Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
May 22, 2019 12:44 p.m.

Recognition of Ms. Kiersten London

As President of the Boys & Girls Club Keystone Club, Ms. London provides leadership development experience opportunities for young people of fourteen to eighteen years of age to participate in activities within three focus areas: academic success, career preparation and community service. The Kiwanis Club of Orlando recently awarded Ms. London the prestigious honor: Youth of the Year 4th Finalist, which recognizes members of Boys & Girls Clubs who represent and exemplify the organization’s three priorities: Academic Success; Good Character & Citizenship; and Healthy Lifestyles. 

Kiersten London was accompanied by staff of the Boys & Girls Club as she received a proclamation from Mayor John Miller.

Ms. London is a member of the “Tipping the Scales Program,” an A-B honor roll student, a peer tutor, an anti-bullying mentor, and an excellent role model to her younger siblings.  

Mayor John Miller said that despite her accomplishments, Ms. London remains exceptionally humble and grateful for her loving family, friends and community. He lauded her and encouraged others to emulate her beliefs that if you commit to a goal, work hard and stay consistent, there is nothing you cannot achieve.

Recognition of Coach Anthony “Andy” Francis

Coach Andy Francis expresses his gratitude and passion for youth soccer.

Mayor Miller said that Amelia Island Youth Soccer Coach Anthony “Andy” Francis has been passionate about teaching Fernandina Beach children the fundamentals of soccer while developing individual and team skills in a safe, structured, and fun environment.  Coach Francis has instructed hundreds of children as young as three years old through high school while promoting excellence, individual performance and personal improvement with nurturing words, kind encouragement and positive reinforcement.

During his coaching tenure, Coach Francis has taken this local soccer program to new heights and is widely regarded as one of the best soccer mentors in Amelia Island Youth Soccer. Under his leadership, Amelia Island Youth Soccer has become a model of excellence and consistency. His players are exceptionally well-prepared and disciplined. Participants exhibit mental and physical conditioning enabling them to remain poised, confident and able to execute under competitive pressure.

Year after year, Coach Francis selflessly dedicates countless volunteer hours to the community’s youth. He is an exceptional role model. The lessons Coach Andy teaches on the field – unwavering pride, spirit and self-confidence help develop children into capable young adults and future leaders.

In accepting the proclamation Francis thanked the city and all the people associated with the Youth Soccer Program.   He said that he insists that all the parents smile as they watch their children play, adding that there are never instances of fights or rude behavior among audience members at games.

“National Safe Boating Week” – May 18-24, 2019

Thanks to the courageous women and men who serve our Nation and protect our waters the United States Coast Guard stands always ready to help keep Americans safe at sea. As we look forward to spending time with loved ones this summer and taking advantage of all our scenic waters have to offer, Mayor Miller encouraged everyone to learn more about responsible boating. “Together, we can enjoy the beauty and bounty of the water and avoid preventable injuries and property damage,”  Miller said.

Mayor Miller proclaims Safe Boating Week and delivers proclamation to U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla Vice Commander Flotilla 14-1 Amelia Island Walter Lavender.

America’s waterways are conduits to creating lasting memories, to discovering worlds of adventure, and to generating economic opportunity. “National Safe Boating Week” is an occasion to bring special attention to a national pastime and to remind boaters, and their loved ones, to stay safe and responsible while exploring our nation’s lakes, rivers, streams and oceans.  

Before embarking on any boating journey, Americans should prepare for potential hazards by remembering to check the forecast, file a float plan, perform a vessel safety check, and confirm the vessel has essential safety equipment, including life jackets, fire extinguishers and weather radios. Boaters should also be ready for sudden weather changes that can affect a voyage — thunderstorms, wind shifts, and fog can often occur without warning; knowing how to respond to dangerous weather conditions can save lives.

To help ensure a great day out on the water does not end in tragedy, boaters and their passengers should wear life jackets at all times. Always wearing a life jacket, and refraining from drinking while boating, dramatically increases the safety and well-being of those enjoying pleasure craft activities. Each year, approximately three-fourths of mariner fatalities could easily be avoided by wearing life jackets.

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla Vice Commander Flotilla 14-1 Amelia Island Walter Lavender was in attendance to accept the Proclamation.  He thanked the city for its ongoing support and reminded audience members that the USCG Auxiliary consists of civilian volunteers who assist the Coast Guard by assuming educational responsibilities in schools, performing safety checks, and conducting river patrols.  All their activities share the goal of keeping people safe.

Suanne Thamm 4Editor’s Note: Suanne Z. Thamm is a native of Chautauqua County, NY, who moved to Fernandina Beach from Alexandria,VA, in 1994. As a long time city resident and city watcher, she provides interesting insight into the many issues that impact our city. We are grateful for Suanne’s many contributions to the Fernandina Observer.

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