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Last Leg Rally Full of Free Activities

Last Leg Rally Full of Free Activities3rd Annual Amelia Island Last Leg Rally is attracting impressive regional talent to this charitable weekend with Arthur Crofton and Mandy Starling to emcee activities scheduled for Wolf Park at Main Beach, March 3rd and 4th 2012, in Northeast, Florida. The event is free and open to the public. Bring your chairs and dancing shoes, but no coolers are allowed.

Saturday 9:00 AM to 6:30 PM

8:30 AM Bike registration opens for your last chance to enter the Veteran’s Motorcycle Poker Run, sponsored by the Sons of the American Legion Squadron 54

    -Bike Entry includes a hearty Pancake Breakfast (furnished by the Ground Pounders Riding Club), (5) Raffle Tickets, (1) Poker Hand, and (1) free beverage coupon for the Beer Garden.
    -Kick Stands Up at 10:00 AM
    -Last Bike In at 2:30 PM
    -Fees are $25 per bike, $5.00 for a passenger, an extra poker hand is only $5.00

9:30 AM Opening Ceremonies

    -Welcome from Anchors Aweigh Charters, Inc.
    -Opening Prayer
    -Introduction of Guest Emcee, Mandy Starling. This model, actress and television host of “See Savannah on the CW” airing in Savannah, Georgia, will take the microphone.
    -US Coast Guard Color Guard Display presented by the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Division 14,
    -Introductions of the Table of Honor Guest Veterans with a representative from every war present beginning with WWII.
    -National Anthem performed by Scott and Cassie Mae Bucher
    -Safety Speech by Road Captain Keith Mason, Closing prayer
    -Military Fly Over courtesy of the Dreamland Squadron and the Avenger Air Shows

Mandy Starling

Mandy Starling

10:00 AM – “Gentlemen Start your Engines” call by Mandy Starling

Peruse the vendor’s tents and grab some food while Big-O Productions provides music and Many Starling entertains you with some Around the Park Commentary.

11:00 AM to 6:00 PM – Beer Garden and main stage events are open

11:00 to 12:30 Antler Annihilation, from Fernandina Beach, Florida, takes the stage.

Noon to 4:30 PM – 3rd Annual Last Leg Rally Motorcycle Show, Sponsored by Ann Teague Bonding Agency

    -Free to look
    -$25.00 to enter – Entry includes (5) Raffle Tickets and (2) free beverage coupons for the Beer Garden
    -3:00 PM Judging begins
    -4:15 PM Awards presentation

1:00 – 2:15 Mike Hendrix Band, of Hilliard, Florida performs live and on stage.

2:15 – 2:45 Enjoy raffles giveaways, brief announcements and learn who won the Veteran’s Benefit Motorcycle Ride

2:45 – 4:15 All the way from Chattanooga, Tenneessee, be prepared for Chasi Lynn & Country Wild

    You don’t want to miss Chasi Lynn and Country Wild. This is the second year the band will travel to Florida to appear in this charity concert. They play a variety of classic rock, country and originals performing all over the Southeastern United States. Chasi found her calling the first time she sang in public and you only have to see her perform one song to become a believer.

4:15 – 4:45 Test your luck during more raffles, short announcements and the presentation of the Bike Show Awards

4:45 – 6:30 DeFunk from Brunswick, Georgia will entertain you until Day One of the festival closes at 6:30 PM.

Sunday 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

9:30 AM Opening Ceremonies

    -Welcome by Anchors Aweigh Charters
    -Opening Prayer
    -Introduction of Guest Emcee, Arthur Crofton. Day Two of the Festival is the Last Leg Rally’s Blues Sunday emceed by the lively, Jacksonville, Florida Radio Personality Arthur Crofton. His voice has been heard on our local airwaves for over two decades and he is lending his talent to emcee Sunday’s activities.
    -The booths, tents and blood mobile are all open
    -10:00 AM worship service by the Sons of Thunder CMA Chapter with music by Woody

Peruse the vendor’s tents and grab some food while Big-O Productions provides music and Arthur Crofton delights you with Around the Park Commentary.

