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Answering the Call

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 3:51pm

By Melinda Gray

Two thumbs up from Mac Chaudhry, General Manager of the Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort and Spa, as he gladly volunteered to try on one of the hazmat suits with some help from Firefighter/Paramedic Scott Corey (left) and Firefighter/EMT Jesse Yarnell (right).

On Tuesday, Oct. 7, in honor of National Fire Prevention Week and in celebration of their 50th anniversary, the dedicated men and women of the Marco Island Fire-Rescue Department gave an interactive presentation at the Marco Island History Museum. The auditorium was filled with people eager to learn about the department’s past, present and future. Also, in the audience was Nick Macchiarolo, the 100th new-hire for the fire-rescue squad.

Fire-Rescue Chief Mike Murphy opened the night by encouraging the audience to participate in each “show-and-tell” station demonstrating the different aspects of the department. The stations displayed AED (semi-automatic external defibrillator) and EKG (electrocardiogram) machines, equipment worn by firefighters, nostalgia from the department’s past and an informative display about their marine-rescue equipment. There were even hazmat suits to try on and a table where one could sit and have their blood pressure checked by a member of the fire-rescue team.

Following the interactive demonstrations, the history and importance of the Marco Island Fire-Rescue Department was highlighted in a PowerPoint. Pictures and articles told the story of their growth over the last 50 years. Just a couple hundred calls per year in the 1970s have grown now to over 3,500 calls per year; a budget of $215,000 in 1980 has expanded exponentially to their current budget of more than $5 million. Naturally, they have had to expand and progress right alongside the island they serve and protect.

Marco Island has 380 multi-family buildings, 110 of which are high-rises, and more than 2000 single-family homes. Every fire gets investigated so that lessons can be learned, and thus passed on in the form of public education. They’ve learned a lot, said Chief Murphy.

Deputy Chief Chris Byrne, who has been with the department for 30 years, pointed out that there are just a few components for successful fire-rescue operations: dedicated, well-trained personnel, quality equipment and quality facilities.

The fire-rescue team is responsible for more than just fire suppression. Their operations include EMS (emergency medical services) in the form of basic life-support and advanced life-support; marine-fire and rescue; hazardous materials response, containment and clean-up; dive-rescue; high angle rescue, or repelling down a high-rise; and vehicle extrication, more commonly known as the jaws-of-life.

Fifty years of Marco Island Fire-Rescue Department history was displayed on the table at the front of the auditorium.

“The one interesting part about this is these aren’t separate people that do this. These are firefighters. They have to be just as competent in fire suppression as they are as a paramedic. They have to be prepared for marine rescues or dive calls; it is a jack of all trades. They’re always ready; they’re proud to serve; and they give people hope. That’s what they are dedicated to do,” said Chief Byrne.

Their quick response vehicle is just one of their quality tools. Akin to a mobile emergency room, it is equipped with a cardiac monitor, capable of more than the standard EKG. They can also screen blood pressure and oxygen levels in the blood. The machine’s 12-lead system covers all variables of the heart, and allows them to be able to recognize the early signs of a cardiac event. They’ve had great success in catching problems early and transporting patients to the hospital where they are able to make a full recovery.

The department’s fire station on San Marco Road is a quality facility, but Chief Byrne said it needs renovation to keep up with what’s required of it.

“Today, a fire station is a community building. It has to provide the space to train and a place to live when firefighters are on their 48-hour shifts. We bring in the community for meetings, teach CPR, teach first aid and all of the alarms are received there, “said Chief Byrne. “We encourage the public to come to one of our pancake breakfast and take a tour.”




Cross Country Invitational Meet Gaining Popularity

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 3:46pm

By Coastal Breeze News Staff

Students descended upon Mackle Park — all wearing the appropriate school colors — to enter the MICMS Eagles/MIA Rays Cross Country Invitational. After some odd looking stretching and exercising on the field, they lined the start ready to race the clock — all 384 of them!

The annual meet attracted 12 middle schools and 16 high schools from around the region. Of course, they didn’t all start at once; there were five races: high school boys, high school girls, middle school boys, middle school girls and an open race. Middle school-aged runners had a course that was 3K, or 1.86 miles, while high school runners did a full 5K, or 3.1 miles.

