Three student teams each won $10,000 grants to jump-start their ideas for social change Feb. 9 at the second annual Upstream Pitch Party.
A partnership between United Way of Northeast Florida and local colleges, Upstream is a social innovation challenge in which young adults are paired with established young-professional leaders, according to a news release.
During the past three months, coaches and teams worked to develop ideas and devise strategies to solve community problems related to health, education, financial stability and Downtown improvement.
The winning teams were:
• Food Fighters by Courtney Hogan and Brianna Ballard, a food recovery program that fights to eliminate food waste at the University of North Florida.
• Gents for Jax by Vaughn Sayers and Farouk Smith, a mentoring program for young men in Jacksonville.
• Project Brush Up by Tylyn Dagsaan and Noelle O’Connor, a public art initiative that connects local artists and middle-school students.
The People’s Choice winner — Elevating Refugee Peers by Julia Driscoll — is a plan to help refugee students assimilate more easily into Northeast Florida. She received a prize basket.
Designed to address the causes of long-term problems that affect the community “downstream,” Upstream connects business and nonprofit leaders with the innovators of the future.
For information about Upstream, visit unitedwaynefl.org/upstream.
To invest in the program, visit unitedwaynefl.org/upstream/investor.
Restaurants raising funds for nonprofits
Forking Amazing Restaurants, a group that includes Ovinté, Bistro Aix and Il Desco, has launched Collaborate and Give, a monthly program to benefit nonprofits.
The company will donate 5 percent of food sales at its restaurants over a three-day period each month to a designated nonprofit.
The first promotion is Monday through March 1. Proceeds will benefit the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund.
Forking Amazing Restaurants will solicit nominations from its employees for future Collaborate and Give partners.
Take an icy plunge to help Special Olympics
Jacksonville Beach is usually warm and tropical, but for one day this winter, you can experience the “thrill of the chill” while supporting Special Olympics.
On March 11, “plungers” will participate in the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Florida at Seawalk Pavilion in Jacksonville Beach.
A highlight of the annual event is the crazy costumes participants are encouraged to wear in the name of fun.
To take the plunge, individually or with a team, register at plungefl.org.
Proceeds will support Special Olympics Florida, which provides year-round sports training and competition to children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Services are provided at no cost to the athletes or their caregivers. To learn more, visit specialolympicsflorida.org.
Floating therapy for Daniel Kids
H2O Float and Daniel Kids have partnered to create a flotation therapy program to help children, ages 9-17, who suffer from mental health issues, such as ADHD, PTSD, intermittent explosive disorder and disruptive mood dysregulated disorder.
Flotation therapy, also known as sensory deprivation, has been used for research since the 1950s.
Studies have shown it can aid in the relief of anxiety, stress, fibromyalgia, chronic pain and other conditions.
Children from Daniel Kids will participate under the guidance of a therapist, opening up a new way to help treat their conditions.
For more information, call (904) 619-5201 or email [email protected].
Community First Cares Foundation artist workshop is March 4
The Community First Cares Foundation will sponsor an artist professional development workshop hosted by the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville.
The workshop, titled “Entrepreneur Symposium for Creatives: Every Artist is a Small Business,” is March 4 at the Jessie Ball duPont Center Downtown.
The event is open to anyone but advance registration is required because space is limited.
The symposium will feature speakers and a panel of business experts, including Davis Johnston from Community First Credit Union; Nadia Ramoutar of Nadia Ramoutar Productions; Autumn Berrang from Adjective & Co.; and Kevin Monahan from the University of North Florida’s Small Business Development Center.
Topics are defining success, branding and marketing, operating as a small business and managing finances.
Community First Cares Foundation also will give $1,000 grants to five artists.
For more information, visit CommunityFirstCares.org or call (904) 371-8090.
Arts and culture grant application deadline March 7
Duval County arts and cultural organizations interested in applying for the 2017-18 Cultural Service Grant Program need to submit a letter by March 7 to the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville.
A form is available and must be submitted online at culturalcouncil.org.
The Cultural Council administers the program on behalf of the city to provide public support to arts and cultural organizations in Jacksonville.
Recipients are selected based on the following criteria:
• Quality of programs
• Exploration of innovative ideas and programming
• Community impact
• Need for the organization in the community
• Community outreach and service to culturally diverse populations
• Management capability of board and staff
Twenty-five organizations were awarded more than $2.4 million in general operating support for 2016-17 through the grant program.
For more information, visit culturalcouncil.org.
YMCA and Baptist Health partner for Northside wellness center
The YMCA of Florida’s First Coast and Baptist Health entered 2017 by filling a critical health need in Jacksonville’s Northside.
A new YMCA facility is integrated within the Baptist North Medical Campus to provide area residents a full range of healthy living resources.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday will celebrate the grand opening of the YMCA facility and