Video courtesy of WINK News
NEW EYE INSTITUTE OPENING THIS FALL AT GOLISANO CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
A new eye institute for children with a staff of four doctors is scheduled to open this fall, doubling the exam space offered at Golisano Children’s Hospital. The building off Summerlin Road and San Carlos Boulevard will have narrow rooms specifically designed for eye exams and will significantly reduce families’ wait times to book appointments. The Southwest Florida Children’s Charities has committed $3.2 million to build the new eye institute, WINK News reports. This Saturday, the organization is hosting its annual fundraiser event, SWFL Wine & Food Fest, sponsored by Gulfshore Life magazine. To donate or to see auction lots open for bidding, click here.
Video courtesy of WINK News
NAPLES THEATER SET TO BUILD NEW CULTURAL CAMPUS, THEATER AND EDUCATION CENTER
A boost for Southwest Florida is coming with a new theater that will help create jobs and promote an industry hit hard by the pandemic. Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples is expanding at a time when most theaters are just reopening. Its new campus will bring more than $20 million a year to the area. The center is also bringing nearly 60 full-time positions at a new 3-acre campus near Baker Park on Goodlette-Frank Road just north of U.S. 41 East in Naples. The center will break ground in September, providing about $20 million a year in economic impact to downtown Naples, WINK News reports.
COLLIER COUNTY SEEKING SOLUTIONS TO TRAFFIC CONGESTION ON IMMOKALEE ROAD IN NORTH NAPLES
Too many traffic lights and too much congestion. Those are some of the complaints people have about Immokalee Road near the Interstate 75 interchange in North Naples. By 2040, traffic on Immokalee Road is expected to increase from 43,400 to 72,450 vehicles, a traffic study shows. That’s why traffic engineers came up with nine major intersections on Immokalee Road from Livingston to Logan Boulevard that could use some work. Collier County has extended a public comment period to April 30 for findings that will be provided to county commissioners. To make suggestions for improving Immokalee Road traffic, click here.
Video courtesy of WINK News
CAPE CORAL VOTES TO FINE WASTE PRO FOR GARBAGE THAT’S NOT PICKED UP
Cape Coral City Council voted this week to fine Waste Pro $250 per home for each day trash is scheduled to be picked but is not. The city has received nearly 1,400 complaints this month for missed garbage pickups. Waste Pro recently released its action plan for how it will get caught up picking up trash in Cape Coral, and some progress has been made, but piles of trash remain in some neighborhoods. Council approved a measure that will withhold $250 in payments made to Waste Pro for every complaint that’s logged through the city’s 311 call center, WINK News reports.
Video courtesy of WINK News
CAPE CORAL DISCUSSING UNIFORM RULES FOR GOLF CARTS IN THE CITY
Golf carts could be prohibited on public roads in the Saratoga Lake Park neighborhood in Cape Coral, where they are currently permitted. This issue has led to a discussion about golf carts on roads citywide. Cape Coral City Council is considering a ban for using golf carts in that specific neighborhood and a citywide update for a consistent golf cart policy for Cape Coral roadways, WINK News reports.
DEMOLITION BEGINS AT COURTHOUSE SHADOWS RETAIL CENTER IN EAST NAPLES
Demolition has begun at Courthouse Shadows retail center in East Naples to make way for its replacement: a 300-unit apartment complex. Kite Realty Group sold the more than 15-acre defunct shopping center for $13.75 million last July to Johnson Development Associates, a developer based in Spartanburg, South Carolina, property records show. Demolition permits were issued April 13 for the inline section of the vacated center that once was anchored by Albertsons, then Publix supermarkets. Also, facing the wrecking ball will be the former OfficeMax and Buffalo Wild Wings freestanding buildings. The remainder of the businesses in outparcels along U.S. 41 East will remain operating at Courthouse Shadows. Johnson Development plans to build a multifamily residential community in five four-story buildings. The first apartments are targeted for completion in September 2022.
