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US 41/CR 951 Project Celebration


Submitted Local driving just became a lot easier with the completion of roadwork at the intersection of US 41 and SR/CR 951 (Collier Boulevard). On Friday, December 4 at 10 AM the Collier County Board of County Commissioners will have a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the US 41 and SR/CR 951 Intersection Capacity Improvements and SR 951 Resurfacing Project. The project was a joint engineering endeavor of Collier County and the Florida Department of Transportation. There will be a tent set up for the ribbon cutting ceremony on the Northwest corner of US 41/Collier Boulevard, next ... Read More »

Bless the Blue

From left: Ofc. Adam Nelson, Ofc. Jeff Stafford, Ofc. Bob Marvin,  Ofc. Frank Steiger, Ofc. Clayton Smith and Sgt. Hector Diaz. PHOTO BY FRANK STEIGER

Submitted On November 21st the First Baptist Church of Naples hosted an event titled “Bless the Blue/Back the Badge.” The purpose of the event was to salute the law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every day in order to keep Collier County safe. “Bless the Blue/Back the Badge” allowed the community to get together and show their support. It was their way of saying “thank you.”   Read More »

Marco Burglary Facts

Marco Everyone is talking about the recent burglaries on Marco Island. Many feel shaken that this could happen in their idyllic island paradise. The truth is that Marco Island burglary incidents are low. Coastal Breeze News spoke to Chief Al Schettino to find out the facts. In 2013 there were 31 burglaries. That number was reduced to 20 burglaries in 2014. In the first six months of this year, four homes were burglarized on Marco Island. Even factoring in the recent 11, our burglary numbers are far lower than most neighborhoods in Florida. But those are just numbers. Anyone who ... Read More »

Nominate a Family in Need

Submitted Starting with its 30th anniversary two years ago, the Law Offices of William G. Morris, P.A. has been donating an all-expenses-paid vacation to Disney World to a local family. The firm announced today that it needs your help to find a local family who would benefit from its “For the Family” holiday give-away. This year the firm is donating to a local family of four, three-day park passes, two nights at a hotel, and a gift card for incidentals such as food, gas or parking. Attorney William G. Morris said, “My staff and I really enjoy participating in this ... Read More »

Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Walkers, from left: Michael Cirillo, Jan Cirillo, Abby Cichon, Ray Nutter,  Jim Cichon, Joe Ann Vesely, Shirley Woolaway (Group Leader), Jack Markel, Barb Markel (Team Captain), Marilou Casey, Mary Ann Tittle, Suzanne Schmachtenberg, Ray Tittle,
Katie Denning and Marti Spence. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Submitted Members and friends of the Marco Spirit Team from Marco Island recently participated in the Alzheimer’s Walk at Fleischmann Park in Naples. The team was comprised of members and friends of the Memory Loss/Caregiver Support Group of Marco. Out of 77 teams, the team came in second in fundraising by raising $7,215. Of the 77 teams, there were 604 walkers and the grand total raised for Collier County was $87,617.   Read More »

Car Show Coming!


Submitted The Marco Island Car Show, hosted by the Kiwanis Club, is coming to Marco Island on February 14, 2016. This will be the Marco Island Car Show’s 12th year, and this year’s show promises to be better than ever. There is no fee to enter your car and over 20 trophies will be awarded in various classes. The car show falls on Valentine’s Day, and what a wonderful way to celebrate with your loved one. DJ Steve Reynolds will be back, playing 50’s and 60’s music. Marco Island Academy cheerleaders and the Marco Island Charter Middle School jazz band ... Read More »

Senior Night

Tyler Wallace, with parents Jessica and Fritz Braz, was honored with other athletes. PHOTOS BY FRANK STEIGER

By Val Simon Senior Night is a once in a lifetime event. After four years of high school, with thoughts of the future and further education on their minds, seniors active in fall sports are honored by parents, faculty and fellow students and teammates. Coastal Breeze was fortunate enough to cover the Senior Night at a recent football game at Winterberry Park. Our coverage inadvertently omitted two seniors. We regret these seniors weren’t featured with their teammates! After all of their hard work and participation, they deserve to be recognized. Congratulations to seniors Tyler Wallace and Duneshka Cruz. Coastal ... Read More »

