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The 1954 DeSoto Adventurer is one of the vintage vehicles scheduled to be included in the 2015 Amelia Concours d'Elegance.
Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Feb. 4, 201512:00 PM EST

Nonprofit news: Feb. 26 benefit for Feeding Northeast Florida

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The Daily Record invites the local nonprofit community to submit news, announcements, success stories and other information they believe would be of interest to our readers. Email to: [email protected].

Weaver gives $352,000 grant for veterans services

The Veterans Counseling Initiative has received a $352,000 grant from the Delores Barr Weaver Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida to bridge the gap in mental health counseling for veterans at the Five Star Veterans Center.

The initiative is a partnership between the center and the University of North Florida’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program.

The program will provide an in-house licensed mental health counselor who will conduct mental health assessments and individual and group therapy for the residents.

The center provides supportive housing and services to veterans ages 22-55 who have experienced homelessness to assist them in their reintegration to the workforce and society.

“This support is critical to our veterans who are struggling to regain their footing and live normal lives,” said Five Star Executive Director Len Loving. “We are grateful for Mrs. Weaver’s continued confidence in and partnership with our mission.”

For information on the center, visit 5starveteranscenter.org.

Big Brothers Big Sisters honors mentors

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida celebrated its mentors Jan. 29 with a reception sponsored by AT&T at The Haskell Co.

Nearly 80 mentors were served food and drinks catered by The Haskell Co. with desserts provided by Alley Cakes of Jacksonville Beach. Mentors also had the opportunity to win raffle prizes from Tory Burch, Daytona International Speedway, Edible Arrangements and more.

“It was a great opportunity to meet other ‘bigs’ and share experiences about our ‘littles.’ It was also a nice reminder of how many people in our community take time out of their schedules to help develop young people that may not otherwise have access to positive role models,” said Brian Warfield, a mentor and structural engineer at Haskell.

For more information on becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister visit bbbsnefl.org or call (904) 727-9797.

Charity poker for autism foundation

The Jacksonville Bar Association Young Lawyers Section and bestbet Jacksonville will host a Feb. 19 charity poker tournament, “Deal for HEAL,” to benefit the HEAL Foundation.

The evening will begin at 5 p.m. with poker lessons, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres with tournament play commencing at 6:15 p.m. Prizes will be awarded throughout the evening and at the conclusion of play around 9 p.m.

Local leaders committed to playing and serving as “bounties” include Hank Coxe, past president of The Florida Bar; John Delaney, former mayor of Jacksonville and current University of North Florida president; Rick Mullaney, former Jacksonville general counsel and founding director of the Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute; Melissa Ross, host of WJCT’s First Coast Connect; and Matt Schellenberg, City Council member.

Participants who “knock out” one of the celebrity bounties with a winning hand will win prizes including the opportunity to play poker at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas along with a deluxe room and two tickets to the Blue Man Group show.

Each participant is asked to make a $75 donation to the foundation.

For additional information and to register online, visit healautismnow.org or call (904) 716-4198.

Nissan donates $1 million to Wounded Warrior, Habitat

Nissan’s “With Dad” campaign, a 90-second, family focused commercial, kicked off during Sunday’s Super Bowl broadcast.

The campaign focuses on the difficult task of balancing work and life for families everywhere.

In conjunction with the campaign, Nissan is donating $500,000 to Jacksonville-based Wounded Warrior Project to help families of wounded veterans.

The contribution supports the nonprofit’s 20 programs and services offered to injured service members and their families.

Nissan also is donating $500,000 to Habitat for Humanity. Later this year, Wounded Warrior Project alumni and Nissan employees will build a Habitat for Humanity house.

To view the “With Dad” campaign, visit withdad.com.

For information on Wounded Warrior Project, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.

Feb. 26 benefit for Feeding Northeast Florida

Matthew’s, Bistro Aix, Moxie and Intuition Ale Works are among nearly 50 Jacksonville’s restaurants that will take part in the 3Squares fundraiser at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Prime Osborn Convention Center.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Feeding Northeast Florida, the nonprofit agency that provides food to more than 150 food pantries. Winn-Dixie is the presenting sponsor.

General admission tickets are $70 per person, with VIP tickets available for $100 that include a seated tasting prior to the public opening. Tickets can be purchased at 3squaresjax.com, or by phone at (904) 201-4416. All tickets include access to restaurants and open bars throughout the venue.

Other participating restaurants are Aqua Grill, bb’s, b the bakery, Biscottis, Black Sheep Restaurant, Campeche Bay, The Cake Shop of San Jose, Catering by Liz, Champion Brands, Checkers, China Mist Tea Co., Dos Gatos, The Fish Company, Foley Family Vineyards, FSCJ Culinary School, GOS Fine Wine & Spirits, The Grotto, Gumbo Ya Ya’s, Hawkers Asian Street CafĂ©, The Loop, M Shack, Mark’s Downtown, Mai Qui Gourmet Catering, The Melting Pot, Mojo BBQ, North Beach Bistro, Orsay, Ovinte, Peterbrooke Chocolatier, Pizza Palace, Ragtime, Restaurant Medure, River City Brewing Co., SAVOR/SMG Caterers, Sticky Fingers, Taco Lu, Taste Catering, Taverna, Tres Leches, and Winn Dixie / Bi-Lo Catering.

Feeding Northeast Florida distributes food to people who struggle to feed themselves and their families in 17 Northeast Florida counties through a network of more than 150 nonprofit, faith-based and charitable organizations. To donate, volunteer or find out more about eliminating hunger in Northeast Florida, visit feedingnefl.org.

‘Orphan concept cars’ due at Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in March

The 20th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will present a class of “orphan concept cars” of the 1950s and early 1960s.

“Creating a class of orphan concept cars is the kind of thing we just can’t resist,” said Mark Becker, vice chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

The concept shows the industry changing course, almost overnight, from a wartime economy to a new consumer economy that none could have imagined or predicted, Becker said.

General Motors led the way with its traveling Motorama shows of the 1950s. But the economic realities of the early 21st century forced even GM to shed the once profitable Pontiac and Oldsmobile divisions.

The 1963 Pontiac X-400 is a modified production car rather than the usual, clean-sheet Motorama creation. By the 1960s, Pontiac had shed its once stodgy image to become GM’s high performance division.

Before Pontiac’s legendary GTO, the X-400 set the tone for Pontiac in the ’60 and ’70s.

The time was different for Detroit’s other carmakers. In 1954, the first DeSoto Adventurer was a design by Chrysler’s legendary Virgil Exner. The Ghia-bodied coupe depicts the Italian style. Crossed American and Italian flags on the red coupe’s coachwork tell the genesis of the Detroit/Milan hybrid.

Powered by a 276 cubic inch Hemi engine, the Adventurer II looks like a production prototype for a new breed of DeSoto and a new direction for Chrysler Corp. Had DeSoto carried on with the project, Chrysler might well have enjoyed performance parity with Chevy’s iconic Corvette. The Adventurer concept did not stem the tide. After more than 2 million vehicles built since 1928, Chrysler’s DeSoto Division closed its doors Nov. 30, 1960.

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will be March 13-15 at The Golf Club of Amelia Island at The Ritz-Carlton. The show’s foundation has donated more than $2.5 million to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida and other North Florida charities since its inception in 1996.

For more information, visit ameliaconcours.org or call (904) 636-0027.

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