Jacksonville have benefited greatly from the generosity of J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver and the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is no exception. More than one exhibit exists due in large part to the Weaver’s largesse, with perhaps the most notable being the Range of the Jaguar, which was clearly the turning point in the transformation of the Zoo from a mediocre animal attraction to a venue all of Jacksonville could be proud of. “When we moved to Jacksonville, it seemed so appropriate that we should support the new exhibit, Range of the Jaguar, which has won awards and attention around the zoo world,” said Delores Barr Weaver, who, at the time the exhibit opened, shared ownership with her husband of the Jaguars NFL football franchise. “That exhibit and the new gorilla exhibit (The African Forest) are the best of the best.” The Weaver Family Foundation provided the lead gift for the Jaguar exhibit, which was the largest gift in Zoo history. The exhibit is a $14.6 million, 4.5-acre representation of ancient Mayan temple ruins and the Neotropical animals that inhabit the area in and around them. After it opened in March 2004, the exhibit set a new monthly attendance record with 116,542 guests,





followed by the second highest monthly attendance record in April of 92,675. The attraction also won the Association of Zoos and Aquariums prestigious “Best Exhibit” honor in 2005. Several years later, the Weavers also provided the lead gift for the Land of the Tiger exhibit, which opened in March 2014, and was the Zoo’s first exhibit specially designed and built for tigers. “The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is truly a special place, where animals have space to roam free, including wire tunnels up high so they can travel from place to place unimpeded, and most importantly, a loving team that takes such good care of them,” Weaver said. Having grown up in Columbus, Georgia, where there was no zoo close by, Weaver said she and her husband did not have an opportunity to visit a zoo until after their family moved to St. Louis, where they enjoyed visiting the zoo with their children. She said her passion for the Zoo is led by a desire for animal conservation, education, and enrichment. “We don’t think of the Zoo as entertainment,” she said. “Our Zoo plays a very important role in our community, but it’s a role that is different for everyone who visits. For some, it may be wanting to learn more


e e about a particular animal group. For others, it may be the gardens and environmental aspects of the zoo. For still others, it may be the draw of the Zoo train or the merry-go-round. And yes, for some it is ‘entertainment,’ which just goes to prove there is something for everyone!” she said. Although her name will forever be linked to the jaguars, Weaver said she personally enjoys the gorillas and the new African Forest exhibit. She also has named a baby gorilla Gandai. “We traveled to Africa on two occasions and had the opportunity to see them in the wild, and I can say our exhibit shows them living their life as we saw it first-hand in the wild,” she said. Always busy, Weaver said she doesn’t visit the Zoo very often these days but does enjoy taking her grandchildren when they come to visit. “Our 17-year-old grandson lived here for a number of years, so we took him since he was into trains, and the elephants were always a highlight for him!” she said. “We have attended a number of special events over the years, which are always well done. Our community is indeed fortunate to have a ‘best of the best’ zoo! Every community should be so lucky to have what we have right here in Jacksonville.”


Elephants and koi ponds: Remembering loved ones through a gift to the Zoo


iel  e


It was her mother’s love of nature, and her father’s running joke about elephants that inspired Muriel Finken to donate two substantial gifts to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens after her parents passed away. “My father, Billy Reid Catherwood, and I had a running special joke about elephants,” she said. “When I was a small child, he would pretend to be an elephant using an arm as a trunk and making elephant noises. Of course, when I was a teenager, he would do this in front of my friends. Whenever he did it, even as I became an adult, it would always make me laugh and scream. So, when I was about 9 or 10, I began to buy him an elephant at Christmas to keep the elephant away, not that it always worked. As I became older and traveled more, my elephant gifts to him became more unique. Daddy died in 2017. Giving money to support the elephants at the zoo was a way to honor him,” she said, noting her gift of support for the

elephant enclosure. “I still have his elephant collec- without a train ride, although the train is much bigger tion – everything from an elephant wine bottle from today than back then. Italy to an elephant footstool we brought home “As a child, I spent most of my time outside surfrom Thailand.” rounded by nature and wild animals as well as family To memorialize her mother, the gift of the Zen pets,” she continued. “As an adult, I have been very garden near the koi pond in the Asian gardens was fortunate to travel to visit animals in their own habitat what came to mind. “My mother, Jeannette B. – Kenya, Tanzania, Thailand, Australia, Costa Rica and Catherwood, was a lover of nature, not just animals,” Columbia plus the United States and Canada. I know she remembered. “When we were children, she took many people criticize zoos and some countries, such us to zoos as well as national and state parks. My as Costa Rica, are banning them completely, but zoos mother would become absolutely enraged when she do have a role to play. Yes, it is better to have animals saw animal abuse, and her passion for flower arranging live in the wild, but as the world population grows, meant we never had a meal without an arrangement. zoos do help us understand how to help animals in Mother was extremely talented at turning what some their habitat,” she said, adding she wishes she could people would consider weeds into a beautiful display. visit the Zoo even more than she already does. “It is Because my mother loved gardening and was at one a wonderful place. I always feel a sense of peace when time an Ikebana master, one of my favorite places at I leave, and, of course, I relive my childhood on the zoo is the Zen garden with the koi pond. For the train.” many years she had a koi pond. I wanted to honor Finken and her husband, Dennis, are members of her at the zoo as well as my father.” the Zoo’s Legacy Society, having set up a charitable Finken said she loves Jacksonville’s northside animal foundation to support several programs including kingdom so much she often refers to it as “my zoo.” education and animal rescue. “The Jacksonville Zoo A retired engineering manager, she grew up on Amelia is important to us. The Zoo was my first choice to honor my father and mother. They were both people Island and regularly visited the zoo as a child. “The best birthday party I ever had was at the zoo,” who gave all they could to others, plus my memories she recalled. “Still today, a visit just isn’t complete of the Zoo are ones I want future generations to have.” WWW.CIRCLESCHARITYREGISTER.COM




Lifetime Achievement Award winner relishes every aspect of zoo

As a longtime supporter of the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, John Hayt has been involved in nearly every aspect of the Zoo’s transformation from a simple tourist diversion into the top cultural attraction in Northeast Florida. “We became involved with the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in 1994, and at that time Zoo exhibits for entertainment was their primary focus,” he said. “Today animal wellness and conservation programs are in the forefront of every zoo’s agenda as exemplified by more recent exhibit designs with natural habitats and trails to roam. Our education department has realized huge growth in recent years with more than 100,000 school children visiting annually at no cost, together with recent camps, sleep ins and various celebrations.” Over the years, Hayt and his wife, Gerri, have been more than generous, funding the Giant Otter exhibit in the transformative Range of the Jaguar, as well as the Splash Ground Play Park, the Babirusa pig view in the Land of the Tiger exhibit, the donor wall in The African Forest and the employee lounge. “Though we are fortunate enough to support a few nonprofits, our love of animals of all species and their wellbeing drew our attention to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens,” he said. “This together with seeing thousands of happy faces, both young and old, enjoying themselves as they wander throughout brings much joy to us. The Zoo’s education programs are invaluable and extremely important to us also.” Hayt first became involved with the Zoo after being approached by Betty Petway and Dr. Mel Reid, who were chairing a much-needed Capital Improvement Campaign in 1994. “They were obviously requesting financial support, and we responded positively after a visit and noting plans for improvement. Soon, thereafter, I was asked to serve on the Zoo board and have loved every minute of it,” he said. “In 2014, the Zoo celebrated its 100th year, and I was humbled by receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award.” A frequent visitor of the Zoo, especially when committee meetings pertinent to operations are held, Hayt said he loves to wander around whenever possible. “I need to do more of this,” he said, noting he never had the opportunity to visit the Jacksonville Zoo as a child, but occasionally paid a call on the Bronx and Central Park Zoos in New York City with his parents and




siblings. At the Zoo, he has no favorite areas or activities, he said. “I love every aspect of it! I’m especially proud of our outstanding team of employees and the pride they take in their responsibilities and the welcoming manner in how they treat our huge numbers of guests. “The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens and City of Jacksonville have perhaps the finest private/public partnership in the area,” he continued. “The City owns our Zoo and the Zoo Society manages it via long-term agreements. Our outstanding zoo and gardens play a very important role, not only in Jacksonville, but also in Northeast Florida. It is without question the most


affordable attraction in our area as substantiated by nearly 1 million guests in each of the last four years together with about 26,000 members. Our Zoo’s quality and exhibits have received many national and regional awards, not only for our animals and gardens, but also for programs reaching out to serve thousands in our community. We are currently rated a Top 10 zoo nationally by travelers and zoo enthusiasts, and it is our goal to be among the best there is. Our board and entire staff strongly support all efforts to build and mold the City of Jacksonville into a first-class city. Our community and area residents support these efforts, and the Zoo is most appreciative.”




‘Marvelous’ change in the Zoo inspires donor to give


o e

When she was a child, Betsy Lovett considered it a “royal treat” to head to the Jacksonville Zoo on a Sunday afternoon. “We didn’t have a lot of places like the Zoo to go to,” she said, adding that her family often traveled to the zoological park on the Trout River after church. “It was much smaller – only three or four acres. To get there we’d go down the highway, which was just a narrow thing where Route 295 is and there would be people all along the roadway selling peanuts in little brown bags for a nickel. It was totally different. Tiny. You could cover the space in just half a day, but we would stay the whole day.” As a child, Lovett vividly remembers the elephant named Miss Chic, the rows of concrete enclosures, the alligators, the Ferris wheel, and the ticket booth near the river that would frequently blow over in a stiff wind. “The elephant was the prettiest thing. She would come out and put her long snout out to us so you could put a peanut in her nose, then she would take it back and put it in her mouth. I remember the alligators because I had already started hunting alligators. I was a licensed alligator trapper, and I still am. I still have a license,” she continued. “They had a Ferris wheel close to the river – ooh my God it was heavenly. Invariably they would stop us when we were at the top, and it seemed like we were swinging over the water. We weren’t really over the

water, but it seemed like it when I was little. When you’re little, it’s miles and it is terrifying. We’d get up there and then we started yelling and screaming and that was even more fun. They also had a little train that just kept going around in a circle. It was right near the ticket booth,” she recalled. “None of us were afraid of anything. Everything was so clean and nice. But I do remember they had long, skinny places where the animals would be living. They were concrete and the lions’ bottoms were always bleeding. I remember thinking, ‘that’s so pitiful.’ They just sat there and rubbed around,” she recalled. Lovett admits the Zoo today is nothing like the Zoo of her childhood, and she thinks the dramatic change is “marvelous.” More than a decade ago, she gifted two small American black bears, which she named Betsy and Billy, after herself and her late husband. The bears got along famously, just like their namesakes, until Betsy Bear passed away five years ago. The Zoo replaced Betsy with another wild-caught female, and Lovett paid again to name it Betsy. “The first bears got along so well, and then she died, and we got another Betsy Bear and he (Billy Bear) wouldn’t get near her. That’s when I said, “My Billy is up there and still faithful!” Lovett joked. When it comes to philanthropy, Lovett said she gives regular gifts to the Zoo each year, although nothing compares with the gift of her bears. She is

contemplating a more sizeable donation in the future. In general, she said her donations always go toward things she can relate to, things with purpose. “I do it for things that I have pleasured myself on, so to speak. In other words, things that I know I’ve loved. I don’t just give because you run and ask me. I think it needs to have a solid purpose or to be something that really inspires me. When I give, I need to know about it, study about it, see the progress you’ve had, and see what your future success might be,” she added, noting that donors need to be aware of how the funds are directed, with confidence and trust. “I give with the intention of continuing. I’m not just giving something to get rid of you, and if I like you well enough, and I like your project – that is if what you are doing inspires me – I want to keep up with it and work with it. “I’ve loved the Zoo forever, but I didn’t want to hand them something when they didn’t have a real plan early on,” she continued, noting she feels the Zoo has been a wonderful steward with the money it’s received from private donations. “I think they have done miracles with the place. I have monitored them from the backside. I think it is remarkable what they have done with the money they have been given.” Every city should have a zoo because of its educational value, Lovett said. “I think every child should be exposed to everything it’s possible to do for them because you don’t know what their interests will be,” she explained, noting the Zoo not only educates people about animals, their care, and how to treat them properly, but it also reinforces in children manners and teaches them about danger and the necessity of obeying rules. “I love watching the children enjoy it,” she said. “It opens their eyes to wonderful things. It’s sad to think of those who have never had an opportunity to visit the Zoo.”


Darla and Perrie Coker

Zoo enthusiast joins legacy society ‘to help when I’m gone’


ie  o e

A longtime animal lover who lives but three miles from overwhelmed with critters,” he said, noting he has a deer gone,” Coker said. “Nikki Smith, director of developthe Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Perrie Coker has feeder and regularly feeds 15 raccoons, five or six possums, ment, has worked with me on my giving to the Zoo. loved zoos – all zoos – since he was a child, but espe- deer, ducks, geese and the occasional bobcat. “My place Nikki and I became friends. She is such an inspiration. cially the zoological park on the Trout River. “I have is just full of animals because they have been thrown She drove me around behind the scenes. I met so many a major love for animals, and I want to help by sup- out of their habitat,” he said. “I especially like the people that the public never see. They are compassionporting the Zoo,” he said. possums because they eat as much as 5,000 ticks a year.” ate in their work and concerned about the wellness of When he was small, the 71-year-old recalled there Although he has plenty of animals at home, Coker the animals. I had no idea how much went on. I rewere lions, a tiger, elephants and giraffes in the park enjoys going to the Zoo, and makes it his business to cently met Cheryl, a supervisor, and Mike, a keeper. as well as a small train that he loved to ride. “The gi- visit two or three times a week. “If I’m sitting home, It was obvious they had a love and devotion to the raffes were my favorite thing,” he said. “When I was and I’m bored, I will get up and go to the Zoo for a animals,” he continued, adding that the Zoo is one of 5 or 6 years old, I loved riding the train. It went by couple of hours,” said the Heart of the Zoo member. four in the country that has paid staff devoted solely “Casey Jones” grave. There was a sign, a grave marker “I like to see how they care for the animals, which aren’t to animal wellness. “The Zoo needs a new veterinary and a mound of dirt with a pair of boots sticking out. in small cages anymore. They have plenty of room to hospital,” he said. I encourage people to donate to the I remember it so well,” he continued. “I’ve been going roam. It’s educational. Children get to come in and Zoo to keep improving it.” In his spare time, Coker volunteers at Highlands to the Zoo the whole time I’ve lived here. Even when see animals that they would never get to see anywhere I was little, we would vacation here a week every year. else. There are river otters, which are endangered, and Baptist Church in the kitchen, where his co-workers We had family here. My parents loved the Zoo, and the Zoo is going out of its way to look after them and “hide the garlic” from him. He also joins other church members in a ministry where they work with people they knew the best way to entertain me was to drop their well-being.” me off at the Zoo.” Coker recently named one of the new river otters, who live in housing projects near Dunn Avenue. “Nikki Formerly the owner of a North Carolina welding Coker, after himself, and especially enjoys watching set it up so I could bring five underprivileged kids shop and a charter boat business out of Morehead City, him during his visits. He is also a Legacy Society from Monoco Arms Apartments to the Zoo to feed Coker retired to a four-acre spread not far from the Zoo member and has made it known that he intends to the penguins, and they just couldn’t shut up. They had 16 years ago. His property takes on a zoo-like feel in leave a substantial portion of his estate to the Zoo. “I so much fun. Who do you know who has ever fed a that he cares for all kinds of animals on his marsh-front really don’t have any heirs, and I’ve gone to the Zoo penguin?” he laughed. “It was great for those kids to land. “They are building all around us, so we have been so much, I thought maybe I could help it after I was see the animals being so well cared for.”





United for change


United for good



Through triumphs and trials, thank you for making a difference. Invest in Northeast Florida’s next 95 years:

Stay connected: |


Rescuing our four-legged friends Nonprofits, compassionate individuals aim to save homeless, helpless and suffering animals


ith local animal shelters bursting at the seams, we are blessed to have among us a bounty of groups and individuals who have made it their mission to rescue helpless four-legged creatures that been forgotten, discarded, or never cared for in the first place. Despite the long days and the overwhelming obstacles, animal rescuers are a rare breed – they persevere in protecting furry friends. Collectively, animal rescuers are a tireless group, and an inventive one, finding a multitude of ways to help all kinds of creatures. They walk streets, comb wooded areas, canvas neighborhoods, bait and monitor safe-traps or spend unpaid hours online and on call to help animals. Jacksonville’s rescuers are a compassionate cadre as well. They care so passionately about lost pets and homeless animals that they will do whatever it takes to make their lives better. They help owners, marshal search groups, and respond to continual requests for help with lost, injured, ill, neglected, abused or homeless animals. Some safely trap traumatized dogs and cats that may


Julie Kerns Garmendia






be former pets, abandoned strays or ferals and reunite them with owners or transport them to shelters, foster homes and veterinarian care. Then, the equally urgent work begins, the kind that does not always end happily. Adoptable homeless or stray animals must be cared for and rehabilitated. Prevention of suffering for future generations must be perpetuated, as healthy feral cats are trapped, neutered and released (TNR) back into volunteer-managed community cat colonies. As volunteers assist, they do it knowing that homeless animals suffer while trying to survive in the elements waiting for help. Rescuers can sometimes share in that feeling as they toil to find and save as many as possible with limited funds, manpower and resources, and it pains them to know that some unclaimed pets that need homes may never find them. What breeds the problem? Well, breeding – that is, unchecked breeding. Animal welfare advocates know the critical challenge in any metropolitan area is to stop the breeding of unwanted animals, because that produces far too many animals that end up starving, carrying or spreading disease and that go on to burden already stretched-to-the-max animal shelters. It’s a heartbreaking sight to see a single-shelter dog kennel divided to barely accommodate two in order to buy both dogs a little more time to be owner-claimed, fostered or adopted. Animal welfare advocates also know that even adoption events every day of the week will never stop the tide of unwanted animals that flood the system; the solution must come before those litters of puppies and kittens are born. Prevention also lies in comprehensive, effective public youth and adult education combined with affordable, low-cost, income-based or free pet, stray and feral sterilization programs accessible to every citizen. This isn’t a new goal; Jacksonville has worked toward 100% no-kill status for years. The city’s Animal Care & Protective Services (ACPS) has improved its statistics to a 90% live release rate, according to Daniel Clavel, ACPS placement supervisor, who spoke at a September 2019 pet adoption event. The Jacksonville Humane Society has maintained its

no-kill status since 2005. Smaller county and rural shelters in surrounding areas continue to struggle, however. But, there’s a silver lining to so many animals living among us, and it is apparent everywhere in Jacksonville: pet ownership. Every day, residents walk or bike with their dogs through neighborhoods, play with their pets in yards, at the beach, in public or dog parks and ride together in cars. And, it’s not unusual to spot the occasional bird on a shoulder, cat, rabbit or ferret in a harness, out and about with one of these doting owners.

HERE’S HOW YOU CAN HELP Would you like to help? Volunteer. Residents who care about animals, or any civic or church group, adult or youth group (age requirements vary) concerned about the welfare of local animals in distress or with a desire to perform important community service, can make a difference by volunteering. Volunteer experiences enrich life, engage volunteers of all ages and backgrounds with their community and contribute immeasurably to the wellbeing of all. Nonprofit animal welfare groups are in every ZIP code and receive zero government funding. They rely on individual or corporate financial donations and volunteers to continue saving animals and welcome help of any kind. Most offer a variety of volunteer tasks, including orientation and training, that require no specific skills and can be done occasionally, temporarily or regularly. Typical volunteer activities include office or social media tasks, organizing and stocking supplies, or helping inside the shelter facility by cleaning, assisting staff or providing enrichment. Socialization activities also greatly impact adoption success and can be a great place to help. Volunteers can teach dogs to walk on leash, bathe and groom them and teach them basic obedience. Shelter animals are also desperate to run and play in outdoor fresh air, to interact with humans and to get a break from non-stop noise, concrete floors and wire enclosures. Volunteers can post individual animals on social media sites to attract interest and adoptions, promote events, provide a temporary foster home for a shelter animal, take an

animal out for a day excursion or weekend away from the shelter, organize or help at a fundraiser or community pet adoption. Not everyone can physically volunteer, but mailing a check, becoming an individual or corporate sponsor, going online to a rescue group’s website or Facebook page to donate or purchase Wish List supplies, are ways to immediately help. “One person helping one animal at a time,” “adopt don’t shop,” and “give where you live” are calls to action that transform goodwill and compassion into powerful change for a better community that cares for its animals in need. Another way you can help is to adopt an animal yourself, but it’s important to plan for the lifespan of pet ownership, which for dogs and cats can last for ten years or much longer. Consider adopting an older pet, too; senior pets, just like senior citizens may develop difficult or costly health conditions. This is one reason so many senior pets turn up homeless or owner-surrendered to shelters. Thankfully, there are rescuers, just like with feral animals, who specially focus on saving unwanted senior or hospice pets, providing them a peaceful, final home. Jacksonville’s major large, and smaller, non-profit animal welfare

organizations work cooperatively with private individual rescuers to ensure the safety and well-being of local domestic animals. Lost, abandoned, unwanted, abused, neglected, displaced, ill or injured dogs, puppies, cats, kittens, exotics, farm animals or wildlife in distress, owe their lives to this diverse, widespread safety net covering Northeast Florida. These diverse entities network, share information and assist their counterparts in all surrounding counties. Geographical boundary lines blur as committed animal advocates consistently demonstrate that regional cooperative efforts accomplish good and measurable progress toward their common goals: lost pets reunited with owners, control breeding of homeless, outdoor and feral animals to reduce shelter admissions and rehabilitate adoptable animals. A familiar bumper sticker declares the question, “Who Saved Who?” and anyone who has successfully rescued or rehomed an animal in distress knows exactly what that means. Every animal life matters and each dog, cat, puppy, kitten or other domestic animal set back on a path of health and happiness can bring joy to the life of a person, couple or family looking for the unique companionship and loyalty only a beloved pet can bring.





F r i e n ds Of J ack son vi l l e A n i m a l s (F OJ A )

Mack the puppy adopted by Jaxon Blankenship, 7 and his mother, Charly Blankenship at Jacksonville Animal Care & Protective Services (ACPS) Pet Adoption Event hosted by staff & volunteers at Duval Ford dealership on Cassat Avenue in September 2019.

J ac k son ville Anima l C a r e & Prote c tiv e Services ( ACPS) Jacksonville’s Animal Care & Protective Services (ACPS), located on Forest Street between I-95 North and downtown, provides animal control and enforcement, community education, lost and stray animal intake and care. They offer adoptable dogs and cats, a foster program, community outreach, education, animal emergency assistance and veterinarian services. On a September Saturday morning at Duval Ford on Cassat Avenue, ACPS held a dog adoption event as part of its community outreach to educate the public and rehome adoptable animals. Sheila McFarland, Duval Ford Service Manager and owner of her own rescue dog, had contacted ACPS about holding an adoption event at the dealership. “Our strongest message to the public is that we are an active pet adoption agency. We look for new venues to get pets out of the shelter and into the community where they have a better chance to be seen and adopted, ” Daniel Clavel said. Clavel, a lifelong animal rescuer and owner of several rescue dogs, is the ACPS Animal Placement Supervisor. He previously served as an NAS Jacksonville Naval Medic.

FOJA was created in 2007 by friends Margie Yarborough, Ginger Hughes, Jill Mero, Sherri Audette, Clark LaBlond and Carolyn Edwards, in response to the grim state of the old city animal shelter on McDuff Avenue. FOJA bought the largest size safetrap and three They recognized that all the needs of shelter FOJA volunteers successfully safe-trapped Sammy. pets could never be solely met by city resources. They formed the non-profit FOJA, to ensure their fundraising and donations would directly benefit shelter animals. In 2009 FOJA became a non-profit and holds the Florida Check-A-Charity highest rating with 95% of revenue spent on programs. An all-volunteer organization, FOJA does not operate a shelter. They provide a range of support and resources for groups, agencies and individuals who rescue, rehabilitate, foster and rehome animals in need. Their mission is to improve and enrich the lives of shelter animals. FOJA volunteers walk dogs, cuddle cats, write grants, work at and publicize adoption events to raise awareness and promote public education regarding responsible pet ownership. They work to increase adoptions, reduce shelter overcrowding and euthanasia, raise funds for medical treatment, special needs and equipment, plus respond to animal welfare issues and emergencies.

J ack son vi l l e Mobi l e Do g Ca fé & Th r i ft S hop After many years in marketing and sales, Carolyn Snowden knows a great concept when she sees one. When she watched the internet video of a California dog café helping connect adoptable dogs with potential owners, this dog-lover had a eureka moment. “The idea of helping homeless dogs be adopted, by offering free coffee and a relaxed, café-like experience at adoption events inspired me. Add a mobile truck to reach as many adoption events as possible and we’ve got a for dogs and potential adopters! In July 2016, our first ‘pop-up’ event transformed a grooming shop into a coffee café and helped four dogs be adopted. We also operate a small thrift shop benefitting the mobile café,” Snowden said. Jacksonville Mobile Dog Café is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization. Snowden is a Jacksonville native, wife, and mother of two daughters. Dog Café’s thrift shop is located on Roosevelt Boulevard inside of Tony K’s Barbershop.

Kam p K ritte r Rescue Foundation & No K i l l S h e lt e r Sue Towler, a U.S. Air Force retiree, has been rescuing Jacksonville animals for the past 25 years. In 2004, two years prior to retiring from the military, she founded the non-profit Kamp Kritter Rescue Foundation and No Kill Shelter after finding a starved, injured pit bull-mix puppy outside a convenience store. She took Sir Little Champ home and began providing safe, loving sanctuary for homeless, injured and abused dogs with special concern for senior, disabled and hospice animals. She offers adoptable dogs and all donations pay for rescue, vetting, rehabilitation and care. “I see the dog, not the age, disability or medical conditions. I want to offer a peaceful permanent home to those dogs with severe or chronic medical conditions or seniors with no chance of adoption. It’s the cycle of life and death and it’s not for everyone, but I believe this is my life’s purpose,” Towler said. “Unfortunately, smaller non-profit rescues like mine never receive grants like large rescue organizations do, so it’s a constant struggle to pay the bills and buy supplies. Because of space and the type of dogs I accept, my shelter stays full, so donations and volunteers really matter to smaller rescues like mine.” Towler also operates The Barking Lot dog boarding and day care facility.





Sue Towler, founder of Kamp Kritter Rescue Foundation & No Kill Dog Shelter, seated with rescue/adoptable dogs, Betty Boop, Hoss the Bloodhound and Bear. Her two volunteers are Paulette & Brian Wechman.


F i r s t Coa s t No Mor e Hom e l e ss Pe t s ( FC N M HP )

Jennifer Barker (left), FCNMHP Chief Operating Officer and Dr. Fulcher (right) examining a kitten with an eye injury at our Cassat Regional Hospital.

First Coast No More Homeless Pets (FCNMHP) was founded in 2001 by Rick DuCharme to reduce shelter admissions and cut euthanasia rates by sterilizing as many unwanted, stray and feral animals as possible. His ultimate goal was to have a 100% No Kill status in Jacksonville. DuCharme started SpayJax, a city-funded, high-volume free spay/neuter program. The first temporary clinic was housed at the Edison Avenue Veterinary Hospital, with the support of equally passionate, longtime animal welfare and spay/neuter advocates, local veterinarian Dr. Vincent and Mrs. Diane Kerr. The Kerrs donated their time and provided material support and partial use of their clinic to help FCNMHP launch SpayJax. The immediate success of SpayJax led to SpayNassau and multiple other spay/ neuter regional initiatives. More successful programs followed, including the Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) program of free sterilization for feral, stray and outdoor community cats, saving thousands of feline lives. Healthy TNR cats are safe-trapped, sterilized, receive basic vaccinations and vet care. Then, one ear is slightly tipped which is the universally accepted identification of TNR cats. They are then returned to their original neighborhood or cat colony, to be fed and looked after by volunteers. TNR effectively stops the cycle of continuous breeding and helps prevent disease. FCNMHP’s Mega Pet Adoption Events are periodically held at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds, where all kinds of pets from many rescue groups and shelters are available for adoption. The success of these events has sparked other groups and large pet chain stores to host their own schedule of successful adoption events. FCNMHP now coordinates many nationally recognized and widely imitated animal welfare programs. They operate two veterinarian clinics that offer affordable services with proceeds supporting the income-based and free programs: the Joseph A. Strasser Animal Veterinary Clinic on Norwood Avenue, and the Mary Lou Russell Animal Welfare Complex on Cassat Avenue.

See the good you can do with the Jacksonville Zoo Thanks to generous support from community members like you, we have grown to become a world-leading institution. Learn more at WWW.CIRCLESCHARITYREGISTER.COM




Mayport Cats & The Caffeinated Cat Café & Adoptions

Rescue horse Kody being used to show children how to gently and safely interact with large farm animals.

E pic Outre ac h Jessie Miller, founder of the non-profit EPIC Outreach, has a mission to inspire compassion and a kinder world for people, animals and the planet through humane education, animal rescue, public service, networking and shared resources. She is a former teacher and a Humane Society of the United States Certified Humane Education Specialist. Miller started EPIC in 2015 after seeing animal shelters eliminate Humane Education programs. “I have worked and volunteered in the animal shelter and rescue field since high school. I saw first-hand how education and personal instruction can create better pet owners or animal caretakers. I promote teaching children to be kind and loving to each other and to animals, so they will grow to become kind, compassionate adults,” Miller said. Miller takes EPIC’s educational programs, including Pumpkin the friendly guinea pig, and two certified therapy dogs, Winnie and Wrigley, to schools, after-school programs, summer camps, Girl Scout troops, nursing homes and private groups. EPIC’s new education farm and sanctuary offers interaction with rescued farm animals, an informative curriculum, games and art projects. Miller’s goals are to expand programs into more schools, to be able to accept more rescued farm animals, to open an on-site education center and to continue EPIC’s youth summer camps. At the EPIC camps, children are taught kindness and compassion for each other and animals. They learn basic animal care and about animal shelters, fostering and adoption. Camp projects include recycling common items like paper toilet rolls to make pet toys for donation to local shelters.

Committed to Your City

Being a third generation native of Jacksonville, I have a devoted commitment to this wonderful city. Through my philanthropic and real estate endeavors, I hope to make a difference for you. From riverfront to oceanfront, and everywhere in between, I would love the opportunity to be your Bi-Coastal Realtor.





Tammy King, founder of Mayport Cats rescue, was spurred to action in her Mayport Fishing Village neighborhood when she saw a population explosion of feral cats in the 80-acre area. Cats were starving despite the widespread assumption that a fishing village must be a cat paradise. “In 2008 I founded the non-profit Mayport Cats Sophia Williams with Tammy King and two rescue,” King said. “Someone had to help the rescue, adoptable kittens at The Caffeinated Mayport cats. We started a Trap, Neuter, Release Cat cafe' & adoptions new location. (TNR) program to sterilize, vaccinate and release cats back into volunteer-managed community colonies.” By 2018, more than 11,000 cats had gone through Mayport Cats TNR because of the commitment and dedication of King and her volunteers. Now, mostly dumped, abandoned or pregnant cats and kittens appear, King said. Mayport Cats uses donations for vetting, rehabilitation and care until adoption. They accept disabled or injured cats that might otherwise be euthanized and help the occasional turtle, bird or other animal in need. King offers TNR and safe-trap training and sponsors adoptable cats and kittens. She provides public education about responsible pet ownership, outdoor and feral cat sterilization and TNR. Mayport Cats recently opened The Caffeinated Cat Café with an immaculate, separate cat adoption area. This dual retail/adoptions concept has succeeded in other cities, and King hopes that sales and adoptions will justify the monthly rent expense. The two-room, glassed enclosure housing adoptable cats and kittens is in full view of the café seating. Sales of coffee, snacks and gift shop items in the purr-fectly renovated Jacksonville Beach bungalow at 331 1st Avenue North, benefit Mayport Cats rescue.

J ack son vi l l e H u m a n e So ci e t y (J H S )

Denise Deisler

Animal welfare and rescue organizations typically form when an individual or group of citizens identify a need and organize to meet that need. The Jacksonville Humane Society opened in 1885, achieved its goal of becoming a No Kill shelter in 2005 and suffered a catastrophic fire in 2007 at its Beach Boulevard campus. Jacksonville reacted in horror as JHS burned, igniting an equally blazing response by citizens, donors, corporations and other organizations to raise funds to rebuild. In 2017 the new Humane Society campus opened, offering comprehensive services for animals, prospective adopters and pet owners, including adoption, education, a pet help center, and a veterinarian office and hospital. “Our greatest need will always be the community’s continued support for pets and the people who love them. Whether that’s through donations, adoptions, fostering or volunteering, there’s an opportunity for everyone to contribute and it is only by working together that we can continue our lifesaving work,” Denise Deisler said. Deisler, Jacksonville Humane Society CEO, serves on the No Kill 2025 Steering Committee of Best Friends Animal Society, a nationally recognized leader of the No Kill Movement, operating the largest No Kill animal sanctuary in the U.S. Deisler also participates in Petco Foundation and Purina leadership groups.

Lee Sheftall Elmore REALTOR®


A member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates, LLC


T E N D E R -H E A RT E D ANIMAL RESCUERS MAKE A DIFFERENCE Individual animal rescuers often use their personal funds for veterinary care and other expenses, and they foster animals in their own homes. Most have long-term working relationships with veterinarians, who recognize and support their extraordinary service to animals and the community. Private rescuers recruit and train their spouses, family members, friends and neighbors to help with rescues, to foster and adopt. They use their own vehicles for transport and their trunks hold safety gloves, soft blankets, towels, dog and cat food, pet carriers, clean clothing and emergency first aid supplies at all times. They coordinate with each other, and with shelters and rescues.

Dawn Ande r son Everyone in the Jacksonville animal rescue community knows Dawn Anderson as a person who can safe-trap just about any terrified animal. She is grateful to her husband Gregg, her constant supporter, and to Mike Merrill of Florida Urgent Rescue (F.U.R.) for teaching her to successfully safe-trap. Anderson believes her years of experience learning animal behavior and body language have helped her to save countless animals. She states that every situation and every animal is different and she learns from them all. It takes tremendous patience, persistence and sometimes, a team of volunteers ready to assist.

Dee Bo oth

Tom Booth with five homeless dogs he adopted that Dee Booth rescued.

Dee Booth is direct in her approach to animal welfare and rescue, going straight to inner city neighborhoods looking for ways to help animals there. When she heard about a lady living in such a neighborhood who had way too many dogs and needed help, Booth didn’t hesitate to offer her assistance. That is just one of the many ways she steps up to support people and animals. “I go to safe-trap and transport animals for spay, neuter and vaccination that would never receive these services,” Booth said. “Most people have no idea how bad the conditions are in these inner city neighborhoods for the residents and their pets, or for the strays there. The sad truth is that life in a kennel at ACPS with food, water, veterinarian care and shelter is heaven compared to the conditions those poor animals live in.” Booth frequently collaborates with Jessie Miller of EPIC Outreach to offer educational programs to school students and groups. She is also a volunteer educator for EPIC youth summer camps.

“I started helping find lost pets. Then came calls about strays or traumatized animals that could only be caught with a safe-trap. I’ve even helped on searches where drones were used and volunteers from everywhere were involved,” she said. “If I have to sit for hours near a safetrap or monitor it constantly, I do whatever it takes. If I find a lost animal or am searching for one, I walk the surrounding area going door-to-door, talking to people and hanging signs. I talk to staff at vet offices and grooming shops within a five mile radius. I have also fostered and found so many homes for animals. I just can’t say no to helping an animal in need.”

K at h y Ross i t e r Rossiter is another example of many different ways one person can help animals. She has been an active private rescuer, foster and a volunteer with ACPS and FOJA. Her volunteer activities prompted requests from people asking for advice, or her help with lost or homeless dogs. She has spent thousands of dollars vetting animals in need and is now more involved, finding temporary fosters for lost dogs until owners are found or adoptions arranged. Rossiter is also a busy volunteer transporter for several rescues, which are able to pull animals out of shelters but need someone to pick up and transport them to foster care. Rossiter transports in Georgia and throughout Florida to save as many animals as possible.





S AV I NG A N I M A LS T H RO UG H S O C I A L M E DI A Jea n Dunbar SOCIAL MEDIA VISUAL STORYTELLER Jean Dunbar is familiar to anyone checking online rescue, shelters and transports or fosters them herself, until an shelter, lost or found animal websites. She is known for adopter is found her social media posts publicizing critically full shelters, “I love helping animals. When I first started social media showcasing their most at-risk animals awaiting adoption posting, it was a new outlet that no one was using to or running out of time. She posts to help reunite owners help animals. I started with Craigslist and found good with lost pets and has saved hundreds of animals. homes so quickly I was immediately hooked,” she said. Dunbar, who describes herself as a Visual Storyteller, “I’ve had countless success stories, but people need to posts photos of homeless animals and tells their stories know that the longer an animal stays in loud, crowded, if known, highlighting endearing personality traits and stressful shelter environments, the more it can traumatize positive adoptability details such as “completed training” and change their personality and behavior in a negative or “gentle with children”. She volunteers her time and way. Animals become depressed and withdrawn, drastisocial media expertise in hopes that someone will cally decreasing any chance of adoption. People say, ‘I connect with an animal’s story, and decide to foster, don’t have time to foster,’ but there are short-term or adopt or further publicize that animal. easier fosters that anyone can do. Some animals just need In emergencies or special situations, Dunbar coordi- more time to be adopted from a shelter, but too often nates with non-profits to quickly pull animals from that is not possible.”

Jill Mero LISTEN UP 4 ANIMALS AWARENESS Jill Mero, an original founder of Friends of Jacksonville Animals (FOJA), is a realtor and wellknown animal welfare activist and rescuer. She formed Listen Up 4 Animals Awareness group and Facebook site in September 2018. Mero’s goal is to improve communication, promote positive change and solve problems through city and citizen action on local animal welfare issues. Mero wants to raise awareness about animal issues that impact every taxpayer and animal shelter in Duval County. One current initiative is the Visit 2020 by 2020. This is a push to schedule every city council member

and their interested staff for a tour of Jacksonville Animal Care & Protective Services at 2020 Forest Street. Another goal is to successfully petition the city to hire a full-time Community Pet Officer to visit neighborhoods most in need of assistance, to educate residents about uncontrolled pet, stray and feral dog and cat breeding. The officer would distribute information about free, income-based or low-cost animal sterilization, TrapNeuter-Release (TNR) programs, senior citizen and Food Bank programs to help owners keep their pets. The officer would arrange safe-trapping and transport where needed, answer questions and address concerns.

Ka ren K . Hay t LOST PE TS OF JACKSONVILLE , FL (FACEBOOK SITE) Karen K. Hayt became the administrator of the Lost Pets of Jacksonville, Florida Facebook site in early 2017 after the original founder moved away from Jacksonville. She and her volunteer assistant, Vickie Bosnar Nelson, and a host of passionate volunteers dedicate themselves to online publicity, research, rescue and assistance to reunite owners with lost pets. Their success rate and heartfelt concern for lost and homeless animals and distraught pet owners have caused their site to grow from 4,000 members to 14,000. They never give up on or forget a lost pet, and have incredible stories of animals being found after as long as 18 months missing. They have been recognized by the Jacksonville Humane Society and ACPS for outstanding efforts.





“We work with the Jacksonville Humane Society, ACPS and rescues to find lost pets. We search the shelters and help owners search and monitor the location where the pet was lost or last seen. If a found pet is never claimed by owners, is not microchipped or microchip contact information was never registered or is outdated, we help rehome that animal,” Hayt said. “I cannot repeat enough how important it is to microchip pets, register your contact information and keep it current. Every minute we spend going out to personally search for lost pets or publicize them online is worth it. Because of how deeply the Jacksonville community cares about its animals, working all together, we’ve had great success bringing pets safely home.”

They are more than pets...

They are family. Dr. Kristina Miller Diplomate, ACVIM Oncology

Dr. Tracy LaDue Diplomate, ACVR Radiation Oncology Diplomate, ACVIM Oncology

At Southeast Veterinary Oncology and Internal Medicine, compassion meets innovation. We offer the following services, including stereotactic radiation (SRS/SRT) in partnership with PetCure Oncology.

• Medical Oncology • Radiation Oncology • Internal Medicine • Radioactive Iodine

Dr. Abigail Bertalan Diplomate, ACVIM Internal Medicine

Dr. Krysta Deitz Diplomate, ACVIM Internal Medicine

Dr. Zachary Neumann Diplomate, ACVIM Oncology

The Hope Chest Charitable Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide financial support for medical care for pets battling cancer, debilitating chronic illnesses, and to support pets that have been displaced due to catastrophic natural disasters. The Hope Chest also serves to promote community awareness of the diseases facing our pet populations by supporting recognition, early detection, and rapid treatment of some of the most common conditions facing pet populations. Learn more about The Hope Chest at 501c3 Charity Trust - Tax Deductible

SEVOMED.COM 304 Corporate Way, Orange Park, FL – 904-278-3870 | 14333-42 Beach Blvd, Jacksonville, FL – 904-567-7519 If you have questions, please send inquiries to

Therapy dogs W

Volunteer Melissa Kurz and her dog Oscar visit a terminally ill patient at Baptist Health.





hen Melissa Kurz, a World Golf Village resident, was involved in a devastating accident that required lengthy surgery and hospital stays, she could not have guessed her injuries would both save her life and go on to improve the lives of others. Kurz, the first volunteer with Baptist’s P.A.W.S. pet therapy program, said that the accident led doctors to discover that she had the rarest of all brain illnesses. And, her sharp yearning for her pooches, eight-year-old Bandit, the cockapoo, and Rocky, the five-year-old cavapoo, in the weeks she was being treated led her to become the first pet therapy volunteer ever at the hospital. Kurz, now 34, said she was 27 when she was in a major car wreck that required bilateral jaw surgery and that later led a Baptist Health neurologist to diagnose with her with an exceedingly uncommon condition that likely would have killed or crippled her. “When I went to the hospital for my jaw and a herniated disk, they found something in my brain,” she said. “It is the rarest brain disease in the entire world, Moyamoya.” The accident then became a blessing in disguise. “If we had not found the Moyamoya, I would have either not survived or had a stroke that was catastrophic. It was a God thing.” Moyamoya disease is a rare, progressive cerebrovascular disorder caused by blocked arteries at the base of the brain in an area called the basal ganglia, according to the National Institutes of Health. Without surgery,


most people who have it experience mental decline and multiple strokes because of the narrowing of arteries and bleeding in the brain. After diagnosis and treatment, Kurz decided to give back by becoming involved in pet therapy, and the nonprofit pet therapy association Pet Partners directed her to help the hospital where she was diagnosed. “I did my evaluation and it happened to be at one of the Baptist properties down here and they said they had just opened the program,” Kurz said. “Everyone knows there are dogs for Wolfson, the children’s hospital, but no one knows there are dogs at Baptist, the adult hospital.” Kathy Burns, chairwoman of the P.A.W.S. program at Baptist Medical Center, also known as the Grace Andersen Pet Visitation Program, said the program began in 2015 as a result of Ms. Andersen’s gift. Kurz began the next year and it has since grown from two official volunteers last year to six with one more in training. Kathy Burns, P.A.W.S. chair, said that dog-and-owner teams each visit twice a month on weekdays and that it would be “awesome” if the program grew to 16 teams. “It’s a wonderful goal. That means almost every day of the week we would have a dog there in the morning and a dog there in the afternoon. We are actively recruiting new teams.” She said that Wolfson Children’s Hospital and Baptist Health both have separate pet therapy programs that mirror each other. At Wolfson, dogs visit kids, and at Baptist Health, they visit adults.


Cheering patients at Baptist Medical Center

Oscar the therapy dog making a patient smile at Baptist Health/Jen Shannon Photography.


PAW PATROL TO THE RESCUE Kurz began volunteering with Oscar, a 92-pound English golden doodle, who was then one year old. She has since added another pup, Ollie, a micro-miniature English golden doodle who has had an outsized impact despite his size. Kurz described a visit with Ollie from this past June, in which the duo was invited to visit with a young woman recovering from the aftermath of a stroke. Kurz said nurses described the patient as “very depressed.” “Her mind was fully intact, but she had lost all physical abilities,” she related. “The nurses were hopeful that Pet Therapy would have an impact on the young woman and her current mental state. I knew Ollie had a long day ahead, but I made sure to save time to see this special patient.” She said she and Ollie finished visiting all the nurses and staff on Weaver Tower 6 and 7, the oncology units, and then went into the ICU. “As the doors opened to the ICU, Ollie was greeted by a drove of nurses smiling and clapping. They were so excited to bring Ollie into the patient’s room. After they finished petting him, three nurses escorted us into her room. The nurses cheerfully explained that we had brought Ollie especially for her. As I held Ollie up to her arms to pet him, her lips began to slowly move. Nothing came out of her mouth, but a crease began to form in her cheek as she broke into the smallest of smiles. The nurses rejoiced and

clapped, and everyone’s eyes welled you are in the confines (of a hospital), with tears. The nurses cheered in you don’t have your own space, your elation as the second, bigger (and own schedule. When the pets come in, it just becomes a person petting better formed) smile appeared.” She said the young woman’s family an animal and feeling better, normal members were overjoyed as the interaction. We’re not talking about nurses wheeled a desk chair in so their illness; we are talking about Ollie could sit on it and she contin- happy things.” ued to pet him. “She stroked his soft fur and tried HOW TO VOLUNTEER desperately to acknowledge our presence. The nurses were choked up as Burns said that to volunteer, dogs they tearfully thanked us. They said must be therapy teams that are regher outlook had been dim considering istered with one of two programs her progress over the last ten days and – Alliance of Therapy Dogs and Pet they were fearful she would have to Partners. She said those two organibe moved to a long-term care facility zations very carefully screen, train instead of rehabilitation. Ollie gave and test prospective therapy animals. her the push she needed to get better The dogs must be a year or older, and and the will to persevere onward.” temperament is important, she said. And that’s why Kurz and the other volunteers continue to visit. Pet therapy helps patients heal faster and experience less anxiety, as shown by several studies, and the Mayo clinic site states that “Animal-assisted therapy can significantly reduce pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue in people with a range of health problems.” The animals also help others who are not sick. “It's not only people with health problems who reap the benefits. Family members and friends who sit in on animal visits say they feel better, too.” Kurz has seen the improvements first-hand, she said. “I’ve seen the joy the dogs bring to patients over the last three years I have been a part of the program, but Elvis the goldendoodle this was a day to remember,” Kurz brightens the day of a patient. said. “When you are a patient and

“One of the things people can look for is, does their pet actively go to strangers for attention? Are they outgoing, do they mind being petted by strangers?” Burns said. “That’s a good clue. Does the dog mind being fondled and touched all over its body – its ears, its tail, its paws, rubbing its belly, rubbing its back. Those kinds of things are also part of socializing a dog to be receptive. If the dog is happy, joyful, happy to see strangers, to approach strangers, if the stranger pets the dog and the dog comes back for more, that’s a good indication, too.” She suggested that those interested in becoming a pet therapy volunteer visit the nonprofit Therapy Animal Coalition website,

Microminiature English goldendoodle, Ollie. Oscar the therapy dog comforts a patient at Baptist Health.




Canine care

Helping kids heal at Wolfson Children’s Hospital BY JENNIFER EDWARDS

PET THERAPY PROGRAM CELEBRATES 25TH ANNIVERSARY IN 2020 At Wolfson Children’s Hospital, with its bright colors, comforting staff, and intensive focus on helping children get better, it’s a rare occasion that patients and their treatment are not the center of attention. But from time to time, some very quiet, four-legged volunteers sneak in and steal the show. And, that’s exactly the point. Thirteen specially trained dogowner teams comprise the Wolfson Children’s Hospital Auxiliary Pet Therapy program, and each year they pad into the hospital for almost 290 visits a year, hoping to bring kids and their families a pleasant distraction, feeling of connection and the impetus to heal. Their visits are something that both patients and staff look forward to. “You would be hard pressed to find anyone there who doesn’t like the dogs,” said Jeanne Shober, program chair. “They come in and the nurses go ooohhh!” Early 2020 will mark the program’s 25th anniversary, and this year’s team is a well-trained but motley crew, ranging from a 6-pound Yorkshire




terrier to a 100-pound black Russian terrier and every size and color in between, including an Australian shepherd mix, golden retriever and German shepherd. And then there are the dogs with the most entertaining breed names to say: a cockapoo, a labradoodle and a schnoodle – that is, a schnauzer and poodle mix. Some are small enough to snuggle on the bed with a young patient, while others are too large to even roll over in the hospital room. One pup is a highly trained trick master, while another is so patient, he calms everyone around him just by being present. All of them help patients in ways both minor to major. According to the Mayo Clinic, animal-assisted therapy can significantly reduce pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue in people with a range of health problems, as well as the families who love them. In some cases, families can get a few minutes of happiness and distraction from anxious or distressing thoughts. In others, a visit from a furry friend can be a nudge to healing that might not otherwise come. “After the visit, you realize you're smiling,” explained an article on the Mayo Clinic website. “And you feel a little less tired and a bit more optimistic. You can't wait to tell your family all about that charming canine. In fact, you're already looking forward to the dog's next visit.” Researchers at UCLA found that just the act of petting a dog caused lowered anxiety in patients and released hormones that play a part in elevating mood. The American Heart Association also released a study showing that just 12 minutes with a


Yorkshire Terrier Libby gives a high five to a new friend.

dog decreased anxiety and helped heart and lung function in heart failure patients. That translates well to some of the work done at Wolfson. Therapy dogs there see heart patients as well as patients ages 2 and up on a variety of floors, including children in surgical units. “It’s such a gift for all these teams to go in and be with these precious children and their families,” Shober said. “It’s a really wonderful thing.” She said volunteers go to Wolfson floor three, pediatric intensive care, Wolfson floor four, the general/ medical floor, Wolfson five, which is neurology and six, surgery. They also make the rounds on floor three in the Weaver tower, which holds cardiac care, intensive care and neonatal intensive care and four,

oncology and orthopedics. After the visits, the kids can collect trading cards printed with the pictures of the dogs who visited them. There are exceptions to the types of patients the dogs visit, though. “We don’t see infants, we don’t go into the rooms with the babies in the cribs,” she said. “But sometimes I will look in there and the mom wants a dog. We will do it if the parents want a dog.” Shober, who volunteers with Bear, her golden retriever, has seen all kinds of benefit from the visits. “The little ones, they love being on the beds with the little poodles,” she said, while other patients take their cue from the big guys. She described how one of the dogs, Jett, helped a recovering child begin to walk again.

Jett is a black Russian terrier – and Shober said that when the patient saw him, he was willing to try walking while helping Jett’s owner hold him on the leash. “The child was able to get out of the bed,” she said. “The young man could walk down the hall. That was neat.” Yet, even the most restrained adults aren’t immune from the dogs’ calming effects. Shober says she takes Bear to comfort scared defendants appearing in court, or their children, and had a similar interaction with a judge. “When the trial starts, we sit in a court room,” she said. “If someone comes in and they are very upset or scared, the judge will ask for Bear to come up. Those judges, they are wonderful. One time, the judge stopped the court (because) it was kind of heavy. She said, ‘I’m taking a five-minute break. I’m getting some loving from Bear.’ She comes down in her black robe, and I’m mortified, because afterward she is covered with hair.” But she was happy – just like many of the Wolfson patients and their families. Another volunteer, Kathy Burns, is also the chair of the adult pet therapy program at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville. She brings her dog, a 6-pound Yorkie, to Wolfson to visit children and their families. She said her dog is an American Kennel Club certified trick dog performer and had to perform 25 different tricks to earn the title. Now, she uses them to entertain families. “She does high fives, she spins, she jumps over my leg, she rolls over, she

Scout, the golden retriever, visits patients at Wolfson.

Changing Places. Changing Lives.

Yorkshire Terrier Libby visits Wolfson to help children recover.

dances, she plays hide and seek,” Burns said. “One of the favorites is, she says her prayers. Often when she does that trick, I look up and there are tears in family members’ eyes.” For the canines, connecting with people comes naturally. It just takes a lot of work for them to make the cut as one of Wolfson’s special therapy animals. And after they get qualified, there is a strict medical protocol everyone must follow, including sanitizing hands before and after touching the dog, the order in which the dog can visit, and meticulous grooming that includes brushing the pet’s teeth. But before they get to the protocol, dogs must be certified through Pet Partners or Alliance of Therapy Dogs, then trained and medically screened. Volunteers also must be able to visit two times a month. Their temperament matters, but the breed – not so much. “We have vets that come in and do a screening with the dogs,” she said. “They want to see how they are around equipment, how they are around tubes, lots of toys around. They want the dog to leave it. They have balloons that pop, things like that. How does the dog react to those situations?” Shober said the process took her and Bear longer than she thought it would because he had a medical issue that needed several rounds of treatment. “We do need volunteers, we really do,” she said. “And sometimes you think, oh gosh, maybe it’s not meant to be. But, boy, it’s sure worth it.”

Your support will enable Groundwork Jacksonville to:

Build the 30-mile Emerald Trail within the next 10 years Clean and restore McCoys Creek and Hogans Creek Develop future leaders through the Green Team Youth Corps Engage citizens in improving their historic urban neighborhoods

s Bridge ans Creek under Mathew Emerald Trail along Hog

Green Team Youth Cor


Proposed Park at confluence of McCoys Creek

To learn more contact Kay Ehas at 904.598.5605 | @GroundworkJax WWW.CIRCLESCH A R I T Y R E G I S T E R . C O M . 41

Enhancing the expertise of fundraising professionals BY JENNIFER EDWARDS

Colin Walker, Jacksonville Symphony, young professional scholarship


hen Colin Walker was a passionate percussionist in high school, he knew he wanted to share his love of music with others. At first, he thought he’d do that as a school music teacher and went about pursuing his degree in music education at a Pennsylvania College, Kutztown University. But mid-way through, Walker said, he realized teaching wasn’t for him. So, Walker decided to let his passion alchemize into a Master of Music Performance from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and, as of May, a Master of Arts Leadership and Cultural Management from Colorado State University. He is now 31 and Individual Giving Manager for the Jacksonville Symphony. These days, he helps find donors to fund a roughly $10 million symphony operating budget that he said derives only about 35 % of its revenues from ticket sales. “I always wanted to be involved with the symphony,” Walker said. “I took a shot in the dark and ended up with an internship … then a contracted position working in development, which became my current (position).” Walker is now one of 165 members of the Florida First Coast Chapter of the Association of




Fundraising Professionals (AFP), thanks to scholarships funded by the society’s annual National Philanthropy Day, which will be held Nov. 21 at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Jacksonville. Walker was one of 10 professionals awarded membership dues, registration fees for state and national conferences, fees to take the certified fundraising test or travel costs to the AFP national conference in Baltimore. “For the organization to stay afloat, it all depends on good fundraising skills,” Walker said. “Being involved with AFP gives me constant access to continue my education and seek advice from professionals in the field. Having a solid fundraising team keeps the organization going.” National Philanthropy Day “honors donors, volunteers and professionals whose gifts of time, expertise and resources contribute significantly to the quality of life in our communities,” according to the chapter website. First Coast Chapter President Courtney Weatherby-Hunter said the event was very important for AFP and consistently draws over 600 attendees. “As fundraisers, we are truly the connectors in our community,” she said. “A lot of times, we are behind the scenes. If there is a change that should


happen in our community, even if it is a policy change, or a social change, we’re the ones behind the scenes trying to connect people to that cause. A lot of times you won’t see us. We’re the brains.” Philanthropists in multiple categories are honored at the celebration and the funds raised from the event go to add more members to a professional network dedicated to enlightening fundraising professionals and holding them to high standards. “One of the things we find most important in the fundraising industry is that we continually educate ourselves,” said Christy Smith, First Coast AFP Scholarship Chair. “AFP provides anything that will enable us to better engage with our supporters and our donors and really allow them to get to know the missions of our organization. That’s why these educational opportunities are so important. All of the scholarships we give are gateways to educational opportunities.” Smith, a Certified Fundraising Executive working for the Wounded Warrior project in Jacksonville, said the First Coast AFP chapter has monthly program meetings with special guests from across the United States who speak to specific fundraising topics. “The state and national


conferences are also jam-packed with educational sessions from industry leaders from across the U.S. and internationally,” she said. “It’s just a huge opportunity for learning.” Elizabeth Watson, National Philanthropy Day co-chair, said it was also important to help those in fundraising honor the donors who make organizations’ missions possible. “While a scholarship to join AFP allows you to get really high-quality education in the field, holding members to high professional standards is also key to AFP’s mission,” she said. “Maintaining the highest level of ethics and professionalism is really important in our industry,” said Watson, who is also Senior Gift Officer for Step Up for Students. “It’s really important to make donors feel appreciated and valued.” Step Up for Students helps connect disadvantaged students with scholarships that aim to address their situations, according to the nonprofit’s website. Watson said it's also important for professional fundraisers to educate donors on where their money is going and what impact their philanthropy is making. Keri Cook, a membership scholarship award recipient and volunteer coordinator for the Children’s Home Society of Florida, said funds donated to the society go toward giving 3,000 children needed hygiene supplies and holiday gifts, among other services. Cook, 25, is a former child welfare caseworker turned fundraiser for the organization. She works with individuals and volunteers and increases community engagement.

