2018 Grant Finalists

CONSERVATION STATIONS – Gulf Breeze High School Marine Science Club 

  • Applicant:                                  Genevieve Edwards
  • Grant Request:                          $6,524.42
  • GBWD funds will be used to purchase 7 Elkay cooler bottle filling stations and 7 prep bottle section of bottle cooler.
  • The Marine Science Club is spearheading a movement to reduce the amount of single use plastic waste generated on the Gulf Breeze High School campus while offering healthier lifestyle choices. Our mission is to promote good stewardship toward our marine environment. This includes reducing the amount of pollution that enters our ecosystems and also relaying information about adverse health effects single use plastics pose. Recycling is not currently available on campus; therefore, the majority of plastics are disposed of onsite. This leads to overflowing trash cans, dumpsters, and landfills and plastic that litters our environment. Ingestion of chemicals that leach out of plastics (bisphenol A) has been linked to a rise in cancers and neurological difficulties. Our project is to install seven water bottle refilling stations throughout campus for students, faculty, staff, and visitors of Gulf Breeze High School to refill appropriately designed water bottles.


  • Applicant:                                  Christina Hamilton
  • Grant Request:                          $7,988.99
  • GBWD funds will be used to purchase 10 Dell touch screen laptops, Canon EOS digital camera body, and Canon telephoto zoom lens.
  • The GBHS journalism program has grown rapidly over the past few years. In particular, the yearbook program has doubled in size, from 20 to 40 students in the past year alone. These students are the future of truth and integrity in journalism. They are eager to learn not only the importance of ethical journalism, but also to learn the technology that accompanies this field, including editing, graphic design, and photography. Unfortunately, our budget has not been able to grow with our students. With only 12 laptops and 2 cameras for our 40 students, we struggle to maintain the best possible program, engaging students and covering all aspect of student and community life. The Gulf Breeze community has counted on our yearbook for decades to deliver an authentic look at life each school year. It will be wonderful to expand our technology to meet the growing needs of our future journalists.


  • Applicant:                                  Paige Cary
  • Grant Request:                          $9,975.00
  • GBWD funds will be used to pay fees for spaying/neutering 15 dogs less than 50 pounds, 20 dogs 50-99 pounds, 10 dogs greater than 100 pounds, 35 female cats, 30 male cats including rabies vaccines, microchips and transportation costs.
  • A HOPE for Santa Rosa County is a local nonprofit committed to reducing the euthanasia rates at our county shelter. In the absence of a low cost clinic in Santa Rosa County and an extremely long wait in Escambia County, A HOPE is working Operation Spay Bay, a low cost clinic in Panama City, providing reduced cost spay/neuter and vaccination services to the community. We currently provide these services twice a month, transporting the community cats and companion animals for surgeries and returning at the end of the day. Overnight boarding, if necessary, is available at no cost. To date, A HOPE has sent over 738 community animals for spay/neuter services.

FLAGS IN THE BREEZE – Gulf Breeze High School Band Boosters

  • Applicant:                             Dan Hecht
  • Grant Request:                    $8,295.00
  • GBWD funds will be used to purchase 200 flag kits, 20 flag storage tubes, 8 rebar flag installer tools and 12 months of storage.
  • This grant will enable the GBHS Band to generate nearly $50,000 over the next five years. The funds will be used to purchase 200 outdoor American flags, poles, and supplies for an ongoing fundraiser. The band will sell subscriptions to Gulf Breeze families for Flags in the Breeze at $50 annually. Each subscribing family will get a flag placed in their yard on five appropriate holidays (e.g. 4th of July, etc.) throughout the year. Thus, if 200 families subscribe, this grant will enable the band to raise $10,000 annually, or $100,000 over 10 years to pay for new music instruments, instrument repairs, and other increasing needs for our dynamic band. This is a great return on an investment. Additionally, this project will aid Gulf Breeze beautification and patriotism on these important community holidays.