11:00 AM to 6:00 PM – Beer Garden and main stage events are open

Noon to 4:00 PM – Last Leg Rally Car Show, hosted by the Amelia Island Cruizers Car Club

    -Free to look
    -$25.00 to enter – Entry includes (5) Raffle Tickets, (2) free beverage coupons for the Beer Garden
    -3:00 PM Judging begins
    -4:15 PM Awards presentation

Sunday’s music is a Battle of the Blues that will have you tapping your foot to some great local blues artists brought to you by the Amelia Island Blues Festival, held in September.

12:00 – 6:00 PM Battle of the Blues, presented by the Amelia Island Blues Festival

12:45-2:15 MoJo Chillen of Jacksonville Beach, Florida

2:15-2:45 Raffles prize winners drawn, brief announcements will be made and some love will be shown to the event’s Sponsors.

2:45-4:15 Kim Reteguiz & The Black Cat Bones from Atlantic Beach, Florida

4:15-4:45 More Raffles, more announcements, more appreciation for the event’s Sponsors and the Car Show Awards Presentation

4:45-6:00 Beech Street Blues Band takes the stage all the way from Fernandina Beach, Florida

6:00pm Final Raffle Drawing and the officially closing of the 2012 Amelia Island Last Leg Rally

The Rally was founded in 2009 to provide funding and awareness for the charity Anchors Aweigh Charters, Inc., (AAC) a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides no cost boating or fishing excursions to those with permanent physical and/or developmental disabilities, as well as those diagnosed with a terminal illness. Even if you don’t ride a motorcycle, the Rally offers something for everyone. Bring your chairs and enjoy the free entertainment!

For more information and full details, please visit LastLegRally.com.

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LucyPalooza Concert Benfits American Liver Foundation

LucyPalooza Concert Benfits American Liver FoundationLucyPalooza, boogie down and be the change! LucyPalooza is a private, benefit concert for the American Liver Foundation.

What began as an idea for Lucy Green’s 25th birthday party became a 12 hour concert in honor of her father, Henry B. Green, Jr., who passed away from liver cancer in 2004.

Vacationing in Fernandina Beach eventually brought the Greens here full time to establish Green Properties, Inc., located on 8th Street in 1999. Henry was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Fernandina Beach, an avid fisherman and golfer.

Now, Lucy will turn a quarter of a century old surrounded by her favorite friends and favorite bands at the Chem Cell Club on Amelia Island! The concerts carry on from noon to midnight on Saturday, March 3, 2012.

Tickets are available for a donation at Cafe Karibo, the Dog Star Tavern, Club 14 Fitness, Amelia Perfect Tan and Amelia Island Liquors next to Publix.

The entertainment line-up is as follows:
Davis Franck
Frank Carver
John Austill
Simplex1
Jim Barcaro and friends
Chubby
Antler Annihilation
Karl Davis
DJ WoofFoot

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Third Annual Amelia Island Garden Show

Third Annual Amelia Island Garden ShowThird Annual Amelia Island Garden Show brings two days filled with more than 50 vendors bringing assorted flowers, plants, trees, accessories and more to Fernandina Beach’s Central Park on Saturday, March 3rd (9AM to 5PM) and Sunday March 4th (9AM to 4PM).

Saturday Events
9:30-10:15 Add Some Color To Your Life! Ann Pidgeon of Colorfield Farms

11:30-12:15 Meet A Raptor! Paula Ashby of Avian Reconditioning Center

1:30-2:00 Saturday Wonderful World of African Violets, Laura Perdomo of Silver Springs African Violets

2:30-3:15 Amaryllis/Hippeastrum Extended Blooming, E. William Warren of Amaryllis Spectacularis

Sunday Events
10:30-11:15 What is a Native Plant? James Loper of Reflections of Nature

11:30-12:15 Meet A Raptor! Paula Ashby of Avian Reconditioning Center

12:30-1:15 Arranging Flowers From Your Garden, Brooke Raulerson, AIFD, FSMD of Amelia Island Artistic Florist

For a complete description of the show visit www.ameliagarden.com.

