Join Darbster for their Inaugural  Darbster Foundation party on Monday

Join Darbster for their Inaugural Darbster Foundation party on Monday

roguetheory3Darbster is hosting their Inaugural Darbster Foundation party at their restaurant at 8020 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach on Monday, June 6th, 5:30pm-8:30pm. Four food stations, open bar, valet and naturally an awesome band – Rogue Theory!

RSVP and get your tickets TODAY!

Although Darbster is actively involved in helping both dogs and cats in our community, this year’s event is targeting raising funds to renovate the doggie play yard at our local shelter, Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control. As a result of the shelter adopting the program, Dogs Playing for Life (http://dogsplayingforlife.com) the adoptable dogs have been participating in Play Groups 5 – 6 days a week where they have the opportunity to play outside in the play yard, socialize with each other, make friends, release energy. As a result, the dogs in our shelter are happier, less stressed, more balanced and adoption/rescue rates have increased! An exercised dog is a happy dog. Happy dogs get adopted!

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Check out the great menu!

The play groups are such a vital role in our shelter to the dogs and volunteers, that it is necessary to repair and improve the conditions of our play yard to maintain successful play groups. As you can see from the attached photos, the sand and dirt turn into very muddy conditions during hard rains, which often cancels the playgroup and could potentially be unsafe for volunteers. As summer is now here and we have already had some terrible storms, we are working hard to raise the funds to transform the yard, including artificial turf, adding fencing, more small yards to slowly introduce the dogs who need it and more hose bib location for washing the turf.

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Botanica Landscaping is donating material & labor, Fritz Massie Fence is donating $2,000 worth of materials for our fence project and KCL Plumbing is donating a portion of the hose bib addition project.

Ticket & Sponsorship Opportunities – All donations are tax deductible and will be matched!

$60 – Individual Tickets in advance ($70 at the door)
$500 – Block of 10 tickets
$1,000 – Big Dog – Name on the Park Plaque
$5,000 – Top Dog – Name on the Park Plaque
$10,000 – Name the Park (you may not be able to name the Miami Heat stadium but this is your chance to have your name on this Playing field)

Click here to Donate Now!

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RSVP on Darbster’s Facebook page

As Palm Beach County is striving to become a “no-kill” county, adoption and rescue rates (“live release rate”) for dogs at our shelter is currently at 87%! That’s amazing and very exciting! And I truly believe that play groups have a large role in this number. Darbster is a large supporter of the shelter and the county’s Countdown 2 Zero initiative, which is the goal for Palm Beach County to become a “no-kill” county by 2024, hopefully earlier.  www.countdown2zero.org

What you need to know about the Great Okeechobee Closure of 2016

What you need to know about the Great Okeechobee Closure of 2016

Starting at 8PM tonight, Okeechobee Boulevard will be closed at the at the Florida East Coast tracks (alongside Quadrille Boulevard) to allow construction crews to work around the clock and install a second set of tracks and equipment needed to put in a quiet zone for the introduction of the Brightline passenger rail service.

Where &        Okeechobee Boulevard and the Florida East Coast Railway
When:             Friday, May 13, 8 p.m. through Tuesday, May 17, 6 p.m.

As Okeechobee Boulevard is the main artery into downtown for vehicular traffic, it has the potential to cause traffic delays. Thankfully the City of West Palm Beach as well as All Aboard Florida have put out a LOT of information to the public so that you can relax on your way to work:

Please view the City of West Palm Beach’s official Okeechobee closure page here. Also follow the City on Twitter at @westpalmbch to get any timely updates about this closure.

Palm Beach Post has also put out a lot of important information on their “Big Shutdown” page.

How to navigate around the closure

Here are some pointers from the City on how to navigate around this closure:

  • If you’re on I-95, heading to downtown West Palm Beach please avoid Okeechobee and consider exiting at Palm Beach Lakes Blvd, Southern Blvd, or Belvedere Road.
  • Access to eastbound Okeechobee Blvd from Australian Avenue WILL BE CLOSED
  • Avoid using Okeechobee Boulevard to access downtown West Palm Beach.
  • Traffic heading to the Town of Palm Beach should avoid Okeechobee Blvd. Consider Southern Boulevard & the south bridge.
  • Traffic heading to downtown West Palm Beach will be detoured onto Tamarind/Parker Avenues for alternative routes. Consider Fern Street or Clematis Street.
  • Banyan Boulevard is expected to have extraordinarily high traffic due to drivers coming from Australian Avenue.
  • Drivers headed to the Convention Center, Hilton Hotel, CityPlace, CityPlace Tower or the Kravis Center can take Quadrille Blvd to either Hibiscus Street or Gardenia Street and head south on Rosemary Avenue.

