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Tag Archives: volunteer

Get Ready to Go Back to School at Marco Island Academy!

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff It’s almost that time of year again, as the summer comes to its end, and the teachers and students at Marco Island Academy are getting ready for a new academic year. MIA has announced that there will be seven new teachers this year: Sandi Castillo (English), Dorothy Chapman (Math), Lianna Fried (Performing Arts), Farrell Kellener (ESE/SWD), Gerry Miller (Science), Mariah Walther (Spanish) and Michael Weyrauch (History). Two new staff members are also joining the MIA team: Maegan Carr (Receptionist) and Elona Ruci (Comptroller). When school doors open in August, we will bring you more about ... Read More »

Meet Heidi Waite – Rookery Bay Intern

The two-story Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center offers visitors a hands-on learning experience.

COASTAL CONNECTIONS Renee Wilson renee.wilson@dep.state.fl.us Southwest Florida has an amazing coastal environment. From pine flatwoods to salt marsh, mudflat to nearshore waters, the diversity of plants and animals here is spectacular. While it is impossible to experience it all in person in a short time, a visit to the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center’s two-story exhibit hall can provide a glimpse of the unique habitats found within the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve’s 110,000 acres of coastal lands and waters. It also offers visitors a look at the world of research and restoration ongoing within the Reserve, a step back ... Read More »

Naomi’s August Doldrums

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FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi the cat and Karina Paape chestergun@comcast.net Dear Fellow Felines: The rescue story of the year is the incredible, seven month, 16-mile long journey taken by a curious tabby from Bayshore Drive in Naples to Hideaway Beach on Marco. Late one evening, as I was finishing my nightcap and watching the end of “Lassie Come Home,” the phone rang. It was one of the guards from Hideaway’s gatehouse who reported that a large stray cat had taken to sitting in their laps and making sure they didn’t fall asleep in the darkest hours of their ... Read More »

Meet the Counselors & L.I.T.s

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff City of Marco Island Parks & Recreation This was a record summer for Camp Mackle – with 230 registered campers. A big part of what makes Camp Mackle such a success are the counselors and LITs who devote their summer to making sure the campers have fun. We sat down with two counselors and two LITs to find out what brings them to Camp Mackle each year. Kendall Griesse Counselor Kendall Griesse exudes energy. Kendall, 19, is a junior at the University of Southern Florida in Tampa. She is studying behavioral health, with a focus ... Read More »

“Chamber Champion” Spotlights Local Businesses

By Steve Gimmestad steve@coastalbreezenews.com Owning a business is a tough endeavor. Whether it is a small operation or larger company, it becomes a lifestyle rather than a job. A new program, initiated by the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce and the Business Alliance Committee (BAC), wants to put a spotlight on those who go above and beyond. “Running a successful business isn’t just about making money,” says Nancy Carrington, Chairperson of the BAC. “It’s about being part of the community.” Nancy is owner of Marco Island Florist & Gifts and has been doing business in the community for over 27 years. ... Read More »

AMERICAN PUBLIC MEDIA GROUP SETS NEW DIRECTION FOR CLASSICAL MUSIC SERVICE IN SOUTH FLORIDA

Radio Stations in Miami, West Palm Beach and Naples to be sold to Educational Media Foundation   Recognizing that media consumption and audience choices are rapidly changing, and that efforts to build a sustainable classical music radio service in South Florida have not succeeded, American Public Media Group (APMG) announced today that it will move its classical music service in South Florida from FM radio to its national on-demand service,YourClassical.org. This new direction includes the sale of its Classical South Florida (CSF) network of stations—WKCP-FM in Miami (classical music), WPBI-FM in West Palm Beach (classical music and news), and WNPS-FM in Naples(classical ... Read More »

Marco Island Center Announces Board Appointments

John James, newly appointed to the Board of Directors for the Marco Island Center for the Arts. (L) William G. Morris, SUBMITTED PHOTOS
Vice President, Board of Directors of the Marco Island Center for the Arts. (R)

Submitted The Marco Island Center for the Arts announced today that Marco Island attorney, William G. Morris, has been appointed Vice President of the organization. Morris is a member of the Center’s Board of Directors and currently also serves the Center as its volunteer Publicity Director. Morris has been active in community service since moving to Marco Island in 1983. He has served on numerous boards and volunteer positions, including serving as past president of Marco Island’s branch of the American Cancer Society, YMCA, Jaycees and the Marco Island Police Foundation. He has even served as president of the Center ... Read More »

First Four Year Graduating Class for Marco Island Academy

Maureen McFarland, who will be a professor in the fall at Florida SouthWestern State College, speaks to the Marco Island Academy's 33 graduates.

