Community Happenings April 12
All area codes are 850 unless noted.
Volunteers of all ages are needed for the Earth Day Beach Cleanup from 8-10 a.m. April 12 at Beasley Park on Okaloosa Island, the Beach Park west of Island Princess on Okaloosa Island, and Henderson Beach State Park in Destin. Call 651-7131.
The Destin Harbor Farmers’ Market will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays at 314 Harbor Blvd. Items include farm fresh produce, baked goods, Greek, Mediterranean, Indian, Italian and Mexican food, organic dog treats and more.
Grab a Fork, Lend a Hand
The second annual Grab a Fork, Lend a Hand, an international tasting fair, will be held at 6 p.m. April 12 at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church’s Parish Life Center in Niceville to benefit Catholic Charities. The event will feature food from around the world, including Italy, Mexico, Poland, Turkey, India, the Philippines, Germany and Korea, as well as Cajun and classic American favorites. Prices for each food item range from $1 to $5, with all proceeds benefitting Catholic Charities’ Fort Walton Beach regional office, which serves all of Okaloosa and Walton counties. Call 737-0864.
The merchants of Downtown Fort Walton Beach will hold a Farmer’s Market from 8 a.m. to noon April 12 in downtown Fort Walton Beach, 201 S.E. Miracle Strip Parkway in the grassy area behind Burrito Del Sol and Bella Day Spa & Hair Studio.
Future dates include May 10, June 14, July 12 and Aug. 9.
West Marine will host a grand opening for its newly renovated store beginning at 8 a.m. April 12-13 at 862-B U.S. Hwy. 98 E. In-store events include tips from experts, electronics demos, door-buster deals, giveaways and raffles.
The Gulf Coast Wedding Expo brings the wedding professionals on the Gulf Coast together from 1-5 p.m. April 13 at the Emerald Coast Convention Center on Okaloosa Island. Purchase $7 tickets at www.GulfCoastWeddingExpo.com. Brides will be treated to mini-makeovers, food samples, giveaways and be able to collaborate with wedding professionals.
Covenant Hospice will offer a free seminar, “Customer Service for Healthcare Professionals,” at 5:15 p.m. April 15 at 220 Eglin Parkway NE in Mariner Plaza in Fort Walton Beach. One Credit Hour will be awarded to Florida nurses, Florida social workers, LMHC and MFT, as well as Florida nursing home administrators. Attendance hours will be awarded to nursing assistants. Reservations required by April 9 at 598-0861.
Northwest Florida State College’s PRIME Time will host a Volunteer Day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 16 in the Student Services Center and the Student Activities Center, 1st floors, at the Niceville campus. Local representatives from a variety of non-profit agencies will be on hand to answer questions about volunteer opportunities in the local area. Call 729-6084.
My Wishes workshop
In conjunction with National Healthcare Decisions Day, Covenant Hospice will offer a hands-on advance care planning workshop at 1:30 p.m. April 16 at The Meridian at Westwood in Fort Walton Beach. There is no cost, but reservations are required at 729-1800.
Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections will hold Candidate University April 24 from 9 a.m. to noon in Crestview and 6-9 p.m. in Fort Walton Beach. The class is for anyone interested in running for public office or just wanting to learn about the candidate process. Call 689-5600 or email email@example.com to register by April 16.
Abuse of addictive pharmaceutical drugs is on the rise. Learn to recognize the signs of drug abuse and get your loved ones help if they are at risk. Call Narconon for a free brochure on the signs of addiction for all types of drugs. Narconon also offers free assessments and referrals. Call 800-431-1754 or email DrugAbuseSolution.com.
Alzheimer’s support group
Alzheimer’s Family Services hosts a new support group for family members or friends coping with a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease at 2 p.m. the last Tuesday of the month at Sacred Heart of the Emerald Coast, Suite 3 Conference Room in Miramar Beach. The support group is free and limited respite care is available. To make arrangements, call 866-478-7790.
Cram the Canoe
Help fill new canoes with new athletic shoes for girls and boys ages 10-15 and sporting goods such as balls, outdoor games and life jackets during the Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranch fundraiser. Donations can be dropped off to any school resource officer until the end of the school year.
The Choctawhatchee Estuary Family Festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 26 at Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park on SR 20 near Niceville. There will be games for kids and demonstrations on the use of binoculars and scopes for birding and nature watching. Call 582-7064 to volunteer or for more info.