FOCUS ON COMMUNICATION – Oriole Beach Elementary CBSA Classroom 

  • Applicant:                                        Julia Taylor
  • Grant request:                                 $1,308.09
  • GBWD funds will be used to purchase 2 iPads, cases, laminating pouches, laminator, color printer, 4-year protection plan, and toner replacement.
  • The CBSA Classroom at Oriole Beach Elementary represents students with severe disabilities that require intensive instruction in the areas of Communication, Behavior, Social Skills and Academics (CBSA). These classrooms are unique to Santa Rosa County and are highly sought after by parents of children with special needs. The theme this year in the CBSA classroom is “Focus on Communication” because it is the most rudimentary principal for gaining an understanding of the students’ behavior, academic knowledge, and fundamental needs. “Focus on Communication” allows the teacher, together with the Speech-Language Pathologist, to methodically identify the student’s primary means of communication, whether it be the use of sign language, Augmentative and Alternative Communication devices, or vocal speech. The funds requested in this grant application will provide valuable resources that help students foster their primary means of communication, making them more productive within the school environment, family unit and Gulf Breeze community.


  • Applicant:                                  Carrie Gaut
  • Grant Request:                          $7,911.00
  • GBWD funds will be used to purchase 60 TI-84CE graphing calculator kits.
  • Using graphing calculators after mastery of an algebraic skill allows students to compute, graph, or create a table of values quickly. In addition, students in a technology-rich classroom have the opportunity to study vivid and powerful mathematics in their high school algebra classes regardless of their skill in manipulating fractions and integers. This allows them to make connections among different representations of mathematical models, switching between algebraic, graphical and tubular forms. Data analysis becomes integrated into the curriculum and teachers can create meaningful, relevant experiences for their students. Graphing calculators allow for deeper understanding and improved visualization of problems and solutions, which help our students become more innovative thinkers and problem solvers. This grant would purchase two 30-unit T!-84-84CE classroom calculator kits to be used in high school mathematics classrooms.

MIRACLE FIELD OF DREAMS – Miracle League of Santa Rosa County

  • Applicant:                            Shane Player
  • Grant Request:                   $4,995.00
  • GBWD funds will be used to purchase a golf cart.
  • The Miracle League of Santa Rosa County was established to build an adaptive field and maintain a baseball league for physically and/or mentally challenged members of our community. The goal of the Miracle League field is to remove barriers that keep children and adults with mental and physical disabilities off the baseball field and let them experience the joy of American’s favorite pastime. Miracle League fields are custom designed rubberized fields that accommodate wheelchairs and other motorized devices while helping prevent injuries.

MORGAN PARK EDUCATIONAL SIGNS – Santa Rosa Island Authority 

  • Applicant:                                  Paolo Ghio
  • Grant Request:                          $2,484.00
  • GBWD funds will be used to purchase graphic design, file preparation, and two 36″ x 24″ gel coat laminate panels and aluminum bases.
  • Morgan Park honors Dr. James P. Morgan, a world renowned beach geologist, LSU and UWF professor. Morgan was a Pensacola Beach resident who valued the education make available by nature’s classroom. The park is a greenspace, tranquil retreat and lush oasis in the midst of crowds and traffic which surround it. The park is home to native plants, a meandering walkway, sitting deck and heritage oak. It has been identified by the Audubon Society as a shorebird rookery. In 2019, the park is set to be upgraded and refurbished. In keeping with the educational intent, the signs will be placed to inform and engage visitors about the nesting birds and flourishing plants. The signs will create a sense of place where a story unfolds about the park’s history, purpose and inhabitants.

PUMPING HEARTS, PAINT BRUSHES AND WHEELS TO GO – Interfaith Ministries/Good Samaritan Clinic 

  • Applicant:                                  Kathy Werner
  • Grant Request:                          $9,517.27
  • GBWD funds will be used to purchase an EKG with spirometer, 2 AED electrodes, AED battery, pulse oximeter, 20 blood pressure machines, thrift store truck paint materials, and thrift store painting and supplies.
  • Interfaith Ministries/Good Samaritan Clinic (GSC), a 501 (c)(3) public charity, was conceived by eight Gulf Breeze churches who realized that by combining their outreach program resources they could increase the number of people served. In short, GSC exists to provide free medical and limited dental healthcare to the uninsured in our community. Our clinic consists of volunteer medical and dental providers, nurses, pharmacists, and support lay staff. There is no cost for medical or dental treatments, medications, or counseling to qualified patients. At GSC, “Nobody pays and nobody gets paid.” We exist solely through donations and grants.

