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Abaco News
2014 Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend almost 2 weeks away - March 21-23
Info Editor   
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 18:11

 Participants in the 5K and 10K run/walk head off on the course around the scenic Treasue Cay neighbourhood.TREASURE CAY, Abaco -- Athletes and organisers are getting excited about the upcoming Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend, March 21-23 on the beach and in the neighbourhoods of scenic Treasure Cay.

"During our 3rd year, we have our normal events, including the 1-Mile Open Water Swim, Sprint/Olympic Triathlons (Individual & Relay), Kids' 1-Mile Fun Run, and the 5k/10k Fun Run/Walk," says event director Lee McCoy, "but we also have two additional events taking place.  For the second year, Cheer Bahamas will put on their cheerleading clinic for juniors and adults alike and newcomer PappaSurf will also be having paddleboard races on Saturday afternoon!" 

"We are also very proud to have Hector Picard participating in this years events," he added.  "Hector is a bilateral amputee who will be participating in the Open Water Swim and the Sprint Triathlon.  He will be talking with folks and demonstrating how to change a tire - with no hands - on Friday afternoon.  We are also excited to have him talk with the kids at ECC and Forest Heights Academy on Friday morning."

If you haven't booked your transportation, accommodation, or registered for the event, now's the time to do it!  Visit www.GAFFW.com for all the information and online registration.

Photo: Participants in the 5K and 10K run/walk head off on course around the scenic Treasure Cay neighbourhood in 2013.

 
Peggy Thompson Welcome Center opens in Hope Town
Submitted by Abaco Buzz   
Friday, 21 February 2014 10:57

Jessica Mullen, Beth Albury at the Peggy Thompson Welcome CenterABACO, The Bahamas -- Located on the beautiful shores of Elbow Cay, in the Abaco’s, The Peggy Thompson Welcome Center opened its doors to visitors and locals alike on February 18th, 2014, the same day as Albury’s Ferry Service celebrated their 55th anniversary. The opening also coincided with the launch of the new Inter-Cay Ferry Schedule, which you can use to island hop to some of the most unique cays in the Abacos.

The Welcome Center was named after Mrs. Peggy Thompson. Peggy was an active member of the community of Hope Town and avid supporter of travel and tourism throughout the Bahamas. The Welcome Center will serve as an everlasting tribute to Peggy’s commitment and love of Hope Town, the Abacos and the Bahamas. Open from 9:30am-5:30pm daily and located just across from the post office dock, The Peggy Thompson Welcome Center offers all the information needed to start your adventure in paradise.

Discover everything The Abacos has to offer ... whether you plan to visit for a season, a week or the afternoon, the Peggy Thompson Welcome Center is your first stop.

Photo: Jessica Mullen, Beth Albury at the Peggy Thompson Welcome Center.

 
Albury’s Ferry offers new inter-cay service
Submitted by Abaco Buzz   
Sunday, 16 February 2014 08:53

ABACO, The Bahamas -- Albury’s Ferry Service has announced a new inter-cay ferry service making island hopping within the cays of Abaco easy and adventurous.

Direct inter-cay ferry service between Man-o-War Cay, Lubbers Quarters, Elbow Cay and Guana Cay.

Purchase one of three ticket options. Discover the magical ambiance, unique shops, restaurants and resorts which complement all the breathtaking natural scenery, the ride itself is an adventure.

Participating businesses on all the cays will offer incentives, specials and discounts to Albury’s Ferry Service wristband holders, embracing the inter-cay island hopping service that encourages people to take advantage of the new excursion.   www.alburysferry.com

 
Tampa couple wins Valentine’s Day weekend for two in Hope Town
Submitted by John Bell   
Wednesday, 12 February 2014 12:53

Pamela and Bob Dawson, winners of a Valentine’s Weekend For Two in Abaco’s picturesque Hope Town.FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida — Pamela and Bob Dawson, who have been visiting The Bahamas for the last 20 years, will for the first time in their travels arrive by seaplane. Married for 29 years, the Dawson’s were selected this week in a random drawing to win a Valentine’s Weekend For Two in Abaco’s picturesque Hope Town.

“It’s a first for us, and I’m actually more excited about the seaplane than the rest of the trip,” said Mrs. Dawson, a retired teacher.

Mrs. Dawson and husband, Bob, an insurance executive, are the winners of a drawing to promote Tropic Ocean Airways’ February 14 launch of its inaugural seaplane scheduled charter service to Hope Town in Great Abaco They will spend their Valentine’s Day Weekend at the historic Abaco Inn for a complimentary three-night vacation package, including flying aboard Tropic Ocean Airways’ new eight-passenger Cessna Caravan Amphibian Turboprop.

Tropic Ocean Airways, which re-instituted regular seaplane service to the Bahamas in 2011, is partnering with Fort Lauderdale-based IJet Charters, to offer direct flights to Hope Town, a popular, but often time consuming trip for air travelers. Fort Lauderdale to Hope Town service will be Fridays and Saturdays starting February 14, and a Monday flight will be added starting March 14.  Scheduled Saturday service from Galaxy Aviation at Palm Beach International Airport will begin March 15th.

