THE IMMOKALEE FOUNDATION…alumnus gives back

by Noemi Y. Perez

Students in The Immokalee Foundation’s programs not only excel in academics but also as charitable citizens.

Jonathan Cantu, a foundation alumnus who graduated from Immokalee High School in 2011 and Philadelphia University in December 2016, illustrated that spirit recently by nominating the foundation for a philanthropic program at Altar’d State, the clothing and gift store at Coconut Point where he is assistant manager.

“Along with being a Christian based company, the brand prides itself on being a giveback company,” Cantu said. Each quarter, the staff from the franchise’s 100 plus stores are given a theme; based on that theme, they choose a nonprofit to receive 10 percent of net sales one day a week during that quarter. For Fall 2018, the charity focus was ‘helping children.’ Cantu saw an opportunity.

“I told them about the foundation’s mission and what they’re doing for children in Immokalee, helping them look beyond high school and know they have the opportunity to excel,” Cantu said. Cantu knows from personal experience: He was a junior in high school when he decided he would pursue a career in fashion – but he had no idea how to go about it. He had heard great things about The Immokalee Foundation, so he sent a letter about how much he wanted to attend a summer program at the Art Institute of Chicago to prepare for a future in fashion.

That’s when doors began to open. Not only did he spend that summer in the program at the Art Institute of Chicago, but he also attended another at the Illinois Institute of Art. While working on alumnus gives back through Altar’d State philanthropy body casting, painting, art history and fashion design, he created his own 10-piece designer garment collection and earned his first three college credits.

Through advice, contacts and scholarship money from the foundation, he earned his degree at Philadelphia University. In addition to Altar’d State, Cantu has had experience working for Nautica, QVC and Lilly Pulitzer, as well. Cantu told his coworkers about the Take Stock in Children scholarship opportunities and the foundation’s mentorship program.
“I explained to them why I felt so driven to help The Immokalee Foundation,” he said, “and my coworkers thought it was special. They were really excited they were able to help.”

Over the course of 11 Mondays, 10 percent of the net sales at Altar’d State were earmarked for The Immokalee Foundation, which added nearly $4,000 to the foundation’s general fund to support programs that serve children beginning in elementary school through post-secondary education. Store personnel learned about The Immokalee Foundation so they could share the organization’s success stories with customers, who were invited to take brochures and learn more through the foundation’s website.

The Immokalee Foundation provides a range of education programs that focus on building pathways to professional
careers through support, mentoring and tutoring, and life skills development leading to economic independence. To learn more about becoming a mentor, the foundation’s signature events, volunteering as a career panel speaker or host, making a donation, including the foundation in your estate plans, or for additional information, call 239-430-9122 or visit
https://immokaleefoundation.org.

Noemi Y. Perez, executive director of The Immokalee Foundation, can be reached at: noemi.perez@immokaleefoundation.org.

Meet them this May in Naples…One Couple Stands Tall for Giraffes

by Kelsey Burr, Naples Zoo Marketing Associate

Standing near one of our giraffes inspires two emotions in me. First, even at nearly six and half feet tall, I feel ridiculously small. Second, I simply smile in delight being in the magnificent presence of a creature possessing such power that carries itself with such elegance. It’s a child’s reaction – and one I highly recommend having as an adult. Because as adults,
we need resilience and passion to live in a world where objects of wonder like giraffe are also targets of violence – from an AK-47 to a neck snare or simply land that no longer welcomes these wandering giants. So look at the giraffe again. Stare into those eyes. We must do better for them. One couple dedicated their lives to that mission.

How does it feel to get knocked down by a wild giraffe? What’s it like to take gunfire flying in a helicopter? Questions like these and many more have become common knowledge for Dr. Julian and Steph Fennessy. Julian came from Australia and Steph from Germany. Like many, Africa drew them in and Julian specifically chose to do his PhD on giraffe when he realized so little was scientifically known about them as compared to other iconic species like elephants or lions. It was a strange journey to be on the cusp of just beginning to understand one of the most recognizable and beloved creatures on the planet.

