This is a story about two people who persevered and won! It’s always nice to hear something like this. Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Sherman, who live in Countryside on Davis Boulevard, came before the Collier County Commission a few years ago wondering why the Davis Boulevard Landscaping ended before the end of the street – and completely was omitted in front of Countryside. They were told the money ran out at that point, and there was no idea when there would be new money available to finish the job. Davis Boulevard is a state road, so the Shermans started studying who to contact at the FDOT to start the project moving forward again. I will fast forward to present day and say this couple came to every meeting that discussed median landscaping, any transportation meetings regarding Davis Boulevard, and all the MPO meetings (Metropolitan Planning Organization); and they continued to learn and persist in a very friendly manner. Mr. Sherman even applied and was accepted for a committee within the MPO. You have to admire people like this who have their sights set on the end-goal and never waver, but always remain friendly. And today, if you drive by, you will see the machinery working, the trees going in, the ground built up, and it is beginning to look lovely. Grants were received and approval was received from the FDOT to move forward. From all of us who drive by regularly, we appreciate your patience, persistence, and never ending determination to bring your community up to the same standards as the surrounding area, Mr. and Mrs. Sherman! Thanks from all of us!
◼ Mark your calendars! Goodland will be hosting a Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, November 17th from 10 AM to 4 PM at Margood Harbor Park, 321 Pear Tree Ave. This is a combined effort between the Goodland Civic Association and Collier County Parks and Rec. Afterward, you can always visit Steve at Stan’s restaurant and bar, or the Little Bar, or the other really fun establishments on Goodland.
◼ On November 13 from 1 PM to 3 PM there will be a Free Senior Fall Prevention class at the Marco Island YMCA, joining forces with the folks at Step Smart, focusing on fall prevention, the leading cause of injury and death among seniors.
◼ Collier County’s Paradise Coast Blueway Paddling Festival will be held on November 18 from 9 AM to 3 PM at Sugden Park. The event is designed to celebrate Collier County’s Waterways, Organizations & Outfitters during the state-designated “Paddlesports Month.” There will be games, races, lessons, demonstrations, food and music by our own great JRobert! The cost? FREE!
◼ Right now at this same park the National Watercross Boat Races are taking place. If you’ve never seen this event, you have a lot in store for you. Boats racing and people flying above the boats, and excitement everywhere! I can’t tell you why it’s happening in East Naples, but Sports Tourism is riding HIGH in that area! Now you’ve just read about the Blueway Paddling Festival and also the Watercross Races and performances. Also, last week there was a huge swim meet among 11 schools at the Eagle Lakes Aquatic Center with about 250 swimmers and hundreds of supporters, parents, and observers. And if you were close by you would see the beginnings of the preparation for the next U.S. Open Pickleball Championships beginning to come together for another fantastic year. Sports are hot right now in East Naples. And coming along quickly is the Sports Complex being built at 951/Collier Boulevard, also in East Naples.
◼ Oh yes, while you are at Eagle Lakes Park, if you see the machines scraping soil and creating a huge area for something, it will become a new Astroturf soccer field! Soccer is ever so popular and there are many teams playing constantly in that park, but now they will have a year ‘round soccer field to play on. The other soccer field has to “rest” in the summer so it could remain a soccer field the rest of the year rather than a mud flat, but with artificial turf the soccer players will be able to play all year long! I’m sure that makes Miguel and Christian very happy indeed! They work so hard with the kids and families!
◼ The East Naples Foundation, East Naples Civic Association, Parkside Elementary School, Sheriff’s Office, Great Naples Fire Department, and East Naples Kiwanis are all combining their efforts to again (for over 25 years) hold the Santa Run in Naples Manor. These groups all meet at Parkside Elementary School, line up decorated cars and decorated trucks, and then Santa and Mrs. Santa ride in on their sleigh to sit on a truck bed and everyone travels through Naples Manor to deliver bags of candy to the children. The kids get so excited and scream with delight. If you’d like to join us for the event on December 15, please dress up in something Christmasy and/or decorate your vehicle, and ride with us. We meet at 8:30 AM and usually finish by 11 AM. The kind and wonderful folks at Naples Lakes Country Club (and Ted Beisler – our own special elf) provide sandwiches, cookies and water to all the participants. AND, the Ladies of Naples Lakes bag all the candy that the Foundation purchases for the event. Come and join us! You’ll be glad you did. Speaking of the Ladies of Naples Lakes, last year they donated funds to Parkside Elementary School to buy the children things for Christmas, but the guidance counselor suggested instead a blanket and pillow for each child, as they lost most of those things during the hurricane and really needed blankets more than toys. I would have never guessed! Thanks again, ladies! You are angels to these children. Usually everyone donates to Immokalee, but here in this area we have so many underprivileged children that really need help. Some have seen the need like East Naples Merchants Association and Marco Island Kiwanis Club and helped out so much at Manatee Elementary School. For those who don’t know, there are six elementary schools and two middle schools filled with children of lower means. If you know clubs or HOAs or organizations who want to reach out and help those less privileged, have them contact one of the schools in this area and you’ll find all the kids you need to help…and they’ll appreciate it so much.
◼ You ask what is being built on U.S. 41E across from the Outback Steakhouse? It’s a 3 in 1 winner: First, it’s a WaWa gasoline and food center, with a Dollar Store (from the Lely Triangle Shops which is moving here instead) and a tire store.
◼ The restaurants are going crazy with business in this area! It’s so early to be this busy, but we already have to make reservations to get in! I certainly hope we get some new restaurants soon, because the ones we have are so busy! Well that’s a good thing, but we just need more places for people to dine. Let’s hope the restauranteurs see the need and respond.