Community Briefs 10/7/21

For Clay Today
Posted 10/6/21

Golden Eagle Classic marches to Fleming Island on SaturdayFLEMING ISLAND – With 23 high school marching bands already on the schedule, Saturday’s FIHS Golden Eagle Classic at Fleming …

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Community Briefs 10/7/21


Golden Eagle Classic marches to Fleming Island on Saturday
FLEMING ISLAND – With 23 high school marching bands already on the schedule, Saturday’s FIHS Golden Eagle Classic at Fleming Island High has become one of the premier competitions in the state.
Bands will travel from Pierson, Gainesville, Trenton, Florahome, Lake City, Yulee, Fernandina Beach and Orlando to join local bands representing Middleburg, Orange Park, Oakleaf and Fleming Island highs.
The competition is broken into four categories based on the school’s population. Gainesville P.K. Yonge will hit the field first in the Class 1A competition at 9:20 a.m.
The Class 2A group, which features Middleburg (12:34 p.m.) and Orange Park (12:51 p.m.) is next, followed by Class 3A at 2:08 p.m. Class 4A, which includes Oakleaf (4:58 p.m.) and host Fleming Island (5:15 p.m.) will wrap up the preliminary rounds.
The finals are scheduled to start 7:29 p.m. and conclude at 10 p.m.
Tickets, available at, are $15 for adults and $10 for children.

Hall and Oates cover band, H2O, to take stage at Thrasher-Horne
ORANGE PARK – More than a year in the making, this show will re-produce the amazing artistry of the Hall and Oates family of musicians over the many years. Hit after hit from Hall and Oates’s, 50-year career will be on display for you to enjoy as H2O will bring their talents and respect to the songs to the Thrasher-Horne Center Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.
H2O is a dedicated theatrical performance paying respect to the musical careers of Daryl Hall and John Oates “The Greatest Duo in Rock and Roll History.” That legacy leaves behind an enormous catalog of live performances, this is where we believe Hall and Oates have always been at their finest. It is from that catalog that we handpicked, what we consider, the greatest performances of Hall and Oates songs in these live versions. We add some of our own ambiance and visual enhancements to our live show and now present it to you.
H20 boasts seasoned veterans of the live stage, who have been successfully performing for years and were selected for this project due to their unique fit for this project. They all share the deepest respect for the Philly, Blue-Eyed Soul and Motown roots that were a part of the Hall and Oates signature stylings and honor their staggeringly good musicianship and ability to play so tight and in the moment yet keep the music feel so loose. H2O treats this musical project and our performances LIVE for audiences exactly the same way.
Lead vocalist, Jason Ames, has charted multiple releases throughout Europe and was a fixture with rock acts on the West Coast and Seattle. The rest of the band includes John Bennett on drums and vocals, Lee Gabe on saxophone, keyboards and vocals, Jeff Ankeney on bass and vocals, Jackson Bunn on keyboards and vocals, Frank Gonzalez on lead guitar and vocals and Juan Aguirrechu on guitar.

For tickets, visit

CalaVida Festival opens six-day run on Monday in GCS
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – This year’s CalaVida Arts Festival offers something for everyone – a myriad of entertainment, International Dances, a live podcast, bluegrass jam, a one-woman performance and more.
A highlight of the CalaVida Arts Festival is fine arts being displayed by Visual Artists throughout Spring Park in beautiful Green Cove Springs. Painters, sculptures and other artisans will have their work on display. Some of the artists will even be working while at the festival.
The CalaVida Arts Festival would not be a festival without vendors and food trucks to provide the patrons with a variety of foods and drinks. Bring your blankets and chairs, grab something to eat and drink and find a comfortable spot to enjoy the festivities.
CalaVida will bring the arts to Clay, and fun and excitement back to the Park.
The schedule includes: Monday, Oct. 11 – Art with Kyle Willis at Red’s Wine Bar, 6-9 p.m.; Tuesday, Oct. 12 – Miss Louisa’s Board House with Dianne Jacoby at Village Improvement Association, 4 p.m. and Gather Celebrating the Art of Southern Dining Wine and Cheese Art Event at The Art Room, 6-9 p.m.; Wednesday, Oct. 13 – Just the Zoo of Us at Spring Park Pool Pavilion, 6 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 14 – Bluegrass in Green Cove 2 at Spring Park Pool Pavilion, 6 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 15 – Blues in the Night featuring Mama Blue at Spring Park, 6-9 p.m.; and, Saturday, Oct. 16 – Antiques Stroll in downtown Green Cove Springs, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Meet the Authors, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Artists in the Park, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., opening ceremonies, 9:45-10 a.m., Peru dance, 10-11 a.m., Nan Nkama Pan African Dance, 11 a.m.-noon, Cleghorn, noon, 2:45 p.m. and 7 p.m., The Chris Thomas Band, 1 p.m., Kim Reteguiz and The Black Cat Bones, 4 p.m., and Mama Blue, 5:30 p.m., all at Spring Park.
For more information, visit