Like the rest of the world, when I stood in a blind in northern Namibia taking photos of a giraffe at a waterhole, I had only
general knowledge of the species and the risks they face. Not long after that, the Fennessys co-founded the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) in 2009 in Namibia as the world’s only charitable organization concentrating solely on the conservation of wild giraffe. Their research and publications have brought us out of collective ignorance. In just the last 30 years, Africa’s giraffe population has plummeted by 40%. Observing them on our African safaris now, appreciation also includes urgency to make sure there are future generations of giraffes to still tower over the plains.

GCF’s efforts span Africa to make that a reality – from participating in creating national action plans to translocating
individuals to create assurance populations. Research and data remains critical to wise conservation action and the Fennessy’s work collecting tissue samples is answering the fundamental question of how many species and subspecies of giraffe are there. This is the foundation for how populations can be managed. Their work also led to a change in their threatened status from that of Least Concern to Vulnerable to Extinction. This work was highlighted in an hour long documentary on GCF featured on BBC and PBS in 2016.

Julian and Steph Fennessy Coming to Naples
The free fall in wild populations makes it critically important for accredited zoos to have protected populations. Zoos are
also ideally suited to powerfully share the challenges facing this beloved species with millions of people and provide proven
ways for caring people to make a difference for the giraffes in both worlds. On May 9, you will have the opportunity to
help welcome this extraordinary couple to our community at a special evening conservation lecture at Naples Zoo.

Tickets are available for $10 at www.napleszoo.org/speakers. Spending time with them will be truly inspiring. I hope you’ll join me as we both see the challenges and also envision a future day where all giraffe can stand tall – allowing us to still feel as small and delighted as a child.

Far from the simple menageries of past, today’s nationally accredited zoos are centers of learning and natural crossroads
for biologists, educators, environmental scientists, and researchers – as well as for students, conservationists, and all animal
lovers. Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is a trusted, private 501(c)(3) nonprofit serving wildlife and families here and
around the world. To learn more about how you can help giraffes, email Naples Zoo’s Director of Conservation at
tim@napleszoo.org.

“What Price Paradise?” by Eric Eikenberg CEO Everglades Foundation

What is the value of the wading birds in Everglades National Park? What price do we put on the fish in Florida Bay? Or clean drinking water for the 8 million people living in South Florida? The Everglades is an ecosystem like no other on Earth – multiple ecosystems, actually, that are home to 77 different endangered species.

It is a World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Preserve, home to two national parks, a national preserve and a number of other wildlife refuges and management areas. Beyond that, the Everglades is an economic engine that propels billions of dollars annually in value to the Florida economy. A 2010 study by the Mather Economic Group confirms that every dollar
invested in Everglades restoration projects yields a four dollar return.

It’s no wonder as the Everglades supports a multi-billion dollar tourism and hospitality industry, not to mention real estate and construction industries worth many times that much. Consider recreational fishing alone. Fishing is big business in
Florida, drawing nearly 1.2 million anglers from across the globe to what have long been the most popular fishing destinations in the world, including the three most popular fishing destinations in the United States.Fishing alone creates 80,000 Florida jobs and propels a $10.3 billion Florida boating industry.

For three of the last six years, however, anglers and other visitors who came to Florida expecting to see gin-clear waters and pristine beaches have had to endure toxic blue-green algae in our estuaries; add to that the persistent problem of
red tide along our coasts, and the risk to our state’s economy is easy to see.

Nobody would want to put a toe in the algae choked waters of the central coasts during these episodes, much less take a boat out into foul smelling (and toxic) red tide. The Hotel Association of nearby Lee County reported that the 2016 algae outbreaks forced 92 percent of the hotels in and around Fort Myers to suffer cancellations. As images of dead fish and sea
life, blue green algae and red tide were beamed across televisions and social media worldwide, every hotel, resort and rental property along the Florida coast had to field the same question from anxious tourists: “How bad is the algae near your place?”

The cause for the algae outbreaks is the discharge of nutrient laden Lake Okeechobee water into the Caloosahatchee and Indian River estuaries – discharges that also waste precious fresh water that is needed to sustain the parched Everglades during Florida’s dry season. Scientists have long known that construction of a massive water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee will, together with other projects already underway, reduce the algae causing discharges by more than half.

