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The Story of Adam & Eve’s Pets

The Story of Adam & Eve's PetsWell, for those of you who read SearchAmelia on a regular basis, you know we like to post fun stories on Sundays… we hope you enjoy the story of Adam and Eve’s Pets.

Original author is unknown

Adam and Eve said, “Lord, when we were in the garden, you walked with us every day. Now we do not see you anymore. We are lonesome here, and it is difficult for us to remember how much you love us.”

And God said, “I will create a companion for you that will be with you and who will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you will love me even when you cannot see me. Regardless of how selfish or childish or unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourselves.”

And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam and Eve.

And it was a good animal and God was pleased.

And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and Eve and he wagged his tail.

And Adam said, “Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and I cannot think of a name for this new animal.”

And God said, “I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him DOG.”

And Dog lived with Adam and Eve and was a companion to them and loved them.

And they were comforted.

And God was pleased.

And Dog was content and wagged his tail.

After a while, it came to pass that an angel came to the Lord and said, “Lord, Adam and Eve have become filled with pride. They strut and preen like peacocks and they believe they are worthy of adoration. Dog has indeed taught them that they are loved, but perhaps too well.”

And God said, “I will create for them a companion who will be with them and who will see them as they are. The companion will remind them of their limitations, so they will know that they are not always worthy of adoration.”

gracie-cat-did-not-care

And God created CAT to be a companion to Adam and Eve.

And Cat would not obey them. And when Adam and Eve gazed into Cat’s eyes, they were reminded that they were not the supreme beings.

And Adam and Eve learned humility.

And they were greatly improved.

And God was pleased,

And Dog was happy.

And Cat –

…didn’t give a shit one way or the other.

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March 3, 2015 Commissioner Agenda

March 3, 2015 Commissioner AgendaThere is a regularly scheduled meeting of the Fernandina Beach City Commissioners at 6:00 PM, on March 3, 2015, at City Hall on Ash Street.

Here is the agenda:

1. CALL TO ORDER
2. ROLL CALL
3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE and Invocation by American Legion Chaplain Bruce Malcolm.

4. PROCLAMATION/PRESENTATIONS
4.1. PROCLAMATION-SUNSHINE WEEK
PROCLAMATION – SUNSHINE WEEK – Proclaims March 15-21, 2015, as “Sunshine Week.” City Clerk Caroline Best will be present to accept the Proclamation.

4.2. PRESENTATION-ARK OF NASSAU
PRESENTATION – ARK OF NASSAU – Chairman Wes White of the Ark of Nassau will provide a presentation regarding the Ark of Nassau’s Celebrity Waiters Luncheon on May 22, 2015 at Ciao Italian Bistro.

4.3. PRESENTATION – PIRATE SKYDIVING & ADVENTURES
PRESENTATION – PIRATE SKYDIVING & ADVENTURES – Owner John Hornsby will provide a brief presentation regarding skydivers landing on the beach in the City limits.

5. CONSENT AGENDA
5.1. ADDITIONAL SEWER AND REFUSE EXEMPTION FOR FY 2014/2015
ADDITIONAL SEWER AND REFUSE EXEMPTION FOR FY 2014/2015 – RESOLUTION 2015-35 APPROVING ONE (1) ADDITIONAL APPLICATION FOR CITY SEWER AND REFUSE EXEMPTION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2014/2015; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves one (1) additional application for exemption of payment for City Sewer and Refuse costs for the months of March 1, 2015 through September 30, 2015.

5.2. FACILITIES USE AGREEMENT – BEN BYRNS FOUNDATION, INC.
FACILITIES USE AGREEMENT – BEN BYRNS FOUNDATION, INC. – RESOLUTION 2015-36 APPROVING A FACILITIES USE AGREEMENT WITH THE BEN BYRNS FOUNDATION, INC. TO USE AIRPORT PROPERTY TO CONDUCT THE 4th ANNUAL 5K BEN BYRNS RUNWAY RALLY ON OCTOBER 10, 2015; AUTHORIZING EXECUTION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves a Facilities Use Agreement for the 4th Annual 5K Ben Byrns Rally on October 10, 2015.

5.3. FACILITIES USE AGREEMENT – TEAM FERNANDINA STINGRAYS
FACILITIES USE AGREEMENT – TEAM FERNANDINA STINGRAYS – RESOLUTION 2015-37 APPROVING THE FACILITIES USE AGREEMENT FOR YOUTH SPORTS LEAGUES BETWEEN THE CITY OF FERNANDINA BEACH AND TEAM FERNANDINA STINGRAYS, INC.; AUTHORIZING EXECUTION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves the Facilities Use Agreement with Team Fernandina Stingrays, Inc. for the period of January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015.

5.4. MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING (MOU) – OCEAN HIGHWAY AND PORT AUTHORITY (OHPA)
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING (MOU) – OCEAN HIGHWAY AND PORT AUTHORITY (OHPA) – RESOLUTION 2015-38 AUTHORIZING A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING (MOU) WITH THE OCEAN HIGHWAY AND PORT AUTHORITY OF NASSAU COUNTY; AUTHORIZING EXECUTION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves the Memorandum of Understanding between the Fernandina Beach Police Department and the Ocean Highway and Port Authority of Nassau County for a period of five (5) years.

5.5. MOSQUITO SPRAYING AUTHORIZATION
MOSQUITO SPRAYING AUTHORIZATION – RESOLUTION 2015-39 AUTHORIZING THE OPERATIONS OF CITY OF JACKSONVILLE AERIAL MOSQUITO SPRAYING WITHIN CITY LIMITS; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Authorizes the City of Jacksonville, Florida Neighborhoods Department, Mosquito Control Division to fly aircraft within official City boundaries and over mosquito breeding locations in the City of Fernandina Beach when engaged in mosquito control spraying operations May 1, 2015 through April 30, 2016.

