Red Shield Regatta at JM Family’s “The Park”

Posted on 21 February 2024 by JLusk

Captain Lee, from the TV show “Below Deck,” is coming to Deerfield Beach for the Red Shield Regatta

By Rachel Galvin

Fans of the show “Below Deck,” boating enthusiasts, foodies and more will be in attendance at one of the hottest events to hit Deerfield Beach in a long time. The Red Shield Regatta will be at JM Family’s “The Park,” at 200 Jim Moran Boulevard in Deerfield Beach, on March 9 from 6 to 10 p.m. This special event, presented by the Salvation Army of Broward County, will include gourmet food, an open bar, live entertainment and a silent auction featuring sports memorabilia, luxury getaways, golf foursomes, dinners and more.

Captain Lee Rosbach from “Below Deck” and “Couch Talk with Captain Lee & Kate” will be there as a special guest host. The event will also feature  WPLG Local 10 Anchor Nicole Perez, WPLG Local 10 Reporter Roy Ramos, 101.5 LITE FM’s Host Julie Guy, and 102.7 FM The Beach Host Gaby OC as emcees.

The regatta will help to raise funds to benefit Plymouth Colony, an essential transitional housing complex in Hollywood that provides shelter and supportive services for families facing adversity. 

The Salvation Army of Broward County engages in year-round critical operations, such as multiple shelters and housing programs to aid those experiencing homelessness; weekly food pantry distributions; daily soup kitchen; annual Angel Tree toy distribution program bringing joy to local families during the holidays, and others. To support these efforts fundraising activities like the seasonal Red Kettle bell ringing campaign and this year’s new Red Shield Regatta offer the community the chance to invest for long-term impact. All funds raised directly assist the most disadvantaged in Broward County.

The Red Shield Regatta is presented by JM Family Enterprises with additional support provided by Ocean Bank and Nivalmi Consulting (Super Yacht sponsors); Bombardier, HMY Yachts, Icon International, and SJF Law Group (Motor Yacht sponsors); Gulfstream, Best Roofing, Sodexo USA, Marksman Security, Convergint and PWC (Cruiser Yacht sponsors); Enterprise Rent-A-Car, The Sarria Family, Nexa Mortgage, Sevenson Environmental Services, Moss Foundation, City of Fort Lauderdale, and WPO Development (Tender) and The Sabatano Family, The Cahill Family Charitable Fund, Pete & Jenny Sudler, Samantha Fitzgerald, and The Pino Family (Board Members).

“JM Family has enjoyed a long-term community partnership with The Salvation Army of Broward and has supported many of their programs, not only financially, but through board participation and our associate volunteer program,” said Pete Sudler, vice president, JM Family Enterprises, and an advisory board member for The Salvation Army of Broward County. “Supporting efforts to ensure Plymouth Colony has the appropriate funding to continue helping families toward self-sufficiency and permanent housing opportunities aligns perfectly with JM Family’s charitable giving initiatives.” 

Ready to join in the fun? Put on your cruise or resort wear and join the party. Tickets are $150 each and sponsorship opportunities are available at

For more information, contact Dave Hayton, The Salvation Army of Broward County’s development director, at (954) 654-3395 or at

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St. Ambrose Carnival Back For Another Year

Posted on 15 February 2024 by JLusk

Photo by Rachel Galvin

By Rachel Galvin
Get ready to ride the rides, eat the Cotton Candy and play some games at The St. Ambrose Carnival. The annual event celebrates it’s 28th anniversary this year with plenty of fun and fundraising opportunities for the church.
At the same time, it is also a music festival, which kicks off on Thursday, February 22 and continues with on-stage entertainment daily until Sunday night. 
St. Ambrose is located at 363 SE 12 Street in Deerfield Beach.
St. Ambrose Entertainment Schedule 2024
Thursday February 22
7:00 – 9:30 “Sippin’ Fire”
Friday February 23
8:00 – 10:30 “Havoc 305”
Saturday February 24
2:00 – 5:00 “School Of Rock”
5:30 – 7:00 “The Flyers”
8:00 – 10:30 “Project X”
Sunday February 25
1:00 – 2:30 School Events
3:00 – 4:30 ” Melinda Elena Band “
5:00 – 7:30 “Private Stock” 