County hosts public meeting for C.R. 220/Lakeshore Drive improvements
 FLEMING ISLAND – Clay County will be hosting a public meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, at the Fleming Island Library located at 1895 Town Center Blvd. on Fleming Island.
Engineering design consultants with the Florida Department of Transportation will be presenting plans for public review for roadway improvements in Fleming Island on County Road 220 from just east of Swimming Pen Creek to Brookstone Drive, including the intersection at Lakeshore Drive west.
Construction is expected to begin in 2024 and will include pavement widening, median and turn lane adjustments, and intersection improvements with a new traffic signal at Lakeshore Drive west. Work is estimated to be complete in 2026.

Emergency rental assistance still available in Clay County
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Emergency Rental Assistance funding is available for Clay County residents negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and at risk of eviction or the loss of basic housing security. Eligible residents can receive up to 15 months of rental assistance and funds for utility payments including gas, electric, and internet service. Extended stay hotel residents are also eligible if they can prove Clay County residency and a COVID-19 impact.
Residents at risk of eviction or homelessness may also apply for homelessness stabilization funds to cover security deposits and the first month’s rent to secure housing, moving expenses, or for a transitional stay in a hotel or motel until housing can be located.
This county-wide program covers unincorporated areas and all municipalities.
Clay County has a team of experts available to determine program eligibility and help with the online application process. Contact the Emergency Rental Assistance staff at (904) 529-4256 or by email at
The Clay County Emergency Rental Assistance Application Portal and Frequently Asked Questions are available at:
Clay County received a total of $11.6 million from the U.S. Department of the Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Programs, authorized under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. 

Safe Animal Shelter’s Wizard of Paws moved to April
MIDDLEBURG – Due to the newest outbreak of COVID-19, the Safe Animal Shelter’s Wizard of Paws annual dinner and auction for the Safe Animal Shelter was moved to April 9.
The newly-scheduled fundraiser will be held at the Thrasher-Horne Center at 283 College Dr. in Orange Park from 5-9 p.m.
Tickets already purchased for the original Oct. 23 event will be honored in April. Tickets are $60 and can be purchased at Safe Animal Shelter, 2913 County Road 220 in Middleburg or by calling (904) 375-9122.

ElderSource Looking for volunteers to call seniors
CLAY COUNTY – The pandemic has underscored how older adults living alone in our area are often more isolated and need a connection to the community and friends. You can help solve this problem without even leaving your home.
ElderSource, a nonprofit organization that works to empower seniors with dignity and independence, is recruiting volunteers for its Caring Connections Telephone Reassurance Program. Caring Connections offers a simple way for someone to make a difference in the life of a homebound older adult.
“It’s widely known that many older adults live alone, protecting their independence. However, that doesn’t mean they still wouldn’t appreciate a call from a friend,” said Linda Levin, ElderSource CEO. “Caring Connections offers them a friendly check-in call and gives them the chance to connect with someone beyond their front door.”
Caring Connections volunteers are needed immediately with approximately 40 seniors currently waiting to be matched with volunteers. All volunteers are trained, background screened and matched with a special friend. Hours are flexible, as the volunteer and the senior work together to set the days and times convenient for each person to connect by phone.
Volunteers are needed in all seven counties of the ElderSource service area that includes Clay, Baker, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, St. Johns and Volusia.
To learn more about how to be a Caring Connections volunteer to if an older adult would like to be matched with a volunteer, call the ElderSource HelpLine at 904-391-6699. Or, email