The cross country meet is organized and hosted by Marco Island Charter Middle School and the Marco Island Academy under Athletic Director Roger Raymond. Roger, who has put the meet on for about 12 years, commented, “It has really taken off the last couple of years.”

Mackle Park is a great setting for the runners. Alex Galiana of the city of Marco Island Parks and Recreation Department guides the runners around the course by cart on the initial lap.

Cheered on by parents and coaches alike and with weather cooperating nicely, the runners went full steam and gave it their all. Check out for more information and results.




The Fitness Challenge Triathlon

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 3:42pm

By Coastal Breeze News Staff

Was held on Marco Island recently and included a ¼ mile swim, 15 mile bike ride and a 3.1 mile run. Hundreds entered the race, now in its fourth year. Only 15 years old and up were able to participate. Race results can be found at


Open for Business

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 3:39pm

By Melinda Gray

As the temperatures slowly start to cool and the daily amount of rainfall begins to dwindle, things are heating up on our small, seasonal island of Goodland. Heavier traffic and longer lines at the grocery store mark the return of our migrating snowbirds, flying south to escape their now frigid northern homes.

By now, it’s common knowledge that I’m a huge fan of our live entertainment here. The musical acts that pass through, as well as our own local talent, are first-class. Last week, each Goodland establishment celebrated the opening of season with live music, and the schedule for next week and the months to follow promise the same.

And so begins our yearly seasonal “boom,” which we rely on to carry us through the off-season “bust.” All four of Goodland’s restaurants — The Little Bar, Old Marco Lodge, Stan’s Idle Hour and Marker 8.5 — are now open for business, and we are all hoping for a great winter.



Golf Tournament Benefits Arts Center

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 3:17pm

By Pat Newman

Steve Josselyn takes a practice chip-shot out of a sand trap prior to Saturday’s golf tournament at the Island Country Club. PHOTOS BY PAT NEWMAN

A perfect canvas of blue skies and green fairways set the scene for Saturday’s golf tournament hosted by the Island Country Club and benefitting the Marco Island Center for the Arts.

Sixty golfers participated in the second annual event, raising a generous amount to support classes, workshops, lectures, gallery exhibitions and special events at the center, according to Executive Director Hyla Crane. “When considering this event, I looked to see how art and golf connect. Artists such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Hendrick Avercamp, Sir Henry Raeburn, Childe Hassam, George Bellows, Norman Rockwell, Andy Warhol and the celebrated photographer Harold Edgerton have all created artwork devoted to the game of golf. Golf makes great subject matter for art work,”Crane observed. “We thank you for your support as your contributions enable us to grow and thrive.”

Golf tournament Chair Aris Petropoulos welcomed golfers to the event, stating, “I am overwhelmed by the response of our community, their generosity and their contributions to this wonderful institution.”

Tee-off commenced at 1 PM as participants set out for an afternoon of fun, friendly competition and community support. First-place team winners included Fred Gsell, Tom Schwartzburg, Trig Kuhn and James Karter. Second-place team players included Tom Britten, Michael Hook, Ron Myers and Ken Plunkett.

Closest to Pin #2 awards went to Kenny Plunkett and Ann Vreeland. Closest to Pin #15, Jim Karter; closest line #14 winner was Lee Burgin and the longest drive on #12 was executed by Mike Wick.



MIA Homcoming Royalty

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 3:14pm

Ford McKee and Jessica Ragan reigned as Marco Island Academy King and Queen, announced on Friday at half time of the football game at Winterberry Park. photo By Roger Lalonde

Marco Island Academy seniors Jessica Ragan and Ford McKee were surprised and very pleased when named this year’s Homecoming queen and king at half time of the football game on Oct. 10.

Once all the court was introduced with their parents or friends, they all lined up by balloons with their names. When popped two balloons sprayed glitter to announce the king and queen.

“When I saw the glitter, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was in awe,” said McKee.

Ragan said, “I am so surprised and honored to be queen.”

Members of the court included freshmen Susan Faremouth and John Martin; sophomores Larysa Chystyk and Kyle Russo; juniors Emily McRae and Brian Flynn; and seniors Anna Howard, Livia Lenhoff, Anton Mertens, Preston Reese, Shyan Surber Peter Servente, Alexis Vilk and Kerby Victor.




