Lots of wonderful events and parties going on at this time of year, and I hope you have attended many of them! There was the Chamber’s Jingle Bell Bash at the beautiful Hideaway Beach Club where the food is always outstanding and the atmosphere is friendly and welcoming! A great time was had by all, and it was a perfect time to begin the holiday season. Erik Condee presided, and Alex Parker led us in prayer. A special little “Hello” to Jack Patterson, who made the evening even more enjoyable for our table of people, along with Dianna Dohm and her lovin’ husband, who is still homesick for his flying days. I wish you could have seen Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus (or Curt & Jackie). I never saw outfits like that before, but ever so much fun! I would love to name all the tremendous people that attended, but there just isn’t enough room or descriptive words.
◼ I hope you are aware that the Naples Botanical Garden will again be presenting “Night Lights” in the Garden. If you haven’t seen them before, you must make it a point to get there and bring your friends and family. You’ll enjoy every minute of the evening strolling through the garden at night with colorful lights strategically placed, and music coming from the different gardens you walk through. The event runs from 6 PM to 9 PM December 7th through 23rd, and then the 26th to the 30th, and January 1st through 3rd. They say this year’s display will even be bigger and brighter than last year! It’s best to call and reserve space because so many people want to enjoy the peaceful and gorgeous garden. You can buy your tickets in advance, which is a good idea.
◼ For those Farmers Market people, the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Farmers Market on Davis Boulevard is again open for another fantastic season, each Saturday morning from 8 AM to noon. It’s a great market, and the church member volunteers lead you to parking spaces and then guide you out in a different direction when you’re done shopping so that it makes the visit effortless! They work hard to make it a great experience!
◼ Do you like thrift shops? So many people do, and we have some really great ones in the area. Recently a friend told me her employer wanted her to design a new show place in their building, so she decided to visit St. Matthews House Thrift Shop on Airport Road, and also Habitat For Humanity Thrift Shop on US 41E. She invited a few of her friends to see her finished product, being that she is not a designer and wanted input. She decided to do the place in tropical colors and theme. I wish you could have seen it! ! Everything she bought was directly from the thrift shops, and they looked like new furniture, clean, and everything blended perfectly! She knew what she wanted and went about getting it. And speaking of thrift shops, I just saw a new one on US 41E. It is huge, well lighted, clean, and set up in a lovely way. It is called One Man’s Treasure, and is located in the same shopping center as Eurasia Restaurant, near the East Naples Library on US 41E. Take a stroll by. You’ll want to look inside, I guarantee it.
◼ The Big Cypress Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) recently celebrated their 50th Anniversary at a luncheon, and the comments on the history of our area were captivating! Peggy Reagan was among the speakers, and her comments were so enjoyable as she took us back in time, right here in Collier County. You never realize all the history we have here except we know the Calusa Indians settled on Marco thousands of years ago, and we have the Calusa Cat to remember them by. That exhibit will be coming to Marco Island shortly, and you won’t want to miss it! It will be making history itself, as it is joined by other artifacts from the “Big Cushing Dig” of 1896. These artifacts have been distributed to three different museums that I know of. The Cat has been at the Smithsonian Museum and the Marco Island Historical Society has been working tirelessly to “bring it back home” soon. You have no idea how much planning and fundraising and changes have been made in order to meet the requirements of the Smithsonian, but here we are in the home stretch! You’ll be hearing about it quite a bit very soon, but first Christmas will be visiting us. Then we’ll move on to the next big occasion.
◼ I just have to sing the praises of the Naples Elks Lodge. They have now introduced a Sunday Brunch for $11, Bingo on Tuesday nights, and dinners with their new chef on Wednesday evenings from 5 to 7 PM, and Fridays from 5 to 7PM! One of their most important ventures is to reach out to the children and young people in our community, and they will be doing just that. The Lely Swim Team held a Car Wash at the Lodge and made $800! Then the Lodge will be hosting the second graders at Manatee Elementary School for a nice Christmas lunch and gifts, and all members participate in enjoying the kids. They always have “Hot Dog Saturday” with the best hot dogs around! Last week the Lely LaCrosse Club held a car wash and it looked like they did as well as the Swim Team. It’s so nice to see a group helping Lely High School, and they really appreciate it. Lely High School Swim Team recently hosted the district meet with 11 schools and over 250 athletes at the Eagle Lakes Aquatic Center. They had two swimmers from the team go to the state swim meet in Stuart, Florida and then Audrey Delcompare came in fourth place in the 200 IM and fifth place in the 100 Breaststroke. The team broke one school record this year! It was great for the team to practice in a pool so close to the school, as previously they had to be bused to Golden Gate for swim meets. The swim team has some needs, so if you belong to a club or organization who likes to reach out and want to help these young people, they need three record boards at the pool, so that when the students come to the pool everyday they have something to work towards. The concept for the record boards at the Eagle Lakes Aquatic Center would be for three record boards, for (1) Lely HS Varsity Records, (2) Seacrest Varsity Records and (3) Eagle Lakes Aquatic Center Pool Records. If you would like to purchase one at $300 as a donation to these terrific young people, please call me at work at 252-8601 and talk with Mike or ask for me, and I will give you the personal phone number for the swim coach. This would be a great help for these young people.
◼ Just a little personal note: A few weeks ago I met the President of Hungary! He came into town very privately under heavy security to meet with the Hungarian/American Club and see their statue of the 1956 escape to the United States of America. The American Foundation for Hungarian Youth and Culture, Inc. organized the President’s visit. Commissioner Andy Solis and I met with him, his entourage and his family in tight security along with about 50 invited guests from the Hungarian/American Club. It was very exciting! (I’m half Hungarian.)
◼ The Calusa Garden Club held their Marco Island Christmas Home Tour last week, and I couldn’t resist buying a ticket, and I’m so glad I did. There were four luxury busloads of ladies and a couple gentlemen, each bus containing 50 people. The tour was divided into four groups visiting four homes decorated lavishly and everyone seemed to enjoy the tour immensely! Linda Turner was the chairperson of the event and she outdid herself! What an amazing lady she is! And you should see her home! I didn’t want to leave! They had lots of volunteers helping each hostess, and businesses who prepared things along the way. It was a wonderful tour! Thanks to everyone for offering your time, your home, and your talent to all of the participants!
Holiday Season is Here!