The Red Shoe Crew, the Ronald McDonald House of Jacksonville’s young professional group, is hitting the pavement to bring greater community awareness to the needs of housing and support services for families of ill or injured children.
“It has been fun and effective to strike up conversation about the great work of Ronald McDonald House because of my red sneakers. I am hopeful for it to catch on throughout town,” said Matt Lindberg, 2014 Red Shoe Crew chair.
The Red Show Crew hosts
fundraising, social and networking events as well as service projects that benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Jacksonville.
Formerly known as Discovery Circle, the group recently rebranded following suit with many Ronald Houses around the country in adopting the Red Shoe title, acknowledging the distinctive shoes worn by Ronald McDonald himself.
Those interested in joining the Red Shoe Crew may attend the kickoff meeting at 6 p.m. March 6 at Ronald McDonald House, 824 Children’s Way, for a tour and to meet the Red Shoe Crew board members and other young professionals.
Red Show Crew membership dues are $50 per year for individuals, $75 for couples.
For more information, visit rmhjax.org.
Community Nutcracker raises $45,000
The 2013 Community Nutcracker distributed $45,000 to seven local charities: Dreams Come True of Jacksonville, Community PedsCare of Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, We Care Jacksonville, Sanctuary on 8th Street, St. Mary’s Episcopal Outreach, Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center, and Second Harvest Food Bank.
Proceeds were raised from the 22nd annual production of The Community Nutcracker Ballet, sponsored by Walgreens, which was staged in December at the Florida Theatre.
The 2013 production included two school performances, community service night and three public performances.
Community Nutcracker is the only local Nutcracker performance that hosts a community service night, distributing 2,000 free tickets to agencies and organizations in the Northeast Florida area.
For nine years, the Community Nutcracker has worked directly with Dreams Come True to help more than 30 children battling life-threatening illnesses.
This year’s production raised $25,000 for Dreams Come True that will go directly to fulfilling the dreams of local children. The remaining $20,000 was distributed among the six other charities.
To date, more than $470,000 has been raised for local charities.
Justice Coalition recognizes victims and advocates
It was a packed house for the Justice Coalition’s 12th annual “Together We Can” campaign breakfast at First Baptist Church of Jacksonville.
Joey Vaughn, chair of the breakfast, made the opening statement and Skip Elliot with the event’s title sponsor, CSX Corp., gave the opening remarks.
Penelope Knox, supervisory deputy with the U.S. Marshal’s Service, told the crowd how the Justice Coalition has been a valuable partner in the fight against crime. She cited a case where the Justice Coalition put a suspect’s mug shot on a Clear Channel billboard and within an hour the suspect was arrested, getting a child predator off the streets.
Justice Coalition Executive Director Ann Dugger introduced the event’s guest, Teysha Marie Silva-Roman, the daughter of Zuheily Rosada, who was murdered in Palm Coast in 2013.
Silva-Roman said she was thankful for the Justice Coalition, which provided clothes for her and her five siblings, and also helped with the flower arrangement for the casket and brought candles for a vigil in her mother’s honor.
The organization helped relocate her and her family to a new apartment and when they were struggling to make rent and facing eviction, Justice Coalition friend Bill Gay paid their rent.
After hearing about her plight, Mike Lynn decided he wanted to help and donated a used Xterra SUV to help Silva-Roman get to and from school and work. Amos and Pam Almand stepped up and paid for the tag, title and insurance; Roxy Tyler with WOKV secured a $100 gas card; and Haskell CEO Steve Halverson bought her an iPad and one year of Internet coverage.
Justice Coalition board Chair Kathy Cold and Vice Chair Ken Jefferson handed out awards to Fran Futrill for volunteer of the year, Bill Gay for lifetime business partner and to Charlie Wilson for lifetime achievement.
Founded in 1995, the Justice Coalition is a nonprofit organization seeking rights for victims in the criminal justice system. For more information, visit justicecoalition.org.
Walk for Beaches Community Healthcare Saturday
On Saturday, Beaches Community Healthcare, a Sulzbacher Center clinic, will host its third annual Family Walk and Fun Festival at the Seawalk Pavilion in Jacksonville Beach.
Walk registration opens at 8:30 a.m. and the walk starts at 9 a.m.. Individuals can pre-register online at SulzbacherCenter.org or on-site the morning of the walk.
Beaches Community Healthcare plans to honor a cardiologist from Baptist Beaches Hospital who recently saved a patient’s life. Dr. Tom Hilton has volunteered monthly since 2011 at Beaches Community Healthcare. Once a month, he holds an evening clinic for low-income uninsured residents.
One day, while Hilton was working at the hospital, a patient was referred to him from the emergency room with heart failure. The patient was uninsured and could not afford the long-term intensive care that he needed. Hilton referred the patient to Beaches Community Healthcare and was able to treat him there.
All proceeds from the event benefit Beaches Community Healthcare. Last year more than 8,000 patient visits were recorded in the dental, behavioral health and medical clinics.
‘Spay it forward’ for felines
Clay Humane, a nonprofit animal clinic in Orange Park, is seeking donations to pay for spay and neuter services in recognition of World Spay Day, which was this week.
The organization offers free sterilization services for all cats regardless of the owner’s income or residence.
World Spay Day is an annual campaign by the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International highlighting spaying and neutering to save the lives of companion and feral animals.
“Spaying and neutering helps decrease the number of homeless felines in our community,” said Linda Welzant, executive director of Clay Humane. “With the help of grants and donations, we are able to provide free sterilization for any cat who comes into our clinic.”
To make an appointment for a feline sterilization, call (904) 276-SPAY. To donate to the program, visit clayhumane.org/donate.php.