- 2012 - July - 10th -

Nonprofit News: Highlighting Jacksonville’s Philanthropic Community

by Catie Fry, Copy Editor

As our community continues to face a tight economy and shrinking budgets, the Daily Record has established this feature that each week reports the efforts of local nonprofit organizations and the individuals and businesses that support them.

Bailey Publishing & Communications invites all members of the local nonprofit community to email news, announcements and success stories to nonprofitnews@baileypub.com or to cfry@baileypub.com.

We also encourage our readers to become more aware of the needs of these worthy organizations as they continue to provide valuable services with reduced resources.

Wedding gowns offered at discounts for charity

Designer wedding gowns and bridal accessories at up to 85 percent off retail price will be up for sale soon to benefit Brides Against Breast Cancer.

The event is scheduled 10 a.m.-8 p.m. July 20 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 21 at the Hyatt Downtown at 225 East Coastline Drive.

Shoppers can browse through more than 1,000 name brand and designer wedding gowns while meeting the top vendors.

A $25 VIP/Girls Night Out Reception ticket for July 19 provides a preview and the opportunity to purchase a dress one day ahead of the general admission.

Most gown prices range from $99-$799, including hundreds of gowns valued up to $8,000. A selection of exclusive designer and couture gowns valued up to $20,000 also are available at savings of 25-75 percent.

Brides Against Breast Cancer accepts credit and debit cards. Dress donations also will be accepted.

For more information, visit www.bridesabc.org.

St. Augustine art festival planned this fall

The St. Augustine Art Association invites artists to participate in the 47th Annual Art & Craft Festival held Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 24-25, at Francis Field next to the Visitor Center.

The application deadline for a booth at the juried outdoor fine art fair is Aug. 26.

Artist categories include painting, pottery, jewelry, fiber art, sculpture, glass, woodworks, photography and more. Cash prizes will be awarded to participating artists who demonstrate outstanding artistic achievement. The application fee is $25; booth fees start at $200.   

The St. Augustine Art & Craft Festival showcases more than 100 artists from across the U.S. and attracts more than 15,000 visitors.

The event features entertainment, prize drawings, food and wine, the historic artisans’ village, an art zone for children and art demonstrations.

Proceeds support the art exhibitions and educational programs of the St. Augustine Art Association, a nonprofit organization.

For more information, call the St. Augustine Art Association at 824-2310.   

Group for parents with autistic kids

Community First Credit Union provided a $1,000 Investing In You grant to help launch The S.T.A.R. group for parents of autistic children.

The “support, teaching, advocacy and respect” group offers a supportive environment for parents to share their ideas and treatment options.

“Caring for a child with autism is an unknown territory for most parents,” said The S.T.A.R. Group creator Liz Zurn.

“My husband and I felt very alone when our son was diagnosed, but we made a pact that our family would adjust and provide him with the best opportunities to grow and learn. The S.T.A.R. Group will help other families do the same,” Zurn said.

Zurn has partnered with Little Star Center, a nonprofit school providing education and behavioral services to children diagnosed with autism and other developmental delays, to help launch the support group.

The group plans to hold its monthly meetings at Crosswater Community Church in Nocatee beginning in September.

The grant will provide educational materials for parents and fund specialized training for child care volunteers who will attend to the children during the support group meetings.

“Families with special-needs children have special needs themselves,” said John Hirabayashi, CEO of Community First Credit Union.

“The S.T.A.R. Group will provide these parents with a forum to discuss the challenges that come with raising an autistic child and give them the opportunity to lean on each other for strength,” he said.

The S.T.A.R. Group is the fifth winner of six grants that are available through the 2012 Investing In You campaign.

The initiative launched in April, inviting anyone with an idea to make the area a better place to participate.

The credit union awards $1,000 every two weeks for 90 days, with the last winner being chosen Friday.

Semifinalists are chosen based on which ideas receive the most “likes,” with a panel selecting the winners that will receive grant funding from Community First.

Entries for the remaining grant can be submitted through Community First’s Facebook page.

Free dog-grooming when you adopt

The St. Augustine Humane Society will offer one free dog-grooming session per week to those who adopt dogs at the St. Johns County Pet Center.

The program will be offered at the Pet Center’s discretion. Grooming services will be held at Society Pet Spa, which is one of the humane society’s programs to support the nonprofit’s mission to prevent pet overpopulation with affordable spay-neuter programs and to eliminate the need for relinquishment of pets to shelters.

The free grooming session is valued at $60 and includes a bath, blow dry, brush out, nail trim, ear cleaning and a full haircut for a small to medium-size dog. Costs for large dogs might be additional.

The offer must be used no later than 30 days after the formal date of adoption.

According to St. Augustine Humane Society Operations Director Carolyn Smith, the grooming offer will help to start the adopted pet on a positive and clean start in its new home.

“Our thanks goes out to St. Johns County Animal Control and Pet Center where someone will adopt a deserving new pet while participating in a fun community activity,” said Smith.

For more information, call 829-2737 or visit www.staugustinehumanesociety.org.

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