“I was encouraged to apply for the scholarship because I wanted to gain more knowledge and make sure I am setting myself up for success. I applied for it, and I was really fortunate to get it. I have been able to attend the monthly sessions … and gain a lot of knowledge and apply it to what I do at CHS,” she said. “My membership definitely helps me further gain any knowledge of fundraising, since I am still considerably new in the field.” Jessica Waugaman, National Philanthropy Day Committee Chair, said AFP is also increasingly focusing on diversity and ethics of diversity. The organization added a new award this year, Champion of Diversity, and it offers diversity scholarships as well. “We are hopeful that this year’s event reflects the rich diversity of our community,” said Waugaman, who is also Director of Advancement at the North Florida School of Special Education. This year’s diversity membership scholarship recipient is Éres McKee, San Jose Episcopal Day School Director of Marketing and Development. McKee said she is responsible for all marketing efforts, the school annual fund, and its major fundraising effort, the annual Gala. McKee, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration, said the scholarship pays her membership fees for a year. “I can glean knowledge as well as share information that I have gained as a fundraising professional,” she said. “AFP has a rich history of creating a network that allows for this sort of collaboration.” That, in turn, lets her pursue her passion. “The ability to give back and to provide access for individuals is what initially drew me to fundraising,” McKee said. “I look at what I do now in fundraising as a ministry/calling of sorts. I was a proud parent turned passionate employee and because I believe wholeheartedly in the mission of the school, fundraising comes naturally.” Watson, the National Philanthropy Day co-chair, said a handful of scholarships are still available, and that the organization accepts applications year-round through the chapter website. Walker, of the symphony, said anyone interested in an AFP scholarship should take their own shot in the dark, like he did. “Just apply,” Walker said. “You never know what could happen.”

Éres McKee, San Jose Episcopal Day School, diversity scholarship for membership

AFP Scholarship Recipients Colin Walker, Jacksonville Symphony, young professional scholarship Keri Cook, Children’s Home Society of Florida, young professional scholarship Lacey Rumberger, The Arc Jacksonville, awarded a young professional scholarship Jessie Brabender, Flagler College, awarded a scholarship to attend a Planet Philanthropy Conference in Florida Sarah Gaynor, Community Hospice and Palliative Care, new member scholarship Rebecca Rhymes, Ascension St. Vincent’s, renewal membership scholarship Carolyn Karger, Council on Aging – St. Johns County, new member scholarship Kassy Guy-Johanessen, Lil’ Guys Consulting, new member scholarship Linda Hemphill, Consultant, renewal scholarship Éres McKee, San Jose Episcopal Day School, diversity scholarship for membership David Cognetta, Children’s Home Society, Planet Philanthropy Conference in Florida scholarship Jen Stockman, Wounded Warrior Project, Icon scholarship to attend the international conference in Baltimore March 29-31 (registration fee only)

Keri Cook, Children’s Home Society of Florida, young professional scholarship AFP Committee, FL First Coast Chapter WWW.CIRCLESCHARITYREGISTER.COM






Individuals, businesses and organizations honored with annual awards The residents, organizations and businesses listed below are being honored for their excellence and impact in philanthropy.





Bozard Ford has been family owned and operated in St. Augustine since 1949 and the Bozard family has worked to serve both their country and their community for three generations and more than 60 years. For the past seven, Bozard Ford Lincoln has partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida to provide a safe, positive place for hundreds of children after school and in the summer in St. Augustine. During this partnership, Bozard Ford Lincoln has contributed over $500,000 in direct monetary support to fund programs at the St. Augustine club. Bozard Ford Lincoln also transforms the dealership into a magical event space that hosts the annual Bozard Ford Rock & Roll Bash. Bozard Ford has also been a major sponsor of Flagler College events. The Bozard family has sponsored events, served on boards and helped to fund scholarships and Letti Bozard, owner and vice president of community involvement, also serves on the Women of Vision advisory board. OUTSTANDING CHAMPION OF DIVERSITY AWARD


Delores Barr Weaver is often heard saying, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Her charitable focus crosses many dimensions. She is passionate about others and invests substantially in initiatives that support their success. An original co-owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Delores Barr Weaver led the Jaguars Foundation, which granted more than $15 million from 1994 until the team was sold in 2012. That year, she created the Delores Barr Weaver Advised Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida with an initial value of $50 million, the largest gift to date. Later, she created the Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund with an initial gift of $20 million, which will take on major challenges and make gifts to nonprofits that are transformative in nature. Between the 33 local organizational endowments funded by her and her husband, the 20 nonprofits who benefit from the Delores Barr Weaver Forever Event Fund, the millions of dollars granted annually from her Delores Barr Weaver Advised Fund, and the establishment of her Legacy Fund, she has directed more than $100 million worth of philanthropy, nearly all of which has stayed in Northeast Florida. Delores Barr Weaver has been a vigorous supporter of the rights of girls and women, and funded the establishment of the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center, a voice for young girls trapped in the human trafficking and justice systems. She is a staunch backer of domestic violence shelters and also supports the elderly. She created the Senior to Senior Fund to support the fragile elderly. Delores Barr Weaver is a champion for those with intellectual and developmental differences (IDD’s) and has not only donated millions to IDD-serving agencies, she initiated a campaign—Connectable—to highlight the unique and innate abilities in all individuals. Recently, she’s expanded her focus to military veterans, mental health awareness, gun violence and rape and sexual assault in the military. She continues to tirelessly pursue her philanthropic interests and never misses an opportunity to promote and encourage others to join her in giving.





The Links, Incorporated, founded in 1946, is a women’s volunteer service organization committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the cultural and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of AfricanAmerican ancestry. The Bold City Chapter has been active for 35 years. The partnership between Sulzbacher and The Bold City Links has grown deep; Sulzbacher’s mission is to end homelessness one person at a time by focusing on housing, healthcare, and hope. The Bold City Chapter of the Links has given time and energy and sacrificed evenings and weekends for the clients at Sulzbacher Village and Sulzbacher’s Women and Families Campus. Volunteers have provided hundreds of books, facilitated relationship building when parents read to their newborns and offered literacy assistance for youth who need extra tutoring. The Links have shown incredible, ongoing support for Sulzbacher’s clients and staff.



Since its inception in the mid ’90s, the Jay Fund has been a devoted partner to Wolfson Children’s Hospital and its cancer patients and families. The Jay Fund team makes it their mission to be there for patients and families by helping with bills, payments, gas costs and other obligations, and hosts financial planning classes. Its team makes the rounds at the hematology/oncology unit, encouraging families and sometimes even bringing Jaguars players with them. The fund team also provides grants to Nemours for psychological testing, outpatient therapy and inpatient consultation for children who have no other means of paying for those services. The fund also provides the means for holiday parties and stages and sponsors the annual Remembrance Weekend for those who have lost a child.












In 2007, a group of young professionals seeking to support the community recognized the value of the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens to their demographic and the community and created one of the first young professional groups associated with a Jacksonville nonprofit. They desired to immerse themselves in the world of healthy fun and created The Wild Things to engage members in meaningful projects in support of zoo initiatives and to provide members with rewarding social, charitable, and educational experiences. Inaugural members formed an executive council and created bylaws. They’ve since gone on to organize and grow Brew at the Zoo, and log more than 1,000 volunteer hours by volunteering for zoo initiatives such as Dream Night at the Zoo, Spooktacular, Brew at the Zoo, Bowling for Rhinos, Night at the Zoo, Garden and Art Festival, and Manatee Festival.

Julia Taylor is a volunteer fundraiser, philanthropist, volunteer, advocate, leader, wife, mother and grandmother. Most recently, Julia served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Barnabas Center, a social services agency in Nassau County, where she makes her home on Amelia Island. Julia took an active role as Board Chairman of Barnabas Center to expand upon the success of their recent $1.2 million capital campaign, developed a strategic plan, implemented a long-range fundraising sustainability plan and personally ensured that a goal of 100% financial participation by all board members was met. And, along with an annual financial gift to support Barnabas Center, Julia also contributes to their annual, signature fundraising event, Empty Bowls. When her term as board chairman expired, she led and successfully completed a $1.5 million Barnabas Endowment Campaign.

After Jim and Joan Van Vleck moved to the Jacksonville area in 1996, they quickly began to get involved and become engaged philanthropists. They are strong supporters of the University of North Florida (UNF), where Jim currently serves on the UNF Foundation Board and its Governance Committee. Jim is the founding chair and former member of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Deans’ Council, a former chair of the Fine Arts Council, and a former MOCA trustee. Jim also taught in the Coggin College of Business and enjoyed mentoring students and helping them to achieve their goals. Jim and Joan have contributed loyally and generously to UNF since 2002. Most recently (June 2019), the Van Vlecks established the Joan and James Van Vleck Teaching Excellence Endowment to provide funding for the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences to retain, reward, and encourage faculty who have a record of teaching excellence.





Baptist Health is a philanthropic leader in northeast Florida, supporting a wide variety of nonprofits financially, through leadership and with volunteerism. Baptist has consistently been one of the top companies supporting United Way of Northeast Florida and ensures that mental and physical health needs are being met in Northeast Florida through its partnerships with area schools, area YMCA chapters, local philanthropist Delores Barr Weaver and many others. Baptist partnered with Duval Public County Schools, Full Service Schools, UF Health Jacksonville, the Sulzbacher Center, the Duval County Department of Health and Agape Community Health to implement a proven model to ensure that every child had access to healthcare. On-campus health centers were established at several schools. Baptist also partnered with the Delores Barr Weaver Fund to launch the $2.2 million Partnership for Mental Health to support the mental health system.

For 19 years, Diane served as Director of Development and later,the first Director of Donor Relations at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. She managed the very first capital campaign in the zoo’s history and oversaw the growth of numerous fundraising events such as the annual spring gala, ExZOOberation, which has generated more than $3.6 million, and launched The Wild Things, the zoo’s young professionals’ group. With her help, the Wild Things organized Brew at the Zoo, the zoo’s annual sell-out food and beverage fundraiser. Brew draws an annual audience of 3,200.



In 2006 The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach (CCPVB) started a small pilot program, Music Therapy at Cunningham Creek Elementary School. It’s the public hub school for children with intellectual and developmental differences (IDDs), and the program is still being funded by major donor, The Woodcock Foundation for the Appreciation of the Arts Inc. Because of the continued success of the Cunningham Creek program and the national notoriety which includes CCPVB winning the American Music Therapy Association Award for both fundraising and program design, this resource for children with varied differences was expanded in 2015 to serve three additional St. Johns County Schools: PVPV-Rawlings, Ocean Palms Elementary, and Valley Ridge Academy, and renamed SOUND CONNECTIONS® Music Therapy for Children with IDDs. Each week, its music therapists make over 300 music therapy contacts for children with mild to profound differences. To date over 90% of its IDD students showed marked improvement in either social or academic skills.











n this edition of Circles, we’re celebrating some sterling examples of those who are making a positive difference in Jacksonville and the surrounding region by way of their gifts. They are ordinary people engaged in extraordinary philanthropic endeavors. Their passions vary, but their goal is the same—to improve the lives of others. The generosity of these difference makers has helped the ill get well and the illiterate read. It has taught children to appreciate art and caused communities to expand culture. The homeless have hope, and families unite. These altruistic residents are leaving legacies in North Florida and beyond. They are sharing from their treasure but are quick to point out that making a difference is not only about money; donating time and talent is also an integral part of giving back and transforming lives. In 2018, the United Way of Florida reported the results of its ALICE Project research, an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. The study shows that the average survival

budget needed in Florida is significantly higher than what the federal poverty line gauges. Based on their findings, approximately 34.6% of the population in the five-county area surrounding Jacksonville are ALICE and living in poverty. This equates to 202,921.68 ALICE households. Combining that figure with the United States Census Bureau estimates on number of people per household, means that more than a half-million people in our area cannot afford necessities like healthcare let alone luxuries like the arts. Unmet social needs are tremendous here, but thanks to the unflagging benevolence, philanthropic leadership, and personal motivation of several who are able and willing to serve, the negative impacts faced by the unfortunate of our neighborhoods are being ameliorated. What follows are spotlights on some of our area’s top donors. The profiles you’ll read are only a few of the many selfless people who are making a difference in North Florida, bettering our communities through their contributions.

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” — WINSTON CHURCHILL





Making a difference worldwide SCOTT AND NANCY McLUCAS Scott and Nancy McLucas have made a difference around the world for decades. Scott comes from an ancestral line of fierce abolitionists and banking moguls. His proud American heritage, which is recounted in his 2013 biography Lucky Life, is his personal motivation for giving. “A long, lucky life of privilege compels me to reach out and help others,” he said. It was his mother, a talented writer and poet, who instilled in Scott his passion for beauty in life, literature, music, and the arts. Scott says that his philanthropic spirit began when he was treasurer of the Yale Dramatic Association and saw the power of American music and drama to touch hearts. Meanwhile, his wife, Nancy, discovered her giving spirit when she served with the Peace Corps. In 1981, the McLucases started the Florida-based One World Foundation to support the arts. Their motto: “Empower Children to Reach Their

The cover of Scott McLucas’s biography, Lucky Life




Potential through Education and LongTerm Support!” Locally, their nonprofit has provided support to the Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Florida Chamber Music Project, and the Christ Church Nutcracker. Beyond Florida’s borders, One World Foundation supported playwright Horton Foote’s work for the New York Theatre and helped fund a permanent home for the Irish Repertory Theatre in New York City, which later established the W. Scott McLucas Studio Theatre. Internationally, One World supported operas, artists, dancers, and musicians throughout Europe, including creating the Syrinx Orchestra in the South of France. In 2014, Scott was honored by Amas Musical Theatre with the Cultural Humanitarian Award for global cultural philanthropy, the cornerstone of One World. That same year, Scott and Nancy closed One World Foundation to become private philanthropists. Since then, they have adopted the Stetson Kennedy Foundation (SKF) as their prime focus. As Chairman of New Initiatives on the Stetson Kennedy Foundation Board, Scott designated monthly support to the St. Johns Riverkeeper, the SKF Artist-in-Residence Program at Beluthahatchee, which is Stetson’s old homeplace on State Road 13, now a Florida Heritage Park and National Literary Landmark for both Stetson Kennedy and Woody Guthrie. He also supports monthly Second Sunday at Stetsons, in partnership with the NE Florida Folk Network, and in 2019, helped sponsor Ibsen’s play Enemy of the People at the Limelight Theatre


in St. Augustine. In 2020, through SKF Sponsorship, the Limelight Theatre will feature Horton Foote’s Pulitzer Prize winning play The Young Man from Atlanta. Scott and Nancy recently attended the Read USA, Inc. luncheon that took place at TIAA Stadium in Jacksonville. “There, we witnessed the strongest, most forceful appeal for education of the very young that we’ve ever seen. For the future of the children of Northeast Florida, we must continue the momentum begun by Read USA.” On September 28, 2019, Scott celebrated his 90th birthday. “At this time in history, I have deep concerns for our country and our world. I will address those concerns vigorously by donating to organizations like the

Stetson Kennedy Foundation, dedicated to human rights, social justice, environmental stewardship, and the preservation and growth of folk culture; the St. Johns Riverkeeper, with a vision to ensure a clean and healthy river for current and future generations; and Read USA, Inc., whose mission it is to end the cycle of poverty through reading education, for as long as I live.” Public recognition encourages Scott to continue giving, and, in turn, he strives to recognize excellence in others. “When I was awarded an international medal by the United Nations back in the 1990s, I realized that it was in my power to make important and lasting changes in this world. I hope my example will inspire others.”


Humble Servants ROBERT AND MARGARET HILL Robert and Margaret Hill are making a difference in the Jacksonville region by supporting people who have significant needs in healthcare, education, and sustenance. They focus on the underserved, those who lack the resources that others take for granted. Robert observes, “Jacksonville is a caring place, but the needs around us are still significant.” The philanthropic engagement across health systems for all age groups in Jacksonville is remarkable, and the Hills are a vital component of that network. As of 2010, their names are on the Hill Breast Center, a part of the Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center. It’s one of the largest breast centers in the world, housing all non-surgical breast health services under one roof and improving quality of care. Robert points out, “Healthcare services in our community are outstanding. Good healthcare in Jacksonville is supported by a good culture of philanthropy. People here don’t have to get on a plane to get the care they need.” Robert has served as Baptist Health’s board chairman, helping lead other key initiatives, including the creation of Coastal Community Health. Robert points out that giving to make a difference can be specific or

broad. The Hills not only give to people. They hope their generosity particular establishments, but also will “make Jacksonville a stronger to organizations like the United Way community,” and they believe that of Northeast Florida, which serves the strength of a region can be meamore than 70 agencies in Jacksonville, sured by the philanthropic climate. and The Community Foundation “There’s lots of generosity here driven for Northeast Florida, which is ded- by generous people.” Robert points out that the needs icated to connecting philanthropists with each other and with organiza- around us are broader than we’re tions that need help. He said that aware of and suggests that we can all there are a lot of ways and places to be more mindful of those needs. “We get involved here. might be shocked.” For example, acRobert and Margaret Hill hope to cording to Feeding Northeast Florida, make Jacksonville a stronger community, and they encourage people to share their resources and time to evoke positive change. “Philanthropic efforts are about giving, and giving does not have to be about writing a check. The gift of time can really make a difference.” Robert and Margaret attribute their giving spirits to their parents and grandparents who served as models of philanthropy. They also recognize their friends as inspirations, friends who introduced them to organizations worthy of their charitable efforts. “Good examples were set for us,” said Robert. “We have been very blessed over the years, and now we have the opportunity and responsibility to give back.” The Hills are as humble as they are generous. Their personal motivation is nothing other than simply to help

more than 280,000 people in the region are defined as food insecure. Robert believes that “simple acts of kindness can make a difference.” He suggests that we open our eyes and see the needs. The Hills hope to instill in readers this message: “Help others. Understand the broad needs in our community. Recognize those with healthcare needs, those who might need to catch up on education, those who don’t have basic resources. It matters.”

“We have been very blessed over the years, and now we have the opportunity and responsibility to give back.” — ROBERT HILL





Home is where the heart is A N N E A N D S T E V E PA J C I C When it comes to giving to others, Steve Pajcic’s passion remains with his hometown. Born and raised in Jacksonville, Pajcic has pursued his law career in his home community because it is where his heart is, especially when it comes to his philanthropic pursuits. He said he believes in making a difference where a difference was made for him. Pajcic established the Pajcic and Pajcic Law Firm with his late brother, Gary, in 1974, and they set up a significant college scholarship fund at Westside High School, their alma mater. In 1992, the Pajcic brothers also established an endowment at the University of North Florida to pay the four-year tuition of any graduate of Paxon High School in need of financial help who was accepted and enrolled at UNF. Within four years, 35 Pajcic Scholars emerged. Steve later set up an endowment to pay the tuition of Paxon students who enroll at his college alma mater, Princeton University. In 2002, the Pajcic family donated funds for teacher bonuses at Annie




R. Morgan Elementary School with the intention of attracting quality teachers to help revive the failing urban school. They also sponsored dinners, awards, and scholarships for Morgan’s teachers and a carnival for its students. Within two years, the students’ FCAT scores increased, causing the school’s rating to jump from F to A. In 2014, Pajcic and his wife, Anne, gave a significant $2 million gift to Edward Waters College, the largest amount the school had ever received in a single donation. It may seem the Pajcics only take a particular interest in supporting educational issues, but their generosity doesn’t end there. They also support WJCT, the public broadcasting station that serves the First Coast region by providing local as well as national programming. They donate funds to staff local parks in summer and contribute to the operation and improvement of Hemming Park in downtown Jacksonville, the city’s oldest public park. In fact, the couple has dared


others with a matching gift challenge to help transform and modernize the urban space. Perhaps the couple is best known as bountiful benefactors of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid (JALA), which offers civil legal support to those who cannot afford representation. Each year, they host an annual yard-golf event as a fundraiser to support the cause. “Word has spread about how much fun it is, and every year, more people attend; that means the contributions to this important cause also increase,” they said. They are also donors to the Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Florida’s First Coast, Inc., whose mission is to recruit, train, support, and supervise volunteer court-appointed advocates to act as the voice of children in the local court system. “It makes us both feel good whenever we can help make life better for others.” In 2017, they gave to the Jaguars Foundation toward disaster relief for the areas hardest hit by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The Pajcics said they consider themselves “lucky” and

recognize “we have more than our share.” They believe, “It is only right to try to help others who have it tougher.” They recently gave to the Clara White Mission, an organization that serves Jacksonville’s homeless, veterans, and low-income population, including, among other services, adult vocational training, because they are passionate about helping those who have special burdens or obstacles in life. “We always hope it can be a turning point but know that it will be a help regardless.” They were appreciative that so many others in the community also stepped in to help this mission. “We are always thankful when our donations inspire others to contribute.” It has been the Pajcics’ experience that whenever they’ve helped people overcome their disadvantaged backgrounds and see them move on to happy and fulfilling lives, those people, in turn, go on to help others. There’s a paying forward that seems to generate momentum. “We have no illusions about changing the world. We are just trying to help in our own small way,” they said.


Fulfilling a vow FRANK AND MARISA MARTIRE Frank and Marisa Martire come from humble beginnings. They vowed that if they ever had the opportunity, they wanted to give back. And they have. Frank decided to be on as many nonprofit boards as he could fit in. And he is. Their philanthropic focus is mainly on healthcare and education, making a difference in Jacksonville and beyond. Between them, the Martires have been multiple-term members of numerous boards of healthcare organizations, including Baptist Health, Mayo Clinic Leadership Foundation, and Wolfson Children’s Hospital. In 2013, the couple established the Endowment in Pediatric Neurology,

the first of its kind at Wolfson, to In the world of education, Frank Marisa points out, “We’re all part support clinical research aimed at en- has served as treasurer on Jacksonville of the same community, whether on hancing care and to provide treatment University’s board of trustees, and the river or on the ocean. Jacksonville even when families are unable to pay. Marisa is lauded for her considerable is important to us.” But that doesn’t Marisa’s mom was diabetic, and involvement with Cathedral Arts mean the Martires’ giving ends at Frank’s dad had heart issues. So today, Project (CAP), the leading nonprofit Florida’s border. They are devoted the American Diabetes Association organization that empowers thou- philanthropic supporters of Sacred and the American Heart Association sands of Jacksonville children through Heart University, Frank’s alma mater, are on the Martires’ long gift list arts education, providing instruction in Fairfield, Connecticut. Frank atalong with the American Cancer in visual and performing arts for tributes his business success to the Society, all of which have offices in elementary and middle schoolers. education he received there and is Jacksonville. “Along the way,” they “Introducing them to the arts makes doing more than his fair share to give said, “we’ve seen how many people them better students,” said Marisa. back. He volunteers on boards and are affected by illness, children and “Giving children the opportunity to chairs university committees. He and adults alike.” They’ve observed learn theatre and dance gives them a his wife created the Frank and Marisa dietary needs and lack of basic med- broader outlook.” Martire Endowed Scholarship to ications like insulin due to families’ Her enthusiasm for the organi- bolster those from underprivileged limited resources. zation shines through as she backgrounds, and they built the recounts feeling pride at being able Frank and Marisa Martire Business to make a difference in someone’s and Communications Center, which life when she sees a child’s face houses the Jack F. Welch College of beam on stage. She’s been a long- Business and the Department of term board member and the Communications and Media Studies. recipient of the annual Guardian of The Martires say that giving is part the Arts Award bestowed annually of their value system and upbringing. by CAP. She and her husband have “That’s what we live by.” They’ve chaired multiple times CAP’s Angels witnessed others’ generosity, not pinof the Arts campaign to help fulfill pointing any individuals, and follow the mission that every child have by example. In turn, they wish to be an example to others. Frank said they access to an art-rich education. The Martires care about inner-city desire “less words, more action. It’s development and people of all ages. not only about money.” Marisa added, There’s no one particular group they “Nothing is too small.” want to assist. They are supporters With all they’ve done for the comof United Way of Northeast Florida munity and continue to do, the and of Catholic Charities and its Martires acknowledge that there are mission to transform lives, even chair- other philanthropists who have done ing the nonprofit’s Black and White far more. “The part we play is small Ball. They’ve been fortunate and find in comparison to some,” Frank said. giving and helping personally reward- “Keep it simple. Make a difference in ing. “It feels good!” they said. someone’s life, one person at a time.”

“Less words, more action. It’s not only about money.” — FRANK MARTIRE





Big Heart, Small Target GARY McCALLA It’s all about arts and children for and Northern Florida through their Gary McCalla. His heart is big, and regional office in Jacksonville, which he prefers to target his giving toward grants the wishes of children who’ve small, local associations. It’s these been diagnosed with life-threatening organizations, he believes, that have medical conditions, and to a similar a harder time raising funds, and chil- agency called Dreams Come True of dren seem to be getting left behind. Jacksonville. “Terminally ill children Giving locally, he’s able to meet many know no fear. It’s the adults who are of the individual families of the afraid,” he said. McCalla continues doing what he children he’s helping. He likes the coming-together. “It feels more and his wife had done before she special,” he said. passed away five years ago. The couple McCalla has a particular passion for knew they couldn’t help everyone; the Douglas Anderson School of the they had to choose. “We chose kids,” Arts, a magnet school for children. he said. There is great opportunity He’s a lead giver who’s proud to report here in Jacksonville to make a differthat 98% of its students continue on ence by focusing on children, he said. to higher education. McCalla was a “It’s going to better our community in driving force in helping to bring this the long term. It’s an initial investyear’s Arts Schools Network (ASN) ment. Get them at three to six years annual conference to Jacksonville to old, when they’re like sponges,” he be hosted by Douglas Anderson. continued. “The innocence of a child “Any art for children I want to is beautiful. They only know what we support, not only the performing arts, tell and show them. Expose them to but all phases of art,” he said. He con- what there is.” Doing this instills in tinues to support MOCA, Jacksonville’s them the importance of being a good Museum of Contemporary Art, which citizen in the future, he insists. displays national and international McCalla’s hope is that the children work, and where he and his late wife whose lives he touches will give back used to be docents, guiding visitors to Jacksonville when they’re able. He from kindergarten through elementary supports their leaving if they can school. They felt they could be of more better themselves elsewhere, but he — GARY McCALLA service in those roles than being board welcomes them back home to share members. McCalla also has plans to what they’ve gained, to come back involve himself with Cummer Museum and perform. of Art and Gardens in the near future. With a deep desire to bring aware- so, this is a way he knows he can McCalla helps the Cathedral Arts ness to the public about the smaller make a difference. Project as they provide instruction Jacksonville galleries and local In another effort to expose in visual and performing arts to local artists, it pleases McCalla to see the Jacksonville, McCalla points out that elementary and middle school stu- growing appreciation for art in the the Museum of Science and History dents, and he has his generous hand still-somewhat-sleepy town of (MOSH) isn’t just for kids anymore. in Children’s Home Society of Florida Jacksonville. The recent opening of “It’s all about our river, our city, our (CHS) whose mission is “Embracing Home Street Gallery is another parks.” It’s important for adults to Children. Inspiring Lives.” CHS tends hopeful sign. McCalla said he enjoys learn, too, he said. “I’ve always been taught to give. It to matters of foster care and legisla- watching the City of Jacksonville tion involving children’s rights, grow with arts. He’s observed how was instilled in me through my city and state funding doesn’t give grandparents,” McCalla said, noting among other causes. McCalla also contributes to the much to the arts; much more is he was raised in a church that taught Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central given to fund sports for kids. And its congregants to treat other people

“Those who give their time are just as valuable as those who can write a check.”





the way you want to be treated. “I’m not a prude though. I love to party. I like to have events,” he admits. But still, he hasn’t lost the values he learned as a child. “Those who give their time are just as valuable as those who can write a check,” he said recalling when he was not able to give money. “But I have the means now to give differently.” And he does. In a nutshell McCalla’s message is this: “Give! Give! Give! Support our children.”


Turning the page on poverty through literacy JIM AND ELLEN WISS Residents of the Jacksonville area tutoring program that offers teens the for only a decade, Ellen and Jim Wiss opportunity to earn wages. are making a difference in their new The couple’s difference-making in community. Their goal is “to turn the no way ends with their engagement page on poverty through literacy.” The in Read USA. “If you can read, you couple invests their time, talent, and can do anything, go anywhere,” Ellen treasure primarily in Read USA, Inc., said. That’s why she and her husband a nonprofit organization in Atlantic invest in a variety of education Beach since 2011 that partners with groups, such as City Year, Jacksonville other local organizations, businesses, Public Education Fund, and Teach and philanthropists to host book fairs for America, that work together for at low-income elementary schools, kids in Title 1 schools where the distributing free books to students. greatest need exists. “Books that go home with young stuThe Wisses are also passionate dents have ripple effects for the entire about helping those impacted by family,” Ellen said. poverty and seek to inspire others to As CEO of Read USA, which she join collectively to end the cycle. co-founded while serving as a volun- Hence, they’ve been involved at the teer classroom tutor with the Junior ground level with Lift Jax, a movement League of Jacksonville in a severely to prevent poverty in this region. impoverished neighborhood, Ellen “Poverty is not natural. It was created witnessed first-hand the lack of re- by humans,” Ellen said, quoting sources available to furnish students Nelson Mandela. And she points out, with books. She recognized the chil- “Therefore, we, humans, have the dren’s chance at success was limited power and the responsibility to reverse without them. Partnering with poverty toward prosperity for all.” To Vanessa Tussey, the teacher whom turn the tide, she and her husband she assisted at George Washington believe in a multi-sector approach, Carver Elementary School, Ellen which is what is planned through Lift recruited private donors and volun- Jax, now in the first phase of formation teers to organize that school’s first with the goal of raising awareness book fair through Scholastic Book about poverty and coalescing around Clubs, a global provider of education- the common agenda of immediate al materials. The school’s overall reduction and eventual eradication. ranking jumped by the end of that Ellen is president emeritus of the term, likely due to the increase in Women’s Giving Alliance, a group students’ reading habits now that made up of hundreds of women who they owned books of their own, es- pool their philanthropic giving and pecially ones that they had chosen. distribute grants to organizations that Under Ellen’s leadership, in one serve women and girls. Under Ellen’s year, Read USA doubled the number leadership, the alliance was named of schools it served from eight to 16 Outstanding Civic Organization of and added three community centers the Year by the Northeast Florida as recipients. Currently, the organi- Chapter of the Association of zation serves 40 schools, reaching over Fundraising Professionals. 16,000 students in the Jacksonville She also serves as co-chair of area. This year, in formal partnership Florida Women’s Funding Alliance with Kids Hope Alliance Literacy Task (FWFA), which is an affinity group of Force, Read USA launched a summer the Florida Philanthropic Network

(FPN), helping women and girls golden apple is a symbol of achievethrive. “When more people thrive, ment. If there was such a thing as an ADAM, Jim would deserve it!” we are all better for it,” she said. Earlier this year, Ellen was honored Through their giving, Ellen and as a Jacksonville Woman of Distinction Jim wish to inspire others to give as by the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council well. They are personally motivated for her service to others and her impact “to help make our community better, on the region. She was also presented to join collectively to solve social ills, with an EVE Award by The Florida specifically poverty.” Ellen said she Times-Union for her community con- believes that the first step in elimitributions. “When I received the EVE nating poverty is increasing literacy. Award, I was humbled and somewhat “Frederick Douglass said, ‘Once you embarrassed by the recognition, but I learn to read, you will forever be free.’ have realized, in retrospect, that the And, we completely agree!”





Helping enrich autistic lives BOBBY AND LESLIE WEED When it comes to helping families As autistic people have trouble of children with autism, Leslie and with balance and coordination, Bobby Weed are making a difference. most find it difficult to ride bikes. Their third daughter, Lanier, was Through the HEAL Foundation, the diagnosed with autism nearly two Weeds have provided 300 tricycles decades ago. At that time, there to local special physical education were no programs or activities in classes in public schools throughout Jacksonville or its surrounding areas the five-county area. that catered to the growing autistic When Lanier was 16 years old, the community and no help for their Weeds learned through Syracuse exhausted parents who needed University a technique known as support groups, no resources to Facilitated Communication, which help these families cope. employs computer technology to Nearly 15 years ago, as their two allow nonverbal autistic people like older daughters were heading off to Lanier to communicate through camp, the Weeds realized there were typing. The Weeds discovered that no fun things for children like Lanier although their daughter could not to do in the summer. Instead, those hold a pencil, she could, with assiswith autism were stuck in their tance, tap and swipe. homes. “I wanted these mothers to “This certainly was a defining be able to get their kids out and do moment in our lives,” said Bobby, after something!” Leslie said. So, in 2004, he read his daughter’s typed message, she and her husband stepped up: the “Thank you for releasing my voice.” HEAL Foundation was born. Since Because finally being able to comthen, the Weeds have made it their municate with Lanier has meant so mission to make life more normal for much to their family, the Weeds families like theirs. wanted to give others the same opA woman of faith, Leslie says it portunity. Through HEAL, they have was prayer that led her to the name given 400 iPads to Exceptional HEAL. She knew she wanted an A Student Education ESE classes, for Autism in the name of her new thereby facilitating communication organization. The rest was divinely between nonverbal autistic students inspired and came to her as she slept. and their teachers. Each summer, She awoke to the idea of Helping HEAL hosts 15 camps, including Enrich Autistic Lives. those for surfing and golfing, that The HEAL organization is grass- serve approximately 350 autistic roots; the Weeds, pioneers. They children, teens, and adults. They’ve began by hosting gala events and funded 55 service dogs that can act activities to raise funds to support to decrease anxiety, interrupt their mission. They recognized that self-harming behavior, and provide corporations want to give locally companionship. HEAL also supports and that “Jacksonville is very giving.” group therapy sessions for parents Since 2007, HEAL has raised over while their children are taking part $3.5 million, and nine out of every in activities specifically designed for 10 dollars goes back to the commu- those with autism. nity. So far, they’ve given over “We’ve given to over 100 different $300,000 to the schools in the five organizations in Jacksonville,” said counties surrounding Jacksonville. Leslie proudly.





HEAL’s next initiative is to build an featured artist David Garibaldi, a all-abilities playground in each nearby performance painter who specializes county, an estimated $2 million in painting pictures of celebrities project, where “we can work on phys- facing upside down on canvas. ical therapy things outside of the Attendees guessed who was featured clinic,” she said. Leslie envisions zip in the painting; then each painting lines, merry-go-rounds, and exercise was sold for several thousand dollars. stations built to accommodate wheelAnnually, the Weeds host the chairs and other mobility aids. Even HEAL Autism Walk at the parents who are physically challenged Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, where can join their kids at the parks because participants stroll past the animal they’ll be able to use the equipment, exhibits including the rhinos and too. The plan is for the playgrounds giraffes and end up at the lawn area, to be all-inclusive, not only for autistic where vendor tables, face painting, children, but also for those who are and games are there to enjoy. What not in need of accommodations as adds to the excitement is the fundwell as for those with Down syndrome, raising competition where the Angelman syndrome, cerebral palsy— school to raise the most money refor everyone! ceives iPads, and individuals who Much of HEAL’s success can be raise $2,500 or more get to choose attributed to Leslie’s innovative ideas the school or organization to get a for putting the fun into fundraising. $1,000 grant. At their first zoo walk, Her energy and enthusiasm are pal- 13 years ago, Leslie sobbed when she pable. “I have to do what no one else saw between 800 and 1,000 show has done here,” she explained. “I up. “I’d never seen that many kids gotta figure out something really with autism in my life,” she said. cool to do!” This year, a record number—nearly Past HEAL events include a 3,000—took part in the event. Those Chopper Drop, where golf balls were numbers speak to HEAL’s principle: sold for 100 dollars apiece and “You are never alone.” dropped from a helicopter onto the The Weeds will be one of four course. The winner was the one families featured in a documentary whose ball dropped closest to the film still in the making, “Unlocked,” designated hole. The prize was a which will focus on the challenges treasure chest filled with $5,000 in and triumphs of autism. The film is one-dollar bills. Another event expected to debut in 2020.

More than just a national organization The American Heart Association is one of the most recognized national non-profits in the country having invested over $4 billion in advanced heart and stroke research. The AHA positively affects our communities in ways many of us overlook each day. It is present on every athletic field that is equipped with a life-saving automated external defibrillator. It is present in each restaurant where there is clean, smoke-free air to breathe. It is also present in every hospital where doctors save countless lives with technology developed from research funded by the American Heart Association. When you donate to the American Heart Association, you can see the positive effect of your donor dollars everywhere. Through local events – Heart Walk, Heart Ball, the Go Red for Women Luncheon and STEM Goes Red – the AHA raises funds for research and breakthroughs in technology, education, prevention and programs right here in Jacksonville. Focusing on areas within the community where there

is an opportunity to make the greatest impact, the AHA engages with individuals and organizations to transform the health of its neighbors. The AHA works to close the health gap for families in under-resourced communities and by raising awareness and action on the vital effect lifestyle has on health, especially uncontrolled high blood pressure, poor nutrition and inactivity. Impacting children in 175 local schools with the Kids Heart Challenge and training in Hands-Only CPR as a graduation requirement in three out of north Florida’s five counties. Through changes in systems and policy, the AHA is revisiting Tobacco 21 legislation to increase the minimum legal sale age for tobacco and e-cigarettes and is working to improve freshwater availability in schools. Also partnering with local hospitals through its Get With the Guidelines Program to ensure the best patient care. The American Heart Association is working hard to make a powerful impact on the health of Jacksonville.

Join us and let’s work together to build a culture of health on Florida’s First Coast.

Our Mission: To be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. Call us at 904-903-5215 or visit to volunteer or get involved






decade ago, the economic recession plunged 40% of Northeast Florida nonprofits into the financial red zone. But things are better today. According to the State of the Sector report recently released by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida, nearly two-thirds of the nonprofits have climbed back into the black. However, some organizations, including those providing housing and services to seniors and youth, have not recovered as well. Unfortunately, this is not all that unusual, as roughly one in three nonprofits in any given year operates with a lack of revenue.

The 2019 report describes nearly 2,000 of Jacksonville’s five-county area nonprofit organizations (those in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns) based on 2016 IRS data. Despite a common misunderstanding, nonprofit organizations can, and must, earn a profit. Without it, they could not survive. The profit cannot, however, be used for private gain, which is one feature that distinguishes a nonprofit from a for-profit business. One reason for examining the report’s details is so that stakeholders can verify that the structure of our region’s nonprofit sector aligns with community needs and interests and consider what changes might be in order.


The State of the Sector report separates nonprofit organizations into 21 fields according to their missions, which are compatible with IRS classifications. It is typical in any nonprofit sector for healthcare and higher education to constitute the most volume. The Northeast Florida nonprofit sector, however, is unique in that healthcare alone dominates while higher education has only 17 nonprofit entities in the whole sector, making up only 1% of the entire mission’s base. Also surprising is that, although they prevail in terms of total revenue, health institutions do not lead when it comes to receiving contributions, drawing only 14.7% of the total gifts taken in by all First Coast nonprofits; most of their income is earned.





According to the report, “Donors provide an economic boost,” and a much needed one at that. A staggering 72% of all nonprofits in our area are operating on a budget of less than $500,000 and more than half of those less than $100,000. Only 5% of nonprofits on the First Coast are funded by government grants; the balance must come from earned income and contributions. Historically, the largest source of charitable giving across the country comes from individuals—of late, 70%. Unfortunately, there’s been a significant decline in the number of individual donors in our region, particularly those in the low-income

bracket. This, perhaps, is due to the overall decline in income. Hence, the burden of charitable giving rests on upper-income donors who are now responsible for 44% of all giving on the First Coast. The good news is that of those who continue to give from all income brackets, all are contributing more than they did a decade ago even though changes in tax law have reduced the incentive for charitable giving. Nonprofits are a reflection of the community’s needs, priorities, and circumstances. They are essential not only for the services they provide but also for the jobs they offer. Even though 66% of nonprofit organizations in our area report having no employees, the sector creates nearly as many jobs for people in the region as the retail sector does. Of those employed by Northeast Florida nonprofits, 61% do so in large health institutions. It’s the Health Institutions field, rather than the Health General field, that’s the behemoth of the segment. It’s made up of 74 institutions in Northeast Florida that “garner 68% of all nonprofit income, hold 63% of all nonprofit net assets … Collectively, they report 91% of their income is earned.” The largest segment of the nonprofit sector in Northeast Florida focuses on providing human services broken into four fields that each serve a different faction of the population—general (working age adults), elders, youth, and veterans. Nevertheless, in the past five years, the First Coast has barely reduced the number of residents living in poverty. Despite reigning poverty, Northeast Florida has a strong faith-based culture. This is reflected in the report’s finding that Religion is the single largest field—and that only includes faith-based establishments whose primary objective is to minister, evangelize, and proselytize, not those providing other services that are categorized under different fields. Most of the religion-focused nonprofits are Christian. Community supports is a segment that factors in four fields, one of which is Housing, but only that of









A nonprofit organization is one that is formed for the purpose of benefitting society rather than for making and distributing profits. Nonprofits may earn a profit, but they may not distribute that profit, or equity, to any individual. There are no shareholders, no equity investors, no owners. For more data and the full report, visit



69% 22% 05% Earned Income


Government Grants

Source: State of the Sector 2019 report, funded by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund WWW.CIRCLESCHARITYREGISTER.COM





A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. I. J. K. L. M. N. O. P. Q. R.


the non-crisis variety; emergency housing and homeless shelters are categorized as part of the human services segment. Nearly half of the 54 organizations in the Housing field have been operating at a deficit for numerous consecutive years. On the other hand, in the Arts and Culture field, 62% of the entities have enough reserve to cover more than three months of operations. What’s worth noting in the education segment is the Scholarships field. Of its 35 organizations, a single one accounts for more than 98% of the total income, expenses, and net assets in addition to all of the employees of this group. That one is Step Up for Students, which is based in Duval County and funded by corporate contributions that yield dollar-for-dollar tax credits. There are many more illustrations of how diverse the nonprofit sector is in Northeast Florida. Almost 100 entities make up the Environment and Animal Welfare field in nearly equal portions, but the average environmental organization has roughly half the revenue of the average animal protection entity, and the sources of those revenues differ greatly. Environmental organizations

18.1% 9.8% 9.7% 8.9% 8.6% 6.9% 5.7% 5.6% 5.4% 4.4% 3.9% 3.2% 2.4% 2.1% 1.5% 1.5% 1.4% 1.0%

get 75% of their revenue through contributions while animal protection organizations earn 51%, usually through adoption fees, pet services, and the like. The Sports and Recreation field includes institutions that serve children, youths, and adults. Most are small organizations whose income is generated by fees and by equipment and uniform sales. Contrarily, contributions provide the bulk of income for the Booster Clubs field, which is made up of nonprofits supporting bands and athletics at schools across the First Coast, but concession stands, and special hosted events add to the revenue. With very few exceptions, the International field is sustained entirely on contributions and has no employees. It’s made up of those providing services outside the US and the missions vary. All nonprofits are encouraged to provide as much information about themselves as possible so that the public can make informed decisions about donations and funding the work they do. To read the full 43-page report visit and search for "State of the Sector."


A vibrant community is strengthened by – and supportive of – a diverse array of nonprots I H





Donors Provide an economic boost

IN 2016, 143,820 DONORS GAVE




8% 15% 5% less than $500K

$500K - $1M

$1M - $10M

more than $10M

Source: State of the Sector 2019 report, funded by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund





Ascension St. Vincent’s Thanks You! Because of you and other generous donors, Ascension St. Vincent’s can deliver compassionate, personalized care for all with a special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable. Your support allows us to care for thousands of families across Northeast Florida who lack access to care or are experiencing financial hardship. With support from neighbors, companies, our care teams and associates and Ascension St. Vincent’s Foundation, we are working together to build a healthier community. Learn more at

© Ascension 2019. All rights reserved.

Charitable tax changes not as damaging as feared It’s still not clear how Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will shake out for nonprofits BY JENNIFER EDWARDS


nly a couple of years ago, billion to U.S. charities in 2018,” a new tax laws were passed modest increase compared to 424.7 that had the leaders of char- billion in 2017, according to the itable organizations worrying about national Giving USA study released the future of fundraising. The Tax by Indiana University. Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 made Yet researchers and nonprofit major changes to the tax deductions leaders say it’s still too soon to tell donors could get for their gifts, what effect the laws will have on local leading to fears that fewer would fundraising in the long-term. donate without the tax incentives. Even with the slight increase, naAdd a volatile stock market to the tionally “growth in total giving was mix, and concerns grew. virtually flat,” said Amir Pasic, Ph.D., But for many local nonprofits, a dean at Indiana University, which the drastic shortfalls predicted by released the Giving USA study. The researchers have not materialized. study is researched and written by the Instead, “American individuals, Indiana University Lilly Family School bequests, foundations and corpo- of Philanthropy at Indiana University rations gave an estimated $427.7 – Purdue University Indianapolis.





“With many donors experiencing new circumstances for their giving, it may be some time before the philanthropic sector can more fully understand how donor behavior changed in response to these forces and timing,” he said. One of the most important changes to the federal tax laws was a policy change that doubled the standard deduction, meaning that taxpayers would have to give substantially more to get tax benefits. John Zell, vice president of development at the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, explained, “The (new) tax code does not encourage charitable giving at levels below the standard

deduction of $12,200 (single) or $24,400 (married.) It almost assumes the taxpayer is giving whether they are or not.” According to the Giving USA study, more than 45 million households itemized deductions in 2016 but the number may have dropped to 16 to 20 million in 2018, reducing an incentive for giving. Patty Otterson, senior vice president of Otterson Allison Wealth Management Group of Raymond James, said the increase in the maximum allowable deduction for a single charity “probably does affect a number of people who make larger donations to single charities. They


The Giving USA Study found that American individuals, bequests, foundations and corporations gave an estimated

$427.7 BILLION

to U.S. charities in 2018.

Giving by foundations had a record-breaking year, reaching its highest-ever dollar amount even when adjusted for inflation, and growing to its largest share


of total giving to date in 2018.

Giving by individuals decreased as a percentage of total giving in 2018 to


down from 70% in 2017

despite achieving its third-highest total dollar amount on record, adjusted for inflation.

• Giving by corporations experienced solid growth in 2018. This type of giving is highly responsive to changes in corporate pretax dollars and GDP, and its year-over-year trend lines tend to be more turbulent as a result.

may need to structure their giving over a period of years, in order to take advantage of the maximum allowable deduction in a given year.” She said that another change, the doubling of the estate and gift tax threshold to $22 million, also impacted high net worth donors and how they give. “Because of the changes in the law many will be reviewing their plans for charitable giving they have established in past years,” Otterson said. “Many high net worth individuals have already established mechanisms for charitable giving such as foundations, charitable remainder trusts and donor-advised funds. There are advantages and disadvantages to these different methods of charitable giving and most high net worth donors work with their financial advisors and legal advisors to make the decision that best fits their desires and circumstances.” The issue remains complex and local nonprofit organizations on the other end of giving, such as the Wounded Warrior Project, agree it’s still too early to tell what changes may be coming. “It’s tough to answer, because we are not far enough out to when the change was made yet,” said Christy Smith, CFRE in resource development at Wounded Warrior. “I think next year we will have a better picture because we will have some really good time to collect that data from organizations we work with locally or industry organizations that look at it from a national scale. I don’t think we are far enough along to make some data-informed correlations.” Others, such as Zell, said that while the total amount of giving has not changed substantially, types of giving have. “In conversations with local notfor-profit agencies, we have heard that smaller gifts have decreased, and larger gifts have increased, basically

offsetting each other,” Zell said. “2018 was a difficult year to assess the effects of the new tax law for two reasons: the law is new – taxpayers and advisors were learning by doing in this first year — and the stock market. The last quarter of 2018 included a correction in the markets. A large percentage of charitable gifts are made in the fourth quarter.” However, Zell and others say predicted shortfalls may have been mitigated because donors have, like Otterson said, found new ways to structure their giving to maximize tax benefits and gifts to nonprofits. “As a donor-advised fund sponsor, the Foundation has seen fundholders ‘bundle’ two or three years of charitable gifts into their advised funds in a single year to push their charitable contributions above the standard deduction and benefit from itemization,” Zell said. “We expect to see this trend continue and possibly increase as tax returns are signed and filed.” While it’s not clear how the tax law changes will impact giving going forward, giving remains an important part of many people’s lives for reasons that have little to do with taxes. “People give to charities for a variety of reasons, such as: a sense of duty, religious training, family tradition, social mores and tax benefits,” Zell said. “The tax benefits typically influence how much, when and how people give. People seldom give for tax benefits alone.” Otterson agreed. “We have not noticed a large change,” she said. “In many situations our clients are more interested in the charity and the mission of the charity. So far most continue to give because of their desire to be a part of the mission that the charity represents… although, that doesn’t mean there haven’t been comments and some complaining about the new limitations on the tax deductions!”

Raymond James & Associates, Inc. member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC.

• Giving by bequest did not keep pace with inflation.

This material is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice. The information contained herein is based on current tax law, which may change in the future. Raymond James cannot be held responsible for any direct or incidental loss resulting from applying any of the information provided in this publication or from any other source mentioned. The information provided in these materials does not constitute any legal, tax or accounting advice. Please consult with a qualified professional for this type of advice. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete.




PASSING THE TORCH Hightower Emerging Leaders Fellowship seeks to build connections to ensure bright future for Jacksonville BY MARCIA HODGSON


hen JAXChamber’s Hightower Emerging Leaders Fellowship was established three years ago, it was all about “passing the torch.” Inspired by the ImpactJAX young professionals mentoring program set up in 2009 by former JAXChamber Chairman Mike Hightower, the three-year-old fellowship program connects talented young professionals with prominent, influential and experienced leaders within Jacksonville’s business, nonprofit and political communities as well as alumni from previous Hightower Emerging Leaders classes. “The Fellowship has been an incredibly successful program and something that has continued to grow and improve,” said JAXChamber President and CEO Daniel Davis. “The fellowship is really a continuation of Mike Hightower’s commitment to developing the next generation of leaders. Mike started ImpactJAX, our young professionals’ division, when he served as Chamber Chair and this is a natural evolution of Mike’s focus and passion.” Hightower, one of the First Coast’s most prominent and politically connected lobbyists, is well known in Jacksonville leadership circles and in the nonprofit community, where he has received dozens of awards and commendations and has served on and chaired countless civic and charitable organizations, including, in addition to JAXChamber, the Jacksonville Library Foundation, the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Naval Academy, the Ritz Theatre and the LaVilla Museum Board, and as a leader in both the Democratic and Republican parties in northeast Florida.






Mike Hightower and members of the Hightower Emerging Leaders Fellowship

Although the Fellowship is named for him, it was actually founded in 2016 by three ImpactJAX alumni – Christopher Warren, executive director in the Office of the President and University Relations for the University of North Florida, Andrew Kisz, manager in financial crimes compliance at Ernst & Young, and Thomas Lee IV, vice president of Lee and Cates Glass. The trio decided to revamp Hightower’s initial mentoring program by imbuing it with a different mission, said Warren, noting the goal was to create a new company of leaders by connecting Jacksonville’s old guard with an up-and-coming new one. “We realized there is a group of people in our town who know how to make the decisions and influence our community leaders,” he explained. “They are the 40-50ish group of people who are pushing policy and ideas and new things throughout our community. We were looking to ourselves and saying, ‘Who’s next?’ Who is going to be the next group of people to have a say, to have a place at the table, to run for office and have good policy and ideas to help shape the future of Jacksonville?” The purpose of the Fellowship is to allow a small, diverse class of young professionals to network and learn from some of the “titans” of Jacksonville – Delores Kesler, entrepreneurial pioneer and founder of Addeco Group North America; political strategist Suzie Wiles, principal at Right Coast Strategies; Davis, president of JAXChamber; former Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton; John Rood, former ambassador to The Bahamas; Audrey Moran, executive vice president for Baptist Health; Florida Blue Market President Darnell Smith; Jacksonville University President Tim Cost; Peter Rummell, nationally known real estate developer; BB&T Market President Debbie Buckland; Edward Waters College President and former Jacksonville Sheriff Nat Glover; Ed Burr, president and CEO of GreenPointe Holdings; Gate Petroleum Founder Herb Peyton; and well-known Jacksonville

Philanthropist Betsy Lovett – all prominent community leaders and personal friends of Mike Hightower, who have been handpicked by him to speak before the group. “Most of the folks that have been speakers I have known for between 15 and 35 years,” said Hightower. “I’ve been very blessed to grow up in this community and have done a lot of wonderful things, but a number of these speakers have been my mentors, my coaches and my supporters. They have helped me. When I was doing fundraising,

or semi-monthly dinner meetings at Seasons 52, a restaurant at the Town Center, where they network among themselves and interact with Hightower and one of the speakers. Throughout the year, the program also holds events where all the speakers and fellows mix with alumni from previous programs so they can network and form bonding relationships. In reading over the applications, the board looks to accept fellows that have a “strong sense of equity in the community of Jacksonville,” said Warren. “We want people that have been successful professionally and civically and have given back to their community. We want people who have already demonstrated leadership in their professional and civic life. The combination of that is really powerful. We want people that care about the future of our city.” Initially funded by a donation from Hightower, the costs of the Fellowship are covered by application fees from the fellows and the Chamber, which covers the bulk of the costs for its day-to-day operations. The speakers donate their time and expertise. For the past three years in the month of December, Lovett has hosted a graduation party in her Ortega home for the fellows, which is attended by the speakers and alumni from the — MIKE HIGHTOWER previous years’ programs. The success of the Hightower Emerging Leadership program is vital to both the Chamber and Jacksonville’s economic future,” said Davis. or was chair of the Republican Party, we would “We know talent is the new battleground in ecotalk about how we all came together and worked nomic development, and that we have young, together, and we would wonder how to get the skilled talent here in Jacksonville that can choose next generation ready to take our place.” to live anywhere. We want to make it so people Each year the Fellowship is formed when a don’t want to leave, and one way is to get them seven-member board that includes Warren, Kisz involved in organizations and fellowships like this, and Lee, selects between 16 and 18 participants, so they build connections and roots here. The from nearly 70 applicants, who represent all Hightower Fellowship’s mission of creating a pipefacets of the Jacksonville business, political and line of leaders to positively influence the future nonprofit communities. Once they are admitted of Jacksonville fits perfectly with the Chamber’s into the program, the fellows attend monthly goals on attracting and retaining top talent.”

“In selecting these people, it’s not only to pass the torch in leadership in the community, it’s selecting people who are going to give back.”





Christopher Warren, Betsy Lovett and Mike Hightower

And in many ways the Fellowship is a philanAs a program that works very much like a father thropic endeavor. It provides a way for the Chamber passing along knowledge to his children, the leadto help train and inspire up-and-coming leaders ership program is unlike any other in Jacksonville. to think of the impact of their actions on the “The special secret sauce of our program is its ingreater community. timacy,” said Warren. “We have eight or more “In selecting these people, it’s not only to pass the speakers come in each year and walk us through torch in leadership in the community, it’s selecting their journey of life. They cover how they were people who are going to give back,” said Hightower. successful, where they skinned their knee, how “Nonprofits and philanthropy are part of it,” said they fell and got back up. We hear about the lessons Warren. “We are trying to create the best commu- that they learned, what issues they are most connity we can. As the emerging leaders of Jacksonville, cerned about, and where they want to see change we need to figure out what are the biggest issues happen. We’ve had speakers that have cried in facing our community, and how do we give to front of us and shared the extremely intimate those organizations that are solving those big moments of their lives. It’s the vulnerability of our issues. How do we get involved with them? How speakers that you don’t get anywhere else. That’s do we serve on their boards? How do we volunteer what makes it unique.” and do everything we can to give back through all Hightower agreed. “The whole point of this the experiences that we’ve already had? That’s a is that these young people spend the evening really important component of it. Speakers like getting to know each other while having the Betsy Lovett have been instrumental to us in mod- opportunity to sit down for two or three hours with the speakers, who are willing to put it out eling what good philanthropy looks like.” During the year, most of the fellows in the class there. It is extraordinary.” work on nonprofit initiatives and seek the support Since the program’s conception three years of others in the group to help make things happen, ago, Lovett has addressed the group each year Warren continued. about her experiences giving back to the comDue to the network curated by Hightower and munity. “I think the emerging leaders are the fellowship, Tiffany Ashurian, a member of wonderful,” said Lovett. “I do all the philanthropy Class 3, was able to form a partnership between talks for the Emerging Leaders program,” she her company and Florida Blue to host the said. “That, to me, is so important. I’m for honesty, Jacksonville Symphony Woodwind Quartet at and I emphasize that in my talks. You have to Ashco Shopping Centers’ corporate offices in San have that fairness in you to be successful.” Marco Nov. 7. The concert was a fundraiser to “Betsy usually tells the group that it’s not so much benefit the Jacksonville Arts & Music School (JAMS). the amount of money you give, it’s what you give “The Hightower Fellowship has allowed me, and how you give it,” said Hightower. “That’s and Class 3 as a whole, to develop first-name equally important because as you move up in your relationships with some of North Florida’s top life’s journey, the more you are successful, the leaders including former Jacksonville Mayor John more you have to give, but we’re saying, even at Peyton, Florida Blue Market President Darnell your young age, get involved.” Smith, and former United States Ambassador to The strength of the program is the quality of the Bahamas John Rood,” said Ashurian, vice the speakers and the mentors that meet with the president of leasing & real estate for Ashco Inc. class, said Davis. “These are legends in our com“I am forever grateful to be part of Class 3 and munity. People who are committed to helping look forward to the impact our connections will develop the next generation of business leaders make to serve the greater Jacksonville community and are sharing candid, personal stories about at large.” their successes and failures. If there is a weakness





in the program, it’s that we have to keep the class size low and limit the number of people each year. The demand is certainly there, but we’ve made a conscious decision to keep it smaller because we believe the size allows our fellows to engage and interact with the speakers, which is the key to the program,” he said. Before he became chair of the Chamber, Hightower said he often discussed the need to “pass the torch” with his close friends Delores Kesler, Herb Peyton, Tom Petway, Peter Rummell, Ed Burr, Ambassador John Rood, and Audrey Moran, who are all prominent in Jacksonville’s business and political community. “We’ve known each other for a long time and done a lot of things together, and we would often talk about the next generation. When I became Chamber chair in 2009, there was a small group talking about ImpactJAX, so the mentoring program became one of my priorities,” Hightower said. “The one thing that has driven me crazy in life is when I hear someone say they are a self-made person. Everybody gets there because somebody opened a door, or somebody put in a good word. Yes, you need to bust it and put in sweat equity, but you can’t do it alone. You’ve got to have friends. You’ve got to have supporters to be successful,” he said. Mentoring became Hightower’s priority in 2009 when he started a program between members of ImpactJAX, the Chamber’s burgeoning young professionals’ group, and successful business leaders. “What I did with ImpactJAX in 2009 when I was chairman and in 2010, when I was past chair was to try to connect a member of the Chamber with a young professional to formally coach and mentor. They would meet once a month for an hour. It went really well in 2009 and was hit and miss in 2010. In 2011 and 2012 there were peaks and valleys,” he said, noting it more-or-less dissolved after that. Three years ago, when Darnell Smith was incoming chair and Davis was president of the Chamber, it was decided the program would be re-energized. “They said they wanted to restart the program and they wanted to name it after me,” Hightower continued, noting he had reservations about being the namesake because his friends had been instrumental in getting the original mentoring group started. “I felt we’d done it as a group, and it was an idea that we’d shared, but Daniel and Darnell said naming it after me was the way it was going to be – move on,” he said. “Mike has had an incredible history and heart for our community and elevating the next generation,” said Warren. “He has done that all through his career, and with his ties to the Chamber. When he was chairman of the Chamber, he founded ImpactJAX, which is the largest young professionals’ group in the city. With his long history of elevating the next group of leaders all throughout his career, we kind of thought, whose name would be better to put on the program than his?”

