News and Events Jan. 26

Special to The Sun
The Sheila Smith Trio will provide music for the retreat. [CONTRIBUTED PHOTO]

Poverty Simulation Experience

Join Caring and Sharing of South Walton, Communities of Transformation, and the United Way of Walton and Okaloosa Counties from 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 2 at the Boys and Girls Club in South Walton for a Poverty Simulation Experience. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Participants (aged 10 and up) will be offered a glimpse into the lives of low-income individuals and families living in the community. Following the experience, participants will have the opportunity to learn how they can get more involved in local poverty alleviation efforts.

Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Childcare may be available upon request for children ages six months to 9 years old.

This event is free, but registration is required to guarantee space and request childcare, and open to anyone interested in learning more about the lives and needs of under-resourced families in the community. Up to 120 people can participate. Donations to support local poverty alleviation efforts through Caring and Sharing's new Communities of Transformation Initiative are welcome. Checks may be made out to Caring and Sharing of South Walton, with "COT" in the memo line.

For more information, email or call 850-783-0237.

Panhandle Women's Retreat

The 12th annual Florida Panhandle Women’s Retreat is scheduled to kick off at 6:30 p.m. March 1 and continue through March 2 at the DeFuniak Springs Community Center, 361 N. Tenth Street in DeFuniak Springs.

The theme for the 2019 retreat is “Fear Not Tomorrow … God’s Already There!” and is based on Deuteronomy 31:8.

Speakers for this year’s retreat include Jennifer Christie, speaker, writer and professional interpreter for the hearing impaired. Her personal testimony of rape while on a business trip will rivet her listeners and restore faith in the power of God’s love.

Also speaking will be Rese Moore, a popular and much appreciated speaker in the Panhandle area. A pastor’s wife from Marianna, Rese brings encouragement through humor and practical biblical truth.

Providing special music will be the Sheila Smith Trio from Cottondale, Florida. Their sweet sound lends itself well to the Southern gospel music they will share.

The retreat begins with a western-themed meal. Doors open at 6 p.m. Both speakers will bring a taste of what’s in store the following day and the Sheila Smith Trio will provide music as well.

The March 2 program begins at 9:30 a.m. and will conclude at 2. The day will be packed with music, encouragement, inspiring testimony and sweet fellowship. Lunch is included.

“I encourage everyone to join us. This retreat promises to be one of the best ever. For special fellowship and spiritual blessing, don’t miss out on this wonderful time,” said Marie Hinson, chair of the Florida Panhandle Women’s Retreat committee.

Cost for both Friday and Saturday events is $30 through Feb. 21. Friday night only is $10 and Saturday only is $25. After Feb. 21, individual rates will apply.

Registration is open at For further information, call 850-333-3406.