Being the City’s 50th anniversary of incorporation, 2011 was a huge year for the Port St. Lucie Historical Society. The 200-page history book Port St. Lucie at 50: A City for All People by Nina Baranski was published. Richard McAfoos oversaw the Society’s production of a full-length docudrama City of Dreams, which later won “Best Documentary” and “Best Theme Song” awards at the Treasure Coast Film Festival. It was premiered at the April celebrations and made available as a DVD. The soundtrack won the Soundtrack of the Year honor for its composer Mark Barnes at the 21st Annual Los Angeles Music Awards.
The Society took an active part in all of the anniversary celebrations. Numerous oral histories were recorded for the docudrama and future use in cooperation with the City’s Communications Department in what has grown into a continuing program.
McAfoos addressed the St. Lucie County Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Class on Feb. 10 and the Chamber's Young Professionals Council on Feb. 15, 2011. He spoke to the local Peace Corps National 50th Anniversary event on March 1, the county's Economic Development Council on Aug. 2 and the Cascades Men's Club, assisted by Grabhorn, on Aug. 13, 2011
The Society purchased and transferred archives to the Past Perfect museum software program used by historical associations throughout the U.S. The website, pslhistory.org, grew and added a gift shop and Q&A section.
JOAN HOLLY BEYER, HISTORICAL SOCIETY SECRETARY, DIES SUDDENLY
Joan Holly Beyer, 72, of Port St. Lucie, Florida, died unexpectedly November 29, 2011, at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, Fort Pierce, Florida.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, she resided for many years in Bergen County, New Jersey. Joan lived and worked in London, England, and Sydney, Australia, and travelled widely. Joan received her Bachelor of Arts from Fairleigh Dickinson University and Doctor of Jurisprudence from Rutgers University School of Law, North New Jersey.
She moved to Port St. Lucie, Florida, in 1999 and was a Realtor for 10 years and a member of the Realtors Association of St. Lucie.
Upon her retirement from real estate, Joan was an active member in many organizations including serving on the boards of the Port St. Lucie Historical Society, the Port St. Lucie Downtown Lions Club and the Port St. Lucie Council of Arts Corporation. She was a founding member of the Friends of the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens, a member of the A. E. Backus Museum and St. Lucie Historical Society and served as a volunteer at the St. Lucie County Regional History Center.
The Society was the featured charity and received funds from the Coalition of Sandpiper Bay Associations/Club Med golf tournament, conceived and directed by McAfoos, who also headed the coalition. The Society’s team of Dennis Grabhorn, Sandi Rodriguez, Larry Kilburn and Dylan Kelley took first place.
Membership gatherings were held. Work continued on archiving and the web site. Discussions continue with city about site for a museum.