Jim Abbott on Florida Travel
Postcards from Florida
October 15, 2011
Somehow, when I hear about an event called "Wonderful Wacky Women Week," the image that comes to mind is a cross between spring break and a reality TV show.
In reality, this wackiness — a week of beach fun, shopping and other diversions in Perdido Key on Florida's Panhandle — is all in the name of raising awareness and funds for ovarian cancer research. The event, set for Oct. 23-29, is the brainchild of author and artist Suzy Toronto, who focuses on female empowerment and lifestyle issues in gift items and books such as "The Secret Sisterhood of Wonderful Wacky Women."
Toronto founded the Wonderful Wacky Women organization 10 years ago. The group is dedicated to making a difference through events tied to cancer awareness and treatment, literacy, care packages for soldiers and other projects. In Perdido Beach, the "Redneck Riviera" chapter is now the largest of 73 such groups across the country. Since its formation in 2009, the local organization has raised $38,500 for cancer research.
The Perdido Beach club is the host for Wacky Women Week, which includes a beach day, trips to local attractions, shopping excursions, a U.S. Navy Blue Angels air show, dining at local eateries and parties.
The week culminates on Oct. 29, with the third annual "Making a Difference" Four Mile Walk/Run to support ovarian cancer research. The race starts at 9:30 a.m. at the landmark Flora-Bama oyster bar, 17401 Perdido Key Drive.
Organizers emphasize that the event welcomes men, too. Hey, it wouldn't take much to entice me to tag along for a week in Perdido Key. The name translates to "Lost Key," which is still a good description of the secluded vibe of 16 miles of unblemished wilderness tucked between Pensacola and Orange Beach, Ala. Roughly 60 percent of the land is part of federal or state parks.
The Perdido Key Chamber and Visitor Center is offering incentives such as $100 American Express gift cards and lodging discounts for condominiums or resorts in Perdido Key. Visit redneckrivierawonderfulwackywomen.com, for event registration and other information.