Community briefs 5/9/19

Clay Today
Posted 5/8/19

Green exceeds $500 goal to raise $5,124 for HEAL Autism Now FoundationOAKLEAF – Austin Colt Green raised $5,124 for the Helping Enrich Autistic Lives Autism Now Foundation fundraising contest …

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Community briefs 5/9/19


Green exceeds $500 goal to raise $5,124 for HEAL Autism Now Foundation

OAKLEAF – Austin Colt Green raised $5,124 for the Helping Enrich Autistic Lives Autism Now Foundation fundraising contest to land a $2,000 grant for Plantation Oaks Elementary, as well as three iPads for the school’s autism program.

Green originally hoped to collect $500 in donations, but he wound up with the most dollars in the project. His group, The POE Puzzle Pack, raised $5,559.

The 11th-annual event recently was held at the Jacksonville Zoo and it attracted more than 3,000 people.

Overall, the HEAL Autism Foundation collected more than $70,000, and the proceeds will remain in Northeast Florida.

Volunteers needed at The Clothes Closet and Food Pantry

ORANGE PARK – The National Association of Letter Carriers’ annual food drive is May 11th. This is the opportunity for local food pantries to replenish their stocks and participate in the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. A paper or plastic bag will be delivered to mailboxes for the occupants to fill with non-perishable foods in non-breakable containers. Out-dated, opened or damaged containers will be discarded. Canned foods, peanut butter, jelly, condiments and sealed boxed food items are requested.

The Clothes Closet and Food Pantry is seeking help during the food drive. Community Service Hours will be awarded. Food sorting, general assistance with heavy lifting and clean up are needed at St. Catherine's Roman Catholic Church, 1649 Kingsley Ave, Haut Hall on May 11th from 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Assistance is also needed at the Kingsley and College post offices especially those with pick-up trucks so that foods can be delivered to St. Catherine's. Children are welcomed accompanied by an adult to help. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn and experience the joy of volunteerism and helping others. Snack and pizza will be available during the late afternoon and water will be available all day.

The Clothes Closet and Food Pantry of Orange Park, which serves northern Clay County, provided a weeks-worth of food, four times a year to 7,380 residents last year. During the Holiday season 1,136 citizens chose to have a basket for Thanksgiving or Christmas which included a turkey or ham, fresh and canned vegetables and trimmings to prepare their feast in the comfort of their own home. The pantry especially needs peanut butter, jelly, breakfast foods, rice, canned meats, pasta sauce, canned pastas, canned fruit, dried milk, condiments, tea, coffee, juices, canned vegetables and baking staples. Small sizes are preferable.

For further information, contact Kathy Wray at (904) 252-8992.

Fleming Island Library to screen critically-acclaimed ‘Complicit’

Marking the 80th anniversary of SS St Louis's infamous voyage, Chabad of Clay County will present a screening of the award-winning documentary film “Complicit” on May 14 at the Fleming Island Library.

It’s the untold story of why the Roosevelt administration denied a safe haven to Jewish refugees aboard the SS St. Louis, followed by a question and answer with producer and director Robert Krakow.

The screening is at 7 p.m.

The St Louis was a luxury liner that left Hamburg, Germany on May 13, 1939, bound for Havana, Cuba. The ship carried 937 Jewish refugees attempting to escape Nazi Germany. When the St. Louis was refused entry by the Cuban authorities, the Captain steered the ship northward toward the southern Florida coastline. The ship waited off the coast of Miami Beach in early June, 1939, as the passengers sent desperate pleas to Franklin Roosevelt and the State Department for entry into the US. Their pleas were denied, and the ship was forced to return to Europe where many of the passengers perished in Auschwitz.

This highly publicized drama on the high seas became the symbol of the world’s indifference to the plight of Jewish suffering at the hands of Adolf Hitler.

To reserve a spot, visit or call (904) 290-1017. Since space is limited, reservations are required.

Mark the date: Clay County History Festival is May 18

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The Celebrate Clay County History Festival, the cornerstone of the county’s monthlong celebration of its past is May 18 at the Historical Triangle on State Road 16.

There will be history displays, photos and artifacts, music, storytelling, military exhibits, tours of the old jail, museum 1890 courthouse, refreshments, old-fashioned games and crafts and a food truck.

The festival will operate from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and admission is free.

