The Marco Island Christmas Island Style Parade was spectacular this year with so many people enjoying the music, laughing, costumes and lights. What a wonderful way to ring in the Christmas season. The streets were filled with throngs of people dressed for the parade as they celebrated along the route. There were children everywhere, waving and calling to their friends. No one does a parade like Marco Island! Barbara Prigge, who was driving our car, whispered to me, “I love living on Marco Island. I’m so glad this is our home.”
Shhh . . . don’t tell anyone, but Al Bismonte is turning 80 years old this month. We’ll just keep it to ourselves though, okay? The guy hasn’t even learned how to manufacture wrinkles yet for goodness sake. How could he be 80? He always has a smile for everyone and never an unkind word. That’s Al!
Little Kathleen Reynolds, the little Irish butterfly who brightens everyone’s day, again outdid herself with the Irish Christmas Show at the San Marco Catholic church. The auditorium was filled and it seemed like everyone was family.
Mike & Marion Harris recently had their annual Christmas ornament exchange at their home with about 125 of their closest church friends from Wesley Methodist Church. Every room in their house had at least one tree in it, if not more, and each was decorated in a different theme. Love and fellowship enveloped everyone!
Driving into the first old Lely community recently (someone just mentioned that we shouldn’t call them old Lely, but vintage Lely . . . I’ll try it!) and it made me very happy to see so many houses decorated beautifully. There was one street that actually had a theme to it. This time of year is so bright and cheerful, and people usually seem to be in a better mood. I felt happy just driving through there, but then again, my community, Lakewood, has lots of great decorations in it as well. It doesn’t compete with St. Andrews Street in “vintage” Lely, but every street that is decorated looks special.
The Ladies of Naples Lakes (Country Club) have worked their magic with the East Naples Kiwanis Club to present gifts and more to Shadowlawn Elementary School. The Ladies of Naples Lakes reach out beyond their borders many times of the year to help others. Thank you, Ladies, for all you do for this community. Your kindness truly matters! You are truly wonderful people. The kids will be thrilled and so will the teachers.
The Marco Island Kiwanis Club raised enough money to buy each child at Manatee Elementary School a gift which they took over themselves. I believe they said over 700 gifts were purchased. What a dynamite club they are, and always happy and fun as well. Drop in to see them some morning at 7:30 AM at Stonewall’s. You’ll leave being so happy you visited.
While we’re at it, the East Naples Civic Association (ENCA) was serenaded by the Seacrest Country Day School mini choir and they loved every minute of it. The club collected sports equipment of all kinds to give to the youths at East Naples Middle School. It seems so often the middle school kids are left out of the gift giving, so it was nice that the ENCA remembered these kids. By the way, the ENCA meets the third Thursday of every month at 11:30 AM for lunch at the Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club. Guests are always happily welcomed, so please stop by if you might be interested in getting involved with the betterment of the community. Just call 239-434-1967 to make luncheon reservations.
Well folks, the Sam’s Club project that so many people in our area—from Marco Island to Golden Gate to the City of Naples were looking forward to for so long—will not be going in at this time. The Walmart Corporation recently purchased an on-line buying service, somewhat like Amazon.com, for $2 billion according to the Wall Street Journal. So, they have pulled back on all new construction until their finances are back to where they want them to be after this purchase. I’m amazed at the huge amount of disappointment from all markets because people were really counting on them coming to our area. That doesn’t mean they won’t at some point, but it might be in a different location if they do decide to proceed in a couple of years.
Another rather bitter disappointment is that BJ’s Wholesalers has cancelled the purchase of the “skeleton” building at 951 Davis Blvd. It was all about entry roads and traffic lights. The State said no, they couldn’t put their entry road and traffic light where they wanted to because of the traffic jams it would cause in the location they chose. BJ’s said they would cancel the sale and they did. Well, everything works out in the end, so we’ll wait and see where both of these disappointments lead us to next.
Our next tour is one of the most popular we offer from my office and it is to visit Rev’s, the spectacular car museum that, for so long, was closed to the public. As they say in their online presence: The Collier Collection of automobiles is a purposefully curated assemblage of the most profound and rare automotive innovations of our time.
The tour will be held on Friday, January 13th from 1 PM to 3:30 PM. Last year, so many signed up that we had to have a wait-list of over 34. If you would like to be a part of this tour, please call Michael at 239-252-8601 for a reservation. We offer it free, thanks to the Collier Family, and you provide your own transportation there. Make sure to bring good walking shoes. It is all inside, but there is a lot of walking and a lot of reading and marveling! Sights like this you won’t see anywhere around this part of the United States. The museum has granted us extra docents for the day and an extra amount of people may attend, but there is a limit, so call Michael soon.
And for now . . . may you have a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Chanukah or a joyous holiday season. Just make sure to love your family and be kind to your neighbors. Spread the joy of the season. It will make you happy inside. You’ll see!