FERNANDINA BEACH, FL (June 23, 2021) – Congratulations to our seniors who recently graduated from high school and the Tipping the Scale program through a partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau and Baptist Medical Center Nassau. Hadeia Liburd will be attending Howard University, Trinady Shields will be attending Florida State College at Jacksonville, and Jackie Rodriguez will be attending Florida A&M University. Our Staff and their Tipping the Scale mentors are so very proud of them for their academic achievements.
Since 2015, the Tipping the Scale (TTS) program has had over 25 students involved and has now awarded 8 scholarships for those seniors who complete the program and desire to attend college. The program has expanded from supporting 8 students each year to now offering space for 16 with plans for future expansion. Students in TTS are also members of Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau and begin the program in the 9th grade.
The program was created to help students stay in school through mentoring relationships, job-readiness training, and real work experience. One key aspect is that students get to develop their communication, social, and work skills while helping to identify their future goals.
Current 8th and 9th graders who have an interest in the TTS program can find out more by contacting the Miller Freedom Center at 904-261-1075.
For more information on Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County please visit bgcnassau.org.
Barnabas Center Announces Retirement of its CEO, Wanda Lanier and Appointment of New President & CEO
The Barnabas Center Board of Directors announces the planned retirement of its long time President & CEO, Wanda Lanier, effective June 25, 2021. Ms. Lanier has overseen the growth and success of Barnabas over the past 11 years, during which time Barnabas has significantly expanded its services throughout Nassau county, and earned numerous awards for service excellence and the Charity Navigator coveted 4-star highest rating for 14 consecutive years for it’s strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency. After a months-long search process, the Board of Directors has appointed Jamie Reynolds as the nonprofit agency’s new President & CEO to succeed Ms. Lanier on June 25.
Ms. Reynolds brings more than 24 years of progressive executive and operational experience with nonprofit organizations. For the past five years, she has served as the CEO of Sisu Integrated Early Learning in Gainesville, Georgia. Sisu serves 157 students from 13 counties and is committed to helping every child reach his or her potential. In addition to sharing a mission with elements similar to Barnabas, Sisu offers a program model with wrap-a-round services, works with large numbers of partners and volunteers, and serves a diverse community.
Before joining Sisu, Ms. Reynolds served as Director of Marketing and Communications and subsequently the Director of Development and Marketing at Lakeview Academy in Gainesville. She was the co-founder of Wyngate Drive Creative Communications in Gainesville, and was founder of JGR, a consumer product business. Ms. Reynolds earned a BS in nursing from Georgetown University and worked as a registered nurse for the first several years of her career.
Barnabas Board Chair, Andrea Hoffman, states “in addition to her administrative strengths, Jamie is passionate about the Barnabas mission. She is data-driven, results-oriented and able to lead in challenging times. The Barnabas Board is confident that Jamie is a good fit for Barnabas and will quickly win the trust of our communities at large”.
For more information about Barnabas Center, call (904) 261-7000.
City of Fernandina Beach
June 22, 2021
We want your input to shape the future of our community. Over the next several months, the City of Fernandina Beach, in partnership with WGI consultants, will conduct outreach efforts and data collection to create the City’s 2045 Vision Plan. This plan will direct long-range action to guide city programs, future planning studies, and establish funding priorities.
Join us June 23, at 5:00 pm in Central Park for a workshop. The event is open to ALL. Food trucks on site: Sunshine Grindz, Indulge, and Kona Ice!
Can’t make the event? Please check out the City’s website for survey links and more information: http://www.fbfl.us/1032/Vision-2045
Proceeds from the event will support Fernandina Beach Main Street
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Fernandina Beach, Fla. (June 22, 2021)—On Saturday, September 18, 2021, the first annual Island Hop Craft Beer Fest will be held at Central Park in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island. Proceeds from the event will support Fernandina Beach Main Street.
Fernandina Beach Main Street Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization charged with promoting economic vitality and historic preservation in the Fernandina Beach business district. The district has expanded to now include three local craft brewers (First Love Brewing, Mocama Beer Company and Amelia Island Brewing Company), inspiring us to make a beer festival our signature annual event.