To the Editor: Bill Harris

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 9:33am

To the Editor:

Often, as election time nears, we wonder who we should vote for. This year’s election includes the selection of three Councilors for the City of Marco Island.

As a Marco Island full time resident who frequently attends City Council meetings, I always find that Victor Rios, who is currently running for City Council, is always in attendance. He shows detailed knowledge of city issues and his comments are not only informative, but show that he has carefully studied the issues that concern many of us.

Victor supports a “balanced growth for Marco Island, so that our wonderful island continue to be the beautiful place that it is and which we all love.

He can as easily talk about the budget, as he can about the many other issues currently in the forefront of things to be dealt with. It shows that he has a strong grasp for financial, management and technical issues. Very sorely needed capabilities and skills to help guide our city in a fiscally and responsible manner.

With such a strong candidate, my wife Joan and I had a very easy decision. We are not only voting for Victor Rios; we also ask all Marco Island voters to give him your vote.

Whether you are voting absentee, early, or on election day, please make sure that you check Victor Rios name in you ballot.



Bill Harris
101 Greenview Street
Marco Island, FL 34145

Letter to the Editor: Bruce W. Novark, M.D.

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 9:32am

I am writing this letter in support of Victor Rios, candidate for our Marco Island City Council.

I  know Victor to be an honest & trustworthy hard working citizen.  He is fiscally knowledgeable, responsible, and is committed to making sure the City spends our tax money for programs we “Need to Have”—not on those “Nice to Have”.

He has attended a high percent of City Council meetings, paying attention & commenting based on facts.

I believe he will listen to us, the tax-payers, & will work hard with others to ensure our taxes are spent wisely & efficiently.

I believe Mr. Rios will be an asset to our City.

I urge you to vote for Victor Rios.



Bruce W. Novark, M.D.
1220 Ember Ct
Marco Island, 34145
239 642-6777

Letter to the Editor: James & Joanne Funk

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 9:31am

To the Editor:

My wife and I moved to Marco Island 15 years ago to enjoy this wonderful paradise. As voters, we have the opportunity to vote for a candidate who over the past ten years has been a key advocate for keeping our beaches pristine and intact, while preserving our precious wildlife for the enjoyment of future generations. That candidate is Victor Rios for the office of City Council. During the ten years we have known him, he has demonstrated his continued dedication to community and a willingness to help others. This is easily verified by looking at his record of Community Service, both here and in the other parts of the country where he has lived.

We all search out the candidate who will be a trusted steward of our tax money but often disappointed to find integrity and fiscal responsibility are qualities lacking in our representatives.  Victor Rios has not only spoken the words, he has repeatedly demonstrated these qualities by his actions.

Both Joanne and I urge all Marco Island voters to vote for Victor Rios.


James & Joanne Funk

970 Cape Marco Drive #1107
Marco Island, FL 34145

Letter to the Editor: Patricia Sattan

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 9:30am

To the Editor:

I would like to share with my fellow voters of Marco Island that I am extremely happy that Victor Rios, whom I have known for a long time, decided to run for City Council of Marco Island.

It is great to have choices and my number one choice for Marco Island City Council is Victor Rios.

Victor has always shown his willingness to help others. Neighbors and friends seek him out for advice and appreciate hisleadership and community service.

As a retired teacher, I appreciate Victor’s strong financial and managerial skills and his ability to understand and explain issues that affect us all. He has attended MI City Council meetings, which better helps him understand what our city needs.

I will vote for Victor Rios, and I would like to ask all my fellow Marco Island citizens to also vote for Victor Rios. When you vote, make sure you fill out the oval next to Victor Rios’ name!


Patricia Sattan
970 Cape Marco Drive
(239) 394-6866

Letter to the Editor: Sherri Wolfe

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 11:55am

To the Editor:

The City of Marco island voters need to vote for candidate Victor Rios. Mr. Rios is a very dedicated person whom I have known and worked with for several years. He is very honest and ethical and always fulfills his promises. He wants for Marco Island to continue being the “piece of Paradise that I and all other residents of Marco Island moved here for.

