Tuesday , October 13 2015
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Teacher Meghan Bathke Raises Funds, Awareness for Youth Cancer

Meghan Bathke holds a sign for the  Ulman Cancer Fund, snow-capped mountains in the background. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

By Coastal Breeze News Staff Meghan Bathke learned how to ride a bicycle in January 2015. It’s a good thing she is a fast learner, because just six months later she embarked on a 70-day, 4,260-mile bicycle journey to raise funds for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. Meghan, age 27, is a third grade teacher at Tommie Barfield Elementary School. This summer she joined a group of 29 other young adults in 4K for Cancer, a cross-country bicycle trek whose focus is to raise funds, awareness and provide companionship and service to young adults battling cancer. All funds ... Read More »

Dolcezza Sweets Grand Opening Ceremony

The Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony officially welcomed Dolcezza to Marco Island.

By Samantha Husted On September 22, Dolcezza Sweets held its grand opening, ribbon cutting ceremony. Dolcezza is a sweet shop that specializes in handmade chocolates, truffles, confections, authentic Italian gelato and hand-paddled fudge. About 70% of their products are made from scratch and each gelato flavor comes from their own original recipes. They also offer customizable gift baskets, filled with your choice of sweets, for any occasion. Dolcezza is owned by Steven Tabeek and Gabriella Gaggiano, a husband and wife duo who just recently gave birth to a baby girl, Chiara. Before opening Dolcezza, Steven and Gabriella had been living ... Read More »

Marco Island Center For The Arts Hosts Photography Exhibit

Jennifer Semro

Submitted The Marco Island Center for the Arts has announced its October exhibit in the main gallery will be a photography art show with the Digital Photography Club of Naples. For the second year, photographers will display their beautiful images at the Center for the Arts. “These photographs are truly breathtaking,” said Hyla Crane, the Center for the Art’s executive director. It includes subjects as diverse as wildlife, street corners and landscape. “One can almost get lost in each picture,” concluded Crane. The photography exhibit will be on display beginning October 5 and closing October 28, 2015. As with all ... Read More »



By Samantha Husted Wake Up Marco is Marco Island’s premier coffee café that boasts freshness and quality drinks. Locally owned and family run, the coffee shop has been operating for about 10 months. Wake Up Marco offers organic, handcrafted coffee, tea and bakery items. For those serious coffee lovers out there, Wake Up Marco also sells wholesale coffee beans from areas across the world. They have beans available from Guatemala, Costa Rica, Asia, Ethiopia and Kenya. Owner and 12-year Marco Island resident, Oscar Galvez, believes that he has the best coffee in all of Southwest Florida. The quality of his ... Read More »

JCMI Bingo Opens Monday October 5, for its 17th Season


Submitted Monday Night Bingo will begin its 17th season. Sue Baum, Chairperson of the Monday Night Bingo at the Jewish Congregation of Marco Island announces that Bingo will re-open on Monday, October 5, 2015, at the congregation, located at 991 Winterberry Drive. The Bingo Committee has re-assembled. Many have been with the game since the inception, and are known to the players Doors will open at 5:30 PM, Bonanza is posted at 6:15 PM, and the game is called at 7 PM. The Bingo Committee will continue to round off winnings, when there are multiple winners, which awards the players additional money. Read More »

Marco Island Lions Club Meetings Resume


Submitted The Marco Island Lions Club will open its fall season with a dinner meeting on Wednesday, October 7 at Mario’s Restaurant, 845 Bald Eagle Drive. Social hour is at 6:30 PM with dinner at 7:00 PM. We will order from the menu of many selections. Call Secretary Lee Pershing for reservations at 293-293-2700. Our featured speaker will be Art Bookbinder, President of Lighthouse of Collier. The two groups have many objectives in common, and Mr. Bookbinder brings a wealth of professional and personal background knowledge to us. We are also presenting an award to the wife of Ronald Gordon, ... Read More »

Sunrise Rotary Makes First Award Under KOPS Program

Submitted The Rotary Club of Marco Island Sunrise announced today its initial award under the recently adopted KOPS program to Officer Karie Petit of Marco Island Police Department. The Rotary Club of Marco Island Sunrise reimbursed Officer Petit for funds she spent to treat a person in need. Officer Petit bought groceries for a person with no food or home. She worked in coordination with Community Service Officer Charlene Greenblatt, who arranged temporary lodging. In Officer Petit’s words, “This person was in need. I did not even think about reimbursement until I was reminded of the KOPS program by Captain ... Read More »

