Chiropractor Bridget Edkin, owner of Slainte Chiropractic, was named the 2021 JAX Chamber Overall Small Business Leader of the Year at a ceremony Feb. 2 at the Schultz Center.
Edkin, a third-generation chiropractor who opened her Jacksonville Beach practice in 2017, was chosen from the 12 selected as Small Business Leaders of the Year by the Chamber Councils, the Beaches Division and the Entrepreneurial Growth Division.
“We have such incredible talent in our community and it’s amazing what our small businesses are doing in Jacksonville,” said Daniel Davis, JAX Chamber president and CEO. “Dr. Edkin is a talented, innovative leader, and I look forward to working with her over the next year — and where she takes this growing business from here.”
In addition to Edkin, a member the Beaches Division, the Small Business Leaders of the Year are: Jon Hart, Hart SEO, Arlington Council; Jim Webb, Manifest Distilling, Downtown Council; Rochelle Stoddard, Berman Bros., Inc, Entrepreneurial Growth Division; Nemiah Rutledge, Body Paradox, Health Council; Wendy Norfleet, Norfleet Integrated Solutions, IT Council; Gustavo Diaz, Exótico Coffee Company, North Council; Snowden McFall, Brightwork, Fired Up Professional Speaking and Coaching, Professional Women’s Council; Jesus Garay, Global Freight & Commerce, LLC, Transportation & Logistics Council; Dustin Fries, Kanine Social, West Council; Gloria Vinson, Landco Properties Inc., Mandarin Council; and Trey Vollmer, Vollmer Visuals, South Council.
Here's more good news:
• The virtual format this year for the Wolfson Children's Challenge allowed the event to expand beyond Northeast Florida, resulting in the participation of about 400 children and families from across 15 states and raising about $96,000 for the Wolfson Children's Challenge Endowment. The money will be used to help Wolfson Children's Hospital fund the purchase of trauma equipment and technology for its most critically ill and injured patients.
Participants for the annual challenge, normally a marathon and shorter runs, could use a special Wolfson55 app throughout January to track activities such as walking or running outside or on a treadmill or biking. The fundraiser also honored the Wolfson 55, a group of children selected annually to represent all the others cared for by the Jacksonville hospital.
“Each year the Wolfson Children’s Challenge brings together hundreds of supporters to help turn miles into miracles for our children who need it most,” said Michael Aubin, the hospital's president. “Despite being virtual in order to keep everyone safe, this year’s challenge was just as powerful, even though individuals and families supported us from a distance.”
Empowering Males to Build Opportunities for Developing Independence is designed to help young African American males acquire the skills to become responsible, independent and productive members of their communities.
McDonald's franchisees throughout the region created the grant program to celebrate educators and programs dedicated to enriching the lives of area youth. The grants, ranging from $2,500 to $5,000, were awarded based on creativity, innovation and need in the community and went to a total of four schools and organizations.
• Abe Fraden, who celebrated his 100th birthday Saturday with members of his family, has never missed a Florida Gators football game since he was a kid, except for the three years he spent overseas during World War II as a member of the U.S Army Air Forces.
The Jacksonville resident started following the Gators when he was 12 or 13 and went to his first game in 1938 accompanied by a couple of friends. The Gators lost that one, Fraden recalled, but he wasn't discouraged. “I loved college football,” he said, and he simply decided at an early age that the Gators were the team to follow.
Radio, television and season tickets — which Fraden had for close to 30 years — meant he could always follow the Gators. He always attended home games, sometimes with his wife, Ruth, and sometimes with friends, and he occasionally traveled to away games as well. He was there for the Gators' three national championship victories — over Florida State University in 1996, Ohio State in 2006 and Oklahoma State University in 2008.
Fraden went to Andrew Jackson High School and attended the University of Illinois after leaving the service. The Fradens raised three daughters and he made his living selling sewing machines.
Bernie Fraden of Orlando said his brother has never missed the annual Florida-Georgia game. He remembered one particular game as a testament to his brother's devotion as a fan: in 1968, when Florida lost to the Bulldogs 51-0. It was pouring rain, so much that “We couldn't see our hands in front of our faces,” he said. “I said, ‘Let's go.' But he wouldn't leave. He said, ‘The game's not over yet.'”
“If Florida's playing, you can't talk to him,” he said.
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