August State of the City – A Message on a Coconut

Mayor John Sorey

Mayor John Sorey

Life in Naples is great! Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, we enjoy year round balmy weather, pristine beaches, arts and culture, among other amenities at our finger tips that
promote an active lifestyle. As part of my exercise regimen, I walk on the beach most mornings and have recently taken up paddle boarding. On April 25th, my morning stroll on the beach was extra special. Instead of finding a message in a bottle, I found a coconut with a message attached to it that had washed up on the beach.

The coconut was painted pink and green and the message read, “Congratulations! You have found one of the Sanibel Sea School Octifest Coconuts used to study currents along Southwest Florida. Please give us a call and tell us where you found it, along with the coconut number. We will even send you a dollar for your assistance.” My coconut number was 53. I called the phone number on the tag and informed them that I was the mayor of Naples, and had found a coconut and gave them my number. The school was delighted that the mayor of Naples had found a coconut. And no, I did not accept the dollar.

Sanibel Sea School Children Painting Coconuts

Sanibel Sea School Children Painting Coconuts

Each year in mid-February, Sanibel Sea School students collect fallen coconuts from around Sanibel Island, and paint them to resemble an egg, just in time for Easter. This year, 150 students participated in painting the coconuts and on April 22nd, they were sold to guests at an annual fundraiser called Octifest to raise money for environmental education programs for underprivileged youth in Southwest Florida. After the event, approximately 200 coconuts were released 20 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.

This experiment was to better understand the currents of the Gulf of Mexico. The first coconut reported landing was number 187, it washed up on Vanderbilt Beach near  Wiggins Pass State Park in Naples on April 23rd at 9:55 am. Other coconut landings were at: Pelican Bay, Seagate Beach Club, Park Shore Drive Beach access, Doctors Pass and the Naples Beach Club, to name a few. I must say, this was a great project for the youth and I was glad to be a part of it.

Delores and I first came to Naples in 1979 and immediately fell in love with the small town, and moved here fulltime in 1998. Within a short time of arriving, we became involved in the community by volunteering and serving on several community boards. Fast forward to 2014, we have planted our roots, met so many wonderful people in
the community, and I became a City Council Member in 2004 and then Mayor in 2012. I must say, it has been a great journey, especially seeing the City grow by leaps and bounds.

This season was really busy for everyone, and people tended to stay longer because of our great weather and colder weather in other places. It seems as though just as season began, it was over in a flash after Easter and now the summer is here and it is hot and humid.

The housing and construction markets have rebounded since the downturn, and tourism hit an all-time high this year. According to the January 2014 to May 2014,
Collier County Marketing Partner Reports, 870,500 people visited Collier County, 1,197,200 hotel room nights were occupied, which resulted in an economic impact of $1,005,684,569.

The historic Naples Pier, popular for sightseers and anglers, was visited by 556,325 people from January – June, 2014. That is amazing for a structure that was originally built in 1888 as a freight and passenger dock and one of the main entrances into Naples during those times. The Pier is 1,000 feet long and jets into the Gulf of Mexico.

This well used structure serves the community well and is now in need of a makeover. The City anticipates that the $892,000 project will commence in November and take approximately six weeks to complete. The superstructure (walkway deck, railings and pier amenities including plumbing and electrical components for running water, lighting, etc.) and substructure (wood structural frame, frame connections to the concrete pile cap beams, plumbing and electrical utilities mounted to the pier) are included in the design.

The core project focuses on replacing the deck board and top cap railing with a composite material such as Fiber Force as opposed to pressure treated lumber.

A special thanks to the Collier County Board of County Commissioners for the grant funding for this important project and to the Collier County Coastal Advisory Committee, Collier County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, and the Tourist Development Council for their support.

On June 11th, City Council approved the contract for CDM Smith to provide professional engineering design and permitting services to the 30% level for the development of the new Baker Park. The process will be a 30, 60, 90, and 100 percent approach. The first step will be a 30 percent deliverable where the environmental, core samples, basic plan and refined cost data will be delivered. This will include the Gordon River Bridge, which the City will now be responsible for, over to the airport side of the Gordon River which will connect to the Gordon River Greenway.

The City anticipates that the 30 percent design phase will be completed between the December 2014 and January 2015 timeframe. The project is on a slow and steady pace due to the careful analysis that will take place to insure that our City has a quality park for all to enjoy.