READING CAFE – Gulf Breeze Middle School

  • Applicant:                                   Heather Barona
  • Grant Request:                          $1899.99
  • GBWD funds will be used to purchase 4 bean bag pillows, 2 bean bag chairs, 4 saucer chairs, 2 futons, 3 end tables, 2 shelf floor lamps, 2 shag rugs, 2 sets cafe bar-style table and chair, magazine rack, 2 book racks and magazine subscriptions
  • Gulf Breeze Middle School seeks to open a Reading Cafe to engage and create an excitement for reading with students. The intensive reading classroom teacher will add the cafe features to a classroom as a service for the lowest 25th percentile to utilize daily while receiving instruction. Additionally, the cafe will open a few days a week for the general student body to promote reading. School breakfast will be available for purchase so all students can participate in receiving breakfast.

RESCUE EQUIPMENT – Gulf Breeze Volunteer Fire Department 

  • Applicant:                                  Scott Kasper
  • Grant Request:                          $9,483.62
  • GBWD funds will be used to purchase 100 CAT tourniquets, 30 CAT sheaths, 3 SKEDs, and 6 Level IV vests.
  • Gulf Breeze Volunteer Fire Department and Gulf Breeze Police Department are attempting to increase its response capabilities to active shooter situations and other acts of violence. We are requesting funding for 100 tourniquets, 30 tourniquet holsters, three SKED stretchers, and six ballistic vests for the fire department. Unfortunately, in this day and age, both police and fire departments have had to improve training and equipment in order to provide the best level protection in an active shooter situation. The City of Gulf Breeze has a host of high life hazard buildings, such as: schools, churches, hospitals; and events where thousands of people may gather. History has proven one lone person may be able to kill and injure dozens in just a few minutes. These situations quickly overwhelm local responders and normal patient care tactics must change in order to treat multiple patients at one time.

SEA TURTLE BABY SHOWER – Pensacola Beach Advocates 

  • Applicant:                                  Lauren Campanella
  • Grant Request:                          $1,265.56
  • GBWD funds will be used to purchase 3 mermaid costumes, portable Bluetooth PA system and two sail banners.
  • Pensacola Beach Advocates sponsor an annual family friendly Sea Turtle Baby Shower. The event showcases environmental treasures found on the island in an entertaining and interactive format. The event focuses on things visitors and residents can do to enjoy the beach while sharing it respectfully with nesting turtles, shore birds and their babies. All of the many exhibitors display information focused on this goal. The result of the Sea Turtle Baby Shower is the guests have fun not knowing they are learning to preserve our natural environment and “Leave Only Yours Footprints.” To attract more attendees,draw attention to our event and improve the experience, we need a wireless microphone so exhibitors can be heard throughout the event, banner flags to attract attention of people passing by, and mermaid costumes.

STORAGE BUILDING – Adaptive P.E. Teacher Gulf Breeze

  • Applicant:                                  Zack Butler
  • Grant Request:                         $3,035.00
  • GBWD funds will be used to buy a storage building.
  • My name is Zack Butler, and I am the pre-k to 12th grade Adaptive PE Teacher at Gulf Breeze Elementary, Gulf Breeze Middle School, Gulf Breeze High School, and Oriole Beach Elementary. I am applying for this grant because I desperately need a storage building for my adaptive PE equipment. Adaptive PE is a physical education class adapted to the individualized goals for students with special needs (i.e. autism, Down syndrome, developmental delay, and physical disabilities). Currently, the equipment is stored in my attic, garage, and small closets across the schools causing difficulty in accessing appropriate equipment throughout the school day. The storage building will be located at Gulf Breeze Middle School which is central to the schools in need. The storage building will allow space to add more necessary equipment, address the diversity of each group by using appropriate equipment, and secure equipment from being lost of stolen.


  • Applicant:                             Mark Hedden
  • Grant Request:                    $7,971.34
  • GBWD funds will be used to purchase a Dolphin wireless timing system, pace clock, 10 kickboards, 10 buoy floats, 40 swim paddles, 150 swim caps, 2 gallon totes and a canopy tent.
  • The GBHS Swim Team had ever increasing operational costs over the last few years. They are currently one of the few teams in the district that does not have their own pool. The swim team uses Cecil Hunter pool in Pensacola as their home pool. Since the swim season is outside the normal outdoor recreational swim season, special provisions have to be made with Pensacola Parks and Recreation to keep the pool open through November. The swim team has one of the lowest requested donation amounts of the high school sports teams. In order to keep the donations reasonable for families, this request is to offset equipment cost so that all donation funding goes into operational costs. The swim team has been one of the best teams in the district for several years, and in order to maintain that high level of success, their equipment needs to be replaced.