Two years ago, the Florida Legislature approved funding for the state’s 50 percent share of the project, and Congress last year authorized the federal share. Given the impact of the project on Florida’s economy, Governor Ron DeSantis has requested that the Florida Legislature set aside funding to expedite the project. DeSantis has also asked President Trump to include matching dollars in his budget request.

What happens next will determine whether Tallahassee and Washington place the same value on America’s Everglades that folks here do.

The People Who Contribute and People with a Passion for Life

People who Contribute – It would be hard to find something tangible to give to Dave Addison to honor his forty-five years with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. This is because his work saving the sea turtles has always been what he considers to be his greatest gift to himself.

… sweltering mosquito-filled days, the boot grabbing mangrove fringes, and the no-see-ums nights … the exhausting hours on end trying to understand and protect the sea turtle hatchlings … Addison continues to make is contributions to The Conservancy and the world.

Perhaps, one of the most enduring and continuing legacies of his work will be the number of interns he has inspired … those
who, because of their many hours of joint efforts, had the thrill of watching the hatchlings head to the sea across the beaches of Keewaydin Island. And, thereafter, decided to make protecting the environment the core of their life’s work.

People with a Passion– A graduate of Naples Barron Collier’s high school class of 1989, Nick Shirghio became an avid nature photographer, ocean kite flyer, biking enthusiast, hiker, fisherman and kayaker. All at an expert level.

He is quick to say that the beauty of Naples and its surrounding areas were his inspiration growing up. “I did not watch television. I spent my time outside exploring the unique beauty of this area and learning to use the camera to share and preserve those precious scenes forever.”

Nick gives a lot of credit for his photographic skills to his mentor and idol, another native son and professional photographer, the late Bill Minarich. “Bill taught me that to be a great photographer, one has to have an artist’s acuity and sensitivity coupled with the technical photographic skills to capture the spirit of what is being observed. He also taught me what being a good human being really means.”

Nick does work for many outdoor brands, but fortunately for Thomas Campbell and Richard Prebish, of William Raveis Real Estate, he also brings his same passion to photographing their customers’ high-end real estate properties.
“Tom and Richard require that I capture the spirit of the home … show it in a way that best displays the home as a living
work of art … one that customers want to visit immediately.

When I look through the lens, I want to compose a shot that shows the potential of a property to enhance a life well lived.”
When asked what he felt most fortunate about, Nick responded, “My family, my friends, and growing up in Naples
Florida.”

Tom Campbell
seminoleagle@aol.com

THE NAPLES PLAYERS says get to know Kylie Campbell

Theatre has always been the most important thing in my life. I grew up at The Naples Players and have learned so much in my eleven years there. If it wasn’t for all the support I’ve received from everyone at that theatre, I don’t think I would be the actress I am today.

I started out doing musicals, and then transitioned to plays, and then decided to try Shakespeare,” shares Campbell. Currently a Barron Collier High School student, she has been studying and performing at The Naples Players since preschool. Campbell has been seen in Coney Island Christmas as Young Shirley, Les Misérables as Young Cosette, Sister Act as Sister Mary Theresa, and CATS as Demeter. “Shakespeare had the ability to take a concept and write it in the most eloquent way. I think it’s important for someone of my generation to understand Shakespeare, and I have just the most fun performing these special works of art,” continues Campbell.

Kylie attests her success to her training and development with The Naples Players KidzAct youth theatre program. “She really loves the craft, learning the techniques of acting, and has been very hungry to learn by taking every class and becoming involved in all different scopes of work and productions offered at The Naples Player,” shares Associate Artistic Director Jessica Walck who has been instrumental in her arts development over the years.

Debbie Campbell, Kylie’s mother, has been impressed with her daughter’s theatre interest since such a young age sharing, “She’s had a passion for performing ever since she was very little, and she’s just always known that she’s wanted to be an actress. It’s amazing to see her find new aspects of theatre that she loves. Her father and I are so very proud of her.”
Naples Players Director John McKerrow, has been an ESU Naples-based competition judge for about 8 years and shares, “The students seem to get better and better. That is a testament to Kylie’s great win and to our local teachers and school system. This is a wonderful opportunity for Kylie and I am so proud of her.”

