In 2014, when a group of long term friends met for their usual dinner, they had the idea of transforming themselves into a book club. The original members—Pat Carlyle, Miffie Hollyday, Betty Cork and Susan Lucas—each invited a friend to join, and Ms. Carlyle christened the group the Beach Bookies. With the additions of Nan Ream, Mary Wolfe, Ann Perry and Mary Zahner, they met every month to discuss books and stay connected to each other’s lives.
At their July gathering, the Beach Bookies shared their plan to create a Prevention Scholarship in Ms. Carlyle’s name at the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC).
Ms. Carlyle has since lost her battle with cancer. “Pat has asked that we spread love and compassion in the world,” the Bookies said. “She was a strong supporter of the ECCAC and its mission to reduce child abuse and neglect, so we believe that this is an excellent and appropriate way to honor her.”
Julie Porterfield, ECCAC CEO, commented, “In partnership with the Beach Bookies Book Club of South Walton, we will be doing a special Prevention Sponsorship in Pat’s name to honor her and try to leave her with the best gift of all…her special legacy for making a difference in so many lives in so many ways, especially for our children through prevention education. That will be a legacy for thousands of children for years to come—they will be empowered to protect themselves in a world where parents no longer always can.”
The Center provides child-friendly facilities in Niceville and DeFuniak Springs that house a multidisciplinary team of child protection personnel, prosecutors, law enforcement, DCF, therapists, CAC staff and volunteers. All services are provided at no cost.
The Beach Bookies encourage anyone who is interested in joining this ECCAC child abuse prevention endeavor, or want to make donations to the Prevention Sponsorship in Pat Carlyle’s name to visit ECCAC.org or call 850-833-9237.
Ms. Carlyle was very involved with the ECCAC and served on their board of directors for several years. She was an integral part of the Pierce Family Center committee to raise funds to build a second center in DeFuniak Springs and was actively involved in seeing the center to fruition.
She was also instrumental in working alongside Ms. Porterfield to earn an Impact 100 grant that has subsidized the nonprofit’s all-important Child Safety Matters program. Ms. Carlyle also headed up ECCAC’s “Think Tank,” comprised of area business leaders working to come up with effective programs to ensure the success of ECCAC.