REPORT: NAPLES NO. 1 PLACE TO RETIRE IN FLORIDA
Naples tops the list on SmartAsset’s Best Places to Retire in Florida list. The study is based on factors related to taxes, healthcare and social options. Naples had a rating of 13.7% tax, 28.1 doctors’ offices per 1,000 people, 9.8 recreation centers per 1,000 people, 1.1 retirement centers per 1,000 people, 51.5% of seniors, and Best Place to Retire Index 100. More details on the study, including the methodology and interactive map, can be found here.
FALL HIRING EVENT COMING SOON
CareerSource Southwest Florida will host its Fall Hiring Event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 17 at Suncoast Credit Union on the campus of Florida SouthWestern State College. The Fall Hiring Event will bring the opportunity to meet more than 150 area recruiters all at once to share information about hundreds of job opportunities in Southwest Florida. Seventy-five employers will be onsite. The current unemployment rate is at 3.5 percent in Lee County. For questions, contact Janeth Castrejon at firstname.lastname@example.org or (239) 225-2500. For more information, visit www.careersourcesouthwestflorida.com.
NCEF UNVEILS BLUEPRINT PARTNER PROGRAM
The Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), the founding organization of Naples Winter Wine Festival (NWWF), has unveiled its Blueprint Partner program to highlight strategic initiative partners that exemplify the highest levels of efficacy and accountability in serving underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County. Since its inception in 2000, NCEF has become the single largest source of funding for essential services for at-risk and underprivileged children in the local community, a press release states. NCEF’s approach emphasizes collaboration between organizations and bridges public and private resources. Each NCEF beneficiary is fully vetted. The Blueprint Partner program builds upon that process. About two dozen Blueprint Partners will be named during the initial rollout of the program. It is anticipated that additional Blueprint Partners will be recognized as the program moves forward. Starting this month, each Blueprint Partner will receive a specially designed logo and boilerplate and will be encouraged to use them in marketing materials, web sites and other promotional uses. Working creatively with other private or public charitable entities, NCEF has established seven strategic initiatives with the goal of creating long-term solutions to fill the gaps in the broad areas of children’s early learning, healthcare, hunger, mental health, oral health, out-of-school time, and vision. To date, NCEF has committed $52.3 million to these strategic initiatives.
YOUTH HAVEN EARNS FOUR STARS
Youth Haven has earned a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator. This is the fifth consecutive time that Youth Haven has earned this top distinction. Using objective analysis, Charity Navigator awards only the most fiscally responsible organizations a four-star rating. Only a quarter of charities rated by Charity Navigator receive the distinction the four-star rating. Youth Haven’s rating and other information about charitable giving are available on www.charitynavigator.org.
KOSCIUSZKO JOINS SWFL LAW FIRM
Eve Kosciuszko has joined the law firm Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz, P.A. Her practice will focus on general civil litigation, commercial litigation, estate planning and probate. Kosciuszko was admitted to the Florida Bar after graduating magna cum laude from Ave Maria School of Law in May 2019, ranking fourth in her class. She earned the Book Awards for highest grade in her class for Commercial Law, Healthcare Law, and Research, Writing & Advocacy, and has received many awards throughout her career. She was associate editor on the Ave Maria Law Review, secretary of the Ave Chapter Federalist Society, Dean’s Delegate and the student commencement speaker. Kosciuszko is a board member of the Southwest Florida Federal Court Bar Association and was a judicial intern clerk to the U.S. District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell and to the U.S. Magistrate Judge Mac R. McCoy. She graduated summa cum laude from Hodges University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing.
THOMSON JOINS LAW FIRM’S LITIGATION GROUP
Woods, Weidenmiller, Michetti, & Rudnick LLP has hired Russell Thomson as a partner in the firm’s litigation group. Thomson has extensive experience litigating commercial and civil disputes, insurance defense claims, and construction law cases. Thomson’s arrival expands the capacity of the firm’s growing civil litigation department. Founded in 2010, Woods, Weidenmiller, Michetti, & Rudnick, LLP is an emerging law firm with proficiency in digital business technologies. The firm’s major areas of practice expertise include business law, real estate law, estate planning, and litigation. For more information, visit www.lawfirmnaples.com.
TEACHER’S NIGHT OUT COMING TO BELL TOWER
Bell Tower and its merchants are honoring local educators and celebrating a new partnership with United Way by hosting Teachers’ Night Out from 5 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 14 in Center Court at Bell Tower. Teachers who show a valid school ID will receive complimentary samples of wine and cheese from Fresh Market. Grimaldi’s Pizzeria will feature beer and wine for purchase, and Narrative Coffee Roasters will have a special BOGO offer for teachers in attendance. Teachers also can enter to win a gift basket from Fresh Market, gift card from Trader Rick’s and spin a wheel to win prizes from Dave & Buster’s. Never Too Late will be providing entertainment during the event, and Bell Tower will be bringing in a bounce house for children. Bell Tower and United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee announced the grand opening of a new United Way Community Impact Center, which will serve as a school supply resource for local teachers.