Smart911With the summer, comes hurricane season, June through November. I encourage residents to get prepared by making sure you have an emergency plan for your family. Part of your plan should include water, non-perishable food for up to seven days, a first aid kit, list of your prescription drugs, important phone numbers, bug repellent, a flashlight with batteries, and personal hygiene products, to name a few. Make sure to sign up for the City’s CODERED notification system for pending hurricane and other emergency notices. Go to, and click on the CODERED logo in the upper right corner. Another program I would encourage you sign up for is Smart911, which is a secure and confidential database that allows residents to create their safety profile of vital information (such as any medical conditions and medications you
are taking), and you can upload your photo. The information you provide will display on the 911 operator’s monitor in the event of an emergency, allowing first responders to help you better. To sign up, go to, Departments, Police, Smart911 and click on the Smart911 logo, it only takes five minutes.

Wishing everyone a great summer and for many, I will see you in the fall.


I am very excited about this opportunity to reach so many people in the community and encourage each of you to become involved with your local government as you deem appropriate. All ideas, suggestions or comments are welcome; please contact me by calling 239.248.1550 or send me an email at

Boots & Boogie Bash benefits Friends of Foster Children

The 7th Annual Boots & Boogie Bash, benefitting programs provided by the Friends of Foster Children of Southwest Florida (FFC), was held at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort. Well attended by many supporters and donors, the night began with cocktails and a wide array of silent auction items followed by dancing, dinner and a live auction complete with exciting travel packages.


Sonya and Brian Sawyer – honorary chairs; Chef Brian Roland and NBC 2 anchor, Krista Fogelsong – celebrity emcees; and Scott Robertson – auctioneer, added to the evening’s success.

Guests had the opportunity to browse the Corral of Dreams where children’s “simple” dreams were written on colorful paper boots. With the generous support of  attendees, 101 dreams were adopted – everything from basketball hoops to dance lessons.

The western-themed fundraiser had over 250 guests and volunteers who enjoyed the high-energy dancers provided by P’ZAZZ Productions and music from the Blue Stone Circle Band. Others making the night a success were major sponsors Home-Tech, NEST International, NA DC – Naples Auto Donation Center, Arthrex, Children’s Network, and Dick Westfall.

The estimated $120,000 total net proceeds from the event will fund the needs of local foster children and help fulfill the FFC mission to provide abused, neglected and  abandoned children in Southwest Florida with the social, educational and financial support the state cannot provide.

Friends of Foster Children began in 1999 and thanks to the generosity of friends and supporters, the organization has been able to give hope to thousands of foster children and help them discover hidden talents, maintain good academic grades and most importantly, begin to uncover their individual potential. To find out more about Friends of Foster Children (FFC), visit

From Rhetoric to Reality – American History Education

Lois Bolin, Old Naples Historian

Lois Bolin, Old Naples Historian

We all have shared concurrent experiences with someone whose perception is different than ours. When these differences are vast, it causes us to examine our thinking to understand how they can be so wrong – I mean – so far apart from our reality.

When new information shifts our perspective, so begins the bitter sweet journey into the existential abyss, where lay philosophers seek their meaning of this new reality, reluctantly accepting responsibility because deep in our being we don’t want to change because it doesn’t make us feel secure.

Existentialism began in the 19th century, but it was post WWII ’s sense of disorientation and confusion that gave rise to this new philosophy, which dealt with the living-feeling human individual and not just the thinking subject.

Baby Boomers, unlike their Greatest Generation parents, who endured the Great Depression and defeated the greatest tyranny the world has ever know, had the luxury of
time to explore the gift their parent’s had preserved for them – freedom of thought – the foundation for other liberties, including freedom of religion, speech and  expression.

Palmetto Ridge High School JROTC Color Guard with Maj. Gen. Bernard

Palmetto Ridge High School JROTC Color Guard with Maj. Gen. Bernard

Ironically, these same liberties allowed individuals such as Bill Ayers, student terrorist turned fugitive turned ‘educator’, time to espouse incorrect facts as truth. America did win the Vietnam War with the 1973 Paris Peace Accord, but the 94th Congress in 1974 broke the promise the United States made, resulting in some 2 million  Vietnamese dying in ‘reeducation camps’ or trying to escape to freedom.

Children of Boomers, Millennials, are often called the ‘Self-Absorbed’ generation, yet in a recent article by a Millennial, who no doubt has just emerged from the exisentiatia abyss, distressed over the elderly in her church, started me thinking differently. Like the elderly in Japan, she concluded these parishioners had no family to care for them
so it was up to her generation to take care of those who had given so much to make their future better.

My perception of those self-absorbed Millennial shifted – just as it shifted on the Vietnam War – just as it shifted on the Naples Pier in August 2010 at the first Naples Spirit of 45 Taps Across America. As WWII veterans walked onto the Naples Pier, they looked at a tattooed, picered ‘Dude’ with distrust. Their look was reciprocated in kind.

