Gulfshore Business Daily: February 11

A Southwest Florida housing market report, the Southwest Florida Free Pain Clinic expands, a financial literacy workshop is held for students and more.



SWFL PRICE APPRECIATION SHOWS ANNUAL STRENGTH

Southwest Florida housing price appreciation starts continue to show annual strength, according to Metrostudy's fourth-quarter 2018 survey of the Naples/Fort Myers housing market. Quarterly starts are up 6.5 percent over the fourth quarter of 2017, while annual starts are up 12 percent from 2017 numbers. Quarterly closings are up 14 percent from the fourth quarter of 2017 and annual closings for 2018 are up 3 percent over 2017. New home inventory remains constrained, and finished, vacant inventory is low, an over-build situation, similar to which occurred in 2005-2006, is not anticipated, the report shows.

For the full report, including a county-by-county breakdown, click here

FREE PAIN CLINIC EXPANDS IN FORT MYERS

The Southwest Florida Free Pain Clinic will hold a grand opening at its new location from 4-6 p.m. on Feb. 28. The clinic is located at 6831 Palisades Park Court, Unit 3, in Fort Myers. The open house will feature refreshments and tours of the facility, the opportunity to meet volunteers and staff, and testimonials from patients. All volunteers, supporters and friends are invited to the celebration.

The Fort Myers First Church of the Nazarene previously provided donated space for Southwest Florida Free Pain Clinic services one evening a week. Beginning in March, the Southwest Florida Free Pain Clinic will expand hours of operation and offer services from noon to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays and noon to 6 p.m. on Thursdays.

Further expansion efforts are underway, with the ultimate goal being a permanent full-time staffed clinic with ability to utilize the model to replicate across the state.

SMITH NAMED WOMAN OF THE YEAR

Sally Smith, a member of The Rotary Club of Estero since 2010, is the 2019 Zonta Club of Bonita Springs-Estero Woman of the Year. The annual Woman of the Year Fundraising Luncheon will be held on April 16 at Palmira Golf and Country Club.

Smith has been selected as Rotarian of the Year on three occasions. She volunteers by teaching English and mathematics to the Hispanic community in Bonita Springs.

Tickets for the Woman of the Year Fundraising Luncheon are on sale now for $50 until April 1, when the price increases to $65. Tickets may be purchased at www.zontabonitasprings.com. Funds from this event are used to provide grants to local organizations that best serve women, to provide scholarships to local students and to support various service projects.

APPLICATIONS OPEN FOR UNCOMMON FRIENDS FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIPS

The Uncommon Friends Foundation is now accepting applications for its 2019-2020 student scholarships to be awarded to deserving individuals who want to pursue post-secondary degrees in education, law, technology, healthcare, technical, hospitality, and other studies. Applications are open to all, including veterans, single parents, grieving youth, and people with disabilities. The deadline to apply is April 1.

Nominees must reside in Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Glades, or Hendry counties, need financial assistance, excel in school and/or their personal lives, and possess high-quality character traits. Scholarships vary in financial amounts, application requirements and commitments, schools, and duration. Visit https://uncommonfriends.org/scholarships/opportunities/ for application forms and specific requirements of each scholarship. 

FINANCIAL LITERACY WORKSHOPS HELD FOR STUDENTS

Grace Place for Children and Families has collaborated with the Financial Planning Association of Southwest Florida (FPA-SWFL) to present students with free Financial Literacy Workshops. The workshops will provide students, most of whom are parents of its youth program participants, with necessary tools and resources to better understand and manage their family’s finances. Each workshop is held from 6:45-8:45 p.m. on the Grace Place campus in Naples.

The next workshop, “Basics of Credit – How to Establish and Manage Credit,” will be held tomorrow, followed by “Planning for your Financial Future, Ways to Avoid Financial Scams” on Feb. 19, and “One-on-One Sessions with Financial Professionals” on Feb. 26. For more information, visit www.graceplacenaples.org.

NAPLESNEXT TO BENEFIT GUADALUPE CENTER

Guadalupe Center will be a beneficiary of the NaplesNEXT Ideas Festival, festival organizers announced. The thought leadership summit will take place from March 17-19 at the Naples Grande Beach Resort.

Guadalupe Center, which is focused on educational programs for children from infancy through college, will receive a portion of proceeds raised from patron ticket sales to NaplesNEXT. The funds will be disbursed through NaplesNEXT’s Foundation NEXT fund established at the Community Foundation of Collier County.

The NaplesNEXT donation to Guadalupe Center will go to the Center’s early childhood, after school and high school programs. For information and tickets, visit NaplesNEXT.com.

FISHING TOURNAMENT SPONSORS SOUGHT

New and returning sponsors are being sought for the 2019 Bobby Holloway Jr. Memorial Fishing Tournament, which is slated for March 30 at Pineland Marina. The annual tournament is the main fundraiser for the Bobby Holloway Jr. Memorial Fund, which has raised more thousands of dollars during the last two decades for Pine Island children, providing both college scholarships and community-based youth activities.

This will be the event’s 21st year. Sponsorship opportunities include place sponsorship, youth boat sponsorship, logo placement on T-shirts, auction-item donations, raffle-prize donations and cash donations. Event volunteers are also welcome. To get involved, contact Ernestine Squires at (239) 281-8225 or Steven Hook at (239) 898-8483. Tournament and donation information also is available at www.hollowaytourney.org.

Charitable notes

Harry Chapin Food Bank and Publix Super Markets partner for ‘Let’s Feed Lee’

The Harry Chapin Food Bank is partnering with Publix in “Let’s Feed Lee,” a food drive to bring in some of the most-needed staples for the more than 150 partner agencies the food bank serves. The food drive will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 23. To participate, shop any of Publix Super Markets’ 35 Lee County stores, purchase one or more items, and donate them as you leave to the food bank staff and volunteers set up in the lobby or outside. For more information or to make a donation, call (239) 334-7007 or visit harrychapinfoodbank.org.

Celebration of Grace gala coming in March

Grace Place for Children and Families will host its Celebration of Grace 15th anniversary gala on March 1 at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples. The Celebration of Grace is a singular event to toast to the 15th anniversary of Grace Place and celebrate the organization’s growth and accomplishments. The evening will include a meet-and-greet with Grace Place students, dinner, a live auction and entertainment by Naples’ own Billy Dean and Dawn.

Proceeds from the Celebration of Grace will benefit Grace Place’s educational programs and help empower students to change the trajectory of their future. For more information, tickets and tables go to https://graceplacenaples.org/celebrationofgrace/.

Mrs. Edison's Hymn Sing brings 1,300 pounds of food for Community Cooperative

Attendees of Mrs. Edison’s Hymn Sing, held on Feb. 5 at First Presbyterian Church of Fort Myers, contributed food and funds to help The Soup Kitchen of Community Cooperative feed the hungry in Southwest Florida. More than 1,300 pounds of non-perishable food along with financial contributions were collected at the 30th Annual Mrs. Edison’s Hymn Sing, which Galloway Family of Dealerships sponsored and organized. 

Attendees sang hymns with the 60-member Sanctuary Choir of First Presbyterian Church and friends, listened to soloists, and heard a song called “Edison’s Phonograph Polka,” about Thomas Edison’s famous invention. Pianist Barbara Peterson and organist Eddygrace Bernhard played the song.