Nonprofit News: Highlighting Jacksonville's Philanthropic Community

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  • | 12:00 p.m. November 20, 2013
Cathedral Arts Projects students from Sadie Tillis Elementary perform outside the Ponte Vedra Beach home of Frank and Marisa Martire.
Cathedral Arts Projects students from Sadie Tillis Elementary perform outside the Ponte Vedra Beach home of Frank and Marisa Martire.
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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.

Cathedral Arts Project hosts Angels of the Arts Reception

The Cathedral Arts Project hosted its Angels of the Arts reception last month at the Ponte Vedra Beach home of Frank and Marisa Martire. The annual event recognizes the generous contributions made to Cathedral Arts Project's mission by its major donors and supporters.

With 120 people in attendance, the Cathedral Arts Project choir students from Sadie Tillis Elementary sang songs, such as Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" and Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger."

Once inside, guests were treated to catering by The Black Sheep Restaurant and live music from KTG Entertainment. Cathedral Arts Project Executive Director Kimberly Hyatt welcomed everyone and introduced presenting sponsor Fred Schremp, vice president of CBIZ, and honorary chairs Frank and Marisa Martire, chairman and CEO of FIS and CAP board member, respectively.

Following the introductions, guests were treated to a dance performance by former CAP student Mary Meade and her sister, April. Mary, now a senior in high school, thanked the donors and credited her success as a dancer with The Florida Ballet to her first dance classes in the CAP program.

Seniors donate dollhouse

The residents at Camellia at Deerwood found a creative way to raise more than $700 for Beaches Habitat for Humanity.

The seniors designed and built two fully furnished dollhouses, which were donated for auction at the Beaches Habitat's 10th annual Beach Bash at Sawgrass Beach Club.

Camellia at Deerwood purchased the materials for the residents, who finished the dollhouses. The auction's highest bidders were awarded the dollhouses and all of the proceeds benefited Beaches Habitat.

"Our residents at Camellia at Deerwood have a wonderful giving spirit and are well known for their philanthropic activities," said General Manager Perry Brown. "They enjoy making a difference in others' lives by volunteering and giving back to the community."

As an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, Beaches Habitat works in partnership with local families and volunteers to build and rehabilitate simple homes for qualified families in need. Recognizing the importance of education in breaking the cycle of poverty, the organization also offers college scholarships, after-school tutoring and rewards for academic excellence for its partner families.

More information is available at

Tax collector teams with Toys for Tots

Duval County Tax Collector Michael Corrigan announced that all Tax Collector branch locations will once again serve as official toy drop-off sites for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program this holiday season.

Through Dec. 18, any new, unwrapped toy may be dropped off at the Tax Collector's Office for donation to Toys for Tots.

"We are entering our third year of partnering with Toys for Tots, and in that time we've collected hundreds of toys for needy children," Corrigan said. 

The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program is to collect toys and distribute them as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community. The goal of the program is to deliver a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens. Toys for Tots began in 1947.

For more information on the Toys for Tots program, visit

To find a branch location, visit or call (904) 630-1916.

'Remission Rocks' for breast cancer

Local physicians took center stage at River City Brewing Company for the third annual Remission Rocks, presented by Life Care Centers of America and Apex Home Health Care.

They performed with their bands to raise more than $18,000 to support Bosom Buddies, a local nonprofit that provides hope, support and education to breast cancer patients and survivors.

Bobbi de Cordova-Hanks, founder of Bosom Buddies and three-time cancer survivor, said proceeds from the event will help Bosom Buddies continue to provide support group services, educational materials and health-care advocate pairings free of charge.

"Bosom Buddies works to rally around those struggling with breast cancer, but we can only do so when the community rallies around us," de Cordova-Hanks said.

In addition to the presenting sponsors, the event was supported by Cancer Specialists of Northeast Florida, Haven Hospice, Community Hospice, Desai Plastic Surgery, Guardian Pharmacy, Ashford Court Assisted Living, Aggressive Signs, Dr. Luis Anez, Seniors Guide, American Breast Care, Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home, Home Instead Senior Care, River City Brewing Company, Allegro Assisted Living Facility, Memorial Hospital, IPC Hospitalist Group and Consulate Healthcare.

'The Great Latke Fry' is Nov. 27

Jacksonville's annual latke- frying competition, "The Great Latke Fry," is 6 p.m. Nov. 27, on the first night of Hanukkah, at Chabad of Southside.

Competitors will vie for the title of "Golden Latke," to be determined by a panel of celebrity judges.

Young and old are invited to participate in the festivities, including the grand lighting of Chabad of Southside's Menorah, an olive-oil press demonstration, refreshments, music, children's activities and latke tasting.

Call (904) 646-4434 or visit to RSVP for the launch of the Hanukkah holiday or to enter the cooking competition.

Wine tasting debuts Saturday

The inaugural Toast to Donna Wine Tasting to benefit 26.2 with Donna The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer is 5 p.m. Saturday at The Golf Club of Amelia Island.

A Taste of Wine by Steve has gathered a selection of 20 wines for the event. Complimentary commemorative wine glasses will be provided for the tasting courtesy of Coldwell Banker, The Amelia Group.

Cocktail/festive attire is required.

Toast to Donna tickets are $100 per person and limited to 100 guests. To purchase tickets, visit

Federal grant to improve health care

St. Johns River Rural Health Network, which is managed by the Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida, has been awarded a federal Rural Healthcare Provider Quality Improvement Grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, Office of Rural Health Policy.

The three-year grant will allow Rural Health Network to work with clinical teams in five county health department clinics (Baker, Bradford, Clay, Nassau and Union counties) and to connect them with the expertise of a national expert in diabetes and chronic disease care to enhance the quality of care for residents at their facilities living with chronic disease.

The new funding of approximately $150,000 per year also will assist the Rural Health Network to build upon its regional diabetes-management program toward a national quality accreditation.

Organizations participating in the program are required to utilize an evidence-based quality improvement model, perform tests of change focused on improvement, and use health information technology to collect and report data.


Christian charity opens local office

National Christian Foundation, the nation's 12th largest charity, is expanding with a new affiliate in Jacksonville.

NCF Jacksonville will be the charity's 28th affiliate to join the nationwide network of local offices.

It is the latest affiliate to join the Florida network that includes NCF Tampa Bay, NCF Orlando and NCF South Florida. With a total of four, Florida has the distinction as the state with the most NCF affiliates.

"An increasing demand from the strong faith-based community in Jacksonville for tax-smart giving strategies and tools to encourage generosity is what spurred the effort to open an office here. Many local business owners, families, and professional athletes have been served by NCF's national office in Atlanta for years. Now we're excited to serve these givers locally," said NCF Jacksonville President Robert Collins.

The board of directors for NCF Jacksonville includes Chair Michael McCranie (McCranie Wealth Management), Bennett Brown (president of American Enterprise Bank), Jim Whorton (Compass-finances God's Way Ministries), Mary Biggs Knauer (chief trust officer, Certus Wealth), Robert Collins, Shane Hunt (Caduceus Consulting), and Jeff Johns.

For information about NCF Jacksonville, visit