After walking over to share why the ‘grey brigade’ had invaded their Sunday afternoon gulf turf, the ‘Dude’ said that his grandfather had been in WWII . He joined our tribute, which shifted many perceptions when this ‘Dude’ cried over the loss of his Paw Paw.

My new reality after that evening was it’s not that kids don’t care about the Vietnam War or the sacrifices of our Greatest Generation; it’s that they don’t know – they were never taught – not unless they had a Paw Paw – not unless they had educators who dealt in primary and secondary research rather than hyperbolic rhetoric espoused so often it becomes consensus reality.

For the past ten years, the Holocaust Museum & Education Center of Southwest Florida, has hosted seminars for local educators so Holocaust history would not be forgotten or rewritten. We can thank Ann Jacobson for her unyielding passion to make this happen.

On August 6-8, at their 11th annual forum, “Legacy & Leadership in History”, their new collaborators, Naples Spirit of ’45, supported their mission to see that the Holocaust and WWII history are not forgotten. Jim Percoco, lead educator of the Friends of the WWII Memorial Foundation, brought teaching materials while K. C. Smith, curator of the Florida Museum of History and coordinator of the Florida History Fair, brought Florida’s WWII Heritage Trail Guidebooks and information on primary and secondary resources available for their use.

We can thank Amy Snyder for her willingness to make this happen. Both Mr. Percoco and Ms. Smith were special guests at the 5th Annual Greatest Generation Breakfast at the Hilton Naples on August 9th, where US M, “Pappy” Wagner, communication linesman on Iwo Jima and USN , Vic Bucket, survivor of the USS Indianapolis, shared
their stories after Korean PO W, Rev. Fred Schultz, gave the opening prayer. The breakfast benefited the Peter Thomas History Fund, housed at the Holocaust Museum and the Spirit of 45 Award at the Florida History Fair.

Some 300 people shared a concurrent experience at the breakfast and no doubt left knowing, if only for a short while, what we owe to this generation and those who followed in their footsteps. Teaching American history is how we repay this debt.

Bodacious Bulgari

by Diana Jarrett GG RMV

by Diana Jarrett GG RMV

Rome’s celebrated house of Bulgari has been the go-to jeweler with jetsetting shoppers for decades. From its inception, Bulgari jewels flaunted distinctive traits that helped endear the brand to serious collectors. Their use of cabochoncut gemstones (with flat undersides and polished round domes), particularly with precious stones was considered iconoclastic when they debuted in the 1960s.

Bulgari’s bold pairings of disparate stone types and analogous colors like a bib neckpiece they created with turquoise, emerald, and amethyst stunned traditional jewelry fans. These daring design moves also helped high-jewelry collectors rethink their collection by wearing important jewels every day, not just on special occasions.

Global audiences soon developed a taste for Bulgari after seeing the bodacious jewels draped on Roman movie stars in the 1950s and 60s. When Bulgari’s influence broadened from Italian film goddesses to Hollywood divas like Elizabeth Taylor, their brand exploded. “Seeing Bulgari jewelry on Sophia Loren or Gina Lollobrigida boosted the brand,” an expert reflects. “Before Bulgari expanded abroad in the 1970s, it was the jeweler of Rome. So when jewelry lovers visited Rome they would go to Bulgari.” One of Taylor’s extravagant Bulgari jewels from Richard Burton is shown here on this page.

Emerald, diamond and platinum Bulgari necklace. Courtesy BVLGARI

Emerald, diamond and platinum Bulgari necklace.
Courtesy BVLGARI

Later on, the shoulder-padded 1980s played the perfect foil to the Italian jeweler’s voluptuously proportioned gemstone chokers. “I think your jewelry is the 80s,” Andy Warhol once told company heir Nicola Bulgari.

Today, the Bulgari brand remains on-trend and avidly collected by the cognoscenti whose cultivated taste demands the best. They have evolved with the times to reflect the preferences of modern jewelry fans. Yet their dedication to exquisite old world craftsmanship is what makes Bulgari a timeless designer.

Naples jewelry lovers collect for the long haul. Many of our ladies establish signature pieces that are as much a part of their personality as their gracious smile. Perhaps that’s why we have so many devotees of Bulgari in our region. Find Bulgari treasures at Yamron, Naples.

Contact Diana Jarrett at and read

Naples Princess: Treating you and your guests to luxury and comfort

Naples Princess DeckThe Naples Princess is the perfect experience for your family and friends! There is not a better way to see the true beauty of Naples than from the water. Take in the luxurious sunsets on the Gulf of Mexico and admire the multi-million dollar homes of Port Royal. Watch out for dolphins as they jump and play throughout the bay. Explore the three different levels on our 105 foot yacht as we cruise through Naples Bay.

