What a year for the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce. Once again, in its 36th year, the Chamber devoted itself to helping the needy as well as representing the business community and fostering tourism and commerce. 2013 saw the Chamber build on the success of past programs and institute new ones for the benefit of the Marco Island community.
President Nancy Carrington reflected on her year in office: “With a professional staff of only three people, supported by 35 superb non-paid volunteers, our Chamber produced outstanding results. Our ‘Souper Bowl’ brought out the imagination and talent of students from Tommie Barfield Elementary School, Marco Island Charter Middle School, Marco Island Academy and Lely High School, and also kids who participate in Parks and Recreation activities at Mackle Park. ‘Wet Paint Live’, involved outstanding local artists painting at locations in and around Marco Island. Their works — all completed in one day — were auctioned off the same evening. ‘Glory of the Grape’, an evening of fun and fine wine, also raised significant money. Those three events produced $15,000, which was used for scholarships for five Lely High School seniors. We are proud to be able to help deserving students defray some of the huge costs of higher education. It’s a privilege to serve our community and its students.”
The Chamber staged a well-received Business Exposition at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, participated in the joyous Paddle Challenge, and presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Island icon Herb Savage at the Christmas Gala.
Carrington takes great pride in the new “Deck the Halls” event, which featured magnificent wreaths decorated by islanders, displayed at Rose Hall and then auctioned to the public. “It was a spectacular beginning for a brand new undertaking, and it sets the stage for an expanded and even better event in 2014,” she said.
Aside from events, the Chamber also brought city government and the business community together by inviting individual City Council members and the acting city manager to appear before the Chamber’s Board of Directors for one-on-one discussions, centering on philosophies of city management without reference to any specific matters.
“I appreciate the opportunity to have served as Chamber president, particularly in a year in which our Chamber assisted the business community in a recovering economy,” said Carrington. “I’m certain that when Jacquie Koon takes the torch as Chamber president she will lead the business community to even more charity work for students, continued assistance in government affairs and the opportunity to serve the community and visitors to our piece of paradise.”