Practical guidelines from the Mayor

  • Avoid rush hour – come in earlier / later, leave earlier or later.
  • Be flexible – If you’re a business owner allow your employees to set work hours that allow them to be off the roads during rush hour
  • Use Tri-Rail during the closure – the city will be adding additional trolley service between the Tri-Rail station and downtown so wait times will be reduced.
  • Tri-Rail riders will be able to exchange their ticket discounts on coffee at Starbucks, SubCulture & C-Street Cafe.
  • Carpool and park for free at the City’s Clematis Street Garage and Banyan Street Garage. Exit before 7pm and give the voucher you recieved when coming in to the attendant.
  • Have patience

Detour Information from All Aboard Florida

Click on the below images for larger versions.

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Okeechobee Boulevard grade crossing closure FAQ

Question: Why is this necessary?

AAF Answer: As part of the construction improvements for the introduction of Brightline passenger service, All Aboard Florida (AAF) is double tracking the corridor and upgrading every grade crossing between Miami and West Palm Beach to increase safety. Each crossing must be completely closed to vehicular traffic as the entire rail and road bed is replaced – meaning there is no roadway for cars to drive across while work is occurring. While the grade crossing is under construction, AAF is also installing the infrastructure needed for quiet zones as part of the partnership with the Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Question: How were these dates selected?

AAF Answer: Through close coordination with the City of West Palm Beach and Town of Palm Beach and a comprehensive review of dates and activities happening in downtown West Palm Beach, it was determined the least impactful dates for the full closure of Okeechobee Boulevard are Friday, May 13, 8 p.m. through Tuesday, May 17, 6 p.m.

Question: Who is involved in the planning?

AAF Answer: Each closure requires a significant amount of planning and coordination. AAF has been meeting with the City of West Palm Beach, Town of Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Flagler Memorial Bridge construction team and emergency responders to discuss the closure.

Question: Will work be completed on time?

AAF Answer: AAF is allocating the majority of its construction resources toward this closure. Crews will be working 24 hours to ensure the crossing opens by 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17.

Question: Why can’t the crossing closure only happen at night?

AAF Answer: The improvements require removing the entire roadway surface, moving the track and installing a second track. While this work is occurring, there is no roadway for motor vehicles to use, therefore a continuous closure is required.

Question: How do I get downtown while the crossing is closed?

AAF Answer: The detour maps are available on the AAF website, www.AllAboardFlorida.com. Remember to give ample travel time during this period, as there may be increased traffic.

Question: How will drivers be notified of changes?

AAF Answer: AAF is working closely with the City of West Palm Beach, Town of Palm Beach, FDOT and Palm Beach County to communicate all information regarding the closure. Vehicle Message Boards on I-95 will display up-to-date information about closures, and the media will be constantly informed if there are updates.

Question: Why does this work need to happen now?

AAF Answer: There are several infrastructure improvements that need to be made to the railway so Brightline can receive its trains later this year and begin testing. Upgrading the Okeechobee Boulevard closure at this time is of critical importance to the construction schedule.

Question: Will other crossings in West Palm Beach be closed?

AAF Answer: No. AAF will only work on Okeechobee Boulevard in the City of West Palm Beach during these dates.

Question: What about emergency responders?

AAF Answer: Emergency personnel from the City of West Palm Beach and the Town of Palm Beach have been involved in every step of planning this closure. Emergency responders will still be able to access all properties and businesses during the closure, and they are fully informed about detour routes.

Question: Will police be on scene to handle traffic?

AAF Answer: Yes, AAF will have multiple off-duty officers on site to help manage and direct traffic at the grade crossing intersection. However, motorists are encouraged to avoid taking Okeechobee Boulevard unless their destination is adjacent.

Question: Will this impact freight traffic and its interaction with motorists?

AAF Answer: AAF and FECR are in constant communication regarding all construction activities. There should not be a noticeable impact to freight service and its impact on traffic while work is underway.

Question: Who can I speak with about the closure?

AAF Answer: The AAF contact is Public Affairs Manager Ali Soule, 305-520-2105. The City of West Palm Beach contact is Communications Director Elliot Cohen, 561-822-1411. Always remember to dial 911 in case of an emergency.

Question: Where can I see a schedule for upcoming grade crossing closure?