Tickets are $4.00 for one day, or $5.00 for two days. Children under 12 are admitted free. No pets are allowed. There is free parking across the street from the show and preferred parking is available for $5.00.

Troop 152 will offer a Tote and Carry service by delivering plants to the Pick-Up area where they will be loaded into your car when you are through shopping. You are welcome to bring your own wagon!

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Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre at the Rec Center

Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre at the Rec CenterMouth of Amelia invites you to “Noir Suspicions” A Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre, presented by the GFWC Jr. Woman’s Club of Fernandina Beach, Florida.

This benefit for the Fernandina Little Theatre will be held Saturday, March 3, 2012, from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM at the Atlantic Recreation Center.

An evening of mystery and intrigue includes a Mystery Theatre Performance put on by FLT actors, cocktails and dinner, a silent auction and a 50/50 Raffle. There will be a three piece ensemble playing during the cocktail hour so you can dance if you want to and the beer and wine are free throughout the evening!

The $50.00 price of each ticket includes EVERYTHING – the beer, wine, hors d’oeuvres, salad, entree, dessert… AND the fabulous interactive theatre production by Fernandina Little Theatre!

Come test your ability to solve a murder and have a great time doing it! The dress is “cocktail attire”.

To purchase tickets, please contact Jenny Wagner, First Coast Community Bank, 904-491-7244; or Nicole Anderson at 904-206-0373.

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Leap Day

Leap DayFebruary 29, known as a leap day in the Gregorian calendar, is a date that occurs in most years that are evenly divisible by 4, such as 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. Years that are evenly divisible by 100 do not contain a leap day, with the exception of years that are evenly divisible by 400, which do contain a leap day; thus 1900 did not contain a leap day while 2000 did. Years containing a leap day are called leap years. February 29 is the 60th day of the Gregorian calendar in such a year, with 306 days remaining until the end of that year.

The Gregorian calendar repeats itself every 400 years, which is exactly 20,871 weeks including 97 leap days. Over this period, February 29 falls 13 times on a Sunday, Tuesday, or Thursday; 14 times on a Friday or Saturday; and 15 times on a Monday or Wednesday. So, February 29, 2012, is one of only 15 leap days that falls on a Wednesday in a 400 year period!

A person who is born on February 29 may be called a “leapling” or a “leap year baby”. In non-leap years, some leaplings celebrate their birthday on either February 28 or March 1, while others only observe birthdays on the authentic extra (intercalary) dates. People born on February 29 are all invited to join The Honor society of Leap Year Day Babies. Almost 10,000 people from all over the world have joined since the website was launched in 1997.

For legal purposes, their legal birthdays depend on how different laws count time intervals. In England and Wales or in Hong Kong, a person born on February 29, 1996 will have legally reached 18 years old on March 1, 2014; in Taiwan and in New Zealand he or she legally becomes 18 on February 28, 2014.

There are many instances in children’s literature where a person’s claim to be only a quarter of their actual age turns out to be based on counting their leap-year birthdays. A similar device is used in the plot of Gilbert and Sullivan’s 1879 comic opera The Pirates of Penzance: As a child, Frederic was apprenticed to a band of pirates until the age of 21. Now, having passed his 21st year, he leaves the pirate band and falls in love. However, it turns out that the pirate indenture says that his apprenticeship does not end until his 21st birthday, and since he was born on February 29, that day will not arrive until he is in his eighties. As such, he must leave his fiancée and return to the pirates.

According to an old Irish legend, or possibly history, St. Bridget struck a deal with St. Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every 4 years. This is believed to have been introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how Leap Day balances the calendar.