Books & Brews


Submitted By Marco Island Friends of the Library Neither Saints nor Demons Human, All Too Human Robert A. Nowlan, PhD   Robert A. Nowlan Ph.D. is a scholar, researcher, teacher, writer, storyteller and lecturer, and the author of two dozen books and numerous articles. He is Professor and Vice-President for Academic Affairs Emeritus of Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, Connecticut. He is a resident of Marco Island, Florida and spends summers in New Haven, Connecticut. Join the Marco Island Friends of the Library for coffee, tea and a continental breakfast as they present author Robert A. Nowlan. The event ... Read More »

Meet Marco: Lina Upham

Lina with daughter Karla.

By Steve Gimmestad steve@coastalbreezenews.com Marco Island is a great community. This is a series that profiles some of those people that help make it that way. I would like to introduce you to Lina Upham. Lina shares a second floor office space at City Hall with a view of the Police and Fire Department parking lot. She is a Purchasing and Fiscal Analyst in the nine-person Finance Department headed up by Guillermo Polanco. That means if the city needs some new vehicles, new phone service, architect for a new building or more paper clips, Lina knows about it. She makes ... Read More »

LandSharks Kick-off Events for Sunshine Kids


Submitted For over 25 years now Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/ Prudential Real Estate has supported, volunteered for, entertained, chaperoned and loved the Sunshine Kids. The many fundraising activities undertaken each year by the brokers, managers and sales professionals play a major role in “helping put smiles on the faces of kids with cancer” everywhere throughout this great country of ours. The mission? The Sunshine Kids Foundation adds quality of life to children with cancer by providing them with exciting group activities so they may once again do what kids are meant to do: have fun and celebrate life! Hopefully there ... Read More »

Join in for the 6th Year!


Submitted The 2014-2015 season was a busy one for Goodland with more people visiting our unique fishing village. In an effort to keep the ball rolling from one great season into the next, the Goodland Civic Association is actively planning the 6th Annual Holiday Bazaar. This two-day affair is held at Margood Harbor Park, located at 321 Pear Tree Avenue, Goodland, Florida. This waterfront park is lined with shade trees, features meandering pathways, a playground for the kids, and the Margood History Museum. The Museum will be open during the Holiday Bazaar for those visitors eager to learn about Goodland’s ... Read More »

“With a friend at hand you will see the light. If your friends are there then everything’s all r i g h t … ” ~ “Friends” by Elton John

By Don Manley Merrill Allen’s friends are clearly demonstrating that they are “there” for the well-known Goodland singer-guitarist who sustained second-degree burns over 60 percent of his body in an explosion on his boat. A benefit for Allen will be held October 11 at Goodland’s Little Bar Restaurant, where he has been performing regularly since 1993. It was Little Bar owner Niki Bauer who came up with the idea for the benefit. “Merrill is part of our ‘Little Bar Family,’” said Bauer. “We all help each other when one of us is in need.” Entitled “Merrill Fest,” the benefit will ... Read More »

The United Church of Marco Island Completes Renovations


By Samantha Husted On May 1, 2015, the United Church of Marco Island (UCMI) began what would become a five-month long, total renovation of their building. The church, which is a little over 40 years old, was in dire need of a facelift. There were mold issues, drywall issues and roof and drainage repairs needed. Essentially, everything had to go. New pew bibles and hymnals were purchased, a new sound system was installed and almost everything was repainted and refurbished. What is perhaps the most interesting and intricate part of the church’s renovation plan was the disassembly and subsequent reassembly ... Read More »

Historic Site #7 Nehrling Gardens (Caribbean Gardens/Naples Zoo) 1590 Goodlette Frank Rd

By Coastal Breeze News Staff In 1921, Dr. Henry Nehrling established his tropical garden on this site, initially growing orchids, bromeliads and other tropical plants. By 1925 he had increased his collection to more than 3,000 different species. In 1952, the old Nehrling Gardens site was purchased by Julius Fleischmann, and was opened to the public in 1954 as a commercial tourist attraction under Fleischmann’s interest and guidance. Collier County purchased the property in 2005, and currently leases it to Naples Zoo, Inc. www.napleszoo.com/visitor_info/History.htm. Marco/Goodland: www.themihs.com. Everglades City: www.evergladeshistorical.org. www.colliermuseums.com In their effort to increase public awareness of the importance ... Read More »