The Naples Princess has been in business for over 23 years and no matter the time of day, you can be sure our crew is in the galley preparing the perfect meal to satisfy your appetite. Join us for one of our daily public cruises: Sightseeing, Hors d’oeuvres, Sea Breeze Lunch Buffet or people’s favorite the Sunset Dinner Cruise. We have two full service bars on board and appetizers available on each cruise.

Throughout the year we also offer a variety of specialty cruises such as Live Tropical Entertainment, Songs of Billy Joel, the Best of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s as well as monthly Wine Tastings. If there is a holiday coming up, the Naples Princess is ready to celebrate in style. Our public holiday celebrations include Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Fourth of July and many cruises throughout December to ring in the Holidays and New Year.

Princess Cruise Dining AreaAlso, be sure to book your own special occasion celebration with the Naples Princess. Let us help you commemorate your birthday, anniversary, family reunion, wedding or any other special occasion. We can do it all from the planning, meals, entertainment, photography, transportation and any other needs you may have.

The Naples Princess is the best destination for you and your family. Whether you want to relax or celebrate, we promise that everyone will have the most enjoyable and memorable experience while on board. We want to welcome you aboard Southwest Florida’s most luxurious yacht for an unforgettable trip whether you are local or during your visit to Naples, FL.

To learn more about the Naples Princess please visit us online at or call 239.649.2275.

A Captivating Creative Community – Naples Art Association

Randy Watkins - Sun Setting over Old Farmstead

Randy Watkins – Sun Setting over Old Farmstead

Right now, I have a captive audience. When I say captive, I don’t mean it in the usual way. You, the reader, are not stuck in a room listening to me, the writer. No, you could turn the page at any point. This month I have a captive audience, because readers who are still in Naples are captivated by our picturesque community. Another day in paradise. You must be captivated by Naples, because the air is like a blanket of humidity and you are still here. You love the beach, or the Everglades, or golf, or the Gulf, or shopping, or dining or all of the incredible art.

Naples has long been under-recognized when it comes to our vibrant, successful and enriching art community. Considering the multitude and diversity of art experiences possible throughout Naples, our reputation as an arts destination is destined to grow. Approximately one in six visitors to the area enjoys an artistic experience at a festival, theater, gallery or museum. Locals are glad to hear that art culture is an important part of drawing important tourism dollars into our community. Locals should also feel exhilarated knowing that there is an extremely active art scene in Naples with plenty to learn and tons to do. Art and creativity will be imperative to the continued growth of our community by enriching the experience of visitors, new arrivals and those of us that have been around for a while. According to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies the arts “provide the critical thinking, communications and innovation skills essential to a productive 21st century workforce.”

The mission of The Naples Art Association is to promote and advance education, interest and participation in the visual arts by providing unique opportunities to imagine, discover and create. Recognized as one of the founding arts organizations in Collier County, NAA embodies 60 years of commitment to enriching and facilitating art in the Southwest Florida region by building connections to support development and innovation in the visual arts. Everyone is creative and NAA seeks to bring creative  opportunities to everyone.

Pictures and Patriots

Jessica Manelis - Somebodys Beauty

Jessica Manelis – Somebodys Beauty

On August 8th, The Naples Art Association will host a preview reception for Camera USA National Photography Exhibition and Award and Pictures in Process:  Photography by Naples Art Association Members. Pictures in Process is a non-themed photography exhibition and will feature recent work in color and black & white photography by NAA members. Camera USA is a competition that features recent work by photographers residing and shooting in the United States. Camera USA has proven to be a favorite in our community and beyond and is considered highly representative of a variety of photographic styles. From collages and digitally-enhanced images to purist black and white images and casual snap shots, Camera USA attracts large crowds, strong media attention and creatively daring art talent.

Three jurors will select art from the many applicants. Dan Biferie is Chair of the School of Photography at Daytona State College and a Senior Professor at the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies in Daytona Beach, Florida. Clyde Butcher is an award winning large-format view camera photographer well known for his black and white landscape photographs and, in particular, his photographs of the Florida Everglades and Big Cypress National Preserve. The third juror, Frederick Voss, is a Museum Consultant and retired Smithsonian Senior Historian and Curator. His work at the Smithsonian included conceiving and organizing exhibitions around historical themes and authoring catalogues and books in connection with the exhibitions. For 19 years, Voss was Curator of the National Portrait Gallery’s vast TIME Collection, which contains works of original portraiture that appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine.

Preview receptions are a fantastic opportunity to connect with other artists and art supporters during an elegant and festive evening. Bring a date! Admission to preview receptions is free for members; non-members are welcome with $10 entry fee.

