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Donating Organs Highlighted with Approaching Katie’s Ride

Donating Organs Highlighted with Approaching Katie's RideApril is Donate Life Month and with the approaching Katie’s Ride for Life, April 12, 2014, it is time to highlight the importance of donating organs and tissues.

Visit OrganDonor.gov to learn about becoming a donor or as well as to sign up as an organ and tissue donor in your state’s donor registry.

Donating to Science
If you wish to donate your entire body to medical science, you should contact the facility of your choice to make arrangements. Medical schools need bodies to teach medical students about anatomy, and research facilities need them to study disease processes so they can create cures.

Please note: Because the bodies used for these purposes generally must be complete with all their organs and tissues, organ donation is not an option. Some programs, however, make exceptions. You can inform your family that organ donation is your first choice, but if it is found that you are not medically suitable for organ donation, your family can carry out your wishes for whole body donation.

Federal Employees and Organ Donation
The Organ Donor Leave Act, passed by Congress in 1999, increased the amount of leave time for a federal employee who wishes to be a donor. The law allows up to seven days of paid leave for bone marrow donation and up to 30 days of paid leave for living organ donation.

April is Donate Life Month, designated to encourage more Americans to save lives by becoming donors.

Katie’s Ride for Life will be honoring their Ten Year Anniversary on Saturday, April 12.

Katie Caples
Although only 17, Katie Caples touched more people than most do in a lifetime. Her ultimate act of generosity was the decision to become an organ donor. A decision that would save lives – literally. Katie was driving home on April 18, 1998 from a March of Dimes walk in Jacksonville when she was struck on the driver side of her SUV and killed. She provided the gift of life to five recipients (age 9 to 62) and enhanced the lives of dozens more because of her decision to be an organ donor.

Katie Caples Foundation
The Katie Caples Foundation was formed in 1998 following the death of Katie Caples. The Foundation is committed to organ donor education to increase the number of registered organ donors and eliminate the wait for individuals in need of a transplant.

Katie Ride
The Katie Ride was created in 2005 to raise awareness about organ donation and support the Foundation’s education program. The ride provided an opportunity to create media attention and communicate the impact Katie had as an organ donor. The community embraced the ride and the rest is history.

The fully-supported ride caters to cyclists of all abilities and includes a fun-ride, 18 miles, 36 miles, 62 miles, 100 miles and an off-road option. In 2009, a 5K and 10K walk were added as another option for participants to support the cause. All funds raised through the annual event support the Foundation’s organ donor education program.

For more information, or to register for the ride, please visit http://www.katierideforlife.org/.

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Best Friends Companion Care Receives Home Health License

Best Friends Companion Care Receives Home Health LicenseFernandina Beach, FL – Best Friends Companion Care, a homemaker companion company, announced this week they have expanded their operations and are now a fully accredited and licensed home health agency.

Best Friends started by providing services to seniors and other adults such as grocery shopping and everyday household chores. More than 18 months ago they began the journey of becoming accredited and state licensed to provide skilled in-home nursing care. In March, the company was approved.

“This has been a long process,” said CEO Jamie Deonas, who founded the company in 2011.

Deonas, a 19-year veteran with the Nassau County Fire Department, started the company after finding a need in the community. “My elderly mother-in-law injured her knee and needed a companion to sit with her.” Deonas continued, “I realized the need for our service and Best Friends was born.”

Deonas employs more than 45 caregivers and 7 full time office staff. He anticipates a strong growth for his Fernandina based business within the next 5 years. “Most people would rather live comfortably in their home and it’s our job to make that happen,” said Deonas.

In order to become licensed in the state of Florida, Best Friends had to go through a series of investigations and criminal background checks by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). AHCA currently regulates over 2,100 home health care agencies in the state.

Best Friends Companion Care is now licensed to provide home health services in Nassau, Duval, Clay, Baker, and St Johns counties, offering wound care management, specialized nursing, and physical therapy.

For more information visit www.bestfriendscompanioncare.com.