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Black Heritage Banquet

Posted on 30 January 2024 by JLusk

The City of Deerfield Beach Parks and Recreation Department and the African American Heritage Board invites you to join them for the Annual Black Heritage Banquet on Feb. 10 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel, 100 Fairway Drive in Deerfield. Come out for delicious food, live performances and fantastic speakers. This event coincides with Black History Month and provides an excellent opportunity for the community to honor the rich cultural history of African Americans nationally and, as importantly, locally. As always, they will celebrate and award the persons who have demonstrated commitment in their professional endeavors, humanitarianism and public service. The event fee is $40. For more info., visit

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Save the Date: Art Stroll is coming Feb. 17 & 18

Posted on 22 January 2024 by JLusk

Save the Date: The Art Stroll is coming to Deerfield Beach Feb. 17 & 18. Once called Festival of the Arts, which has been in place for 43 years, this event will bring in artists from all over to showcase their masterpieces. But this is just part of the fun. Look for live entertainment, food and drink. Mark your calendars. More details coming soon!

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Santa Tracker

Posted on 24 December 2023 by JLusk

The big man wearing red and white is coming to a chimney near you very soon. Don’t have a chimney? No worries… Santa will find a way. Wondering where in the world he is? Check out NORAD Santa Tracker. Not only does it track Santa, but the website has fun games and more!

LINK: Official NORAD Tracks Santa (


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Holiday Boat Parade–Rescheduled

Posted on 12 December 2023 by JLusk

Ready for the holiday tradition of the boat parade? This year’s Pompano, Lighthouse Point and Deerfield Beach based boat parade, sponsored by Chaos Fishing, was supposed to be Dec. 15 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. But now it has been RESCHEDULED UNTIL DEC. 21. Bring the whole family. The main event is at The Sands, but there are plenty of good places to watch along the intracoastal and plenty of people having private parties too. 

Remember that the bridges will be closed starting about 6:15 p.m. until parade is over.

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Ocean Way Holiday

Posted on 29 November 2023 by JLusk

The holidays are here and that means plenty of events. Deerfield kicks off the season with their annual Ocean Way Holiday on Dec. 2 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Main Beach Parking lot (149 SE 21 Ave). There will be live entertainment, Santa and his Reindeer, a giant interactive snow globe, ice skating, treats and more!  Don’t miss the lights! The event is free but you have to pay to park.

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Deerfield Beach Kiwanis Club Golf Tournament

Posted on 15 November 2023 by JLusk

Foursomes hit the links at the Pompano Beach Municipal Golf Course on September 30 for the Kiwanis Club of Deerfield Beach’s 13th Annual Golf Tournament. About 144 people participated. They had a nice buffet lunch and there was also a silent auction and prizes given.
   The event was a huge success, according to Kiwanis Club president Deb Sullivan. “We had a tremendous turnout and the weather held off just long enough for us to get all packed up.”
   She added, “We are so lucky, grateful and beyond appreciative to all of our generous sponsors … Kudos to our loyal players and our new friends. We also owe a big thanks to our community partners that pitched in to donate items for our raffle prizes, purchased tee signs and gave in-kind gifts. Thanks to the volunteers that worked on all the behind the scene details and a big thanks to our 10 Key Club (high school) volunteers that helped with the grunt work.”
1st Place: FHE Health — Dean Moreno, Rick Anderson, Dustin Marks, Pat Simon
2nd Place: DMA Contracting, Inc —  Jonathon Davis Max Freitag, Keegan Mohan, Zach Duncan
3rd Place: FHE Health — Rami Sleiman, Todd Branstetter, Robert Zimmerman, Tyler Zimmerman
Tournament Sponsor: Security Roofing Systems Inc
Prize Sponsor: ABC Supply Co. Inc.
Platinum Sponsor” FHE Health.
Gold Sponsors: JM Family, Builder’s Bargain Happy Holidays Christmas Trees, NYCB and Wealth Planners.
Silver Sponsors: Mutual of America. HEW Fitness, Tropic Glass Enclosures, ABC Roofing and Palm Atlantic. Welcome Bar Sponsor, Almeida Roofing, Breakfast Sponsor, East Coast Metals.
Beverage Sponsors: DMA Contracting, Inc. and 2 Fish and a Loaf.”
To see more photos, visit the Observer Newspaper Online Facebook page.

