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Ormond Beach Observer Monday, Jun. 28, 2021 2 months ago

The Casements Camera Club announce eighth-annual spring exhibit winners

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by: Jarleene Almenas Associate Editor
Second place: "Color Theory with Bottle and Glass" by Ans van Beek Torkington

The Casements Camera Club announced the winners for its eighth-annual spring exhibit during a special reception held June 24 in The Casements Gallery. 

According to a press release, the show drew 32 entries that were judged by the club members. The show also drew 133 members of the public who voted for their favorite photo, resulting in The People's Choice Award going to "Pretty in Pink" by Donna Armstrong. Her photograph also placed first in the show.

Third place: "Bee in the Bulbine" by Donna Lovelace-Flora

“The collection of photos is quite diverse and mediums included framed, canvas and glass surfaces, said Ans van Beek Torkington, president of the club. 

First place and the People's Choice award: "Pretty in Pink" by Donna Armstrong

The remaining awards went to:

  • Second place: "Color Theory with Bottle and Glass" by Ans van Beek Torkington


  • Third place: "Bee in the Bulbine" by Donna Lovelace-Flora
  • Best in Show: "Egret's Symphony" by Vicki Payne

Keeping pets safe this holiday

Halifax Humane Society is teaming up with Petco Love, a national nonprofit, and Kat Albrecht, founder of Missing Animal Response Network, ahead of Lost Pet Prevention Month to share Fourth of July safety tips for pet parents and to raise awareness of Petco Love Lost, a new technology that helps missing pets.

According to a press release, the tips are: 

  • Protect your pet before and after the holiday: When panicked by fireworks and other loud noises, dogs run, and cats hide. Early fireworks celebrations and leftover fireworks catch many pet parents off guard, so be prepared to protect your pet a week before and after the holiday.
  • Keep your pet secure: Think about your pet's behavior as you decide to attend holiday celebrations or leave them safe at home. To keep your pet safe indoors, crate them or place them somewhere comfortable and turn on a TV or stereo to drown out loud noises. If you're outdoors, properly leash your dog. Loop the leash around your shoulder so that your dog is still attached to you if you trip or fall.
  • Check your yard and home: Ensure your yard and home are secure and your pet cannot escape when panicked. If you've recently brought a new pet home and have not yet experienced fireworks together, be cautious that they may react negatively. Make sure your yard's fence is sturdy with no loose boards, nothing your dog could climb and jump over, or dig and crawl under, and that window screens and exterior doors to your home are securely in place.
  • Keep your pet's ID tag and microchip up to date: Microchip your pet and ensure your contact information is registered and up to date. Make sure your pet has a properly fitted collar with a current ID tag. This goes for cats too. If your cat does not wear a collar and tag, try a temporary paper tag.
  • Register your pet on Petco Love Lost: Upload your pet's photo to Petco Love Lost, a free national lost and found database. If they go missing, one click will allow you to search thousands of found pets from animal shelters and individuals quickly using patented pet facial recognition technology.

"Halifax Humane Society often sees a rise of lost pets during this holiday, and together with Petco Love, we urge pet parents to keep their pets safe," said Barry KuKes, community outreach director at Halifax Humane Society. "This helps us preserve critical space and resources for the pets most in need throughout our community."

In addition, from July 7-11, HHS will participate in the Bissell Pet Foundation's "Empty the Shelters" adoption event, which helps reduce adoption fees to $25 or less per dog, cat, puppy or kitten. For more information, visit

Homes Bring Hope gets funding boost

On Monday, June 28, Homes Bring Hope announced a $25,000 commitment from Bank of America to support the new organization's efforts to help hardworking people qualify for homeownership.

“We are particularly grateful for this generous gift at this time,” said Forough Hosseini, founder of Homes Bring Hope and senior vice president of ICI Homes, in a press release. “Homes Bring Hope began serving the community earlier this year and helped its first client become a homeowner in April. This grant from Bank of America recently helped another client become a homeowner when her real-estate closed in June, putting us well on our way toward our goal of helping a dozen deserving families become homeowners by the end of the year. Other clients will also benefit from this generous grant.”

Hosseini's other organizations, Food Brings Hope and VCan, have helped thousands of Volusia County students deal with situational homelessness and food insecurity. Homes Bring Hope works with clients to help them qualify for homeownership. Collaborators include Bank of America, real estate agents, surveyors, home renovators, builders, title professionals, other nonprofit agencies and more ,according to a press release.

“I cannot overstate Bank of America’s commitment to our community,” Hosseini said. “As an organization and as our friends and neighbors, there is very little we do without the support of Bank of America and its people.”

This story was updated at 9:11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 29, to correct the date of Homes Bring Hope's announcement.

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