Players, coaching staff deliver personal instruction to disabled children
The Fort Myers Miracle and the Dave Clark Foundation will host the 10th annual Special Needs Camp on Saturday, May 9 at Hammond Stadium at the CenturyLink Sports Complex. The camp will begin at 9 a.m. and last until 12 p.m.
Featuring one-on-one instruction from the Miracle players and coaching staff, the Special Needs Camp focuses on teaching children the basic skills of hitting, throwing, catching and fielding. Camp participants can experience the atmosphere of a walking onto a professional baseball field and stepping into the shoes of a professional athlete for a day.
“This is one of the best things we do,” said Miracle Chief Operating Officer Steve Gliner. “The camp is such a special day for the kids, but also for the players and the staff. We are excited and proud to be doing this for a tenth year.”
Registration is open to the first 50 individuals with a physical or mental disability. There is no cost for registration or associated with the camp. To register a child, call 239-768-4210 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration can also be completed at www.ftmyers.d3day.com.
Kids are asked to bring their own baseball gloves and one adult chaperone is required to be in attendance with each child while attending the camp. Lunch will be provided after the camp is completed. Each participant will receive four tickets to the Miracle game on the evening of Tuesday, May 12, a 7:05 p.m. start against the Palm Beach Cardinals.
The Dave Clark Foundation has partnered with the Miracle for the last decade. Dave Clark is a Cape Coral resident who spent 17 years playing professional baseball despite contracting polio as an infant and losing the full use of his legs. Dave won 600 games in his career and has worked as a coach at the international level. Dave has a career of over 40 years in baseball.
The Fort Myers Miracle are the Class A Advanced minor league baseball affiliate of the Minnesota Twins Major League Baseball club. Since moving to Fort Myers in 1992, the Miracle have qualified for the Florida State League Playoffs eight times and won the Florida State League Championship in 2014. Home games are played at Hammond Stadium at the CenturyLink Sports Complex. The Fort Myers Miracle season begins in April and ends in September. For a game and events schedule, or more information, visit www.miraclebaseball.com.
Funds will help JASWFL reach 300 fifth-grade students in Lee and Collier Counties
Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida (JASWFL) has earned a $5,000 grant from The League Club’s Community Trust Fund. The grant, awarded at a League Club breakfast April 10, allows JASWFL to reach 300 at-risk fifth-grade students in Lee and Collier Counties at Poinciana, Avalon, Colonial and Villas elementary schools.
“This grant will help us fulfill our 5-8-GRADUATE initiative by serving more students as we focus on entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work-readiness,” said Anne Frazier, president and CEO of JASWFL. “By providing our programs to fifth-grade students, we’re able to reach these children during a key academic and transitional milestone in their lives.”
At the breakfast, The League Club awarded $253,531 in grants from its Community Trust Fund to 30 local non-profit agencies from Lee and Collier Counties. “The needs are great, and the decisions that our grants review committee must make are difficult,” said Donna Loomis, president of The League Club. “We are grateful to our membership of nearly 600 local women, our special supporters in our Circle of Friends, and other community supporters and commercial sponsors whose financial generosity makes these grants possible each year.”
The League Club, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization of women in Southwest Florida strengthening communities through fellowship, education, volunteerism and philanthropy. The League Club is open to women who have been or still are active members of a Junior League that is a member of the Association of Junior Leagues International. For more information, visit www.theleagueclub.org.
Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida, Inc.’s 5-8-GRADUATE program focuses attention and resources on fifth-grade, eighth-grade and high school students in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties. The program focuses on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Today, JA reaches 4.4 million students per year in 117 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.8 million students served by operations in 121 other countries worldwide. For more information about Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida visit www.JASWFL.org or contact Anne Frazier at 239-225-2590 or email@example.com.
Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida launches Futures Fund to support victims of violence against women
Kimberly Leach Johnson, Managing Partner of Quarles & Brady LLP; Brenda Tate, President of Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida; Lisa Simington, Regional President of BNY Mellon Wealth Management; Krista Cartee, PopUp Volunteer
PopUp Grant of $12,800 supported by local women-led businesses awarded for Futures Fund
With the support of BNY Mellon Wealth Management and Quarles & Brady, the Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida launched the Futures Fund on March 26 at the “Stop Violence” PopUp event at LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort. The PopUp event, which raised $12,800 and welcomed more than 40 donors and supporters, helped launch a new program for the Women’s Foundation focused on victims of violence, especially against women.
The mission of the Futures Fund, led by the Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida, is to reduce violence against women and to provide assistance to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, murder, stalking, human trafficking and other violent crimes. The Futures Fund will support efforts that help reduce violent crime in our region and promote opportunities for job training and placement, education and scholarships.