If you have ever wanted to spend 24 hours a day at Disney, you can do just that on February 29th. As part of a “One More Disney Day” promotion, Disney is playing up the somewhat rare nature of the leap year’s extra day by keeping its two busiest stateside parks open from 6 a.m. through 6 a.m. the following day.

Similarly, some hotels are offering promotions to both those who stay over on leap day and to leapers themselves. There is even a special offer from the Jacksonville Zoo. Guests born on February 29th will receive free zoo admission on leap day only.

This day comes but once every four years so find a way to make the most out of the “extra” day this year.

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Chuck Bogle Welcomed by Rotary Club of Amelia Island

Chuck Bogle Welcomed by Rotary Club of Amelia IslandAmelia Island, FL – The Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise welcomed Chuck Bogle, the new Fire Chief for Fernandina Beach, to speak to the morning Rotary club about the services available from our local Fire Department.

Mr. Bogle was born in Lakeland, Florida but spent forty two years in Titusville, Florida with four years as Fire Chief. Currently, Chuck Bogle heads up the three Fernandina Beach fire stations, overseeing twenty-nine firefighters.

All three fire stations are staffed with eight firefighters each, and they work together to help with emergency calls from each location, in order to strive for a three to five minute response time.

The department’s roots go back as far as the late 1800’s. In 1883, after two devastating fires completely destroyed the city’s downtown district, the city council formalized “Hook & Ladder Company One.”

The services that the Fernandina Beach Fire-Rescue department provides to our residents and visitors include: fire suppression, advanced life support/emergency medical response, hazardous materials incident mitigation, fire prevention, public safety services, ocean rescue, and emergency preparedness.

All of the Fire-Rescue Operations division are cross-trained to also provide emergency medical responses. Each member is professionally trained and certified by the State of Florida as a Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician or a Firefighter/Paramedic.

The Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise meets every Friday at 7:30am. at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club. For more information about the club or to attend a morning breakfast meeting, please visit www.ameliaislandrotary.com.

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Engineering Career Day 2012

Engineering Career Day CompetitionNational Engineers Week took place February 19-25, 2012 and the Tenth Annual Engineering Career Day and Compeition was held on Friday, February 24, 2012 at United States Army Corp of Engineers Jacksonville District Headquarters, located in the Prudential Building in Jacksonville, Florida.

Sophomore, junior, and senior high school students with an interest in engineering or other related scientific fields were encouraged to attend. Activities included a hands-on competition, and interaction with local engineers and Florida engineering colleges and universities. After lunch, Lieutenant Commander Dan Stoddard, PE, CEC, USN, Energy Team Leader of Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast was the keynote speaker discussing renewable energy to go along with this year’s theme, “Sustaining the Future”.

Students had the opportunity to participate in a three-part competition, consisting of two design projects and an “engineering trivia challenge”. The “take-home” design project involved the design and construction of a wind turbine that was tested during the Engineering Career Day event. Teams were also presented with a “surprise” design project that required real-time decision making. The “trivia challenge”, part of the overall assessment, allowed students to learn about real-life engineering projects from the people who design them. Projects were judged against a variety of criteria, and awards were given to the winning team for each of the three competitions. The overall winner was the team with the highest average score on each of the three competitions and took home the “Stanley Cup” of engineering events for the year.

Engineering Career Day 2012Image courtesy of Ally at the Desk. Pictured from left to right: Trey B., Nathan C., Bradley B., and Ryan M.

The maximum number of teams was 25 and each team must consist of no more than 4 students.

Fernandina Beach sent two teams, one from the junior class (which included our own Ally at the Desk) and a team of four seniors. Here are the final results:

Suprise Project Design
First Place – Eagles View
Second Place – Eagles View
Third Place – Yulee High School (Team #3)

Wind Turbine Project Design
First Place – Bishop Kenny
Second Place – Fernandina Beach Junior Group
Third Place – Fernandina Beach Senior Group

Overall
First Place – Fernandina Beach Senior Group
Second Place – Trinity Christian
Third Place – Bishop Kenny

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A Savory Place Prosciutto Breakfast Rolls

A Savory Place Prosciutto Breakfast RollsThis delicious recipe from A Savory Place, the fundraising cookbook for Micah’s place, is easy to make and a perfect addition to a friendly brunch since this particular recipe makes 16 rolls.

