European American Business Club Partied at the Hoyt House

European American Business Club Partied at the Hoyt HouseArticle and photos by Caroline Blochlinger, studioCBphotography.com

Amelia Island, FL At their June meeting, the members of the European American Business Club listened with interest to Myrta Defendini, one of the owners of the Hoyt House, as she was telling us a little bit of the background of the building.

This ten bedroom mansion, which is one of the treasures of downtown Fernandina, had been built by entrepreneur Fred W. Hoyt. Myrta DefendiniHe was a former school teacher, newspaper editor, church Deacon, grocer and ship chandler who arrived in Fernandina in 1879 from New Hampshire. Hoyt also founded the First National Bank of Fernandina. The Hoyt House was completed in 1905.

According to Myrta the Bed and Breakfast also houses a young resident ghost which is actually quite nice.

EvolutionThe group was entertained by the local duo Evolution. Han Ramakers and Dave Ferraro played hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s. The two man band started back up several months ago and has been appearing everywhere.

Dave has been playing and writing music for several decades. Han, originally from the Netherlands, is a “product” of the Dutch rock and blues scene dating back to the bands “Focus” and “Golden Earring” in the 70s. He is also busy organizing and promoting the Amelia Island Blues Festival which will take place in September.

The European American Business Club meets the second Wednesday of each month at locations that are announced via email and on the website.

Everyone is invited.

Visit www.EABCnetwork.com for more information.

COA Receives 5K for Meals on Wheels

COA Receives 5K for Meals on WheelsBack row L to R: Clay Chaffee, Bill Maule, Darrell Heun, Ted Wessel;
Front row L to R: Marty Iverson, Ken Willette, Pastor Ida Iverson, Claudia Kavan and Bill Hansberry.

Nassau County, FL – A $5,000.00 check for the Council on Aging’s Meals on Wheels program was presented to COA Executive Director Ken Willette by the members of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, organizers of the Amelia Island Shrimp Festival booth who obtained a matching grant of $900.00 from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans (which is included in this $5,000.00 gift).

Over forty volunteers worked the booth during the Amelia Island Shrimp Festival 2011 to make this donation possible.

Meals on Wheels
The Meals on Wheels program is a function of the Council on Aging as a team of very dedicated volunteers deliver 2200 meals a month and provide reassurance and companionship to seniors throughout Nassau County.

Concours D’elegance Donates to Navy Relief

Concours D'elegance Donates to Navy Relief

Click to Enlarge Image

L-R: Commander Patrick Pickard; Ron Davis (USA retired); Bill Warner (USAF, retired); Capt. Bill Kennedy, Director, Mayport Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, USN (ret); and Naval Station Mayport Commander, Capt. Douglas Cochrane.

On June 1, The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Foundation, Inc. was honored to present a donation of $7,500 to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society during a ceremony at Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville. To date, the Foundation has donated over $20,000 to this great organization. For those of you not familiar with its purpose:

Founded in 1904, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society is a private non-profit charitable organization. It is sponsored by the Department of the Navy and operates nearly 250 offices ashore and afloat at Navy and Marine Corps bases throughout the world. The Society was incorporated in the District of Columbia and is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. It is managed by a Board of Directors whose members are active duty or retired members of the Naval Services, or spouses of active duty or retired members of the Naval Services.

The mission of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society is to provide, in partnership with the Navy and Marine Corps, financial, educational, and other assistance to members of the Naval Services of the United States, eligible family members, and survivors when in need; and to receive and manage funds to administer these programs.

The Society provides need-based financial assistance to eligible recipients in the form of:

    – Interst-free loans and grants, and
    – Scholarships and interest-free loans for education.

In addition, the Society offers the following services:

    – Financial Counseling,
    – Budget for Baby Workshops,
    – Thrift Shops, and
    – Visiting Nurse Services.

Our Vision: We are a private, non-profit, volunteer, service organization. As a Center of Excellence, we are committed to ensure that all available resources are used to assist personnel of the Naval Services – active, retired, and their eligible family members – to achieve financial self-sufficiency and find solutions to emergency needs.