Joy of Giving Changes Web Address

Submitted Web Address The Joy of Giving holds their annual shopping event at Walmart on Collier Boulevard. Now in its 27th year, Joy of Giving provided Christmas for over 1,000 local children last year. It takes some mighty generous hearts to meet that challenge. Throughout the year, kind-hearted souls make donations to the Joy of Giving 501(c) 3 to help them meet the challenge. Many of those donations come through the form of online contributions to the Joy of Giving’s website. That is why it is extremely important everyone gets the word out that the Joy of Giving’s website address ... Read More »

Marco’s First Firefighters Ball


By Samantha Husted On November 15, the Marco Island Fire Rescue Foundation held it’s first ever Firefighters Ball in honor of the island’s 50th anniversary. Firefighters, first responders, EMTs, retirees and their families were invited to an evening of dancing and fun at the Island Country Club. Marco Island Fire Rescue Foundation (MIFRF) president Dianna Dohm commenced the evening by welcoming guests, as well as acknowledging the members of the MIFRF who helped make the night possible. She then turned the microphone over to fire station administrative assistant, Mary Husted. Mary, who’s been at the station since 1998, introduced ... Read More »

Party Like It’s 1965


By Coastal Breeze News Staff The Marco Island Historical Society put on a retro 1965-style party in honor of the City’s 50th Anniversary. And party they did. Guests were costumed in 1965 attire, bell-bottoms and afros, there were go-go girls, peace symbols and tie-dye everywhere. DJ Madman Milaro entertained as guests came in. They enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and perused the huge line of auction treasures. A buffet dinner followed, catered by Stonewalls. The 1965-era, style music was provided by the Exit 101 Band, complete with a twist contest and “Best Hipster Couple” contest. There were over 80 silent ... Read More »

Chanukah at the JCMI

By Sandra Hechler When I think of Chanukah, I see in my mind’s eye spinning dreidels, glowing candles and luscious latkes (potato pancakes). I think of the tiny bit of oil, which escaped defilement in the Jerusalem Temple during the rule of the Hellenic Syrians B.C.E. The oil miraculously provided light for eight days. Hence, this holiday lasts for eight days. Most of all I thank a small band of Jewish fighters, led by Judah Maccabee, who repelled the aggressor so that they and their Jewish brethren could live and worship as they pleased. Chanukah is a holiday whose ideas freedom-loving people ... Read More »

Gearing Up For an Award Winning Gala

Dick and Debra  Shanahan, co-chairs ACS Imagination Ball. PHOTOS BY JESSICA HERNSTADT

By Coastal Breeze News Staff The American Cancer Society’s Imagination Ball 2016 is not until March, but preparations for the award-winning gala have been in progress since this summer. On Saturday, March 5, 2016 the American Cancer Society will hold its annual gala- the Imagination Ball – at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort and Spa. ACS staff and volunteers are already hard at work planning for an event to top last year’s award-winning gala. On November 1 and 2, the American Cancer Society (ACS) held a “Gala University” in Dallas, where volunteers and staff came together from all over ... Read More »

CIS Ornament Contest Winners

Judges for the CIS Ornament Contest. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Submitted The Christmas Island Style (CIS) Ornament Contest for 2016 was underway from October 10 to November 10, 2015. With assistance from art teacher Mrs. Gigi Garraty, 115 Marco Island Charter Middle School (MICMS) students participated in this year’s CIS Ornament Contest. The theme for the 2016 ornament was a “Burrowing Owl.” On November 20, the final judging took place at the Marco Island Center for the Arts. The contest judges included State Representative Kathleen Passidomo, Marco Island Planning Board Chair Charlette Roman, attorney Craig Woodward, Tom Wagor, First Florida Integrity Bank, Keith Dameron, Iberia Bank, Brandy Simpson, New Penn ... Read More »

Goodland Art Bazaar

Some of “Judy Judy Judy: Sea Shell Embellished Art.”

