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. Email to: [email protected]. We encourage our readers to become more aware of the needs of these worthy organizations as they continue to provide much-needed services with reduced resources.
The Arc Jacksonville 'will not be deterred' despite Scott veto
Jim Whittaker, executive director of The Arc Jacksonville, issued a statement that the nonprofit will continue to seek donations to develop the housing community whose legislative funding was vetoed Monday by Gov. Rick Scott.
"While The Arc Jacksonville greatly appreciates Gov. Scott's consideration of a $2 million legislative appropriation for The Arc Village, we are disappointed that this appropriation was not included in the budget," Whittaker said.
"However, we will not be deterred in our effort to ensure that adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) will have the opportunity for affordable housing in The Arc Village. We want to assure those interested in living there and their families that this project will move forward on our current timetable, which calls for construction to begin by 2014," he said.
The Arc Village is planned at 3615 and 3631 Hodges Blvd. in South Jacksonville. The village is designed as an affordable rental community for adults, age 18 and older, with intellectual and development disabilities.
It is designed as 40 one- and two-bedroom units comprising 97 beds, a 12,000-square-foot clubhouse and a maintenance building on about 16.7 acres of a 32.2-acre site. About 120 residents can be housed at the village and live independently.
The arcjacksonville.org site states the village will be Florida's first planned community of affordable homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
"We continue to believe this is a unique project for the citizens of the state of Florida, and also for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout the country, for whom we have designed this new option for adults with I/DD to live in a community planned for them," Whittaker said.
"The Jacksonville community is a very generous one and we will continue to seek philanthropic gifts from our neighbors, as we have been for the last several months. We know that the generosity of our community will provide the margin of excellence that will ensure the creation of The Arc Village," he said.
Development Director Judy Hall-Lanier said last week The Arc Village's estimated construction and development cost is $17.6 million; initial security and emergency shelter equipment, vehicles and operations startup costs are $1.2 million; and the endowment goal is $2 million; for a total of $20.8 million.
Hall-Lanier said that to date, $2.5 million has been committed through private sector philanthropy.
She said The Arc Jacksonville will apply for the Florida affordable housing tax credit program in the summer, with the award expected to be announced in the fall.
'Walkit Challenge' at The Players
Humana brought its "Walkit Challenge" to The Players, where tournament attendees took more than 13.9 million steps in an effort to earn a new, multigenerational community playground.
The record number of golf fans who attended the tournament helped put Northeast Florida on top of the challenge's leaderboard.
The Players displaced the previous leader, the Shell Houston Open, on May 12 alone when fans tracked more than 6 million steps.
"We are very impressed by the levels of enthusiasm and dedication we saw among golf fans at The Players Championship," said Dr. John Montgomery, Humana Florida Employer Group chief medical officer.
The Humana Walkit Challenge is a national walking competition and part of Humana's mission to encourage people to become active and take steps toward a healthier lifestyle.
The competition measures which PGA Tour event can track the most steps over a four-day tournament period.
The event with the most steps at the end of this year's season will be rewarded with the playground that will be built in the tournament's community next year by Humana and national nonprofit KaBOOM!.
Visit facebook.com/humanawalkit for more information.
'Foodfight' June 6 at EverBank Field
The 23rd Annual Jacksonville Foodfight is scheduled for June 6 at the EverBank Field East Touchdown Club.
The event will feature more than 60 local restaurants, beverage distributors and caterers showcasing their signature dishes and beverages in a friendly competition.
More than 1,200 guests are expected to attend.
Last year, the event raised almost $100,000, a record, with the proceeds benefiting Second Harvest North Florida.
For more information or tickets, visit wenourishhope.org.
More than 150 guests celebrate Haven Hospice
Irving and Norlene Roberts on May 11 hosted the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Haven Hospice Roberts Care Center.
More than 150 guests enjoyed dinner, live music, a skeet-shooting contest, buggy tours to see domestic and exotic animals at the Roberts Ranch and a silent auction with more than 30 donated items.
Haven Hospice has served Palatka and the Putnam County area since 1979 and opened the Roberts Hospice Care Center in 2003.
Over the past 10 years, the center has provided care to more than 4,000 individuals through inpatient hospice care.
Take Stock in Children recognizes graduating seniors
Take Stock in Children celebrated the graduation of its high school seniors with an event that included student performances, a senior video and words from Florida State College at Jacksonville interim President Will Holcombe and Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti.
In addition, there was a presentation of medals to the graduating seniors.
The ceremony was the culmination of five years of hard work and dedication by the students and their volunteer mentors.
The students signed a contract of commitment to the program while in middle school. Each week, they and their mentors met for an hour.
The students also received in-school support through case management and had the promise of a state prepaid scholarship.
EverBank is a major supporting partner and provides employee volunteer mentors and funds a community match program to provide scholarships.
"The state of Florida labeled me an 'at risk' student. My mother was addicted to crack and in prison. My father was absent from my life. It was just my grandmother and me trying to make a life together," said Kerry Burke-McCloud, one of the graduating seniors.
"Then one afternoon in class, my life took a sharp turn with a page to report to the front office. There, sitting in a chair, was a guy old enough to be my grandfather. Over the next five years, he helped me put into motion some of the biggest changes in my life and taught me how to be a leader and a better person," said Burke-McCloud.
Take Stock is a statewide program with a 16-year history. The comprehensive services begin in middle school and follow the student into high school and through college completion.
For more information, visit takestockinchildren.org.
Community Hospice wins award
LifeNet Health of Florida has awarded the "Hospice of the Year Award" for 2012 to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida.
"When making end-of-life decisions and documenting your advance directives, one decision that should be considered is whether to be a tissue and/or organ donor," said Mary McElroy, Community Hospice chief nursing officer.
Although hospices are not required by law to make organ and tissue donor referrals, Community Hospice is working with local agency LifeNet Health of Florida to consult with families about patients considered for tissue recovery after their death.
"The Community Hospice partnership with LifeNet Health began with a pilot program at the Bailey Family Center for Caring in St. Augustine," said Christina McCurdy, director of Inpatient, CIC and Nursing Support Services.
"We are currently transitioning the program to include the home care teams and Community Hospice inpatient hospice centers in Jacksonville," she said.
The award is annually given to the hospice that exceeds the life-saving effort.
"LifeNet Health congratulates Community Hospice and its nursing staff for receiving the Hospice of the Year Award for 2012," said Karin Frosio, LifeNet Health hospital and community relations coordinator.
LifeNet Health provides a grief and bereavement program for up to 18 months after the donation. "This program is available to all donor families and is an additional resource for them to get help with grief and loss," said Frosio.
Organ donation typically applies to organs used for immediate transplantation.
For more information about tissue donation, visit LifeNetHealthFlorida.org.
To join the state registry as an organ and tissue donor, visit DonateLifeFlorida.org.
For more information about Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, visit CommunityHospice.com.