Marco Island is a beautiful place to celebrate life everyday… every way! CJ’s on the Bay, affectionately known as the “Heart of the Rock,” is practically synonymous with the word celebration. On March 6, 2020, there will be a celebration like no other as Phoenix Roofing presents the Celebration for a Cure, the American Cancer Society Imagination Ball. Chaired by Debra Shanahan for the eighth consecutive year, this gala fundraiser at the JW Marriot will feature fine food, music, along with both live and silent auctions. Like a bottle of the finest champagne, the celebration will pop with hope and good cheer as the prestigious Grado Award is presented to Marco Island’s very own Hearts of the Rock, Curt and Jacquie Koon of CJ’s on the Bay.
When Curt and Jacquie first crossed the Jolley Bridge more than 11 years ago, little did they know that they were embarking on an adventure that would not only change their lives but also enhance the lives of all in this community. The couple had accepted early buyouts from the corporate world and bravely decided that they would like to try their hands in the profession of restauranteering, and the rest is history. CJ’s on the Bay has grown to be the go-to place for good food and live entertainment set against the backdrop of the beautiful Smokehouse Bay. It is truly a landmark on Marco Island. Curt and Jacquie humbly credit their current success to their staff of dedicated employees whom they look upon as family.
The Grado Award is named for the late John Grado and his wife Corrie for their dedication and commitment to the American Cancer Society. It is presented each year to individuals who have contributed significantly in the fight against this terrible disease, and Curt and Jacquie are deserving of this honor. For the third consecutive year, with the warmth and hospitality of CJ’s on the Bay, they have generously hosted the meetings of the executive committee of the ACS Imagination Ball. They have raised and generously donated funds to the American Cancer Society that are now being used for patient support, ACS research programs, and saving lives. Curt and Jacquie both say, “It feels so good to be a part of the solution. Today we know more survivors than those who have lost the battle.”
Each year at the Imagination Ball, part of the excitement is waiting to see what Curt will wear! With beautiful Jacquie by his side, Curt always makes a fashion statement at this black-tie optional event, wearing select tuxedo pants in wild colors and prints. Curt and Jacquie put a smile on everyone’s face, reminding us that even in the fight against cancer, life is meant to be celebrated!
Curt and Jacquie have touched the community in so many ways. Curt is a member and past president of the Marco Island Police Foundation, while Jacquie is a member and past president of the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce, and is currently a board member of the Collier chapter of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association. They support and are involved with the Rotary Club and Christmas Island Style, and have also hosted Mutts & Martinis, Taste of Marco, the Christmas Island Style Pet Parade, Chamber After Five and Meals of Hope events at CJ’s on the Bay. Each year, they close the restaurant for a full day and volunteer their time—along with their staff—to physically get out there and clean up the beach. With their pay it forward attitude, the couple says, “We love living here. This community has done a lot for us. We just want to give back.”
Curt and Jacquie have extended their zest for celebrating life by promoting longevity through the Blue Zones Project. For the third season in a row, CJ’s on the Bay is a designated Blue Zone restaurant, offering several “good for you” menu options, promoting healthy choices and a healthy lifestyle.
Our 2020 vision is focused and clear. We must find a cure! Imagine a world without cancer. Please join us at the JW Marriott Marco Island on March 6, 2020, at 6 PM as we honor Curt and Jacquie Koon at the Celebration for a Cure. It will be an evening to remember in this wonderful celebration of life.
For more information, please contact your American Cancer Society at 239-642-6217 or Sue.Olszak@cancer.org.