Bay Buzz March 2023

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3rd Planet hosted a successful chili cook-off to benefit CALM. More than $4,400 was donated toward providing transitional housing and life skills to moms and their kids in crisis. The Magnolia Group, 3rd Planet, Kevin Cook’s bacon-wrapped deliciousness, generous donors, CALM volunteers (some pictured here), and patrons made this event a success.

Join the Sand Dollar lacers at the Heritage Museum for a beginner-friendly Bobbin and Lace class, Saturday, March 4, 1- 4 p.m. $25 members; $30 Non-Members. All supplies included. Five adult students max. Call (850) 678-2615 to register and pay.

The Walton County Republican Executive Committee (WCREC) will meet March 20 at the Hammock Bay Clubhouse, 1850 Great Hammock Bend, Freeport. Registration begins @5:30 p.m.; meeting 6-7 p.m. These meetings are open to registered Republican voters in Walton County. WCREC meets monthly on the third Monday of each month at the same location and time.

The Youth Village, Inc., celebrated its newly remodeled playground recently with a ribbon cutting. Named “The Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation presents the Youth Village Outdoor Experience,” the playground’s remodel was due to a large donation from the foundation. Opened in 1999, the Youth Village is a non-profit after school care program and summer camp for preschool children, ages 3-5, and elementary and middle school children from kindergarten through eighth grade. Its goal is to provide a safe, nurturing environment with supportive mentors, teachers and other caring adults to help children, ages 3-16, acquire a love of learning and create a desire to achieve. Located in Fort Walton Beach, connect at (850) 582-0549 or visit

Be Resilient Clinics, held by SOF Missions are planned for March 9-13; April 13-17 and May 18-22. Details are available at The free sessions will include people who have served our country, helping them recover from the inward and outward scars of war.

Attending warriors receive the expert psychological, social, spiritual and physical help they need to overcome the challenges they face as a result of their experiences.

Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation’s (DCWAF) 2nd Annual Galentine’s Day Fundraiser raised a record-breaking $92,500 for young women in need in Northwest Florida, $30,000 more than last year’s inaugural event. Hosted on Saturday, Feb. 4, by DCWAF trustee Candis Wilson and DCWAF board members Tiffany Edwards, Jeanne Dailey and Lane Redding, the event brought influential women in the community together to support one another while raising money for programs designed to empower young girls through the foundation’s 16 partner children’s charities. All individuals and businesses affiliated with the production of the event are female owned and operated.

The funds raised at this year’s Galentine’s Day Fundraiser will benefit the following charity initiatives.

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast: A 10-week, small group program focused on health, fitness, prevention, education, and self-esteem enhancement through dynamic sessions, activities, field trips, and mentoring opportunities with adult women.

Children in Crisis: A Valentine’s Banquet for the women and girls at the Children’s Neighborhood for them to receive support through an award ceremony focusing on self-worth and affirmation.

Habitat for Humanity of Walton County: The Women Build Initiatives in Okaloosa and Walton counties will educate, advocate and promote awareness to more than 250 women and girls in our community. They will reach these women and girls through their Hard Hats and High Heels Luncheon, power tool training, construction educational classes and onsite construction skill training throughout the year.

Point Washington Medical Clinic: The Young Women’s Health and Hygiene Initiative will provide pathology for PAP smears, additional testing needed for positive results, and feminine hygiene products for girls under the age of 18.

Shelter House of Northwest Florida: A program to address the unique health needs of girls ages 9 to 18 by providing feminine hygiene products and education.

Youth Village: Eight-week performing arts theater workshops during the summer, a Sprint Theatre performance and eight-week tennis lesson workshops for elementary and middle school-aged girls.

FP&L Donates $5,000 to OCSD Summer Camp Programs
A donation by Florida Power & Light Company will enhance the summer camp experience for rising fifth graders to help spark interest in coding, construction, biomedical, automotive, welding, culinary, entrepreneurship, digital design and cosmetology. Visit

Democratic Women’s Club March Events
In March the DWCWC celebrates Women’s History Month, Tuesday, March 14, from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Cantina Laredo at Grand Boulevard, Miramar Beach. For $25 you can have a delicious meal and hear Women’s Club member Deborah Rine speak about her family’s involvement with Adlai Stevenson, an important figure in Democratic political history. Sign up at by March 7.

Democratic Women’s Club of Walton County donors were able to erase more than $1 million in medical debt for Walton, Washington and Holmes County residents through the RIP program. For more information on RIP, visit

Questions? Contact club president Sue Bowden at

New CARES Program Manager ECCAC
Debra “Debi” Riley-Broadnax has joined the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) as the non-profit’s new CARES Program Manager. Debi will be responsible for creating, managing and sustaining the CARES (Community, Awareness, Resources, and Support) Program. She will also oversee the non-profit’s successful Prevention and Safety Matters programs, already in the schools. Debi is a native of Fort Walton Beach and a product of the local public school system. She received her bachelor’s degree from Troy University, and her master’s degree in social work from the University of West Florida.
Visit or call (850) 892-0280 for more information. If abuse is suspected, call the anonymous Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE.

Emerald Coast Autism Center 2023 ONE Campaign
Emerald Coast Autism Center (ECAC) is launching the 11th Annual ONE Campaign to provide scholarships to students with autism. ECAC’s ONE Campaign is an annual effort to raise funds and awareness of autism within Okaloosa and surrounding counties.
ECAC is kicking off the 2023 ONE Campaign with the 11th annual ONE Run 5K Saturday, April 1, 8 a.m., at Emerald Coast Autism Center on the campus of Northwest Florida State College, 80 College Blvd. East, Niceville. An after party with food, music, and raffle drawings will follow. The ONE Campaign will continue with a golf tournament at Blackstone Golf Course in Mossy Head Friday, Sept. 29, with a 9 a.m. shotgun start.

The Choctawhatchee Audubon Society invites the public to attend its monthly evening program Thursday, March 2. George Ross will share his experience photographing hundreds of birds in many different ecosystems in Costa Rica. The biodiversity of Costa Rica makes this one of the top ecotourist destinations. Come learn about the country with an area smaller than West Virginia with the greatest density of bird species of any continental American country with 945 reported bird species, including 50 different hummingbird species. This program will be in Room 800 on the 2nd floor of the Chandler Center (NW door of 519 Helms St.) at the Crosspoint Church in Niceville. Socializing with refreshments begins at 6:30 p.m., and the program begins at 7. Admission is free and open to the public. Visit for updated information on programs and bird walks.
March 4, Wright Landfill and the Okaloosa Holding Ponds, 7:30 a.m.; March 11, bird walk to Destin Beaching and Birding Spots, 7:30 a.m.; March 18, Eden Gardens State Park, 8:30 a.m.; March 25, Deer Lake Restoration Area, 9 a.m.

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