2019 Grant Finalists

THE AFTER PARTY: PROM 2020 – Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church
Applicant: Ryan Walsh
Grant Request: $6,889.21

GBWD funds will be used to pay fees for DJ, food and drink, security, tent, photo booth, decorations, and wristbands.

The After Party is intended to be the biggest and best party after Gulf Breeze High School’s prom dance. Designed to be fun, free, and most importantly, safe, it is a drug-free and alcohol-free event that includes a DJ, light show, food, virgin drinks, volleyball, and photo opportunities. Our purpose in sponsoring this event is to provide an alternative to the house parties that give our students the opportunity to make destructive decisions involving drugs and alcohol and in the absence of any adult supervision. We believe that there are students in our community who desire that which is wholesome and safe, and we want to provide such an opportunity for those students. On the other hand, there are also students who are vulnerable and at a crossroads in their lives; we hope to make choosing what is good in this particular instance easier and even attractive.

BALLISTIC PROTECTION VESTS – Midway Fire District
Applicant: Jonathan Kanzigg
Grant Request: $7000.00
GBWD funds will be used to purchase vests, armor, and tourniquets.

Our request is something we pray we will never use. However, if we are called to respond we want to be ready. Nationwide and around the globe, communities are facing an increasing number of tragedies involving active shooter and/or hostile events. The need for an integrated preparedness is vital. In 2018, there were 27 mass killing or Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response (ASHER) incidents in the United States, with three of those being in Florida. Every mass casualty incident requires a fire/EMS response putting all responders in dangerous situations. This project request is for ballistic protection vests for all domestic or hostile situations. Since fire and EMS responders are not armed, we rely heavily on protection from law enforcement. This grant request will give each on duty firefighter/paramedic additional protection and security to make entry to remove victims, or to be worn during incidents involving overdoses and domestic violence.

CEREMONIAL DRILL EQUIPMENT PURCHASE – Gulf Breeze High School Air Force Junior ROTC
Applicant: Keith Nelson
Grant Request: $7,713.50

GBWD funds will be used to purchase flag, poles, harnesses, flag stands, gloves, sabres, berets, ascots, rifle slings, replica rifles, and uniform cords.

The goal of our project is to replace multiple worn out and mismatching components of our JROTC unit ceremonial and competition drill/presentation equipment, including several uniform items. These components would be purchased for several different teams to include armed (with rifles), unarmed, saber drill, and color guard, who all participate in multiple high-visibility community events to include the annual Veteran’s Day, Homecoming, and Christmas/Holiday parades (among others) along with the presentation of the American flag, service and school flags at professional and high school sporting events. Our color guard also supports events with local/national organizations including the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, Military Officers Association of America, the Air Force Association, the Air Commando Association, local schools, and many others. Additionally, AFJROTC competes at nationwide drill competitions that represent our school and the Gulf Breeze community.

FULLY FUND THE FIFTH GRADE BAND – Gulf Breeze Elementary School Band
Applicant: Christy Stump
Grant Request: $9,980.00

GBWD funds will be used to purchase two tenor saxophones, three baritones, workstation, stands, cart and freight.

In 2018 Gulf Breeze Elementary School started an after-school band for fifth-grade students, the only program of its kind in the area. Last year was a tremendously successful first year, with 48 fifth-grade students – approximately 40% of the fifth-grade class – participating in the program. This year there are 45 students participating. We have worked extremely hard to receive many donations and grants from a variety of sources. Susie Smithey, the band director of the Gulf Breeze Middle School (and prior Will Do grant recipient), has temporarily loaned us some instruments. However, there are items that she will need back, and many are in bad shape or are not optimal for younger students. If awarded, this grant will positively affect an estimated 1,000 fifth-graders, as well as middle and high school bands, over the next 20 years. We are requesting two tenor saxophones, three baritones, music stand and a percussion workstation.

A GATEWAY TO BETTER EDUCATION – Gulf Breeze High School Mathematics Department
Applicant: Paula Thompson
Grant Request: $9,938.79

GBWD funds will be used to purchase three interactive projectors, three whiteboards, and cables.

