Community Briefs 2/22/18

Clay Today
Posted 2/21/18

POW/MIA families to meet in JacksonvilleJACKSONVILLE – Families who may have lost a loved one as a Prisoner of War or Missing In Action have a chance to get a briefing from the U.S. military …

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Community Briefs 2/22/18


POW/MIA families to meet in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE – Families who may have lost a loved one as a Prisoner of War or Missing In Action have a chance to get a briefing from the U.S. military Saturday in Jacksonville.

Officials from the Department of Defense, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency

and Armed Forces Medical Examiner System and Service Casualty Offices will hold briefings from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the DoubleTree hotel at the Jacksonville Airport, 2101 Dixie Clipper Dr. on Feb. 24.

Officials will meet with families of loved ones who are unaccounted for from past conflicts from the Vietnam War to World War II. Family members will be briefed on what the government is doing to bring their loved ones’ home. Families will also be given the opportunity to honor their loved one during a Remembrance Ceremony. They will also have a chance to interact in a two-way dialogue and to ask specific questions about their loved ones’ loss. Family members can register to attend at or call (703) 699-1420/1169. They can also register at the hotel the morning of the briefings.

In Fiscal Year 2017, DPAA accounted for 183 service members. To date, in Fiscal Year 2018, DPAA has accounted for 39 service members. According to U.S. military records, the search is still underway for 50 Florida residents who served in the Vietnam War, 158 Florida residents from the Korean War, 4 from the Cold War and 917 from World War II.

Throughout the year, DPAA specialists meet with hundreds of family members of missing personnel in Washington, D.C., Hawaii, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, Dover Air Force Base, Delaware and major metropolitan areas across the country. These meetings are designed to address the individual needs of the family members.

For additional information on the DPAA’s mission to account for Americans who went

missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA web site at, find us on

Facebook at or call (703) 699-1420/1169.

2018 Clay County Cruzers Scholarships Available

ORANGE PARK – Clay County students who are graduating this year are eligible and encouraged to apply for a $1,500 Scholarship from the Clay County Cruzers.

Applicants must be graduating from the Clay County School System. Students are eligible if they are going to attend any post-secondary program of study including colleges, universities or vocational or technical schools.

Applicants are requested to write an essay of approximately 150 words and complete a short application form. Scholarship applications must be received by Clay County Cruzers on or before the application deadline of March 31.

The scholarship documents will be provided to each high school guidance office. The instructions and application form provide all relevant information a student needs to apply. These forms are also available on the Clay County Cruzers website at

Selected candidates will be asked to attend a Clay County Cruzer meeting to introduce themselves and describe their plans.

Applications and essays should be mailed to Clay County Cruzers, P.O. Box 65010-9998, Orange Park, FL 32065-9998. Each applicant will be notified once their application is received and winners will be announced in April.

Heritage Commission invites public to event

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – The City of Keystone Heights Heritage Commission will present a free workshop about its ongoing Building Plaque Program on March 10.

The public is invited to com hear Clay County Archivist Vishi Garig discuss techniques on researching public records about older properties at 10 a.m. at City Hall. The meeting is open to the public, but will be of particular interest to owners of homes and commercial buildings that are more than 50 years old within the city limits.

The Heritage Commission established the Building Plaque Program as a way to promote awareness and appreciation of homes and buildings in the city that have historical and/or architectural value. Such structures are adorned with attractive keystone-shaped wooden plaques that are seen about town on older homes and the Beach Pavilion. The plaque also indicates that the property owners have pride in, and an understanding of, Keystone Heights’ past and want to preserve the city’s architectural history for future generations. A plaque on a home or commercial building may have a positive impact on a property’s value to those interested in, and appreciative of, older well-maintained properties.

To qualify to have a home or building receive a plaque from the Heritage Commission the property owner must complete a no-cost application, and include historical and architectural data about the property. Applications are scored by the Commission using certain criteria, which will be discussed at the workshop.

To assist the property owner in completing an application, the workshop will include an overview of research resources and tips, and Plaque Program guidelines. Attending the workshop does not obligate a property owner to apply for a plaque.

A plaque on a property does not involve any additional regulation or “red tape” by the city. The cost of the plaque itself is nominal and may be underwritten by the Commission based on fund availability.

As space may be limited, RSVP to LaDonna Hart, chair of the Commission at (352) 281-8237 by March 1.