For years he has volunteered to make sure that our beaches and wildlife are taken care of.  He believes in a balanced approach to Marco Island’s growth. I know he will serve all residents equally.

He is very aware that the taxes we pay is our money, not the city’s money or the City Councilors’ money. He is a person with very strong fiscal and management skills and experience.  He will be a good steward of our finances.

Mr. Rios has the ability to work with others and is skillful at negotiating to achieve objectives to benefit us all.

I urge all Marco island residents to vote for Mr. Victor Rios.


Sherri Wolfe
969 Birch Ct

It wasn’t pretty but Naples wins Coconut Bowl 20-6

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 8:18pm

By Roger LaLonde

Lely quarterback Lik Estilien drops back to pass in the Trojans 20-6 loss to Naples in the 41st annual Coconut Bowl at Lely. Estilien threw just one pass as the Trojans concentrated on its run offense.

The Naples Golden Eagles got away with a victory in the 41st annual Coconut Bowl at Lely on Oct. 3, but it was far from pretty.

Naples won, 20-6, but its vaunted offense and defense had their hands full with Lely.

A blocked punt and a pass interference set up Naples’ only touchdowns. Naples outstanding kicker Jerry Nunez contributed field goals of 51 and 31 yards.

Lely’s score came on Richard Annorat’s interception and 44-yard touchdown jaunt a minute into the third quarter.

The longest run of the game was by Lely’s Wendell Joseph five minutes later. He raced 53 yards and Lely got to the Naples 22, but the drive stalled. A chance for any points ended when Lely’s field goal kicker missed a 27-yard attempt.

Lely shot themselves in the foot on another drive at the end of the first half. With under two minutes to go Dieuvenel Tanis hauled in a deflected pass, good for 39 yards setting Lely up at the Naples 31.

Lely cheerleaders rev up the fans during the 41st annual Coconut Bowl.

Then it was all bad news. A false start penalty. A Lely fumble it recovered, set them back another 15 yards. A holding penalty and finally a delay of game pushed the ball back to the Trojan’s own 43 as the half ended.

Naples scored just 82 seconds into the game when the Golden Eagles defense blocked a Lely punt at the Trojans’ two-yard line and Michael Walker scored on the next play.

Its second score came with 3:49 in the third quarter, after a pass interference call. While most watching the play saw the Naples receiver grab the Lely defender’s face mask so he wouldn’t intercept the pass, the referee saw it another way. He called it against Lely, setting Naples up inside the Lely 10. Two plays later Antonio Carbonaro ran the ball in for the score.

Every Lely play was a run, except the one deflected pass. Lely was held to 142 yards rushing, with 181 total yards. The Trojans defense held Naples to 173 yards, nearly 100 yards less than Naples has been averaging. The Eagles 20 points was the second lowest since 2010. Naples finished with 214 total yards, the first time this season that it hadn’t gone over 300.

The Naples band continued its usual playing when the Lely offense was in front of the band. Naples uses the tactic in every game.

Lely, 2-3, travels to Gulf Coast in a non-district battle on Friday at 7 p.m.

MIA vs SJN this Friday

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 8:13pm

by Roger LaLonde

For Marco Island Academy and St. John Neumann it is a must-win situation when they battle at 7 p.m. on Friday at Winterberry Park on Marco Island.

This game has strong implications for Class 2A District 10 playoffs.

MIA is 2-3 and 0-1 in district games. St. John Neumann is 2-3 and 1-1 in district action.

The front runner as expected is First Baptist Academy at 2-0. Evangelical Christian and Moorehaven are 1-1. The top two teams make the playoffs.

Should the Manta Rays lose to the Celtics, it will have a tough road ahead with First Baptist Academy and Evangelical Christian left to play. The Celtics will have only Moorehaven to play in its last game of its season on Oct. 31.

Both teams have suffered huge losses in their last two outings.

“We need to make sure we are sound on defense,” Celtics coach Alfredo Molina said. “In the last two games we have not been sound on defense. Our offense needs to finish drives. We need to put a complete game together.”

Manta Rays coach Greg Fowler has similar thoughts.

“We have made some adjustments on offense as we haven’t been able to run up the middle, to help the passing game,” he said. “We have struggled with our running game as a whole. Defensively, we have done well against the pass, but need improvement in our rushing defense.”