NEW WORKFORCE TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES IN CHARLOTTE COUNTY
HU Direct, an express division of Hodges University, and Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, have formed an alliance to create more workforce training opportunities to help fulfill the needs of the region. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 8:45 a.m. on April 29 at the new Goodwill Community Resource Center in Port Charlotte inside the brand new Goodwill retail store at Kings Highway in the Peachland Plaza. At this location, Hodges University has its own networked, fully equipped classroom to teach classes and hold workshops, while Goodwill hosts programs and services to help those with barriers and digital training needs. Some of the planned offerings include English as a Second Language (ESL), Pathways to Home Ownership, Direct Support Professionals, plus various workshops and classes.
BAREFOOT BUNGALOW REALTY CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING IN BONITA SPRINGS
Barefoot Bungalow Realty celebrated its grand opening in Bonita Springs with a ribbon-cutting coordinated by SWFL Inc. and hosted at Shangri-La Springs Resort & Spa. The office is located at 9220 Bonita Beach Road Southeast in Bonita Springs. Barefoot Bungalow Realty specializes in the traditional buying and selling of real estate and prides itself on providing clients with step-by-step guidance for investment properties and property management. The company is owned by Chris McCabe and Mary Mouritsen, who have a combined 30 years of business and real estate experience.
PHYSICIANS’ PRIMARY CARE OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA HIRES PHYSICIAN
Dr. Jennelle Villaflor has joined Physicians’ Primary Care of Southwest Florida as an internal medicine physician. Villaflor earned her medical degree from Far Eastern University in the Philippines. She served her residency in internal medicine at Harlem Hospital Center in New York. Villaflor has 15 years of experience as a physician in the Philippines and as a hospitalist in the U.S. She is board-certified in internal medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine. She will see patients at the Fort Myers family medicine and internal medicine office of Physicians’ Primary Care at 7381 College Pkwy., Fort Myers.
KELLY NAMED CHAIR OF HENDERSON FRANKLIN BUSINESS LITIGATION DEPARTMENT
Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt P.A. Stockholder Carlos Kelly has been named chair of the business litigation department. He succeeds Douglas Szabo, who will assume the role of Henderson Franklin’s managing stockholder in May. Kelly helps business clients in the areas of partner/shareholder claims, creditors’ rights, and other contract-based claims. He is co-chair of Lee County Bar Association’s General Civil and Business Litigation Practice Section, is board chair of The IMAG History & Science Center, and serves on SalusCare Inc.’s finance committee. He has also been a long-time member of the Association of Eminent Domain Professionals, the Real Estate Investment Society, and The Florida Bar’s Eminent Domain Committee. Kelly received his undergraduate degree from Florida State University, magna cum laude, and his Juris Doctor from Emory University.
VILLAGE SCHOOL LEADER ELECTED TO SOUTHERN HEADS ASSOCIATION
The Village School of Naples Head of School Dennis Chapman was among a select group of school leaders elected into the Southern Heads Association. The primary purpose of the Southern Heads Association is to provide opportunities intended to inform, stimulate and rejuvenate both members and their spouses alike for the responsibilities inherent in the head-mastering profession. A native of Miami, Chapman has more than 15 years of independent school leadership experience and 20 years of non-profit experience. He joined The Village School in 2018 after serving as president and Head of School at The New School in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Before that, he was associate head of school for The Out-of-Door Academy in Sarasota. Chapman holds a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications from Trinity International University and a Master of Education in educational leadership from the University of South Florida. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Education at The University of Pennsylvania in educational leadership.
AUNE TO JOIN CHAMPIONS FOR LEARNING STAFF TEAM
Champions For Learning has appointed Dr. Peggy Aune to the newly created role of chief innovation officer. Primary responsibilities in the executive-level position include managing and leading the Champions For Learning program initiatives, including the student programs and educator programs, and ensuring organizational outcomes are being fulfilled. Aune’s work will focus on developing the five-year strategic plan for Champions For Learning and leading the new Frank and Ellen Daveler Center for Innovation in Learning that will be finished in summer 2021. Aune comes to Champions For Learning with instructional leadership experience, including 20 years at Collier County Public Schools, as a teacher, school administrator, and since 2017 as associate superintendent of teaching and learning. Aune earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of education from Florida Gulf Coast University and her Doctor of Education in educational leadership from the University of Florida. Aune will bring her experience through partnerships and state-level initiatives, such as Impact Florida. She is a graduate of the Leadership Florida Education Class III.
