Monday, January 24, 2022




Donna Fiala

Don’t you think this is the busiest year we’ve ever had? I’m not only talking about traffic, but events that are heavily attended, volunteers who are working extra hours, more events than I can remember, and all seem to pile up on the same days because there are only so many days to spread around. And of course, with the price of fuel down, we feel free to drive more places, and others feel more relaxed about driving to Florida………..and who can blame them with the bitter winter they are having up north. I’m glad they are here where it is warmer. It’s better than having a roof collapse under the weight of snow, or the electricity go out and take the heat with it, and roads so slippery that you can’t drive, and with thirty degrees below zero wind chill factor (Ohio), it’s much safer here as well.

*Speaking of wonderful weather, it was the answer to our prayers for the Marco Island Kiwanis Club’s Annual Car Show extravaganza. We all discussed that we thought there were more cars displayed and more people attending than any of the last 10 years! It was wonderful, the people were happy and having a good time, and the cars were amazing!

*Another event Marco Island has bragging rights on is the traveling “Wall That Heals”. We were one of only fifteen cities in the USA to host the Traveling Wall this year. Our dedicated Marco volunteers will be there 24 hours a day, every day until it leaves on Feb. 16th. Hopefully everyone in Collier County makes it their goal to visit this wonderful exhibit. It was heartening to see the great attendance from our high school youth on Education Day, and the Lely JROTC proudly showing their patriotism during the opening ceremony. The music director Craig Greusel from Lely Elementary School started all of us singing the National Anthem, but most of us just quieted in amazement as we heard his marvelous voice!

*It was good to see Bryan Hauser back on the mend, even though he has not yet regained use of his arm. It wouldn’t have been a car show without him.

*Word has it that Kathi Swaja is slowly making a good recovery. Her devoted husband, Joe, is taking very loving care of her, and that is a great part of healing. Love conquers all.

*Did you know that our Marco Island Library has some very interesting programs? J. Robert will be sharing his Florida Heritage with original songs and stories from “Life in the Bicycle Lane” on Feb. 24th from 2 pm to 3:30 pm. The program is Mind Bogglers, which challenges you to try your hand at solving word puzzles that represent a famous phrase, song, person, place, title or movie in a unique fashion. They say it is guaranteed to really boggle your mind. And finally on February 27th at 10:30 am Marco Island’s own Tom Williams, author, will discuss his book “Surrounded By Thunder: The Story of Darrell Loan and the Rocketmen”, an exciting historical narrative. The book was awarded a Gold Medal at the 2013 Florida Book Awards.

And for those who are homebound, did you know that the Collier County Library has a “mail-a-book” in either CD Audio or Regular Print books that is absolutely free! They have programs for little tots between the ages of 16 months and 5 years, plus on Thursdays there is Family Story Time and Crafts at 10:30 am for this same age group. They have many programs for school age children after school, plus a “Marco Island Library Bakery-Open for Business” session on April 2nd from 4 to 6:30 where they will learn how chefs and waiters work, and learn how a restaurant business is run. Ages 9 thru 12 will learn to make two desserts, set a table, take an order and then serve their guests. In addition, they have programs such as “Coding for Tweens” where they learn how to write a computer program, etc., Teen Tech QR Mystery, Money Smart Week Challenge, and Marco Island Library Bakery-Open for Business. For 11 to 17yr olds there is “Money Smart Week Challenge from April 20 through April 24th, to enhance and advance their budding financial wizardry. Something else that might interest teens as well as parents is titled – “It takes more than luck to ace that exam”, Testing & Education Reference Center – Search for scholarships and access online study guides and practice tests for exams, including FCAT, ACT, SAT, and AP subject tests. Find out more at

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