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Washington Gym summer program cancelled

Tim Croft

CareerSource Gulf Coast and the city of Port St. Joe are operating on similar wavelengths.

During the most recent meeting of the Port St. Joe Commission, Mayor Rex Buzzett openly wondered how summer programs would be possible as the COVID-19 pandemic rages.

Social distancing, he said, would seem an impossibility for programs held at the Washington Gym and STAC House, geared as they are for ages ranging from elementary to high school.

While “unfortunate” Buzzett said he did not understand how summer programs could function given that social distancing was likely to be a recommendation for some time.

And several days later, CareerSource Gulf Coast announced that the summer program at the Washington Gym was cancelled.

“We are deeply saddened to cancel this year’s Summer Program, said Kim Bodine, Executive Director of CareerSource Gulf Coast. “However, we made this decision to keep our Gulf County youth and staff members safe from potential exposure and spread of COVID-19.

“As you can imagine it would be very hard to have children socially distance themselves.”

The summer program at the Washington Gym has served hundreds of children since partnering on the program with the Jessie Ball duPont Fund.

Last year, roughly 180 children were enrolled.

Bodine added that she is optimistic for the future and looks forward to the 2021 Summer Program. For more information, please visit or call (850) 229-1641.

CareerSource Gulf Coast ( CareerSource Gulf Coast provides employment solutions to job seekers and employers in Bay, Gulf and Franklin Counties, all at no-cost.