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Publisher's Letter

The Holiday Season Is Upon Us—And It’s The Perfect Time To Give Back

While driving in my car a few days ago listening to my satellite stations, I remembered that channel 13 was the holiday music station. And voila! It was Nov. 1, yet already it was Christmas in my car! I couldn't have been happier—50-plus days of holiday music.

The day before, I went to the Salvation Army luncheon (an invitation from my friend Vicki Davis) where I selected from the Christmas tree the name of a child to help this season. I can't wait to go “Frozen” shopping for this little 5-year-old.

Today, I shopped downtown at Simple Pleasures for some gifts to go into very special holiday baskets. Jingle jingle! The Christmas shopping has begun.

I love this time of year, and I love to give back. So a few months ago, when we were searching for features to include in our holiday issue, we decided to put the spotlight on our own local “giver.” An idea from photographer Robert Holland, we talked with former NBA basketball player Mark Blount, a Hobe Sound resident who's making a point to give back to his community. He's donated thousands of turkeys on Thanksgiving and volunteered with the Dunbar Center in Hobe Sound, which provides child-care programs to youth in the area. He's also donated food from his Cinnabon franchise to United Way of Martin County's Day of Caring. Read about his NBA journey and his local endeavors.

The season is jam-packed with festivals and fun events. Fill your 2016 calendar with our list of the season's best festivals from seafood feasts to music concerts and more.

We've started a new Q&A page. In this issue, we feature an interview with actress and Broadway star Vanessa Williams, who will make her way to Stuart soon via Jennifer and Peter Jones for StarStruck Theatre's gala. The performing arts organization has come a long way, especially with the new announcement of the theater becoming a 501(c)3 organization. We look forward to having Vanessa Williams in the house to kick off the celebration. Tickets for the event are on sale now, so don't miss out!

This holiday season, please don't forget to support your local stores. We have several downtown shopping sections, including our Giftology section, our Pet Guide, our downtown Stuart shopping section, our Hobe Sound shopping section and our Harbour Bay Plaza section. Let's keep our local stores busy!

I'll be hauling out my holiday decorations this weekend and lighting those pine tree-scented candles. As you enjoy this holiday issue, remember to give where you see a need. God bless you all and, as always, thank you for reading!

- Kim Capen