Celebrating July 4th at Sawgrass

“My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.”

July 4th at Sawgrass

July 4th at Sawgrass

July 4th brings about many emotions. Thankfulness for all the lives sacrificed to give us these freedoms and joy that we get to spend time with friends and family!

Sawgrass went all out this July 4th! The celebrations officially started on July 3rd and lasted through Sunday, July 7th. With contests, parades, family friendly activities, and amazing food options, there was an event (and a favorite food) for everyone. It’s almost too much to even write about, but I’ll try! Haha!

July 4th at Sawgrass July 4th at Sawgrass July 4th at Sawgrass

We were members last July 4th, and we spent the day at the beach with family. This year, we decided to make reservations at the Big Top Tent, and I’m so glad we did. The boys LOVED it. They got tattoos, loved the bounce houses, and ended up sweaty and dirty from all the running around. They slept so good that night! Us adults loved it too. From lawn games like ladder ball and corn hole to drinks, fireworks, live music, and socializing with friends, it was a great night!

Golf cart parade

Where else can you see golf carts like this?!?! Members went all out this year. They took the their theme very seriously. From Mount Sawgrass to Harry Potter, they decorations were fantastic! There was also a DJ and snow cones!

Winners for Best in Show were:
1st Place – The Iannella (Michael) Family; Harry Potter
2nd Place – The O’Haran Family; Doghouse
3rd Place – Mary Slifer and Family; Legos

Golf Cart Parade Golf Cart Parade Golf Cart Parade

Here are some other pictures from the morning:

Golf Cart Parade Golf Cart Parade Golf Cart Parade Golf Cart Parade Golf Cart Parade

Big Top Tent

We were awestruck walking up to the tent. The food smelled amazing, and the bounce houses out on the driving range captured Will and Wyatt’s attention immediately! First, we found our seats, then we went over to get their face painted and tattoos. They both loved the gray airbrush tattoos and ended up going back for more! I even got a blue and red tattoo on my leg to get into the spirit. Next, their shoes and socks came off, and they took off for the bounce houses! Wyatt’s favorite was beside the rock climbing wall. He was strapped in a harness and flew up in the air guided by these long “arms” on either side. It allowed the kids to jump really high…he basically thought he was Spiderman! The thrill on his face was fun to watch!

July 4th at Sawgrass July 4th at Sawgrass

Will’s favorite was the normal bounce house that you go in and jump until you can’t jump any more! He also enjoyed the rock climbing wall and made it all the way to the top! We loved that the kids could go run and play. “We loved the activities for the kids. It was great that the girls had things to do separate from us and that it was a safe place for them to hang out with their friends,” says Stephanie Sabato. We heard the same praises from many families that night. Sawgrass did a great job of thinking about all age groups. They even had a bounce house specifically for babies under one! July 4th at Sawgrass July 4th at Sawgrass July 4th at Sawgrass July 4th at Sawgrass July 4th at Sawgrass

The camaraderie between older kids and younger was evident. I saw Evan Long teaching some of the younger siblings how to play ladder ball…he was so patient! Evan’s mom, Lindsay Long says about the event, “Our favorite event at Sawgrass is the 4th of July dinner and fireworks. It has quickly become a family tradition. Our kids love all of the activities and we enjoy the band and delicious food!”

Us adults enjoyed playing Ladderball, corn hole, and checkers. When we weren’t playing games, we walked down to the bounce houses and chatted with other parents and watched the kiddos.

The hotdog eating contest was a riot! I tried to get my little guy Wyatt to enter, but he said no…I’m not surprised! 🙂

Hot Dog Eating Contest winners from left to right:
3rd Sean McHale – Member
2nd Ray Gottschalk – Member (grandson of Ray)
1st Andrew Chowske – Guest of Sean McHale

Hot dog eating contest winners

The food

The food was delicious. According to Jennifer Werba, “The 4th of July event is by far our favorite event of the year, and we always plan to stay in town so we can come. The food was incredible, and my personal favorite was the beef brisket! Perry was a brilliant Uncle Sam, and he did a great job with the variety and quality of food this year.”

July 4th at Sawgrass July 4th at Sawgrass

Here was the menu for the Big Top Tent as well as at the Beach Club:

Raging Bull BBQ Station
Beef Brisket PBR, Smoked Chicken, BBQ Pork Ribs, Whiskey Baked Beans, White Cheddar Mac n Cheese, Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

Chilling and Grilling Salad Bar
Green Apple Coleslaw, Southern Potato Salad, Grilled burgers with topping bar, Grilled Hot Dogs with Condiments Bar, Beer Brats with Griddled Onions and Spicy Mustard, Ranch & BBQ House Chips

Kraft Totchos Bar
Crispy Tots with a Beer Cheese Fondue
Add-Ins: Royal Red Shrimp, Pulled Pork Kielbasa, Brisket

Taste of the Sea
Paella Mixta, Mussels, Peel & Eat Shrimp

Sweet Endings
Apple Hand Pies, Cookies, Ice Cream Novelties, Cupcake Salute

My personal favorite was the Kraft Totchos Bar and the Apple Hand Pies…yum! But the brisket was “hands down the best beef brisket I have ever had,” says Stephanie.