Prosciutto has been perfected by the Italians and is a salted ham that is air dried for up to two years and then finely sliced after it is cured.

Ingredients:
2 (8 ounce) Cans refrigerator crescent rolls
16 Thin slices of prosciutto
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

Directions:
Unroll the crescent roll dough. Separate the dough into eight rectangles, pressing the perforations to seal.
Top each rectangle with two slices prosciutto.
Roll up to enclose the filling, beginning at the long side.
Cut each roll-up crosswise, into halves.
Place seam side down on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray.
Whisk the honey and Digon mustard in a bowl.
Brush the mixture over the tops of the rolls.
Bake at 375 degree F for 12 minutes or until golden brown.
This recipe makes about 16 rolls.

Pick up your copy of A Savory Place cookbook today at the Purple Dove Resale Shop in the Woody’s shopping center just west of Amelia Island.

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Bored With Your Diet and Exercise Routine?

Bored With Your Diet and Exercise Routine?Your new lifestyle now includes a regular routine at the gym and suddenly it feels a bit boring or maybe you have reached a plateau? Well, then it is time to switch it up a bit. When your body gets used to a particular physical activity it is no longer a workout, you are just doing the same stuff on a different day.

Add more time to your workouts. Visit a different area of the gym. If you only use a treadmill, try some light weightlifting to condition your upper body, too. Canned soups and vegetables weigh about one pound each, if you are a beginner and haven’t joined a gym yet, start with those and work your way up to a bag of onions.

I enjoy group fitness classes, so when I feel I’ve reached a plataeu I will add an extra class or two to my weekly routine. Adding more weight and increasing resistance counts, too. Go ahead and add more weight to your barbell, walk faster and/or go for longer distances on your treadmill, and add more resistance to your stationary bicycle.

Mix up your diet as well. If you have been living on salads and steaks, try eggs and fruit instead. If you are sick to death of baked chicken, then for Heaven’s sake, eat something else. Tastebuds change! You may find that you actually like the taste and texture of broccoli! My husband now loves asparagus and Brussel sprouts after years of his refusal to try them!

Boredom is common when you are “dieting” so it is time to add more items to your household menu. You have to find healthy foods that you enjoy to eat, so you don’t relapse. Just remember to watch your daily intake of calories, carbs and sodium. We love microwaved apples with a sprinkle of cinnamon for a guilt-free snack. When shopping in the produce aisle or the locals Farmer’s Market, select a few things you have never tried before. If you don’t know how to cook something, look it up on the internet.

You are much stronger than you know! When you feel your diet and workouts just aren’t working anymore, simply mix things up a bit and continue your journey on that path to a healthier YOU!

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Party and Play Sponsors Micah’s Place Leap Day Celebration

Party and Play Sponsors Micah's Place Leap Day CelebrationPlease join Micah’s Place as we “Leap into the New Year” on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 from 10:00am to 3:00pm sponsored by Party and Play Family Entertainment Center.

There will be slides, bounce houses and video games! All children will receive free entry with a donation to the Micah’s Place Wish List (see list below).

The event will be at Party and Play at 1852 Sadler Road, Fernandina Beach, located across from the Post Office.

During the event, donations will be accepted for the Micah’s Place Wish list.

Our shelter is in desperate need of the following items:

    •Paper Towels
    •Toilet Paper
    •Dish washing liquid
    •Laundry Detergent
    •Bleach
    •Light Bulbs
    •Lysol Spray
    •Disinfectant wipes
    •Antibacterial hand soap
    •Diapers, sizes 3, 4, 5 and 6
    •Gift Cards from Walmart or Staples so that we may purchase the above items.

