New School New Year’s Options in the Southend

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Want to ring in the New Year without staying up until midnight for festivities? Two Southend spots have got the hot tickets for family-friendly 2016 swan song shindigs before the sun goes down.

This year, join the fun at the South Florida Science Center or the Palm Beach Zoo to celebrate Noon Year’s Eve.

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Celebrate with your furry, feathered, and scaly friends!The Noisy Neighbors DJ Dance Party starts at 11am in the Fountain Plaza and includes free face-painting and crafts. At noon, all the revelers will ring in the New Year with an apple juice toast and the Zoo’s unique alligator drop. This year, the paper-mache alligator is painted white to honor Mardi and his new home in the Florida Wetlands section of the Zoo.

Make it a resolution not to miss these events!

Festive Fun in the South End

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Need an infusion of the Holiday Spirit? SENA is prepared to awaken your Fa-La-La persona by the end of tomorrow evening. The Organization is hosting a free evening of caroling throughout the South End neighborhood. All ages are welcome and an American Idol-worthy singing voice is not a pre-requisite. Carolers will be chauffeured in style thanks to Molley’s Trolleys.

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Meet at Memorial Presbyterian (1300 S. Olive Ave) at 5:30 for a 6:00 departure. Carolers will return by 8:00pm.

For more details or to sign-up, email SENA at sena@southendneighbors.com.

South End Family Channels Grief Into Purpose #livlikeoaks

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In some respects, Oakley Debbs was like many other 11-year-olds. He loved sports, hanging with his friends and had an inherent happiness and zest for life that often seems reserved for the young. But the South Ender also suffered from asthma and a “mild” allergy to nuts.

While he was very careful to check labels and avoid any foods with nuts, over a Thanksgiving vacation in Maine with his family, he ate part of a piece of coffee cake that had come in a gift basket and was now sitting out on the counter. As it turns out, what looked like chocolate was actually walnut.

After a blister appeared on his lip, his mother followed their typical protocol and administered Benadryl. The blister disappeared and they all believed the situation had passed. But then Oakley complained of a stomachache and vomited. What happened next is what his mom, Merril, called “a tornado of issues”. Oakley went into anaphylactic shock, suffering seizures and cardiac arrest an hour and a half after eating the nut. The family used an EpiPen three times, but it didn’t help. By the time he got to the hospital, he was nearly brain dead. Oakley later died in his father’s arms.

“He’s the man that I always wanted to be myself,” Robert Debbs told a Fox news station. “I’m just so heartbroken that he’s gone.”

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His family decided that no one else should have to go through what they did needlessly. Just days after his death, they started the Red Sneakers Foundation (in honor of his favorite footwear) to celebrate his memory and raise awareness about the seriousness of nut allergies.

Students, faculty and employees at a multitude of local schools (Rosarian, Palm Beach Day, South Olive, St. Ann’s) and businesses (such as La Sirena Restaurant) have begun wearing red shoes to support the cause. The Organization’s Facebook page  is filled with with photos of individuals around the world doing the same.

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The Debbs Family has already heard from people via Facebook that they have never met, but who credit them with saving their child’s life. After hearing the tragic story of this West Palm Beach boy, they changed their protocol in dealing with their child’s allergic reaction.

“This child of mine, he was a rock star, he was a good, good kid,” said Merrill. “And always in my heart of hearts, I knew that he would make a difference in his life – I just didn’t know it would be after he passed away. So that’s a big part of my driving force – the legacy of Oakley.”

The Debbs family has planned a Celebration of Life Soccer Game for this Saturday at the Palm Beach Rec Center. Players are asked to wear white attire with red shoes to show their support.

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South End Holiday Party Tonight

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Come and celebrate the Holidays with SENA at their FREE 2nd Annual South End Holiday Party!

Tonight, December 8th 6:00 – 8PM
South Olive Tennis Center

Come meet your neighbors and get your jingle on.

Kids will love the:
Face Painting
Balloon Art
Hot Chocolate Bar
Crafts

Plus tennis, food and drinks and cocktails for the grown-up set.

Special Performance by the South Olive Elementary Chorus!

The event is FREE – Donation to SENA appreciated, but not required.

Sponsored by:
Mc Mow Art Glass, Skip Jackson Tennis, Inc, Don Ramon’s, Weston Construction, Howley’s, Kiely Real Estate

High Rises In The Southend- The Saga Continues

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The proposed development of 3111 South Dixie Highway with five high-rises (see details in our former blog post) is once again the subject of discussion. On Monday night (December 5th), the WPB City Commission will take their first vote. This is your chance to voice your opinion.

The meeting begins at 5:00 PM at City Hall and the projects will be reviewed sometime after 5.