Each year the Historic City family of companies make charitable donations that we feel enhance the quality of life for St. Augustine’s residents and visitors. This year will be no different and we are pleased to announce the focus of our holiday giving.
What started as a joke has grown into a generous outpouring of charitable giving for Historic City Companies, our affiliates and friends around the country. The Gold family announced today that St. Augustine Society, Inc., the Florida non-profit corporation that operates the St. Francis House Shelter in Lincolnville, will be the charitable organization who receives our support and contributions for 2008.
Our media company, HISTORIC CITY NEWS, ran an article last month that reported on a humorous response to unwarranted criticism from an outspoken, disbarred lawyer who now makes St. Augustine his home. It seems that a local discussion forum, PLAZABUM.COM, was on the receiving end of some “cheap shots” from EDWARD ADELBERT SLAVIN, JR; where Slavin labeled the forum participants as “anonymice”.
Local businessman Chuck Nusbaum suggested that there should be “anonymouse” shirts for those who wanted to discredit Slavin’s accusations. Michael Gold, who happens to be the publisher of Historic City News, also took criticism from Slavin and responded by offering free embroidered caps complete with the design of a mouse head and the plazabum.com moniker. The caps were manufactured by another of our local businesses, JR UNIFORM COMPANY, which was established in St. Augustine in 1926.
While giving away the caps was comical and somewhat irreverently directed at Slavin, no one expected the unintended outcome of the goof. When stopping by JR UNIFORMS to pick up their “anonymouse” caps, many of the “anonymice” offered to contribute money to aid the local homeless shelter. Over the following three weeks, the popularity of the caps and generosity of the donors grew substantially.
Gold decided to match the contributions of the “anonymouse” donors and agreed to match again the total contributions with several thousand dollars worth of new work clothing and footwear which were provided by JR UNIFORM COMPANY. Recently, checks from plazabum.com participants and made payable to the St. Francis House were received by Gold as additional donations. They were delivered to the shelter.
A Capital and Endowment Fund has been established by St. Augustine Society, Inc. to move the present soup kitchen and shelter out of its Lincolnville location to a larger and better facility located on Dobbs Rd. near SR 207; close to both the Greyhound Bus Station and the Salvation Army Food Bank.
The total cost for Phase One acquisition and the renovation of the building complex is estimated at six million ($6,000,000) dollars. A major fund raising program is being developed – with initial emphasis on raising $3,000,000 for project acquisition.
“Historic City Companies will direct any further cash donations this year to the St. Francis House Capital and Endowment Fund”, Gold said.
“I would like to renew my yet unanswered challenge to Ed Slavin”, Gold said. “I would like to see him and his friends match our contribution to this needy and worthwhile cause”.
Photo credit: St. Francis House volunteers; supplied photograph