The Island Hop Craft Beer Fest will help Fernandina Beach Main Street fund important programs that preserve the character of Fernandina Beach’s historic district and support the businesses that call it home. Brewers from across Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia have been invited to participate, and we expect to feature at least 30 different breweries at the event.
Popular local band the Honey Badgers will be performing popular classic rock songs throughout the event, and local businesses will be showcasing some of their favorite items for sale. With food trucks, activities for the kids and a dog park, the Island Hop Craft Beer Fest is an event the whole family can enjoy.
Admission: General admission is $39 in advance or $50 at the door. VIP tickets are $59 in advance and allow access to the event one hour prior to the general admission entrance. Designated drivers are $5.
When: September 18th, 2021 from 1:00 p.m. to 5 p.m. (VIP entrance at 12:00 p.m.)
Location: Central Park, 1200 Atlantic Avenue, Fernandina Beach, Florida 32034
For additional information, or to learn more about sponsorship opportunities, visit our website at www.islandhopcraftbeerfest.com.
Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library Receive $5,000 Donation from WestRock to Support the Fernandina Beach Library's Technology Center
Fernandina Beach, FL (June 18, 2021) – The Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library (FOL) announce the receipt of a $5,000 donation from WestRock on April 19, 2021 that will enhance and assist with the maintenance of the Fernandina Branch Library’s technology center.
Community members of all ages use the library and the available technology for a variety of reasons. These include processing employment and scholarship applications, submitting financial aid forms, gaining access to educational, research, and testing resources, as well as hobbies and personal interest pursuits. The number of users grows each year. This generous gift will allow the library to double their internet access speed by switching to fiber lines, speeding the upload of documents and files, and providing a stable connection.
The FOL is grateful to WestRock for their continued support and generous contribution allowing the purchase of new technology to support the library and community needs. “Our community is so fortunate that WestRock recognizes the importance of technology in our library,” said FOL President Jody Mackle. “We are grateful to them for this generous donation.”
For further information of the Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library as well as membership information and volunteer opportunities, please visit www.fernandinaFOL.org.
The City of Fernandina Beach encourages its residents, business owners, employees, and students to play an integral role in shaping the future of our community by attending an outdoor public workshop at Central Park on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, at 5pm. The event will feature a series of booths focusing on various topics such as Housing, Transportation, Resiliency, Development, and Capital Funding. This family friendly workshop will feature interactive booths for both adults and children. Food trucks will be available on-site. If you are unable to attend the workshop, online surveys are available to obtain your input. The city welcomes your attendance and survey input. Please visit the City’s website at www.fbfl.us/Vision2045.
For additional information or questions regarding Vision 2045, please contact the City’s Planning & Conservation Director, Kelly N. Gibson, AICP, at 904-310-3480 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City of Fernandina Beach would like to welcome Jeff Tambasco to the team. Mr. Tambasco will start in mid-July as the new Deputy Police Chief, replacing Mark Foxworth who succeeded Chief James Hurley following Chief Hurley’s retirement earlier this year. City Manager Dale Martin congratulates Chief Foxworth and the entire staff of the Police Department for the successful recruitment of such an outstanding candidate to serve this community.
Mr. Tambasco has over 25 years of law enforcement experience, much of which was at a supervisory and management level. He retired from the Kissimmee Police Department as a Captain and since his retirement has been serving as the Desoto County (FL) Emergency Manager.
During his career with the Kissimmee Police Department, Jeff commanded the Patrol Division, the Special Operations Division, the Support Services Division, and the Criminal Investigations Division. He possesses a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice, multiple instructor certifications and he is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute’s 44th Command Officer Development Course, the FBI Executive Leadership Course, and the Florida Police Chief Association’s Future Police Chief’s Course.
Mr. Tambasco was born in Pennsylvania and moved to Central Florida with his parents at a young age. Jeff is married to his wife Candy, they have 3 children, Courtney, Colin, and Caleb and 1 grandchild Olivia.
