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Local

March 29 to April 1, 2014

Destin Log | A3

At the carving site, Marlin Miller describes his work to locals Linda Phillips, Dylan Phillips, Brady McCann and Kira Moraca. The group had come out to watch the initial carving. Miller had already carved a few birds into Destin’s historic magnolia by mid-day on Tuesday.

Photos by Kathy Harrison | The Log

‘A long ways to go’ By SAVANNAH CHASTAIN

654-8464 | @destinlogsav schastain@thedestinlog.com Marlin Miller, a local tree carving artist, made his first cut on Destin’s magnolia tree on Tuesday, which garnered a large turn-out of onlookers. “I’m happy to report that so far, everybody’s been pleased with what we’re doing,” said

Marlin’s wife, Renee Miller. The Millers were worried some locals might respond negatively to the carving process, but most seem to be supportive of the idea. “Everybody’s excited, and we’ve got a local artist,” Legendary CEO Peter Bos said. “If you’re gonna have the tree die, at least you can turn it into something spectacular.”

Artist Marlin Miller begins transformation of harbor magnolia

Miller said by carving the dying tree, its life will actually be prolonged. “If I don’t carve it, it will be cut off from the ground,” Miller said. “This is a very large and solid tree. It’s got a long ways to go.” Linda Phillips, a local Destin resident, brought her kids and their friends out to watch the carving process. “I think it’s awesome, just fab-

ulous,” Phillips said. “In a way, they are saving the spirit of the tree.” Another Destin onlooker, Charlie Noonan agreed. “If it had to go, I think it’s a good idea. He’s a real professional.” Noonan’s wife, Patti, was not as upbeat. “I’m sad; it’s a lot of history,” she said. “I just remember all the stories.” Patti, also a local artist, came out to the carv-

ing site in hopes of collecting fallen pieces of the magnolia to create miniature replicas of the tree. “The facts are, this tree was fine before they took away 50 percent of the oxidation of the tree,” Harborwalk employee Scott Griffith said. “But at this point it’s about trying to make it not look so sad. It’s been sad, and it’s time to not be sad anymore.”

Jersey Mike’s gives back as part of ‘Month of Giving’ By SAVANNAH CHASTAIN

cent, affordable housing for families in need. “We have two builds under construction right now in Crestview,” Forte said. “We will put all donations that we receive towards our builds.” Above the counter in the Destin eatery hangs a map of the United States with decals displaying the charities for each Jersey Mike’s across the country. “We have Habitat and Sacred Heart Children’s hospital between this one and Pensacola,” General Manager Juan Quiles said. Scott Campbell, an Attorney in Destin, and board member of Habitat Okaloosa came out for a Jersey Mike’s lunch

654-8464 | @destinlogsav schastain@thedestinlog.com March was about more than sandwiches for Destin’s Jersey Mike’s. Culminating on Wednesday for this year’s “Day of Giving,” the company joined customers by donating 100 percent of the day’s sales to local charities. The Destin franchise chose Okaloosa Habitat for Humanity. “This is the fourth year that Jersey Mike’s has been doing the month of giving,” said Habitat representative Melissa Forte. “But this is the first year Habitat for Humanity is benefitting from it.” Habitat for Humanity’s mission is to provide de-

Wednesday. “It’s great, very generous,” Campbell said of the giving event. “It’s a great cause, and Jersey Mike’s really stepped up to help Okaloosa County.” To learn more about the giving event, visit www.jerseymikes.com. To find out about Habitat for Humanity Okaloosa, visit www.habitatfwb.org.

From left, John Askew and Melissa Forte of Habitat for Humanity Okaloosa stand with Juan Quiles, general manager of Jersey Mike’s in Destin on Wednesday’s “Day of Giving.” Savannah Chastain | The Log

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