Charlotte Sun Column - February 22, 2017

     State Insurance Agency, Brain Chapman Insurance Group will host the Business Card Exchange tomorrow night, but the location has changed to their Port Charlotte office at 2455 Tamaimi Trail. Bring plenty of business cards and a small gift so that you receive some added name and face recognition.

     The Leadership Charlotte Class of 2017 will host a Denim & Diamonds Country/Western themed night on May 20 at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds. Sponsors are available and funds raised will support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Charlotte County, Charlotte County Homeless Coalition, AMI\Kids Crossroads, Port Charlotte Pirates Football and Junior Leadership Charlotte.  There will also be a concert at 8:30 p.m., featuring Nashville artist Logan Dressel.

     Writing of our Junior Leadership program, the students will be doing their community service project this week. Some spent a few hours last night with the Back Pack Kidx volunteers, assembling back packs of food for students to take home over the weekend, and others will be at the Homeless Coalition tomorrow to help prepare and serve dinners to the clients. The best part is that more than half of the students plan to attend both. These projects are a great way for the students to “give back” and to learn about some of the challenges in the community. And, during their Local Economy Day on Monday, a few students asked for job applications from the sites they visited. Love this program! Thanks, LC 1993, for developing it!

     We’re holding our 8th Annual Women’s Networking Event on April 6 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Freeman House, our office in Punta Gorda. Gilded Grape Winery will do a wine tasting for us. Sponsorships are available for some additional recognition (your business name in this column, for instance), and everyone who attends has the opportunity to put some information about their business in the goodie bags that we’ll hand out. For more information or to register, please visit our website or call 627-2222.

     And, save the date for the 9th Annual Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament Saturday, June 3 to benefit the Junior Leadership Charlotte program.  The Four Person Scramble will be held at Kingsway Country Club.

   On March 17 our local chambers will celebrate Chambers Appreciation Day with the Rays as they take on the Twins at a 1:05 p.m. game.  Your $17. ticket includes complimentary draft beer through the 3rd inning.  Call us for details. 

Business OnLine - February 20, 2017

From the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce


Accredited, US Chamber of Commerce, **** Rating

Serving all of Charlotte County for more than 90 years


February 20, 2017

Upcoming Chamber Events:


Thurs., Feb. 23, 5 to 7 p.m., Business Card Exchange, State Insurance Agency, Brian Chapman Insurance Group, 301 W. Marion, PG.

General Information


Join the Leadership Charlotte Class of 2017 for Denim & Diamonds!  Come kick off your boots and check out Denim and Diamonds, the amazing LC17 event, to be held on May 20 at 6 pm.  This will be a Country & Western themed night with great BBQ, music and cash bar at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds. There will also be a concert at 8:30 p.m., featuring Nashville artist Logan Dressel. Sponsors are available. See the attached flier for details.  Funds raised will support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Charlotte County, Charlotte County Homeless Coalition, AMI\Kids Crossroads, Port Charlotte Pirates Football and Junior Leadership Charlotte.  To purchase tickets with Visa, MasterCard or Discover follow this link Chamber Store.

Chambers Appreciation Game on Friday, March 17 Rays vs Twins at the Charlotte Sports Park at 1:05 pm.  Enjoy a boardwalk ticket to the game -  $17. includes free draft beer through the 3rd inning.  Call the ticket office 941-206-3599 or print and return Chamber Appreciation Game the flier.

Save the date, Saturday June 3 for our 9th Annual Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament to benefit the Junior Leadership Charlotte program.  The Four Person Scramble will be held at Kingsway Country Club, 8:30 a.m. shotgun start and your registration $75.00 per player or corporate sponsorship includes Golf, Lunch, Range Balls and Cash Prizes.  We are looking for a Hole in One Car Sponsor, a Putting Contest Sponsor and a Goodie Bag sponsor and will be asking members if they would like to donate a door prize for the event.  Please call Ruth Uzonyi 627-2222 for details.

Please patronize the Chamber's Sustaining Partners:  (Click on the links to go to their websites.)


· Platinum:  Bayfront Health Port Charlotte & Punta Gorda; Buffalo Graffix; Charlotte County Ford; Charlotte State Bank & Trust; Charlotte Sun/Sun Coast Media Group; Florida SouthWestern State College; Harbor Style Magazine; Monarch Direct; Panther Hollow Dental Lodge; State Insurance Agency - Brian Chapman, Jr.; Waste Management of Charlotte County

·  Diamond: Centennial Bank;  Farr Law Firm; Fawcett Memorial Hospital;  Integrity Employee Leasing; Lexington Manor; St. Andrews South Golf Club

·  EmeraldFreedom Boat Club; Friendly Floors; Nolan Family Insurance; Port Charlotte Florist; Sandhill Healing Centers, Inc.; South Port Square; Strang, Olsen & Lynch, CPAs PA WhitCo Insurance Agency-Alexia Martin; Wise Choice Photography & Video; The Wyvern Hotel

Ribbon Cuttings (to which all members are invited):


Thurs., March 2, 5:30 p.m., Harpoon Harry’s (outside bar renovation), 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, PG


Wed., March 15, 5:30 p.m.,   Salvation Army (2nd location),  3325 S. Access Rd., Englewood (old Badcock Home Furniture store).


Monday, March 20, noon, Bayfront Health Port Charlotte (Gift Shop), 2500 Harbor Blvd., PC

Wed., March 22, 5:30 p.m., Meals on Wheels, 3082 Tamiami Trail, PC

Tues., March 28, 5:30 p.m., Charlotte Academy, 365 Orlando Blvd., PC

New Members


Rob’s On The Move, 3703 Shalimar Terrace, NP  34286
Robert Grote, Ph: 941-237-1823
www.robsonthemove.com
rgrote3703@yahoo.com

Chamber Member Events


The Florida Tracks & Trails Invitational is February 26 with kids to pros racing along with a huge raffle. It's sure to be a fun event for the entire family.  By sponsoring the event you will enable us to provide quality racing & entertainment to Charlotte County. In return you will be prominently promoted throughout the facility and on social media sites. Around 85% of our participants say they are more likely to do business with a sponsor than a non-sponsor. For more information, contact tiffanie@floridatracksandtrails.com 239-281-7819.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Charlotte County would like to invite you to our signature event – the 9th Annual BaseBALL – an Evening with the Tampa Bay Rays, Thursday, February 23, Charlotte Sports Park, 6:00pm-9:00pm. Tickets: $125.00 Adults   (Children 18 & under), $25.00   visit – www.bgcofcc.org  or call 941-235-2472  to order. Includes: food, beer, wine, soda and water – plus a free baseball for autographs while supplies last. Silent Auction includes: sports memorabilia, trips, lottery tree, airfares, Disney tickets, & lots more.

Young Life has been helping kids consider the direction of their lives and offering hope for their future. Currently, YL Charlotte Harbor is reaching more Charlotte county kids than ever before! Our highly-trained leaders earn the right to be heard by kids, meeting them on their turf, at schools, sporting events and weekly clubs. Our annual fundraising event, GALA 2017, is Monday, March 6, 2017, at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds. Sponsorship opportunities are available Gala Sponshorship 17.  If you have questions, please contact Tom Parker, Area Director, at 941-456-5433 or at www.charlotteharboryounglife.com.

This week’s free estate and investment planning seminars at Charlotte State Bank & Trust’s Punta Gorda office, 2331 Tamiami Trail, ask the questions “Are Your Survivors Prepared to Handle Finances Alone?” on Tuesday, “Are You Prepared for Stock Market Fluctuations?” on Wednesday and “Are You Prepared with Asset Protection?” on Thursday. The free seminars are held from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and reservations are required. You may RSVP at any bank office or by contacting Francine Wargo at (941) 624-1944 or fwargo@csbtfl.com.

Charlotte County Community Services will host “Fit for Life” Senior Games 2017 from March 2 through March 26. This Olympic-style event focuses on athletic competition and recreation opportunities for senior citizens. Events will take place around Charlotte County at various recreation facilities and parks. Registration information is available at the Tringali Park, 3460 N. Access Road, Englewood and on our website www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov, click the Playing tab and then click Senior Games. Registration deadline is Feb. 17. For more information please call 941-681-3742.

Charlotte Players is proud to announce performances of its second production in the 2016-2017 Main Stage season, the musical The Full Monty, on February 24, 25, March 1, 2, 3, 4, 2017 at  7:30 pm each evening and on February 26 and March 5, 2017 at 2:00 pm in the Cultural Center Theater. Reserved seating is available by call 941-625-4175  Ext 220.  Tickets are $26 for Adults and $13 for Students. Group rates are available on request at the box office.  For additional information, please call 255-1022.

Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar, 4069 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte,  941-235-WINE (9463).  Friday, February 24, 6:30-9:30pm.   Chris G.   “Jazz Night”.  Saturday, February 25, 6:30-9:30. Steve Widmeyer, “One Voice, One Guitar”,  Steve does a variety of Jazz, Pop, Rock, Country and Folk.  The Wine Bar offers a global selection of wines by the glass or by the bottle, made on-site, and a variety of beer and craft beers. Hours are Tues-Thurs 12 noon-6pm, Friday - Saturday 12:00noon to 9:00pm.  Try our new “Wine Flight” $15.00 person,  4 / 3oz servings.  www.gildedgrape.com,  like us on facebook.

Wednesday, February 22, 5:00 – 7:00pm “Art for Art”  Wine Tasting by the Gilded Grape at the Arthur Rutenberg Model Home 3400 Bal Harbor, Punta Gorda, music by Guitarist/Vocalist Steve Widmeyer to support the Visual Arts Center.

Charlotte County Community Services is starting a Youth Flag Football Program at Tringali Park. This five-week program will be an introduction to Flag Football for children ages 6 to 12 years old. Instruction and games will be held outside at the Tringali Park Hockey Rink, 3460 North Access Road, Englewood. The activity will be held every Monday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. starting Feb. 27 through March 27. The program cost is $30 per child and only $15 dollars for an additional family member. Pre-registration is required. For additional information or registration, please call 941-681-3742.

The Charlotte High Band Boosters presents - The fifth annual Moonlight Serenade, a delightful evening of dinner and dancing to “Big Band Tunes” Saturday, March 25, at the Cultural Center. 5:45-10:00 p.m. $40 pp/ $75 per couple (dinner included), 7:00-10:00 p.m. $20 pp/ $35 per couple (dinner not included). Entertainment provided by the Charlotte High Blue and Gold Jazz Bands. Silent Auction and 50/50 Raffle. For reservations contact Jeana Kukuk at 941-575-5450 ext. 1120 or 941-916-2948 or via PayPal www.silverkingband.com

ART with ART is Feb 22, 5-7pm at 3400 Bal Harbor Blvd: live music, wine tasting, sweet treats and ART from 14 local artists, as well as VAC gift shop creations. Donations are $3 or $5 per couple, and benefit VAC programs & scholarships. In the Galleries: The Student Show multimedia exhibit and David Sussman photography exhibit - always FREE & open to the public. The Visual Arts Center is located @ 210 Maud St, Punta Gorda. Gallery & Gift Shop Hours: M-F, 9-4  & Sat, 10-2.

Smoke and Roses Sailing Charters is partnering with Star Limousine to offer the Ultimate Private Luxury Tour at a special price for February. Your personal limousine will provide round trip transportation delivering you to your private yacht for a cruise on Charlotte Harbor. A Long Stem Rose and Chocolate Covered Strawberries will be provided on all Smoke and Roses sailing cruises February 10th to 24th. You choose the time, maximum six passengers. For information call 605-366-7673 or visit, http://www.smokeandroses.com/FEBRUARYVALENTINESSPECIAL.html.

Check out the fundraising “LeaderBoard” at www.DancingWithTheCharlotteStars.org. Who’s in the lead for the March 10th event -- Rosa Benghtt?  Ashley Maher? Tara Nemec? John Milone? Danny Nix? Mike Ruiz? Norm Wilson? Phyllis Walker?  These 8 local celebrities are battling it out to raise big bucks to support The Arts in Charlotte County.  Which celebrity dancer will take home the coveted “People’s Choice Award” for the most dollars raised?  Vote, Vote, Vote at www.DancingWithTheCharlotteStars.org.

If you are in need of fun and Professional entertainment for a business or social event, be sure to call on "eVentertainment specialists Tiki Tom and LA Daniels. We can customize a show tailored to your crowd and theme to be sure your guests have a remarkable time. Call us directly at 239.314.6808 or visit www.tikitomrocks.com. Catch us this week at the Sunset Grill deck party from 6 to 9 PM Friday night or Sunday 1 to 4 PM at the Portside Tavern.


The Charlotte County Sheriff's Explorers Post 29 and Do The Right Thing of Charlotte County, Inc. invite you to become a sponsor for our second annual Public Safety Appreciation Night in recognition of our Charlotte County public safety personnel on April 28, 2017 at the Charlotte County Event Center beginning at 6:00pm.  It will include a cocktail hour, dinner, and a program honoring our public safety personnel. For questions or more information about sponsorships please contact Tony Pribble, Sponsorship Chair, at (941) 626-8583 or Apribble@pgorda.us   


The Charlotte Players has dubbed its fifth annual golf fundraiser the “Kentucky Derby Golf Scramble,” since it will take place on Saturday, May 6, at Kingsway Country Club.  The cost for golfers is $70 each ($280 per foursome), which includes green fees, golf carts, gift bag, and lunch for each player. To sign up as a player or foursome, contribute a prize or sponsorship or get more information, contact Dan Mearns at (941) 893-9692, danmearns@gmail.com, or Dave Habershaw at (941) 626-4125, dave17879@aol.com.

