GDB Newspaper Column

The Creekline - 2014

Since February 2014, the Good Deed Brigade has been given the honor of writing a monthly newspaper column for The Creekline.  David Wolf, Founder of the Good Deed Brigade, serves as a Contributing Writer for The Creekline which is published and distributed to the fine residents of St. Johns County, Florida.  Here are the articles that have been published in The Creekline:

December 2014 - An Ambassador at the Campus of the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind

by David A. Wolf, Founder of the Good Deed Brigade

(Page 32 of the Digitial and Print Edition of The Creekline - www.TheCreekLine.com)

189

Right here in North Florida, we have a school that has earned a reputation for quality education at its highest level.  The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB) was founded in 1885 in St. Augustine, Florida.  It has students enrolled from all parts of Florida.  Currently, the school has approximately 600 students comprising of approximately 400 deaf / hard of hearing students and 200 blind / visually impaired students. Of this student population, approximately 400 students reside in dormitories during the week and return home every weekend to spend time with their families.  Roughly 200 day students reside in St. Johns County and nearby counties.  The school also has parent advisors who work with nearly 400 infants, toddlers and their families throughout the State of Florida. All in all, FSDB serves roughly 1000 pre-school, high school, and continuing education students.

The Good Deed Brigade recently visited the school and was lucky to have Rick Coleman as the tour guide.  It was truly the experience of a lifetime entering through the gates of FSDB and getting a glimpse of this awesome campus.

At the beginning of the tour, Coleman stated, "You are about to see the best school in the State of Florida for the deaf and the blind. In fact, you are about to see the best public school in the State of Florida all around."

With that statement of both pride and confidence, Coleman began the tour. He briefly introduced himself as a 26-year State of Florida employee as a parent specialist with the FSDB Parent Services department, a 22-year veteran of the Navy (he was a sonar technician), and, most importantly, a proud parent of a graduate of FSDB.

At the school, the campus includes 45 major buildings, such as administration buildings, music hall, a full service police / security building, health car center, a cafeteria, chapel, three gymnasiums, 850-capacity  auditorium, dormitories, football / track field, baseball field, classrooms, library and media centers, and a number of common areas for the students and staff to use and enjoy.  The classrooms and the libraries were the highlights of the tour. It was a campus full of learning, joy, and support.

Coleman, in a soft spoken and humble manner, recounted all of the wonderful times and milestones for his daughter who graduated from FSDB in 1997. She was a four-year varsity volleyball player, a prom queen, and an honor student.  His daughter went on to college and graduated with a degree in education.   

During the tour, Coleman provided a brief history of the school and noted the changes that have taken place during the year.  It was interesting to see one of the libraries that housed many braille text and reference books. One set of books was located on the top shelf - it was a series that had 72 volumes and looked like a full encyclopedia set.  In actuality, this was the 72-volume braille version of a one-volume standard print dictionary.  The other library had an abundance of videos in American Sign Language format. There are just two examples of many of the resources for the students at FSDB.

After the tour of the school, it was clear to me that Coleman's initial statements were absolutely accurate. The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind is the best school in the State of Florida.  It is something that we as Floridians should be proud of in every respect. Visit the FSDB website at www.fsdb.k12.fl.us/ to find out about upcoming events. Located in the heart of historic St. Augustine, it would be well worth the time and effort to experience the events at the school, some of which are open to the public (such as the annual Holiday Concert). The wonderful staff members at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind certainly help promote the school's overall mission and its motto as posted on the website:  Do More. Be More. Achieve More.  

The Good Deed Brigade salutes Rick Coleman for his dedication and support of FSDB.  Follow his lead and example and do your share of good deeds in the community.  

If you have a story to share about your good deeds or the good deeds of others in the community, please e-mail us at GoodDeedBrigade@gmail.com or visit our Contact Us Page on the Official Website for the Good Deed Brigade.   

This article originally appeared in the December 2014 issue of The CreekLine, published by RT Publishing, Inc. www.thecreekline.com.    

*For those who want to read more about the origin of the term “Pay It Forward” Click Here. 

________________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________________

Daniel Williams

June 2014 - Surf Report and Beach Safety, Courtesy of Daniel Williams

by David A. Wolf, Founder of the Good Deed Brigade

(Page 33 of the Digitial and Print Edition of The Creekline - www.TheCreekLine.com)

Right here in St. Johns County, we have some awesome beaches. We also have some wonderful people who help make our community just that much better.  Daniel Williams grew up in St. Johns County, where he spent his summers and other parts of the year at the beach. 

Currently, Williams, age 21, is a business student at the University of North Florida. He also works part time at his father's sporting goods store - Williams Athletics.  One spring evening, Williams went online and saw that it was an "epic" day for surfing.   He missed out on the opportunity to ride some great waves; however, the day was not a total loss because it was the day that he came up with the idea to create a surf app for Florida beaches. Williams thought his surf friends would benefit from a smart phone all that provided surf and beach conditions and alerts.

