Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library Presents a Virtual Tour: Timucuan Parks Foundation’s 20th Anniversary Art Exhibition
Discover the beauty of the Timucuan parks and preserves with a virtual tour of the “Timucuan Parks Foundation: Celebrate and Explore Our Wilderness Parks” 20th Anniversary Exhibition, hosted by the Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library (FOL) in partnership with the Timucuan Parks Foundation. This exhibition comes to the Fernandina Beach Branch Library directly following its presentation at the Jacksonville Museum of Science and History (MOSH).
The multimedia exhibition includes four park paintings by Kathy Stark, video drone footage captured by Tom Schifanella, and still images taken by photographer Will Dickey. It also features panels that highlight the Timucuan Parks Foundation accomplishments of the last 20 years as well as their current resiliency, health, engagement and park development initiatives.
The exhibition is currently available online only, until the library opens to the public. It will be hosted by the Fernandina Beach Friends of the Library until December 31, 2020.
For a virtual tour, visit www.fernandinafol.org or www.nassaureads.com/locations/Fernandinabeach.
This exhibition showcases North Florida’s Wilderness Parks which are open and available to our community to discover and explore. What better time than now to enjoy the magnificent beauty of nature which surrounds us in Northeast Florida?
Parks in the Fernandina Beach area include American Beach, Big Talbot Island, Little Talbot Island, Amelia Island State Park, George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park, Cedar Point and the Betz-Tiger Point Preserve. Watch for upcoming virtual walks in each of these parks, offered online to encourage visitation. An interactive map of the parks supported by Timucuan Parks Foundation can be found online at www.timucuanparks.org/park-map-2.
Visit www.timucuanparks.org to learn how you can support the parks by becoming a member of Timucuan Parks Foundation or volunteering.
For further details on this exhibition as well as membership information and volunteer opportunities with the Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library, please visit www.fernandinaFOL.org.
The nationally recognized learning center will bring early childhood education and care to local families
WILDLIGHT, Fla. – July 29, 2020 – Today, Raydient Places + Properties announced that Yulee KinderCare has opened a 10,000-square-foot early childhood education and care facility in Wildlight. The nationally recognized learning center will serve more than 140 children, ages six weeks to 12 years old, and offer high-quality programs in safe, nurturing environments where kids can learn, grow and build confidence for life.
“Here at the Yulee KinderCare, we have a dedicated, experienced teaching team who are passionate about the education and wellbeing of young children,” said Kelli Watson, center director at Yulee KinderCare. “We believe all children can reach their full potential through high-quality education, positive guidance, inclusion and love. Our philosophy, curriculum and inclusivity make us the best company to our industry. I am so excited to welcome families to our center, so they can experience the incredible learning environment our teachers create every day.”
In order to open the child care center both properly and safely, KinderCare Learning Centers has partnered with medical experts to redesign their daily health and safety practices, which in many cases go beyond state and CDC guidelines. Some of the steps that Yulee KinderCare will follow every day to ensure the continued health of children and employees in their care include:
“We are excited to welcome Yulee KinderCare to Wildlight as the community’s first child care provider,” said Chris Corr, president of Raydient Places + Properties. “The center will provide Wildlight’s growing number of families with a safe, nurturing education program and strong foundation for learning that directly aligns with our fundamental values and will.”
Yulee KinderCare includes nine total classrooms, an indoor gym, fully equipped outdoor playground and wellness screening station. The center will also employ 17 staff members who have nearly 250 years’ worth of collective experience in early childhood education. Centrally located within Wildlight at 110 Floco Avenue, the facility is within easy walking distance to the fast-growing Nassau County community’s essential amenities, businesses and experiences.
KinderCare Learning Centers is the nation’s largest private provider of early childhood education and care, helping hardworking families pursue their personal and professional dreams. The community of passionate teachers and staff strive to make each child’s potential shine and impart a lifelong love of learning and helping children build confidence for life.
