There is a story locally about 4 young girls who willingly donated their tickets to the Hannah Montana / Miley Cyrus concert in Jacksonville at the end of January, to be used in a raffle fundraiser for another girl. She has a rare condition that affects her eyesight, and needs to travel to China for an experimental treatment.

From the homepage of blessherwithsight.com:

Rylee Lovett is a beautiful, happy six year old girl living in Saint Augustine, Florida with a rare congenital condition known as Optic Nerve Hypoplasia (ONH). This rare condition, of unknown causes has left her with less than ten percent of her optic nerve. Her endocrine system was also affected, leaving her with a daily regimen of medication and injections. Since diagnosis at four months of age doctors have said that nothing can be done. She would be blind with no hope of recovery.

Until recently there was no hope of Rylee growing up to see the world in the way everyone else does. Recently, doctors in China began using the blood discarded after the birth of a child to restore sight in children like Rylee. This innovative transplant of stem cells, collected through the umbilical cord of afterbirth, has given other ONH children the ability to see. It has even given one little girl the ability to recognize her mother’s face when previously she could not even see light.

Please help to bless Rylee this holiday season with this same gift of sight. She wants to see her favorite television show DragonTales, to take gymnastics with her little sister, and above all to see the faces of her loved ones. Please help us meet our goal of $60,000 and send Rylee to China to give her the chance to see. With your help this beautiful child can be lucky enough to get the priceless gift of sight this holiday season.

Please head over to the site to buy your raffle tickets through paypal, or to just make a donation.

Cross-posted at myfirstcoast.net

I have another blog I’ve dusted off and started posting to, with a hyperlocal focus on the first coast of Florida. So, far, it’s mostly been sports, but that will probably change after Saturday when my beloved Jags get eliminated.

I’m not the greatest football handicapper, so I asked my brother to drop some knowledge about the matchup. He gave me some pretty solid food for thought: BuccaneerMike’s analysis of the Patriots vs. Jaguars.

Check it out.

So the judge ruled that Debra Lafave violated her probation, but added no punishment because it wasn’t willful or substantial.

I like it. Soloman-esque.

But the part I like most: According to the violation report, what she did is considered a “Violation of Condition 69“.

Must. not. make. sophomoric. pun…

santa and helpers at The Paper Porch in Brooksville, FLLooks like Santa treated his helpers to a little vacation time in Florida this year. Naturally, they chose Brooksville, FL, home of Roger’s Christmas House. This photo was taken across the street at the Hawkins House, where my mother has a small gift shop (called The Paper Porch) with an awesome selection of Vera Bradley handbags, jewelry, collectibles, and more.

Jessica Sierra, former American Idol finalist, alleged star of a homemade sex tape, alleged offerer of oral sex to a police officer, alleged drug offender while allegedly pregnant, is out of jail.

Whew.

jessica sierra sex tapeShe’s back on her way to rehab, the same facility and doctor (Dr. Drew Pinsky) where she stayed as part of the new VH1 reality show Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. Because it’s important to go back and repeat the same process that failed the first time. Or, was the first all about the reality show and not so much the rehab?

Hmmmm….

So, now she’s in rehab for a year. That will give her time to stay clean while her baby (allegedly) is born, and hopefully she uses the time to move on to a new phase in her life - motherhood, health, and maturity.

florida big boobs

It’s that time of year - Girl Scout Cookie Fundraiser!

Mmmmm love me some Thin Mints.

While Girl Scout cookies are the one fundraiser I like my daughters’ doing, I get VERY annoyed by the rest, especially fundraisers by organizations for which we pay membership. Frankly, I’d rather pay an extra $20 than sell more gift wrap and nuts.

Internet marketing has opened some new frontiers for fundraising. For instance, Shoutback has an auction system that can be used for fundraising. Unfortunately, I can’t explain much more about Shoutback because they appear to be so new that information is hard to come by. According to the terms and conditions, it appears that you can purchase products through their website, and the affiliate marketing dollars are given to the organization for which you are raising funds.

I tried registering twice using different email addresses in the hope that there would be more information inside the website, but it’s over an hour later and I haven’t received the link to my account(s).

It’s a good idea and I know organizations like the PTO at my daughters’ school would really benefit from having 1,000 parents registered and making purchases through Shoutback, but I have to wonder if Shoutback is ready yet?

Everything is bigger in Texas t-shirtRobert at middlezonemusings.com left a comment on my post regarding why Florida is superior to North Carolina, about why Texas is better than both places. I promised myself that Texas would be addressed very quickly, so here it is:

7 Reasons Florida is Better Than Texas

  1. NASA Headquarters is in Houston, TX. NASA launches rockets at Cape Canaveral, FL. When people go to a shuttle launch, they go to Florida because that is where the action is.
  2. Illegal immigrants in TX cross the Rio Grande. Illegal immigrants in FL cross the Florida Straits. Florida’s illegals are tougher.
  3. Floridians do not feel the need to brag about size. After all, we live in the only state in the US shaped like a phallus.
  4. Texas: Two NFL teams, in Houston and Dallas. Florida: Three NFL teams, if you count the Dolphins (weak, I know).
  5. Top industry in Florida: Tourism, because everyone wants to be here. Top industry in TX: T-shirts bragging about size.
  6. People may move to Florida to die, but I once made the mistake of visiting Austin in June and thought I was dead and consigned to the fiery depths of hell.
  7. Prediction: David Garrard of the Jacksonville Jaguars will outperform Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs. Romo = Choke-o

yo yo world recordThe folks at Izea are getting the word out to Florida bloggers and advertisers about an event later this month at the Orlando History Center. The History Center is going to try to set the record for most people Yo-Yo-ing simultaneously.

I was always a Duncan man, myself.

The event is towards the end of January, on the 26th to be precise.

Florida bloggers, let me know if you’re going to be there and maybe I’ll drag myself out of my hate-filled introversion for a couple of hours and bring the kids down.

Teenage Brotha Lovers #9Because the local news (and some asshat blogger) will publish your name, Joseph Michael Votta, for allegedly stealing a copy of Teenage Brotha Lovers #9 (much better than Teenage Brotha Lovers #8, IMO) from a store in Spring Hill, Florida.

Man, don’t you know, you’re supposed to steal other things, sell them, THEN use THAT money to buy your porn. Much less embarrassing that way, if you get caught.

Good thing shoplifting doesn’t generally result in jail time, or you’d be finding out all about Brotha Lovers.

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To buy Vera Bradley in Brooksville, Vera Bradley in Hernando, go to The Paper Porch, a Brooksville gift shop