Leadership Marco: Hospitality & Tourism

The group got a great sunrise view while aboard the Dolphin Explorer. PHOTOS BY STEVE PURCELL

By Steve Gimmestad Leadership Marco was once again in session on September 23. This class was focused on the hospitality and tourism industry in our area. Not a big deal, you say? Read on. In Collier County, based on the 4% Florida Tourist Development Tax, nightly room revenue contributes about $2 billion annually to the local economy. To put that into perspective, the entire GDP of Belize is about $1.7 billion and ranks 167th in the world (According to the International Monetary List of 2014). “It is fascinating the abundance of information that is available and what it shows,” says ... Read More »

Mud Lake Fire Documentary


Submitted Big Cypress National Preserve and the Southeast Region of the National Park Service are pleased to announce the release of the new short film, “Mud Lake Mosaic.” The documentary covers the management of the Mud Lake Complex, a series of wildfires caused by lightning strikes at Big Cypress in late spring 2015. The Mud Lake Complex wildfires burned over 35,000 acres of Big Cypress National Preserve. Although naturally-ignited wildfires have helped shape the fire-adapted and fire-dependent Big Cypress landscape for thousands of years, fire managers cannot allow fires to freely roam the preserve without some degree of management. In the ... Read More »

Kiwanis Reconvenes With Tim Clune at the Helm

Chamber President Dick Shanahan was the weekly speaker at the Kiwanis Club’s meeting on September 24.

Submitted On Thursday mornings if you drive by Stonewalls at 7:30 AM you will find a packed parking lot. If you venture inside you will find a room full of some of the nicest people you can find, and a breakfast worth waking up early for. After a brief summer respite, Kiwanis has resumed their weekly breakfast meetings. On September 24 the gavel was passed from Dianna Dohm to Tim Clune, this year’s Kiwanis president. Tim told us that the goals for this year are to “continue helping the children of our community.” Kiwanis fundraising events include the Seafood Festival, ... Read More »

IberiaBank Puts Community at the Forefront

Bedford Biles and wife, Fay, along with Malenda Trick, 
unveiled Malenda’s WWII portrait of Earl Hodges to Seth Minso, GM Hodges Funeral Home,
during at Veteran’s Portrait Project In the Round series.

By Steve Gimmestad steve@coastalbreezenews.com As business becomes more global, it has a tendency to become less personal. The internet allows us to conduct business with less frequent personal interaction. Because of this technology, it is easy to forget that a business, any business, still relies on people and community to be successful. Keith Dameron, Vice President and Business Development Officer at IberiaBank, works hard to ensure that “community” is still a prime consideration in doing business at a local level. “It’s a way to give back to the community,” says Keith. “It’s a way to stay connected with the people ... Read More »

Fakahatchee Swamp Walks Get wet? You bet!


Submitted The Friends of Fakahatchee have announced their fall 2015 schedule of swamp walks in Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park. In addition to its 5-hour naturalist-led Swamp Walk, the group is again offering the 3½-hour Tram Tour and Swamp Walk. Both adventures take visitors into the heart of the Fakahatchee Strand, home to more orchid species than any other place on the North American continent. The preserve is also a haven for diverse wildlife and migratory birds. For many visitors, a Friends of Fakahatchee Swamp Walk is the highlight of their Florida visit. Led by experienced guides, participants wade through ... Read More »

Center for the Arts Hosts Events

Submitted The Marco Island Center for the Arts announced today two upcoming events in partnership with Connectivity-Me to which the public is invited. The Center for the Arts, at 1010 Winterberry Drive, Marco Island, Florida 34145, will be hosting Speed Networking and a Halloween Bash. The Speed Networking event will be Friday, October 16th from 6-9 PM. Speed Networking is a variation of the traditional business networking activity for meeting people. Participants will have the opportunity for brief one-on-one information exchanges which will hopefully lead to future business opportunities. At the end of the event, those attending will have the ... Read More »