The Arts School Network

Annual Conference 2019 PUTTING US ON THE MAP

Moments and Memories made possible by: Gary McCalla Preston Haskell Tim Snyder Corey Thayer Ann Hicks Joannie Newton Helen Lane Charlie Joseph Tim Cost Melissa Brookes Melanie Hammer Caitlin Doherty Adam Levine Maria Hane

The recent Art Schools Network Conference was held in Jacksonville, showcasing the best and brightest stars throughout Northeast Florida. Thanks to our considerate and generous donors, it was all made possible and the accolades continue to roll in‌

Betsy Lovett Jeff Dunn Chrys Yates WC Gentry Lianna Knight Kate Rowe Phil McDaniel Joel Pickering Becky Parker Ulysses Owens Hope McMath Earl Farris Laurie DuBow

Proudly Hosted By:

Healing made possible through the restorative power of YOUR OWN STEM CELLS

One of the Most Advanced Private S The Pangenics Regenerative Center – experience the difference, avoid imposters With an approach unlike any other in the nation, Pangenics Regenerative Center (PRC) has evolved in North Florida to serve the needs of this community and those around the world seeking triumph over the deficiencies of modern medicine. Through a trusted team of board-certified professionals, the clinic is changing the way patients experience healing, restoration of their natural abilities and engagement in activities limited by injuries, arthritic pain and lack of mobility. As the leader in the field of stem cell research and implementation, Dr. Lewis Obi and his team of specialists have performed thousands of procedures from plastic and reconstructive surgery, to orthopedic surgery, pain management, spine, internal medicine and other medical specialties. Through the process of producing millions of viable stem cells derived from the patient’s own fat, the potential of these live cells is unlocked and unleashed

– reversing cellular damage and stimulating a more rapid healing process through less invasive techniques. The simultaneous integration of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is derived from each patient’s own blood and strategically injected in joints and tissues to enhance healing and recovery. Adult stem cell therapy is becoming recognized as a viable alternative to joint replacement and surgical intervention for arthritis, sports injuries and a host of other diseases. The use of stem cells and PRP in place of surgery greatly enhances safety and a more rapid recovery, both in regenerative medicine as well as plastic surgery. To learn more about the level to which PRC goes to provide facts, figures and research, visit www. to read the peer review and IRB studies. Research your options, call us for a complete comprehensive complimentary consult before proceeding with any other providers.

“There is no doubt in my mind that regenerative stem cell-based therapies will become the next frontier of medicine.” — Dr. Lewis Obi

INNOVATION through safety, PRIVACY throughout the e

3599 University Blvd South, Suite 604 | 904.399.0905 | www.obiplasti

ate Stem Cell Centers in the Nation Plastic Surgery, Orthopedics & Sports Injuries, Pain Management & More all at the Lewis J. Obi Plastic Surgery Clinic


more ques. lasma d and hance

ed as rgical ost of place rapid ell as

goes www. eview us for onsult

Regenerative Medicine at its Pinnacle of Promise Methodologies implemented with success by careful research and stringent review As one of the nations most diversified, advanced and accomplished plastic surgeons, Dr. Lewis J. Obi continues to bring patients the most innovative techniques and technology in the world of plastic surgery and regenerative medicine. Unique among his peers in Jacksonville, he continually develops new techniques and treatments that enhance the progression of traditional plastic surgery. His patient’s experience less bruising, faster recovery times, and enjoy more natural, lasting results. In contrast to other U.S providers of adult stem cell therapies, Dr. Lewis Obi has more than 30 years of experience with the use of adult fat for his plastic surgery patients. He has insured safety and efficacy by establishing the first state and federally licensed plastics ambulatory surgery center in the state of Florida more than 30 years ago. In addition

to his AHCA state license, Dr Obi successfully acquired AAAHC federal licensure earlier this year. In addition to his full surgery center licensure, he will begin his third home based IRB (Institutional Review Board) study at the end of November 2019. Finally, Dr Lewis Obi’s privately funded stem cell practice is the only one in U.S. that is insured by a major professional liability company. His current IRB study just approved by Advarra has captured the attention of professionals and the entire medical field across the country. If successful, it will provide an FDA approved protocol that may be then approved by insurance companies. This IRB study is backed by major stem cell scientists/providers and combines the use of a laser device with FDA approved sources of stem cells.

out the entire process and RESULTS that deliver. |











ALS ASSOCIATION FLORIDA CHAPTER PRIVATE FOUNDATIONS vs. PUBLIC CHARITIES Red – Private foundations: Created to distribute money to public charities or individuals, primarily through the making of grants to other nonprofit organizations. A private foundation does not solicit funds from the public. Gold – Public charities: Direct services with broad public purposes, including educational, religious, scientific, and the literary activities, among others, as well as the relief of poverty and other public benefit actions. Public charities can accept donations from the general public while serving the public good.

Regional Headquarters: 3242 Parkside Center Cir., Tampa, FL 33619-0907 | (888) 257-1717 | President/CEO: Philip Flynn III Mission & Vision: The ALS Association is leading the fight to treat and cure ALS through global research and nationwide advocacy while also empowering people with Lou Gehrig’s disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support. ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION

5 STAR VETERANS CENTER 40 Acme St., 32211 | (904) 723-5950 | CEO: Col. Len Loving Mission & Vision: The 5 Star Veterans Center works to ensure a positive impact in North Florida by offering safe/secure housing to displaced veterans to alleviate veteran homelessness. ABILITY HOUSING OF NORTHEAST FLORIDA, INC. 3740 Beach Blvd., Ste 304, 32207 | (904) 359-9650 | Executive Director: Shannon Nazworth Mission & Vision: Ability Housing seeks to build strong communities where everyone has a home. Ability Housing’s vision is a society where housing is a right, not a privilege, and all individuals have safe, affordable housing in vibrant communities. AGING TRUE

CEO: Teresa K. Barton Mission & Vision: Aging True has been helping seniors maintain their independence and age gracefully by designing and administering programs in Northeast Florida for the past 54 years. Aging True seeks to provide essential and innovative services and care for individuals, families and communities throughout Northeast Florida to prepare for and support graceful aging. ALFRED I DUPONT TESTAMENTARY TRUST 510 Alfred duPont Pl., 32202 | (904) 394-9800 | Chief Operating Officer: Kara P. Riley Mission & Vision: The Trustees and staff of the Alfred I. duPont Testamentary Trust act as loyal stewards of Alfred I. duPont’s legacy through prudent financial management and faithfulness to his mission and by advancing his mission appropriately through the Trust’s charitable beneficiary, The Nemours Foundation. THE ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE DE JACKSONVILLE 1628 San Marco Blvd., Ste. 9, 32207 | (904) 469-4964 | President: Florent Pignaud Mission & Vision: AFJax’s mission is to encourage and develop knowledge of the French language and French and Francophone cultures and to foster cultural, intellectual and artistic exchanges between the United States, France and French-speaking countries. ALL I KNOW, INC. 5501 Wesconnett Blvd., #7534, 32244 | (904) 305-4124 | Founder/CEO: Claresa Baggs Mission & Vision: The mission of All I Know INC. is to equip limited resource families and youth who are at risk for not meeting basic human needs with the tools and skills they need to lead positive, productive, and contributing lives. ALLISON BRUNDICK HARAMIS FOUNDATION – ANGELS FOR ALLISON 4155 Oxford Ave., 32210 | (904) 312-9490 | Executive Director: Liz Nottingham Mission & Vision: Angels for Allison is an opportunity to join together in God’s name to help with the financial needs and ongoing support of families who are suffering with the loss of a child.


Executive Director: Jessica Marshall Mission & Vision: The Alzheimer’s Association is working to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY 1430 Prudential Dr., 32207 | (904) 398-0537 | Executive Director, Community Development: Mel Toran Mission & Vision: The American Cancer Society’s mission is to save lives, celebrate lives and lead the fight for a world without cancer. AMERICAN CIVILITY ASSOCIATION 4466-1A Hendricks Ave., Ste. 250, 32207 | (904) 612-5031 |

4250 Lakeside Dr., Ste. 116, 32210 | (904) 807-1203 |


4237 Salisbury Rd., Ste. 406, 32216 | (904) 281-9077 |



President: Amy Barnett Mission & Vision: The American Civility Association works to reverse the rising tide of anger, rude behaviors and bullying by educating individuals and families about the dangers of incivility and to equip them with heart tools to live safer and happier lives. AMERICAN DIABETES ASSOCIATION 1650-302 Margaret St., PMB 356, 32204 | (904) 730-7200 | CEO: Tracey D. Brown, MBA, BChE Mission & Vision: The American Diabetes Association works to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION 7751 Baymeadows Rd., E., Ste. 106F, 32256 | (904) 903-5215 | Executive Director First Coast: Amber Wilson Mission & Vision: To be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer worldwide, and stroke ranks second globally. Even when those conditions don’t result in death, they cause disability and diminish quality of life. We are working to see a world free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION OF THE SOUTHEAST 6852 Belfort Oaks Pl., 32216 | (904) 743-2933 | President/CEO: Martha Bogdan Mission & Vision: The American Lung Association helps save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. AMERICAN RED CROSS OF NORTH FLORIDA 751 Riverside Ave., 32204 | (904) 358-8091 | CEO: Gerald Thomas Mission & Vision: The American Red Cross works to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. AMPUTEE FITNESS COUNCIL, INC. P.O. Box 40807, 32203 | (904) 258-6862 | Co-founders: Charlene Hixon, Jennifer Simms Mission & Vision: The Amputee Fitness Council’s mission is to provide accessible and adaptive fitness and recreational opportunities to those who are living with life-changing limb loss.


ANGELWOOD P.O. Box 24925, 32241 | (904) 288-7259 | Executive Director: Diane Tuttle Mission & Vision: Angelwood helps improve the quality of life for children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families. AQUAJAX 3832-10 Baymeadows Rd., Ste. 183, 32217 | (904) 537-5219 | Founder/President: George Harrell Mission & Vision: An advocacy group determined to advance projects for the City of Jacksonville that will provide greater prosperity, growth, and revenues to benefit all citizens. The first AquaJax project will be to place a world-class aquarium on the riverfront in downtown Jacksonville. THE ARC JACKSONVILLE 1050 North Davis St., 32209 | (904) 355-0155 | President/CEO: Jim Whittaker Mission & Vision: The ARC works to serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to achieve their full potential and to participate in community life. ARTHRITIS FOUNDATION 14499 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., Ste. 139, Tampa, FL 33618 (813) 968-7000 |


Chest pain leads to lifestyle changes Every day across the country, chest pain sends thousands of people to emergency rooms. Recently, Mary was one of those people. After she left the emergency room with diagnoses of heart disease and stroke risk, and prescriptions for insulin, blood pressure and cholesterol medications, she needed to find medical care to determine her next steps. That’s when Barnabas Health Services changed the course of her life. Mary was examined by a Barnabas physician assistant, who confirmed her need for ongoing medical care. Unfortunately, the physician assistant also found a pre-cancerous cervical condition, adding another worry to Mary’s long list of health concerns.

THE ARTHUR VINING DAVIS FOUNDATIONS 225 Water St., Suite 1510, 32202 | (904) 359-0670 | Board Chair: J.H. Dow Davis Mission & Vision: The organization serves to strengthen America through philanthropy to religious, charitable, scientific, literary and educational purposes within the United States and its territories. Barnabas Center’s physician assistant, Jessie, takes care of uninsured patients who desperately need medical help.

ART WITH A HEART IN HEALTHCARE 841 Prudential Dr., 32207 | (904) 306-0390 | Founders: Lori Guadagno, Lisa Landwirth Ullmann Executive Director: Christy Ponder Mission & Vision: Art with a Heart in Healthcare provides personalized fine art experiences that enhance the healing process for patients and their families. ATLANTIC INSTITUTE OF JACKSONVILLE 2032 Southside Blvd., 32216 | (904) 379-2915 | Executive Director: Emma Amos Mission & Vision: Atlantic Institute seeks to be a leading voice on the First Coast that builds mutual understanding and seeks common ground among diverse races, cultures, and faiths. THE BAIRFIND FOUNDATION 8777 San Jose Blvd., Ste. 803, 32217 | (412) 926-7456 | Founder: Dennis Bair Mission & Vision: The BairFind Foundation generates leads and tips in the search for America’s missing children. BAPTIST HEALTH FOUNDATION 841 Prudential Dr., Ste. 1300 32207 | (904) 202-2912 | Chief Philanthropy Officer: Cindy Reynolds Mission & Vision: The Baptist Health Foundation, Inc. supports the health system’s mission through philanthropy and stewardship of gifts that enable Baptist Health hospitals and medical facilities — Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville, Baptist-MD Anderson Cancer Center, Baptist Beaches, Baptist Nassau, Baptist South and Wolfson Children’s Hospital and Batptist AgeWell Center for Senior Health — to continually serve patients and their families and other community health care needs.




Through community partnerships with local medical providers and specialists, Mary was referred and seen by a local OB/GYN doctor, who took the time to explain that, in addition to taking the medications, committing to lifestyle changes would help her regain her health. He also shared nutrition services that Mary could access at no cost through these Barnabas partnerships. “After three months of follow-up care through Barnabas, my blood sugar levels were in control and I began eating healthier foods,” said Mary. “I am very grateful for the volunteers and people who support Barnabas because I know I wouldn’t be in better health without them. I want to tell everyone who needs medical help that Barnabas is there for them.”


CEO: Melissa Hughey Mission & Vision: The Arthritis Foundation helps to conquer everyday battles through life-changing information and resources, access to optimal care, advancements in science and community connections.


A safe haven to practice communication

CHARITY REGISTER BARNABAS CENTER, INC. 1303 Jasmine St., Ste. 101, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 (904) 261-7000 | President & CEO: Wanda Lanier Mission & Vision: Providing help and hope to individuals and families in need throughout Nassau County to improve their stability, health and well-being so that every individual has an opportunity to lead a healthy and productive life, thereby strengthening our entire community. BASCA, INC. 352 Stowe Ave., Orange Park, 32073 | (904) 541-1742 |

Ben’s Place Services would not exist if Ben Shay had not challenged his mother to create a place where he could go to socialize with other developmentally challenged individuals like himself. Since the center was created in 2001, Ben has been part of it, and with steady encouragement, instruction and continuous learning, he is now able to do things that others thought he would never be ready to do. When she first started working with Ben, Executive Director Anne Yarborough discovered Ben was “super shy” and would not make eye contact with her when she tried to converse with him. However, as time went on, the center sparked much improvement in Ben’s social skills. He went from having no friends to having many friends, including a girlfriend over the past five years. Co-founder Ben Shay with Executive Director Anne Yarbrough

CEO: Beth Clark Mission & Vision: BASCA’s mission is to improve the quality of life for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities in Northeast Florida. BEACHES HABITAT FOR HUMANITY 797 Mayport Rd., Atlantic Beach, 32233 | (904) 241-1222 | President/CEO: Guy Cuddihee Mission & Vision: Beaches Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry dedicated to eliminating substandard housing in Jacksonville’s Beaches. In addition to building and rehabilitating quality, affordable homes for qualified families in need at no profit, the nonprofit guides its partner families through home ownership and provides educational opportunities. BEAM (BEACHES EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE MINISTRY) 850 6th Ave. S., Ste. 400, 32250 | (904) 241-2326 |


Executive Director: Lori Richards Mission & Vision: BEAM is a community-based organization that aims to provide emergency assistance and a path to economic stability for low income residents in Jacksonville’s beaches communities. The nonprofit relies heavily on community support to assist those in need of food or shelter. BEN'S PLACE SERVICES INC 4495-304 Roosevelt Blvd.. Ste. 325, 32210 | 904-303-5996 | Director/CEO/Founder: Anne M. Yarbrough Mission & Vision: The nonprofit serves individuals with developmental or acquired disabilities filling a need for them to have a place to socialize. It provides a great environment for individuals to interact and learn life skills, including personal communication skills, art, and music appreciation. Supported employment and respite care services are available. BEST BUDDIES INTERNATIONAL 4130 Salisbury Rd., Ste. 2200, 32216 | (904) 296-0510 |

Building relationships is a major part of Ben’s Place because the Center provides a safe haven for practicing communication. Ben was helped so much that he is now able to speak on the phone and carry on a healthy conversation, as well as talk with people he doesn’t know in the community. Ben now jokes and makes others smile. His improved communication skills have led him to retain a job with Amazon for the past two years – a vast accomplishment from the time when Yarborough struggled to speak with him. Through his work at the center, Ben has also gained the confidence to drive a car. When he first started coming to the center, his mom needed to drive him, however with lots of work, he drives himself to and from work and within the community. The Center has played a vital role in providing Ben with the skills he needs to live independently. He is now able to live on his own. Today, Ben lists himself as a volunteer at Ben’s Place. He has also enlisted Home Depot to help the Center for one of its seasonal projects. Ben’s Place truly provides a place where developmentally challenged individuals can find a community of friends.

Area Director: Erika Hatch Mission & Vision: Best Buddies works to establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. BETTY GRIFFIN CENTER 2450 Old Moultrie Rd., Ste. 202, St. Augustine, FL 32086 (904) 824-1555 | Executive Director: Joyce Mahr Mission & Vision: The Betty Griffin Center offers protection and quality services for victims of domestic violence and their minor children and/or victims of sexual assault and their families of St. Johns County, through operation of a shelter that offers assistance, counseling, and transitional support. BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF NORTHEAST FLORIDA 40 East Adams St., Ste. 220, 32202 | (904) 727-9797 | CEO: Sara Alford Mission & Vision: The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.







(904) 474-2251 |

P.O. Box 441963, 32222 | (904) 644-8594 |

Founder: Blake Bortles Mission & Vision: To support children with intellectual and developmental challenges in their pursuit of full, independent lives and provide support to first responders, with the goal of improving their ability to safely carry out their vital lifesaving work.

Board Chair: David Bright Mission & Vision: Bright Minds Youth Development cultivates young minds for excellence and success by providing opportunities, skills, experience, exposure and positive challenges for children, teens and young adults to improve their quality of life.

THE BOSELLI FOUNDATION P.O. Box 16385, 32245 | (904) 704-6212 | Executive Director: Jennifer Vihrachoff Mission & Vision: The Boselli Foundation is a faith-based, non-profit organization striving to help children living in at-risk neighborhoods on the Northside of Jacksonville. BOUQUETS OF KINDNESS 4240 Marquette Ave., 32210 | (904) 553-0505 | Founder: Lisa Kirkwood Mission & Vision: Repurposing flowers - engaging seniors. Bringing renewed independence to senior citizens through the activity of arranging repurposed flowers. BOYS & GIRLS CLUB NORTHEAST FLORIDA 555 West 25th St., 32206 | (904) 396-4435 | President/CEO: Paul Martinez Mission & Vision: To inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens. BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA, NORTH FLORIDA COUNCIL 521 S. Edgewood Ave., 32205 | (904) 388-0591 |

CAF & CNL CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENT 136 Sawmill Lakes Blvd., 32082 | (904) 545-2771 | Founder: Jim Houston Mission & Vision: To raise funds for Challenged Athletes Foundation and Camp No Limits, which provide opportunities and support to people with physical disabilities. CAMP I AM SPECIAL 235 Marywood Dr., St. Johns, FL 32259 | (904) 230-7447 | Ministry Director: Rebecca Aleman Mission & Vision: Camp I Am Special, a program of Catholic Charities, helps to reflect the compassion and love of God in Christ, by providing persons with disabilities the opportunities to know, love and serve God based on the value and dignity of human life. CAMPUS CRUSADE FOR CHRIST - INNER CITY MINISTRY 4940 Emerson St., Ste. 104, 32207 | (904) 448-0737, ext. 10 | President: Susan Hill Mission & Vision: Campus Crusade for Christ, Jacksonville, serves and mobilizes the church to live out God’s heart for the poor by training and resourcing volunteers in partner ministries.

Scout Executive/CEO: Jack Sears Mission & Vision: The Boy Scouts of America helps to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices in their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scouts’ Oath and Law.





Boys & Girls Club empowers budding entrepreneur

CHARITY REGISTER CANINE COMPANIONS FOR INDEPENDENCE (CCI) Southeast Regional Office: 8150 Clarcona Ocoee Rd., Orlando, FL 32818 (407) 522-3300 | First Coast Chapter President: CJ Smith Mission & Vision: To enhance the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. CARL S. SWISHER FOUNDATION, INC. 3030 Hartley Rd., #250, 32257 | 904-399-8000 President: Kenneth G. Anderson Mission & Vision: An independent foundation to support higher education and give grants to youth agencies, health associations, and social services. THE CARPENTER’S SHOP CENTER

Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida strives to provide the programs that empower our Club members to build great futures every day. Jordan has been a Club member since the 6th grade and is attending the NFL YET Club. Through Boys & Girls Clubs workforce development and entrepreneurship programs, Jordan has a head start on his future career path. During the summer of 2018, Jordan began to carve out his own plan for success. He was one of 11 Club members chosen to pilot a new entrepreneurship program called NFTE – Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship, at Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida.

1601 University Blvd. N., 32211 | (904) 226-2056 | Founder/Executive Director: Cheryl Doro Wilder Mission & Vision: The Carpenter’s Shop Center is a faith- and community-based organization that improves the health of families by connecting them to resources, providing programs and services that empower and educate families so they can lead responsible, productive lives. CATHEDRAL ARTS PROJECT 207 N. Laura St., Ste. 300, 32202 | (904) 281-5599 | President/CEO: Rev. Kimberly Hyatt Mission & Vision: To enrich the quality of life in Northeast Florida through unleashing the creative spirit of young people. By providing access to instruction in the visual and performing arts, underserved school-aged children are empowered to succeed in all areas of their lives.


CATHOLIC CHARITIES JACKSONVILLE 40 East Adams St., Suite 320, 32202 (904) 354-4846 | Executive Director: Lauren Weedon Hopkins Mission & Vision: Catholic Charities puts faith into action to serve the most vulnerable in our community, advocating for justice, human dignity and quality of life, while reflecting the compassion of God in Christ. CATHOLIC FOUNDATION OF THE DIOCESE OF ST. AUGUSTINE 11625 Old St. Augustine Rd., 32258 | (904) 262-3200 | President: Bishop Felipe J. Estévez Mission & Vision: To expand the opportunities for Christ’s work in the Diocese-its parishes and schools, its ministries and clergy by encouraging stewardship, philanthropy and the growth of perpetual endowment. CECIL FIELD POW/MIA MEMORIAL 6112 POW-MIA Memorial Pkwy., 32221 | (904) 303-8907 |

The NFTE program helped Jordan discover a passion for business and during summer of 2019, Jordan participated in an advanced job skills and readiness program which employed Club members ages 14 – 18. As junior staff at his Club, Jordan helped teach the next generation of NFTE students. For the 2019 school year, with the support of his Unit Director, Jordan decided to solidify his entrepreneurial idea into a full business plan through NFTE. He developed “Static’s,” a non-profit clothing brand which helps teenagers and young adults struggling with mental health issues. Jordan’s business plan earned him a spot to represent Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida at NFTE’s National Competition where competitors from across the United States had 7 minutes to present their opportunities in front of CEOs. “Once you want to start a business, you have to stick with it. You have to keep going because with a business, you have to give it your all,” said Jordan. We’re proud of Jordan for taking the steps to build his own great future!

Executive Director: Michael Cassata Mission & Vision: The memorial will honor all former prisoners of war, remember and never forget those quiet, missing-in-action heroes and the families that wait for their return. CHALLENGE ENTERPRISES OF NORTH FLORIDA, INC. 3530 Enterprise Way, Green Cove Springs, 32043 (904) 284-9859 | Chief Executive Officer: Nancy C. Keating Mission & Vision: The nonprofit seeks to promote the power of people and possibilities for individuals living with disabilities, so they become enterprising members of their community. CHAMPION WOMEN 3116 St. Johns Ave., 32205 | (904) 384-8484 | Founder/CEO: Nancy Hogshead-Makar Mission & Vision: Champion Women is an advocacy organization for girls and women in sports and uses sports to improve the lives of girls and women.







4720 Salisbury Rd., 32256 | (904) 396-4223 |

6 E. Bay St., Fl 2, 32202 | (904) 423-2100 |

Executive Director: Carla Montgomery Mission & Vision: Caring support for families fighting childhood cancer.

Executive Director: Dan Foley Mission & Vision: To decrease the rate of high school dropouts, City Year helps close the gap between what students need to succeed and what schools are designed to provide.

CHILD GUIDANCE CENTER 5776 St. Augustine Rd., 32207 | (904) 448-4700 |


President/CEO: Theresa Rulien, Ph.D. Mission & Vision: To improve the lives of children by offering comprehensive behavioral health services. To engage in research/training programs to support improved treatment outcomes, while deepening collaborative partnerships to contribute to a thriving community. To invest in our community by providing counseling and support services to assist children/families in reaching their fullest potential.

3305 Riverside Ave., 32205 |


613 W. Ashley St., 32202 | (904) 354-4162 |

Buckner Division: 3027 San Diego Rd., 32207 | (904) 493-7744 | Executive Director: Kymberly Cook Mission & Vision: The Children’s Home Society embraces children and inspires lives by helping to break generational cycles of child abuse and protect children from harm.

President: Nadine Terk Mission & Vision: To cultivate classical music connoisseurship through education, performance, and collaborative programming to engage, enrich, and strengthen our community. CLARA WHITE MISSION

President/CEO: Ju’Coby Pittman Mission & Vision: The Clara White Mission works in partnership with the community to prevent and reduce homelessness through advocacy, housing, job training, and employment.



580 W. 8th St. Tower 1, 3rd Floor, 32209 | (904) 244-9354 |

3292 County Rd. 220, Middleburg, FL 32068 | (904) 291-5561 |

Executive Director: Emily Williamson Mission & Vision: To improve the health and welfare of all children by raising funds and awareness for the pediatric programs of UF Health Jacksonville and Wolfson Children’s Hospital.

CEO: Irene M. Toto, LMHC Mission & Vision: To be a resource that provides mental health and substance abuse counseling and treatment to adults, teens, children and families in Clay County.


6261 Dupont Station Ct., 32217 | (904) 344-3900 |

(904) 400-0726 | Executive Director: Mike Williams Mission & Vision: To actively seek out solutions to prevent violence and sexual exploitation against children in the Northeast Florida community. CHRISTIAN HEALING MINISTRIES 438 W. 67th St., 32208 | (904) 765-3332- ext. 201 | Director of Ministry/President: Judith MacNutt Mission & Vision: Jacksonville’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to the practice and teaching of healing prayer strives to make Christian healing prayer a way of life in families, churches, and medical professions, and to be a visible presence of Jesus’ desire to heal in the world today. CHRIST’S STARFISH FOUNDATION 11750 Coastal Ln., 32258 | (904) 612-8522 | President: Carldon Lahey Mission & Vision: To share the love of Jesus Christ by providing assistance to children’s hospitals through child life specialists and by assisting families of non-cancer patients who are experiencing financial hardships due to medical expenses. CISV INTERNATIONAL - JACKSONVILLE CHAPTER 1650-302 Margaret St., PMB 279, 32204 | (904) 616-1390 | President: Lisa Taylor Mission & Vision: CISV International helps participants develop skills to become informed, responsible and active global citizens to make a difference in our community and the world. CITY RESCUE MISSION 426 S. McDuff Ave., 32254 | (904) 387-9377 | Executive Director: Penny Kievet Mission & Vision: The City Rescue Mission exists to transform the lives of the homeless and needy, serving them through the love and compassion of Jesus Christ.


Interim CEO: Leon Baxton Mission & Vision: Communities In Schools works to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION FOR NORTHEAST FLORIDA 245 Riverside Ave., Ste. 310, 32202 | (904) 356-4483 | President: Martha Baker Mission & Vision: The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida stimulates philanthropy to build a better community through civic leadership, philanthropic leadership and by providing products and services to help donors fulfill their philanthropic goals. COMMUNITY HEALTH OUTREACH 5126 Timuquana Rd., 32210 | (904) 573-1333 | Executive Director: Lenora Gregory Mission & Vision: Community Health Outreach works to clothe the needy, feed the hungry and heal the sick in the name of God. COMMUNITY HOSPICE & PALLIATIVE CARE 4266 Sunbeam Rd., 32257 | (904) 268-5200 | President/CEO: Susan Ponder-Stansel Mission & Vision: Community Hospice works to improve the quality of life for patients and families, and to be the compassionate guide for end-of-life care in our community. COMMUNITY REHABILITATION CENTER 623 Beechwood St., 32206 | (904) 358-1211 | CEO: Reginald Gaffney Mission & Vision: The Community Rehabilitation Center envisions a future where everyone experiences a holistically better quality of life and has access to effective treatment and support essential for living, working, learning and fully participating in the community. CRC promotes the mental, physical, and emotional well-being of individuals and families in Northeast Florida by providing easily accessible, culturally competent, quality competent, and quality-based clinical services.





Life Specialist helps children survive cancer treatment

CHARITY REGISTER COMPASSIONATE HEARTS FOR KIDS 731 Duval Station Rd., Ste. 107-126, 32218 | Founders: Christina and Richard Wood Mission & Vision: We desire to show compassion to all children experiencing difficulties by demonstrating love through action: the Caden Project provides Build-A-Bears© to children in hospitals, and Caleb’s Helping Hands finds special solutions for special needs children who need help participating in life’s activities. COUNCIL ON AGING ST. JOHNS COUNTY 180 Marine St., St. Augustine, FL 32084 | (904) 209-3700 | Executive Director: Becky Yanni Mission & Vision: The Council On Aging St. Johns County provides leadership and advocacy for the dignity, independence, health and community involvement of older St. Johns County residents. COUNCIL ON AGING NASSAU COUNTY 1367 S. 18th St., Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 | (904) 261-0701 | Executive Director: Janice Ancrum Mission & Vision: The Council On Aging of Nassau County works to improve the lives of older adults with a special focus on those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged through their Senior Life Centers as well as compassionate care designed to improve the health, independence and economic security of area seniors and their families. CROHN’S & COLITIS FOUNDATION OF AMERICA/JACKSONVILLE CHAPTER P.O. Box 124, Ponte Vedra Beach, 32004 | (904) 553-9743 |

Miss Joli entertains a cancer patient at Nemours Children’s Specialty Care.

Take Steps Walk Manager: Ginger Lilley Peace Mission & Vision: To cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases.



Joli Craver is the Child Life Specialist at Nemours Children’s Specialty Care. The Child Life Specialist (CLS) plays a vital role on the patient’s healthcare team by providing diversionary activities. When Carla Montgomery’s son, Graham, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease 19 years ago, the only way she could entice the 5-year-old to go to his chemotherapy treatments was to tell him he was going to see “Miss Joli.” “There was no way I could have pushed, pulled, or dragged him there every day for treatment,” said Montgomery. “He went to see Miss Joli. She was there to remind him that he was still a kid.” It is a position so important to children with cancer that the Child Cancer Fund underwrites it. In fact, Miss Joli’s position is the reason the Child Cancer Fund came into existence. “Twenty five years ago, oncology staff at Nemours asked a group of parents with a child in treatment if they would get seed money to start an organization to fund the CLS position, and that was the birth of the Child Cancer Fund,” said Montgomery who now serves as the Executive Director. This year, as the Child Cancer Fund commemorates its 25th anniversary, the nonprofit will fully fund an endowment (The Christy Fund) to provide a Child Life Specialist position at Nemours Jacksonville in perpetuity. So no child or family will EVER go this journey alone.

9995 Gate Pkwy. N, Suite 315, 32246 | (904) 862-2949 | Director: Becky Lowry, CMP Mission & Vision: CSI Gives Back identifies and supports local organizations that directly impact those in true need by providing acts of kindness and bringing smiles to the community. CULTURAL CENTER AT PONTE VEDRA BEACH 50 Executive Way, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082 | (904) 280-0614 | Executive Director: Donna Guzzo Mission & Vision: The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach works to bring the arts into the life of our communities through arts education, art appreciation and community outreach. CULTURAL COUNCIL OF GREATER JACKSONVILLE 300 Water St., Ste. 201, 32202 | (904) 358-3600 | Board of Directors Chair: Ann Carey Mission & Vision: The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville champions the appreciation, relevance, and expression of art and culture. THE CUMMER MUSEUM OF ART & GARDENS 829 Riverside Ave., 32204 | (904) 356-6857 | Director and CEO: Adam Levine Mission & Vision: The Cummer Museum works to engage and inspire through the arts, gardens, and education. CYSTIC FIBROSIS FOUNDATION - FLORIDA CHAPTER 12627 San Jose Blvd., Ste. 504B, 32223 | (904) 733-3560 | Executive Director: Paul Gloersen Mission & Vision: The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is dedicated to improving the daily lives of people with Cystic Fibrosis and to finding a cure for all people with CF. DANIEL 4203 Southpoint Blvd., 32216 | (904) 296-1055 | President/CEO: Lesley Wells Mission & Vision: Improve the lives of children and families





CHARITY REGISTER DARE – DACHSHUND ADOPTION, RESCUE & EDUCATION 4495-304 Roosevelt Blvd., PMB 179, 32210 | President: Alicia Duval Mission & Vision: DARE views its mission as increasing public awareness through education against animal cruelty, related issues and overpopulation while rescuing and re-homing displaced and unwanted dachshunds and dachshund mixes. DAVID GARRARD FOUNDATION 245 Riverside Ave., Suite 250, 32202 | (904) 376-7029 | Director: Heather Surface Mission & Vision: Founded in 2009, the David Garrard Foundation supports programs that enhance the awareness, education and research of breast cancer and Crohn’s disease. The foundation also aims to support healthy lifestyle choices for youth. DELORES BARR WEAVER POLICY CENTER – SEE THE GIRL 40 E. Adams St., Ste. 130, 32202 | (904) 598-0901 | President/CEO: Lawanda Ravoira, D.P.A. Mission & Vision: The Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center is a local nonprofit organization that works to engage communities, organizations and individuals through quality research, community organizing, advocacy, training and model programming to advance the rights of girls and young women, especially those in the justice and child protection systems. DEPAUL SCHOOL OF NORTHEAST FLORIDA 3044 San Pablo Rd. South, 32224 | (904) 223-3391 | Head of School: Dr. Amber Oliveira Mission & Vision: The DePaul School of Northeast Florida is committed to understanding and educating students with specific learning differences such as visual and auditory processing disorders, memory or attention deficits and dyslexia.


DLC NURSE & LEARN 4101-1 College St., 32205 | (904) 387-0370 | Executive Director: Amy Buggle Mission & Vision: DLC Nurse & Learn’s mission is to provide year-round, high-quality education, nursing care, and therapies to children of all abilities so that children and families can reach their maximum potential.

Those who built River Garden understood how vital it was to invest in the future. More than 73 years later, River Garden has become


a leading provider of ser vices for older adults and

11762 Marco Beach Dr. Ste. 6, 32224 | (904) 551-0732 | Founder: Donna Deegan Executive Director: Amanda Napolitano Mission & Vision: To provide financial assistance and support to those living with breast cancer and to fund ground-breaking breast cancer research. THE DONOVIN DARIUS FOUNDATION 13245 Atlantic Blvd., #4-156, 32225 | (904) 290-3320 | Founder: Donovin Darius Mission & Vision: To educate, equip and empower individuals in identifying their purpose and to maximize their potential, serving the hearts, souls and minds of families in Northeast Florida. DON’T MISS A BEAT

an integral part of our community. It is the generosit y of individuals, families, businesses and foundations which makes possible the fulf illment of our mission and af f irms exceptional, loving care for older adults. Your caring enables us to do what we do today and will help make us even better in the future.

PO Box 6697, 32226 | (904) 385-4001 | Director of Programs: Esther Poitier Mission & Vision: The mission of Don’t Miss a Beat is to blend music, art, academic achievement, and civic engagement to inspire and enlighten children and teens in the Riverside and Brooklyn communities. DOUGLAS ANDERSON SCHOOL FOR THE ARTS FOUNDATION 2445 San Diego Rd., 32207 | (904) 208-0962 Executive Director: Jacqueline Cornelius Mission & Vision: The Foundation strives to further the arts program at Douglas Anderson School for the Arts and the talents of the students who attend the school.

Make Your Gift Today For An Exceptional Tomorrow V i si t Ri ve rGa rd e n . org /d ona te a nd c lic k on “Donate Today” or call (904) 886 -8432.





Providing uniforms to students in need

CHARITY REGISTER DOWNTOWN ECUMENICAL SERVICES COUNCIL 215 N. Ocean St., 32202 | (904) 358-7955 | Executive Director: David Clark Mission & Vision: The Downtown Ecumenical Services Council provides emergency assistance to people in need through food distribution, clothing assistance and financial assistance. DOWN SYNDROME ASSOCIATION OF JACKSONVILLE 630 May St., 32204 | (904) 353-6300 | Executive Director: Debbie Revels Mission & Vision: To help people with Down Syndrome achieve their full potential and to create a community that is educated, supportive, and inclusive of individuals with Down Syndrome. DREAMS COME TRUE OF JACKSONVILLE 6803 Southpoint Pkwy., 32216 | (904) 296-3030 | Executive Director: Sheri K. Criswell Mission & Vision: To use the power of a dream to bring hope and joy to local children battling life-threatening illnesses. DUCKS UNLIMITED National Headquarters - One Waterfowl Way, Memphis, Tennessee 38120 1-800-45DUCKS or (901) 758-3825 |

Sharon Serkin, Crystal Baldwin, Laura Chiarello, Marilee McCullough with Susan Merrett and Melissa Wiley


It started with an idea to buy shoes for the Clothing Closet. But when school social work supervisor Laura Chiarello heard the proposal from CSI Gives Back, she pushed back gently. “New shoes are like dessert,” she said. “You want them, but you probably don’t need them.” What many Duval County students do need are school uniforms. About 30 percent of the county’s schools require uniforms, and purchasing them can be a hardship for some families. In 2013, the social work department started The Clothing Closet, which provides new uniform basics: khaki pants and short sleeve polo shirts in basic primary colors. Students are referred by teachers and social workers who hand-deliver items directly to their home. The referrals and deliveries are confidential to maintain the privacy and dignity of students and their families. Although a partnership with a local vendor allows the school system to purchase a whole uniform, top and bottom, for just $12, it has been a struggle to find funding to stock enough colors and sizes to meet the need of about 500 student referrals every year. CSI Gives back dedicated the proceeds from its inaugural gala to funding the DCPS Clothing Closet. The June 29 event raised $10,000, which will be used for shirts, pants, and some extras like socks and underwear. They’ll go to students like the 13-year-old middle schooler who showed up for a meeting with social workers wearing a jacket on a searing hot day. When asked, he admitted that his family was living in a hotel room since his dad lost his job. His only school polo had been lost in the move, so he was wearing the one item he owned that was the right color. Sometimes, a change of clothes can change lives.

Regional Director (South Georgia/North Florida): Jarrett Lafferty Mission & Vision: Ducks Unlimited is the world’s leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation. DUVAL AUDUBON SOCIETY P.O. Box 16304, 32245 | | Chapter President: Jody Willis Mission & Vision: The society is dedicated to the enjoyment of birds and other wildlife, with a primary focus on the preservation of a diversity of species and habitats through education, conservation, environmental leadership, and community involvement. EARLY LEARNING COALITION OF DUVAL 6500 Bowden Rd., Ste. 290, 32216 | (904) 208-2044 | President/CEO: Denise Marzullo Mission & Vision: The Early Learning Coalition helps lead and support the early learning community in building the best foundation for children from birth to age five. ELDERSOURCE 10688 Old St. Augustine Rd., 32257 | (904) 391-6600 | Executive Director: Linda Levin Mission & Vision: ElderSource empowers people to live and age with independence and dignity in their homes and community. EMPOWERMENT RESOURCES 3832-010 Baymeadows Rd., Ste. 348, 32217 (904) 268-8287 | Executive Director: Elexia Coleman-Moss Mission & Vision: Empowerment Resources works to make children and families stronger and empower them to be successful leaders in the community today, for a better tomorrow. EPIC OUTREACH P.O. Box 77479, Jacksonville, FL 32226 | (904) 274-1177 | Compassion Creator: Jessie Miller Mission & Vision: EPIC Outreach exists to inspire compassion by sharing information through humane education, networking, and outreach to create a kinder world for people, animals, and the environment.







5209 San Jose Blvd., Ste. 101, 32207 | (904) 731-3752 |

6817 Norwood Ave., 32208 | (904) 425-0005 |

CEO: Karen Egozi Mission & Vision: The Epilepsy Foundation of Florida leads the fight to stop seizures, find a cure and overcome challenges created by epilepsy.

Founder: Rick DuCharme Chief Operating Officer: Rob Levine Mission & Vision: First Coast No More Homeless Pets seeks to end the killing of dogs and cats in shelters in our community, Northeast Florida and the nation.

EPISCOPAL CHILDREN’S SERVICES 8443 Baymeadows Rd., Ste. 1, 32256 | (904) 726-1500 | CEO: Connie Stophel Mission & Vision: Episcopal Children’s Services strives to be a recognized leader in early childhood education that uses research and best practices to help families ensure their children enter school ready to learn. EXCHANGE CLUB OF JACKSONVILLE | Board President: Shawn DeVries Mission & Vision: Through camaraderie and a shared spirit of service, Exchange Club is a group of men and women who come together, working to make Jacksonville a better place to live through four pillars of service: Americanism, child abuse prevention, community service and youth programs. EXCHANGE CLUB FAMILY CENTER

FIRST COAST ROWING CLUB 645 Cesery Blvd., 32211 | (904) 479-6325 | Director of Rowing: Paul Mokha Mission & Vision: The club’s focused mission is to help children establish strong character, learn life skills, and develop physically and emotionally through the sport of rowing. THE FIRST TEE OF NORTH FLORIDA 475 W. Town Pl., Ste. 115, St. Augustine, 32092 (904) 810-2231 | Executive Director: Jeff Willoughby Mission & Vision: The First Tee of North Florida works to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.

3119 Spring Glen Rd., Ste. 111, 32207 (904) 306-9318 |


Executive Director: Barbara Alexander Mission & Vision: For 25 years, the Exchange Club Family Center of Northeast Florida has offered free, in-home parent aide services to at-risk families across Jacksonville’s First Coast to deter child abuse and strengthen families

Executive Director: Martha Lemire Mission & Vision: The mission of The Florida Ballet is to enrich and inspire the cultural landscape of our community through the education and art of classical ballet.

FAMILY NURTURING CENTER OF JACKSONVILLE 2759 Bartley Cir., 32207 | (904) 389-4244 |

11900 Biscayne Blvd., Ste. 288, N. Miami 33181 (305) 631-2134 |

Director: Elaine Jacobs Mission & Vision: The Family Nurturing Center is dedicated to the needs of children and families in crisis throughout Florida.

Interim President and CEO: Russell Silverman Mission & Vision: Dedicated to ending breast cancer through advocacy, education and research.

300 E. State St., Suite E, 32202 | (904) 353-7518 |




225 E. Duval St., 32202 | (904) 354-1818 |

40 E. Adams St., Ste. 229, 32202 | (407) 694-5213 |

Executive Director: Mark Landschoot Mission & Vision: Family Promise is an interfaith hospitality network providing temporary assistance, hospitality and case management for families with children experiencing homelessness.

Executive Director: Sabeen Perwaiz Mission & Vision: The Florida Nonprofit Alliance informs, promotes, and strengthens the nonprofit sector in order to create more vibrant communities across the state.



1300 Riverplace Blvd., Ste. 700, 32207 | (904) 421-5800 |

13007 Chets Creek Dr. N., 32224 | (904) 434-3089 |

President/CEO: Robert Miller Mission & Vision: The Family Support Services of North Florida, Inc. works to be the leader in providing safety, stability, and quality of life for all children by working with the community to strengthen the family unit.

President: Anna Murphy Mission & Vision: The goal of FLPCC is to invest in local, world class, pancreas cancer research, where our neighbors are part of the team and can see the value of their contributions and know where they are being spent.



1116 Edgewood Ave. N., Units D/E, 32254 | (904) 513-1333 |

501 W. State St., Ste. 104, 32202 | (904) 633-8100 |

President/CEO: Frank Castillo Mission & Vision: Feeding Northeast Florida strives to banish hunger from all 17 counties in Northeast Florida.

Executive Director: Cleve Warren Mission & Vision: Florida State College Foundation strives to secure financial resources for Florida State College at Jacksonville to provide students in need access to an affordable, quality education and to enhance the lives and the economic development of Northeast Florida.

FIREHOUSE SUBS PUBLIC SAFETY FOUNDATION 12735 Gran Bay Pkwy., Ste. 150, 32258 | (904) 606-5148 | Executive Director: Robin Peters Mission & Vision: The foundation’s mission is to impact the live-saving capabilities and the lives of local heroes and their communities.

FLORIDA THEATRE 128 E. Forsyth St., 32202 | (904) 355-2787 | President: Numa C. Saisselin Mission & Vision: Our mission, as a nonprofit organization, is to enhance the North Florida community’s quality of life by providing diverse and memorable arts and entertainment experiences, and by preserving a unique historic Jacksonville landmark.





Helping life-long addict find sobriety

CHARITY REGISTER FOCUS ON EXCELLENCE 7035 Philips Hwy., Ste. 36, 32216 | Executive Director: Marcus Broadnax Mission & Vision: Focus on Excellence is a leading college preparatory program in Northeast Florida with the goal of delivering its scholars the best possible college or university and the best possible financial package. Focus on Excellence offers its scholars academic, emotional and social reparation. FOOD ALLERGY FAMILIES OF NORTHEAST FLORIDA | President: Lori Cordell Mission & Vision: Food Allergy Families (FAF) of Northeast Florida is a volunteerrun support group for families managing food allergies. The organization’s vision is to provide support, educate the community and members on food allergies, and advocate for policy improvements for the safety of those who are food allergic. FOOTPRINTS OF ANGELS P.O. Box 3565, 32206 | 904-707-3802 | Director/CEO/Founder: Vernetta Stewart Mission & Vision: Footprints of Angels supports women impacted by recurring pregnancy loss and infertility. The organization was established to help women through their grief and shame and to help them heal. FOSTER CLOSET 730 St. Johns Bluff Rd. | (904) 629-2116 |


Co-Founder and President: Tammy McGuire Mission & Vision: To provide a free resource to foster parents and relative and non-relative placements as well as teens living independently to access clothing, children’s accessories, toys, and children’s furniture and more to help take care of the foster children entrusted to them.

Jason was homeless and heavily addicted to meth when he ended up going to the hospital because his organs were shutting down. While there, doctors told him he was going to die if he didn’t clean up his life. Soon thereafter, he walked up to City Rescue Mission’s New Life Inn on State Street and entered the overnight shelter City Rescue Mission offered. “I knew I needed something else in my life. I tried on my own long enough, and it just wasn’t working,” he said. “A couple of guys told me about City Rescue Mission and how it was a faith-based program. I remember feeling something inside me that just said ‘it’s time.’” Jason said he entered City Rescue Mission not believing in God or that he had a chance at recovery. He found his faith at City Rescue Mission and from there everything changed. For the first time since he was 13 years old, Jason is sober. “I graduated from City Rescue Mission’s LifeBuilders Residential Recovery Program at the end of September and it was one of the best days of my life. I have nothing but love and respect for City Rescue Mission and how they’ve changed my life. Now, I just keep moving forward. I plan to continue to work, get a place of my own, and in time, reconnect with my daughter,” said Jason.

FRESHMINISTRIES/BE THE CHANGE INTERNATIONAL 1131 N. Laura St., 32206 | (904) 355-0000 | Founder, Chairman & CEO: Rev. Dr. Robert V. Lee III Mission & Vision: FreshMinistries is an interfaith organization working to eliminate extreme poverty by empowering communities and individuals to realize their full potential. FRIDAY MUSICALE 645 Oak St., 32204 | (904) 355-7584 | Interim Executive Director: Eric A. Becher, Ph.D. Mission & Vision: For 125 years, Friday Musicale has supported the Jacksonville community through concerts, educational outreach and scholarships. FRIENDS OF HEMMING PARK 303 N. Laura St., 32202 | (904) 515-5098 | CEO: Bill Prescott Mission & Vision: Friends of Hemming Park seeks to transform Jacksonville’s oldest public park into a modern, urban space that engages diverse communities and restores vitality to our city’s public square. FRIENDS OF JACKSONVILLE ANIMALS c/o Animal Care and Protective Services, 2020 Forest St., 32204 President - Executive Committee: Alicia Strayer Mission & Vision: Friends of Jacksonville Animals works directly with Jacksonville’s Animal Care and Protective Services to benefit the lives of shelter animals by focusing on fundraising to assist with medical care, enrich the shelter environment, and promote adoptions to reduce euthanasia. FUNK-ZITIELLO FOUNDATION, INC. 830 A1A N., Ste. 13, #187, Ponte Vedra Beach, 32082 (904) 373-0737 | Director: Judith Zitiello Mission & Vision: The Funk-Zitiello Foundation seeks to help the community by taking the challenges of individuals and turning them into initiatives that can provide hope and funding to those dealing with extraordinary obstacles.






Give where you live





| MAY 2019,

VOL. 13,




















a big draw Evening soiree Tour for annual Home and “pretty-in George Home Looking dapper, attended the Martin pink” Julia Party on Richmond Tour Twilight April 25. Street PAGE 24

ric Keeping histo s neighborhood intact

A. Hallock By Kate ty News Communi Resident

enjoy Si ppin’ Sa

E x ZO



fari at


Baptist Hea heart ope lth unveils new rating room

When minor full-bl own OR surger y turns sports risky, hybrid report in less than three er shares lab conver own heart minutes. Award ts to story on -winni READ ng tour of MORE new OR. , PAGE 8

JEA skip Southba s over nk develop er


Despit e rejecti on by lemon JEA, Micha Kings s into lemon el Balank Avenu ade e is availab on the Southb y is le for residen ank. ready to turn A tial, office prime lot on READ MORE or mixed , PAGE -use. 10

Miniatu re draw spe kit boats ctators

Carlucci cal future of ls for publi c cha The Lan a prior year as Lloyd, Nicholson ding bef rrettes to dis ts at Thom ore dem cuss them are Walt w. c, right, poin olition The Landi Steve Pajcie challenge winner. With is Steve’s son-in-la alloca ng has plate,” te $18 been the millio Landi in, who


hole-in-on brother, Marv 24 and his MORE, PAGE READ

Farm Dinner on the Lady welcomes First Good annual Berry


Katherine Naugle, Michelle le’s Laura Crooks, Club of Jacksonvil Club. Tibbets, Shannon of The Woman’s a Country n, Mark Rose-Haman Beth were recipients at the Timuquan to support nonprofits March 27 l program Landschoot, White, Several local educationa grants luncheon al Services Mixson, Shawna at its annual Family Promise, $5,000, n Ecumenic Betty generosity (Downtow Food Pantry Jack Warren, Clark, grants were ency; DESC through their a archiving Receiving Lustig, DavidJulie to self-suffici and children salary for mothers’ Susan King, Andrews, assist women $5,000, one year’s homeless purchase of $5,000, to Society, Handley, Pat y School, $5,000, of a Leveled Council, Inc., le Historical Elementar Alan Bliss, NancyLisska Jacksonvil le, Inc., West Riversidey School, $2,900, purchase program; Jacksonvil Chamblin, Emily collection; Elementar and We Care Woman’s Club ts; Ortega classes; disease. en musical instrumenon Kit for kindergartfor women with chronic Literacy Interventieducation, assistance $2,000, nutrition




at the were Smiling broadlyon the Farm fundraiser with Farms’ Dinner and Francine Shell and Jessica Camille Ott Molly Curry for North First Lady nt Jacksonville of advanceme , director Education. Waugaman of Special Florida School PAGE 22 READ MORE,

By Marci a Hodgs Reside nt Comm on unity News

“Jackson ville

when we ted by is at its best celebrapull peop Day that Arborand hip le together ’s how cape leaders , Greens we thin gs happen


make for the great city.”


Spring Women’s Boards generous Luncheon gathergivers group of played Newton home of Karla and The waterfrontannual spring luncheon host to the Board of Wolfson the Women’s kickoff for Hospital. Children’s PAGE 17 READ MORE,

with Jennifer Pentaleri Newton hostess Karla





Easter para

de a rite

of passage


in San Mar co





North Florid a O.R.C neighb orly contrib .A.S. recogn ize club. Duck utions to remote San Marco couple Pond favorit -contr e site for olled model for READ boat races. boat MORE

At-Large “front porch referred ng Invest n to buy to as “hom cover Group ments of Carlu LLC’s out Jacksonville e leases the cost of cci likes 4 City CounDowntown, buying long-term Jackso , demo cilman-elec” or as lease and out nville’s to call it, lition, t Matt was also unabl and cleari long-term Carlucci Than ksgiv the “cente Coun ng of the tenant rpiec e to ing the iconicagrees with land. He most in table.” Altho e of amen cilman Dann weigh in on y feels stronglandmark the comm dment ugh has to appro Becton’s last-mDistr ict 11 and riverf ly the orang seen better unity that $15 million to develove the $18 millioinute floor days, away, but piece of ront meeti e-roofed shopp he still per ng place public ing center was sounddelaying demo Toney Sleimn, paying input is an impor about property that Mayor ly rejected by lition until later,an right Carlucci, its future beforedeserves more tant which a large Lenny Curry City Coun a San public the 15-1 it’s waterf cil. new buildi ront park ’s plan has been decision Marco reside torn down. nt, was on the by City ngs for furthe property to install not mixed Council in on st from use with March 26 to with the Down the St. Johns along the perim two River. 17 to appea town eter l for moreInvestment Carlucci met a final Autho decision public rity April made. engagement about As colorf He the mayor also had a The Landing’s before ul as a Jackso basket future and DIA one-on-one nville Presby at City of dyed is and during meeti Interi Hall board member the Easter terian Presch eggs and Easter “The Coun April 23 aboutm CEO Brian ng with Greenscape ool board president, parade Robin Patton, cil the issue. Hughes tiated i, incoming Wild through cluster aroun candy, studen settlem passed the Kim Bongiovann with Gourd’s Gone San Marco d their teache ts from bill that ent to cluded photo South Anna Dooley, the pose for a paid money r, Square Vacca and negosome for demo Sleiman family a nego April 18.Kelly Rumbach, owner Linda executive director. of that in Greenscape elected,” the tenants lition and inreloca tion of PAGE 31 seat with said Carlu when I had READ MORE, just gotten READ more than cci, who MORE , PAGE 70% of won his Coun 46 the vote and will cil be

5 T H,


restoration Fishweir Creek along in g project movin phase survey, design



waivers fight frontage density, higher Ortega residents lot divisions, Preservation to prevent Avondale while Riverside ity meeting to review m plans commun on short-ter legislation proposed neighborhoods. the historic rentals in


19 5 T H, 2 0 BY M AY



Forum draw s fans from

Enjoying Forum the reception ’s and Alexseason finale following NFL were Wolfson and Holly Heple Chip and Coach Tony Dung Megan Children’s r, also showing O’Steen, Johny’s talk at the Hospital. Florid suppo a rt for the and Maddie Milne Woma n’s Board , for










Greg Smith Tom Baker with , Peter and Kelly McLoughlin , Ginny Smith and Marth Baker a pause for a photo in the Africa n Forest the Jackso at nville Zoo and Garde ns. READ MORE







The magazines and newspapers published by The Resident Community News Group offer all the news fit to print close to home. Marketing your brand in our publications, you create personal, local connections with your most desired customers, and have them backed by the strength of a respected media group. Your message will be viewed by affluent, highly engaged and influential audiences in our city. Join us and become part of our . | | (904) 388-8839



Success coaches allow students to prosper

GABRIEL HOUSE OF CARE 4599 Worrall Way, 32224 | (904) 821-8995 | Executive Director: Valerie Callahan Mission & Vision: To provide affordable, temporary lodging in a “community of healing” environment for adult organ transplant and cancer patients and their caregivers who come to Jacksonville for medical treatment. GARDEN CLUB OF JACKSONVILLE 1005 Riverside Ave., 32204 | (904) 355-4224 | President: Betsy Powers Mission & Vision: The Garden Club of Jacksonville is dedicated to education, beautification, and conservation citywide with gardening projects at The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens, Tree Hill, and The St. Johns Riverkeeper. GATEWAY COMMUNITY SERVICES 555 Stockton St., 32204 | (904) 387-4661 | President/CEO: Candace Hodgkins, Ph.D., LMHC Mission & Vision: Gateway Community Services helps deliver effective treatment and recovery services based on proven steps to help people suffering from alcoholism, drug addiction and related mental health issues. THE GIRLS GONE GREEN P.O. Box 331745, Atlantic Beach, 32233 | Executive Director: Julie Watkins Mission & Vision: To draw attention and proper action to critical issues through outreach and education to protect our planet’s resources, animal welfare and human health.