AAF Answer: Schedule information can be found here, http://allaboardflorida.com/construction/grade-crossings.

We survived!

On Wednesday when this has all been completed, Jesse Bailey from the Walkable WPB blog has suggested that we print up some “I Survived the Great Okeechobee Closure of 2016” T-Shirts

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Cover photo published by the City of West Palm Beach

Tonight: Crowdfunding and Cocktails connecting Entrepreneurs with local Funders

Tonight: Crowdfunding and Cocktails connecting Entrepreneurs with local Funders

Tonight 10 startups will pitch their business ventures at Crowdfunding and Cocktails – the in-person crowdfunding event held annually in downtown West Palm Beach. These startups were chosen by the committee to represent the Palm Beach County and Greater South Florida early-stage entrepreneurial community.

Get your tickets here!

Fun Finder - Winners of Startup Weekend

Fun Finder – Winners of Startup Weekend

The event will be held at the Lakefront Pavilion and tickets cost $100. Each attendee will receive $100 in “branded” money upon arrival. After each startup delivers their 2 minute pitch, each attendee will be able to pick which startups they want to fund.

The Startups that will be presenting are:

  • Friendly Reminders (Delray Beach, FL)
  • AquaCo Farms (Lake Worth, FL)
  • Pick (Pompano Beach, FL)
  • Jiva Active (Jupiter, FL)
  • Huddle fly (Weston, FL)
  • Fish with a Man (West Palm Beach, FL)
  • Waterflowers Ecological Design (Dania Beach, FL)
  • Vivid Arts (West Palm Beach, FL)
  • Versattire (Lake Worth, FL)

Crowdfunding & Cocktails is produced by Startup Palm Beach, who’s mission is to educate, connect and showcase entrepreneurial talent throughout Palm Beach County, Florida. Startup Palm Beach has formed a public private partnership with the City of West Palm Beach to help early stage companies flourish in this market.

Crowdfunding and Cocktails has had great results. The first Crowdfunding & Cocktails was won by Live Advantage Bait, a provider of ethically aquacultured marine baitfish for the serious sports fisherman, CEO Dr. Nicole Kirchhoff had this to say about the event:

“The chance to participate and compete in the Inaugural Crowdfunding and Cocktails proved to be invaluable to the start up of Live Advantage Bait LLC. The event brought much needed recognition to my venture and the funding I won was integral to completing the pilot scale project to prove commercial potential and feasibility. Since 2013 we have been able to demonstrate production volumes and economic feasibility and are currently at the stage to undergo full commercial expansion. The collateral generated by IdeaBar marketing services won through the competition continue to be invaluable to my business through the expansion process. I thank Startup Palm Beach and Palm Beach Post’s IdeaBar for providing the platform to propel my business forward.”

Read my blog entry about the last event.

Startup preparing to pitch at 2013's Crowdfunding and Cocktails

Startup preparing to pitch at 2013’s Crowdfunding and Cocktails

Get more information here. And purchase your tickets here!

 

Socksational – a Junior Achievement Company at #GreatGive16

Socksational – a Junior Achievement Company at #GreatGive16

I’m sitting outside of Subculture celebrating the 2016 Great Give, raising donation for Junior Achievement an organization that reaches nearly 20,000 local students each year. The programs teach students the key concepts of financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship; crucial life skills for today’s economy.

In December, 2015 Enida Jeteric and Katie Logsdon had the idea to sell fun and creative socks in different styles for all ages and genders. Truly a one size fits all product. Junior Achievement worked with the Socksational team to go over the financials and help the team work on how to execute the project.

As Juniors at Palm Beach Gardens high school, they joined the Junior Achievement JA Company program which “provides basic economic education for high school students by allowing them to organize and operate an actual business. Students not only learn how businesses function, they also learn about the structure of the U.S. free enterprise system and the benefits it provides.” As part of the program Socksational socks are now in a friendly competition with another Junior class to start and run a business over the course of the school year. Socksational has so far made more money than any other class project. The next step in the competition is travelling to DC and competing against all the national winners of the Junior Achievement competition.

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A Socksational Collection!

The Socksational team pick the styles of socks and they are bought wholesale through Alibaba. Expenses are kept low by selling their socks primarily at the school and working through their shareholders (yes, they have shareholders) to put up booths at local events, festivals, car shows, etc.