Micah’s Place is a Certified Domestic Violence Center and the only one serving Nassau County, Florida. The mission is to provide prevention and intervention services to victims of domestic violence and to provide education within the community to affect change in behavior and attitudes relating to domestic violence. Micah’s Place offers safe, confidential shelter, advocacy, a 24-hour toll-free hotline, counseling, legal advocacy, and support groups to victims of domestic violence. All services are free and confidential. For more information, please visit www.micahsplace.org or call our administration office at 904-491-6364 or our Hotline call (800) 500-1119.

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Video of Harlem Ambassadors vs Nassau Nets

Harlem Ambassadors vs Nassau NetsThe Harlem Ambassadors came to Amelia Island to take on the Nassau Nets at Fernandina Beach High School on February 24, 2012.

The show was presented by the Rotary Club of Fernandina Beach as a fundraiser for their college scholarship and charitable programs.

The National Anthem was performed by Julia Nichole Savage who always does a fantastic job!!!

The roster for the Nassau Nets, our local team of community leaders, included several familiar names:

    Jason Mudd, Axia Public Relations
    Tifini McGill, Advanced Muscle Therapy
    Scott Steffen, Property Management Systems
    Josh Simmons, Fernandina Beach Police Dept.
    Steve Nicklas, UBS Financial
    Raleigh Green, Fernandina Beach Middle School
    Carlin Catanzaro
    Reese Brown, CLUB 14 FITNESS
    Jon Ball, Yulee high School
    Jonathoan Levitt, CBC Bank
    Bill Leeper, Florida Highway Patrol
    Matt Schrieber, Fernandina Beach High School
    Tom Christenson, YMCA
    Jeff Wright, Genentee
    Spencer Lodree, Fernandina Beach High School
    Teddy White, Kindermorgan
    Aaron Bean
    Shannon Brown, Rotary Club of Fernandina Beach

Nassau Nets

While the show was filled with laughter and cheers as you can see in the video below, there was a petition being passed around to help put Lade Majic in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Known as The Queen of Show Basketball, she is possibly the first woman to coach and play alongside her male counterparts in show basketball. She holds a Master’s degree in counseling and rehabilitation, and works extensively with at-risk youths through her foundation, No False Evidence Appearing Real, Inc. (NoFearInc.org).

To learn more about the Rotary Club of Fernandina Beach, visit www.FernandinaBeachRotaryClub.org. The club meets each Wednesday, from noon to 1:00 PM, at the Florida House Inn.

The Harlem Ambassadors scored more points than the Nassau Nets, but this never was about the score. Money was raised for a great cause and the Ambassadors were delightful to watch.

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Record Auction at Annual Boys and Girls Club Dinner

Commissioner Tim Poynter in conversation with Amelia Islander Mag Pubisher Phil Kelly

Commissioner Tim Poynter in conversation with Amelia Islander Mag Pubisher Phil Kelly

An amazing 510 tickets were sold for the Annual Boys and Girls Club Dinner at the Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island last night, filling up the ballroom to capacity and resulting in $10,000 more collected from the silent auctions than last year, when the plans were unveiled for the new Fernandina Beach home for the Club on Lime Street.
More good news came with the announcement that of the $1.8 million needed for the construction and outfitting, $1.728 had been collected leaving only a $72,000 gap.
The new facility, which started construction last month is scheduled to be finished by September and last night’s grand stand support will have without any doubt collected the financial balance needed.

The dinner, orchestrated, designed and supervised by Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island’s Executive Chef Thomas Tolxdorf, was superb, and a tribute to his Farm to Table philosophy. The Romaine Lettuce Salad was easily the best tasting Romaine I’ve ever had and could have turned me into a vegan if not for the main course of Roasted Breast of Chicken and Garlic Shrimp. At the risk of sounding a bit blasé I have to admit that as a aficionado of Key Lime Pie, the Key Lime Tart served for dessert tasted so fresh that Key West’s own “Blonde Giraffe” brand pales by comparison.