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State of the City

Posted on 11 November 2023 by JLusk

By Rachel Galvin

Working together and playing together, this is the foundation of building a community. On October 18, the City of Deerfield Beach showcased their community spirit during their State of the City held on the JM Family campus. This was their 6th annual event and was, according to this reporter’s opinion, one of the best events the city has ever had. The place was packed, as people wandered the area enjoying a wide range of light bites and spirits before sitting down in the outdoor amphitheater space to watch the presentation.


Lenny Chesal was supposed to be the emcee, but was unable to, so the city’s Rebecca Medina and JM Family’s Lisa Davis took over the reins and introduced Mayor Bill Ganz.


Ganz spoke at length, thanking JM Family and recognizing commissioners and local dignitaries, including Broward County Mayor Lamar Fisher; Broward County Commissioner Mark Bogen; Florida Representative Chip LaMarca, whose wife Eileen was there in his stead;as well as members of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, city staff, the Broward Alliance and the Economic Development Council (EDC). He gave special thanks to Rick Jorden, a longtime employee of JM Family who will be retiring. He gave a shout out to fellow commissioners and former mayor Peggy Noland.


He mentioned that the event was also about commemorating the Deerfield Beach Historical Society and celebrated their 50th anniversary. He mentioned the contributions of the society through their cultural center and also their Butler House, which is turning 100. The historical society also was honored with the JM Family Changemakers award. He acknowledged the passing of city historian Amie Kay Tanner, who will be missed by many.


He talked about some of the ways in which commissioners and himself are working with other groups to make the city better. First, he talked about Commissioner Todd Drosky becoming president of the Broward League of Cities, which is only the second time someone elected from from Deerfield has had this position. District 1 commissioner Michael Hudak also works with the Florida League of Cities. Commissioner Bernie Parness was formerly on the Broward County Planning Council. The mayor added that he, himself, is part of the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization.The chamber joined the Greater Ft. Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce as Deerfield Beach Council. It pays off, including helping them to get grants, said Ganz, who added that Deerfield is well respected in the greater community and is seen as a leading city on the rise.


Mayor Ganz went on to talk about how almost 60% of residents voted on the sale of the parcel of land on the corner of SW 10th Street and I-95. The city commission, he said, selected the highest and best possible use for the property. It is a concept proposed by MBA Partners at an appraised price of $6 ½ million.

He went into detail about beach renourishment that took place and, through collaborating with Hillsboro and Boca Raton, they saved millions of dollars, by taking advantage of a regular scheduled dredging and utilizing a pipeline. He said the city has been recognized as the Best Beach Renourishment in the nation. Ganz said they also started a Beach Management Program. He talked about the importance of the beach and said it was important to spend the money needed to maintain it. And he mentioned the importance of not waiting to make improvements just to save money.


Ganz pointed out that the Deerfield Ocean Rescue Team won the southeast regional championships’ top trophy, under the leadership of Captain Mike Brown.


In the past year and into the future, they have put in capital investments of more than $10 million in renovations, including repairing the pier, taking care of implementing turtle friendly pedestrian lights, new lifeguard towers, parking lot lights, transportation and event space.


Danielle Rosse will start work on the Palm Restaurant, investing over 2 million dollars with traditional sit down service, grab and go counter, tapas style experience on observation deck.