The Society can help:

    – Active duty and retired active and reserve component Sailors and Marines,
    – Eligible family members of active duty and retired active and reserve component Sailors and Marines who died,
    – Reservists on extended active duty greater than 30 days,
    – Indigent widows and mothers (65 years or older) of deceased servicemembers who have limited resources and no family to provide for their welfare, and
    – Ex-spouses who have not remarried and whose marriage to a servicemember lasted for at least 20 years while the servicemember was on active duty.

Although sponsored by the Department of the Navy, the Society is a private non-profit organization whose programs are totally funded by charitable contributions.

Contributions to the Society are fully deductible. For more information on donating to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, visit them at www.nmcrs.org.

On a Mission in New Orleans

Doug Ganyo resting in front of 'Our' Project in New OrleansHelmut Albrecht reports on The Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Team from Fernandina Beach that is putting their effort in rebuilding New Orleans.

Day One Monday: Day one of our mission is over and we are all tired. But lets go in sequence: the night was hard since the bunk beds have only a thin layer of foam mattress, which makes it to a 150 setting on the sleep number scale.

The morning started with a briefing by Project Homecoming and the information that they just have received a grant to rebuild 11 homes as energy efficient homes. Project Homecoming is getting more and more involved in community projects that also include parks and playgrounds (and not only the construction and reconstruction of homes).

Finally we were assigned to “our site for the week”, which is located on 4th Street close to the Garden District. Driving through the neighborhood, we see a hodgepodge of homes. Some of them very nicely renovated, many of them still in various stages of dilapidation. “Our home” is a duplex and the site supervisor told us that the tub they had recently pulled out was build 90 years ago. The home was not damaged by the flood but strong winds had taken the roof off, which caused all the water damage inside. With all the windows taken out, the house is pretty much gutted.

We have not met the owner yet, but are looking forward to get introduced to her at the neighbor evening on Thursday. It is always very gratifying when you can put a face on your work.

Our task today was to scrape the windows and to get them ready for a primer coat. To reduce the cost for the renovation, many of the windows of the original home can be reused after treatment. It was a very healthy exercise in patience and quite possibly therapeutic (at least for somebody like me who does only little physical work).

The temperature ran up into the 90th and with the famous New Orleans humidity clamping around us, we were sure to test the truth of the label on our PDA t-shirts being “sweat free”. I am disappointed to have to report that the t-shirts failed miserably.

After a day of hard work and almost all windows completed (site supervisor inspected), we retreated to the Olive Tree Village and a SHOWER; a well deserved treat.

Dinner was prepared by one of the FPC teams and since Gene was involved (who’s cooking genius I could already experience last year in Houma) it was delicious: the best red beans and rice dish I ever had. Actually it’s the cooking that keeps drawing me back to New Orleans.
The evening concluded with sharing our experiences of the day and scripture.

Everybody is tired and we will all go to bed soon. Another long and hot day tomorrow. We have to finish the windows and start with the siding. My group is also in charge of dinner tomorrow evening and I have my doubts if we can match Gene’s benchmark.

Recover, rebuild, rejoice, it promises to be a good summary for this week.

Tuesday: Letter from New Orleans – Day 2

A moment of rest in Louisiana Humidity

Han, first of all to your question from yesterday: the reason that the guys sleep upstairs in our camp is that Presbyterian guys are polite. We came home from the worksite very tired and so we did not want the girls to head up the stairs to the second floor.

This morning we left the Olive Tree Village earlier and took a different way through the Garden District. Going along St. Charles we went through an area of richness with beautifully appointed and well-repaired southern villas. Turning into 4th street, where our site is, was like driving into another world.

As we had some time before our site supervisor arrived, we decided to take a walk trough the neighborhood. The next-door neighbor, whom we greeted yesterday, greeted us friendly this morning and seemed to be glad (relieved?) that we were back to continue our job. Many of the homes in the area had been repaired and renovated, but some are just beyond repair. We passed a place that was once a greenery. The truck with fertilizer was still parked in the fenced and locked yard, overgrown with all kinds of flowers and bushes. The roof was like a meadow. Not the garden paradise it once was as Mother Nature is claiming its future. Next door was the “Turning Point” bar, that just had opened for business; a reflective name for a bar in this city and neighborhood.