• May 1: Meeting at 6:30 p.m. on the ground floor of the Student Services Center at the Niceville campus of NWFSC. Program, Caught on Camera: Butterflies and Moths, will be presented by MaryAnn Friedman.
• May 10: Join photopaddler and birder Walt Spencefor a bird float on Niceville area bayous. Register at 582-7064. There are no charges or fees, and participants must furnish their own canoes or kayaks, as well as paddles, safety equipment, and personal supplies. Those wishing to bring cameras or binoculars are advised to bring water-proof storage, such as a dry bag or large zip-lock.
Aveda and Avantgarde Salon & Spa host the annual Cut-A-Thon April 26. Receive free services from professionals with all proceeds donated to the Gulf Restoration Network to keep beaches clean. Raffle tickets for free hair care and spa services are $10 with proceeds going to keep the gulf coast healthy and take water access to underprivileged families around the world. Call 654-5057
The second annual Emerald Coast Community Day, sponsored by Emerald Coast Baptist Church, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 26 at 724 Legion Drive, Buck Destin Park. Children's activities, free hot dogs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., a cake walk, a charity clothing sale, $1 each piece, and door prizes for kids and adults highlight the event. All proceeds will be used to support an orphanage in Romania.
Healthy Kids Day
The YMCA of Florida’s Emerald Coast will host Healthy Kids Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 26 at the Destin YMCA. Fun, active play and educational activities features games, bounce house, arts and crafts and more. Sacred Heart on the Emerald Coast, Department of Public Health, Tobacco Free Florida and White Wilson will be on hand with healthy activities for kids. Summer camp sign up specials will be available. Call 650-9622 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Junior League of the Emerald Coast’s sixth annual Spring Market will be held April 26 and 27 at the Emerald Coast Convention Center on Okaloosa Island and will feature vendors from around the country selling unique gifts and quality merchandise. To become a sponsor or a vendor, email JLECMarket@yahoo.com. Call 862-2665.
Flea Market/Yard Sale
Vendor spots are available for those interested in selling items for a fee of $20/Destin residents and $25/non-residents during the Flea Market and Yard Sale from 8 a.m. to noon May 10 in the parking lot of the Destin Community Center. No rain date. Call 654-5184 for all information.
Class of ‘94
Fort Walton Beach High School’s Class of ‘94 will hold a reunion weekend June 20-21 For details, visit www.fwbhs1994.com.
Destin Community 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.
• Adult Open Gym: Monday from 6-9 p.m. for 17 and up to play full-court pickup basketball games. Destin residents are free and non-residents are $2.
• Brazilian Martial Arts: A Capoeira class that combines the elements of dance, acrobatics and music from 7-9 p.m. Thursday.
• Chair Yoga: Monday and Thursday at 10 a.m. Cost is $4.
• Duplicate bridge: Monday and Thursday at 9:15 a.m. and Wednesdays at 12:30. Entry fee: $6. No partner needed.
• Intermediate party bridge: Monday and Tuesday at 12:45 p.m. at Buck Destin Park on Legion Drive. Call 837-1967. Cost $2.
• Kidz Klub: After-school program from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday for grades K-4. Snacks provided.
• Line dancing: Beginners class begins at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, open dance at 1:15 and intermediate dancers at 1:30. Fee is $5.
• Low Impact Aerobics: Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:15 a.m. Cost is $3/session.
• MMA Fitness: Tuesday and Thursday from 6-7 p.m. for all ages. Cost is $7/person. Grappling bags and gloves provided.
• Pickleball: All levels, including first timers, welcome. Cost is $2/resident and $3/non-resident.
• Shotokan Karate: Class promotes life enrichment, physical fitness, discipline, focus and self-defense at 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Fee is $65/month.
• Table tennis: Competition from 2:30-5 p.m. Tuesdays and 9 a.m. to noon Thursdays.
• Turbo kick: Fitness class at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays. Fee is $10.
• Walking Club: Monday-Friday from 8-9 a.m. Walk with music.
• Woodcarving: Fridays at 9 a.m. Fee is $2.
• Yoga: Bring a mat and towel at noon Thursdays. Cost is $6.
• Zumba gold: Mondays and Thursdays at 11 a.m. Cost is $6.