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Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts III is working with the United Way of Northeast Florida to help combat childhood obesity.
Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Jul. 16, 201412:00 PM EST

City notes: Cecil Shorts working with United Way to fight childhood obesity

by: David Chapman

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts III is working with the United Way of North Florida in a campaign to fight childhood obesity

Across the country, National Football League players are teaming up with United Way to engage more NFL fans in improving the health and wellness of young people.

Shorts joined a group of local children for a United Way photo shoot as part of a nationwide campaign by United Way and the NFL to increase awareness about childhood obesity and inspire more people to get involved in

helping kids get active.

This photo shoot is one of many happening in communities across the nation with NFL teams and players.

Fans can follow the journey at or #NFLUnitedWayRoadTrip.

“Staying active and eating well has been a big part of my success,” Shorts said. “Exercise and nutrition play important roles in creating a healthy, productive life.”

Shad Khan writes foreword for book about Jacksonville becoming NFL town

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan wrote the foreword for the new book, “Big League City!,” about Jacksonville’s quest to become an NFL town.

On Nov. 30, 1993, Jacksonville was awarded the NFL’s 30th franchise. Fireworks exploded over the St. Johns River, the party at the Jacksonville Landing lasted until daybreak, and future Mayor John Delaney ran through his downtown office shouting “Big League City!”

Though many in the national media considered Jacksonville’s improbable expansion victory over St. Louis, Oakland and Baltimore to be one of the greatest upsets in sports history, to locals, it was truly the culmination of their city’s century-long love affair with the sport of football.

Ken Bowen’s “Big League City! 100 Years of Football in Jacksonville” chronicles the city’s gridiron fervor, from Florida’s first college football game held in the wake of the Great Fire of 1901 to the birth of the Florida-Georgia game and the Gator Bowl Classic.

The book is available at, in the Kindle e-store,, and through Books-A-Million. It is the definitive book on Jacksonville’s football history. Follow @Jax_Football for more information.

Baptist Medical Center ranked top hospital in Jacksonville

Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville and Baptist Medical Center South, which share a single hospital license, was ranked No. 1 among metro Jacksonville hospitals in the U.S. News & World Report annual Best Hospital rankings for 2014-15.

This is the third consecutive year the hospitals have received the award. Baptist Jacksonville and Baptist South also ranked fourth out of more than 260 hospitals in Florida.

The Best Hospitals rankings are intended to help patients with life-threatening or rare conditions identify hospitals that excel in treating the most difficult cases, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Hospitals are ranked nationally by U.S. News & World Report in 16 specialties including cancer, orthopedics, and neurology and neurosurgery.

In addition to receiving the top ranking in the metro area, Baptist Jacksonville and Baptist South were ranked nationally among the best hospitals for diabetes and endocrinology for the third consecutive year. In addition, Wolfson Children’s Hospital was again ranked nationally among the 50 Best Children’s Hospitals for Neurology and Neurosurgery.

“We pride ourselves on providing the best patient experience while focusing on high-quality outcomes. These rankings are a testament to the hard work and dedication of all our employees,” said Michael Mayo, hospital president for Baptist Jacksonville.

DVI names eight members to board of directors

Downtown Vision Inc. appointed eight members to the board of directors. They are:

• Bill Adams, a shareholder and chair of the Jacksonville office for the law firm Gunster. He is a member of the Federal Bar Association and serves on the board of Episcopal Children’s Services.

• Tony Allegretti, executive director of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville and a member of the Downtown Investment Authority and the Downtown Marketing Collaborative. He is also a partner in The Gallery Restaurant Group.

• Keith Brown, the real estate/joint use development officer responsible for the Jacksonville Transportation Authority’s Transit-Oriented Development and comprehensive real estate development initiative. He also sits on the board of the Florida Theatre.

• Jed Davis, participant in the Davis Family Office serving as employee, officer or director of the operating entities administered by the Davis Family Office. He also serves on numerous area boards and is chair of the Next Generation Task Force for Mayo Clinic Florida.

• Teresa Durand-Stuebben, director of business development with Auld & White Constructors and sits on the boards of NAIOP, the American Institute of Architects and JAX Chamber Board of Governors. She lives Downtown.

• Burnell Goldman, general manager at the Omni Jacksonville Hotel. He also sits on the board of Visit Jacksonville and the JAX Chamber Board of Governors.

• Traci Jenks, senior director of the office of brokerage services at Cushman & Wakefield and founder of the Downtown Catalyst Club.

• Patrick McElhaney, senior vice president with EverBank, leading the company’s Corporate Real Estate Services Division. He serves on the board of HabiJax and is race director for the annual McKenzie’s Run held at EverBank Field.

Winter appointed to 'Blue Coats' for Players

Scot Winter, a regional director at RiverFront Investment Group, has been appointed to the “Blue Coats,” the volunteer leadership team of The Players.

Winter joins the four existing vice chairs who, along with 2015 Tournament Chairman Brian Franco, lead the 2,200-plus volunteer force that make the tournament possible.

In addition to Winter, the volunteer leadership for The Players 2015 includes: Franco; First Vice Chair Michele McManamon; and Vice Chairs Kevin English, Damon Olinto and Adam Campbell.

“Scot has been a vital member of The Players family for eight years, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the leadership team in 2015,” said Franco.

Winter also is involved with the Boy Scouts of America, serving on the North Florida Council’s Executive Committee, and as chairman of the Council’s Trust Committee. Winter and his wife, Claudia, reside in Ponte Vedra Beach with their daughter, Alexandra.

Winter has been involved with The Players since 2006 when he began as a marshal on No. 16.

Grand opening and appreciation weekend set for casino boat

Victory Casino Cruises will host a grand opening and guest appreciation weekend event aboard its newest ship, Victory II, on Friday and Saturday.

Passengers on any of the twice-daily cruises will enjoy live entertainment, including stiltwalkers and Vegas showgirls, free giveaways to all passengers and the chance to win one of four 50-inch televisions.

Day cruises depart at 11 a.m. and evening cruises depart at 7 p.m.

Victory Casino Cruises brought its Las Vegas-style gaming experience to North Florida in mid-June with the launch of Victory II. Sailing out of Mayport, Victory II is a 229-foot catamaran, which carries 600 passengers on the five- to six-hour cruises.

Victory II has three decks and offers 17 live table games, including blackjack, craps, roulette and Ultimate Texas Hold ’Em, as well as more than 300 slot machines.

Boarding passes are $10, with complimentary drinks for those actively gaming. All guests must be 18 or older to board.

For information about Victory Casino Cruises, visit or call (855) GO-VICTORY.

JU women's lacrosse coach signs on for five more years

Jacksonville University women’s lacrosse head coach Mindy McCord signed a five-year contract, keeping her at JU through July 2019.

“I am thrilled to continue the good work that our players, alumni and coaches have put in over the first five years for the next five,” said McCord, who has a 64-32 record at JU. McCord, a 24-year coaching veteran, has guided the program since its inaugural 2010 season.

The Dolphins have captured conference championships in each of the past four seasons, including back-to-back Atlantic Sun regular season and tournament titles in 2013, and 2014.

The success on the field has transformed into the classroom as well. In 2013 the program posted a 3.47 GPA, ranking them second in the nation. During the spring of 2014, the 34-person squad achieved an overall team GPA of 3.38.


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