Bay Buzz: Niceville and Freeport News Shorts July 2024


Niceville Public Library Celebrates 50 Years

Niceville Library StaffThe Niceville Public Library is celebrating its 50th anniversary! First opening its doors on June 8, 1974, the library has played an essential role in fostering community, learning and engagement for the residents of Niceville. Sheila Bishop, Niceville Public Library Director, has been with the library for over 40 of those years, “I am so honored to be part of a wonderful team celebrating 50 years of library service to our community with a tradition of exceptional customer service and the unwavering support of our city leadership and devoted library patrons. It truly takes a village. Thank you, Niceville!”

Freeport Memorial

The City of Freeport citizens and Mayor Barley came together on Memorial Day for a Ceremony at City Hall Veterans Memorial Park to honor and remember the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.

Niceville Knight is Florida’s Knight of The Year

Jim Thennes of Knights of Columbus Council 13527Jim Thennes of Knights of Columbus Council 13527 in Niceville was named Knight of the Year by the 55,000-member Florida State Council on Saturday, May 25th in Orlando. The award is presented annually to the Knight who best exemplifies service to the Church, the Council and the Community.

He serves as a Eucharistic Minister, Usher and Acolyte at Mass and routinely brings the Holy Eucharist to shut-ins and those in nursing and assisted living facilities. Using his experience as a contractor, he has performed various construction, maintenance and repair work on the church and rectory properties.

This Knight is actively involved in almost every Council activity including pancake breakfasts, pasta dinners, St. Patrick’s Day and Octoberfest celebrations at 3rd Planet Brewery and working bingo as a caller, floor worker and kitchen worker,
Jim has spent hours helping widows care for their home so that they can remain in them, rather than move to assisted living and routinely spends hours visiting with the elderly and infirm in nursing homes. He has helped install new flooring at a local nursing home and personally fixed the entryway lighting in his local community. He and his wife, Rita, have routinely picked up bread products from Panera on Sunday evenings and brought them to the Pavilion Nursing Home.

This Knight’s service, his work on the church and rectory grounds, his visitations to the least among us clearly serve as an example to people of all faiths. For these reasons, Jim Thennes was recognized by the Knights of Columbus throughout the state of Florida as the 2024 Knight of the Year.

Niceville-Valparaiso Rotary supports Heritage Museum of NW Florida

Niceville-Valparaiso Rotary supports Heritage Museum of NW FloridaAt the June 10 meeting of the Rotary Club, trustees Steve Czonstka and Barbara Palmgren (on right) were presented a check for $300 by Rotary President, Larissa Tenzycki and Rotary project leader for Saturday in the Park, Bill Higginbothan (on left.) This was a special contribution for the annual Saturday in the Park free public event held in late April. Dr. Palmgren made a short presentation about the new 1,400 sq. foot room addition to the museum that is now being built. Contributions from the community can be sent for this new exhibit hall by contacting the museum Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The initial grant for beginning the project was $100,000 awarded by Impact 100. The cost for the project is $178.000. So, additional funds are being raised to keep local history alive in Northwest Florida. The museum is located at 115 Westview Ave in old downtown Valparaiso.