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Tag Archives: community

Al Bismonte

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By Maureen Chodaba Upon entering the Marco Island home of Al Bismonte, you are greeted by a garden ornament with the message “All Things Grow With Love.” That is a theme that lives and flourishes in the heart of this man of many talents. This “retired” pediatrician from Waukegan, Illinois enjoys a home that is filled with more than one hundred orchid plants. “They are not my hobby, they are my therapy,” says Bismonte with a smile. Surrounded by their beauty, Bismonte explained his secret in caring for these thriving plants. “Sometimes people think an orchid has died, but it ... Read More »

Meals of Hope – Feeding Those in Need

Meals of Hope volunteers (from left): Dianna Dohm, Donna Niemczyk, Bill Morris and Catalina Vallejo with Erik Condee (seated). Photos by Maureen Chodaba

By Maureen Chodaba  The Snook Inn was the place to be for happy hour on June 13 as 91 people enjoyed great food, fellowship with friends and the musical sounds of Rosetta Stone. But this was not just any happy hour. This was a Happy Hour for Hope supporting Meals of Hope (MOH), a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity supporting the needy families of Collier County. Did you know that Collier County has the largest concentration of migrant workers in the eastern United States? The county is also unique in that it lacks the manufacturing resources of other larger cities. Thus, local ... Read More »

Tia Nielsen Awarded Summer Scholarship

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Tia Nielsen, seen here in NYC, will spend the summer attending Cooper Union.

Submitted    Lely Sophomore Tia Nielsen has been awarded a full scholarship this summer at the Albert Nerken School of Engineering at Cooper Union in New York City. Tia will attend the summer (STEM) program, studying digital logic design for six weeks during her summer break. Her parents, Pat and Tresa are ecstatic, stating, “We’re not quite ready for her to head off to college for good yet, but the path she is paving for herself is very impressive.” Cooper Union’s summer program prepares high school students to pursue undergraduate careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. It ... Read More »

Chamber Raises Fireworks Funds

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff Each July 4th Marco Island residents and visitors enjoy a spectacular fireworks display on the island. This year, the total cost for the Independence Day fireworks display will be $52,000, a $10,000 increase from prior years. Marco Island City Council voted to contribute $26,000, half of the expense, with the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce paying the other half. The Chamber of Commerce has successfully raised the balance of $26,000, and at the June 7th city council meeting Executive Director Sandi Riedemann and President Alex Parker presented a check for $16,000 to Marco Island City ... Read More »

MIA’s Cruz Awarded Scholarship

From left: Debbie Orr, Duneshka Cruz and Barbara Markel at the awards ceremony. Submitted Photo

Submitted  The prestigious P.E.O. STAR Scholarship, for the 2016-2017 academic year, was presented to Duneshka Cruz, a senior at Marco Island Academy (MIA). The scholarship was presented to her at the MIA Awards Ceremony by Barbara Markel, a representative of the local P.E.O. Chapter. Duneshka was recommended for this scholarship by Chapter GT of Marco Island. She will be attending the Penn State Schreyer Honors College, where she plans to study Forensic Science and Pre-Med. The P.E.O. STAR Scholarship is a $2,500 scholarship based on excellence in leadership, extracurricular activities, community service, academics and potential for future success. The program ... Read More »

Marriott Construction – Collier Boulevard Closures

Photo by Val Simon

By Coastal Breeze News Staff Upcoming construction at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club and Spa, will cause three scheduled road closures in front of the hotel’s location at 400 South Collier Boulevard. Marco Island residents are advised that the southbound lanes of Collier Boulevard directly in front of the Marriott will be closed on the following targeted dates: • Thursday, June 16 • Monday, June 20 • Monday, June 27 On each of these days, weather permitting, starting at 4 AM the Marriott will begin staging for construction, and will shut down the southbound lane of Collier ... Read More »

Last Hurrah for Great Dock Canoe Race?

