Jason’s Deli of Southwest Florida, a leading family-owned deli restaurant, is hosting its 13th annual ‘Kids Eat Free’ event from Friday, Aug. 5 through Sunday, Aug. 7, offering complimentary meals to children aged 12 and under at four Southwest Florida restaurant locations.
According to a recent survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend an average of $864 on school items, approximately $15 more than last year. Back-to-school spending has increased dramatically since the onset of the pandemic, as families adjusted to changes from virtual and hybrid learning. Compared to 2019, back-to-school shoppers are expected to spend $168 more on average, and total spending is up $11 billion.
“As inflation continues to rise and back-to-school shopping begins, we are happy to provide a reprieve for active families as they prepare for the school year ahead,” said Diana Willis, owner-operator of Jason’s Deli of Southwest Florida. “Coinciding with the State of Florida Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday, in our thirteenth year of providing free kids meals with an adult entrée, we are pleased to offer parents and kids healthier meal options and savings on costs incurred at this time of year. As a bonus, our ice cream is free!”
From Friday, Aug. 5 through Sunday, Aug. 7, diners will receive up to two complimentary kid’s meals with each adult entree and drink purchase. Children must be present, and the ‘Kids Eat Free’ special may not be combined with other offers. The offer is valid for dine-in, to-go and curbside pickup, and not valid for deliveries.
In Southwest Florida, participating Jason’s Deli locations include Fort Myers: 13550 Reflections Parkway at Cypress Lake Drive and 16441 Corporate Commerce Way at Alico Road; Naples: 2700 Immokalee Road at Airport Pulling Road; and Cape Coral: 2311 Santa Barbara Blvd. near Veterans Parkway.
Following its Mid-Cape Summer Fest, Mercola Market & Café donates $4,000 to the Cape Coral Animal Shelter.
The all-day inaugural event, which benefitted the local animal shelter, attracted over 1,000 people to celebrate the end of summer with live music, a vintage car show, food trucks, a corn hole tournament, face painting, a petting zoo, hot air balloon rides and more.
“The goal of this first-time event was to introduce our Market to the community and bring families together to enjoy the last weekend before the new school year starts,” says Patrick Rossi, Mercola Market of Cape Coral General Manager.
“Donating the event proceeds was the icing on top, and we’re happy to support the Cape Coral Animal Shelter in their mission of providing a safe place for animals until they find they’re forever home.”
The Mercola Market & Café of Cape Coral is a new retail store that exclusively features Dr. Mercola branded products for your health, home, pantry and pet. In addition, the Café offers a complete selection of biodynamic coffee and espresso beverages, hot and iced teas, and a variety of baked goods from a local bakery, including gluten-free and vegan options.
The Market & Café is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For those who are disappointed that the Cape Coral Art Festival is not happening this year, this should interest you!
Promenade at Bonita Bay (26795 S. Bay Drive) is preparing its open-air shopping center for a series of outdoor events through mid-March. First on the agenda is Bonita Springs Art Walk on Saturday, January 16th from noon to 7 p.m. and Sunday, January 17th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Brought to the public by Boulderbrook Productions — a Naples-based gallery that produces art-juried events throughout the U.S. — this event is an opportunity for visitors to view a variety of works from local and out-of-area artists.
As guests stroll the pathways and walkways of the Promenade, they can meet each artist, while learning more about each work’s inspiration and purpose and having ample time to discover what they like. Displays include paintings, jewelry, sculptures and much more — all in a creative, unique and easy-to-navigate layout.
“We’re calling on Southwest Florida to experience never-ending culture and the great outdoors, as we continue to celebrate the promising year that’s in front of us,” said Nicole Panio, Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator at the Promenade.
“My team looks forward to this event and others like it in the coming months.”
In accordance with the Promenade’s COVID policies, Bonita Springs Art Walk will promote social distancing for the comfort and safety of all guests.
2020 is nearly over, and it’s been a year we won’t soon forget. The Florida Freakshow podcast will commemorate the end of 2020 by announcing Florida’s strangest headlines on its year-end episode, premiering Dec. 30. The state’s most peculiar 2020 news stores were selected by an online vote of the podcast’s listeners.
Florida’s reputation for strange headlines serves as a badge of honor for many Sunshine State residents, and the Florida Freakshow celebrates these odd news stories weekly. But which stories were the strangest this year?