5.6. VOLUNTARY ANNEXATION PETITION & WATER SERVICES AGREEMENT – HAGAN LANE
VOLUNTARY ANNEXATION PETITION & WATER SERVICES AGREEMENT – HAGAN LANE – RESOLUTION 2015-40 APPROVING THE EXTENSION OF WATER SERVICES OUTSIDE THE CORPORATE LIMITS; ACCEPTING THE VOLUNTARY ANNEXATION PETITION FOR ONE (1) PARCEL TOTALING 0.23 ACRES LOCATED AT HAGAN LANE; PROVIDING FOR EXECUTION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Authorizes the extension of water services to the property located outside the corporate limits of the City at Hagan Lane and noted as Parcel 00-00-30-0660-0013-0000, and approves the Voluntary Annexation Petition.

5.7. VOLUNTARY ANNEXATION PETITION & WATER SERVICES AGREEMENT – CLINCH DRIVE
VOLUNTARY ANNEXATION PETITION & WATER SERVICES AGREEMENT – CLINCH DRIVE – RESOLUTION 2015-41 APPROVING THE EXTENSION OF WATER SERVICES OUTSIDE THE CORPORATE LIMITS; ACCEPTING THE VOLUNTARY ANNEXATION PETITION FOR ONE (1) PARCEL TOTALING 0.23 ACRES LOCATED AT CLINCH DRIVE; PROVIDING FOR EXECUTION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Authorizes the extension of water services to the property located outside the corporate limits of the City at Clinch Drive and noted as Parcel 00-00-30-0660-0015-0000, and approves the Voluntary Annexation Petition.

5.8. DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE POLICY UPDATE
DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE POLICY UPDATE – RESOLUTION 2015-42 APPROVING AN UPDATED DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE POLICY; PROVIDING FOR REPEAL OF ANY PREVIOUS POLICIES IN CONFLICT HEREWITH; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves the updates to the Drug-Free Workplace Policy.

6. PUBLIC COMMENT REGARDING ITEMS NOT ON THE AGENDA

7. RESOLUTIONS
7.1. SOLE SOURCE PURCHASE APPROVAL – SENSUS USA, INC
SOLE SOURCE PURCHASE APPROVAL – SENSUS USA, INC. – RESOLUTION 2015-43 APPROVING THE SOLE SOURCE PURCHASE OF 975 WATER METERS WITH RELATED COMPUTER SOFTWARE FROM SENSUS USA, INC. FOR THE UTILITIES DEPARTMENT; AUTHORIZING EXECUTION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves the sole source purchase of water meters in the amount of $97,005 from Sensus USA, Inc.

7.2. GRANT APPLICATION – FLORIDA INLAND NAVIGATION DISTRICT (FIND
GRANT APPLICATION – FLORIDA INLAND NAVIGATION DISTRICT (FIND) – RESOLUTION 2015-44 REQUESTING ASSISTANCE UNDER THE FLORIDA INLAND NAVIGATION DISTRICT (FIND) WATERWAYS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM; AUTHORIZING EXECUTION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Requests assistance under the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND) Waterways Assistance Program.

7.3. AWARD OF BID # 15-102 – APPLIED TECHNOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT, INC.
AWARD OF BID # 15-102 – APPLIED TECHNOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT, INC. – RESOLUTION 2015-45 AUTHORIZING THE AWARD OF RFP #15-102 AND A CONSULTING CONTRACT TO APPLIED TECHNOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT, INC. FOR THE ENGINEERING AND REVIEW OF THE MARINA MOORING FIELD CAPACITY INCREASE; AUTHORIZING EXECUTION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves the award of RFP #15-102 to Applied Technology and Management, Inc. in the amount of $19,200.

7.4. CHANGE ORDER APPROVAL / BUDGET AMENDMENT – COURT SURFACES, INC.
CHANGE ORDER APPROVAL / BUDGET AMENDMENT – COURT SURFACES, INC. RESOLUTION 2015-46 APPROVING CHANGE ORDER #1 FROM COURT SURFACES, INC. IN THE AMOUNT OF $3,100 FOR THE RENOVATION OF CENTRAL PARK TENNIS COURTS 3 & 4; AUTHORIZING A BUDGET AMENDMENT; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves Change Order #1 in the amount of $3,100 from Court Surfaces, Inc. and authorizes a transfer of $3,100 from the ARC Baby Pool Improvements account to the Tennis Court Improvements account.

8. CITY MANAGER REPORTS
9. CITY ATTORNEY REPORTS
10. CITY CLERK REPORTS
11. MAYOR/COMMISSIONER COMMENTS
12. ADJOURNMENT

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Micah’s Place Style Show and Luncheon Video Review

Micah's Place Style Show and Luncheon Video ReviewOsprey Village on Amelia Island was home to the recent Style Show and Luncheon benefiting Micah’s Place, a Certified Domestic Violence Center serving the residents of Nassau County, Florida.

The room was full of women wearing houndstooth, leather, florals, animal prints and a large number of them donned Micah’s signature color, purple. These supporters ventured out on a very cold February day to preview the upcoming spring fashions from Chico’s and the Monkey Barrel, while enjoying a scumptious lunch, and perhaps taking a chance to win one of the great raffle prizes donated by local companies like David’s Restaurant, the Hoyt House and Dome Healing Center.

Micah’s Place Director of Development, Marianna McIntyre introduced the luncheon’s guest speaker, Family Law Attorney Chanda Rogers, an Associate with the Law Office of Valerie C. Faltemier, PLC. The room was attentive as Ms. Rogers spoke about how offenders of domestic violence typically abuse all members of the household, including children and pets. Domestic violence shelters are rarely equipped to accept animals, and sadly many victims stay in abusive homes rather than leave a pet behind to face torture or even death. Micah’s Place is now equipped to handle just about any family pet, so Nassau County victims no longer have to live in fear; they can bring their pet with them when they leave their abuser to start a new life.

