October 9, 2008

Beach Shorts


Two Ponte Vedra Beach residents and one from Neptune Beach are among five people set to receive Presidential Medallions Tuesday from the University of North Florida.

The medals were to be awarded during a Founders Day luncheon at the University Center. The medallions are given to community leaders who have helped guide UNF during its 36 years.

"Our momentum is growing every day thanks to people who are passionate about the university," said UNF President John Delaney.

This year's honorees are Ponte Vedra residents Homer Humphries and Linda Slade, Neptune Beach resident Dorothy Johnson, Russell Newton of Avondale and Riverside resident James Van Vleck. They were scheduled this week to receive the Presidential Medallion for Outstanding Service, the highest form of non-academic recognition awarded by the university.

When Jacksonville officials were considering where to build a new state university, Humphries was among those who favored what was then a very remote location on the Southside, UNF said in a press release. He served on the first Jacksonville City Council after consolidation and was on the first UNF Foundation board.

Johnson has served on the Alumni Association board for 30 years and has been active in the Osprey Club for 25 years. In addition to supporting the University with her time, she also has supported the University with her gifts, making donations to UNF every year since 1976. Johnson also recently established an endowed scholarship in the College of Education and Human Services.

When UNF opened as an upper-division university, Slade was among the first transfer students. She was a member of the Sawmill Slough Conservation Club, which helped set up an extensive system of campus trails. She has served as president of the Alumni Association and is a member of the UNF Foundation board.


Beaches Watch will sponsor a candidate forum for Neptune Beach candidates for mayor and City Council at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, at the Fletcher High School auditorium, 700 Seagate Ave.

The forum will be open to the public. Voters will also have an opportunity to talk individually to the candidates.

"Beaches Watch promotes citizen education on local issues and participation in local government," said Beaches Watch President Sandy Golding.

On Tuesday, Nov. 4, Neptune Beach residents will go to the polls to vote for mayor and two City Council seats. The candidates for mayor are Harriet Pruette and Scott Wiley; council Seat 2 candidates are Terri Hunnewell and Eric Pardee and those vying for Seat 3 are Sybil Ansbacher and Kara Tucker.

Beaches Watch is a non-profit, non-partisan group of citizens dedicated to monitoring and preserving the quality of life for the Beaches communities of Northeast Florida. For more information about the candidate forum or Beaches Watch, call 513-9242, e-mail [email protected] or visit the Web site at www.beacheswatch.com.


Friends of Paws Park will host the 4th Annual Paws Park Halloween Costume Contest & Fundraiser on Sunday, Oct. 19, to raise money to help maintain and to improve Paws Park dog park in Jacksonville Beach.

This year's Top Dog Sponsor for the event is veterinarian Gary Neuman and the Animal Medical Clinic at Sawgrass Village. Other event sponsors include A Dog's Domain, Camp Bow Wow, Christina Kreations, Holmes Stamp & Sign, Pampered Paws by the Sea, Pawsitive Solutions Dog Training and the Secunda Pet Family.

The highlight of the event will be a costume contest for dogs and their owners ($5 entry fee per dog). Prizes will be awarded for most original dog costume, funniest dog costume, scariest dog costume, best dog and owner costume, and best group, which must include dogs.

The first 100 entries will receive a participation gift. About $8,000 worth of raffle prizes for pooches and people will also be given away, including a grand prize package that includes a two- night stay at the Sea Horse Oceanfront Inn in Neptune Beach, lunch for two at Ragtime Tavern, dinner for two at Slider's Seafood Grille and a spa package from One Ocean. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the event for $1 each or six for $5. The drawing will be held at the event, but you do not have to be present to win.

For more information or for raffle tickets, visit www.pawsparkjaxbeach.com, e-mail [email protected] or call 513-9240.


The J. Johnson Gallery in Jacksonville Beach will host a fundraiser Friday to support a personalized art program for hospitalized children.

The event, called "An Evening For Art With A Heart For Children," will start at 7 p.m. at the gallery at 177 Fourth Ave. N. The evening will include Cocktails & Catering by Liz, a catering service by Chef Liz Grenamyer.

Proceeds will go to the nonprofit Art With A Heart For Children program at Wolfson Children's Hospital and Nemours Children's Clinic, where professional artists have personalized art sessions with sick or injured children.

The program, founded in 2001 by Lori Guadagno of Jacksonville Beach and Lisa Landwirth Ussery of Ponte Vedra Beach, has served about 10,000 children.

Tickets cost $85. For more, call 202-2689 or 306-0390. For more information about the Art With A Heart program, visit www.artwithaheart.info.


Chabad at the Beaches is offering a Hebrew reading crash course to all members of the Jewish community.

The course is designed to teach those with no basic knowledge of the Hebrew language how to read Hebrew in five easy lessons. Chabad is offering the course to inspire unaffiliated Jews to become more involved in Jewish life.

About 4 million American Jews are not affiliated with a religious denomination or institution, Chabad said in a press release. "For many such Jews, the inability to read Hebrew and understand the synagogue services is an effective barrier to active participation in Jewish life. By teaching them to read Hebrew and making them feel comfortable in synagogues, Chabad ... hopes to open the door to a year of growth and commitment for the entire community."

The five-week course begins on Nov. 11 at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Ponte Vedra Beach.

For more, call Chabad at 543-9301. The course is free, but a $25 donation is suggested.


Community Hospice of Northeast Florida has named physician Frank Santamaria, a West Beaches resident, as its medical director and chief medical officer.

He'll oversee the organization's Medical Services Department, which has eight associate medical directors and four advanced registered nurses, as well as part-time staff. The department provides physical, psycho-social and spiritual care to about 900 patients a day and ensures patients' eligibility for hospice care.

Santamaria will also work at Community Hospice's inpatient center at Mayo Clinic off San Pablo Road.

He had been Community Hospice's senior associate medical director, head of the Prime Acute Care Clinic at Jacksonville Naval Hospital and a family practice physician for St. Vincent's Primary Care in Jacksonville.


Li Loriz, director of the School of Nursing at the University of North Florida, was selected as Director of the Year by the Florida Nursing Students Association for her commitment to UNF nursing students and faculty.

Loriz, a Beaches resident, was chosen from 50 Florida nursing program directors and deans and will be presented the award at the association's state convention this month.

"She creates an environment where students and faculty feel free to express their concerns as well as share their triumphs," said UNF nursing professor Kathaleen Bloom. "Her open-door policy and shared governance style sets an example for students and faculty alike."

Also, UNF recently presented Pam Chally, dean of its Brooks College of Health, with the 2008 Distinguished Professor award.

Chally, a Southside resident, is the 31st faculty member at UNF to hold the title of distinguished professor, the highest honor for a UNF faculty member.


Chets Creek Church off Hodges Boulevard will host its fifth Chick Night fundraiser Thursday with a special guest - Leslie Nease, the Survivor: China contestant from South Carolina.

In addition to the popular TV show contestant, the church expects about 200 women to attend its fundraiser. The event is set to start at 7 p.m. at the church at 4420 Hodges Blvd.

Child care will be provided by reservation only for babies to fifth graders. Call 292-1284 or e-mail [email protected]

Chick Night is open to the public and free for women 18 and older. Casual dress.For more information, call 223-5954 or 994- 5953.

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