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First Coast Connect

5/9/2017: Visit Jacksonville; ALS Ballball Grounds; Moveable Feast; Book Club

Tuesday on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke with Visit Jacksonville CEO Paul Astleford (1:02) about THE PLAYERS Championship’s impact on the region and concerns about the funding of Visit Florida. Attorney Wayne Hogan, Donna Orender and Director of Development at the ALS Association Florida Chapter Carmen Stokes (21:24) spoke about May 21  ALS fundraiser at the Baseball Grounds. Our new segment “Moveable Feast,” hosted by Women’s Food Alliance founder Leigh Cort, spoke with Casa Marina Hotel General Manager Mark Vandeloo (32:45), and this month’s First Coast Connect Book Club with blogger Stacey Goldring (40:53) discussed the book “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman. 


Visit Jacksonville

There are concerns that the legislature slashing funding for Visit Florida will have a detrimental affect on First Coast tourism. This alarm is sounding right in the middle of National Travel and Tourism Week, going on right now as well as THE PLAYERS Championship. Our local agency, Visit Jacksonville, doesn’t get any direct funding from the state, but it does get help promoting the region overseas, so cuts to Visit Florida could lead to less international tourism in our area.

ALS Baseball Grounds

It's been about 75 years since ALS was named Lou Gehrig's Disease, and there’s still no prevention, no treatment and no cure. Evan Yegelwel, a partner at the Terrell Hogan Yegelwel law firm and leader in the Jacksonville legal and Jewish community, is afflicted by ALS. The disease has eliminated his ability to speak, to eat, and walk without the aid of a walker. To help raise awareness of ALS, all proceeds from an upcoming Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp game will go toward research on behalf of the group Evan’s Hope. The game is 3 p.m. May 21. Tickets are available online or donate to the cause.        

Moveable Feast   

Despite the fact the First Coast is surrounded by water, there are surprisingly few places next to the river or the ocean where you can enjoy dinner and drinks on the waterfront. One of them is the grand dame of Jacksonville Beach, the Casa Marina. The restaurant is celebrating its 92nd anniversary this year. That’s the subject of a brand new segment on First Coast Connect, “Moveable Feast” as we take a look at this area’s exploding culinary scene.

Book Club

It’s the story of a curmudgeon. The bestselling book “A Man Called Ove” was also made into a popular foreign language film. It’s our pick for this month’s book club on the show. You can pick up a copy at the Jacksonville Public Library. It was originally written in Swedish by Backman.   

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.