Back to our home site; we continued to work on the windows and finished the scraping as well as most of the sanding. The windows are now ready for a coat of primer and we are looking forward to our new assignment tomorrow. We have not met our client, the owner of “our” house, yet, but all in our team felt that she is entitled to an excellent job with the highest quality of workmanship (not always so easy in 90+ Fahrenheit, high humidity and little experience in what we are doing).

We left the jobsite earlier this afternoon since we had to prep dinner for all 32 volunteers in our camp. Tuesday is chicken day and so we stopped at Winn Dixie to get some additional ingredients to fix “Mimi’s chicken” (which is chicken done in the oven with tomatoes, mushrooms and onion soup) as well as barbecued chicken. The menu also included a fresh salad, green beans, mashed potatoes and brownies. Reviews were pretty good and we did receive a “well done” from Gene, the chef from yesterday evening.

After dinner reflection. We talked about our experiences on the job site, about what it means for us to serve. Jody, from the Illinois group, shared her story with us. Jody moved to New Orleans short before Katrina to take a well-paid job with a university. She was able to evacuate on time. When she was allowed to come back, most of her belongings were not usable anymore and she could not move back to her home. She found a new “home” up north. After she had developed a distance to the disaster, she was able to have her “Katrina” days and to come back to the city. Being here to give back to the city she still cares a lot for is for her like keeping New Orleans as one of her personal anchor points.

When we received our assignment sheet for the week it said for our site “repair time” and we joked about how this should work. By now we know that it was a typo and that it should have been “repair trim”; however, when I hear Jody’s story and when I reflect on our experience over the past 2 days, maybe we are here to “repair time” for the people we serve.

International Speaker Visits Local Rotary Club

Sorn Soknay

Photo by Caroline Blochlinger – www.studiocbphotography.com

Sorn Soknay, the Charter President of the Rotary Club of Pursat, the first rural Rotary Club in Cambodia, talks about “Sustainable Cambodia.”

Amelia Island, FL – Members of the Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise were honored to meet Cambodian, Sorn Soknay. Growing up during the time when Khmer Rouge terrorized Cambodia in the 70’s, he witnessed one of the most violent regimes in the 20th century. Their brutal acts were responsible for deaths of approximately 1.7 million people by execution, starvation and forced labor. Today, after nearly three decades of civil war the Khmer Rouge are no more, but the scars remain. Cambodia still is one of the poorest, least developed countries in Asia.

Soknay introduced the Rotarians to a program that started in 2004; Sustainable Cambodia. He served as its first director and was greatly responsible for its initial success. Rather than maintaining a narrow scope, as many organizations do, they believe in creating a sustainable quality of life for village families. This includes: clean water, agricultural skills, organizational skills, and education. Truly, they reestablish the communities sense of self sufficiency.

The heart of the program is empowerment. Rather than approaching a village with a list of possible projects, the Sustainable Cambodian staff works with the village families to help them establish committees, together choosing what they believe will help most. They may select a village preschool, wells, water filters, alternative agriculture, or fish-farming. In all cases, the community must develop ownership and commit to continuous improvement of the project.

To learn more about this great organization you will find a link to their website through the club website: www.AmeliaIslandRotary.com

The Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise meets every Friday from 7:30 am to 8:30 am at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club. Everyone is invited to attend.

2011 Pirate Scholarship Presentation Video

2011 Pirate Scholarship Presentation

Judie Mackie, Alex Mazur and Marie Cumberland

Years ago, at the suggestion of Anne Teague, who sponsors the Little Pirate Contest at the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, the Fernandina Pirates Club began presenting a high school senior who is a Nassau County, Florida, resident with a Pirate Scholarship through an essay contest.

This contest winner receives a littly booty, paid to the college of their choice, to help with their education expenses. As the program evolved over the years, the Pirates grew the scholarship fund to now include a $500 award to a military bound student as well. Upon completion of boot camp, the winner is awarded with $500.00.

While no military bound students entered the essay contest for 2011, they did have a winner for the college bound category. The Lady Judith (Public Relations Chair for the Pirates Club) and Naughty Nellie (Pirate Treasurer) presented Alexandra “Alex” Mazur with a check for $1,500.00 during the Shrimp Festival.

