.While mentioning that intersection at Collier Boulevard and U.S. 41E, the county is busily landscaping the CR 951 area, and planning on putting some type of statue at that intersection to bring it up even more in stature. They are looking around now for a business or citizens who would like to financially help them purchase the statue. It will be sitting there for a long time and be admired by all. No, it will not be a fish or fountain or person, but more like a 15 foot contemporary art masterpiece made of Carrara Marble. I’m not sure who might read this column, but just maybe it will be the right company or person who can contribute or fund this project. Just call Donna Fiala’s office at 239-252-8601 and speak to Mike. He can direct you to the right person to assist you.
.The Marco Island Center for the Arts has again exceeded all expectation with their outstanding Gala held at the Island Country Club. There must have been 300 people in attendance, where they congratulated the incoming President, Jim Richards. He and his wife Allyson, have been extremely active in the Marco Island community, and we know they will exceed our expectations! The audience gave a standing ovation to the outgoing president, Rosemary Wick, who has devoted herself to the organization for about five years, and felt it was time to hand the gavel to another outstanding individual to take over. Their Executive Director, Hyla Crane, kept things moving right along with grace and humor, as did the M.C. Bill Morris, who threw in a lot of humor himself. It was a tremendous evening for the arts.
.I’ve asked this before, but I’ll mention it again. Did you know that there are farms in East Naples? Not many people even know that – but there are HUGE farms in the East Naples community! Did you know? Yes, hundreds of acres! Well, this week I will be conducting a Farm Tour of 6L’s Farm to see the process of growing, picking, packing, and cleanup, of this huge farm, and we thank 6L’s for accepting our request to show our residents what farming is like in East Naples. Also during the same tour we will see how flowering plants are grown in baskets and prepared to sell to Home Depot, Lowe’s, and WalMart for Easter and other occasions of the year. I’m sorry to say it was sold out (not really sold – it’s free) almost before we could get the word out! We would have loved to take more people, but there were just so many seats on the buses that will take us around. These tours have become so popular, which thrills me because it’s gratifying to see that people want to see where their tax dollars are going or more of the area that some have never seen or even knew existed! I usually offer about five tours of county owned facilities, and then one special one that is not countyowned or operated.
.Naples Lakes Country Club has officially opened their new and outstanding golf course, and from what I hear, it is truly an experience to play it. The celebration event was so festive and held outdoors to amazing, balmy weather with about 250 people in attendance. Many awards were received for their dedication and perseverance to finish the job, even though they had to adjust for a little weather problem named Irma. I was honored to be invited to join these wonderful people who reach out into our community and help so many others, especially in the schools and those who need help. I’m proud to say I have many friends there.
.The Elks Lodge on U.S.41E is slowly, but surely, recovering from the tremendous damage caused by Irma. They have been closed ever since, and are hopefully beginning to be able to hold a few events there now that the roof is fixed, but the kitchen is still in need of more repairs, along with other projects. I can hardly wait for the Hot Dog Saturdays to begin again.
.The East Naples Civic Association will begin special meetings to discuss the creation of a Master Plan for their community. Many other communities already have a Master Plan in place, so they are running a little bit late, but better late than never. Marco’s own Bob Mulhere will be discussing the project. This is a huge endeavor which took Golden Gate almost five years to work through. Immokalee also has a Master Plan. We need to catch up with the rest. The next ENCA luncheon will be held on March 15th at 11:30 AM at The Player’s Club. The meetings are open to all who would like to attend, and you can pay at the door, but an RSVP is required so they can plan for food. Call 239- 434-1967 or visit www.EastNaplesCivic.com to make reservations.
.The Marco Newcomer’s Club will be holding their regular meeting at the lovely Hideaway Beach Club on Wednesday, March 14th at 11:30 AM. Yours truly will be the guest speaker.
.And don’t forget the St. Paddy’s Day Parade on Sunday, March 11th. Out Little Bundle of Energy and Happiness, Kathleen Reynolds, is again working very hard to make it another great success. She’s never failed.
.The Military Officers Wives Club will hold their luncheon at the Capitol Grill. Suzi Weinert will be one of the hosts, and Suzi is also the person who wrote the books “Garage Sale Mysteries,” from which the series on the Hallmark Channel originated. It’s a great story, and she happens to be a friend, so it’s a fun story to hear. Her books are REALLY good. They are a little different and subdued on the Hallmark Channel though.