Camera USA National Photography Exhibition and Awards 2014 and Pictures in Process will be on display to the public Monday, August 11th through Friday, September 26th. Admission during regular gallery hours is free, and voluntary donations are accepted to support the ongoing mission of the Naples Art Association at The von Liebig Art Center.

Connecting to Your Creative Self

Sandee Harraden - Water Dance

Sandee Harraden – Water Dance

Session One workshops and classes begin October 20th and will offer a great opportunity to hone your fine art skills, connect with people who have similar interests or try a new hobby. The Naples Art Association organizes a variety of art classes led by Master Artists and other experts. These classes are wonderful for learning a new  technique, meeting Master Artists and having fun with other artists, both novice and advanced. Dan Jensen, who has attended classes presented by The Naples Art Association at The von Liebig Art Center for years, said it well, “You can’t go out and play golf every day.” Whether you are a beginner or already an accomplished artist, you will find classes and instructors at NAA ’s The von Liebig Art Center that will be valuable and engaging. Dan says, “Even Tiger Woods needs a swing coach.” Keep an eye out for an updated schedule of classes and workshops to be posted to

A community favorite artsy workshop, Wine and Dezine is a great night out with friends. This workshop is all about letting go of inhibitions and connecting you to the canvas, whether you think you can paint or not. This is the most fun you’ll ever have with a brush. Enjoy friends, fun, wine and leave with your own masterpiece in three hours. Just relax as each workshop takes you step by step through the enchanting world of creative expression through painting. Tickets are $45 and should be purchased in advance. Wine and supplies are included. For workshop dates or more information call 239.262.6517 or visit

An exciting new class offered in 2014-15 is Intuitive Art & Yoga. In today’s busy world taking the time to be creative or healthful can be difficult. Taking the time to do both might seem near impossible. It isn’t. With Intuitive Art & Yoga, NAA and instructor Jessica Hesser offer a holistic and integrated approach to mind & body wellness. Each class session will occur on Friday mornings from 9:30 a.m. until noon and will begin with a one hour Kundalini yoga session followed by a one hour intuitive art class. Aimed at artists and yogis of all levels, the painting portion of the class will be guided and utilize acrylic paints. Call 239.262.6517 for more information.

Creative Expressions: Alzheimer’s.

Creative Expressions: Alzheimer’s.

The Naples Art Association is excited to announce our program called Creative Expressions. This program connects art and expression to help children and adults gain independence, strengthen their self-confidence and promote healthy living through thinking about and creating of art. In order to maximize the reach and effectiveness of the Creative Expressions program, the NAA will partner with other organizations to provide these services. Programs are focused on helping those with depression,
Alzheimer’s, visual impairment and developmental disabilities. Data has proven art to be beneficial for a wide-variety of individuals as it stimulates the health and  functioning of the brain.

Beginning October 9th, Naples Art Association will host Creative Expressions: Alzheimer’s. In this six-week program for participants and their caregivers, the emphasis will be on the benefits of encountering, experiencing and creating art. Naples Art Association Executive Director Aimee Schlehr says this program is exactly the type of opportunity the organization wants to make available to the community. “Art has the power to lift us up, give us a voice and is such a strong connection to who we are as individuals. We enthusiastically included the Arts and Alzheimer’s course in our offerings because we believe in the healing power of art,” Schlehr said. Often, friends and family of participants (who may not have expressed themselves creatively in quite some time) are overjoyed to see loved ones come alive with the power of connecting
to art. For more information, please call 239.262.6517.

An Invitation to Connect

Come see why The Naples Art Association at The von Liebig Art Center has been voted one of the best galleries in Naples with more local art for sale by a wider variety of local artists than anywhere else in Naples. There are many ways to engage art offered by NAA : enjoy the second largest art resource library in Southwest Florida, take a class with a master instructor or find the perfect gift in our one of a kind gift shop. Admission is free and opens the door to a greater participation in community and the arts. Tour the galleries, shop, take a class or volunteer. The Naples Art Association works to support your creative evolution. Visit for information on upcoming events and schedule of classes and workshops. The Naples Art Association is built from the resources and passion of our community to serve the members of our community. Come be a part of the art: Imagine! Discover! Create!

Working to identify human trafficking victims

From left, Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Collier County Sheriff’s Office Victim Advocate Marisol Schloendorn, state Attorney General Pam Bondi, and state Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam. Schloendorn was honored as Outstanding Victim Advocate for her work with victims of human trafficking at a ceremony in Tallahassee on April 9. Photo by Sgt. Wade Williams/CCSO

From left, Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Collier County Sheriff’s Office Victim Advocate Marisol Schloendorn, state Attorney General Pam Bondi,
and state Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam. Schloendorn was honored as Outstanding Victim Advocate for her work with victims of human trafficking
at a ceremony in Tallahassee on April 9. Photo by Sgt. Wade Williams/CCSO

For years, Alba Guzman was known in the Immokalee community as a madam who had underage girls working for her against their will.

