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50 YEARS OF EPIC – 1996-2006

EPIC started multiple programs and fundraisers.

WET – Wilderness Education & Treatment Project – helped middle school youth who were beginning to make poor choices.  Students in the program learned how to work together to solve problems and make decisions, by engaging in outdoor activities and community service projects.

EPIC began The Monarch Project for Emerging Women which offered one-to-one mentoring, educational forums and seminars, career exploration, counseling and support groups and a multi-media resource center.

EPIC joined with other community organizations to plan and implement the first Ancient City Kids Day (ACKD).  Taking place on “Make a Difference Day”, ACKD offered a day for families to spend meaningful time with their children.  Children serving organizations provided fun activities for children and resource information for parents.  Kid-centric live entertainment, free t-shirts for kids, and goody bags were part of the fun.  The only cost was the food.

EPIC was not immune to cut backs in government funding and so got creative in raising funds for EPIC programs.  In 1996, EPIC debuted the Flower & Garden Expo to stellar reviews.

Meanwhile, EPIC’s Big Brothers Big Sisters program launched Tips for Kids’ Sake – a fundraiser that placed local celebrity waiters in a local restaurant.  The celebrities served their friends and family, and all their tips were donated to BBBS.  The first Tips restaurant was Seafood Kitchen.

Another fundraiser was launched by EPIC – “An Evening with Ned Pollack” – attendees enjoyed watching acclaimed local chef Ned Pollack prepare a multi-course meal and then got to enjoy it.

Happening in 1996:

  • Bill Clinton was President.
  • Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix) was the #1 Song.
  • Braveheart won the Oscar for Best Picture
  • ER was the top-rated television show.
  • Ebay and Ask Jeeves were launched online.

Building on the success of last year’s Flower & Garden Expo, EPIC developed “An EPIC Celebration of Spring” which incorporated the Expo (enhanced with gardening lectures), the new “A Taste of St. Augustine”, and an Historic Inns Tour that took place downtown with St. Augustine’s beautiful bed & breakfast inns.

EPIC’s Family Seminar Series, part of our Community Prevention Services, expanded to include topics such as positive discipline, stress management, financial planning, and personal safety.


Happening in 1997:

  • Bill Clinton was President.
  • Candle in the Wind 1997 was the #1 Song.
  • The English Patient won the Oscar for Best Picture
  • Seinfeld was the top-rated television show.
  • Primordial Soup was the most popular board game in 1997.

EPIC continued to offer prevention and treatment programs for the St. Johns County community.  Additionally EPIC, continued to take the lead for Project Graduation and Ancient City Kids Staff and the Board of Directors celebrated maintaining strong programs and helping our community during the Annual Meeting held at the Lightner Building.

Happening in 1998:

  • Bill Clinton was President.
  • Too Close was the #1 Song.
  • Titanic won the Oscar for Best Picture.
  • ER was the top-rated television show.
  • Google was incorporated as a private company.

While refining the EPIC mission statement, the EPIC Board of Directors recognized that within “EPIC” was an acronym that uniquely tied into the strengths and focus of EPIC Community Services:  Education, Prevention, Intervention, and Counseling.  A new slogan was also developed: “Strengthening Families Throughout Life’s Journey”.

The inaugural Mentor Marathon was hosted by BBBS of SJC and included multiple events that people could attend to learn more about mentoring opportunities in the county.  BBBS partnered with other mentoring organizations so that potential volunteers could learn about various options available to help children. (Additionally, with BBBS, Tips for Kids’ Sake continued to be a popular event and expanded to 3 restaurants.

EPIC’s CEO Patti Greenough was awarded the prestigious Florida Distinguished Service Medal from the Adjutant General of the Florida National Guard.

EPIC hosted a special Family Night with guest speaker Deborah Levine Herman, humorist, and author of “An Idiot’s Guide to Motherhood” followed by an old-fashioned community dance.

A Flagler College student designed the winning ACKD logo and began a long tradition of providing the logos for the event with the kids in the logo visiting different St. Augustine landmarks.

Happening in 1999:

  • Bill Clinton was President.
  • Believe was the #1 Song.
  • Shakespeare in Love won the Oscar for Best Picture.
  • Who Wants to be a Millionaire was the top-rated television show.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants premiered on the Nickelodeon cable network.

EPIC purchased its own building in 2000.  Long a goal, the idea of purchasing our own home turned into a reality with a $50,000 donation to the building fund.  New offices were located at 1400 Old Dixie Hwy. 

EPIC implemented “Project Northland” – a best practice prevention program designed to prevent or reduce adolescent substance use among middle-school youth.  Additionally, the “PASS (Positive Alternative to School Suspension)” was introduced as an alternative for middle and high school students suspended from school.   

With a grant from the Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation, EPIC began offering a parenting program called “Parenting Wisely”.   

EPIC’s Monarch Project hosted the 1st Young Women’s Leadership Conference at St. Johns River Community College.  Over 60 young women from local high schools attended and participated in workshops on topics such as Time Management, Stress Management, and Interviewing Skills.  Additionally, panels on various career options were offered. 

In partnership with the State Attorney’s Office, EPIC began offering the ADI (Anti Drug Initiative) Level 1 program.  ADI was a pre-trial diversion program for first-time drug offenders that provided a sex-week counseling program in the hopes of reducing the number of repeat drug offenders. 