GIRLS INC. OF JACKSONVILLE Sha’niya and City Year Coach Kai

City Year makes a seven-year promise to students at 12 Duval County Public Schools across Jacksonville: That a student success coach will be there from third to ninth grade, working alongside teachers to empower every student’s academic and social-emotional achievement. To fulfill that promise, City Year AmeriCorps members bring people power to charge up schools and students for success. Student success coaches, like Kai, invest in one-onone relationships that charge up students’ confidence for success in school and beyond. Kai served in a ninth-grade English class where she met Sha’niya. Working with Sha’niya in small groups, Kai began to challenge Sha’niya to work through the distractions in class that were weighing on her academic success. Later in the year, they started having lunch together and Sha’niya began to reveal her creative side, showing Kai the short stories and poems she wrote. Each of these interactions charged Sha’niya’s belief in herself. With her growing confidence, Sha’niya speaks up in class, and when she gets distracted, she can acknowledge it and pick up right where she left off. During the last week of school Sha’niya wrote down her goals for the future to have as a constant reminder. Though Kai isn’t there every day during her sophomore year, Sha’niya carries with her the confidence she built the year before into 10th grade and beyond. This is the difference building meaningful relationships can make.

100 Festival Park Ave., 32202 | (904) 731-9933 | CEO: Robin Rose Mission & Vision: Girls Incorporated works to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold by being a leading advocacy organization dedicated to extending girls’ voices, issues, and concerns to policy makers, corporations, and the media. GIRLS ON THE RUN 3986 Blvd. Center Dr., Ste. 102, 32207 | (904) 619-6763 | Executive Director: Laura Lasko Mission & Vision: To inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. The nonprofit envisions a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. GIRL SCOUTS OF GATEWAY COUNCIL 1000 Shearer Ave., 32205 | (904) 388-4653 | CEO: Mary Anne Jacobs Mission & Vision: Girl Scouts of Gateway Council helps to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. GLEANERS DISPATCH 8207 103rd St., 32210 | (904) 777-6344 | Founder/Board Chair: H. David Fountain President: Frank Brashears Mission & Vision: To challenge hunger by bringing relief to people on fixed but inadequate incomes: senior citizens, disabled, single parents, the under-employed or unemployed between jobs. GOODWILL INDUSTRIES OF NORTH FLORIDA 4527 Lenox Ave., 32205 | (904) 384-1361 | CEO: Bob Thayer Mission & Vision: Goodwill Industries is the nation’s largest private provider of training and employment services for people with disabilities and special needs.





CHARITY REGISTER GRACE MINISTRY OF HELPING HANDS 1620 Naldo Ave., 32207 | (904) 677-0133 | Co-Founders: Kathleen McDaniel and Jan Miller Mission & Vision: Grace Ministry of Helping Hands rescues women on the streets and provides intervention for women recently released from incarceration. GREATER JACKSONVILLE AREA USO P.O. Box 108, NAS Jacksonville, 32212-3028 | (904) 778-2821 | Executive Director: Mike O’Brien Mission & Vision: The Great Jacksonville Area USO provides more than $1 million annually in services through a wide variety of programs and is the channel for community participation during every war effort and in peacetime.


GREENSCAPE OF JACKSONVILLE INC. 1468 Hendricks Ave., 32207 | (904) 398-5757 | Executive Director: Anna Dooley Mission & Vision: Enriching Jacksonville by planting, protecting and promoting trees GREENWOOD SCHOOL 9920 Regency Square Blvd., 32225 | (904) 726-5000 | Head of School: Anthony Mortimer Mission & Vision: To provide specialized college- and career-preparatory curriculum for middle and high school students with learning differences or difficulties. GREYHOUNDS AS PETS OF NORTHEAST FLORIDA 2600 W. 5th St., 32254 | (904) 388-6034 | Mission & Vision: Greyhounds as Pets of Northeast Florida is a nonprofit corporation which provides a unique opportunity to adopt and enjoy the loving companionship of this versatile breed as a pet.

IMPORTANT TO VYSTAR than being part of the communities we serve. And, while we encourage employees to get involved in charitable endeavors, they always exceed expectations. Our strong commitment to local communities can be seen in large and small events throughout Northeast and Central Florida. VyStar has been and will continue to be there to show our ongoing support and commitment.

GROUNDWORK JACKSONVILLE 10 W. State St., Bldg. A, Rm 1003, 32202 (904) 598-5664 | Chief Executive Officer: Kay Ehas Mission & Vision: Groundwork Jacksonville’s mission is to bring about the sustained regeneration, improvement and management of the physical environment by developing community-based partnerships which empower people, businesses and organizations to promote environmental, economic and social well-being. GROWING PARENTING CHOICES 1637 King St., 32204 | (904) 308-7510 | Executive Director: Sandra S. Duggan Mission & Vision: Growing Parenting Choices, a ministry of Ascension St. Vincent’s, empowers women to make informed decisions regarding pregnancy, saves lives, counsels and mentors teens and women through pregnancy. GUARDIAN AD LITEM FOUNDATION OF FLORIDA’S FIRST COAST, INC. P.O. Box 10198, 32247-0198 | (904) 255-8440 | Circuit Director: Vanessa Trivento Mission & Vision: The Guardian ad Litem program will continue to be a powerful and effective voice advocating for the best interests of Florida’s abused, abandoned or neglected children. To the fullest extent possible, its vision will be realized through volunteers who will advocate as Guardians ad Litem for the children they serve.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF JACKSONVILLE (HABIJAX) 2404 Hubbard St., 32206 | (904) 798-4529 | President/CEO: Mary Kay O’Rourke Mission & Vision: Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope so that the world might become a place where everyone has a decent residence to live.

All new accounts are subject to approval. Programs, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice. Certain restrictions apply. ©2019 VyStar Credit Union






Fulfilling dreams, bringing hope and joy

HART FELT MINISTRIES 7235 Bonneval Rd., #123, 32256 | (904) 861-2799 | President/Executive Director: Kelly Moorman Coggins Mission & Vision: Hart Felt Ministries helps Jacksonville seniors stay independent and age gracefully in their own homes. Donations help fund emergency financial assistance, minor home repairs, gift cards for groceries and other essential services, including veterinary services. HAVEN (FORMERLY HAVEN HOSPICE) 9143 Philips Hwy., Ste. 480, 32256 | (904) 733-9818 | President: Gayle Mattson Mission & Vision: Haven helps to honor life by providing comfort, care and compassion to those they serve. HEAL FOUNDATION P.O. Box 140 Ponte Vedra Beach, 32004 | (904) 716-4198 | Executive Director: Jason Gurka Mission & Vision: Inspiring, educating, and funding services for those affected by autism in our community in order to make our community the best place to live for those affected by autism. HEALTHYUNOW FOUNDATION 3800 Joe Ashton Rd., St. Augustine, 32092 | (904) 834-2938 |

Logan Silva


Dreams Come True of Jacksonville is celebrating 35 years of using the power of a dream to bring hope and joy to local children battling life-threatening illnesses. Earlier this year, Dreams Come True fulfilled its 4,000th dream! Nine-year-old Logan Silva was diagnosed with medulloblastoma in October 2017. Following surgery to remove the cancerous brain tumor, Logan had to retrain his brain how to walk, talk and eat over the course of two months. “When he came out of surgery, he was barely able to move his arms or his eyes and could not communicate with us for probably a couple months,” said Daniel Silva, Logan’s father. Logan endured six weeks of proton radiation therapy and completed six rounds of chemotherapy. In August 2018, his family received the news of remission. Logan will have follow-up brain and spine MRIs every four months for the next two years. With his treatments behind him, the spring of 2019 was the perfect time for Logan and his family to take their dream trip to Atlantis at Paradise Island, Bahamas. Dreams Come True sent the family of six in April 2019 for a 5-night stay at the tropical resort and included an exclusive shallow water dolphin swim. For Logan, to spend time with his family and get a little break from school was exciting. Logan’s dream was sponsored by Beaver Toyota St. Augustine and their October 2018 WOW Partner of the Month program. During the month, Beaver Toyota donated a portion of the proceeds from each vehicle sold toward Dreams Come True. Dreams Come True currently has over 450 local children deciding on the perfect destination or experience for their dream. To date, the local organization has never had a waiting list or denied an eligible child a dream.

Founder: Dr. Julie Buckley Mission & Vision: The HealthyUNow Foundation’s mission is to develop virtual and physical communities that support the treatment of autism for individuals and their families in a healthy living environment. HEARING LOSS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA 11250 Old St. Augustine Rd., Ste. 15123, 32257 (904) 631-6357 |, Chapter President: Tom Logue Mission & Vision: The mission of HLAA is to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support and advocacy. HEART FOR CHILDREN INC. 1429 Winthrop St., 32206 | (904) 619-6792 | Founder/CEO: Joyce Brinson Mission & Vision: Heart for Children is a family-oriented organization that teaches the importance of education and team building. One of HFC’s many goals is for children to grow into productive adults who will one day positively give back to their communities. HELPING WIN (WOMEN IN NEED), INC. 4940 Emerson St., Suite 107, 32207 | (904) 831-6046 | Founder/Executive Director: Gwen Gallagher-Howard Mission & Vision: Helping WIN is a nonprofit founded to provide emergency cash assistance to women battling poverty through partner agencies in Northeast Florida. HENDERSON HAVEN 772 Foxridge Center Dr., 32065 | (904) 264-2522 | Founders: Lee and Sherri Henderson Mission & Vision: To protect and support the inherent rights of all people, including those who are developmentally disabled, to choose where and with whom they work, live and play. HER SONG 25 N. Market St., 32202 | (904) 513-0203 | Founder: Rachel White Mission & Vision: To address the issue of sex trafficking of young women in Northeast Florida by providing restorative aftercare services to survivors and by offering community awareness and outreach programs. To create a fully operational Her Song residential community where young women can heal from the devastating effects of sexual exploitation and find the confidence to succeed and the courage to move forward.







304 Corporate Way | (904) 278-3870 |

P.O. Box 4909, 32201 | (904) 354-0076 |

The Hope Chest Charitable Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide financial support for medical care for pets battling cancer, debilitating chronic illnesses, and to support pets that have been displaced due to catastrophic natural disasters.

CEO: Dr. Gail A. Patin Mission & Vision: Hubbard House strives to make every relationship violence-free and to ensure safety for victims and their children, empowerment of victims, and social change through education and advocacy.



9801-12 Baymeadows Rd., PMD #148, 32256 (904) 333-9448 |

230 Canal Blvd., Ste. 2, Ponte Vedra Beach, 32082

President/Board Chair: Dr. Mary Pentel Mission & Vision: Hope for a Better Life, Inc. is dedicated to improving the quality of life for socially and economically disadvantaged children and adults in Northeast Florida by focusing on a different local nonprofit each year to promote its mission, raise awareness and funds. HOPE HAVEN CHILDREN’S CLINIC & FAMILY CENTER 4600 Beach Blvd., 32207 | (904) 346-5100 | CEO: Stella Johnson Mission & Vision: Hope Haven provides excellence in educational, psychological and related therapeutic services for children, families and young adults with special needs. HOPE SPRINGS FLORIDA 25 N. Market St., 32202 | (904) 805-3497 | Founders: Joe and Ann Rodgers Mission & Vision: Hope Springs Florida is a vacation respite home for families, primarily those with autism, with all services necessary for an affordable beach experience. By caring for the caregiver, HSF seeks to strengthen families and to make northeast Florida known as the “go to” destination for compassionate vacationing for special needs children.

Founder: Laurie K. Hodges Mission & Vision: To heal hearts by serving those in need in the community. HUMBLE HARVEST MINISTRIES 4446-1A Hendricks Ave., Ste. 310, 33207 | Founders: Lori Ibach and Janice Jurkovic Mission & Vision: The goal of this annual outreach is to continue to give, in Jesus name, to those in need in our communities, through a super-size, free garage sale. HUNGER FIGHT 2935 Dawn Rd., 32207 | (904) 374-5623 | CEO & Founder: Sherri Porter Mission & Vision: Hunger Fight works to eradicate hunger in North East Florida and the surrounding area. HUNTINGTON’S DISEASE SOCIETY OF AMERICA (904) 641-7984 | Development Manager, Southeast Region: Craig Mayers Mission & Vision: Dedicated to improving the lives of everyone affected by Huntington’s disease, HDSA offers community services, education, advocacy and research.





Rescue puppies lead to generous donations

CHARITY REGISTER I’M A STAR FOUNDATION 3909 Soutel Dr., 32208 | (904) 924-0756 | Founder & Executive Director: Betty Burney Mission & Vision: To empower youth to believe they are solution-oriented STARS (Smart Talented And Resilient Students) destined to change the world! INDEPENDENT LIVING RESOURCE CENTER OF NORTHEAST FLORIDA 2709 Art Museum Dr., 32207 | (904) 399-8484 | Executive Director: Tyler Lasher Morris Mission & Vision: Jacksonville’s leading cross-disability based organization, ILRC provides personalized services to people with disabilities. INN MINISTRY 1720 Hamilton St., 32210 | (904) 388-7730 | Executive Director: Judith Newberg Mission & Vision: The Inn Ministry promotes and encourages mothers to become spiritually, physically and mentally stable so they will be capable of providing a home for their children and to become productive members of society. IN RIVER OR OCEAN 1625 Atlantic Blvd., 32207 | (904) 384-0775 |

Kneeling: Megan and Josh Lambo with Wyatt and Lana. Standing: Michael Pajcic, Jim Kowalski, Kelly and Ken Krehbiel


When Kelly Krehbiel, founder of Fur Sisters - Furever Urs Rescue, Inc., took on the task of finding homes for a litter of eight puppies discovered near the Jaguars stadium in 2018, she never dreamed it would result in a friendship with Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo and generous donations – two years in a row. Josh and his wife, Megan, adopted one of the pups, a mix they named Lana, to become a companion for their American Bulldog, Wyatt. A few months later, Josh participated in the celebrity shoot-out at the annual Pajcic & Pajcic yard golf tournament to benefit Jacksonville Area Legal Aid. He competed against Jaguar teammate Keelan Cole and NBA Hall of Fame member Artis Gilmore, among others. Josh won the event, donating his $6,000 winning check to Fur Sisters, the animal rescue where he got his beloved puppy. The Pajcics later matched the amount with a contribution to Jacksonville Area Legal Aid. In 2019, Lambo did it again. He won the celebrity shootout at the Pajcic golf event and donated his prize money to Fur Sisters, and the amount was again matched with a donation from the Pajcics to JALA. “We wouldn’t have Lana without Fur Sisters,” said Lambo. “Rescues are a great addition to families, and we wanted to make an impact on the community, because they have such an impact on our lives.” “The funds will go to help dogs we pull from shelters that need medical attention,” said Krehbiel. Josh Lambo “Many of these treatments are very costly, so donations like this help to ease our stress greatly. You are making a big difference in the lives of many,” she said. “Having Josh there every year really ups the excitement,” said Michael Pajcic, referring to the golf tournament, which takes place at his Avondale home as well as the nearby home of his father, Steve Pajcic. What makes playing for the Jaguars so attractive was the “big sense of community here,” said Lambo. “It’s what drove us here, and we don’t see a need to go anywhere else.”

Founders: Gary and Terry Roberts Mission & Vision: The nonprofit promotes the protection, restoration and rational management of all river and ocean resources, and supports environmental education through scholarships, conservation programs and fishing tournaments. IN THE PINK 3547 Hendricks Ave., 32207 | (904) 396-5515 522 North 3rd St., Jacksonville Beach, 32250 | (904) 372-0029 CEO/Founder: Jeri Millard Mission & Vision: In the Pink is a nonprofit boutique and salon dedicated to helping women heal, cope and survive the effects of cancer– physically and emotionally. JACKSONVILLE ALUMNAE PANHELLENIC ASSOCIATION President: Lauren O’Connell Mission & Vision: Founded in 1914, the philanthropic association has a continuous history of supporting the greater Jacksonville community. Recognized for its achievements by the National Panhellenic Council, JAPA members have given over 25,000 volunteer service hours to help those in the community. JACKSONVILLE ARBORETUM & GARDENS 1445 Millcoe Rd., P.O. Box 350430, 32225 | President, Board of Directors: Lawrence Gierum Mission & Vision: The Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens seeks to cultivate a unique environment for recreation, education and inspiration. JACKSONVILLE AREA LEGAL AID 126 W. Adams St., 32202 | (904) 356-8371 | President/CEO: James A. Kowalski, Jr. Esq. Mission & Vision: The Jacksonville Area Legal Aid works to assist our low-income neighbors in our community with civil legal problems. JACKSONVILLE AREA SEXUAL MINORITY YOUTH NETWORK – JASMYN P.O. Box 380103, 32205 | (904) 389-3857 | CEO: Cindy Watson Mission & Vision: The Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network works to support and empower lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth by creating safe space, providing youth development services and bringing people and resources together to promote diversity and human rights.







4129 Oxford Ave., 32210 |

303 N. Laura St., #334, 32202 | (904) 630-1995 |

President: Ron Episcopo Mission & Vision: The Jacksonville Artists Guild is dedicated to elevating artistic awareness and participation by artists through dynamic programs and exhibitions that enhance, encourage and promote the arts.

Board Chair: Robin Albaneze Mission & Vision: The Jacksonville Public Library Foundation helps to strengthen the ability of the Jacksonville Public Library to serve as an educational and cultural resource for the community.



3 Independent Dr., 32202 | (904) 366-6634 |

9000 Cypress Green Dr., 32256 | (904) 732-4343 |

President: Dawn Adams Mission & Vision: The JAX Chamber Foundation serves Northeast Florida in funding workforce development, leadership and entrepreneurial education programs in support of long-term regional prosperity.

Founder & Executive Director: Michelle Dunham Mission & Vision: Jacksonville School for Autism (JSA) is dedicated to helping individuals with autism and their families by tapping into all available resources to provide “outside of the desk” thinking. With a focus on whole child development and individualized programs that encourage both family and community involvement, JSA is able to nurture each student to reach his/her full potential. Not just a place for learning, JSA creates an environment where relationships grow and lives are changed.

JACKSONVILLE CHILDREN’S CHORUS 225 E. Duval St., 32202 | (904) 353-1636 | Artistic & Executive Director: Darren Dailey Mission & Vision: The Jacksonville Children’s Chorus works to provide a high-quality choral music education for children of diverse backgrounds, fostering teamwork, self-discipline, accomplishment and pride while filling an important cultural need in the community and sharing the beauty of the choral art form through artistically excellent performances. JACKSONVILLE CIVIC COUNCIL 800 W. Monroe St., 32202 | (904) 354-0530 | President: Jeanne Miller Mission & Vision: To help resolve community issues by studying a problem, proposing one or more solutions, advocating for change, and providing resources and support. JACKSONVILLE DOG CAFÉ (904) 610-0746 | Executive Director: Carolyn Snowden Mission & Vision: The Jax Dog Café assists other animal rescue nonprofit organizations with adoption efforts by providing a small, intimate, stress-free environment for homeless dogs to meet and greet with prospective forever families. JACKSONVILLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 314 Palmetto St., 32202 | (904) 665-0064 | Executive Director: Alan Bliss Mission & Vision: The Jacksonville Historical Society works to foster and promote appreciation of the history of Jacksonville and Northeast Florida. JACKSONVILLE HUMANE SOCIETY 8464 Beach Blvd., 32216 | (904) 725-8766 | Executive Director: Denise Deisler Mission & Vision: The Jacksonville Humane Society provides care, comfort and compassion to animals in need while engaging the hearts, hands and minds of the community to bring about an end to the killing of abandoned and orphaned shelter animals.

JACKSONVILLE SISTER CITIES ASSOCIATION 117 W. Duval St., Ste. 275, 32202 | (904) 630-1304 | President: Brenda Frinks Mission & Vision: The Jacksonville Sister Cities Association fosters and encourages mutual understanding, friendship and peace through cultural, economic, educational and professional exchanges between the people of Jacksonville and the people of our Sister and Friendship Cities. JACKSONVILLE SPEECH & HEARING CENTER 1010 N. Davis St., Ste. 101, 32209 | (904) 355-3403 | President/CEO: Mike Howland Mission & Vision: To provide the highest quality professional and compassionate care to all individuals with hearing, speech, and/or language disorders in our community, regardless of ability to pay. JACKSONVILLE SPORTS COUNCIL 1 Gator Bowl Blvd., 32202 | (904) 798-1700 | President/CEO: Rick Catlett Mission & Vision: The Gator Bowl Association works to create an economic impact through increasing tourism and meaningful charitable giving. JACKSONVILLE SYMPHONY 300 Water St., Ste. 200, 32202 | (904) 354-5479 | President/CEO: Robert Massey Mission & Vision: The Jacksonville Symphony’s mission is to enrich the human spirit through symphonic music. Its vision is to be the premier orchestra in the Southeast. JACKSONVILLE URBAN LEAGUE 903 W. Union St., 32204 | (904) 723-4007 | President/CEO: Dr. Richard Danford Jr. Mission & Vision: The Jacksonville Urban League works to assist African Americans and others to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights.



4083 Lannie Rd., 32218 | (904) 565-1859 |

370 Zoo Pkwy., 32218 | (904) 757-4463 |

Chair: Kathie Garrett Mission & Vision: The Jacksonville Ladies serve as the “final witness” for all burials at the Jacksonville National Cemetery, especially for those who have no family or friends present, to say a prayer and give the thanks and respect former military so deserve.

Executive Director: Tony Vecchio Mission & Vision: Inspiring discovery and appreciation of the earth’s wildlife through innovative experiences in a caring environment.


1 TIAA Bank Field Dr., 32202 | (904) 633-5437 |

40 E. Adams St., Ste. 110, 32202 | (904) 356-7757 | President: Rachael Tutwiler Fortune Mission & Vision: The Jacksonville Public Education Fund strives to inform and mobilize the community to advocate for universally high-quality public schools for all children.


Senior Vice President: Peter Racine Mission & Vision: Believing that youth represent the community’s future, the Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation is committed to support programs benefiting economically and socially disadvantaged youth, families and other NFL and team charitable initiatives.






During treatment, couple discovers healing community

THE JED FUND 66 Evans Dr., Jacksonville Beach, 32250 | Founder/President: Dione Garnand Mission & Vision: The Jed Fund assists animal welfare organizations which work diligently to save the lives of homeless cats and dogs. The project-based mission identifies the needs of these groups, fundraises and markets for them in order to provide lifesaving and life-enhancing funds. THE JERICHO SCHOOL 1351 Sprinkle Dr., 32211 | (904) 744-5110 | Executive Director: Angelo Martinez Mission & Vision: The mission of The Jericho School is to provide comprehensive, individualized science-based education not otherwise available in the community. Children with autism and other developmental delays deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential. JESSIE BALL DUPONT FUND 40 E. Adams St., Ste. 300, 32202 | (904) 353-0890 | President: Mari Kuraishi Mission & Vision: The Jessie Ball duPont Fund works to expand access and create opportunity by investing in people, organizations and communities that were important to Jessie Ball duPont. JEWISH COMMUNITY ALLIANCE 8505 San Jose Blvd., 32217 | (904) 730-2100 |

Dan and Connie Dickey

Executive Director: Adam Chaskin Mission & Vision: The JCA strengthens Jewish life, serves as a common meeting ground, and enhances the quality of life of the entire community.



After Dan Dickey learned he needed a bone marrow transplant, he and his wife Connie knew they would have to relocate temporarily from South Carolina to Jacksonville for the duration of his treatment. When they found Gabriel House of Care, Dan and Connie found so much more than temporary lodging. They found a community of healing to support them while they were away from family and friends. Gabriel House is a non-profit, hospital hospitality house that offers affordable temporary housing to adult organ transplant and cancer patients and their caregivers who come to Jacksonville medical centers for treatment. Guest stays can be from 6 weeks to over 6 months. “When you learn you need a transplant, the main focus is on the medical portion of it, which the medical team has down to a science. What is even more important is the emotional aspect because you are unprepared for it. That is why Gabriel House is such a special and needed place. The sense of community there is unbelievable and changes the way you cope and heal from a transplant,” Dickey explained. In addition to its lodging program, Gabriel House offers integrative therapy programs that are medically proven to accelerate a person’s healing process as well as help alleviate the emotional stresses associated with serious illness. Classes offered include mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy; nutrition and cooking instruction for compromised immune systems; yoga; art; tai chi and guest dinners provided by local organizations/businesses. “Everyone is going through the same thing or something similar, so you gain tremendous support from one another. The classes are amazing and teach you and your caregiver how to deal with the stress you are experiencing. These are especially important for caregivers as they carry the brunt of the stress watching their loved one go through so much and managing all that goes with it,” Dickey said. “Gabriel House looks out for caregivers making sure they have the support they need during these difficult times. I couldn’t possibly imagine doing this alone in a hotel or condominium.”

8540 Baycenter Rd., 32256 | (904) 448-1933 | CEO: Colleen Rodriguez Mission & Vision: To help people help themselves and serve all persons in a non-discriminatory manner. JEWISH FEDERATION OF JACKSONVILLE 8505 San Jose Blvd., 32217 | (904) 448-5000 | Executive Director: Alan Margolies Mission & Vision: The Jewish Federation of Jacksonville is a fundraising organization supporting the local and global Jewish community funding local and overseas partner agencies; forging strong connections with Israel and helping Jews across the Diaspora; supporting fellow Jews in need; inspiring the next generation to embrace Jewish identity and value Jewish education, and providing programs and services designed to engage the local Jewish community. THE JIM MORAN FOUNDATION 100 Jim Moran Blvd., 33442 | (954) 429-2122 | Chairman/President: Jan Moran Mission & Vision: The mission of The Jim Moran Foundation is to improve the quality of life for the youth and families of Florida through the support of innovative programs and opportunities that meet the ever-changing needs of the community. JIM & TABITHA FURYK FOUNDATION P.O. Box 2867, Ponte Vedra Beach, 32004 (904) 735-0624 Founders: Jim and Tabitha Furyk Mission & Vision: To help families in need in Northeast Florida by providing food, shelter, educational, emotional and medical support through charitable partners in the community and through project specific funding generated through donations and the annual Furyk & Friends Concert and Celebrity Golf Classic.





Whether it be Warm and Classic or Modern and Bright,




6612 SAN JAUN AVENUE HOURS: TUE–SAT 9–5:30 One of Jacksonville’s Best Kept Secrets for Discount Furniture & More!

904.786.5424 |


Christy proves Hope Haven transforms lives For Christy, an energetic 6-year-old, the joy of learning was slow in coming. But when it did, everything changed. With epilepsy and developmental delays, Christy had her challenges. Last year, in Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten, she was nearly non-communicative. Her teacher recommended Hope Haven as a more suitable learning environment where she could get more personal attention. It’s been a year since Christy’s mom, Tabatha, learned about Hope Haven’s programs and agreed it would be a better fit for Christy. Hope Haven’s Director of Advocacy, Terri George, helped her complete the paperwork needed to get the state scholarships Christy was entitled to. Christy and her mother, Tabatha

CHARITY REGISTER JTC RUNNING P.O. Box 24667, 32241 | (904) 384-8725 | President: Larry Roberts Mission & Vision: As a promoter of the next generation of runners, JTCRunning supports high school track and cross-country programs and awards scholarships that enable many high school athletes to attend running camp each summer. JTCRunning frequently collects used running shoes which are donated to local homeless shelters. JT TOWNSEND FOUNDATION 830 A1A N., Ste. 187, Ponte Vedra Beach, 32082 (904) 373-0737 | Executive Director: Pauline Gerry Mission & Vision: The JT Townsend Foundation helps First Coast families with children and adults with disabilities by providing adaptive equipment or comprehensive financial assistance. JUDY NICHOLSON KIDNEY CANCER FOUNDATION P.O. Box 50127, 32240 | (904) 309-0502 | President: Linda Ostoski Mission & Vision: The Judy Nicholson Kidney Cancer Foundation is dedicated to furthering awareness and education, providing support, and funding research. JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT OF NORTH FLORIDA 4049 Woodcock Dr., Ste. 200, 32207 | (904) 398-9944 | President: Steve St. Amand Mission & Vision: Junior Achievement is dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their futures, and make smart academic and economic choices.


JUNIOR LEAGUE OF JACKSONVILLE 2165 Park St., 32204 | (904) 387-9927 | President: Anne Detlefsen Mission & Vision: The Junior League of Jacksonville is committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. JUSTICE COALITION 1935 S. Lane Ave., Ste. 1, 32210 | (904) 783-6312 |

Once she was enrolled, in the fall of 2018, the results were immediate. “Christy improved in so many different areas,” Tabatha said. “She began to recognize the letters of the alphabet and even write her name. She loves her teacher at Hope Haven, too–she’s the reason Christy jumps out of bed in the morning.” As a result of the programs at Hope Haven, Christy can now express her feelings, resulting in fewer temper tantrums, and, not surprisingly, making friends at school. “Now she comes home and talks about her friends every day,” Tabatha says. Between her teacher and a Hope Haven tutor, Christy gets lots of one-on-one time. “Everyone here knows Christy by name,” Tabatha explained, “and all the departments work together for her success. That made a big impact. The educational portion and the personal relationships are a very big deal. I am very grateful to everyone at Hope Haven.” From evaluations and therapies to advocacy, schools, camps and employment, Hope Haven’s mission is to ensure that children and families realize their full potential by providing specialized services and individualized educational opportunities. For nearly a century, Hope Haven has been a pillar in the community. Schedule a personal tour and become a part of Hope Haven. Visit or call 904-346-5100.

Executive Director: Michael Liles Mission & Vision: The Justice Coalition works to reach out to victims, the community, law enforcement, legislators, faith-based organizations, and local officials. JUVENILE DIABETES RESEARCH FOUNDATION NORTH FLORIDA CHAPTER 9700 Philips Hwy., Ste. 106, 32256 | (904) 739-2101 | Executive Director: Brooks Biagini Mission & Vision: To improving lives today and tomorrow by accelerating life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications K9S FOR WARRIORS 114 Camp K9 Rd., Ponte Vedra, 32081 | (904) 686-1956 | CEO: Rory Diamond President: Bett Simon Mission & Vision: K9s For Warriors provides service canines to disabled American veterans, empowering them to return to civilian life with dignity and independence. KAMP KRITTER 1650-31 Margaret St., Ste. 208, 32204 | (904) 384-2111 | Executive Director: Sue Towler Mission & Vision: Kamp Kritter is a nonprofit, no-kill sanctuary committed to finding permanent homes for strays, abused or unwanted dogs, and provides a loving environment for unadoptable dogs to live out their days in peaceful surroundings.







P.O. Box 51043, Jacksonville Beach, 32240 | (904) 629-8300 |

118 E. Monroe St., 32202 | (904) 358-7323 |

Founders: Lisa and Jeff Amato Mission & Vision: To fund innovative, nontoxic treatments for childhood cancer. And to support innovation that accelerates the pace of progress in pediatric cancer research.

President: Julia Henry-Wilson Mission & Vision: Literacy Pros of Jacksonville, Inc. believes every child has the potential to succeed and remains firmly committed to this vision, helping kids achieve academic excellence.



1617 Atlantic Ave., Fernandina Beach, 32034 | (904) 491-0811 |

P.O. Box 10432, 32247 | (904) 619-9071 |

Founders: David and Susan Caples Mission & Vision: The Katie Caples Foundation is committed to increasing the number of registered organ donors and eliminating the wait for the more than 125,000 adults and children in need of a lifesaving organ transplant.

Founders: Todd Blake, Katie Pearsall, Kaitlyn Ash Mission & Vision: To help young adults with cancer by providing dynamic opportunities, fostering community support, and promoting healthy living.


3027 San Diego Dr., 32207 | (904) 423-8637 | LSF HEALTH SYSTEMS 9428 Baymeadows Rd., Bldg. 3, Ste. 320, 32256 | (904) 900-1075 |

1726 Kingsley Ave., Orange Park, 32073 | (904) 278-5644 | CEO: Irene M.Toto Mission & Vision: Kids First of Florida works to ensure the safety of children through a holistic approach designed to support the health and well-being of families in order to build a healthier community one family at a time.


Executive Director: Dr. Christine Cauffield Mission & Vision: Lutheran Services Florida serves to bring God’s healing, hope and help to people in need in the name of Jesus Christ.



2 Shircliff Way, 32204 | (904) 308-5822 |

4615 Philips Hwy., 32207 | (904) 448-5995 |

Program Coordinator: Jenny Lehman Mission & Vision: Kids Together Against Cancer offers support for children whose parents are diagnosed with cancer.

President/CEO: Mary Strickland Mission & Vision: Motivated and guided by the compassion of Christ, Lutheran Services serves and cares for people in need.



700 Arlington Rd. N., 32211 | (904) 721-5992 |

6867 Southpoint Dr., Ste. 103, 32216 | (904) 503-0344 |

Executive Director: Melanie Saxon Mission & Vision: To create an environment where people with intellectual and physical disabilities can share their gifts and to affect a positive change in the world.

Head of School: Garrett Adamson Mission & Vision: Mainspring Academy helps students with special needs and learning challenges reach their fullest potential.



40 E. Adams St., Ste. 230, 32202 | (904) 396-6263 |

3938 Sunbeam Rd., Ste. 3, 32257 | (904) 580-5906 |

CEO: Jill Langford Dame Mission & Vision: To educate, connect and inspire diverse leaders to build and strengthen their communities and to be the catalyst for vibrant, connected communities where diverse perspectives are valued and encouraged for the greater good.

Development Manager: Cindy Kruty Community Engagement Manager: Jaclyn Normandin Mission & Vision: Make-A-Wish wants each wish experience to be a game-changer for a child with a life-threatening medical condition. The foundation endeavors to be creative in exceeding the expectations of every wish-kid and to make donated resources go as far as possible.

LEARN TO READ 40 E. Adams St., Ste. LL 30, 32202 | (904) 238-9000 | Executive Director: Marcus Haile Mission & Vision: To increase literacy awareness and improve adult literacy in Jacksonville through formal instruction and volunteer-based tutoring byproviding adult basic education to adults ages 16 and over who want to improve their reading, writing, and math skills. THE LEUKEMIA & LYMPHOMA SOCIETY NORTH AND CENTRAL FLORIDA CHAPTER 40 East Adams St., Ste. LL40 Jacksonville, FL 32202 904-332-6414 | Area Director: Vanessa MaceiraM Mission & Vision: To cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LISC JACKSONVILLE 100 N. Laura St., Ste. 600, 32202 | (904) 353-1300 | Executive Director: Janet Owens Mission & Vision: LISC Jacksonville is the leading nonprofit community development organization in the nation, focused on transforming challenged urban communities into neighborhoods of choice and opportunity—good places to work, do business and raise families.

MALIVAI WASHINGTON KIDS FOUNDATION 1096 W. 6th St., 32209 | (904) 359-5437 | Executive Director/CEO: Terri Florio Mission & Vision: The MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation works to develop champions in classrooms, on tennis courts and throughout communities. MANDARIN MUSEUM AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY 11964 Mandarin Rd., 32223 | (904) 268-0784 | President: Sandy Arpen Mission & Vision: The Mandarin Museum & Historical Society shares the stories of Mandarin’s history, culture and natural resources by providing engaging programs that educate, entertain and inspire. MARCH OF DIMES 9838 Old Baymeadows Rd., #109, 32256 | (904) 398-2821 | Executive Director: Jill Harrington Mission & Vision: March of Dimes is a United States nonprofit organization that works to improve the health of mothers and babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.





Providing educational, support services for those with type 1 diabetes Jonathan, age 15

CHARITY REGISTER MARGARET’S MEMORIES 819 Park St., 32204 | (904) 355-5491 | Founder: Nicole Remo Mission & Vision: Margaret’s Memories is a standing mission project of the Riverside Park United Methodist Church and makes Bereavement Memory Boxes for parents who lose a child to miscarriage, stillbirth, or death shortly after birth. The boxes are donated to local hospitals in Jacksonville, Florida. MCKENZIE NOELLE WILSON FOUNDATION 13936 Ascot Dr., 32250 | (904) 992-0124 | Foundation Director: Adrian Gibbs Mission & Vision: The McKenzie Noelle Wilson Foundation desires to inspire and help young people find their purpose in a world of challenges. MEMORIAL PARK ASSOCIATION 1650-302 Margaret St., Ste. 322, 32204 | | President: Percy Rosenbloom III Mission & Vision: The Memorial Park Association is dedicated to the protection and preservation of Memorial Park, which was dedicated in 1924 to honor Floridians who died in service during World War I. MENINAK CLUB OF JACKSONVILLE P.O. Box 8626, 32239 | (904) 745-3393 | Executive Director: Catherine M. Hill Mission & Vision: The Meninak Club is dedicated to the overall betterment of the spiritual, cultural and social attributes of Jacksonville. MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA OF NORTHEAST FLORIDA


As the Luce family was preparing to go on vacation during the summer of 2006, they noticed their two-year old son, Jonathan, kept urinating through his diapers and had a terrible diaper rash. “He would beg for water nonstop and I knew something wasn’t right,” said his mom, Susan. A trip to the doctor brought devastating news. “We weren’t expecting anything serious was really wrong, just maybe a bladder infection. However, that visit changed our lives forever. The doctor conducted a urine test and said Jonathan’s blood sugar level was at over 1,100 (normal blood sugar range is 70-120) and diagnosed him on the spot with type 1 diabetes and sent us to the emergency room.” The Luces had no idea what to expect, so they went through educational sessions to learn how manage Jonathan’s diabetes. “It wasn’t until we came home that reality hit me,” Susan said. “I had to give him his shot. I remember feeling like I was stabbing him and just broke down in hysterics. He actually looked up and told me not to be sad. That is the type of hero Jonathan was diagnosed with diabetes at that he is.” the age of 2 Soon after diagnosis, a friend introduced the Luces to Brooks Biagini at the local Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), who gave the family a “Bag of Hope” containing important educational information, along with a teddy bear named Rufus for Jonathan, on which he could practice giving shots. “Since diagnosis, our family has participated in JDRF walks, galas and has done whatever we could do to support JDRF’s mission of improving lives and curing type 1 diabetes. It’s because of investments made by JDRF in diabetes research and advocacy that Jonathan, now 15, has been able to live a healthier life with type 1 diabetes than many before him,” Susan said.

4615 Philips Hwy., Ste. 300, 32207 | (904) 738-8420 | CEO: Wendy Hughes Mission & Vision: Mental Health America of Northeast Florida raises awareness, provides training on mental health and wellness, helps people navigate the system, and impacts mental health policy and legislation. METHODIST CHILDREN’S VILLAGE 7915 Herlong Rd., 32210 | (904) 783-1681 | Executive Director: Kelly Paterno Mission & Vision: The Methodist Children’s Village works to enhance the quality of young children’s lives through nurturing, early intervention, and developmentally based education. MICAH’S PLACE P.O. Box 16287, Fernandina Beach, FL 32035 | (904) 491-6364 | Executive Director: Heather Woody Jones Mission & Vision: Micah’s Place provides prevention and intervention services to victims of domestic violence and provides education within our community to effect change in behavior and attitudes relating to domestic violence. MISSION HOUSE 800 Shetter Ave., 32250 | (904) 241-6767 | Executive Director: Lori Anderson Mission & Vision: Mission House helps meet the needs of homeless adults at the Beaches through compassion, faith and programs designed to provide assistance at an individual level. MONIQUE BURR FOUNDATION FOR CHILDREN 7807 Baymeadows Rd. E., Ste. 205, 32256 | (904) 642-0210 | Executive Director: Lynn Layton Mission & Vision: The Monique Burr Foundation works to make a positive impact on the community at large, to create change in a family’s life for the better, and to give hope in the life of a child by providing bullying and child abuse prevention safety education that is relevant to issues facing children today, including all forms of abuse, neglect, bullying, and internet safety.





Located in the Shoppes of Old Ortega



4208 Oxford Ave. Jacksonville, FL 32210 (904) 387-7002 Visit Gardners of Ortega on Facebook

L' A R C H E J A C K S O N V I L L E

Hazelnut coffee with Mary and Claire

CHARITY REGISTER MORNING STAR SCHOOL 725 Mickler Rd., 32211 | (904) 721-2144 | Principal: Jean Barnes Mission & Vision: Morning Star School’s mission is to provide a strong foundation of faith, service and academics for students with learning differences, encouraging all students to reach their full potential. Fully accredited by the Florida Catholic Conference, Morning Star is the only special education school in the Diocese of St. Augustine. MURRAY HILL THEATRE 932 Edgewood Ave. S., 32205 | (904) 388-3179 | Founder/President: Tony Nasrallah Mission & Vision: Murray Hill Theatre is an alcohol-free, drug-free, smoke-free, all-ages nightclub that showcases live music with a positive message to present things of faith in a positive light. As an alternative to typical bars and nightclubs, it gives people a safe nightspot to enjoy live entertainment. THE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY ASSOCIATION 6196 Lake Gray Blvd., Ste. 105, 32244 | (904) 296-7434 | Executive Director: Lauren Herringdine Mission & Vision: The Muscular Dystrophy Association works to save and improve lives of people fighting muscle disease. NATIONAL ALLIANCE ON MENTAL ILLNESS P.O. Box 16404, 32245 | (904) 724-7782 |


“My heart, my heart, my heart.” That’s how Mary Rath describes her love for L’Arche Jacksonville and Claire McGrath, Community Life Coordinator. In January of this year WJCT, the local PBS station, interviewed both Mary and Claire for the podcast “What It’s Like” to discuss their recent experience with StoryCorps®, the Peabody Awardwinning oral history project featured on the NPR series, Morning Edition. Conversations recorded by StoryCorps® are archived in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. During the interview, Mary and Claire discussed how they first met, what they’ve experienced together in shared life, and the love and friendship that has developed between them. Mary shared that, while she has lived in other “homes,” it wasn’t until she came to L’Arche Jacksonville that she truly felt safe and loved. She said that people with intellectual disabilities have the same feelings as people without disabilities: The same fears, hopes, desires, wants, and needs. Mary went on to say that her faith is important to her. She prays a lot; she feels comfortable praying with her community at L’Arche Jacksonville. One of Mary’s favorite pastimes is going for coffee with Claire and other members of Greatfull House. Her favorite coffee is Hazelnut with cream and sugar and she values her “coffee time” with friends. She values everyone at L’Arche Jacksonville and wants everyone to know how wonderful L’Arche Jacksonville has been to her. Mary’s story and words of encouragement, love, and friendship are forever stored in the Library of Congress and in our hearts.

President: Tara Wildes Mission & Vision: The National Alliance on Mental Illness Jacksonville helps support and improve the quality of life for family members and those living with mental illnesses and co-occurring substance abuse through compassion, education, and advocacy. NATIONAL BRAIN TUMOR SOCIETY 55 Chapel St., Ste. 200, Newton, Mass. 02458 | (617) 924-9997 CEO: David F. Arons, JD Mission: National Brain Tumor Society unrelentingly invests in, mobilizes, and unites the community to discover a cure, deliver effective treatments, and advocate for patients and care partners. NATIONAL MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS SOCIETY NORTH FLORIDA 8940 Western Way, Ste. 16, 32256 | (904) 332-6810 | Executive Director: Michael Ugarte Mission & Vision: The National Multiple Sclerosis Society North Florida Chapter works to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS in North Florida and raise funds for critical MS research. NEMOURS FOUNDATION 807 Children’s Way, 32207 | (904) 697-3600 | CEO: David J. Bailey Mission & Vision: Nemours is committed to improving the health of children. NEUROSURGERY OUTREACH FOUNDATION PO Box 8201, 32239 | (866) 735-9536 | Founders: Dr. Philipp and Carmina Aldana Mission & Vision: The Neurosurgery Outreach Foundation, Inc., is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization with the mission to advance neurosurgical care in underserved communities through service, education and support. NEW HEIGHTS OF NORTHEAST FLORIDA 3311 Beach Blvd., 32207 | (904) 396-1462 | President/CEO: Sue Driscoll Mission & Vision: Formerly Cerebral Palsy of Northeast Florida, New Heights works to enrich the lives of persons with disabilities and their families and empower their independence and lifelong growth through quality services.







3545 St Johns Bluff Rd. S, Ste. 1, PMB 255, 32224 | (904) 434-1054

1 UNF Dr., #53, 32224 | (904) 620-1000 |

President: Vena Patton Mission & Vision: Next Steps is a financial and referral resource for women released or about to be released from the Duval County Detention Center.

Executive Director: Nancy Broner Mission & Vision: OneJax seeks to promote diversity as the foundation for a strong community. It works to increase respect and improve relationships among people who represent the rich menagerie of religious, ethnic, racial and cultural groups within the community.

THE NONPROFIT CENTER OF NORTHEAST FLORIDA 40 E. Adams St., Ste. 100, 32202 | (904) 425-1182 | CEO: Rena Coughlin Mission & Vision: The Nonprofit Center of N.E. Florida connects, strengthens, and advocates for nonprofits, creating a more vibrant Northeast Florida. NORTHEAST FLORIDA AIDS NETWORK 2715 Oak St., 32205 | (904) 356-1612 | Executive Director: Donna Fuchs Mission & Vision: Northeast Florida AIDS Network provides compassionate leadership, services, and advocacy in meeting the prevention, health, spiritual, and social needs of individuals, families, and communities. NORTHEAST FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS (NEFAR) CHARITABLE FOUNDATION 7801 Deercreek Club Rd., 32256 | (904) 394-9494 | CEO: William Glenn East Mission & Vision: With a vision to be the charity of choice for real estate professionals, the mission is to serve as an advocate and resource for local nonprofit communities in Northeast Florida. NORTHEAST FLORIDA WOMEN VETERANS ASSOCIATION 2133 Broadway Ave., 32209 | (904) 862-6039 | President: Deloris Moton Quaranta Mission & Vision: Northeast Florida Women Veterans, Inc. is focused on ensuring women who have served on active duty, or in the National Guard or Reserves and their children, transition into the civilian community with the tools they need to become self-sufficient.

ONEBLOOD 7595 Centurion Pkwy., 32256 | (904) 353-8263 | President/CEO: George “Bud” Scholl Mission & Vision: OneBlood provides a safe, available and affordable blood supply to more than 200 hospital partners and their patients throughout most of Florida, parts of Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina. OPERATION NEW UNIFORM 8825 Perimeter Park Blvd., 32216 | (904) 328-1600 | Executive Director: Michelle McManamon Mission & Vision: Operation New Uniform’s mission is to train veterans and their families for fulfilling careers and develop their skills as they grow within an organization while producing confident veterans who are coveted and embraced in the business community. PACE CENTER FOR GIRLS 1 W. Adams St., Ste. 301, 32202 | (904) 421-8585 | President/CEO: Mary Marx Mission & Vision: PACE provides girls and young women an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training and advocacy. PAJCIC FAMILY FOUNDATION 102 Palm Pl., Neptune Beach, 32266 President: Helen Pajcic Nicholson Mission & Vision: The Pajcic Family Foundation promotes social justice, animal welfare and the preservation of mother nature, with a focus on the Jacksonville community.



644 Cesery Blvd., Ste. 210, 32211 | (904) 723-5422 |

National Office: 1500 Rosecrans Ave., Ste. 200, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 (310) 725-0025 |

Executive Director: Faye Johnson Mission & Vision: The Healthy Start Coalition leads a cooperative community effort to reduce infant mortality and improve the health of children, childbearing women and their families in Northeast Florida. NORTH FLORIDA LAND TRUST 843 W. Monroe St., 32202 | (904) 479-1967 | President: Jim McCarthy Mission & Vision: To preserve the natural resources, historic places and working lands of North Florida. NORTH FLORIDA SCHOOL OF SPECIAL EDUCATION

President/CEO: Julie Fleshman Mission & Vision: The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is a nationwide network of people dedicated to working together to advance research, support patients and create hope for those affected by pancreatic cancer. PASTORAL COUNSELING SERVICES 2140 Mango Pl., 32207 | (904) 398-2437 | Executive Director: Cliff Thomas Mission & Vision: To work with people to foster healing, growth and life-giving change through holistic mental healthcare and community-building.

223 Mill Creek Rd., 32211 | (904) 724-8323 |


Head of School: Sally Hazelip Mission & Vision: The North Florida School of Special Education works to improve the lives of students with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities through the achievement of academic, vocational, and social skills.

7015 AC Skinner Pkwy., Ste. 1, 32256 | (904) 519-2739 |

THE OLD DOG HOUSE SENIOR DOG RESCUE 1650 Margaret St., Ste. 302, PMB 137, 32204 | (904) 419-7387 | Founder: Erik Stordahl Mission & Vision: The Old Dog House is Northeast Florida’s first nonprofit dedicated to giving older and senior dogs a chance at living out their lives in dignity.

President: Beth Page Mission & Vision: The Patient Assistance Foundation of Cancer Specialists of North Florida offers short-term financial assistance for day-to-day living expenses to patients undergoing treatments for cancer or blood-related diseases. PATRONS OF THE HEARTS 841 Prudential Dr., Ste. 1300, 32207 | (904) 202-2919 | Interim Chief Development Officer: Audrey M. Moran Mission & Vision: Patrons of the Hearts is a program that functions under the umbrella of the Baptist Health Foundation and benefits international children that live in corners of the world with no access to the specialized care they require.





School’s vocational program prepares students for workforce Ethan Kolster

CHARITY REGISTER THE PERFORMERS ACADEMY 3674 Beach Blvd., 32207 | (904) 322-7672 | Executive Director: Kathryn McAvoy Mission & Vision: The Performers Academy works to increase access to the performing arts for all children in the Jacksonville Area. THE PETER BRAGAN FOR BETTER BASEBALL FOUNDATION 1010 E. Adams St., Ste. 105, 32202 | (904) 327-5069 | Founders and Co-chairs: Peter and Nancy Bragan Jr. Mission & Vision: The Peter Bragan for Better Baseball Foundation financially supports and promotes the game of baseball for betterment in Northeast Florida and provides scholarships for higher education. The foundation’s vision includes the opening of The Jacksonville Baseball Museum to provide a cultural destination to showcase the historical legacy of baseball in Jacksonville. THE PGA TOUR – THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP 112 PGA TOUR Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082 | (904) 285-3700 | Executive Director: Jared Rice Mission & Vision: The PGA TOUR, its players and tournaments support more than 3,000 charities. These local and national organizations work in a range of areas affecting the lives of millions in the communities where we live and play. PINE CASTLE INC. 4911 Spring Park Rd., 32207 | (904) 733-2681 | CEO: Lori Ann Whittington Mission & Vision: Pine Castle works to enrich the lives of people with developmental and acquired disabilities by providing opportunities to learn, work and live in our community.


North Florida School of Special Education, which serves children and young adults with intellectual and developmental differences through academics, therapy, enrichment, life skills, vocational training, job placement, and more, is preparing Ethan Kolster for the future. Ethan, a transition student with NFSSE’s vocational training program, Project SEARCH, is making the most of the opportunity. “Project SEARCH is teaching me new skills that will make me a competitive employee, with the goal of gaining full-time employment,” he shared. “Rather than going to NFSSE campus each day, I go with a teacher and five other students to Palm Garden of Jacksonville Health and Rehabilitation Center. I work in preparation to find full-time employment upon completion of my internship. This year, we will rotate through five different departments – dietary, laundry, housekeeping, nursing, and life enrichment (activities). “When I first started this internship, it took me several days to adjust to the new routine and gain confidence as a Palm Garden intern,” he continued. “However, by the end of the first week, I was able to complete my duties with accuracy and speed. Once I complete my assigned responsibilities, I check to see if I can assist other employees with any tasks. When there are no employees that need assistance, I take the initiative to find new things to learn. “In this day and age, finding a job can be challenging. The opportunity at Palm Garden will help me to develop a more well-rounded resume while gaining valuable job experience. I am truly excited to be a part of this program. I have already met some interesting people in the workplace and am learning new skills each day. I am excited to see what my future holds upon completion of this awesome program,” he concluded. NFSSE partners with many businesses to offer vocational training and internship programs for young adults with intellectual and developmental differences. Project SEARCH is one such partnership.

PINK RIBBON CLASSIC P.O. Box 483, Ponte Vedra Beach, 32004 | (904) 567-6180 | Co-Chairs: Joanne Ghiloni and Nancy Morrison Mission & Vision: The Pink Ribbon Golf Classic is an all-volunteer, nonprofit group of events created to raise funds for local breast cancer research and related services at Baptist Medical Center Beaches and Mayo Clinic-Jacksonville. PLANNED GIVING COUNCIL OF NORTHEAST FLORIDA 50 N. Laura St., Ste. 2500-44, 32202 | (904) 887-3843 | President: Sharon Clark Mission & Vision: The council’s mission is to foster awareness and to provide an effective forum for education, communication, networking and collaboration for our gift planning community. POLICE ATHLETIC LEAGUE OF JACKSONVILLE 3450 Monument Rd., 32225 | (904) 854-6555 | Executive Director: Lt. Lakesha Burton Mission & Vision: The Police Athletic League of Jacksonville works to enrich the lives of children by creating positive relationships between law enforcement officers and the youth of our community through educational, athletic and leadership programs. PONTE VEDRA WOMAN’S CLUB P.O. Box 957, Ponte Vedra Beach, 32004 (904) 654-7281 | President: Ti Haroldsonn Mission & Vision: The club was established in 1970 by 15 women who wanted to work together for a charitable cause; over the decades the list of charities and scholarships has increased. PRESBYTERIAN SOCIAL MINISTRIES 4115 Post St., 32205 | (904) 338-0920 | Executive Director: Teri Ketchum Mission & Vision: A faith-based ministry connecting goods and services with partner agencies who serve those in need.





CHARITY REGISTER PROJECT: COLD CASE 10 S. Newnan St., Ste. 1, 32202 | (904) 525-8080 | Executive Director: Ryan Backmann Mission & Vision: Project Cold Case focuses on helping with unsolved criminal homicides.

Building Community in Downtown Jacksonville Looking for a unique venue for your next meeting or event?

QUIGLEY HOUSE 3373-1 Highway 17 N., 32043 | (904) 284-0340 | CEO: Ana Martinez-Mullen Mission & Vision: The Quigley House works to provide advocacy and empowerment to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault while providing community education to heighten awareness.

Would you like to showcase your social enterprise products and services in an inviting setting?

READ USA, INC. 1001 Mayport Rd., #330491, Atlantic Beach, 32233 | (720) 256-6143 | Founders: Ellen Wiss and Vanessa Tussey Mission & Vision: The goal is to put books in the hands of every low-income child, introduce the love of reading and learning, and to end the cycle of poverty.

St. John’s Cathedral offers many unique and lovely indoor and outdoor spaces for events and meetings.

RETHREADED 820 Barnett St., 32209 | (904) 438-8109 | Founder & President: Kristin Keen Mission & Vision: The mission of Rethreaded is to renew hope, reignite dreams, and release potential for survivors of human trafficking, locally and globally through business. THE RITA FOUNDATION (904) 363-1493 | Volunteer Chairman: Charles R. Jantz Mission & Vision: The Mission of The RITA (Research Is The Answer) Foundation is to raise awareness and money to help in the fight against all cancers, with an emphasis on breast cancer.

In 2019, St. John’s Cathedral hosted: Clara White Mission – Clara’s at the Cathedral Civic Orchestra of Jacksonville Rethreaded – Circle of Sisters Luncheon City Rescue Mission – Charis Chocolate and Catering Jewish Family and Community Service – Holocaust Exhibition All-American Boys Chorus – Santa Ana, California Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville – Annual State of the Arts Meeting Beaches Fine Arts Series – Spanish Brass and Katelyn Emerson Pop-Up Shops benefitting Berry Good Farms, Her Future Coalition, Thistle Farms, and many more.

RITZ CHAMBER PLAYERS 300 Water St., Ste. 200, 32202 | (904) 472-4270 |

Transforming Jacksonville’s Urban Core,

Executive and Artistic Director: Terrance Patterson Mission & Vision: The Ritz Chamber Players foster the appreciation of chamber music through performances and educational outreach featuring preeminent African American musicians and composers, with an emphasis on building audiences and arts inclusion that reflects our diverse society. RIVER GARDEN HEBREW HOME 11401 Old St. Augustine Rd., 32258 | (904) 260-1818 | CEO: Martin Goetz Mission & Vision: River Garden Hebrew Home helps to provide a wide range of quality, cost effective elder care services in residential, outpatient, and communitybased settings, to create a comfortable, caring, and dignified home for the frail elderly, to serve people of all faiths while maintaining Jewish identity, and to act as a valuable educational resource in elder care for the entire community. RIVERSIDE TRADITION HOUSE 2911 Riverside Ave., 32205 | (904) 384-1839 Manager: Leigh Johnson Mission & Vision: Established in 1971 by Riverside Presbyterian Church to provide a safe, secure residence for adult men wishing to recover from the problems resulting from substance abuse.

one neighborhood one building, one school, one non-profit, one event at a time.

The people of St. John’s Cathedral are living out our vision: Through the heartbeat of our sacred worship, we bring together people of profound difference to serve God, to love and learn from one another. Over the years we have birthed several ministries that are now thriving nonprofits serving and educating in the Urban Core of Jacksonville and beyond: Cathedral Arts Project, Aging True, The Cathedral School, Episcopal School of Jacksonville, Cathedral Care, Cathedral District-Jax, HabiJax, the IM Sulzbacher Center and Volunteers in Medicine.

RIVER REGION HUMAN SERVICES 3901 Carmichael Ave., 32207 | (904) 899-6300 | Chief Operating Officer: Kenneth Arnold Mission & Vision: The River Region Human Services works to provide integrated health services that change lives, rebuild families, and restore communities.