And for years deputies would go to Guzman’s trailer on South 2nd Street and she would deny it was being used for prostitution.

“For years we heard stuff and kept an eye on her,” said Marisol Schloendorn, a victim advocate who, along with Detective Andy Henchesmoore make up the Collier County Sheriff’s Office’s Human Trafficking Unit.

The break finally came March 3, 2012, when CCSO road patrol deputies responded to a complaint from the community that women were selling their bodies for sex out of Guzman’s trailer. Deputies had rounded up 15 men and two women from inside the trailer when Schloendorn and Detective Henchesmoore arrived. Detective Henchesmoore and Schloendorn interviewed the women, one of whom produced a crucial cell phone video showing the 54-year-old Guzman receiving money from a man paying for sex. They concluded that the women were selling their bodies for sex but weren’t being held against their will.

Guzman was arrested on a felony charge of living off the proceeds from prostitution and eventually deported back to her native Colombia. And while she wasn’t formally
charged with human trafficking, the investigation revealed that her Immokalee trailer was one of the stops that human trafficking victims regularly made while working the prostitution circuit in Florida.

“She was part of the human trafficking web,” Schloendorn said.

The Guzman case was one of seven human trafficking cases CCSO worked in 2013. The cases involved both foreign and domestic victims.

Since 2007, the CCSO Human Trafficking Unit has helped remove 67 victims from trafficking – sex trafficking to labor trafficking.

Schloendorn has been assigned to the Human Trafficking Unit since 2006 and Detective Henchesmoore since 2012. While Detective Henchesmoore investigates tips of human trafficking, Schloendorn acts as a mentor to the victims, counseling them and attending their court hearings.

In April, the Florida State Attorney General’s Office honored Schloendorn with the 2014 Distinguished Services Award for Outstanding Victim Advocate for her work with human trafficking victims.

Human trafficking cases can be the most complicated and time-consuming cases law enforcement agencies can investigate. When a victim is rescued from a trafficking situation they commonly have nothing except the clothes on their back. They typically suffer from a variety of problems that include drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness and past traumatic abuse.

Victims of human trafficking are very reluctant to disclose their situation, especially to law enforcement, due to myriad issues such as fear, coercion, threats, extortion,
manipulation by the traffickers or that they won’t be believed. Many involved in commercial sex are repeatedly and commonly abused by their pimp.

“If a pimp is involved, there is a very high likelihood that some sort of coercion exists and that the relationship is not voluntary,” said Sgt. Wade Williams of the CCSO
Exploitation Section, which oversees the Human Trafficking Unit.

However, many prostitutes think of their pimp as a ‘boyfriend’ and will say they do not have a pimp. “The notion that most prostitutes are working voluntarily is a distortion of the reality,” said Sgt. Williams.

Due to their delicate situation, building their trust and providing them with the myriad services that they need to reintegrate into society can be an extremely difficult task.
For Schloendorn this usually means texts and phone calls day and night, and responding to victims when they are in crisis. It also means arranging and taking victims to necessary appointments and interviews, helping them get required documents such as a driver’s license, and other necessary functions.

“The victim advocate must be able to break the psychological chains of the trafficker, provide all of the necessary services, stay in constant communication and build a quality rapport with the victim if we are to succeed in the prosecution,” said Sgt. Williams.

Schloendorn recognizes that working closely with the community is one of the best ways to serve and to identify victims. She organizes annual outreach events to raise awareness and to develop information regarding human trafficking. These events typically draw 300 to 800 people as well as local media and public officials.

Schloendorn frequently adjusts her work schedule to provide these services, which means working many nights and weekends. She constantly goes out of her way to innovate new ways of providing the best services for victims and for new ways of identifying victims.

“She doesn’t simply do what is required of her,” Sgt. Williams said. “She feels a personal sense of responsibility to the victims in her cases.”

Collier County’s Best & Brightest

Collier All StarsCollier County School District’s All-Star Scholar Bowl team travelled to Orlando, Florida, to compete in the 2014 Commissioner’s Academic Challenge. The competition draws Florida’s best and brightest high school scholars from 37 Florida counties. The students are asked challenging questions from the areas of mathematics, science, social studies, fine arts, language arts, world languages, and technologies.

