Gulfshore Business Daily: February 11

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Lead Photo: Live entertainment on Fifth Avenue South. Evening on Fifth returns today. Details below.
 

Sourced from WINK News

VACCINE APPOINTMENTS QUICKLY BOOKED AGAIN AT SWFL STORES

Publix vaccine slots for Lee, Collier, Charlotte and DeSoto counties became available at 7 a.m. Wednesday and were booked by 8:04 a.m. The process has been adjusted, and the Publix website now comes with instructions: The sign-up page displays a counter ticking down until the next time the page refreshes. A list of Florida counties shows how many appointment slots still remain in each one. Publix appointments are for Florida residents 65 and older. Winn-Dixie and Walmart also confirmed Tuesday night that their initial rollout of vaccine appointments this week have been completely booked at all participating Southwest Florida locations announced earlier in the day, WINK News reports.
 
 

MARCO ISLAND UPDATES VACCINE ROLLOUT TO INCLUDE RESIDENTS ONLY

Registration for the coronavirus vaccine through the city of Marco Island will now be exclusive to those who have proof of residence in the city and continue to meet the state’s criteria for vaccination, the city announced Tuesday. During the initial rollout of the vaccine through Marco, anyone with proof of Florida residence and eligibility could register to be vaccinated through the city’s supply. A new registration page is open for full-time and seasonal residents of Marco aged 65 and older, and appointments will be assigned based on ZIP code and age.
 
Video courtesy of WINK News

COLLIER COUNTY CONDUCTS LOGAN BLVD. TRAFFIC STUDY AMID SAFETY CONCERNS

Residents living in gated communities along the Logan Boulevard extension in North Naples are concerned about motorists, in particular, big vehicles such as dump trucks, speeding down the new roadway near their homes. Collier County, which is monitoring the traffic situation on that section of Logan connecting Collier and Lee counties, may ask for restrictive signage if a study shows a significant percentage of trucks within 24 hours. In addition to the truck study, the county is advising trucking companies to use alternative routes, WINK News reports.
 

School District of Lee County seal. Credit: WINK News

LEE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFERING YOUNG FIVE PROGRAM

The Young Five Program is accepting its first students at 10 schools in the Lee County district. The program is for students who are eligible for kindergarten but would benefit from an extra year of social and emotional development. It offers a learning environment tailored to meet the needs of students with late spring and summer birthdays who would benefit from additional time with school readiness. To qualify, students must turn 5 between May 1 and Sept. 1. Registration information is available on the School District’s website. Parents with questions can email Young5@leeschools.net or call one of the schools offering the program, WINK News reports.
 

Leadership Collier Foundation 2020 Kickoff

LEADERSHIP COLLIER FOUNDATION ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR 2022

The Leadership Collier Foundation (LCF) of the Greater Naples Chamber is now accepting applications for the Leadership Collier Class of 2022. The program runs from September through April and includes 10 full-day sessions. Program tuition is $2,200 which is due upon acceptance to the program. A limited amount of partial tuition assistance may be available to those accepted. Applicants should apply here. Leadership Collier was formed by the Chamber in 1988 to develop a network of informed citizens prepared to assume leadership roles in the community. Through hands-on experiences, participants fully explore local government, education, economic development, the arts and more to understand the community’s biggest opportunities and challenges. 
 

CSN OPENS NEW INSTITUTE FOR SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH

Just before sunset on Feb. 8, about 60 people gathered for a ribbon-cutting outside Community School of Naples’ newest building, the Foundation 33 Institute for Science and Environmental Research (ISER). The ceremony marked the culmination of planning, fundraising and construction of a structure housing state-of-the-art science classrooms, research labs, and modern offices for CSN students and faculty members. In honor of CSN’s commitment to the children of Collier County, the Board of County Commissioners, led by chairman Penny Taylor, issued a proclamation declaring Feb. 9, 2021, Community School of Naples Day.
 

MIROMAR OUTLETS WELCOMES NEW BEAUTY STORE

Miromar Outlets announces the opening of Center Stage in Suite 157. The luxury beauty and cosmetic retailer offers a collection of natural skincare products for achieving a younger and healthier complexion. Products range from serums and moisturizers to eye and neck masks and an award-winning makeup and perfume line.
 

CAPITAL WEALTH ADVISORS’ NEXT MARKET HAPPY HOUR WEBINAR FEB. 16

Capital Wealth Advisors (CWA), headquartered in Naples, continues its monthly Market Happy Hour Webinars, will the next event held at  4:30 p.m. on Feb. 16. During the webinars, CWA’s experienced research team members review what they believe to be the important market events of the month, and discuss the economic and global drivers that they believe are moving the markets. The webinars are free and open to the public. Prior registration is required
 

Blake Hampton

HAMPTON NAMED 2021 LEE COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT

Blake P. Hampton, attorney and owner of Hampton Law, has been appointed the 2021 president of the Lee County Bar Association (LCBA). Hampton will oversee almost 500 members and is responsible for presiding over the membership and board of director meetings and setting the monthly programming. Hampton hopes to focus his year on environmental issues, diversity and inclusion, and mental health within the legal profession. In addition to being named president of the LCBA, Hampton currently serves on the Medicaid, VA Benefits and Special Needs Trust committees of the Florida Bar Elder Law section. He also serves as vice president on the board of directors for LARC, Inc., and is a member of Rotary Club of Fort Myers South.
 

