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    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    Tips to Reduce Sticker Shock on Monthly Eletrical Bills

    Man, it's hot out there. And your wallet can certainly feel the pinch. Here are 12 tips from the brilliant Andrea Woroch to stay cool while reducing your kilowatt usage.

    Consumers across America are experiencing sticker shock with this month's electrical bill. While kilowatt rates vary by vendor, a new national increase is being seen across the country.
    With the enactment of the Clear Air Interstate Rule from the Environmental Protection Agency, 31 states are required to substantially reduce power-plant emissions. Specifically, power plants must reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by a whopping 71 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions by 52 percent.
    Coal is both the most common energy source and the primary cause of both emissions. As a result, this new regulation is expected to cost coal power plants billions of dollars for retrofitting or in facility replacements. Naturally, this expense is being passed on to consumers. Short of going "off the grid," what's a customer to do? Here are 12 tips to help reduce your kilowatt usage.
    1. Go Window Shopping
    When the weather hits over 90 degrees and it's too hot to be outdoors, leave your credit card at home and head to an air-conditioned mall. After a few laps around the perimeter, you'll have gotten some exercise while catching up on the latest fashions.
    2. Get Out of the House
    Turn off the air conditioning, the TV and all those electricity hogs and enjoy some time in the great outdoors. If your kids spend their summer vacations playing video games, they're sucking up a lot of energy without expending any of their own. Sign them up for sports leagues, summer camps and other activities outside the home. While you may have to pay a registration fee, you can still save on equipment by using Target and Sports Authority discount gift cards ordered from such sites as
    3. Turn Off Power Strips
    Even if you've turned off the television, computer and other power vampires, those power strips are still sucking you dry. The same goes for rechargers, which may seem benign when not hooked up to your cell phone. The fact is, they're still drawing electricity when not in use, so flip that switch. According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the standby power of unused appliances usually accounts for 5 percent to 10 percent of residential electricity costs.
    4. Power Down Computers
    Running a computer and monitor 24/7 uses about 1,100 kilowatt hours annually, or roughly $100 a year. Save 60 percent to 80 percent by putting your computer in power-saving mode or turning it off completely.
    5. Use Powerless Cleaning Appliances
    Use an old-fashioned can opener instead of that space-hogging electrical opener to reduce kilowatt usage. Clean rugs with a carpet sweeper instead of a vacuum. (You can find these old-fashioned cleaners at a surprising number of garage sales.) Dry laundry on a clothes line or rack instead of a power-hungry dryer. (Washers and dryers are 19 percent of your energy bill.) In general, consider how you can replace miniature power users with powerless appliances.
    6. Shut the Curtains
    Turn off or turn down an air conditioner by keeping windows covered during the day. You'll minimize sun exposure while maximizing the cooler night air.
    7. Wash Dishes in Batches
    It may seem hand-washing dishes would reduce both your water and electrical bill, but Energy Star appliances are actually much better for your family finances. The original investment, however, is terribly high. As a simple fix, wait until the dishwasher is completely full before running it. Avoid filling the machine with over-sized pots and pans as they're cheaper to wash by hand. Keep in mind that dishwashers compose 2 percent of your electrical bill.
    8. Lower the Lighting Bill
    You've heard lots of talk about CFL light bulbs and there's a reason why. CFLs are cheaper to run, generate less heat and last much longer. Switching out just one incandescent bulb for a CFL will save you $35 in energy costs -- or up to 65 percent -- over the projected 10-year life of the bulb.
    9. Turn Off the Stove
    Pasta, veggies and other foods cooked in water will continue to cook once the water is boiled. Turn the burner off half way through the cooking process and you'll reduce your energy use; just make sure you leave on the lid to hold in the heat.
    10. Fill Up Your Freezer and Fridge
    As with your dishwasher, these kitchen appliances operate more efficiently when full. You needn't overbuy at the supermarket, however. Instead, fill bottles and milk containers with water to take up the extra space.
    11. Use a Programmable Thermostat
    Give your air conditioning system a break when no one is in the house. According to Energy Star, increasing a house's temperature during these hours by pre-programming a thermostat cuts the average household's electric bill by $180 a year. That's because heating and cooling systems are 45 percent of your monthly energy bill.
    12. Clean A/C Filters
    Filters clog up with pollen, animal hair, dust and other unmentionables. Cleaning or replacing your filter improves efficiency. You'll want to clean it more often if you have pets or are experiencing a particularly heavy pollen season.
    Share these 12 tips with your audience so more people can save energy and money.
    Consumer Savings Expert, Andrea Woroch, is available to share "12 Tips to Save Kilowatts and Cash" with your audience for an in-studio, satellite or skype interview. Andrea has been featured as a media expert source on NBC's Today Show, FOX & Friends, MSNBC, ABC News NOW and many more. For more savings tips follow @AndreaWoroch.