Four new voices will add to the magical sound of The Charlotte Chorale at its next concert: Saturday, March 4, 2017, 4:00 PM at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center, Punta Gorda. Mozart to Mancini, accompanied by 26 piece orchestra. The Charlotte Chorale, a 70 voice choral group, has provided quality choral music since 1989. The Chorale’s subsequent concert will be  Made in America, featuring music by American Composers, on Saturday, April 22, 2017,  4:00 PM at CPAC. To order tickets, please call:  941-204-0033;  $20.00 adults,  $10.00 Students. rev2512gmail.com

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra’s maestro Raffaele Ponti’s last two pre-concert “Behind the Notes” classes will be held on Friday, February 24, and Friday, March 17 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association, 2001 Shreve Street, in Punta Gorda.  They will consist of Ponti’s insight into composers, compositions and conductors and the music to be performed in those upcoming concerts.  The cost is $20 per class. Reservations may be made by calling the Orchestra at 941-205-9743. For concert dates and times, visit www.charlottesymphony.com.

Business Professional Women's February 21, 2017 meeting runs from 11:30 to 1:00 pm at Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club, 4400 Lister St., Port Charlotte.  There is lunch and our guest speaker is Dr. Fariba Gharai who will speak about heart health.  Cost for lunch is $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers.  Please contact Jan Stephens at bpwccfl@gmail.com by February 16th.

Busey Bank will host a free lunch and learn event for businesses at 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, March 7 at its Port Charlotte Branch, 1490 Tamiami Trail. Lunch is provided. Following time for networking, Emerson Schoonover III, VP of Busey Bank and colleagues will give a presentation of “Business Financing.”  The Lunch and Learn is organized by Busey Bank and Port Charlotte SCORE. Reservations are required. Reserve a seat at www.busey.com/registration.

Peace River Sail & Power Squadron’s Reverse Raffle Fundraiser – Tickets on sale now. Drawing April 7, Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center. Doors open 530 PM, raffle at 715PM. Only 300 tickets will be sold – grand prize $1000, lots more cash and prizes. You don’t have to be present to win. Tickets are $50, includes raffle ticket and dinner. Your investment helps us continue adult and youth boating education programs. For tickets contact Chuck Troike - 941-639-0619. Sponsorships available. Peace River Sail & Power Squadron is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Folk Music Concert February 25, 2017 - 7:00 pm at the Riverwood Community Center -  4100 Riverwood Drive, Port Charlotte.  John McCutcheon, six time Grammy nominated folk singer, will perform in a fundraising concert presented by The Murdock Rotary Club.  Proceeds will primarily be used to benefit children in Charlotte County through scholarships, dictionary program for third grades and prevent drowning programs.  Tickets on sale now. Call 941-624-2353 or email halliepowers@msn.com.   Reserved seating $35, general seating $25.  A cash bar will be available

The Phantoms of the Orchestra, a volunteer group which supports the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, is sponsoring a “Mad Hatter” Sunday Brunch on March 12th at the Twin Isles Country Club from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Local celebrity Al Holland will be entertaining everyone in attendance from 1 - 1:30 p.m.  Prizes will be awarded for the best decorated hat in both women's and men’s divisions. Reservations are required and may be made by calling the Symphony Office at 941-205-9743. Seating is limited to 200 people.  The cost is $40 per person.

Pregnancy Careline Center’s annual fundraising banquet is Tues., March 7 from 6:15 to 9 p.m. at the Event Center in Punta Gorda.  Special guest speaker and prolife advocate and comedian, Gordon Douglas, is the featured speaker.  Rickets at www.pregnancycareline.org. Click upcoming events.

The Military Heritage Museum is pleased to announce the selection of John M. Davidson, executive director of AMIKids, to the prestigious Wall of Warriors. Davidson served for six years in the U.S. Navy as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician/Diver rendering explosive devices and unexploded ordnance safe. Davidson will be inducted on February 24 at a dinner in his honor at the Twin Isles Country Club, starting at 6:00 p.m.  Reservations, $70 per person, may be made at http://freedomisntfree.org/category/event-tickets or by calling 941-575-9002.

The 21st Florida Frontier Days Festival will be held at the Punta Gorda History Park, 501 Shreve Street, a new location for this year.  Participants in the hands-on activities will dip candles, braid cloth, or make a kite.  The festival is open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Friday, February 24 and from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 25. Daily admission fee is just $3 for adults and $2 for children under 12.   For more information, call Frank Desguin at (941) 769-1270 or visit www.CharlotteFl.com, Historical Center.

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Matinee in Englewood,  February 26, 2017 at 2:00 pm, Lemon Bay Performing Arts Center; February 26, 2017 at 7:30 pm; a Matinee, March 19, 2017 at 2:00 pm  and final concert of the Season that evening at 7:30 pm Charlotte Performing Arts Center.  Tickets may be purchased by calling 941-205-9743 or on website at www.charlottesymphony.com

The Charlotte County Community Services Department invites the public to Get Up, Get Out, and Get Active! at the third annual Charlotte Harbor Kid’s Fest Event Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Port Charlotte Beach Park. This free event features informational booths from many area organizations regarding the wide variety of programs and services available to the children of Charlotte County. For more information, please contact us at 941-625-7529 or visit our website at www.charlottecountyfl.gov and click Parks/Recreation/Aquatics in Popular Links.

You are invited to attend the upcoming Art in Public Places! Stop by Mid-County Regional Library for a glass of wine and learn about the Antique Japanese Art form Bunka. Wine and Cheese Reception honors local artist Margaret Elder. Wednesday, February 22, 5-6:30 p.m. Mid-County Regional Library, 2050 Forrest Nelson, Port Charlotte

Nav-A-Gator Happenings – Live music  February 25, Sunny Jim 2-5pm; February 26 – Sunday – Live Music, Latitude 2-5pm. March 4– Live Music, J.R. Southern 2-5pm; March 5 – Sunday – Live Music, Gary & Kerri 2-5pm. Cover charge canned goods and nonperishable food items that are donated to a local food bank. Rent a slip at Nav-A-Gator Marina and receive free storage for your boat trailer. Call 941-627-3474 or stop.

Port Charlotte Sunrise Kiwanis is hosting a Dart Tournament on February 23rd at the Icehouse Pub. Limited availability for Bull’s Eye Sponsorships…Only $35! Get your team together and let’s have some fun! This is the FUNraiser you don’t want to miss! Registration starts at 6:30pm and the tournament starts at 7:00pm. Contact Brandi Ball 941-637-0544 or brandi@kochcpas.com for more information!

Powder Puff Charity Classic, Feb. 17-19 at the Port Charlotte Golf Club to benefit Tidewell Hospice.  For more information, please contact Connie 941-235-9482 or Email - powderpuffgolf@gmail.com or www.powderpuffcharitygolf.com.

Chamber Member News:


In response to Major League Baseball’s security regulations for spring training ballparks, Rays spring training home games played at Charlotte Sports Park will feature enhanced security procedures as fans enter the stadium. Among these regulations, all fans in attendance will be subject to security screening by various detection devices prior to entry. Fans are encouraged to arrive early and be prepared to follow instructions as they enter the ballpark. The Rays and Charlotte Sports Park are committed to creating a safe, comfortable and enjoyable ballpark experience for our guests.

Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) is accepting nominations for the 2017 Distinguished Entrepreneur of SW Florida. Southwest Florida business owners who have overcome obstacles, discovered new technologies to help grow their business or dedicated themselves to helping other small businesses through mentorship and civic leadership are encouraged to submit applications. The application deadline is March 31.  The application process is online. Find out more and apply online at https://fsbdcswfl.org/.

Did you know that there are various options available for replacing your missing teeth? This free, no obligation educational seminar hosted by Dr. John L. Dietrich, is for you and a family member/guest, and is your chance to learn more about the benefits of dental implants. Attendance is limited for our seminars, so reserve your spot today by calling Dietrich Dental Services, P.A. at (941)625-7877. Patients of record who refer a friend or family member will also be entered into a separate drawing to win a $100 gift card.

The First Annual Charlotte Cares Campaign wraps up Feb 21st. You can help us support Charlotte County local nonprofits like Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens, www.peacerivergardens.org. Opening in 2017, Peace River is constructing a sanctuary showcasing sub-tropical botanicals and world-class sculptures. Thanks to a Charlotte Community Foundation grant, informative signage will be provided throughout the gardens. Please help Charlotte Cares reach our goal through a tax-deductible donation!  Donate online: www.charlottecf.org/charlotte-cares or call 941-637-0077.

The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) does not limit an employer to checking criminal records to the most recent seven years as is often asserted.  An employer may check for applicant or employee convictions as far back as the relevant available records go.  However, there are twelve states which, at their own volition, provide criminal records going back only seven years:  CA, CO, KS, MA, MD, MT, NH, NM, NV, NY, TX and WA.  Contact Doris Hebert-Ferrigno at NRG Background Checks for further info.  941-488-8500;  800-531-6522;  nrginfo@atlantic.net

Murdock Stones Etchas their Fire Pits on clearance for half off...ONLY at our Sawyer Circle location...7621 Sawyer Circle (off Gasparilla Rd. / 771.. look for the World's Largest Mailbox). Our other location is at 590 Prineville St in Port Charlotte by the Sun Flea Market. We have a great variety of mulch, boulders, stones, shell, stepping stones, pavers, & more! We offer discounts on bulk products to Charlotte County Chamber members. www.murdockstonesetc.com

Today is National Love Your Pet Day. You know that sad feeling you get when you leave your best friend at home? By letting us do your payroll, workers compensation, and HR; Integrity Employee Leasing can free up some of your time, so you can spend more time hanging out with your fuzziest pal! Call us today! 941-625-0623

Suncoast Humane Society Meet Tiny! He is an adorable little Poodle mix who weighs 5.8 lbs. Tiny is a senior dog at 12 years of age who is quite shy and feels most comfortable when being held. He has had it rough lately as he transferred here from another shelter. Tiny would be the happiest in a calm, quiet, loving home where he feels safe again. It takes a certain amount of compassion and caring to open your home to a senior pet but the emotional return you is gratifying. http://www.petango.com/Adopt/Dog-Poodle-Toy-34557262

King Fisher Fleet will offer its popular 90-minute Harbor Tour departing from Burnt Store Marina for a limited time. The tours will depart every Friday from February 17 through April 7 at 11:15 am. This 1 ½ hour cruise in the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserve includes historical narrative, and you'll look for dolphins, seabirds, and other wildlife. For reservations or more information about this cruise, call (941) 639-0969, or visit http://www.kingfisherfleet.com/cruises-harbor-tour-burnt-store.

Wine and Jazz Wednesdays at Jacks on Marion. Stop by for Prime Rib Friday and Saturday. Jacks on Marion open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner.  Make your reservation now, 941-637-8800. jacksmarion@comcast.net. Entertainment Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening. “Life's too short for average food!"

The Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar is offering our Venue on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings to members to Host private meetings and functions, 5 pm and after. Call Paul Malcolm at 941-235-9463 to discuss.

Job Spot


We are actively seeking an Executive Director to provide oversight for all aspects of the operation and management of the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association, a large multi-use facility with a growing membership. This position reports to the President of the Association and will be responsible for communications with our members and the Board of Directors as well as be an interface with key community organizations.   Applicants must have prior management experience, excel in organizational and communication skills, and be highly skilled in computer activities. References required. Interested parties are encouraged to send resumes to: PGIsearch2017@outlook.com

The Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association (PGICA) is seeking a part-time document design and layout manager for their monthly newsletter. This position requires approximately 25 hours an issue. Responsibilities include receiving news articles and photos, enhancing the photos as needed, and organizing the newsletter layout. The organization of in-house and external ads is also included. When the issue is ready for the printer, the on-line version is created for web publication. Microsoft Publisher and Photoshop experience is preferred but will train qualified candidate.  Please submit resumes to:  PGIsearch2017@outlook.com

Charlotte Community Foundation Full-time position available immediately. Responsibilities will include developing and leading the Foundation’s strategic Annual Marketing Plan, providing leadership to financial development through annual giving campaign, and special event direction and leadership. Must have prior experience and proven success in marketing, public relations and fundraising, use of social media, managing website content, strong communication skills, advanced skills in word processing and desktop publishing including page design and layout, excellent leadership and organizational skills required. Full description on our website: www.charlottecf.org (no phone calls please)

Kudos


Eric DeYoung, vice president of commercial lending at Charlotte State Bank & Trust, was named president of the TEAM Punta Gorda board of directors. TEAM Punta Gorda is an all-volunteer organization committed to making the Punta Gorda area “a great place to live, work and play.” Eric said: “TEAM’s handprints are on so much of the positive changes we have seen in Punta Gorda in recent years. I am proud to lend my support to an organization that works to make the place where we work and live better than it was yesterday.”

Just For Fun


The prospective son-in-law was asked by his girlfriend's father, "Son, can you support a family?"

"Well, no, sir," he replied, caught off-guard by the question. "Your daughter and I were thinking we'd just have to support ourselves, the rest of you will have to fend for yourselves."

---------------

At the end of the college year, a star football player celebrated by attending a late night campus party. Soon after arriving, he became captivated by a beautiful coed and eased into a conversation with her by asking if she met many any "potential dates" at the party.

"Oh, I'm much more attracted to the strong academic types than to the party animals," she said. "What's your G.P.A.?"

Grinning from ear to ear, the jock boasted, "I get about 25 in the city and 40 on the highway."