By Roger LaLonde It was a walk back in time for many of the Marco Island Academy graduating Class of 2015 when they returned to the Family Church, formerly the First Baptist Church, on May 29. It was where the school got its start in 2011. The auditorium was packed in celebration as ceremonies marked the first class to complete four years of education at the young school. Starting with 62 students in 2011, the class size will be 255 in the fall, its maximum size at its one-year-old location on San Marco Road, on the way to Goodland. There ... Read More »

WGCU Radio Reading Service provides Broadcasting to the Blind and Visually Impaired Lighthouse of Collier’s Brown Bag Lunch Series

Jack Flaherty, with WGCU Radio Reading Service, will share the programs that the Radio Reading Service provides to persons who are blind, physically impaired and print handicapped. The program operates like a commercial radio station with a control room, broadcast studios and individual recording booths to bring printed materials to those who may not have access otherwise. Dedicated volunteer produce hundreds of hours of programming each month. Find out how you can benefit from the Radio Reading Service, what types of information and news media is broadcasted, and how you can take advantage of these services. The Radio Reading Service ... Read More »

LIGHTHOUSE OF COLLIER, INC. 6th ANNUAL SUMMER CAMP FOR BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED CHILDREN JULY 6th – JULY 31st

Playing is an Opportunity to Learn at the Lighthouse of Collier Summer Camp! Lighthouse of Collier, Inc. is pleased to announce the 6th Annual Summer Camp for blind/visually impaired children. The camp is free for blind and visually impaired campers and is made possible by the very generous donations of American Comfort Limousines, Betsy and Dale Peck, Naples Children & Education Foundation, Special Needs Children’s Fund, Karleen Putnam, Wasmer, Shroeder & Co. and United Way of Collier County. In addition, programming sponsors are Naples Zoo, Home Depot, Naples Art Association, Naples Botanical Gardens, Greater Naples YMCA, City of Naples Fire ... Read More »

Above and Beyond – Lisa Meurgue

In Belize with San Marco Catholic Church, Catholic Heart Work Camp, going out into the community screening windows and more.  SUBMITTED photos

By Steve Gimmestad steve@coastalbreezenews.com Life is a busy proposition for most of us. We all have things to do, places to be and people to see. Some people, however, have the alacrity to fit even more into a full day. One of those people is Lisa Meurgue. Lisa, along with husband Chef Denis Meurgue, have owned and operated Bistro Soleil in Olde Marco since 2008. Owning a restaurant, in itself, fills up a day very quickly and very intensely. And in 2013, they opened Petit Soleil, in the Shops of Olde Marco. So how does one go about having time ... Read More »

VETERAN SERVICES LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEER DRIVERS

The Collier County Veteran Services Division is looking for volunteer drivers to help take veterans to medical appointments at Bay Pine VA Healthcare System in Bay Pines (near St. Petersburg) and the Cape Coral VA Clinic in Cape Coral. Collier County Veteran Services relies on volunteers to help transport some 1,100 veterans annually to medical appointments at these facilities, which are operated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The county provides the service to veterans free of charge. “We are highly dependent on the drivers willing to give of their time for our veterans,” said Gary Vincent, manager of ... Read More »

Sunrise Rotary Initiates New Programs

Keith Dameron and William morris give a check to eugenio Cardenas for the KOPS program.