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    Jazz on the Mountain at Whistler

    Jazz On The Mountain At Whistler launches inaugural festival

    Canadian premiere event to showcase renowned performers in Whistler Village
    September 2-4, 2011

    Kevin Eubanks (Spyro Gyra)
    Whistler, B.C. – Whistler will play host to the newest jazz festival in Canada, September 2-4, 2011. Set in the resort’s pedestrian Village, with free and ticketed indoor and outdoor shows, visitors will have the unique opportunity to experience performances and interact personally with jazz greats such as Kevin Eubanks – leader of the NBC Tonight Show Band for 18 years.

    Arnold Schwisberg, founder and producer of Jazz On The Mountain At Whistler, today announced the exciting performer line-up of the inaugural event for the Labour Day weekend in September as well as the launch of the Festival’s official website at:

    "Jazz On The Mountain At Whistler will have something for everyone, not just jazz fans,” says Schwisberg. “All visitors to Whistler will be able to enjoy the free street festival components with acoustic musicians, face-painters, jugglers and acrobats. And ticketed shows will provide access to some of the world’s best jazz artists performing in an intimate setting at spectacular Whistler facilities.”

    The three-day festival will showcase 22 performers and 33 shows. Street entertainment is being programmed in conjunction with the Whistler Arts Council, free performances will be featured throughout Whistler Village, and ticketed events will take place indoors at Maurice Young Millennium Place and outdoors at one or more of the many spectacular venues in Whistler . Tickets go on sale April 5. 

    Guitarist Kevin Eubanks, the first Artist-in-Residence for Jazz On The Mountain At Whistler, will perform solo, with his Quartet, and will be "up close and personal" with festivalgoers in Whistler Village all weekend.  In addition to Eubanks, American guitarists Stanley Jordan and Russ Freeman, as well as seasoned Canadian jazz guitarists and educators Stan Samole, Lorne Lofsky and Greg Lowe are scheduled to perform. Other greats confirmed to appear include established contemporary jazz groups Spyro Gyra and The Rippingtons, and jazz veterans vibraphonist Gary Burton from Boston with his New Quartet and Montreal pianist Oliver Jones with his Trio. Additional shows will be announced in the coming weeks.

    The Festival also includes a unique educational element, giving aspiring young musicians the opportunity to attend a Jazz Master Class Series for guitar at Maurice Young Millennium Place in the heart of Whistler Village. 

    “Jazz On The Mountain At Whistler is setting the stage to be regarded as one of the most innovative jazz festivals in the country,” says Schwisberg, a lawyer whose passion for jazz has also led to a career as a radio and TV host, a record producer for Universal Music, and a consultant with jazz festivals in Montreal and Toronto.

    Unlike urban jazz festivals, Jazz On The Mountain At Whistler will be offering a very different experience. The pedestrian-only Village, with its stone pathways connecting the resort’s plazas and squares, is an ideal setting for a more intimate and highly interactive jazz festival. The Festival aims to attract thousands of visitors to Whistler over the Labour Day weekend.

    To more broadly deliver the experience, plans are underway to mount high-definition video cameras at each major act – and to produce streaming video to the internet, satellite and for mobile applications. “Those who can’t attend in person can watch highlights from their computer, tablet or phone,” says Schwisberg. “Jazz On The Mountain At Whistler represents the next generation of jazz festivals. It’s really about bringing the music – and the vibe of Whistler – to the people.” 

