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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Sep. 28, 201012:00 PM EST

Nonprofit News - Highlighting Jacksonville's Philanthropic Community


from staff

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.

Golf tournament supports holiday project

The Harvey Bernhardt Foundation’s third annual golf tournament presented by Fidelity National Financial was a sellout due to the support of sponsors and Honorary Chair David Lamm of [email protected] on 1010XL.

Jeff Klauk, a two-time PGA Nationwide Tour winner, also made an appearance to assist in the $10,000 prize putting contest. The $18,000 generated from the tournament will help the foundation expand this year’s holiday giving project to 10 families living and working in North Florida.

In addition to hosting the golf tournament, the foundation holds a $10,000 prize putting contest for participating golfers. Twenty-three golfers sank a 15-foot putt and advanced to the second round of the putting contest. After coming within three inches of making a 25-foot putt, Charlotte Biladeau advanced to the final round to compete at the 50-foot putting range.

Tournament winners included the team from Realco for first place gross and Cornelius, Schou, Leone & Matteson for first place net. Prizes awarded during the tournament included Jacksonville Jaguars club seats tickets, The Capital Grille and Matthew’s gift cards, Gator Bowl tickets, and golf foursomes to The Golf Club of Amelia Island, San Jose Country Club, Deerwood Country Club and The Palencia Club.

New staff at CIS

Communities In Schools of Jacksonville has announced three new members, including its new Director of Resource Development, Murray Beard, and Director of Community Resources, Stephanie Cain.

Beard is a Jacksonville native and product of the Duval County school system.  He comes to CIS with more than 30 years of experience in finance and accounting, working in institutions such as Merrill Lynch and his own company, Morgan Davis Associates. 

As the CIS director of resource development, Beard will focus on raising awareness of the dropout epidemic in the Jacksonville community as well as securing financial resources to make a difference in the lives of students.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Communities In Schools team.  I love the mission of CIS. The organization has made a tremendous difference in the lives of our youth and their families in Duval County. I have a passion for youth and kids and cannot wait to begin helping them in any and every way I can,” said Beard.

Cain is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and comes to the organization with more than eight years of experience working in nonprofit management, volunteer management and resource development.

She serves on the board for the Association of Fundraising Professionals First Coast Chapter as well as the Executive Council for the Wild Things Young Professionals at the Jacksonville Zoo. As the CIS director of community resources, she will be responsible for grant writing and volunteer management.

Bethany Maddox is also joining CIS as its new resource development assistant.  She will graduate in December from Flagler College with a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations. Her responsibilities at CIS will include media and employee relations as well as event planning. Maddox comes to CIS after serving as the St. Johns County Education Foundation’s marketing coordinator.

Communities In Schools is the city’s largest provider of in-school dropout prevention services. The organization provides case management, after-school, literacy and mentoring services to 6,600 local youth. 

For more information, visit or call 354-5918.

Restaurant raises funds for Dreams Come True

The new BlackFinn American Grille restaurant at The Markets at St. Johns Town Center partnered with the Dreams Come True young professional group, the Horizon Board, for a fundraiser to benefit Dreams Come True.

The event raised more than $3,500 for the Dreams Come True Horizon Board. Proceeds will assist the Horizon Board with sponsoring the dream of a local child.

With 100 people in attendance, guests were treated to a tour of the new restaurant.

“We were honored to be a part of the BlackFinn Experience and cannot thank them enough for their gracious donation,” said Will Courtney, Horizon Board president.

“The family the Horizon Board is sponsoring will never forget their trip to Hawaii and those who made it possible. Guests said it was the best young professionals’ charity event they’ve attended in Jacksonville. We couldn’t have done it without Tracy Matherly and Toni Warren at BlackFinn,” he said.

Horses help disabled

On Sept. 18, Haven Horse Ranch hosted Brooks Rehabilitation’s Adaptive Sports Program. About a dozen participants had a chance to ride a horse several times with the assistance of more than 15 volunteers.

The ranch constructed a custom-made wheelchair ramp for Brooks’ first visit in March 2008 and made additions and improvements to the ramp this year with grant monies from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Riders were helped by volunteers who transferred them from chairs to horseback.

Additional volunteers walked on each side of the horse, helping the riders keep their balance as they rode around the pasture.

The Brooks Adaptive Sports Program is designed for physical fitness and to also meet the social, emotional, physical and spiritual needs of those involved. Alice Krauss, the program’s managing director, explained that the overall goal for the morning ride was to expand the horizons of the riders in terms of how they are able to participate in life activities.

“The most important part of the program is to provide participants the opportunity to push their limits and do things they never thought they could do before,” she said.

The Adaptive Sports Program offers five separate sports to the community on a regular basis, including wheelchair rugby, basketball, tennis, hand cycling and adaptive rowing. The riding event is the only activity to feature horses.

“While humans can be judgmental and interact with others based on certain conditions, animals do not,” said Krauss.

“There is something about riding a horse that is very liberating. It is very, very empowering and we believe everybody should have that chance,” said Haven Horse Ranch Executive Director Ric Lehman.

“Today was a combination of a little bit of physical therapy and a whole lot of emotional therapy. And we especially love when the riders express such joy and wonder when sitting on horseback for the first time. Their smiles could light up a room, which makes it all worthwhile,” said Lehman.

Young professionals host barbecue

The Discovery Circle, a young professionals’ group supporting Ronald McDonald House Charities of Jacksonville, will host “Pig Pickin’,” a Hawaiian-style barbecue fundraiser, Oct. 23. The Jacksonville community is invited to the St. Joe Co. building at 245 Riverside Ave. from 1-5 p.m. for the event.

The event will feature food from Mojo Bar-B-Que, live music, lawn games, televised college football and more. Local musicians Alex Seier and Peter Dearing will provide entertainment.

“The Discovery Circle raised more than $36,000 at the 2009 Pig Pickin’ event,” said Cate Cheevers, Discovery Circle chair. “We’re hoping to reach $40,000 this year. The event proceeds will go directly to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Jacksonville and will be used to offer lodging and other support services to families of children with serious medical needs.”

To purchase tickets for $25, call 807-4663 or order online at Tickets will also be available at the door for $30. Tickets for children between the ages of 2-12 are $10 each.

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