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Amputee triathlete Hector Picard to compete in Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend 2014
Sunday, 09 February 2014 14:25

TREASURE CAY, Abaco -- Hector Picard is a bi-lateral amputee after almost losing his life in a work related accident in 1992.  He was told by doctors he would have to re-learn everything he took for granted, such as buttoning his shirt or eating.  With the support of his family and friends, he was able to overcome obstacles placed in front of him and excel beyond anyone’s imagination.  He found ways to get back into his active lifestyle, and in 2009 he competed in his first triathlon.  He is currently a motivational speaker and competes in many different events, including Ironman distance triathlons, long distance bike rides such as “Hands for Baby Jameson” and will now compete in the Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend 2014.

Hector and his family will be flying into Treasure Cay on Thursday March 20th 2014, where they will stay at the Treasure Cay Beach, Marina, & Golf Resort.  Thanks in part to a grant by the Cable Cares Foundation, Hector will be able to talk with local schools in Treasure Cay and Abaco about his journey and to offer motivation and guidance.  On Friday afternoon, Hector will demonstrate how he changes a tire in a race with no assistance, and also meet and greet the participants and share his story.  

That evening Hector will participate in the weekend’s first event, the 1-mile Open Water Swim.  He does not use additional flotation or assistance, and competes under his own power and limitations.   The following day he will compete in the Sprint Triathlon –  a 500m swim, 12.1 mile bike, and a 5km run.   The two races take part on the gorgeous 3+ mile Treasure Cay beach, which was voted one of the Top 10 best beaches in the world.  Hector’s enthusiasm has shown through even in the early planning stages - “I’m looking forward to having a memorable experience at the Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend!” he declared.

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Four Abaco students selected as youth ambassadors to participate in leadership exchange in the U.S.
Submitted by the US Embassy Nassau   
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 12:18

The U.S. Embassy’s Youth Ambassadors Kandise Kelly and Catalina Albury, of Forest Heights Academy, Berthony McDermott from S.C. Bootle High School, Conrad Cornish of Abaco Central High School and Ministry of Education representative Kimberly Rahming, meet with U.S. Chargé d’Affaires John Dinkelman, Public Affairs Officer Neda Brown and Education and Cultural Specialist, Myra McPhee at the U.S. Embassy.NASSAU, Bahamas -- On Thursday, January 9, the United States Embassy formally announced the students and chaperone representing Abaco Island who will travel to Denver, Colorado and Washington, D.C. from February 2-25, 2014, to participate in the U.S. Embassy’s third Youth Ambassadors exchange program.  The students were selected based on their strong leadership skills and a commitment to community service.  During the three-week exchange, the Bahamian youth leaders will join students from throughout the Caribbean in two U.S. cities for hands-on community-based activities.

The students’ exciting one-day visit to Nassau included a courtesy call on U.S. Chargé d’Affaires John Dinkelman and briefings with the Embassy’s Public Affairs staff. During the meeting with the Chargé, the students discussed the upcoming program and issues facing youth in The Bahamas.  The four youth leaders who were selected for the third U.S. Embassy Youth Ambassador Program are: Kandise Kelly and Catalina Albury, both students at Forest Heights Academy, Berthony McDermott from S.C. Bootle High School and Conrad Cornish, who will represent Abaco Central High School.  The students will be accompanied by Kimberly Rahming of the Ministry of Education who will serve as the group’s chaperone and act as a mentor to the students upon their return to The Bahamas.   

The Youth Ambassadors Program brings talented high school students to the United States to promote mutual understanding, increase their leadership skills, and prepare participants to make a difference in their home communities by becoming active and engaged citizens through service.  Twenty-five countries throughout the Caribbean and Latin America currently participate in the program.  U.S. Embassy Nassau has coordinated three Youth Ambassadors Programs for 2013/14 with students previously selected from New Providence and Grand Bahama to participate in the youth leadership exchange.

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Jamming in the Sand: 2nd Annual Patrick Davis Hope Town Songwriters Festival returns to Abaco
Submitted by Ryan Nelson   
Monday, 13 January 2014 14:19

HOPE TOWN, Abaco -- Crystal clear water, pearl white sand and the sounds of Nashville wafting through paradise on Elbow Cay, Bahamas ... sounds like a dream? It's not, it's the Second Annual Patrick Davis Hope Town Songwriters Festival, to be held Tuesday, February 18 to Saturday, February 22, 2014 at locations all around Hope Town including Firefly Sunset Resort, Harbour’s Edge Restaurant, Abaco Inn, Sea Spray Resort and Marina and Lubbers’ Landing Resort.

It was such a hit its first year, it’s even bigger and even better in 2014. The festival will illuminate this Bahamian beach village with events from some of Nashville’s greatest musical talent and includes a mix and mingle with the songwriters, live music shows and stories behind the writing. All of the weekend’s events are free and open to the public.

Songwriters performing include artists such as James Otto, Django Walker, Whitney Duncan, James Slater, Chris DeStefano, Mark Bryan, Tyler Reeve, James Slater, Kylie Sackley, Jessie Rice, Phillip Lammonds and, festival host, Patrick Davis. These artists have been involved in the writing of hits for star performers like Zac Brown Band, Pat Green, Edwin McCain, Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood, LeAnn Rimes, Blake Shelton, Alan Jackson and many more.

Coordinator and promoter of the festival, and Singer-Songwriter, Patrick Davis is known for writing many hits such as Jason Michael Carroll’s Top 10 hit, “Where I’m From,” and “Be Wary of a Woman,” for Charleston native Darius Rucker. For more on the songwriters, visit here.

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