Port St. Lucie continues to reap multiple national, state and local honors for outstanding efforts to keep its citizens happy and safe.
“One of the Port St. Lucie City Council’s goals is for us to be a high-performing government organization,” says Sarah Prohaska, the assistant communications director for the city. “These honors are one way we measure our progress toward that goal. And, it helps us see how we are doing compared to others — awards are a great way to do that.”
Seventeen honors have come the city’s way just since June, for everything from being pet-friendly to being one of the best places to live in Florida. But that’s just a small portion of more than 35 honors that rolled in during the last 12 months. And in some cases, an award may be listed only once but the awarding organizations have handed out awards in multiple activity categories.
Almost 40 years ago, the Port St. Lucie City Council had a dream of a wide, smooth highway crossing the North Fork of the St. Lucie River, letting residents travel in comfort from the east to the west side of the city.
Thirty-nine years later, the aptly named Crosstown Parkway is embarking on its grand opening and is as beautiful and sweeping as the original dreamers hoped.
The project spanned six mayors, starting with William B. McChesney in 1980 and ending with Gregory Oravec.
Many of Port St. Lucie’s residents and visitors are unaware that part of the 1979 James Bond film Moonraker was filmed on the St. Lucie River because of its similarity to the Amazon, or that the name of Elkcam Waterway is “Mackle” spelled backwards, homage paid to the three Mackle brothers whose General Development Corporation of the late 1950s sparked Port St. Lucie’s first growth spurt. GDC also put one of its model homes in Grand Central Station in New York City to entice prospective buyers for what is now River Park. The siren call of “$10 down, $10 a month” brought the initial flocks of snowbirds south.
Redesigning, remodeling and redecorating their homes are the passions of Dan and Barb Hazard.
Their courtyard pool home in the Vineyards has been updated for each of the past 15 years with projects ranging from new flooring to landscaping to repainting schemes.
Refined and affordable Latin food has made its way to Port St. Lucie in the form of Dom Rico Cafe. The task to fuse the flavors of two Hispanic countries in an area that had not previously seen such a combination was a bold move. But Dom Rico’s opening has been well-received by the community.
Many young people have trouble deciding what subject to study in school or which trade they would like to enter upon graduation from high school. Lindsey Porth Healy had no such problem, realizing what she wanted to study even before entering high school. As a person with a lot of empathy for those who are suffering, she was focused on a nursing career at a young age.
Educated in private Christian schools in St. Lucie County for the first eight years, she switched to St. Lucie West Centennial High School in the ninth grade, opting to participate in the school’s health careers academy. After graduation, she entered and completed the registered nurse program at Indian River State College, then Indian River Community College. At this point, Porth Healy thought to herself, “Why stop?”
“Kidpreneur” refers to a young person with a big idea. Nazhi (pronounced Nah-zhee) Forrest is that and more. As founder and CEO of a growing baking business, Nazhi Thee Baker, LLC, the 15-year-old hopes to raise awareness of a medical condition that her own family deals with: sickle cell anemia.
There is currently no cure for the disease. Nazhi and her sisters are each affected.
Nestled between Port St. Lucie and Fort Pierce, a sewing machine hums, creating colorful peeks into nature by quilt artist Kim Georgina (“Geo”) Laffont. Her journey to the craft is as interesting and varied as her quilts.
This summer she and her husband, Julian, traveled through Europe, discovering Ostia Antica, a seventh-century archaeological site outside Rome. “There are amazing mosaics everywhere,” says Laffont. “I decided to recreate some of them in quilting.” It would keep her hands and mind active. A much-loved job had recently ended, and Laffont hoped to avoid an emotional black hole during the adjustment.
© 2019 Port St. Lucie Magazine | Indian River Magazine, Inc.