Wildlight is envisioned as a new town inspired by a character, culture and pattern of living that we call “Florida Lowcountry,” where play is a part of every day and the natural world is a natural part of life. The plan for Wildlight includes a mix of homes, townhomes and rental apartments together with businesses, shops and restaurants, a new elementary school and a system of connecting trails and pathways intended to promote a walkable community and healthy lifestyle. Our Phase 1 plan is flexible and currently designed for about 1,000 homes throughout 260 acres, approximately. In addition, the community will have approximately 350 acres of permanently preserved open space. Wildlight offers comfortable and friendly Florida Lowcountry living located 20 miles North of Jacksonville and just East of Interstate-95 on A1A. There is easy access to both Amelia Island and the Jacksonville International Airport. Wildlight is being created by Raydient Places + Properties, a taxable subsidiary of Rayonier Inc., a real estate investment trust. For more information please visit www.wildlight.com.
About KinderCare® Learning Centers
KinderCare Learning Centers is America’s largest, most accredited child care provider, serving hardworking families across the country. For more than 50 years, we’ve been creating safe, encouraging environments where kids can learn, grow and build confidence for life. At KinderCare, hardworking families are family—regardless of needs, backgrounds, and experiences. To learn more, visit us online at KinderCare, on Facebook or on Instagram. For resources, information, and activity ideas for parents and teachers of young children please visit KinderCare.com/blog.
Yulee High School Seniors, and twins, Xarah and Xanah Sproul have been awarded the Tipping the Scale Scholarship by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County Foundation. This award is in recognition of their hard work and successful completion of their internships with Baptist Nassau.
Boys & Girls Club members since they moved here from Chicago six years ago, both girls joined the Tipping the Scale program when they saw other teens in the program getting to go off campus and work at the hospital. They applied, interviewed, and were accepted to the program where they and other teens began internships covering a variety of professional health areas including nursing, accounting, telecommunications, radiology, health information, and physical therapy. The teens are provided with a mentor in the hospital and are paid a stipend for their work. Upon completion of the program, students are able to apply for the scholarship in their senior year.
“My favorite part about working at the hospital for the summer internship was feeling grown up. It was my first job and it was just cool to have a 9-to-5 job!” said Xarah. “The connections and bonds I was able to make at Baptist Health…helped me realize what I really wanted to do going forward in life,” added Xanah.
In addition to their hard work in this program, both young women were members of the Yulee High School Marching Band, National Honors Society, and BETA Club, as well as many other extracurricular activities. Xarah and Xanah truly exhibit the goal of Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau to help deserving students achieve their dreams. Both of the Sprouls are headed to Saint Leo University where they intend to do their pre-med studies in Medical Humanities.
For more information on Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County please visit bgcnassau.org.
Things are looking sweet for one hardworking First Coast small business. Locally owned artisan toffee company, Amelia Toffee Company, is quickly gaining national recognition for their uniquely flavored, hand made toffee.
Led by “The Toffee Lady” – Anita Comisky – ATC is rapidly garnering national attention with multiple opportunities to take their uniquely flavored luxury toffee treats (made by hand in their Fernandina Beach store) well beyond the First Coast. Not only has the company been chosen to be a vendor at this year’s Republican National Convention, their toffee is listed on Spoon University’s “Chocolate Products You Need to Try” AND is scheduled for an upcoming appearance on HSN (Home Shopping Network) for the 2020 Holiday Season!
What makes their toffee so attention-getting? Comisky thinks it comes down to two things – their artisan’s commitment to care and an unwavering attention to quality.
“We took my grandmother’s toffee recipe, from which she created candies with love for family and friends, and created an updated version with ingredients diligently sourced from local artisans and entrepreneurs whenever possible,” Comisky said. “Now, our team of skilled candy makers create every batch by hand, with all-natural ingredients and an abundance of care. It’s a far cry from mass-produced chocolates – and we think you can taste the delicious difference in every bite.”
Amelia Toffee Company is known for producing innovative yet refined toffee flavors, including Sea Salt, Coffee, Orange, Bourbon, and Key Lime – with special limited-edition seasonal flavors like Cherry and Pumpkin. All of the toffee flavors combine ATC’s rich, buttery toffee base with an exciting flavor combination, and topped with delicious dark chocolate. ATC’s artisan candy makers create each flavor in small batches with care, so each batch is as delightfully decadent as the next. The company is also recognized as a leader in the shop small business movement, and is a dedicated supporter of helping local entrepreneurs find opportunities to work and grow together.