256 East Church Street




(904) 356-5507 •



Pathways to Possibilities

PO Box 5, Palatka, FL 32178 | (386) 983-0658 | and President: Dan Martinez Mission & Vision: Rodeheaver Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is dedicated to supporting Rodeheaver Boys Ranch by means of grants, corporate and private donations, and more. Children make their way to Rodeheaver Boys Ranch because they have no home of their own due to parental death, desertion, divorce, disability or dysfunction. RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES OF JACKSONVILLE 824 Children’s Way, 32207 | (904) 8074663 | Executive Director: Diane Boyle Mission & Vision: The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Jacksonville supports the health and well-being of children by providing lodging and other services for critically ill, chronically ill and seriously injured children and their families. SAFE HARBOR BOYS ACADEMY 4772 Safe Harbor Way, 32226 | (904) 757-7918 |

Wayne Kendrick

Co-Founder & Executive Director: Robbie W. Smith Mission & Vision: A nonprofit maritime-based boarding school that teaches discipline and seamanship as a therapeutic model for helping turn around at-risk teenage boys. SAFE HAVEN OF NE FL


Wayne Kendrick has made a huge impact both in the Jacksonville community and at Pine Castle. Before coming to Pine Castle 28 years ago, Wayne worked in the community as a news agent, selling and delivering The Florida Star newspaper for more than 40 years. When Wayne was just 10 years old, he started delivering the paper with a walking route and later delivered by bicycle. During his career, Wayne made hundreds of connections to members of our community and was recognized as the paper’s top seller. After 40 years of service with The Florida Star, Wayne was ready to retire, but he was not ready to stop working completely. He heard about how Pine Castle could help him continue to be independent, keep working, and be active in his community. Today, Wayne is part of Pine Castle’s Adult Day Training program and is one of the first people to arrive each morning. He comes in at 6 a.m. to prepare the campus for other participants by turning on the lights, cleaning the grounds, taking out the garbage, and preparing the cafeteria for lunch service. During the day, he finds the time to lend a helping hand to his friends and fellow participants. Wayne is just one of more than 300 participants served by Pine Castle each day, as the agency works to empower adults with intellectual and developmental differences to live their most independent lives. Pine Castle helps each person on their individual pathway to success with classes that teach fundamental life skills, enriching clubs and activities, and dynamic social and community interactions that promote community connection. For those who want to work, Pine Castle helps them develop important job skills through training and employment on campus, then assists them in finding meaningful employment in the community.

4823 Shelby Ave., 32210 | (904) 572-9529 | Executive Director: Kathy Swafford Mission & Vision: Committed to protecting children from prolonged abuse by changing the laws, one at a time, Safe Haven NE FL is determined to limit the number of chances given to offenders. Its mission is to protect innocent children at all costs. ST. FRANCIS ANIMAL HOSPITAL 2727 Atlantic Blvd., 32207 | (904) 674-7223 | Founder: Susan Shelton, DVM, DABVP Mission & Vision: St. Francis Animal Hospital strives to make healthcare accessible to all owned pets. ST. JOHNS RIVERKEEPER 2800 University Blvd. N., 32211 | (904) 256-7591 | Executive Director: Jimmy Orth Mission & Vision: The St. Johns Riverkeeper works to be an independent voice that defends, advocates, and activates others to protect and restore the St. Johns River. ST. MICHAEL’S SOLDIERS 1342 Coopers Hawk Way, Middleburg, 32068 | (904) 599-7855 | Founders: Kathy and Jim Signorile Mission & Vision: St. Michael’s Soldiers is dedicated to the support of the deployed men and women of the United States military, and to the service of those injured in the line of duty in the Jacksonville area. ST. VINCENT’S HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION 1 Shircliff Way, 32204 | (904) 308-7300 | President & Chief Development Officer: Virginia Hall Mission & Vision: St. Vincent’s HealthCare Foundation is dedicated to spiritually centered holistic care, which sustains and improves the health of individuals and communities. SALVATION ARMY OF NORTHEAST FLORIDA 328 N. Ocean St., 32202 | (904) 301-4875 | Area Commander: Major Bert Tanner Mission & Vision: The Salvation Army works to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. SANCTUARY ON 8TH STREET 120 E. 8th St., 32206 | (904) 356-3588 | Executive Director: Rick Cartlidge Mission & Vision: The Sanctuary On 8th Street works to encourage and empower Jacksonville youth and families in need by ministering to their spiritual, physical, social, and intellectual needs.







4019 Blvd. Center Dr., 32207 | (904) 348-5757 |

200 W. Forsyth St., Ste 1620, 32202 | 1-877-465-6636 |

Executive Director: Simmie A. Raiford, Ph.D. Mission & Vision: The Schultz Center is a resource and convener for innovative learning, leadership and professional development systems.

President: Paula Schneider Mission & Vision: To save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures.



1 San Jose Pl., Ste. 31, 32257 | (904) 529-1951 |

76 Dockside Dr., Ste. 105, St. Augustine, 32084 | (904) 647-1757 |

Executive Director: Fred Meiners Mission & Vision: Seamark Ranch is a nurturing Christian home and family system that gives children from families in crisis the tools they need for a brighter future.

Executive Director: Kim MacEwan Mission & Vision: To create transformative, play-based opportunities to discover, explore and innovate, which would result in a world where all people think for themselves, confidently ask questions, compassionately and collaboratively solve problems, and creatively craft a better world.

SENIORS ON A MISSION 2050 Art Museum Dr., Ste. 102, 32207 | (904) 551-4373 | Founder & Executive Director: Joanne Hickox Mission & Vision: Seniors on a Mission exists to love and encourage independentliving senior citizens, enabling them to live longer, healthier, more grace and purpose-filled lives. SHANNON MILLER FOUNDATION 4311 Salisbury Rd., 32216 | Founder: Shannon Miller Mission & Vision: Through education and awareness of the health risks associated with childhood obesity, the Shannon Miller Foundation strives to make a positive impact on children’s health. THE SHOELACE FOUNDATION P.O. Box 551029, 32255 | (904) 479-5925 | Founder: Denard Robinson Mission & Vision: The Shoelace Foundation works to empower underprivileged youth to become productive members of society. SINGLE VISION, INC. 8185 Forest Hills Rd., Melrose, 32666 | (904) 377-7993 | Founder: Carl Bovard Mission & Vision: Single Vision’s mission is worldwide conservation of endangered species and the preservation of land and habitat essential to earth’s remaining wildlife. SPECIAL OLYMPICS FLORIDA 1915 Don Wickham Drive, Clermont, FL 34711 | 352-243-9536 | Director/CEO/Founder: Sherry Wheelock, President & CEO of Special Olympics Florida Mission/Vision: Special Olympics Florida provides year-round sports training, competition, and health services to children and adults with intellectual disabilities, at no cost to the athletes or their caregivers, as a means to achieve physical fitness, self-esteem, socialization skills, and the life skills necessary to be productive, respected, and contributing members of their communities. THE SPINA BIFIDA ASSOCIATION OF JACKSONVILLE 2970 Mercury Rd., 32207 | (904) 699-6640 | Executive Director: Demery Webber Mission & Vision: The Spina Bifida Association provides support for families living with Spina Bifida. STEP UP FOR STUDENTS P.O. Box 54429, Jacksonville, FL 32245-4367 | 877-735-7837 | Senior Gift Officer: Elizabeth Watson Step Up For Students empowers parents to pursue and engage in the most appropriate learning options for their children, with an emphasis on families who lack the information and financial resources to access these options. By pursuing this mission, we help public education fulfill the promise of equal opportunity. SULZBACHER CENTER 611 E. Adams St., 32202 | (904) 359-0457 | President/CEO: Cindy Funkhouser Mission & Vision: The Sulzbacher Center works to empower homeless and at-risk women, children and men through health, housing and income services thereby restoring hope and self-sufficiency.

TAKE STOCK IN CHILDREN 4527 Lenox Ave., 32205 | (904) 384-1361 | Director: Leah Lynch Mission & Vision: Take Stock in Children works to change the lives of deserving children by combining in-school support through a college support coach, the promise of a college or vocational school scholarship and most importantly the guidance of a caring mentor. TEACH FOR AMERICA 214 N. Hogan St., Ste. 6010, 32202 | (904) 353-6517 | Executive Director: Darryl Willie Mission & Vision: Teach For America works to enlist, develop and mobilize as many as possible of our nation’s most promising future leaders to grow and strengthen the movement for educational equity and excellence. TESORI FAMILY FOUNDATION 101 Marketside Ave., Ste. 404 #345, 32081 | (904) 479-8330 | Founders/Board Co-Chairs: Paul and Michelle Tesori Mission & Vision: The foundation’s mission is to achieve great things through God by lending a helping hand, providing hope, and healing hearts for children. Its vision is to make a positive change in the lives of children in the local community and those touched by the PGA TOUR. THERAPY ANIMAL COALITION P.O Box 170, Ponte Vedra Beach, 32082 | (904) 567-6863 | Board President: Kristi Leonard Mission & Vision: To grow the therapy animal community by educating the public about pet therapy; providing assistance and support to aspiring therapy animal teams; facilitating volunteer opportunities and continuing education for registered therapy animal teams; and assisting facilities and organizations with starting therapy animal programs. Therapy Animal Coalition’s vision is to be the leading resource for sharing the healing love of pets. TIM TEBOW FOUNDATION 2220 County Rd. 210 W, Ste 108, PMB 317, 32259 | (904) 380-8499 | President: Steve Biondo Mission & Vision: The Foundation’s mission is to bring faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. TIMUCUAN TRAIL PARKS FOUNDATION 9953 Heckscher Dr., 32226 | (904) 707-3584 | Executive Director: Mark Middlebrook Mission & Vision: The Timucuan Trails Parks Foundation serves to protect, preserve and promote the Timucuan Trail Parks through advocacy, fundraising and marketing. TOM COUGHLIN JAY FUND FOUNDATION 5000 Sawgrass Village Cir., Ste. 6, Ponte Vedra Beach, 32082 (904) 543-2599 | Executive Director: Keli Coughlin Joyce Mission & Vision: The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund helps families tackle childhood cancer by providing comprehensive financial, emotional and practical support.






Sulzbacher helps single mom find family stability

7152 Lone Star Rd., 32211 | (904) 724-4646 |


Christy Raines

Executive Director: Mark Mummaw Mission & Vision: Tree Hill Nature Center promotes environmental stewardship to the community through hands-on educational programs and low-cost access to natural areas. TRINITY RESCUE MISSION 622 W. Union St., 32202 | (904) 355-1205 | Executive Director: Rick Denny Mission & Vision: Trinity Rescue Mission provides emergency services and long-term recovery programs to the hungry, homeless and hurting in the greater Jacksonville area. UCOM URBANSERV, INC. 3349 St. Augustine Rd., 32207 | (904) 396-2401 | Executive Director: Sara Mitchell Mission & Vision: UCOM serves the community to ensure that no one faces hunger alone, providing emergency relief to those facing food insecurity, providing one hot meal a day to the homebound, and providing help to those willing to break their cycle of crisis. UNF FOUNDATION 1 UNF Dr., 32224 | (904) 620-2151 |


When a health crisis left Christy Raines without the means to support herself and her three children, she didn’t know what to do. The single mom had settled in Jacksonville after spending more than 10 years in the Navy. She was enrolled in a program to become a surgical technician when illness struck. Just prior to leaving the Navy, Christy discovered that her husband was abusing her two older children. She had gone through a difficult court case and was trying to rebuild their lives when she got sick, and things went from bad to worse. “I just couldn’t keep up. I couldn’t keep up with the rent - I couldn’t keep up with the bills,” she said. “My youngest son has a lot of medical problems, and my oldest has a lot of medical and mental health issues from the abuse.” In desperation, Christy called her sister for advice. “She told me to go to Sulzbacher,” Christy said. The day she reached out to Sulzbacher was the day that Christy began to move from surviving to thriving. She lived Christy and her family at Sulzbacher with her children for nine months before getting into the veterans’ housing program and getting a place of her own. She and her children lived in that home for a couple of years, then moved to a nicer home. Christy was promoted to service manager at the restaurant where she works and has plans to continue her education to become a nurse. Her children are happy and are doing well in school. She admits that some days are still hard, but said she doesn’t give up hope. “Sulzbacher has been our guiding light in this whole situation. I can’t express my gratitude, and my children – they have what they have because of Sulzbacher - and we are where we are because of them,” Christy said.

Board Chair: Vince McCormack Mission & Vision: The UNF Foundation provides financial support and counsel for the University of North Florida, including assisting the university in the building of the endowment and in financially supporting the long-term academic and other priorities of UNF. UNITED WAY OF NORTHEAST FLORIDA 40 E. Adams St., Ste. 200, 32202 | (904) 390-3200 | President/CEO: Michelle Braun Mission & Vision: United Way provides leadership, resources and focus to change lives in our community by creating sustainable improvements in education, income and health. VISION IS PRICELESS COUNCIL 3 Shircliff Way, Ste. 546, 32204 | (904) 308-2020 | Executive Director: Jami Bueker Mission & Vision: The Vision Is Priceless Council works to serve as the premier community resource for improving the vision health of First Coast children and adults through screening, referral, and education. VOLUNTEERS IN MEDICINE JACKSONVILLE 41 E. Duval St., 32202 | (904) 399-2766 | President/ CEO: Jennifer Gornto Ryan Mission & Vision: Volunteers in Medicine Jacksonville works to improve the health of the Greater Jacksonville community by providing free outpatient medical service to those who are employed but cannot afford health insurance or health care for themselves and their families. WALK-OFF CHARITIES OF JAX 12620-3 Beach Blvd. Ste. 325, 32246 | (904) 955-1278 | President: Frank Frangie Mission & Vision: Walk-Off Charities of Jax was established to support youth baseball and the growth of the sport through various activities and programs, primarily focused on supporting the North Florida baseball community. WE CARE JACKSONVILLE 4080 Woodcock Dr., Bldg. 2400, Ste. 130, 32207 (904) 674-6450 | Executive Director: Susan King Mission & Vision: We Care Jacksonville provides primary and specialty care to the uninsured, the homeless, and the medically underserved people of Jacksonville.







Animal therapy volunteers bring smiles to patients

581705 White Oak Rd., Yulee, FL 32097 | (904) 225-3200 | Mission & Vision: The White Oak Conservation Foundation is committed to protecting, promoting and preserving endangered species and habitats. WILDLIFE RESCUE COALITION 6853 Seaboard Ave., 32244 | (904) 779-5569 | Founder: Barbara Tidwell Mission & Vision: To ensure respect for all wildlife through education and conservation, while providing orphaned, injured and displaced animals with a second chance at life. WJCT PUBLIC MEDIA 100 Festival Park Ave., 32202 | (904) 353-7770 | President and CEO: David McGowan Mission & Vision: WJCT Public Media uses its unique assets as a resource for citizens to come together to celebrate human diversity, experience lifelong learning, and actively engage in matters of civic importance, all to improve the quality of our lives and our community. WJCT is to be regarded as an indispensable community resource, connecting citizens to content, sharing ideas, and setting the standards through which the community learns and grows. THE WOMAN’S CLUB OF JACKSONVILLE 1596 Lancaster Terrace #5B, 32204 | (904) 737-4371 |

Mary and Scott McLain with Bella

WOMENADEJAX (904) 463-2877 | Founder: Judy Hicks Mission & Vision: WomenadeJax mentors children at Daniel Kids through career development, fun and community service. THE WOMEN’S BOARD OF WOLFSON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL 1325 San Marco Blvd., Ste. 802, 32207 | (904) 202-2866 | President: Katherine Armstrong Forrester Mission & Vision: The Women’s Board of Wolfson Children’s Hospital strives to further awareness in the community of the services and facilities of Wolfson Children’s Hospital and to raise funds to ensure the finest available pediatric care. WOMEN’S CENTER OF JACKSONVILLE 5644 Colcord Ave., 32211 | (904) 722-3000 | Executive Director: Teresa Miles Mission & Vision: The Women’s Center of Jacksonville improves the lives of women through advocacy, support and education. WOMEN’S GIVING ALLIANCE 245 Riverside Ave., Ste. 310, 32202 | (904) 356-4483 | President: Ellen Wiss Mission & Vision: The Women’s Giving Alliance makes grants to nonprofit organizations to support critical community services for women and girls. WOMEN WRITING FOR (A) CHANGE, JACKSONVILLE (904) 307-3047 | Founder: Jennifer Wolfe Mission & Vision: To be a diverse community of women creating change in themselves and their worlds one truth, one voice at a time. WORLD AFFAIRS COUNCIL OF JACKSONVILLE 100 Festival Park Ave., 32202 | (904) 280-8162 | Executive Director: Trina Medarev Mission & Vision: The World Affairs Council of Jacksonville works to promote an understanding of the world and its people and to engage citizens of Northeast Florida in becoming better informed participants in the global community.




Mary and Scott McLain were looking for a volunteer opportunity when their dog trainer told them about an upcoming Therapy Animal Expo sponsored by Therapy Animal Coalition. The McLains attended and learned what was required to train and register their dog, Bella, to do pet-assisted therapy. They also learned about the many volunteer opportunities available at hospitals, schools, the courthouse, and other locations. When Bella completed her training and registration, the McLains joined Therapy Animal Coalition, an organization that helps grow the number of therapy animal teams volunteering and working in therapeutic, educational, and other special environments. Therapy Animal Coalition facilitated an opportunity for the McLains and Bella to volunteer at UF Health. “One of our most memorable visits was with an elderly lady and her daughter at UF Health North. A smile came to the lady’s face the moment she saw Bella. We sat with her for 30 minutes while she petted Bella,” said Mary. The following week, the McLains learned that the patient had been moved to the ICU. The patient’s daughter asked them to bring Bella to the ICU for another visit, saying the only time her mom had smiled while in the hospital was when she saw Bella. So the McLains went to visit her for a second time. “Although she couldn’t speak, the joy in her eyes, through obvious pain, spoke volumes to her family and brought a real sense of reward to us,” Mary said. “One of the greatest things about visiting patients in the hospital is not spoken words but the expressions that change from pain, apprehension, and grave concern to instant joy and huge smiles when the patient first sets eyes on Bella and her loving face. A picture is truly worth a thousand words.” For more information on how you and your pet can volunteer as an animal-assisted therapy team (there are species other than dogs allowed) visit


Mission & Vision: The mission of The Woman’s Club of Jacksonville is civic, literary, philanthropic, scientific and social in nature. The goal is to improve, benefit and advance women’s causes as well as reach out into the community and give aid to worthy organizations.


Wounded Warrior finds comfort, support Sean Karpf


WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT 4899 Belfort Rd., Ste. 300, 32256 | (904) 296-7350 | CEO: Lt. General Michael Linnington Mission & Vision: The Wounded Warrior Project works to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. YEAR UP JACKSONVILLE 101 W. State St., 32202 | (904) 437-9033 | Executive Director: Morris Applewhite Mission & Vision: Year Up finds and develops untapped and diverse talent to power the workforce in technology and business with some of the world’s largest companies. Their workforce training program targets underserved young adults that are underemployed and within one year, take them from minimum wage to meaningful careers. YESHÁ MINISTRIES 9378 Arlington Expressway, Ste. 325, 32225 | (904) 802-2774 | Founder: Grandmaster Charles Coker Mission & Vision: Yeshá’s mission is to train and develop Disciples of Christ through sanctioned martial arts with a vision that its disciples would demonstrate Christian leadership principals to positively impact the lives of the individuals they touch. YMCA OF FLORIDA’S FIRST COAST 40 E. Adams St., Ste. 210, 32202 | (904) 296-3220 | President & CEO: Eric K. Mann Mission & Vision: The YMCA strives to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. YOGA 4 CHANGE


P.O. Box 330117, Atlantic Beach, 32233 | (904) 510-2004 | Founder/Executive Director: Kathryn Thomas Mission & Vision: To heal and empower veterans, incarcerated individuals, venerable youth and those dealing with substance abuse through a purpose-driven yoga curriculum. YOUNG LIFE JACKSONVILLE PO Box 2173, Jacksonville 32203 | (904) 387-9633 |

Sean Karpf is a below-the-knee amputee –- the result of an improvised explosive device (IED) detonating under his foot while he was on patrol in Afghanistan. The loss of his leg proved to be a huge adjustment, but Sean says, ‘‘It’s nothing compared to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Yes, the explosion that ultimately cost me my leg was unimaginable with pain so severe I almost lost all feeling. But even so, PTSD is by far the worst injury I experienced.’’ Sean’s road to recovery was long, but he says much of his emotional strength comes from the support he has received from his family and from the fellow injured veterans he met through Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). Through WWP’s life-changing programs and services, Sean kick-started his recovery and connected with other injured veterans to build a network of support. “WWP gave me the tools to be successful.” And, thanks to an internship he got through WWP, Sean is now in his second season as a strength and conditioning associate with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars and is thriving. He’s also involved in the WWP Peer Support program where he helps other warriors achieve the same positive transformation in their lives that he experienced. ‘‘My wife Brandy tells me it’s like I’ve been reborn,’’ says Sean. ‘‘I’m now much more patient with the kids, more understanding, and an overall better person because of my involvement with WWP. Now, it’s time for me to give back, and I’m ready for it.’’

Area Director: Mike Shea Mission & Vision: Young Life introduces adolescents to Jesus Christ and helps them grow in their faith. YOUNG STROKE PO Box 692, Conway, SC 29528 | (843) 655-2835 | Founder/Executive Director: Amy Edmunds Mission & Vision: Young Stroke is the first and only American advocacy organization formed to specifically address the unmet needs of young adult stroke survivors and their caregivers. YOUTH CRISIS CENTER 3015 Parental Home Rd., 32216 | (904) 725-6662 | President/CEO: Kim Sirdevan Mission & Vision: The Youth Crisis Center works to build a healthier community by empowering young people and families to rise above adversity, supporting their vision for a stronger community through stronger families.

DID WE MISS YOU? If your registered 501 (c)(3) nonprofit didn’t make the list or if you need to make any changes at any time, please let us know! Send details (charity name, address, phone, website, leader, short mission/vision statement and whether your nonprofit is a private foundation or public charity) along with a name, phone and email for a contact person to Deadline for the 2020-2021 issue is Sept. 1, 2020.





There are many ways Nemours supports kids throughout Northeast Florida.

One of them is you. Your support enables Nemours to provide high-quality, comprehensive pediatric specialty care to any child regardless of their family’s ability to pay. That means, each year, nearly 90,000 children can receive care in their own community, wrapped in the support of their family and friends — like Savannah and her sister Emma (pictured). And it doesn’t end there — your support also funds programs like art, music and animal-assisted therapies that offer healing, comfort and confidence to the whole family. You are part of our promise.

Donate Today ©2019. The Nemours Foundation. All rights reserved.

Your child. Our promise.

From lockup to leading productive lives Broken prison system looks toward nonprofits, local programs to end cycle of recidivism BY KANDACE LANKFORD





This gentleman, who prefers to remain anonymous, aspires to be a baker.



ith nearly 100,000 people However, the state can’t do it alone locked up in the state of – successful reform requires particiFlorida, the state’s per pation at the community level. capita incarceration rate is 20% Nonprofit and local organizations higher than the national average. play a vital part in helping the forMore than 33% of those in the system merly incarcerated find housing, are repeat offenders, indicating that transportation, jobs, and a variety of recidivism – the tendency for offend- supportive services. They help ers to relapse into criminal behavior, change lives and strengthen families measured by criminal acts that result broken by incarceration. They also in re-arrest, re-conviction, or return save taxpayers money and increase to prison – is an ongoing problem. public safety. In short, they are vital While many still defend the policies to successfully reintegrating the forthat create high incarceration rates merly incarcerated back into the in Florida, there is a growing consen- community. sus that reform is needed. According to Congressman John For years, attempts to change the Rutherford, who served as Duval way criminals are sentenced and how County Sheriff from 2003 to 2015, much time they spend behind bars during his early years with the have gone nowhere in the Florida Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, there legislature. But since December when was virtually no help for ex-offenders President Trump signed the First Step re-entering the community. Act – a landmark criminal justice “When I first started working in the reform measure that changed federal corrections system, reentry was that mandatory minimum sentencing laws they would put you on a bus and send and helps prepare incarcerated indi- you to Jacksonville, and you got off viduals to come home from prison at Bay and Pearl with a blue sack with job-ready – state legislators have all your stuff in it, and that was it – begun taking a fresh look at reforming that was reentry for you. So, it’s no the state’s prison system. surprise that so many ended up back



in the system,” said Rutherford. He added that things have changed a lot since those days, but even further change is needed. The revolving door of recidivism is a roundabout on the highway to freedom, cycling offenders in and out of correctional institutions rather than helping them exit the criminal justice system and lead productive lives. Florida’s prison system is the third largest in the nation and commands a $2.4 billion state budget, which has climbed 60 percent in the past decade. Reducing recidivism would save money by moving ex-offenders from tax burdens to taxpayers, but without proper rehabilitation, that is not likely to happen. Given that most incarcerated individuals will one day be released, ensuring that they have the resources needed to rehabilitate is a public safety imperative, according to Rutherford. “The state does have some systems in place, but they are not building the relationships in the community, and that’s what is important, because when they get out of that system they are coming back to the community,” Rutherford said. Non-profit organizations that help with such efforts are critical to the success of reducing recidivism,

Rutherford said. He is a board member of Prisoners of Christ (POC), a faithbased non-profit that has provided reentry and transition services for men coming out of prison since 1990. Rutherford said he has seen real change amongst ex-offenders that participated in the program. “I tell folks all the time that what these people need is a heart change. Nobody changes hearts like Jesus Christ, and that’s what they need. Even in the Matrix house (a treatment program in the Duval County Jail), in the 12-step program and all of that, they talk about a higher power. Now whatever you want to call that higher power, that’s up to you. For me, it’s Jesus Christ. That’s how you change hearts, and that’s why those programs are so important. They need to know that there are people out there that honestly, truly care about them. It’s just that simple,” he said. POC is just one of several non-profits in the area that help ex-offenders reenter the community. Another such prominent organization is Operation New Hope, which provides support, life and job skills training for people with a history of involvement with the criminal justice system, and places them in employment that offers a sustainable quality of life. Ready4Work

Meg has remained clean and sober more than five years after being released from prison. She recently got a job to help provide support for her family, pictured on her cell phone.

Christian is a talented carpenter. He built the shadow box as a memorial for his friend who passed away several years ago.

is a free program offered through Operation New Hope that partners each client with a case manager who provides support to help them overcome common barriers upon re-entrance into the community. Those support services include transitional housing assistance, three months of free bus passes, payment for a GED, access to wellness care, life-coach mentoring for a year, professional clothing for interviews and daily lunch. They also pay for vocational training, provide family reunification services, and give program participants the opportunity to earn money through various incentives. The three-year recidivism rate for participants of the Ready4Work program is 8.64%, while the Florida Department of Corrections reports a three-year recidivism rate of 24.5%. “When we are successful at reducing recidivism, everyone wins. Not only have we had a positive impact in the lives of those coming home, we have also impacted their families and the communities they return to. Public safety has improved, we have reduced the tax burden from lower incarceration, and we are creating taxpayers,” said Kevin Gay, founder and CEO of Operation New Hope. The Jacksonville Re-Entry Center, or JREC, is a JSO program aimed at stopping ex-offenders from becoming re-offenders. It helps with career development, medical, housing and

transportation needs, among other things. The program serves anyone who was a resident of Duval County when they were arrested, convicted of a felony, and is returning to Jacksonville, regardless of the severity of their offense. As part of JREC’s initial outreach, inmates in local jails and state prisons are contacted at least six months prior to their release. This allows JREC to individually assess their post-release needs and create the groundwork for an effective re-entry plan. The team at JREC works tirelessly to increase awareness in the community of how tax dollars are spent in the area of crime reduction within the JSO. Building strong community alliances gives individuals and their families hope and the assurance that “someone cares.” There aren’t many local organizations that cater specifically to female ex-offenders – Her Song, established in 2013 to confront the human trafficking problem in Jacksonville, is one of the few. Since its inception, Her Song has assisted more than 600 young women from the North Florida region to escape human trafficking. As part of their effort, they reach out to incarcerated women. “Through our work inside the department of corrections, we are noticing how many ladies have a trafficking history, and we are finding that this is often a root issue that keeps victims stuck in a dangerous





When we are successful at reducing recidivism, everyone wins. Not only have we had a positive impact in the lives of those coming home, we have also impacted their families and the communities they return to. — K E V I N G A Y, F O U N D E R A N D C E O O F O P E R AT I O N N E W H O P E

Scott Gammon is the leader of Lighthouse ministries, a prison transitional housing ministry. Since being released, he has won numerous awards with toastmasters international.

The photos featured on pages 102-104 of this story are part of a project by photographer, Mark Krancer. Through his photo essay, Krancer, who served 18 months in prison, shows how formerly incarcerated individuals can be rehabilitated, resocialized, and make valuable contributions to society. Each image shows a former inmate breaking free from his or her past, conveying the message that these individuals are more than just their Department of Corrections inmate ID numbers. Krancer’s project will be on display in the Jax Makerspace Gallery at the Jacksonville Main Library early next year.





cycle, which can include criminal activity while under the control of a trafficker. But this can remain hidden or masked by addiction or repeat offenses. “As a collective whole, we are not asking the right questions. That is why Her Song is working to uncover a trafficking history inside our correctional facilities so that survivors can be matched with appropriate services and care and be empowered to break these devastating cycles,” said Rachel White, LHMC, founder of Her Song. Her Song offers survivor care in a residential setting and conducts victim outreach. The non-profit has reached 172 potential victims in local jails and provided them with information and referral services. Seventy-two of those women have

graduated from the nonprofit’s purpose group in the jail. Her Song also promotes community awareness by speaking in schools, business and churches. Another non-profit geared toward women is Rethreaded, founded by Kristin Keen in 2012. She started by forming relationships with women on the street and visiting women in prison, and she realized that the greatest need of women caught up in human trafficking was a safe, supportive work environment where they could earn money while learning a skill and experiencing continued healing through community. Rethreaded employs women in production, inventory, sales, marketing and finance/administration in the company, which creates jewelry and accessories to sell online or in their brick-and-mortar retail store downtown. Over the history of Rethreaded, they have employed 40 women who are survivors of human trafficking. Eighty-five percent of survivors who come to Rethreaded never return to the trade. Although justice system reform and reducing recidivism are multi-faceted issues that will require continued research and new solutions, our local organizations – only a few of which were mentioned here – provide a wide safety net that helps keep ex-offenders from falling through the cracks and falling into the repetitive pattern of recidivism. These programs have proven to be successful, reforming the lives of ex-offenders, reducing the burden on taxpayers, and helping to promote public safety.


Art foundation supports justice reform Nonprofit focuses on sentence reform and helping the wrongly convicted After being wrongfully convicted Dixon eventually submitted a of murder and spending 27 years in letter, along with some drawings, to prison, Valentino Dixon was exoner- Max Adler, an editor at Golf Digest ated and walked out of prison last Magazine. In his letter, Dixon exSeptember determined to do some- plained that he was in prison for a thing that would make a difference murder he didn’t commit, and though in the lives of those who had suffered he had never played golf, he liked the a similar plight. column and thought it applied to his In July, he launched his newly situation. Dixon was featured in Golf created nonprofit, the Art of Freedom Digest Magazine, bringing attention Foundation, at a reception at TPC to his predicament. Sawgrass hosted by the PGA Tour. When students at Georgetown The foundation was established to University learned of Dixon’s claim work with lawmakers to achieve sen- of innocence, they looked into his tencing reform, and to champion the case and brought to light that he had voices of the wrongfully convicted been wrongly convicted. Through until they have achieved freedom, their efforts, Dixon was exonerated and released from prison. according to its website. Dixon chose to use art as a platform Now, through his work and to advocate for sentencing reform through his foundation, Dixon because while in prison, he spent six devotes his time to telling his story, to 10 hours a day drawing. His colored hoping to bring about changes to the pencils were the medium through sentencing guidelines. “My foundawhich he expanded his world and tion, the Art of Freedom, is focused escaped the confines of his 6-by-8-foot on not only the wrongfully convicted, cell. When a prison superintendent but sentencing reform – not prison asked him to draw the 12th hole of reform; I’ll let others speak about the Augusta National golf course, prison reform and focus on that – Dixon studied a photo of the course because to me, sentencing reform is and drew a life-like rendering of what the only logical solution to our mass he saw. He discovered he had a special incarceration problem. We have over talent for drawing golf courses, even 2 million people in prison for a reason though he had never stepped foot on – because people are not being reone. He perused golf magazines and leased when they should. The only continued to make incredibly detailed thing that can change that is an act renderings of famous courses of Congress,” he said. throughout the world. He added that he fully agrees if “It’s like your spirit dies in prison – someone commits a serious crime it’s a hopeless place - and art was they should be punished and sent always invigorating my spirit. I knew to prison, but he believes our senthat God was preparing me for some- tencing laws need to be changed. thing bigger, even though I didn’t “We should work harder to make the quite know what it was,” he said. system more fair, more just, and

Valentino Dixon drew golf courses with colored pencils while in prison. His drawings ultimately led to him being freed from prison after 27 years, for a murder he did not commit.

It’s like your spirit dies in prison – it’s a hopeless place - and art was always invigorating my spirit. I knew that God was preparing me for something bigger, even though I didn’t quite know what it was. — VA L E N T I N O D I XO N

more equal – even if it doesn’t affect us – because it’s a human rights issue. It’s a constitutional rights violation and a civil rights violation for all people – not just blacks or Hispanics, but whites also. Poor whites do not

receive fair justice in the justice system either. If you don’t have any money, you’re going to get the most time they can possibly give you. This is what we need to change – across the board.”

The Nonprofit Center connects, strengthens, and advocates for a strong nonprofit community.

40 East Adams Street, Suite 100, Jacksonville, Florida 32202 • 904-425-1182 To find out more about building the capacity of nonprofits in Northeast Florida, visit WWW.CIRCLESCHARITYREGISTER.COM




Breaking the cycle, one inmate at a time

Congressman John Rutherford has a long history of developing progressive justice reform initiatives that have successfully reduced recidivism and brought about positive change. Before being elected as the U.S Representative for Florida's 4th congressional district, Rutherford spent 41 years with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, eight of which were spent as Sheriff. One of the first questions Rutherford asked when he was appointed Director of Corrections in 1995 was related to the recidivism rate. He wanted to know how many offenders had been arrested more than once in a 12month period. The answer surprised him, and it was the impetus that impelled him to initiate change. “That’s how I found Rodney. He was our top recidivist in Duval County – he had been arrested 27 times in 12 months. He was a severe alcoholic, and when I found him, he was in jail again, getting ready to go to his first court appearance for disorderly intoxication and breach of the peace,” Rutherford said.




days in jail, being released, and re- out. But he was never in long enough peating the cycle. to get treatment,” said Rutherford. Not long after Rodney was released, Frustrated with the fruitlessness he drunkenly stumbled in front of a of the plea process, Rutherford moving car and was seriously injured. worked on a piece of legislation that He spent four months in the inten- would require those who had five sive care unit. Rutherford did not misdemeanor arrests within a 12fault the public defender for what month period to receive a minimum happened, because he understood mandatory sentence of 180 days. that if the plea process didn’t work, “That way, with their gain time, they the case would be brought to trial. If would have a minimum mandatory all such cases were brought to trial, 120-day sentence, so I could get them “the whole system would crash,” he into drug treatment. Out of those said. “I realized very quickly that the frequent fliers, 89% are mentally ill, and/or substance addicted.” plea process was the problem.” While researching the recidivism His first attempt to get the bill Congressman rate, Rutherford discovered that passed was not successful, but the John Rutherford there was a significant population – next year, it was signed into law by more than 3,000 - that had been Governor Jeb Bush. “It worked like a When Rutherford appealed to the arrested more than five times in a champ,” Rutherford said. “The judge to give Rodney the maximum 12-month period. “We were spending numbers dropped like a rock.” sentence so he could be placed in a $10.3 million on bookings for that Another initiative Rutherford set 120-day, in-jail treatment program, population every year, and nobody into motion was having Baker Rodney’s public defender did not was getting any better. They were Correctional Institution (BCI) conagree to the plea, so he received a just cycling through the system - two verted into a transitional prison, 20-day sentence. That was the days here, four days there. We had geared specifically toward helping problem, according to Rutherford. another guy that spent 3 ½ years out inmates from northeast Florida Rodney was caught up in a cycle of of a 7-year period incarcerated in the reenter society. He sought and rebeing arrested, spending several local jail. He was in more than he was ceived the support of Secretary Harry



K. Singletary, then head of the DOC, to have violent felons and drug involved inmates sent to BCI a year to a year and a half before they were released from prison. While there, inmates received substance abuse treatment, reading instruction and GED courses, along with access to job training. Representatives from resource agencies in Jacksonville made the 45-minute drive to Baker County to assist those inmates. Once released from prison, they were routed through a reentry program in Jacksonville. “That’s the advantage we had with Baker County. The people that worked with them at Baker, the people they had come to know and learned to trust, were working with them in Jacksonville. I think that continuity of care, from the same people they already trusted, was critical to them staying in the program,” said Rutherford. “That population had a 17% recidivism rate, when the average was much higher.” Having similar programs at the federal level is something Rutherford

would like to see happen. He said he believes that based on the beta test here in Jacksonville, those programs would be successful. “What I would like to see is us change our state corrections system. Let’s have a two-or-three-year facility that is in the judicial circuit. In the fourth judicial circuit, we’ve got Duval, Clay and Nassau, so anybody that gets arrested and sentenced to two or three years in state prison in that circuit would go to this facility. That facility would be a full therapeutic model community, and we would have programs addressing their needs, whether it’s mental health, medical, employment or transportation.” Rutherford was a proponent of the First Step Act, a bill enacted last December that aims to reduce the currently high rates at which federal inmates reoffend after they are released from prison. The bill requires the Department of Justice to use a risk assessment tool to determine the level of risk that each federal inmate poses of recidivating upon

There is a population that needs to stay locked up, and you are not going to change them. But there is a whole other, big population that we have amazing opportunities to work with and really change their lives and break that cycle that many of them are in. — JOHN RUTHERFORD release. Inmates also undergo an They thought we were going to let assessment to determine what people out too early,” said Rutherford. factors—such as substance abuse, “There is a population that needs to mental health issues, or a lack of stay locked up, and you are not going education or job skills—contributed to change them. But there is a whole to the inmate’s criminal behavior. other, big population that we have The plan is to address those issues amazing opportunities to work with while the inmate is incarcerated. and really change their lives and “There were a lot of conservatives break that cycle that many of them that were not happy with that bill. are in.”

Purveyor Purveyor of of fine fine hardware, hardware, plumbing plumbing and and lighting lighting fixtures fixtures

904.389.6659 | Monday–Friday 8 am–5 pm 4048 Herschel Street, Jacksonville, FL 32205





Pursuing improvement through diversionary programs When Melissa Nelson became Nelson was the engine behind the State Attorney of the Fourth Judicial court diversion program that helps Circuit, her goals included keeping ex-offenders get their driver’s licenses the public safe, while at the same and get back behind the wheel faster. time, ensuring that perpetrators “Criminal driver’s license suspension receive fair and appropriate penalties, can become a huge mess that people keeping kids out of the system, and can’t get out of because of fines and reversing wrongful convictions. fees. Our smart justice coordinator One of the ways Nelson sought to created an incredible program that bring balance back into the justice allows people to get a D6 clearance system was by implementing diver- and a legal driver’s license upfront sion programming for low-level, based on a promise, a contract – a nonviolent offenses, which is differ- customized payment plan. People are ent from treatment court – which paying their fines off, they are getting includes veterans’ court, drug court jobs, and they are going to work and mental health court. In those because they have a legal driver’s courts, there may also be nonviolent license. They are getting out of this awful cycle,” Nelson said. felony offenses. “The whole concept of either diverWhen it comes to juveniles, sion or treatment court is to rectify Nelson has instituted a civil citation the causality of the criminal behavior program in which kids are held acin order to really have a positive countable for their actions without impact on public safety, reduce re- being routed through the criminal cidivism and save money,” she said. justice system. The pre-arrest diver“So instead of using the criminal sion program gives police officers justice system, which is really expen- the opportunity to write tickets sive, we are using alternatives. The rather than taking youth into data and research show that we can custody, in certain nonviolent cirhave much better outcomes using cumstances. “The big key to our alternatives.” program is that law enforcement





Melissa Nelson at Sanctuary on 8th Street, a non-profit that serves children and families on Jacksonville’s Eastside.

Instead of using the criminal justice system, which is really expensive, we are using alternatives. The data and research show that we can have much better outcomes using alternatives. — MELISSA NELSON

retains complete discretion and authority over the decision. What happens if he or she issues a ticket is that the youth are immediately routed to a program called teen court, and our neighborhood accountability review board,” Nelson said. “Our recidivism rate with kids who go through juvenile civil citation is at 4% right now, based on two years of data, which is unbelievable.” Nelson went on to explain that teens coming before the neighborhood

accountability review board, which is comprised of members of the community that participate in restorative conferencing between victims, offenders and their families, is much different than kids going to traditional court. “In court, you have a lawyer who is protecting your interest, who is telling you not to say anything. You don’t have to come face-to-face with any of the harm you have caused, because our system is set up to protect your rights as an offender,”


she said. “I use this example all the The conviction integrity unit, time - if one of my kids lies to me, I created by Nelson in 2018, was the don’t say, ‘Hey, get with me in six first to be established in Florida. A months and we will talk about what conviction integrity unit investigates your punishment is going to be.’ It claims of actual innocence, to deterhas to be swift and immediate for it mine whether new evidence may to have any effect. But the court prove that the convicted defendant system is not swift; it’s not efficient. was not the person who committed “With the neighborhood account- the crime. When she read about a ability review board, the sanctions conviction integrity unit in Brooklyn, are swift, and the offenders have to New York, it caught her interest. come face-to-face with what they “Once I was elected, I met with some have done. If it’s a kid who has stolen folks who had set up a conviction something, the neighborhood ac- integrity unit, but the problem for countability review board will bring us was we didn’t have the budget to the victim in so they can come face- do it,” she said. to-face with the harm they have Nelson decided to write a caused. If the victim doesn’t come in, concept paper and lobby the Florida in the case where there is a victim, legislature for funding, which she youth peers are telling the offenders was able to obtain. John Holloway, why their actions are wrong. I think a University of Pennsylvania law it’s the expediency and the sanction- school professor who studies coning and the bringing the kids in and viction integrity units, counseled making them accountable for what Nelson in creating the policies. She they’ve done that makes it so effec- hired a director for the unit in tive.” She added that using the 2018, who had more than 300 pejuvenile diversion programs have titions waiting for her when she resulted in saving over $3 million. got to the office.

“People all over the state started ex-offenders who are reentering the writing us, asking us to review their community. “The work of non-profits cases. Our entry gate, if you will, is in our community is vitally important incredibly narrow – you have to make to our use of alternatives to the justice a claim of actual innocence. We don’t system so we have really focused on review claims of due process viola- trying to forge partnerships with the tions or errors in trials. You have to nonprofit community.” make a claim of innocence that we When it comes to justice reform, feel that, through investigation, we there are many definitions, but for would be able to confirm or deny,” Nelson, it all comes down to one Nelson said. “Additionally, a defen- thing – improvement. “How can we dant must have exhausted all appeals improve the use of the tools we have and post-conviction remedies before as prosecutors? How can we do that the conviction integrity unit will when addressing violent crimes, and consider a case.” how can we avoid using the criminal Also, If the conviction integrity unit justice system and the criminal director finds a mistake made in courts for all of these low level issuing an arrest warrant or a problem things? I want my prosecutors using with a law enforcement officer, the their energy and their time focusing defendant will be sent a letter asking on the people who are really creating if they want to seek a review of their a lot of harm in our community,” she case. “The CIU is, in my mind, essen- said. “So, to the extent that I can, I tially the equivalent of an audit reroute people with substance abuse function that exists in every private issues, people who have served our company there is,” Nelson added. country and are suffering from PTSD Nelson’s office has had over 500 - I want to do that. It’s good public meetings with community partners policy that enhances public safety who provide services to kids or and saves tax dollars.”





Finding freedom in photography

In Krancer’s self-portrait, he is surrounded by items that have significance to him and humanize him against the handcuffs and jumpsuit he is wearing. Those items include a book of hopes and dreams he completed in prison, photography awards he has won, his bachelor’s degree, and items that symbolize his love for his wife, Kristin.

After being locked up for 18 promoted to team leader of shipping months, Mark Krancer came out of and receiving. prison clean and sober and ready to Each morning, he rode his bike reclaim his life. But he soon discov- through Memorial Park and along ered that despite his best intentions, the Riverwalk to get to work. At first, it just wasn’t that simple. He had he dreaded the drudgery of the early learned his lesson and was ready to morning ride, but then he started to move forward, but potential employ- take notice of his surroundings and ers perceived his past as a permanent fully appreciated them. He began stain on his character, and he strug- taking photos of the scenery with his gled to find a job. cell phone and grew to love photogAlthough he had a phobia about raphy, which resulted in him buying needles, Krancer was forced to a camera and establishing a photogdonate blood plasma to earn money raphy business. when he couldn’t find employment. His big break came on the heels of He rode his bike to the donation a natural disaster. When Hurricane center and said that during the pro- Irma struck in 2017, Krancer heard cedure he would sweat, shake and from his pastor that Memorial Park feel like he was going to pass out. Yet was flooded. He made his way to the he pushed through it, because he park, waded through chest deep didn’t have an alternative. water, and began to fire away with Krancer landed in prison after his camera, taking hundreds of shots. being dually convicted of his third His photo of the Life statue, standing DUI and for selling drugs. Being in tall while the rest of the park was prison was a sobering experience for under water, quickly went viral on him, in more ways than one. Just the internet and netted him instant prior to being incarcerated, Krancer recognition. “I went from getting a had a life-changing experience; he few emails a week to getting 500-700 said he gave his heart to Jesus. emails a week after announcing that However, he was still addicted to I would sell prints. My phone was drugs. “I looked at it as a chance to dinging all day long,” Krancer said. get clean. I was physically dependent Now Krancer’s business is on drugs,” he said. “At first. I couldn’t booming, and he will be featured in sleep. I hallucinated and I was sick. the Jax Makerspace gallery downBut I got through it.” town early next year. “People don’t When Krancer connected with just see me for my past – they see Prisoners of Christ, an organization what I can do artistically. People are that helps ex-offenders get reestab- more than the sum of their pasts – lished in the community, things they can have a future,” said Krancer. began to turn around for him. He “I hope that perceptions of felons will got a job bundling newspapers for a change, and people will give them a local publication and was eventually second chance.”

People are more than the sum of their pasts – they can have a future.








BEFORE WE OPEN A FUND, WE OPEN A CONVERSATION. MAYBE IT’S TIME FOR YOUR FAMILY TO TALK. We have been helping Northeast Florida families explore legacy giving for decades. Whether you want to help your children become more active in your family's charitable giving, or perhaps set up separate funds so they can begin their own philanthropic journey, we can help you start or guide that conversation so they can share in your joy of giving. Call us at (904) 356-4483 and experience the satisfaction of Giving Forward.





$47.2 M GRANTS IN 2018

245 Riverside Ave | Suite 310 | Jacksonville, FL 32202 | Phone: (904) 356-4483 | Email:

Diving into

Bill Haley Loretta Prescott & Liz Nolan

Eliot Asyre, PH.D.

Jim Marx



hen the late Henri Landwirth, a holocaust survivor and founder of Give Kids the World in Orlando, moved to North Florida, he was instantly on the radar of every non-profit in town, including the I. M. Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless. Upon being invited to attend a board luncheon and take a tour, he declined. Instead, he visited the Sulzbacher Center and sat on the front porch with a group of homeless men. Rolling up the sleeve of his sweater, he showed them his concentration camp tattoo – B4343. “I’ve been homeless,” he told them. “What do you need?” A rough-looking man stood up and pulled his pants down over his bare hip. “We don’t have any underwear,” he muttered. “Nobody donates underwear.” Landwirth immediately drove to every retail clothing store in town, asking for donations of brand-new clothing of all sorts. Dignity U Wear, which is now Soles4Souls, was born and has since provided new clothing to millions of people across the nation.

“The ability to plug into this community in such a meaningful way has been helpful to me. I’ve quicklY become a part of something so important to so many.” — BILL HALEY

GIVING BACK, MEANINGFULLY Bill Haley and his wife, Laura, moved to Northeast Florida in 2016, after Bill had worked as an investment banker in New York City for more than 30 years and, in 2008, developed an interest in not-for-profit work and social justice. He went to work for Finance Opportunity Network in Philadelphia, an organization that focused on social justice, and, upon moving to Florida, he sought for a meaningful way of giving back locally. He discovered it in Family Foundations. “Family Foundations is a God-send,” he said, noting that his defined skill set perfectly matched the needs of Family Foundations, and he has found his niche. “The ability to plug into this community in such a meaningful way has been helpful to me. I’ve quickly become a part of something so important to so many.” Since taking the helm as CEO of Family Foundations in December of 2016, Haley says he has discovered two great things about Jacksonville – that it is a philanthropic community filled with good hearted people who want to give back; and the social services in Jacksonville are quite corroborative, networking eagerly to assist people in need. “I have a passion for this work,” said Haley. “I worked for 35 years in investment banking – a pretty cut-throat business. I wanted to give back

and didn’t know what the right platform would be. Family Foundations has given me the opportunity to help people who desperately need help, and to work with other community organizations to provide mental health counseling, financial counseling, workforce development training in our Steps to Success program.” As CEO of the 60-year-old social services agency, Haley feels privileged to work with a group of caring professionals who provide counseling, often at no cost, that prepares individuals and families to face and navigate life’s challenges. With his organization’s mission to “grow strong, money-wise families,” Haley feels that he is instrumental in helping families break the cycle of intergenerational poverty, and that feels good. “I tell my friends that they can only play so much golf and read so many newspapers, and there are still many hours left in the day to do something really meaningful,” he said. Haley hopes that an upcoming event, Family Foundations Experience Night, on Nov. 13 at the organization’s headquarters in the Jessie Ball DuPont Center, will inspire others to get involved. “The people we serve will be on hand to tell their stories and our counselors will be there to speak with visitors,” said Haley. “It’s a great opportunity to learn about our many services in one evening – both for those who need those services and those who can help us provide them.”

GOOD FORTUNE MEANS PAYING IT FORWARD About 20 years ago, Eliot and Diane Asyre realized they were blessed with good fortune and faced the choice of how to pay that forward. They made two fundamental decisions: They adopted three boys, and they searched for a mission-based organization in St. Louis, Missouri, where they could get involved. “We raised three good men and two great daughters,” said Eliot, “and we found a group in St. Louis called Youth In Need (YIN), where I served on the board for more than a dozen years, and then as chair.” In 2018, when they finally got their youngest son out of high school, the Asyre’s moved from St. Louis to Jacksonville. “I grew up on the ocean in Massachusetts and Rhode Island,” said Eliot, “and I was trying to figure out a way to move to Florida when my company, Mercer, decided to open an office here. Everything aligned beautifully.” Fulfilling the mission portion of his life was critical for Eliot, and it wasn’t long before a friend at United Way directed him to The Child Guidance Center. “I have the great fortune to work for Mercer, a company that supports me in my mission of giving back,” Eliot noted. “When I learned that the Child Guidance Center serves approximately 6,000 children every year in Jacksonville, I immediately felt the connection. Like YIN, Child Guidance is dedicated to helping the most vulnerable members of our community develop productive, healthy lives.” Now Chair of the Development Committee for the Child Guidance Center (CGC), Eliot believes that mental health counseling is essential for the children and families they serve and is effusive in his praise for the “dedicated cadre of devoted staff ” at the Center. Also, with the holidays approaching, Eliot notes that each year, the Center’s managers identify 50 of the most distressed families and provide food for a Thanksgiving celebration. “At the same time, we’ve launched our 2019 Snowflake fundraising/donation effort to provide Christmas presents for 400 or more kids who are CGC clients,” he said. Eliot enjoys Northeast Florida’s temperate climate, sandy beaches and ocean breezes, and he is working hard to help the children of our community flourish. “The Child Guidance Center is a brilliant organization with a wonderful mission





and staff,” he declared, “I’m thrilled they were willing to let me help them.” Back in 1998, when Jim Marx retired from a career as a banker in New York City and moved to Florida, he knew he wanted to do more than play golf, bridge and pool, which are still three of his favorite pursuits. When he inquired about possible volunteer opportunities, his new acquaintances, J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver, suggested that he contact Nina Waters, who was then executive director of Pace Center for Girls, Jacksonville and is now executive director of the Community Foundation of Northeast Florida. “Nina told me Pace needed a math tutor,” Marx recalled. “I told her I’d look for one, and she pointed at me. She wanted me to tutor the girls!” That was in the spring of 1999, and today, 20 years later, Marx continues to tutor Pace girls. He generally tutors six to seven girls, one-on-one, on Mondays and has developed a deep dedication and admiration to the service Pace provides to girls who might otherwise miss the opportunity to graduate from high school and achieve success in life. “When I saw what Pace does for the girls, I was so impressed that it didn’t take me long to get on the local board and then on the State Board of

Trustees,” recalled Marx, who encouraged his daughter, Mary Marx, to come to Pace as vice president of External Affairs in 2007. Nearly two years later, when Mary became the State President/CEO of Pace Center for Girls, her father resigned from his position on the board. “It would have been a conflict of interest,” he said, “so now, I just tutor.” An enthusiastic ambassador for Pace Center for Girls, he is constantly encouraging everyone he meets to get involved with the Center and will gladly take people to Pace-Jacksonville, one of 21 centers across the state, so he can introduce them to the staff and the girls. “Once people meet the staff and see the girls, they are hooked,” he said, grinning. “It is so obvious that exciting growth and change are happening there every day.” When he mentioned Pace Center for Girls to Mary Lourdes Saenz, hostess/captain of the Golf Dining Room at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, she was fascinated and wanted to learn more. Within a short time, Marx had invited Saenz to meet him at Pace-Jacksonville and get a tour. Saenz, who also owns Pavi Optics in Ponte Vedra, now plans to help Pace girls who need glasses and also to volunteer as a mentor. “I was abused by my father as a girl and had many challenges growing up,”

Jim Marx and Mary Lourdes Saenz

said Saenz. “What a world of difference it would have made for me to have a place like Pace when I was in high school! I want to help inspire the girls by telling them they can do whatever they set their minds to.”

5939 Roosevelt Blvd Jacksonville, FL 32244 ALF# 12509

A Residence of Legend Senior Living®





A HEART FOR PEOPLE IN NEED When Liz Nolan moved to Jacksonville from the Sarasota area in 2016, she already had a heart for people in need. “I spent decades working for public library management and discovered that the public library is truly the last bastion of democracy,” said Nolan, who worked hand in hand with the homeless community and organizations that sought to help them. “We were a sanctuary for many homeless individuals who had nowhere else to go.” At first, Nolan volunteered for several non-profit organizations including Hubbard House, the Women’s Center of Jacksonville and Rethreaded. “It was my opportunity to dip my toe into the pond of the non-profit culture,” she said, “I wrapped my arms around these three beautiful organizations with great enthusiasm.” After about a year, Nolan began seriously considering where she might fit as an employee with a non-profit. When she heard about an opening at JASMYN, she threw her hat into the ring and was hired as development coordinator in March of 2017.

“Just jump in and volunteer. Love is the underpinning of it all.” — LIZ NOLAN

On Oct. 16, JASMYN had its 13th annual “Coming Out Day” at the Hyatt Regency in Jacksonville and Liz Nolan was happily there and very much a part of the celebration, which she called a “love-in.” Fascinated with the fact that JASMYN is a grassroots movement that began in the public library with a note on a bulletin board from a young person asking for help, she said, “It’s gone full circle for me, and it’s probably not too strong for me to say that I’ve fallen in love with this organization – like the library, it opens its doors to all. Cindy Watson, our CEO and founder, is all heart.” Currently working within a construction zone, with the new JASMYN Safety Net Resource Center being built right across the street from Riverside Park, Nolan is gratified she came to Jacksonville and wrapped her arms around the non-profit community. “There are so many beautiful non-profits in this town,” she said. “Just jump in and volunteer. Love is the underpinning of it all.”










“My experience in Real Estate & as an Architect is an asset when buying or selling your home.”