    Mayor Ken Melamed of the Resort Municipality of Whistler says the Festival is an exciting new addition to the growing calendar of outstanding events in the resort. "We've been impressed with the planning process, the program and the professionalism of Jazz On The Mountain At Whistler. Visitors to Whistler are in for a real treat this September."

    For more information about the concert and events schedule, artist bios, and details about ticket purchasing, promotions, and merchandise visit

    Sponsors of Jazz On The Mountain At Whistler so far include: The Globe And Mail, North Shore Credit Union, Indigo Books & Music, Heineken, Appleton Rum, WineOnline, Shaw TV and charity sponsor CNIB.  More sponsors will be announced as the Event approaches.

    With more than 200 retail shops, 90 restaurants and bars, and a vast range of accommodations, visitors to Jazz On The Mountain At Whistler can enjoy the music, an amazing array of amenities, and the endless choice of activities provided by a mountain playground.  For information about accommodation and activity options call our local travel consultants at 1.800.WHISTLER or logon .


    Media can visit for Whistler facts, media releases, story starters, local personality profiles and access to images and B-roll.

    Whistler is Canada’s premier year-round leisure and meeting destination located in the Coast Mountains 120 kilometres (75 miles) north of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Consistently rated the top ski resort in North America for the past 12 years in a row, Whistler was the Host Mountain Resort of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The resort offers an extensive range of accommodations totaling 10,000 bedrooms among 24 hotels as well as town homes, condos, B&Bs and chalets. Whistler also boasts more than 100 restaurants and bars, 200 retail shops, 25 spas and countless activity options from world-renowned skiing and snowboarding, mountain biking and golf, to hiking, rock climbing, and water sports. The Resort Municipality of Whistler is home to a diverse community of more than 9,000 permanent residents.

    Tourism Whistler is the member-based marketing and sales organization representing Whistler, operating the Whistler Conference Centre, Whistler Golf Club, Whistler Visitor Centre, as well as 1.800.WHISTLER and – Whistler’s official source for visitor bookings and information. As the convention and visitors bureau for the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Tourism Whistler represents more than 7,000 members who own, manage and operate properties or businesses on resort lands including hotels, restaurants, activity operators and retail shops.

    Media Contacts
    Jazz On The Mountain At Whistler
    Founder & Producer
    Arnold Schwisberg

    Festival Director
    Kristen Robinson

     Tourism Whistler
    Senior Manager, Communications
    Breton Murphy

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    Smugglers Notch Resort, Our Family Takes 1st Place in the "I Did a Sled' Competition!

    Just call it "Smuggs"
    (JEFFERSONVILLE, VT). I totally forgot to share news of our amazing end-of-year vacation, this past December at our host Michael's timeshare at Smuggles Notch Resort! Smuggler Notch, or "Smuggs" as the regulars affectionately call it, has been ranked "#1 for Family Vacations," by Ski Magazine, among a host of other impressive awards. 

    I've only ventured to Vermont in the summer, so it was a great thrill to see the "Green" Mountains in winter, capped as they were with powdery snow and promise. Our family weathered the seven hour car-trip from the Fingerlakes to Jeffersonville a day after Christmas. In a tasteful condo that comfortably sleeps ten, we enjoyed the Master Suite with a jacuzzi and stunning mountain views. We were thrilled to share our week's vacation with our our other dear friends Heather and Charles and their two children.

    Heated Pools, Trails, Playhouses
    Add a heated pool (and I do mean HEATED)steps from your condo and the thrilling spectacle of amazing cross country trails right below the pool area, and you might just be in heaven. And when you discover that the Nordic Shop serves freshly popped popcorn and tasty cocoa, and right next door is a late night kids playhouse of sorts, well, you feel it's all too good to be true.

    Torchlight Parade, Fireworks, Zipline Tours
    Each day, dozens of programs (yoga, painting, crafts, karaoke, nature walks and more) are available to guests. On Thursday evenings of each holiday week, the Resort’s Snow Sport University instructors ski or ride in a dramatic torchlight parade as they descend a ski trail into the Village, where guests gather can around a bonfire.