As the first place finisher, Campbell receives $500, The Riverside Shakespeare Complete Works, an ESU First Place trophy, and an all-expense paid trip to New York City to compete in the National competition and free coaching. At the ESU National Competition, she will be sequestered with approximately 65 students who have won their local ESU branch competitions from around the country. They will attend a show together, participate in educational activities, and then perform on The Lincoln Center stage. “It is truly an experience she will never forget.” continues McKerrow.

The Naples Players offers specialized Shakespearean training for children, which culminates in an annual children’s production, which follows the adult Shakespeare on the Plaza production. “One of our greatest assets that our Shakespeare program gives out young students is the opportunity to work with the area’s foremost Shakespeare experts.” shares Craig Price, The Naples Players Director of Education. Price continues, “Bryce Alexander directed the children’s production
of The Taming of the Shrew last year, in which Kylie performed as Petruchio and this year she is involved in the adult Shakespeare production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Each year, more than 20,000 high school students participate in the English in Action National Shakespeare Competition at the school, regional and national levels through the help of more than 2,500 teachers and 55 ESU branches nationwide. As part of the competition, students perform a monologue and recite a sonnet from Shakespeare and are judged on their understanding of their selected texts and on their ability to communicate their interpretation to the audience.

Through this school based program, students in grades 9 – 12 develop critical thinking and speaking skills and increase their
self-confidence through performance of Shakespeare’s work. Since 1983, the English-Speaking Union has given more than 300,000 students of all backgrounds the opportunity to bring the timeless works of Shakespeare to life and to learn to express his words with understanding, feeling and clarity. The competition has been recognized by the Globe Center, the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America and the American Academy of Achievement.

The Naples Players Sugden Community Theatre is Naples oldest and premier theatre and a vital part of the exciting experience of Downtown Naples. As one of the top theatres in the country, The Naples Players is celebrating its 65th season by offering a variety of plays and musicals in three performance spaces: Blackburn Hall, the Tobye Studio Theater, and the outdoor Baker Stage – all located in one building on 5th Avenue South.

KidzAct, Southwest Florida’s premier youth theatre program, offers top quality productions as well as in-depth skills classes for children. Adult education classes are offered throughout the year for first-time performers to skilled professionals. Readers Theatre offers an opportunity to hear new works as well as rare one acts and classics. The Naples Players continually seeks to enrich, educate, and entertain the community through a superior theatre experience. The Naples Players is inspiring passion for the performing arts through lifelong opportunities to participate in vibrant theatrical experiences.

The KidzAct Shakespeare on the Plaza free production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs Saturday, April 13th at 11:00 a.m. and Sunday, April 14th at 6:00 p.m. outside on The Baker Stage in Sugden Plaza. All performances are free, and no tickets are required.

The 65th Anniversary Season, generously sponsored by Tanya and Denny Glass, is filled with dazzling musicals including Guys & Dolls – alongside heartfelt comedies, Always a Bridesmaid, and classics like Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers.

FRAN COHEN YOUTH CENTER… DID YOU KNOW that….

A little known and often surprising fact about Collier County is that approximately 60 percent of children in the public school system live at or below the poverty level. Though the area is widely known as an affluent community, there are pockets across Collier County that deal with difficult socioeconomic conditions and, as a result, The Salvation Army partnered with a well known local philanthropist to aid in meeting the need.

In 2012, Myra Janco Daniels hatched the idea of building a new youth center in Collier County that would be a safe, nurturing place for children to attend after-school programs. Given her extensive arts background, she envisioned a center with an arts focus and came up with an aptly named mission…a place where children could Learn, Play, Create and
Dream. Now, seven years later, Ms. Daniels and her Latchkey League, an organization created to assist The Salvation Army and other local non-profits, have seen her dream realized.

In 2017, the Fran Cohen Youth Center opened its doors after a year of construction and support from the community, the Latchkey League and a generous lead gift from Janet Cohen, whose daughter Fran is the building’s namesake. But the early days of its existence were challenging, stemming from the fallout of Hurricane Irma, which made landfall approximately six weeks later. The building then housed disaster relief efforts and, while it made a significant impact in the community as a result, the delay and staffing issues caused something of a reset in the development of programming.

