First Nation Group prepares a meal for our guests

Our friends at First Nation Group have been a part of our mission locally and also a part of the Fisher Houses across the U.S. They will be celebrating brunch with our families. Be like First Nation Group- bless a random stranger, the blessings you receive will be great too!

Tequlia and Tacos

Thanks to the 100 plus folks who showed up on the busiest Saturday in May to help us raise $15,000 for our Fisher House!

Rice receives President’s Volunteer Service Award

Local restaurant owner and community leader Tom Rice has been recognized with one of the nation’s highest volunteer awards.  David Goetsch, vice president emeritus of Northwest Florida State College, surprised Rice during last Monday’s Memorial Day ceremony with the announcement that he had received the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award.

Created in 2003, the President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes people whose service positively impacts their communities and inspires those around them to take action. The award has several levels of recognition, depending on the number of volunteer hours served. The Lifetime Achievement Award that Rice received requires documentation of more than 4,000 hours.

David Goetsch (right) presents Army veteran and longtime community leader Tom Rice with the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award during the Memorial Day Ceremony at Beal Memorial Cemetery in Fort Walton Beach.

“This is the highest level, and not that many people reach that level,” Goetsch said. “But for Tom it was easy; he’s probably done 40,000 hours.”

It was a fitting venue to honor Rice, a retired Army first sergeant who has served as master of ceremonies for the city’s Memorial Day services for about a decade. With 27 years of active and reserve duty, veterans issues are near and dear to his heart.  Rice was a founding board member of the Fisher House of the Emerald Coast, a 12-suite residential facility opened in 2010 near Eglin Hospital where military service members can stay with their families while awaiting, receiving or recovering from medical care.

He also served on the board of directors and helped raise money for the Emerald Coast Honor Flight, a program that flew local World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit the nation’s World War II memorials.

Rice also is president of the Veterans Tribute Tower Committee, which led the community-wide effort to raise $300,000 for the 30-foot clock and bell tower that stands at the front of Beal Memorial Cemetery.  Rice also serves as chair of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, helping the organization with it Christmas Red Kettle campaign and the Empty Stocking Fund, and is secretary of Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida.

“Each of those groups is doing a lot of good in the community,” he said. “Things that would be difficult for me to do personally, but there are things that I can help them do.”

National Selfie Day 2022

It’s National Selfie Day and Robert our House Manager is at our lovely Fisher House on Eglin this morning welcoming military and veteran families coming to stay with us for hope and healing during a medical event. #loveisgoodmedicine today and every day!

All American Thursdays recognizes Nathaniel Johns

All American Thursdays happen every week with a Vintage Flyover, hero salute, live entertainment, free beer/seltzer tastings and fireworks ending the night at 9pm. Meet our hero for June 9, Staff Sergeant Nathaniel Johns.

Staff Sergeant Nathaniel S. Johns is the NCOIC of Supply for the 96th Security Forces Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. He is tasked to maintain accountability of all Security Forces equipment with a total cost of $1 million. He is responsible for issuing gear, and controls the Government Processing Card for the unit to sustain the Units supplies to maintain readiness for all members.

We work closely with the 96th SFS who volunteer for events in the community and also keep our installation and PEOPLE safe at the gate!  We appreciate the 1 percent of our population who voluntarily serve our nation in the armed services.

Military Organizations give big!

We were with the VFW in Milton on Saturday when they made a $500 donation to our Fisher House at Eglin.  The Military Order of the Cooties PT 59 are faithful supporters of our house at Eglin and give faithfully.  They are veterans, helping veterans and their families.  #winning

CEFCO featuring kitchen, opens new store – donates to Fisher House





Wes and Jerry, representing CEFCO presented $1500 to our Fisher House this week in celebration of their new store. We love when new business comes to town and makes a splash with military blessing as soon as they are open!  Go visit and tell them it’s because they love our military like we do.  #loveisgoodmedicine and #CEFCOGIVESBACK

More about the store:
FT. WALTON BEACH, FL (December 23, 2021) – CEFCO Convenience Stores announced the grand opening of its newest store featuring CEFCO Kitchen located at 325 Eglin Parkway N in Ft. Walton Beach, FL


Excited to open another CEFCO Kitchen in the portfolio, customers will be pleased to find a wide variety of hot and cold food items, including made-to-order burritos, tacos, and bowls, as well as hand-breaded chicken tenders, pizzas, breakfast sandwiches, and many other signature food offerings. This store will be open 24 hours a day.

Conveniently located on Eglin Parkway N, this location has 49 auto parking spaces and square footage of 6,054 square feet.

“We are excited to open another location with our newest store in Ft. Walton Beach, FL and we look forward to serving and partnering with the local community as we do in our other cities.” said Rick Schneider, Regional Vice President of Operations.

CEFCO operates over 200 locations in 6 states.


Samantha Newbold
Marketing Manager

Emerald Coast Regional Mustang Club donates $1500 to Fisher House

We were in the house with our Mustang owner friends last evening and received a (WOWZA) $1500 donation from the Emerald Coast Regional Mustang Club.

The club was created in 1987 by four local Mustang enthusiasts as an informal social group. The club has steadily grown over the years and was officially recognized and adopted as a regional group by the Mustang Club of America in 1995. All generations of Mustangs are represented in the club. Our members also cover several generations, yet share a common love for the Mustang car, it’s enjoyment, preservation, and history.

The Emerald Coast Regional Mustang Club actively supports several charity organizations in the local area; sponsor an annual car show each year and participate in other local charity events as a means to collect funds for these causes.  They also participate in the Fat Tuesday parade with us at Baytowne Village  each year, sharing a few mustangs for the crowds to enjoy.

Monthly meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month. Social hour starts at 6PM and the meeting begins at 7 PM.

Mosquito Joe of Niceville donates BIG – 2021 is $1500

Mosquito Joe of Northwest Florida donates $20 for every person that pre-pays and mentions, “give 20.” By doing this they were able to donate $1500 to our Fisher House in 2021. Each year, they have been more successful and the donations have risen significantly.

Mosquito Joe of Northwest Florida specifically partners with the Fisher House of the Emerald Coast.  Need some help with Florida’s most popular mosquito named Joe?  Call our friends and give 20.

When Sara visited to make this presentation, she learned of the What’s for Dinner program and signed up to bring meals too!  What a blessing the Bess family is!


34th Annual Sandestin Wine Festival donates (a word that rhymes with Shorty!)

So I love this….this and these people, and all the people they represent. Lots of labor, lots of people buying tickets and enjoying the festival, and behind this picture are the doors leading into the home away from home comfort our families receive because of this……..❤️  The single largest donation ever from our friends at the Village of Baytowne Wharf.  We are so grateful for Alan, Leighann, Troy and Kensey, AND Keith Brown, making his final tour as our VIP Volunteer Coordinator.