He also talked about Investments in the park & recreation programs, including replacing several playgrounds, resurfacing athletic courts, putting in a new gym floor at Leo Robb gym, adding outdoor fitness equipment like at Pastor Willie Ford Outdoor Park with art by Basquiat. The Tigner Center and Oveta McKeithen Recreational Complex broke ground this year. The Braithwaite Center for Active Aging and Besos Academy Preschool are expected to open this first quarter. This year, he added that the city put on over 60 special events.  


CRA is in permitting for the second phase of Sullivan Park project. This time next year, he said, will be the ground breaking at the new Seagrass to Sawgrass Center, which will be created in a partnership with Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation.


They have made some advancements in water technology, including implementation of advanced metering infrastructure that provides a more detailed smart meter reading technology that is more accurate. It gives the customer more insight and detects leaks. They also will be updating the Water Treatment Plant. They are implementing an advanced state-of-the-art ion exchange treatment process. They are investing more than $18 million in a special ion exchange treatment process to test for and treat for Pfas, which are man made chemicals that pollute the water worldwide.


He said the city is financially stable. Our bond credit remains at a AA rating. City Reserves are healthy. There is about $30 million in reserve. They can be activated for post disaster recovery and more. The commission approved a $349 million approved budget for fiscal year 2024 funds activities while lowering property tax rates.


“I believe we are the healthiest we have ever been… financially strong and stable…” said Ganz.


Property values exceeded Broward County’s for possibly the first time ever with an 11% increase, compared to 10% for Broward County. This is despite having the 11th lowest assessed value of 31 cities in Broward County… 20 more cities had higher value than we did. We have invested in city with numerous projects. But, we had a 5.7 mill $ increase in revenue, which is great news, but $9.3 mill increase in cost to deliver services. The cost of material and services outpaced our revenue increases. 


“We are not alone in this trend. Every city and county is facing this challenge,” said Ganz.


He added that school grades should be better, which is something he felt the Broward County School Board could also help with.


He also pointed out some things he wished were done better on the state level as well and bemoaned the fact that Tallahassee has “taken away home rule.” 


He also spoke about increases in insurance, something that the audience audibly agreed with.


After the historical society was honored, their president, TJ Eagen, spoke about renovations coming soon to The Butler House. They received a grant and will use it to do a $400,000 renovation to the home over the next two years. They are hoping to open the historic home Wednesday through Sunday for tours, rather than only on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., like it is now. In addition, he mentioned the Pioneer House nextdoor will be a black history museum for the city. He also mentioned all the ongoing programs at the cultural center across the street, from art classes to live music on the driveway, to international films and more. 

The evening concluded with dessert items and more mingling, and those in-the-know went to the after party.

To see photos, visit the Observer Newspaper Online Facebook page.



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Link To Deerfield History, David Butler passes away

Posted on 11 October 2023 by JLusk

Robert David Butler, age 75, of Miami, Florida passed away on Monday, October 9, 2023. Known by “David,” he was a link to history here in Deerfield Beach as his parents, Bob and Martha Butler, owned the mid-century modern home now occupied by the Deerfield Beach Historical Society as their cultural center. David Butler was instrumental in making that happen as the only child of the couple, who had passed away.

David’s grandfather was GE Butler, the first mayor of Deerfield Beach, and his uncle was JD Butler, who built the historic Butler House across the street back in 1923. It is one of the oldest homes in the area.

The Historical Society is deeply indebted to David for allowing them to occupy the now cultural center, which has become a home to workshops, classes, art exhibitions, movie presentations and more since.

A visitation for Robert will be held Monday, October 16, 2023 from 10 a.m. to noon at Kraeer-Becker Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 217 E Hillsboro Blvd, Deerfield Beach followed by a funeral service from noon to 1 p.m.  A committal service will occur Monday, October 16, 2023 from 1 to 1:30 p.m. at Deerfield Beach Memorial Cemetery, 380 NE 6 Ave., Deerfield Beach.

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