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First Coast Connect

JU Ukrainian benefit concert; The DePaul School; Breast Cancer Awareness Month; What’s Good Wednesday

Ukrainian violinist Anastasiya Petryshak and Melissa Ross.
Laura Phelps
Jacksonville University
Ukrainian violinist Anastasiya Petryshak and Melissa Ross.

As Russia raises talk of nuclear and dirty bombs, Americans have stepped up their support of the Ukrainian people. There seems to be no end in sight to Russia’s war on Ukraine since the invasion in February.Refugees who fled in the wake of the invasion are being advised to stay abroad this winter due to blackouts created by Moscow’s bombardment of energy infrastructure.

Jacksonville residents can do their part this week to help in this refugee crisis. Tomorrow night, October 26, Jacksonville University will welcome acclaimed Ukrainian violinist Anastasiya Petryshak to the campus for a two-day residency and a free performance. Petryshak gave a live in studio performance of a piece from Bach for violin solo this morning as a preview for the event. The event is free, but attendees will be encouraged to donate to the Global Outreach Educational Foundation, to benefit Ukrainian refugee students in Jacksonville.


The DuPaul School 

The DePaul School in Jacksonville Beach is an option for parents of kids with dyslexia, and the school is growing. Physician and parent Dr. Chanley Dudley, who educates her son at DePaul, spoke with us about the school. DePaul is expanding educational opportunities for kids in the city with dyslexia. October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. Many wrongly consider dyslexia to be a disability. It is a learning impairment that creates difficulty with tasks like reading, writing, and spelling. It does not affect intelligence. Anywhere from 5% to 15% of students are estimated to have dyslexia.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October isBreast Cancer Awareness Month. WJCT executive producer David Luckin spoke with us about his battle with breast cancer and his recovery. Luckin serves as an ambassador for the American Cancer Society’s“Real Men Wear Pink” campaign. The campaign raises money and awareness to help save more lives from breast cancer.

What’s Good Wednesday

  • Pine Castle is an adult day training program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities on the First Coast. CEOLori Ann Whittington spoke with us about the program. Pine Castle is renovating and expanding, and its 70th anniversary is next month. To commemorate the anniversary, the program is having a big barbecue celebration on Nov. 5. 
  • On Thursday, Ripley’s Haunted Castle Tour features A Night at the Castle, kicking off the "Ghosts of St. Augustine's Past"Festival this weekend. TV host and festival organizer Jorge Rivera spoke with us about the festivities. Guests are encouraged to dress in holiday period costumes reminiscent of clothing worn in St. Augustine's past. Suggested themes include Steampunk, the Gilded Era, 16th Century Spanish, the Roaring 20s and pirates. There will be music in the historic plaza on Saturday and Sunday too. Guests can get tickets from St. Augustine at Ticket Stripe
  • The Beyond Van Gogh exhibit in downtown Jacksonville has grown in popularity since debuting in September. Because of the high demand and immense popularity of the event, the exhibit will be extending its stay at the NoCo Center through Feb. 26. When guests attend, they are completely immersed in more than 300 of the greatest works of the post-Impressionist artist. Tickets are available now at
  • Oct. 26 is Read for the Record Day, when more than 2 million readers and thousands of classrooms, libraries and communities come together to celebrate early literacy. WJCT is participating with public media stations across the state by posting videos all day on Facebook of local "celebrities" reading "Nigel and the Moon." WJCT is also part of Read Jax, a community effort to improve third grade reading scores of students in Duval County. 
  • Jazz star Boney James will play at the Florida Theatre on Thursday night. The smooth saxophonist and three time Grammy nominee spoke with us about his new music and the new live show. WJCT has a pair of tickets to give away to see the show. Listeners can email us at with the subject line "Boney." One winner will be picked at random. 
  •  Karrissa Wade will host a screening of the Halloween favorite "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." The movie will screen at the Florida Theatre on Saturday night, for one night only. 
  • It is Florida-Georgia Weekend. The game is Saturday at TIAA Bank Field. Kickoff is at 3:30pm.
Stay Connected
Gary Autry is joining WJCT from Florida State College at Jacksonville as a production intern for the fall 2022 semester. A native of the First Coast, Gary is finishing his bachelor’s degree in communication and media this fall.