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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, May 11, 201012:00 PM EST

Nonprofit News


from staff

Highlighting Jacksonville’s Philanthropic Community

As our community continues to face a tight economy and shrinking budgets, the Daily Record has established this page that will each week chronicle the efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Bailey Publishing & Communications invites all members of the local nonprofit community to submit news, announcements, success stories and any other information they believe would be of interest to our readers. E-mail to: [email protected].

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

Crowley employees send aid to Haiti

Crowley Maritime Corp. and its employees donated $80,000 to the American Red Cross in support of Haiti relief efforts.

Shortly after the massive earthquake, Crowley, which offers weekly scheduled commercial cargo service to Haiti, announced to its employees that the company would match all donations dollar-for-dollar made specifically to the American Red Cross Haiti relief fund. Crowley employees worldwide participated in the charity drive.

“The gift from Crowley employees and Crowley Maritime to the American Red Cross International Response Fund in support of Haiti relief efforts will have a significant impact on those lives devastated by this disaster,” said American Red Cross North Florida Chapter CEO Jack Morgan. “Crowley and its employees’ contributions will touch many lives as they rebuild.”

In addition to making the financial donation, Crowley worked closely with the U.S. Transportation Command after the disaster to reopen direct cargo operations in Haiti, allowing humanitarian relief from multiple shippers to enter the country.

Crowley also mobilized two 400-foot-long, 100-foot-wide flat deck barges, along with two Manitowoc 230-ton crawler cranes that continue to serve as a makeshift dock for cargo operations as the port is rebuilt.

Go Red for Women Friday

Celebrate the women of the First Coast and the hearts of women everywhere by joining Ch. 4’s Melanie Lawson and AM-690’s Roxy Tyler for the Fifth Annual Go Red For Women Luncheon and Educational Forum Friday at the Osborn Center.┬áRegistration begins at 10 a.m.

A heart-healthy lunch will be served at noon. Keynote speaker is Dr. Annabelle Santos Volgman. Deutsche Bank will present a $1,000 scholarship to the winner of the 2010 “Show Us Your Heart Art Contest” featuring middle- and high-school students.

Go Red For Women is sponsored nationally by Macy’s and Merck. Local sponsors include St. Vincent’s HealthCare, CSX, Deutsche Bank, Solantic Baptist Urgent Care, Winn-Dixie Stores, Baptist Health, Jacksonville Heart Center, The Main Street America Group, Melissa Posey Photography, The Dalton Agency, WOKV News Talk Radio, Shades of Pink, Daily Billboards, Health Source Magazine and the Times-Union.

For reservations or information, call 256-5642.

New hire at CFF

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has hired Leslie Higgins as director of special events for its North Florida office. Higgins will manage several of the foundation’s annual events, including the Single Greatest Night, Shoot for a Cure, Great Strides and the foundation’s Tallahassee events.

“We are closer to controlling and curing cystic fibrosis than ever before, and Leslie will be a tremendous contributor to that cause,” said Claudia Werner, executive director of the North Florida Cystic Fibrosis Foundation office. “Leslie has an excellent background in the nonprofit world and her fundraising abilities will contribute greatly to our mission. We are fortunate to have her as part of our team.”

Before joining the foundation, Higgins worked as director of special events for Junior Achievement in Orlando, where she raised nearly $2 million for the organization. In that role, she coordinated fundraising and networking events, recruited volunteers, produced events and worked on marketing strategies.

Her previous experience includes recruiting, account managing and serving as a food and beverage manager in the hospitality industry. Higgins has a bachelor’s degree in organizational communications from the University of Central Florida.

Golf with Sam Kouvaris

Dreams Come True announced that Pilot Travel Centers is the presenting sponsor for the Ninth Annual Sam Kouvaris Dreams Come True Golf Tournament Monday at the King & Bear golf course in the World Golf Village. Funds from the event will support the programs and services of Dreams Come True, the First Coast’s only locally based nonprofit organization dedicated to fulfilling the dreams of children with life-threatening illnesses.

Pilot Travel Centers is one of the nation’s largest retail operators of travel centers, catering to professional drivers and traveling motorists in 41 states, with more than 300 retail interstate properties. The company is headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., and employs 13,000 people nationwide.

This year, Pilot Travel Centers launched a major initiative to promote its premium coffees and confirm Pilot coffee as “the best on the interstate,” introducing the company’s first official Facebook fan page and a Twitter account.

The tournament also is sponsored by Swimcraft Pools LLC, Nader’s Pest Raiders, The Weedon Family, The Jacksonville Business Journal, Ch. 4, Lee Printing, Bacardi, Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba’s Italian Grill.

In addition to a day on the greens, the event will include live and silent auctions, a cocktail party and an awards dinner with prizes for the top five foursomes.

The event has raised more than $600,000 for the programs and services of Dreams Come True.

Founded in 1984 by the late Thomas R. McGehee, chairman of the board of Mac Papers, and his wife, Delia, Dreams Come True has made dreams come to life for nearly 2,600 children in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. Dreams Come True applies all contributions, unless otherwise designated, directly to the dreams of children.

For more information, call 296-3030 or visit

VPK enrollment event a success

The Early Learning Coalition of Duval registered more than 150 children for the Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten program at a recent event at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. The event focused on families seeking to enroll their 4-year-olds into VPK and enjoy a day at the zoo. Registering 4-year-olds received free admission to the zoo (with a paying adult), a T-shirt, animal crackers and a book. The event was sponsored by the Wachovia/Wells Fargo Foundation.

This enrollment had significant meaning for Cindy Hereford, who was enrolling her son, Dustin.

“I couldn’t afford to send my first child to pre-k,” said Hereford. “Hopefully Dustin will learn to write his name and numbers before he goes to kindergarten.”

The enrollment was made possible through a grant from the Wachovia/Wells Fargo Foundation to the Early Learning Coalition of Duval so it can continue to hold outreach events throughout Jacksonville.

“This is the first event we’ve held at the zoo, and we are excited to combine enrollment into VPK with an afternoon at the zoo,” said Susan Main, executive director of the coalition. “This is a great way to be out in the community and enrolling children into VPK.”

VPK was enacted by voters in Florida in 2005 and allows 4-year-olds residing in the state to participate in a high-quality pre-kindergarten program. VPK is free, non-income based and allows parents to send their children to a provider of their choosing.

Registration is available year round at the Early Learning Coalition office.

For more information about Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten or the Early Learning Coalition of Duval, call 208-2044 or visit

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