“We are honored and grateful for these amazing new opportunities to bring our piece of the First Coast to a wider audience,” Comisky added. “Hopefully, it helps not only to expand our company, but that it helps bring more attention to the amazing talents and products that all of our local small businesses have to offer.”
Amelia Toffee Company launched in 2015 with owner Anita Comisky’s family recipe as its foundation. Comisky experimented with thousands of recipe iterations and spent years refining it to perfection. She utilizes carefully selected ingredients, including premium dark chocolate and Florida sea salt to create unique candies with no extra colorings or preservatives. A hand-crafted, small-batch toffee maker, Amelia Toffee Company is sold in all Whole Foods stores in Florida, Harris Teeter in North Carolina and more than 300 stores nationally. Their toffee can also be purchased in 10 locations on Amelia Island, including the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, Amelia Island Museum of History. Toffee may also be purchased through their website, www.ameliatoffee.com. Their Amelia Island kitchen is open to the public for retail sales Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from 9 am to noon.
Amelia Toffee Company can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and online at https://ameliatoffee.com.
Olivia Hoblit, formerly the manager of Seaside Amelia Inn, has returned to Innisfree Hotels as a regional manager to oversee both the Seaside Amelia Inn and Innisfree’s all-new, dual-branded Marriott. Based in Pensacola, Florida, Innisfree Hotels plans to open the dual-branded Courtyard and Springhill Suites by Marriott property in Spring 2021.
Olivia has more than 22 years of experience in the hospitality industry, holding a wide range of titles. Following her five-year stretch as general manager of Seaside Amelia Inn, Olivia joined The Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, a Five-Diamond luxury resort as the assistant rooms executive. While at The Ritz-Carlton, she served as a member of the opening team, successfully reopening St. Thomas location in 2019. She was also nominated as “Marriott Ops Star” for going above and beyond operational expectations. Olivia hopes her new role as regional manager will add to her accolades.
“It’s exciting for me to be back home with the Innisfree family,” she said. “Innisfree has always been big on community involvement, and it’s an honor to be part of the growth on Amelia Island and the opportunities it will bring to this community.”
The dual-branded Marriott will feature a SpringHill Suites and Courtyard with shared amenities, including a resort-style pool deck with in-pool seating, a courtyard with fire pit area and poolside bar, fitness room, 6,086 sq. ft. of meeting space and a location within walking distance of the Atlantic Ocean.
“I’m very excited to manage this portfolio and achieve new things with a successful company like Innisfree,” she said. “And I’m glad it’s right here in my hometown.”
Bolstering her workplace success, Olivia has served on the Executive Committee of the Florida Restaurant Lodging Association (FRLA) as Lodging Director/Secretary-Treasurer since 2017 and will take the reins as Vice Chairwoman in 2021. She also serves as a board member on the Amelia Island Tourist Development Council (TDC), Advisory Council member for the University of West Florida Global Hospitality and Tourism Management and President of the Trinity Love Hoblit Foundation, which supports and funds neurological research, training and treatment for brain aneurysms, strokes and other cerebrovascular conditions both nationally and internationally.
For more information about the Seaside Amelia Inn, visit the website at www.seasideameliainn.com. Follow Innisfree Hotels on Facebook and Instagram @innisfreehotels for updates on the opening of the SpringHill Suites and Courtyard on Amelia Island.
About Innisfree Hotels
For more than three decades, Innisfree Hotels has expertly developed and managed dozens of hotels in partnership with many of the world’s most-recognized hotel brands. Today, the company owns or manages 3,470 hotel rooms and employs approximately 2,000 people . Innisfree is the largest beachfront hotel owner-operator on the Gulf Coast, with 14 Gulf-front properties totaling 2,128 rooms.
Innisfree is a triple bottom line company, measuring success not only in profits but also through its impact on people and on the planet. To these ends, Innisfree strives to promote a culture of responsibility and service to humanity. A value-driven corporate culture enables the company to have a deeper understanding of the needs of its guests, partners and clients, resulting in service that ensures fun and memorable experiences. The company’s headquarters is in Pensacola, Florida.
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