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Published by Michael Allen
wakulla county chamber newsletter
wakulla county chamber newsletter

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Published by: Michael Allen on May 01, 2013
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Wakulla Chamber and You: Partners For Success
PresidentTammie BarfieldPresident ElectKevin VaughnVice PresidentAlan WiseTreasurerDustin GrubbsSecretaryMary WallacePast PresidentAmy Geiger
President’s Message
President’s Message
Tammie BarfieldHuge thanks to the chamber's Low Country Boil Committeefor putting on another fun, flavorful event. Every year theboil just keeps getting better and better with great food,live music, and enthusiastic attendance that keeps growing.The committee was headed up by Jo Ann Palmer whodeserves much appreciation for the planning of this event. There is a lot thatgoes into organizing an event for 250+ people who want to eat, drink and bemerry. John Shuff organized the acquisition and preparation of the food andthe fantastic cooks, some of whom were not chamber members and we thankthem for their delicious contribution.Then after the planning is the clean-up. These same people work tirelesslyvolunteering their time cleaning up all the equipment and trash and tables andchairs and we cannot thank them enough for giving their time to the eventand to the chamber.All for worthy causes. The proceeds from the boil provide funding formaintenance for, improvements to, and beautification of the old WakullaCounty Courthouse where the chamber office resides, as well as providing atleast one scholarship each year.The chamber's education committee has established an application andselection process for recipients of the scholarships and through that processhas awarded a $1,000 scholarship from last year's boil proceeds.Congratulations to Raychel Gray. Raychel is graduating from Wakulla HighSchool this month and we wish her all the best in her education pursuits.The Wakulla County Chamber of Commerce supports and encourages thepublic's support for the special election coming up May 14 to get citizenapproval for a half-mill tax for the school system. Our school system is facingbudget cuts of more than $4 million over the past five years and a decliningstudent enrollment due to the last few years of economic challenges.The school system's current .25-mill special assessment is set to expire inJune. According to Superintendent of Schools Bobby Pearce, if the .50-millassessment is approved, it would serve well to overcome current economicchallenges. The average home owner would pay approximately $2 per monthmore in taxes than they pay now.Wakulla County's public school system is an economic engine in itself throughits own 693 employees who patronize our Wakulla County businesses and whoeducate our children to prepare them for entering into business and
May 2013
2012Business Excellence Winners
Start - Up Business
International GoldGymnastics
Business of the Year
BEST WESTERN Plus,Wakulla Inn & Suites
Non - Profit
Friends of the Wakulla Coun-ty Public Library
Wildwood Resort
Member of the Year
Gail Campbell
Wakulla Area Business
Callaway Auto& Truck Repair
employment, and by providing job opportunities when expansions, repairs, andimprovements are made to existing facilities.Our school system brings residents to Wakulla County who might otherwise live in
surrounding counties. We have had the benefit of being designated an “A” school district
by the Florida Department of Education since 2006. Wakulla's school district has one of the highest percentages of nationally board certified teachers and administrators inFlorida and continues to rank in the top 10 districts in FCAT math, reading, writing andscience scores.That's impressive.Access to a good education through our county's school system is the foundation of whatsecures Wakulla's future and the future of its livelihood. Protecting our public educationand the quality of education for our students will continue to move our county forward.Please get out and vote. The students and teachers of our school system need our vote onMay 14.
Friends of Wakulla Springs State Park
The Chamber held a ribbon cutting for Friends of Wakulla SpringsState Park to celebrate New Friends
New Boat April 10.In 1996, Friends of Wakulla Springs State Park incorporated as a Citizens Support Organ-ization for the Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park. The issue at the time was whetheror not the county could allow a gas station to be built over what turned out to be the larg-est cave that feeds right into WakullaSpring.That gas station was defeated. The stateadded the land at the intersection of 61 and267 (Bloxham Cutoff). The water quality,the state of the waterfront, and the lodgeitself all became issues that have been re-solved (somewhat) with the Friends help.When the classic tour boats that date to the1960s needed a hand, Friends decided torefurbish and upgrade to electric motors,and to solar panels. The latest boat called
Wood Duck 
was re-entered into service inApril with state-of-the-art solar and batterycapacities.
Friends of Wakulla Springs is a membership organization (wakullasprings.org) and holdsseveral events to raise money for the ongoing projects at the 6,000-acre park.The ribbon cutting symbolizes our growth in the community as new members of the
Wakulla Chamber of Commerce, and our dedication to the public’s continued access and
enjoyment of this park. Total Friends funds raised for the refurbishing of four boats todate is $129,000.Support of two May events (a Springs Serenade called Sinkhole di Mayo May 4, and the5K run through the Sanctuary May 18), and joining the Friends is a great way to havefun. A member-only waterfront social gathering at the end of September allows allmembers to learn about projects, but more importantly about each other.Tour boats were retrofitted to be ADA accessible, with TREX seating replacing the formerwooden benches. All-in-all, encountering nature on the Wakulla River is now a fume- andnoise-free experience.In April 1976 a mother and son team opened T~n~T Hide-a-way, a canoe rental on the Wakulla river, in 2005 amother and son team took over the operation as 2
generation Gretchen Evans family, then in March2013 the family expanded to include the purchase of TheWilderness Way and add another 3
generation in the equation. Jacki Evans Youngstrand,Robert Baker and Elizabeth Hyatt-Deason are proud to announce their acquisition of theBig Bend Outfitter
The Wilderness Way, Inc, previously owned by Georgia Ackerman. Itwill be a perfect blend of the 2 businesses, and all will stay pretty close to the same asbefore including the great staff we acquired, Jesse Frank and Dawn Peffer. We will bemoving our retail brand from TnT to TWW which will be Native Watercraft and JacksonKayaks to add to the Hobie, and Wilderness System already there. We will be addingmore fishing accessories and kayaks for thekayak anglers. Robert Baker will be operating
his Kayak Fishing tours “Reel
Addict” from
TWW. Our tours for TnT and TWW will contin-ue, along with our rental of canoes and kayaks,TnT for short term paddling on the WakullaRiver and TWW for self-shuttling to other riversand we have added a few more bikes for rental.Please visit our new location at 3152 ShadevilleRd. Crawfordville, just west of Wakulla Station,850-877-7200 and if you have never visited T~n~T Hideaway, we are located at theWakulla River on Hwy. 98, 6527 Coastal Hwy. Crawfordville, 850.925.6412We still uphold the foundation we inherited and are dedicated to your enjoyment andservice.

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