AARP Foundation now recruiting volunteers for Tax-Aide service
CLAY COUNTY – AARP Foundation Tax-Aide has kicked off volunteer recruitment for its Tax-Aide program, the nation’s largest volunteer-run tax preparation service. The program is looking for individuals to volunteer virtually or in-person in a number of roles to provide help to taxpayers.
Northeast Florida has started volunteer recruitment for its Tax-Aide program for the upcoming tax season. It offers free in-person and online tax preparation and assistance to low and moderate-income taxpayers nationwide.
In addition to tax preparation help, volunteers can serve as client facilitators and providers of technical and management assistance. Every level of experience is welcome.
Volunteer tax preparers complete tax preparation training and IRS certification. To learn about our volunteer opportunities, visit or call (888) 687-2277. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is offered in coordination with the IRS.
Tax-Aide offers free in-person and online tax preparation and assistance to low- and moderate-income taxpayers nationwide. Because of the complexity of the U.S. tax code, many taxpayers overpay their taxes or turn to paid tax services they cannot afford. Some may forgo filing their taxes and miss out on the credits and deductions they’ve earned because they are unable to pay for assistance. Tax-Aide volunteers can help by providing necessary services right in their communities.
Volunteers can serve in person or coach taxpayers online or by phone. In addition to tax preparation help, volunteers can serve as client facilitators, providers of technical and management assistance, and interpreters. Volunteer tax preparers complete tax preparation training and IRS certification.
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide has grown since its inaugural team of just four volunteers in 1968 and has served more than 68 million taxpayers since its inception. The program has volunteers in every state and now involves more than 36,000 volunteers. This past tax season in Clay County, Tax-Aide volunteers assisted as counselors, virtual coaches, managers and administrators, technologists, and translators, among other valuable roles.

Quigley House’s Howl-O-Ween Paws for a Cause coming to Mall
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Quigley House will host HOWL-O-WEEN PAWS FOR A CAUSE raise funds for our on-site pet facilities, provide support to our growing programs and services and additional operating costs related to COVID-19 on Oct. 23 at the Orange Park Mall.
This event is a Dog-Friendly fall fest, costume parade, and costume contest. Quigley said there will be games, prizes and local vendors, along with a dog parade and costume contest with multiple categories.
With the continued support from our community, Quigley House is able to educate, empower and equip survivors in Clay County. Quigley House is fortunate to be one of the Domestic Violence Centers in Florida that has a pet shelter to keep pets safe while fleeing domestic violence. Nearly 50% of all of survivors will not consider shelter for themselves without their pet. Quigley House recognizes this barrier to receiving services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Clay County. Your financial support allows us to continue to provide on-site pet facilities, shelter and services to survivors.
But it can’t do it without the community’s help.
The event and parade are free but to enter in the costume contest, be a vendor or event sponsor please visit the online link at For more information, please visit our website at https:// or email

COVID-19 forces adjustments to county’s library hours
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Clay County public libraries are taking additional precautions to protect the health and safety of our patrons and staff.
All library branches will be limiting library hours and encouraging everyone to practice CDC-recommended physical distancing guidelines.
Libraries will be open from noon to 8 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays; and, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
To make browsing and checking out materials more convenient, patrons can utilize the HoldIT Self-Service pick-up kiosks located at each branch. The library catalog is available online at
Using your library card to log in to your account, you can select up to 15 items to place on hold. You will have the option to select from which branch you want to pick up the materials, and if desired, choose “pick up from locker” to retrieve the items. Items can be retrieved from lockers and dropped off in the book drop next to the lockers 24 hours a day.
Additional library services include:
• Seating is available for studying and Wi-Fi use
• Free Wi-Fi is available in all library parking lots 24 hours a day
• Mobile Wi-Fi “SmartSpots” are available to check out for 14 days with your library card
• Chromebook laptops are available to check out for 14 days with your library card
• Newspapers are available for public use
• Meetings rooms are available for reservations
• Study rooms are available 
• Self-check stations are available for contactless service at all branches
Email for more information or call the branch directly, contact information here:

