Nonprofit News: Highlighting Jacksonville's Philanthropic Community

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  • | 12:00 p.m. September 25, 2013
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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.

Holshouser elected president of lung association board

Eric J. Holshouser, a shareholder in the law firm Fowler White Boggs' Jacksonville office, has been elected president of the leadership board of the Northeast Florida Region of the American Lung Association of the Southeast Inc. He also serves on the executive committee and on the organization's board of directors.

Holshouser practices all aspects of labor and employment law, including equal employment opportunity, wage and hour, health and safety, employee benefits, non-compete, trade secret and wrongful discharge law, as well as legal matters involving union-company relations.

He is board certified in labor and employment law by The Florida Bar and he is AV peer review rated by Martindale-Hubbell.  Holshouser was named Jacksonville lawyer of the year in management labor and employment law in 2012 and 2013 by The Best Lawyers in America.

Taylor joins FCF board of directors

Florida's Children First, a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the rights of at-risk children, announced that Nassau County resident Justin Taylor has been appointed to the organization's board of directors.

"We are honored to have Justin as part of the premier advocacy organization in the state," said Executive Director Christina Spudeas. "Who better to serve on the board than someone who's been through what we are fighting for?"

Taylor spent his adolescent years in a Jacksonville group foster home after the death of his mother.

"My mother was a single parent who battled alcoholism for as long as I remember. I was 13 when she passed, but she left me with a lifetime of memories," Taylor said.

In 2007, Taylor was one of the founding members of the Jacksonville chapter of Florida Youth Shine, an advocacy group made up of former foster youth. During his time with the group, he made frequent trips to Tallahassee where he lobbied for bills affecting the foster care system.

Taylor co-chairs Florida's Children First annual fall awards reception in Jacksonville. He serves as the public information officer for the Nassau County Property Appraiser's Office.

Florida's Children First Inc. was founded in 2001 by attorneys from across the state who were working on issues affecting Florida's most vulnerable children. The founders came from private practice, law school clinics and legal aid organizations. With assistance from the Florida Bar Foundation, they formed Florida's Children First as a non-profit legal services organization.

FCF staff, board members, volunteers and advocates devote their time to ensure that each child in care or in an at-risk situation will have a voice that is heard when decisions are made. The organization provides training and technical assistance to lawyers and Guardians ad Litem representing children and promotes public awareness and filing of amicus briefs as strategies to improve child-serving systems.

The organization relies on the support of individuals, corporations and private foundations. For additional information on Florida's Children First, visit

$72,000 for North Florida families

The fourth annual Rounds at the Grounds, "The Beginning of an Era," hit a home run Sept. 1 for the Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition.

The event at the Baseball Grounds brought together two teams (Team Make a Difference and Team Make a Noise) of doctors to compete in a softball game before the Jacksonville Suns took the field. 

Rounds at the Grounds is the organization's signature fundraiser dedicated to community outreach programs and education efforts serving families in North Florida. 

The event, combined with a matching grant from the Chartrand Foundation, raised $72,000 to continue community education and awareness programs. The funds provide support to continue the implementation of programs that address infant mortality and the root causes of health disparities.

The Make a Noise! Make a Difference Lay Health Advocate Training program provides community residents prenatal health information and resources and challenges them to share it with others in their family and social networks. 

Using a "reach one, teach one" strategy, the program has trained more than 150 lay health advocates who have touched more than 1,500 residents in Northwest Jacksonville and the surrounding area.

The Make a Difference Leadership Academy offers neighborhood residents, including Healthy Start participants, an opportunity to learn more about factors that affect health and how to address them within their community. It is an evidence-based curriculum developed by the University of Arizona's Community Action Training program.

This year's theme, "The Beginning of an Era," celebrated the coalition's efforts over the past 20 years. Former Jaguars Paul Frase, Tom McManus, Damon Jones, Dave Widell, Mike Hollis, Pete Mitchell and Todd Fordham joined the physicians' teams as celebrity players to celebrate the Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition's two decades of accomplishments. Team Make a Difference took home the win 1-0.

The Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition Inc. was organized in 1992 as part of a statewide network of community-based organizations to reduce Florida's high infant mortality and improve the lives of pregnant women and their families.

The group is governed by a volunteer board that allocates state funding and provides oversight to local agencies that deliver services to pregnant women and families of newborns.

The coalition covers Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties.

For more information about the Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition, visit

'Remission Rocks' Saturday at River City Brewing Co.

Local physicians and their bands are scheduled to perform 6-11 p.m. Saturday at River City Brewing Co. during the Third Annual Remission Rocks to raise awareness and funds for Bosom Buddies.

The local organization is a nonprofit that provides hope, support and education to breast cancer patients and survivors from the Jacksonville area.

Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. The donation includes light appetizers and a beverage.

Tickets can be bought on the Women's Center of Jacksonville's website at

"Last year's Remission Rocks raised nearly $14,000 and we hope to continue that success this year," said Sara Dewitt, event chair. "We look forward to continuing the fight against breast cancer and helping those that are in need of support."

Bobbi de Cordova-Hanks, founder of Bosom Buddies and three-time cancer survivor, said with the increasing number of women being diagnosed with breast cancer, Bosom Buddies serves an important role.

It provides women with the information and emotional support needed to make educated decisions for themselves and their health.

This year's event is sponsored by Life Care Centers of America, Apex Home Health Care, 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 Co., Allegro Assisted Living Facility, Memorial Hospital, IPC Hospitalist Group and Consulate Healthcare.

For ticket purchases and more information, call (904) 722-3000.

'Transformations' Oct. 3 at Hyatt

The Sulzbacher Center will host its 15th annual "Transformations" Oct. 3 at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront.

The event begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m. sponsored by the Hyatt. Guests will gather before the program to mingle, hear live music performed by a military jazz band, eat an "All American" themed menu to include pulled pork sliders and low country boil skewers, and bid on silent auction packages.

At 7 p.m., the Transformations program, emceed by longtime Sulzbacher Center supporter Deborah Gianoulis, will celebrate the transformation of three homeless veterans as they share their stories of struggling with homelessness and finding the way home.

The event will also feature a tribute to past Transformations and interviews with former Sulzbacher Center board members and previous Transformations honorees.

The event will end with a tribute to the man who founded the Sulzbacher Center, I.M. Sulzbacher, and a celebration of what would be his 100th birthday.

John and Janet Wilbanks are the event chairs. Vince and Linda Ferrigno, sponsors of the Sulzbacher Center's new specialized Veterans Wing, will serve as Transformations honorary chairs.

An anonymous donor has agreed to match all gifts made, including sponsorships and ticket orders, up to $50,000.

Tickets and sponsorships are available online at and at the event.