Gulfshore Business Daily: November 16

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The Luminary Hotel is projected to proceed as planned, with construction of the downtown Fort Myers hotel slated for completion in early 2020. The settlement of a quiet title lawsuit regarding deed restricted land in downtown Fort Myers has been approved in court, allowing the $91 million Luminary Hotel project to move forward.  In the interest of public benefit, the city and the defendants agreed to transfer the deed restriction to a city-owned island in the Caloosahatchee to be developed as the Legacy Island Park, a press release states. The city will reportedly spend at least $500,000 to clear a portion of the property to create a park with picnic benches and other amenities, install security cameras, make improvements to a public access beach area and create an interpretive trail with signage and a monument recognizing the families that conveyed the land. The Luminary Hotel project includes a parking garage, event center and amphitheater, and will bring approximately 250 post-construction jobs and a projected $500 million in economic activity to downtown Fort Myers.​​


The Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) won a statewide award from the Florida Redevelopment Association (FRA) on Oct. 25 for three 30-second videos created by Main Sail Video Productions Inc. The award was received at the FRA’s annual conference at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa in Fort Myers. The commercials explain the role the CRA has in rebuilding and redesigning Fort Myers for the future. The commercials featured personal accounts of business owners who received CRA assistance, including Nils Richter, an owner of the Social House restaurant in Fort Myers River District; John and Sue Benkert, owners of CPR Tools in Fort Myers; and Joe Bonora, managing director of Aileron Capital Management, which is building several projects in Fort Myers including Grand Central, a new apartment complex with retail shops.​​


The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) presented its annual Junonia Award to Capt. Brian Holaway at its annual meeting on Thursday at The Westin Cape Coral at Marina Village. A Florida Master Naturalist, Holaway worked in Hawaii and Jamaica before moving to Lee County in 1994. He obtained his U.S. Coast Guard’s captain’s license in 1995 and piloted a shelling boat for South Seas Island Resort and Captiva Cruises. He helped create the first interpretive trail at the Randell Research Center on Pine Island and is a volunteer member of Friends of Cayo Costa State Park. He now offers private small boat charters as a shelling, nature and history guide. He also shares nature talks on his weekly “Wildlife Wednesday” Facebook videos. Created in 2006, the VCB’s Junonia Award recognizes individuals who have positively impacted the local tourism community by demonstrating unique capabilities, leadership, commitment, and dedication. Last year’s recipients were six members of the Wells family, who are hoteliers and owners of Cabbage Key Inn & Restaurant and Tarpon Lodge & Restaurant. ​​


Collier Child Care Resources (CCCR) has appointed six new board members. Carla Bogart is a community college manager for NewsBank Inc. Glennis Carter has previously volunteered for Dress for Success Southwest Florida and severed as a group leader for Battalion Family Readiness and a board member for Party with a Purpose. Jerome “Jerry” L. Johnson is a retired United States Navy four-star admiral. He has experience in government service, defense related industries, financial services, and National Defense Security Programs. Denise Murphy is the club controller for The Players Club & Spa, an affiliate of Stock Development Associates. Felix Mehler is an attorney for Cohen & Grigsby, with a practice focused on advising foreign entities and individuals on relocating to and doing business in the U.S. Martin Nestares is a founding partner with ABN Law in Naples and has had memberships with many area organizations. Other members of the CCCR Board of Directors include Melissa Blazier, chairperson; Tamara Nicola, vice-chairperson; Nancy Gibbs, secretary; Howard Isaacson, treasurer; Dorothy Ferguson; Nicole Mihelich; and Robin Clark.​