The $7,800 in funds raised through donations from PopUp guests at the event were matched with corporate gifts from BNY Mellon Wealth Management for the first $2,500 raised and a Quarles & Brady Partner donation of $2,500, totaling the $12,800 used to launch the initiative.
“We are excited and honored to launch the Futures Fund as one of the impact programs supported by the Women’s Foundation,” said Brenda Tate, president of the Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida. “Participation and commitment from dedicated organizations in our community like the law firm Quarles & Brady and BNY Mellon Wealth Management help bring the serious issues facing women on our area to the forefront and support our mission in a very real way.”
Through significant research and data collection, the Women’s Foundation has identified that an investment into moving victimized women toward recovery and deterring more violent crimes against women, far outweigh the cost of ignoring the tragedies. The costs of intimate partner violence against women exceed an estimated $5.8 billion. Reports show that intimate partner violence causes women in the U.S. women to lose about $727 million in wages due to approximately with million days of missed work. These costs include nearly $4.1 billion in the direct costs of medical care and mental health care and nearly $1.8 billion in the indirect costs of lost productivity and present value of lifetime earnings.
Currently, the Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida is looking for company and individual donors to help support the Futures Fund to provide ongoing support to the women and children it serves in our area. To learn more about the Futures Fund, contact Brenda Tate at 239-281-2233 or visit www.WomensFundFlorida.org.
About the Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida
The Women’s Foundation is the only non-profit in Southwest Florida focused exclusively on women and girls and was the first to publish academic research assessing the status of women in the area. Signature programs include (1) stopping the sale of our children for sex and (2) economic security for women. The Board of Directors will build a $5 million endowed organization dedicated to the advancement of women and girls in Southwest Florida by 2020. With this sustained funding source, The Women’s Fund of Southwest Florida will make significant and sustainable investments in collaborative partnerships, create and fund innovative solutions to complex problems and deliver measurable impact. The Women’s Fund of Southwest Florida welcomes financial contributions to support key initiatives at www.womensfundflorida.org or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow The Women’s Fund online at http://facebook.com/womensfundfl and on http://twitter.com/womensfundfl.
Conservancy of Southwest Florida earns Silver award from American Advertising Federation for Magic Under the Mangroves invitation
The American Advertising Federation (AAF) has recognized The Conservancy of Southwest Florida with a Silver award. The Conservancy’s graphic design manager, Kate Kintz, earned a Silver award from District 4 of the AAF for her work on the invitation for Magic Under the Mangroves™. Kintz earned three awards in February during the AdFed Suncoast ADDY Awards gala, the first phase of a three-tier national competition.
The American Advertising Awards, or ADDY Awards, is the advertising industry’s largest competition, attracting more than 40,000 entries each year at the local level. The local Ad Club competitions are the first phase of a three-tier national competition. At the second tier, local winners compete in one of 15 district competitions. The Magic Under the Mangroves invitation is now eligible to be judged at the third, national level.
Conservancy of Southwest Florida began more than 50 years ago when community leaders came together to defeat a proposed “Road to Nowhere” and spearheaded the acquisition and protection of Rookery Bay. The Conservancy is a not-for-profit grassroots organization focused on the critical environmental issues of the Southwest Florida region, including Glades, Hendry, Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties, with a mission to protect the region’s water, land and wildlife. Conservancy of Southwest Florida and its Nature Center are located in Naples, Fla. at 1495 Smith Preserve Way, south of the Naples Zoo off Goodlette-Frank Road. For information about the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, call 239-262-0304 or visit www.conservancy.org.
Teacher recruitment fair registration ends April 24
The School District of Lee County is now hiring for approximately 400 teaching positions, and will host a teacher recruitment fair on Thursday, May 14 at the Lee County Public Education Center, 2855 Colonial Blvd. in Fort Myers. Registration is required by April 24 at careers.leeschools.net. Applicants will be pre-screened for employment and all eligible attendees will receive an email invitation in advance to confirm their attendance.
During the job fair, new teacher recruits will interview with principals and assistant principals from Lee County Schools, and on-site job contracts may be extended on a case-by-case basis. Attendees are encouraged to bring multiple copies of their resumes, letters of reference and teaching certificates. For full details on how to apply, visit careers.leeschools.net.
The School District of Lee County provides competitive benefits, and continuing education opportunities are available at Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida SouthWestern State College and other local colleges and universities. The District includes a Microsoft Certified High School, Dunbar High School; a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, The Sanibel School; and one of the top International Baccalaureate High Schools in the world, Fort Myers High School. To learn more about the District, watch the teacher recruitment video on YouTube:
About The School District of Lee County: Lee County Public Schools is the ninth-largest district in Florida and the 33rd-largest district in the United States. The District educates more than 86,000 students in grades K-12 and is a model for others in the state and around the nation. With approximately 10,000 full- and part-time employees, the District is one of the county’s largest employers. As the District builds new schools and renovates and expands existing facilities to accommodate the unprecedented growth experienced in the last several years, the District has become one of Southwest Florida’s largest developers.