Touch-A-Truck returns to provide answers ahead of emergencies

ORANGE PARK – The Clay County Emergency Management has plenty to offer that this year’s Touch a Truck program on May 18.

The annual event will be at the Orange Park Mall from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Service vehicles and construction trucks will be on display – and available for a hands-on review – as the county gears up for another hurricane season.

Representatives from several emergency and disaster agencies will be on hand to answer questions.

Admission is free. The first two hours are noise-free for those with sensitive hearing.

Nominations being accepted to name new Clay County VA Clinic

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) is accepting suggestions for a name for the new Clay County Veterans Administration Clinic in Middleburg that’s scheduled to be open in 2020.

Anyone at least 18 years old can submit a nominee. Each nomination must include the suggested name for the clinic, a biography of the person and justification for the submission.

Nominations will be accepted until the close of business on May 5. Forms can be found at Yoho’s official web site,

Yoho then will host a creative workshop and building update on May 6 at the Clay County Supervisor of Elections, 500 N. Orange Ave., Green Cove Springs, at 6:30 p.m.

Residents will be able to vote from a list of all candidates through May 30.

For further information, call Yoho’s office at (352) 505-0838 or visit the Congressman’s web site.

Great idea grants available to support local classrooms

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Clay Education Foundation will award more than $25,000 to over 50 teachers through their second round of Grants for Great Ideas to benefit Clay County teachers and classrooms. It is estimated teachers will spend $600 of their own funds for classroom supplies each year. The program’s mission is to be a resource for teachers and provide the necessary tools and resources for innovative classroom projects.

Applications for the Grants for Great Ideas are open each school year for Clay County teachers to apply and are awarded twice annually. Teachers are currently eligible for up to $500 per grant in the areas of literacy, STEM and career technical education. This year’s grant recipients represent 41 of our 42 Clay County schools with a total impact of over 19,000 students.

The Clay Education Foundation thanks its community partners for their participation and tremendous generosity to benefit Clay County teachers and classrooms.

Heritage Singers of Jacksonville show to benefit two Clay non-profits

ORANGE PARK – The Heritage Singers of Jacksonville will dedicate its afternoon performance at Orange Park’s St. Giles Presbyterian Church on May 19 to Kids First of Florida and the Clay Behavioral Health Center, two non-profits located in Clay County.

Kids First is the lead agency in Clay County serving children and families experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, abuse and neglect. Since 2003, Kids First has been providing foster care and adoption services, and it has a responsibility for almost 500 children.

Established in 1982, Clay Behavioral is the lead agency in Clay County serving those in need of mental health services as well as providing treatment and prevention of substance use disorder. The agency currently serves more than 5,000 residents annually.

All net proceeds from the concert will directly benefit the children, adults and families served by both Kids First of Florida and Clay Behavioral Health Center.

There is no admission charge for the performance, but donations will be appreciated.

Keystone Height City Hall selected for 2020 early voting

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The Keystone Heights City Hall will serve as the early voting sight for the 2020 election cycle, Clay County Supervisor of Elections Chris Chambless said.

The hall, at 555 S. Lawrence Blvd., will replace the city’s tax collector’s office. The new location has more space to accommodate the growing number of voters who find the flexibility of early voting to be more appealing.

Early voting has gained in popularity with nearly 40 percent of county residents taking advantage of casting early ballots, the elections office said.

For other early voting cites, visit the county’s website at or call (904) 269-6350.

Sawyer Brown coming to Thrasher-Horne Center in August

ORANGE PARK – Sawyer Brown is coming to the Thrasher-Horne Center on Friday, Aug. 30, at 8 p.m.

The show is sponsored by 99.9 Gator Country.

Tickets are on sale now, online at or at the Thrasher-Horne Box Office at (904)-276-6815.

The band has more than 4,500 shows and counting, 23 albums, more than 50 chart singles and CMA, ACM, and CMT awards on the shelf. Known for their high-energy, no-holds-barred approach to the concert stage, the band continues to fill venues across the country with the same enthusiasm they have had from day one.

That excitement has been on display since the very first time Sawyer Brown stepped foot onstage in the early 1980s. The band’s live shows are legendary. Having been described as “the Rolling Stones of Country Music,” the band bounds onto the stage night after night, delivering its own unique brand of high-energy country music with songs like “Some Girls Do”, “The Race is on” and “Six Days on the Road.”


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