Monday, January 24, 2022

Coastal Comments

Donna Fiala

Donna Fiala

Many people are not aware that Assembly of God Church, which has been located on 951/Collier Blvd., has sold their property to First Baptist Church of Marco Island. First Baptist members, young and old alike, have been busy cleaning up the property, getting rid of the trash, mowing, weeding, discarding and getting it ready for the new occupants. First Baptist also bought the property behind the Assembly property, which was slated to become low-income housing; so now they own all 67 acres. Pastor Neptune, of First Baptist, has some exciting plans for the future of this property, which he shared with Ted Beisler, general manager of Naples Lakes Country Club, Jay Whalen, president of Naples Lakes Homeowners Assoc., and myself. From what we heard, this new church will be an improvement to the property, and will now be more compatible with the entire corridor, which is indeed a lovely area. Naples Lakes residents presented a huge cake to the 150 workers from First Baptist Church on the first day of their clean up to welcome them to the area. First Baptist has many plans that span over a number of years, starting small and working forward from there.

With the sale of their property, Assembly of God Church was able to pay off their bills and purchase the existing Collier Athletic Club, which will become their new church building. They take possession within the month of November. I was surprised to learn that the Collier Athletic property’s zoning included churches. Who would have thought????

Have you seen all the people working at the new Lowe’s getting it ready to open? That’s a lot of people who will have a better Christmas because they have a job. I got word that Lowe’s had to extend their opening date until later in December. I’m sure they were disappointed, and so are we.

Speaking of working………..the new Dunkin’ Donuts building next to the new Lowe’s is looking marvelous! They really did a nice job upgrading the property and building. I can hardly wait to enjoy their donuts and coffee! Won’t be long now.

A problem we always have in East Naples for our many, many underprivileged children is there is no distribution point to send gifts or food. In other areas of the county there are agencies that concentrate on getting the gifts to the children who will have none, but we do not have anything like that in East Naples, and we have 6 elementary schools and 2 middle schools filled with deserving kids and hardly any way to get any gifts to them. I have talked with the Salvation Army, who said they would accept gifts and do what they could to distribute, but many of the children cannot get to their property even by bike. This is a pressing problem that needs to be solved. Meanwhile, there are agencies that house many children that can accept gifts for their residents, such as Youth Haven (so often we forget this wonderful agency filled with children who need to be remembered), St. Matthew’s House, Shelter for Abused Women (and children), and of course Salvation Army. Please remember these agencies when thinking of gift distribution.

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Enjoy your family and friends, be kind to your neighbors, care about each other. We are so fortunate to live in the United States of America. Be thankful for what we have and do what you can to make life better for all those around you. Life is short. Fill it with goodness.

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