Community Briefs 10/18/18

Clay Today
Posted 10/17/18

Animal shelter temporarily stops taking in catsPENNEY FARMS – Clay County Animal Services is ceasing taking in new stray and abandoned cats at its shelter at 3984 State Rd 16 until Oct. 30 this …

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Community Briefs 10/18/18


Animal shelter temporarily stops taking in cats

PENNEY FARMS – Clay County Animal Services is ceasing taking in new stray and abandoned cats at its shelter at 3984 State Rd 16 until Oct. 30 this year after a number of cats tested positive for a “highly-contagious” viral feline disease.

County spokesperson Kimberly Morgan did not disclose the exact number of cats found infected with feline panleukopenia but said the infected cats will be quarantined for two weeks while shelter staff conducts a deep-cleaning of the exposed area. The FP virus does not infect people or pose a threat to dogs and cats can be vaccinated to be protected from FP.

Due to the volume of cat and kitten intake since the first of October, Morgan said, it is hard to determine the definitive source of the outbreak. Standard procedure for Clay County Animal Services is to test and vaccinate all cats and kittens for FP upon intake and then again 2 weeks later, if they still reside under Animal Services care.

The Animal Services team is personally contacting all families that adopted or fostered a cat or kitten that may have been potentially exposed within the last two weeks. During those conversations, the Animal Services team is available to provide any additional relevant information and guidance for the health of their pet.

For more information or additional questions, call (904) 269-6342.

Nominate your senior for a Golden Years Gala Service Award

ORANGE PARK – The 12th Annual Golden Years Gala is currently accepting nominations for its 2019 Service Awards.

Center Director Christy Fitzgerald said the awards are a “wonderful way to say thank you” to a senior adult for all of their community involvement and service.

The categories for 2019 are Volunteer Senior Man of the Year, Volunteer Senior Woman of the Year and Lifetime Achievement.

Senior adults are important to the community. They are a generation of high values, strong work ethic, commitment, integrity, generosity and loyalty. Seniors are a wonderful example to all, showing that true fulfillment is to share their time and talents through serving. Nominee must be 60 years of age and volunteer in Clay County.

Deadline is January 31, 2019.

This year’s Golden Years Gala will be held at historic Club Continental on the St. Johns River on Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m. with live and silent auction. The awards program will follow.

The event will be hosted by Elder Source to benefit The Shepherd’s Center of Orange Park, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit which provides services to improve the quality of life and longer independence of hundreds of senior adults in Clay County through award-winning educational programming and events focused on health and wellness.

Visit the SCOOP website or call the office, (904) 269-5315 to purchase tickets or donate to the event.

70th Annual Penney Retirement Community Arts & Crafts Fair coming

PENNEY FARMS – Penney Retirement Community is a special place where people come from around the world to choose PRC as their home. There is no place like it, where creativity and care are the hallmarks of this dynamic Christian community. The PRC Annual Arts & Crafts Festival/Fair displays include an amazing variety of items for all ages, pocketbooks and tastes. Themed “From the Heart” the Fair is held the first weekend in November. The Fair will be held this year on Friday, Nov. 2 from 10 - 4 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 3 from 10 - 2 p.m.

Whether you come to Christmas Shop or to check out the community there will be something to

pique your interest. From the Art Studio & Frame Shop next door to the Resale Shop, the

Penney Handweavers & Fabric Arts talent at the Hub (right near the model Railroad station), the

Arts, Crafts & Plants Marketplace in the Barrows Block or “Dan the Produce” man under the big

Oak Tree, guests will find an of items ranging from fine art to the practical to view or purchase.

The outdoor cafe will feature old fashioned grilled hotdogs and hamburgers both days from 11:30 -1:30 while the Coffee Shop offers a free cup of good coffee with a cinnamon roll or piece of pie as a break time treat outside of those hours.

The Arts & Crafts Fair is a not only a great place to Christmas shop but a great opportunity to

see arts & crafts in action. You won’t want to miss our new “Kids Korner,” a special place for

“grands” both kids and parents, to shop or try an activity. Items found there are designed to

appeal to your favorite youngsters, and perhaps the young at heart as well. We hope to see

you that weekend!

Plentiful parking is free and the Fair is located just off of the intersection of State Road 16 and County Road 218 with Lewis or Wilbank Avenues as the entry points. Major credit cards are accepted. For more information call (904) 531-2665, 531-2667 or e-mail at

Violinist giving free concert at Penney Farms

PENNEY FARMS – Violinist Ben Sung will perform in concert at Penney Memorial Church, 4465 Poling Blvd., on Sunday Oct. 28 at 7 p.m.

Sung is associate professor of violin at Florida State University. He studied at Eastman School of Music and holds master’s and doctoral degrees from Indiana University.

Described as a violin virtuoso, Sung has played in many venues around the world. The Fanfare magazine hails him as “a brilliant performer with musical interests ranging from Baroque to modern; classical to bluegrass.”

The concert is part of Penney Retirement Community and Penney Memorial Church’s Commemorative Concert Series.

The concert is free, but donations are always welcomed.

Clay County Public Schools launches Hurricane Michael Relief Drive

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – As you know, many communities, schools, and homes in the Florida Panhandle were greatly affected by Hurricane Michael last week. In collaboration with the Clay County Education Association, the District wants to partner with our students, staff, families, and community members to bring assistance to those impacted the most.

The district is asking for all schools to place a donation box in the front office area to collect supplies, such as toiletries, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, soap, deodorant, hand sanitizer, backpacks, school supplies, tarps, diapers, baby wipes, cleaning supplies, canned goods and other basic essentials. Schools started collected goods Oct. 17 and will do so until Oct. 29. The district will pick up the donations from schools at the end of the drive and work with school districts in the Florida Panhandle to determine immediate needs.

