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Sergio Balaguera of Marco Island was the Big Jackpot Winner

Sergio Balaguera of Marco Island was the Big Jackpot Winner

Knights of Columbus Bingo

The Knights of Columbus San Marco Council #6344 hosted a Bingo Fundraiser in the San Marco Parish Center with the doors opening at 5:30 pm and Bingo starting at 7:00 pm. Bingo runs every Thursday from October 19, 2017 to November 16, 2017. Bingo is open to the public and everyone was invited for an evening of fun and games.


Bingo committee member Marvin Klein gives big winner Eta Gluzband of Marco Island her winnings at Monday Night Bingo. Bingo is played every Monday at the Jewish Congregation of Marco Island. A complimentary supper is served, the doors open at 5:30and is open to the public. 239-642-0800.

50/50 drawing winner, Jeanette Liverani of Marco Island

50/50 drawing winner, Jeanette Liverani of Marco Island

Resources for Your Road to Recovery

The Collier County Public Library’s website home page features a direct link to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance information and other related resource information such as Federal Disaster Loan Assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for businesses, private nonprofits, homeowners and renters.

Please visit the library’s website at and click on the “Resources for Your Road to Recovery” text beside the FEMA logo to access this information.

Big winner Eta Gluzband

Big winner Eta Gluzband

The deadline to apply for disaster assistance is Nov. 9. Apply today!

For more information visit us online at


National Geographic, Gallup and New York Times best-selling author and National Geographic Explorer Dan Buettner have announced “The 25 Happiest Cities in the United States” and Naples-Immokalee Marco Island ranked No. 11, one of only two Florida regions to make the list.

Rankings were based on The National Geographic/Blue Zones® Index, which was specifically developed to measure a population’s happiness based on 15 metrics including civic engagement, walkability and healthful food options. Pulling from years of experience studying the world’s most-thriving populations, Buettner, National Geographic and Gallup developed a methodology for measuring where Americans are living their happiest lives.

“This recognition by National Geographic validates our efforts and the vision we have for Naples and Marco Island as a premier wellness tourism destination,” said Jack Wert, executive director of Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau. “In addition to the Blue Zones Project Southwest Florida’s continued expansion, visitors and residents of Naples and Marco Island have year-round access to the great outdoors and delicious healthful foods. From the Gulf of Mexico beaches to the waterways and coastal estuaries of the Everglades to our pedestrian-friendly downtown and incredible variety of locally-sourced seafood, meats and produce, it’s no wonder that so many who live and visit here are so happy.”

The Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades region in Southwest Florida, which also includes the rural area of Immokalee, makes up Florida’s Paradise Coast. This most recent accolade adds to a list of recent recognitions related to the area’s well-being, happiness and quality of outdoor offerings. In 2017, the Naples/Marco Island area was also:

• Named the “Healthiest-Happiest” city in the U.S. in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index

• Named the “Best Beach Town to Live In” by WalletHub

• Ranked in the top 10 “Best Adventure Travel Destinations in the United States” by U.S. Tourism Quality Index.

The full listing of the 25 Happiest Cities, in order by National Geographic/Blue Zones® Index score, is below, and the full story is available here.

1. Boulder, CO
2. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA
3. Charlottesville, VA
4. Fort Collins, CO
5. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo
Grande, CA
6. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
7. Provo-Orem, UT
8. Bridgeport-Stamford, CT
9. Barnstable Town, MA
10. Anchorage, AK
11. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL

County Calls Nominations for ‘Against All Odds’

Know someone who has overcome great challenges, excelled and given back to our community? Think that person deserves to be recognized?

Beginning Nov. 1, the Collier County Communication and Customer Relations Office will accept public nominations for the “Against All Odds” award, which honors a resident who has overcome great obstacles and has given back to the Collier County community.

Nominations must include the name and address of the nominee and must be accompanied by a factual narrative (no more than 600 words) describing the nominee’s journey. Specifically, how he or she has overcome considerable obstacles to achieve success and excel. The narrative also must provide examples of how the person has given back to the community.

The awardee will be presented with a plaque by the Board of County Commissioners at a commission meeting.

Nominations may be sent to the Communication and Customer Relations Division, c/o Maria De Jesus, 3299 Tamiami Trail E., Suite 102, Naples, Florida 34112or emailed to All nominations must be received by Dec. 31.

For more information, contact Maria De Jesus at (239) 252-8113.

Florida Panther Festival at Naples Zoo

Floridians and visitors to the sunshine state are invited to celebrate native wildlife at the Florida Panther Festival featuring Uno, a blind panther rescued from the wild. Hosted at Naples Zoo on Saturday, November 4 th from 9 am to 4 pm, the Festival allows guests to meet experts on wildlife species, plus offers practical presentations about living with wildlife. As this is the first Saturday of the month, Collier County residents with proof of residency receive free admission. For residents outside Collier, the Festival activities in the zoo are included in regular admission. Learn more about the festival and field trip experiences to our local natural areas at

Following an all-time low, the panther population is increasing. In the 1980s, there were an estimated 20 to 30 adult cats. Now there are as many as 230 adult cats and their offspring. Their increase, combined with human population growth, creates more chances for us to cross paths. Wildlife needs natural corridors to move. Likewise, Floridians need large areas for agriculture, as well as to provide needed natural resources like watersheds. To achieve this, rural landowners need equitable compensation programs for providing habitat for panthers and other wildlife – as well as to offset losses to their income from predation.

