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For the last few years, my family’s holiday tradition has been the fantastic post-Thanksgiving downtown Elf Parade and Winterfest kick-off. We love dressing like elves, parading with Santa, meeting Frosty and Rudolph, sipping hot cocoa and nibbling on holiday sweets. It is great family fun and we look forward to it each year. Pensacola has a lot of fun holiday traditions and we’ve once again compiled our annual list of Holiday Happenings in this issue. We hope you are inspired to get out and enjoy them all this season.
A brand spanking new fall tradition for 2014 is the inaugural Foo Foo Fest, which runs from November 6-17. The brainchild of the folks over at Arts, Culture and Entertainment, Foo Foo incorporates an already rich cultural season with new and exciting arts and culture events to create a 12-day celebration of everything artsy and interesting. See our article and a few of our favorite picks on page 32.
There has been a lot of buzz lately about the growth of the Pensacola community. From a revived downtown and exceptional job growth to a more energized and involved community, Pensacola is surely on the rise. One group doing their part in growing the community is Pensacola Young Professionals, a group of emerging and active leaders between the ages of 21 and 40. This talented pool of young people contributes greatly to both the business world and the Pensacola community as a whole. Read all about them on page 39.
Yet another group doing more than their part to make Pensacola better is the women’s philanthropic group Impact 100. This group of community minded women has once again met to award ten local nonprofits with the necessary funds to expand, restore and invigorate their organizations. Find out what groups were awarded grants this year and what they plan to do with money on page 18.
Also in this issue, which has taken on a decidedly philanthropic focus, we profile the great work and giving heart of Teri Levin and the Levin family, particularly as it pertains to Gulf Coast Kid’s House. In addition, we look at a charitable institution whose giving has spanned over 60 years and has changed countless lives—The Waterfront Rescue Mission. I hope you are able to get out and partake of all the city has to offer this season. And while you’re at it, take the opportunity to make a difference of your own in our community or with a particular individual. Tis the season, after all.
Questions? Comments? Story Ideas? Please email Kelly Oden at Kelly@ballingerpublishing.com.
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