While we are still quite a ways away from being back to something close to normal, the memories of past times in Naples becomes stronger each day.
Having been very involved with many charities over the years the first thought that comes to mind are the multitude of Galas during Season. Although numerous events were put on virtually in 2020, they can never be what a live one brings to your senses.
The Immokalee Foundation includes the children they help in their fundraiser. Guadalupe Center as well includes their programs’ children. They are working hard to break the cycle of poverty
Both of these organizations highlight and share their children’s stories at their events. The energy is the room crackles with enthusiasm when the students share their hopes and
dreams for not only themselves but their families as well. That energy cannot be replicated through a computer screen.
Neighborhood Health Clinic each year has a fantastic theme for their event. The community wholeheartedly believes in their cause as year after year Naples responds to their call.
The Winter Wine Festival just a year ago set a new record for funds raised and causes helped. To be in attendance and watch bidders look each other in the eye and raise a bid by $100,000 and then see the paddle raised again as the bids jump in increments of $100,000 is incredible to witness. Knowing the funds raised help a legion of charities who in turn reach out to the thousands of
underserved children in Collier County makes the bidding wars even sweeter.
Parades are something that a small town like Naples offers that no longer happens in many places. Standing along the curb as the many floats, bands and children’s groups march by is a thrill that
must be experienced. To ride in the parade and actually be a part of it increases the excitement. Sitting on the back of a convertible waving and interacting with the thousands lining both sides of the parade route is a rush.
Imagine being a marching band member. You practice and practice for the chance to march in the parade playing your music and showing off your formations. What a grand reward for those
hundreds of hours of practice!
The Farm City Barbeques are where the whole of Collier County comes together to celebrate Thanksgiving with great food, fellowship and to raise money for important causes. The Chamber of Commerce yearly dinner is where Citizen of the Year is announced and members of our business community mingle and talk history and the future.
It used to be said that if you attended the Chamber dinner in the Spring and Farm City in the Fall you would not only see all your friends new and old but you would know everything that was
going on in Collier County.
I miss not only the events above but most of all I miss the people.