Connect with us

Community News

News from the Gumbo World – Throwdowns and Fresh Starts

Published on

Mark Dutram, vice-president of LPL Financial at First City Bank; Mary Wilson, executive director of Fresh Start for Children and Families; and Jonathan Slater, wealth advisor for LPL Financial. Photo by Land • Air • Sea Productions.

On Thursday, March 7, LPL Financial located at First City hosted their 8th Annual Gumbo Throwdown at the bank’s Fort Walton Beach location for Fresh Start for Children and Families, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families achieve long-term self-sufficiency through a nine-month residential educational program.


The event drew a crowd of over 400 attendees to sample endless tastes of gumbo from various local restaurants. Guests enjoyed live music by Hurricane Donny & Marshall Jones, beignets provided by Good Things Doughnuts, a commemorative photo booth from Epic Photo Co., and complimentary beer and wine.


Upon check-in, guests received a token in order to vote for the coveted People’s Choice Awards for the Best Gumbo Along the Emerald Coast. The following winners were chosen by eventgoers:



AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar



Fort Walton Yacht Club



SunQuest Cruises


A panel of select food critics and local celebrities judged each gumbo and selected Signature Catering of 30A as the most delicious and most creative.


All awards were custom made by local artist Maxine Orange, and the Judge’s Award winner received a custom trophy from The Trophy Center.


Through general admission ticket sales and raffle ticket sales, the event raised $6,752.43 for Fresh Start. All of the proceeds will go towards aiding the local area’s homeless population, and more specifically, funding Fresh Start’s housing and education programs that will ultimately help families achieve self-sufficiency.


Learn more at

– Proffitt PR
Spread the love
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Notify of