Alex will be attending the University of Florida, majoring in economics, with hopes of one day becoming a part of the senior management team at Walt Disney World!

Help the Pirates spread the word by telling members of the 2012 graduating class to enter the Pirate Scholarship Essay Contest. All they have to do is write a fiction or non-fiction piece about pirates or pirating, past, present or future.

The club guarantees a $500 award each year, but with the generous donations of our community including private parties and public appearances, these Pirates have been consistantly delivering a $1,500.00 scholarship each year!

For more information or to make a donation to the Fernandina Pirates Club, visit the website at FernandinaPirates.com or mail your check to: P.O. Box 1094, Fernandina Beach, Florida, 32035.(Please include a note or write “scholarship fund” in the memo line of your check.)

Here is video of the presentation of this year’s Pirate Scholarship:

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYgFgKLuxNA

Quality of Life Speaker at Rotary Sunrise

Quality of Life Speaker at Rotary Sunrise

Photo courtesy of CBAdvertising.com

Amelia Island, FL – The Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise welcomed Phillip Scanlan, the Director of Amelia Island Association, Inc. (AIA), for an update on the “Nassau County Quality of Life”. His prime responsibility is to lead community teams, analyzing issues and helping to develop improvement proposals. The approach is aimed at providing a taxpayer voice on the island and county for quality of life issues such as conservation, recreation, good government, health, youth, and social well being.

Among the new programs developed by AIA, Rotarians were happy to learn about the “Adult Bikes for Barnabas” campaign. This is an AIA led program, in corporation with Barnabas, Amelia Island Trail Team, 8th St. Cycle & Fitness Center, and Katie Ride for Life, supports donations of used bikes and the financial resources to refurbish them for adults in need.

To learn more about Amelia Island Association, Inc. or how to become a member contact Phil at 491-8852 or email phillipscanlan@comcast.net.

The public is invited to visit the Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise. Meetings are on Fridays at 7:30 am to 8:30 am at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club. For more information visit the club’s website: www.AmeliaIslandRotary.com or contact President Art Shuster at artshuster@bellsouth.net.

Fernandina Pirates Invade MDA Lock-Up

Fernandina Pirates Invade MDA Lock-Up

Fernandina Pirates Invade MDA Lock-Up

Pictured are Fernandina Pirate Club Members: Dee Adam, Larry Davis, Mike Miller and Billie Childers. The jail bird is Pirate Kelley McCrimmon.

Amelia Island, FL – The Fernandina Pirates Club, Inc. stormed the MDA make-shift lock-up in Fernandina Beach to benefit Jerry’s kids. MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education.

Under the disguise of searching for a mutinous wench, Pirate Club members entered with swords drawn looking to break the fair Kelley out of jail to dispense a bit of their own Pirate Justice! It didn’t take long for the swashbucklers to realize they may be better off paying the jailer to keep her locked-up so instead they offered a Silver Star level donation to MDA.

The Fernandina Pirates Club, a charitable and educational organization, helps to support many different community charities including their own Pirate Scholarship Program, the Amelia Island Museum Elderhostel Program, and Katie’s Ride for Life. The Buccaneers also help provide educational activities to the Council on Aging, ARC and several area school programs.

The Fernandina Pirates Club has over 80 volunteers that provide much more than a colorful disposition when they spread smiles and much needed dollars to a variety of charitable organizations.

These award-winning and internationally televised Pirates can easily be found entertaining during the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, held the first weekend in May each year on Amelia Island, Florida.

Having received a Resolution from the Board of County Commissioners of Nassau County as well as a Proclamation from the City of Fernandina Beach Commissioners recognizing the club for their ongoing community service and charity work, members of the Fernandina Pirate club truly are our community’s “Goodwill Ambassadors to the World” as designated by both local government entities.

For more information please visit FernandinaPirates.com.

Fernandina Pirates Make Donation to Arts Academy

Fernandina Pirates Make Donation to Arts AcademyAmelia Island, FL – The Fernandina Pirates Club, Inc. has made a cash donation to Amelia Arts Academy, one of four certified Community Schools of the Arts in Florida. Their mission is to provide education in the arts at affordable rates to all interested persons, regardless of age, race, religion, ethnic origin, financial means or level of ability.