Claudia Kirk Barto, President of Junior Achievement commented on Socksational’s success “I love that Junior Achievement can inspire young people to start their own companies. And I look forward to expanding the project to other schools and bring together more entrepreneurs to support these businesses.

Give at #GreatGive16 Events around Downtown on May 3rd

Give at #GreatGive16 Events around Downtown on May 3rd

Everyone can be a philanthropist on May 3rd – #GreatGive16 the 24-hour online and offline giving event, provides over 100 non-profits the opportunity to fundraise. Every local gift will be multiplied with additional dollars from a bonus pool raised by the Community Foundation. Great Give Palm Beach & Martin Counties will make every hour May 3 meaningful by providing this unique opportunity for our community to raise significant funds that will make a direct, positive impact on the lives of our neediest residents. Cash prizes will be awarded to participating nonprofit organizations throughout the day will keep things fast-paced and exciting!

It’s also a great time to have happy hour downtown with your favorite people! I’ve collected all the events I could find downtown – PLEASE JOIN US!

Follow #GreatGive16 on social media on May 3 for more exciting updates!


GIVING LOUNGE

Where: Community Foundation
When: 9:00am – 4:30pm

Open to anyone and everyone that needs a place to go or computer to use to donate. Nonprofits are welcome to stop by and say hello. 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

 

UNITED WAY OF PALM BEACH COUNTY

When: May 3rd 5:30pm-9pm
Where: Wine Scene

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#GreatGive16 is an exciting 24-hour online fundraising event designed to raise as much money as possible for local nonprofits. Last year’s Great Give raised $3 million for 437 nonprofits – let’s see what we can accomplish this year!

Proceeds from this event will support United Way’s hunger relief efforts. Highlights of the evening will include coverage on CBS12 News, a live broadcast with Jennifer Ross & Bill Adams of Sunny 107.9, and a chance to win two round-trip, domestic JetBlue tickets, a weekend stay at the Harbourside Wyndham Grand hotel and much more! RSVP HERE

ADOPT-A-FAMILY PIZZA PARTY AND HAPPY HOUR

When: Tuesday, May 3 from 4-7pm
Where: Lynoras – 207 Clematis Street in West Palm Beach
RSVP: http://aafpizzaparty.eventbrite.com
Contact: Sean Dollard

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Adopt-A-Family of the Palm Beaches is getting set for Palm Beach County’s biggest 24 hour fundraising campaign, The Great Give, by partnering with Lynora’s in downtown West Palm Beach for a Happy Hour Pizza Party on Tuesday, May 3, 2016.

Guests will be welcomed at Lynora’s, 207 Clematis Street, West Palm Beach, FL 33401, from 4-7 p.m. With a minimum $20 donation to Adopt-A-Family through the Great Give online portal (at the event or the day of Great Give), each patron will receive a ticket for a drink and pizza that can be redeemed during the event. Registration for the event is free! Adopt-A-Family staff will have laptops and tablets on hand to make your donation seamless and easy.

*All funds raised for Adopt-A-Family during this year’s Great Give will be in support of its innovative afterschool program, Project Grow. The funds will go toward dynamic STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) presentations, educational summer field trips, and STEAM classroom project supplies.

We invite you to get social during the event, using our unique hashtag “#GiveAAF16” and the community giving hashtag, “#GreatGive16” throughout the evening on Instagram, and Twitter. We will have fun signs and an Instagram cutout board for you to take photos with throughout the night!

If you have any questions, please contact Sean Dollard at sdollard@aafpbc.org or by calling 561.253.1361 ext. 139.

EDUCATION FOUNDATION OF PALM BEACH COUNTY

When: May 3 from 5 – 7 p.m.
Where: Gunster Law Firm Offices / 777 South Flagler Drive, Suite 500 East / West Palm Beach 33401
Contact: Christina Lambert

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Support the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County on Great Give Day and get your STEM on!

See your donation in action! Enjoy interactive STEM demonstrations from Dwyer’s FIRST robotics league MARS, and award winning Electric City, built by Hidden Oaks Elementary!  Robotics playground featuring interactive STEM demonstrations. Wine / light appetizers for donors to enjoy while they interact with students from PBC public school’s robotics groups. More information here.

