Firefly E-News

Glow Worthy Tales!

Posted on May 31, 2024



Dear Firefly Friends,


Everyone loves a good story. At Firefly, we hear amazing ones every day from our nonprofit clients. Then we have the pleasure of telling those stories to YOU! We’ve featured a few in this month’s newsletter in case you missed them.


All the fireflies feel tremendous satisfaction knowing we play a small part in helping our local charities fulfill their worthy missions.


The folks who work in our nonprofit community represent the very best of what it means to be human – compassionate, thoughtful, empathetic, devoted, and determined to create ways to advance the common good and lift people up.


Their stories are always fascinating – filled with challenges, obstacles, heroes and triumphs.


We hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as we enjoyed telling them.


With glowing gratitude,

Stacy Weller Ranieri

Founder, President and Chief Illuminator

This year, the Council on Aging of Martin County is celebrating its 50th anniversary. That’s quite an accomplishment! The organization is stronger than ever. But along with expanded programs and resources at its home at the Kane Center came a pressing need to tell its story better and more clearly – not only how it’s grown in scope but also how the Council on Aging and the Kane Center are related. So Firefly was engaged by the Council on Aging to refresh the organization's brand identity.


We spent over a year doing a deep dive into research and analysis - conducting stakeholder focus groups, polling and messaging. There were multiple goals. Create a new logo and branding that would look more contemporary, cheerful and appealing. Clarify the relationship between the Council on Aging of Martin County (the organization) and the Kane Center (the place). Communicate the depth and breadth of the many programs and services offered by the Council on Aging and how they fit together into a comprehensive whole. 


The new logo and the four colors within the graphic element tell the story of the COA’s four areas of services: Health & Wellness, Social Connections, Meals & Nutrition, and Memory & Care Giving. The new tag line, Your Hub for Senior Resources, sends the clear message that our community has a trusted source for everything related to caring for our seniors.

We also created four simple "taglines" to correspond to each service area, making them easy to remember: Stay Healthy, Be Active, Eat Well, Ask for Help. They offer clear, straightforward advice for aging well and give seniors and their families another way to understand all that Council on Aging Martin does for our community.


For much more info, be sure to check out their informative website.

There are always encouraging and innovative stories coming out of House of Hope. They've been a Firefly client for many years. We’ve been with them through some milestone activities and telling their stories through press releases and email communications:

  • the launch of their Traveling Nutrition Garden
  • the opening of their Packing House and the expansion of their Growing Hope Farm in Palm City
  • their successful fundraising and friend-raising events
  • their breakthrough story in a national publication about their efforts to bring fresh produce to their clients. You can read the story here.

For the past two years, we’ve also had a great time telling the story of House of Hope’s new signature gala - Cirque du Soirée. It’s the “must-go-to” event where surprises await. This year guests got to interact with golden statues, toss rings for great wine, choose their own bling from a dazzling table pulled together from their Thrift Store, feast on a gourmet meal, and dance the evening away. While the event is fun, the funds raised are for a serious purpose – to help empower Martin County residents in need to end hunger and hardship.

Be sure to mark your calendars for House of Hope’s Packing House Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at its Growing Hope Farm in Palm City for a celebration of community, sustainability, and the power of fresh, nutritious food.


Date: June 5th

Time: 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Location: 3706 SW Citrus Blvd. Palm City, FL 34990


There’s always something new at House of Hope! Check out their website.

Since its founding seven years ago, 2024 was truly a triumph for

Impact100 Martin. The list of “firsts” and “mosts” is awe-inspiring:

  • a record 422 members
  • distribution of four impactful grants worth $100,000 each awarded to Tykes & TeensARC of Treasure CoastCouncil on Aging, and ORCA.
  • the first Grants Award Showcase to give the community insight into the impact that Impact100 Martin grants have made in the community over the last six years
  • a kickoff event with philanthropist Wendy Steele, the woman who founded Impact100 and took it first nationally and then internationally.


It’s been an honor to tell story after story about Impact100 Martin, its members, and its tremendous impact on our quality of life in Martin County.

Martin County is beautiful – but not by chance. It takes volunteers throughout the community to keep it that way. As a Firefly client for 15 of our 20 years in existence, Keep Martin Beautiful looks to Firefly for management, communications, public outreach, event coordination, grants management, and many other organizational functions.

On May 1, we had the pleasure of coordinating all of the event management, promotion and day-of activities for KMB’s Environmental Stewardship Awards, an event that showcases the many ways in which Martin County residents use their creativity and passion for the environment to make this a better place today and for the future.