July 4th at Sawgrass July 4th at Sawgrass July 4th at Sawgrass July 4th at Sawgrass July 4th at Sawgrass July 4th at Sawgrass

This was just the food at the tent. Throughout the weekend, there was a grab and go menu at the Beach Club as well as special themed dinners in the evening including a Seaside Buffet on July 3rd. Some of the deliciousness included clam chowder, grilled corn, poke bowl station, poached Mayport shrimp cocktail, chile garlic broiled oysters, herb roasted prime rib, beet-roasted salmon, chicken dijonaise with pasta, and garlic roasted broccoli.

The fireworks

Talk about a show! I was not prepared for the level of this fireworks show. Members told me leading up to the 4th that this is the BEST show in the area, and now I agree. Rain was threatening, but it held off! There were lawn chairs everywhere, and golf carts as far as I could see down the golf course! It was absolutely spectacular.

July 4th at Sawgrass July 4th at Sawgrass

“A special thanks to Terri in reservations for helping seat all of our friends close to each other. The kiddos absolutely loved the balloons, face painting, and bounce houses. My oldest was so happy to finally make it to the top of the rock wall this year. The amazing fireworks were the icing on the cake!” – Jennifer Werba

We are all so blessed to experience life here. Not just here in America, but here at Sawgrass. A special thanks to the Sawgrass Country Club leadership and to all the staff for making this July 4th unforgettable!

July 4th at Sawgrass

Sawgrass Women’s Club – Welcoming the Next Generation

Us women need to stick together. The amount of times I’ve taken advantage of “the village” of moms around me is countless! From asking for help when I was sick to borrowing clothes because one of my boys had an accident, my friends have been there for me and my boys when life gets a little unpredictable…which is every week when you have little boys.

Sawgrass Women's Club Sawgrass Women's Club

Sawgrass Women's Club

We all have something to give whether young or old, married or single, working or not working. That’s what makes our community of women special. The Sawgrass Women’s Club “was formed in November 1980 by a small group of women who wanted to meet their neighbors and make friends while enjoying all that this area has to offer.” That message rings true today.

About the Sawgrass Women’s Club

The Sawgrass Women’s Club has grown to over 400 members! Monthly meetings are now hosted at the Beach Club (because of construction at the Golf Club House) at 10am. Each meeting features social time, a speaker, and lunch. The speakers topics range from gardening to health and wellness.

Sawgrass Women's Club

Every month, there are countless activities offered to members including outings, golf groups, lessons for games like Mahjongg, arts and crafts projects, walking groups, birthday lunches, etc. Most of the events take place during the day as most members are retired and have their days free.

Why create a Next Generation group?

This is tough for us young moms, even those who don’t work full time. Managing a family heavily involved in sports and activities, school functions, volunteering at school, and preschool age children can make daytime activities hard. And if you happen to work full time, it’s just impossible to come to a meeting at 10am on a Monday or any other daytime activity.

Sawgrass Women's Club Sawgrass Women's Club Sawgrass Women's Club

Debbie Tucker, immediate past president of the Women’s Club, knew there was an opportunity to reach us young moms and put together programming that speaks to us. Little did she know, Jocelyn Becksmith and I had a conversation about creating a moms group within Sawgrass around Christmas time. A couple months later, we got connected with Debbie and told her our ideas, and she told us hers. It was a match made in heaven! She introduced us to Jeanne Piltcher, the current President, and off we went. They were on board with what we envisioned, and we have been working closely to kick off our group ever since.

Our first event was a Tiki Party on the beach! With the help of Donna and Perry, we organized drinks and appetizers down at the Tiki Bar. We had a guy playing guitar, cocktail tables set up, and the weather was gorgeous that night! Here are some pictures from the event.

Sawgrass Women's Club Sawgrass Women's Club Sawgrass Women's Club Sawgrass Women's Club

We talked about events that we want to plan and initiatives we want to lobby for in Sawgrass. Here are just a sample of events that we would like to plan. Of course, these events will be open to the greater Sawgrass Women’s Club, not just our group.

-Monthly happy hours at the Beach Club
-Monthly Bunco groups hosted in participants homes
-Flower arranging class with wine and appetizers
-Mom-panels where us young moms can learn from seasoned moms on various topics
-Spa days/nights
-Wine tastings
-Beach cookouts/bonfires
-Organized shark tooth hunts
-Play dates for moms with preschool aged children
-Activities for moms and their middle schoolers
-Technology classes

This is just naming a few! Join the Women’s Club, and give us your ideas, too.

Our next event will take place on August 15th at the Beach Club, and it will be a celebration of school being back in session! Moms night out! Who’s in? It will be a dinner or happy hour, the details haven’t been determined yet, but it will be FUN!

Sawgrass Women's Club Sawgrass Women's Club

If you would like to join the Women’s Club (and have loads of fun), follow the links below. To join, women must either belong to Sawgrass Country Club OR live within the gates of Sawgrass Country Club.

Step 1: Fill out an online membership form.

Step 2: Pay dues online ($41.55) or you can send a check to Sara-Ann Gomez ($40). Here’s her email to get in touch with her: gomezsaraann@gmail.com

Step 3: Register for an event, and meet new friends.

I look at these older women with respect and admiration. They have raised children, had successful careers, and conquered trials through life. I love that we can talk about serious stuff like raising children or how to balance life in general…or, we can giggle and laugh over wine while swapping stories about moving around the country, the best way to fry chicken, or how to communicate with our husbands more efficiently! There are great things that happen when you put three generations in a room together! So join us! Make your mark on Sawgrass, and make friends along the way!