    A spectacular fireworks display lights up the evening sky with the Green Mountains as a backdrop. If you  are all about collecting memories that last a lifetime, then you have to put this on your "to do" list. We saw these fireworks on New Year's Eve. It was a special way to ring in 2011. And don't forget to put the heart-racing, "Zipline Canopy Tour,"  a couple of classes at their renowned"Ski School," dog-sled tour adventures and moonlit guided snowmobile tours on your "wish lists" as well.

    Michelle Berry, Robert Lofthouse and Nina Berry-Lofthouse
    "I Did a Sled Competition"
    See that good looking family on the left? That's us posing in front of our winning sled- which we actually took two rides on- a test run (in which we came in second place) and a WINNING run, in which we placed ahead of forty other great participants. That's right, we came in 1st Place at the "I Did a Sled Competition!" Combining the Berry-Lofthouse family prowess in engineering, design and elegance, with just electrical tape and cardboard, our handmade "sled" went the farthest down the hill (and also the fastest). We hope to return next year to defend our title!
    So, if you're looking for a fun and enriching family-friendly vacation, make sure to check out Smuggs!  Families visiting Smugglers’ Notch Resort over the Winter holiday periods typically enjoy a full complement of package inclusions and special activities during Christmas Week, December 19-26, 2010; New Year’s Week, December 26, 2010 – January 1, 2011; and Presidents’ Week February 18-25, 2011.

    For more information, about booking your family vacation at Smuggs, contact: 
    Karen Boushie,
    802. 644.1156

    Raise a Toast to Monterey Wines this Summer: Save the Date

    Monterey Wine Country’s Annual Summer Festival Announces Date and New Location!
    (Monterey, CA)—March 7, 2011—Taste Monterey Wine Country at 19th Annual Winemakers’ Celebration on August 13, 2011, at The Barnyard Shopping Village in Carmel. The Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association (MCVGA) will bring together over 40 wineries to pour roughly 200 wines at the outdoor summer festival.  The Winemakers’ Celebration festivities will include: culinary samples from international restaurants located in the Barnyard Shopping Village; jazz music in the shopping square; winemaking displays, and the bidding excitement of the Silent Auction—including numerous lifestyle packages, special wine items, photo sessions, hotel stays, restaurant gift certificates, and more. Featured wineries and restaurants will also be offering guests special offers and pricing to be enjoyed the day of the celebration and beyond.

    Tickets for the 19th Annual Winemakers’ Celebration, August 13, 2011 The Barnyard, Carmel, 1-4 p.m., are available online at or by calling 831.375.9400, $30 in advance / $35 at the door.

    Nine American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) make up the world-class designation of Monterey County. Monterey, Santa Lucia Highlands, Arroyo Seco, San Lucas, Hames Valley, Chalone, Carmel Valley, San Antonio Valley, and San Bernabe comprise 200 vineyards. Vineyards are located from the cooler north, heavily influenced from the Monterey Bay, to the warmer southern end, still influenced by the late afternoon winds and resulting cooling temperatures later in the day. Winemakers will be on hand to discuss their craft and showcase how 42 varietals can be made from a single winegrowing region.

    The Barnyard Shopping Village is Carmel's one-of-a-kind shopping haven. Situated on more than six acres, the open-air shopping village delivers a unique, upscale boutique environment nestled into cascading levels of breathtaking gardens lined with red brick pathways. Located only one mile south of Carmel-by-the-Sea, off of Highway 1 and Carmel Rancho Boulevard, the Barnyard Shopping Village boasts more than 45 locally owned and operated shops, eight International restaurants and caf├ęs, as well as a variety of professional services.

    About MCVGA

    The Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association (MCVGA) partners with community members to promote and support leadership in the art, the science, and the business of wine. Founded in 1974, MCVGA is a non-profit organization representing over 80 vintners and growers in Monterey, California. For additional information, please visit or call (831) 375-9400.