 

Do you have exciting information about YOUR business?  Send it to the Chamber and we'll share it with our other members! Email news about your business to Julie Mathis at jmathis@charlottecountychamber.org.  Please keep it to 90 words or fewer. We reserve the right to publish as well as edit any posting. BOL goes out weekly on Mondays; please email your news by the preceding Friday. 
___________________________________________


Julie Mathis
Executive Director
Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce
311 West Retta Esplanade
Punta Gorda, Florida 33950
941-639-2222
jmathis@charlottecountychamber.org

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Charlotte Sun Column - February 15, 2017

     Our Third Wednesday Coffee this morning is being sponsored by Centennial Bank, and if you’re up and about, head down to the Event Center because I understand the Bank will have their cooker up and running.  Tony Edgar with FocalPoint Business Coaching and Training of Southwest Florida will give a presentation on “18 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time!”  So, stop procrastinating and get involved with your Chamber!

     State Insurance Agency, Brain Chapman Insurance Group will host the Feb. 23 Business Card Exchange in their office on Marion Avenue in Punta Gorda.  Bring plenty of business cards and a small gift so that you receive some added name and face recognition.

     What a great turnout from members of the Charlotte, Englewood, North Port, Punta Gorda and Venice chambers yesterday for our annual Breakfast with the Rays at the Charlotte Sports Park.  There’s a lot of energy among the Rays and Stone Crabs staff about the upcoming season with 18 homes games right here.  The field looks great and the new super-sized score board is fabulous.  It’s time to get your Spring Training tickets.

     The Leadership Charlotte Class of 2017 announced their class project, Denim & Diamonds, a Country/Western themed night with great BBQ, music and cash bar and more at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds.  Come kick off your boots and check out the LC17 event, to be held on May 20 at 6 p.m.  Sponsors are available and funds raised will support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Charlotte County, Charlotte County Homeless Coalition, AMI\Kids Crossroads, Port Charlotte Pirates Football and Junior Leadership Charlotte.  There will also be a concert at 8:30 p.m., featuring Nashville artist Logan Dressel.

     And, save the date for the 9th Annual Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament Saturday, June 3 to benefit the Junior Leadership Charlotte program.  The Four Person Scramble will be held at Kingsway Country Club.

     Today is the deadline for the Shark Tank-style competition for local entrepreneurs to submit their startup business plans to VenturePitch SWFL. Ask Score for help on any business topic by calling 743 6179.

     On March 17 our local chambers will celebrate Chambers Appreciation Day with the Rays as they take on the Twins at a 1:05 p.m. game.   Your $17. ticket includes complimentary draft beer through the 3rd inning. 

Business OnLine - February 13, 2017

From the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce


Accredited, US Chamber of Commerce, **** Rating

Serving all of Charlotte County for more than 90 years


February 13, 2017

Upcoming Chamber Events:


Tues., Feb. 14, 8:15 a.m., Breakfast with the Rays, Charlotte Sports Park.  Free, but please RSVP to 627-2222.

Wed., Feb. 15, 7:15 to 8:30 a.m., Third Wednesday Coffee, Event Center, PG.  Sponsor: Centennial Bank.  Program:  18 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time!

Thurs., Feb. 23, 5 to 7 p.m., Business Card Exchange, State Insurance Agency, Brian Chapman Insurance Group, 301 W. Marion, PG.

General Information


Join us for breakfast with the Tampa Bay Rays tomorrow at 8:15am on the Boardwalk at Charlotte Sports Park.  The free event includes a light breakfast, special guest speakers from the Tampa Bay Rays and networking with other Chambers.  After breakfast, watch Rays pitchers and catchers in their first workout or the Spring.  Please RSVP by phone to the chamber at 941-627-2222.    Chamber Breakfast Feb 14.

Join the Leadership Charlotte Class of 2017 for Denim & Diamonds!  Come kick off your boots and check out Denim and Diamonds, the amazing LC17 event, to be held on May 20 at 6 pm.  This will be a Country & Western themed night with great BBQ, music and cash bar at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds. There will also be a concert at 8:30 p.m., featuring Nashville artist Logan Dressel. Sponsors are available. See the attached flier for details.  Funds raised will support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Charlotte County, Charlotte County Homeless Coalition, AMI\Kids Crossroads, Port Charlotte Pirates Football and Junior Leadership Charlotte.  To purchase tickets with Visa, MasterCard or Discover follow this link Chamber Store.

Chambers Appreciation Game on Friday, March 17 Rays vs Twins at the Charlotte Sports Park at 1:05 pm.  Enjoy a boardwalk ticket to the game -  $17. includes free draft beer through the 3rd inning.  Call the ticket office 941-206-3599 or print and return Chamber Appreciation Game the flier.

The City of Punta Gorda Community Brand Initiative asks all residents to participate in an on-line survey to share their views on what makes Punta Gorda a special community in which to live, work or visit, as well as their thoughts on what can be done to make the City even better in the future.  You may access the survey at http://bit.ly/PuntaGordaSurvey.  All responses will be anonymous.

The new This Week's Happenings has posted. Click here for the website • Click here to read online (PDF; printer-friendly). Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau

Please patronize the Chamber's Sustaining Partners:  (Click on the links to go to their websites.)


· Platinum:  Bayfront Health Port Charlotte & Punta Gorda; Buffalo Graffix; Charlotte County Ford; Charlotte State Bank & Trust; Charlotte Sun/Sun Coast Media Group; Florida SouthWestern State College; Harbor Style Magazine; Monarch Direct; Panther Hollow Dental Lodge; State Insurance Agency - Brian Chapman, Jr.; Waste Management of Charlotte County

·  Diamond: Centennial Bank;  Farr Law Firm; Fawcett Memorial Hospital;  Integrity Employee Leasing; Lexington Manor; St. Andrews South Golf Club

·  EmeraldFreedom Boat Club; Friendly Floors; Nolan Family Insurance; Port Charlotte Florist; Sandhill Healing Centers, Inc.; South Port Square; Strang, Olsen & Lynch, CPAs PA WhitCo Insurance Agency-Alexia Martin; Wise Choice Photography & Video; The Wyvern Hotel

Ribbon Cuttings (to which all members are invited):


Thurs., Feb. 16, 5:30 p.m., Fabulous Finds Re-Sale Shop, 4265 Tamiami Trail, Unit N, PC

New Members


The One Life Organization, 22126 Felton Ave., PC 33952
Joshua Fatjo, Mary Swillum, Ph: 941-799-9300
www.theonelifeorg.com   joshuafatjo@theonelifeorg.com
Sponsor: Peter Keating, SBDC

Chamber Member Events


Five Southwest Florida entrepreneurs will compete for $50,000 from investors at a Shark Tank-style.  Entrepreneurs from Charlotte, DeSoto, Lee and Sarasota counties can find more details and submit their startup business plans to VenturePitch SWFL here . The deadline is February 15 and the event will be held on March 30 from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at Isles Yacht Club. SCORE will serve as the screening committee and select the 5 finalists to make a pitch. Ask Score for help on any business topicRequest Now     941 743 6179.

On Valentine’s Day (Tuesday the 14th), we are celebrating the work of Janet Jennings and honoring the holiday at the same time.  Come view the beautiful acrylic works of the local, self-taught artist and enjoy good food, beer, wine and live music at Charlotte Memorial Funeral Home, 9400 Indian Springs Cemetery Road, Punta Gorda.  All the ladies will receive flowers and candy.  What could be better?  The party starts at five.  This celebration is part of the Arts and Humanities Council of Charlotte County Art in Public Places program.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Charlotte County would like to invite you to our signature event – the 9th Annual BaseBALL – an Evening with the Tampa Bay Rays, Thursday, February 23, Charlotte Sports Park, 6:00pm-9:00pm. Tickets: $125.00 Adults   (Children 18 & under), $25.00   visit – www.bgcofcc.org  or call 941-235-2472  to order. Includes: food, beer, wine, soda and water – plus a free baseball for autographs while supplies last. Silent Auction includes: sports memorabilia, trips, lottery tree, airfares, Disney tickets, & lots more.

Young Life has been helping kids consider the direction of their lives and offering hope for their future. Currently, YL Charlotte Harbor is reaching more Charlotte county kids than ever before! Our highly-trained leaders earn the right to be heard by kids, meeting them on their turf, at schools, sporting events and weekly clubs. Our annual fundraising event, GALA 2017, is Monday, March 6, 2017, at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds. Sponsorship opportunities are available Gala Sponshorship 17.  If you have questions, please contact Tom Parker, Area Director, at 941-456-5433 or at www.charlotteharboryounglife.com.

Happenings at Fishermen’s Village: Valentine’s Day Dance, 4-8 pm Center Court, featuring Steel Drum and Tropical music by Bruce Neumann and Tiki D. Direct from upstate New York, The Band Anastazja in concert, Monday, February 27, 12 Noon-2 pm and 5-7 p.m. Mardi Gras Celebration, Tuesday, February 28, 2-5 pm featuring Dixieland Jazz by Leslie DaCosta Jr. & Company.

The Charlotte High Band Boosters presents - The fifth annual Moonlight Serenade, a delightful evening of dinner and dancing to “Big Band Tunes” Saturday, March 25, at the Cultural Center. 5:45-10:00 p.m. $40 pp/ $75 per couple (dinner included), 7:00-10:00 p.m. $20 pp/ $35 per couple (dinner not included). Entertainment provided by the Charlotte High Blue and Gold Jazz Bands. Silent Auction and 50/50 Raffle. For reservations contact Jeana Kukuk at 941-575-5450 ext. 1120 or 941-916-2948 or via PayPal www.silverkingband.com

Valentine’s Day Sale: Take 10% off your Gift Shop purchase until 2/28. New in the Galleries: The Student Show multimedia exhibit and David Sussman photography exhibit - always free & open to the public. Fine art & craft classes for all skill levels: Visit www.visualartcenter.org for a Class & Workshop schedule. The Visual Arts Center is located @ 210 Maud St, Punta Gorda. Gallery & Gift Shop Hours: M-F, 9-4  & Sat, 10-2.

Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar, 4069 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte, 235-WINE (9463).  Friday, February 17, 6:30-9:30pm.   Mark Dupuy, playing Jazz on many instruments and singing.   Saturday, February 18, 6:00-8:00pm.  Gilded Grape Winery” Monthly Wine Tasting!    The Wine Bar offers a global selection of wines by the glass or by the bottle, made on-site, and a variety of beer and craft beers. Hours are Tues-Thurs 12 noon-6pm, Friday - Saturday 12:00noon to 9:00pm.  Try our new “Wine Flight” $15.00 person, 4 / 3oz servings.  www.gildedgrape.com,  like us on facebook.

Smoke and Roses Sailing Charters is partnering with Star Limousine to offer the Ultimate Private Luxury Tour at a special price for February. Your personal limousine will provide round trip transportation delivering you to your private yacht for a cruise on Charlotte Harbor. A Long Stem Rose and Chocolate Covered Strawberries will be provided on all Smoke and Roses sailing cruises February 10th to 24th. You choose the time, maximum six passengers. For information call 605-366-7673 or visit, http://www.smokeandroses.com/FEBRUARYVALENTINESSPECIAL.html.

The Punta Gorda Airport is proud to announce the kickoff of a new Therapy Dog Program on Monday, February 13th from 12:00pm – 2:00pm. Therapy K9’s of Southwest Florida will have 8 Registered Therapy Dogs and 6 will be “working” during the event to be held at the Punta Gorda Airport in both the departure and baggage claim areas. Currently, over 20 airports across the United States have therapy dog programs.

OneBlood Inc. is holding a blood drive on Friday, Feb. 17, at the Murdock office of Charlotte State Bank & Trust, 1100 Tamiami Trail. OneBlood’s Big Red Bus will be in the bank parking lot from 11 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. All donors will receive a voucher for a free movie ticket and a wellness checkup that includes blood pressure, pulse, temperature, iron count and cholesterol screening. Appointments are not required, but for faster service, appointments may be made online at www.oneblooddonor.org using the sponsor code #10388.

The Charlotte County Sheriff's Explorers Post 29 and Do The Right Thing of Charlotte County, Inc. invite you to become a sponsor for our second annual Public Safety Appreciation Night in recognition of our Charlotte County public safety personnel on April 28, 2017 at the Charlotte County Event Center beginning at 6:00pm.  It will include a cocktail hour, dinner, and a program honoring our public safety personnel. For questions or more information about sponsorships please contact Tony Pribble, Sponsorship Chair, at (941) 626-8583 or Apribble@pgorda.us   


The Charlotte Players has dubbed its fifth annual golf fundraiser the “Kentucky Derby Golf Scramble,” since it will take place on Saturday, May 6, at Kingsway Country Club.  The cost for golfers is $70 each ($280 per foursome), which includes green fees, golf carts, gift bag, and lunch for each player. To sign up as a player or foursome, contribute a prize or sponsorship or get more information, contact Dan Mearns at (941) 893-9692, danmearns@gmail.com, or Dave Habershaw at (941) 626-4125, dave17879@aol.com.

Four new voices will add to the magical sound of The Charlotte Chorale at its next concert: Saturday, March 4, 2017, 4:00 PM at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center, Punta Gorda. Mozart to Mancini, accompanied by 26 piece orchestra. The Charlotte Chorale, a 70 voice choral group, has provided quality choral music since 1989. The Chorale’s subsequent concert will be  Made in America, featuring music by American Composers, on Saturday, April 22, 2017,  4:00 PM at CPAC. To order tickets, please call:  941-204-0033;  $20.00 adults,  $10.00 Students. rev2512gmail.com

Check out the fundraising “LeaderBoard” at www.DancingWithTheCharlotteStars.org.  Eight local celebrities are battling it out to raise big bucks to support The Arts in Charlotte County.  Who will take home the coveted “People’s Choice Award” for the most dollars raised?  For every dollar you donate, you’re actually casting a vote for your favorite dancer…so a $50 donation equals 50 votes…a $100 ad purchase equals 100 votes….a $500 sponsorship equals 500 votes.  Vote or purchase event tickets at www.DancingWithTheCharlotteStars.org.