Keystone teen to compete for Miss Teen Florida

JACKSONVILLE – A 16-year-old from Keystone Heights will compete for Miss Teen Florida in June in Jacksonville.

Ayana Farquharson recently qualified as a state finalist in the National American Miss Florida Pageant to be held June 9-11 at the Hyatt Regency hotel. The pageant is open to contestants between 4 and 18 who compete in five different age divisions.

The newly-crowned Miss Teen Florida will receive a $1,000 cash award, the official crown and banner, a bouquet of roses and air transportation to compete in the national pageant at Disneyland in California. She will also tour Hollywood. She has the chance to represent the state of Florida for the entire year.

Contestants will compete in four overall categories including Formal Wear Modeling, Personal Introduction, Interview and Community Service Project. National American Miss also offers optional contests such as the Top Model Search, Talent, Actress and so much more.

National American Miss pageant celebrates America's greatness and encourages students to become leaders in their respective communities. Each year, the pageant awards thousands in scholarships and prizes to recognize and assist in the development of young ladies nationwide. Families interested in learning more about the program may visit

36th Annual Camp I Am Special Fashion Show

JACKSONVILLE – While St. Matthew Catholic Church is normally a place for worship, the church will be transformed into a Fashion Week runway this weekend to raise funds for a special camp for kids.

The 36th Annual Camp I Am Special Fashion Show, hosted by the Diocese of St. Augustine’s Council of Catholic Women, will take place Feb. 24 with doors opening at 11 a.m. followed by a noon lunch and the fashion show at 12:45 p.m.

Each year, Campers and buddies model summer fashions from local retail partners such as Sears and Roz & Ali and strut their stuff on the runway. Not only does this event warm the hearts of many, but it is an opportunity to support the Jacksonville Regional Office of Catholic Charities and their mission to transform lives. Many of the camp participants from throughout the years are Clay County residents.

Camp I Am Special promotes the health and quality of life for people with disabilities, to provide a break for their families, and to offer a meaningful volunteer experience for high school students.

Throughout their lives, campers have been hindered from enjoying regular summertime activities.

However, Camp I Am Special campers enjoy horseback riding, fishing, swimming and so much more under the care of certified staff members and trained high school buddies. One-on-one care is essential for campers to feel free to be themselves and have fun.

Tickets for the fashion show are $15 at the door or in advance through the Camp I Am Special

office by calling (904) 230-7447. Contact DCCW Fashion Show Chairwoman Debra Capley at (904) 891-0181 for more information.

App lets you become citizen scientist

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wants Florida residents and visitors to take an active role in conservation by reporting fish and wildlife observations with its new FWC Reporter app.

From fish kills to exotic species, to trapped or injured wildlife, FWC Reporter connects citizens to FWC experts directly from their Apple or Android devices.

“This app strengthens our relationship with the public by engaging people and streamlining communication with our staff,” said Gil McRae, director of FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. “This is a great opportunity to incorporate citizen participation into our research and management efforts.”

The FWC often relies on reports from citizens to protect and manage Florida’s diverse fish and wildlife. To make a report, users select a category from the menu, provide relevant information, and submit photos if available. Download the FWC Reporter app and become a partner in conservation.

You can download the free FWC Reporter app on Apple or Android smartphones or tablets from the App Store and Google Play.

Charity golf tournament ready to kick off

OAKLEAF – There is still time to register to take place in the Nolan Carroll Foundation Kids Classic Charity Golf Tournament, which kicks off March 2 at Eagle Landing Golf Club.

At a price of $100 per player, funds raised go to help disadvantaged children and at-risk youth take part in various types of academic enrichment programs, such as the Foundation’s summer iD Tech STEM Program and DATA Buster job skills training program. The foundation also funds an annual college scholarship program.

Join Action Sports Jax Sports Director Brent Martineau, who will serve as Master of Ceremonies, and other celebrity golfers, such as former Jacksonville Jaguars’ offensive tackle Tony Boselli and Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels.

The tournament features a $1 million Hole-in-One contest, a $20,000 Legends shootout and hole-in-one prizes, including a 2018 Porsche Cayman, a 2018 Cadillac XT5, vacation for four at Lajitas Golf Resort & Spa in Laitas, Texas and a $500 Callaway Golf Shopping Spree.

Register online at

The Nolan Carroll Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization and donations are considered tax deductible.


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