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  • December Newsletter
    December 09,2015

    December 2015


    The Seminoles and the Buckeyes emerged victorious, but the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA), City of West Palm Beach, The Merchant Strategy, and all the sponsors and people involved definitely scored with the inaugural College Game Day.

    CBS Channel 12 and Palm Beach Post staff writer Carlos Frias were on hand. “It made for a lively tailgate." As early as noon, fans were invited to bring lawn chairs and watch football during what is historically dubbed rivalry week. Ohio State-Michigan, Alabama-Auburn, Penn State-Michigan State. Those were just the warm-up acts for a part of the state where Florida-Florida State is the big rivalry. “But everybody’s friendly — and you can’t beat ‘free',” Young, an event attendee said.

    Event organizers invited the Palm Beach Central High marching band to lead the war chant for Florida State. And Pahokee High’s band and cheerleaders stood in for the Seminoles. “It’s definitely a great place to be on a Saturday night,” said Sunnil Bhagwandin, cheering not as much for the ‘Noles as for his daughter on Palm Beach Central’s color guard, Aiyanna. “It’s a good atmosphere to hang out.” Over 4,000 people attended from St. Lucie, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and Broward Counties to spend the day along the waterfront watching college games, eating barbeque from McCray’s, and cheering on their favorite team with the local bands and cheerleaders.

    Former FSU players Shelton Thompson, Lavon Brown, Ron Sellers, and Grady Ross, UF player Steven Bell and Michigan player Tony McGee participated and plan to return for 2016 and bring fellow players with them. Plans are already underway for College Game Day.

    “I want to say congratulations on a fantastic event! Looked like a great success. The entire Meyer Amphitheater was full and I saw many people walking to and from Clematis and other areas of Downtown. You more than achieved your goal. Well done!" Raphael Clemente, Executive Director of the DDA. “Sharon and Laura, I want to echo what Raphael said. Congratulations on putting together a wonderful event,” said Howard Pincus DDA Board Chair

    Many thanks to all of our great sponsors that made the inaugural Braman College Game Day a success. Stay tuned to WWW.WPBCOLLEGEGAMEDAY.COM for continued updates.


    The Merchant Strategy (TMS) is excited to announce that Bridgestone Tires is returning as the official sponsor of All About You, the conference for women. This event takes place Friday, January 29, 2016 at the airport Hilton. The Bridgestone DRIVEGUARD TIRE is the inspiration for the No Pressure Zone that offers chair massages, mini facials, pedicures, manicures and luxury pampering.

    A new sponsor for All About You is the Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center. They are sponsoring lunch keynote speaker Dr. Linda A. Kiley, M.D., FACOG. Dr. Kiley specializes in Obstetrics, Gynecology female pelvic medicine, and a reconstructive surgery. Dr. Kiley is a gold medalist second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a classical pianist since the age of five, and plays in a Rock and Roll band. She is interested in mind-body medicine, incorporating lifestyle changes, yoga, acupuncture, or martial arts to restore or maintain health.

    The full day emceed by WRMF 97.9 Tracy St. George includes breakfast, a champagne lunch , wine tasting, interesting speakers and vendors. A silent auction with over one hundred quality items will benefit Place of Hope.

    For the closing of the day we will regroup for an open session with Dr. Maureen Whelihan, Tito-tinis, and fine wine tastings by The Vine Post, a perfect ending to a day All About You.

    For vendor, sponsorship, discount tickets or more information call Laura South at 561-371-7818 or see: WWW.ALLABOUTYOUFORWOMEN.COM


    Lutheran Services of Florida has just been notified that Excel Charter School in Belle Glade, Florida, has been awarded a Ben Carson Reading Room Scholarship!

    The Fund was founded by retired world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Ben Carson and his wife, Candy. The purpose of the Ben Carson Reading Project is to create a literacy enriched environment for children to develop their reading skills. The reading project is dedicated to promoting reading as a key to unlocking a child’s full potential.

    The Merchant Strategy is providing government and community relations consulting to Lutheran Services of Florida for Excel Charter School. We are currently pursuing a grant with the PBSO Foundation to bring the Shop with a Cop opportunity and after care to these deserving children.

    For more infomation visit: WWW.LSFNET.ORG


    The Merchant Strategy produced a community event at the George Perez Museum in Miami to introduce Wawa professionals to Miami Dade elected officials, chamber and Beacon Council leaders and local media.

    Wawa plans to build about 40 new stores in Miami Dade. Each new store creates 30-40 new store positions. Job growth is a key initiative in Wawa’s culture. Associates in these full and part-time positions receive competitive salaries and health benefits, and will have the opportunity to be enrolled in Wawa’s generous employee stock ownership plan.

    The relationship that occurs between customers and associates feels like family. People actually get married in Wawa stores and sport Wawa tattoos! It’s a kind of loyalty we don’t hear about too much.

    Wawa has a new Foundation, through which they have committed to donate $50 Million by 2019 to key areas of health, hunger, and every day heroes – police, fire and EMT.

    For more information visit: WWW.WAWA.COM

    Miami Dade County Commissioner, Sally Heyman with Sharon Merchant


    Equipment Rental Service, Inc., a family owned business located at Okeechobee and I-95 for the last 53 years, provided lifts for the CANVAS Outdoor Museum Show. The CANVAS Outdoor Museum Show was shown in various locations in downtown West Palm Beach November 8-22.

    "Equipment Rental Service provided great equipment, has been wonderful to work with and Adrian Puig, the manager is so helpful", said Nicole Henry, event organizer. "We will definitely work with them for our next show."

    Raphael Clemente, executive director of the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority, said that Canvas delivered huge dividends to all aspects of downtown life, and makes good on the DDA's brand promise to ensure that the downtown district is "Always Original."

    For more information visit:


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