Happening in 2000: 

  • Bill Clinton was President until George W. Bush won the election.
  • Breathe was the #1 Song.
  • American Beauty won the Oscar for Best Picture.
  • Survivor was the top-rated television show. 
  • The first crew to live on the International Space Station arrives in space in 2000. 

Circuit Court Judge Robert Mathis announced the start-up and planning of the St. Johns County Drug Court. EPIC was a member of the task force given the responsibility to research and plan for bringing Drug Court to St. Johns County.  EPIC will be the treatment provider.  Drug Court was anticipated to start in 2002.

Secretary Joan DeWitt celebrated her 25th anniversary with EPIC.

The Monarch Project hosted ‘Girl Power’ seminars for incoming 9th grade girls to help them feel prepared and confident as they moved into high school.

Project Northland teamed up with SWAT to host a free night out for all middle school kids in St. Augustine.

Happening in 2001:

  • George W. Bush was President.
  • Hanging by a Moment was the #1 Song.
  • Gladiator won the Oscar for Best Picture.
  • Friends was the top-rated television show.
  • iTunes was released by Apple.

Florida First Lady Bush visits the Young Women’s Leadership Conference In 2002, Florida First Lady Columba Bush attended the 2nd Annual Young Women’s Leadership Conference (hosted by The Monarch Project) and met with attendees and provided the keynote speech.

Level 2 of the ADI (Anti-Drug Initiative) began in partnership with the State Attorney’s Office.

EPIC, in partnership with Flagler Hospital, offered a 6-week tobacco cessation program for adults, called “Kick Butt – Knocking out Nicotine”.

Project Success, a school-based student assistance program, was implemented at The Evelyn Hamblen Center.  Participating students attended a 10-week prevention education class, as well as individual and group counseling.

EPIC’s Community Education program continued to provide educational presentations in many of the local elementary schools and the most requested topics were Anger Management and Being Kind/Not Gossiping.

EPIC’s Outpatient Counseling Center began offering Moral Reconation Therapy – a cognitive-behavioral treatment system that leads to enhanced moral reasoning, better decision making, and more appropriate behavior.

Drug Court began in St. Johns County and EPIC was the treatment provider.  This specialty court is an intensive intervention that involves individuals in a yearlong course of treatment and court supervision.

Happening in 2002:

  • George W. Bush was President.
  • Lose Yourself was the #1 Song.
  • A Beautiful Mind won the Oscar for Best Picture.
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation was the top-rated television show.
  • Kelly Clarkson wins the 1st American idol Contest.

EPIC celebrated our 30th anniversary of serving the community.

The Monarch Project hosted a Summer Leadership Institute for rising 9th graders (as well as continuing with the Young Women’s Leadership Conference).

Happening in 2003:

  • George W. Bush was President
  • In da Club was the #1 Song
  • Chicago won the Oscar for Best Picture
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation was the top-rated television show.
  • The Toyota Camry was the best-selling car of 2003.

EPIC was selected to recruit, train, and license foster homes by St. Johns County Community Based Care.

The Prevention Coalition of St. Johns County, coordinate by EPIC, received a federal grant to aid in drug use prevention.

The Big Brothers Big Sisters program was awarded a federal grant that allowed them to have high school students mentor younger students and then in turn, the high school students were mentored by the St. Johns County Employee Sunshine Network.

Happening in 2004:

  • George W. Bush was President.
  • Yeah! was the #1 Song
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won the Oscar for Best Picture
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation was the top-rated television show.
  • Google introduced the free email service Gmail.

EPIC launched our new logo.  The idea of seeing EPIC as individuals contributing for the good of all whiles also being cooperative and collaborative also applies to bees and the building of their honeycombs and sustaining the hive.  These ideas were used in the development of the new logo.

EPIC was appointed as the site coordinator for the West Augustine Community as they received Official Recognition as a Weed and Seed Site.  Weed and Seed is a Department of Justice strategy with a two-pronged approach – local law enforcement agencies cooperate in ‘weeding’ out criminals and ‘seeding’ in prevention, treatment, and neighborhood revitalization services to the area.

In partnership with the SJC Sheriff’s Office, EPIC launched the SIGHT Program.  SIGHT (Serenity, Integrity, Goals, Hope, Trust) offered an in-jail treatment program for both women and men in the jail due to substance use issues.

EPIC offered The Bullying Prevention Program – a multi-level program designed to reduce or prevent bullying through creating a change school climate and providing intervention for youth and families.

EPIC’s Community Education program presented to every freshman at Flagler College regarding the dangers of binge drinking.

Happening in 2005:

  • George W. Bush was President
  • We Belong Together was the #1 Song
  • Million Dollar Baby won the Oscar for Best Picture
  • American Idol was the top-rated television show.
  • The video-sharing website “YouTube” was founded.

EPIC became a Medicaid provider. 

Implemented two new parenting programs: ‘Parent to Parent’ and ‘Parenting Wisely’ with the goal of providing parents with tools and resources to help protect their children from the “toxic culture”. 

BBBS of SJC implemented an ‘E-mentoring’ program between county employees and our High School Bigs for career mentoring. 

Happening in 2006: 

  • George W. Bush was President.
  • Bad Day was the #1 Song.
  • Crash won the Oscar for Best Picture
  • American Idol was the top-rated television show. 
  • Nintendo released the Wii gaming console.