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First Coast Connect

10/19/2016: See The Girls; Kelly Mathis; Hope At Hand; Chris Thomas

On Wednesday’s First Coast Connect we discussed the See the Girl Summit being held Thursday and Friday at the Jessie Ball duPont Center with Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center CEO Lawanda Ravoira and Roy Miller, president of the Tallahassee-based Children’s Campaign.

We were also joined by attorneys Kelly Mathis and Mitch Stone.

Host Melissa Ross also welcomed Steffani Fletcher, the executive director of Hope at Hand about their mission that provides art and poetry therapy to at-risk youth. Then Chris Thomas of the Chris Thomas Band joined the show to talk about his new CD and two shows being held this week. 


See the Girls         

The summit is geared towards healthcare and service providers, educators, social workers and others interested in championing the rights of girls. Ravoira and Miller talked about the summit and some of the issues unique to young girls in our society.


Kelly Mathis

Last week, the 5th District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach threw out the conviction and prison sentence for Mathis, finding a Sanford judge erred in not allowing him to present evidence that online cafes were not gambling establishments.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi will now have to decide whether to retry Mathis, the only one sentenced to prison in the Allied Veterans of the World scandal that led to the arrests of 57 people and the resignation of Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll. Mathis and Stone told Ross about his case and his hopes of getting back his law license.  


Hope at Hand

Hope at Hand uses creativity, language arts and therapeutic approaches to facilitate healing and personal growth to those with limited resources. Fletcher told Ross about the organization and an upcoming TedX talk on Oct. 22.    


Chris Thomas

It’s one of the most popular bands on the First Coast. The Chris Thomas band is a throwback to the Big Band Swing era and has just released it’s debut CD “Only the Beginning.” Thomas spoke about the release and two release parties and concerts this week — one concert at Casa Marina in Jacksonville Beach on Thursday, and another at Unity Plaza on Friday in Brooklyn.    

Producer Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax

Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.