The East Naples Civic Association (ENCA) recently held its Annual Dinner Banquet. The evening kicked off with cocktail hour and hors d’oeuvres as guests arrived at the beautiful new Arlington of Naples community right inside Lely Resort.
President Christopher Shucart and Reverend Alan Coe commenced the event by asking the audience to rise for prayer, followed by the pledge of allegiance. ENCA, established in 1950, believes in working together as a community. This association is heavily involved with civic projects and takes pride in building strong connections within the greater East Naples community. “We each have different contributions to make,” Reverend Coe stated. “May each of you continue to work hard.”
Jim Ludwig, U.S. Open Pickleball event director, was named the Citizen of the Year during the banquet. The audience cheered as he received recognition for the economic impact of sports tourism and his efforts withpickleball and the Minto U.S. Open Pickleball Championships. With a waiting list of up to 300 for next year’s sporting event, this is truly the event to be a part of. “We could not have done it without the support of the commissioners,” Jim Ludwig stated. “It was a pleasant surprise receiving this award tonight.”
During the event, the 2017 Board of Directors also solidified their seats for all members in the running, with the approval from the ENCA members in attendance. “As outgoing and incoming president,” joked Shucart, who remained president of ENCA, “I hope we cover much more ground in 2017 as we had in 2016.”
The dinner banquet was also a night for fundraising. All attending had the opportunity to bid in a silent auction and purchase 50/50 raffle tickets. Proceeds benefited the ENCA High School Senior College Scholarships. There were over 20 sponsors, alldonating generous gift baskets and “experience prizes” to the lucky winners.
All work and no play is no way to host an event when you live in one of the most gorgeous areas in the country. With prominent members of the Marco Island and Naples communities attending, it was a sight to see having over 100 people playing “Saran Wrap Ball,” a game involving saran wrap filled with prizes as you unwrap the ball. Prizes such as drugstore gift cards, Hershey chocolates and deodorant fell out while the person to your left rolled two dice. Once they hit double numbers, you stopped unwrapping and passed the ball over to the next participant. This was an entertaining way to end the dinner banquet.
To discover more about pickleball and receive updates about the U.S. Open Pickleball Tournament, visit www.usopenpickleballchampionship.com.
For more information about the East Naples Civic Association and becoming a member, visit www.EastNaplesCivic.com.