Micah's Place-pets-bentleyStatistics on domestic violence and animal abuse:
-52 percent of victims in shelters leave their pets with their abusers.
(National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)

-Up to 65 percent of domestic violence victims are unable to escape their abusers because they are concerned about what will happen to their pets when they leave.
(Carlisle-Frank, Frank and Nielsen, 2004)

-71 percent of pet-owning women entering women’s shelters reported that their batterer had injured, maimed, killed or threatened family pets for revenge or to psychologically control victims; 32 percent reported their children had hurt or killed animals.
(National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)

Here is a short video of the Luncheon and Style Show:

Ms. Rogers described how Micah’s Place offers free legal services to vicitims, both men and women. Abusers are controlling and very often, they control the money, too. Leaving victims without access to the money for legal protection. Events like this luncheon, the Bed and Breakfast Cookie Tour, and the Purple Dove Re-sell Store help raise funds to keep the doors to Micah’s Place open.

When Ms. Rogers finished, lunch was promptly served and fashion models swept the room to show off the latest fashions for women and children.

Expect to see a lot of yellow and aqua shades for kids this spring, while Mom may be found wearing moss, muted animal prints and pale yellow, too. Long scarves and comfortable slacks were flattering and attractive, and my favorite piece was a very feminine, coral leather jacket.

To learn more about Micah’s Place please visit www.MicahsPlace.org.

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Council on Aging Adds Evening Caregiver Support Group

Council on Aging Adds Evening Caregiver Support Group
Fernandina Beach, FL – Nassau County Council on Aging is pleased to announce a monthly evening support group for caregivers. The first meeting of the evening group will be held Tuesday, March 3rd from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Fernandina Beach Senior Center located at 1367 South 18th St, across from Baptist Medical Center.

Subsequent meetings of the evening group will be held the first Tuesday of each month beginning at 6 p.m. The evening meetings are open to anyone who is a caregiver for someone who is sick, elderly or disabled.

The evening group is in addition to the regular monthly daytime caregiver group that meets every third Thursday of the month from 2:30-4:30 p.m. at the Fernandina Beach Senior Center.

As our population ages, more and more people are taking on the role as caregiver. This can lead to increased stress, frustration, anxiety and depression. The key to being an effective caregiver is remembering to take of yourself before taking care of others.

Meetings for both caregiver groups are free of charge.

For more information, call (904) 261-0701. You may also email Dawna Cornelissen at dcornelissen@nassaucountycoa.org or Sue Keith at Skeith@nassaucountycoa.org.

In its 41st year of serving Nassau County Seniors, the Council on Aging is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency, the highest level of charitable organization. We cheerfully deliver critical services to Nassau County seniors in five categories including Meals on Wheels, COA Transportation, Home Health Services, and Adult Day Health Care, while operating two Senior Life Centers. We are partially funded by government grants, foundation funding and individual donations.

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Monthly Acoustic Sessions now at Fernandina Little Theatre

Monthly Acoustic Sessions now at Fernandina Little TheatreFernandina Little Theatre is presenting a new program, Acoustic Sessions for Aspiring Musicians!

Beginning March 2, 2015, the Fernandina Little Theatre is expanding programming to include a regular musical event. This new idea is simple: bringing together artists who usually do not get to play together, and who wish to create, cover, and share music with each other and with a small crowd in an intimate setting. Styles will vary, going from blues to folk, and everything the musicians wish to play together for that unique occasion. Each month the lineup of musicians will change, with each artist bringing his/her own unique style of playing to the session.

Acoustic Sessions is the brainchild of local musician Tom Leon. Born in Caen (Normandy) France, the soundtrack of Tom’s childhood was composed of great music ranging from Beethoven to Elvis Presley and everything in between. “If there were actual instruments in it, it was played through my dad’s stereo”. Tom played clubs all over the French western country side, until he met world recording Blues artist Josh Miller. The two got along so well that Josh invited him to come to Florida for a short trip, and there Tom was introduced to artists who made him feel right at home. Soon the young Frenchman had decided to pack his suitcase and move to Florida to pursue his dream, and play the only music he then wanted to play: the Blues!

For the first chapter of this monthly event, on Monday March 2nd at 7:30 pm, a lifelong passion for the blues will bring together three musicians: local guitarist and singer Tom Leon will share the stage with great friends and talented artists Jeff Malone, also from Fernandina Beach (percussion), and Rick Anthony from Chesapeake VA (Vocals and Guitar).

Tickets for the Acoustic Sessions are only $5.00, and can be purchased in advance at The UPS Store on Amelia Island.

Fernandina Little Theatre is a small, intimate space, and patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance to guarantee seating availability.

For more info on FLT happenings and events, check the website at ameliaflt.org.

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Audition for Fox on the Fairway at Amelia Community Theatre

Audition for Fox on the Fairway at Amelia Community TheatreAuditions for Fox on the Fairway, by Ken Ludwig, will take place on March 3, 2015, at 7:00 PM, in Studio 209.

Directed by David Longobardo, you are asked to be prepared to read from the script. You are also welcome to prepare a 1 to 1 1/2 minute monologue.

Fox on the Fairway leads the audience through the antics of the members of the Quail Valley Golf and Country Club and their rival, the Crouching Squirrel Golf Club. What was born on a golf bet, the play’s conflict quickly accelerates, through the use of mistaken identity, lies, secrets, and multiple entrances and exits, to utter chaos. This is a fun show with a versatile cast.

The six characters needed are as follows:

HENRY BINGHAM (mid 40s): Director of the Quail Valley Country Club. He is witty and cynical at times. He gets into a high-stakes bet on a golf tournament and is determined to do what it takes to win. He is also unhappy in his marriage to Muriel and becomes involved with Pamela.

PAMELA PEABODY (39): A member of the Quail Valley Country Club. She is very attractive and sophisticated, but a bit loose and a bit of a drinker. Throughout the production she aids Bingham in his plans to make sure their club wins.

JUSTIN HICKS (25): Bingham’s new eager-to-please assistant who volunteers his services as a golfer to help Quail Valley win the golf tournament. He is romantically involved with Louise and proposes to her early on, but becomes emotionally distraught when things become difficult between them.

LOUISE HEINDBEDDER (23): A waitress at the Quail Valley Country Club. She is very attractive, and a bit flighty, but studious. She gets engaged to Justin early on, but a mishap results in her becoming very upset over their future together, making her bawl at a moment’s notice.

