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Abaco News
Abaco’s six national parks and wildlife sanctuaries to benefit from annual Art for the Parks event
Submitted by Barefoot Marketing   
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 14:48

Art for the Parks Celebrates the Beauty of The Bahamas - This January, some of the most celebrated Bahamian artists will gather at Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour Marina to share the beauty of their work while protecting the beauty of The Bahamas.  Now in its 6th year, the Art for the Parks Festival will take place January 23-25, 2015 and is a collaboration between Abaco Beach Resort, the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) and corporate sponsors.  Over thirty artists and artisans will exhibit their work providing both residents and visitors a unique opportunity to view and purchase artwork, while raising awareness and funding forthe preservation of Abaco’s six national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.  Pictured is Stephen Knowles who will be displaying wood products at Artfor the Parks. (Photo courtesy of the Bahamas National Trust for Barefoot Marketing)MARSH HARBOUR, Abaco -- This January, some of the most celebrated Bahamian artists will gather at Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour Marina to share the beauty of their work while protecting the beauty of The Bahamas.  

Now in its 6th year, the Art for the Parks Festival will take place January 23-25, 2015 and is a collaboration between Abaco Beach Resort, the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) and corporate sponsors.  Over thirty artists and artisans will exhibit their work providing both residents and visitors a unique opportunity to view and purchase artwork, while raising awareness and funding for the preservation of Abaco’s six national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

“We look forward to once again hosting this wonderful event and are proud to play a part in the preservation of our natural environment,” said Manny Alexiou, owner of Abaco Beach Resort. “What makes Art for the Parks so unique is that it not only showcases the natural wonders of the Bahamas through the work of our talented art community, but it also reminds us of the importance of protecting these areas so that future generations can enjoy them.”

Event attendees will enjoy viewing and purchasing works in all mediums including oils and acrylics, vibrant watercolors, handcrafted wood products, dazzling jewelry and incredible fabric art.  Art for the Parks commences with a cocktail reception on Friday and continues through the weekend with musical entertainment, local cuisine, a fresh market on Saturday, side-walk chalk art competition on Saturday, live art demonstrations by select artists as well as a natural history lecture about the region.

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242 Colour Run livens up the streets of Hope Town
Submitted by PROMPT   
Tuesday, 30 December 2014 14:02

HOPE TOWN, Abaco -- The quaint settlement of Hope Town was inundated with colourful runners and walkers on a fittingly beautiful Sunday morning. On December 28th, one-hundred and eleven adults and kids tossed colour into the air and ran a 5km road race, starting and finishing at Firefly Sunset Resort.

The morning started off early with Albury's Ferry providing a direct ferry from Marsh Harbour to Firefly. Registrations continued last minute, as those who were in town for the holidays signed up to participate. Participants gathered their reusable race packets, which included a packet of colour, 242 Colour Run sunglasses, 242 and Rotary temporary tattoos, bumper stickers, a race shirt and bib, and samples such as Jergens lotion, Ovaltine biscuits and Pinol laundry detergent.

A few minutes before the 8:00am race start, the racers, volunteers, and spectators gathered for the much anticipated “colour toss”. Packets of multiple colours were tossed in the air and on each other, livening up the morning. The race then started from Firefly, continuing around the Old White Sound Road and back to Firefly. Runners found encouraging messages sprawled across the roads in every colour. Along the route, multiple colour stations tossed the FDA approved colour onto the participants, dousing them in Flamingo Pink, Bahama Blue, Sunshine Yellow, Seagrass Green, and the appropriately named Lighthouse Red.

Volunteers participated from across Abaco and abroad. The Rotary and Rotaract Clubs of Abaco provided support and were also a beneficiary of the event, along with the Hope Town Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department. A family visiting Hope Town for the first time decided to help out as well, their kids mingling in with the colourful action.