Nassau County Council on Aging
June 15, 2021
The Island Hopper, a public transportation service of NassauTRANSIT and Nassau County Council on Aging (NCCOA), will revise its weekly schedule from Thursday through Monday to Friday through Sunday, effective July 1, 2021. Since 2016, the Island Hopper has provided public transit service in Fernandina Beach, with six daily loops around the northern half of Amelia Island (starting and ending at Fernandina Beach City Hall). The fare for scheduled public bus service is $1 with no charge for transfers.
“Starting in 2019, we began to notice a drop in ridership on Thursdays and Mondays,” said Mike Hays, NassauTRANSIT Director. “This change in service days will allow us to better deploy our resources throughout the county.”
The revised public transportation schedule is available at www.nassautransit.org. For additional information, please contact NassauTRANSIT at 904-261-0700.
Amelia Island Convention & Visitor Bureau
June 12, 2021
AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. (June 11, 2021) – After a tumultuous 2020, the Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is seeing much-needed improvement for Nassau County’s beleaguered tourism industry. Estimated lodging taxable sales in April were a near record $18.4 million, resulting in bed tax collections 70% over budget for the month, and May is expected to show similar increases, due in large part to a successful Amelia Island Concours Week (May 19-23) and Memorial Day weekend.
“The increases we’re seeing are from a combination of pent-up demand, strong pricing among our lodging partners, and consistent messaging to travelers,” said Gil Langley, President and CEO of the Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Clearly more people are ready to return to travel, and Amelia Island is more appealing than ever, which is driving a faster than expected recovery.”
At more than $18.4 million, estimated taxable sales on lodging in April were a near record, second only to the $20.5 million in July of 2019, and almost 13% (12.99%) higher than April of 2019. The resulting bed tax collections were approximately $930,000, which was 70% over the CVB’s budget for the April. In the month of May, estimated lodging taxable sales were $17.5 million, a 21% increase compared to $14.5 million in 2019, due largely to the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance and Memorial Day holiday. Despite increased room inventory on the island, both events saw traditional hotel occupancies in the lower 80% to lower 90% range.
According to a study conducted by Research Data Services, Inc., off-island visitors to this year’s Amelia Concours Week generated an estimated economic impact of $26.4 million, which is just 9.3% shy of last year’s event, despite the lack of international visitors who were unable to attend the award-winning car event due to travel restrictions. Although the total economic impact was slightly smaller, there was a 13.1% increase in the number of visitors staying in commercial lodging on island during Concours Week.
“Recognizing the value of Amelia Island as a host site and partner, the organizer’s decision not to cancel last year’s event, and to move this year’s event from March to May proved to be a stroke of genius,” said Langley. “That gave a huge boost to our local tourism industry at two critical times, and made the Amelia Island Concours the only international car show of its kind to manage back-to-back annual events despite the pandemic.”
Also bolstering local tourism in May was the Memorial Day weekend, which saw near sellouts among hotels and resorts (occupancy ranging from 85.7% to 91.4%), average daily rates (ADR) hovering near $400, and revenue per available room (RevPAR) of $372.62 on Saturday, May 29. According to Langley, advance bookings for June and July are very strong, with weekend dates nearly sold out.
“The trends are looking positive, so barring any major weather events or health emergencies, our local tourism industry should continue to recover and strengthen over the summer, which will benefit everyone,” stated Langley. “A strong calendar of events and plenty of outdoor options will give us an edge over competing warm-weather destinations.”
For a complete listing of special events and vacation planning resources, visit AmeliaIsland.com.
FERNANDINA BEACH, FL (June 9, 2021) – In honor of graduation season, Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County would like to congratulate all of our members on a job well done during a very challenging year. As a testament to the success of both our in-person and virtual afterschool programs, we are very proud to announce that 89% of our members achieved the A or A-B Honor Roll this academic year.
Our continuation of programs like MyOn Reader – an e-book subscription and reading comprehension tool – and our Chromebook loaner program have ensured that Boys & Girls Clubs members have had access to the tools they need to be successful in school.
We continue to provide these programs and more, such as STEM labs, virtual field trips, and other mentoring through our 7-week summer camp starting June 14 and will resume after-school programs this fall when school is back in session. We look forward to increasing our rate of success with members who are achieving academic excellence.
To see what our members are up to this summer, visit our Facebook page, facebook.com/BGCNassau. For more information on Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County please visit bgcnassau.org.
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