“We narrowed it down to the top three from each month through November, and then let our listeners decide,” says Florida Freakshow co-host Kirsten O’Donnell. “They were able to choose from a little bit of everything, from political scandals to bungling criminals to some weirdly heartwarming stories.”
Hosted by award-winning former journalists Cory and Kirsten O’Donnell of Cape Coral, Fla., the Florida Freakshow podcast shares humorous takes on Florida’s weirdest news. Each week, the pair discuss four news stories from the Sunshine State, ranging from the mildly unusual to the outright bizarre.
The weekly podcast is available on most listening platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Pandora, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, and TuneIn Live on Alexa. Listeners can also enjoy the podcast on the Florida Freakshow website (www.FloridaFreakshow.com). New episodes are released on Wednesdays.
“2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. For Kirsten and me, we both lost our jobs and were unemployed for months,” explains co-host Cory O’Donnell. “For us, this podcast was really a bright spot in a year full of darkness. Florida and its weird news has been the gift that keeps on giving. I’m excited to wrap this year up and celebrate on our year-end show.”
In the spirit of giving this holiday season, the Lee County Legal Aid Society will offer free legal assistance to Lee County seniors 60 and over on Saturday, Dec. 19. Members of the Lee County Bar Association will volunteer their time for “Just for Seniors” from 9 a.m. – noon and again from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. to answer legal questions specific to older adults.
In order to maintain safety protocols due to COVID-19, this event will take place via Zoom video conferencing and by telephone. Seniors wishing to speak with an attorney will need to schedule an appointment online at https://www.leecountylegalaid.org/just-for-seniors/. Each appointment will be 20 minutes in length. If more in-depth service is needed, customers will be referred to attorneys that can offer assistance at up to 50% off of their regular rates.
The Lee County Legal Aid Society provides free legal aid to low-income residents and has worked primarily with younger families and individuals. Recently, executive director Andrew Banyai realized a need to provide assistance to the elderly population in our community. Through a grant from the Cape Coral Community Foundation, funds were secured to offer “Just for Seniors” events multiple times over the course of the next year.
Banyai said, “This has been a tough year for so many, especially the seniors in our community. We have always answered the call when it comes to legal assistance and now is no exception. We hope the free advice we give can help eliminate some of the financial hardship our seniors may be facing this time of year.”
Banyai expects 20-30 attorneys to take part in the event. Many of these attorneys will volunteer as part of the Florida Bar’s Pro Bono Service Initiative, a program intended to encourage lawyers to volunteer free legal services to the underserved in their communities.
This event is being sponsored by the Lee County Legal Aid Society and Cape Coral Community Foundation. Additional support is being provided by United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades & Okeechobee; Lee County BOCC; The Florida Bar Foundation; Lee County Bar Association and CONRIC pr + marketing.
My Shower Door / D3 Glass is looking to the SWFL community this holiday season to open their hearts and support the families of first responders in Lee County. From now until Monday, Dec. 14, people can bring new, unwrapped toys to any of the three My Shower Door locations in Naples, Fort Myers and Cape Coral; Coconut Point Ford in Estero or Advantage Retirement Group in Fort Myers.
Last year’s toy drive with Golisano Children’s Hospital was such a success that MY Shower Door / D3 Glass co-owner Bill Daubmann decided to continue this holiday program and this year support another group of people that could use some holiday cheer. “With the spread of COVID-19 deeply effecting Southwest Florida in 2020 our first responders and their families could use some joy this holiday season,” said Daubmann. “We want to bring smiles to their faces to close out the year on a bright note for them.”
With the assistance of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the unwrapped toys will be picked up at the drop-off locations then distributed to the families of first responders throughout the county to ensure they enjoy a festive holiday.
Toys can be dropped off at:
My Shower Door – 13500 Tamiami Trail N, Naples,
My Shower Door – 14261 S Tamiami Trail, No. 2, Fort Myers,
My Shower Door – 2708 Santa Barbara Blvd., Cape Coral,
Coconut Point Ford – 22400 S Tamiami Trail, Estero and
Advantage Retirement Group – 8870 Daniels Parkway, Fort Myers.
Thanks go out to the following for all of their support with this year’s toy drive: Advantage Retirement Group, Coconut Point Ford, CONRIC pr + marketing, Lee County Sheriff’s Office and Two39 Work Group.