DICKIE BELL (mid 40s): The director of the rival Crouching Squirrel Country Club, with whom Bingham gets into a high-stakes wager . He is a bit obnoxious, including his fashion sense, but tries to come off as good-natured. He is Pamela’s ex and has a thing for Bingham’s wife Muriel

MURIEL BINGHAM (40s): Bingham’s wife, who runs an antique shop, which becomes part of the wager between Henry and Dickie. Generally overbearing and stern, she somehow has a soft spot for Dickie.

The play opens on our main stage June 11 and continues on June 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 at 8:00 with a matinee on June 21 at 2:00.

Scripts are available in the box office – call 904-261-6749 to arrange pick up.

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Fernandina Beach Homicide Case solved after Exhumation

Fernandina Beach Homicide Case solved after ExhumationSubmitted by Fernandina Beach Police Chief James Hurley

For the past three years the Fernandina Beach Police Department has been actively working an open unsolved homicide case from 1987 and recently learned that the primary suspect, James Lee Hall, Jr., has been positively connected to the heinous crime through DNA identification.

The news came after an arduous process of evidence retrieval which involved uncooperative family members, legal reviews, search warrants, military process, and exhumation orders issued to authorities in Colorado to remove Hall’s body from a military cemetery for the collection of specific tissue containing DNA samples for comparison to that collected at the murder scene almost twenty-eight years ago. Hall left Amelia Island a short time after the murder of Janet Marie Robinson and died of natural causes in 2000.

Janet Robinson, formerly Simmons, 56 years of age, was brutally assaulted and murdered in her home at 722 South 10th Street, Fernandina Beach, on May 15, 1987. Jimmy Hall was an early suspect after being observed running from the scene, and he also had a history of similar assaults of older women in the neighborhood. Remarkably, Hall was dismissed by investigators after another man, Robert Way, insinuated he and another into the investigation by claiming responsibility. Both men were arrested for the murder, and then later released when an alibi emerged for the second man and Way then failed a polygraph examination, before recanting the confession altogether.

The case remained unsolved for many years. It was reopened three years ago and initial steps were taken to further the investigation. Department members always felt that this case “fell through the cracks,” and after Captain Jim Coe retired in 2011 it appeared that the case may end up back in a drawer. However, Coe agreed to come back to work as a part-time investigator, to review new cases, mentor young detectives, and most importantly, to renew focus on the Robinson homicide for the very same reason as fictional Homicide Detective Harry Bosch. Michael Connelly’s famous character is colorblind, often stating that in the pursuit of justice “everybody counts or nobody counts.” In fact, every dedicated police officer burns with a desire to see that nobody gets away with serious crime, especially murder, and Jim Coe always knew that modern technology and forensic science might one day afford us the opportunity to see justice served for the Robinson family. To close this case during Black History Month is also gratifying, considering the historical connections to the old Peck High School, and more significantly, to Robinson’s first husband, Jeremiah Mattox.

Janet Marie SimmonsPictured: Janet Marie Simmons
Peck High School Class of 1949
“Most Popular”

Janet Simmons was one of the first students at the new Peck School in 1936, and was one of only a few students to spend her entire time there, graduating in 1949, which was the last graduating class at Peck High School. Her high school yearbook suggested that she was an accomplished singer and that she intended to pursue a career in Gospel music. She was voted “Most Popular” by her classmates, which include former Fernandina Beach Mayor Charles Albert.

She met Jeremiah “Jerry” Mattox and the two were married in 1950 at the First Missionary Baptist Church in Fernandina Beach. Mattox resided at 717 South 10th Street, which is directly across the street from where Janet was killed in 1987. Mattox had previously resided in St. Mary’s, Georgia, but was coaxed to Nassau County by Sheriff H. J. Youngblood in 1950 to become the first black deputy in Nassau County. Youngblood was reportedly looking for a “Jackie Robinson type” to patrol American Beach after a white deputy was attacked and severely injured at that location by two black men.

On March 13, 1954 Deputy Jerry Mattox responded to a domestic violence call on 8th Street in Fernandina Beach and was shot and killed by the man he was trying to arrest, becoming the first black law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty in Nassau County. Janet and her friends were returning from the beach at that very moment and actually witnessed her husband’s death, according to reports. Janet remarried a few years later, but the marriage failed and, at some point, she moved to Cleveland, Ohio. She returned to Fernandina Beach around 1984 and worked as a cook at the Sandbar Restaurant.

jerry-mattoxPictured: Deputy Jerry Mattox is buried at Bosque Bello
(Surprisingly, no photograph has been located)

On May 15, 1987, the body of Janet Marie Robinson, 56 years of age, was found in her residence at 722 S. 10th Street, Fernandina Beach, Florida. Investigation revealed that she had been sexually assaulted and murdered. An autopsy was conducted on May 16, at 11:00 AM in Jacksonville, Florida. The Medical Examiner estimated the time of death at 24 to 36 hours from the time of autopsy and confirmed a sexual assault. The Medical Examiner identified the cause of death as asphyxia due to strangulation.

Early investigation into the homicide by Lieutenant Dana Davis of the Fernandina Beach Police Department appears to have initially identified the suspect as James Lee Hall, Jr. However, upon declaration of a purported eyewitness, Robert Jerome Way, the detectives investigating the crime abandoned Hall as the suspect and ultimately arrested Octavian Troy Brewton. Robert Way identified Brewton as the perpetrator of the murder and sexual assault and incriminated himself as the lookout. On May 27, 1987, both men were arrested and booked for the homicide.

The following day, on May 28th, Robert Way submitted to a polygraph examination administered by Woodley Polygraph Service of Jacksonville. After failing the polygraph, Way admitted to lying to the police about his statements and about his knowledge of the crime to the police. Way was adjudicated guilty of providing false information of a crime and was sentenced to six months in the Nassau County Jail. The State Attorney’s Office entered a nolle prosequi of the charges filed against Brewton, but Brewton remained in custody for a burglary that he had committed on the very night of the homicide, outside the city limits of Fernandina Beach.