    Linda Parker Sanpei

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    Stowe Mountain Lodge Gears Up for Thanksgiving, Family Ski & Stay Pkgs

    (Base of Mount Mansfield, Vermont) As Stowe Mountain Lodge prepares for their third busy winter season, they have released a multitude of packages and specials. From a celebration special for two recent awards Stowe Mountain Lodge has garnered to a classical New England Thanksgiving package, this winter is abound with deals for travelers. Please see a selection of these promotions below. For more specials, please visit

    New England Thanksgiving Package
    Guests are invited to give thanks and celebrate Thanksgiving at Stowe Mountain Lodge. Executive Chef Tiffany Sawyer has prepared a classical New England Thanksgiving menu including maple sugar butter glaze turkey carving station with port and orange scented cranberry sauce, butternut squash bisque, shellfish chowder, bourbon blue cheese sweet potato mashed and homemade pumpkin pie.

    · Discounted luxury accomodations

    · Thanksgiving dinner for two in Solstice (with the option of adding additional adult or children’s dinners)

    Ski & Stay Package
    Stowe is the Ski Capital of the East, recognized for boasting the highest peak in Vermont, Mount Mansfield. Stowe Mountain Lodge is the only ski-in/ski-out resort in Stowe, making it the perfect complement to day on the slopes. Guests are also welcome to take advantage of Stowe Mountain Lodge’s complimentary ski valet, which will keep snow gear dry, warm and organized during their stay.

    · Discounted luxury accommodations

    · Breakfast for two each morning

    · 2 adult lift tickets per day

    · $50 spa note
    Family STOWEcation Package
    With tons of family-friendly activities and a welcoming environment, Stowe Mountain Lodge invites families of all sizes this winter to enjoy the winter season in Stowe. With accommodations ranging from a full studio to a four-bedroom suite, Stowe Mountain Lodge comfortably conforms to family travel, featuring year-round heated pool, kids’ game room, on-site dining and KidSpa (to open this winter).

    · Discounted luxury accommodations

    · Make-your-own snowman kit

    · Kids’ welcome basket—including s’mores, popcorn, hot chocolate, etc.

    · In-room movie rental

    · 6 tokens for Stowe Mountain Lodge’s game room

    Contact:   Morgan Fukumoto
    Public Relations Manager
    Stowe Mountain Lodge
    Regional Sales & Marketing Office
    43 Thorndike Street, Suite 3-1
    Cambridge, MA 02141
    Phone 617.621.1700

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010

    Whistler Offers deals, events and Olympic legacies for families all summer

    Summertime in Whistler means endless family activities and great accommodation deals - offering families the ultimate summer getaways for weekends, week-long getaways or extended visits.  

     Hiking, biking, golfing and dining - along with skiing and snowboarding on Blackcomb Mountain (until late July), as well as festivals and events - all combine to provide the quintessential summer Whistler experience. 

    And while the spring sun has melted the valley snow, Whistler's 2010 Winter Games venues will be opening their doors to summer visitors. Although the Winter Games are behind us, you can still have a taste of the Olympic spirit. 

    The Whistler Sliding Centre (WSC) opens June 25 with self-guided and guided walking tours, as well as a new "Behind the Scenes" shuttle bus tour that transports guests from the village to the WSC- from top to bottom.  The centre's facilities will also be available for events and meeting space bookings starting in June. 

    Warm, sunny weather has transformed Whistler's valley into a lush playground and hundreds of kilometres of mountain biking trails are now in ideal condition after a snowy winter. Families looking for a free scenic cycling experience can enjoy the Valley Trail system, offering 35 paved kilometres through lush forests and past glacier-fed lakes, surrounded by mountains. 

    In addition to village-based biking and hiking trails that access Whistler's temperate rainforest, a network of trails atop Whistler and Blackcomb mountains makes for hours of exploration the whole family can enjoy.  Amazing views of the Coast Range mountain peaks and glaciers, alpine meadows and wildlife habitat - including black bears and hoary marmots - are provided along more than 50 kilometres of trails accessible via the PEAK 2 PEAK Alpine Experience

    Family-friendly events taking place this summer in Whistler:

    •·All summer, Whistler Street Entertainment presents free juggling acts, circus performers, musicians, bike stunt riders, dancers and acrobats attractions and performances every weekend in the heart of the Village.

    •··July 17 and 18 is the Whistler Children's Art Festival, with lots of free activities, popular children's performers, wandering musicians and characters, and hands-on workshops led by professional artists in fine arts, crafts, theatre, multi-media, dance and music.