(Pictured left to right) Kate Wiest, Secretary Amelia Arts Academy Board of Directors; Jane Lindberg, President Amelia Arts Academy Board of Directors; Theresa Duncan, Executive Assistant; Pegge Ealum, Executive Director; Natalie Ealum; mascot and Judie Mackie, Fernandina Pirates Club Board Member.

As with many non-profit 501(c) (3) organizations in this uncertain economy, many financial sources are reducing their donations to the arts and others have dried up completely.

The Fernandina Pirates Club, a charitable corporation, supports many different community charities including their own Pirate Scholarship Program and quarterly blood drives. These Scallywags also support organizations such as Katie Ride for Life, Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity and the Last Leg Rally. The Buccaneers also help provide Thanksgiving and Christmas to families selected by the Child Advocate Rapid Response Team of Nassau County.

The Fernandina Pirates Club has over 80 volunteers that have been bringing smiles to the young and the young at heart by providing charitable assistance to members and groups within NE Florida for several years, including a Pirate Invasion for the children participating in the Amelia Arts Academy’s summer program.

Having received a Resolution from the Board of County Commissioners of Nassau County as well as a Proclamation from the City of Fernandina Beach Commissioners recognizing the club for their ongoing community service and charity work, members of the Pirate club truly are our community’s “Goodwill Ambassadors to the World” as designated by both local government entities.

For more information please visit AmeliaArtsAcademy.org or FernandinaPirates.com.

Pirates Club Donates to Last Leg Rally

Pirates Club Donates to Last Leg RallyFernandina Pirates Club once again selects Last Leg Rally as Charitable Partner.

Pictured (L to R) Last Leg Rally Board Members Steve Hair, Donna Demko, Jeff Barksdale, Pirate Board Member Judie Mackie presents check to LLR’s Wanda Hair, and Brad Goble. (Seated in Back) Moonshine and Tina

Fernandina Beach, FL – The Fernandina Pirates Club, Inc. has announced the Last Leg Rally as an outstanding charitable partner for the second year in a row with a cash donation to this non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. The Fernandina Pirates Club has over 80 volunteers that have provided charitable assistance to members and groups within NE Florida for several years. To kick-off 2011, the Pirates have once again donated to the Amelia Island Last Leg Rally.

A Meet & Greet Kick-Off Party will be Friday, February 25, at Sandy Bottoms Beach Bar & Grill from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. February 26 and 27 bring a full weekend of concerts, a Veteran’s benefit motorcycle ride, car show, bike show and vendors to be held in Wolf Park at Main Beach in Fernandina Beach, Florida. Proceeds from the events will directly benefit Anchors Aweigh Charters, Inc., also a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides no cost fishing charters to those with permanent physical and/or developmental disabilities as well as those diagnosed with a terminal illness. Established in 2002, Captains Steve and Wanda Hair have modified their 36 foot charter boat, Ye Ole Pirate; to include wheelchair accessibility and other handicapped devices to provide the highest level of safety and comfort for their passengers and crew. They believe that the objective of fishing is not always to catch fish, but that being on the water is therapy for the soul.

The Fernandina Pirates Club supports many different community charities including their own Pirate Scholarship Program and quarterly blood drives. These Scallywags also participate with other organizations such as Joy to the Children, the Council on Aging and providing Thanksgiving and Christmas to families helped by the Child Advocate Rapid Response Team just to name a few.

Having received a Resolution from the Board of County Commissioners of Nassau County as well as a Proclamation from the City of Fernandina Beach Commissioners recognizing the club for their ongoing community service and charity work, Pirate club members truly are our community’s “Goodwill Ambassadors to the World” as designated by both local government entities.

For more information please visit LastLegRally.com, AnchorsAweighCharters.com or FernandinaPirates.com.

EABC had its One Year Anniversary Celebration

EABC celebrates One Year Anniversary

Almost next door to where it all started just a short year ago at the Amelia Island Chamber of Commerce, the European American Business Club held its first anniversary celebration last week at the offices of the Compass Group in the Gateway office park.