BRADFORD APPOINTED TO LEE COUNTY COMMUNITY ACTION AGENCY, NEIGHBORHOOD DISTRICT COMMITTEE ADVISORY BOARD
Katie M. Bradford, attorney for Wilbur Smith LLC, has been appointed by Commissioner Frank Mann to the Lee County Community Action Agency and Neighborhood District Committee Advisory Board. The board serves as a forum for Lee County residents to give opinions and have involvement in the design and delivery of services impacting the quality of life in their community.
MUDDELL EARNS CFP DESIGNATION
Jeffrey A. Muddell, senior vice president and wealth services advisor at The Sanibel Captiva Trust Co., has been awarded Certified Financial Planner (CFP). CFP professionals have met the experience and ethical requirements of the CFP board, completed financial planning coursework and passed the CFP certification examination, covering various areas of financial management. Muddell joined The Sanibel Captiva Trust Co. in 2019. Before joining The Trust Co., Muddell worked in nonprofit management and philanthropy, most recently as system director of gift planning for the Lee Health Foundation in Fort Myers. He holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Florida’s Warrington School of Business and earned his bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Miami, having begun his professional career in broadcasting and journalism.
United Way of Collier and the Keys distribute nearly $10M during challenging year
It has been one year since the United Way of Collier and the Keys (UWCK) was formed through the merger of the United Way of the Florida Keys and the United Way of Collier County in April 2020. Working with local companies, area not-for-profits, governments at the city, county, and federal level, and a large network of generous private donors, the organization has helped to distribute nearly $10 million in assistance to individuals and charitable organizations in its first year. As a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic and recession, housing and food insecurity became acute problems for South Florida communities. UWCK responded by assisting the City of Key West and Collier County with the distribution of approximately $7.5 million in housing aid and more than $500,000 in food assistance. In Collier County, housing assistance kept more than a thousand people in their homes. Over the past year, a grant from Volunteer Florida enabled UWCK to repair or rebuild more than 50 homes that were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Irma. United Way of Collier and the Keys made has provided more than $1.2 million in funding to 42 local not-for-profit agencies.
Marco Island Historical Society launches $5 million endowment campaign
Marco Island Historical Society (MIHS) Executive Director Pat Rutledge announced the official kick off of a $5 million endowment campaign for MIHS at a gathering of friends on April 9. The MIHS endowment campaign is led by MIHS Board Member Tish Champagne and committee members Rosemary Albanese, Tom Britten, Bruce Graev, Carolyn Henderson and Pat Rutledge. A match challenge legacy gift of $100,000 has been issued by MIHS Board Member Myrt Rose and matched by Tish and Rene Champagne. Others are invited to meet the challenge or to make their own match challenges in varying amounts. Donors of $10,000 or more to the endowment campaign become members of the MIHS Cushing Society that honors Frank Hamilton Cushing leader of the 1896 Marco Island archaeological dig that revealed the Key Marco Cat and other pre-Columbian artifacts. To learn how to support the MIHS endowment campaign, contact Pat Rutledge at (239) 389-6447 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Naples Soap to support Gulf Coast High School Marching Band with portion of sales
Naples Soap will host a fundraiser for the Gulf Coast High School Marching Band this Saturday and Sunday, April 24-25. Ten percent of all sales at the Tin City and 5th Avenue South locations in Naples will be donated to the Gulf Coast High School (GCHS) Marching Band. This award-winning band has been invited to Disney World and Universal Studios during the 2021-2022 school year to represent Naples. GCHS Marching Band is seeking funding as, due to COVID-19, donations were down and ability to raise money has been challenging, the band states. A student leader worked directly with Naples Soap to establish this fundraiser. Naples Soap encourages patrons to visit its Tin City or Fifth Avenue South location this weekend to assist in the fundraiser.
United Way donates $15,000 to The Shelter
The Shelter for Abused Women & Children received a donation of $15,000 from The United Way of Collier and the Keys. The contribution provides the shelter with means to provide safety, housing, and outreach services to victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. In addition to reimagining fundraising efforts due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the shelter also opened a second 60-bed facility in Immokalee. The shelter is Collier County’s only certified domestic violence center.
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