TODAY, MARCH 23



Celebration of Life



Emerald Coast Hospice of Fort Walton Beach invites bereaved hospice families, as well as community members who have endured the loss of a loved one, to celebrate and honor the lives and memories of those we love during the Celebration of Life from 2-4 p.m. March 23 at Bob Hope Village’s Bob Gates Welcome Center in Shalimar.  A reception will follow the program. To reserve a seat, call 862-1069.



ChoctawhatcheeAudubon Society



See hawks, bluebirds, blooming mountain laurel, native azaleas, and other flora and topography on a bird and nature walk March 23 in the Upland Hardwoods of Walton County with master gardener Dave Gordon. Meet at Food World in Niceville at 7:30 a.m. and the Walton County Extension Office on Hwy 83N at 8 a.m. Call 401-1578.



Cooking demonstration



The Fresh Market’s Fresh Flavors Cooking Demo, featuring Pan Roasted Lamb Chops with Gorgonzola Butter and Early Spring Peas with Fresh Mint, will be held from 1-4 p.m. March 23 at Fresh Market on Commons Drive in Destin.



Pastel Society



The Pastel Society of North Florida will meet from 9:30-11:30 a.m. March 23 at the Destin Library, 150 Sibert Ave. Carrie Raeburn, president of the Pastel Society, will do a presentation on designing a hard-bound, professional art portfolio using I-Book.



Purses with a Purpose



Returning from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 23 at  Silver Sands Premium Outlets in the storefront between Carter’s and Bose, with proceeds to benefit Shelter House. Admission is free.



 



All area codes are 850 unless noted.



Topsail tours



• Learn about and view the Sun with Bill Nigg from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every day in March in the amphitheater at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in Santa Rosa Beach. Program requires a $6 entry admission. Call 267-8330.



• Ranger Fred hosts campfire chats at 6 p.m. every Tuesday in the amphitheater at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in Santa Rosa Beach. Program requires a $6 entry admission. Call 267-8330.



• View the stars with Bill Nigg from 7:30-9 p.m. every Friday in March in the amphitheater at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in Santa Rosa Beach. At 8:30 p.m., Nigg also presents a slide show. Program requires a $6 entry admission. Call 267-8330.



• Join Ranger Tammy and scan the forest for shining eyes at 6 p.m. March 24 at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in Santa Rosa Beach. Program requires a $6 entry admission. Call 267-8330. Bring a flashlight or headlamp.



• A hike will focus on the effects of fire in our ecosystem at 1:45 p.m. March 30 at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in Santa Rosa Beach. Program requires a $6 entry admission. Call 267-8330.



Spring Wild Children’s Camp



Spring Break Camp for grades 1-6 will be held March 18-22, March 25-29 and April 1-5 at HarborWalk Village. Camp includes wildlife encounters, marine education and wildlife fun, and beach activities. Cost is $150/week with family discounts available. To register, call 650-1880 or email sleveille@eccwildliferefuge.com.



Holy Kidz Camp



Holy Kidz Camp will host its Spring Break Camp for all children in grades K-5 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, March 25-29, at the Destin Life Center at Destin United Methodist Church.  This year's theme is "Why We Celebrate Easter and What It Has to Do with Jesus." Children will learn the story of Jesus' participation in Easter through crafts, games, cooking, stories, songs, and other surprises. Cost is $100/student per week, $80/siblings.  Applications are now being accepted for student volunteers ages 13 and up. Call 586-8264 or register at www.holykidzcamps.com.



Spring Into Fun



The Destin Community Center will offer a “Spring Into Fun” Camp from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 25-29. Pre-registration is required. Cost is $60/Destin residents and $70/non-Destin residents, with lunch and snack provided. There will be a water day, a park day (weather permitting), games, crafts, activities, and snacks each of the five days. Call 654-5184 to sign up.



ACT/SAT workshop



A workshop to assist students in Okaloosa County High Schools who will take the April 13 ACT and the May 4 SAT will be held from 2-5 p.m. April 11, 12, 17 and 18 at Niceville High School and from 2-5 p.m. April 9,10, 15 and 16 at Fort Walton Beach High School. All materials, snacks and drinks are furnished. Students need to bring calculators. Registration deadline is March 25. For information, contact Alice Hart at 615-585-2401, email Amhart1966@aol.com or contact your high school guidance department.



Florida Trail Association



The Florida Trail Association will hold the following events. Visit www.choctaw.floridatrail.org or call the listed number.



• March 26:  Monthly meeting at 6 p.m. at Ed’s Hometown Seafood & Steaks in Niceville.  Visitors welcome.  Call 654-1172.



• March 29-April 6: Panhandle Trace nine days of hiking for a total of 100 miles. Do all nine days or part.  Call 982-9490.



Seminar



Arbor Wealth Management, LLC, a “Fee-Only” Registered Investment Advisory Firm, will host a seminar, “Income Generation: Making Your Portfolio Pay Monthly,” at 10 a.m. March 27 in the Arbor Wealth Conference Room. Refreshments will be served. Call 608-6121 to reserve seating.



Meet and Greet



The Greater Fort Walton Beach, Destin Area, Niceville Valparaiso, and Crestview Area Chambers of Commerce will host the five finalists for the position of Okaloosa County Administrator at a “meet and greet” affair from 6-7:30 p.m. March 27 at the Emerald Coast Convention Center on Okaloosa Island. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served. A cash bar will be available. Call 244-8191. 