The turn out of the networking club that was started by Helmuth Albrecht and Tim Burningham was substantial, as the club saw its membership over the year grow from a handful to more than 100 members. This clearly underlines the desire for an exchange platform here in Nassau County as the club entertains thought of expanding into just being international.
Just the other day SearchAmelia was approached by a woman from Finland who had just followed her husband to Amelia Island and was looking to be hooked up in a volunteer position with an organization locally that deals with mentally challenged and handicapped people. She got all available information within an hour!!

During the celebration, which was unusually sober, as the club is known to mingle after the introductions and speeches with light alcoholic beverages and fingerfoods, new ideas were brought to the table for this year’s planned meetings and outings, with a strong accent on information exchange.

The best meetings last year included a Sunset Amelia Rivercruise, a Pétanque Warehouse presentation, a meeting at the Yachtclub at Oyster Bay Harbour, a meeting at the Museum of History, a meeting at WaterWheel Gallery and the impressive BellyDance performance afterwards, and definitely the December meeting with Lila Keim and Team Werling, followed by a Trolley ride to see the Christmas lights around the island.

For the coming year the Club is looking to up the ante with more informative exchanges and networking without losing sight of the social aspect, which all members appreciate.
During the celebration meeting I introduced Jeannie Higginbotham, owner of Lashem-n-Leavem, who just opened a specialty beauty salon at the Palmetto Walk Shopping Village and Specialty Photographer Silvy Tompkins, originally from Belgium, who just weeks earlier arrived on island with her husband, whom she met in Belgium while being in the military.

One of the real joys of being a member of the EABC is the pleasure of interacting with some highly talented people, which is why I suggested for one meeting to have all the visual artists in the Club do a small exhibition of paintings, sculptures, photos, poems and even people art.

Completing the tradition from last year’s launch was a short trip across the parking lot to Barbara Jean’s after hour bar, where we improved on last year performance. If you want to know more about the EABC check out their website www.eabcnetwork.com and if you’re looking to become a member – there is (so far) no membership fee – send us an email and get invited for the next meeting on the second Wednesday of the month (always).

Pirate Scholarship for College or Military Bound Seniors

Pirate Scholarship for College or Military Bound SeniorsFernandina Beach, FL – Every year the Fernandina Pirates Club, Inc. hold a scholarship essay contest for all Nassau County high school seniors. There are two separate awards this year. In addition to some extra booty for college, the Pirates have developed an award for any student who will be entering military service.

Entering either contest is simple. All contestants must submit an essay to the Pirates Club, by April 1, 2011, of at least 750 words on the subject of pirates or pirating: past, present or future, complete with proper citations and references.

The winning entry for the college bound student will receive an award of $1,500.00. Payment for the student will be made directly to the winner’s chosen school upon acceptance and must be applied to tuition and/or books. The winning entry for the student entering military service will receive a check for $500.00 upon completion of basic training. Proof of completion is required.

The winner(s) must be available to join the Pirates on Saturday, April 30, 2011 on the Pirate Ship Stage at the “Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival” for a formal announcement, public relations photos and of course to grab the booty!

Information on the 2011 Essay Contest is available at www.FernandinaPirates.com.

Fernandina Pirates Club, Inc.
P. O. Box 1094
Fernandina Beach, FL 32035

All entries must be submitted to the above address and post marked by April 1, 2011.

EABC Celebrates One Year Anniversary Next Month

International Networking group EABC says Merry Christmas

The European American Business Club is celebrating its 1st year Anniversary in January 2011 and had it’s monthly meeting in December at Prudential Chaplin Williams Real Estate in town as guests of Lila Keim and Team Werling. Known for its social events, the club this time offered a Christmas Decoration trip to the island’s hot spots, which of course was topped once again by the magnificent display John Rothwell puts up every year in his garden at the corner of 14th Street and Diane. If you haven’t checked it out yet, now is the time to do it as Santa Claus takes a liking to the place in the last couple of days before Christmas Eve, appearing frequently.

