January 8 Re-Enactment of the Secession of Florida from the United States

The National Park Service and the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument invite you to experience your history with the Monument’s “Florida Secedes from the Union” program on January 8th, 2011. Park Service staff and volunteers will recreate the events of January 10th, 1861, when troops of the newly formed “Republic of Florida” proceeded under orders from Florida Governor Madison S. Perry to Federal Fort Marion (the Castillo de San Marcos). The Governor’s orders were to seize the ordnance and stores of Fort Marion using whatever means necessary. On Saturday, January 8th, the Monument will reenact the events of that January day, one hundred and fifty years ago, when the local State Militia faced down the Federal Ordnance Sergeant stationed there for the possession of Fort Marion. The event will be held twice, first at 11:oo AM and then again at 3:00 PM. There will also be Ranger and Volunteer interpretive programs, as well as historic weapons demonstrations throughout the day.

The Blood Alliance Urges You to Donate Life in 2011

The Blood Alliance Urges You to Donate Life in 2011

If you did not get what you wished for over the holidays, you may have a second chance -- with your blood donation!  The Blood Alliance invites you to start the New Year with a resolution to save lives and win!  “Resolutions for Life” blood drives will be held from January 10 - 15 at participating donor centers (Bloodmobiles and mobile drives are NOT included).  Donors who attempt to donate and give the gift of life at participating centers will be entered for a daily drawing to win Blu-ray players and a grand prize drawing for a 40-inch HDTV.  Everyone who registers to donate will also be eligible to win a 2010 Smart car from the Smart car Center Jacksonville, A Brumos Company.

Ringing in 2011? Tell us where to be!

Are you a bar, venue or other organization planning a public event to ring in 2011? E-mail us at with location, entertainment and other details. We'll let our readers know about it!

2011 ROWITA Award Recipients Announced

Six local women have been selected to receive the third annual ROWITA  Awards for their artistic accomplishments, outstanding lifetime achievement and contributions to the arts community in St. Johns County.  The 2011 ROWITA recipients are: Georgie Altenbach, JoAnne Engelbert, Betty Fell, Dr. Mildred (Mili) Koger, Jean Troemel, and Sally Walton.

ROWITA represents lifetime achievement and is awarded to women who have made significant contributions to the St. Johns County arts community. The ROWITA awards (Recognizing Outstanding Women in the Arts) were established in 2009 by a coalition of five arts organizations that worked together to create a month long celebration of Women’s History Month (March). The collaborative group increased to six in 2010 and includes: St. Johns Cultural Council; National League of American Pen Women - St. Augustine Branch; Tale Tellers of St. Augustine; Jane’s Stories Press Foundation; Limelight Theatre; and Cyprian Center for Expressive Arts.

Community Gives to 30 Charities over $20,000

More than $20,000 in Christmas presents will be given to local charities in a one-of-a-kind event in St. Johns County.  JCP CARES recently concluded its fourth annual Giving Tree program, which represented the wish-lists of 32 St. Johns county charities hard hit by recession and ensuing budget cuts.  This year, JCP CARES partnered with more than forty five community groups and businesses to raise more than $20,000 in charitable donations.  Gifts were collected at locations throughout St. Johns County, including all county libraries.  Despite the troubled economy, the Giving Tree program shows that people that can give, do!

Joan Tasca's Drawing & Painting Classes

Joan Tasca, painter and art instructor, offers Winter classes.  She has taught K-12, college level, adult education, and holds a B.F.A. in Painting from the University of Delaware, received certification in Art Education from The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, and attended Tyler School of Art.  Her drawings and paintings reflect interest in a variety of topics using elements that are, at times, symbolic. Joan’s work has won awards and is in private collections.

Joan’s formal, academic training, and years of painting have prepared her to teach students to “see” as an artist sees, working mostly from actual situations.  Whether they interpret it as realism or abstraction is personal style.  She also gives private lessons.

The registration form and fee of $140 per 6-week course is due December 28, 2010. Call Joan at (904) 794-2594) for information and registration.  Class size is limited.   The location will be the St. Johns Cultural Council 370 A1A Beach Blvd.

Florida Youth Program to Graduate 158 Teens Saturday

Florida Youth Program to Graduate 158 Teens Saturday

Florida’s Youth ChalleNGe Academy is run by the Florida Department of Military Affairs and the Florida National Guard. Designed on a military model, 16- to 19-year-old high school dropouts encounter a rigorous five-and-a-half month residential phase.  These teens are given a second chance to earn a high school diploma, but this is the first class in which the Academy has partnered with St. Johns River Community College to offer college credits to the students.