RSVP to Engage@EducationFoundationPBC.org

JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT

When: May 3 from 7a.m. to 11 a.m.
Where: Subculture Coffee on Clematis Street

Our wonderful cohosts Aaron Wormus and Sean Scott invite you to join us at the amazing Subculture Coffee on Clematis Street on May 3rd for our Great Give Junior Achievement coffee social. If you donate $10 or more you will receive a free cup of Subculture’s amazing coffee!!! We look forward to seeing you there. RSVP HERE

MALTZ JUPITER THEATRE

When: May 3 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Rustic Inn Crabhouse in Jupiter

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Join us for a Tropical Bash at Rustic Inn patio bar and restaurant for an extended Happy Hour from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. in support of the Maltz Jupiter Theatre. Drink specials, free appetizers between 5 p.m. – 6 p.m., raffle prizes, performances, music and FUN! A $5.00 donation at the door per person will be collected. Bring your friends; this event is open to the public and family-friendly! Supported by The Palm 95.9fm. More information here

OPPORTUNITY EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION & FAMILY CENTER

When: May 3 from 4:30p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Where: Grato
Join Opportunity at Grato – 50% of proceeds from a special drink menu benefit during the Great Give!

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CHILDREN’S HOME SOCIETY OF FLORIDA

When: May 3 from 6-9pm
Where: The Wine Dive
Light appetizers provided
Contact: Rachel Spillane

20% of event sales will benefit Children’s Home Society of Florida
– Utilizing the funds from Great Give to benefit their Transitions Home starting with a new nursery! This home is for homeless pregnant mothers and their babies.

YOUNG FRIENDS OF THE NORTON MUSEUM OF ART

When: May 3 from 6:30p.m. to 8:30p.m.
Where: Emko – 2119 S Dixie Highway / West palm Beach

Support the Young Friends of the Norton as it takes part in the Great Give, a 24-hour, nationwide giving event. Celebrate the spirit of philanthropy with a private party and complimentary glass of wine at EmKo.

Follow #GreatGive16 on social media on May 3 for more exciting updates!

Skipping Sunfest? Here are other things to do this weekend

SunFest is a BLAST – with music, food, art and fun for the whole family. But, if it’s not your thing, don’t despair, there is still plenty to do around town.

TONIGHT April 29th!!! – Northwood Village Hosts Open Studio Tour

Art lovers will get a double dose of creativity this month when the Art Night Out event in Northwood Village hosts an artist open house in the area’s Industrial District.  The Northwood Industrial District, located just a few blocks west of Northwood Village, consists of large warehouses that are working studios for several prominent local artists.  Trolleys will shuttle guests from Art Night Out on the corner of Northwood Road and Broadway to the artists’ studios tour.  Art Night Out will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on April 29, 2016, on Northwood Road in West Palm Beach.

Northwood Industrial District artists who will be opening their studio doors to the public include:

  • Dave Teal, a figurative artist who is also a long-time resident of Old Northwood
  • Elizabeth Hutchinson, an instinctive artist who works out problems and conversations on canvas
  • Jason Martinez, a self-taught artist who paints spiritually iconic images using acrylic
  • James Sagui, a professional woodworker, sculptor, and furniture designer/maker
  • Liz Ghitta Segall, a painter since child known for abstract expressionist work
  • Sam Perry, a noted artist who grew up in Northwood and focuses on abstract and the human figure
  • Terre Rybovich, an artist born and raised in old Northwood known for her unconventional drawings

Get more information here.

SATURDAY: The Flappers Present the 2016 Palm Beach Butterfly Ball

 

Watch Spring in full bloom in Cityplace!

CityPlace is in full bloom this spring with 10 wonderful and whimsical topiaries around the popular entertainment-retail center in Downtown West Palm Beach. The oversized, flowering displays are crafted in shapes that include swans, dragonflies, bunnies and more. The exhibit is open through May 21, 2016.

“It’s always our goal to surprise and delight CityPlace patrons, and topiaries will do just that,” said Edan Della Mea, CityPlace’s Director of Marketing. “They add to the already vibrant setting as our guests come here to shop, see a movie or grab a bite to eat.”

The floral designs are not only visually interesting but part of an interactive scavenger hunt that creates fun for the whole family. The hunt leads along the path of topiaries and allows participants to explore the shops and restaurants along the way. When children correctly match the 10 topiaries to the facts provided, they have a chance to win prizes. To participate, stop by Guest Services for details.
Other fun things to see and do at CityPlace this spring include:

Spring Photo Contest – Upload a photo while enjoying the topiary displays using #SpringatCityPlace for a chance to win a $500 shopping spree.
Spring Fashion at CityPlace – Spend more than $100 at CityPlace shops and receive a free $10 gift card when you present your same-day receipts at guest services. This promotion runs April 24 – May 8, 2016.

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