“That left us with an opportunity to step back, assess what we wanted the youth center to be, and better define what we want to accomplish based on the vision and the mission of The Salvation Army and those who helped us create and fund the center” said Martin de St. Pierre, Director of Development. Enter Hilary Shore, Fran Cohen Youth Center Director, who previously engineered a program called Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead. In tandem with her husband, as former teachers, the program was developed with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, arts and math, which perfectly aligned with the mission and idea for the youth center itself.

Upon arrival, the program was integrated seamlessly, taking advantage of the building’s capacity for artistic work, including a culinary room, arts and crafts room, drawing room and facilities to house a school for performing arts. Today, 150 children attend after school programs coming from ten different schools.

“The way she has restructured our program,” said de St. Pierre. “The units that she has put together; the way that kids cycle through them, it’s just been amazing. And to know now that what we’re doing in there completely integrates with the original purpose of the center, it’s fantastic.”

Operating in partnership, a school for the performing arts lives within the youth center’s doors, providing the opportunity for all-round instruction. The performing arts school showcases the ability for students enrolled in the after-school program to experiment with the performing arts and even provides for the prospect of dual enrollment.

Captains Ben and Annie Bridges, commanding officers, have embraced the youth center with an eye toward growing the
Salvation Army’s work in the community and making a tangible impact. With the ability to track outcomes and monitor the progression of the youth involved, there are additional possibilities for growth, but the work being done in the center is already paying  dividends.

About The Salvation Army –

The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 23 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. For every dollar donated to The Salvation Army, 82 cents is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org).

For more information, go to salvationarmyusa.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS

A New Weapon to Fight the Bite: Drones

Patrick Linn, MS, MSHAPI
Executive Director, Collier Mosquito Control District

The buzzing you hear near a water filled ditch in Collier County today may not be a swarm of  mosquitoes seeking their next meal. Instead, it may be the whirring propellers of a Collier Mosquito  Control District drone equipped with sophisticated cameras and software on the hunt for the  bloodsuckers.

The ability to locate mosquito breeding grounds and larvae is a year-round component of the  District’s  surveillance. Scouting for active mosquito egg-laying sites on foot is both laborious and sometimes hazardous; the water-filled landscapes are better viewed from the air. Until now, the District has used its helicopters for aerial surveillance missions  to both map the habitat and apply larvicide treatment missions.

Today, drones outfitted with high-definition cameras are making geographic surveillance more efficient and economical. In terms of scope, the drone fleet are greatly augmenting both the accuracy and extent of our surveillance of hard-to-reach areas. We are able to quantitatively assess and map the Collier County  landscape for standing water and mosquito larvae with a variety of drones. Pilots view and record images and video from a bird’s-eye perspective, allowing a superior real time view of surface water, chlorophyll status of plants, and geographic features.

The “Splash Drone” lands directly in the water with its waterproof camera, providing an underwater live view of larvae in the area. Nine District employees have passed the FAA Remote Pilot in Command Certification Exam, earning their licenses to operate drones. By the end of this summer, the  District  will receive certification for larvicide distribution using a larger drone quipped to carry 13 pounds of granular larvicide. Its nimble operations, compact size, and payload make it the perfect tool to treat smaller areas up to 10 acres at a time, versus sending a helicopter to apply the larvicide.

Targeting mosquito larvae with larvicide applications is one of the basic tenets of integrated mosquito management, and last year the District increased its use of larvicides by 260 percent. We are quickly finding that these new tools are providing savings in time and cost of surveillance when compared to traditional ground and aerial methods. Best of all, the buzz of a drone is considerably less intrusive than that of a much larger helicopter.

To learn more about the District’s operations, public tours are available. Included are presentations by our research team in the laboratory, our operations/surveillance team, and a visit to the hangar. We also make arrangements for staff to conduct presentations at group meetings. Please call our office at (239) 436-1000 to schedule a tour or if we can provide more information.

Eco Cruising with the Conservancy

If you are looking for a unique and memorable Southwest Florida experience, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s eco-cruise through Rookery Bay is all that and more. Mother Nature does the entertaining here. Located just south of Naples, Rookery Bay is one of the few undisturbed mangrove estuaries left in the U.S., and one of only 28 National Estuarine Reserves.