Charlotte State Bank & Trust’s “Are You Prepared?” free seminars take place this week at the bank’s Murdock office, 1100 Tamiami Trail: “Are Your Survivors Prepared to Handle Finances Alone?” on Tuesday, “Are You Prepared for Stock Market Fluctuations?” on Wednesday and “Are You Prepared with Asset Protection?” on Thursday. The free seminars are held from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and reservations are required. You may RSVP at any bank office or by contacting Francine Wargo at (941) 624-1944 or fwargo@csbtfl.com.

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra’s maestro Raffaele Ponti’s last two pre-concert “Behind the Notes” classes will be held on Friday, February 24, and Friday, March 17 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association, 2001 Shreve Street, in Punta Gorda.  They will consist of Ponti’s insight into composers, compositions and conductors and the music to be performed in those upcoming concerts.  The cost is $20 per class. Reservations may be made by calling the Orchestra at 941-205-9743. For concert dates and times, visit www.charlottesymphony.com.

Murdock Stones Etcannounces its First Annual customer appreciation days only at our 7621 Sawyer Circle location in South Gulf Cove (look for the World's Largest Mailbox).   It will be Friday Feb. 17th and Saturday Feb. 18th.  There will be refreshments, drawings and giveaways.  Our other location is at 590 Prineville St. in Port Charlotte by the Sun Flea Market. We offer discounts to Charlotte County Chamber members.  www.murdockstonesetc.com.

Business Professional Women's February 21, 2017 meeting runs from 11:30 to 1:00 pm at Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club, 4400 Lister St., Port Charlotte.  There is lunch and our guest speaker is Dr. Fariba Gharai who will speak about heart health.  Cost for lunch is $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers.  Please contact Jan Stephens at bpwccfl@gmail.com by February 16th.

Busey Bank will host a free lunch and learn event for businesses at 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, March 7 at its Port Charlotte Branch, 1490 Tamiami Trail. Lunch is provided. Following time for networking, Emerson Schoonover III, VP of Busey Bank and colleagues will give a presentation of “Business Financing.”  The Lunch and Learn is organized by Busey Bank and Port Charlotte SCORE. Reservations are required. Reserve a seat at www.busey.com/registration.

Peace River Sail & Power Squadron’s Reverse Raffle Fundraiser – Tickets on sale now. Drawing April 7, Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center. Doors open 530 PM, raffle at 715PM. Only 300 tickets will be sold – grand prize $1000, lots more cash and prizes. You don’t have to be present to win. Tickets are $50, includes raffle ticket and dinner. Your investment helps us continue adult and youth boating education programs. For tickets contact Chuck Troike - 941-639-0619. Sponsorships available. Peace River Sail & Power Squadron is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Folk Music Concert February 25, 2017 - 7:00 pm at the Riverwood Community Center -  4100 Riverwood Drive, Port Charlotte.  John McCutcheon, six time Grammy nominated folk singer, will perform in a fundraising concert presented by The Murdock Rotary Club.  Proceeds will primarily be used to benefit children in Charlotte County through scholarships, dictionary program for third grades and prevent drowning programs.  Tickets on sale now. Call 941-624-2353 or email halliepowers@msn.com.   Reserved seating $35, general seating $25.  A cash bar will be available

The Phantoms of the Orchestra, a volunteer group which supports the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, is sponsoring a “Mad Hatter” Sunday Brunch on March 12th at the Twin Isles Country Club from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Local celebrity Al Holland will be entertaining everyone in attendance from 1 - 1:30 p.m.  Prizes will be awarded for the best decorated hat in both women's and men’s divisions. Reservations are required and may be made by calling the Symphony Office at 941-205-9743. Seating is limited to 200 people.  The cost is $40 per person.

Pregnancy Careline Center’s annual fundraising banquet is Tues., March 7 from 6:15 to 9 p.m. at the Event Center in Punta Gorda.  Special guest speaker and prolife advocate and comedian, Gordon Douglas, is the featured speaker.  Rickets at www.pregnancycareline.org. Click upcoming events.

The Military Heritage Museum is pleased to announce the selection of John M. Davidson, executive director of AMIKids, to the prestigious Wall of Warriors. Davidson served for six years in the U.S. Navy as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician/Diver rendering explosive devices and unexploded ordnance safe. Davidson will be inducted on February 24 at a dinner in his honor at the Twin Isles Country Club, starting at 6:00 p.m.  Reservations, $70 per person, may be made at http://freedomisntfree.org/category/event-tickets or by calling 941-575-9002.

The 21st Florida Frontier Days Festival will be held at the Punta Gorda History Park, 501 Shreve Street, a new location for this year.  Participants in the hands-on activities will dip candles, braid cloth, or make a kite.  The festival is open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Friday, February 24 and from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 25. Daily admission fee is just $3 for adults and $2 for children under 12.   For more information, call Frank Desguin at (941) 769-1270 or visit www.CharlotteFl.com, Historical Center.

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Matinee in Englewood,  February 26, 2017 at 2:00 pm, Lemon Bay Performing Arts Center; February 26, 2017 at 7:30 pm; a Matinee, March 19, 2017 at 2:00 pm  and final concert of the Season that evening at 7:30 pm Charlotte Performing Arts Center.  Tickets may be purchased by calling 941-205-9743 or on website at www.charlottesymphony.com

The Charlotte County Community Services Department invites the public to Get Up, Get Out, and Get Active! at the third annual Charlotte Harbor Kid’s Fest Event Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Port Charlotte Beach Park. This free event features informational booths from many area organizations regarding the wide variety of programs and services available to the children of Charlotte County. For more information, please contact us at 941-625-7529 or visit our website at www.charlottecountyfl.gov and click Parks/Recreation/Aquatics in Popular Links.

Bayfront Health and Painting with a Twist will host a Painting with a Purpose charity event Wednesday, Feb. 15, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. to benefit the 2017 American Heart Association Heart Walk. To join in the fun, for a good cause, visit http://bit.ly/PaintingTwist, enter passcode Heart, and reserve your seat! For details, you can also call 941-637-2534.

Nav-A-Gator Happenings – Live music - February 16 – Trop Country featuring Jamie & Dave 6-9pm; February 17, Heather Vidal 6-9pm; February 18, Yard Dog, 2-5pm; February 19, The JP’s 2-5pm. February 25, Sunny Jim 2-5pm; February 26 – Sunday – Live Music
Latitude 2-5pm. Cover charge canned goods and nonperishable food items that are donated to a local food bank. Rent a slip at Nav-A-Gator Marina and receive free storage for your boat trailer. Call 941-627-3474 or stop.

The Phantoms of the Orchestra, a volunteer group which supports the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, is holding its monthly Composer’s Luncheon on Thursday, March 2, 2017 from 12:00 noon until 1:00 p.m. at the Punta Gorda Woman’s Club and is open to the public. The luncheon program will focus on Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), one of the two composers featured in the March 19th CSO concerts.  The cost for the luncheon is $15. Reservations are required and may be made by calling the Symphony Office at 941-205-9743 by Tuesday noon, February 28th.

The Florida Tracks & Trails Invitational is February 26 with kids to pros racing along with a huge raffle. It's sure to be a fun event for the entire family.
By sponsoring the event you will enable us to provide quality racing & entertainment to Charlotte County. In return you will be prominently promoted throughout the facility and on social media sites. Around 85% of our participants say they are more likely to do business with a sponsor than a non-sponsor. For more information, contact tiffanie@floridatracksandtrails.com 239-281-7819.

Charlotte County Community Services will host “Fit for Life” Senior Games 2017 from March 2 through March 26. This Olympic-style event focuses on athletic competition and recreation opportunities for senior citizens. Events will take place around Charlotte County at various recreation facilities and parks. Registration information is available at the Tringali Park, 3460 N. Access Road, Englewood and on our website www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov, click the Playing tab and then click Senior Games. Registration deadline is Feb. 17. For more information please call 941-681-3742.

Port Charlotte Sunrise Kiwanis is hosting a Dart Tournament on February 23rd at the Icehouse Pub. Limited availability for Bull’s Eye Sponsorships…Only $35! Get your team together and let’s have some fun! This is the FUNraiser you don’t want to miss! Registration starts at 6:30pm and the tournament starts at 7:00pm. Contact Brandi Ball 941-637-0544 or brandi@kochcpas.com for more information!

Powder Puff Charity Classic, Feb. 17-19 at the Port Charlotte Golf Club to benefit Tidewell Hospice.  For more information, please contact Connie 941-235-9482 or Email - powderpuffgolf@gmail.com or www.powderpuffcharitygolf.com.

Chamber Member News:


Did you see the giant yellow balloon wall at the business expo last week and wonder who in the world made that for You’ve Got Maids?! That was us, Balloon Elevations. We're your local, professional, balloon display provider. We come to you and take the stress of decorating off your plate so you can focus on other things.  Graduations, weddings, church programs, baby and bridal showers, birthday and anniversary parties etc. Keesha McKinney (937) 974-6378 Keesha@BalloonElevations.com

The General Surgery Practice of Dr. John Guarino & his associate, Dr. Maria Castilla, have now relocated to their brand new facility in Charlotte Harbor. Located at 4245 Kings Highway, Unit A, Port Charlotte 33980. For over 20 years we have offered Minimally Invasive General Surgery, Laparoscopic Surgery, Robotic Surgery, and Colonoscopies. We participate with Medicare and all Major Insurance Carriers. 941-391-5102.

CeJay Associates, LLC website spotlight is www.ccHomelessCoalition.org - a new, updated website and source of information, event news and place for online donations. The new "Fabulous Finds Resale Shop" website is also located on this site. Mobile friendly and on WordPress, CeJay Associates can create or update your website. We can also manage your social media, newsletters, branding and business graphics.  Together, let’s make your Internet marketing strategy WORK for you, taking your business or organization to the next level of success! Contact CeJay Associates at 941-204-0007 * www.CeJayAssoc.com * Design@CeJay.com

Suncoast Humane Society Meet Rhonda! She is a 10 yr. old Domestic Shorthair weighing 9 lbs. She has a lush orange & white coat, pretty golden eyes and a cute fluffy bob-tail. Rhonda is a friendly & talkative cat. She is also an affectionate lap cat who will give you kisses and will also enjoy sharing your bed.  Rhonda is very good with children. And she has enjoyed living with both cats and dogs. Rhonda is a well-adjusted cat who will make some family a wonderful feline friend. http://www.petango.com/Adopt/Cat-Domestic-Shorthair-24977667

Construction has begun on the current phase of renovations at Gilchrist Park in Punta Gorda.  A possible next phase of the project is the replacement of the two buildings located adjacent to the current playground, commonly known as the Punta Gorda Boat Club and the YMCA Bayfront Building.  The City Council is interested in learning what types of activities people would like to see offered on the site.  TEAM Punta Gorda has developed a short survey to collect individual opinions. All responses will be anonymous. The short survey can be accessed at www.surveymonkey.com/r/GPACSurvey or online at www.teampuntagorda.org


This Tuesday is Valentine’s Day! What better way to sweeten up someone’s life than suggesting they call Integrity Employee Leasing?! Integrity can do their payroll, take care of HR, and file all their workers compensation claims. It frees up time for them to spend with their loved ones, including you! Have them call today! 941-625-0623.

When background checking, employers must comply with Federal and State employment laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  But ... not all criminal record checks offered in the marketplace are FCRA-compliant.  Online providers often reveal non-compliance in their "terms and conditions" ... and some post disclaimers stating their data is "for reference purposes only" ... or is "not to be used for employment purposes".  Be careful!  Employers using those resources for hiring are open to lawsuits on muliple fronts.  Contact Doris Hebert-Ferrigno at NRG Background Checks for further info.  941-488-8500;  800-531-6522;  nrginfo@atlantic.net

Register now for the next Charlotte County Government Academy. This free program provides the opportunity to learn about various county services: public works, utilities, parks, transit, human services, and more. Government Academy is presented over three Wednesdays: Feb. 22, March 1 & 8. Register online at www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov or via form, available in county buildings including libraries and the County Administration Center in Murdock. Registrations deadline is 5 p.m. Feb. 10. For more information, call 941.623.1092.

Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) is accepting nominations for the 2017 Distinguished Entrepreneur of SW Florida. Southwest Florida business owners who have overcome obstacles, discovered new technologies to help grow their business or dedicated themselves to helping other small businesses through mentorship and civic leadership are encouraged to submit applications. The application deadline is March 31.  The application process is online. Find out more and apply online at https://fsbdcswfl.org/.

King Fisher Fleet will offer its popular 90-minute Harbor Tour departing from Burnt Store Marina for a limited time. The tours will depart every Friday from February 17 through April 7 at 11:15 am. This 1 ½ hour cruise in the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserve includes historical narrative, and you'll look for dolphins, seabirds, and other wildlife. For reservations or more information about this cruise, call (941) 639-0969, or visit http://www.kingfisherfleet.com/cruises-harbor-tour-burnt-store.

A lot of good committee TEAM Punta Gorda volunteers are working hard to put all the pieces in place for the 8th annual Pedal and Play in Paradise on March 24 and 25. Here are some of the things they've nailed down registration is open. More details to come but be sure to check out our website at pedalandplayinparadise.com to learn more, to register, or to order a jersey.

Wine and Jazz Wednesdays at Jacks on Marion. Stop by for Prime Rib Friday and Saturday. Jacks on Marion open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner.  Make your reservation now, 941-637-8800. jacksmarion@comcast.net. Entertainment Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening. “Life's too short for average food!"