Bonnie St.John, feature speaker at 2012 Boys and Gilrls Club dinner

Bonnie St.John, feature speaker at 2012 Boys and Girls Club dinner

After Club President Bill Gower made announcements of gratitude and recognition, especially highlighting the wonderful efforts from Mrs. Ann Moser on behalf of the Club, it was the turn of honor guest motivational speaker Bonnie St.John, who treated the audience to a wonderful story of her life, from poverty and physical and racial challenges in San Diego to becoming a Special Ski Olympics Silver Medal Winner, who had found strength for her journey through life from her mother, her ski instructor and the magnificent support she received from the Boys and Girls Club when she needed it the most.
Heart warming and inspiring with a message of perseverance and the motivational recognition that Gold Medals go to those people who get up faster than anyone else after being knocked down.

With deep gratitude to our host Ange Wallace of the Travel Agency, a lifelong supporter of the Boys and Girls Club, we felt once again the humbling joy of being part of this wonderful, giving  community.

Chandler McCoy to Play Soccer for Andrew College

Chandler McCoy to Play Soccer for Andrew CollegeRiverside Military Academy Cadet Second Lieutenant Chandler McCoy of Gainesville, Georgia has signed a national letter of intent to play soccer for the Fighting Tigers of Andrew College.

McCoy, a senior, is a varsity letter striker/forward and is touted by Coach Diego Vacca as a “dedicated athlete who puts effort into being better every day.” Chandler is joining a very talented 2012 recruiting class.

Andrew College Soccer Coach Adel Mohsen sees Chandler’s leadership and work ethic as a perfect fit for the Fighting Tiger’s soccer program.

Chandler is the son of Mr. Michael McCoy of Fernandina Beach, Florida and the late Mrs. Teresa McCoy.

Established in 1854, Andrew College is a small, residential, two-year college related to The United Methodist Church and is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Situated in the rural southwest Georgia community of Cuthbert, Andrew College offers the Associate of Art, Associate of Music, and Associate of Science degrees. Within these degrees, Andrew College students can choose from more than 50 programs of study.

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Beaches and Structures 101

Beaches and Structures 101You are invited to attend a presentation called, Beaches & Structures, 101: An Intro to How Beaches Work by Dr. Kevin Bodge. The South Amelia Island Shore Stabilization Association (SAISSA) is pleased to announce a new series of informative presentations on beach related topics. Their objective is to provide an annual educational opportunity that will appeal to anyone living on or near a barrier island or with an interest in enjoying the wonderful recreational and aesthetic opportunities that our beaches afford.

The first informational program is with beach expert and Coastal Engineer, Dr. Kevin Bodget, with Olsen and Associates, Inc. Dr. Bodge has 25 years of coastal engineering experience and will discuss how beaches and beach structures work including the unique features of Amelia Island’s most important economic and natural resource.

Over the last four years, the City of Fernandina Beach, Duval County and the SAISSA property owners have collectively spent over $35 Million to nourish their beaches. This investment represents an important and significant community commitment to this economic and natural resource. Kevin’s knowledge and insight into this important issue is free of charge and the presentation is open to the public.

The program will be on Monday, February 27, at 3:00 PM in the Egret Room at the Racquet Park Conference Center at Omni Amelia Island Plantation. Parking is available with direct access off of A1A.

This talk will provide you with interesting and significant background on our beaches. If you are interested in Amelia’s unique environment you are encouraged to come learn about it from the experts!

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Seven Simple Tips to Improve Your Website’s SEO

Google Keyword Tool; searchamelia.com

Understanding what people search for most is the trick to keyword selection

It seems that Search engine optimization is on many business people’s mind, yet most business owners with websites do not have a clue and mistake it for a social media presence. They think a Like or Business page on Facebook is SEO or at least part of it. It has absolutely nothing to do with Searchengine optimization. In this new and exciting cyber world, if you know what you’re doing, SEO can change the way you do business. If you don’t, however, what you don’t know could hurt you, or worse, put you out of business.