By Coastal Breeze News Staff UNSUNG HEROES The Marco Island Sunrise Rotary Club has rolled out two new community programs. The first program is the Unsung Hero Award which intends to recognize individuals who work to make Marco Island a better community. The Unsung Hero has gone above and beyond the call of duty. He or she will be a special person who has done extra special things for the Marco Island community without receiving pay or expecting praise or recognition. The Club’s Board of Directors will vote on the award, but the nominee cannot be a Rotarian. The recipient ... Read More »

2015 “Stamp Out Hunger” Letter Carrier’s Food Drive

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Submitted Collier Harvest announces the 2015 Letter Carrier’s Food Drive is going on NOW through Saturday, May 9th. Collier Harvest, the non-profit agency that manages the “Stamp Out Hunger” event locally, asks residents of Naples and Marco Island to place their non-perishable food donations by their mail boxes anytime between now and Saturday, May 9th, to be picked up by their letter carriers. All residents, including seasonal residents returning home, may also drop off donations at the post office on North Goodlette-Frank Road or the Coco River post office on Immokalee Road. Collier Harvest welcomes volunteers, middle school age and ... Read More »

951/41, Tamiami Crossings & Friends of the Marco Island Flotilla

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net The best good news item for our transportation system is that the huge intersection project (a footprint for a future overpass, with 951 flying over 41) according to the County is 6 months ahead of schedule and under budget. If our weather holds up and we have a mild summer, the intersection should be finished by the end of August, unless we have some severe weather problems. However, because of utility work, the FDOT’s U.S. 41 E expansion from the 951 intersection 6 lanes to Joseph Lane, and then 4 lanes to Greenway Rd., is running ... Read More »

Everglades Ultras race set for Feb. 21 in Fakahatchee

The fourth annual Everglades Ultras off-road-running race has been set for Saturday, February 21 in Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park.  Registration is now open for the event’s three distinct races of 25 kilometers, 50 kilometers and 50 miles.  The 50 mile and 50 kilometer races are the USA Track and Field – Florida Association state championships. This unique run through the Everglades has been cited by Trail Runner magazine as a “must do” race for 2015. “This is an amazing race venue,” says Race Director Bob Becker.  “Runners will experience all the varied environments in the Fakahatchee Preserve running on raised trails through cypress ... Read More »

Point-Counterpoint Returns

Now in its fifth year, the Point-Counterpoint series is back on Marco Island for four sessions. What is it all about? This popular discussion format is based upon a stimulating but respectful exchange of ideas. Point-Counterpoint’s format allows attendees to volunteer to speak on or state a position — a “point” of view — to the group or speak on a topic of their choosing, but only for five-minutes. When their five-minute timer has sounded the Point speaker must stop speaking. Sorry, no overruns. A new 10-minute timer is set, and during the next ten minutes “counterpoints” are given in ... Read More »

Have a Plan

A heap of exhausted kittens. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape chestergun@comcast.net Dear Fellow Felines: What a whirlwind the holidays were for me and my loyal staff of volunteers here at For the Love of Cats. We had cats and kittens coming and going non-stop for two weeks. Everywhere I looked I saw cats being loaded into and out of carriers; kittens climbing the romper room walls, tumbling around in colorful balls of fur, stretching sore muscles, carb-loading at their troughs, standing in and knocking over their food and water bowls, wrestling and tackling one another, and chasing each other around in dizzying circles; ... Read More »

Free Family Fun and Fundraiser

Family to Family, which has put more than 2000 Collier County moms and kids into beds of their own since 2009, recently acquired its 501 (c) 3 non-profit designation and will now celebrate a Grand Re-opening and Family Fun Day Open House in its new Kids’ Crisis Closet location, from10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 31, at 3485 Enterprise Ave., one block off Industrial Ave., in Naples. Hosted by the Northside Naples Kiwanis Club, the event will feature property tours, old-school arts and crafts using recycled materials, sidewalk art, photo booth, balloons, hot dogs, sodas and two brand new ... Read More »

Two Buses for MICMS

Abounader is proud of the school’s A rating. PHOTOS BY VAL SIMON

By Tarik Ayasun In order to cut rising costs to its athletic transportation budget, the Marco Island Charter Middle School Board of Directors last year authorized Board President Tarik Ayasun to purchase two 25-seat buses for transporting student athletes to and from away games. The purchase was completed, and the buses were refurbished with new seats, new seat belts, new tires and a complete inspection and repair of the engines were done by Gorman’s Auto Service or Marco Island. To raise funds for the operations of the buses without using school funds, the buses were wrapped with advertising of local ... Read More »