IRS certified volunteers are available for free to prepare your taxes and to ensure you get the largest refund for which you qualify.  Appointments are required by calling United Way of Charlotte County, 627-3539.  Two locations, United Way office in Murdock and Lemon Bay High School.  Premier VITA sponsor is the SunTrust Foundation, United Way and Fifth Third Bank.

The Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar is offering our Venue on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings to members to Host private meetings and functions, 5 pm and after. Call Paul Malcolm at 941-235-9463 to discuss.

Job Spot


Charlotte Community Foundation Full-time position available immediately. Responsibilities will include developing and leading the Foundation’s strategic Annual Marketing Plan, providing leadership to financial development through annual giving campaign, and special event direction and leadership. Must have prior experience and proven success in marketing, public relations and fundraising, use of social media, managing website content, strong communication skills, advanced skills in word processing and desktop publishing including page design and layout, excellent leadership and organizational skills required. Full description on our website: www.charlottecf.org (no phone calls please)

Kudos


The Charlotte County Airport Authority announces the total passenger count for the twelve months ending January 31 is 1,146,953. The Punta Gorda Airport passenger count for January, 2017 was 105,188. This is a 37.43% increase in passenger traffic for January 2017 compared with January 2016 (76,538) passengers.

Just For Fun


When I am told, "You'll regret that in the morning", I don't let it bother me.

Being a problem solver, I just sleep in till noon.

________________________________________

I walked into my sister's kitchen and found my nephew having a snack.

"Where's your mother?" I asked.

"She is upstairs, said she was going to take a shower. Hang on, let me check."

He stepped into the nearby bathroom and flushed the toilet. A second later a sharp yell came from upstairs.

My nephew walked back out and said, "Yep, she's in the shower."

 

Do you have exciting information about YOUR business?  Send it to the Chamber and we'll share it with our other members! Email news about your business to Julie Mathis at jmathis@charlottecountychamber.org.  Please keep it to 90 words or fewer. We reserve the right to publish as well as edit any posting. BOL goes out weekly on Mondays; please email your news by the preceding Friday. 
___________________________________________


Julie Mathis
Executive Director
Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce
311 West Retta Esplanade
Punta Gorda, Florida 33950
941-639-2222
jmathis@charlottecountychamber.org

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Charlotte Sun Column - February 8, 2017

     Special thanks to our sponsors and exhibitors for the 2017 Business Expo last week - platinum sponsors State Insurance Agency, Brian Chapman Insurance Group and Nix & Associates Real Estate; media sponsors: Charlotte Sun, iHeart Media Radio and MonarchDIRECT;  silver sponsors: You’ve Got Maids, Total Air Solutions and Western Michigan University-Punta Gorda; and participating sponsors: Goodfriend Health Insurance Advisors; Integrity Companies, Kingsway Country Club, MedExpress Urgent Care, Mosaic Company, Arthur Rutenberg Homes/Sandstar Homes, LLC, State Farm Insurance, Brian Chapman Agency; You’ve Got Maids, W. Kevin Russell, PA; WhitCo Insurance Agency, Alexia Martin and Wise Choice Photography & Video.  And, kudos to Expo partners, Kate and Rob Oliver with MonarchDirect, and Expo chair Mark Martella with Icard Merrill, for your support in the past year. It was a great day for doing business and we look forward to seeing you al on Feb. 8, 2018!

     Networking at Noon is today at Kings Gate Country Club on Rampart Blvd.  Please call our Port Charlotte office and make sure there’s room (627-2222).  

     Please join members of the Charlotte, Englewood, North Port, Punta Gorda and Venice chambers on Feb. 14 for our annual Breakfast with the Rays at the Charlotte Sports Park.  Stop by at 8:15 for a light breakfast, comments from coaches and players and then stay for the work out – the first day for pitchers and catchers.

     Our Feb. 15 Third Wednesday Coffee is being sponsored by Centennial Bank.  Tony Edgar with FocalPoint Business Coaching and Training of Southwest Florida will give a presentation on “18 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time!”  Please join us from 7:15 to 8:30 a.m. at the Event Center for great networking and learning.

     State Insurance Agency, Brain Chapman Insurance Group will host the Feb. 23 Business Card Exchange in their office on Marion Avenue in Punta Gorda.  Bring plenty of business cards and a small gift so that you receive some added name and face recognition.

     Do you have a good entrepreneurial idea?  Five Southwest Florida entrepreneurs will compete for $50,000 from investors at a Shark Tank-style.  Entrepreneurs from Charlotte, DeSoto, Lee and Sarasota counties can find more details and submit their startup business plans to VenturePitch SWFL. The deadline is February 15 and the event will be held on March 30 from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at Isles Yacht Club. SCORE will serve as the screening committee and select the 5 finalists to make a pitch. Ask Score for help on any business topic by calling 743 6179.

     On March 17 our local chambers will celebrate Chambers Appreciation Day with the Rays as they take on the Twins at a 1:05 p.m. game.   Your $17. ticket includes complimentary draft beer through the 3rd inning. 

Business OnLine - February 6, 2017

From the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerc


Accredited, US Chamber of Commerce, **** Rating

Serving all of Charlotte County for more than 90 years


February 6, 2017

Upcoming Chamber Events:


Wed., Feb. 8, Networking at Noon, Kings Gate Golf Club, 24000 Rampart Blvd., PC.  Cost is $15. per person,  Reservations at www.charlottecountychamber.org or by calling 627-2222.  Please bring a can or box of nonperishable food for the School District’s “Give from your Heart” Food Drive.

Join us for Chamber Breakfast with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, February 14 at 8:15am on the Boardwalk at Charlotte Sports Park.  The free event includes a light breakfast, special guest speakers from the Tampa Bay Rays and networking with other Chambers.  After breakfast, watch Rays pitchers and catchers in their first workout or the Spring.  Please RSVP by phone to the chamber at 941-627-2222

Wed., Feb. 15, 7:15 to 8:30 a.m., Third Wednesday Coffee, Event Center, PG.  Sponsor: Centennial Bank.  Program:  18 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time!

Thurs., Feb. 23, 5 to 7 p.m., Business Card Exchange, State Insurance Agency, Brian Chapman Insurance Group, 301 W. Marion, PG.

General Information


Special thanks to our sponsors and exhibitors for the 2017 Business Expo last week - platinum sponsors State Insurance Agency, Brian Chapman Insurance Group and Nix & Associates Real Estate; media sponsors: Charlotte Sun, iHeart Media WCCF1580 Radio and MonarchDIRECT;  silver sponsors: You’ve Got Maids, Total Air Solutions and Western Michigan University-Punta Gorda; and participating sponsors: Goodfriend Health Insurance Advisors; Integrity Companies, Kingsway Country Club, MedExpress Urgent Care, Mosaic Company, Arthur Rutenberg Homes/Sandstar Homes, LLC, State Farm Insurance, Brian Chapman Agency; You’ve Got Maids, W. Kevin Russell, PA; WhitCo Insurance Agency, Alexia Martin and Wise Choice Photography & Video.  It was a great day for doing business!

Join us for breakfast with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, February 14 at 8:15am on the Boardwalk at Charlotte Sports Park.  The free event includes a light breakfast, special guest speakers from the Tampa Bay Rays and networking with other Chambers.  After breakfast, watch Rays pitchers and catchers in their first workout or the Spring.  Please RSVP by phone to the chamber at 941-627-2222.    Chamber Breakfast Feb 14.

Chambers Appreciation Game on Friday, March 17 Rays vs Twins at the Charlotte Sports Park at 1:05 pm.  Enjoy a boardwalk ticket to the game -  $17. includes free draft beer through the 3rd inning.  Call the ticket office 941-206-3599 or print and return Chamber Appreciation Game the flier.

The City is sponsoring a Doing Business with the City presentation on February 8 at 7:30 am, in City Council Chambers. The goal of this presentation is to help our customers maneuver through the process of doing business with the City as effortlessly as possible. All City departments will be represented to provide a short presentation and answer questions you may have.

The City is planning a job fair on February 11, 2017 from 10:00am till 2pm at New Operation Cooper Street.  The intent of the event is to introduce the diverse set of city activities (police, fire, public works, utilities, administrative, etc.) to interested members of the community for future employment opportunities.  For more information contact Phil Wickstrom, Human Resources Manager, at 941-575-3371 or email pwickstrom@pgorda.us

The University of Florida/IFAS Extension Charlotte County through its Florida Sea Grant and Florida Friendly Landscaping programs announce their Water Quality Seminar Series. Seminars on February 13th, March 13th, April 10th, and May 8th at the Charlotte County Eastport Environmental Campus, 25550 Harborview Road, Port Charlotte from 2–5pm. This program is intended for anyone interested in water quality in our fresh and saltwater environments.  The cost to attend is $5 per seminar or $15 for all four. To register, please visit https://wqss.eventbrite.com or contact Betty Staugler at (941) 764-4346.

The new This Week's Happenings has posted. Click here for the website • Click here to read online (PDF; printer-friendly)Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau

Please patronize the Chamber's Sustaining Partners:  (Click on the links to go to their websites.)


· Platinum:  Bayfront Health Port Charlotte & Punta Gorda; Buffalo Graffix; Charlotte County Ford; Charlotte State Bank & Trust; Charlotte Sun/Sun Coast Media Group; Florida SouthWestern State College; Harbor Style Magazine; Monarch Direct; Panther Hollow Dental Lodge; State Insurance Agency - Brian Chapman, Jr.; Waste Management of Charlotte County

·  Diamond: Centennial Bank;  Farr Law Firm; Fawcett Memorial Hospital;  Integrity Employee Leasing; Lexington Manor; St. Andrews South Golf Club

·  EmeraldFreedom Boat Club; Friendly Floors; Nolan Family Insurance; Port Charlotte Florist; Sandhill Healing Centers, Inc.; South Port Square; Strang, Olsen & Lynch, CPAs PA WhitCo Insurance Agency-Alexia Martin; Wise Choice Photography & Video; The Wyvern Hotel

Ribbon Cuttings (to which all members are invited):


Thurs., Feb. 16, 5:30 p.m., Fabulous Finds Re-Sale Shop, 4265 Tamiami Trail, Unit N, PC

New Members


Colonial Life, 3223 Brooklyn Ave., PC 33952
David Lawson, Ph: 941-815-1307
www.coloniallife.com   dave.lawson@coloniallife.com


Golden Gate Services, Inc., 3596 Tamiami Trail, #103, PC 33948
Laura Hawley, Ph: 941-979-8857
www.goldengateservices.org   goldengateservicesinc@gmail.com


Gettel Automotive Group, 1801 Tamiami Trail, PG 33950
Bill Finocchiaro, Cherie George, Ph: 941-676-3740
www.gettel.com  cgeorge@gettel.com

Chamber Member Events


“Give from Your Heart” Food Drive, sponsored by Charlotte County Public Schools Champ's Cafe, school food & nutrition services. We are asking you to “Give from Your Heart” by donating to our area Food Drive to help supply the shelves at our local food pantries. Please bring a can or box of nonperishable food to the Port Charlotte or Punta Gorda offices by Friday, Feb. 10th. The food collected will be given to families in our community through several local organizations and food banks who help people who live here in Charlotte County.

The Band Anastazja will present free concerts in the Fishermen’s Village Courtyard during the months of February and March. February concerts will be held Monday, February 27, 12 Noon-2 pm and 5-7 pm.  March concerts will be held Thursday, March 9, 12 Noon-2 pm and 5-7 pm.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Charlotte County would like to invite you to our signature event – the 9th Annual BaseBALL – an Evening with the Tampa Bay Rays, Thursday, February 23, Charlotte Sports Park, 6:00pm-9:00pm. Tickets: $125.00 Adults   (Children 18 & under), $25.00   visit – www.bgcofcc.org  or call 941-235-2472  to order. Includes: food, beer, wine, soda and water – plus a free baseball for autographs while supplies last. Silent Auction includes: sports memorabilia, trips, lottery tree, airfares, Disney tickets, & lots more.

Valentines Sale: Find something special in the Gift Shop, 10% off thru 2/28. New in the Galleries: The Student Show multimedia exhibit and David Sussman photography exhibit - always free & open to the public. Try an Abstract, Photography, Color Theory or Jewelry workshop, coming up soon. Space is limited; call (941) 639-8810 to register today! Classes in all media begin soon! Visit www.visualartcenter.org for a class schedule. The Visual Arts Center is located @ 210 Maud St, Punta Gorda. Gallery & Gift Shop Hours: M-F, 9-4  & Sat, 10-2.

The Punta Gorda Airport welcomes the Collings Foundation’s Wings of Freedom February 6th through February 9th. Three local WWII veterans will participate in the tour from the Naples Municipal Airport to the Punta Gorda Airport. Punta Gorda is one of 110 cities on a national tour that brings extremely rare bomber and fighter aircraft for a living history display.

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra’s maestro Raffaele Ponti’s last two pre-concert “Behind the Notes” classes will be held on Friday, February 24, and Friday, March 17 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association, 2001 Shreve Street, in Punta Gorda.

They will consist of Ponti’s insight into composers, compositions and conductors and the music to be performed in those upcoming concerts.  The cost is $20 per class. Reservations may be made by calling the Orchestra at 941-205-9743. For concert dates and times, visit www.charlottesymphony.com.

On Saturday, February 11, Temple Shalom will be co-sponsoring their annual Gala Art Auction at The Kingsway Country Club, 13625 SW Kingsway Circle Lake Suzy. Preview: 6:00 p.m.  ~ Silent Auction ~   Live Auction: 7:15 p.m.  Admission: $36.00 per person ~ $65.00 per couple. Door Prize ~ Complimentary Hors d’oeuvres, Wine and Beer ~ Cash Bar. Order on line www.templeshalomfl.com or RSVP to: Rise Wells c/o Michael Saunders & Company, 101 Taylor St Punta Gorda. Questions: Carol Roark (941) 626-3890 Croark29@icloud.com.

