Hurricane Michael was one of those life-changing events that those who came out the other side will never forget, be it one year, five years, 10 years or 20 years from now.
The topography-altering, landscape-scrubbing destruction wrought by Michael will be felt down the generations, as will the rebuilding and restoration that will play out over the coming years.
Next week marks the first of those years, the first anniversary of the monumental day, Oct. 10, 2018, when a tropical storm that had been transformed into a Category 5 monster, seemingly overnight, barreled into this corner of the world.
And while the destruction, the distance left to travel will be remembered next week, the events of next week seek to focus more forcefully on the distance already traveled, the rebuilding which as already taken place.
The Joe Center for the Arts
The arts facility on Reid Ave. in downtown Port St. Joe will have not one but two projects to mark the anniversary, with a spotlight on the forward progress made in a year.
The “Picking up the Pieces” exhibit opening Oct. 10 is actually two projects in one.
The Blue Tarp Quilt
For months, The Joe has been building this “art quilt” on steroids, asking residents to submit, via words, drawings, photos, etc., memories of Michael and its aftermath on squares of 8.5 inches.
Those squares will be mounted on a blue tarp and displayed.
Using empty water bottles, of which so many were made available, filled and free, in the days after Michael, the center’s main gallery will be transformed.
The project will start with the front windows and “spill” into the gallery, pun intended.
For more information visit joecenter.org or check out the non-profit’s page on Facebook.
The Gulf County Tourist Development Council will host “Rise Up” at 4 p.m. ET Oct. 10 in George Core Park.
There will be live music, the Lions Club will be cooking and the volunteer committee that lit up the Cape San Blas Lighthouse for the Christmas season last year will brighten the scene near dark.
Mexico Beach: One Year after Michael
The Mexico Beach Community Development Council, Mexico Beach Special Events and the city of Mexico Beach will host a ceremony to commemorate the anniversary of Michael 5-7 p.m. CT Oct. 10 in the parking lot in front of Mango Marley’s (the city’s business district).
Rockin’ Randall and the band Flabbergasted will provide live music and there will be free food and refreshments.
Several speakers will also talk about rebuilding from Michael.
On Friday, the Gulf County TDC and the St. Joseph Bay Golf Club will host a day of fun and fundraising with a four-person scramble tournament.
Registration begins 10:30 a.m. ET on Oct. 11 with a shotgun start at 12 p.m. ET.
There will various contests within the tournament, including closest to the pin, longest drive and a par 3 contest as well as a 50/50.
This is for members and visitors alike.
Cost is $100 per person and includes dinner and a cash bar.
50 for Florida fundraising run
Woven into “50 for Florida,” which will take place Oct. 12, is the goal of raising $500,000 this year toward a goal of $2 million over the next three years to be distributed in Mexico Beach and Port St. Joe.
The idea originated with an Atlanta-based executive of Chick Fil A, David Milliken, who also owns a home located between Mexico Beach and Port St. Joe.
The sponsored race will begin and end in the parking lot of First Baptist Church of Port St. Joe on U.S. 98.
The course continues through Mexico Beach to Louisiana Ave. in Tyndall and returns on the same route; runners will go out one side of U.S. 98 and return on the other side.
Along the route, there will be seven aid stations with food and drink and Port A- Potties.
The stations are placed in such a fashion to encourage relay teams; a runner will cover roughly a 10k between stations.
Runners from around the country, including ultra-marathoners who will run all 50 miles, have already registered.
Entry effectively meant a pledge from each individual runner to raise $1,000.
Additionally, the event’s website offers an array of ways to donate by purchasing a host of gear, such as T-shirts and other “event swag.”
Individuals may also donate directly without sponsoring a runner.
To learn more, register to run or donate, visit www.50forFLcom or visit the event’s page on Facebook.
Stronger than the Storm
Hosted by a restaurateur from out of state who arrived shortly after Michael and provided meals for weeks afterward, “Stronger than the Storm” is a daylong event held 9:30 a.m. until 11 p.m. ET Oct. 12 at Veterans Memorial Park at Beacon Hill.
There will be a menu of free food, including a Sno-Cone Truck, ice cream, Southern buffet, burgers, hot dogs and pizza.
Free fun is included with live music, a Bouncy house, kid’s games and S’mores around a campfire.