Gulf Coast Village Executive Director Kevin Ahmadi has been named Regional Director for Volunteers of America, the parent organization of Gulf Coast Village. A national non-profit faith-based organization, Volunteers of America was founded in 1896 and is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit providers of quality, affordable housing for seniors and a provider of professional long-term care including assisted living, home health care and nursing home care.
“As regional director for Volunteers of America and in my role as executive director for Gulf Coast Village, my goal is to bring an increased awareness of the mission and services that Volunteers of America brings to our community,” said Ahmadi. “Volunteers of America has 119 years of experience and service and operates more than two dozen senior living communities around the U.S., and Gulf Coast Village is fortunate to have this level of expertise to support and guide us.”
As executive director of Gulf Coast Village, Ahmadi oversees operations for the non-profit continuing care retirement community with an annual budget of $23 million with more than 390 employees. Ahmadi also serves as president of The Rotary Club of Cape Coral Goldcoast and as a trustee on the Board of Directors of the Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce.
A full time resident of Cape Coral, Florida, Ahmadi originally came from the area of Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from the University of Toledo with a degree in Healthcare Administration. He enjoys playing and watching sports, gardening, reading, fishing and spending time with his wife and two children.
Founded more than 25 years ago, Gulf Coast Village is the premier Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Cape Coral, Florida. Residents enjoy active independent living in an unparalleled lifestyle of comfort and convenience with a rich array of services and amenities that are focused on living well. The community also offers the security of knowing there is the full continuum of care when needed including: assisted living, skilled nursing, specialized memory support, home health and outpatient services. Gulf Coast Village is located at 1333 Santa Barbara Blvd., Cape Coral, FL 33991. For more information call 239-772-1333 or visit www.GulfCoastVillage.com.
Located in Lake County at 2145 N. Don Whickham Drive, Skytop View Rehabilitation Center features 30 beds and serves patients needing short-term rehabilitation. To assist in the rehabilitation process, the facility features a large group therapy area, activity room, and a full kitchen and dining room.
The main entrance includes a porte cochere that opens into a welcoming lobby and reception area. In the core of the building, there is a central nurse station with an open clerestory trellis ceiling. Skytop View Rehabilitation Center also includes support areas such as offices, a laboratory, a consultation room and utility areas.
With offices in Fort Myers, Tampa and Orlando, Florida, Stevens Construction specializes in providing construction management, general contracting and consulting services to clients and design professionals. Other services include site and design team selection, budgeting, project scheduling, permitting, cost and quality control and warranty service. The company builds healthcare, commercial and hospitality facilities. For information, visit www.stevensconstructioninc.com or call 239-936-9006.
The Lee Building Industry Association (BIA) raised a record $61,000 during the sixth annual BBQ, Bands and Brew presented by All Star Equipment Rentals and Sales to benefit its nonprofit charitable arm Builders Care. Held on Sunday, April 12 at the Lee County Alliance for the Arts, the fundraiser featured local musicians, food from several local restaurants, a BBQ competition to name the Best BBQ in town. About 4,000 people attended the event. A team of celebrity judges voted MoFo’s Food Truck as winner of Best BBQ in town. Other winners included Best Pork by BurgerQue, Best Ribs by Jonesez BBQ, Best Chicken by MoFo’s Food Truck, Best Side Dish with alligator hush puppies went to Bonez Brothers, Best Presentation by Famous Dave’s and for six years straight, the winner of the People’s Choice award went to Jonesez BBQ.
The event was sponsored by All Star Equipment Rentals and Sales, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting Gallery, Moen, Cape Coral Plumbing, Truly Nolen Pest Control, Siesta Pebble, Suncoast Beverage Supply, Sunset Air, Action Automatic Door & Gate, Dixie Buick GMC, Everglades Farm Equipment, Harbourside Custom Homes, LCEC and Stevens Construction. Media and promotions partners include WINK News, Florida Weekly, Priority Marketing, Cat Country 107.1, 95.3 The River and Happenings Magazine. Other supporting companies include Brent’s Music, Florida Hot Rods & Hogs, Kinetico Water Supply, Lightning Wireless Solutions, United Site Services, Minto Communities and Stock Development.