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By Don Manley Maria Delosh was caught up in the groove as she danced alone to The Jackson 5’s “Let’s Dance and Shout” booming from speakers outside The Dock at Crayton Cove in Naples. She smiled, her umbrella raised in the scorching, Sunday afternoon sun, as around her swirled a festive crowd that was also enjoying the fun at the recent Great Dock Canoe Race. Delosh said she’s been attending the annual, mid-May party since moving to Naples 15 years ago. “It’s the people, the friendliness, everybody’s happy, everybody’s smiling, the canoes, the beautiful decorations,” she said. “Above all, the ... Read More »

Talent Recognized at MIFA Luncheon

The scholarship recipients as well as members of MIFA and Artist of the Year, JRobert. Photos by Samantha Husted

By Samantha Husted sam@coastalbreezenews.com On May 21st the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts (MIFA) held their annual Scholarship/Artist of the Year luncheon. This year longtime Marco Island musician JRobert Houghtaling was granted the title. The Foundation also distributed scholarships to seven local students who plan on, or are majoring in the arts. This is the third year that the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts has given out scholarships and named an Artist of the Year at a luncheon. While the organization has been giving out scholarships for about eight years, the ceremonies were previously held at MIFA members’ ... Read More »

MICMS Brings Alice in Wonderland to Life

Photos by Stephanie Simon

By Coastal Breeze News Staff It was a grand finale of theatrical productions for the 2015/16 school year, and grand it was! The show was Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, Jr., produced by the Marco Island Charter Middle School (MICMS) ALL STARZ for family, friends and faculty. Under the tutelage of the musical director and choreographer, Karen Raymond, with help from Kerri Holdsworth, assistant director and backstage manager, the production was bound to be a great one. This community is fortunate to have productions of such high caliber from their middle school. From the extremely talented individual vocal performances to the ... Read More »

Mad Hatter Tea Party Opens Doors to All

From left: Marco Island Academy student, Kayla Kladis as the Red Queen, and Lely students
Katharine Spina as the Cheshire Cat and Bailey Dunstan as Alice. Photos By Samantha Husted

By Samantha Husted sam@coastalbreezenews.com The Mackle Park Community Room was transformed. There were umbrellas on the ceiling, teapots scattered across the room and clocks everywhere. A long table stood in the middle with mismatched plates and flowers. It was a tea party fit for the Mad Hatter of “Alice in Wonderland.” Picture stills from the most recent film adaptation of the children’s book were posted onto the wall and characters walked around, offering their assistance to newcomers. For the seventh year in a row, Mackle Park hosted its annual Mad Hatter Mother/Daughter Tea Party event. This was the first year ... Read More »

Letter to the Editor

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Larry Honig Running for Re-election Announcement I’m running for re-election on a positive platform to bring back a sense of community on Marco Island through a less intrusive, more respectful government. Here’s what I want to accomplish: 1. Get back local control of our community. We need fewer government regulations. We should reduce our use of consultants and lawyers who don’t understand our community – there are plenty of good people right here in Collier County that we can use. We can streamline government services – for example, I’d like to see faster review and approval of permits. 2. Create ... Read More »

Letter to the Editor

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Jared Grifoni Announces Candidacy for City Council My fellow Marco Islanders, We certainly have a lot to be thankful for. Our piece of paradise is unique, beautiful, and brings our residents and visitors so much shared joy. I love Marco Island and all that it has to offer. Over the course of the last few years I have witnessed our home being poked, prodded, and divided by those in positions of authority within our city for the purposes of what can only be described as political manipulation for electoral advantage. It is time that we, the citizens of Marco Island, ... Read More »

MIA Cheers for Champions

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Submitted  On May 16 at 10 AM, a planning meeting for the first Marco Island Academy Cheers for Champions fundraiser will be held at the school in Room 303. Athletic Director Kelly Monnot invites parents and community members to take part in planning this event that will benefit the athletic programs at the school. The Cheers for Champions fundraiser will take place May 21 at Kretch’s Restaurant, from 6:30 to 10 PM. Tickets are $50 a person, which includes dinner, live and silent auctions and music. There will be a cash bar. The deadline for tickets or to be part ... Read More »

Miller’s Valley

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BOOK REMARKS  Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com “There is nothing I value more than the closeness of friends and family, a smile as I pass someone on the street.”  Willie Stargell I enjoyed this book. Mary Margaret Miller narrates her story which is centered around the state’s decision to permanently flood the farmland of Miller’s Valley. During the time since the government built a dam and redirected the river, the valley was flooding every few years anyway. Every flood would drive a few more families away, those who were not willing or not able to rebuild and wait for the next flood. Mary ... Read More »

