In the overall scheme of things, nothing means much unless we give thanks for our good fortune by giving back to others. In this spirit we support several organizations that benefit children, people in need and help preserve our environment and marine resources.
Sandestin Foundation for Kids
The goal of the Sandestin Foundation for Kids is to make a meaningful and positive difference in children’s lives. The Sandestin Foundation for Kids supports causes and organizations that have the most impact, and make the best, positive difference in the lives of children, including health and economic issues.
The Sandestin Foundation for Kids was started in 2011 by the Becnel Family, the owners of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. The organization is governed by a Board of Trustees. Supporters of the Sandestin Foundation for Kids are people who want to help children in need. Most supporters have special ties to Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, including Guests, Homeowners, Club Members, Employees and Partners.
For more information about the Sandestin Foundation for Kids visit www.sandestinfoundationforkids.org.
Harvest House Food Bank and Hosanna House for Abused Women
Harvest House, located in Destin, is a Christian-based organization that reaches out to those in the community who have fallen on hard times by providing food, clothing and household items along with financial assistance for prescriptions and utilities, counseling and prayer.
The Harvest House, which is more than 20 years old, serves nearly 500 clients each year with the purpose of reaching out with compassion and hope without compromising dignity. Harvest House provides meals for roughly 30 to 50 families weekly. Local churches, businesses and residents in the Destin community provide most of the donated items and food.
Harbor Docks restaurant, also in Destin, prepares the fish weighed during the tournament for wholesale and donates a percentage of the per pound proceeds to Harvest House. According to Jerry Ogle, founder and board member, Harvest House receives $10,000 to $12,000 each year from the ECBC tournament fish. “The proceeds from The Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic are a big part of our operating budget; we really depend on this to carry out our mission to provide food, clothing and shelter to those in need.”
The newest addition to the Harvest House mission is Hosanna House, a shelter and place of new beginnings for abused women. Hosanna House provides hope through teaching and a loving environment to meet the challenges of a renewed life.
The Billfish Foundation
The Billfish Foundation works worldwide to advance the conservation of billfish and associated species to improve the health of oceans and economies.
Within the context of a planet with nearly seven billion human inhabitants conservation strategies must be forward-looking and adaptive. By accounting for the roles of billfish within the marine environment as well as in relation to their interactions with humanity, TBF’s conservation campaigns maintain the flexibility to adapt to emergent threats as well as those which have historically confronted resource managers.
TBF employs a multi-tiered, proactive suite of initiatives involving research — both biological and socio-economic – education, and advocacy projects. As billfish and other highly migratory species are not confined to the territorial waters of any one nation, these strategies must also take into account the differences in culture and law inherent to the international arena. Empowered by an internationally diverse constituent network, The Billfish Foundation is uniquely equipped to do just this.
Florida Department of Environmental Protection Clean Marina Program
The FLDEP’s Clean Marina Program is a voluntary initiative that encourages a proactive approach to environmental stewardship and protection. Participating marinas, including Baytowne Marina at Sandestin, receive assistance in implementing sound management practices through on-site technical help and more.
To become designated as a Clean Marina, facilities must implement a set of environmental measures designed to protect Florida’s waterways. These measures address critical environmental issues such as sensitive habitat, waste management, storm water control, spill prevention and emergency preparedness. Designated facilities also receive ongoing technical support from the Florida Clean Marina Program and the Clean Boating Partnership.