9 0 4 . 3 0 4 . 5 4 5 8 H A B L O E S P A Ñ O L

© A M E M B E R O F T H E F R A N C H I S E E S Y S T E M O F B H H A F F I L I AT E S , L L C .


parents urgently needed BY LORRIE DeFRANK

Northeast Florida children in crisis seek love, stability through foster care


very day in Northeast Florida, more than 1,000 children wish for stable homes and for families that love them. As they wait in temporary foster homes or sometimes on the street, most of us go on with our lives unaware of their plight. Through no fault of their own, many of those children face dismal futures. Of course, keeping families together is the goal whenever possible, and quick and safe adoption is the primary focus when it is not. However, with our help, most could find security in safe, loving home environments and, as a result, become contributing members of our society. At any given time, of the approximately 1,000 children up to age 18 in the foster care system in Duval and Nassau counties, about 280 are legally available for adoption but, unfortunately, approximately 75 will find homes are unavailable for them, according to Michelle Weisheit, adoption and recruitment services director for Family Support Services (FSS) of North Florida. Yet FSS—the lead agency for foster care, adoption and family preservation in the two counties—and its partner agencies more than doubled the adoption goal set




by the Florida Department of Children and Families by completing 393 adoptions last year. Still, the need for foster and adoptive parents is great, in fact, experts agree, it’s urgent. “We have kids come into our care every single day,” Weisheit said, adding extended foster care services are available to young adults aged 18 to 21 who are in school or working. “We need families who are willing to be approved to adopt or become licensed to foster them. Right now, the biggest need is for families interested in taking teens.” The Hon. David M. Gooding, a judge on the Juvenile Dependency Court of Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit, plays a major role in the area’s goal-exceeding adoption rates by pushing them through the court system and hosting events to raise adoption awareness. Gooding, an adoption proponent and strong advocate for foster children, insists caseworkers standing before him at status hearings answer just one question: What is preventing us from finalizing this adoption today? “A child who ages out of foster case is four times more likely to enter the adult criminal justice system and 17 times more likely to be homeless


by age 21,” Gooding said. “We have a critical shortage of therapeutic foster homes.” As a judge, he urges people to embrace opportunities to open their hearts and homes to children in need. “Jacksonville is a very, very generous community,” Gooding said. “When people know of a need, they meet it. People just don’t know how bad the need is.” Chad Poppell, secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families, agrees that help is needed from individuals within the Northeast Florida community. “Here in Florida, we’re committed to building a robust foster care system—but we can’t do it without your help,” said Poppell, who serves under Gov. Ron DeSantis. “By becoming a foster parent, providing a loving home and a sense of security for children who may have never experienced that before, you can change the trajectory of their lives and allow them to reach their full potential.” Growing up in a traditional family, Jimmy Kelly thought all kids had parents who helped them with their homework after they ate dinner together. During his five years as development director for


“Every child deserves the chance to make it, but contribute to society or take care of your family? Daniel Memorial in Jacksonville, Kelly often ate meals with teens who lived in the agency’s campus often barriers get in the way,” said Child Guidance “That is what community is all about,” she said. housing. As he sipped a glass of milk, he listened Center President/CEO Theresa Rulien, Ph.D. “It’s “Let’s all work on this together, and we all benefit to them talk about their abusive pasts. Their sad hard to sit in a classroom when you’re tired because from the positive outcomes.” stories shocked him and nudged him to become you spent the night hiding in a closet with your a mentor, which he found immensely rewarding. younger siblings because there was some kind of NEGLECT, NOT ABUSE, OFTEN THE CULPRIT “If you don’t have money, you have the heart and problem in the living room or back yard.” ability to do something,” said Kelly, now retired. Rulien stressed the importance of mental health “I cannot imagine someone taking my son in the “Time, talent, treasures. Jacksonville is very gener- awareness throughout the community. “It’s im- middle of the night to someplace where he doesn’t ous in all three of those areas.” portant to recognize that mental health is not a have me,” said Vicki Waytowich, executive director One December, Kelly’s mentee invited him to ‘them’ issue. It is an ‘us’ issue,” she said. “We all of the Partnership for Child Health and mom to the courthouse to watch him and 68 other kids experience bouts of sadness or nervousness, and 4-year-old Alex, who she adopted through the become adopted. “Best Christmas present I ever it is important to embrace our emotions as a part foster care system. “Sometimes we forget how of our overall health.” received,” he said. traumatic that experience is, let alone if there is abuse or neglect. So, children act out because URGENT NEED FOR LOVING HOMES trauma manifests itself as bad behavior.” Waytowich said a sad fact of foster care is the “No question, the need for foster parents is critassumption that parents, who don’t make their ical,” said Bob Rooks, director of the State of case plans and lose custody of their children, don’t Florida’s Adoption Referral and Information love them. “Yes, there are some horrific cases, but Services, who has worked out of Daniel Memorial with many, especially drug and alcohol abuse cases, for more than 25 years. Although his office handles and now opioids, the parents just couldn’t get it together,” she said. all areas of adoption statewide, more than 60 percent of their work is adoption from foster care. Courtney Weatherby-Hunter sees the issues Most of the children eligible for adoption who from various perspectives. As director of distindon’t have foster homes are school age, he said. guished gifts for the Children’s Home Society of “But no matter how good foster care is, it is meant Florida, which was founded on adoption and grew to be temporary,” Rooks said, acknowledging a to cover a multitude of preventive services, she great need for adoptive parents, too. “Children gets to know clients and caseworkers so she can share their stories with potential donors. As presneed permanence. They need to belong.” As a safety net for homeless teens as young as ident of the Association of Fundraising 16, Daniel provides efficiency apartments and Professionals’ First Coast Chapter, she collaborates counseling through Project Prepare, a mostly priwith other agencies to raise community awareness vately supported program to help them beat the of child welfare concerns. odds and not wind up on the streets later. It’s for “Child welfare is not what you read about in the kids living from couch-to-couch and cases like papers. The majority of the cases are neglect, not extreme abuse. We try to give families a hand up “when mom is newly married and stepdad says ‘it’s you or the kid,’” said Rooks, an adoptive father instead of a hand out,” she said. “So, we share those himself, who has fostered as many as 100 children. stories and our donors feel better about giving to Rooks said people can adopt from foster care end the need for foster care as we know it.” at little or no cost, compared to spending thouIt really does take the whole community to sands of dollars for private adoptions. “Most are help children grow up to be contributing citizens, normal kids who have been through tough times, she said. but with loving, stable families most will do abIronically, although experts agree that keeping solutely fine,” he said. “A lot of people think they families intact is the ideal situation whenever are damaged goods, and they’re not. Through no possible, resources for prevention programs are Taking a child out of a home environment, no often shepherded into treatment, said Jeffrey fault of their own, their families are not able to matter how horrendous, is still traumatic, Rulien Goldhagen, M.D., MPH, professor and chief, take care of them.” said. So is shuffling children from home to home Division of Community and Societal Pediatrics, SEPARATION TRAUMA IS SIGNIFICANT with their belongings in a black plastic garbage University of Florida College of Medicinebag because they had just minutes to gather them Jacksonville. Neglect based on economic factors, Child Guidance Center provides counseling and up. To survive, many foster children choose to not abuse, is a frequent cause of children needing support to children and families coping with the remain unaware or numb to their trauma. “Problem foster care. stresses of life. Because of the trauma of being is, the kids are the ones living it,” she said. “Opening their homes is wonderful, but people It comes down to the overall well-being of the also can become politically active,” Goldhagen separated from their families, even abusive ones, the center recognizes the connection between community, Rulien said. If you have a traumatic said. He suggests meeting with legislators and mental health and foster care. One in four children history and have not had what many of us would working with child-care organizations to advoin Duval County—not just foster children—need consider normal mentoring for developing appro- cate for resources required to keep families mental health services, and issues are most often priate life skills, how are you going to graduate together, such as by participating with foster related to some sort of experienced trauma. from high school, go to college, maintain a job, care advocates on Children’s Day in Tallahassee.





ADOPTION AUTHORITY Serving pregnant women after adoption and beyond

HOW THE COMMUNITY CAN HELP While becoming adoptive or foster parents is by far the biggest commitment people can make to children in need of homes, there are many other opportunities to make a difference in their lives. One important way is to volunteer as a Guardian ad Litem, a court-appointed advocate to speak for children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned. The only requirement is having a heart for kids, said Vanessa Trivento, director, Fourth Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program. “We pride ourselves in being the one constant in the child’s life,” she said. “Volunteers build relationships with these kids and present facts they gather to the court—the children’s wishes and what we believe is in their best interest.” The need for volunteers to serve in this way is great. There are Guardian ad Litems for about 60% of the children who need them, according to Trivento. All donations go directly toward recruiting and training volunteers, and funding activities and other needs of the children. The organization’s gala fundraiser, No Place Like Home, which is set to take place Friday, Nov. 15, transforms Duval County Courthouse into the Wizard of Oz’s Emerald City. Although foster parents receive financial support, it falls short of covering all the children’s needs. Donations of money, gift cards and other



• • • •


contributions to help foster families may be made through child welfare agencies. Throughout the year, most agencies hold fundraisers, such as back-to-school and holiday campaigns, to support their child services. Through the generosity of the community, the nonprofit, Foster Closet, provides free support to foster families and young adults aging out of foster care. Rulien suggests donating unrestricted funds and making in-kind contributions such as assisting in building maintenance to agencies that are strapped for cash to provide children’s services. “Get involved. Be a foster parent. Look into adoption. Be a Guardian ad Litem. Donate time. Donate money. Donate to Foster Closet,” said Aaron Sprague, a Coker Law partner who adopted four foster siblings. “There is an urgent need for adoption. Do not be turned off by kids in foster care. You can’t let fear of stepping out of your comfort zone deter you from doing good.” An adoptee herself who had once been a caseworker for Guardian ad Litem, Weatherby-Hunter has developed strong bonds with donors whose families were around when the Children’s Home Society was founded in 1902, who still give and volunteer. While vying for the same dollars, members of her fundraising chapter nevertheless often partner to advocate for families. “It’s competitive, but at the end of the day we all want to make our city better,” she said.

Become an adoptive or foster parent • Give gift cards to foster families Volunteer as a Guardian ad Litem • Support Foster Closet Provide respite care to foster parents • Be aware; advocate for child welfare Donate to child welfare agencies SOCIAL DATEBOOK & CHARITY REGISTER

Expectant women and adoptive parents can find assistance and counseling in San Marco. The Adoption Authority at 4940 Emerson St. serves pregnant women in North Florida and South Georgia who choose to keep their babies or place them for adoption, as well as families wanting to adopt babies. “We honor their wishes,” said Linda Vorwerk, client services coordinator. “Given time, many of the pregnant women choose to parent.” Many of the women who decide on adoption choose the adoptive parents with the assistance of the nonprofit, Vorwerk said. Of the 50 women Adoption Authority served last year, 17 chose to place their babies for adoption. Whether they do or not, a multitude of services are available before, during and after birth to provide sustainable skills and support, so the women don’t find themselves in a similar situation again. In addition to various counseling services, Adoption Authority helps women secure education, housing and jobs. Many who opt for adoption maintain relationships with their children and the adoptive parents. Because of the privacy provided to clients, Adoption Authority does not use volunteers. However, the community may help by making contributions through its website, getting involved in its fundraisers and donating furnishings, as needed. More information about services and donor opportunities is available at

Living by example


Nearly 400 children in the foster care system in Duval and Nassau counties were adopted last year. Yet as many as 1,000 long for loving homes. On the following pages, are inspiring stories about people who have made a difference to children who have lost their parents for a variety of reasons—an agency director and a caseworker who adopted foster children, an attorney and father of six who adopted four siblings, a judge who removed bureaucratic hurdles to make adoptions easier, a couple who fostered more than 60 kids and opened a donation center to help them, and a former foster child who champions for the rights of foster children nationwide.

Family of 12 discovers life is good As a Coker Law partner, Aaron Sprague has long been financially involved in supporting programs that assist children in need of stable homes, such as the firm’s sponsorship of Guardian ad Litem’s No Place Like Home annual fundraiser. A few years ago, the father of six opened his heart, home and wallet as well to welcome four foster siblings who are now part of his loving family of 12. Through their church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sprague and his wife, Heather, connected with a young woman who had two children in separate foster homes and was expecting a third. They drove her to court hearings, met with her Guardian ad Litem and were with her during her child’s birth, determined to help reunite her family. But because of the mother’s cognitive and other disabilities, the state deemed her unable to care for her children and terminated her parental rights. With a full house and determination, the couple took 5-year-old Nathaniel, 1-year-old Aaliyah and Christian, her newborn, into their home in November 2015 and officially adopted them the following May. By then, the children’s mother was pregnant again. When Ava was born in August 2016, the Spragues had already arranged to adopt her, too. Since then, the family has moved into a larger home and made it through a series of often difficult adjustments to blend the youngsters with their new brothers and sisters. “We just slowly learned how to do it, and now it’s just our version of normal,” said Sprague, also dad to Jared, Emma, Thomas, Finley, Abram, and Lilly, now ranging in age from 20 to 8. “We just fell in love with these kids,” said Sprague, reflecting on the adoption decision. “And we saw an opportunity to preserve their relationship with their birth mother, who is not a bad person. Lastly, it was an opportunity to do good in the world. We believe that those who have the ability to do good should do good.” To maintain a relationship, the couple and their adopted children visit almost every week with their birth mother, who loves her children, Sprague said. Sprague urges others who are inclined to help children in the foster care system to get involved, specifically by volunteering as Guardian ad Litems to be voices for children if they are not able to be foster or adoptive parents. He also advocates making donations to Foster Closet, a nonprofit that provides free support to foster families and young adults aging out of foster care.

Back Row: Ava, Heather, Christian, Aaron, Thomas, Jared, Joseph, a family friend. Second Row: Abram, Finley, Lilly, Nathaniel, and Emma. Front Row: Aaliyah

"We believe that those who have the ability to do good should do good.” —AARON SPRAGUE

“I also would encourage everyone to be kind,” he added. “A lot of kids out there face troubles in one way or another. You just never know what a child may be experiencing. It’s incumbent on everybody to recognize that there are some kids who have and will continue to experience a lot of adversity in their lives.” Conceding that the Sprague household is often hectic, Sprague wouldn’t have it any other way. “I never go to bed and think I can’t do this anymore,” he said. “This is where our life is, and it’s good.”






Creating families by choice and love The Hon. David M. Gooding jokes that people cross the street when they see him coming, fearing he will stop them to talk nonstop about adoption. Yet, he never tires of hearing adoption stories. “It’s a more common story than people realize,” he said, rattling off names of famous adoptees from Aristotle to John Lennon. “Adoption is the creation of a family by choice and love and putting the needs of a child above those of your own.” Gooding inherited his empathy and advocacy for children removed from their parents’ custody from his father, former Juvenile Court Judge Marion Gooding, who welcomed them into his home in the middle of the night from time-to-time. “Police would call my father at home at night and say the mother is in the hospital, dad beat her up, and what should we do with these three kids,” Gooding recalled about his early childhood. “Back then we didn’t have family-like settings for children who came into care. It was group homes.” As the only judge in Duval County who hears juvenile dependency cases, Gooding is nationally recognized for removing bureaucratic hurdles from the formerly sluggish local adoption process and for making people aware of the dire need for permanent homes for children through highly publicized and entertaining events. Over the past 14 years he has officiated nearly 4,000 adoptions. “We all need a place where we belong and know we will be loved no matter what—a forever home,” Gooding said. One of Gooding’s most popular creations is his Mother’s Day Adoption Event in the Duval County Courthouse to unite foster children and their adoptive parents. It’s a way for children to be in their new homes by Mother’s





Judge David M. Gooding stands with a happy adoptive family in his courtroom.

Day. Gooding also hosts Father’s Day, Halloween and November National Adoption Month events as well as his favorite, Home for the Holidays—all of which stimulate public interest in foster care and adoption. “What do you do on Father’s Day and Mother’s Day and Christmas if you don’t have a family?” he asked. Acknowledging that not everyone is able to be a foster or adoptive parent, Gooding suggests that people consider being respite foster parents, mentors, or volunteers. He also strongly recommends volunteering as a Guardian ad Litem, a court-appointed advocate to speak for the best interests of children. “The one single thing that makes the biggest difference in children’s lives is the presence of a caring adult,” Gooding said. “We need the community to step up. They are not those children. They are our children.”


Mistaken fertility diagnosis brings joy to family The moment Monica Hemming met Kevin, a charming first grader, she felt a strong attraction. Little did she know how much her life was about to change. A caseworker for Daniel Memorial and a former employee of the Florida Department of Children and Families, Hemming was doing a favor for another caseworker by transporting Kevin, who was in foster care, to an appointment. “I met him, and it was like WOW!” she said, recalling the boy’s confidence, kindness and engaging personality. Fast forward 14 years, Kevin is her adopted son, and she remains grateful to her coworker for bringing them together. Told she could not have children, Hemming and her husband, Gust, a father of two who was in the U.S. Navy, had become licensed to be foster parents so they could have babies in their home now and then. Adoption was not the plan. Then they met Kevin. Having been in the foster care system for a couple of years, Kevin had recently become legally eligible for adoption. He wanted a family with a mom and a dad, not a single older woman like his current foster situation. Through his caseworker, Hemming arranged what she called a play date at Daniel for Gust to meet Kevin. “My husband had the same feeling and interaction,” said Hemming. “So we started the ball rolling.” After several home visits and counseling, Kevin moved into their home on Thanksgiving Day, about six months after their initial meeting. The couple transformed their home office into the inside of Cape Canaveral for Kevin, who wanted to be an astronaut at the time.

The following March they adopted Kevin. “I am Puerto Rican, my husband is a white guy, and Kevin is a black kid. We don’t look alike, and I wondered how that would weigh out in the everyday world,” Hemming said. “But it worked.” When Kevin was about 12, Hemming went back to her fertility doctor. Kevin now has a younger sister and brother—Sophia, 8, and Kash, 3—in addition to his older brother and sister, Tanner and Tatum, his dad’s children who live in Texas. Hemming, of Fernandina Beach, left casework to become certified as a teacher in Nassau County and now works as a life coach for women. “I would not have been blessed with Kevin as my son if I had not been told I couldn’t have kids,” Hemming said.

People who are not inclined to be long-term caregivers can support foster families in many ways, Hemming said. She suggests that people become licensed to provide short-term respite care for foster families, and that they donate gift cards for family-friendly restaurants, stores and movies to them. “Especially clothing stores,” she said. “These children often come with nothing. They already feel inadequate, awkward and outof-place. When foster parents are blessed with a gift card to buy them something new, that’s really important.” Although foster parents receive stipends, the money doesn’t cover all the children’s needs. Hemming recommends going through child care agencies to specify that gift cards be given directly to foster parents.

“These children often come with nothing. They already feel inadequate, awkward and out-of-place. When foster parents are blessed with a gift card to buy them something new, that ’s really important.” — MONICA HEMMING

HELPING SENIORS AGE IN PLACE Hart Felt Ministries utilizes a network of community volunteers to demonstrate love and provide, at no charge, non-medical services that build relationships, enhance environments, and preserve the independence of frail seniors.

7235 Bonneval Road, Suite 123 Jacksonville, FL 32256 P 904-861-2799 F 904-861-0441





Nonprofit ensures foster kids have what they need Ask people in the know around Jacksonville how the average person can assist foster and adopted children and chances are good they will say Foster Closet. Tammy McGuire and her husband, John, started Foster Closet in their home more than 13 years ago after the first of the 61 children they have fostered over the years arrived with no possessions. “The children come with trash bags, or nothing,” she said. Today, their 10,000-square-foot donation center at 730 St. Johns Bluff Road North serves more than 800 children and young adults throughout Northeast Florida each year by providing free life necessities, most donated by the community. The McGuires, who have two biological children and two adopted former foster children, depend on the community not only for donations of items, but also for volunteers to help sort and deliver the items and perform other duties. They also rely on monetary contributions to purchase items that are not donated, such as a bike for a boy who needed one to ride to work, McGuire said.





Their website,, provides a list of needed items, including clothing, toys, furniture – even hygiene items and kitchen supplies for young adults aging out of foster care. Information on how to donate items, time or money is available with one or two clicks. The McGuires work with the Florida Department of Children and Families, Family Support Services and other agencies to meet various needs of foster families. Six years ago, the couple started a support group and last year they formed the First Coast Foster and Adoptive Parent Association to “empower foster, adoptive, and relative families through resources, education and support while advocating for the best interest of the child.” For information about the group, which meets monthly at Foster Closet, visit Qualification guidelines for receiving items from Foster Closet also are specified at


Former foster child has mission to reform foster-care system As a champion for the rights of foster kids nationwide, Christina Meredith, who vows to be the USA’s face of foster care reformation in 2020, is proud to call Jacksonville home. That is, when she’s not traveling the country on book tours for her memoir, “CinderGirl: My Journey Out of the Ashes to a Life of Hope,” serving with the Florida Army National Guard, advocating for foster care reform in Washington D.C., promoting her foster care reform foundation, or traveling coast to coast, holding public speaking engagements about her passions. When she is home, the 32-year-old is busy winding up her studies at the University of North Florida where she will graduate in December with a bachelor’s degree in political science with a focus on foreign affairs. Soon after graduation, she will be commissioned as a signal intelligence officer and reassigned by the Army to Texas. None of that slows her down from her mission to improve the foster system by ensuring that kids in its care get the health care, education and other services they need to succeed in the world. Sadly, Meredith has first-hand experience in the foster care and social welfare systems. From age 9, she recalls representatives of the Florida Department of Children and Families coming by her family’s St. Augustine home, where she suffered beatings, starvation, and other physical, sexual, and emotional abuse by her cruel and sadistic mother. The abuse continued until she was 16 and put into foster care via long-term, non-relative placement within St. Johns County. While a student at Nease High School, Meredith received a devastating blow – she missed out on

the ROTC scholarship that she was counting on to lift her out of her circumstances. Upon graduation she was too old for foster care, so she worked three jobs and lived out of her car. Eventually, she decided to head West, to California, where she was spotted by a beauty pageant recruiter and was crowned Ms. California in April 2013. Life had turned around. Determined to rise above her painful past and become the opposite of her mother, Meredith set out on a life journey to help others, thus healing and blossoming herself. “The Lord gave me inner grit. I want to show people that kindness and hard work can change a nation, and I believe that,” she said. “No matter what your hardship, you can’t quit.” Meredith’s main goal is making people aware of the detrimental effect of trauma on children’s

mental health and the huge need for mental health services, especially in Florida, which has the lowest state funding for mental health services in the country. To accomplish her goal, she has founded the Christina Meredith Foundation, a Jacksonvillebased nonprofit that focuses on advocacy for foster-care reform. Partly funded by private donations and partnering with other nonprofits as well as governments and various organizations, the foundation plans to establish charter schools nationwide—starting in Florida, Texas and California—that combine a “competitive sought-after high school” with science-based effective trauma therapy, Meredith said. “Lack of quality mental health care is causing a perpetuation of the cycle of poverty,” said Meredith, of flaws in the current foster system. “Mental health is treated with such casual complacency and nonchalant indifference. If you don’t heal the mind and heart, you’re not making any lasting changes that will take these kids out of the path of repetitive dysfunction and poverty and on to the path of wholeness of family and stability.” To help break the cycle and support children in the foster-care system, Meredith encourages members of the community to consider adoption or to become a foster parent. “If you can’t take a child in, give back in ways that you can,” she said, noting there are three ways those with big hearts can help. “Mentor a child or be a Guardian ad Litem. There’s no reason that someone can’t get involved,” she said. “Go to and partner with me to change the way we take care of our displaced children for the better. Call your senators and congressmen. Advocate for foster children in your community. They need you!” Christina Meredith’s memoir, CinderGirl: My Journey Out of the Ashes to a Life of Hope, published by Harper Collins in March, is available at bookstores and online.

“No matter what your hardship, you can’t quit.” — CHRISTINA MEREDITH

"Our passion to help women suffering has become our purpose to help women heal."

Within this first year, because of your support, we have been able to get our website designed and launched • Create our monthly support group program which we hold every month • We have given 16 care packages to women who have experienced pregnancy loss • We have helped 2 mothers with burial cost (One baby boy born at 24 weeks and one baby boy born at 29 weeks) • We have Established a Relationship with Baptist Hospital Tear Catchers program. This program helps women dealing with the pregnancy and infant loss. • We are in the process of awarding our first fertility hope scholarship for needy infertile families.


MISSION - Footprints of Angels is a 501c3 nonprofit organization supporting women impacted by recurring pregnancy loss and infertility. We all know a woman who has experienced a miscarriage or infant loss even if she hasn’t shared her story. We all know a woman suffering from infertility even if she hasn’t shared her struggle! This is a topic that’s hard to discuss because some women may feel guilt or shame. Footprints of Angels was established to help women through their grief and shame.

Footprints of Angels • P.O. Box 3565 Jacksonville, FL 32206 • 904-707-3802 • • Director/CEO/Founder Vernetta Stewart WWW.CIRCLESCHARITYREGISTER.COM




Foster baby completes empty nest family With a son in college and a daughter in high school, Vicki Waytowich looked forward to becoming an empty nester. She was content helping children through her job at a nonprofit and looked forward to her life slowing down a bit. But now all that has changed, and Waytowich would not have it any other way. These days, she drops off her 4-year-old son, Alex, at day care before heading off to work as executive director of Partnership for Child Health. Thanks to Alex, life won’t settle down for quite a while. When Partnership for Child Health received funding to look at the mental health needs of children in foster care, she and her husband, Ric, went through foster-parent training so she could better understand the problems big-hearted foster parents face. She discovered foster parents need more trauma training, and that they should have the phone number of the crisis-response team, instead of the police, to call if children in their care – many of whom were snatched from their homes during the night – act out. She also decided that, perhaps she and her husband, Ric, might take in children for a weekend, if asked. Soon thereafter, they briefly

“We wanted for him to go to one home that would absolutely be the last home, but there really wasn’t a guarantee that something wouldn’t happen.” — VICKI WAY TOWICH





opened their home to a girl, who was later reunited with her family. About two months later, they got a call asking if a 5-day-old boy, who had been removed from a questionable situation, could be dropped off for the weekend while an investigation could be conducted. “They brought him at 10 at night with six diapers, one bottle, a half a can of formula, and two outfits that didn’t fit because he was a preemie,” Waytowich said. By Monday, it was clear his case was more complicated than anticipated, and she was asked if they keep him longer. Because of her experience and training, Waytowich knew the perils of bouncing children from foster home to foster home. Not wanting to do more harm, she and her husband agreed to keep baby Alex until he could, hopefully, be reunited with his mother. As weeks passed, the couple bonded with him. “We loved him too much. We didn’t want to take a chance that somebody wouldn’t understand trauma,” Waytowich said. “We wanted for him to go to one home that would absolutely be the last home, but there really wasn’t a guarantee that something wouldn’t happen.”

raising caring, charitable children ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE, ELIMINATE THE NEGATIVE BY KAREN RILEY AND LORRIE DeFRANK Young philanthropists tend to be more engaged in their passions than their predecessors. Often nurtured to be unselfish by their parents from the time they were toddlers, they learned by example, were encouraged to share, and showed curiosity and compassion toward those less fortunate. “The biggest difference I see between folks in their 70s, 80s and 90s and the generation in their 30s is that the younger folks want to make a difference now,” said Joanne Cohen, vice president of philanthropic services




for the Community Foundation of Northeast Florida. “They want to visit the nonprofit and meet the people who are receiving the services or are engaged in the program.” Since its inception in 1999, Cohen has overseen the foundation’s Weaver Philanthropic Initiative, whose goal is to nurture emerging philanthropists through a comprehensive education process. Along the way, they learn about the critical issues and abundant opportunities to donate that exist in our community, she said.


But even before young adulthood, Raised Healthy, Wealthy & Wise. research shows that babies and chil- “Nothing is more powerful than dren often display selfless behavior showing children, from an early age and the desire to help others. Invited onwards, what financial literacy really a few years ago to speak in Jacksonville looks like in action … or teaches them as part of the Weaver Philanthropic more effectively than giving them the Initiative, author Coventry Edwards- opportunity to experience [how imPitt maintains that a big concern of portant it is to work, to spend sensibly, wealthy parents is whether their to think ahead, to connect with wealth will interfere with their chil- others, to live within their means] on dren’s ability to launch successful and their own, over time—to demonindependent lives. “Parents have a strate for themselves that they are golden moment when their children able to handle ‘real life’.” are young,” she wrote in her book,


Our Northeast Florida community offers parents many interesting, fun and meaningful ways to engage their children as givers and doers. Here are some tips as you consider in which nonprofits and activities you and your children may want to become involved:

Make sure your child totally understands what is expected and makes a commitment to do the work. READ USA provides tutoring jobs for teens to help younger students improve their reading. Teens get valuable leadership experience in this summer-long activity while fostering a culture of literacy for low-income students. Teens can also tutor homeless kids who are staying at Sulzbacher Center.

Create a sense of teamwork to make it fun. Find volunteer or fundraising opportunities that match your child’s interests and skills.

Keep your child’s attention span in mind when looking for volunteer activities.

Does your child like pets? Parents may bring their children to the Jacksonville Humane Society to participate in the Pawsitive program by reading to the shelter’s animals. Jen Dodson of Ponte Vedra Beach brings her daughter Kaiya to Pawsitive every week. “Kaiya learns so much from the experience,” Dodson said. “It allows her to focus on helping a greater cause through kindness and lots of dog kisses.” “I love to go because I know I’m making a difference in the dogs’ lives,” said Kaiya. “They are calmer and more comfortable in the shelter and around people. I hope they get into good homes.” K9s for Warriors recently partnered with Firehouse Subs Foundation to raise money and awareness of its program. A group of children and their parents joined the heroes at a local Firehouse Subs restaurant, bringing cards of thanks and gratitude to the heroes and donations they had saved to help provide training for the service dogs and their owners. The families met the service dogs and learned valuable lessons about how these amazing dogs help their owners. Is your child a budding artist? He or she can be a “Buddy” to help with a craft in Angelwood’s day program. Angelwood helps families in caring for the special needs of family members with developmental disabilities. Or, maybe your family would like to provide an art experience to support Art with a Heart in Healthcare.

What can you do together for an hour or two versus an all-day event? Children’s Home Society serves more than 3,000 children and families every day in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties. It is always in need of nonperishable food, hygiene items, clothing for all ages, toys, books and back-to-school items such as supplies and backpacks. Engage your children in helping you sort through your food pantry and through closets and toy bins for items that they have outgrown, no longer use or don’t intend to use. Children can create toys for the animals at the Jacksonville Humane Society by finding a project they can complete on the organization’s Pinterest Board, (https://www. kids-diy-projects/). Is your child ready for a longer-term commitment, say weekly or semi-monthly, and can you commit to the time needed to make sure your child meets the commitment? Children’s Home Society has a reoccurring need for help with grounds maintenance and beautification of its 14-acre campus. Families can also help sort and organize donated toys, hygiene items, school supplies, etc., so program staff can give them to children and families who need them.

Perhaps engage a group in which your child is currently involved in volunteering together. Family Promise provides temporary assistance, hospitality and case management for families with children experiencing homelessness by working with host churches. The church facilities provide families a place to stay and members provide meals. In our historic neighborhoods, Ortega Methodist, Riverside Baptist, St. John’s Cathedral, Riverside Park Methodist, Lakewood, St. Mark’s Lutheran and St. John’s Presbyterian are host churches. Feeding Northeast Florida needs hundreds of volunteers each week. Parents and church and civic groups with children who are 14 and older can work in the warehouse sorting and repacking food by scheduling in advance when and how often they want to work.

Research the complexity of the activity. Teens are not able to volunteer in Youth Crisis Center’s shelter for privacy reasons. However, the center always needs donation drives. Meagan Lamey, a student at Landon Middle School who lives in Ortega, started Unplugged Fun as a student service project that she continues to grow. She collects and buys board and card games to donate to families and organizations. She donated some to the Youth Crisis Center last March.

Get your child’s input. Offer several reasonable and achievable volunteer and/or fundraising ideas and let your child select the ones that appeal the most. Perhaps your child cares about the environment and loves being outside. Groundwork Jacksonville needs families to help with Hogans Creek cleanups that occur every third Saturday from 9:45 a.m. to noon. It also partners with St. Johns Riverkeeper on McCoys Creek cleanups. Volunteers collect trash, old tires and other discarded items from the creek and surrounding banks.

Communicate faith in being "on the side of the angels.” Every parent likely will have a different answer to the question most kids get around to asking, which is “Why does it matter what one person does, if no one ever knows?” Families could create a welcome basket for Family Promise to give to one of its formerly homeless families that now has a chance to move into its own home. The baskets can be filled with household items such as glass cleaner, disinfectant wipes, toilet bowl cleaner with brush, bleach, laundry detergent, hand soap, sponges, paper towels and trash bags, and topped off with a bow and encouraging note.





All kids should get an opportunity to contribute their own money to charity. A popular way is a tripartite allowance; for example, half of the allowance is for the child to spend as he or she pleases, and the rest is split in half to go to savings and charity. Charity (or Tzedaka, the Jewish equivalent that means restoring justice) money is to be given to a worthy cause the child chooses. You might offer to match your child’s contribution. Even a small donation by your child can make a meaningful difference. For instance, $20 provides one child staying at Hubbard House with meals for a week. Hubbard House helps victims of domestic abuse and their children. Presbyterian Social Ministries helps the homeless. Financial gifts of any size are pooled together to get the best prices possible for items needed, such as socks and underwear.

“The biggest difference I see between folks in their 70s, 80s and 90s and the generation in their 30s is that the younger folks want to make a difference now.” — JOANNE COHEN Each meal served to homeless people living at Sulzbacher Center costs between $2 and $3, making a weekly commitment from your child’s allowance and meaningful gift. At Trinity Rescue Mission, a night of shelter for a homeless person costs $12, and $18 provides three meals and a night of shelter. Jordan Kusuda, 12, and Aadithyaa Vishegu, 13, students at Switzerland Point Middle School who live in St. Johns County, recently worked together on a Civics Capstone Project. They did research, found Trinity Rescue Mission online and wrote about the agency for their project. Then, on their own, they decided to do more to help by collecting donations to help the agency. They raised $424.25. Children can “feed the canister” at Firehouse Subs restaurants or purchase a recycled pickle bucket for a $2 donation. A group of local





drummers even used the buckets as instruments! The change collected goes toward making grants to help purchase things that firefighters, police officers and public safety organizations need to protect us. At the Jacksonville Humane Society, $25 pays for lifesaving vaccines and $50 pays for spay/neuter surgery for one dog or cat. In addition to teaching your child to save some allowance money to donate, holding a fundraising project is a great experience for children. Ensuring a successful event requires your child to plan, engage others, market the project, create and set up all elements of the project, show passion to encourage others to support the project, and follow up afterward by thanking those who give—all valuable skills for children to possess for their own success as adults. Cultivating how to feel, show and appreciate gratitude also is critical for children to grow into generous, caring adults. Pediatric neurosurgeon and author Ben Carson told News4Jax that practicing gratitude shuts down stress and opens the brain for learning when he visited Jacksonville in 2016 to speak at the Florida Forum, a fundraiser for Wolfson Children’s Hospital. According to Amy Barnett, president of the American Civility Association, literature related to the neurobiology of civility and achievement presented to the local association concurs with Carson. Barnett and other board members use this information as a basis for programs on civility for parents, teachers and business leaders. Likewise, volunteering and contributing as a family strengthen the bond between parents and children and give parents precious opportunities to interact meaningfully with their children and impart important values. Many of the nonprofits listed in this publication offer a variety of family-friendly volunteer opportunities, and most of them can benefit from monetary donations. Taking the time to sit down with your children and discuss common issues and concerns that you want to support will help others in our community while helping your own family thrive—a double benefit.


su lzbacher Developing good volunteering habits at an early age Jennifer and Vin Malhotra, who live in Ponte Vedra Beach, are actively working to make sure their children know that not only are there others who aren’t as blessed as they are, but also that even though they are young, they can help. One way Jennifer does this is by taking her children with her to collect and donate items. “They have to experience giving to grasp the concept of the importance of helping others. “When they see who we’re helping, they ask important questions that we can discuss as a family,” Jennifer said. “Why can’t they afford a house as nice as ours? How did they end up without a home? That gives us a chance to explain why some people can’t find work or earn enough money and how much things like rent, food and medicine cost. “While we were raised here, my husband was born in India and I was born in Brazil,” Jennifer said. “We know

what it is like to be from other countries that aren’t as well off as ours.” The family took a spring break trip to Rome, Italy. When they saw two homeless men near a shuttle bus stop, son Luke, 8-1/2, said, “I wish I could buy them a house so they would have somewhere to sleep tonight. I wonder if there is a shelter here in Rome like Sulzbacher.” Volunteering as a family at Sulzbacher in downtown Jacksonville helped Luke and his twin sister, Bella, understand that homelessness can happen anywhere. “It feels really nice knowing that you helped kids and people of all ages by bringing them even the simplest of things,” Bella said. “Even helping by cleaning tables is something that is appreciated. Not volunteering becomes a bad habit when you grow up.” “We wake up on a holiday and we have this wonderful life and then we go to a shelter where people live,” Luke

Bella and Luke Malhotra help set tables at Sulzbacher Center for Thanksgiving dinner.

Jennifer and Vin Malhotra with their twins, Luke and Bella

said. “It is important to me to volunteer because God gave us so much. I want to do it every Thanksgiving.” They also keep Blessings in a Bag kits in their car. “We put together items like bottled water, granola bars, disposable wipes, a toothbrush and toothpaste and include notes of encouragement/scripture. If we see someone who needs help, we stop and hand them out,” said Jennifer. Instead of sending home party favors at the end of their eighth birthday party, Bella and Luke decided to have their guests make two Blessings in a Bag kits each that

they could take home to start their own tradition of helping. “Taking time to help others when you could be doing something else is an important value to me as a citizen and as a mom,” Jennifer said. “For us, it is important to acknowledge that the person needing help is a human being, not just a cause.” Jennifer suggests that parents think about what their children’s personal interests are and how they can do that to help others. “Most agencies will let you bring your kids to at least see you drop off items you want to donate,” she said.

Boys& Girls&

Safe Places& Fun Experiences& Quality Programs You Can Help Us Do Whatever It Takes To Build Great Futures Visit: Call: (904) 396-4435 WWW.CIRCLESCHARITYREGISTER.COM




groundwork jacksonville Family makes philanthropy, volunteering a mission The Sorensons have made philanthropy and volunteerism a family mission. Julie began volunteering with Groundwork Jacksonville’s Green Team Youth Corps four years ago. With an undergraduate degree in environmental science and master’s degree in environmental horticulture, Julie decided that volunteering for Groundwork Jacksonville would be a perfect fit with her interests and education. Julie believes that kids learn philanthropy by example. “If it is important to us, we need to show that to our kids,” she said. Her commitment to protecting and preserving the environment is clearly demonstrated to her children through the countless hours she spends being a mentor to Green Team, working side-by-side with them on various projects, such as constructing the linear bioswale along the S-Line. Her husband, Bill, also volunteers for Groundwork Jax, in addition to several other local nonprofits, by serving on Groundwork’s development committee. Sons Connor, 9, and Millar, 6, have learned from a young age what Julie refers to as their family mantra: “Sometimes you need help, so ask for help. Sometimes you can give help, so offer help.” The boys often volunteer at

feeding northeast florida Nurturing future philanthropists by feeding the hungry After participating in The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida’s Weaver Philanthropic Initiative, Lauren and Ted Rueger from Ponte Vedra Beach were inspired to involve their children in a volunteer experience with other WPI alumni and their children at Feeding Northeast Florida. “Participating in WPI helped us identify our philanthropic priorities both individually and as a family,” they said. “We now better understand the role we can play to help



Connor, Millar and Julie Sorenson help to place tiles on the Sugar Hill Mosaic.

Groundwork events with their parents. Most recently they helped install tiles on the Sugar Hill Mosaic. The Sorensons, residents of East Arlington, support several local nonprofits. “We are fortunate to be able to help, so we do,” Julie said. “We try to teach our boys to be appreciative of what they have, to be respectful of others’ needs and to take ownership when help is needed. Those are values Bill’s and my parents instilled in us, and we want to continue that tradition with our sons.”

Ted and Lauren Rueger with Katie, William and Thomas

support the good work underway in our community.” Nurturing emerging philanthropists is the goal of The Weaver Philanthropic Initiative, which periodically identifies and launches a class of potential donors, guiding them through a months-long education process, complete with an opportunity to experience hands-on grantmaking. Along the way, participants learn about the critical issues and abundant opportunities that exist in the community.

William, Thomas and Katie Rueger sort food at Feeding Northeast Florida.


The Sorenson's are regular volunteers with Groundwork Jacksonville.


“Given the ages of our children, our focus is to help them understand that the world in which they were born is not the world into which many people are born,” said the Ruegers, whose children are three, seven and nine years old. “We are making efforts to expose them—in age-appropriate ways—to the inequalities and inaccessibilities that exist both near and far and why it is important for them to give their time, talent and treasure to make a difference.” Volunteers represent an integral part of Feeding Northeast Florida’s ability to help provide food to people in need. Families can help fight

hunger by sorting food in the warehouse Tuesday through Saturday. Children ages 5-14 must be accompanied by their parents. “Opportunities like the Feeding Northeast Florida event are great ways for our children to see our words in action,” Lauren said, noting they thought volunteering at Feeding Northeast Florida was fun and they learned a lot. “They also said that ‘a lot of people need help so you have to help them.’ Last, but not least, they loved that none of the food at FENF went to waste and that ‘even the ugly carrots were used and given to feed the pigs.’”


children’s home society Beneficiary turns tables to become giver, volunteer James Russell’s family understands the power of philanthropy both as a recipient and as a giver. Because of their own experience benefiting from someone else’s philanthropy, they now give back to the community. James is the founder of The James Russell Fund Inc., which benefits Children’s Home Society. “James is a fearless leader who continuously wants to help make a difference by working together in our community,” said Courtney Weatherby-Hunter, CHS director of distinguished gifts. “James has helped with our Back-to-School Drive and Holiday Drive by raising more than $2,500 and collecting various supplies for children and their James Russell purchases and collects toys for families.” He has also hosted events with raffle prizes and experiences that children at the Children’s Home Society who might raise money for CHS. not have a toy under their tree at Christmas. Born with cerebral palsy due to complications at birth, James might be considered an unlikely source for giving. His parents were told that he might not survive, and that if he did, he would not be able to walk or talk or function Girls Club. After he lost his grandfather to suicide, he volunteered for Out at normal everyday activities. With the help of the community, James was of the Darkness, a suicide awareness organization, where he helped hand out T-shirts to the walkers. able to receive state-of-the-art physical therapy in Poland and California. James’ grandmother, Jean Hinton, volunteers with Central Florida and “James started giving when we had his first fundraiser,” said Lisa McLemore, James’ mother. “He went through his toys and donated them to the garage Northeast Florida Paralegal Associations. When James was just 10, he sale we were having to raise money to go to Poland.” wanted to help CFPA and his grandmother in their philanthropy efforts. But James didn’t stop there. He went on to volunteer 230 hours during “He collected much-needed supplies, snacks and necessities for our troops the summer, help teachers in the classrooms and sometimes read to children overseas and has also helped with collecting and putting together raffle with special needs. For his efforts he was recognized as Volunteer of the Year and silent auction items so that we could raise funds to grant to various at Neptune Beach Elementary School. James also volunteers at the Boys and charitable organizations,” said Hinton.

Inspiring LEARNERS & Creating LEADERS for 50 years!

Inspiring students to be their best with the region’s most balanced and enriching college prep experience. GRADES 6-12





Age 1 - 6th Grade Accepting applications for the 2020-21 school year and beyond. 4114 Oxford Avenue | Jacksonville, FL 32210 | | 904.388.2632





lgbtq community fund Passing on tradition of giving, serving Glenn and Michael Miller are both very involved in the LGBTQ Community Fund for Northeast Florida. A stay-at-home father, Glenn serves as the Grants Committee Chair as well as serving on the Steering and Strategic Planning committees of the fund. Michael’s strength is innovating and setting things in motion. “Our styles complement each other,” Glenn said. “We give our time, talent, treasure and ties primarily to the LGBTQ community, Jewish community and the community at-large,” Michael said. “We always want to give as a catalyst for something more, to get a bigger result.” Michael is the CEO of Brightway Insurance where he works with his brothers, David and Daniel. The Millers are passionate about teaching their children, Elijah, 4, and twins Sandy and Zoe, 3, about community building and philanthropy. “In the Jewish religion, ‘Tzedakah,’ which means ‘charity,’ is a focal point. It means acts of kindness,” Glenn said. “Our kids donate money during Shabbat at their preschool so a child can be sponsored to attend summer camp at JCA.” JCA Summer Camp is hosted by Jewish Community Alliance. Michael is passing on to their children lessons he learned from his mother, including fighting for the underserved, not having a racial bias and giving back as the highest and best use of a person’s resources. “My mother spent her entire life volunteering and fighting for services and rights of the underprivileged,” he said.

Glenn and Michael Miller with 3-year-old twins Sandy and Zoe, and Elijah, 4

“While my parents didn’t have the time and financial treasure to donate in a structured setting, they gave of themselves in babysitting or bringing food to a neighbor or someone in need,” Glenn said. “We try to lead our children by example, as our parents did for us.” Michael and Glenn have made it a practice that when their children want a new toy, they know they have to earn it and that they must also choose an old toy to donate. “We want them to believe that what kids do matters and that in their own small ways they can make a difference,” Glenn said.

family promise Golden Rule guides family in service to community “Work for what you want. Take care of yourself. Do what you need to get ahead.” That’s what Jennifer Ramp wants her children to do in life. And one more rule is very important to her, the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” These are the principles Jennifer lives out in her own life, so when Lakewood United Methodist Church asked Jennifer to become the volunteer coordinator for its commitment to Family Promise as a host church, she immediately and enthusiastically said, “Yes!” “I like it because the families that Family Promise helps are all working to regain housing so that they can be productive members of our community,” Jennifer said. Jennifer, who lives in Orange Park, brings her children to volunteer while the families are living at their church because she wants them to understand what may have caused the families to be homeless and see how they are working to take care of themselves with the help of Family Promise and the congregation.




Ben, Jennifer, Jackson, Tyler and Caitlin get ready to spend the night with a Family Promise family at Lakewood United Methodist Church

Seated: Bill and Jennifer Ramp with Ben; standing: Caitlin, Tyler and Jackson

“I love the experience,” Caitlin, 12, The Ramps are trying to teach their said. “I like interacting with the kids how to raise money to help oradults and playing with the kids.” ganizations like Family Promise, too. “I’m there for them. It is like they “Our kids’ youth group is doing a are your family for a week,” Tyler, 16, mulch fundraiser and silent auction said. His younger brothers, Jackson, to offset the costs to buy the families 7, and Ben, 5, help, too. things they need.” “My parents were always doing little The youth sell the mulch. They things to help people, like taking have individual accounts and get meals to them or sitting with them if credit for helping. They work for the they were sick,” Jennifer said. “So, I auction by helping solicit donations, want to model that to my children.” decorating, serving food and cleaning


up afterwards. They also participate in a show put on during the event. The more work they do, the more money they earn for the auction. “Find a cause you can stand behind. Learn about it so that you can teach what the organization does and how families can help them. Ask what the organization needs. Focus on what you can uniquely do to help,” Jennifer recommends.


The glitz and glamorous details of preparing for and attending your next gala


Putting your best foot forward at charity events BY JENNIFER EDWARDS

Fundraising galas are a year-round affair, where the themes and styles are as varied as the causes they serve to support. Whether you are a frequent gala-goer, or you are about to experience your first big event, you’ll want to put your best food forward and make the most of your evening. Experts familiar with the local gala scene offer sage advice to help you in that endeavor, addressing topics such as fashion fundamentals, parking your car, avoiding food faux paus, making new contacts and imbibing responsibly. Mastering those nuances ahead of time will free you to focus on the most important aspect of the night: having fun while raising money for your favorite charity.

GET THE LOOK Dress by Linda Cunningham Couture





Women: Dress well Men: Wear your feathers

Rose gold bracelet by Atelier Mon; $175 Available at

Your invitation should spell out how formally you should dress, from island to casual, cocktail to black tie, said Lindsay Gast, owner of GastHouse Public Relations, who does marketing for galas and sometimes helps execute them. “As a default, I would lean toward cocktail to semi-formal. When in doubt, dress up a level,” she said. Bob Rosenblum, who co-owns Rosenblum’s with his brother Richard, said that when in doubt, men should wear a tie. They can always take it off. Or, for black-tie affairs, men can sport a new fashion trend – wearing feather bow ties. “There are bowties from a company called Brackish that are reclaimed turkey feathers, pheasant feathers,” Rosenblum said. “They don’t kill animals to get the feathers, they get them from farms. They are feathers that have fallen off the animals. Suddenly, you have a conversational piece.” No matter what, be sure you know three key facts before making your clothing selections, said Fashion Designer Linda Cunningham, who owns the namesake boutique. “Know your venue, know your crowd and know your time,” she said. “Seven thirty is going to be dressier than something at 5 p.m. And, if it is a conservative crowd, you don’t want to walk in with something avant-garde and hear people say, ‘Is that a costume?’”

Tacori gentlemans bold gem seal tie bar in sterling silver. Available at

Red silk necklace Available at Edge City

Platinum Riviera Necklace: containing oval cut diamonds weighing over 54 carats. Available at




Five row bracelet: containing 10.30 carats of round brilliant diamonds set in 18 karat yellow gold. Available at SOCIAL DATEBOOK & CHARITY REGISTER

The brightest jewel you can wear is a healthy, radiant smile! James L. Schumacher, DMD 4201 Roosevelt Blvd, 32210

Green tourmaline earrings: weighing 19.73 carats with 2.25 carats of CrisscutÂŽ and round brilliant diamonds set in 18 karat white gold. Available at

Tacori gentlemans cufflinks in sterling silver with 4 round brilliant pavĂŠ set diamonds. Available at

Reclaimed feather bowtie by Brackish. Available at Rosenblum's;

Mascarade mask, dress and necklace available at Edge City

Indigo Apparel and Accessories The Shoppes of Avondale





GE T T HE L OOK Custom looks tailored to fit by Rosenblum’s. Proudly providing the finest selections in business, evening, and casual wear for men since 1898. Prices available upon request





Rosenblum’s fashion expert Melvin Jefferson and Jacksonville comedian, Johnny Mac


Still not sure what to wear?

Here’s a quick list of guidelines about what to wear for each level, according to Linda Cunningham, for the ladies, and Bob Rosenblum, for the gentlemen.



For women, “I think we are thinking solid color dresses or print dresses or could be cottons, silks, it could just feel like spring or summer,” Cunningham said. “Floral could be really fun or color-block dressing, where people could just wear a two-tone color.” Rosenblum said men can wear floral print shirts untucked with a pair of off-white linen trousers and a casual shoe. Think ‘beachy’ but skip the sandals.

MORE ADVICE FOR THE OCCASION Network, network, network That’s what this is all about – raising money for worthy causes, representing your employer and making connections with people so, as a group, gala goers can connect and maybe help each other professionally at some time or in some way. Bring your business cards and hand them out liberally and be sure to follow up with the contacts you make in a couple of days.

Business or casual:


Cunningham said women should be intentional in their dress. “I think that means differentiating from cocktail, it could be dress pants. It could be dresses; it could be skirts. It needs to look special, not something you would wear out to lunch. It needs to be intentional. The casual part would mean it could include pants or skirts or what I consider almost a dressy day dress.” Rosenblum said men should wear a sports coat, button-up shirt, a pair of dress pants and perhaps casual slip-ons like loafers.



“Cocktail after work just means a dress that goes from day into evening,” Cunningham said. “You wouldn’t want to wear a cotton dress to work and then wear that same dress after work. For something not after work, I would wear something a little bit sexier or a notch up. You need to read your crowd. Something at the Cummer or the Museum of Art could call for something edgier or more tongue in cheek. Something at a venue that is more serious could be a simple, navy, sexy dress.” For men, cocktail is either a dark suit or a sport coat. You can wear a tie, and if that seems too dressy, you can take it off.


Black tie: Women should wear long gowns. For men, tuxedos are the default but dinner jackets in luxe fabrics or in patterns are making an emergence and could be paired with formal slacks. There are a couple of ways you can show your taste, such as with pocket pieces and cummerbunds.

To drink, or not to drink? Galas typically offer catered, plated food and some even have gala-themed cocktails or an open bar. While it might be tempting to toss a few back, think twice before that third Tom Collins. Too much drinking tends to make people look silly and that’s a liability in a room filled with potential clients, actual clients and employers. Alcohol also takes away the ability to think clearly, so you could make a major faux pas that could cost you the respect of your peers. So how much is too much? “If you have to ask, it’s too much,” Gast said. “The goal is to raise funds, not your BAC.” She added that many companies have a two-drink maximum at social events to eliminate potential problems. If even one makes you light-headed, maybe forgo the beverages all together. WWW.CIRCLESCHARITYREGISTER.COM



Nonprofits seek new ways to build energy and entice donors to give BY MARCIA HODGSON







eslie Weed is a “lean, mean paid staff member and one part-time fundraising machine,” when employee. Weed does not take a she puts on her thinking cap salary for herself. “I’m up against the to plan a gala or devise unique ways Cummer, the Zoo, and other nonto raise money for HEAL, the non- profits that have large staffs and are profit she founded in 2007 to serve huge. They just open their doors, and the autistic community. everybody comes in and throws Each year, Weed is joined by HEAL money at them, while we’re like the Executive Director Jason Gurka and ‘Little Engine that Could’,” she said. his assistant Jodi Voy, in planning a In a fundraising world that typigala at TPC Sawgrass to raise thou- cally consists of silent and live sands of dollars for her nonprofit, auctions, road races, and golf tourwhich seeks to provide autistic chil- naments, Weed said she strives each dren with summer camps, sports year to differentiate her organization leagues, support groups, educational from the rest of the crowd. “Each enhancements such as iPads and tri- year, I have to figure out how I can cycles, service dogs and eventually stand out against the giants and special playgrounds in all five counties create an energy, something so difin Northeast Florida. To accomplish ferent it is far from the mundane.” her goal, Weed is committed to finding To accomplish this, over the years a new, distinctive and fun way each Weed has dropped golf balls from year to entice donors to open their helicopters and invited a perforhearts and their pockets to her cause. mance artist to paint iconic figures “We are purely a grassroots oper- on canvas within five minutes. ation,” said Weed, noting nine out of Hank Griffis, a HEAL board member every 10 dollars given to HEAL – and owner of Griffis Gas, has even Helping Enrich Autistic Lives – goes painted the nonprofit’s psychedelic to serve the autistic community, as butterfly logo on one of his delivery the nonprofit has only one full-time trucks with the words TEXT TO

“Each year we try to come up with a unique and fun thing, something that will bring energy into the room.” — PAM WILLIAMS, DEVELOPMENT MANAGER WITH JDRF

DONATE on the rear, hoping to entice passing motorists to give to the cause. “Every year he matches donations from his truck up to $10,000!” Weed said. “Every year, he has donated 10K from the truck we call ‘Wheelin’ & HEALin.’” In her endeavor to make things fun and different, Weed is not alone. Over the past few years nonprofits such as Catholic Charities, the Downtown Ecumenical Services Council (DESC), JDRF, JASMYN, and Jacksonville’s branch of the American Cancer Society have come up with ways to put the “fun” into fundraising and make their galas memorable

in the process. For many, such as DESC’s Superheroes Gala, JASMYN’s 25th Anniversary Gayla and Dance Party, JDRF’s Miracles Gala, and the American Cancer Society’s Cowford Ball, the use of flashing, colorful glow rings have proven to be a fun way to bring energy to their events and engage donors. “Each year we try to come up with a unique and fun thing, something that will bring energy into the room,” said Pam Williams, development manager with JDRF. This year, JDRF, a nonprofit that raises money for diabetes research, used the flashing glow rings in a unique way.


Leslie Weed, Deputy John Tedder and Jodi Voy Performance Artist David Garibaldi

Kyle Enriquez, JASMYN’s Prizm Network Chair






Nicole Leo rides the mechanical bull at the Cowford Ball.

Kasey Bubb of Diamonds Direct stands by a tree filled with glow rings during the Cowford Ball.

Flashing rings and diamond bracelets During its 2019 Miracles Gala, reference to the glow rings. “You which raised $580,000 for improving would be surprised how many lives and curing type 1 diabetes, the people made the $100 donation nonprofit offered 150 flashing glow because they wanted to have a rings to donors at $100 apiece. Soon flashy ring on.” The golden paddle after all the rings were sold, a leveled the playing field when it drawing was held and the ringed came to the live auction, she said. donor whose number was selected “Not everyone feels they can particwon a “golden paddle,” allowing ipate in the live auction, but the them to automatically take home golden paddle with a $100 donation the live auction item of their choice. to get the ring, anyone can particThe winner selected the trip to New ipate in that and win a wonderful York, said Williams, adding that the trip or item.” gimmick raised $15,000 for JDRF, At this year’s Cowford Ball, guests and proved to be only slightly more clad in Western garb were able to lucrative than the diamond bracelet ride a mechanical bull, listen to selection it had offered the year dueling piano players and sport before. At that time, gala guests were flashing glow rings when they made able to purchase boxes containing a $100 donation to the American cubic zirconia bracelets – one box for Cancer Society. At the ball there $100 or two boxes for $150 – hoping were a limited number of rings to randomly find the only box that offered, which sold out, and donors held a $5,000 diamond bracelet received a discounted price if they donated by Diamond’s Direct. bought three or more. The purchase “I think it’s the element of surprise of each ring gave the buyer a chance that makes it fun,” said Williams in to win an expensive piece of jewelry.






Bonding with donors through virtual reality At the DESC DEFENDERS Superhero Gala, which took place at WJCT Oct. 28, guests wore glowing rings while rubbing shoulders with four poverty-fighting superheroes – Queen Appetit, Captain Underwear, Commander Current, and Princess Pantaloons. “We had people going around the event asking for donations,” said Alejandro Benavides, a board member of DESC, who noted the rings were typically given to guests who made a $25 donation or more. “We wanted to give a visual indicator that says, ‘I’ve given.’ Once you get to the evening’s presentation, you have the flashing lights throughout the crowd, and it fosters a bit of competition. People are looking to see how many rings everyone has on.”

Benavides joined Christian Abrahamson, founder of Exigos Sales, in working on a virtual reality tour of DESC, something extremely new and different, for its debut gala at WJCT. The tour of DESC headquarters was one element during the evening, which assisted the nonprofit in taking in a record-breaking haul of $130,000. “DESC has been in Jacksonville since 1981, and they are located in the basement of First Presbyterian Church – a space where they give out 116,000 tons of food – 232,000 pounds – and 130,000 articles of clothing per year, so the set up is very impressive,” said Benavides. “We’ve always said, if you get somebody down to DESC for a tour, they will become a donor for life. So, when we were preparing for this event, activity-wise, we figured, why don’t we bring the tour to them?” To accomplish that, Benevides and Abrahamson devised the “DESC DEFENDERS Superheroes Tour,” at the gala. “We incorporated the superheroes into the virtual reality

Donning fundraising glow rings at the DESC Superhero Gala are Amelia Frost, Ellen Reed, Ella Noles, Charlie Reed and Enzo Dopazo.

Office: 904-353-3181 | Fax: 904-353-5722 | 219 N. Newnan Street, Jacksonville FL, 32202-3225

An attendee at the Downtown Ecumenical Services Council’s Superheroes Gala takes a 360-degree virtual reality tour of the nonprofit’s North Ocean Street headquarters.

tour so that people would immediately be in DESC through a 360-degree immersive experience, where people are shuffling behind you and walking beside you, while Queen Appetit is showing you around the food pantry,” he said. During the event, five stations were set up with comfortable swivel chairs for the virtual reality tourists. “We wanted it to be accessible to everyone, regardless of age, so they could put the googles on and really enjoy the full 360-degree spherical experience without feeling like they were going to fall over,” he said. “We were trying to increase the depth of the relationship with the friends of DESC.”

The virtual reality tour really helped donors see their money in action, said Abrahamson. “This was a great opportunity to show the donors, who have invested, what DESC does and really lock them in,” he said. “Every good fundraiser needs to focus on the experience, in order to bring people back year after year. It’s about the five senses when you are trying to experience an event,” he said, noting the virtual reality tour and flashing rings are vivid sensory experiences. “A lot of it goes into the psychology of how memory is created. Strong memories are created when the senses are impacted,” such as through flashing lights, the venue and decorations, he said.

