Feature Stories

Phoenix Award Winners

Photo by Theresa Morgan: Goodland residents Greg Bello and Kay Tabor (far right), two of the civilians honored with the Phoenix Award, pictured with some of Marco Island’s award-winning first responders.

By Coastal Breeze News Staff Twenty-nine of Marco Island’s first responders were recently honored with Phoenix Awards from the Collier County Emergency Medical Services Department. The Phoenix Award is given to first responders who contributed to the successful resuscitation of a cardiac arrest victim. Some of Marco’s emergency response personnel received multiple awards for their life-saving measures. This year fifteen ... Read More »

Tom Bogan 25 Years of Dedicated Service

Photo by Maureen Chodaba: Division Chief Tom Bogan on the job.

By Maureen Chodaba  The life of a firefighter is one that requires hard work and dedication. Each day on the job brings forth new challenges and surprises, most in the form of emergencies where the firefighter needs to react quickly and effectively. Marco Island Fire Rescue Division Chief Tom Bogan has been reacting quickly and effectively for over 25 years ... Read More »

WWII Veterans Take Flight

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By Samantha Husted On Nov. 9, five World War II Veterans met at the Marco Island Executive Airport. Some were good friends and others had just met for the first time. But they were gathered that day for one reason, to fly. At the airport was a 1940’s Boeing Stearman biplane, the same of which the veterans flew during World ... Read More »

Island Country Club Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Photos by Quentin Roux: 
From left: Harry Lamberson, Raymond Jean, Louise Jean, Susan Lamberson, Anna Lawton
and Greg Lawton.

By Samantha Husted sam@coastalbreezenews.com The Island Country Club (ICC) has celebrated its 50th anniversary, an impressive landmark for the club and Southwest Florida. It was just last year that Marco Island celebrated its own half-century birthday. While 50 may not seem that old, in the Southwest Florida country club circuit it’s a distinction. The Island Country Club opened in 1966 ... Read More »

Cocktails in Style

Members enjoying the whiskey and cigar room.

By Coastal Breeze News Staff Friday night’s cocktail party was an event to remember.  As members pulled up to the Island Country Club entrance they were warmly greeted with mai tais and music by JRobert. Members delighted in the eight culinary stations that were set up in the dining room and adjacent rooms.  Favorites included a shellfish raw bar with ... Read More »

Marco Island Yacht Club Stages Packed Open House

Officers and volunteers entertain potential members on the ground floor patio.

By Quentin Roux Special to Coastal Breeze News  Gillian Hamer loves boating, socializing and fine dining. She doesn’t have a boat, but being a member of the Marco Island Yacht Club (MIYC) enables her to enjoy sunset cruises, day cruises and even extended cruises on a “host” boat. It’s one of the perks of MIYC membership and at a well-attended ... Read More »

Kiwanis 5K Racers Enjoy Beautiful Course, Ideal Conditions

From left: Julie Wagner, Teagan Havemeier and Morgan Jones haven’t a care in the world as
they compete in the Kiwanis 5K.

By Scott Shook Participants in the fourth Marco Island Kiwanis Family 5K race couldn’t have asked for better conditions, with temperatures hovering around 60 degrees and the wind light. Children, teenagers, adults and seniors-alike were raring to go at the starting line in the parking lot at Tigertail Beach Saturday morning. “We had approximately 250 participants,” said race co-director Tim ... Read More »

Joy of Giving Provides Holiday Smiles

Submitted Photos

By Maureen Chodaba  “Santa, I knew you wouldn’t forget me. Last year I waited and waited and you didn’t come.” Santa Claus heard those words from a little girl back in 1988. That little girl’s cry to Santa gave birth to the Joy of Giving, a 501(c) (3) charitable non-profit that now reaches 1,000 children in our area year, filling ... Read More »

Ringside in Marco

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff Boxing made its rounds back to the island in November thanks to the Marco Island Boxing Club. This year, not only did the club host teams from New Jersey and Ireland, it also featured local boxers. There were eleven bouts in all, starting out with the youngest local competitors. Although the team from Ireland led ... Read More »

Pancakes at the Firehouse

Photos by Jessica Hernstadt

By Coastal Breeze News Staff On November 13, pancake lovers of all ages gathered to enjoy a hearty breakfast at the Marco Island firehouse. Throughout the morning people came in waves, many arriving in their Sunday best following church services. Volunteers flipped endless pancakes and served scrambled eggs, sausage, coffee and juice to hungry guests. Many came back for seconds, ... Read More »

Batter Up! New Batting Cage Opens to Public 

Submitted Photos: After two years of planning, the batting cage is finally here.