Murdock Stones Etc. announces its First Annual customer appreciation days only at our 7621 Sawyer Circle location in South Gulf Cove (look for the World's Largest Mailbox).   It will be Friday Feb. 17th and Saturday Feb. 18th.  There will be refreshments, drawings and giveaways.  Our other location is at 590 Prineville St. in Port Charlotte by the Sun Flea Market. We offer discounts to Charlotte County Chamber members.  www.murdockstonesetc.com.

Business Professional Women's February 21, 2017 meeting runs from 11:30 to 1:00 pm at Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club, 4400 Lister St., Port Charlotte.  There is lunch and our guest speaker is Dr. Fariba Gharai who will speak about heart health.  Cost for lunch is $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers.  Please contact Jan Stephens at bpwccfl@gmail.com by February 16th.

The Academy and Charlotte Technical College would like to invite you to participate in our second annual Academy and Charlotte Technical College Job Fair. Thursday, March 30 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The purpose of this event is to link employers with students who are ready to go into the workforce upon graduating. We look forward to hosting employers who hiring from all industries. Please contact Mike Bernicchi, mike.bernicchi@yourcharlotteschools.net or call him at (941) 255-7545 ext. 234 to reserve your table.

Smoke and Roses Sailing Charters is partnering with Star Limousine to offer the Ultimate Private Luxury Tour at a special price for February. Your personal limousine will provide round trip transportation delivering you to your private yacht for a cruise on Charlotte Harbor. A Long Stem Rose and Chocolate Covered Strawberries will be provided on all Smoke and Roses sailing cruises February 10th to 24th. You choose the time, maximum six passengers. For information call 605-366-7673 or visit, http://www.smokeandroses.com/FEBRUARYVALENTINESSPECIAL.html

Pregnancy Careline Center’s annual fundraising banquet is Tues., March 7 from 6:15 to 9 p.m. at the Event Center in Punta Gorda.  Special guest speaker and prolife advocate and comedian, Gordon Douglas, is the featured speaker.  Rickets at www.pregnancycareline.org. Click upcoming events.

The Military Heritage Museum is pleased to announce the selection of John M. Davidson, executive director of AMIKids, to the prestigious Wall of Warriors. Davidson served for six years in the U.S. Navy as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician/Diver rendering explosive devices and unexploded ordnance safe. Davidson will be inducted on February 24 at a dinner in his honor at the Twin Isles Country Club, starting at 6:00 p.m.  Reservations, $70 per person, may be made at http://freedomisntfree.org/category/event-tickets or by calling 941-575-9002.

Happenings at Fishermen’s Village: Meet Canada Calling Radio Legend Prior Smith, 9 am-11 am, Tuesday, February 7, at Fishermen’s Village! Valentine’s Day Dance, 4-8 pm Center Court, featuring Steel Drum and Tropical music by Bruce Neumann and Tiki D. Direct from upstate New York, The Band Anastazja in concert, Monday, February 27, 12 Noon-2 pm and 5-7 p.m. Mardi Gras Celebration, Tuesday, February 28, 2-5 pm featuring Dixieland Jazz by Leslie DaCosta Jr. & Company.

Go to www.DancingWithTheCharlotteStars.com to check out this year’s 8 celebrity dancers.  Who’s in the lead? Rosa Benghtt?  Ashley Maher? Tara Nemec? John Milone? Danny Nix? Mike Ruiz? Norm Wilson? Phyllis Walker? VIP tickets are currently available for $75 and can be purchased on-line or at the February 2nd Business Expo at the Charlotte Arts booth. VIP tickets include hors d’oeuvres, dinner, student showcase, and a high-energy show featuring all 8 celebrity dancers and their amazing dance studio partners. Ads and sponsorships are still available.

The 21st Florida Frontier Days Festival will be held at the Punta Gorda History Park, 501 Shreve Street, a new location for this year.  Participants in the hands-on activities will dip candles, braid cloth, or make a kite.  The festival is open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Friday, February 24 and from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 25. Daily admission fee is just $3 for adults and $2 for children under 12.   For more information, call Frank Desguin at (941) 769-1270 or visit www.CharlotteFl.com, Historical Center.

The Charlotte County Community Services Department invites the public to Get Up, Get Out, and Get Active! at the third annual Charlotte Harbor Kid’s Fest Event Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Port Charlotte Beach Park. This free event features informational booths from many area organizations regarding the wide variety of programs and services available to the children of Charlotte County. For more information, please contact us at 941-625-7529 or visit our website at www.charlottecountyfl.gov and click Parks/Recreation/Aquatics in Popular Links.

Bayfront Health and Painting with a Twist will host a Painting with a Purpose charity event Wednesday, Feb. 15, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. to benefit the 2017 American Heart Association Heart Walk. To join in the fun, for a good cause, visit http://bit.ly/PaintingTwist, enter passcode Heart, and reserve your seat! For details, you can also call 941-637-2534.

Five Southwest Florida entrepreneurs will compete for $50,000 from investors at a Shark Tank-style.  Entrepreneurs from Charlotte, DeSoto, Lee and Sarasota counties can find more details and submit their startup business plans to VenturePitch SWFL here . The deadline is February 15 and the event will be held on March 30 from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at Isles Yacht Club. SCORE will serve as the screening committee and select the 5 finalists to make a pitch. Ask Score for help on any business topicRequest Now     941 743 6179.

Nav-A-Gator Happenings – Live music - February 9, Latitude 6-9pm; February 11, Paul Roush 2-5pm; February 12, Girlz Rule 2-5pm. February 16 – Trop Country featuring Jamie & Dave 6-9pm; February 17, Heather Vidal 6-9pm; February 18, Yard Dog, 2-5pm; February 19, The JP’s 2-5pm. Cover charge canned goods and nonperishable food items that are donated to a local food bank. Rent a slip at Nav-A-Gator Marina and receive free storage for your boat trailer. Call 941-627-3474 or stop.

This week’s free estate and investment planning seminars at Charlotte State Bank & Trust’s Punta Gorda office, 2331 Tamiami Trail, ask the questions “Are Your Survivors Prepared to Handle Finances Alone?” on Tuesday, “Are You Prepared for Stock Market Fluctuations?” on Wednesday and “Are You Prepared with Asset Protection?” on Thursday. The free seminars are held from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and reservations are required. You may RSVP at any bank office or by contacting Francine Wargo at (941) 624-1944 or fwargo@csbtfl.com.

The Florida Tracks & Trails Invitational is February 26 with kids to pros racing along with a huge raffle. It's sure to be a fun event for the entire family.
By sponsoring the event you will enable us to provide quality racing & entertainment to Charlotte County. In return you will be prominently promoted throughout the facility and on social media sites. Around 85% of our participants say they are more likely to do business with a sponsor than a non-sponsor. For more information, contact tiffanie@floridatracksandtrails.com 239-281-7819.

Charlotte County Community Services will host “Fit for Life” Senior Games 2017 from March 2 through March 26. This Olympic-style event focuses on athletic competition and recreation opportunities for senior citizens. Events will take place around Charlotte County at various recreation facilities and parks. Registration information is available at the Tringali Park, 3460 N. Access Road, Englewood and on our website www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov, click the Playing tab and then click Senior Games. Registration deadline is Feb. 17. For more information please call 941-681-3742.

Trolling for Dreams will be released February 3.  This is six time Grammy nominated folk singer John McCutcheon 38th album.  John will be in concert February 25, 2017 - 7:00 pm at the Riverwood Community Center -  4250 Riverwood Drive Port Charlotte.  Come hear songs from this new album along with old favorites. The concert is a fundraising event for The Murdock Rotary Club (a 501c3 organization).  Tickets are on sale now, call 941-624-2353 or email halliepowers@msn.com.   Reserved seating $35, general seating $25.  A cash bar will be available.

Folk Music Concert February 25, 2017 - 7:00 pm at the Riverwood Community Center -  4100 Riverwood Drive, Port Charlotte.  John McCutcheon, six time Grammy nominated folk singer, will perform in a fundraising concert presented by The Murdock Rotary Club.  Proceeds will primarily be used to benefit children in Charlotte County through scholarships, dictionary program for third grades and prevent drowning programs.  Tickets on sale now. Call 941-624-2353 or email halliepowers@msn.com.   Reserved seating $35, general seating $25.  A cash bar will be available.

Port Charlotte Sunrise Kiwanis is hosting a Dart Tournament on February 23rd at the Icehouse Pub. Limited availability for Bull’s Eye Sponsorships…Only $35! Get your team together and let’s have some fun! This is the FUNraiser you don’t want to miss! Registration starts at 6:30pm and the tournament starts at 7:00pm. Contact Brandi Ball 941-637-0544 or brandi@kochcpas.com for more information!

Powder Puff Charity Classic, Feb. 17-19 at the Port Charlotte Golf Club to benefit Tidewell Hospice.  For more information, please contact Connie 941-235-9482 or Email - powderpuffgolf@gmail.com or www.powderpuffcharitygolf.com.

The 4th Annual Positive Aging Symposium will be held on Thurs., Feb. 9 from 9 to noon at the Port Charlotte Beach Complex.  The event will focus on music therapy and the practice of mindfulness by Dr. Edward Roth of Western Michigan University and Dr. Roxana Duren of Bayfront Health.  Tickets are $10, which includes a brunch.  Call the United Way at 627-3539 or www.unitedwatccfl.org.

Busey Bank will host a free lunch and learn event for businesses at 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, February 7 at its Port Charlotte Branch, 1490 Tamiami Trail. Lunch is provided. Following time for networking, Mike Hearn of the Florida Weekly and Bill Nye of the USPS will give a talk titled “Conventional Advertising.” They will answer questions after the presentation.  The Lunch and Learn is organized by Busey Bank and Port Charlotte SCORE. Reservations are required. Reserve a seat at Busey Bank Port Charlotte.

Save the date – Feb. 14, 2017, A Sweetheart Celebration, to benefit AMIkids Crossroads.  Dinner, dancing and the “Not So Newlywed Game.”  For details visit www.sweetheartcelebration.com.

Chamber Member News:


Murdock Stones Etcannounces its First Annual customer appreciation days only at our 7621 Sawyer Circle location in South Gulf Cove (look for the World's Largest Mailbox).   It will be Friday Feb. 17th and Saturday Feb. 18th.  There will be refreshments, drawings and giveaways.  Our other location is at 590 Prineville St. in Port Charlotte by the Sun Flea Market. We offer discounts to Charlotte County Chamber members.  www.murdockstonesetc.com

NCAA Collegiate Lacrosse comes to Charlotte County in March with over 35 NCAA Division III women's lacrosse teams competing over a three-week span. The organizers are looking for volunteers to serve as team hosts to interact directly with a team by serving as a liaison between the team and our community, which may include assisting them with recommendations for shopping, dining and other activities. If interested or for questions, please contact Sean Doherty at 941.743.1900 or sean.doherty@charlottecountyfl.gov.

Register now for the next Charlotte County Government Academy. This free program provides the opportunity to learn about various county services: public works, utilities, parks, transit, human services, and more. Government Academy is presented over three Wednesdays: Feb. 22, March 1 & 8. Register online at www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov or via form, available in county buildings including libraries and the County Administration Center in Murdock. Registrations deadline is 5 p.m. Feb. 10. For more information, call 941.623.1092.

Suncoast Humane Society Meet Bella! She is a youthful senior dog at 11 yrs. old. She is a yellow Lab mix weighing 67 lbs. Her behavior is that of a dog half her age. She loves to run around and play in a fenced yard and has a very good natured personality. Bella has shared a home with adults and another large breed dog. She is well trained to commands, walks well on a leash and enjoys car rides & bath time. Bella has a lot of great dog companionship to share!  http://www.petango.com/Adopt/Dog-Retriever-Labrador-34350278

Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) is accepting nominations for the 2017 Distinguished Entrepreneur of SW Florida. Southwest Florida business owners who have overcome obstacles, discovered new technologies to help grow their business or dedicated themselves to helping other small businesses through mentorship and civic leadership are encouraged to submit applications. The application deadline is March 31.  The application process is online. Find out more and apply online at https://fsbdcswfl.org/.

FCRA-Compliant Nationwide Criminal Quik-Chek:   * Check SSN (identity check)  *  Check prior addresses (identity double-check + target records)  *  Check state-based criminal records nationwide  *  Check federal-based criminal records nationwide  *  Check sex offender registration nationwide  *  Just $38.   PLUS, property managers and landlords can add a statewide eviction records check for just $8 and/or a credit report and credit score for just $16.  Contact Doris Hebert-Ferrigno at NRG Background Checks for further info.  Our 23rd year of providing FCRA-compliant screening services to Florida employers, property managers, and governmental entities.  941-488-8500;  800-531-6522;  nrginfo@atlantic.net

King Fisher Fleet will offer its popular 90-minute Harbor Tour departing from Burnt Store Marina for a limited time. The tours will depart every Friday from February 17 through April 7 at 11:15 am. This 1 ½ hour cruise in the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserve includes historical narrative, and you'll look for dolphins, seabirds, and other wildlife. For reservations or more information about this cruise, call (941) 639-0969, or visit http://www.kingfisherfleet.com/cruises-harbor-tour-burnt-store.

Charlotte Community Foundation announced this week that a $100,000 anonymous donation has been made to the Foundation’s Community Fund. “Our Community Fund is the most flexible way to respond to Charlotte County’s most urgent needs,” says Mary Byrski, Board Chair. The donors say they have been blessed and want to provide a ‘hand up’ to those in need in our community. The Foundation’s mission: "connecting people who care with causes that matter." See more information how you too can help: www.charlottecf.org  or call 941-637-0077.

