Winners & Losers – 12/26/19
The University of West Florida Board of Trustees chair was presented the Presidential Medal of Honor during the fall commencement ceremony, honoring his more than 40 years of distinguished service to the university. The award is presented to individuals who have distinguished themselves by their actions and contributed in some manner to the wellbeing of the university and the geographical region, primarily through public service and philanthropy. Recipients embody UWF’s values and leave a distinct and positive impact on the university and community. O’Sullivan joined the UWF Board of Trustees in 2010. He served as vice chairman beginning in 2013 and was named chairman in 2017. His term as chairman ends in January.
Bear Family Foundation
The Bear Family Foundation donated a total of $2,793,500 this year to nonprofits. It’s the mission of the Bear Family Foundation to continue a tradition of philanthropic giving, from generation to generation, through financial donations and volunteering in our communities. Since its beginning, the foundation has donated a total of $8.1 million to local agencies and organizations.
Panhandle Tiger Bay Club
The club merged with the University of West Florida Downtown Lecture Series in early November. However, its legacy will live on with the John Broxson-Panhandle Bay Club Scholarship. The club donated $2,500 for the scholarship. Christina Broxson, wife of John Broxson, matched that contribution. The club was established in 1977 by Pensacola News Journal columnist Pat Lloyd and former Florida Sen. John Broxson. The Tiger Bay Club also contributed funds to the Pat Lloyd Scholarship at UWF, which was established in 1987.
Third Annual Holiday Youth Extravaganza
Escambia County and District 3 Commissioner Lumon May hosted 600 residents at the third annual Holiday Youth Extravaganza Friday, Dec. 13, featuring singing, dancing, giveaways and more for the community to enjoy. Commissioner May told the crowd, “We do this because we care for children, and we believe that we are doing this for children to seniors and everything in between. We invest in human capital.”
Greater Pensacola Aquatic Club
The Greater Pensacola Aquatic Club gifted $80,500 to the University of West Florida for video boards in the UWF Aquatic Center. Formed as the Pensacola swim team in 1972, GPAC has been synonymous with excellence in competitive swimming on the local, regional, national and international levels.
The Last Mile
Friends and family honored the memory of Brien Pursell on Nov. 10 with the fourth annual running of The Last Mile downtown. On a training run three years ago, Pursell was struck and killed by a vehicle on US 98. Days after the accident, 50 people gathered to complete the “last mile” of the route. This year’s sunset run included support from presenting sponsor Gulf Power, as well as Pensacola Sports, Seville Quarter and the City, plus many others. Race proceeds benefit youth programs at the YMCA of Northwest Florida.