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Emerald Coast Fitness Foundation to host third annual Sip and Splash fundraiser

The Emerald Coast Fitness Foundation (ECFF) will host its third annual fundraising event, Sip and Splash: An Aquatic Affair presented by Tim Smith Acura, on Saturday, June 1 at the Taj […]

The Emerald Coast Fitness Foundation (ECFF) will host its third annual fundraising event, Sip and Splash: An Aquatic Affair presented by Tim Smith Acura, on Saturday, June 1 at the Taj Renee Community Aquatic Center in Destin.

  • The event aims to raise funds for the local organization, which has collected over $158,000 from the previous two events.

“We look forward to hosting this event all year long,” said Kathi Heapy, ECFF treasurer. “It has become such an enjoyable evening and a wonderful way for us to connect with more members of the community. We are tremendously grateful for the continued support of Tim Smith Acura and the Smith family for this event and other previous contributions they have made.”

The community pool will be transformed into an elegant event space, with guests being greeted with complimentary valet and a glass of champagne before entering the nautical-themed pool deck for a sunset cocktail hour.

Brenna Kneiss Photography

Attendees will enjoy craft cocktails, beer, and wine, along with hand-rolled sushi from Destin’s Yoshie Eddings. The event will also feature a special mermaid performance, a silent auction, and a live painting by local artist Bradley Copeland.

Following the cocktail hour, guests will indulge in a multi-course seated dinner served by notable local chefs and restaurants, including:

  • Carrabba’s Italian Grill
  • Mozey’s Mobile Catering and Cuisine
  • The Rican Vegan
  • SunQuest Catering
  • Sura Korean Steakhouse

The dishes will be both gulf- and farm-to-table, showcasing the various cuisines of each restaurant and chef. Entertainment will be provided by Al Alvarado, and a special ceremony will induct the 2024 honorees into the Okaloosa Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame.

“The swimming community has been our bedrock for these many years,” said Wendy Rudman, ECFF community outreach coordinator. “Their support is essential. We treasure the opportunity to recognize specific members of the swimming community. It is wonderful to bring together so many members of our swimming family along with other community members and leaders for this fun, relaxed evening.”

Tim Smith (left) and Sharon Smith (right) during the Sip and Splash event (Brenna Kneiss Photography)

Proceeds from the event will support the Emerald Coast Fitness Foundation, a public charity focused on developing physical fitness and water safety among youth and adults in Okaloosa County.

  • ECFF manages public pools in Destin, Crestview, and Fort Walton Beach, providing opportunities for instruction, training, and competitive excellence in aquatic sports.

Tickets and tables are available for purchase, with sponsorship opportunities and silent auction item donations still being accepted. For more information about the event, visit or email to inquire about sponsorships or auction item donations.

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Community Comments

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“Is the child still living? Great job saving this baby.”
“Just around the corner in Mossy Head!”
“Called the number listed 850 882 6258 which asks for a mailbox number. Not helpful. Looking for more information on hiring event scheduled for July 24 & July 25”
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“Not a good idea, it will block traffic both at entry and exit. There is also too much water drainage that would have nowhere to go and cause flooding. Just...”
“What is an 11 month old doing in the water by itself?”
“Congratulations to you, Dr. Kelley!”
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“It would have been nice to see a photo of Mr. Hinely”