The Panther Festival provides an easily accessible way for families to learn the best ways to live with our native species and get their questions answered from biologists and other professional wildlife experts. Drivers can help avoid costly accidents with native species like panthers by being extra alert and driving the posted speed limits in labeled wildlife and panther zones. Residents can learn more and get a panther sticker at

The Florida Panther Festival is being hosted by Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens as part of a collaboration with Big Cypress National Preserve; Conservancy of Southwest Florida; Defenders of Wildlife; Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; FGCU Wings of Hope Program; Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge; Friends of the Florida Panther Refuge; Naples, Marco Island Everglades

Convention and Visitors Bureau; Southwest Florida Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area; and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Naples Trust Company Economic Outlook

While the world is experiencing the first synchronized global expansion since 2003 and asset price inflation continues apace, the challenge for investors is to look somewhat in the rear-view mirror and make sure they understand the risks of euphoria.

Many of the issues that we have had to deal with since the 2008-2009 financial crisis have been resolved in a positive way. Banking has become much more stable due to the revised capital requirements. While loan growth has only now started to show a healthy recovery after eight years of so-so results, investors remain cautious about the longer-term outlook. Revenue growth of businesses has been sluggish reflecting abnormally low inflation rates. At the same time, central bankers around the world are beginning the long process of “removing the punch bowl” from the investment party that has seen asset prices rise more rapidly than economic growth since 2009.

We have been suggesting to our clients to continue to be “careful, but not fearful” when looking at their asset allocations and diversification strategies. Since relative asset valuations depend primarily on economic growth rates (the higher the better), interest rates (the lower the better), and inflation (stable preferably), it is important to have a point of view on these three variables before constructing a long-term investment strategy. We have been positive on all three of these trends since 2009 as we experienced fiscal and monetary policies around the world that bolstered those forecasts. We are now seeing evidence that the future trend of interest rates and inflation will be doing battle with economic growth for the first time in a long while.

For those reasons, our current outlook becomes much more muted. The synchronized global expansion that we referred to earlier will do much to maintain the rate of economic growth (or better) that we have seen in the recent past – roughly a range of 2-3% domestically and 3-4% on a worldwide basis. This is good news. The other two variables do not show a comparable positive trend. Already economists are noting the slow, but relentless tightening of monetary conditions. It started with the U.S. Federal Reserve Board actions to cut back on purchases of government bonds. That was followed by the gradual raising of short-term interest rates. It culminated recently in the disclosure of its intention to actually start selling the stockpile of bonds that it has accumulated. These are all actions designed to raise interest rates to combat a perceived increase in underlying inflation. Even monetary authorities outside the U.S. are beginning to talk about reducing stimulus.

When combined together, the threat of rising interest rates, even slightly, should be a wake-up call to revisit asset pricing. While overall economic growth is still expected to be positive for the balance of 2017 and all of 2018, the specter of even a modest rise in inflation and interest rates could dampen returns from both equities and fixed income securities. At the same time, the performance of the economy may not be the only determinant of asset returns. We continue to monitor the changes in policy directions coming out of Washington, D.C. Whether we see the tax reform, de-regulation and infrastructure spending that was hoped for at the end of 2016 remains an open question. The impact of those possible developments on growth, interest rates and inflation must also be factored into the outlook. For the time being we maintain our cautiously optimistic stance.

National Flood Insurance Program Inspection

Collier County needs the community’s cooperation to inspect impacted properties in flood zones to fulfill the requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Properties located in VE, AE, AH, and A flood zones on the community’s flood maps that were impacted by wind, water, fallen trees or other factors must be inspected prior to the issuance of a building permit or the commencement of construction. These flood zone designation descriptions, as well as flood zone maps, are found at your-government/divisions-f-r/naturalresources/ flood-information/flood-mapinformation.

Any authorized county, state, and Federal Emergency Management Agency inspectors needing access must carry a copy of this news release and their agency identification. They must present them before being allowed to access private property. The property inspections are limited to evaluating the extent of damage to foundations, roofs, windows, doors, siding, installed appliances, electrical systems, plumbing, as well as wall and floor finishes. Inspections are required only to assess the condition of those building elements for which building permits are required. The period of inspections is limited to daylight hours and continues through Nov. 8, 2017. Once inspections of properties are completed and the results recorded in the county’s database, property owners may request a copy of their assessment report.

The county greatly appreciates property owners’ willingness to allow the inspectors to assess the condition of impacted properties, which will help the community move forward as quickly as possible with the permitting and repair of impacted structures.