The rushing game for the Celtics is where Molina thinks they have to execute well to win.

“Our offensive line is playing well, we’ve been able to run the ball,” he said. “Key is to have a great ground attack.”

He knows MIA is a much improved club from the Celtics’ one-sided win a year ago.

“They are a good club. We have to stop their running and passing game,” Molina said. “Their quarterback throws a good ball and they have strong receivers.”

Marco Island Academy has many offensive weapons, starting with Cayden Couture. He caught two touchdown passes and gained another 50 yards rushing in last week’s loss to Jupiter Christian Academy.

“Cayden is a productive offensive weapon,” Fowler said. “Running and receiving, he is a threat.”

Receivers Tyler Wallace and Cole Stretton have also been targets of quarterback Andrew Fowler.

“Cole has been big on offense and defense,” Fowler said.

Back in action is Patrick Michel who missed three weeks for fighting.

“Patrick makes a difference on both sides of the ball,” Fowler said. “With him on the field it helps our offense and defense. He is capable of making big plays on both sides of the ball.”

Defensively safety Gottfried Joseph has been playing well, along with guard Fritz LaRose.

“We are a young team up front,” Fowler said. “We have talent and when they get time to hit the weight room they will gain strength they need to continue improving.”

Over the summer Bob Cholka, Marco Fitness Club, provided free memberships for the team to use the weight and conditioning equipment. Cholka has advanced free memberships to the entire school.

“They don’t have a fitness facility and I decided to offer it to the school,” he said. There are now 79 students, mostly athletes, using the club.

“He has been outstanding,” Fowler said. “He has done everything to help our program out.”

The Manta Rays have no other facility, unlike most schools who have designated weight rooms.

Molina’s staff has been telling their team that after tough losses they need to keep their heads up.

“We have been stressing the importance in winning, that they need to understand we can make the playoffs. We take one game at a time,” Molina stressed.

Fowler knows his team will battle Friday night.

“We’re young, but we continue to get better,” he said.

That’s what he likes about high school football.

“On any given Friday night things can fall into place. It is still up to us to make the playoffs.”

Letter to the Editor: Victor Rios

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 9:36pm

My name is Victor Rios, and I am a candidate for Marco Island City Council.

This past weekend the Eye on Marco newsletter published falsehoods impuning me. This newsletter is written by the “8th member” of City Council (only 7 are elected), Bill McMullan, who is attempting to manipulate the residents of Marco Island.  Mr. McMullan claims that the Eye on Marco doesn’t endorse candidates, but of course he does everything just short of that.

The facts are just the opposite of what Mr. McMullan stated.  3 days after announcing my candidacy he sent me an e-mail  telling me not to run.  He called me repeatedly and sent me emails asking me to call him, all to ask me to quit the race. No matter how many times I said no, he would not give up.  Now he sees my campaign in full gear with many supporters and has timed his publication to try to achieve, via falsehoods, what he has not been able to do with his quest for me to be out of the race.

I do not like dirty politics.  I do not appreciate Mr. McMullan’s attempt to manipulate the residents of Marco Island and insult their intelligence by doing so.  I have run and will continue to run on my ethics and long dedication to the City of Marco island, and my history of community service which was very well explained on my letter to you on August 12.

The record needs to be set straight, to give Marco Island voters the choice to vote for a candidate with a proven record of honesty and one who walks the walk and talks the talk.


Victor N Rios
Candidate for MI City Councilor
970 Cape Marco Drive Unit 508
Marco island, FL 34145

PS I have the e-mail that he sent me on July 18, just 3 days after I announced my candidacy, and I can provide it to you if you wish.

The Marco Players Launches 40th Season! 1974 – 2014

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 12:51pm

When The Marco Players raises the curtain for its 2014-2015 Season, the oldest not-for-profit theater on Marco Island will launch its 40th season of live performance art with Main Productions, Special Productions and a Lunch Box Series.

Started in 1974 as a children’s play reading group, it was eventually re-created as an adult community theater known as The Marco Island Players.  Originally, a for-profit theater, the Players incorporated as a non-profit corporation in the mid 70’s and is now known as The Marco Players.