Collier County’s All-Star Team:

• Brian Benitez-Senior at Palmetto Ridge High
• Cameron Buxton-Junior at Seacrest Country Day School
• Tommy Smith-Junior at Donahue Academy of Ave Maria
• Mark Torres-Sophomore from Gulf Coast High
• Peter Torres (Captain)-Senior from Gulf Coast High

The students were members of their schools’ Scholar Bowl teams, which practice through the entire school year. Collier County has 10 public and private high schools that competed last year. Students were invited to try out for the state team during a special session in January. From there, the strongest students were chosen based on their performance and their strengths in the various categories.

Collier Allstar BoysAfter practicing for three months, the students and their coach headed to Orlando to challenge other Division I (districts with over 40,000 students) teams. This year’s theme was the Big Bang, and the students had a Collier student malegreat showing. After two days of intense competitions, the Collier County team earned a place in the tournament’s finale. Only the top six Division I teams were invited, and the students were extremely nervous and excited. The buzz in the room was palpable as the students found their spot on the stage and took a few pictures to commemorate their victory so far.

As they settled in to their table, the four students checked their table for their constant charts, periodic tables, graphing calculator, and scientific calculator. These, along with their mighty brains, were their only tools needed as they raced to be the first to correctly answer the challenging questions. They knew they were against some of the very top and brightest students in Florida, but they were well prepared and ready to go.

The first and second rounds passed easily. As the students took their two minute break before the final round, they were excited to learn they were holding on to second place. They hit the ground running in the last round, but points were precious. Fifteen points were given for correct answers, but 15 points were taken away for wrong answers. The team did well, but they slipped during that last round they would play together as a team. After the hard work, dedication, and time they invested in their team, they came in sixth in state. This was better than any other Collier team in the past five years. Although their competitive natures wanted a higher placing, they felt proud of their accomplishments. Parents, guardians, and coaches knew the students gave their best, and that was great!

Although the Collier County Scholar Bowl and the Florida’s Commissioner’s Academic Challenge may look to an outsider as a group of smarty-pants kids answering  “brainiac” questions, they are much more than that. They give a niche to academically talented students. They encourage students to match wits with other high achieving students. As for adults who watch these competitions, they get to be inspired by the youth of tomorrow. Seeing this caliber of students coming up through the schools  would make anyone believe that the horizon of the future is very bright indeed.

The Healthcare Dilemma


Jill Ciccarelli Rapps, CFP

One of the most important issues for all of us is managing our affairs for longevity. Many elderly today did not plan to live so long; they did not consider if their assets  would last well into their 90’s, or what their needs would be. Today the baby boomer generation may live past age 100 and our children and grandchildren as well. Living longer has wonderful benefits, but the challenges of managing our health care can be devastating for you and your family if a plan is not in place. Even though health care
in our lifetimes will most likely be our largest expense, second to our home, very few of us spend the time planning for it until something urgent happens. If you have not had a serious conversation about how the cost of your health care may affect your quality of life, maybe today is the time to do so!

For those under 65 (not on Medicare), you will experience the greatest shift in cost to cover you and your family for healthcare. Companies will start to shift more and  more costs to their employees, and with current government deficits, you may not be able to rely on our Medicare program like we know it today. In fact for people who are 65, Medicare is only covering about 51 percent of their health care costs .

The other myth about Medicare is that it covers long-term care costs. Medicare may pay a portion of up to 150 days of hospital insurance (inpatient, skilled nursing, home health, hospice); after that you are on your own!

Your financial advisor may help you complete a health care assessment to estimate future health care costs including long term care costs. A plan should be designed and integrated with your financial plan. The key is to have your own personal strategy in place so you are not surprised by what the future may bring, and worse yet, lose the quality of your life.

There are many health care strategies that one may utilize, including; 1) developing your own “bucket” of assets for health care needs, just like you would do for retirement, travel, education etc. 2) purchase or convert your old life insurance contracts to a long term care insurance “hybrid” policy 3) consider purchasing long term care insurance or 4) do your homework on a continuing care community, where your lifetime care may be provided to you as your needs arise. Each option takes time to understand and to decide which is best for your situation, and because everyone is so unique, each and every plan should be personalized.

Your financial advisor can educate you on the opportunities available, how each plan may affect your financial affairs, and help guide you to create a health care strategy that you are comfortable with. Like almost everything in life, planning ahead can make a huge impact on the quality of your health and your lifestyle! The bottom line, if you have not already, make a point to focus on your health care and develop a plan no matter what age you are!

Jill Ciccarelli Rappswww.CAS
Jill Ciccarelli Rapps, CFP® is Vice President of
Ciccarelli Advisory Services Inc., a Family Focused Wealth
Management Firm in Florida and New York.
Ciccarelli Advisory Services, Inc. is located at 9601
Tamiami Trail North, Naples, FL (239.262.6577)
Investment advisory services offered through Ciccarelli
Advisory Services, Inc., a registered investment adviser
independent of FSC Securities Corporation. Securities and
additional investment advisory services offered through
FSC Securities Corporation, member FINRA /SIP C and a
registered investment adviser.
The views expressed in this article may not reflect the
views of FSC Securities Corporation.

