The Ukulillies perform, with front row, seated from left: Dodie Alber, Holly Brown and Betsy Nofziger. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]
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Turtle Pond party backs Backpack Buddies

With the peaceful three-acre pond shimmering in the background, and tables of food laden with homemade goods, about 100 guests attended a reception on behalf of the BackPack Buddies of Franklin County, a non-profit organization that provides meals for the weekends for schoolchildren in the county.

The Farm to Table fundraiser was held at Turtle Pond Farm off of Bobby Cato Street in Apalachicola, the organic farm created by Holly and Creighton Brown where they grow fruits, vegetables and wildflowers, and tend to egg-laying chickens and a pond stocked with fish.

Turtle Pond [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

The evening opened with a performance by the Ukulilies, a group of local women who sing and strum their ukuleles to classic Americana music.

The featured entertainment was the Ashley Morgan Duo, which brings together the former Ashley Carroll, born and raised in Eastpoint, accompanied by her husband, Adam Carswell.

Ashley Carroll, left, and her husband Adam Carswell perform as the Ashley Morgan Duo. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

In addition to food and drink, the event featured the works of six Turtle Pond Painters – Bonnie Ison, Holly Brown, Pam Corcoran, Ed Springer. Tara Roberts and Lynn Wilder – who paint at the site every Monday, sometimes with Barb Noonan, a professional artist.

The Live Oak Gallery, where the paintings were displayed, oversaw the raffle and assisted in selling the tickets. It was one of the event sponsors, as was Bottom’s Up wine, cigar and liquor store, Ashley’s Cakes by the Bay and Sign De-Sign.

Claire and Jim Rice, at right, sell tickets to David Peck for the raffle of works by the Turtle Pond Painters, a local group of six painters that paint together at the farm. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

Ison, who also serves on the board that oversees BackPack Buddies, said It costs approximately $20 per month to feed each child in the program, with about 265 Buddies receiving this assistance. No child in the county is denied but parents must request help and give permission to send the backpacks home each week. Teachers discreetly place the bags in the child’s own backpack each Friday. 

Teresa Manning, a board member of Backpack Buddies of Franklin County, at left, together with the organization’s director, Natasha Creamer. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

“There are plans to provide shelf stable milk in the backpacks next year that will increase the weekly cost,” she said.

Morgan Martin looks over some of the works by the Turtle Pond Painters that were raffled off. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

For more information or to donate, email or call (850) 323-0576. Or go to the Facebook page for BackPack Buddies of Franklin County.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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