Gulfshore Business Daily: May 28

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Mark Pelafas


Collier, Charlotte and Lee Counties are among the top Florida counties where Social Security is most durable, according to a new report from SmartAsset. The sixth-annual study measures Social Security income, cost of living data and taxes in counties across the U.S. to determine where people are getting the most mileage out of Social Security. Collier County ranked No. 4 with a reported $22,332 cost of living, $23,897 annual Social Security, no taxed Social Security, and “Social Security Goes the Farthest Index” of 82.57. Charlotte County ranked No. 7 with a reported $20,700 cost of living, $22,062 annual Social Security, no taxes Social Security, and “social Security Goes the Farthest Index” of 81.74. Lee County ranked No. 9 with a reported $21,408 cost of living, $22,209 annual Social Security, no taxed Social Security, and “Social Security Goes the Farthest Index” of 79.45. The full study, methodology and interactive map can be found here.



The Paradise Coast Wellness Alliance and the Spiritual Communities Network, both based in Naples, are partnering in a full day of free virtual wellness events on June 13, as part of the worldwide Global Wellness Day. First celebrated in 2012, Global Wellness Day was established in Turkey as a day dedicated to living well and has now been accepted worldwide in more than 150 countries at 8,000 different locations. Hosted by a group of wellness practitioners in Naples, the classes on Global Wellness Day will be held via Zoom from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every half-hour, including meditation, yoga, whole-body wellness techniques, cooking demos, essential oils demo, nutritional discussions, introduction to Blue Zones, and more. Register here.


Boys & Girls Club of Collier County is entering a recovery phase which includes a limited re-opening of our Clubs for summer programming. The clubs will increase their offerings of daily virtual programming for children unable to physically attend them. This virtual programming is open to any Collier County school-aged youth. Boys & Girls Club of Collier County has established a Relief Fund to support response and recovery efforts. Every dollar donated to the Relief Fund between now and May 31 will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $100,000, thanks to the Boys & Girls Club Board of Directors. The meet the match challenge is over 90% to its goal. To donate, visit

Mark Pelafas


Mark Pelafas has joined Stevens Construction as project manager. Bringing 20 years of construction experience, Pelafas has completed more than $265 million in healthcare and commercial construction within the last five years, including multiple projects for HCA Healthcare and Arthrex. As project manager, Pelafas will oversee the field team, ensuring projects are achieving budget, schedule and quality goals while providing transparent communication to clients. He will also transition projects from preconstruction to construction, reviewing all proposals, scopes and negotiating final contract pricing with subcontractors. A Florida certified building contractor, Pelafas earned his associate degree in building construction from Florida SouthWestern State College.

Scott Beck


DeAngelis Diamond, headquartered in Naples, has appointed Scott Beck as division manager of the Sarasota market, concentrating on the Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Tampa region. With 15 years of construction experience, Beck joins the Sarasota team after working with national contractor Turner Construction, where he most recently led their preconstruction and business development departments in Miami. Beck has worked on projects all over the southeastern U.S. in a variety of different market segments with a heavy focus on healthcare, commercial, federal, design-build, and IPD/Lean projects. He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science in engineering prior to beginning his career in 2005. 


Hughes, Snell & Co. P.A., Certified Public Accountants, and Consultants, has launched a fully redesigned website. The new website includes helpful consumer tools such as guides for tax planning, estate planning and document retention as well as real-time information to help navigate COVID-19 relief packages and tax considerations. For more details, visit


Bank of America contributes $75,000 to ‘SWFL Stronger Together’ campaign

Bank of America is the latest partner to contribute to Lee Health and NCH’s “SWFL Stronger Together” campaign to provide aid for the healthcare heroes on the frontline of the crisis. With Bank of America’s $75,000 grant, donations of funds and in-kind support—including technology, personal protective equipment, care packages and meals to feed healthcare heroes—have surpassed $1 million in contributions through the “SWFL Stronger Together” campaign. Donations are providing critical resources to support doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers. Funds are being used to buy additional equipment and supplies and other resources depleted over the course of the pandemic. For more information or to make an online donation to SWFL Stronger Together, visit