Rays Spring Training is right around the corner at Charlotte Sports Park! Luxury Suites are now available for all 18 games and are great for corporate outings, family events and more! Prices start at just $40 per person. For more information, call the Stone Crabs ticket office at 941-206-HITS!

February 11th, 2017 is known worldwide as Promise Day! Let us promise to you that we will help you with your business by completing payroll, filing worker’s compensation, and taking care of HR. We want you to succeed and have time to enjoy your successes. Call Integrity Employee Leasing today! 941-625-0623

Charlotte State Bank & Trust’s annual Valentine’s Day guessing game is under way at each of the bank’s five offices. Anyone stopping by the bank may fill out an entry form and guess the number pieces of candy in the jar. The person at each office who comes closest to the actual number without going over will win the jar and the candy. Entries may be submitted during regular lobby hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. Winners will be notified on Friday, Feb. 10.

I am introducing my business, Grace Assisted Living, located at 22091 Peachland Blvd, Port Charlotte. I am located centrally to malls hospitals and various recreation centers as well as beaches. My fees are reasonable, I have 4 beds available presently. The amenities are great, contact me for further information at 941-766-7178, you'll be glad you did.

Nickolson's Portrait Studio 255-1888.  It's time to get a new business headshot.   A new portrait for your website or printed media would be a good way to freshen up your look.  You will get a studio session with two digital files professionally retouched, Special $135. Call now and mention the Chamber special.   Plus free 2 day service. Come and see us in our beautiful studio location 983 Tamimai Trail Port Charlotte. www.nickolsons.com.

A lot of good committee TEAM Punta Gorda volunteers are working hard to put all the pieces in place for the 8th annual Pedal and Play in Paradise on March 24 and 25. Here are some of the things they've nailed down registration is open. More details to come but be sure to check out our website at pedalandplayinparadise.com to learn more, to register, or to order a jersey.

Wine and Jazz Wednesdays at Jacks on Marion. Stop by for Prime Rib Friday and Saturday. Jacks on Marion open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner.  Make your reservation now, 941-637-8800. jacksmarion@comcast.net. Entertainment Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening. “Life's too short for average food!"

IRS certified volunteers are available for free to prepare your taxes and to ensure you get the largest refund for which you qualify.  Appointments are required by calling United Way of Charlotte County, 627-3539.  Two locations, United Way office in Murdock and Lemon Bay High School.  Premier VITA sponsor is the SunTrust Foundation, United Way and Fifth Third Bank.

The Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar is offering our Venue on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings to members to Host private meetings and functions, 5 pm and after. Call Paul Malcolm at 941-235-9463 to discuss.

Just For Fun


People say that there is no difference between ‘finished’ and ‘complete’. I say there is...

Marry the right person, and you’re COMPLETE.

Marry the wrong person, and you’re FINISHED

----

To the irritation of the judge, a man was trying to be excused from jury duty. "Tell me," began the judge, "is there any good reason why you cannot serve as a juror in the trial?"

The man replied, "I don't want to be away from my job that long."

"Can't they do without you at work?" demanded the judge.

"Yes," admitted the juror. "But I don't want them to realize it."

 

Do you have exciting information about YOUR business?  Send it to the Chamber and we'll share it with our other members! Email news about your business to Julie Mathis at jmathis@charlottecountychamber.org.  Please keep it to 90 words or fewer. We reserve the right to publish as well as edit any posting. BOL goes out weekly on Mondays; please email your news by the preceding Friday. 
___________________________________________


Julie Mathis
Executive Director
Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce
311 West Retta Esplanade
Punta Gorda, Florida 33950
941-639-2222
jmathis@charlottecountychamber.org

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Charlotte Sun Column - February 1, 2017

     Tomorrow is it.  Our 6th Annual Hottest Business Day in Paradise Business Expo runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Event Center in Punta Gorda.  On this one day in one place you can meet hundreds of potential customers and/or referral sources, build new business relationships, attract new customers and clients, sell your products and services to the general public and other exhibitors and generate hundreds of business leads, just to name a few of the opportunities available to you.  Exhibitors, don’t just sit in your booth all day, get out and mingle and take advantage of all the marketing opportunities this hot, hot all business, all day will offer.  Attendees, do you need home improvement, health care or general services?  During the Expo, you will have the opportunity to talk with more than 100 local businesses, so bring your “honey do” list (that’s not nearly done) and get Chamber member businesses to do the work for you.

The event is free and open to the public, so please stop by and Shop Charlotte.

     Networking at Noon is next Wed. at Kings Gate Country Club on Rampart Blvd.  Please make sure to register at 627-2222 or in the Chamber store, so that the chef has food available for everyone.

     Please join members of the Charlotte, Englewood, North Port, Punta Gorda and Venice chambers on Feb. 14 for our annual Breakfast with the Rays at the Charlotte Sports Park.  Stop by at 8:15 for a light breakfast, comments from coaches and players and then stay for the work out – the first day for pitchers and catchers.

     Our Feb. 15 Third Wednesday Coffee is being sponsored by Centennial Bank and I understand that they have something special in mind for an early Wed. morning.  Tony Edgar with FocalPoint Business Coaching and Training of Southwest Florida will give a presentation on “18 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time!”  Please join us from 7:15 to 8:30 a.m. at the Event Center for great networking and learning.

     State Insurance Agency, Brain Chapman Insurance Group will host the Feb. 23 Business Card Exchange in their office on Marion Avenue in Punta Gorda.  Bring plenty of business cards and a small gift so that you receive some added name and face recognition.

     On March 17 our local chambers will celebrate Chambers Appreciation Day with the Rays as they take on the Twins at a 1:05 p.m. game.   Your $17. ticket includes complimentary draft beer through the 3rd inning. 

     Rabbit, rabbit!

Business OnLine - January 30, 2017

From the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce


Accredited, US Chamber of Commerce, **** Rating

Serving all of Charlotte County for more than 90 years


January 30, 2017

Upcoming Chamber Events:


Thurs., Feb. 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 6th Annual Hottest Business Day in Paradise Business Expo, Event Center, PG.  Information, 627-2222.

Wed., Feb. 8, Networking at Noon, Kings Gate Golf Club, 24000 Rampart Blvd., PC.  Cost is $15. per person,  Reservations at www.charlottecountychamber.org or by calling 627-2222.

Tues., Feb. 14, 8:15 a.m., Breakfast with the Rays, Charlotte Sports Park.  Free, but please RSVP to 627-2222.

Wed., Feb. 15, 7:15 to 8:30 a.m., Third Wednesday Coffee, Event Center, PG.  Sponsor: Centennial Bank.  Program:  18 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time!

Thurs., Feb. 23, 5 to 7 p.m., Business Card Exchange, State Insurance Agency, Brian Chapman Insurance Group, 301 W. Marion, PG.

General Information


Join us for breakfast with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, February 14 at 8:15am on the Boardwalk at Charlotte Sports Park.  The free event includes a light breakfast, special guest speakers from the Tampa Bay Rays and networking with other Chambers.  After breakfast, watch Rays pitchers and catchers in their first workout or the Spring.  Please RSVP by phone to the chamber at 941-627-2222.    Chamber Breakfast Feb 14.

Chambers Appreciation Game on Friday, March 17 Rays vs Twins at the Charlotte Sports Park at 1:05 pm.  Enjoy a boardwalk ticket to the game -  $17. includes free draft beer through the 3rd inning.  Call the ticket office 941-206-3599 or print and return Chamber Appreciation Game the flier.

The City is sponsoring a Doing Business with the City presentation on February 8 at 7:30 am, in City Council Chambers. The goal of this presentation is to help our customers maneuver through the process of doing business with the City as effortlessly as possible. All City departments will be represented to provide a short presentation and answer questions you may have.

The City is planning a job fair on February 11, 2017 from 10:00am till 2pm at New Operation Cooper Street.  The intent of the event is to introduce the diverse set of city activities (police, fire, public works, utilities, administrative, etc.) to interested members of the community for future employment opportunities.  For more information contact Phil Wickstrom, Human Resources Manager, at 941-575-3371 or email pwickstrom@pgorda.us

The City of Punta Gorda purchasing department -(941) 575-3348 - is offering a series of Vendor Seminars to help businesses do business with the city.  The website for information and registration is http://www.ci.punta-gorda.fl.us/government/procurement/vendor-resources and or print and return the Registration Form.  March 2-Construction Trade, March 8-MBE/DBE/WBE, March 16 General Services/Commodities, April 6-Professional Services.  Sessions by also be via webinar.  For more information email pgpurch@pgorda.us

Charlotte County Community Services is seeking citizen input regarding programs, facilities and services offered through the Recreation and Parks & Natural Resources Divisions. This survey will provide valuable insight on current programs, events, services and facilities while focusing on opportunities to better meet the needs of our community. The Needs Assessment survey will be available online Jan. 17 – March 17, 2017 and can be accessed by going to www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov – click Parks/Recreation/Aquatics in the Popular Links.

The new This Week's Happenings has posted. Click here for the website • Click here to read online (PDF; printer-friendly) Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau

Please patronize the Chamber's Sustaining Partners:  (Click on the links to go to their websites.)


· Platinum:  Bayfront Health Port Charlotte & Punta Gorda; Buffalo Graffix; Charlotte County Ford; Charlotte State Bank & Trust; Charlotte Sun/Sun Coast Media Group; Florida SouthWestern State College; Harbor Style Magazine; Monarch Direct; Panther Hollow Dental Lodge; State Insurance Agency - Brian Chapman, Jr.; Waste Management of Charlotte County

·  Diamond: Centennial Bank;  Farr Law Firm; Fawcett Memorial Hospital;  Integrity Employee Leasing; Lexington Manor; St. Andrews South Golf Club

·  EmeraldFreedom Boat Club; Friendly Floors; Nolan Family Insurance; Port Charlotte Florist; Sandhill Healing Centers, Inc.; South Port Square; Strang, Olsen & Lynch, CPAs PA WhitCo Insurance Agency-Alexia Martin; Wise Choice Photography & Video; The Wyvern Hotel

Ribbon Cuttings (to which all members are invited):


Tues., Jan. 31, 5:30 p.m., The Wyvern Hotel / Perch 360, 101 E. Retta Esplanade, PG

Thurs., Feb. 16, 5:30 p.m., Fabulous Finds Re-Sale Shop, 4265 Tamiami Trail, Unit N, PC

New Members


American Imaging of Southwest Florida, 23081 Harborview Rd., PC 33980
Forrest Borchardt, Ph: 941-235-8762                 
www.aiswfl.com   forrestb@aiswfl.com


Hampton Inn, 24480 Sandhill Blvd., PC 33983
Chris Brucci, Ph: 941-627-5600      
www.hilton.com   Christophert.burcci@hilton.com


 Ygrene Energy Fund, 9596 Blue Stone Circle, FM 33913
Jose Mendoza, Ph: 239-440-4026
www.ygreneworks.com  jose.mendoza@ygrene.us

Chamber Member Events


On Saturday, February 11, Temple Shalom will be co-sponsoring their annual Gala Art Auction at The Kingsway Country Club, 13625 SW Kingsway Circle Lake Suzy. Preview: 6:00 p.m.  ~ Silent Auction ~   Live Auction: 7:15 p.m.  Admission: $36.00 per person ~ $65.00 per couple. Door Prize ~ Complimentary Hors d’oeuvres, Wine and Beer ~ Cash Bar. Order on line www.templeshalomfl.com or RSVP to: Rise Wells c/o Michael Saunders & Company, 101 Taylor St Punta Gorda. Questions: Carol Roark (941) 626-3890 Croark29@icloud.com.

Please join us starting Monday, January 30 for the soft opening of Fabulous Finds Re-sale Shop located at 4265 Tamiami Trail in the Charlotte Harbor Publix Plaza.  We have women and men’s clothing, furniture, electronics, jewelry and a boutique section with shoes, handbags and a wedding dress.  Print out this notice and receive a 10% discount if used by February 12.  This is a venture of the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition and, all net proceeds go to further its mission to prevent hunger and homelessness in Charlotte County.   Hours  9-6.

Murdock Stones Etcannounces its First Annual customer appreciation days only at our 7621 Sawyer Circle location in South Gulf Cove (look for the World's Largest Mailbox).   It will be Friday Feb. 17th and Saturday Feb. 18th.  There will be refreshments, drawings and giveaways.  Our other location is at 590 Prineville St. in Port Charlotte by the Sun Flea Market. We offer discounts to Charlotte County Chamber members.  www.murdockstonesetc.com

Smoke and Roses Sailing Charters is partnering with Star Limousine to offer the Ultimate Private Luxury Tour at a special price for February. Your personal limousine will provide round trip transportation delivering you to your private yacht for a cruise on Charlotte Harbor. A Long Stem Rose and Chocolate Covered Strawberries will be provided on all Smoke and Roses sailing cruises February 10th to 24th. You choose the time, maximum six passengers. For information call 605-366-7673 or visit, http://www.smokeandroses.com/FEBRUARYVALENTINESSPECIAL.html

You are invited to a breast health education forum, "We've Come a Long Way Baby!" by Susan G. Komen Southwest Florida, Tuesday, January 31st, 8:30 AM – 11 AM at the Charlotte Community Foundation (227 Sullivan Street, Punta Gorda). Breakfast will be served Presentation by Dr. Thomas M. Fabian, Medical Director at Advanced Imaging of Port Charlotte, and Georgia Hitzke, Executive Director of Susan G. Komen of Southwest Florida. Hosted by Virginia B. Andes Volunteer Community Clinic & Pharmacy (Susan G. Komen SWFL 2016 & 2017 Grantee) www.volunteercare.org , sroberts@volunteeercare.org

The Military Heritage Museum is pleased to announce the selection of John M. Davidson, executive director of AMIKids, to the prestigious Wall of Warriors. Davidson served for six years in the U.S. Navy as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician/Diver rendering explosive devices and unexploded ordnance safe. Davidson will be inducted on February 24 at a dinner in his honor at the Twin Isles Country Club, starting at 6:00 p.m.  Reservations, $70 per person, may be made at http://freedomisntfree.org/category/event-tickets or by calling 941-575-9002.