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FSCJ Nassau Summer Term Registration 2014 is Now Open

FSCJ Nassau Summer Term Registration 2014 is Now Open Jacksonville, FL – Registration is open for Summer Term classes at FSCJ. The twelve-week summer session begins May 19 and ends August 8, 2014. There are also six-week A and C session classes and eight-week B session classes.

Classes that meet general education requirements for the Associates Degree will be offered, including: US History, Anatomy and Physiology, Biology, English, Psychology, Public Speaking, Humanities and Math.

There are also classes offered to improve personal or professional skills, including: Personal Finance, Medical Terminology, Microcomputer Applications, Financial Accounting, Principals of Management, Keyboarding Introduction, Professional Development and Strategies for Life Success.

For more information, please contact Enrollment Services at (904) 548-4432.

The Betty P. Cook Nassau Center is located at 76346 William Burgess Boulevard in Yulee, Florida.

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Fernandina Commissioner Meeting is No April Fools

Fernandina Commissioner Meeting is No April FoolsYour next meeting of the City of Fernandina Beach City Commissioners will be held on April Fools Day, April 1, 2014. The meeting will be held at City Hall, on Ash Street, Amelia Island, Florida, at 6:00 PM.

Here is the agenda:

1. CALL TO ORDER
2. ROLL CALL
3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE and Invocation by Reverend Jonathan Mock of The Journey Church.

4. PROCLAMATIONS
4.1. PROCLAMATION – NATIONAL VOLUNTEER MONTH
Proclaims the month of April 2014, as “National Volunteer Month.” Nassau County Volunteer Center Executive Director Ms. Gail Shults will be present to accept the Proclamation.

4.2. PROCLAMATION – ARBOR DAY
Proclaims April 27, 2014, as “Arbor Day” in the City of Fernandina Beach. Representatives from the local Petanque Club and the Amelia Tree Conservancy will be present to accept the Proclamation.

4.3. PROCLAMATION – RECOGNITION OF SCOTT AND DAWNA MOORE
Recognizes Scott and Dawna Moore for selflessly promoting the City of Fernandina Beach through their photography that reflects Fernandina Beach’s rich history, diversity, natural resources and abundant wildlife and expressing appreciation for their dedication and contribution to the City. Mr. and Mrs. Moore will be present to accept the Proclamation. This item is placed on the agenda at the request of Mayor Boner.

4.4. PROCLAMATION – MAYORS DAY OF RECOGNITION FOR NATIONAL SERVICE
Proclaims April 1, 2014, as “Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service”. This Proclamation was requested by the Florida League of Cities to spotlight the impact of national service and to thank those who serve for making our cities better places to live.

4.5. PROCLAMATION – AVIATION APPRECIATION MONTH
Proclaims the month of April 2014, as “Aviation Appreciation Month.” The Proclamation will be mailed to the Florida Airports Council who will in turn forward to the Aviation Alliance in Washington.

5.CONSENT AGENDA
5.1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Special Meeting – March 4, 2014; Regular Meeting – March 4, 2014; Special Meeting – March 11, 2014; Regular Meeting – March 18, 2014.

5.2. FERRY ENDORSEMENT – CUMBERLAND ISLAND & FERNANDINA BEACH
RESOLUTION 2014-32 ENDORSING A NEW FERRY SERVICE BETWEEN THE CUMBERLAND ISLAND NATIONAL SEASHORE AND FERNANDINA BEACH, FLORIDA.
Synopsis: Supports and encourages the National Park Service to retain its existing ferry concession and operation, and to add a second ferry concession service between Fernandina Beach and Cumberland Island National Seashore.

5.3. PROPOSAL APPROVAL – ADVANCED DISPOSAL SERVICES
RESOLUTION 2014-38 APPROVING THE PROPOSAL FROM ADVANCED DISPOSAL SERVICES IN THE AMOUNT OF $32,803 TO PROVIDE SOLID WASTE REMOVAL AND CLEAN-UP SERVICES FOR THE 2014 SHRIMP FESTIVAL; AUTHORIZING EXECUTION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves the proposal in the amount of $32,803 from Advanced Disposal Services to provide solid waste removal and clean-up services for the 2014 Shrimp Festival.