Yes we enjoyed the works around the the Plantation Village and the majestic entrance to the Ritz Carlton and the vessel in the lobby. I even thought that the off Citrona neighborhood collaboration did a magnificent job this year, but what retired veteran Rothwell puts up year in, year out is awe inspiring… and this year it seemed to create an even bigger clash with so many other areas that previously put some effort in looking festive for the holidays, but apparently decided this year to have the economy put a damper on the decorations.

Especially South Fletcher was discouragingly empty of Christmas spirit as our trolley passed large stretches with no lights at all, let alone Christmas decorations. Actually, besides the areas mentioned previously, Christmas and the Holidays was not really apparent on much of the island, which is a loss. Even though economic conditions may have caused less extravagance as witnessed in the past, a little Holiday festivity goes a long way in lifting the spirits, even if the lights are from last year and Rudolph is already a teenage decoration.

In any case the EABC club members had great fun in the new Trolley service, which deserves a recommendation shout out for everyone who wants to see the island in old style driven comfort. Well worth it

If you want to learn more about the EABC (www.eabcnetwork.com) you can check out the website and sign up. Even though most members have some type of international or European interest, it doesn’t seem mandatory beyond a European heritage. Networking in a fun environment, exchanging thoughts, ideas and business opportunities, is considered the main objective…and for most of the members that works out great as you can see on the video.

American Legion Post 54 Celebrates 90th Anniversary

American Legion Post 54 Started Out in a Log Cabin

American Legion Post 54 Started Out in a Log Cabin

American Legion Post 54 is celebrating its 90th Anniversary on November 27, 2010. Members will enjoy live music by Gary Keniston and his magic guitar. The celebration begins at 5pm and includes a dinner of Baked Ziti, Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onion, salad and garlic bread.

Originally located in a log cabin located at 12 S. 11th Street, the American Legion has been located in its new facilities at S. 3rd and Gum Streets for just over a year.

Congress chartered and incorporated the American Legion in 1919 as a patriotic veteran’s organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. As the nation’s largest veteran’s service organization, the American Legion is committed to mentoring and sponsorship of youth programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting a strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans. It was founded on four pillars, Veteran’s Affairs & Rehabilitation, National Security, Americanism, and Children & Youth.

If you are interested in joining the American Legion and you are currently on active duty, serving the United States honorably, anywhere in the world, or have served honorably during eligible war eras, contact one of the two Fernandina Beach chapters of the American Legion at www.legion.org.

Male descendants, of eligible veterans are eligible for membership in the Sons of the American Legion.

Membership in the American Legion Auxiliary is available to mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, granddaughters, great-granddaughters, or grandmothers of members of The American Legion, or deceased veterans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during listed war eras.

Volunteers Wanted for Amelia Challenge 2010

Amelia Challenge 2010Fernandina Beach, FL – The Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise is looking for about twenty-five volunteers to assist with the inaugural “Amelia Challenge”, to be held the morning of October 23, 2010 at the Atlantic Recreation Center in Fernandina Beach, Florida.

The Amelia Challenge (AC2010), presented by Baptist Medical Center Nassau, is a signature Fund-Raising Event of the Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise. AC2010 is a unique challenge that combines sports and intellectual challenges. Included are bicycle races, walk/run races and mental challenges will test up to 50 teams of four, in unique ways: combining for a total of 4 races and 4 challenges. The grand finale challenge will require each team to complete the Official Amelia Island Challenge Puzzle. The team that completes all races and challenges in the best aggregate time will be named the AC2010 CHALLENGE CHAMPION.

Families and friends are encouraged to attend to cheer on their favorite team. Other on-site activities available for the family include a jump house for the kids and food by Sonny’s BBQ. Admission is free and tickets for the family activities and food will be available for sale at the event.

To learn more about AC2010, become a sponsor, volunteer or register a team, go to the website www.AmeliaChallenge.com. It is all about Teamwork and we hope to see you and your families on October 23. For more information about volunteer opportunities, contact Donna VanPuymbrouck at 904-277-2465 or Sandy Price at 904-206-0756.

The Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise meets every Friday from 7:30 am to 8:30 am at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club. For more Rotary information, contact President Art Shuster at artshuster (at) bellsouth.net or visit the club’s website: www.AmeliaIslandRotary.com.

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