Lee Health has announced the newly elected officers of its board of directors for 2021. 

David F. Collins has been re-elected as board chairman for 2021. A resident of Lee county since 1984, he has been a mortgage banker for more than 29 years and has served as a board member for PACE Center for Girls of Lee County, and as treasurer for the PACE Capital Campaign.

Therese Everly has been re-elected as vice chairman. She is a registered respiratory therapist and licensed Florida Realtor who also serves on the boards of the Lee County Homeless Coalition and Alzheimer’s Association Florida Gulf Coast Chapter.

Donna Clarke has been re-elected as treasurer. She is a former Florida state representative and has served as an adjunct professor with State College of Florida. 

Diane Champion has been re-elected as secretary. She is a nine-year Board liaison to the Lee Health Volunteers and an elected member of the Community Council of Lehigh Acres.

In addition to the officers, other Board members include Dr. Stephen R. Brown, Dr. Sanford Cohen; Kathy Bridge-Liles, Chris Hansen, Nancy McGovern, and Stephanie Meyer.

The Board of Directors’ primary goal is to set the mission and vision of Lee Health. 

Shred A Ton Event This Saturday

Shred A Ton Event This Saturday

The Pilot Club of Fort Myers and the Cape Coral Police Department are holding a shredding event on Saturday, January 23, 2021.  The event will be held in the front parking lot of the Cape Coral Police Department, 1100 Cultural Park Blvd, between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Due to COVID-19, we ask that all participants socially distance themselves and wear a mask.

Oasis JROTC cadets will be on hand to help drivers unload their boxes to be shredded; the boxes can be returned if desired.  Shredding will occur on site.   

All proceeds of the event will be donated to the Cape Coral Project Lifesaver Programs and the Pilot Club.  A donation of $5.00 per box to be shredded is suggested.  Please remove binder clips or paper clips attached to paper being shredded.  Commercial boxes will not be accepted. 

Project Lifesaver is a program of Cape Coral Police Department which uses wristbands that emit a signal to help find individuals who tend to wander. The proceeds of this event will be used to help update and replace damaged or worn equipment. This technology can minimize the length of time it takes to locate a missing person / wanderer.

As increases in the number of people diagnosed with Autism, ASD, Alzheimer’s disease, and Dementia occur, the need for additional equipment is necessary.  Equipment costs for families can be too costly. The financial help provided by the Pilot Club by holding the Shred-A-Ton event goes a long way. 

The Pilot Club of Fort Myers focuses their efforts on helping organizations seeking to improve the quality of life for individuals with brain-related disorders through volunteer activities, education, and financial support.  The club name came from a riverboat pilot who could steer safely through troubled waters.  The club’s motto is “do more, care more, and be more.”  For information about the Pilot Club, contact the president, Fran D’Alessandro, 239-332-1140, or email at jodyvanc@gmail.com

Shred A Ton Event This Saturday

Blue Waters Development Group, LLC Announces New Victory Park Commercial Project ― Including Wyndham Garden Hotel ― in Cape Coral

Victory Park to Offer Hotel, Commercial Space, Medical Space & Industrial Space; Expected Ground Breaking is Q2 2021

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Blue Waters Development Group, LLC is announcing plans to develop the extraordinary Victory Park, a commercial project in Cape Coral, which Forbes has named America’s No. 1 fastest growing city. Cape Coral is the largest city by population between Miami and Tampa. 

Victory Park will include a 125-room Wyndham Garden hotel, commercial space, and 100,000 square feet of medical space and industrial space at 2313 NE 24th Avenue in North Cape. The groundbreaking is scheduled for Q2 2021. Pre-leasing is now taking place.

Wyndham Garden’s newly introduced prototype is a cost-effective concept that features a smart layout, designed to maximize efficiencies and combat rising construction costs. It is inspired by the beauty of nature, and incorporates elements of dappled light, textured wood, natural fabrics and flexible outdoor space. In addition, the Wyndham Garden presents a new food and beverage concept, nice & vice®, offering a celebrity-chef-inspired menu.

“Situated in one of the nation’s fastest growing cities, Victory Park presents a wonderful opportunity for those looking to lease space for their business, tech and medical companies,” said Danny Aguirre, manager of Blue Waters Development Group. “It’s exciting to bring more options to local residents, as well as the 5 million people who visit Lee County each year.

“The Wyndham Garden will be a spectacular addition to the Cape Coral area,” he continued. “This new smart, sophisticated concept brings the outside in with a connection to nature. This new hotel will welcome many visitors to Cape Coral with a delightful twist on modern hospitality.”

RealAmerica Realty, one of Southwest Florida’s oldest business brokerage firms, is the leasing agent for Victory Park. For leasing or general information about Victory Park, contact Steve Komondorea at 239-573-6464 or email steve@realamericarealty.com.