6. PUBLIC COMMENT REGARDING ITEMS NOT ON THE AGENDA

7. RESOLUTIONS
7.1. SOLE SOURCE PURCHASE APPROVAL – SWAGIT PRODUCTIONS, LLC
RESOLUTION 2014-39 APPROVING THE SOLE SOURCE PURCHASE OF SOFTWARE, EQUIPMENT AND INSTALLATION CHARGES IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $20,000 FROM SWAGIT PRODUCTIONS, LLC; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves the sole source purchase of software, equipment and installation from Swagit Productions, LLC and the sole source form.

7.2. MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT TERMINATION – FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
RESOLUTION 2014-40 TERMINATING THE MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT WITH THE STATE OF FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF THE LANDSCAPING ALONG SR 200 / A1A BETWEEN LIME STREET AND CENTRE STREET; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Terminates the Memorandum of Agreement with FDOT for the maintenance of the landscaping along SR 200 / A1A between Lime and Centre Streets.

8. ORDINANCES – FIRST READING
8.1. VOLUNTARY ANNEXATION €“ SR 200 / GATEWAY BLVD / SOMERSET DR
ORDINANCE 2014-08 ANNEXING 24.34 ACRES OF LAND LOCATED AT STATE ROAD 200/A1A/S. 8TH STREET, GATEWAY BOULEVARD, AND SOMERSET DRIVE; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Annexes 24.34 acres located at SR 200, Gateway Blvd, and Somerset Dr.

8.2. FUTURE LAND USE MAP AMENDMENT – SR 200 / GATEWAY BLVD
ORDINANCE 2014-09 CHANGING THE NASSAU COUNTY FUTURE LAND USE MAP TO ASSIGN A CITY FUTURE LAND USE MAP CATEGORY OF GENERAL COMMERCIAL (GC), FOR PARCELS TOTALING 17.46 ACRES OF LAND LOCATED AT STATE ROAD 200/A1A/S. 8TH STREET AND GATEWAY BOULEVARD; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Assigns a Future Land Use Map Designation of General Commercial (GC) to 17.46 acres located at SR 200 and Gateway Blvd.

8.3. FUTURE LAND USE MAP AMENDMENT – SOMERSET DR
ORDINANCE 2014-10 CHANGING THE NASSAU COUNTY FUTURE LAND USE MAP TO ASSIGN A CITY FUTURE LAND USE MAP CATEGORY OF HIGH DENSITY RESIDENTIAL (HDR), FOR PARCELS TOTALING 6.88 ACRES OF LAND LOCATED ON SOMERSET DRIVE; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Assigns a Future Land Use Map Designation of High Density Residential (HDR) to 6.88 acres located at Somerset Dr.

8.4. ZONING CHANGE – SR 200 / GATEWAY BLVD
ORDINANCE 2014-11 CHANGING THE NASSAU COUNTY ZONING MAP TO ASSIGN A CITY ZONING MAP CATEGORY OF GENERAL COMMERCIAL (C-2), FOR PARCELS TOTALING 17.46 ACRES OF LAND LOCATED AT STATE ROAD 200/A1A/S. 8TH STREET AND GATEWAY BOULEVARD; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Assigns a Zoning Category of General Commercial (C-2) to 17.46 acres located at SR 200 and Gateway Blvd.

8.5. ZONING CHANGE – SOMERSET DR
ORDINANCE 2014-12 CHANGING THE NASSAU COUNTY ZONING MAP TO ASSIGN A CITY ZONING MAP CATEGORY OF HIGH DENSITY RESIDENTIAL (R-3), FOR A PARCEL TOTALING 6.88 ACRES OF LAND LOCATED ON SOMERSET DRIVE; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Assigns a Zoning Category of High Density Residential (R-3) to 6.88 acres located at Somerset Dr.

