Emerald Coast Autism Center

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Cruisin’ Tiki’s Destin celebrates 5 years, raises 6K for local autism center

Published: July 26, 2022
 DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — A tiki party on the harbor Saturday raised more than $6,400 for a local autism non-profit. Cruisin’ Tiki’s Destin hosted the business’s 5th-anniversary party at the Edge Seafood and Skybar.

Hailey and Ian Blaise brought the concept to Destin in 2017.

“We came here just kind of on a whim and just thought it would be a really great thing to bring here,” said Hailey. “I mean it’s a no-brainer. They’re the cutest little tiki boats ever so and you know, when we came here I didn’t know anybody here and just kind of started everything up and so it’s really a big deal to us because we’ve made it to five years.”

The tiki-boats are circle floating structures that tour the Destin harbor and local waterways. Each boat can hold up to 6 passengers with USCG-certified captains on board.

$3,242 in entry donations to the anniversary party were given to the Emerald Coast Autism Center in Niceville. The Dugas Family Foundation is matching the donations for the $6,484 total.

“We are completely honored to be named as a beneficiary. It was not an expected thing at all,” said Staci Berryman, Executive director of ECAC.

Berryman said the money helps fund their biggest project to date, a new facility to help bring people with autism into the workforce. “We are just breaking ground on a second facility. A 20,000-square-foot center which is an educational facility with eight classrooms and a state-of-the-art Vocational Center. So we can start training teens and young adults.”

Read the article here. www.wkrg.com/northwest-florida/okaloosa-county/cruisin-tikis-destin-celebrates-5-years-raises-6k-for-local-autism-center/