Williams rolled up his sleeves and did some research.  Through this hard work and the investement of his own time and money, Williams created the app called Dans Surf Report.  Likethe beaches in North Florida, the app is free. The app not only has information for all of the beaches in Florida but it also has information for beaches throughout the world.  It is a useful app for surfers, beach-goers, and families.

As noted by Williams, "Up-to-date information is key to having not just a good day at the beach but a great day at the beach.  Every beach visitor should know the current surf and weather conditions.  Rough waters would not be a good place for an inexperienced swimmer.  Also, there are some days the surfers should keep out of the water as well." As further noted by Williams, "There is no worse feeling for a surfer than checing the surf report at night to find out that you missed some good waves all day."

Dans Surf Report app provides its users with water temperatures, wave heights, tides, outside forecast and more.  It is a very useful app that will help all beach goers better enjoy the day and optimally use their free time when making beach plans. You can find Dans Surf Report on iTunes by searching for the following: Dans Surf Report.  In the near future, expect a website for Dans Surf Report as well as availability for Android devices.

We are certainly fortunate to have great weather and beaches right here in North Florida.  We also are fortunate to have energetic and innovative people like Daniel Williams to promote our beaches, surfing activities, and safety. 

The Good Deed Brigae salutes Daniel Williams for his passion and his efforts to share his knowledge and enthusiam with others. Follow the example set by Daniel Williams and go out in your community to do your share of good deeds.  Remember, wherever you see the Good Deed Brigade, it's all good. 

If you have a story to share about your good deeds or the good deeds of others, please email us at GoodDeedBrigade@gmail.com or visit the official website of the Good Deed Brigade located at www.GoodDeedBrigade.com. 

This article originally appeared in the June 2014 issue of The CreekLine, published by RT Publishing, Inc. www.thecreekline.com.    

________________________________________________________________________________________

The Creekline - Good Deed Brigade - Page 33 - June 2014

________________________________________________________________________________________

Scott Hiltonen

April 2014  Soccer Skill, Knowledge, & Heart - Scott Hiltonen 

by David A. Wolf, Founder of the Good Deed Brigade

(Page 38 of the Digitial and Print Edition of The Creekline - www.TheCreekLine.com)

During a visit to Veterans Park located in St. Johns, you have a good chance of seeing Scott Hiltonen, one of the many  volunteers and coaches at Creeks Soccer.   Hiltonen has certainly embraced the game and has given his time, effort, and heart to help  kids of all ages and skill enjoy "the beautiful sport." 

Hilton was an All-State goalkeeper who helped lead his team to two state high school championships. He then played for Cornell University and thereafter a few years of semi-professional soccer.  Along the way, he earned a degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering. 

In 2003, Hiltonen began volunteering and coaching with Creeks Soccer.  Over time, Hiltonen has earned a number of coaching licenses. He has coaced at the recreation, academy, and premier levels with Creeks Soccer.

Hiltonen is most proud of the players enrolled in the TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer) which is a community-based soccer program designed to meet the needs of children with physical and / or mental disabilities.  Growing up, he saw first hand the challenges of his cousin who has Downs Syndrome.  The TOPSoccer Program, based on Veterans Park, provides training sessions and games for the players during the fall and spring soccer season.  Volunteers, known as buddies, play side-by-side with the players.

As noted by Hiltonen, "My continued enthusiasm and support of TOPS is fueled by the positive impact on the players and the positive feedback by the parents." 

Hiltone was especially moved by a note that the club received by David Quackenbush: "TOPSoccer has been an amaxing program for my daughters (Emily and Sarah) and me.  The TOPS soccer program allows them to get some exercise and also interact with friends on the field. They love their coach and locate him as soon as we arrive at practice.  On Sunday mornings, they ask to put on their soccer uniforms as soon as they get up."

Hiltonen works tirelessly as a volunteer for Creeks Soccer while maintaining a full time job with a major company and dedicating time to his wife and two children.  If you see Scott Hiltonen at Veterans Park or elsewhere, thank hgim for his wonderful work and his positive impact in the community.  If you would like to learn more about the TOPS Soccer Program, please contact Scott Hiltonen at scott@CreeksSoccer.com or visit the Creeks Soccer website at www.CreeksSoccer.com

The Good Deed Brigade salutes Scott Hiltonen for his dedication to service, coaching, the sport of soccer. Follow the example set by the actions of Scott Hiltonen and go out in your community to do your share of good deeds. Remember, wherever you see the Good Deed Brigade, it's all good. 

If you have a story to share about your good deeds or the good deeds of others in the community, please e-mail us at GoodDeedBrigade@gmail.com or visit the official website of the Good Deed Brigade at www.GoodDeedBrigade.com.

________________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________________

March 2014 The Life of a Multi-Tasker: Neighbor, friend, and mentor - Julie Bentley

(Page 15 of the Digital and Print Edition)

The Creekline - Archived Digital Edition - April 2014

________________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________________

February  2014 - Commitment to Family, Faith and Country - Dave Cooksey  

(Page 22 of the Digital and Print Edition)

The Creekline - February 2014
© Good Deed brigade 2013