Emergency blood donations needed, LifeSouth says
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – LifeSouth is facing an emergency need for blood donors, especially type O positive. The nonprofit blood bank, which provides blood for Baptist Health, has seen a decrease in blood drives this fall, as schools and businesses continue to operate remotely or at limited in-person capacities. LifeSouth is teaming up with Baptist Medical Center South to host a community blood drive from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. All blood types are needed and eligible blood donors are encouraged to attend the two-day drive to support the local blood supply. The drive is atBaptist Medical Center South14550 Old St. Augustine Road(Interstate 95, Exit 335)Jacksonville, FL 32258For more information or to check your eligibility to donate, go to https://www.lifesouth.org/.
Gate marks 60th anniversary with $60K donation
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville company marked its 60th anniversary with a $60,000 donation. Gate Petroleum Company donated the money to the Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Florida from the Gate Foundation. “Gate is proud to be a Jacksonville company,” said John Peyton, president of Gate Petroleum Company. The Foundation typically hosts its annual charity golf tournament in the fall, where supporters raise money for a selected charity. “While it was disappointing to cancel this year’s golf tournament, we are grateful that we could pivot and see this generous show of support from our partners,” said Kathy Brady, executive director of The Gate Foundation.
Jacksonville nurse honored as Lung Cancer Hero
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Carolyn Baggett was one of four people nationwide to receive the CURE Media Group’s 2020 Lung Cancer Heroes award during an online ceremony this week. Baggett is a nurse and lung cancer screening coordinator at Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center and an active volunteer for the American Lung Association in Florida. In 2014, she began working as a nurse navigator where she cared for people with Stage 4 lung cancer. She led the efforts to develop a lung cancer screening program at Baptist MD Anderson, which opened in 2015. On top of her work at BMDACC, Baggett is on the Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE Cabinet, helps recruit teams for the LUNG FORCE Run/Walk, and supports the annual LUNG FORCE Expo to educate other health care professionals about lung disease and lung cancer.
Force 4 Good: ‘Flight to nowhere’ takes off
Die-hard travelers in Australia embarked on a unique adventure on the “Great Southern Land” scenic flight. Qantas Airways' seven-hour flight from Sydney to Sydney took off Saturday. Passengers got a bird’s eye view of some of Australia’s iconic sites, like the great barrier reef. Middle seats on the flight were left empty so passengers could social distance. The experience is designed to be a morale booster for travelers yearning to fly again and the airline, which posted a nearly $1.5 billion loss earlier this year because of the pandemic.
Oklahoma drive-in theater hosts naturalization ceremony
Dozens of cars were waiting outside an Oklahoma drive-in theater, but it wasn’t to catch a movie. Tulsa hosted a drive-in naturalization ceremony for people of all ages. Christopher Requena will vote for the first time, and he’s not taking it for granted. Don’t just kind of randomly vote for someone you don’t even know,” Requena said. They all took the oath standing by their cars while wearing their masks, and they all have stories to tell future generations.
Small horses take on big job: Lifting hospital workers’ spirits
The pandemic has taken its toll on many nurses and doctors. People across the country are doing what they can to help lift frontline workers' spirits. A New York hospital found a special way to show appreciation for its essential workers by bringing in mini horses to comfort nurses. They are special therapy animals. Even though they are small in size, the nurses say they brought them big doses of happiness.
St. Johns County PAL opens boxing program for kids
ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – The St. Johns County Police Athletic League unveiled a new program this week: boxingThe program is officially open and they held a ribbon cutting at the new facility. Harris Center in Hastings will allow kids who want to have fun and exercise a chance to hone their skills. PAL is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the social development of youth. Its mission is to provide positive programs to youth in the community through athletic, educational, social and wellness programs. If you’d like to sign your child up for boxing, registration is open on stjohnspal.org.
5-year-old New York girl saves swan from storm drain
A 5-year-old girl in New York is being hailed as a hero. She noticed a swan trapped in a storm drain and helped save its life. They got the swan out with the help of a big net and everyone agreed it would not have survived had it not been for Olivia. “And the stress that all the children and the parents are under that this little girl and a swan can just bring a smile to everybody’s face for a little while. It’s a good feeling.”Olivia says she wants to help animals when she grows up.
