Around Town March 2024


DAR Conservation Award
Dar Img 3814The Choctawhatchee Bay Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, has honored Okaloosa County UF/IFAS Extension Services Agent Sheila Dunning with the prestigious DAR Conservation Award. The award recognizes volunteers with distinguished conservation efforts which include sustained accomplishments that improve the environment and educate the public on conservation issues while exceeding job expectations. The award was presented by Florida’s State Regent, Mrs. Cindy Addison, at the Chapter’s February meeting.

Children of the American Revolution Receive Awards
The Snowden-Horne Society currently has 36 members, eight of whom are Dual DAR/C.A.R. or SAR/C.A.R. members. The F.S.C.A.R. State Conference, held in February, found the Snowden-Horne Society leading the way, not only locally, but also at the state level:
1st Place Most Life Members
2nd Place American Heritage Best Program
2nd Place Best Newsletter
2nd Place Best Newsletter Article
2nd Place Best Government Studies Program
2nd Place Best Kids Helping Kids Program
2nd Place Most State Life Members
3rd Place Conservation Best Program
Honorable Mention Best American History Program
Honorable Mention Best American Indian Program

Any young person under 22 is eligible for membership in The National Society of the Children of the American Revolution. Members range in age from birth to their 23rd birthday.

Membership in C.A.R. provides a wonderful opportunity for children to participate in historical, educational and patriotic activities. All children who can prove lineage to a patriot of the American Revolution are welcome. Children may join the National Society by invitation of a local society or as a member-at-large and becomes a member upon verification of the application. If you have children or grandchildren who would be interested in joining or would like to learn more about the Children of the American Revolution, email Snowden-Horne Senior Society Registrar, Linda McCooey, at

FWB Collects Pop Tabs for Congenital Heart Disease
The City of Fort Walton Beach implemented a Pop Tab collection program for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Florida in honor of Congenital Heart Disease Awareness during the month of February. Fort Walton Beach Mayor Dick Rynearson declared February as Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Month and invited local city mayors and county commissioners to join him in the campaign. “This is a passion project of Logan Browning, one of our staff members, whose child has congenital heart disease, and we are honored to support him and his family.” You can listen to Logan’s story on the Let’s Talk podcast, brought to you by Omni Broadcasting: Let’s Talk (240208) – Raising Awareness: Congenital Heart Defect Month – Freedom 94.3 ( Pop Tabs for Ronald McDonald House is a charitable program where communities collect pop tabs and share them with RM House who recycles them and receives money that goes towards funding families in need of assistance while their child is in the hospital. The families never pay for their stay. You can learn more here: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Florida (

First Ever Viking Voyage Career Fair
FWBHS hosted its first annual Viking Voyage Career Fair March 1. The mission was to provide valuable opportunities to network, explore and empower students to bridge school and work in various career pathways while connecting learning to the real world. Over 1500 students (grades 9th-12th) had the opportunity to talk and connect with businesses, learn job requirements and explore future job opportunities.

New Airline at VPS
Avelo Airlines recently announced exclusive nonstop service between the Florida Panhandle’s Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS) and Southern Connecticut’s most convenient airport – Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN—the first and only airline offering nonstop service between Florida’s Emerald Coast and Southern Connecticut. Avelo will operate this route twice weekly on Thursdays and Sundays, with a special Friday inaugural flight on May 1. Avelo will operate Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft on this route. Introductory low one-way fares between VPS and HVN start at $79*. Customers can make reservations at

FP&L Awards $200K in Grants to Help 28 Nonprofits
Florida Power & Light (FPL) recently announced it helped support a variety of needs in the community through 28 nonprofits in Walton, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Escambia counties with grants totaling $210,435. NextEra Energy Foundation, a charitable arm of FPL’s parent company, awarded the grants to the Northwest Florida nonprofits each quarter through 2023, with the last ones announced in December. The money will support their programs well into 2024. Foundation grants are focused on education, food insecurity, senior citizen support and child advocacy, as well as grants focused on environmental conservation and protection.

Upcoming Choctawhatchee Audubon Events
March 16, Birding to the Wright Landfill and the Okaloosa Holding Ponds. Leader Malcolm Swan 210.452.4899 (texting encouraged). Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the left side of Roberts Road, 200 feet N. of Helen Back Pizza, 1826 Lewis Turner Blvd. Looking for late ducks, early waders, quick hawks and songbirds. Wear long pants, sturdy closed-toe shoes and hat. Bring a camera and/or binoculars.

March 23, Field Trip to Conservation Park with Bay County Audubon, near Panama City Beach. Leader Ron Houser 850:774:9733. Meet at 7:30 a.m. in the Park’s Parking lot 1/3 mile beyond the north end of Griffin Blvd., the south end, one mile NW from the intersection of US 98 and Hwy 79. This is an open area so be prepared for little shade and cool, windy conditions. Bring your binoculars and/or camera.

Nominations now open for 2024 Women of Honor!
Honor a special woman in your life that has made a positive impact, whether it is recognizing mom, a cherished friend, co-worker or community/organization leader—this is a great gift! Honorees will have a permanent name plate at the UWF Library. Complete your nomination online at Deadline for entry is Monday, April 8, and $100 donation to the OCSW, Inc. Foundation can be paid online via PayPal. The recognition ceremony and reception will be held on Thursday, May 2, at the University of West Florid, FWB Campus.