FPRA Ocala honors chapter, state leaders
The Ocala chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association held its monthly professional development meeting and a special “Starting Gate” recognition event Aug. 19, according to a press release from FPRA.
The association’s 2022-2023 state president, Jay Morgan-Schleuning, presented the program and installed the incoming chapter board. Morgan-Schleuning takes over the leadership reins from Devon Chestnut, who is FPRA’s outgoing state president as well as a member of the Ocala chapter.
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The Starting Gate event honored the 2022 PACEsetter member of the year and showcased past presidents in attendance during a gavel-passing ceremony.
Marion County man gives his 175th gallon of blood
Charles Hamilton, 82, joins the ranks of only a handful of blood donors who have reached a major milestone at OneBlood, according to a press release. He reached his 175-gallon milestone on Aug. 15 at the OneBlood Ocala Donor Center.
Hamilton ranks as the highest gallon-level blood donor at this center. He gives platelets every two weeks. They go mainly to cancer patients within five days. He has impacted and literally saved countless lives over the years that he has been donating, the release said.
Sozo Kids, Marion County Veterans Council receive funds from the American Rescue Plan Act
Two local nonprofits recently received federal funds distributed through Marion County as part of the federal American Rescue Plan Act, a response to the impact of COVID-19, according to a Marion County Board of County Commissioners release.
The Marion County Veterans Council received a grant for $50,000 in ARPA funds and Sozo Kids, run by the nonprofit Help Agency of the Forest, was awarded a grant for $400,000 in ARPA funds.
A Dec. 8, 2021 Star Banner article stated Marion County has received about $71 million in ARPA funds. The Community Foundation of Ocala/Marion County has partnered with the county to identify local nonprofits for distribution.
The MCVC is involved in outreaches including the “Stuff the Bus” program, started by the Kingdom of the Sun Military Officers Association of America 22 years ago, according to the MCVC Facebook page. This school year’s effort saw 1,100 backpacks filled with school supplies delivered to 44 area schools.
The Help Agency of the Forest addresses rural poverty and reaches about 7,500 people in the Ocala Forest area monthly with food and other programs, according to sozokids.org. Turning Point after school mentoring and Camp Sozo are also part of the Help Agency of the Forest.
School district wins National Finance Award 22 consecutive years
The Chicago-based Government Finance Officers Association has awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to the Marion County Public Schools’ Finance Department, one of only three Florida school districts recognized this year. This is the 22nd consecutive year the department has been honored.
GFWC Greater Ocala Woman’s Club book bag and school supply collection
Sharon McCarron and Mary Ziegenhorn of the GFWC Greater Ocala Woman’s Club recently organized the donation of backpacks and school supplies by the club, according to a press release.
The backpacks, filled with school supplies, were donated to the Ocala Domestic Abuse Center. Twenty-one backpacks were donated for a total value of $700. On Aug. 12, nine club members met for lunch at StoneCreek Grill to collect the backpacks and school supplies.
Former Sheriff Don Moreland honored with proclamation
Former Marion County Sheriff Don Moreland accepted a proclamation from Marion County Commissioner Jeff Gold at a gathering honoring Moreland on Aug. 14 at the Bank Street Patio Bar & Grill in downtown Ocala, a press release said.
The proclamation deemed August 2022 as “Sheriff Don Moreland Month” and cited Moreland’s long law enforcement career, including serving as a Marion County deputy sheriff from 1957 to 1972 and sheriff from 1973 to 1992, followed by 10 years as a U.S. marshal, the release said.
Friends and former employees packed the patio for the event to honor Moreland, the release said.
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