The only significant physical evidence of the homicide found by law enforcement was located on the body of the victim. Biological evidence from the sexual assault kit enabled the crime lab to construct a DNA profile. The constructed DNA profile was foreign to the victim. The foreign DNA profile was determined to be consistent with originating from a male individual. Both Octavian Brewton and Robert Way were eliminated as the source of this foreign profile. The unknown subject linked to the recovered DNA has not been identified through the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).

Fernandina Beach Police Department detectives investigating the crime never refocused their interest and investigation back to the original suspect, James Lee Hall, Jr. Hall appears to have left Florida to move to Colorado within months of Brewton having the charges against him dropped.

james-lee-hall-jrPictured: James Lee Hall, Jr. (1986)
Upon reopening this case, Detective Jim Coe focused on the statements and the alibi of James Lee Hall, Jr. as documented in the reports and notes of the original detectives (Davis, Carter and Thompson). Detective Coe noted significant discrepancies in Hall’s statements to the investigators with regard to: (1) when he last saw the victim, (2) when and if he was ever at her residence, and (3) his activities on the night of the homicide.

The discrepancies are illuminated by statements provided to Lieutenant Davis on May 16, 1987 at 1:15 AM and again at 5:15 PM by James Lee Hall, Jr. Lt. Davis documented in his notes his follow up of those initial statements and of the alibi witnesses provided by Hall.

Initially, Hall described the victim as a friend of his mother’s that he saw only when she visited. At first he stated he had never been to her residence. He later made a statement indicating that he had been to the victim’s residence to help her hang some blinds and to have lunch. It appears from the notes taken by Lt. Davis that the lunch he talks about took place the Tuesday before Ms. Robinson’s death. Hall said that he was supposed to build Ms. Robinson a dog house the week before, but had never gotten around to it. Hall told detectives that he saw the victim at the liquor store on Thursday, May 15th about 5:00 PM. That would have made him one of the last persons to see the victim alive, other than the liquor store clerks.

Hall told Lt. Davis that after seeing the victim at the liquor store he went home and stayed there all evening. He then added that he went to a neighbor’s house to help paint at about 6 or 7:00 PM. He did not know the neighbor’s name at first and then he identified him as “Allen.” He said he stayed at Allen’s place until about 10 or 11:00 PM. He left there and went to Miss Katy’s Place, 326 South 9th Street. Miss Katy’s at the time was a local drinking and dancing establishment. Hall said in his statement to detectives that he stayed there until about 1:00 AM (May 15th) and then went home and went to bed.

Lt. Davis interviewed Allen Melton who verified Hall came to his house to paint his kitchen. Melton said Hall left after dark, but he did not remember the exact time. Melton claims to have met up with Hall later at Star Reathea Perkins’s house. He said that he and others including Hall stayed “’til way after daylight.” When interviewed by detectives, Hall never mentioned anything about going to his friend Star’s residence.

According to Lt. Davis’s interview notes, Star Reathea Perkins confirmed that Hall came to her home that evening just before dark. Ms. Perkins said that she wanted Hall to stay with her and watch the HBO special “Hitchhiker” that came on about 11:00 PM. Perkins said that Hall told her he did not want to be walking the roads all hours of the night because the police might stop him. She said Hall left stating that he was going home. Perkins stated that she did not see Allen Melton that night.

Investigators were able to corroborate Star’s statement in reference to her recollection of the times she gave. The investigators reviewed the television guide for the evening of May 14th and found that the program “Hitchhiker” showed at 11:15 PM.

Google Maps indicates that Hall lives just a short three minute walk from Ms. Perkins and yet he does not put himself home until 1:00 AM. It should be noted that his route home would pass directly by the victim’s residence or 722 South 10th Street.

Lt. Davis contacted Anthony L. Johnson. Anthony Johnson is apparently the “Anthony” that Hall used as an alibi witness to attest to his presence at Miss Katy’s. Johnson gave a brief statement indicating that he was at Miss Katy’s about closing time when he saw Jimmy Hall (James Lee Hall, Jr.) come in. Johnson said that Hall arrived at about 1:20 AM and left about 1:40 AM to go home. Anthony Johnson does not make any reference to leaving with Hall, which again contradicts the statement Hall gave to detectives.

Another witness, Theadessa Hamilton, told Lt. Davis and Detective Carter that she was having trouble sleeping and went for a walk. Ms. Hamilton, whose address was 828 S. 11th Street, was walking on S. 11th Street in the 700 block. She told detectives that she heard a tripping noise and a dog barking coming from the area of the victim’s residence. The noise made her turn and look in that direction and she observed Jimmy (James Lee Hall, Jr.) coming from that area running across (Tyler’s) backyard. Ms. Hamilton said she asked him for a cigarette. He slowed down a bit and said he did not have one and kept going. Ms. Hamilton said she heard noises behind his house which sounded like he went in a back door. Ms. Hamilton thought the time to be about 3:00 or 4:00 AM. She said she was sure it was Hall because she has known him for 20 years. Ms. Hamilton provided a written statement describing the event.

In a follow up interview conducted by in October of 2011 with Theadessa Hamilton (now Williams) she recalled the evening that she saw Jimmy Hall (James Lee Hall, Jr.) coming from the area behind the victim’s residence. Ms. Williams said she was walking north on S. 11th Street headed back to the Island Bar. Her recollection was that Jimmy appeared to be running from something and that he was sweating profusely. Ms. Williams said that she does not remember him having a shirt on at the time. She had not mentioned Hall being shirtless in her original statement, but did say he was running and in a hurry. She indicated that her family and the Hall family had all grown up together and lived in the same area for years. Ms. Williams said that at the time she really did not think much of the encounter. It was not until after the news of the murder was on the streets that she realized the significance of having seen Hall that night. Ms. Williams said that the word on the street was that Jimmy (James Lee Hall, Jr.) was responsible for the homicide. She said that after the other two guys were arrested all that talk died down.