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Florida couple ecstatic about winning dream wedding in Abaco
Submitted by Earnestine Moxyz   
Tuesday, 21 October 2014 09:14

PLANTATION, Florida -- “Super thrilled and beyond belief” are the sentiments shared by Pierre Alex Demonsthene, a legal aide, when he found out that he and his fiancé, WanJira Banfield, a travel writer and fitness instructor had won a complimentary dream wedding in Abaco, The Bahamas.

The couple who refers to each other as ‘Mayor’ (because of Pierre’s diplomatic disposition) and ‘Majesty’ (the regal-style treatment WanJira administers to others) are one of 16 couples from throughout the United States of America (USA) who recently won the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism’s (BMOT) unique social media “16 Weddings 16 Islands, One Priceless Day” contest.

Launched on February 14, 2014 to US residents, the contest resulted in more than three thousand entries. Sixteen lucky, newly engaged couples won a complimentary dream wedding on any of 16 islands in The Bahamas’, 700 islands chain. All 16 weddings are scheduled to take place on 16 Bahama Islands at 16:00 hours on January 16, 2015.

The contest also showcased The Islands of The Bahamas as the premier destination for romance, weddings and honeymoons and highlighted the diversity, beauty, charm, characters, flavors and cultures of each of the 16 Bahama Islands.

Originally from Haiti, and a resident of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Pierre said he met WanJira, the ‘light of his life’ in 2012, through a mutual friend, who had given him her telephone number. The two spoke on the telephone daily for two weeks without even seeing or meeting each other. “When we met, the chemistry was incredible. Her charm, beauty, quick wit and personality “bamboozled” me, and I knew immediately, I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. We have been together ever since,” he said.

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Abaco excited about new luxury charter air service
Submitted by Jeannie Gibson   
Friday, 17 October 2014 10:22

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida --- Wynsome Davis, Manager of The Bahamas Tourist Office, Abaco, recently expressed high praise for IJet Charters who has announced plans to offer scheduled charter service to Abaco Island and four other Bahamas destinations from Fort Lauderdale as well as flights to Abaco from New York, Spring of 2015.

Davis was one of many of the key influencers, media and other government officials in Abaco who toured the airline on Tuesday to view the state of the art aircraft, that was in Marsh Harbour on its introductory trip to the Island – the actual flights to Abaco and the other Bahamas Out Islands, are scheduled to begin in April of 2015.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Abaco, Davis said.   Affordable and adequate airlift has been a challenge for sometime for us so this new service is a plus for the destination.  This is in fact a huge plus for Abaco especially with our new terminal,” the tourism official said.

Jim Swieter, founder of IJet Charters, which is providing marketing and reservations for the scheduled charter, advised that the company’s plans are to fly direct scheduled flights, April through August, from Fort Lauderdale to Marsh Harbour, Abaco; Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bimini;  Georgetown, Exuma and North Eleuthera.  He said that the scheduled charters will fly out of Sheltair at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International (FLL), which will streamline the check-in process. Some return flights will arrive at FLL Terminal 4.

“This definitely will be the top-of –the-line service choice for all airlift currently servicing the Bahamas,” said Swieter, who added that all flights will offer complimentary beverages,  all premium class seating and high-speed travel. He also disclosed that the company is looking to schedule a non-stop from New York to Marsh Harbour during the high season.

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U.S. Embassy’s Abaco Youth Ambassadors host community dialogue on social inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities
Submitted by the US Embassy Nassau   
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 12:20

U.S. Embassy Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Neda Brown (center) with Kimberly Rahming, Catalina Albury, Berthony McDermott and Kandise Kelly. (Not pictured – Conrad Cornish).MARSH HARBOUR, Abaco -- On September 24, the U.S. Embassy’s Youth Ambassadors representing the island of Abaco held an engaging community dialogue to promote social inclusion of Bahamians living with intellectual disabilities during a one-day forum at the Office of the Prime Minister in Marsh Harbour, Abaco. The community service project coordinated by the youth ambassadors was a direct follow-up to their participation in an international youth leadership exchange program sponsored by the U.S. State Department in February of this year.  