1(Fonstin, Paul. “Savings Needed to Fund Health Insurance and Health Care
Expenses in Retirement. Findings from a Simulation Model\ EBRI ”. Employee
Benefit Research Institute\EBRI . May 2008. The official U.S. government
Medicare Handbook. The official U.S. government Medicare Handbook, Medicare
& You, 2013.

The Garden of Hope and Courage

by Amy Lane

Jan Emfield, Garden of Hope and Courage Visionary

Jan Emfield, Garden of Hope and Courage Visionary

The Garden of Hope and Courage is a gift. It is a gift providing inspiration, a gift offering support and encouragement; and a gift for anyone needing or wanting to embrace it. Occupying 2.5 acres on the downtown campus of the NCH Healthcare System in Naples is where you can find this gem. For many, it’s likely not a stop in their daily travels but after one visit it will likely become one. This impressive treasure exists right in our own backyard and there are several individuals responsible. Many live thousands of miles away from our special home of Naples and some just around the corner. They believed in the garden’s mission and objective, designed by a lovely woman named Jan Emfield who had a vision of creating a healing sanctuary for those when they so desperately needed it the most.

Jan was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1990. She underwent treatment regime typical in the 90’s including radiation, chemotherapy, lumpectomy and mastectomy. Jan’s idea for this so called “Garden of Hope and Courage” came while sitting in her English style backyard garden on Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota. She would regularly meet in her garden with fellow cancer patients. They called her garden the garden of courage and it was in that garden that she would jot down notes and ideas for the garden she began to envision – both how it might look but also how it might be used. Jan had been in remission for almost three years when the doctors determined that the cancer had metastasized to her bones.

Jan lost her battle in 1994 but prior to her passing, she communicated her vision of a peaceful sanctuary to her dear friend Richard D’Amico. She shared her garden notes with D’Amico and he was determined to make her vision a reality. After 14 years of planning and fundraising, D’Amico and Jan’s husband Bob Emfield, along with the co-founders of Tommy Bahama, Tony Margolis and Lucio Dalla Gasperina, officially unveiled the garden in October, 2006.

Jan Emfield, Garden of Hope and Courage Visionary

Jan Emfield, Garden of Hope and Courage Visionary

D’Amico led the effort in researching locations and found the Garden’s home on the NCH campus. His passion and desire to make Jan’s dream come to fruition filtered through that of his company, D’Amico & Partners. Leading the movement, D’Amico and its employees raised thousands of dollars through wine dinners, golf tournaments and more both in Minnesota and Naples, in support of Jan’s vision.

Bob Emfield, Tony Margolis and Lucio Dalla Gasperina, tri-founders of Tommy Bahama embraced Jan’s dream as their mission and started raising funds through Tommy Bahama at the corporate level in Seattle, Washington. The garden became a part of their corporate family. In Seattle, employees held bake sales, competed in triathlons, hosted special employee sales as well as created special “Garden of Hope and Courage” merchandise sold during the month of October that was distributed and sold through retail locations and retail partners in cities all over the United States. These items, designed in honor of breast cancer awareness month, included Garden of Hope and Courage candles, diffusers, t-shirts and jewelry. Three times a year still to this very day there is a specialty Men’s Camp Shirt that Jan’s son Gregg selects and through the sale of this special shirt, Tommy Bahama contributes 10 percent back to the Garden of Hope and Courage.

Garden of HopeThis past June, the garden was lucky to host a tour welcoming 22 of the Tommy Bahama Leadership Team from Seattle. It was an incredibly special tour for the Garden Board of Directors and NCH. Stephanie McKinney, Senior Vice President of Operations has been a part of the Tommy Bahama Family since the very beginning and was part of the team’s recent visit to the Garden.

“The Garden of Hope and Courage is part of our heritage at Tommy Bahama. In the formative years, when we were building the foundation of our company, we also had a tremendous emotional connection to the mission and vision of the Garden. It gave us a higher purpose and it was extremely inspirational for the team to support and
nurture it. Today, in its completion, the Garden represents all that we stand for in our core values. It sits in the center of Naples, Florida, the birthplace of our brand, and
continues to be an influence and inspiration to the employees and leadership of Tommy Bahama,” McKinney said.

Stephanie and her team have been fundamental in making our special garden a reality. The Garden of Hope and Courage is a gift and we are forever grateful to all who made it possible.