9. ORDINANCE – SECOND READING
9.1. CODE AMENDMENT – GENERAL EMPLOYEES’ PENSION PLAN
ORDINANCE 2014-06 AMENDING CHAPTER 62, PERSONNEL, ARTICLE III, GENERAL EMPLOYEES’ PENSION PLAN, OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF FERNANDINA BEACH; AMENDING SECTION 62-73, BOARD OF TRUSTEES; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY OF PROVISIONS; REPEALING ALL ORDINANCES IN CONFLICT HEREWITH AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Amends Section 62-73 of the City Code pertaining to the General Employees’ Pension Plan.

10. DISCUSSION – DIRECTION – ACTION ITEM
10.1. OLD TOWN BLUFF & PLAZA
The City Commission will discuss options to address concerns regarding the Old Town Bluff and Plaza.

11. CITY MANAGER REPORTS
12. CITY CLERK REPORTS
13. MAYOR/COMMISSIONER COMMENTS
14. ADJOURNMENT

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Lace Up Your Sneakers and Go Walk on April 2nd

Lace Up Your Sneakers and Go Walk on April 2ndThis year’s National Walking Day, sponsored by the American Heart Association, is Wednesday, April 2, 2014. It is the perfect time to get out and walk. Walking is the most popular form of aerobic physical activity for adults in the United States. Whether you are walking your dog, walking with friends, or walking to get somewhere, every step counts towards your improved health.

National Walking Day raises awareness about the importance of physical activity. According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans most adults need to do two types of physical activity each week to improve health—aerobic and muscle-strengthening. Walking is a great way to meet the aerobic part of the guidelines. If you are a walker, encourage a friend or colleague to start walking on April 2. If you do not regularly walk for physical activity, try it out. You will be surprised at how good a brisk walk may make you feel.

How You Can Participate in National Walking Day:
-Walk and invite your family, friends, and coworkers to join you.
-Invite your coworkers to bring their sneakers to work.
-Encourage your employees to walk.
-Change one of your meetings to a walking meeting and let your colleagues know why.

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Brown Bag Lunch with Jose Miranda

Brown Bag Lunch with Jose MirandaThe Amelia Island Museum of History invites you to its next Brown Bag Lunch on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at Noon.

Special guest Jose Miranda will be discussing the Fernandina Post Office.

Built in 1912, this 18,000 Sq ft structure originally served as Fernandina’s Post Office, Customs House, and Court House.

Join Jose and other guests and delve into the historic report and feasibility study of one of downtown’s most iconic buildings.

This program is free and open to the public. For more information contact Gray at 261-7378 ext 102, or gray@ameliamuseum.org.

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Consider Renting Fishing Equipment When on Vacation

Consider Renting Fishing Equipment When on VacationIf you are a fisherman and have planned a trip to a watery destination you may do well to consider renting your fishing equipment when you are on vacation.

Tackle to fit your fishing needs might be more than you want to deal with. If you need to carry coolers, fishing rods, tackle boxes and more, on an airplane it can be impossible, or even in a car it can be a challenge. Purchasing all those necessary items upon arrival at an unfamiliar place may prove expensive and time consuming.

Google has proven to be a useful tool to locate shops or individuals who provide outfitting services or more commonly called ”rod and reel rentals”.

If you lack internet when you are on your next vacation, check with the concierge service provided by resorts and hotels; ask the front desk of your motel, or a property manager, rental agent or simply call a local tackle shop.

Once you have located a rental business, price should be discussed as well as the type of tackle recommended for local fishing, bait availability, where to fish, deposits required, how damage to equipment or injury is handled, pick up and return policies and local fishing license requirements.

If you and your vacation partners are inexperienced anglers, ask if the rental person be willing to share local knowledge and possibly provide a brief tutorial on the care and use of the rental tackle.

Amelia Island is fast becoming a premier fishing destination and whether you bring your own tackle or rent – when you arrive I’ll be happy to help you find and catch fish.