Month of Giving



Destin Harvest will join forces with Jersey Mike’s Subs in Destin for the Third Annual March “Month of Giving” fundraising campaign. Customers can make donations to Destin Harvest at Jersey Mike’s, 817 Harbor Blvd. The campaign will culminate in the nationwide event, Jersey Mike’s “Day of Giving,” March 27. On that day, 100 percent of the day’s sales will be donated.



AARP Income Tax help



Volunteers from AARP will provide free individual federal tax assistance on an appointment only basis at the Destin Library from 9 am. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through April 11. Call 837-8572 and make an appointment.



ADSO Luncheon



Brenda Stokes, potter and owner, with husband Marty and son, Jason, of Holley Hill Pottery & Art Studio, will be the featured speaker at the Arts & Design Society's March Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. March 28 at the Arts Center Gallery, 17 First St. in Fort Walton Beach. Cost is $12. Make reservations by March 25 at adsoluncheon@yahoo.com or call 585-4967.



Mensa



Northwest Florida Mensa, a chapter of American Mensa, the high IQ society, will offer its membership test to the public at 10 a.m. March 30 in the Blue room of the Heritage Museum, 115 Westview Ave. in Valparaiso. The testing fee is $40, and a photo ID will be required. Mensa is an international society with only one requirement for membership: a score within the top 2 percent of the general population on a standardized intelligence test. Call 315-0255. 



Mac Users Group



The Mac Users Group will meet at 6:30 p.m. April 1 at the NWF State College Student Services Building — Room 132.Anne Hornstein will cover some of the capabilities of the Pages application and give a few hints on how to make your own website on iWeb. No reservation required. Call 862-3327 or emailjeancdutton@mac.com.



Kids Night Out            



A Kids Night Out will be held from 6-9:30 p.m. April 5 and May 10 at the Destin Community. Children ages 5-12 can enjoy a night full of games, a movie, pizza, and lots of fun. The cost is $20/Destin residents and $25/non-Destin residents. Call 654-5184.



Cox Cablethon



Tune in at 6 p.m. April 13 on Cox channel 6 for the 41st Annual Cox Cablethon to benefit Covenant Hospice. The Cablethon auction will be hosted online, allowing bidders all over the nation to view and bid on items during three 10-day auctions starting April 13 at www.eventsatcovenant.org/cablethon. Covenant Hospice will host a premiere party from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at their new office location, 220 Eglin Parkway NE inFort Walton Beach. The event is free and open to the public and will feature cinema-style refreshments.



NWFSC 50th Anniversary



A yearlong 50th Anniversary celebration of Northwest Florida State College officially begins with a festive 50th Anniversary Kick-Off Assembly from 9-10 a.m. April 17 in the Raiders Arena. The event also features the dedication and opening of a permanent Doolittle Raiders historical exhibit that is being constructed in the lobby of The Arena. The doors for the public will open at 8 a.m. and admittance will continue until The Arena reaches seating capacity. The public should enter through the Raider Club doors at the south side of The Arena, rather than the main doors.



Panhandle Job Fair



The Spring 2013 Panhandle Job Fair will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 18 at St. Mary’s Parish Life Center, 165 Coral Drive in Fort Walton Beach.



Register booths at www.panhandlejobfair.com. Cost is $175 and includes table, cloth, two chairs, Wi-Fi and electrical outlets (limited, reserve early). Also lite breakfast, hot lunch, sodas and water.



Farmers/Flea Market



The City of Destin will host a Farmers and Flea Market and Yard Sale from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 27 in the Destin Community Center’s parking lot. Vendor spots are available for a fee of $20/Destin residents and $25/non-residents. Call 654-5184 for more information.



Yard Sale



Opportunity Place, a shelter for homeless women and families seeking temporary housing, is in need of donations large and small for a Yard Sale/Open House to be held May 25 at 305 Lovejoy Road in Fort Walton Beach. Call 409-3070.



Destin Library



The following events are held regularly at the Destin Library. Call 837-8572



• Tai Chi for Arthritis: At 7 a.m.  Wednesdays. Cost is $5/class.



• Cuddlers & Toddlers Storytime: From 3-3:45 p.m. Tuesdays and 9:30-10:15 a.m. Thursdays for ages 4 months to 4 years.



• Independent Film Series: Independent and foreign films shown at 7 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month.



• Friends of the Destin Library: Monthly meeting held at 10 a.m. the second Friday of each month.



DestinCommunity Center



All activities are at the Destin Community Center, unless noted. Call 654-5184 for information and to register. Persons with disabilities who require assistance are asked to notify the center 48 hours in advance.



• Chair yoga: Monday and Thursday at 10 a.m. Cost is $3/class.



• Duplicate bridge: Mondays and Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. and 12:320 p.m. Wednesdays. Entry fee: $6. No partner needed. Bridge lessons 11 a.m. Wednesdays.



• Intermediate party bridge: Mondays and Tuesdays at 12:45 p.m. at Buck Destin Park. Call 837-1967. Beginning bridge class at 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays. $2/session.



• Jazzercise class: 6 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Call 621-3055. 



• Kidz Klub: After-school program from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Now accepting applications.



• Low Impact Aerobics: Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:15 a.m. Bring water and a towel. Cost is $3/session.



• MMA Fitness: Class from 6-7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday for all ages. Cost is $7. Grappling bags and gloves provided.



• Pickleball: Pickle Ball courts are available. Call if interested.



• Walking Club: Walk with music from 8-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.



• Woodcarving: Fridays at 9 a.m. Fee is $2.



• Yoga: Thursdays at noon. Cost is $5/class.



• Zumba gold: Monday and Thursday at 11 a.m. Cost is $6/class.