Builders Care is the nonprofit charitable arm of the Lee Building Industry Association (BIA). Its objective is to provide emergency repairs and construction services to elderly, disabled and economically disadvantaged people who are unable to obtain home repairs through traditional means. To date, Lee BIA Builders Care has put more than $3 million in construction services back into the community at no cost to homeowners in need. Builders Care enlists the volunteer services of Lee BIA members and leverages grants and donated materials to provide construction and remodeling services to qualified homeowners throughout Lee County. Certified Building Partners include Stock Development and Minto Communities. Builders Care is headquartered at the Lee BIA offices at 10501 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy., Suite 104 in Fort Myers. The Building Industry Association (www.BIA.net) is a 50-year-old association affiliated with National Home Builders Association and Florida Home Builders Association to serve the local building and related industries to strengthen our community by advancing a professional building industry through advocacy, education and services. Donations can be made online at www.LeeBuildersCare.org, or to the Builders Care general fund at BB&T Page Field branch at 4959 South Cleveland Ave. in Fort Myers. More information is available by calling 239-938-0056.
Legendary Miami coach to be joined by former player Albert Bentley
The Fort Myers Miracle are pleased to welcome former University of Miami football coach Howard Schnellenberger to Hammond Stadium at the CenturyLink Sports Complex to greet fans, throw out a first pitch and promote his book “Passing The Torch: Building Winning Football Programs… with a Dose of Swagger Along the Way.”
Schnellenberger will meet fans and sign autographs after throwing a ceremonial first pitch prior to a 6:05 p.m. start against the St. Lucie Mets. He will be joined by former Hurricane player Albert Bentley. A Naples, Florida native, Bentley graduated from Immokalee High School in 1979 and played under Schnellenberger at Miami on the 1983 National Championship team.
Born in St. Meinrad, Indiana, Schnellenberger played collegiate football at the University of Kentucky as a defensive end from 1952-56, but soon moved into coaching for the Wildcats. Under the legendary Bear Bryant at the University of Alabama in 1961, Schellenberger was the offensive coordinator for a Crimson Tide program that won NCAA National Championships in 1961, 1964 and 1965. Schnellenberger was instrumental in recruiting Joe Namath to play for Alabama.
Schnellenberger left the college ranks to join coaching staffs in the National Football League for seven seasons, including a stint as the offensive coordinator for the perfect season 1972 Miami Dolphins. Schnellenberger’s first head coaching job was in the NFL for the Baltimore Colts in 1973. He was at the helm of the Colts for three years before returning to the Dolphins from 1975-78 as the offensive coordinator.
In 1979, Schnellenberger was brought to the Hurricanes, a struggling football program at the time. Developing a pro-style passing game, Schnellenberger turned Miami into a powerhouse and coached the Hurricanes to a National Championship in 1983. Miami defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Orange Bowl.
Bentley scored the winning touchdown for Schnellenberger in the Orange Bowl and went on to play eight seasons in the NFL, seven with the Indianapolis Colts.
Moving on to coach the University of Louisville in 1985, Schnellenberger revived another dormant program. In 10 years, Schnellenberger guided the Cardinals to a pair of bowl game wins, including a win over Alabama in the 1991 Fiesta Bowl.
After one season at the University of Oklahoma in 1995, Schnellenberger returned to the NCAA scene in 1998 as the Director of Football Operations at Florida Atlantic University and was in charge of building the football program. In 2011, Schnellenberger retired from his position with FAU after 11 seasons.
April 18 is also the first Dog Daze of Summer. Fans will be allowed to bring their pups to the park and dogs get in free! It’s also a SINK or SWIM Saturday featuring a deal for $16 that includes a general admission ticket and All You Can Drink wristband. The wristband gets you unlimited small domestic draft beers through the sixth inning.
DeRomo’s Gourmet Market and Restaurant has opened its in-house Pastaria. The state-of-the-art pasta production shop offers made-from-scratch pasta produced with fresh ingredients. The pasta is used in dishes served in DeRomo’s Restaurant and Deli, and pasta is also available in the Gourmet Market to take home and prepare. The Pastaria is located in The Promenade at Bonita Bay shops next to DeRomo’s Gift Baskets and Catering in suite 132.
Pasta is available in long cuts and specialty shapes and sizes, including fettuccine, pappardella, capellini, spaghetti, rigatoni, mafalda, rotelli spirals, jumbo shells and pasta sheets. Fresh stuffed pasta, including ravioli, manicotti, cannelloni and jumbo shells, are also available. DeRomo’s pasta specialists can also create customized blends from traditional egg pastas, spinach, tomato, black squid and a variety of other specialty and seasonal flavors.
Located in the Promenade at Bonita Bay, 26811 South Bay Dr. in Bonita Springs, DeRomo’s Gourmet Market and Restaurant is the anchor tenant for the recently renovated Promenade at Bonita Bay and occupies nearly 18,000 square feet. DeRomo’s features a premier gourmet market with fresh meats and seafood, prepared foods and deli, pizza, fresh produce, wine and an expansive selection of cheeses, a bakery and coffee bar, a gift basket shop, full catering, an outdoor bar and seating area, and much more. For more information, call 239-325-3583 or visit www.deromos.com.