Nominations being accepted for Christmas Decor’s 2021 Decorated Family Program
FLEMING ISLAND – Since 2003, Christmas Decor franchisees, members of North America’s leading professional holiday and event decorating franchise network, have been decorating the homes of military families whose loved ones are deployed outside of the country for the holiday season.
James Murphy of Christmas Decor by Southeast Works, Inc. urges local residents to nominate the family of a deserving Fleming Island-area active-duty service member to become a “Decorated Family” this year. Christmas Decor franchisees nationwide will donate products, resources, time, and expertise to create glowing tributes at this year’s “Decorated Family” homes to honor all the service members who will be separated from their families this holiday season.
“Each year, the families of tens of thousands of active-duty men and women are deployed outside of the United States and its territories during the holiday season,” Murphy said. “The Decorated Family program can literally light up the holidays for some of these families while sending a glowing message of thanks to all service members and their families for their dedication and sacrifice.”
Fleming Island-area residents may nominate a local family for this distinction on Christmas Decor’s Facebook page at Click on the Decorated Family Program link and complete a form explaining why the nominated military family should be selected as a “Christmas Decor Decorated Family” for the 2021 holiday season. Christmas Decor corporate will review all the shared stories and select from the nominated families in each community. Decorated Families will be chosen based on the impact of their story on the judges and the family’s location (to ensure there is a participating local franchise to provide the award).
Nominations close on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11.
“This year, we hope to decorate more homes than ever before,” said Brandon Stephens, president of Christmas Decor, Inc. “The more nominations we receive, the more Decorated Families we are able to recognize. Please help us honor a brave active-duty man or woman in your community who will be away from home for the holidays this year by nominating their family to become a 2021 Decorated Family.”
More information about the Christmas Decor Decorated Family program is available at To learn more about having Christmas Decor decorate your home or business for the holidays, please contact James Murphy of Christmas Decor by Southeast Works, Inc. in Fleming Island at (904) 579-4422 or

Clay County looking to fill several job openings
CLAY COUNTY – The Board of County Commissioners are looking for a few good people – make that a lot of good people.
The county posted several job openings, including: animal control officer, building inspector, deputy director of engineering, engineering specialist, equipment operator, firefighter/EMT, grants administration analyst, grounds maintenance technician, HVAC technician, kennel attendant, laborer, permit services technician, veterans’ services officer and 4-H young development extension agent (apply through University of Florida).
For more information, click the Career Opportunities tab on the county’s website,

Comedian Bill Engvall coming to Thrasher-Horne Center
ORANGE PARK – Bill Engvall is a Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum selling recording artist and one of the top comedians in the country will bring his humor to the Trasher-Horne Center on Jan. 29.
Bill can regularly be seen in a recurring role on the hit FOX sitcom “Last Man Standing” playing Reverend Paul. He was recently awarded “Casino Comedian” of the year at the 2019 Casino Entertainment Awards in Las Vegas. He is currently on tour and since 2016, Bill has hosted a weekly podcast “My 2 Cents” with PodcastOne which offers his funny, thought-provoking and unique perspective on just about everything.
Bill’s latest comedy special “Just Sell Him For Parts” is currently available on VUDU streaming service. In addition to acting and stand-up Bill is also the spokesperson for the insurance company Health Markets. Bill recently wrapped production on A New Season where he reprises his role of Coach Z, from “Catching Faith” in 2015. He also had a role in the thriller, “Monster Party,” where three teenaged thieves infiltrate a mansion dinner party secretly hosted by a serial killer cult for the social elite.
Bill was part of the enormously successful Blue Collar Comedy concert films, which sold more than nine million units and received a Grammy nomination. He also starred on the WB’s hit sketch comedy show Blue Collar TV and in several solo specials for Comedy Central. In 2012 he reunited with Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy on the Them Idiots Whirled Tour, which aired as a special on CMT.
Bill’s first album, “Here’s Your Sign,” is certified platinum and held the No. 1 position on the Billboard Comedy Chart for 15 consecutive weeks. His second album, “Dorkfish,” also debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Comedy Chart, as did his subsequent comedy albums. Bill has written several books, including his 2007 autobiography Bill Engvall –Just A Guy.
Tickets start at $49 and are available at, or by calling (904) 276-6815 or visiting the Thrasher-Horne Center ticket office at 283 College Dr. in Orange Park on the St. Johns River State College campus.


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