Annual Power of Service awards celebrate Escambia, Santa Rosa organizations

Gulf Power will recognize four community service organizations at its fourth annual Power of Service awards ceremony for Escambia and Santa Rosa counties on Tuesday, March 10. The company started the Power of Service awards in 2012 as a way to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of service and recognizes organizations that are dedicated to improving the lives of others.

The organizations being honored include Men In Action, Santa Rosa Bridges, Health and Hope Clinic and the town of Century for its GED Scholarship Fund. The recipients will receive an award as well as a grant from Gulf Power at the ceremony.

“When selecting Power of Service recipients we look for organizations that may fly under the radar screen and aren’t as well known as many others in the community,” said Gulf Power President and CEO Stan Connally. “The recipients this year provide services that are specifically tailored to the needs of our communities, and we want to not only recognize and celebrate this, but help them further enhance their programs.”

Community leaders have been invited to the award ceremony and reception on Tuesday, March 10 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Pace Community Center in Pace.

2015 Power of Service recipients:

Health and Hope Clinic

Health and Hope Clinic was established by the Pensacola Bay Baptist Association to help meet the needs of the uninsured and medically underserved in Escambia County.

With two locations serving Pensacola and Century, Health and Hope Clinic is an entirely volunteer- and donor-driven clinic and relies on the generosity of contributors and volunteers to accomplish their mission of “providing health and hope to the hurting.” Since 2003, the clinic has been one of the only health care providers available to the community in Century and has provided more than $15 million in healthcare services and 18,000 patient/provider visits.

Health and Hope Clinic offers a wide variety of services to those in need, including primary medical care, dental services, preventative care, specialty care, prescription assistance, full laboratory services and more.

Santa Rosa Bridges

The mission of Santa Rosa Bridges is to enhance lives in Santa Rosa County by building bridges to prosperity. Established in 2012, the non-profit organization is comprised of citizens representing K-12 public education, post-secondary education, health care, faith-based groups, business, government, criminal justice and service providers.

The organization provides the community with Getting Ahead classes, a 15-week course that helps individuals in poverty gain the resources they need to help build a more prosperous life for themselves and their families. Eighty percent of individuals who have participated in the course have either gained employment, been promoted at their current job, gone back to school or started their own business. Santa Rosa Bridges also is now leading the effort in Santa Rosa County to reestablish public transportation.

Men In Action

Men In Action is a non-profit organization providing mentoring and enrichment programs for middle and high school youth in Santa Rosa County and surrounding areas. Their mission is to improve the academic achievement, self-esteem, social competence and avoidance of high-risk behavior in at-risk youth.

Mentors and mentees meet weekly to provide the mentee with support and guidance and to monitor the mentee’s progress toward their goals. The program offers tutoring services, life skills and career development services, community service opportunities and recreational activities.

Men In Action provides youth with the tools they need to make healthy life choices, set realistic goals and ultimately build successful lives for themselves.

Town of Century/GED Scholarship Fund

Thirty-five percent of Century residents do not have their high school diploma or equivalent education. Because of this, Mayor Freddie W. McCall is working to raise funds for a GED Scholarship Fund. Mayor McCall’s goal is to increase the number of Century residents who have a high school equivalent education to ensure its residents are prepared to be an active part of the workforce.

The fund was established through a generous donation from Quint Studer in recognition of Buck Showalter’s successful baseball career and his early upbringing in Century.