By Samantha Husted Though Goodland is only a short drive away, it’s a community so unique it almost feels like a different world entirely. It has it’s own music scene, it’s own art scene, and of course, it’s own bar scene. It’s tucked into a little corner of the island, yet it’s bursting with all this energy. It’s no surprise then, that it would attract artists and foodies from all over Southwest Florida. On November 14th the Goodland Civic Association held its Fifth Annual Holiday Art & Craft Bazaar at MarGood Harbor Park in Goodland. It was an overcast, ... Read More »

Meals of Hope Next Year: New Captain, Same Hope

Coastal Breeze News sponsored a table of volunteers.

By Coastal Breeze News Staff The 2015 Meals of Hope packaging event on November 14 was a monumental success. Over 550 volunteers packaged a record 232,000 meals in less than two hours. The group was also successful in achieving their 2015 goal of raising $45,000. After the event, Meals of Hope gives the packaged meals away free of charge. A distribution network, which utilizes the Harry Chapin Food Bank and Collier Harvest, insures that the meals are given to needy children. The mission of Meals of Hope is to ensure that no child in Collier County misses even a single ... Read More »

Hot Rod Turtle at YMCA

Posing with Hot Rod, from left: Ann Hughes (Community Foundation),  John Riley, Steve Garske, artist Christi Vadnais, Charlotte Garske, Cindy Love and Cheryl McDonnell. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Submitted The Greater Marco Family YMCA was selected to house “Hot Rod,” one of 50 turtle sculptures from the community arts project, “Turtles on the Town.” Hot Rod, a turtle with yellow, orange and red racing flames, is the creation of artist Christi Vadnais. On November 12, Hot Rod was placed in front of the YMCA’s new Youth Development Center. It will be on temporary display until March 2016, when Hot Rod will be auctioned off to a permanent home. The YMCA would love to be Hot Rod’s permanent home; Consider bidding so Hot Rod can stay. Bidding will take ... Read More »

Passionate About Real Estate

By Coastal Breeze News Staff For nearly 25 years George Percel has been intimately involved in the Marco Island and Naples real estate world. George’s love for the real estate industry saw him as the Executive Director of the Marco Island Area Association of Realtors where he worked closely with realtors, the bodies that govern realtors, and the laws that guide them. His experience includes being the Managing Broker for two of the largest real estate firms on Marco Island. During this time, George acquired an in-depth understanding of the real estate industry. As the real estate transaction becomes more ... Read More »

A SALUTE to Line of Duty Members

Submitted Ruben Zamora, a realtor with Keller Williams, introduces the SALUTE to Line of Duty Members, which contributes up to 25% of a realtor’s commission towards closing costs for members that are U.S. veterans, police officers, fire fighters, medical staff, and teachers. The program allows for those members to apply the commission towards their closing cost settlements, and would be reflected in their HUD-1 statements of the savings. This, in conjunction with other state benefits such as the Florida Bond, SHIP Program, and Military Heroes Government Loan Program, can result in little out-of-pocket costs. “I have been in the military ... Read More »

DAR Honors Veterans, Local Artist

“From Sea to Shining Sea” by Malenda Trick’s depicts all U.S. war efforts, including fighter jets in Afghanistan.

By Chris Curle Art depicting patriotism was the centerpiece of the November 19th meeting of the Marco chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) at the Hideaway Beach Club. Local artist, Malenda Trick, described the inspiration for her 18-foot long “From Sea to Shining Sea” patriotic mural. One side represents America at war. The other side depicts Florida’s war efforts. “I’ve tried to include all the forces in all our wars, including the home forces, men and women, civilians,” she said. “I didn’t want to leave anyone out.” “People have brought me original pictures, magazines and patches, posters, fighter and ... Read More »

Women in the Everglades

Local author Marya Repko at a book signing. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Submitted In her book “Women in the Everglades” local author Marya Repko encapsulates information from her previous “Brief History” books, but adds much more, as she summarizes the role of women in the settling of South Florida from the east to west coasts and around Lake Okeechobee. After describing the hardships of pioneer life, the book cites examples of how women took a leading role on environmental issues, even before they could vote. There are numerous historic photos, a timeline, a list of further reading, and brief biographies of some of the key people. Craig R. Woodward, Chairman Collier County ... Read More »