We proudly present this seventh volume of Circles: Social Datebook and Charity Register despite the challenges of the pandemic. Regardless of its impacts, we are still in awe the strong, generous philanthropists among us. This year is no exception, but in a time of great reflection, we look back upon our inaugural cover to find two of the most respected in our community – Ellen Cavert and Betsy Lovett, to whom we dedicate this edition. Their passing in 2021 leaves unimaginable voids, yet their example set a tone for many to follow.
Among Jacksonville’s most notable altruists, Ellen and Betsy forged paths to make monumental differences in children’s health care, education, art, and a multitude of other causes. We are heartened by their legacies that continue to influence generations of Jaxsons. Because of the benevolence of Ellen, Betsy, and others like them, philanthropy in Northeast Florida is in good hands. Circles pages prove so.
It is our hope, as publishers of this magazine and residents of this exceptional city, that what is offered in these pages is of great worth — not only as a reading respite during tough times – but also as a place to find connection with community. May it be fuel to ignite your passions and help you find greater purpose. Our intention is that the editorial focus on philanthropy and charitable giving events encourages you through its inspiring stories, captivates you with engaging images, and motivates you with uplifting opportunities to give of your unique gifts to those around you.
Dealing with coronavirus and its painful losses has consumed our collective thoughts and conversations. But let us not get enmired in the ebb and flow of statistics, infighting, and judgement. In this season of reflection, let us together evaluate the many ways have adapted and overcome, nurtured, and persevered. Be mindful that while some face isolation and loneliness, others are inundated by family members – homeschooled children, homebound parents, unemployed spouses – all piled into spaces never intended for so many. While some are working to exhaustion on the front lines, others are too ill to leave bed. We must consider each and everyone’s needs.
There’s no clear road map for dancing delicately through these unprecedented times, it also calls for the mighty to lean in and lead. Perhaps that’s a good thing because it invites creativity and allows for experimentation. Where are you called to give? What impactful service can you offer? Have that dialogue. Keep this Register on hand for when you are prompted to reach out and to serve. Find a mission statement that resonates and stirs you to action. Refer to the Datebook daily for events that have a seat waiting for you to occupy. Join us in setting an example for our children and grandchildren of what it means to navigate life from the heart, just as Ellen and Betsy showed us.
By fate, we discovered the world of marketing and publishing, the careers we have come to love and the vehicles through which we give back. We are ever grateful for our many mentors, staff members, advertisers, agencies and extended family who work tenaciously to make all our publications come together.
Resident Community News Group is forging new beginnings and accomplishing the untenable. As we realign our daily order, our print and online presence will adapt to meet the demands of a changing world. We are up for the challenge. And we realize that none of it could be possible without the encouragement and generosity of those too numerous to count as we make this our life’s work. We are immeasurably blessed. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts as we, too, adapt to a new normal.
Pamela & Seth Williams