by Donna Fiala
My goodness, isn’t the year going by quickly? I can’t believe it is almost Easter and soon our Winter Residents will be leaving…………. which means a huge portion of our volunteers will be leaving, because these people come down from up north, roll up their sleeves and pitch in to help. Another thing we will see is all the fun and activities, parties and fund raisers, events, plays and entertainment will scale down to a minimum until they come back again next fall. This year has been a good year for all. Many of our unemployed workforce have gone back to work, business has been better than it has been in – I bet five years – tourism revenues are up, foreclosures are coming down, and home sales are improving. Hopefully, this summer, weather will be kind to us, we can relax a little and then start gearing up for the beginning of a new and successful Season.
The St. Patrick’s Day parade was so much fun. Kathleen Reynolds and her Sons & Daughters of Erin worked ever so hard to present another outstanding parade. The only thing they didn’t do was order cooler weather. Hasn’t this been an extremely warm winter? I think I noticed about a week of spring before summer set in………………..in FEBRUARY! In my 38 years in Collier County I don’t ever remember a “winter” (if you can call it that) as warm as this one. No matter the warm weather, the two day festival and parade were wonderful. And of course, our regular volunteer workforce was out helping every step of the way. Did you ever notice you see a lot of the same volunteer faces at every event?
Speaking of events, the Knights of Columbus and the Columbiettes held a St. Patrick’s/St. Joe’s Dinner Dance at the San Marco Catholic Church Hall featuring Irish food (as usual, Mike Ward and his helpers prepared an awesome dinner), Irish music, and the Gorman Girls Irish Step-Dancers. I loved hearing members of the audience whisper that they watched these girls grow up to beautiful ladies who are now teaching other children the art of step-dancing. I couldn’t help but think that this church membership is more like a family, caring for each other, encouraging the young ones, planning events to keep their membership involved and growing closer all the time.