Capt. Jim, Cleansweep Fishing Charters and Beach Fishing Rentals. For more information call (904) 753-0882 or visit www.ameliacharterfishing.com.

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Resolve to Prevent or Delay Type 2 Diabetes

Resolve to Prevent or Delay Type 2 DiabetesEven though we are almost half way through 2014 and those New Year Resolutions you set for yourself back in January, you can still resolve to prevent or delay Type 2 Diabetes.

You can make a difference today by becoming more physically active, lowering your stress levels, eating clean, and losing a little weight.

What are Diabetes and Prediabetes?
When your glucose levels are above normal this can lead to diabetes. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose (sugar) for energy.

Next to your stomach is your pancreas, it makes insulin and insulin is a hormone that helps glucose get into your body’s cells. When you have diabetetes, this natural function is not working to the best of its ability and is indicated by high blood sugar in the body.

Prediabetes means you have elevated blood sugar, higher than normal, but not quite high enough to receive a diagnosis of diabetes.

The Centers for Disease Constrol says, “Without lifestyle changes to improve their health, 15% to 30% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years.”

How Can Type 2 Diabetes Be Prevented?
“Research shows that modest weight loss and regular physical activity can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by up to 58% in people with prediabetes. Modest weight loss means 5% to 7% of body weight, which is 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person. Getting at least 150 minutes each week of physical activity, such as brisk walking, also is important.”

Many factors increase your risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, including:
-Being 45 years of age or older.
-Being overweight.
-Having a parent with diabetes.
-Having a sister or brother with diabetes.
-Having a family background that is African-American, Hispanic/Latino, American-Indian, Asian-American, or Pacific-Islander.
-Having diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes), or giving birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or more.
-Being physically active less than three times a week.

Since early treatment can prevent serious problems that diabetes can cause, such as loss of eyesight or kidney damage, you still have time to modify your lifestyle and daily behaviors and end the year 2014 healthy, and ready to start fresh in 2015!

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Chikungunya in the Caribbean

Chikungunya in the CaribbeanSince late December, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been reporting the transmission of chikungunya in Saint Martin, and other areas of the Caribbean.

The situation was update on February 27, 2014:
Watch – Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions

What is the current situation?
Mosquitoes in the area have been infected with chikungunya and are spreading it to people.

As of February 5, 2014, the following Caribbean countries have reported cases of chikungunya:
Saint Martin (French)
Sint Maarten (Dutch)
Martinique
Guadeloupe
Saint Barthelemy
British Virgin Islands
Dominica
French Guiana
Anguilla
St. Kitts

What is chikungunya?
Chikungunya is an illness caused by a virus that spreads through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of chikungunya are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.

According to the Daily Beast, “The symptoms of chikungunya are easily understood by translating the term ‘chikungunya’ from Kimakonde, an East African dialect, it means ‘to become contorted.'” Leaving the victim doubled over in pain for weeks, and residual join pain perhaps months and in some cases years after being infected.

Now that it has reached the Northern Hemisphere, experts predict it is only a matter of time before chikungunya spreads through the rest of the Caribbean and cases will be seen in Florida, Texas and other areas of the United States with high humidity levels.

Who is at risk?
There is currently no vaccine or medicine to prevent chikungunya. Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites.

The Centers for Disease Controul suggest you prevent mosquito bites:
-Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
-Use an appropriate insect repellent as directed.
-Higher percentages of active ingredient provide longer protection. Use products with the following active ingredients:
DEETExternal Web Site Icon (Products containing DEET include Off!, Cutter, Sawyer, and Ultrathon)
Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin products containing picaridin include Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, and Autan [outside the US])
Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD (Products containing OLE include Repel and Off! Botanicals)
IR3535 (Products containing IR3535 include Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and SkinSmart)

Always follow product directions and reapply as directed:
-If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.
-Follow package directions when applying repellent on children. Avoid applying repellent to their hands, eyes, and mouth.
-Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents).
-Stay and sleep in screened or air conditioned rooms.
-Use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.

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100 Bricks in 100 Days!

