Robyn A. Rennick, the Liars Challenge emcee, at left, congratulates the winners, from left: winner Mort from Michigan. Dr. Pat Hardman, runner-up Steve Evans and third place Pat Nease. [ Robyn Rennick | Contributed ]
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Liars raise $2K for Easter food drive

The liars came out Friday, all in fun and for a good cause.

Coastal Community Association held the 10th annual Liar’s Challenge at The Haughty Heron Feb. 23 in support of the Sheriff’s Easter Basket and Food Drive and Coastal Community Association charities.

Warming up the crowd was The Ukulele Orchestra of the Forgotten Coast, led by Brooks Jones. The crowd got into the spirit and it became a sing-a-long of oldies. If you haven’t gotten the opportunity to hear this group, take the next one that comes along. 

Robyn Avery Rennick bounced on stage at 6 p.m. as the emcee and Sheriff Mike Harrison opened up the Liar’s Challenge with several true stories from encounters he has had on patrols.

The sheriff’s stories included stopping a man in an Easter Rabbit costume walking down Hwy 71 with a case of beer in one pink paw. It was wintertime and the rabbit explained, “It was the warmest thing I have.” The sheriff doesn’t need to tell any lies, because crazy things like this happen all the time on patrols.

Ten liars took the mic to wow the audience and judges with their tales. Liars came from as far away as Queensland, Australia, and as close as Howard’s Creek and Wewa. One liar even came from Rooster Run, Kentucky, so Kenny Miller said; we still haven’t found Rooster Run on Google. 

Stories ranged from a wedding proposal made from the stage of Carnegie Hall (told by John Nagy); to tornadoes on an Army base (told by Alice Kelley); to being mistaken for an Indy 500 race car driver (told by Maria Georgianfandis – that’s her name, so this “liar” says).

Fluffy and Spot, dolphins that live in Ray Merrill’s swimming pool, continued their great lives as they sang on Broadway. Newcomer liars Jillian Atlas in a piglet suit and Derrell Jones finished out the liar roundup.

Our panel of judges used a strict points system to identify the best liars. First place winner was Mort from Minnesota who told about winning the lottery for a trip into space on SpaceX. Second place went to our Aussie friend Steve Evans, who rescued and raised a little Joey – who quickly became a big kangaroo; and third place went to Pat Nease for her hilarious mountain stories about visiting Uncle Shelby and his family.

The Liar’s Challenge raised $2,000 which will go towards the Sheriff’s Easter Basket and Food Drive and Coastal Community Association support of other charities. Through March 22, CCA will have drop off places for people to donate Easter Baskets and/or stuffed toys so that over 250 children can have an Easter basket on Easter morning. Families in need will also receive food gift cards.

Drop-off places are The Sheriff’s Office, Simmons Bayou Executive Offices – 1934 State Route 30 A, Simmons Bayou; South Gulf Fire Rescue Station 1 – Cape San Blas Road; Beach Realty 223 Reed Avenue; St Joseph Bay Golf Club – Country Club Dr.; Capital City Bank Highway 98 Port St. Joe; The Cape Trading Post – Cape San Blas Rd.; The Mercantile Mill Sweet Shop – 105 Good Morning Street; Southern Styles 225 South Hwy 71, Wewahitchka.

The deadline for drop off is March 22.

Donations may also be sent to 1934 State Road 30A, Port St. Joe, FL 32456, made out to Coastal Community Initiatives with Easter Baskets in the subject line.

Other sponsors of the Liars Challenge were The Haughty Heron, Bay Storytellers, and Coast2Coast Printing.

The Coastal Community Association extends thanks to all who came and donated Easter baskets, stuffed toys, and cash donations; Gulf County residents’ and visitors’ generosity will make many children smile this Easter.

For more information, contact Coastal Community Association at (850) 229-7799.

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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