By Samantha Husted sam@coastalbreezenews.com Baseball fans unite as Marco Island’s premiere batting cage opens to the public. The new facility is located at Winterberry Park, parallel to the baseball diamond. While anyone can use the practice cage, it’s the little leaguers who hold dominion. It was husband and wife duo of Jennifer Carr and Eddie Kirst, Peter Prodanov, Shaun Chute ... Read More »

Marriott Renovations Right on Target 

Courtesy Marriott Vacation Club International: 
A rendering of the new living room and dining
areas in a Marriott’s Crystal Shores villa.

By Don Manley The New Year promises to be memorable for the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club and Spa, and the nearby Marriott’s Crystal Shores. Both are in the midst of major construction projects that dramatically expand and improve facilities and offerings for guests. With work proceeding on schedule, everything is on target for completion dates in 2017, ... Read More »

MIA Students Work Out at Marco Fitness Club

Submitted Photos:
Coach Greg Fowler with his 2014 MIA football team, in what became a successful, long-standing collaboration between MIA and the Marco
Fitness Club.

By Barry Gwinn Bob Cholka has done a lot of things in his life, but none has been more gratifying than his fitness club on Marco Island This guy has tried his hand at everything from deputy sheriff to an IT guy with large corporations. Bob grew up in Milwaukee, married his high school sweetheart, and had two children, both ... Read More »

Marco Man Celebrates 100th Birthday

Photos by Jessica Hernstadt:  Pedro Vazquez and wife Aurora

By Coastal Breeze News Staff Marco Island resident Pedro Vazquez turns 100 years old on November 26, 2016. To celebrate this milestone, Pedro’s friend Kathleen Ferrier, son Pedro, Jr. and daughter-in-law Claribel, along with many other friends and family, threw a surprise party for him at Sarazen Park.  Some of the groups in attendance were the Beach Friends, Cuban American ... Read More »

Big Surprise at Keller Williams Luncheon

Ruben with his parents Eva and Ruben Sr.

By Samantha Husted sam@coastalbreezenews.com On Nov. 16, Keller Williams Realty hosted its annual Thanksgiving Celebration luncheon at the United Church of Marco Island. This year, the potluck themed event was in honor of military members and veterans. “One of our agent’s nephews, Jared Davis, passed away after returning from Iraq,” said Donna Cottrell, agent services director for Keller Williams. “When ... Read More »

Meals of Hope Packaging Event

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff Under the leadership of Bill “Captain Happy Hope” Morris, Meals of Hope volunteers successfully packaged 253,632 meals at this year’s packaging event. Volunteers filled the Marco Island Charter Middle School gym, where tables were set up for the assembly-line process of measuring, packaging, sealing and boxing meals for the hungry. Marco Island’s Sunrise Rotary Club, ... Read More »

Sailing Toward Adventure

Photos by Samantha Husted: Ray and Cherie Yager outside of their sailboat home.

By Samantha Husted sam@coastalbreezenews.com It sounds like the plot of a movie. A retired couple, tired of their life on land, packs up all their earthly belongings; sells their car, their house and sets sail for the open ocean. While this story may seem far-fetched or fantastical, it’s exactly what high school sweethearts Ray and Cherie Yager have done. The ... Read More »

Arturo’s – Fine Italian Dining, With a Personal Touch

Submitted Photos: Judy joins her chef and staff on the line.

By Maureen Chodaba Arturo’s Restaurant has been a mainstay for fine Italian dining on Marco Island for almost 21 years with its vast menu of delicious food. The story behind Arturo’s is just as amazing as its succulent dishes. Sole proprietor Judy Barney reminisced about the restaurant’s background and its early days. Originally from Brooklyn, Judy was an in-house trader ... Read More »

Screwworm Endanger Key Deer

Photo by Jessica Hernstadt

By Coastal Breeze News Staff On October 3, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam declared an agricultural state of emergency in Monroe County after New World screwworm were found in samples taken from three Key deer. At this time, the infestation seems limited to Big Pine Key, No Name Key, and surrounding areas in the Lower Keys. Although not ... Read More »

Christmas Island Style Collectible Ornaments

Photos by Coastal Breeze News Staff: Judges hold the winning entries.

By Coastal Breeze News Staff Every year students at Marco Island Charter Middle School are challenged with creating a new design for a Christmas Island Style collectible ornament. The theme for the 2017 ornament was a “Hibiscus Flower” and it received 137 entries. That made the task of choosing a winner very difficult for the judges. Judging took place at ... Read More »