Through a records check Coe discovered what appears to be a pattern of criminal activity involving James Lee Hall, Jr., which was extensive and included among other crimes: trespassing, burglary, domestic battery and at least one prior sexual battery. These crimes span at least three states: Florida, Kansas and Colorado.

Several of the criminal cases which occurred in Fernandina Beach, Florida, displayed a consistent pattern. The victims were friends of his mother, Coretha Hall, with whom James Lee Hall, Jr. lived with at the time. They were older females who lived alone. The assaults or attempted assaults were in close proximity to his residence and they occurred in the late evening or early morning hours.

Ms. Corona Jones, age 65, reported James Lee Hall, Jr. in her bedroom asleep on the floor. He entered her bedroom from a window over her bed in the early morning hours.

Ms. Beatrice Davis, age 70, lives next door to her friend, Coretha Hall. She reported that James Lee Hall, Jr. came into her residence uninvited and sexually assaulted her. The assault was interrupted by family members returning to the residence. Ms. Davis confided to Coretha Hall that James had also attempted to rape her a few years earlier, but she was able to fight him off.

The sexual assault that Ms. Davis describes in her written statement provided to Fernandina Beach Police Officer Missinne on November 29, 1986, is strikingly similar to the assault on the victim of this homicide, Ms. Robinson. Ms. Robinson, according to friends and neighbors, rarely allowed anyone in her home. The entry in this case was through an unlocked back door and was most likely uninvited. The position of the body and the clothing of the victim suggest a forceful assault wherein the suspect attempted to pin the victim to the floor while pulling down her bra and underclothes. This was exactly the same scenario as the assault on Ms. Davis which occurred barely six months prior. Ms. Davis decided not to pursue prosecution against James Lee Hall, Jr., and the charges were dropped, leaving Hall free from prosecution.

Law enforcement never obtained a DNA sample from James Lee Hall, Jr., so he was never entered into the DNA database for sexual offenders. Hall left Florida and moved to Colorado. It follows that because of the serial nature of his offenses, Colorado and other states may have open cases of sexual assaults or homicides that could be resolved by a submission of Hall’s DNA to CODIS, the national database. That submission should occur within the week.

Based on the information obtained from the original case files, the obvious false and misleading statements provided by the suspect and the apparent proclivity for violence towards women, there is probable cause to believe James Lee Hall, Jr. entered the home of Janet Marie Robinson on or about the night of May 14, 1987 or the early morning hours of May 15, 1987, and committed a sexual assault. During the course of the brutal sexual assault, James Lee Hall Jr., in his attempt to overcome the victim’s resistance suffocated her, causing her death.

After all these years, the only physical evidence to prove or disprove James Lee Hall, Jr. murdered Janet Robinson is a DNA sample from James Lee Hall, Jr. A Search and Seizure Warrant was granted and the body was exhumed at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver, Colorado and evidence collected. The case has now been closed with the DNA identification of Hall. Whether Jimmy Hall remains interred at Fort Logan remains to be seen, as the military may elect to evict him from his honorable resting place.

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Fernandina’s Relay For Life Encourages Hope Around the World

Fernandina's Relay For Life Encourages Hope Around the World

Click on the image to enlarge the poster

Fernandina Beach’s Main Beach Park will be home to the 2015 American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life, on March 21, 2015, from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM. This 12-hour event will celebrate survivorship and raise funds for cancer research, education, advocacy and services.

Each team from the Fernandina Beach/Yulee community will each represent a different place around the world because cancer touches everybody, and no matter where in the world you are, communities can heal and grow by coming together for a common purpose… One World – One Hope!

This year, Relay For Life teams will decorate their booths in the vibrant colors and costumes of New Zealand, Kenya, England, China, the New World, and other countries.

The entertainment committee has been busy lining up great musicians such as Cumberland Sound, Laid Back Band, The Hambone Stumps Band, Jennifer Burns, and Jimmy Beats. Several themed laps are scheduled such as Las Vegas, Team Spirit and a Western Lap. There will be a tutu lap lead by Bean’s School of Dance, a head-band lap led by Pak’s Karate, and a Pirate lap led by the Fernandina Pirates Club. There will be fingerprinting, a children’s fun zone, Zumba Fitness, Ms. Relay and frozen t-shirt contests, a scavenger hunt and much, much more!

All of these activities take place while people walk or run on a track symbolizing how cancer never takes a break. Local businesses, schools, churches and families are encouraged to pick a country and make up a team of their own and join us for camaraderie, food, music, entertainment, and a full day of fellowship and games. There is no minimum fund raising required and there are no registration fees for teams or participants! To join in on the fun, please enter “32034” at RelayforLife.org to find our Fernandina event.

Relay For Life begins with a FREE Survivor’s Breakfast, sponsored completely by Sandy Bottoms on Amelia Island. If you are a cancer survivor and would like to join us for a FREE breakfast, please call (800) 227-2345. Other wonderful sponsors include great local companies like Baptist Medical Center Nassau, Amelia Island Fun, Putt Putt, Rick Keffer Dodge, Kelly’s Pest Control, Oxley Heard, Island Juice and Java, SearchAmelia.com and Vystar Credit Union.

If you’d like to organize a team, become a sponsor, or want to learn more about this exciting Fernandina Beach Relay For Life event, please contact Melanie Oberkrom at (904) 391-3643 or melanie.oberkrom@cancer.org. To learn more about cancer, call toll-free anytime 1-800-227- 2345 or visit the American Cancer Society Web site at www.cancer.org.

To donate to Team SearchAmelia, please CLICK HERE.

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Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau Wins 11 Awards

Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau Wins 11 AwardsAmelia Island, FL – The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) recognized the Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau (AICVB) with 11 Adrian Awards, including “Best Overall Integrated Campaign,” last night in New York at the 58th annual Adrian Awards Gala, the largest and most prestigious travel marketing competition globally.

In total, AICVB received eight gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze medal in the advertising and digital media categories and across all media, including television, magazine, outdoor and the web.