Goodlanders Open Hearts and Wallets – Again

Photo By Judy Wittwer

Goodland Life  By Barry Gwinn On April 2nd, the Goodland Civic Association put on its 4th annual Spring Fling, the immensely popular town barbecue where guests need bring nothing but their appetites. “It is our way of wrapping up the season and thanking our members and friends for their support during the year,” said GCA President Greg Bello. Bello, who chaired the event, estimated more than 350 in attendance. Lou Van Meter, Lynn Albee and Richard Welsh cooked the food donated by Goodland’s excellent restaurants (plus Kirk Fish Company). “We cooked over 500 [total] hotdogs (from Little Bar), and hamburger ... Read More »

Historical Society Volunteers Recognized

The Marco Island Historical Society’s talented team. Submitted Photo

Submitted It takes a village, or in this case, an island to keep the Marco Island Historical Society (MIHS) and Museum running smoothly. Recently the volunteers who dedicate their time and talent were recognized and thanked at a reception held in their honor at the museum. The reception was the culmination of a weeklong celebration of the people who give so generously of themselves to preserve the history and heritage of our island. Pat Rutledge, president and executive director of the Marco Island Historical Society and Jennifer Perry, Collier County museum manager expressed their appreciation for all that the volunteers ... Read More »

Coastal Breeze News Named ?Chamber Champion

Photos by Cherie Logan and Samantha Husted

By Coastal Breeze News Staff Coastal Breeze News has been named the second quarter Chamber Champion by the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce.  On April 20, publisher Val Simon was surprised with the award at the Chamber After Five event at Marco Island Florist and Gifts. The Chamber Champion is selected by the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce Business Alliance Committee as a way to recognize and thank a chamber member that is successful in business and also gives back to the community. Coastal Breeze News was nominated for this award because of the many nonprofit organizations it supports, ... Read More »

Exhibit, Talk Celebrate Isles of Capri

Works by Artist Donald Sunshine are on display through April 26. Submitted

Submitted Artist Donald Sunshine’s “Isles of Capri…A Place in Time” is currently on exhibit at the Marco Island Historical Museum. This collection of watercolors celebrates the rich history and community of the Isles of Capri. Sunshine is an award-winning architect, author and artist and has collaborated with local historian Betsy Perdichizzi to narrate the charming story of the Isles of Capri and its development. Isles of Capri’s lush beauty captures the feeling of an old Florida fishing village, while possessing all the conveniences of today’s world. On Thursday, April 21, from 2-3 PM artist Donald Sunshine and historian Betsy Perdichizzi ... Read More »

NCH Auxiliary Awards

RIGHT: Volunteer of the Year Marion Bearden (left) with Amanda Smith.
LEFT: Dennis Pidherny holding the President’s
Award, with Amanda Smith.
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Submitted The NCH Marco Healthcare Auxiliary was honored at the Annual Awards Luncheon at Hideaway Beach Club on April 5, 2016. The attendees were treated to a delicious luncheon, and NCH Director of Volunteers & Retail Amanda Smith presented the awards. The President’s Award was bestowed on Dennis Pidherny. Dennis has been a loyal and hard working volunteer and has held every office in the Auxiliary. He is involved in many other community organizations and devotes his time on Marco to helping others. Congratulations Dennis! The recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award was Marion Bearden. Marion works hard ... Read More »

Shred Party Benefits Eagles

Submitted Show your support for green space and wildlife. Show your support for the Marco Island Nature Preserve and Bird Sanctuary! IBERIABANK will host a document shredding event on Saturday, April 16th from 9 AM to noon. A $3 per box or bag voluntary donation will be collected for the Marco Eagle Sanctuary Foundation (MESF) for the future development of the Marco Island Nature Preserve and Bird Sanctuary. Residents and small business owners are invited to dispose of outdated bank statements, checks, contracts, junk mail and other documents in a safe and secure manner. Shredding services will be conducted by Shred-it, ... Read More »