“We are honored to be celebrating 85 years of service to the Jacksonville and Northeast Florida community for insurance, bonding and financial services.” WWW.CIRCLESCHARITYREGISTER.COM




Experiencing the rainbow The folks at JASMYN effectively spread the love. They had rings on combined the flashing glow rings their fingers. The lights were low, with a Text-to- Donate drive during and the [thermometer] screen was their 25th Anniversary Gayla. “We up when we did the ask. It was just had them use their phones and starting to get dark out, and it was watch a thermometer rise to reach magical,” she continued. “It was all the preset goal,” said Loretta that color, that glow, and the movePrescott, director of development ment of the light in the room. We for JASMYN. The event was a didn’t really say that you had to give 25-year celebration where guests a gift to get a ring, but the guests would be dressed up and a festive were asking the people who were mood would pervade the room, she responsible at their tables for them. said. “One of our Prism Network They said, if you want to give a gift, young professionals helped us with we will give you a ring, but everyone it,” said Prescott, noting 10 got a ring anyway. “It was not so much an incentive members of the young professionA bucket of flashing als’ group, each armed with a basket but a really fun way to give at that rings at the JASMYN of flashing rings, were stationed in particular event,” she continued. 25th Anniversary Gayla each of a circle of tables to assist “The whole thing in the room was in February 2019. with the messaging service. about rainbows. The back lighting “Older people will write you a was that way, and we had our check, but they aren’t as interested rainbow logo, and people were everyone to hold their rings up,” she in something high tech. We had the standing in the room with these continued, adding that the Text-toPrism members there, not just to multi-colored glowing rings. Donate event netted $20,000 give out rings, but to help with the “When we reached a particular – $15,000 more than its goal of texting, and they were there to point in the giving, the emcee asked $5,000. “It was a great moment in

the room. All those arms were in the air with the lights flashing. It was a lovely feeling – a lot of heart and soul for us.”




Jacksonville’s Premier Yachting Destination

904.398.5141 904-387-5538 | 4234 Lakeside Dr., Jacksonville | 150



SOCIAL DATEBOOK & CHARITY REGISTER 4250 St. Augustine Road, Jacksonville, FL 32207


Engaging in Text-to-Donate Catholic Charities also success- engaging. He gets everyone pumped fully uses the Text-to-Donate tool up,” said Nicola Barnack, director to raise money during its Black and of development for Catholic White Ball, but instead of rings, Charities. “He teaches them how it has Father Rafael Lavilla, OSJ to use their mobile phone and Associate and parochial vicar for brings the whole thing to life.” Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, as Weed has also used a lightning an emcee and cheerleader to gen- round version of fundraising she erate energy for the ask, which calls “Bid from the Heart.” During supports Catholic Charities’ im- the HEAL Gala and Bobby Weed’s portant Feed-a-Family Campaign, Golf Gig at TPC Sawgrass in 2018, which funds its popular food pantry. guests first watched the trailer to During the ball, guests watch a “Unlocked,” a documentary about heart-tugging video, which includes Weed’s daughter, Lanier, and some the testimony of a client who has friends who are nonverbal. The docbeen well served by the nonprofit’s umentary showed how a special food pantry. Then, with Father technique of typing on an iPad had Rafael encouraging, joking, and opened up Lanier’s life by enabling cajoling the crowd, guests rapidly her to communicate with others. pushed the thermometer up to the “The first thing Lanier wrote was, $100,000 mark by using their ‘Thank you for releasing my voice.’ mobile phones to bid. This year they It took her 30 minutes to type that. raised $60,000 more than the orig- She would get up and run around, inal goal of $40,000, and all within comeback and type another letter,” 15 minutes. “Father Rafael is very Weed recalled, noting she soon

❤ Be a voice for abused, abandoned and neglected children. ❤ Influence the next generation. ❤ Help our kids find a stable, permanent home.


The thermometer rises steadily during the 15-minute text to give fundraiser to benefit the Catholic Charities’ Feed A Family campaign during the Black and White Ball.

“Father Rafael is very engaging. He gets everyone pumped up. He teaches them how to use their mobile phone and brings the whole thing to life.” — NICOLA BARNACK, DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT FOR CATHOLIC CHARITIES

Retail • Restaurant • Bar

Seats 50–60 people or 80 standing.

Contact us for all your beverage needs Special orders are no problem

Book Your Special Event Today! One of a kind, unique venue.

“Matching Wine with People” Since 1966!

1251 King Street, Jacksonville, FL 32204 904-356-4517






made it her mission to supply hundreds of iPads to special education teachers within Northeast Florida. In 2019, Weed continued to raise money for iPads, but also sought funding through Bid from the Heart to purchase 300 tricycles for autistic students after witnessing how much her daughter enjoyed cycling while she was at school. Bid from the Heart works like this. During the gala, a heart-warming video is shown before the master of ceremonies encourages guests to quickly fill in a large empty heart on the screen by pledging money during a live auction format. As they bid using numbers, the guests see their names pop up on the screen as donors. In the background, volunteers blow whistles every time someone raises their hand to bid. In 2018, within five minutes HEAL had surpassed its $40,000 goal with $58,000 in bids, and in 2019, it did one better, raising $82,600 in just five minutes with a goal of $60,000. The money

was enough to purchase 240 tricycles, which were donated by HEAL to public schools with special education classes across the region. “We typically can guess who will donate $10,000 to start it off – and if they don’t, I bid, said Weed. “The emcee starts the bidding, and we have the trikes and the kids up on the stage. He usually starts asking who will bid $1 million. Everyone nervously laughs. Then he asks, ‘Is there a $15,000 bidder?’ There wasn’t. That gives everyone a shock. Meanwhile, my family is up there. Lanier is up there, and there is a lot of pressure. Then two hands will go up for $10,000. Several for $5,000. Then $2,500, and soon we have hit $60,000. Then $1,000, $500 bids come in,” she said, adding the master of ceremonies finishes the ask by telling the crowd he wants everybody in the room to have an opportunity to bid $100 as many times as they want, with the last $100 bidder receiving two tickets for Southwest Airlines.

“It’s all about gambling. That kind of energy. But it has to be toward something tangible, something that makes your heart feel good.” — LESLIE WEED, HEAL, FOUNDER

HEAL’s Bid from the Heart scoreboard, which eventually raised $60,000 in 5 minutes to help the nonprofit buy iPads for use by autistic students in the public schools.

904-356-6856 2534 Oak Street

Style. Up-styles. Cutting. 904-356-6856 Color technique. 2534 Oak Street

There’s always something new to absorb and there are no old dogs in this shop.

What’s the most important tool of styling hair? 152




Hairpeace stylists stay fresh through classes, inspiration and the latest in hair technology.



Leslie and Bobby Weed, founders of HEAL stand by a truck owned by Hank Griffis, that serves as a moving call to donate to the nonprofit.

leave nothing to


“People can’t stand it. As volunteers blew whistles each time someone raised his hand, we raised $83,000 and nobody walked out with anything,” she said, noting the person who won the tickets ended up contributing $800 in $100 bids to the cause. “It’s all about gambling. That kind of energy. But it has to be toward something tangible, something that makes your heart feel good.” In the past, Weed has come up with all kinds of different tools to make fundraising fun. She veers away from having a “garage sale” silent auction with 50 items, instead limiting her auction to 20. “Then I would have people fighting over 20 items and each will go for more. Because women, once they put their name on it, have to have it, but if you have 50 things, they will win whatever they want, and you are not getting much bang for your buck.” Weed also limits her live auction items to six for fear of losing her audience. “They are ready to party at that point,” she said.

Our personal stylists w i l l h e l p yo u p u t yo u r b e s t f o ot f o rwa r d .

The details make the difference, which is why we take time getting to know you as we coordinate every aspect of your look. Enjoy an unparalleled shopping experience, made just for you, with free lifetime alterations and delivery. Since 1898, we have been helping modern men look their very best, without all the effort.

visit our men’s shops / jacksonville / the beaches

c o n f i d e n c e .

i n s p i r e d .





TPC Sawgrass Golf Pro Brian Riddle and Luke Meadows determine the winners.

Winner Susan Batten with Deputy John Tedder

Cheryl Hines

Artist David Garibaldi stands with his painting of Michael Jordan and auction winners Kimberly Witt and Jim Meyer. The painting, which was later signed by Jordan, was auctioned off for $12,000.

Helicopters and performance artists Over the past few years, Weed has helicopter, oversee the drop, and come up with two unique fundraising eventually announce the winner. The activities that proved to be highly guest whose ball dropped in the hole lucrative. One year she rented a he- or closest to it received a treasure licopter and sold 1,000 golf balls at chest with $5,000 in $1 bills. “We sold the balls way in advance, $100 apiece to drop on the golf course. Although her board of direc- but also sold 400 more that night. tors had been doubtful about the When people saw the treasure chest success of such an endeavor due to with the armed guard, they all said, the helicopter’s high cost, Weed had ‘I want that,’ she recalled, noting the it all figured out. The cost of the second closest ball received $1,000, chopper was covered by a “chopper third closest $750, and fourth closest, sponsor” who got to ride in the $250 or $200. “We had a cocktail

DLC Nurse & Learn provides year-round high quality education, nursing care, and therapies to children of all abilities so that children and

party at TPC out by the practice range. The chopper came in and dropped all the balls. There were a lot of egos out there who wanted to say, ‘I want to be the one. Afterwards, we all went into the clubhouse to announce the winner. Everyone had bought a ball, so it was like bedlam to get inside. Everyone wanted to see who had won,” she said. Susan Batten qualified to take home the treasure chest, but ended up donating the money back to

HEAL, as did the other four winners. John Flaschner, who received $750 in 50-dollar bills, gave $50 to each of the families with autistic children saying, “Go, have fun with your kid,” Weed recalled. In the past, Weed has also raised a lot of money by hiring David Garibaldi, a performance artist, to paint large canvases during her live auction. “My husband had just designed a golf course for Michael Jordan, and this painter – he was here

904-387-0370 4101-1 College Street Jacksonville, FL 32205

families have the opportunity to




reach their maximum potential. SOCIAL DATEBOOK & CHARITY REGISTER




E. William Nash, III, ASA Founder & Principal

E. William Nash, IV Managing Partner

E.W. NASH & SON, LLC EVERYTHING ABOUT ANTIQUES DONE RIGHT Personal Property Appraisers & Conservators of Antiques and Decorative Arts

Performance Artist David Garibaldi

with the KISS concert – was doing huge paintings in five minutes. I hired him to paint Michael Jordan upside down, and the people were watching, wondering, ‘What is that?” she said. “We had no idea what he was doing, and then he turned the painting around and gave it a high five. That year, we did two paintings. Michael Jordan went for $12,000. He also did the Statue of Liberty with a big flag behind it upside down and that one sold for $10,000. I had him come back the following year because he was such a hit, and he did Jesus Christ upside down, which sold for between $12,000 to $13,000,” she said, adding HEAL paid Garibaldi a $10,000 flat fee and was able to keep the proceeds from the sale of the paintings. “It

was something different that I knew no one else had done, but we did it for two years, so we can’t repeat it,” she said. The key to fundraising is building excitement among the guests who love the cause and have within their nature a desire to compete, Weed said. And in the case of Bid from the Heart or Text-to-Donate, it is the spirit of collective giving, which makes the goal attainable. “You have to make giving fun for people,” said Prescott. “People are asked every day for their funds, for their money, for their support of something. People who attended our gala were people very close to us, so they understand what we do, but we need to give them that extra element in the ask. The rings provided that little bit of magic.”

She's hungry. You can help.

74,950 kids in Northeast Florida are facing hunger. Join us in building a stronger community by providing meals to our neighbors in need.

VO LU N T E E R . D O N AT E . L E A R N




Years of Impact and We Aren’t Done Yet

Founded by parents determined to find a cure for their children with type 1 diabetes in 1970, over the past 50 years, thanks to community support, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) has become the largest private funder of diabetes research worldwide, funding $2.5 billion in research since its inception and has made significant progress in understanding, fighting and treating the disease.

BUT, WE AREN’T DONE YET. JDRF is committed to doing the greatest good, for the largest number of people, in the shortest period of time. As the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, JDRF is accelerating life-changing breakthroughs in the areas of cure, prevent and treatment for T1D. JDRF places priority on research funding, advocacy and community outreach. Join JDRF, families and the corporate community and help improve lives and cure diabetes.

OPPORTUNITIES TO GET INVOLVED LOCALLY INCLUDE: • JDRF One Walk, Saturday, April 18th at UNF Hodges Stadium • 20th Annual JDRF Miracles Gala, Fall 2020, at Sawgrass Marriott • Leadership Giving through the Benefactor Program • Family Outreach • Advocacy • Corporate Partnerships • Legacy Planning • Variety of Volunteer Opportunities


November 2019



Through May 31, 2020, Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday, 12 – 5 p.m.; Museum of Science and History, 1025 Museum Cir. Timucuan Parks Foundation is celebrating its 20th year with a special exhibit at MOSH that will feature local artists and information on the area’s preservation parks.

4 4TH ANNUAL BEACHES BOYS & GIRLS CLUB TOURNAMENT 10:30 am – 7 pm, Atlantic Beach Country Club, 1600 Selva Marina Dr., Atlantic Beach Assemble your best foursome, hit the greens and enjoy 18 holes at the beautiful Atlantic Beach Country Club. Test your skills with a putting challenge, longest drive competition and eagle challenge. Event includes lunch, silent auction bidding, barbecue dinner and awards ceremony and benefits Beaches Boys & Girls Club.

One of the best annual golf tournaments around in support of Angelwood’s programs for children and adults with developmental disabilities, the event includes awards and dinner.


6 – 10 p.m., Garden Club of Jacksonville, 1005 Riverside Ave.

6 – 11 p.m., Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, 200 Ponte Vedra Blvd.

Support Florida waterways conservation at the Jacksonville Chapter’s annual banquet. Price includes open bar, steak dinner and one-year CCA membership.

The Heroes Dinner brings supporters, donors and alumni together to celebrate veterans and the agency’s achievements and successes. This year’s event is headlined by nationally recognized speaker and sought-after author Colonel Oliver North and features a private VIP Reception for select sponsors, live and silent auction and much more.

12TH ANNUAL FALL PALATKA BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL DANIEL-HANK HAYNES GOLF CLASSIC 11:30 a.m., Timuquana Country Club, 4028 Timuquana Rd The 19th annual tournament is back at the Timuquana Country Club. Golfers enjoy 18 holes of golf, a swag bag and a boxed lunch with drinks.

$MART WOMEN MAKE CHANGE! 5:30 – 8 p.m., Jacksonville Public Library – Main, 303 N. Laura St. The 11th Annual $mart Women Make Change benefits Junior Achievement of North Florida’s JA Girl$ program, a celebration of the success of women and girls. It will feature female-business owners including two young entrepreneurs, plus activities, music and more. ja-smart-women


ANGELWOOD GOLF CLASSIC 11:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., Jacksonville Golf & Country Club, 3985 Hunt Club Rd.


THE STORIES WITHIN BY TIFFANY MANNING OPENING RECEPTION 5:30 - 7:30 p.m., Cathedral Arts Project, Heather Moore Community Gallery, 207 N. Laura St., Suite 300 The Stories Within will take you on a journey into the depths of Tiffany Manning’s imagination where magical worlds and beings are sparked to life through the use of color and movement.

November 7, 8 & 9, 2019, Time TBD, Rodeheaver Boys Ranch, 380 Boys Ranch Rd., Palatka, FL Rodeheaver Boys Ranch is host to two of the top bluegrass festivals in the country each year in February and November. Thousands of music lovers flock to the Ranch each year. The boys are active participants in the activities, and they help direct traffic within the Ranch grounds, pick-up trash & serve in the cafeteria. Please call for information, 386-983-0658.


BEST BUDDIES JACKSONVILLE’S CHAMPION OF THE YEAR GALA 7 - 11 p.m., TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse, 110 Championship Way, Ponte Vedra Beach Local community Champions compete for eight weeks, raising funds to provide opportunities for friendships, jobs and leadership development for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This year’s Havana Nights-themed gala celebrates the campaign’s conclusion, featuring a cocktail hour, live and silent auctions, dinner and entertainment.

TRINITY RESCUE MISSION SHOOTOUT 8 a.m., Jacksonville Clay Target Sports, 12125 New Berlin Rd. Join the TRM Team and special guests for a great day of “bustin’ clays” to Out-Shoot Hunger in 2019.

EMPTY BOWLS LUNCHEON 12 – 1 p.m., First Baptist Church, 1600 S 8th St, Fernandina Beach Local restaurants donate a simple meal of soup, bread and dessert. Neighbors, students and senior citizens paint ceramic bowls to remind guests of the many bowls still needing to be filled to provide nourishment to those who struggle with hunger in Nassau County.









8 a.m. – 12 p.m., Ortega United Methodist Church, 4807 Roosevelt Blvd, Jacksonville

5:30-7:30 p.m., Jessie Ball DuPont Center, 40 East Adams St.

The 7th annual 5K run/walk will benefit the church’s Ryan D. Perry Endowment increase children’s ministries in the community. After the race, enjoy post-race refreshments, music and sponsor demos in the church courtyard.

ANNUAL ADAMEC HARLEYDAVIDSON RIDE FOR DREAMS 9:30 a.m., Adamec Harley-Davidson, 8909 Baymeadows Rd. This police-escorted motorcycle ride throughout Jacksonville raises money for the dreams of local children battling life-threatening illnesses. Kickstands are up at 11:30 a.m. followed by a post-ride party with live music from Jacksonville’s own “Fratello.” Breakfast, lunch and event shirt provided for all participants.

15TH ANNUAL PEARLS & CUFF LINKS GALA “SNOWFLAKES AND SNEAKERS” BALL 6 - 9 p.m., WJCT Studios, 100 Festival Park Ave. With an Egyptian Nights theme, the event includes a reception, program hosted by Melanie Lawson and Odette Struys, live and silent auctions, and live music.

Join Family Foundations mental health counselors and financial coaches in an interactive learning exchange to experience how the nonprofit delivers its services and the impact that it has in the Northeast Florida community. Several clients will explain their personal stories and experience working with the Family Foundation’s team.

10 SALUTE TO VETERANS RUN 8 a.m. 5K, 9 a.m. Fun Run and Patriotic Paws Parade, 929 E Bay St. The 5K is the premier event for the City of Jacksonville’s Week of Valor. Post-race there will be prize drawings for runners present (using pull off from race bib), award ceremony, food and drinks, and family friendly kids’ zone with games, bounce houses and more. Bring your dressed-up pups for the one-mile Fun Run & Patriotic Paws Parade!

14 LIGHT THE NIGHT 5 p.m., Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1301 Palm Ave. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night Walk funds treatments that are saving the lives of patients today. LLS is making cures happen by providing patient support services, advocating for lifesaving treatments and pioneering the most promising cancer research anywhere.

Celebrate the leaders and difference-makers of today and tomorrow with Girl Scouts.

Thursday, April 16, 11 a.m. Adam W. Herbert University Center, Jacksonville Tickets and sponsorships available: 160







6 – 10 p.m., Timuquana Country Club, 4028 Timuquana Rd.

7 - 11 p.m., Garden Club of Jacksonville, 1005 Riverside Ave.

Signature Chefs will compete for your "Top Chef" vote as you support the mission of the March of Dimes to give every mom and baby a healthy start. Enjoy dessert and wine while bidding on exciting live auction packages featuring exclusive chef experiences, getaways, and more.

St. Johns Riverkeeper’s annual Oyster Roast is a critical fundraising event in funding advocacy, outreach and education programs for the river and for us all. Enjoy live music from The Firewater Tent Revival, an outstanding silent auction and raffle, and delicious oysters and seafood.

15 6TH ANNUAL HUNGER FIGHT THANKSGIVING EVENT Nov. 15, 3 – 6 p.m.; Nov. 16, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Florida Blue Conference Center, 4800 Deerwood Campus Pkwy Pack half a million meals for children and seniors, plus collect 20,000 books for preschoolers in the literacy program.

9TH ANNUAL CARDBOARD CITY 5 p.m. - 8 a.m., Southside United Methodist Church, 3120 Hendricks Ave Raise awareness of homelessness and funds for Family Promise of Jacksonville. Commit to spending the night in a cardboard box, a tent or even in your car. A meal, activities and entertainment will be provided. See how successful you are in navigating the “Social Service Maze.”

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME 2019 6 – 9:30 p.m., Duval County Courthouse 3rd Floor Atrium, 501 W. Adams St.

MARGARITA J’VILLE 7 – 10 p.m., Mavi Waterfront Bar & Grill, 2309 Beach Blvd. Jacksonville Beach Proceeds from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida’s largest signature fundraiser directly support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth in northeast Florida. Margarita J’Ville is a Key West inspired, island causal event full of live music, unlimited food and drinks, and auctions.

APRIL 3, 4 & 5, 2020 NFSSE Campus The Berry Good Farms Weekend Festival dishes up a culinary weekend filled with live music and entertainment, delicious fare prepared by Jacksonville’s trend-setting chefs, craft beer from local breweries, and an alfresco dinner paired with wine. The three-day fundraising event is the school’s innovative collective effort to support the programs of North Florida School of Special Education by celebrating the spirit of community with the power of food.

TOUR DE CURE 7 a.m. – 3 p.m., FIS Campus, 601 Riverside Ave. Many Roads. One Purpose. Participate in the American Diabetes Association’s 2019 Tour de Cure with ride, run and walk options for the whole family. Enjoy lunch and a fantastic celebration party for all to enjoy. Participants can also earn Tour de Cure apparel! Ride. Run. Walk. The event raises critical funds to help fight diabetes.

WALK TO END ALZHEIMER’S 8 a.m. registration, Hemming Park, 135 W. Monroe St. All funds raised through Walk to End Alzheimer’s further the Alzheimer’s Association’s care, support and research efforts.

FEED THE CITY 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Clara White Mission, 613 W. Ashley St.

This event benefits Guardian Ad Litum’s recruitment and training of courtroom advocates for abused, neglected and abandoned children with an Emerald City worthy event.



Volunteer to serve a Thanksgiving meal to the homeless and low-income families, give away clothes, provide haircuts or repair bicycles.

We choose

comfort. love. giving.

When facing advanced illness, Community Hospice & Palliative Care is here to help Community Hospice & Palliative Care is pleased to announce the opening of its ninth inpatient unit, the Alice and T. O’Neal Douglas Center for Caring at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville. Community Hospice appreciates the leadership of Alice and T. O’Neal Douglas and the dedication of the Douglas Center for Caring Campaign Committee to make this center a reality.

Farm to Family Fri., April 3, 2020 4 to 8 p.m.

Farm to Tap Sat., April 4, 2019 2 to 6 p.m.

Dinner on the Farm Sunday, April 5, 2019 4 to 8 p.m.

Interested in sponsorship opportunities and tickets, please contact Jessica Waugaman, Director of Advancement at 904.724.8323 ext.222 or

Call 904.886.3883 or visit to learn how you can make a difference in the lives of our patients and their families. © 2019 Community Hospice & Palliative Care







11:30 a.m., Maggiano’s, 10367 Midtown Pkwy.

6 p.m., Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, 370 Zoo Pkwy.

This fundraising event includes expert speakers from the medical community and is open to the public.

Established in 2017, Toast to Conservation celebrates the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ commitment to animal and plant conservation around the globe. This year’s Toast to Conservation event is an intimate evening with National Geographic photographer and founder of the Photo Ark, Joel Sartore. Joel will share stories about his photography and species endemic to our area. toasttoconservation.

GIVING BACK MARKET 12 – 4 p.m., Kanine Social, 580 College St., Jacksonville This free holiday shopping event spotlights local businesses that give back to the community. Donate dog food and toys for Animal Care & Protective Services.

PASSPORT TO RIVERSIDE & AVONDALE 12 - 6 p.m., at participating shops

A NIGHT IN SHANGHAI 7 - 11:00 p.m., Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa, 1000 PGA Tour Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach River Garden Foundation’s annual gala is a black tie event including a silent auction, dinner, dancing and entertainment to support River Garden’s focus on providing the best support and senior living solutions to its clients and their loved ones..

Support DLC Nurse & Learn by purchasing a ticket and hopping on a shuttle to participating shops throughout 5 Points, Park & King and the Shoppes of Avondale where you pick up totes with goodies and treats. Kick-off Party is Nov. 1, 6 p.m., Fishweir Brewing Company, 1183 Edgewood Ave. S.



7 – 10:30 p.m., The location is a secret and will be revealed the day of the event!

6 - 10 p.m., Bold City Brewery, 2670-7 Rosselle St. Bold City donates $1 for each drink sold the evening of the event. Enjoy a silent auction, tons of raffles and a 50/50 Raffle It’s free to attend but bring plenty of cash or a credit card to buy some fun stuff all for a great cause. All proceeds benefit Friends of Clay County Animals, a non-profit advocacy group that raises money to save the lives of the medically needy homeless animals in Clay County.

Join the CAPtivators at the 7th Annual Diner en Noir. Gather your closest friends, co-workers or neighbors for a spontaneous, yet refined evening of dining, dancing and drinking at a clandestine location. Prizes will be awarded for the best dressed, best mask, and best table décor.



THE ADOPTION AUTHORITY FIRST ANNUAL FAMILY FUN DAY 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, 370 Zoo Pkwy. Explore the zoo exhibits, enjoy lunch and raise funds by participating in the silent auction to provide professional counseling services for families impacted by adoption. events-adoption-authority

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO ARK Nov. 17, 2019 – March 1, 2020, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, 370 Zoo Pkwy. The National Geographic Photo Ark is a multiyear effort that aims to photograph every species living in the world’s zoos and wildlife sanctuaries to inspire action through education and help save wildlife by supporting on-the-ground conservation projects. The exhibit will be presented throughout the Zoo so that all guests can enjoy these amazing images by photographer Joel Sartore and the Photo Ark story.


NATIONAL PHILANTHROPY DAY AWARDS LUNCHEON 11:30 a.m., Hyatt Regency Riverfront, 225 E. Coastline Dr. A fundraiser for the First Coast Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the event honors five organizations and four individuals for their gifts of time, expertise and resources which contributed significantly to the quality of life on the First Coast. afpflfirstcoastchapter/home

TOPGOLF CHALLENGE PRESENTED BY JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT OF NORTH FLORIDA 5:15 - 8:30 p.m., TOPGOLF Jacksonville, 10531 Brightman Blvd. The TOPGOLF Challenge is an evening of fun to benefit Junior Achievement of North Florida programs. Teams of six will compete in the TopContender tournament where each player will be given 20 shots for a chance to be the TopGolfer. Sponsorships are available at a variety of levels. web/ja-norflor/ja-events


RIVERSIDE WINEFEST When: November 23, 6-9 p.m. Where: Riverside Liquors, 1251 King St., Jacksonville, FL 32204 Gather up your friends and drink for a cause at The Annual Riverside Winefest, where more than 250 different wines will be available to tickle your taste buds. The $35 plus tax cost allows attendees to sample all the wines and includes a logo wine “glass” as well as a $5 coupon that may be redeemed that day with participating merchants and vendors. Proceeds benefit Riverside-Avondale Preservation (RAP), and Memorial Park Association. The street fest, which is free and open to the public, includes food trucks and live entertainment. (Please note that City of Jacksonville ordinance does not allow breakable glass in the street. We have researched and found a polymer wine glass that is made specifically for wine tasting)


Every great city has a great park. For Jacksonville, that is

23 DECK THE CHAIRS Through Jan. 1, 2020, Jacksonville Beach Sea Walk Pavilion, 75 1st St N., Jacksonville Beach In True Florida holiday style, local artists and business come together to decorate the iconic lifeguard chairs on Jacksonville Beach. This historic beach tradition helps to support the Volunteer Life Saving Corps. of Jacksonville Beach.

16TH ANNUAL RIVERSIDE WINEFEST 6 - 9 p.m., Riverside Liquors, 1251 King St. Raise a glass at Riverside WineFest and drink for a good cause. Benefiting Riverside Avondale Preservation, the street fest is FREE and open to the public. Join hundreds of your closest friends and enjoy more than 300 of their favorite wines. This charitable fall festival features food trucks and live entertainment.

10TH ANNUAL MCKENZIE’S RUN 5K 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., TIAA Bank Field, 1 TIAA Bank Field Dr. For nine years, McKenzie’s Run has been raising awareness about The McKenzie Noelle Wilson Foundation’s local and global programs, while promoting unity within the Jacksonville community. This year’s run will help provide academic tutoring, mentoring, job readiness and skill building programs to more than 400 at-risk youth. Proceeds benefit McKenzie Wilson Boys & Girls Clubs.

3RD ANNUAL VISION IS PRICELESS STRIDES FOR SIGHT 8 a.m., Riverside Park, 753 Park St. Enjoy a fun walk in the historic Five Points neighborhood park while supporting sight-saving programs. This free, family and pet-friendly walk will feature kid-friendly music by DJ Jim West of West Productions. Children can enjoy the playground, face-painting, hula-hoop contests and bubbles.

BIKE MS: PGA TOUR CYCLE TO THE SHORE 2019 Through Nov. 24, 7:30 a.m., Northeast Florida Regional Airport, 4900 US-1, St. Augustine (to Daytona Beach Bandshell)

Memorial Park Florida’s World War I Memorial

This extraordinary experience is marked by passion, inspiration, determination and fun. Feel the electricity at the starting line and the remarkable support throughout your journey as all unite in the mission to end MS. TR?fr_id=30207&pg=entry

24 CHRISTMAS ON THE RIVER 2019 5 – 8 p.m., River House, 179 Marine St., St. Augustine Enjoy wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres, music and holiday shopping at this festive kickoff to the holiday season. Proceeds benefit Council On Aging – St. Johns County’s Care Connection program that provides services to assist seniors in maintaining their independence and remaining in their own homes for as long as possible.


Designed by the famed Olmsted Brothers and dedicated on December 25, 1924, Memorial Park is the only park in the state honoring all Floridians who lost their lives having served in World War I. The park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also a WWI Centennial Memorial as designated by the United States World War One Centennial Commission.

COMMUNITY OF FRIENDS THANKSGIVING Nov. 26, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m., Nov. 27, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m., Lake Shore Baptist Church, 2365 Blanding Blvd Ben’s Place is taking the time to thank its community of friends, for a successful 2019. Come for turkey, ham, and all the fixin’s. Free admission.

30 KENDRA SCOTT GIVE BACK EVENT 3 p.m.- 6 p.m., Kendra Scott Store St. Johns Town Center, 4812 River City Dr. #107 A portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit Footprints of Angel’s Fertility Hope Scholarship.




Established in 1986, Memorial Park Association (MPA) is a nonprofit charitable organization serving its mission to enhance, promote and preserve Memorial Park as the premier historic park in the City of Jacksonville. In 2012, MPA initiated major planning efforts to restore and rehabilitate the park to its grandeur according to the Olmsted original landscape design, culminating in the development of a viable master plan that serves as the foundation for continued restoration efforts for generations to come. In 2018, MPA achieved its capital campaign goal of $1.5M to implement this master plan. The 1924 Florida Fallen Scroll Project: Help us give voice to the Florida Fallen In 2018, the Centennial end of the Great War, Memorial Park Association, in cooperation with the City of Jacksonville, excavated the Florida Fallen scrolls, which were buried at the park’s dedication. MPA is researching the lives of the men and women whose names appear on the scrolls to give them voice, as well as adding additional names which were unknown at the time of the dedication. View the names at Do you have a family member or know the family of someone on the scrolls? Let us know!

Learn more about Memorial Park and Memorial Park Association by visiting ~ Volunteer with us! Memorial Park Association, Inc. 1650-302 Margaret Street #322, Jacksonville, FL 32204-3869

December 2019



10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Riverside/Avondale Six homes in the Riverside/Avondale area will be showcased in their Holiday Best by local designers! Santa Claus will make an appearance at the Riverside House from 12 p.m. to 2cp.m. for photos, and a cocktail hour celebration from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. will conclude the event. Tickets can be purchased for the Holiday Tour of Homes, Santa Claus event, or cocktail hour at







8:30 a.m., Jacksonville Clay Target Sports, 12125 New Berlin Rd.


5 – 7 p.m., Stephen R. Chapman Community Campus, 1355 US Hwy. 1 South, St. Augustine The Annual Tree of Life and Candlelight Service of Remembrance honors the memory of loved ones lost with a beautiful, inspiring program of music, verse and reflection. The St. Augustine Campus is illuminated with lights representing each patient served by Community Hospice & Palliative Care since 1979.


3RD ANNUAL CAP GOLF TOURNAMENT 11 a.m. Check-In; 12:30 p.m. Tournament Start, Deerwood Country Club, 10239 Golf Club Dr. Join the Cathedral Arts Project for the 3rd Annual Golf Tournament to raise funds for access to arts education for all K-8 students in Duval County.

5 – 7 p.m., Earl B. Hadlow Center for Caring, 4266 Sunbeam Rd.

Join us for an evening to meet and learn about our unique program for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Shop a selection of handmade gifts, ornaments, and decorations while sipping a glass of wine and enjoying delicious tapas. Find out how to join our community of friends with your talent, time or treasure. Tickets are $25 per person.

The Annual Tree of Life and Candlelight Service of Remembrance honors the memory of loved ones lost with a beautiful, inspiring program of music, verse and reflection. The Mandarin Campus is illuminated with lights representing each patient served by Community Hospice & Palliative Care since 1979.

GINGERBREAD EXTRAVAGANZA Through Dec. 28, Jacksonville Historical Society, Old St. Andrew’s Church, 317 A. Philip Randolph Blvd. Unleash your talents and creativity to build an 85% edible gingerbread house. Amateur and professional builders two to 92 years old work individually or in teams. The event raises funds for JHS to fulfill its mission to educate and inspire the greater Jacksonville community to value its history.




6 p.m. - 9 p.m., Riverside Liquors & The Restaurant, 1251 King Str.



This clay shooting event benefits the Ascension St. Vincent’s Good Samaritan Fund that helps patients who qualify for emergency assistance. Ascension St. Vincent’s provides compassionate care at discharge through a variety of services, such as medications, transportation, medical equipment and even payment for temporary shelter for the homeless. en/events/fun-shoot


3RD ANNUAL HO HO HOLD ‘EM CELEBRITY POKER TOURNAMENT 6 - 10 p.m., bestbet Jacksonville, 201 Monument Rd. Dreams Come True once again is partnering with Mark Kaye and WAPE 95.1 to bring you their annual celebrity poker tournament. Mingle with local celebrities from television, radio, sports and more, as they work to raise money for Dreams Come True's Kaye's Kids Special Times program. Guests will enjoy complimentary drinks and food.

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Hyatt Regency Jacksonville, 225 E. Coastline Dr. This Community Awards Banquet recognizes the endless dedication of local individuals and agencies providing HIV/AIDS care and prevention. Brandon Montanez, a local advocate, will take you on his journey of being born with HIV.

ZOOLIGHTS Dec. 6-8, 12-15, 19-22, 26-29, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, 370 Zoo Pkwy. Create a new holiday tradition by viewing thousands of LED lights throughout the Zoo and Gardens. Wander the luminous pathways filled with moving sculptures, forests of lighted trees and animal silhouettes. In addition to walking among the thousands of lights, don’t miss the holiday production Swinging at Santa’s, a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and live music by local artists. Guests can also enjoy the holiday train, carousel rides, the 4-D theater, marshmallow roasting, and more for an extra charge.

ART & ANTIQUES SHOW Through Dec. 8, 2019, Prime Osborn Convention Center, 1000 Water St. Enjoy an exciting evening of fun strolling through the streets of Paris, while raising funds for Wolfson Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, NICU. The show will feature over 40 antiques dealers, interesting lecturers and designers from around the country. The Children’s Fashion Show featuring current and former Wolfson patients will showcase children’s fashions and smiles.



7 A VISION OF HOPE: A KIDNEY CANCER EDUCATIONAL SYMPOSIUM 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Gateway to Heaven Christian Church, 7700 N. Pearl St. A Vision of Hope is a free public symposium. The symposium will provide education on kidney cancer and also address (RMC) kidney cancer associated with sickle-cell trait. The program is designed to address those at risk or affected by kidney cancer, as well as family members, caregivers or health professionals.



Time TBD, Julington Creek Plantation, 350 Plantation Club Pkwy., Fruit Cove

8 a.m., San Marco, 824 Children’s Way

Pick up your racket and join Dreams Come True for this annual Julington Creek doubles tennis tournament. All registered participants will get tournament swag and gifts. Guests are welcome to come out and enjoy food, drinks, prize drawings and more while cheering on all the players.

Participate in a fun 5K through the beautiful San Marco community in support of Ronald McDonald House! The Family Day Festival is FREE for all children & features fun activities and games! All registered runners /walkers will receive a complimentary pair of our signature striped socks! light-up-the-house/

20TH ANNUAL ST. AUGUSTINE REINDEER RUN 8:55 – 10 a.m., St. Augustine Visitor Information Center 10 S. Castillo Dr. The 20th Annual Reindeer Run is a fun, one mile run through the heart of St. Augustine. Enjoy a festive atmosphere with large crowds and a parade after the run. All proceeds benefit THE PLAYERS Championship Boys & Girls Club.

HOPE FOR THE HOLIDAYS 5:30 - 7:30 p.m., TPC Clubhouse Parking Lot, 110 Championship Way, Ponte Vedra Beach Sponsored by the Jim & Tabitha Furyk Foundation, nearly 500 volunteers pack more than 4,000 holiday bags for kids in need for 24 Duval and St. Johns County schools and charities.

JACKSONVILLE POLAR PLUNGE BENEFITTING SPECIAL OLYMPICS FLORIDA 12 p.m. – 3 p.m., Adventure Landing’s Shipwreck Island Water Park, 1944 Beach Blvd. Polar Plunge is one of the wildest and coldest fundraising events for Special Olympics Florida. Teams raise funds to benefit athletes across the state, and then celebrate at Adventure Landing’s Shipwreck Island Water Park during this fun-filled event. The iconic dip into a wintery wave pool is followed by delicious foods, drinks and lively entertainment.

Donate today to Hunger Fight:








NUTCRACKER IN A NUTSHELL Dec. 19, 11 a.m., Dec. 20, 4 p.m., UNF Fine Arts Center, Lazzara Performance Hall, 1 University of North Florida Dr.

4 p.m.-7 p.m., 4155 Oxford Ave. Music, food, games and crafts during Angels For Allison’s annual open house.

COMMUNITY NUTCRACKER Through Dec. 14, 8 p.m., Florida Theatre, 128 E Forsyth St. Over 200 local performers are involved in the whimsical, imaginative Christmas celebration of elegant dance and storytelling. Free tickets are issued to various Jacksonville agencies, organizations, nonprofits and nursing homes to attend the Community Service Night performance. Additionally, each year, proceeds from all performances are donated to other local nonprofits.

GUNS N’ HOSES CHARITY HOCKEY EVENT 3 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Guns N’ Hoses Charity Hockey Game, Veterans Memorial Arena 7 p.m. - 10 p.m., Jacksonville Icemen vs. Orlando Solar Bears, Veterans Memorial Arena For the third year in a row, the Jacksonville Icemen will meet Jacksonville’s finest for the Guns N’ Hoses Charity Hockey Game at Veterans Memorial Arena. This event has participants from across North Florida, including firefighters, law enforcement officers, EMT’s, paramedics and military personnel. 25% of each ticket sold will be donated in the name of the Jacksonville Fire Fighters Union directly to the following organizations: Jacksonville Fire Fighters Charity, FOP Foundation.


5:30-9:30 p.m., San Marco Square Luminaries light the way for runners and walkers throughout beautiful San Marco for this holiday fundraiser to support the Children’s Miracle Network. Holiday festivities include horse drawn sleigh rides and, of course, a visit from Santa.

COOLSIDE OF YULETIDE HOLIDAY CONCERT 4 & 7 p.m., Hendricks Ave. Baptist, 4001 Hendricks Ave.





This Jacksonville Children’s Chorus annual holiday concert will feature Christmas, Hanukkah, sacred and secular songs with performances by the JCC choirs.

15 FREED TO RUN 3.0 Through Dec. 20 Freed to Run 3.0 is a six-day, Capitol to Coast, six-marathon that supports civil legal aid for pediatric patients. Teams run a single marathon each in point-to-point relay. Donations benefit Jacksonville Area Legal Aid’s endowment for Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership and are matched by Baptist Health Foundation at 125 percent.


The Florida Ballet presents this sweet, abbreviated performance to introduce children to ballet as a performance art. The 45-minute performance will feature select excerpts from the full-length production providing a fun-filled opportunity for families with young ones.

20 THE FLORIDA BALLET’S NUTCRACKER Through Dec. 22; Dec. 20 & 21, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 21 & 22, 2 p.m., UNF Fine Arts Center, Lazzara Performance Hall, 1 University of North Florida Dr. This holiday classic will capture your imagination and transport you to a magical world of swirling snowflakes, waltzing flowers and dancing bonbons. From the captivating dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy to the iconic snow scene, this enchanting ballet – set to the beloved music of Tchaikovsky – is a family and friends tradition.

21 THE CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS PARTY OF JACKSONVILLE 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., Prime Osborn, 1000 Water St. As many as 6,000 local children, along with their parents, come for a chance to meet Santa, pick out new toys and have an opportunity to win a new bike. Each child chooses several toys from a wide selection of gifts. Volunteers hand out toys and provide entertainment and security.

31 JACKSONVILLE SYMPHONY NEW YEAR’S EVE: THE JAZZ AGE 9 p.m., Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, 300 Water St. It’s the biggest New Year’s Eve celebration in town. Party like it’s 1919 as Courtney Lewis and the Jacksonville Symphony revel in the 100th anniversary of Prohibition, The Roarin’ Twenties and much more, followed by a party featuring the Chris Thomas Band, and capped by fireworks seen from the best viewing location on the river.

January 2020 4




8 – 11 a.m., Jacksonville Landing, 2 Independent Dr.

7 p.m., Burlock and Barrel Distillery, 417 Magnolia St.

The Healthy Start 5K for runners and walkers raises awareness for the importance of living a healthy, fit and smart lifestyle. A portion of proceeds from this event will support the American Diabetes Association and the Kappa Alpha Psi Jacksonville Foundation, Inc.

The Bowtie Ball is a hip event featuring spirits, food and dancing. It is hosted by Ascension St. Vincent’s Shircliff Society, a group of young professionals who improve the health of our community through philanthropy and volunteerism. Proceeds benefit lifechanging technology at the Ascension St. Vincent’s Family Birth Place. en/events/bowtie-ball




THE ART OF POP: A WARHOL DINNER PARTY 6 - 9 p.m., Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, 829 Riverside Ave. Join the Cummer Museum for an homage to artist and pop-culture icon, Andy Warhol. Dinner Party guests are invited to dress in their favorite sequins and suits, and enjoy beer, wine, hors d’oeuvres, themed music, artful experiences, and dinner.





7 a.m., The Bolles School, 7400 San Jose Blvd.

6 - 9 p.m., The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, 829 Riverside Ave.

6:30 – 10 p.m., Hyatt Regency Riverfront, 225 Coastline Dr.

Ameris Bank is proud to carry on the tradition of the Jacksonville Marathon, the oldest marathon in Jacksonville. In its 37th year, this race celebrates the beauty of Jacksonville while providing a course that provides shade and flat planes for all runners, from first-time to experienced competitor.

Pay homage to Japanese culture with an evening filled with beautiful music, colorful performances, umami-packed food, and, of course, sake. Dress in your favorite hue to celebrate the museum’s Fields of Color: The Art of Japanese Printmaking exhibition. Enjoy beer, wine, hors d’oeuvres, themed music, artful experiences and dinner.

The EDDY Awards, an annual event to celebrate Duval County's leading teachers, is a time-honored tradition with a new mission to elevate the role of Jacksonville's best teachers. Come celebrate each school's Teacher of the Year and learn who is the winner of the Florida Blue Duval County Teacher of the Year.



YEAR OF HOPE When: Jan 25, 2020, 2-6 p.m. Where: Legacy Lodge Event Center, 1601 Oaklawn Place, Jacksonville, FL Year of Hope is Project: Cold Case’s annual fundraising event. Each year, we gather a great selection of auction items for bidding and share details of the organization’s previous year in operation and future dreams. Hardage-Giddens Oaklawn has graciously allowed us to use their Legacy Lodge Events Center for the second year. We had an amazing time at last year’s event, the first event in the new facility! We hope you can join us as we reflect on the successes of 2019 and convey our goals for 2020, including further growth of our organization. Visit for more information




8 a.m., Historic Stanton Property

5 p.m., First Coast Baptist Church, 7587 Blanding Blvd

This highly anticipated inaugural event will honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Historic Stanton legacy of academic excellence and its heritage of inspiration and hope for the next generations. The event benefits Historic Stanton, Inc., a 501c(3) organization, in restoration and perpetuation of the building.

22 FLORIDA FORUM – JON MEACHUM 7 p.m., Times-Union Center, 300 Water St. Since 1992, the Florida Forum has hosted Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Peace Prize winners, world leaders, political figures, distinguished authors and others from around the world who have offered profound insights and fascinating discussion on a broad range of issues. Presented by The Women’s Board, this series raises awareness and funds for Wolfson Children’s Hospital.

Professionalism Integrity Experience

25 11TH ANNUAL WOLFSON CHILDREN’S CHALLENGE 7 a.m., Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville This challenge supports the region's only children's hospital and includes inspiring stories from 55 children as well as races for various levels of runners, fundraising opportunities and event-day family activities and entertainment. Participate to make sure no child is ever turned away from Wolfson Children's Hospital because of an inability to pay.

PROJECT COLD CASE: YEAR OF HOPE 5TH ANNUAL FUNDRAISER 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Hardage Giddens Oaklawn Legacy Lodge Event Center, 1801 Oaklawn Pl.

Jon Singleton REALTOR


Certified Luxury Expert (904) 226-3480 |





The event will consist of music, free food, and non-alcoholic drinks, a cash bar, silent and live auction. We will reflect on the successes of 2019 and convey our goals for 2020, including the further growth of our organization.

Fourth through seventh graders who have been recognized by their music educators for their singing ability, musical aptitude and strong work ethic perform in The Jacksonville Children’s Chorus Honors Choir. This year, in celebration of its 25th Anniversary, the chorus welcomes back two very special former artistic staff members of the JCC.

A NIGHT FOR HEROES 6 p.m., Hyatt Regency Riverfront, 225 East Coastline Dr. The 12th annual gala benefits UF Health’s TraumaOne and honors the medical professionals and first responders who care for trauma victims. The black-tie optional gala includes cocktails, dinner, dancing and a silent auction.

26 CUMMER BEACHES CELEBRATE! GALA: ROARIN’ TWENTIES 6 – 10 p.m., TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse, 110 Championship Way, Ponte Vedra Beach Cummer Beaches hosts its annual Celebrate! Gala fundraiser, which includes cocktails, dinner, dancing, a pop-up shop from the Cummer Shop, an auction to support the Museum’s mission-based programming, and entertainment by the Jacksonville University Music Department’s Jazz Orchestra.

31 A TOAST TO THE TASSEL 6 – 10 p.m., Hyatt Regency Jacksonville, 225 E. Coastline Dr. Celebrate Communities In Schools of Jacksonville’s three decades of helping local students stay on track for graduation. The evening will include cocktails, a silent auction, and dinner, as well as the unveiling of new student-focused videos and an interactive gallery experience. Proceeds will benefit the critical programs operated by CIS.


March 8-9, 2020

February 2020 3



A NIGHT OUT WITH THE FEDERATION 6-9 p.m., Marriott Southpoint, 4670 Salisbury Rd.

Through March 6, Cathedral Arts Project, Heather Moore Community Gallery, 207 N. Laura St..





8 a.m., Bank of America Tower, 50 N. Laura St.

9 a.m. – 12 p.m., The Cummer Museum, 829 Riverside Ave.

Step up and make a positive impact for lung health by participating in a Fight For Air Climb event. Raise funds and challenge yourself to support the American Lung Association's mission while climbing the 36 Floors and 713 Stairs of the Bank of America Tower.,

HENRY’S RUN 5K 8 a.m., Oakleaf High School, Plantation Oaks Blvd. This event is organized by Run 4 Kids Davis-Flick Foundation to raise funds for a playground accessible to all children, regardless of ability.

Explore where architecture, art and nature meet with this three-hour personally guided tour by Architect Richard Skinner. Visit three beautiful homes on the First Coast with commentary by Acting Director Holly Keris on private collection pieces and the museum’s tradition of marrying architecture and the natural environment.

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards annually recognize the vision, ingenuity and talent of our nation’s youth and provide opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated. This year, awards will be presented, and work of the Gold Key portfolio winners will be exhibited at the Cathedral Arts Project. Opening reception, Feb. 2, 1 - 3 p.m.

Annual gala to benefit Jewish Federation of Jacksonville.



TIM TEBOW FOUNDATION NIGHT TO SHINE Time & Location TBD This event brings a special prom night experience to young people with special needs. Hundreds of churches from all over the world join with the Tim Tebow Foundation to host the special night for their honored guests.

WOMEN WITH HEART LUNCHEON Time TBD, Florida Blue Conference Center, 4800 Deerwood Campus Pkwy. The Women with Heart Luncheon will kick off a yearlong awareness and fund-raising campaign for Volunteers in Medicine, a full-service, downtown, nonprofit clinic that serves the working uninsured. Each honoree has committed to a month of advocacy to support the clinic.



HEAL GALA When: February 20, 6:30 p.m. Where: Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, 200 Ponte Vedra Blvd. Ponte Vedra Beach The Gala kicks off two days of FUN-raising in support of the HEAL Foundation’s efforts to Help Enrich Autistic Lives in Northeast Florida


8 DONNA 5K 8 a.m., Beaches Town Center, 0 Atlantic Blvd., Neptune Beach 5K participants earn the signature Running Ribbon medal and experience a reimagined 5K at the beach. The 5K will be a timed, 3.1 course event. The fun run is perfect for families and will be an out and back course of up to one mile.

HALOS DANCE 6 p.m.- 8 p.m., St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Hosted by the Angels for Allison Student Leadership Council to benefit its mission. Tickets are $20 per child. All students in Grades 1-6 are welcome to attend.

MARDI GRAS BLOCK PARTY 7:30 p.m., Friday Musicale, 645 Oak St. Friday Musicale’s annual fundraiser features JB Scott’s Swingin’ Allstars this year.

9 DONNA MARATHON AND HALF MARATHON 7:30 a.m., Beaches Town Center, 0 Atlantic Blvd., Neptune Beach Help raise $500,000 For The DONNA Foundation. The National Marathon to Finish Breast course will be open for seven hours, allowing for a 16-minute per mile marathon or 32-minute per mile half-marathon pace. The course is beginner friendly and one of the few marathons in the country with Galloway Pace Groups powered by Momentum.



HEART OF THE RUNWAY PREVIEW PARTY 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Linda Cunningham, 1049 Kings Ave. 32207 The Heart of the Runway Preview Party will give patrons an exclusive preview of the fashion and art that will be featured at the Heart of the Runway Fashion Show & Luncheon. The event includes cocktails and bites, a shopping discount at Linda Cunningham, and a special gift created by North Florida School of Special Education’s Art with Soul students.

MARDI GRAS PARTY 6:30 – 10 p.m., Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, 1050 A1A N, Ponte Vedra Beach Guests will enjoy live entertainment, dancing, food, specialty drinks, live DJ music, aerialist, silent and live auction, prizes and a photo booth. The event benefits the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus. calendar-of-events/mardi-gras-party/

JEWISH COMMUNITY ALLIANCE ANNUAL FUNDRAISER 7:30 p.m., Jewish Community Alliance, 8505 San Jose Blvd.

13 HEART OF THE RUNWAY 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Linda Cunningham Boutique, 1049 Kings Ave. At Heart of the Runway, guests will enjoy a fashion show; as well as original art designed by North Florida School of Special Education (NFSSE). Models from the community, along with students from the school, showcase trending spring fashions from Linda Cunningham and Dillard’s St. Johns Town Center. Guests are presented with a delicious lunch prepared by the talented Berry Good Farms culinary team.

This New Orleans-themed event benefits JCA programs including senior activities, preschool, afterschool care and camp tuitions for families. Each year, the JCA awards $330,000 in assistance to those in need. As part of its mission, JCA never turns anyone away for their inability to pay.

CHARITY CHILI COOKOFF 4-8 p.m., Riverside Arts Market, 715 Riverside Ave.

20 HEAL VALLEY OF DREAMS GALA Time TBD, Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, 200 Ponte Vedra Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach This gala kicks off a two-day event to support HEAL Foundation projects across the First Coast. Guests will enjoy entertainment by 7 Street Band, a live & silent auction, dinner and drinks


The Jacksonville Bar Association hosts this annual chili cookoff event with proceeds being donating to various local charities each year. Come out and enjoy some of the best chili ever along with live music, drinks and fun for the whole family.

6:30 p.m., Lexington Hotel & Conference Center, 1515 Prudential Dr. City Rescue Mission’s annual banquet celebrates those who make a difference in the community by providing hope, healing and change to those in need. New York Times best-selling author Charles Martin, a well-known author of Christian fiction who has authored 15 books, will be the featured special guest speaker.

OPENING RECEPTION: THE BLACK BEACH, AN EXHIBITION BY DUSTIN HAREWOOD, MALCOLM JACKSON AND JORDAN WALTER 5:30 - 7:30 PM, Cathedral Arts Project, Heather Moore Community Gallery, 207 N. Laura St., Suite 300 Details TBD

“When quality matters, demand only the best!” Historic San Marco Home Studio (just south of downtown - by appoinment only)

904.398.7668 | www.DanHarrisPhoto.Art . WWW.CIRCLESCHARITYREGISTER.COM







Time TBD, Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, Lagoon Course, 200 Ponte Vedra Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach

35TH ANNUAL WOMEN FOR CHRIST LUNCHEON Through Feb. 25; Feb. 24, 6 – 8 p.m., Prime Osborn, 1000 Water St.; Feb. 25, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Prime Osborn Convention Center, 1000 Water St.

4 p.m. – 8 p.m., Location TBD

On Day Two of HEAL’s annual major fundraiser, participants enjoy a day of golf at the magnificent Lagoon course to help support the HEAL Foundation.

Speaker Sheila Walsh is a Scottish girl who loves to teach God’s Word to the over 6 million women she’s met and spoken to around the world. Her goal is to make the Bible practical as she shares her own story of how God met her when she was at her lowest point and lifted her up again.



7 p.m., Location TBD The Red Rose Ball is an unforgettable evening of elegance featuring a progressive dinner and dancing. Proceeds benefit the mission of Ascension of St. Vincent’s to provide compassionate care, wellness education and hope through many lifechanging outreach programs that improve the lives of thousands of children and families in need. en/events/red-rose-ball


FLORIDA FORUM – JERRY RICE 7 p.m., Times-Union Center, 300 Water St.

24 12TH ANNUAL MORNING STAR GOLF TOURNAMENT 10 a.m., San Jose Country Club, 7529 San Jose Blvd.

LIFT EV’RY VOICE AND SING CONCERT 2 p.m., Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church, 4001 Hendricks Ave. Jacksonville Children’s Chorus performances celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Enjoy a day of golf at the beautiful and challenging San Jose Country Club while supporting the mission of Morning Star School. Lunch at 11 a.m., followed by shotgun start at noon; dinner and awards ceremony will follow at the end of tournament.

Since 1992, the Florida Forum has hosted Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Peace Prize winners, world leaders, political figures, distinguished authors and others from around the world who have offered profound insights and fascinating discussion on a broad range of issues. Presented by The Women’s Board, this series raises awareness and funds for Wolfson Children’s Hospital.

27 ANGELWOOD SPORTING CLAY SHOOT 8 a.m., Jacksonville Clay Target Sports, 12125 New Berlin Rd.


You are invited to the annual Angelwood Sporting Clay Shoot hosted by Jacksonville Clay Target Sports. Bring friends, colleagues and clients for a morning of fun for a great cause, Angelwood, which serves children, adults, seniors, and families living with intellectual and developmental differences. Breakfast, awards lunch and ammo are included.

4-7 p.m., Riverside Arts Market, 715 Riverside Ave. Enjoy more than 100 craft beers from local, regional and national breweries. Proceeds benefit Community PedsCare® that provides comfort, care and support for children with life-threatening conditions, as well as the charitable causes of the Riverside Rotary Foundation.

28 5TH ANNUAL DOWNTOWN JAX GALA 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Created in 2017, the LABS Initiative strives to identify, develop, and implement placemaking best practices that enhance the vibrancy of Downtown Jacksonville. LABS invests in projects that create walkable connectivity, activate the streetscape, enhance public spaces and engage the community. The gala raises funds to help the LABS Initiative.

WHALE OF A SALE Through Feb. 29; Feb. 28, Preview Party, 6:30 – 10 p.m., Jacksonville Fairgrounds, 510 Fairground Pl.; Feb. 29, Main Event, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Visit Jacksonville’s largest pop-up rummage sale with over 30,000 square feet of shopping at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds. Browse through gently used furniture, clothes, home goods, toys, tailgating gear and much more. Proceeds benefit Junior League of Jacksonville’s community projects focusing on nutrition education and fresh food availability and for member training.

GARDEN CLUB FLEA MARKET Through Fe. 29; Feb. 28, Preview Party, 6 – 9 p.m.; Feb. 29, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Garden Club of Jacksonville, 1005 Riverside Ave. Score fantastic finds at this gigantic yard sale that features enticing items from homes across Jacksonville.

Unmatched Personal Service Ideal for high-net worth clients, I will provide you with my dedicated banking expertise and manage and coordinate your personal banking, investment and wealth management needs.