The key to academic success is classroom engagement and an interactive whiteboard would do just that. In this age of technology, we must be proactive in engaging a large array of students. This interactive board is a gateway to better education that increases engagement and enthusiasm in mathematic classrooms by offering differentiated instruction for our students. SmartBoards offer visual and tactile lessons that lead to multisensory engagement when given the ability to touch, write, or draw to demonstrate understanding. The mathematics department of Gulf Breeze High School is requesting three new SmartBoards to replace the ones received ten-years ago. This grant would purchase three devices in the hopes of providing a more involved environment for a large number of students this year and many more to come. Improving the academic quality of our school would not only be beneficial to our students, but also to our community.

MAKING MUSIC – The Arc Gateway, Inc.
Applicant: Melissa Rogers
Grant Request: $4,494.00

GBWD funds will be used to purchase 6 iPads.

Since 1954, The Arc Gateway has provided life-enhancing programs that currently help about 1000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities realize their dreams. Last year a new education and training day program for adults was opened in South Santa Rosa County. This project proposes the purchase of 6 Apple iPads to allow participants in the South Santa Rosa program the opportunity for hands-on, individualized learning opportunities utilizing a new music learning tool, Musiquest. Working in conjunction with the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, Musiquest is piloting a musical creativity application in our area. Its mission is to give every person in the world a chance to make their own music on any computer, laptop or iPad. The project’s overarching goal is to build an affordable, highly responsive program which supports creativity, socio-emotional learning and self-expression for people with special needs.

MOVING WITH MUSIC: ENGAGING YOUNG MINDS WITH MUSIC AND MOVEMENT – Woodlawn Beach Middle School
Applicant: LaTonya Moyer
Grant request: $3,168.73

GBWD funds will be used to purchase basketballs, basketball nets, soccer balls, soccer nets, volleyball sets, footballs, rugby balls, tape measures, cones, and music players and speakers.

The core of my proposal includes exposing students to a variety of motor skill experiences, and a lifetime of physical activity, and team sports. Due to the influx of people which have come from catastrophic events over the past few years we are in need for more equipment. The physical education department at WBMS conduct 3 to 4-week units which includes; fitness, basketball, volleyball, football, rugby, throughout the school year, dependent on weather and other unexpected happenings. Each of the units include: history, a skill, music to enhance the engagement of the students learning the new skill, and the needed sports equipment related to the skill being taught. The total cost of our project is $3,168.73.

OPERATION “WILL DO” COMPUTER UPGRADES – South Santa Rosa Interfaith Ministries
Applicant: Shirley Cornett
Grant Request: $7,319.00

GBWD funds will be used to purchase five computers, printer, Office software, delivery, setup and installation.

South Santa Rosa Interfaith Ministries, Inc. is a 501(c)3 corporation
founded in 2000 by churches of Greater Gulf Breeze. Church leaders recognized that by combining outreach programs, the program(s) would be more effective in assisting the under¬ served and under-resourced in the Gulf Breeze community. Interfaith averages 3,500 clients per year with emergencies such as: medical care and medications; rent and mortgage payments; temporary housing; emergency travel; utility payments; automobile expenses; food; clothing and other emergent needs. In 2018 Interfaith Ministries (IM) spent over $170,000 to assist those in need in our community. Computers in the Financial Assistance Office are over 10 years old. Upgrading the record keeping system at the Thrift Shop necessitates new computers and software. IM needs your assistance to purchase the following: Five Computers – three for Thrift Shop; two for Financial Assistance Office and two Printers – For Financial Assistance Office.

OUTREACH PROGRAM FOR UNPREDICTABLE SKIES AND DAYTIME ASTRONOMY – Escambia County Amateur Astronomers
Applicant: Lauren Rogers
Grant Request: $1,091.10

GBWD funds will be used to purchase a laptop, projector, cords, bulb and cables.

The EAAA is a non-profit educational organization which was founded over 40 years ago which, as a member of the national Astronomical League, “promotes the science of astronomy by fostering astronomical education.” Our primary goal is to provide opportunities for the public at large to experience the wonders of our universe by sponsoring stargazing events that are free to the public. EAAA members volunteer literally thousands of hours of time each year at 25 scheduled club gazes plus additional school and community events. Our goal is to provide guests with opportunities to use our telescopes, but we are often forced to cancel events due to inclement weather. We are requesting funding for equipment that would allow us to continue our public outreach events with indoor/sheltered programming during bad weather and also allow our daytime school events to reach much larger numbers of students.

SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT – ONE BOTTLE AT A TIME – Gulf Breeze Elementary School
Applicant: Melody Griffin
Grant Request: $8,800.00

GBWD funds will be used to purchase two water stations, two retrofit water stations, and installation.

Gulf Breeze Elementary is working towards reducing the amount of waste generated on campus as well as improving the health of our population. We are asking GBWD for $8,800 to purchase four refillable water stations. With approximately 850 students, the amount of plastic water bottles, bagged drinks, soda, and sports drinks the school disposes of each day is affecting our environment addition to our students’ health. All single use bottles from GBES are sent straight to the landfill due to no funds for school recycling. The average single use beverage has between 15 to 75 grams of sugar. This is four to six times the recommended daily amount of sugar for kids and teenagers. The four water bottle refilling stations on our campus will start an initiative that encourages students and families to ditch the single use bottles and utilizes refillable bottles.

SHORELINE NORTH OUTDOOR PICKLEBALL COURT PROJECT – City of Gulf Breeze Parks and Recreation Department
Applicant: Ron Pulley
Grant Request: $6,528.14

GBWD funds will be used to purchase five-row galvanized bleachers, shade system, and freight.

The City of Gulf Breeze Parks and Recreation Department is requesting grant funding for a 12′ x 15′ x 8′ shade system and one set of five row bleachers to be placed at the new Outdoor Pickleball Courts. These courts will be constructed in conjunction with the basketball courts. Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the United States. One reason this game is so popular is because people of all ages can play. This game is easy to learn, provides a positive social atmosphere, and healthy exercise! This sport has actually grown by 90% since 2016 at the Gulf Breeze Recreation Center alone! Due to the high demand, the need for additional courts to our existing courts has become of vital importance. Construction of these courts will be able to alleviate wait times and also encourage new participants. The shade structure and bleachers will further enhance the participant’s experience.

TAKE STOCK IN CHILDREN – Santa Rosa County Education Foundation
Applicant: Angi Brown
Grant Request: $9,000.00

GBWD funds will be used to purchase a four-year tuition scholarship.

Take Stock in Children purchases four year tuition college scholarships through the Florida Prepaid College Foundation. We serve all of Santa Rosa County but, if selected, we will purchase one scholarship for a student in the 32561 or 32563 zip code with the money donated. All scholarship recipients are low-income students would benefit from weekly mentoring, college prep, and otherwise would not have means to attend college. All money donated is matched by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.

TRACK AND FIELD POLE VAULT PIT – Gulf Breeze High School
Applicant: Tyler Alt
Grant Request: $10,000.00

GBWD funds will be used to purchase a Gill pole vault pit.

This project is to fund the acquisition of a new Pole Vault Pit for the Gulf Breeze High School Boys and Girls Track and field Program. Being the largest sports team at Gulf Breeze with over 150 Boys and Girls it is imperative that our athletic equipment be up to date and safe. Nowhere is this seen more than in pole vault. These athletes must use flexible pole to catapult themselves over 11 feet in the air over a bar to land on a crash pad, which is the only thing preventing them from injury. We currently have very outdated Crash pads that have already been refurbished once and continue to break down and fall apart. Some of the pads are missing cushioning in some places and others have broken zippers that prevent us from draining water out of them to prevent mold from forming.

WEEKLY BEACH CLEANUPS! – Ocean Hour Inc.
Applicant: Barbara Mozur
Grant Request: $2,999.00

GBWD funds will be used to buy 100 Steel Grip Pick Up Tools and 500 Nitrile gloves.

Ocean Hour is a non-profit organization dedicated to weekly one-hour beach clean ups in Gulf Breeze, Pensacola Beach and Pensacola. Ocean Hour has been active since 2012, last year removing over 18,000 pounds of debris. Our volunteers meet at 8:45 am each Saturday at the cleanup site to sign in and pick up their cleaning supplies. Ocean Hour provides volunteers with grabbers, gloves, trash bags and buckets. The most expensive piece of equipment the volunteers use is the grabber, also the key piece of equipment for grasping the marine debris and trash. The grabber gets the most wear and tear, and we are constantly restocking them. Grabbers get in to hard to reach places and are great for keeping the stinky refuse arm’s length away. Gloves protect the volunteers’ hands from the trash as well as potential bacteria and unseen critters (snakes and ticks) lurking in the shrubbery.