By now, most people realize that the Internet is a very important part of business, any business. If your customers move on the Internet, you need to be there. Period. An Internet presence is vital if you want to make it in today’s world, and consequently search engine optimization is something that just about everyone with a website needs to know something about. If you run a business, it’s important that you understand how your website or blog is to be optimized.

Search engine optimization isn’t just about adding keywords to your website content and blog posts; there’s quite a bit more to it, in fact. If you really want to be successful and reach the front page of the search rankings for your essential keywords and phrases, there are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Research is Key

Most business owners are aware that they need to have keywords, but they don’t know just how to find the best ones. Since the entire SEO campaign depends on selecting the right keywords, this is a very important step and one that cannot be taken lightly. Don’t just guess at your keywords, take the time to research them thoroughly.
You can use the Google Keyword Tool to help find good keywords with plenty of searches. Simply type your keyword into the search box and let Google give you suggestions. You want something that will bring in plenty of searches each month. Try using several keywords with lower searches if you can’t find one with less competition. Then click to Google and search for the keyword phrase with quotation marks on either end to see just how many other websites are optimized for the exact same phrase. You want lots of searches and very few competitors.

2. Less is More

At first glance, it might seem like the more often you use the keywords in your content, the better. However, thanks to scammers who used a technique called “keyword stuffing,” that’s not a good idea. You can actually end up penalized for using too many keywords in one piece of content.
The key here is to be natural. Don’t stuff the page full of specific words; instead let the information flow freely and insert the keyword phrases wherever they actually fit. This will result in much better content that search engines will love.

3. Label Your Photos

Photos really add a lot to a blog post, but they can’t help your SEO unless you make full use of titles and ALT tags. Using your keywords in these areas will give your page a nice boost. It doesn’t hurt to name your photo something SEO friendly either. Instead of labeling it DSC234.jpg, go with something like Florida-beaches.jpg.

4. Drop the Flash and Java

Flash might make for a funky website, but it is useless when it comes to search engines. HTML is far cleaner and readable for search engines, so the worst thing you can do is have a Javascript or Flash intro page to your site. Google and the other search engine spiders won’t be able to register the site easily nor read the content embedded in the fancy Flash.

5. Add Regular Content

This is one area that is more important now than every before. Good content has always done well with the search engines, but since Google changed the rules in early 2011, it’s even more important. Regularly updated pages with quality content are treated very well by the search engines, so it makes sense that blogs, rather than fixed sites with static content, are doing very well these days.
While your content should contain keywords, keep in mind that the most important thing is to offer quality information. It should be written more for human eyes than for search engine spiders.

6. Try Deep Linking

Getting links from other websites is vital in boosting search engine rankings, but what many people don’t know is that deep linking is also very important. Deep linking means linking to other pages within the same website. For example, Searchamelia is a site on news and entertainment info and an article like this one links naturally to a story I did on choosing the right keywords back in June of 2011.
This type of linking should be done on a regular basis and goes hand in hand with providing regular content. Whenever you write a blog post, check back to see if there’s anything relevant to link it to.

7. Too Many Backlinks is a Bad Thing

If you’re online, you’ve heard of back-linking. This is the practice of getting links from other websites. When you use the right anchor text, this can be very helpful in boosting your search engine rankings. However, it is not something you want to overdo.
Getting regular links from various locations looks a lot more natural than one article directory linking fifty times to the same page. Try to spread your back-links out, a handful here, a few there, and keep them trickling in at a steady rate to ensure the best results. If you have 10,000 links come in one day and then nothing for the next four months, the search engines will know something is up and will rank you accordingly.

There is a lot more to SEO, but the foregoing will for now get you ahead of your competition. SEO is a combination of common sense along with some careful tricks. As long as you are putting out excellent content on a regular basis with keywords naturally mixed in, you can expect to see an improvement in your rankings. If you want to know more about correct SEO, you may want to join us for one of our monthly free Social Gatherings. The next one is scheduled for March 21 at the Amelia Oceanfront Bed and Breakfast.