Bay Buzz June 2022


Join the Walton Republican Women Federated monthly luncheon, featuring District 1 dynamic firebrand Rep. Matt Gaetz Wednesday, June 1. Check in is at 11 a.m. with the meeting set for 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The Miramar Beach location will be provided upon registration. Prepaid advance registration required: $25 members, $30 guests. Men are welcome, too. To register:!event/2022/6/1/june-luncheon-matt-gaetz

The Mid-Bay Bridge Rotary Club 23rd Annual Charity Golf Tournament will be played Friday, June 3, at Bluewater Bay Golf Course (Bay and Marsh Courses). Sign-in is at 11:30 a.m., with a putting contest and lunch. The shotgun tee off will be at 1 p.m. Charities include ShelterBox, Sharing and Caring, Relay for Life, Take Stock in Children, Polio Plus (Polio eradication), Salvation Army, The Heights Tutoring Center and student scholarships. Call Mid-Bay Rotarian Art Jean at (850) 517-8030;

Call to artists! The Okaloosa Arts Alliance (OAA) invites Okaloosa County residents to participate in the 2022 Okaloosa County’s Got Talent showcase, Saturday, June 4, 6-10 p.m., sponsored by Enlightened Studios. Performing artists are invited to participate, including dancers, musicians, and theater groups/individuals. Divisions include local artists from K-12th grade in the first division and 18-plus artists in the second division. Enlightened Studios is located at 142 Miracle Strip Parkway SE, Fort Walton Beach.
The K-12th performances will be from 6 – 8 p.m. One winner will receive $75; a runner-up will receive $50. The second group of 18+ performers will be from 8-10 p.m. The winner will receive $100, and the runner-up will receive $50. Winners will be announced following each group. Find more information and reserve a performance time at or email Amy at for more information about the contest.

The Rebecca Blount Buxton Memorial Library, a.k.a. the Freeport Public Library, will dive into “Oceans of Possibilities” beginning June 7 as the theme of the 2022 Summer Reading Program. Because of a donation by the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors (ECAR), nearly all costs are covered. The Summer Reading Program encourages school-aged children to earn tickets for raffle prizes through reading and other community activities.

The Freeport Republicans will meet Tuesday, June 14, in Freeport at the Hammock Bay Clubhouse, 1830 Great Hammock Bend. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m.; meeting, 6-7 p.m. June’s speaker is Brian Clowdus, candidate for the Florida House DIstrict 6. The Freeport Republican Club meets monthly on the second Tuesday of each month at the same location and time. Future meetings are July 12 with speaker Shane Abbot, candidate for Florida House District 5, and August 9.

The Freeport Merchant Association plans the second annual Night Out for Freeport, June 18, 4-8 p.m. on the Hammock Bay Green on Victory Boulevard, benefitting Rise Animal Refuge.

There will be live music by the Shenanigans from 5-8 p.m., vendor booths, food trucks, bounce house, silent auction and 50/50 raffle. The event is oOpen to the public and entry is free.

The Walton County Republican Executive Committee (REC) will meet Monday, June 20, at the Hammock Bay Clubhouse, 1830 Great Hammock Bend in Freeport. Registration begins at 5:40 p.m.; meeting 6-7 p.m. These meetings are open to Republicans in Walton County. The REC meets monthly on the third Monday of each month at the same location and time.

The Mid-Bay Bridge Rotary Club will sponsor its second annual Charity Cornhole Tournament Saturday, June 25, at 3rd Planet Brewing, Niceville. All tournament entry fees go to Rotary charities. Two-person teams select their own partners for the double-elimination event. Entry fees are $30 per team through Sunday, June 19 and fees increase to $35 thereafter. Competitors can register under “Events” at Bags will be supplied. Sign in and practice begins at 9:30 a.m. with competition starting at 11 a.m. 3rd Planet is donating gift cards: $150 for first place; $100 for second; and $50 for third.

Join Freeport’s 4th of July Parade. The route begins at the middle school and ends at the Freeport Regional Sports Complex. The parade will leave the middle school area and travel down Kylea Laird Drive to Hwy. 20 then turn west and go to 83A and turn left and go onto the Regional Sports Complex. Individuals, businesses, organizations, clubs, churches, etc. can participate with cars, floats, golf carts, trucks, motorcycles, horses, or walking or marching in groups, tractors, bikes and more. The assembly area is Freeport Middle School Football Field. The parade route is approximately 2-1/2 miles long. Parade participants assemble between 2 and 3:45 p.m. on Monday, July 4. The parade begins at 4 p.m. Request a form to participate in the parade and return them to the City Clerk by Wednesday, June 29 at 5 p.m. Contact Katherine Gatewood, City Clerk at or call (850) 835-2822 x219.

Join the Heritage Museum of NWF for Summer Camp 2022. Week 1 is for Grades K-2 and will be from July 11-15. Week 2 is for Grades 3-6 and will be from July 18-22. Bring a daily lunch and the museum will provide a light snack. Classes such as weaving, gardening, science, history and more are offered. Roll call will start at 10 a.m. The museum, 115 Westview Ave. Valparaiso, will have an attendance raffle for one lucky winner. Call (850) 678-2615 to register and pay: $75 for the full week or $17 a day.

Blue & White Gala Sparkles at Legendary Marine
Rocky Bayou Christian School held its signature fundraising event, Blue & White Gala, May 5 at Legendary Marine in Destin under a tent of lights. The sold-out event, presented by Green Energy Contracting, featured keynote speaker Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty and kicked off the public phase of Rocky’s Foundation for a Future capital campaign. The event raised $173,000 for an exciting new project.

The evening began with a VIP reception at Legendary Yacht Club. Guests enjoyed a meet and greet with Robertson, featuring a photo op by Epic Photo Co. The VIP hour ended with a short question and answer session with Robertson. The main event in Legendary Marine’s showroom featured an upscale buffet by Culinary Catering 365, and the Foundation for a Future campaign kickoff followed by the keynote address from Robertson, who spoke about how Christian education is vital to planting seeds for raising future Christian leaders. The $173,000 in funds raised benefit Foundation for a Future capital campaign. Rocky’s board of directors set a phased expansion plan in 2018, the first phase being a new high school building. This will be the school’s first new project in 20 years. The building will give Rocky the ability to house 250 more high school students and feature eight classrooms, two science labs, a state-of-the-art STEM lab and more.

Children in Crisis (CIC) recently hosted the Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) training designed to prepare parents and adults to work with children, families and in systems of care impacted by trauma. TBRI purports three principles are the foundation for working with kids from hard places – connecting, empowering, and correcting. Participants from Children in Crisis, Fresh Start for Children & Families, One More Child and The Pearl Project met at CIC’s Kid’s Clubhouse for the training, led by Mary Ann Day, Tyler and Leslie Fuller, TBRI Practitioners with The Pearl Project.

Foster parents and adults working with children and families left the training with tools to build relationships and help children as they work through their past-traumatic experiences and heal their emotional wounds. Edie Rodgers, Foster Parent at CIC’s Emergency Shelter, said, “We are going to try several of the examples that were shared in the training. We are working with the kids to create a ‘Respect’ poster, featuring the children’s words they have chosen to describe it.”

There is a shortage of Foster Parents in District 1 area which includes Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton Counties. CIC is currently recruiting Foster Parents to come live in their homes in The Children’s Neighborhood. For information on becoming a CIC Foster Parent, call 850-864-4242.