Catholic Charities Transforms Lives with its 15th Annual Festival d’Vine

JACKSONVILLE – Catholic Charities is hosting its 15th Annual Festival d’Vine on

Nov. 2, from 6 to 9 p.m., at Treaty Oak Park in San Marco at 1123 Prudential Dr. The always-popular event serves as a primary fundraiser for the Catholic Charities Jacksonville Regional Office of the Diocese of St. Augustine, with all proceeds going toward the agency’s six major programs.

This year’s evening of food and drink will feature more than 100 varieties of wine from around the world, delicious food from 20 popular area restaurants and tastings from a selection of Jacksonville-based craft breweries.

“We’re grateful for the continued support of many local organizations, sponsors and guests,” said Lauren Weedon Hopkins, regional director for Catholic Charities Jacksonville. “The success of this event enables us to help the most vulnerable people in our community.”

This year, Festival d’Vine continues its legacy as one of the best “not-to-be-missed events” in our community with delicious offerings from III Forks, bb’s, Indochine, Bono’s BBQ, Blackfinn Ameripub, The Bearded Pig, MOJO BBQ, Southern Grounds & Co., Brio Tuscan Grille and more.

Catholic Charities is an accredited nonprofit agency with six programs – Emergency Assistance, Food Assistance, Workforce Development, Immigration Legal Services, Refugee Resettlement, and Camp I Am Special. Last year, Catholic Charities assisted more than 16,700 individuals with food, financial assistance with JEA bills, rent, and mortgage, immigration legal assistance, a camp for adults, teens, and children with different intellectual, physical, social and emotional abilities and more.

“The goal of Festival d’Vine is not only to bring our community together for a delicious and fun event,” said Hopkins, “it’s to continue to keep families safe and secure in their homes, to provide food to those who are hungry, to help our neighbors find gainful employment and so much more.”

Tickets are available on the Catholic Charities Jacksonville website for $100. Sponsorship opportunities are currently available from $500 to $10,000.

For more details, visit or call Nicola Barnack at (904) 899-5505.

Camp Broadway seats filling up for 2019

JACKSONVILLE – Camp Broadway, presented by the FSCJ Artist Series, returns to Jacksonville for its 19th year from Monday, June 10 - Friday, June 14, 2019 from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at the FSCJ Nathan H. Wilson Center for the Arts on Florida State College at Jacksonville’s South Campus. Registration opened Oct. 15 at 10 a.m.

Camp Broadway introduces young people to the world of life on-stage and behind the scenes. Campers work with Broadway directors, choreographers, and musical directors to receive training in acting, scene study, improvisation, music theory, solo and ensemble singing, movement and dance. This five-day performing arts program offers each camper the opportunity to expand his or her creative talents, build self-esteem, learn the art of collaboration, and gain a fuller respect and understanding of musical theatre.

Camp Broadway has been proclaimed the “Camp of Dreams” for starry-eyed kids who are just beginning to dream of being on Broadway. It is a self-contained summer workshop that travels around the country bringing Broadway to kids. The 40 hours of camp include singing, dancing and master classes for kids ages 10 to 17. No singing, dancing or acting experience necessary - just a willingness to have fun and a curiosity about what happens on stage and behind the curtain.

Applications will be accepted digitally for Camp Broadway this year, and tuition is $575 per camper and includes daily lunch, snacks and two t-shirts. Spaces are limited and Camp Broadway fills up quickly, so be sure to register your camper soon! To register online, visit Contact Amanda Scott with any questions or for additional details at (904) 357-8934 or email

With authentic Broadway instructors teaching dance routines and musical numbers at the same break-neck speed as a real Broadway show, Camp Broadway is a fun-filled week of activities designed to teach kids about the serious business of live theater. One activity is our annual Salute to Singin’ and Dancin’ Kids (a special luncheon where campers meet and hear about the various theater jobs from real theater professionals).

Ameris Bank Launches 9th Annual Helping Fight Hunger Food Drive Initiative

ORANGE PARK – Ameris Bank announces its 9th annual Helping Fight Hunger food drive initiative taking place during October.

All Ameris Bank locations are collecting nonperishable food items to donate to local food banks as part of the company-wide initiative.

The Helping Fight Hunger initiative will unite all bank locations, divisions, customers and community members to one common cause: collecting food items for those in need in the fight against hunger. A food bank in every town with an Ameris Bank location will receive the donation of goods collected at the local bank branch, plus a monetary donation from Ameris Bancorp.

Since the inception of Ameris Bank’s Helping Fight Hunger initiative in 2010, Ameris Bank has made a significant impact in the fight against hunger, collecting over 4.4 million food items that provided more than 6.3 million meals to families. More than $655,000 has been donated to 78 partner food bank organizations.

“Each year, our Helping Fight Hunger initiative directly impacts families in over 65 communities where we operate. Last year, we collected nearly one million nonperishable food items for local food banks and donated an additional $100,000 to further the reach of these critical organizations,” said Dennis Zember, Ameris Bank CEO. “This year, we aim to break last year’s record and collect more than one million food items. We encourage our employees, community partners and customers to share in our passion for making a difference by donating food items that positively impact families in need.”

Ameris Bank believes in its communities and in the power of giving back. A collection box will be inside each Ameris Bank location where customers, employees and community members can participate by dropping off nonperishable food items during the month of October.

For more information on Ameris Bank’s Helping Fight Hunger Food Drive initiative, visit


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