Corner Lot Golf Tourney raises $40,000 for Blessings in a Backpack

From Jax Daily Record:

Wednesday, April 9, 10:18 AM EDT

Compiled by Max Marbut

Corner Lot Properties hosted a charity golf tournament March 24 at San Jose Country Club to tee off its three-year Blessings in a Backpack partnership with Hendricks Avenue Elementary School.

NFL Hall of Fame member and former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino, current and former Jacksonville Jaguars Josh Scobee, Marcus Stroud and Bryan Barker and PGA Tour golfers Bud Cauley, Chris Stroud and Russell Knox were among those who participated.

Andrew Allen, Corner Lot Properties CEO, said more than $40,000 was raised at the inaugural event.

Blessings in a Backpack provides elementary school children on the federal Free and Reduced Price Meal Program with a backpack of food to take home for 38 weekends during the school year.

Children who qualify are fed during the school week by federal government programs and Blessings in a Backpack provides food over the weekend. Nearly 25 percent of the students at Hendricks Avenue Elementary School are on the federal program.

“This partnership with Corner Lot Properties and Blessings in a Backpack will make a big impact for our families who worry how they will feed their children,” said Lacy Healy, principal of Hendricks Elementary School. “This will help our students focus on learning and not if they will be hungry.”

Corner Lot Properties will begin its backpack program at Hendricks Elementary at the start of the 2014 school year in August.

“As an A-rated public elementary school, Hendricks is overlooked as a school in need,” said Allen. “It’s in Corner Lot Properties’ backyard, so we’ve made a three-year commitment to Hendricks for the Blessings program, but we’re also looking forward to supporting others throughout the year.”

Blessings in a Backpack provides for approximately 1,300 children in seven Duval County schools and 295 children are in the program at five schools in St. Johns County. For more information, visit

Walk for ALS Saturday

Most days, Alexander McRae Graham and Hampton Harris Graham are busy running the company that their great-grandfather founded in 1916. But on Saturday, the brothers will join more than 1,000 ALS patients, supporters and friends at Seven Bridges in Tinseltown to unite in the fight to find a cure for a deadly illness.

Their dad, Henry Harris “Tip” Graham Jr., died from ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in 2010. Tip Graham had a rare form of the disease known as familial ALS.

About 5-10 percent of ALS is familial, meaning it occurs in families in which there is a history of ALS.

Several genes associated with ALS have been identified or at least mapped to a specific region of a chromosome.

The brothers now have to live with the fact that having a parent with familial ALS gives them a 50 percent chance that they also carry the genetic abnormality that can cause the disease.

A portion of the money raised at Saturday’s Walk to Defeat ALS will go toward research, including funding studies at the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville.

ALS progressively paralyzes its victims, attacking nerve cells and pathways in the brain or spinal cord. Currently, ALS has no known cause, treatment or cure.

The Walk to Defeat ALS is the association’s signature event in which all funds directly support research, programs and patient care.

Last year, the events raised more than $1 million in Florida.

Interested walkers should call (888) 257-1717 or register online at

March for Babies April 26 at EverBank Field

The 2014 First Coast March for Babies, the main annual fundraiser for the March of Dimes Northeast Florida Division, is April 26 and will have a new route that starts and finishes in the Pepsi Cabana Villages at EverBank Field.

More than 5,000 walkers and runners are expected for the 2.5-mile walk, with funds going to support

prenatal wellness programs, research grants, NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) family support programs and advocacy efforts for stronger, healthier babies.

“One out of seven babies in Florida is born premature, so raising money to help babies in our community is more important than ever,” said Randy Swift, VyStar Credit Union senior vice president of member services and First Coast March for Babies chairman. “The people who participate in our walk help more moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies and healthy babies.”

Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the walk starts at 9 a.m. A donation of $10 is suggested for those who participate. New teams and sponsors interested in supporting the event should contact the March of Dimes at (904) 398-2821 or visit

In addition to the walk itself, activities include fitness demonstrations, a Kids Zone with face painting, bounce houses, and snacks and beverages provided to walkers and other attendees.

The event is supported by Gold Sponsors Wells Fargo and Citi, Top Corporate Partner Publix Super Markets Inc. and Media Partner WJXT-TV.

New address for Family Support Services

Family Support Services of North Florida, the lead agency for foster care, adoption and family preservation in Duval and Nassau counties, is in new office space in Jacksonville’s Southbank area. The agency is now at 1300 Riverplace Blvd., Suite 700 in the AvMed Building. The main phone number remains (904) 421-5800.

The move consolidates 120 staff currently located in several locations into one office. The agency will continue to have assigned staff members serving clients out of the Department of Children and Families’ Davis Street location and the Duval County Courthouse.

Family Support Services also operates a full-service office in Nassau County.

New look for local nonprofit

Jewish Family & Community Services, a full-service social service agency for families and children of all faiths, rebranded its 96-year-old agency with a new look and messaging to better communicate the help it provides to thousands of people in Northeast Florida each year.

“We felt the time had come to freshen our look, better present our services and re-introduce ourselves to a community we have served since 1917,” said CEO Colleen Rodriguez. “We are one of the better-kept secrets in Jacksonville and we’d like to improve how people see us for the good of the 15,000 people we support annually.”

The agency received a matching grant from Cause Populi, a firm in Miami created by a group of entrepreneurs, marketers and communicators, that helps agencies spread the word about their missions.

Cause Populi will spend six months helping rebrand the agency and two of its core programs (First Coast Adoption Professionals and Dupont Counseling) with the new logo, new messaging and new websites.

The agency offers child welfare services, support for Holocaust survivors and other members of the Jewish community, and emergency financial assistance and food to any qualified person in need.

“Our assistance goes out to all quarters of Northeast Florida. We’re here to support anyone who needs it,” Rodriguez said. “And we want to make sure that message is sent in a clear and engaging way to let people know we’re here to help.”

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