Collier Senior Resources (CSR) received the 2018 Lodestar Gift Provider of the Year Award during the Leadership Coalition on Aging’s Annual Conference on Aging, held on Wednesday at the Ispiri Community Center, Avow Campus, Naples. The Lodestar Gift Provider of the Year Award recognizes those who ensure access to care for the needy through the provision of services. The annual Lodestar Awards is hosted by the LCA, an interagency group of more than 50 organizations, including private sector, nonprofit and governmental agencies. The LCA also presented awards including Professional of the Year: Annalise Smith, senior vice president of engagement, Avow; Volunteer of the Year: Hallie Devlin, Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders (SHINE), Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Florida; and Civic Grassroots Leader of the Year, Dr. Jaclynn Faffer, president and CEO, Naples Senior Center at JFCS.​​​


Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida will close its Retail & Donation Center located at 19041 San Carlos Blvd. on Nov. 24. Plans are underway to open a new store in the vicinity in 2019. Employees have been offered jobs within the organization at other retail locations. Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. Its mission is to help people with disabilities and disadvantages by offering life-changing opportunities to achieve independence. For more information, visit or call (239) 995-2106.​​


Guadalupe Resale Shop launches ‘Boutique Bash’ donation program

Guadalupe Resale Shop has announced a new “Boutique Bash” donation program that allows party hosts to incorporate a charity collection event into their social gatherings. Churches, businesses, community groups and neighborhood associations can host a “Boutique Bash” at any location, requesting that each invited guest brings at least one donation for the Guadalupe Resale Shop in North Naples. After the event, the Resale Shop will send volunteers to collect all of the donations. The Resale Shop accepts donations of like-new furniture, home décor, kitchenware, artwork, lamps, linens, DVDs and CDs, books and all types of nearly new women’s and men’s clothing, including accessories such as jewelry, purses and shoes. All donations to the Resale Shop are tax deductible. For more information on scheduling a “Boutique Bash,” call the Resale Shop at (239) 594-2696 or visit​

The Rotary Club of Bonita Springs continues Irma relief

The Rotary Club of Bonita Springs in conjunction with Rotary International District 6960 has donated $100,000 to Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties’ Disaster Recovery Repair (DRP) program. The Rotary Club Bonita Springs raised $50,000, and the Rotary District 6960 Foundation provided a matching $50,000. These funds, along with others already donated by seven Rotary clubs in Lee County, will help Habitat’s Disaster Recovery Program to assist more than 25 Lee County residents who own their home with repairs because of damage caused by Hurricane Irma. Along with their financial gift, Rotarians will volunteer on a variety of Habitat’s DRP projects.​

4 Words Foundation launches fundraising campaign

4 Words Foundation has begun its $10,000 Community Challenge – The Spirit of Giving Back Fundraising Campaign. The campaign supports the foundation’s mission of cancer awareness, education, and patient financial assistance for all cancers in Southwest Florida to be utilized for their 2019 programs. Sponsorships are available for three, six, nine of 12 months and range from $25 to $100.  The funds raised will provide those in need with cancer screenings, diagnostic tests, non-surgical biopsies, and physician consults, plus educational seminars on various cancer-related topics.  Funds raised in Southwest Florida remain in the community. All sponsorships provide the company or individual to have their logo or name listed on 4 Words Foundation’s website, with a link to the donor’s website or Facebook page for the length of sponsorship selected, along with social media recognition throughout the year, and acknowledgment on marketing material. All donations are tax deductible to the highest amount allowed by law. For more information, click here.

Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week benefits incoming FGCU students, announces winter edition

The spring edition of Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week raised $20,621 to benefit incoming students of Florida Gulf Coast University’s Resort and Hospitality Management program with the Sizzle SWFL Scholarship. The two-week event, held May 31 through June 13, involved more than 70 restaurants from Cape Coral down to Marco Island. Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week is a semi-annual, charity-driven event that celebrates the culinary landscape in both Collier and Lee Counties. The winter edition of Restaurant Week will take place from Nov. 29 through Dec. 12, with more than 50 participating restaurants in Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Naples, and Marco Island. Of each Restaurant Week meal purchased during the two-week event, $1 will be donated to the Sizzle SWFL FGCU Food & Beverage Scholarship. For more details, visit

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