Fast-paced banter and off-script remarks between emcees Commissioner Ed Ciampi and the Firefly Group’s President and Chief Illuminator Stacy Ranieri kept the audience laughing and eager to hear which eight individuals and organizations out of the forty-four nominees would take home an award for their work on behalf of the environment.

This year’s winners include Youth Engagement: Jensen Beach Elementary School for their Eco-Action Team; Innovation: the Martin County Public Works Department and its Savannas Weir project; Environmental Restoration: Audubon of Martin County and its Pine Flatwoods Restoration; Community Enrichment: the Martin County Office of Tourism for its Explore Natural Martin Program; Outstanding Adopt-a-Road: Mike Gonzalez and family for his engaging outreach to get others involved in the program; Environmental Education: the City of Stuart for its backyard composting program; and Community Impact: House of Hope for their comprehensive approach to reducing waste and conserving resources.


A new award for 2024 honored Wendy Lee Parker, who served as the Martin County Solid Waste Manager for over twenty years and passed away in March 2024. Wendy was beloved among her family, friends, and colleagues and truly exemplified what it means to be an environmental steward. The Wendy Lee Parker Award was created in honor of her dedication to community improvement. It is presented to a government employee who goes above and beyond the call of duty and shows exceptional commitment to the community.

This year’s honoree was Anne Hawkins, City of Stuart Utilities and Engineering Program Manager, for her exceptional and longstanding commitment to environmental work and, notably, the creation of the popular Waterfest event.


For a complete list of all 44 nominees, descriptions of their projects, and more information about how to become involved with Keep Martin Beautiful, visit Keep Martin Beautiful at or call 772-781-1222

Everyone reading this can be part of the Martin County Forever story!

Martin County is a very special place. But it won’t be that way in the future unless we take steps now to preserve it. Firefly has been working hand in hand with the devoted Martin County Forever initiative volunteers to get the word out about the referendum that will enable our community to save certain specific, sensitive pieces of land.


In November, Martin County residents will vote on a half-cent sales tax that will generate funds and leverage state and federal grants to secure these lands and preserve them for future generations.


Please get involved and be a part of a lasting legacy. Help us spread the word. 


There are many ways you can help:


  • Host a Meet & Greet or Invite us to Speak to your civic or business group or homeowner’s association. Contact us
  • Word of Mouth. Tell your family, friends, neighbors, coworkers and employees about the Martin County Forever conservation referendum.
  • Volunteer for one of our Committees, display a Yard Sign on your property, put a Bumper Sticker on your vehicle.
  • Donate. Campaigns require money to get the message out to voters. Please help us educate voters and build widespread support for the conservation referendum by making a donation in any amount.


Please don’t read this and then stand on the sidelines. The time to act is now - before it’s too late. Once the land is gone, it will be gone forever.


The full referendum and ordinance language can be found here.

Any questions? Please reach out to


For much more info visit Follow them on Facebook or on Instagram.

Fireflies Out of the Jar

Our Fireflies will have lots of stories of their own to tell after this summer outside of the jar as they head off for interesting adventures.

Stacy's summer plans include a Smokey Mountain vacation to Banner Elk, NC for some cooler weather and watching fireflies at night. Other adventures include an RV excursion to The Gorge Amphitheatre in George, WA to spend three nights listening to the Dave Matthews Band.


Melissa will be hanging out with family on the beautiful shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, where the day time temps will be cooler than our Florida water temps! She is looking forward to exploring the resort along with the Laconia Motorcycle Week - the World's Oldest Motorcycle Rally.


Tiffany, just as you would expect from someone who is also the Executive Director of Keep Martin Beautiful, is spending the summer introducing her daughter Isla to the beautiful beaches, parks, and waterways of Martin County.



Reilly is going to Ireland for a football game - really. She’ll be sampling pub grub throughout the Emerald Isle with family and friends, and we’ll expect lots of stories about pub sing-alongs.




Pat will be hunkered down watching the Weather Channel to be sure that Jim Cantone, harbinger of destructive weather events, doesn’t get assigned to Martin County.

Our interns Cassia and Kenzie, 2024 high school graduates, will be enjoying a summer of freedom before they begin college. Cassia will be going to Vancouver, Canada, and Kenzie will be traveling to Alaska.


Then Cassia will be off to the University of South Florida in Tampa and Kenzie will head for the University of Florida in Gainesville.


We’ll be eager to see them at Christmas and hear stories of college life.

If you have a good story to tell and need some help getting your message out to an audience, let us know. It’s what we love to do.

Buzz Along With Us!
For more info, visit our websiteemail or call us at 772.287.5272.


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