Home Base SWFL earns Community Foundation Grant to improve veteran health, wellness
Home Base SWFL, a local nonprofit founded by the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital dedicated to supporting veterans, service members and military families impacted by the invisible wounds of war, received a $7,500 grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County’s Veterans Support Fund to expand Home Base SWFL’s education, wellness and clinical care services in the five-county region. The Veterans Support Fund, established in 2018 by the Celebrity Martini Glass Auction (CMGA) in partnership with the Community Foundation of Collier County, assesses and distributes funds to Collier County charities creatively meeting the physical, emotional, psychological and social needs of veterans. The grant funding will support veterans and military families enrolled in the Home Base SWFL Warrior Health and Fitness program, which is offered at no cost. For more information, visit www.homebase.org/florida.
Lee BIA Builders Care receives $5,000 grant from Bank of America Charitable Foundation
Lee BIA Builders Care, the nonprofit charitable arm of the Lee Building Industry Association (BIA), has received a $5,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. Funds will support Lee BIA Builders Care in its mission to provide emergency construction services at no cost to needy and deserving elderly and/or disabled homeowners, and their families, who cannot obtain repairs through traditional means. The grant is awarded as part of Bank of America Charitable Foundation’s commitment to supporting organizations that provide critical services and programs to help improve quality of life within the community. Since 2004, the Foundation has partnered with more than 1,000 nonprofits to help fuel economic and social progress for vulnerable populations across the nation.
Chef Asif to be honored at CHEF signature fundraiser
CHEF, the Culinary & Hospitality Education Foundation of Southwest Florida, will honor 21 Spices by Chef Asif owner Asif Syed at the organization’s signature scholarship fundraising event, held Jan. 6, 2020 at Grey Oaks Country Club in Naples. Syed will challenge another award-winning chef to a Culinary CHEF Showdown to be judged by three industry professionals. Guests will gather at 6:30 p.m. to preview silent auction items comprised of special culinary experiences. The Culinary CHEF Showdown will occur on stage in front of seated guests before they enjoy a plated, multi-course dinner curated and inspired by Syed, paired with wine, beginning at 8 p.m. Scott Robertson Auctioneer’s founder Scott Robertson will call the live auction following dinner. CHEF Culinary Showdown event chair Taryn Cafiero leads the event committee comprised of CHEF Board members. An exclusive wine tasting event will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Jan. 6 at Grey Oaks Country Club, prior to the Culinary Showdown. The special wine tasting will require a separate event ticket. Ticket pricing and online ticket sales site will be announced in a few weeks. Guests may purchase individual tickets or register in tables of six or eight. There will be reserved table seating.
Run 4 Your Lungs 5K Run/Walk held in November
4 Words Foundation Inc. will be hosting the inaugural Run 4 Your Lungs 5K Run/Walk from 7-10 a.m. on Nov. 9 at Lakes Regional Park in Fort Myers. Proceeds from this event will support uninsured and under-insured individuals who are referred into the Regional Cancer Center’s Lung Cancer Screening program receive Low Dose CT Lung Cancer Screenings. Screenings will be performed at Radiology Regional Center PA or Florida Radiology Consultants. Registration begins at 7 a.m. Runners will start at 8:15 a.m. with walkers following. Early registration for adults is $25 and youth (under 18) $15. The first 100 registered will receive event T-shirts. For those who cannot attend, there is also a “virtual” race with finisher medals provided to those who upload their date/time completed during the month of November. Registration is now open and can be found at https://runsignup.com/Race/FL/FortMyers/Run4YourLungsRunWalk5K.
Lighthouse of Collier to host White Cane Safety Day
Lighthouse of Collier’s annual White Cane Safety Day will be held from 11 a.m. to noon on Oct.15. Clients and their families and friends are encouraged to participate in a short walk up and down Fifth Avenue. The goal of White Cane Safety Day is to bring public awareness about the White Cane Law and to recognize the white cane as a tool of independence for blind pedestrians on our streets and in our communities. The walk will begin at Sugden Theater at 11 a.m. sharp. Clients are encouraged to bring their white canes, but extra canes will be provided for family/friends. The mission of Lighthouse of Collier is to foster independence and enhance the quality of life for the blind, visually impaired and their caregivers. To learn more about Lighthouse of Collier, visit www.LighthouseofCollier.org.
Youth Haven’s fifth annual Party with a Purpose a success
A record number of guests attended Youth Haven’s fifth annual Party with a Purpose on Sept. 13. The event was held at 7th Avenue Social, who donated their restaurant space for the event. Over $13,000 was raised to benefit the abused, abandoned and homeless children and teens that call Youth Haven home. The annual event featured a “Caribbean Chic” theme and included light bites, raffle opportunities, silent auction, music and more. The Party with a Purpose committee consisted of Committee Co-Chairs Charlie Miller and Jacqui Resop, and committee members Mo Camocho, Cassie Chase, Melissa Clark, Jessica Judd, Shannon Morford, Allison Murrell and Bridget Paterno. Sponsors were GL Homes, AMS Sound & Vision, Chris Resop Realty, Creative Interior Design, Cypress & Palm Boutique, Francis L. Dean & Associates, Grant Fridkin Pearson, Lennar, The Players Club & Spa, and Tom & Kathie Resop. Youth Haven’s sixth annual Uncorked event is scheduled for Nov. 8. For details, click here.
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