Sunday, October 17, 2021




By Donna Fiala

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking to the Marco Island Presbyterian Church “Women on the Go” at a luncheon at C.J.’s. What a dynamic group of women! These women do so much for Marco Island in the name of all that is good. I was very impressed!

Enterprise Rent-a-Car has now positioned themselves at the Marco Island Airport. That is a smart business move, if you ask me!

The Marco Island Kiwanis Club was at it again recently! This motivated group held a Crab Claw dinner at the Capri Civic Association Community Center to recruit new members, and everyone had a ball! The club president, John Coff, kept us laughing the entire time, and the fellowship was beyond description. Of course Bryan Hauser is always the entertainer, Bill & Patti Holmes were dressed for St. Paddy’s Day, Nora Ousley salivated over the crab claws even before she started eating them, and everyone had a tremendously good time!

The Marco Shores residents held such a nice dinner event recently at the Hammock Bay Country Club with a great entertainer/singer, dancing and a true St. Paddy’s Day feast. I truly appreciated them inviting me to join them. Thanks so much Ann Marie Foley and friends. It was so much fun.

Dave Carpenter, from the elections office, spoke recently about some of the census and demographic information that might interest all of us. One thing in particular is that there is a movement taking place right now to go back to a county-wide vote to elect commissioners, rather than single member districts. He explained that was the method used previously, and money and power controlled the election rather than the districts controlling their own elections with their vote. It is something we all must think through and then consider how we feel about this issue.

Here’s a test…………how many of you have ever heard of CREW? (Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed) It is a combined effort between Lee & Collier County to preserve a watershed that in turn will protect our future water sources forever. They have been very successful so far in preserving land that was destined to be developed, and putting it in preservation permanently. I believe they have already accumulated 65,000 acres in Northern Collier and Southern Lee. Yours truly serves on their executive board and also the board of trustees along with Lee County Commissioner Ray Judah. I have had the honor of serving for 11 years to this point, and will continue to do so for as long as I remain a commissioner. They just held a fundraiser and I think every environmentalist in the area attended. It was very heartwarming.

The Arts Afire Afterglow Gala was held last Sunday, presented by the City of Marco Island at the Island Country Club. The event was outstanding! Every person who is involved in any phase of the arts seemed to be there. Five “Flame Awards” were presented for:

  • Individual Artist – the award went to Tara O’Neill, (what a terrific lady!)
  • Emerging Artist – Tyler McDonald (a young fantastic photographer)
  • Public/Private – Dave Rice (for almost single handedly saving the Art League)
  • Arts in Education – Calusa Garden Club.
  • Cultural Leadership – Clyde Butcher (a most deserving award)

Almost 200 people attended, including Laura Litzan, City Manager Jim Riviere, Council Members Frank Recker, Wayne Waldack and Chuck Kiester. Howard Blankman, chairman, guided us through the program with JoAnn Sanborn as a master of the awards ceremony. There were so many notables such as Bonnie & Craig Woodward, Alan & Linda Sandlin, Keith & Barbara Dameron, Jennifer and Ronnie Edwards, Joel & Judy Gewirtz – well, too numerous to mention all of them, but everyone a joy to behold! Ken & Chris mentioned how nice it was to see that the bridge construction company had hoisted an American Flag at the construction site. A wonderful evening was had by all!

Tom & Delores Shea had always been in the restaurant business. Remember O’Shea’s? What a fun place THAT was! I recently noticed his daughter, Jan Lamb, managing a new restaurant in East Naples named Boston Restaurant and Sports Bar, owned by Phil McCabe and located in the shopping center at the corner of U.S. 41 E and Lakewood Blvd., at the entrance to Sugden Park.

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