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Attendance at the fifth annual Island Hopper Songwriter Fest increased by 23 percent over last year. The 10-day event was held Sept. 21-30 on Captiva, downtown Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach. Island Hopper showcased 79 singer-songwriters in 155 performances, entertaining more than 18,000 guests. The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau once again partnered with Southwest Florida Community Foundation and United Way to encourage people to help those in need via the SWFL Cares Fund. Thanks to the foundation, tolls on the Sanibel Causeway were waived from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 22-23 to encourage locals to support Captiva and Sanibel businesses and attend Island Hopper. The sixth annual Island Hopper Songwriter Fest will be held Sept. 20-29, 2019.


The Southwest Florida Community Foundation will host a public grand opening and party in the park from 1-4 p.m. on Oct. 21 to celebrate its new Collaboratory. Located at 2031 Jackson Street in Fort Myers, the Collaboratory is a public-private partnership of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation and the city of Fort Myers. The transformation of the former Atlantic Coast Railway Depot and construction of a new addition creates a 24,000 square-foot campus that includes the foundation’s regional headquarters and state-of-the-art shared space for the community and tenants. The celebration will include food trucks, live entertainment, free ice cream, games, tours, a blessing of the building and more. For more details and parking information, visit www.floridacommunity.com/Party


Goodwin Medical Center has opened in east Naples. Founded by Dr. Nancy Goodwin, a double certified physician in internal medicine and emergency medicine, Goodwin Medical Center offers customized primary care, concierge medicine and select urgent care services in a boutique-style office setting. Goodwin has been practicing in Naples since 2015. In addition to her private practice, she is on staff at NCH Hospital as an emergency room physician. Goodwin received her fellowship at the American College of Osteopathic Physicians in 2017. She completed her double residency in internal medicine and emergency medicine at the Henry Ford System in Warren, Michigan. She served as chief resident during her residency training. Prior to earning her double residency, she completed an anatomy fellowship and earned her medical degree at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale. She received her undergraduate degree in microbiology from the University of Florida. Goodwin is a member of the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians, where she serves in the women’s committee and bylaws committee. She is also a member of the American Osteopathic Association, Florida Osteopathic Medical Association, American College of Osteopathic Internists and Collier County Medical Society.


 Charlotte State Bank & Trust Portfolio Manager Samuel A. Kiburz has been named a vice president of the bank. Kiburz, who has 22 years of experience in banking and finance, joined the bank’s trust and investment management services team in 2013. In his role as a portfolio manager, Kiburz helps clients determine the proper investment strategies to meet their financial goals. Over his career, he has held professional licenses in securities, investment counseling and insurance. Before joining Charlotte State Bank & Trust, he worked for 17 years in the banking profession, with more than 10 years in Collier and Lee counties in private banking and wealth management, while living in Punta Gorda. Kiburz earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration, with degrees in finance and insurance and a minor in economics, at the University of Florida. He also graduated cum laude with a Master of Business degree from Florida Gulf Coast University.


David Lawrence Center has added advanced registered nurse practitioner Rosa Smith and adult staff psychiatrist Dr. Marta Pieczalska to the acute care medical team. Smith and Pieczalska will provide psychiatric medical services to clients in the adult crisis stabilization unit, children’s crisis stabilization unit, adult detoxification unit, Baker Act receiving center and emergency services assessment center. Smith will serve as a part-time advanced registered nurse practitioner. She is bilingual in Spanish and English and has 25 years of experience in psychiatric nursing services in inpatient, outpatient, home-based and hospital treatment settings. Pieczalska will serve as a full-time staff psychiatrist. She most recently served as a staff psychiatrist in youth and family services at the Peak Wellness Center in Wyoming. She also taught nurse practitioners and family practitioners at the University of Wyoming. She has extensive experience in psychiatric consultation, medication management and liaison services in the telehealth, inpatient and outpatient treatment settings.


The Neighborhood Health Clinic has welcomed Dr. Alejandro D. Perez and Marti Van Veen to its board of directors, effective Oct. 1. Chief medical officer for Millennium South West Florida Physicians Group, Perez established his practice as a Naples internist in 2006. He currently serves on the executive board for Collier County Medial Society and is a delegate with the Florida Medical Association House of Delegates. His prior experience includes nearly two decades of work at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and Weston. System director of marketing and public relations for Physicians Regional Healthcare System since 2015, Van Veen is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and active in multiple service organizations throughout the greater Naples area. Prior to her current role, Van Veen was the system director of business development, strategy and marketing at Bayfront Health Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda. She has more than 25 years of healthcare management experience.


Lighthouse of SWFL to host White Cane Walk

Lighthouse of SWFL will host a White Cane Walk from 11 a.m. to noon on Oct. 15 at the corner of Pine Island Road and Old 41/N. Tamiami Trail. Individuals of all ages and abilities are invited to participate in this free event, which will be conducted by guides from Lighthouse of SWFL with assistance from the Lee County Sheriff's Office. Parking is available at the northwest corner of Pine Island Road and Old 41/N. Tamiami Trail in the North Fort Myers Plaza. The White Cane Walk is held in observance of National White Cane Safety Day, which serves as an educational reminder that motor vehicles and pedestrians should yield the right of way to people with blindness or vision impairment using a long white cane. For more information, visit www.lighthouseswfl.org, email aturner@lighthouseswfl.org or call (239) 997-7797.​

Youth Haven fundraising events set

Youth Haven’s fifth annual Uncorked event will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Nov. 9 at Mediterra Beach Club in Bonita Springs. The resort-chic event features signature wine by Silver Oak and Twomey, along with food pairings, musical entertainment, and exciting live and silent auction opportunities. Tickets are $150 per guest. The event precedes Youth Haven’s signature annual fundraiser, Soiree of the Season, held Jan. 19, 2019 at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples. Chaired for a second time by Youth Haven board member Jessica Santella, the fundraiser features dinner and cocktails, entertainment, dancing, giving opportunities and more. Tickets will go on sale in November. More information about the events is available here and here.​

Cape Coral Community Foundation to host Generous Cape Reception

 The Cape Coral Community Foundation will host the Generous Cape Reception from 6-8 p.m. on Nov. 14 at the Palmetto Pines Country Club in Cape Coral. Proceeds raised at the fundraising event will benefit the Cape Coral Community Foundation’s nonprofit education fund, a program that gives local nonprofit organization’s staff, board of directors and volunteers the opportunity to attend educational seminars that will help them learn how to raise even more to benefit the community. The event will also honor 10 people who are dedicated to improving Lee County through various community endeavors. Tickets cost $50. Sponsorship opportunities and tickets are available at capecoralcf.org/events. ​

12th annual Festival of Trees returns in November

The 12th annual Festival of Trees will return from Nov. 27 to Dec. 2 at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center. Tress will be decorated by local businesses to raise money for Goodwill of Southwest Florida and SBDAC. The trees can be viewed for $2 per person during the week-long event, with multiple events in between. The Breakthrough Awards will take place Nov. 27, featuring a cash bar, awards, silent auction, and early entry into the Festival of Trees. The festival of the trees opens the next day with a Find, Design & Wine! event in the evening. The Painting with a Purpose fundraiser workshop will take place Nov. 29, followed by a free concert on the steps of SBDAC on Nov. 30. Children’s activities are scheduled during Santa’s Workshop on Dec. 1, before the festival concludes with a raffle on Dec. 2. Multiple bingo games will also be taking place throughout the festival. For more information, visit www.goodwilltrees.com or call (239) 333-1933.

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