Season subscriptions offer discounted ticket prices. Tickets are now on sale at or call the box office at (239) 642-7270.

Main Productions

Sunset Park by Marley Sims & Elliot Shoenman

Sunset Park is a contemporary comedy/drama that takes place in Brooklyn, New York. Evelyn Horowitz, a widow in her seventies, lives by herself and is a part-time teacher. Her apartment building is going co-op, but she can’t afford to buy in and cannot, by law, be asked to leave. When, her middle-aged children, Carol and Roger, hear about it, they realize that there’s money to be made in the long run. And that’s when the problems start – when money enters the picture, conflicts arise and old secrets come out.

Directed by: Richard Joyce

Show Dates: November 5 thru November 23, 2014


Becky’s New Car by Steven Dietz

Have you ever been tempted to flee your own life? Becky Foster is caught in middle age, middle management and in a middling marriage. One night a socially inept and grief-struck millionaire stumbles into the car dealership where Becky works. Becky is offered nothing short of a new life…and the audience is offered a chance to ride shotgun. Becky’s New Car is a comedy with serious overtones, a devious and delightful romp down the road not taken.

Directed by: Greg Madera

Show Dates: January 7 thru January 25, 2015


The Interview by Peter Swet

Abie Moscowitz, an aging Jewish tailor is visited by Shannon, an arrogant investigator, who is suspicious about Abie’s motives to increase the value of his life insurance policy. Abie gradually wilts under Shannon’s relentless questioning, and we learn the terrible facts of his past life—his concentration camp experiences, and the murder of his family. And, at the same time, we become aware of the terror in Shannon’s soul too, the vulgar bravado he has assumed to mask his insecurity and fear of failure in the competitive rat race of money and status. In the end there is a real and touching moment of communion between the two men.

Directed by: Jim Corsica

Show Dates: February 11 thru March 1, 2015


Love, Loss and What I Wore by Nora Ephron & Delia Ephron

Based on the book by Ilene Beckerman, Love, Loss, and What I Wore is a play organized as a series of monologues and uses a rotating cast of six principal women. The subject matter of the monologues includes women’s relationships and wardrobes and at times the interaction of the two, using the female wardrobe as a time capsule of a woman’s life.

Directed by: Beverly Dahlstrom

Audition Date: Saturday, October 25, 2014 by appointment

Show Dates: March 18 thru April 4, 2015


Special Productions

Yuletide Shakespeare by William Shakespeare

Students from Marco Island Academy perform some of Shakespeare’s most famous sonnets and scenes from Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Macbeth, The Tempest, and more!

Directed by: Kaitlynn McRae

Show Date: December 20, 2014


WOW Improv – Let’s Make Stuff Up!

Performed by improvisation comedians, this is an evening of fun and laughter — Let’s Make Stuff Up!

Show Date: March 13, 2015


The Merry Housewives of Windsor by William Shakespeare

One of Shakespeare’s most delightful comedies, Sir John Falstaff is hard up for money and wants to restore his riches. But, the wooed Windsor women see through his schemes.

Directed by: Randall Kenneth Jones

Show Dates: April 16-19 | April 23-26 | May 1-3


Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Students from the Marco Island Academy dig into one of William Shakespeare’s most troubled characters in this refreshing performance of Macbeth.

Directed by: Kaitlynn McRae

Show Dates: May 22-24 | May 30-31



Lunch Box Series

Woman Rebel by Janina Birtolo

An original one-woman show about Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood and her struggles to bring birth control to women.

Show Date: January 17, 2015


Let’s Make Stuff Up! By WOW Improv

Fun, laughter and lunch — Let’s Make Stuff Up!

Show Date: February 21, 2015


Wanda’s Visit by Christopher Durang

A restless married couple is thrown into disarray when Wanda, an old high school sweetheart, comes to visit.

Show Date: March 21, 2015





Fri, 10/03/2014 - 12:47pm

Pat Wilkins signs on with RE/MAX Affinity Plus

After a brief period with another franchise company, local top-­?producing real estate agent Pat Wilkins has returned to RE/MAX Affinity Plus in Marco Island, FL.