The League Club grant supports The Immokalee Foundation program

The Immokalee Foundation will use a $25,000 grant awarded by The League Club for its Career Pathways: Empowering Students to Succeed program. The Immokalee Foundation offers Achieve 3000, a reading support program for its students in sixth through 10th grades. The League Club grant will be used to support Achieve 3000’s online reading platform to improve students’ Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) reading test scores and allow them to join Collier County Public Schools’ Career Academies. For more details, visit

Earn to Learn FL to receive LeeCARES Small Business Relaunch Grant

Earn to Learn FL was approved to receive a LeeCARES Small Business Relaunch Grant. The funds were made available to Lee County as part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act stimulus package. The $5,000 grant will support Earn to Learn FL’s advance preparation, outreach, and communication to provide 40 half-time jobs to income challenged university and college students funded by a pending AmeriCorps Florida grant award. For more details, visit

Publix Miracle Coupon campaign to benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital

Publix customers can honor frontline workers at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida and help kids treated there in June with the Publix Miracle Coupon Campaign. From June 3 –14, Publix stores aim to raise millions of dollars to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Publix customers can purchase miracle coupons for $1, $3 and $5 and receive offer values of $5.50, $10 and $20 from vendors like Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal, Johnson & Johnson, M&Ms, Red Bull, Georgia Pacific (Angel Soft Bath Tissue and Sparkle Paper Towels), Oil-Dri (Cat’s Pride) and Frito Lay. You can get these coupons by making a donation at Publix stores to benefit kids treated at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. For more information, visit


NCEF launches ‘Drawn Together. Creating Hope.’ campaign

The Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF) has launched a community-wide campaign to engage both children and adults in an effort to draw attention to the work that the organization does to improve the physical, emotional and educational lives of children in Collier County, especially in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The “Drawn Together. Creating Hope.” campaign invites the community to draw or color on one of four downloadable illustrations representing the four NCEF service categories of Child Advocacy, Early Learning, Medical/Healthcare and Out-of-School Time. As part of the campaign, NCEF also is offering virtual Zoom backgrounds that can be downloaded from its website for free. To help change a child’s future, supporters are encouraged to click here. From there, you can download and print a coloring template or save the image to your tablet or phone. After creatively coloring in your vision of a better tomorrow, you can share your creation on social media with the hashtag #DrawnTogetherCreatingHope or email it to and NCEF will share your illustration on its page. Participants may also make a donation to support NCEF.

Malaya Melancon

Melancon receives 2020 Winged Foot Scholar-Athlete award

The Winged Foot Scholar-Athlete Foundation has selected First Baptist Academy Senior Malaya Melancon as the recipient of the 31st annual Winged Foot Scholar-Athlete Award. Melancon, who has signed to play soccer at Florida Gulf Coast University, becomes the first Winged Foot winner in the school’s history. The Winged Foot selection committee made its decision virtually and the award was presented to Melancon at a small ceremony since the annual awards banquet, scheduled for May 21, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year’s keynote speaker, ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas, has agreed to return for next year. In addition to Melancon, the list of Winged Foot award finalists included Araceli Anzualda, Immokalee High School; Jay Beshears, Community School of Naples; Lauren Faremouth, Marco Island Academy; Christian Garcia, Palmetto Ridge High School; Isabella Garcia, Seacrest Country Day School; Brady Gibson, Naples High School; Samantha Hussey, St. John Neumann High School; Andy Martinez, Golden Gate High School; Justin Mattia, Gulf Coast High School; Victoria Novotny, Lely High School; Drew Powell, Barron Collier High School. Each of the public and private high schools nominates its best senior scholar-athlete. Finalists receive a $5,000 scholarship. The winner, selected by a panel of Winged Foot Committee members and local citizens, earns a trophy and $10,000 scholarship.

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