100 Bricks in 100 Days!Fernandina Beach, FL – The Nassau Humane Society, a no-kill animal shelter located in Fernandina Beach, is announcing an exciting opportunity for the community to share a personal message at its new animal shelter, which will be completed this summer.

For a $100 donation, a 4 x 8 brick can be engraved with the language of your choice. The bricks will be installed at the new Animal Rescue Center after completion of the building. Bricks make a great memorial, honorarium or gift for anyone!

The new shelter will replace the old, deteriorated facility. The current shelter has outdoor dog kennels, and a deteriorated shed for a cattery. The new shelter will increase capacity by more than 40%, allowing for more animals to be rescued every day.

The goal of the 100 Bricks in 100 Days campaign is to secure a minimum of 100 bricks by June 20, 2014. To order a brick, visit http://www.nassauhumanesociety.com/bricks.html, send an email to executivedirector@nassauhumanesociety.com, or call (904) 491-1511.

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Interesting Tax Tip

Interesting Tax TipWell, it looks like the IRS will get you coming and going. My cousin just informed me of a service fee she almost paid in addition to the taxes she owed the Internal Revenue Service this year.

She and her husband file their taxes via e-file, as do many other people. This is the third year they have owed taxes at the end of the year, but this year it was different.

When she went to pay the tax bill with her DEBIT card, it read that if you pay by CREDIT or DEBIT you will be charged a percentage of what you owe, in addition to the tax debt.

This could have cost my cousin nearly $100.00 in an extra service charge from the IRS.

The remedy? Simply mail them a check.

Good luck and don’t forget to file your taxes by April 15, 2014.

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Rotarians Given an Update on What Barnabas Offers

Rotarians Given an Update on What Barnabas OffersBack in December, the members of the Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise had the wonderful pleasure of getting an update of all the amazing activities happening at the Barnabas Center on Amelia Island from the center’s director and fellow Rotarian, Wanda Lanier.

While many may know that non-profit Barnabas exists to help those in need, most do not realize just how many programs and services the Barnabas Center actually provides.

The food pantry at Barnabas has been operating for 27 years and it is the largest food pantry in Nassau County. In 2012, over 350,000 pounds of food were distributed to those in need.

The “New-to-You” resale shop is considered the “face” of the Barnabas Center as it provides much needed clothing, household goods, equipment and other items to low income families, made possible by generous donations of those items from residents and others.

Wanda discussed the importance that partnerships continue to play in the success of Barnabas. The center works with Baptist Medical Center to provide a Samaritan Clinic for medical services to low income or homeless residents in Nassau County. The Clinic is open 2 times per week and is staffed entirely by volunteers of Barnabas and from Baptist Hospital.

There is also a women’s health clinic and a dental clinic available and vision and speech/hearing are being added. Shortly the center will also have a mental health counselor on site.

Barnabas partners with the Council on Aging to deliver hot or prepared meals to shut-in residents who cannot get access to the Meals On Wheels program – for $.65/meal!

Barnabas supports the IDN organization to provide meals weeknights for the homeless/hungry at the Salvation Army Hope House.

This past year the organization initiated a capital funding campaign to expand its facilities on Jasmine Street. The new 18,000 square foot building will house the administration offices, preschool, volunteer center, food pantry as well as office space for other tenants. The food pantry will feature 2 large walk-in freezers and coolers (all donated) that will enable them to increase their food storage, including fresh vegetables and dairy products (assisted by their partnership with Second Harvest) – expanding their ability to promote healthy meals at a low cost.

One other partnership includes UNF where instructors will teach cooking classes with a focus on good nutrition.

Wanda also proudly shared that the Barnabas Center has received a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator, an organization that rates and ranks non-profits based on their financial health as well as their accountability and transparency.

To get more information about Barnabas, you can visit their website at www.barnabasfernandina.com.

Pictured here is Barnabas Director Wanda Lanier and Rotary president Mark Dennis.