Principal travels 1,300 miles to hand-deliver diplomas to every student
When the seniors at a Texas high school couldnt walk across the stage this year because of the pandemic, their principal decided to drive to every single house to hand-deliver their diplomas. Dr. Scott Rudes of Booker T. Washington High School in Dallas has 249 graduating seniors. And hes driving 1,300 miles to attend at-home graduations for every one of them. In the past week, Rudes has spent 50 hours in the car to make these special moments happen. I mean Ive seen pictures of Dr. Rudes jumping on the trampoline with some of my friends.
Birthday train celebrates 70th for retired JSO chief, Marine
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Most birthday celebrations during the pandemic have turned into socially distant parades. But the celebration was double special when a News4Jax viewer reached out to us about a special 70th birthday party for her mom, who served as a Marine and is a retired chief of prisons with the Jacksonville Sheriffs Office. Dozens of people -- including a few JSO officers -- drove through their neighborhood honking, holding signs and shouting their best wishes. People also stopped to leave gifts, but they were all sure to keep their distance. Nicole said she is thankful for everyone who helped make the day unforgettable for her amazing mom.
Her college canceled graduation. So her dad held an elaborate ceremony in the front yard
Published: May 19, 2020, 7:35 am Updated: May 19, 2020, 8:59 amGabrielle Pierce cried for a nearly a week when she learned her college graduation was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Pierce had worked so hard over the years, earning a bachelor's degree in public health science with a minor in biology. I deserve to walk,'" Pierce said. I said, 'You're going to walk across somebody's stage, even if I have to build you one,'" Burson said with a laugh. Burson carefully planned the event, even having Pierce walk out to the traditional graduation song "Pomp and Circumstance."
First Coast Pops quartet plays for Lakewood neighbors
Published: May 12, 2020, 8:38 am Updated: May 12, 2020, 1:31 pmJACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Millions of events have been canceled because of COVID-19, including several local concerts. But some members from the First Coast Pops are keeping the music alive. A quartet decided to bring its talent to the Lakewood neighborhood. He tweeted out the video with the caption, “Getting a little culture as a quartet from the Jacksonville Symphony plays in front of my neighbor’s house.” But he later corrected himself and Tweeted that the quartet was with the First Coast Pops. Now that’s a treat!
Former USPS worker designs shirts to raise money for postal service
The United States Postal Service has been in a tough spot throughout this pandemic. A Michigan woman says USPS reached out to her for an idea to raise money for the agency while also showing workers support. They read, “Through rain, sleet, snow or COVID-19” and there’s a stamp to represent the postal service. They are shipped through the mail and part of the money goes toward the postal service. They’re usually sitting there and waiting for the postal worker to deliver, Sometimes it’s the highlight of their day.”She has already sold 700 shirts and hoodies.
Kansas artist says thank you with super-sized crop bouquet
One man has created a giant-sized thank you. Stan Herd, an artist from Kansas, wanted to give frontline workers a bouquet of flowers but not an ordinary one. His bouquet is super-sized, taking up half an acre. The vase he created simply says thank you. He starts with a painting, then he takes precise measurements, plants what he needs, and then sculpts using a weedwhacker.
Sharon Siegel-Cohen: How one woman meant so much to so many
Longtime executive producer Sharon Siegel-Cohen lost a courageous battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease, or ALS. Full Screen 1 / 24 Sharon leads her team and more than 1,000 others Saturday in the Jacksonville Walk to Defeat ALS. “Sharon’s Day, Sharon’s Day, her birthday is today.”One of a kind: caring, compassionate, comical, Sharon even attempted a short rap career with her son, Martin, for his high school prom. In recent weeks, with the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing, those who loved Sharon resorted to sending videos and uplifting messages. “Five days a week, Sharon and I were together, she was family,” anchor Bruce Hamilton said somberly after her passing.
Runners around world join Quarantine Backyard Ultra
Runners around the world participated in something called the Quarantine Backyard Ultra. One ultra runner in Virginia did the same loop around his neighborhood for more than 63 hours. Every hour, Michael Wardian ran about 4.2 miles. Wardian won the race. Wardian ran 63 laps and more than 262 miles.