Wilkins is one of the area’s most reputable agents having worked real estate in Marco Island and Naples since 1978. In 2009, 2010 and 2013 he was the top selling agent on Marco Island.

“We’re thrilled to have Pat back with RE/MAX Affinity Plus as he exemplifies the professionalism and quality of RE/MAX agents that serve this community,” said Debra Meredith-­?Peters, Managing Broker of RE/MAX Affinity Plus, which has two locations in Marco Island. “Pat is not only a talented agent but he’s an integral part of our team, a luxury real estate expert, a mentor and a community leader. We’re pleased to know he continues to see the value in being with RE/MAX.”

In 2004, Wilkins was the No. 1 RE/MAX agent worldwide in a global network at that time of more than 100,000 agents in 60 countries. He was the first Florida agent to be named to the RE/MAX Circle of Legends, whose members are recognized for outstanding production with RE/MAX in more than 10 years of service. Additionally, he’s been named to the RE/MAX Hall of Fame, the RE/MAX Diamond and Chairman’s Club and he’s been awarded the prestigious RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I am excited to return to RE/MAX as I have a great history with the brand and my goal is to make use of the agent connections in 97 different countries,” said Wilkins. “In the last three years, more than $250 billion worth of US properties sold to foreign nationals and I intend to create pipelines from RE/MAX offices worldwide to entice buyers to purchase throughout Marco Island/Naples.

RE/MAX has a global referral network with agents in more than 95 countries which contributes to the success of all RE/MAX agents as a significant number of foreign buyers continue to invest in real estate in the U.S. and its coastline communities.

Wilkins has teamed up with one of his three children, daughter Katie Wilkins who has been involved with real estate since 2009. Katie Wilkins is a member of the Young Professionals Network (YPN), the Marco Island Association of REALTORS® Leadership Program (2013) and has been through extensive industry training.

In line with RE/MAX Affinity Plus’ philanthropic efforts, Pat Wilkins contributes to long-­? time RE/MAX partner Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, as well as Habitat for Humanity and the Hospice of Marco Island.

For more information about RE/MAX Affinity Plus and to inquire about joining the team, visit remax-­?affinityplus-­?mi-­? To contact Pat or Katie Wilkins, call 239-­?290-­?8593.

About RE/MAX Affinity Plus

Serving Marco Island since 1985, RE/MAX Affinity Plus is committed to recruiting, training and developing the very best of the best agents in order to provide our customers with the most experienced team of real estate professionals in the area. Whether buying or selling a home, customers can be assured that they will have access to the most advanced state-­?of-­?the-­?art resources to make their real estate transaction a complete success.

Guadalupe Center announces save the date for Jan. 14 Fire & Ice signature fundraiser

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 12:45pm

Elements of fire and ice will create a dynamic backdrop for the Guadalupe Center’s signature fundraiser Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples.

The annual event, themed “Fire & Ice: Igniting the Flame of Learning,” is chaired by Sandy Vasey and Linda Yost, longtime supporters of the Guadalupe Center.

The event helps provide financial support for education, mentoring and social enrichment programs that provide more than 1,000 children in Immokalee with a better opportunity for a successful future.

Fire & Ice will offer a night of live musical entertainment, a gourmet dinner and the opportunity to make on-the-spot donations for college scholarships during “Jump Up.” The event begins with a cocktail reception and a meet-and-greet with high school students enrolled in Guadalupe Center’s Tutor Corps program.

“It’s a very special opportunity for our patrons to be able to meet these gifted students and hear first-hand, personal stories about their challenges, hopes and dreams,” said Vasey. “This past year, we celebrated 14 Tutor Corps graduates who are now enrolled in colleges around the country. We’re thankful to the many patrons who have helped make that possible.”

Guests at Fire & Ice also have the chance to bid on experiential and luxury live auction lots.

“It’s always fun creating unique experiences for our auctions and Fire & Ice will offer some pretty spectacular live auction lots,” said Yost.

Although the auction lots have not officially been announced, one item in particular has special meaning to the Guadalupe Center’s mission. William Boyajian of Port Royal Jewelers in Naples is customizing a piece of jewelry inspired by one of the center’s students.

Yost added, “William has put together a fabulous piece that truly symbolizes the transformative impact that the Guadalupe Center has on the lives of so many children and families in our community. We’re excited to see the final product that will be unveiled this fall.”

