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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

4/12/2018: One Spark Future; Holocaust Memorial Day; Katie Ride For Life; Gen. W.

One Spark

Thursday on First Coast Connect we discussed the future of the One Spark crowdfunding festival with Jacksonville Business Journal Editor Timothy Gibbons (01:01).  

We commemorated the local observance of World Holocaust Remembrance Day by speaking with second-generation Holocaust survivor Naomi Chase (26:51) .

It’s National Donate Life Month, and we heard about the upcoming annual Katie Ride for Life with Mayo Clinic transplant specialist Dr. Martin Mai and Katie Caples Foundation spokeswoman Amy Reese (37:19).

Generation W’s Rise and Shine conference is Friday at UNF. We spoke with spokeswoman Angela Spears and speaker and CEO of T3-The Think Tank Gay Gaddis (46:00).        


One Spark’s Future

Has the spark gone out of One Spark?

Organizers of Jacksonville’s crowdfunding festival were hoping to see up to 40,000 people attend One Spark at Daily’s Place last weekend, but it appears the final attendance fell far short of that goal.

Organizers point to the rainy weather, the new location and several other events’ taking place at the same time.

Only 67 creators participated, and just 16 people rode a free shuttle provided by JTA to check out One Spark.

It’s a big comedown from the festival’s height, when it brought some 300,000 people to the urban core.

Holocaust Memorial Day

Israel came to a standstill at 10 a.m. Thursday, as sirens wailed throughout the country in memory of the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis during World War II. Ceremonies marking Holocaust Remembrance Day also took place in Europe.

In the U.S., the day was also top of mind for many, including Holocaust survivors and their descendants.

Holocaust Remembrance Day is scheduled on the same date as the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising — the ultimately doomed revolt that played an important role in defining Israel’s national psyche. Israel’s identity is defined by the axiom that never again will Jews be helpless in the face of annihilation.

Katie Ride For Life

The cycling event raises awareness for organ donation. The 14th annual Katie Ride for Life is coming up next weekend on Amelia Island, where riders will cross state parks and ecological preserves while enjoying 40 miles of stunning coastal views.

Gen W

Generation W’s annual Rise and Shine conference is set for Friday morning at the University of North Florida, with speakers’ talking about ways women can empower themselves.

Speaker Gay Gaddis started T3 - The Think Tank in 1989 after cashing in a $16,000 IRA. Today, T3 has offices nationwide and creates digital marketing programs for Fortune 200 clients.

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