    •·The Whistler Dragon Boat Festival takes place July 3 and 4. This year's event will also feature the Canadian National Dragon Boat Championships. Join the teams for a weekend spent in some of the most spectacular scenery in the world filled with beating drums, fierce paddling, cheering spectators, and live entertainment can tailor a package for your family.  For more information, call toll free 1.800.WHISTLER (1.800.944.7853) to request a no-obligation quote or visit for more details and offers.

    Whistler is Canada's premier year-round leisure and meeting destination located in the Coast Mountains 120 kilometres (75 miles) north of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Consistently rated the top ski resort in North America for the past 12 years in a row, Whistler was the Host Mountain Resort of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The resort offers an extensive range of accommodations totaling 10,000 bedrooms among 24 hotels as well as townhomes, condos, B&Bs and chalets.  Whistler boasts more than 100 restaurants and bars, 200 retail shops, 25 spas and countless activity options from world-renowned skiing and snowboarding, mountain biking and golf, to hiking, rock climbing, and watersports. The Resort Municipality of Whistler is home to a diverse community of more than 9,000 permanent residents.

    Monday, May 24, 2010

    Steinhatchee Landing Resort in Florida Welcomes Scallop Seekers

    Big Bend Area Gulf Waters Open, Scallop Season Begins July 1

     Equal parts snorkeling, hunting for hidden treasure and saltwater fishing, scalloping is a can't-miss summer event in Florida's Big Bend.  The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill has left the Steinhatchee area unaffected thus far and Steinhatchee Landing Resort, a family-style, riverfront vacation retreat, welcomes scallop seekers for a busy 2010 scallop season, July 1 through September 10. One- to four-bedroom individual cottages start from just $212* per night, allowing multiple families and multiple generations to share accommodations and travel together for a budget-friendly summer vacation.  And located just three miles upstream from the Gulf of Mexico and along the Steinhatchee River, Steinhatchee Landing is just minutes from Dead Man's Bay, a unique ecosystem and breeding ground for some of the best bay scalloping in the United States. 

    "The Gulf waters surrounding the Steinhatchee area are currently open to fishing and scalloping for the summer season," said Dean Fowler, developer of Steinhatchee Landing Resort.  "Our local guides are experiencing some of the best near shore fishing with Trout and Reds in recent months and the same goes for offshore angling for Grouper.  We haven't seen any oil along our shorelines from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and aren't expected to in the coming weeks."

    A popular activity for families, scalloping best resembles snorkeling, but with the simple addition of a mesh bag for storing the harvest.  Most scallops can be found in the shallow, grass flats of the Gulf of Mexico that range anywhere from three to six feet deep.  Only two to three inches in length and located inside a fan-shaped shell, the scallops can be easy to spot with their 30-40 bright blue eyes, but provide a good chase as these eyes help them detect predators.

    Steinhatchee Landing Resort provides several boat slips for a nominal fee and will also arrange guided trips with local charter Captains who can guarantee a daily limit of the bay bivalves.  Several locals are available at the marina docks to shuck scallops for a small fee as well and the Landing's cottages provide full kitchens for cooking up a fresh day's harvest. 

    After a full day of wading and scooping scallops, guests of the resort can rest, relax and enjoy the Landing's extensive amenities, including the 55-foot swimming pool and pavilion area with playground, table tennis, fitness center, an indoor swim spa and three-person sauna.  The resort also offers canoe and kayak rentals, croquet, tennis and archery. 

    A peaceful drive from any direction, Steinhatchee Landing Resort is just 75 miles west of Gainesville, and a two-and-a-half hour drive from Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa Bay.  To book your stay, call toll-free (800) 584-1709 or (352) 498-3513 or visit

    *Rates based on availability and minimum stay requirements may apply.  10% resort and state taxes not included. If the Gulf of Mexico becomes closed to fishing or scalloping in the Steinhatchee area as designated by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) or the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) due to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill anytime from July 1-September 10, Steinhatchee Landing Resort will return advanced deposits on stays scheduled during those closed dates for the summer season.

    Media Contact:
    Gentry Baumline-Robinson
    Hayworth Creative Public Relations
    (386) 677-7000