If community members should have any questions about Collier County’s process or the inspectors, please contact Building Plan Review and Inspection Division Manager Caroline Cilek immediately at 239-252-2485 or via email at

Highest 4-Star Rating From Charity Navigator

Champions for Learning

Champions For Learning’s strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned it a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator. This is the second consecutive time that Champions For Learning has earned this top distinction.

“Champions For Learning’s exceptional 4-star rating sets it apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public,” according to Michael Thatcher, President & CEO of Charity Navigator. “Only a quarter of charities rated by Charity Navigator receive the distinction of our 4-star rating. This adds Champions For Learning to a preeminent group of charities working to overcome our world’s most pressing challenges. Based on its 4-star rating, people can trust that their donations are going to a financially responsible and ethical charity when they decide to support Champions For Learning.”

“We are extremely proud to be receiving a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator,” says Lynn Davidson, Chair of the Board of Directors. “Our Board of Directors and staff work hard to make sure that 100% of the community contributions go directly to the programs that enrich student learning through educators and ensure students achieve their college and career goals.” To learn more about Champions For Learning visit or call (239) 643-4755.

The Immokalee Foundation

The Immokalee Foundation recently received the highest rating for its financial health, transparency and accountability from Charity Navigator, the foremost independent charity watchdog in the United States. After examining the foundation’s income tax documents, its website and other data, Charity Navigator awarded the foundation four stars. The designation applies to charities considered “exceptional” that exceed industry standards and outperform most similar charities.

“We work diligently to employ best practices in nonprofit management to help ensure we earn the trust of those who support our efforts,” said Steven Kissinger, executive director of The Immokalee Foundation. “It’s a true honor to again receive the highest possible rating from Charity Navigator in recognition of our efforts.”

Charity Navigator has rated 1.5 million American charities. To be rated at even a basic level, each nonprofit must meet certain accountability standards, including an obligation or willingness by a charity to explain its actions to its stakeholders and make available critical data about the organization. Forbes, Business Week and Kiplinger’s Financial Magazine have profiled and written favorably about Charity Navigator’s data-driven method of evaluation.

The Immokalee Foundation provides a range of education programs that focus on building pathways to success through college and post-secondary preparation and support, mentoring and tutoring, opportunities for broadening experiences, and life skills development leading to economic independence. To learn more about The Immokalee Foundation, volunteering as a career panel speaker or host, becoming a mentor, making a donation, including the foundation in your estate plans, or for additional information, call 239-430-9122 or


RMC Group hosted the 2nd Annual RMC Open at Moorings Country Club to benefit the Cancer Alliance of Naples. We exceeded our goal and raised $9,000 for the Cancer Alliance of Naples.

Once again, the RMC Open was a great success, with 70 golfers participated. In addition, there were dozens of sponsors and donations, including Level 1 Sponsor, First Florida Integrity Bank, Level 2 Sponsor, Burns & Wilcox, and Level 3 Sponsor, AMS Financial Group. Thanks to the generous donations of many local businesses, our raffle was a great victory as well. Raffle prizes included rounds of golf, weekend getaways at local resorts, and miscellaneous PGA items.

“I am very pleased to announce that our annual golf event for the benefit of the Cancer Alliance of Naples was highly successful,”

Ray Ankner, President and CEO of RMC Group, said. Mr. Ankner went on to add, “This year thanks to all of our volunteers, sponsors and the Moorings Golf Club, we doubled the amount that we raised over last year. We are looking forward to an even bigger and better tournament next year.”

The Cancer Alliance of Naples offers services and programs to members of our community who are dealing with cancer. CAN serves Collier and Lee counties. The services offered by CAN include financial assistance to help with everyday needs such as groceries, gas, rent, insurance, and utilities. To learn more about CAN, visit their website at

Hunter safety courses offered

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is offering free hunter safety courses. All firearms, ammunition and materials are provided free of charge. Students should bring a pen or pencil and paper. An adult must accompany children younger than 16 at all times. Anyone born on or after June 1, 1975, must pass an approved hunter safety course and have a hunting license to hunt alone (unsupervised). The FWC course satisfies hunter-safety training requirements for all other states and Canadian provinces.

Internet-completion Courses Collier Nov. 4th (8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.) and 5th (8 – 10 a.m.)

Ballots for the Everglades City Election

The Collier County Supervisor of Elections office will sent its first mailing of Vote-by-Mail ballots for the upcoming City of Everglades City Election.

Voters may submit requests online at under the “Voteby Mail” tab. Requests can also be made by phone to the Supervisor of Elections office at (239) 252-VOTE (8683).

The deadline to request a Vote-by-Mail ballot is 5 p.m. on Wednesday, November 22. Voted ballots must be physically returned (not just postmarked) to the City Clerk’s office in Everglades City by 7 p.m. on Election Day, November 28, 2017. Ballots can be dropped off at the Everglades City Hall or may be mailed back in the official ballot return envelope provided by the Supervisor of Elections office. The United States Postal Service recommends that voters mail their voted ballots one week before the due date to account for any unforeseen events such as weather issues and to allow for timely receipt and processing by the elections office.

For more information on voting by mail or about the upcoming City of Everglades City Election, please visit www.Collier-

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