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High-school students Antonia Bell (left) and Shavonna Davis earned a trip to the U.S. Open Tennis Championships in New York City by earning 4.0 GPAs last school year.
Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Sep. 3, 201412:00 PM EST

Nonprofit news: Two students at MaliVai Washington foundation win trip to U.S. Open

by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

Two students from the MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation traveled to New York City last weekend.

Antonia Bell, a senior at Robert E. Lee High School, and Shavonna Davis, a freshman at Jean Ribault High School, secured their tickets to the U.S. Open Tennis Championships by earning a 4.0 GPA last school year.

Bell and Davis are the first students to earn the 4.0 trip in the foundation’s 18-year history.

All middle and high school students in the program are eligible for GPA reward trips. Students who earn a 3.0 GPA are invited to spend a day at a theme park with their peers. Twenty students were invited to attend this year’s 3.0 trip to Wild Adventures in July. Thirteen students had the opportunity to visit Atlanta for the 3.5 GPA trip in July.

“I am very proud of my accomplishments during the 2013-2014 school year,” Bell said. “I took several honors and AP courses and worked hard for my 4.0. This trip was part of the reason I was able to stay motivated throughout the year.”

The students were accompanied by foundation Executive Director Terri Florio and Program Director Lucious Freeman. The group explored the city, visited the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, took in a Broadway show and attended the U.S. Open.

Bolles students and faculty take part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

As ALS Ice Bucket Challenges saturated social media channels during the first week of school, The Bolles School community joined the cause.

More than 50 students and 30 faculty/staff helped raise nearly $800 for ALS on Aug. 22 and Aug. 25. Videos of the challenges posted to The Bolles School Facebook page attracted some of the most page views in history.

Awareness and fundraising for ALS did not start at Bolles with The Ice Bucket Challenge. For more than six years, the student-run Bolles ALS Club has been active in its efforts to raise funds and awareness for the disease.

The ALS Club began in 2006 after 2008 graduate Hunter Howayeck heard a presentation on the disease from Rick Murray, father of Mark Murray, class of 1999.

Stephanie Hum, class of 2012, also was an active club president and completed an internship in a University of Pittsburgh lab researching ALS.

Bolles alumnus Tushar Chakravarty, class of 2008, is working on a research team at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health studying the disease.

$27,500 for cancer research at Mayo Clinic

The Florida Pancreas Cancer Coalition presented a $27,500 check to Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville for research.

It’s been a busy first year for the coalition, including becoming a not-for-profit, electing a board of directors and officers, developing a website, hosting a golf tournament and planning a symposium on pancreas cancer.

It is also finalizing the second annual Celtic Open, scheduled March 16.

“All of this was accomplished in 10 months with an all-volunteer board, officers and general and special committees,” said coalition cofounder Pat McLaughlin.

The goal of the coalition is to invest in local pancreas cancer research and let the community see where its money is going and what it is accomplishing. For more information, visit

Rethreaded opening retail store

Rethreaded, a local nonprofit that believes every individual can experience self-worth and value to communally change the world, will host the grand opening

of the organization’s retail space at 820 Barnett St. at 10 a.m. Sept. 13.

Rethreaded invites the Jacksonville community to “Shop for Freedom” and see new Rethreaded products, which include headbands, pillows and “Threads for Hope.”

Rethreaded’s featured up-cycle product, The Grace Scarf, along with all other merchandise, will be on display for shoppers to browse and purchase.

“Our goal is to give women a way out of the sex trade and to prevent girls from ever entering it by providing viable work,” said Kristin Keen, executive director of Rethreaded. “With the support of our local community, we hope this retail space will provide many women and children with freedom.”

The faith-based nonprofit serves people affected by the sex trade by fostering relationships and community.

For more information, visit

Give blood, get tickets for Jaxtoberfest

The Blood Alliance will be giving away two general admission tickets to this year’s Jaxtoberfest to people who donate blood at any of its Jacksonville or St. Augustine donor centers during September.

Jaxtoberfest will offer traditional German music and dance, a Kinderfest area dedicated to children and “kids of all ages” along with face and pumpkin painting, inflatables and more. For more information on Jaxtoberfest on Oct. 10-11 at the Shipyards property Downtown, visit

To make an appointment to donate blood, visit

‘Wine, Women & Shoes’ on Oct. 25

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida is selling tickets for the inaugural Wine, Women & Shoes event on Oct. 25, encouraging local “fashionistas” to don their favorite pair of heels and join the festivities at the Hyatt Regency Riverfront.

Proceeds will support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida, an organization that provides children facing adversity professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better.

General admission tickets are $100 per person, which includes a swag bag. VIP admission is $150 and includes express check in, prime seating for the fashion show and a VIP swag bag filled with exclusive event items.

Event information and tickets are available at For sponsorship opportunities, visit the event’s website or contact Dawn Robbins at (904) 727-9797 or [email protected].

Bank of America Charitable Foundation

Bank of America Charitable Foundation awarded $54,000 in Community Development grants to six local nonprofits that seek to revitalize distressed neighborhoods and provide housing solutions to disadvantaged individuals and families.

“The economy has improved, but affordable housing is still hard to find for some, particularly low- and moderate-income families,” said Greg Smith, Northeast Florida market president, Bank of America.

Local organizations that received funding were: Local Initiatives Support Corp., $20,000; Northwest Jacksonville Community Development Corp., $10,000; Ability Housing of Northeast Florida, $10,000; Operation New Hope, $6,500; Grace and Truth Community Development Corp., $5,000; and Family Foundations of Northeast Florida, $2,500.

For more information on nonprofit programs and services that may qualify, or to submit an application for grant funding, visit

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