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The 2017 Weaver Philanthropic Initiative Class, from left, front row: Jason Spencer, Alison Trager, Ben Trager, Kirsten Martino and Ben Setzer; back row: Marshall Hill, Glenn Miller, Doug Tutwiler, Blair Sherman and Dan Foley.
Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Feb. 1, 201712:00 PM EST

Nonprofit news: Community Foundation for Northeast Florida selects new Weaver


The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida has begun developing the next generation of philanthropists with the selection of the Weaver Philanthropic Initiative Class of 2017.

The foundation has been nurturing potential philanthropists for nearly 20 years, according to a news release.

The 10-member class has begun its six-month education process, including opportunities to experience grant making. Members also will learn about the issues and opportunities that exist in the community.

The foundation has been guiding the next generation since 1999. In 2013, the initiative was renamed in honor of Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver.

For information about the initiative, contact Joanne Cohen, vice president, philanthropic services, at [email protected] or (904) 356-4483.

Ability Housing gets  $250,000 for projects

Wells Fargo Community Lending and Investment provided a $250,000 equity equivalent investment to Ability Housing, a Jacksonville-based nonprofit that provides quality, affordable housing to people and families who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness, as well as adults with a disability.

The funds will support predevelopment costs for Ability Housing’s projects in Northeast and Central Florida.

Funds have been used to cover some of the predevelopment expenses for two projects in Orlando: a $4.8 million renovation of the Wayne Densch Center, which will increase the number of apartments from 64 to 77, and demolition of three aging apartment buildings, followed by construction of 166 new apartments.

Both projects have received awards for permanent financing and will begin this year.

Funds from the contribution also have been used for predevelopment assessment expenses for potential projects in Northeast Florida.

For more information, visit, like the organization on Facebook ( and follow Ability Housing on Twitter (@AbilityHousing).

Art awards on Saturday at Florida Theatre

The Northeast Florida Art Educators Association will host the sixth annual Northeast Florida Scholastic Art Awards at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Florida Theatre Downtown.

Following the ceremony, exhibitions of the winning students’ work will open at the Cathedral Arts Project’s Heather Moore Community Gallery and the Jacksonville Public Library.

The opening reception is 1-3 p.m. Saturday and is open to the public.

This year, the exhibition will include the works of more than 40 winners from Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, St. Johns and Volusia counties.

Many of the students will receive scholarships to partnering institutions like Savannah College of Art and Design, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and New Hampshire Institute of Art.

In the past several years, students in Northeast Florida have been awarded more than $4.3 million in scholarships through the program.

In addition, the works of Gold Key winners will progress to national adjudication where their work may earn a place at the ceremony at Carnegie Hall where medals, scholarships and inclusion in a national traveling exhibition will be awarded.

The event also will help launch a social media campaign called #TheArtsAddUp, which will highlight the ability of an arts-rich education to set the stage for success in classrooms and communities.

The awards recognize the vision, ingenuity and talent of the nation’s youth and provide opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated.

Since its founding, the national awards have established a track record for identifying the early promise of some of the most accomplished creative leaders, with alumni including Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Robert Redford, Zac Posen and Ken Burns.

‘Scotch & Poker’ fundraiser at bestbet

Jewish Family & Community Services will host its sixth annual Scotch & Poker men’s event Feb. 9 at bestbet Jacksonville.

Proceeds will support programs for families, including a food pantry, emergency financial assistance, mental health counseling and adoption services.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and will include a scotch tasting with heavy hors d’oeuvres, a poker class provided by bestbet and a no-limit Texas Hold’em poker tournament complete with hand-rolled cigars.

Seating is limited. For tickets and sponsorship information, call Donna O’Steen at (904) 394-5714 or email [email protected].

Volunteers needed for day of service

Women will lead the way as volunteers wield weapons of mass construction Saturday when they participate in Generation Works, Generation W’s third annual citywide day of service.

Networking and registration begin at 7 a.m. at Unity Plaza, 220 Riverside Ave.

At 8 a.m., volunteers will head to one of 18 sites to paint, wash and transform neighborhoods.

Honorary chairs are Molly Curry, wife of Mayor Lenny Curry; Michelle Cook, director of patrol and enforcement with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office; and George Maxey, executive director of New Town Success Zone.

Register at and select from a variety of projects to benefit agencies such as Angelwood, Dignity U Wear, Feeding Northeast Florida and Rethreaded.

SOUPer Bowl is fundraiser for Blessings in a Backpack

Blessings in a Backpack will have its second annual SOUPer Bowl from 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Nease High School.

The event, to benefit the child hunger-focused nonprofit, allows guests to sample gourmet soups from local restaurants including the Ice Plant, M Shack, The Floridian, Publix Cooking School and Sawgrass Marriott.

An unlimited tasting ticket is $25.

Attendees also receive a ceramic bowl crafted by students from Bartram Trail, Nease and St. Johns Technical high schools, Valley Ridge Academy and Palencia and Webster elementary schools.

Profits will be donated to the First Coast Blessings in a Backpack organization.

The nonprofit provides food to more than 600 low-income children in St. Johns County who are at risk of going hungry when they are not in school. The students receive free and reduced price meals on weekdays, but may have no reliable source of nutrition over the weekends.

Blessings in a Backpack provides more than 145,236 meals a year to students in the county.

Healthy snacks and easy-to-cook meals are packed and delivered to participating schools and given to students to take home.

The organization estimates it costs $100 to provide one student meals for the school year.

Nease High School, in conjunction with Valley Ridge Academy and St. Johns Technical High School, debuted the SOUPer Bowl event in 2016 and raised over $23,000.

Tickets and donation options can be found at

The SOUPer Bowl event also can be found on Facebook, on Twitter at @SOUPerBowlSJC and on Instagram at sjc_souper_bowl.

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