Tanya Guydos Vice President

904-699-1202 172




135 West Bay Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202



29 GIRL SCOUTS THIN MINT SPRINT 5K AND 1-MILE COOKIE CRAWL 6:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m., St. Johns Town Center, 4663 River City Dr. Run your cookies off — for good! Join Girl Scouts for their annual 5K and show your support for the female leaders of tomorrow. All 5K participants receive a T-shirt and medal, and all participants receive a box of Girl Scout cookies. ThinMintSprint

MT. ACOSTA CLASSIC 3 - 6 p.m., Haskell, 111 Riverside Ave. The Jared Bynum Scholarship Foundation honors a beloved Haskell team member, Jared Bynum, by assisting Julia Landon Middle School students in their pursuit of a college dream. The Mt. Acosta Classic challenges endurance athletes to traverse the St. Johns River mainstay Acosta Bridge as many times as possible within a set three-hour time limit.

ORTEGA RIVER RUN 8 a.m., St. Mark’s Episcopal Day School, 4114 Oxford Ave. For more than 40 years, St. Mark’s Episcopal Day School has been home to the Ortega River Run. Hosted by First Place Sports as a Grand Prix sanctioned event, this is a great event for the whole family. Proceeds benefit the financial aid and scholarship program at the school.,

Presenting… the MANY LIFESTYLES of

Northeast Florida for 30+ Years

FOSTERING THE LIGHT OF HOPE GALA 5:30 p.m., Jacksonville Marriott, 4670 Salisbury Rd., Jacksonville The 9th annual fundraiser will include a fashion show featuring local foster children modeling clothes from Foster Closet, a silent auction, plated dinner, paddle raise, dancing and music by band “Who Rescued Who.”

2020 EQUALITY FLORIDA JACKSONVILLE GALA 7 - 10 p.m., Prudential Building, 701 San Marco Blvd This gala benefits Equality Florida, which consists of two organizations - Equality Florida Institute, Inc., a 501(c)(3) educational charity and Equality Florida Action, Inc., a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization. Together, these organizations form the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community.

RETHREADED ANNUAL MUKTI BALL 6 p.m., Glass Factory, 601 N. Myrtle St. Mukti, which means freedom in Bengali, is Rethreaded’s primary fundraising event of the year with 500 leaders from the Jacksonville community coming together to enjoy an evening of hope through poetry, stories, shopping, dining and dancing. Help renew hope, reignite dreams and release potential for survivors of human trafficking.

Top 5 Realtors in Northeast Florida Jacksonville Business Journal 2019

“Best of the Best” in TEN categories Ponte Vedra Recorder 2019

Clare Berry BROKER

904.382.5875 |




Resourceful… Responsible… Respected…

March 2020 5


11 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., WJCT, 100 Festival Park Ave. This fundraising luncheon for Girls Inc. raises awareness about girls’ issues and challenges, while celebrating the achievements of the girls it serves and the women honored for their contributions. This year’s theme is “Reach for the Stars.”

12TH ANNUAL KELSI YOUNG GIFT OF CARE CELEBRATION Time TBD, Congregation Ahavath Chesed, Block and Coleman Room, 8727 San Jose Blvd. The Kelsi Leah Young Respite Care Fund provides the gift of respite care to parents or guardians of children in Community PedsCare, the pediatric care program of Community Hospice & Palliative Care.



Through March 8, The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and the Golf Club of Amelia Island, 4750 Amelia Island Pkwy, Amelia Island This top automobile event draws nearly 300 rare vehicles from collections worldwide to the Golf Club of Amelia Island and The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. Since 1996, the show has contributed millions of dollars to local charities, including Community Hospice & Palliative Care.


8 a.m., Sports Complex, Downtown Jacksonville

The Gate River Run, now in its 42nd year, is brought to you each year by JTC Running, a nonprofit organization dedicated to running and physical fitness in northeast Florida since 1975

BRUNCHING FOR BABIES 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Location TBD


Brunching for Babies is a fundraiser that helps Footprints of Angels support their infant burial support program, care packages, and their reproductive education program for young adults.



6 p.m., Wells Fargo Center, corner of Bay & Laura Streets

Noon, St. Matthew’s Catholic Church, 1773 Blanding Blvd.

Join Tom Coughlin for this special event and sample cuisine from top restaurants and fine wines as you bid on auction items to help raise funds for the Jay Fund.

Hosted by the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women, the event raises funds for the Camper Scholarship Fund. During the show, attendees will enjoy a delicious lunch served by the Italian American Club.


JACKSONVILLE SYMPHONY GALA 7 p.m., Times-Union Center for Performing Arts, 300 Water St. Join the Symphony and Music Director Courtney Lewis for the 2020 Symphony Gala featuring GRAMMY-winning mezzo-soprano Susan Graham. Those with VIP tickets can enjoy the full Gala experience with a pre-concert VIP reception and silent auction, plus a seated dinner and live auction after the performance.


2020 FIRST COAST HEART BALL When: Saturday March 7, 2020 Where: Sawgrass Marriott The First Coast Heart Ball is more than a black-tie event, it is meant to give our supporters and donors the opportunity to see, celebrate and live their investment in the mission of the American Heart Association. For over 60 years, Heart Balls have been raising vital funds to support the mission of the AHA to ensure our research and community efforts continue to save lives. We are extremely proud to have Anthony & Frances Jabbour, CEO of Black Knight, leading this year’s efforts. The 2020 Heart Ball honorees will be longtime AHA supporters Frank & Marisa Martire for the impact they are making on the First Coast Community. The evening’s festivities begin with a reception that includes a silent auction, followed by an elegant dinner, inspiring program and a spectacular live auction. The evening concludes with an after party featuring festive entertainment. Visit: for more information



CATHOLIC CHARITIES’ BLACK & WHITE BALL When: Saturday March 21, 2020. 6 - 10p.m. Where: TIAA Bank Field, US Assure Club East, 1 TIAA Bank Field Dr. Guests will enjoy a beer, wine and liquor reception overlooking the terrace, live music by KTG, seated dinner and dancing. Over the past 27 years, this signature event has raised more than $3.4 million for Catholic Charities’ Emergency Financial Assistance Program, which gives hope and a hand up to help families facing a crisis. Visit: for more information

THERAPY ANIMAL EXPO 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., University of North Florida, Adam Herbert University Center, 12000 Alumni Dr. Therapy Animal Coalition’s 4th Expo & Symposium will feature nationally acclaimed speakers and informational workshops. Tracks are available for aspiring teams, registered teams and the facilities and organizations that want or have therapy animal programs. Attendees may interact with onsite vendors who will be offering various pet-related products and services.

FIRST COAST HEART BALL 6 p.m., Sawgrass Marriott Hotel, 1000 PGA Tour Blvd. Heart Ball supporters will connect, innovate, influence and invest in advancing the American Heart Association’s efforts to change health outcomes as they relate to heart disease and stroke. Evening festivities will include dinner, an opportunity to Open Your Heart and further support the mission, and an exciting live auction.

8 FURYK & FRIENDS CONCERT AND CELEBRITY GOLF CLASSIC Through March 9, Time & location TBD, Ponte Vedra Beach Join this 10-year, two-day celebration filled with celebrities to support children and families in need on the First Coast. Sunday kicks off with a concert at The Players Championship and Monday is the Celebrity Golf Classic at Sawgrass Country Club. Enjoy great food, fun and friendship while supporting local charities.

10 THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP Through March 15, THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, 110 Championship Way THE PLAYERS is one of the most anticipated tournaments on the PGA Tour and boasts the largest purse as well as the strongest field. Proceeds from THE PLAYERS benefit northeast Florida charities and have totaled nearly $100 million since the event moved to Ponte Vedra Beach in 1977.

12 THE ART OF POWER DINNER PARTY 6 - 9 p.m., Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, 829 Riverside Ave. A feast in honor of the Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt exhibition. Dinner Party guests will enjoy beer, wine, hors d’oeuvres, themed music, artful experiences, and dinner. Magic and mystery await!



20TH ANNUAL SHOOT FOR A CURE 11 a.m., Jacksonville Clay Target Sports, 12125 New Berlin Rd. This annual event that raises funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation includes a round of sporting clays, lunch and festivities. Funds help the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation support those with the disease so they can live full and productive lives while also funding research.

RODEHEAVER BOYS RANCH BENEFIT BASS TOURNAMENT Time TBD, Palatka City Docks 319 River St., Palatka, FL Rodeheaver Foundation is hosting its 5th annual fundraising tournament benefiting Rodeheaver Boys Ranch. It is the 2nd largest tournament on the St. Johns River. With almost 200 boats participating last year, this event draws fishermen and guests from all over Florida and Georgia. All proceeds and sponsorships go directly to benefit the boys who reside at the Ranch.

JACKSONVILLE SYMPHONY, SHIFT: KENNEDY CENTER BOUND March 20 & 21, 8 p.m., Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, 300 Water St. The SHIFT Festival “…celebrates the vitality, identity and extraordinary artistry of orchestras…” Hear the program the Jacksonville Symphony will perform at the Kennedy Center just a few days later. The selections include two pieces written specifically for the Symphony and Jacksonville: Duke Ellington’s Celebration, written for the City of Jacksonville’s 150th Anniversary, and Courtney Bryan’s Bridges.

21 CATHOLIC CHARITIES’ BLACK & WHITE BALL 6 – 10 p.m., TIAA Bank Field, US Assure Club East, 1 TIAA Bank Field Dr. Guests will enjoy a beer, wine and liquor reception overlooking the terrace, live music by KTG, seated dinner and dancing. Over the past 27 years, this signature event has raised more than $3.4 million for Catholic Charities’ Emergency Financial Assistance Program, which gives hope and a hand up to help families facing a crisis.

ST JOHNS RIVER CLEANUP DAY & CELEBRATION 50 sites throughout Jacksonville Join in this annual event to help keep the St. Johns River beautiful as volunteers at over 50 sites throughout Jacksonville take part in this cleanup effort that is part of the Florida Great American Cleanup.






JDRF ONE WALK When: Saturday, April 18th, 8 – 11 a.m. Where: UNF Hodges Stadium, N. Entrance Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32224 JDRF One Walk is a fun, family friendly event where dedicated walkers, volunteers and sponsors raise money to make living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) safer and healthier, until it is no longer a threat. Everyone is welcome to take part—whether you choose to walk on your own or with a family, corporate or school team. Join this year’s Walk Chairwoman, Meg Rose of Firehouse Subs, for Jacksonville’s 25th JDRF One Walk, which promises to be a morning filled with activities, entertainment and celebration of coming together to change the future for everyone living with this disease. As the leading global organization funding T1D research, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s (JDRF) mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. By raising money and awareness, you'll help make a world without T1D a reality. Visit to register. Call (904) 739-2101 or email to discuss sponsorship opportunities.




DAILY’S RIVERSIDE KIDS DUATHLON & TOT TROT 8 a.m., Riverside Presbyterian Day School, 830 Oak St.

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Prime Osborn Convention Center, 1000 Water St.

Hosted by Riverside Presbyterian Day School, the eventhelps to teach children about living healthy and active lifestyles and features a run, bike and run duathlon for children ages five to 15.,

The Salvation Army’s Women’s Auxiliary will present the 34th annual Celebrity Chefs fundraiser. This event features local celebrities dishing up tastes of their favorite recipes, as well as an eclectic silent auction to raise money for the programs of The Salvation Army of Northeast Florida.

25 JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT NORTH FLORIDA GOLF CLASSIC 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., THE PLAYERS Championship Course, 110 Championship Way The Junior Achievement of North Florida Golf Classic is a high-end tournament for the benefit of Junior Achievement of North Florida, who impacted more than 62,000 students last school year with its programs in financial literacy, entrepreneurship and workforce preparation. north-florida-golf-classic

13TH ANNUAL CHILDREN’S CHAMPION AWARDS GALA 6pm-9pm, UNF Herbert University Center, 12000 Alumni Dr. Episcopal Children’s Services will recognize Martha Frye Baker, Peggy Bryan, and Julia “JuJu” Taylor as the Children’s Champion Award recipients for 2020. Children’s Champion was established in 2006 to recognize individuals and organizations who work passionately on behalf of children to help elevate their welfare to the highest priority in our community.

8TH ANNUAL KILWINS ICE CREAM RUN 8 a.m., St. Johns Town Center, 10281 Midtown Pkwy.

27 JNKCF GOLF TOURNAMENT 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Atlantic Beach Country Club, 1600 Selva Marina Dr. The Judy Nicholson Kidney Cancer Foundation is hosting an open event to raise awareness about kidney cancer and help fund financial aid grants for survivors of the disease.

GABRIEL HOUSE OF CARE GALA, “A NIGHT OF BLUES” 6 p.m., Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, 1050 A1A North, Ponte Vedra Enjoy cocktails, buffet dinner, silent auction and an evening of live music, featuring Jacksonville’s own Mama Blue to benefit Gabriel House of Care, which provides affordable, temporary lodging in a “community of healing” environment for adult organ transplant and cancer patients and their caregivers who come to Jacksonville for medical treatment.





The one-mile fun run/walk and timed 5K race around the St. Johns Town Center benefits Clarke Schools for Speech and Hearing. Participants are rewarded at finish line with all-you-can-eat ice cream.

GREENSCAPE ARBOR DAY CELEBRATION 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Jacksonville Fair Grounds, 510 Fairground Pl. The celebration includes a tree give-a-way on a first-come, first-served basis. A wide variety of trees three-gallon containers will be available.

CHOPS FOR CHARITY 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Location TBD Competition BBQ, car show, and shopping has over 20 vendors, A KIDS ZONE, and live entertainment! Be sure to visit the Ben's Place booth featuring items made by its creative members. BBQ judging begins at 1 pm. Sample each competitor’s specialty dish and vote for People's Choice. Spots avail.

MARCH 2020

TBD TIM TEBOW CELEBRITY GOLF CLASSIC 9 a.m. Gates open to spectators, 10 a.m. Shotgun start, TPC Sawgrass, 1120 Championship Way Tim Tebow hosts this special weekend of celebrities to raise funds for the Tim Tebow Foundation’s W15H program, Timmy’s Playrooms, Tebow CURE Hospital, Orphan Care, Adoption Aid, Night to Shine and Team Tebow.

VISION IS PRICELESS BBQ & WESTERN 5 – 9 p.m., Jacksonville Fairgrounds, 510 Fairground Pl. The 37th Annual BBQ & Western benefits Vision Is Priceless and includes a trip back to the Wild Wild West, fun-money for classic Old West gambling games (poker, blackjack and Texas hold’em), ribs and chicken will all the fixin’s cooked by volunteer BBQ pitmasters, good ‘ole country music, dancing, silent auction and games.

30 19TH ANNUAL KB HOME SAM KOUVARIS DREAMS COME TRUE GOLF TOURNAMENT 9 a.m., San Jose Country Club, 7529 San Jose Blvd. Join Dreams Come True and KB Home as they host the annual tournament to support the programs and services of Dreams Come True. All participants will enjoy breakfast, lunch, cocktail party, live and silent auctions. Sponsorship opportunities available!

TWO REMARKABLE EVENTS TO SUPPORT ONE CRITICAL CAUSE Proceeds Benefit Our Community’s Most Vulnerable People


BLACK & WHITE BALL S AT U R D AY, M A R C H 2 1 , 2 0 2 0

U S As s u re C lu b Ea s t - TIA A Ban k Fi e l d

TIM TEBOW CELEBRITY GALA 6 p.m., TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse, 1120 Championship Wa Tim Tebow hosts this special weekend of celebrities beginning with an exclusive star-studded, red carpet gala on Friday night.


F R I D AY, N OVE M B E R 6 , 2 0 2 0

Date, time & location TBD Get ready to tee off for this spectacular golfing event at the beautiful Fleming Island Golf Club to support Haven in its mission to honor end-of-life and advanced illness care by providing comfort, care and compassion to individuals and families it serves.

MASTERS OF DISASTERS GOLF INVITATIONAL Date, time & location TBD This golfing event includes lunch, shotgun start, silent auction, dinner, awards and prizes. Your support will allow the Red Cross to provide help and hope throughout your community when and where it is needed most.

(904) 354-4846 |



Presented by





April 2020 2





6 p.m., Prime Osborne Convention Center, 1000 Water St.

8:30 a.m., Seven Bridges/Tinseltown, 9735 Gate Pkwy N.


Join Jewish Family & Community Services for cocktails and dinner as they look forward to the future and share the lifechanging work has been accomplished in serving the entire First Coast community for more than 100 years.

Participation in the Walk to Defeat ALS has a direct impact on people living with ALS and their families at the local level. Help meet this year’s goal to raise $355,000.

Proceeds benefit The Albert Z. Fleet Geriatric Training Center at River Garden. The Center provides continuing education for River Garden staff. Registration begins at 10 a.m. with deli lunch and an evening awards reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres and a participation gift for each golfer.



12 p.m., Nease High School, 10550 Ray Rd., Ponte Vedra Beach

15TH ANNUAL SUBARU BASCA GOLF CLASSIC 12:30 p.m., Eagle Harbor Golf Course, 2217 Eagle Harbor Pkwy., Fleming Island This is a premier annual fundraiser for BASCA, Inc. (Building Abilities of Special Children & Adults) to support programs and services for individuals with intellectual and developmental differences. Title Sponsor is Subaru of Jacksonville on Atlantic, which will have a Hole-in-One contest for a brand-new Subaru.

BERRY GOOD FARMS WEEKEND FESTIVAL Through April 5, Berry Good Farms, 223 Mill Creek Rd. 32211 Honorary co-chairs, Nancy and Gary Chartrand and title sponsor, Wayne Weaver will host the grand opening of the new Christy and Lee Smith Lower School Campus and Delores Barr Weaver Therapeutic Equestrian Center. The festival dishes up a culinary weekend filled with live music and entertainment, delicious fare prepared by Jacksonville’s trendsetting chefs, craft beer from local breweries and an alfresco dinner paired with wine to support North Florida School of Special Education’s programs. Favorite games, a petting zoo, live music and dancing round out the events.


Shotgun starts at 12:00 p.m., Deerwood Country Club, 10239 Golf Club Dr.



The American Cancer Society Relay for Life honors everyone who's been affected by cancer and who has contributed to the success of this year's Relay season. Participate in the Survivor/Caregiver Walk and Luminaria Ceremony. Commit to take action and lead the fight for a world free from cancer. This year’s goal is $125,000.

CUPCAKE RUN & CAKE WALK 7:30 a.m., St. Johns Town Center, #137 4624 Town Crossing Dr. Sweet by Holly presents The Cupcake 5K and one-mile Kids Cake Walk fun run that benefits Girls on the Run of Northeast Florida, a nonprofit that inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experienced-based curriculum that creatively integrates running.

BLOOMS GALORE & MORE PLANT SALE 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Garden Club of Jacksonville, 1005 Riverside Ave. Find the perfect plants, home goods and artwork for your home and garden. Enjoy food trucks, children’s activities and more.


24TH ANNUAL EXZOOBERATION 6:00 p.m., Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens, 370 Zoo Pkwy. Join a wild culinary adventure with the best of Jacksonville at ExZOOberation. Includes VIP animal encounters, live music and entertainment, food and drinks, silent auction and so much more. Proceeds from the event go to the care and feeding of the Zoo’s 2,000 residents.


11 A CAPTIVATING CAPER: MYSTERY DINNER PARTY 6 - 9 p.m., The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, 829 Riverside Ave. Take a step into a world of intrigue while experiencing The Crime of Art exhibition. Whether you come dressed as a dapper detective or a busy burglar, this festive fête is sure to delight. Experience thrilling melodies, eats and a tantalizing case to solve. Hats, monocles and (non-smoking) pipes encouraged.


8 a.m. – 1 p.m, Riverside Arts Market, 715 Riverside Ave

9 A.M. – 1 P.M., Jacksonville Human Society, 8464 Beach Blvd.

Join us as we Run, Walk, Stim for Autism.

Join JHS for Jacksonville’s biggest dog walk and festival. You and your mutt will march up Beach Boulevard with hundreds of others to show your support of homeless pets in need. Afterwards enjoy more than 50 dog-centric and family-friendly vendors, food trucks, live music and a silent auction, all to benefit JHS.

7 CELEBRATION 2020 LEADERSHIP JAX 6 – 9 p.m., Jessie Ball duPont Center, 40 East Adams St. Join Leadership Jacksonville at their annual Celebration when they honor Cindy Edelman, Coley Jones and Linda Wilkinson as outstanding community leaders. Proceeds support Leadership Jacksonville’s youth programs.

7TH ANNUAL RUN FOR PEACE 5K 8 a.m., St. Augustine Beach Pier, 350 A1A Beach Blvd. Join a family friendly 5K and help support your local community. All proceeds will go towards helping Betty Griffin Center save the lives of domestic and sexual abuse victims in St. Johns County.



JACKSONVILLE SCHOOL FOR AUTISM CHARITY GOLF CLASSIC When: April 20, 2020 Where: Deerwood Country Club, 10239 Golf Club Dr. Have a great day of golf and lunch at the beautiful Deerwood Country Club to support the Jacksonville School for Autism. Visit for more information.





11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Adam W. Herbert University Center, University of North Florida, 12000 Alumni Dr.

6:30 p.m., The River Club, 1 Independent Dr.

Women of Distinction is Girl Scouts of Gateway Council’s signature fundraising event to honor outstanding women in Northeast Florida for their professional accomplishments, service to others and community impact. This annual event supports the more than 3,000 Girl Scouts living in underserved communities in Jacksonville.

CORK & CUISINE EXPERIENCE April 16 - 18, 2020, Jacksonville Jaguars Indoor Practice Facility (Daily’s Place), 1 Daily’s Pl. This inaugural fundraising event for Baptist MD Anderson includes a series of vintner dinners held in private homes throughout Northeast Florida, an art-focused luncheon in the Cancer Center, and an upscale live auction with one of a kind, high-end auction packages led by a nationally acclaimed auctioneer. Proceeds will benefit Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center’s NeuroOncology Clinic.

Jacksonville's premier event to support arts education for children, Spring for the Arts is the signature fundraiser for the Cathedral Arts Project. The event has generated more than $6 million since its inception, and is the most visible event supporting arts education along the First coast.

A VISION FOR ART St. Mark’s Episcopal Day, 4114 Oxford Ave. April 17 - 7 p.m., Opening Night Celebration April 18 - 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. April 19 – 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. April 20 - 6 - 8 p.m. April 21 (closing night) 6p.m. – 8pm., A five-day art exhibition showcasing established and emerging artists from the Jacksonville community and around the country, A Vision for Art is open to the general public, free of charge on Saturday, April 18 - Tuesday, April 21. The exhibit will feature the work of more than 35 select artists and spanning all price points and styles. Proceeds will support the St. Mark’s Episcopal Day School financial aid program, continued enhancements of the fine arts program, and strategic projects.

18 JDRF ONE WALK: WALK TO CURE DIABETES 8 a.m.., University of North Florida - Hodges Stadium, N. Entrance Rd., 1 S U N F Dr. JDRF One Walk has one goal - to create a world without type 1 diabetes (T1D). When you participate in your local JDRF One Walk, the money you raise supports lifechanging breakthroughs that give hope to everyone impacted by this disease.

STAND UP & STRIDE 8 a.m. Registration, 9 a.m. walk, Duval County Courthouse Hubbard House’s Awareness Walk is a fun, family-friendly event with community members coming together to raise awareness about domestic violence.

TAKE STEPS WALK 9 a.m., check-in, 11 a.m. walk, Memorial Park, 1620 Riverside Ave. Walk to support the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, a nonprofit, volunteer-fueled organization dedicated to finding cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and improving the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases.

RELAY FOR LIFE OF CLAY COUNTY Time 4:00 p.m., Lakeside Elementary School, 2752 Moody Ave., Orange Park The American Cancer Society Relay for Life honors everyone who's been affected by cancer and who has contributed to the success of this year's Relay season. Participate in the Survivor/Caregiver Walk and Luminaria Ceremony. Commit to take action and lead the fight for a world free from cancer. This year’s goal is $49,000.

MYSTERY TRIP SUITCASE PARTY 5 p.m – 11 p.m., Malone Aircharter, 746 Wright Brothers Dr. Mystery Trip Suitcase Party is the ILRC’s (Independent Living Resource Center of Northeast Florida) annual charity event to bring awareness for mission to empower all people with a disability to live independent, self-empowered lives. Every person who attends will have a chance to win a “fly away”, “drive away” sponsored by Tom Bush BMW, or Boat Away from the event. In addition to the silent and live auction components of the event. This years event is a Spain-inspired event.

BE PART OF THE DANIEL DIFFERENCE Daniel has spent 135 years helping local kids and families move beyond troubled yesterdays into more promising tomorrows. You can affect positive change in a moment with a donation that will: • • • •

P le

a s e do n ate t o d ay.

Supply counseling for an abused or emotionally troubled child Connect a neglected child with a caring foster or adoptive family Provide a homeless teen with shelter and independent living skills Strengthen families to help them stay together W W W . C I R C L E S C H R I T Y R E G I S T E R . C|O904.296.1055 M . 179

APRIL 2020





Time TBD, (Rain Date April 20), 1917 Montgomery Pl. / 3900 Richmond St. An afternoon of yard golf at two locations, all prizes, registration fees, hole sponsorships and donations are matched by Pajcic & Pajcic to benefit Jacksonville Area Legal Aid.

20 JACKSONVILLE SCHOOL FOR AUTISM CHARITY GOLF CLASSIC Time TBD, Deerwood Country Club, 10239 Golf Club Dr. Have a great day of golf and lunch at the beautiful Deerwood Country Club to support the Jacksonville School for Autism.

25 AN EVENING OF TASTE Time TBD, Private Estate in San Marco This annual fundraising event benefiting the Children’s Home Society, is a true culinary delight with an exclusive selection of food, fine wines and elegant music. Guests will have the opportunity to bid on silent auction items and hear impactful stories from local families who benefit from CHS services.

Date, Time and Location TBD



8 a.m., Riverside Park, 753 Park St.

Time TBD, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, 370 Zoo Pkwy.

This annual run/walk sponsored by the Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network (JASMYN) helps to show support for LGBTQ young people in our community. Join the event as an individual or put together a team for the event.

RELAY FOR LIFE NASSAU COUNTY WEST 10 a.m.; Northeast Florida Fairgrounds, 543378 US-1, Callahan, FL The American Cancer Society Relay for Life honors everyone who's been affected by cancer and who has contributed to the success of this year's Relay season. Participate in the Survivor/Caregiver Walk and Luminaria Ceremony. Commit to take action and lead the fight for a world free from cancer.

JOSEPH A. STRASSER BUTTERFLY FESTIVAL 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tree Hill Nature Center, 7152 Lone Star Rd. This wonderful nature festival includes a butterfly release, vendors and more to benefit Tree Hill Nature Center.

46TH ANNUAL SPRING TOUR OF HOMES Through April 26, 12 - 5 p.m., Riverside Avondale Preservation, 2623 Herschel St.

17TH ANNUAL NEFAR CHARITABLE BASS TOURNAMENT All Day, Palatka City Dock The charity bass fishing tournament benefits Haven Hospice with 100 percent of all sponsorships, donations and tournament proceeds going to the organization. The funds raised help Haven Hospice to provide assistance for families in Northeast Florida communities.




The Garden & Art Festival is centered around the botanical gardens at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. It features horticulture experts, local artists, live music, and craft vendors. Come enjoy art demos, garden tours, tasty treats, kids’ activities, and more.

26 Join thousands of participants as they walk around the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens to help the Heal Foundation assist individuals in Northeast Florida who are living with Autism.

27 BOB SNODGRASS MEMORIAL GOLF TOURNAMENT 9:00 a.m. registration, 10 a.m. tee-off, Queens Harbor Golf and Country Club, 1131 Queens Harbor Blvd Participate in Greyhounds as Pets’ biggest fundraiser of the year.


6 – 9 P.M., The Florida Theatre, 128 E. Forsyth St.


A cold brew, live music, food and an amazing silent suction support the work of Emergency Pregnancy Services. emergencypregnancy

7:30 a.m., Jacksonville Zoo, 370 Zoo Pkwy.


The Performing Arts Showcase is the highlight of the year for Cathedral Arts Project’s performing arts students, teachers and parents. Performances include theatre, ballet, step, jazz, violin, percussion, chorus and much more. Each is so unique and provides a special opportunity for the students to perform for their families.

BEER FOR LIFE Date & time TBD, Southern Grounds in San Marco


This annual spring event includes touring some of the most beautiful and historic homes in the Riverside/Avondale Historic District. The tour helps raise funds for the Riverside Avondale Preservation.

10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., UNF Lazzara Performance Hall, 1 University of North Florida Dr.

The MDA Golf Classic brings business leader together to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). MDA fights to free individuals from the effects of muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases. Their efforts support research; caring for kids and adults; and empowering families with support to live longer and grow stronger.


Communities In Schools of Jacksonville hosts this fifth annual event to showcase the accomplishments of their students and recognize community supporters who have contributed to CIS’s longstanding success. The evening includes a cocktail hour, silent auction and student talent show. CIS is the leading dropout prevention organization in Duval County.

SWAG AWARDS Date and Time TBD, Florida Theatre, 128 E. Forsyth St. Celebrate students who are working to achieve greatness and make Duval County (and the world!) a better place and the adults and companies who are inspiring and advocating for them. Proceeds benefit the Police Athlete League of Jacksonville.

ANNUAL DUCK RACE Date, time & location TBD Buy your ducks and enjoy a day of family fun for a cause. Every rubber duck purchase and donation benefits the treatment, cure, and prevention of autism. Sponsored by the HealthyUNow Foundation.

APRIL 2020



Date, time & location TBD

Date & time TBD, Jacksonville Fairgrounds, 510 Fairground Pl.

Participating chocolatiers will create chocolate delights for attendees, and there will also be a silent auction, plus many fun and interesting gift baskets to bid on. This event is critical in ensuring children and their families are provided a safe haven at the Family Nurturing Center for visitation and exchanges.

ACE FOR KIDS GOLF CLASSIC Date & time TBD, St. Johns Golf & Country Club, 205 St. Johns Golf Dr. Enjoy a day of golf at the beautiful St. Johns Golf & Country Club by joining this scramble format tournament to benefit The Children’s Miracle Network. The event includes dinner and awards ceremony.

Get ready to eat some of the best BBQ around as amateur and professional teams compete in this recipe contest to raise funds for Daniel Memorial. The event not only includes awesome BBQ but live entertainment and games.

JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT HALL OF FAME Date, Time and Location TBD Junior Achievement’s annual Hall of Fame event recognizes individuals, companies and elite supporters who have substantially contributed to Junior Achievement’s success and the young people reached locally since 1963.

KATIE RIDE FOR LIFE ANNUAL KYDS & JAFFI’S DREAMS COME TRUE FASHION SHOW Date TBD, 3 - 6 p.m., The Courtyard at 200 First St., Neptune Beach Children from Dreams Come True will model some of the latest spring fashions provided by Kyds and Jaffi's Boutiques. Enjoy live music, prizes, food and drinks. Proceeds support the dreams of local children battling life-threatening illnesses. Children from the community are welcomed to model alongside Dreamers.

BOWL FOR KIDS SAKE Date, time & location TBD Support the mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida and enjoy cosmic bowling, raffles, contests, food and drinks. Can’t make the party? Sign up as a virtual bowler to help raise funds.

CELEBRATION 2019 LEADERSHIP JAX Date & time TBD, Jessie Ball duPont Center, 40 East Adams St. Join Leadership Jacksonville at their annual Celebration as they honor Susan Greene and Janet Owens as outstanding community leaders and recognize Bill Brinton with The Frederick H. Schultz Lifetime Achievement Award. Proceeds support Leadership Jacksonville’s youth programs.

Date & time TBD, Atlantic Recreation Center, Fernandina Beach. Visit website for details. This outstanding cycling event is a nine-island coastal ride through beautiful Amelia Island which helps to support the Katie Caples Foundation’s organ donor education program. The event features various course lengths, an off-the-road course and a family fun ride walk/run and a “virtual ride.”

RITZ CHAMBER PLAYERS ANNUAL HAT LUNCHEON Date, time & location TBD This elegant luncheon features delicious food and the world-class Ritz Chamber Players. Proceeds help to support the Ritz Chamber Music Society as they bring appreciation of chamber music to the community through performances and educational outreach.

WALK MS JACKSONVILLE Date, time & location TBD This annual fundraising event brings the community together for a day of fun outdoors to help those living with MS and work toward ending MS. Friends and families of those living with or affected by MS, caring individuals and corporate teams walk 5K or fully accessible one-mile routes.




Coming Soon Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt January 31 through April 26, 2020 Eugène Louis Charvot February 11 through December 13, 2020 Buddha and Shiva, Lotus and Dragon: Masterworks from the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection at Asia Society June 30 through October 18, 2020


May 2020 1




8 am – 12 pm, Jacksonville Clay Target Sports, 12125 New Berlin Rd.

Date, time and location TBD

Take aim to provide thousands of northeast Florida youth an opportunity to visit Camp Deep Pond, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida’s real outdoor summer camp experience. Enjoy a morning of clay shooting, silent auction bidding and lunch with friends. Event proceeds provide Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida members a visit to Camp Deep Pond during the summer.

7 p.m., Club Continental, 2143 Astor St., Orange Park Corks & Forks is Clay County’s premier food and wine event that includes dishes from local chefs as well as dancing. Proceeds benefit Ascension St. Vincent’s many efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of the Clay County community through enhancements at its hospital as well as many outreach programs.



GREENSCAPE ROOT BALL 2020 6 p.m., Garden Club of Jacksonville, 1005 Riverside Ave. Jacksonville 32204



More than 700 students and community members from civic, corporate and school teams attend this annual walk for inclusion. Enjoy food, games, music, dancing, a low impact walk route and an awards ceremony while celebrating friendships formed through Best Buddies’ programs. Goal is to raise $110,000 in support of local programs. jacksonville/

The "Derby at the Garden" ball supports Greenscape's mission to enrich Jacksonville by planting, protecting and promoting trees. The party will feature live music, games, a Bodacious Hat Contest and the running of the 146th Kentucky Derby. Food and bourbon tasting will round out a fun-filled night.




8 a.m., Memorial Park, 1620 Riverside Ave.

4 – 8 p.m., Tringali Barn, 7310 U.S. 1 South, St. Augustine

This signature event helps raise funds for the Epilepsy Florida who helps those facing the challenges of living with epilepsy.

JOCKEYS AND JULEPS, THE JUNIOR LEAGUE OF JACKSONVILLE’S ANNUAL DERBY PARTY 4 – 7 p.m., Location TB This event offers participants a fun Derby Day party to benefit the Junior League of Jacksonville’s programs, focused on food education, food deserts, healthy eating, and member training. Enjoy your favorite signature Derby cocktails, Derby-inspired appetizers, a hat and bow tie competition with $350 in prizes, music, raffles, and a silent auction! Come join the Junior League and watch the most exciting two minutes in sports!

The spirit of the South’s swankiest affair visits St. Augustine for the 7th Annual Derby Run, a festive party and live screening of the Run for the Roses that benefits Community Hospice & Palliative Care support in St. Augustine and St. Johns County.

DRIVING FOR DREAMS 8 a.m., Autobahn Indoor Speedway, 6601 Executive Park Ct. N. This free annual car show is judged by children from Dreams Come True. Stop by with the family to check out various brands of automobiles, while fulfilling your need for speed in electric go-kart racing on the Autobahn Indoor Speedway. A perfect event for the family or any auto enthusiast.

MAY 2020

7 50TH ANNUAL ONEJAX HUMANITARIAN AWARDS DINNER 5:30 p.m., Prime Osborn Convention Center, 1000 Water St.

3 9TH ANNUAL JACKSONVILLE JEWISH FOOD FESTIVAL 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Congregation Ahavath Chesed, 8727 San Jose Blvd. The festival is a community favorite and a gastronomical delight! Nosh til you drop!

4 21ST ANNUAL HABITAT BUILDERS CLASSIC 11 a.m., Jacksonville Golf & Country Club Team up with Beaches Habitat for Humanity and Oceanside Rotary for its annual golf tournament. Enjoy an opportunity to drive, chip and putt for two great causes. Bring three friends and join the best ball tournament followed by a celebratory dinner and auction.

This event honors those who have demonstrated the highest level of personal and professional integrity, have given generously and extensively to our community and have been dedicated to the improvement of human relations among diverse groups in our community.

9 THE PLAYERS DONNA 5K 8:30 a.m., PLAYERS Stadium Course, TPC Sawgrass, 110 Championship Way THE PLAYERS DONNA 5K presented by Nimnicht Family of Dealerships is an event to raise funds to finish breast cancer. Runners and walkers of all levels experience a last chance, behind-the-scenes, 5K route through the beautiful PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.

RELAY FOR LIFE OF RIVERSIDE UNDERWOOD’S PRESENTS A THREE-DAY BICEGO TRUNK SHOW TO BENEFIT MDA Cocktail Party & Raffle 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Underwood ‘s Jewelers, 330 A1A N., Suite 204 Ponte Vedra Beach

EAT, DRINK & BE GIVING 6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m., Lake Shore Woman's Club , 2352 Lake Shore Blvd. Come Eat, Drink & Be Giving at our annual evening silent & live auction, raffle & hors d'oeuvres benefiting Ben's Place. You can meet the members from the center, mingle with staff, and catch-up with family and friends. Tickets are $25 per person.

4:00 p.m., Memorial Park, 1620 Riverside Ave. The American Cancer Society Relay for Life honors everyone who's been affected by cancer and who has contributed to the success of this year's Relay season. Participate in the Survivor/Caregiver Walk and Luminaria Ceremony. Commit to take action and lead the fight for a world free from cancer. This year’s goal is $70,000.

SPRING FLING DADDY/ DAUGHTER DANCE – “DANCING UNDER THE STARS” 5 – 8 p.m., Prime Osborn Convention Center, 1000 Water St. Dads and daughters are sure to have a special time together at this fundraiser for Girls Inc. of Jacksonville. The dance will feature a fun photo booth and a candy station. The event is hosted by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

CATHEDRAL ARTS PROJECT VISUAL ARTS SHOWCASE 10 - 11 a.m., Jacksonville University Alexander Brest Gallery, 2800 University Blvd. N Showcasing student work is a mainstay of CAP programs, serving as a reward for students’ hard work and reinforcing the self-confidence and maturity fostered in classes. The young artists are proud to share their work which spans a variety of artistic media inspired by the theme “The Arts Add Up.”


to all the sponsors, restaurants, and patrons for our

36th Annual Caring Chefs. We do good.




MAY 2020



THE ART OF NATURE: A GLAMPING GARDEN PARTY 6 - 9 p.m., Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, 829 Riverside Ave. Connect with the Cummer Gardens in style during this fancy, bohemian fete amidst the Cummer Oak and historic gardens, and experience a unique culinary feature at every turn. Guests will enjoy beer, wine, hors d’oeuvres, music, artful experiences, and dinner.

FEDERATION WOMEN'S DIVISION GIRLFRIEND CONNECTION 6:30 p.m., Location TBD Grab your friends for this annual fun and informative event. Past speakers have included philanthropists, entrepreneurs and entertainers.






6:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, 370 Zoo Pkwy.

6 p.m., Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa, 1000 PGA Tour Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach

Jacksonville’s wildest food and fundraising festival with live music and more. All proceeds from the 13th annual event will benefit the care and feeding of 2,000 animals and over 1,000 plants.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Jacksonville’s annual philanthropic competition supports blood cancer research.

6 p.m. reception; 7 p.m. doors open, Timuquana Country Club, 4028 Timuquana Rd.

GO RED FOR WOMEN LUNCHEON 10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., Florida Blue Conference Center, 4800 Deerwood Campus Pkwy. Join in the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women national initiative at this local event and help fight heart disease.

31ST ANNUAL WOLFSON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL BASS TOURNAMENT 7 a.m.-3 p.m., Palatka City Docks, South 3rd St. Enjoy some of the best Bass fishing around at this second largest tournament in the United States. Funds raised support Wolfson Children’s Hospital. basstournament

The annual themed event is filled with music, dancing and an auction. Proceeds benefit the Jacksonville Speech & Learning Center, which provides therapy for all ages, children through adults, regardless of ability to pay.

26 RIVER GARDEN AUXILARY ANNUAL LUNCHEON Time & Location TBD This annual luncheon helps to support the River Garden Foundation in its work to subsidize the immediate needs of the people who call River Garden their home.

Acknowledging the dedication and trust of Mr. David Stein along with the collaborative efforts of trustees, donors, colleagues and families, we thank you for many years of leadership and support. 184



9920 Regency Square Blvd. • Jacksonville, FL 32225 • • 904-726-5000 SOCIAL DATEBOOK & CHARITY REGISTER

MAY 2020

TBD ANNUAL JAY FUND CELEBRITY GOLF CLASSIC Time & Date TBD, TPC Sawgrass, 110 Championship Way This annual golf classic brings out a line-up of both national and local sports celebrities to support the Jay Fund. The tournament includes dinner at the elegant TPC Sawgrass clubhouse with a live and silent auction.


A NIGHT AT ROY’S Date & time TBD, Roy’s Restaurant, 2400 3rd St. S., Jacksonville Beach This annual, Hawaiian-themed luau will help support the Monique Burr Foundation. Enjoy Hawaiian inspired food prepared by Chef Roy Yamaguchi along with tropical cocktails, live music and a silent auction.


Time TBD, Sawgrass Marriott, 1000 PGA Tour Blvd. Reminiscent of the renown Supper Clubs of the 1940’s, McGala-The Supper Club serves as the largest fundraising event for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Jacksonville. McGala highlights RMHC of Jacksonville’s mission and the families served each year by Ronald McDonald House and the Ronald McDonald Family Room located at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. Held annually, McGala serves as one of Jacksonville’s premier gala events with 500 guests attending each year. Attendees can expect to enjoy a night of food, cocktails and jazz, a wine pull, live and silent auctions, and live music.

Date TBD, 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Deercreek Country Club Golf tournament includes breakfast, silent auction, putting contest, shotgun start, lunch buffet, raffle and awards

ANNUAL ARTS AWARDS GALA Date, time & location TBD Join the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville at this wonderful arts celebration to honor artists and businesses who have helped enhance art and culture in the Jacksonville community.

The Aging True Home Health Agency is ACHC accredited and Medicare certified, and offers a holistic and comprehensive system of in-home senior care. Our mission is to ensure the continuity of care and coordination of services with our clients and their physicians. We preserve our clients’ independence and help them reach their optimal health potential.




Date & time TBD, Florida Theatre, 128 E Forsyth St. The annual gala fundraiser to support Jacksonville’s most beautiful and historic theatre has been called “the event of the year.”

GREAT STRIDES 5K WALK Date, time & location TBD Get a team of family, friends and co-workers to help raise funds to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. This family friendly event includes activities for children, food and entertainment.

Providing essential and innovative services and care for individuals, families, and communities throughout Northeast Florida to prepare for and support graceful aging.

JOURNEY 2 KINDNESS – KINDNESS HERO SUITCASE PARTY 6:30 p.m., date & location TBD Join American Civility to celebrate its 2020 Kindness Hero of the Year. Enjoy great food, beverages and maybe win a fabulous trip or getaway. Proceeds go to B.O.S.S. Safe School programs that end bullying and prevent school violence for area school children and teens.

MIRACLE ON ASHLEY STREET CELEBRITY WAITERS & SERVERS Date & time TBD, Clara White Mission, 613 West Ashley St. Nearly 100 local celebrities come together to wait on tables at this annual event with all proceeds going to the Clara White Mission’s programs for the homeless.

> > >


> > > >

Mental Wellness

Affordable housing In-home services including personal care and housekeeping Caregiver Support Services Care Coordination ACHC accredited and Medicare certified Home Health Agency (License #29993139)


A Non-Profit Organization Enabling Home-Based Senior Independence in Northeast Florida WWW.CIRCLESCHARITYREGISTER.COM



JUNE 2020


7 – 10 p.m., TIAA East Club, 1 TIAA Bank Field Dr.

15TH ANNUAL TASTE OF GOLF 6:30 p.m.-10 p.m., TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse Taste of Golf is the culinary event of the year, showcasing the very best chefs from the top private clubs and resorts in North Florida. The event, now in its 15th year, serves as the largest fundraiser and ‘friend-raiser’ for The First Tee of North Florida. Each year, the best club and resort chefs are selected to participate in this evening of elegant decor, live music, a silent auction, and, of course, great food!

5 4TH ANNUAL CHAMPIONS FOR HOPE CELEBRITY GOLF CLASSIC Through June 6, Time TBD, TPC Sawgrass, 110 Championship Way Champions for Hope serves those who are dealing with extraordinary obstacles. The 2019 event raised more than $700,000 for the JT Townsend Foundation, which delivers adaptive equipment or assistance to deserving families, and Mayo Clinic, which was able to establish the Pancreas Cancer Translation Discovery Team researching early detection methods for this deadly cancer.

10TH ANNUAL SERVING UP A CURE TENNIS TOURNAMENT Through June 7, 8 a.m., Deerwood Country Club, 10239 Golf Club Dr. Grab your racket and join in this weekend-long tournament to raise funds for three charities: Gabriel House of Care, Community Hospice and Palliative Care and Ellie Kavalieros DIPG Research Fund.

6 JACKSONVILLE'S DANCING WITH THE STARS 7:30 p.m., Munnerlyn Center at Episcopal School of Jacksonville, 4455 Atlantic Blvd The Jacksonville Children’s Chorus partners with A Social Affair Dance Studio for this exciting event. Local celebrity dancers are partnered with professional ballroom instructors to learn to dance, compete for the mirror ball trophy and to be named Jacksonville’s favorite dancer. S also includes performances by all of the JCC performance choirs.

Enjoy an evening affair to benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida Dance the night away to live music, indulge in signature dishes prepared by top Jacksonville restaurants and view artwork created by Boys & Girls Club members. You want to miss this unforgettable night of fun at TIAA Bank Field East Club. summer-nights


ANNUAL HEAL SURF CAMP 8:30-11:30 a.m., Atlantic Blvd., Neptune Beach Soft surf boards, boogie boards, sea kayaks, and SUP boards will be provided for use to the participants, 25 maximum.



The annual celebrity golf tournament helps change lives through the local organizations supported by the foundation.

BRIDGES TO JUSTICE Date, time & location TBD

Proceeds benefit the Clay Roberts Memorial Scholarship awarded to a Bishop Kenny graduating senior. The tournament on Father’s Day weekend brings families and friends together on the water and promotes appreciation of our natural waterways. Enjoy a day of fishing, food and music. or



Fundraising reception for Bridges to Justice for Children’s Health, which is sponsored by the Jacksonville Area Legal Aid in support of the Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership, which serves more than 200 children each year, solving legal issues that impact their health care.


13TH ANNUAL CLAY ROBERTS MEMORIAL INSHORE SLAM AND JUNIOR ANGLER TOURNAMENTS When: June 20, 2020 Where: Location TBD Bring your family and your favorite fishing pole to join the fun at the 13th annual Clay Roberts Memorial Inshore Slam and Junior Angler Tournaments for a day filled with fishing, food and music. Even if you aren’t a fishing aficionado, come on out for the weigh-in and enjoy the food and festivities. The tournaments are a product of In River or Ocean, an organization founded in memory of Clay Roberts by his family and friends to promote his passion of the fishing and love of the water. Proceeds from the tournaments benefit the Clay Roberts Memorial Scholarship awarded to a graduating senior. Visit or for more information







6 p.m. Florida Theatre, 128 E Forsyth St.

Through Aug. 10, 5:30 p.m., Aug. 9, River House, 179 Marine St., St. Augustine; 8:30 a.m., Aug. 10, Slammer & Squire Golf Course, 2 World Golf Pl., St. Augustine This two-day event is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the St. Johns County Council on Aging. Guests enjoy a Sunday evening gala with delicious food, music, dancing and silent auction followed by a Monday morning golf tournament. Proceeds help COA provide essential programs and services for St. Johns County seniors.


BLUES BREWS & BBQ The best barbecue, craft beers and live entertainment in town all at Jacksonville’s most beautiful and historic theatre. Proceeds from the event will go to the Florida Theatre.

BEAM OF LIGHT BEACH BALL 7 – 11 p.m., TPC Sawgrass, 110 Championship Way, Ponte Vedra Beach This elegant evening of fun, friendship and goodwill raises funds to help BEAM provide emergency assistance and a path to economic stability to those needing help. The evening will include an open bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres, live music and auctions.

7 – 11 p.m., Location TBD


An Evening of Promise is the signature fundraising event for Nemours Children’s Specialty Care to help raise funds for NCSC as it continues pediatric patient care. The evening features live music, great food and entertainment.

Date & time TBD. Rethreaded Warehouse, 820 Barnett St.

31 12TH ANNUAL CHAMPION’S CHALLENGE GOLF TOURNAMENT 12:30 p.m., TPC Sawgrass, 110 Championship Way, Ponte Vedra Beach Experience a day of golf that helps to transform the lives of the hungry, homeless and addicted in Jacksonville. Enjoy a full afternoon of golf, complete with a dinner and award ceremony in the beautiful clubhouse. Sign up as a foursome or individual player.

This birthday celebration for Rethreaded is a fun community event with food, drinks, a live band and activities for kids.

RIVER RUCKUS Date TBD, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Riverside Arts Market, 715 Riverside Ave. Come raise a ruckus for the St. Johns River at this family festival which celebrates our beautiful river. Boat rides and adventures of all types will be featured plus live entertainment, food and craft beer.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Jacksonville is pleased to celebrate every day by supporting critically ill children through lodging, meals, tranportation and a community of care.

Learn how you can show your support for children like Mario by visiting or calling 904.807.4663 today!





September-October SEPTEMBER 2020


8TH ANNUAL “CAPE-ABILITIES” RUN, WALK & ROLL Date tentative, 8 a.m., 352 Stowe Ave., Orange Park The annual community event takes participants through historic Orange Park and raises funds to help serve adults with intellectual and developmental differences by providing residential services, vocational training and life skills. Enjoy the post-race celebration and awards.

21 Grab your golf clubs and head out for a day of golf to benefit Gabriel House. Participants will enjoy lunch on the Veranda, a shotgun start, an awards dinner and prizes.


8:30 a.m., Baseball Ground of Jacksonville, 301 A Philip Randolph Blvd. Tie up your laces and join Dreams Come True for its annual 5K and One-Mile Fun Run. More than 1,500 runners and walkers will register, in addition to hundreds of people cheering and volunteering their time to create a successful event. You can form teams or become a virtual runner. Proceeds benefit Dreams Come True.

6-9 p.m., Garden Club of Jacksonville, 1005 Riverside Ave.

10:00 a.m., Marsh Landing Country Club, 25655 Marsh Landing Pkwy.


Annual dragon boat race is a fundraiser for In the Pink, a nonprofit serving men, women and children with all types of cancer.







Date, time & location TBD

Enjoy a catered dinner, silent auction, live music and check out some beautiful handcrafted items on sale to raise funds for the Sanctuary on 8th Street.

FIRST COAST HEART WALK Date and Location TBD Walk to create a world of longer and healthier lives. The Heart Walk is one of Jacksonville’s largest walks and raises funds for research, education and prevention in the fight against heart disease and stroke.


PEACE CONCERT ANNUAL FLAVOR OF JACKSONVILLE Date, time & location TBD Flavor of Jacksonville is Gateway’s annual fundraising event showcasing the diversity of Jacksonville’s culinary scene.

Date & time TBD, St. John’s Cathedral, 256 E. Church St. Commemorating the events of 9/11, the concert is a celebration of peace and humanity through music and coincides with more than 2,000 concerts performed that day throughout the world. The Peace Concert is sponsored by Jacksonville Sister Cities Association.



Date, time & location TBD

Date, time & location TBD

A night of hors d’oeuvres, dancing, cocktails and an auction to support Morning Star School as they provide children with learning disabilities an opportunity to learn in a caring and loving environment.

The annual benefit for the Jacksonville Humane Society will provide animal lovers a chance to sample some of the best cuisine the First Coast offers from hors d’oeuvres to desserts.



Date, time & location TBD

Time and Location TBD

The Cowford Ball is a one-of-a-kind western gala celebrating 25 years in 2020. It will feature great food, dancing, a spectacular auction and much more. With your support, the American Cancer Society saves lives by helping people get well and stay well, by finding cures and by fighting back against cancer.

Women of Distinction is Girl Scouts of Gateway Council’s signature fundraiser to honor outstanding women in St. Johns County for their professional accomplishments, service to others and community impact. This annual event supports the more than 100 Girl Scouts living in underserved communities in St. Johns County..



2 JACKSONVILLE MDA TOAST TO LIFE GALA 7:00p.m., TPC Sawgrass, 110 Championship Way, Ponte Vedra Beach MDA’s Toast to Life event is dedicated to raising funds to find treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, ALS and other diseases that limit strength and mobility. Guests may bid on auction items and enjoy delicious food and drinks, while mingling with MDA families, friends and corporate sponsors.

14 BAPTIST MD ANDERSON GOLF CLASSIC AT TPC SAWGRASS The PLAYERS Stadium Course & Dye’s Valley Course The Baptist MD Anderson Golf Classic is a high-end tournament for the Benefit of Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center. Proceeds will benefit the medical director’s endowment, provide philanthropic support for a variety of needs, including: patient care, research, recruitment, technology, and education.

16 FOOTPRINTS OF ANGELS GALA 7 p.m.-11 p.m., Location TBD Footprints of Angels Annual Gala is an annual fundraiser that helps support the FOA fertility hope scholarship. This scholarship is awarded once a year to needy infertile families.

17 ANNUAL HALLOWEEN DOORS & MORE Time TBD, Jacksonville Fairgrounds Exhibition Hall, 510 Fairgrounds Pl. From cherished cartoon characters to live entertainment acts, Halloween Doors & More is a whimsical afternoon of family fun. Volunteers are needed to serve on the committee and the day of the event. This spectacular event benefits Community PedsCare, the pediatric program of Community Hospice & Palliative Care, for children with life-threatening conditions.


FESTIVAL OF FLIGHT Date, time & location TBD

JACKSONVILLE MDA MUSCLE WALK Date, Time and Location TBD MDA gives strength to those who need it most – those who are robbed of the strength that most of us take for granted. The muscle walks invite people to come together to help support MDA’s mission of transforming the lives of people living with neuromuscular disease through research, treatments and care.

SPOOKTACULAR Date, Time, and Tickets TBD, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, 370 Zoo Pkwy. Spooktacular is Jacksonville’s most enchanting celebration. Spooktacular is an exciting Halloween adventure for kids of all ages. See zombies, classic monsters, pumpkins, ghosts, and so much more! Ticket information will be announced soon.

STRUT YOUR MUTT Date, time & location TBD Bring out your four-legged best friend to this dog-themed festival and dog walk/5K run which benefits Best Friends’ local No More Homeless Pets Network partners.

ANNUAL CAF/CNL CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENT Date, time & location TBD Hosted by Challenged Athletes Foundation and Camp No Limits, the event raises funds to help disabled children, adults and wounded military personnel and first responders pursue an active lifestyle. Format is Captain’s Choice with handicap; shotgun start, lunch immediately following play.

Join Jacksonville Area Legal Aid as they spend an evening honoring an individual who has worked to advance the work of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid through volunteer service.

Gather your friends, coworkers and family members to form a team for this great fundraising work to support the Downs Syndrome Association of Jacksonville.

This annual benefit supports the Downtown Ecumenical Services Council and includes live music, cocktails, dinner, dancing and indoor fishing simulators.


8:30 – 10 a.m., date and location TBD

Date & time TBD, Amelia River Golf Club, Fernandina Beach

A NIGHT AT THE LIBRARY Date & time TBD, Jacksonville Main Library, 303 N. Laura St. Come in your favorite literary character costume or cocktail attire to help raise funds for Learn To Read. The event will feature food, drinks, live entertainment and a silent auction.

A NIGHT WITH THE STARS Date, time & location TBD

Join Hart Felt Ministries as it celebrates its 10th year of the Bridging the Gaps Charity Gala. The event will feature dinner and an auction as it shines a light on the challenges seniors in our community face each day. Money raised supports Hart Felt's mission to help seniors age in place.

Date & time TBD, Hyatt Regency Riverfront, 225 Coastline Dr.

Date, time & location TBD

7:30 a.m., Hyatt Regency Riverfront, 225 E. Coastline Dr.

Date TBD, 6:00 p.m., TPC Sawgrass, 110 Championship Way


5:30 – 9:30 p.m., WJCT, 100 Festival Park Ave.



Live music, a bounce house, inflatable games, arts and crafts, raffles and so much more to benefit Angels For Allison. Proceeds benefit financial needs of families suffering the loss of a child.



This event is held annually in Nassau County in memory of Reggie Hunt, a former Fernandina High School student athlete and six-year participant in the Nassau County program.

Hubbard House’s signature fundraiser is held in honor of those who have died due to domestic violence and for survivors of domestic violence during National Domestic Violence Awareness month. Proceeds support the lifesaving programs and services Hubbard House provides to more than 5,000 women, children and men each year.


An evening of fundraising and honoring advocates and caregivers will benefit ElderSource, a nonprofit serving more than 12,000 people in Northeast Florida.


BREAKFAST FOR LIFE This annual fundraising event supports pregnancy counseling, options counseling, ultrasounds and material items for women in the community.

ANNUAL CARING CHEFS Date, Time, and Location TBD The area’s finest chefs, sommeliers and brewers – along with guests and volunteers – come together to raise much-needed funds to help children and families in the community. Event revenue benefits Children’s Home Society’s services, including counseling, adoptions, early childhood education and Community Partnership Schools.

BEN’S PLACE SERVICE’S ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT Time TBD, Bent Creek Golf Club, 10440 Tournament Ln. Play a round of golf or sponsor a team at our annual tournament. Golf shirt, lunch, tee gift, and dinner are $100 per golfer. You can meet the members from the center who put your tee gifts together. Bring your family & friends for awards, community dinner, and silent auction. Sponsorships avail.

This annual event, held at exclusive golf courses, will support the St. Vincent’s Healthcare Foundation’s Mobile Outreach Ministry which travels to underserved neighborhoods to provide free medical care. WWW.CIRCLESCHARITYREGISTER.COM



Stand out in the crowd...

Statement, Estate & Event jewelry





Jacksonville’s Premier dealer of coins, currencies and collectibles!


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.