Monica Schmucker

SCHMUCKER ELECTED TO, NAMED CHAIR OF FORT MYERS BEACH NUISANCE ABATEMENT BOARD

The law firm of Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt P.A. Litigation Attorney Monica Schmucker was elected to and also named chair of the Town of Fort Myers Beach Nuisance Abatement Board. As a member of the Fort Myers Beach Women’s Club Board of Directors and chair of the social committee, she assists in fundraising efforts supporting nonprofits throughout the community. Schmucker also serves as treasurer of an organization dedicated to the preservation of Lovers Key State Park, Friends of Lovers Key (FOLKS). Schmucker is a former Deputy Attorney General in Indiana. She is a member of the Lee County Bar Association and Lee County Association for Women’s Lawyers. She received her undergraduate degree from Florida International University and her law degree from the University of Notre Dame Law School, cum laude. 
 

Michael Rubenstein

NAPLES THERAPEUTIC RIDING CENTER WELCOMES BOARD MEMBERS

Naples Therapeutic Riding Center (NTRC) has welcomed Michael Rubenstein and Jeffery Fortier to the Board of Directors. Michael Rubenstein is a senior fiduciary advisor for BMO Harris Wealth Management. Michael brings to his board position a strong personal connection for NTRC as his son, Matias, is on the Autism Spectrum and benefited greatly from NTRC’s therapeutic riding program. In addition to his passion for the mission, Michael brings more than 10 years of expertise in trust and estates, tax, asset protection, charitable giving, and other related areas of wealth management to the board. Fortier is a partner and the managing director of Private Capital Management. He brings more than 20 years of experience in private client investments and wealth management to his board position.
 

NEXT ‘EVENING ON FIFTH’ TAKES PLACE TODAY

“Evening on Fifth” returns to Fifth Avenue South in downtown Naples from 6:30-9:30 p.m. today. The free event will feature an array of live musical performances up and down the sidewalks along Fifth Avenue South. Restaurants and bars along the avenue will be offering specials on dining and drinks, and residents and guests will have an opportunity to explore the area’s boutiques, shops and galleries. Evenings on Fifth continues every second Thursday of the month. 
 

CHARITABLE NOTES

 

Collier County still has millions available in CARES Act money

Collier County still has more CARES Act money available for small businesses and families adversely affected by the pandemic. In June, Collier County received $67 million, $10 million of which was allocated to small businesses. But when you add up everything that’s been paid with payments in process, the county still has $22 million. The proposal for those remaining funds includes helping qualified small businesses and nonprofits pay off non-forgivable economic injury disaster loans, with a maximum of $25,000 per company.
 

Hadasa Palacios is one of the benefactors of CARES Act funds from the city of Cape Coral and Habitat for Humanity. Photo sourced from WINK News

Cape Coral, Habitat for Humanity help families with CARES Act funds

Nearly 200 families in Cape Coral now have the money they need to pay their rent and mortgage. The city of Cape Coral and Habitat for Humanity partnered to distribute $900,000 in CARES Act money to 193 families that have fallen behind on their bills in Cape Coral. The city of Cape Coral plans to offer more mortgage, rent and utility assistance in March. All applicants must prove they lost income due to COVID-19, WINK News reports.
 

Valerie’s House celebrates fifth anniversary

Valerie’s House, a nonprofit organization in Southwest Florida helping children grieve, is celebrating its fifth year of providing grief support services to Southwest Florida with a year-long celebration throughout 2021. Valerie’s House will be sharing “Then and Now” stories of growth and healing from children that have attended Valerie’s House over the years. Various news stories, behind the scenes videos of Valerie’s House, and family and volunteer testimonials will be highlighted.  Additionally, local businesses and other organizations have “adopted” Valerie’s House on social media and in their communications in an effort to increase awareness of the importance of helping grieving children. All throughout 2021, the community is encouraged to share personal stories of their experiences attending Valerie’s House, volunteering, and the impact the organization has had on their lives by using the hashtag  #VHTurns5 on social channels, or by emailing their story to Alexa Nargi at Alexa@valerieshouse.org.
 

Marco Island Historical Society receives $10,000 relief grant 

Marco Island Historical Society(MIHS) has received a $10,000 relief grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County. The grant is made available through the Collier Comes Together-Coronavirus Relief fund. The Community Foundation of Collier County has awarded more than $830,000 in grants for general operating support, programs, and COVID-19 relief to help area nonprofits get back on their feet. 
 

Bank joins county-wide food drive

Charlotte State Bank & Trust for the Fresh Jersey Tomatoes ongoing food drive. The bank is among more than 20 drop-off locations throughout Charlotte County. Donations will be distributed through the Boys and Girls Club to families in need. The food drive will continue through March 31. For more information and a list of other drop-off sites, visit the Fresh Jersey Tomatoes Facebook page.
 
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