The participants, Kandise Kelly and Catalina Albury, both students at Forest Heights Academy, Berthony McDermott of S.C. Bootle High School and Conrad Cornish of Abaco Central High School, were accompanied by Kimberly Rahming of the Ministry of Education who served as the group’s chaperone.  During the three-week exchange in the U.S., the youth leaders joined students from throughout the Caribbean in Denver, Colorado and Washington, D.C. to participate in hands-on community based activities.   

Upon their return to Abaco, the youth ambassadors chose to champion the cause of disability awareness in the various communities throughout the island in a community dialogue.  The U.S. Embassy’s Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Neda Brown was on hand for the event along with educators, religious leaders and representatives from special needs schools and various governmental departments including Social Services and the Department of Housing.

The highlight of the program was the screening of a short film produced by the youth ambassadors titled, “People with Possibilities,” which addressed everyday challenges faced by the disabled. The film included interviews with educators, parents and disabled youth on Abaco.  During the discussion, Lynn Major, principal of Every Child Counts School, which provides an alternative education to children with learning, developmental and physical disabilities on Abaco, stressed the need for inclusion of the disabled primarily among Bahamian youth.  Members of the religious community also raised a call to action in an effort to address concerns of the disabled among them.  

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Albury's Ferry Service donates $10,400 to Abaco Pathfinders
Submitted by AbacoBuzz   
Thursday, 18 September 2014 10:34

ABACO, The Bahamas -- Abaco Pathfinders (www.abacopathfinders.org) was formed in 2001 and has generously awarded many Bahamian youths with a college education. Abaco Pathfinders‘ goal is to provide funds to enable deserving students from the Abaco islands to continue their education after high school.

Albury’s Ferry Service is donating $10,400 to Abaco Pathfinders.

Ferries go where people go … “The young adults represent the future of our island; they are our most valuable asset,” states Denis Knowles, manager of Albury’s Ferry Service." we are proud to be part of a community which recognises the heartbeat of our talented young people.”

Abaco Pathfinders is a beneficial organisation not only for students, but as a positive impact on the community. Businesses such as Albury’s Ferry Service are vital to the program’s success.

Jim Blumberg founded Abaco Pathfinders in 2001 and his legacy is evident today — over 149 students have fulfilled their dream for higher education. With the support of sponsors, community and businesses, Pathfinders has been able to facilitate a path for those in need of help to attain their goals for higher education.

“Our sponsors and donors are our best resource. We thank Albury’s Ferry, and deeply appreciate their support. They go over and above to help us and we are grateful,” said Leazona Bethell, Abaco Pathfinders Organisation.

 
Treasure Cay plans still a mystery to local community
Submitted by Barefoot Marketing   
Sunday, 14 September 2014 12:32

TREASURE CAY, Abaco --- With no concrete plans announced but work continuing, the Abaco Defenders group remains concerned about the expansion of the Treasure Sands resort in Treasure Cay, Abaco.  

According to the newly formed NGO, after the initial unpermitted dredging was stopped with a cease and desist order from the BEST Commission, Treasure Sands received permission for three temporary structures on their property across the road from the resort. They believe none of these should be on the reclaimed property that resulted from the dredging, property whose ownership is still in question according to Abaco Defenders.  

The NGO appealed this approval at local government level as they were concerned that the decisions were made without knowledge of what the larger plans for the development are. “There are also serious concerns about the fate of historical artifacts,” said Fiona Bootle, President of Abaco Defenders. “These have been that were found on the property this summer.”  

Recently the Director of the Bahamas Antiquities Monuments and Museum, Dr. Keith Tinker, toured the site with members of the NGO and the manager of Treasure Sands, Tim Blakely. "There is sufficient evidence for the area to be considered a significant Heritage site,” said Tinker who also called for construction to cease pending further investigation. (Tough Call: Cultural Heritage at Heart of Concerns at Abaco Site, Larry Smith)  

Despite not receiving any response from North Abaco Administrator Neil Campbell, on their appeal the Abaco Defenders spent an afternoon kayaking in the sand banks creeks with members of Save The Bays to assess the damage done by the dredging.  

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