Local spending is more important than ever

Local spending is more important than ever

By Colleen DePasquale, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce

While the end of 2020 is nearing, the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to affect the local business community for months, and perhaps even years, to come.

Beyond the many changes implemented to keep employees safe and their companies operating, business owners have also had to respond to a shift in spending habits.

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Consumer preferences have transformed due to the pandemic. Online spending increased greatly as people spent more time at home. In fact, a recent survey found that 45% of consumers say they do more than half of their current shopping online – nearly three times the pre-pandemic level. This impact becomes more apparent as we head into the holiday season, with the National Retail Federation reporting that 60% of consumers say they plan to purchase holiday items online this year.

Local spending is a powerful force for the small business community. Most importantly, this local spending ideology is not limited only to retail shopping. The need for spending our dollars locally extends to businesses of all types, from retail to restaurants to home repair to personal wellness.

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Local businesses need our support now more than ever. That’s why the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce launched a local spending campaign, called “Nov(m)ember: Be a Local Spender with a Chamber Member.”

The campaign highlights this region’s many incredible businesses and urges our community to support local businesses throughout the holiday shopping season and beyond.

Spending locally offers many benefits to consumers and our community at large. Local businesses:

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  • Support our local economy. The money you spend stays in our community.
  • Invest locally. Our business neighbors want our region to succeed and are invested in the well-being and future of our community. They are also more likely to support nonprofits and causes that improve our local community.
  • Offer unique, handcrafted and locally inspired products that are unlike anything you would find among mass-produced options.
  • Provide local jobs. The Florida Small Business Development Center reported that there are 2.5 million small businesses in Florida. Supporting the growth of local businesses also supports the growth of local job opportunities.
  • Offer better customer service. You are a familiar face to local business owners, not just another customer or client.
  • Make our community a better place to live. The character provided by local businesses helps make Southwest Florida a must-visit destination.
  • Are our neighbors. You know the people behind the product or service, and your support helps them succeed.

Fortunately, there are many ways to support local businesses, including:

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  • Getting familiar with local businesses. If you need a resource, the Chamber offers a list of local businesses at FortMyers.org/NovMember.
  • Shopping, dining and utilizing their products and services.
  • Purchasing gifts and gift cards from a local business for friends and family members, introducing them to a new service or product.
  • Giving local businesses a shout-out on social media.
  • Leaving a positive online review or a kind note of encouragement.
  • Shopping online at local businesses and utilizing their safe pick-up options.

This year has been challenging for businesses across all industries. Our Southwest Florida business community needs our support now more than ever.

For whatever services you may require this season – think locally.

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Better Together launches Hopeful 100 Club

Better Together launches Hopeful 100 Club

Better Together, a voluntary, community-driven alternative to foster care, has introduced the Hopeful 100 Club to encourage monthly recurring gifts of $100 that cover the costs of keeping a child out of foster care and families together.

Since March, Better Together has seen a 155% increase in requests for help through its Better Families program, a voluntary alternative to foster care that hosts children short-term while mentoring parents through crisis.

“It costs an average of $30,000 per year in taxpayer dollars to keep a child in foster care,” said Megan Rose, CEO, Better Together.

“The alternative is donating $100 per month to cover the cost of providing a child with a safe and caring temporary home while parents work towards reunification. Despite challenges, Better Together has remained fully operational throughout the pandemic. With your support, children can wake up with their parents on Christmas morning rather than in foster care.”

Better Together Hopeful 100 Club Donor Jason Maughan

With a small crew of seven full-time staff, Better Together has leveraged the support of hundreds of local volunteers to serve every single family that asked for help.

“We have not turned a single child away,” added Rose.

Better Together is 100% privately funded and community driven, and has served over 2,500 children in Southwest Florida and kept 96% of families together. The nonprofit was founded on the belief that loving parents should not lose children because they are having money problems, or had the courage to seek treatment, or got hospitalized without childcare. These challenges can be overcome with the right support system in place.

To join the Hopeful 100 Club and support Better Together’s mission to help keep Southwest Florida families together, visit BetterTogetherUS.org/Better-Families/Donate/#Hopeful100.



Walking through the new military museum in Cape Coral means taking a trip back in time. 

On Tuesday, the Brotherhood of Heroes Military Museum and Resource Center officially opened its to serve veterans. From the Revolutionary War on, each exhibit tells a story, some with a Southwest Florida connection. 

The museum in the “Purple Heart City” will not only house military treasures but also welcomes veterans’ groups like The Purple Heart and the Disabled American Veterans.

The museum, 4522 Del Prado Blvd. S., is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays,  and closed Sundays and Mondays. 

Admission is $4 and free for military personnel and first responders. 

Photos courtesy of B Pat O’Rourke

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