The awards include:

Gold:
Best Overall Integrated Campaign of the Year – “Florida’s Legendary Island”
(TV/Web Videos, Magazine. Outdoor, Digital and Visitor’s Guide)

Best Repositioning Campaign of the Year – “A Florida Beach with a Southern Accent”
(TV/Web Videos, Magazine. Outdoor, Digital and Visitor’s Guide)

Best Magazine Ad of the Year – “Charm and Splendor” Southern Belle Balloon Magazine
Best Magazine Ad of the Year – “Soak in the Southern Beauty” Infinity Pool Magazine
Best Outdoor/Out of Home Ad of the Year – “Southern Elegance” Welcome Center
Best Outdoor/Out of Home Ad of the Year – “Savor the Splendor” Welcome Center
Best Outdoor/Out of Home Ad of the Year – “Share the Wonder” Welcome Center
Best Digital Ad of the Year – “Drop in Florida’s Legendary Island” Balloon Canada Weather Digital Ad

Silver:
Best Brochure of the Year – “Florida’s Legendary Island” Visitor’s Guide

Bronze:
Best Outdoor/Out of Home Ad of the Year – “Soak in the Southern Beauty” Welcome Center

This year’s contest attracted thousands of entries from around the world, with entries judged by top executives from all sectors of the industry.

“All of our marketing programs have received an overwhelmingly positive response from travelers, but it’s very gratifying to earn the recognition of industry experts in the Adrian Awards,” said Gil Langley, President and CEO of the Amelia Island CVB. “We’re always working to fine tune our message to showcase Amelia Island to consumers and this year’s awards are an exciting validation of our hard work.”

In addition to recognizing the award-winning work of AICVB and other tourism marketing organizations, the gala and dinner reception honored lifetime achievement in travel/hospitality marketing, as well as the “Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing.” All winning entries are accessible online at www.adrianawards.com.

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Calling Bidders and Owners of Amelia Island’s Automotive Weekend

Calling Bidders and Owners of Amelia Island's Automotive Weekend
Festivals of Speed is offering all auction house registered bidders and registered Concours car owners 50% Off the normal $100.00 price with proof of credentials for the Third Annual Luxury Lifestyle Cocktail Reception.

Held Friday, March 13th in the Grand Ballroom of the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, enjoy a premium brand open bar, great food, live Sinatra band, and a live and silent auction benefiting Communities in Schools of Nassau County.

The ballroom reception will feature multiple, premium brand open bars. There will be exciting culinary offerings, a fantastic display of exotic cars inside the ballroom, luxury brand displays, charity auction, and much more.

E-mail info@festivalsofspeed.com to receive your 50% OFF ticket code.

Porsche race cars are pouring in for the Hollywood Wheels Auto Retro Auction!

The third annual event will be help on March 13 – 14 at Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort.

You can register your car for display by making a donation for as much or as little as you like direct to the charity. Your car or motorcycle will have it’s place on the fairway and you will be supporting a great cause.

100% of all funds go direct to the charity.

Contact Susan Milana of Communities In Schools for details (susan@cisnassau.org).

If you would like to display your product or service at this ultra exclusive event contact at joe@festivalsofspeed.com and join the fun.

ATTENTION CAR CLUBS
Register as a group and rally to our event Saturday morning to display on this pristine fairway. On site you will enjoy cafes & bars, fine wines, cigar lounge, smooth jazz and a lot more. It’s all here at Festivals of speed.

For vendor or sponsor displays contact Joe Sabatini 352-406-9325.

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February 28th at Fernandina’s Farmers’ Market

February 28th at Fernandina's Farmers' MarketFernandina Beach Market Place farmers market will be open on North Seventh Street in historic, Fernandina Beach from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on February 28, 2015 with over 40 exhibitors! Olives, pickles, pies, salts, candies, seasonal produce, fresh breads and pastries, local honey, beef jerky, gluten-free products, sauces, smoothies, coffee, tea and more is all available on Saturday morning under the cedar and oak trees of Amelia Island.

You will find delicious crab cakes from Lulu’s at the Thompson House, salmon patties, filets and scallops from All About U.S. Salmon, and tasty pink shrimp from Chesser Seafood.

Rose returns this week with her homemade Vietnamese egg rolls, and Seven Trees Nursery has beautiful blooming geraniums in pink, red and lavender.

butter-head-heartierBacon’s Select Produce is growing a heartier, red tipped butter head variety of lettuce, and Kings bell peppers are abundant in green, red and yellow.

Marge Powell, an herbalist for over 20 years, will be joining the Market Place this week with a variety of herbs and heirloom tomatoes in tow. Feel free to ask her about herbal medicines, soap making, cooking with herbs, and of course how to grow them. Marge has conducted hands-on workshops on a variety of herbal topics across the United States.

Entertainment this week will be provided by Bruce Beville and the Laid Back Band. Stop by the Relay for Life booth to learn more about the upcoming event, and cancer survivors are invited to sign up for the FREE breakfast being served on March 21st, sponsored by Sandy Bottoms.

Local business owner Rebecca McKinney, of A Hand to Hold Doula Services, offers important advice, pampering and supportive childbirth related services such as prenatal care, labor support, breastfeeding support, and one-on-one care beyond medical issues to help you through pregnancy and beyond.

Open rain or shine, the Fernandina Beach Market Place is located between Centre and Alachua Streets, on North Seventh Street. For more information please find us on facebook, or visit FernandinaBeachMarketPlace.com.

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High School Rotary Youth Leadership Award Recipient Visits Rotary

High School Rotary Youth Leadership Award Recipient Visits RotaryMiss Cheyenne Roth, senior at Fernandina Beach High School, was the guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise where she gave club members an overview of her participation in the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) conference held last summer at the University of North Florida.

Cheyenne was chosen to attend the conference for high school juniors and seniors where they learn valuable life and leadership skills such as planning fundraisers, working on community projects, interviewing skills, and applying for scholarships.

Cheyenne said the conference changed her life in many positive ways! The Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise will be sending two candidates to the RYLA conference in June 2015.

About Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise
The Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise meets every Friday at 7:30 a.m. at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club. For more information about the club or to attend a morning breakfast meeting, please contact president, Mark Cutshaw, at mcutshaw@fpuc.com or go to www.ameliaislandrotary.com.

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Miss Shrimp Festival 2015 Now Accepting Applications

Miss Shrimp Festival 2015 Now Accepting Applications Amelia Island, FL – Applications are now being accepted for the Miss Shrimp Festival Scholarship Pageant, sponsored by the Historic Harbor Front Hampton Inn & Suites. Entrants must be high school level juniors and seniors attending public, private, alternative and home schools. Eligible participants must reside in Nassau County, Florida, but may attend high school in another county to enter. The winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship and the title of Miss Shrimp Festival. Scholarships will also be awarded to the First Runner-Up, Second Runner-Up, and Miss Congeniality.

The first rehearsal will be held on Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 3 p.m. at Bean School of Dance in Fernandina Beach. Contestants meet weekly to learn the choreography of the opening sequence of the pageant, and to prepare for this highly anticipated event. The competition starts with a judge’s interview and dinner catered by Chick-fil-A the Wednesday before the pageant. On Thursday night the contestants make their first appearance in the Pirate’s Parade, riding the route on boats furnished by Redmond Yachts. On Friday, May 1, 2015, Russell Colburn of Fox 30 News will emcee the pageant. The newly crowned 2015 Miss Shrimp Festival will make several appearances throughout the weekend, help with the Little Pirate Contest, the Beard Contest and participate as a judge in the Shrimp Boat Parade on Sunday.

The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival is consistently rated by “Sunshine Artist Magazine” in the top 100 North America best events. The street festival features fine arts and crafts, antiques, live entertainment, Blessing of the shrimp boat fleet, pirate invasions, family friendly contests, a Kids Fun Zone and of course, lots and lots of shrimp!

The Opening Ceremony for the Shrimp Festival begins Friday, May 1st, at 6:30 p.m., followed by the Miss Shrimp Festival Scholarship Pageant at 7:00 p.m., though many sponsorship booths, the Kids Zone and the waterfront food booths open at 4:00 p.m. On Saturday May 2nd, the festival gets bigger with over 300 arts and crafts booths joining the fun from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sunday, May 3, 2015, the festival is open from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

For more information please visit the official website at ShrimpFestival.com.

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Vietman Vet Gets Help with Critical Home Repairs

Vietman Vet Gets Help with Critical Home RepairsFernandina Beach, FL – Partners can make a difference. Late last year, Nassau County Council on Aging (NCCOA) received a request from a Fernandina Beach resident for assistance. Mr. Bob Danker, a Vietnam War veteran, served as a member of a River Gun Boat team. Suffering from ill health, Danker needed assistance on a critical home repairs.

Pictured A volunteer helps paint the eaves of a house belonging to a local Vietnam Veteran. A large team of volunteers gathered at the home which was in disrepair, and worked together to bring the structure back up to code.
PHOTO by Frances Bartelt

NCCOA volunteers, supported by Home Depot’s Grant for Home Repairs for Veterans Outreach, completed the critical repair of his home in late 2014. However, there was much still to accomplish since the home had not been maintained for some time. This is where more local partners got involved.

During a recent tour of NCCOA’s Fernandina Beach Senior Center. C. A. McDonald, a Plant Manager at Rayonier Corporation, asked if two groups he is involved with, could help out. Bart Cormier, a COA volunteer suggested the groups volunteer and help complete the remaining work on Danker’s home.

The Alert Cadets, a father/sons organization, and members from the Redeemer Community Church tackled exterior pressure washing, siding replacement, fixing a leaky roof, demolition material removal, and a complete exterior paint job. Along with the Home Depot grant, Regional Community Church also donated some of the materials for this large home repair project.

Group image of Volunteers

Pictured: Bart Cormier, NCCOA volunteer positioned in the lower right, poses with the entire team of volunteers consisting of members of the Alert Cadets, members from the Redeemer Community Church and others who took time to help out an aging local veteran. The materials for this project were paid for by a Home Depot grant, and the members of the Regional Community Church.
Photo by Frances Bartelt

According to volunteer Bart Cormier, Nassau County is full of neighbors looking to lend a hand.

“There’s no doubt that the hearts of many in Nassau County want to express their love of neighbor for those that need a helping hand. In this case, much good was accomplished and strangers are strangers no more,” he explained.

In a few short weeks, the Danker home has been restored to good order. Thanks to the partnership of NCCOA, Home Depot, Alert Cadets and the Regional Community Church, a significant difference was made in the life of one man and his home. The synergy of this partnership multiplied the individual efforts and lessened the burden for each along the way. The success of this type of informal partnership could be contagious and spread. We hope it does.

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SearchAmelia Represents Kenya at Relay for Life

SearchAmelia Represents Kenya at Relay for LifeSearchAmelia is gearing up for the Relay for Life event to be held at Main Beach on March 21, 2015.

Keeping with the theme, Hope Around the World, we have chosen Kenya as our country to represent. Kenya had their very first Relay for Life event in 2014!

70 People die of Cancer in Kenya EVERYDAY!

Here is their story:

“Kenya Cancer Association is a volunteer-run umbrella body of individuals (professionals, cancer survivors and members of the public) and organizations who share the commitment to address the cancer problem in Kenya through advocacy public education as well as awareness programs.

The recently enacted National Cancer Prevention and Control Act (2012) is the brainchild of Kenya Cancer Association. Cancer is the third killer disease in the country after infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases. According to Globocan 2012, it was estimated that the incidence of cancer in the country is 38,544 cases and out of that, 26,941 deaths have been recorded It is estimated that up to 70 deaths from cancer occur daily.

Our SearchAmelia booth will be offering Relay for Life Jewelry, ice cold waters, Kenyan cookies and desserts, bandanas and more during the 12 hour event with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.

Please donate today by CLICKING HERE, then plan to join us for a lap or two around the track!

Thank you for your support!
Judie

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