This 110,000 acres of open water, containing interconnected bays, mangrove wetlands, lagoons and streams is habitat for a vast array of wildlife, including hundreds of species of birds. As a designated Estuarine Reserve, Rookery Bay offers
a natural backdrop for education as well as a laboratory for biologists, teachers, and students. Protecting this threatened estuary was the first accomplishment of the fledgling Conservancy, founded by a group of concerned citizens, more than 50 years ago.

“In 1964, the county wanted to extend what is now Bayshore Drive through the heart of Rookery Bay, through mangroves and barrier islands,” said Rob Moher, president and CEO of the Conservancy. “After two years of effort, what was then called the Collier County Conservancy raised funds to purchase 2,600 acres of land and save Rookery Bay. Our mission is much bigger today, but we still focus on preserving Southwest Florida’s natural treasures – our water, land and wildlife.”

Today, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida offers a unique opportunity for its members and visitors to explore the beautiful area it saved more than 50 years ago. Conservancy naturalists and a Coast Guard certified captain will guide you through Rookery Bay aboard the Good Fortune II, a comfortable 35 passenger pontoon boat. Good Fortune II adventures include daily “Mid-morning” and “Classic Sunset” cruises, as well as a selection of specialty cruises and private charters.

Coast Guard certified boat captains, accompanied by trained naturalists, help spot and identify wildlife, and provide guests with an experience that is both relaxing and informative. “The Good Fortune II offers residents and visitors a very intimate and personal way to learn about Southwest Florida’s environment,” Moher said. “Taking a ride through the mangroves, guests might spot a dolphin, manatee or a bobcat.

It’s a great adventure and you really gain an entirely new appreciation for Southwest Florida’s natural environment.”

PRICING
Conservancy Members: ADULT: $37, CHILD: $15
General Admission: ADULT: $47, CHILD: $20

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
• Make your reservations online www.conservancy.org/goodfortune
or call 239-213-2500.
• Cruises depart from Shell Island Road (directions at
conservancy.org/goodfortune)
• Cruises last approximately two hours.
• All cruises are subject to weather conditions and tide.

For more information about Good Fortune II eco-cruises;                                                                                                  call 239-215-2500 or visit www.conservancy.org/goodfortune.
The Conservancy is a not-for-profit grassroots organization with a 55 year history focused on the critical environmental issues impacting the water, land and wildlife in Collier, Lee, Glades, Hendry, and Charlotte counties. This is accomplished through the combined efforts of environmental education, science, policy, and wildlife rehabilitation. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, world-class Nature Center and von Arx Wildlife Hospital are headquartered in Naples, Florida, 1495 Smith Preserve Way, south of the Naples Zoo off Goodlette-Frank Road.

Learn more about our work and how you can support the quality of life in Southwest Florida www.conservancy.org.

Meet the McClains: Fine Living in Mangrove Bay

Ask anyone what a downtown Naples lifestyle involves, and they just might quote the old real estate adage ‘location, location, location’. In the case of the Mangrove Bay community located at 201 Goodlette Frank Road, those words ring true. Located in the heart of Old Naples, Mangrove Bay is a unique waterfront neighborhood of 53 home sites on approximately 15 pristine acres.

The homes offer Old Naples cottage style luxury with one and two-story floor plan options. These distinctive residences
are complete one-of-a-kind properties with private pools and an individual boat slip for every homeowner. Mangrove Bay’s location on the Gordon River is perfect for anglers and boaters alike. From saltwater fly-fishing in the peaceful mangroves accessible by Mangrove Bay’s private boat ramp, to deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, both options are at your fingertips. With the Gulf of Mexico only 15-20 minutes away from Mangrove Bay’s waterfront location in Naples Bay, cruising the beautiful Gulf waters from your own coastal retreat has never been easier.

Additionally, residents of Mangrove Bay will experience a private on-site luxury concierge providing a wide selection
of services including comprehensive property management. The concierge building features a club-level room for private
events and Homeowners’ Association meetings, three luxury guest suites available to residents and their guests by advance
reservation, and kayak/jet ski/canoe/paddleboard storage on the lower level with immediate access to the private Mangrove Bay boat ramp.