Last year’s sold-out event raised $780,000 to support educational programs for the children of Immokalee. Guadalupe Center’s signature event has grown from a small-scale cocktail event to the organization’s largest fundraiser.

Funds from Fire & Ice directly benefit the Early Childhood Education, Guadalupe After-school Program and Tutor Corps. For the past eight years, 100 percent of the high school students in Guadalupe’s Tutor Corps program have graduated from high school.

Businesses, families and individual philanthropists have the opportunity to support the signature event through six levels of sponsorships priced from $500 to $15,000, which include tickets and acknowledgement in the official Fire & Ice program. Individual tickets are available for $500.

Guadalupe Center is dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty. For more than 30 years, the nonprofit organization has been serving the children and families of Immokalee. Its innovative early childhood education, after-school tutoring, community mentoring and college scholarship programs have earned national recognition, including the top four-star rating by Charity Navigator, America’s leading independent charity evaluator.

For more information about the Guadalupe Center and its signature event, visit or call 239-657-7158.

“Portraits of Paradise” Art Exhibit

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 12:44pm

The Museum of the Everglades is excited to host Portraits of Paradise, a photographic art collection by wildlife photographer, Captain Bruce Hitchcock. Native Floridian, Wildlife Photographer and local fishing guide, Bruce Hitchcock has been photographing spectacular landscapes, plants, birds and other Everglades creatures for over 20 years while mostly from a kayak which offers a distinct perspective to the viewer.

The artist reception hosted by the Friends of the Museum of the Everglades, which is free and open to the public, will be held Saturday, October 4th, 2014 from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. in the Pauline Reeves Gallery at the Museum of the Everglades.

Located in historic Everglades City, three miles South of U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail) and SR 29, the museum explores an in-depth look at over 2,000 years of human history in the area and tells the story of adventurers stubborn enough to settle Southwest Florida’s lush “River of Grass”. Open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (239) 695-0008. 105 West Broadway Everglades City, FL 34139

About Collier County Museums: More than 10,000 years of Southwest Florida History is on display at the Collier County Museums’ five locations- the main location in Naples, four additional museum facilities in Everglades City and Immokalee, the historic Naples Depot and Marco Island Historical Museum. Admission is free and the sites are handicapped accessible. For more information, visit

Christmas Island Style Golf Tournament

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 12:43pm

Christmas Island Style Golf Tournament celebrated the following winners. Congratulations to all who participated making this a great event.  

1st Place: Walter Kroschel, Ron Myers, Bob Crine, Michael Hook

2nd Place: Bob Belloise, Brian Gilmore, Brian Berryman, Hunter Nicholl

3rd Place: John James, Bruce Robertson, Mary Vertin, Justin Hanna

Longest Drive for Men – Brian Berryman Longest Drive for Ladies – Lorraine Keen

Closest to Pin: Men – Chris Evenson Closet to Pin: Ladies – Di Di Wooller


Seasoned Real Estate Professionals Form the New DeHanas Team at Affinity Plus

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 12:42pm

After many successful years serving the Marco Island and Naples communities, seasoned Real Estate professionals A.J. and Rachel DeHanas have joined together to form the DeHanas Team at RE/MAX Affinity Plus.  These dynamic real estate professionals have earned numerous accolades affirming their proven expertise and experience, including the RE/MAX Platinum Club award, the Top 100 RE/MAX International award, and the RE/MAX Hall of Fame.  A.J. and Rachel DeHanas have been following their passion and helping people with their real estate transactions for more than 45 years combined.

“Our Team concept means you have a family team of specialists dedicated to creating the smoothest home-purchase, or home-sell possible”, says A.J.  “From local moves to cross country relocations, whether you are a buyer or a seller, your next real estate transaction will be hassle free.  The difference you will experience is our superior service.  Visit our new website at to get started.”

RE/MAX Affinity Plus’ main office is located at Marco Walk Plaza, 599 S. Collier Blvd., Suite 306, Marco Island, Fla. 34145.  A.J. and Rachel Dehanas’ listings and those of RE/MAX Affinity Plus can be found at or at any of the RE/MAX Affinity Plus offices.