Community Briefs 11/2/17

Clay Today
Posted 11/2/17

Anonymous donor helps scholarship fundORANGE PARK – A scholarship fund established to honor an Orange Park High soccer standout has been approached by an anonymous donor who wants to help the …

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Community Briefs 11/2/17


Anonymous donor helps scholarship fund

ORANGE PARK – A scholarship fund established to honor an Orange Park High soccer standout has been approached by an anonymous donor who wants to help the fund grow.

Now, through Nov. 23, donations made to the Erica Lewis, Esq. Soccer Scholarship Fund for OPHS students will be double-matched by the donor who asked to remain anonymous.

The Erica Lewis, Esq. Soccer Scholarship Fund, a fund of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, is a community scholarship developed in loving memory of Erica Lewis, a former Orange Park resident. It will be awarded to Orange Park High School female athletes, once the $50,000 goal has been met. It expects to hit that mark, based on current giving trends in March 2018.

“We have raised $25,299.94 thus far, and appreciate this opportunity to raise funds and significantly improve our financial position. All proceeds and donations go directly towards the scholarship fund,” according to a press release on behalf of the fund.

The fund was established in 2015 to honor the life of Erica Lewis, who was lost to tragedy in March of that year. She was a scholar athlete and four-year starter on the Orange Park High School soccer team, graduating with honors in 2002. She played college soccer on two top 25-ranked Women’s Division I teams, at FSU and USF, and was captain of the USF Women’s Soccer team.

She played professionally in Lecce, Italy and coached the Randolph Union High School women’s team in Vermont. More info at

Don Thompson Chorale to perform at Penney Memorial Church

PENNEY FARMS – On Nov. 12 at 7 p.m., the Don Thompson Chorale, under the direction of R. Hugh Patterson, will perform at Penney Memorial Church.

Based in Jacksonville, with over 20 years of performing, has brought joy to concert goers in the area and beyond. Patterson has been conducting for 35 years. He has degrees in music and voice from Mars Hill College in North Carolina; further studies in conducting from Southern Baptist Seminary, Fort Worth Texas and is now pursuing a doctorate in nonprofit management.

Patterson has performed recitals throughout the Southeast U.S and abroad and made his operatic debut for Florida Concert Opera in 2004. Members of the Chorale come from all over the Jacksonville area and new members are welcome. Styles of music range from classical to carols and wonderful spirituals. Thompson passed away in March but the chorale retains the name of their beloved leader and friend.

Penney Memorial Church is located at 4465 Poling Boulevard in Penney Farms. This concert is offered free to the general public and on-street parking, in the area, is plentiful.

Reinhold Foundation accepting applications for 2018 nonprofit leadership training programs

FLEMING ISLAND – The Paul E. and Klare N. Reinhold Foundation Inc. is accepting applications for its 2018 Nonprofit Leadership Development and Capacity Building Training Programs.

The 2018 programs will include workshops covering fundraising, marketing and social media, volunteer management, planned giving, leadership transitions and board governance.

The programs are taught by the Rollins College Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership. All classes are held in Clay County and are scheduled January through March. There is no cost for those organizations selected to attend. All costs are underwritten by the Reinhold Foundation. The Foundation will award graduation bonus grants to eligible organizations completing training programs.

All 501(c)3 nonprofit groups providing services to Clay County residents are eligible to apply. Details and applications are available now at The application deadline is Nov. 15. For more information contact Amy Parker, executive director, (904) 269-5857 extension 404 or

Carols concert slated

FLEMING ISLAND – The Institute for Worship Studies will present a community-wide Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols on Dec. 3 at Grace Anglican Church on U.S. Highway 17 South.

This choral worship service is composed of a collection of Advent hymns and carols, interspersed between Scripture readings and is intended to heighten the expectation of the coming celebration of Christmas.

The IWS Festival Choir, local musicians, pastors and community leaders will be featured. The community Advent service will benefit Waste Not Want Not, a nonprofit food rescue organization that fights hunger and poverty in Northeast Florida.

A reception will follow. Grace Anglican Church will provide childcare during the service.

Free community Thanksgiving feast planned

ORANGE PARK – First Baptist Church of Orange Park, Advent Lutheran Church and Celebration Church will sponsor the Annual Feast of Plenty, a free meal for anyone who needs it. The event will be held Thanksgiving Day from 12 noon until 2 p.m. in the gymnasium at First Baptist Church, 1140 Kingsley Ave., Orange Park.

Guests who are unable to prepare a traditional meal for their families, those who are homeless, or others who are alone and would like to experience a family gathering are all invited to dine in at the church.

Although reservations are not required, residents are encouraged to call ahead with the number in their party, so the churches can make adequate seating arrangements. Transportation will be provided to and from the church for residents who need it, and volunteers will deliver meals to the elderly, shut-ins, the disabled, persons in physical rehabilitation, or those who are working and are unable to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Meals are delivered as far north as Jacksonville and as far south as Keystone Heights.

For more details contact Selena Hayle at (904)504-0625.

Public comments needed for FWC Division of Law Enforcement reaccreditation

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Division of Law Enforcement is seeking reaccreditation from the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation and needs to hear from the public.

“A team of CFA-certified assessors will arrive Dec. 12 to examine the division’s policies, procedures, equipment and facilities, and conduct interviews with employees,” said Col. Curtis Brown, division director. “This important process assures that the FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement maintains the highest standards.”

The division must comply with approximately 240 standards to receive reaccreditation status. If the CFA determines the Division of Law Enforcement has complied with the appropriate standards, the reaccreditation will be awarded for three years.

“Accreditation is a voluntary pursuit and a valuable means of external accountability. This will be our fourth accreditation assessment, with the initial assessment taking place in 2008. Our commitment to excellence in conservation law enforcement is apparent by our continued commitment to the accreditation process through the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation,” said Juli Brown, the Division of Law Enforcement’s accreditation manager.

The general public, including members of the FWC, are invited to offer comments related to the agency’s ability to comply with CFA standards. Comments must be submitted in writing to CFA, Attention: Public Comment, P.O. Box 1489, Tallahassee, FL 32302, or may be submitted by email at

A copy of the accreditation standards is available by visiting the CFA website or by contacting Robert Klepper, public information coordinator for the Division of Law Enforcement, at (850) 617-9666 or by email at


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