News Briefs for the week of June 2-8, 2022


Reading program needs volunteers, donations

After a two-year hiatus, HUGS Across the County is re-starting its SummerSOAR Reading Buddy and Books-for-Keeps program, managed by St. Johns County high school student volunteers.
High School students from across St. Johns County will visit three locations in West Augustine every week in June and July: American Legion Kids Safe Zone, Boys and Girls Club of St Augustine and Crookshank Elementary.
Students will read aloud with elementary age kids, act as positive role models, encourage summer reading and bring books-for-keeps for children to choose from each week.

Students who want to volunteer can sign up at
To purchase books from the Amazon wish list, go to
To donate $35 to provide six books for one local child this summer, go to
To organize a kids' book collection in your community, go to
For further information email or call 904-580-4847.

Free family events planned for June and July

This year marks the 50th anniversary of St. Johns County Parks and Recreation. To celebrate, Parks and Rec will host several communitywide events throughout the summer. The events are free and open to the public. The celebrations kick off with “Popsicles & Playgrounds” at St. Johns County Parks. 

“Popsicles & Playgrounds” will be held on Wednesdays in June:

  • June 8: Canopy Shores at 10 a.m.
  • June 15: Aberdeen at 10 a.m.
  • June 22: Palencia at 6 p.m.
  • June 29: Trout Creek at 6 p.m.

The celebrations continue in July with a Birthday Splash Bash, porch talk reenactments, disc golf, golf clinics and more. The complete list and dates can be found at 

Open house planned at THE PLAYERS Community Senior Center

COA is inviting the public to attend an anniversary open house at COA’s THE PLAYERS Community Senior Center in Ponte Vedra Beach from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 8. The open house will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the opening of the center in 2007.

There will be a special presentation at 3:30 p.m., and live music will be provided by Dan Myers from 4 to 5 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided by Humana & Home Instead, and attendees are invited to enjoy a raffle and a chance to win a door prize.

“Come see what we have to offer — we are open, active and having a blast,” said senior center coordinator Amanda Jones. “We invite you to come network with your neighbors, sign up for a class or make a request for what you would like to see at your local community center. We can’t wait to mingle with you.”

THE PLAYERS Community Senior Center is located at 175 Landrum Lane, Ponte Vedra Beach.

For information, contact Jones at 904-280-3233 or via email at

To view a full list of upcoming programs and events scheduled at the center, go to

Commemoration of largest mass arrest of rabbis planned

The ninth annual commemoration of the largest mass arrest of rabbis in U.S. history will take place outdoors at the Hilton St. Augustine Historic Bayfront, 32 Avenida Menendez, St. Augustine, at noon June 17. This 30-minute event sponsored by the St. Augustine Jewish Historical Society is free, and all are welcome.

On June 18, 1964, 16 rabbis and a Reform Jewish administrator in St. Augustine, at the request of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., were arrested and held in the St. Johns County jail. Overnight, they wrote a letter titled “Why We Went to St. Augustine” that will be read as part of the commemoration.

For further information, contact SAJHS at or 804-914-4460.

Democratic Club to meet

The Ponte Vedra Democratic Club will hold its monthly meeting on Tuesday, June 21, at Christ Episcopal Church, 400 San Juan Drive, Ponte Vedra Beach.
Chat and chew is at 6 p.m. with the meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. The featured speaker will be Jen Lomberk, Matanzas riverkeeper.

For additional info, email

— Compiled by Shaun Ryan


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