Residents benefit from low-maintenance living, with pool care and exterior landscaping maintained by the Association. The beautiful City of Naples Dog Park is within a stone’s throw of Mangrove Bay, and the community is located immediately adjacent to the new Baker Park, a 20+/-acre riverfront park with pedestrian bridge over the Gordon River to the Greenway  Preserve featuring nature trails perfect for enjoying the outdoors.

We recently caught up with residents Pat and Mary McClain who are proud homeowners in this beautiful community. They fondly refer to their home as the “McClain Amelia” because they were allowed to customize Mangrove Bay’s Amelia model extensively to suit their personal lifestyle. Hailing from the Doylestown, PA area, the McClains had toured Florida for a year before purchasing a condominium in the Park Shore area.

After living there for 6 months they decided they wanted to build while simultaneously building up north – no easy feat juggling the two projects. On their experiences, Mary McClain says “With the help of the entire team at GCIP and Mangrove Bay, we put together a plan of the home that we could put on the lot we chose. We started building and we love it!”

Mangrove Bay’s award winning floor plans range from approximately 2,500 square feet to over 4,200 square feet under air. Superior construction with luxurious features and state-of-the-art appointments, all homes have generously appointed exterior living areas, private pools and Wolf, Sub-Zero and Theramador appliance packages. Guest suites are available as an option on most homes.  customization and location were key for this couple who rave about the location of their new home.

Pat McClain talks about the accessibility of Mangrove Bay. “They use the phrase down here ‘a walkable, bikable,[lifestyle]’.  The whole area is being revitalized. And we are within 5 or 6 blocks of 5th Avenue. It’s great.” Situated mere blocks from the 5th Avenue South shopping, dining, and entertainment district, Mangrove Bay is within walking distance to many Naples attractions including a multitude of dining experiences from quaint cafes to a plethora of restaurant options with all types of
cuisine to tempt the discerning palate.

The McClains are the perfect example of discerning homeowners with exceptional taste desiring an unequaled residence and lifestyle. Discover Old Naples waterfront living and find your perfect home at Mangrove Bay. Stop by our Sales Center to learn more about this unique waterfront community combining estuary views and Gulf of Mexico access. Homes start at $1.9mm and offer an unequaled downtown lifestyle.

The Gulf Coast International Properties Mangrove Bay team of sales professionals including Mitchell Norgart, Director of Sales and Broker/Associate; Timothy Savage, P.A. Realtor; Tricia Jenks, Realtor and Christina Stoneburner, Realtor, can provide more information, or please visit our Sales Center at 201 Goodlette Frank Road or www.mangrovebaynaples.com.

GIVE BACK and get so much more in return – AT THE NAA

As Southwest Florida’s only dedicated visual art center for 65 years, the Naples Art Association (NAA) prides itself on providing exciting, unique opportunities to experience and display art. Whether it is partnering with area nonprofits to engage those with disabilities, hosting programming for children, providing the nation’s top ranked outdoor art show, or offering a first-of-its-kind wearable art runway show, the NAA is always in the forefront of arts education and exhibitions in the community.

So, how do we pull it all off with a limited staff and an even more limited budget? With the help of hundreds of valuable volunteers! In the past year alone, our dedicated volunteers logged over 30,000 hours at the NAA assisting with the planning, implementation, and management of an array of programs, exhibits, outdoor art shows, and even just answering phone calls at our front desk.

And, while we at the NAA know the value it provides for our organization, do you know what volunteering can do for you? It not only offers you an opportunity to make a contribution to the NAA, it is also proven to help you gain confidence; meet new people; make new friends; learn new skills; reduce stress levels; and so much more.

Current volunteer opportunities available include serving as a booth sitter or gate ambassador at an outdoor art show; joining a committee to help plan an exciting annual event including Scene to be Seen: A Runway Art Show or For the Love of Art; working at the NAA’s front desk where you will serve as a friendly face for visitors; or even spending a few hours in the NAA’s popular Gift Shop helping customers. The volunteer opportunities don’t require much time commitment, but will be of great benefit to the NAA.

In order for the Naples Art Association to continue to inspire and empower not only artists, but the general community, and lead and advocate for the arts, we need you. If you have already started your art journey by attending classes or exhibits, thank you. If you are looking for a way to dip your toes in the art pond, we encourage you to start by volunteering with us. We are positive that you will quickly become one of our cherished volunteers.