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Meet Two Chefs of Fernandina’s Downtown Farmers Market

Meet Two Chefs of Fernandina's Downtown Farmers MarketThe Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers’ market is located on N. 7th Street, in historic, downtown Fernandina Beach, Florida. Open from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, every Saturday, rain or shine, this popular open air market continues to bring a special charm to Amelia Island. And that charm is found in the people that prepare all week by farming, planting, baking, clipping, snipping, pouring, stirring and packaging a wide variety of goodies just for you.

While we encourage you to come to the Market Place to check out our farmers and their seasonal produce, our bakers and their fresh pastries and breads, our meat and dairy farmer’s specialties and more, this week I wanted to tell you a little more about two of our very special, local chefs found in the Market Place.

Brian Grimley, of Lulu’s at the Thompson House, was born in the West Country of England. An engineer by trade, Brian is a self-taught chef who relocated to Fernandina Beach from Colonial Beach in Northern Virginia, about 35 miles from the Harry Nice Memorial Bridge into Maryland. If you have ever been to The Old Line State, you already know, “Maryland is for Crabs” and Chef Grimley orders crab for his restaurant directly from the Chesapeake Bay. A fan of local sourcing, Brian uses local shrimp, fruits and vegetables when he can find them.

This Chef prefers the low country menus and flavors, and Brian reads the newest cook books coming out of Charleston, Savannah and New Orleans for pleasure. An up and coming area of the country he likes to watch for new chefs, experimenting with delicious trends in dining, is Alabama.

Lulu’s at the Thompson House is at the farmers’ market every Saturday. Brian’s lovely wife Melanie brings their famous crab cakes, and they also specialize in both plain and spicy pimento cheese spreads that often sell out, so stop by their booth early in the day.

Lulu’s is located at 11 S. 7th Street, in Fernandina Beach. They are open Tuesday – Thursday from 11:30 AM to 9:00 PM, Friday and Saturdays from 11:30 AM to 10:00 PM, and they are open for lunch on Sunday from 10:30 AM to 3:00 PM. Trust me when I say the calamari rings with Anaheim Chili peppers is a great start to a fully dressed oyster Po’boy.

Another wonderful local chef we have at the farmers’ market is Adam Sears, the owner and chef at Merge Restaurant. Adam comes to the Market Place every other Saturday with his delicious jerk chicken patties, and more often his Low Country sausage and shrimp patties. Chef Sears has been cooking professionally since he was 14 years old when he began grilling steaks, when steaks made to order and all you can eat buffets were all the rage.

A culinary graduate of Johnson and Wales University in South Carolina, Adam’s dishes are inspired by music and art, and he is always trying new flavors, and flavor combinations. His favorite Chef is Hubert Keller, a creator of imaginative, modern French cuisine. Keller has won numerous awards and is regarded as one of America’s most talented Chefs.

Most of all, Adam enjoys being a part of an international food group whose members preserve the pleasures of the table, bringing together the best of food and wine. Join Adam every other Saturday at the farmers’ market and find out what seasonable delight he is creating in his kitchen.

Merge Restaurant is located at 510 S. 8th Street, in Fernandina Beach. They are open seven days a week from 5:00 PM – until. Adam mixes up the menu, but likes to keep the same proteins like scallops, salmon, and steak, but his art is found in the combinations of flounder, lump crab, mushrooms and artichokes finished with a Champagne cream, or a sirloin filet over potato puree, with bacon jam, tomato gratin, and bourbon molasses glaze. Catering and private parties are available at the restaurant.

Our featured non-profit on March 29, 2014, will be the Friends of the Fernandina Branch Library and music will be provided by Sam Bone and Hambone Stumps. The Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers’ market hosts over 30 vendors each week, we are family friendly, and your well behaved, leashed pets are always welcomed. For more information about the market, or how you can become a vendor, please visit our website at FernandinaBeachMarketPlace.com, or call (904) 557-8229.

