It was an evening of Wine and Wings for the Caxambas Republican Club (CRC) who brought their event off-island to the briefing room of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) at the Marco Island Executive Airport. CRC members and their guests from Marco Island and Naples swirled, sniffed and sipped wines paired with tasty wings and fruits, while learning a lot about the CAP and its mission.
This was CRC’s last event until October. CRC President Dave Rice informed the members and guests that the board is planning a full line-up of events starting in October. Treasurer Ken Honecker reported that the club gained 21 new paid members since their June event.
Squadron Commander Bob Corriveau gave a thorough presentation on what the Civil Air Patrol is all about. Marco Island Civil Air Patrol squadron is a group of 65 all-volunteer men and women who give their timeand talents to keep our community safe. They’ve been looking out for our safety for over 30 years.
According to Commander Bob Corriveau, less than a third of its members are pilots. For each mission, you need a crew of eight to complete a mission. From a humble shack in 1981 to a 6,000 square feet hangar, which was totally built from community donations, the squadron is also responsible for its complete maintenance and operation.
The Marco Civil Air Patrol’s Black Sheep Squadron, in conjunction with Collier County, conducts wilderness waterway and coastal patrols on a weekly basis to monitor and assist boaters and campers in distress. The patrol begins at the Seminole State Park boat launch, follows the wilderness trail down to Lostman’s River, and returning up the coastline along the Keys, out to Cape Romano and along the Marco Island shoreline. They look for signs ofboaters/campers in distress or in need of assistance. This also includes the sighting of any forest fires in the area. Each patrol costs approximately $200.00 for fuel and airplane maintenance.
An added bonus to the evening was the up-close viewing of the last painting in the Tuskegee series, which is on permanent loan to the CAP from the Marco Island Center for the Arts. The “Longest Mission” was painted by artist and Tuskegee historian, Clint Martin. Saving the best for last, the hangar was opened for the viewing of CAP’s brand new Cessna 182 with its impressive computerized cockpit.
Looking for a few good men and women: If you have extra time on your hands and are looking for opportunities to serve your community and be a part of the Civil Air Patrol, here is your chance. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org. For specific information about the Marco Squadron visit www.fl376.flwg.us.