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National Nutrition Month Continues with College Dining Tips

National Nutrition Month Continues with College Dining TipsWashington DC – Between late nights cramming for exams and the overwhelming number of food selections in the dining hall, trying to make healthy food choices on a college campus can be daunting. For the second week of National Nutrition Month, we rounded up some resources to help you avoid packing on the pounds during your college years.

Your college dining hall may have more healthy food options than you think.

Here’s how to navigate it:
-Know what you are eating
-Enjoy your food, but eat less
-Make half of your grains whole grains.
-Re-think your drink
-Fill 1/2 of your plate with fruits and veggies
-Make up your own plate
-Slow down on the sauces
-Be on guard at the salad bar
-Make dessert special, not an every day event
-Don’t linger in the dining hall, eat and go somewhere else

10 healthy foods to stash in your dorm’s mini fridge:
1. Low fat cheese
2. Stock up on veggies
3. Stock up on fruits
4. Keep water in the fridge and you’ll drink more
5. Store nuts in the fridge, they’ll last longer
6. Don’t forget to buy eggs
7. Keep fat-free milk and Greek yogurt in stock
8. Hummis is a great spread or a dip for vegetables.
9. Fresh salsa is a tasty treat when paired with whole grain tortills or raw veggies.
10. When you shop, use the nutrition labels found on packaging

Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you have to rely on bland, boring food.
Use these 10 tips for eating healthy on a budget:

1. Plan before you shop, make a list and stick to it.
2. Get the best price, look at the ads and use coupons.
3. Compare and contrast the unit price of items to other brands and sizes
4. Buy in bulk when you have the money and space
5. Buy fruits and veggies when they are in season and they are less expensive
6. Convenience items cost more and are less healthy; stay away from TV dinners and make your meals from scratch
7. Some foods are low cost in general. Carrots, beans, greens, apples and bananas are all good choices.
8. Cook a big meal once, and package up the leftovers for ready-to-eat meals all week
9. Get creative with leftovers. Throwing away food is throwing away money.
10. Eating out at restaurants is expensive, save money by eating at the Early Bird specials or by using coupons. Drink water when dining out to save even more cash.

Become a MyPlate On Campus Ambassador and join the more than 1,700 students motivating their classmates to make healthy food decisions too!

Students interested in promoting health and wellness to others in their campus communities are invited to sign up as a MyPlate On Campus Ambassador.

This partnership program is designed to motivate students to take on a leadership role at their school by teaching others about nutrition and physical activity. Ambassadors complete an online training and have access to a MyPlate On Campus Toolkit which helps them get started. The Toolkit contains resources specific to college students and offers tips for Ambassadors as well as the faculty/staff supporting them.

There are currently more than 1,700 Ambassadors taking action on campuses in all 50 states. Cooking demos, grocery store tours, and health fairs are just a few activities Ambassadors are using to spread MyPlate across their campuses.

In addition, Ambassadors are using SuperTracker, a free online tool that provides users with a personalized nutrition and physical activity plan. SuperTracker allows Ambassadors and their peers to track their food choices, set activity goals, and monitor progress.

Follow MyPlate on Twitter @MyPlate and on Facebook to learn more about the MyPlate On Campus initiative.

For more information visit ChooseMyPlate.gov or register at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/Ambassadors/register.aspx

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Nassau NAMI Walk Slated for March 29, 2014

Nassau NAMI Walk Slated for March 29, 2014There is a community gathering and walk that Nassau NAMI is hosting on March 29th (Saturday) from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.

The location is the gazebo at Central Park in Fernadina Beach. The event is free and registration is not required.

Refreshments will be provided, and there will be a raffle held at 12:00 pm.

The purpose of this event is to promote awareness of the need to reduce stigma surrounding mental illness and to meet local mental health providers in the area, who will be on hand to answer your questions.

Please encourage your friends, family members and local churches to attend this event.

Come and join us for some fun, or take a stroll to the beach to promote awareness about the need to reduce stigma surrounding mental illness.

For additional information please call (904) 277-1886 or email nassaunamiflorida@gmail.com.

Please feel free to check out their website at http://nassau.nami.org.

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