Go to www.DancingWithTheCharlotteStars.com to check out this year’s 8 celebrity dancers.  Who’s in the lead? Rosa Benghtt?  Ashley Maher? Tara Nemec? John Milone? Danny Nix? Mike Ruiz? Norm Wilson? Phyllis Walker? VIP tickets are currently available for $75 and can be purchased on-line or at the February 2nd Business Expo at the Charlotte Arts booth. VIP tickets include hors d’oeuvres, dinner, student showcase, and a high-energy show featuring all 8 celebrity dancers and their amazing dance studio partners. Ads and sponsorships are still available.

Visit us at the Expo Thursday, Feb 2, 10 am – 4 pm CeJay Associates will be in Booth 205. We can show you how Social Media and a great website developed by CeJay Associates can help your business. Watch a demo of a WordPress website. View your site at our Device Lab. Enter OUR Drawing, as well as the Chamber's Grand Prize! Find out: What is Diesel Fried Chicken - and what does it have to do with Your Website? Call us at 941-204-0007 and visit www.CeJayAssoc.com for more information.

The 21st Florida Frontier Days Festival will be held at the Punta Gorda History Park, 501 Shreve Street, a new location for this year.  Participants in the hands-on activities will dip candles, braid cloth, or make a kite.  The festival is open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Friday, February 24 and from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 25. Daily admission fee is just $3 for adults and $2 for children under 12.   For more information, call Frank Desguin at (941) 769-1270 or visit www.CharlotteFl.com, Historical Center.

The Charlotte County Community Services Department invites the public to Get Up, Get Out, and Get Active! at the third annual Charlotte Harbor Kid’s Fest Event Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Port Charlotte Beach Park. This free event features informational booths from many area organizations regarding the wide variety of programs and services available to the children of Charlotte County. For more information, please contact us at 941-625-7529 or visit our website at www.charlottecountyfl.gov and click Parks/Recreation/Aquatics in Popular Links.

The Charlotte-DeSoto Building Industry Association invites you to join us in our 4th annual Sporting Clays Classic to be held on Sunday, February 5th  at Sarasota Trap Skeet Gun Club in Nokomis. Registration for each shooter includes continental breakfast, lunch, 50 targets, 12 or 20 gauge shotgun shells and golf cart, eyes and ear protection. Register before December 23 and the price is $360 per team of 4. After that, the price is $400.00 per team of 4. Individuals can register for $95 per person.  For registration form, click here: http://www.cdbia.com/pdf/2017_Sporting_Clays.pdf

Charlotte State Bank & Trust’s “Are You Prepared?” free seminar series resumes in February at the bank’s Murdock and Punta Gorda offices. Vice President Christine Hause and Portfolio Manager Samuel Kiburz will address issues involved in protecting one’s assets from creditors and liabilities, how fluctuations in the stock market can affect investments and how survivors can be prepared to handle finances alone. A full schedule and reservations are available at any branch office or by contacting Francine Wargo, (941) 624-1944 or fwargo@csbtfl.com

Bayfront Health and Painting with a Twist will host a Painting with a Purpose charity event Wednesday, Feb. 15, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. to benefit the 2017 American Heart Association Heart Walk. To join in the fun, for a good cause, visit http://bit.ly/PaintingTwist, enter passcode Heart, and reserve your seat! For details, you can also call 941-637-2534.

Five Southwest Florida entrepreneurs will compete for $50,000 from investors at a Shark Tank-style.  Entrepreneurs from Charlotte, DeSoto, Lee and Sarasota counties can find more details and submit their startup business plans to VenturePitch SWFL here . The deadline is February 15 and the event will be held on March 30 from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at Isles Yacht Club. SCORE will serve as the screening committee and select the 5 finalists to make a pitch. Ask Score for help on any business topicRequest Now     941 743 6179.

Fishermen’s Village will host The Buz Terry Jazz Orchestra for a live concert on
Friday, February 24, 12 noon-3 pm in the Courtyard area between Scotty’s Brewhouse and Village Fish Market Restaurant.  The concert is free of charge and the public is cordially invited to attend. For information, call 941 639-8721 or visit on line at www.fishville.com

Nav-A-Gator Happenings - February 9, Live Music, Latitude 6-9pm; February 11, Live Music, Paul Roush 2-5pm; February 12, Live Music, Girlz Rule 2-5pm. Cover charge canned goods and nonperishable food items that are donated to a local food bank. Rent a slip at Nav-A-Gator Marina and receive free storage for your boat trailer. For more information about this great special and other specials on boat slips, call 941-627-3474 or stop by and see for yourself how convenient the marina will be for your boat.

The Florida Tracks & Trails Invitational is February 26 with kids to pros racing along with a huge raffle. It's sure to be a fun event for the entire family.
By sponsoring the event you will enable us to provide quality racing & entertainment to Charlotte County. In return you will be prominently promoted throughout the facility and on social media sites. Around 85% of our participants say they are more likely to do business with a sponsor than a non-sponsor. For more information, contact tiffanie@floridatracksandtrails.com 239-281-7819.

The Phantoms of the Orchestra, a volunteer group which supports the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, is holding its monthly Composer’s Luncheon on Thursday, February 2, from 12:00 noon until 1:00 p.m. The luncheon will be held at the Punta Gorda Woman’s Club. The luncheon program will focus on Jacques Ibert and Cesar Franck, two of the four composers featured in the February 26th CSO concert. Reservations are required and may be made by calling the Symphony Office at 941-205-9743 by Tuesday noon, January 31.

Charlotte County Community Services will host “Fit for Life” Senior Games 2017 from March 2 through March 26. This Olympic-style event focuses on athletic competition and recreation opportunities for senior citizens. Events will take place around Charlotte County at various recreation facilities and parks. Registration information is available at the Tringali Park, 3460 N. Access Road, Englewood and on our website www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov, click the Playing tab and then click Senior Games. Registration deadline is Feb. 17. For more information please call 941-681-3742.

Folk Music Concert February 25, 2017 - 7:00 pm at the Riverwood Community Center -  4100 Riverwood Drive, Port Charlotte.  John McCutcheon, six time Grammy nominated folk singer, will perform in a fundraising concert presented by The Murdock Rotary Club.  Proceeds will primarily be used to benefit children in Charlotte County through scholarships, dictionary program for third grades and prevent drowning programs.  Tickets on sale now. Call 941-624-2353 or email halliepowers@msn.com.   Reserved seating $35, general seating $25.  A cash bar will be available

TEAM Punta Gorda’s Annual Golf Tournament, held each year in memory of its former Chief Operating Officer Judy Brentano, will be held at the Saint Andrews South Golf Club in Punta Gorda on Saturday, March 18. For more information, contact tournament chairman Ed Bouton at ed.bouton@gmail.com or co-chair Carol Kegley at carol_kegley_186@comcast.net. Find complete details and register online at www.teampuntagorda.org.

Port Charlotte Sunrise Kiwanis is hosting a Dart Tournament on February 23rd at the Icehouse Pub. Limited availability for Bull’s Eye Sponsorships…Only $35! Get your team together and let’s have some fun! This is the FUNraiser you don’t want to miss! Registration starts at 6:30pm and the tournament starts at 7:00pm. Contact Brandi Ball 941-637-0544 or brandi@kochcpas.com for more information!

St. Andrews South Golf Club, the best value private golf club in Punta Gorda will be hosting an Open House to showcase our fine facility. On Saturday, Feb. 4th at 10:00am to 2:00pm come join in the fun. The Open House will include the following, free cook out, and tours of the golf course. Join as a full golf member and receive our special incentive package worth over $2,100. Come check out our other membership packages including Seasonal memberships. Call Sue at 639-5261, Ext. 3 for details!

Powder Puff Charity Classic, Feb. 17-19 at the Port Charlotte Golf Club to benefit Tidewell Hospice.  For more information, please contact Connie 941-235-9482 or Email - powderpuffgolf@gmail.com or www.powderpuffcharitygolf.com.

The 4th Annual Positive Aging Symposium will be held on Thurs., Feb. 9 from 9 to noon at the Port Charlotte Beach Complex.  The event will focus on music therapy and the practice of mindfulness by Dr. Edward Roth of Western Michigan University and Dr. Roxana Duren of Bayfront Health.  Tickets are $10, which includes a brunch.  Call the United Way at 627-3539 or www.unitedwatccfl.org.

OneBlood’s Big Red Bus will be at the Hottest Business Expo on February 2, 2017 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Charlotte Event Center to give everyone an opportunity to exercise their power to save a life!  All donors will receive a voucher for a free movie ticket and a wellness checkup including blood pressure, temperature, iron count, pulse and cholesterol screening! All it takes is a little of your time, and you can save lives. Help us better serve you! Make an appointment online at www.oneblooddonor.org and use sponsor code #24551

John McCutcheon, six time Grammy nominated folk singer and storyteller was the cover story for January’s issue of International Musician.  Come hear him in concert February 25, 2017 - 7:00 pm at the Riverwood Community Center -  4100 Riverwood Drive Port Charlotte.  The concert is a fundraising event presented by the Rotary Club of Murdock.   Tickets are on sale now, call 941-624-2353 or email halliepowers@msn.com.   Reserved $35, general $25.  A cash bar will be available.


Busey Bank will host a free lunch and learn event for businesses at 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, February 7 at its Port Charlotte Branch, 1490 Tamiami Trail. Lunch is provided. Following time for networking, Mike Hearn of the Florida Weekly and Bill Nye of the USPS will give a talk titled “Conventional Advertising.” They will answer questions after the presentation.  The Lunch and Learn is organized by Busey Bank and Port Charlotte SCORE. Reservations are required. Reserve a seat at Busey Bank Port Charlotte.

Bayfront Health is thrilled to announce that the Pantyhose-Free Zone Women’s Expo will be back again for the ninth year in a row. The date is set for Saturday, February 4 from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County.  Admission is always free to the where traditionally over 100 professionals specializing in the areas of fashion and beauty, health and fitness, finance, travel, education, art and more bring ladies a day to remember.  For more information, or to register to be a vendor, please call 941-637-2534, or email bevin.gallo@bayfronthealth.com.

Save the date – Feb. 14, 2017, A Sweetheart Celebration, to benefit AMIkids Crossroads.  Dinner, dancing and the “Not So Newlywed Game.”  For details visit www.sweetheartcelebration.com.

Chamber Member News:


New Hope Chiropractic will continue to offer its usual services of acupuncture, chiropractic and massage, despite the recent loss of owner Dr. Rocky Aker. Doctors Gary Thompson and Pat Dower will be seeing chiropractic patients on the normal schedule. Acupuncture and massage services are also, six days a week from Monday to Saturday. The staff wishes to thank the community for their support, as they continue to fulfill Dr. Rocky's goal of “healing the world, one patient at a time.” New Hope is at 3440 Conway Blvd. Unit 3B, Port Charlotte. For more information, call 941-766-1882 or visit pcacupuncture.abmp.com.

 In recognition of Tax Identify Theft Awareness Week (Jan. 30-Feb. 3), Charlotte State Bank & Trust President Craig DeYoung urges awareness and caution among taxpayers. “Once they have your personal information, identity thieves can file tax forms in your name,” he said. “Imposters can file for refunds, claim your children as dependents or pose as IRS agents and demand money from you. You need to know about these scams and what you can do to prevent them.” Craig advised visiting the Federal Trade Commission website at ftc.gov/taxidtheft for “suggestions on how to lessen the chance you’ll be a victim.”

Rays Spring Training is right around the corner at Charlotte Sports Park! Luxury Suites are now available for all 18 games and are great for corporate outings, family events and more! Prices start at just $40 per person. For more information, call the Stone Crabs ticket office at 941-206-HITS!

I am introducing my business, Grace Assisted Living, located at 22091 Peachland Blvd, Port Charlotte. I am located centrally to malls hospitals and various recreation centers as well as beaches. My fees are reasonable, I have 4 beds available presently. The amenities are great, contact me for further information at 941-766-7178, you'll be glad you did.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says that "Arrest records may be used as evidence of conduct upon which an employer makes an employment decision."  Employment may be denied to persons based on prior conduct indicating they would be unfit for the position, whether that conduct is evidenced by an arrest, a conviction, or other information provided to the empoyer.  It's the "conduct", not the arrest per se, which the employer may consider.  Contact Doris Hebert-Ferrigno at NRG Background Checks for info and for FCRA-compliant background screening services.  941-488-8500;  800-531-6522;  nrginfo@atlantic.net

Suncoast Humane Society Meet Dobby, a 5 yr. old Domestic Longhair weighing just under 10 lbs. He has a lush pure white coat. Dobby is a friendly and playful cat who likes little toys. He is a lap cat and a cuddle bunny. Dobby lived with adults and shared a home with other cats. He really enjoyed his feline friends. Dobby has an outgoing personality and likes being around people. In fact, he’s a bit of a “trip cat” as he likes scamper between your feet! http://www.petango.com/Adopt/Cat-Domestic-Longhair-34159087

Nickolson's Portrait Studio 255-1888.  It's time to get a new business headshot.   A new portrait for your website or printed media would be a good way to freshen up your look.  You will get a studio session with two digital files professionally retouched, Special $135. Call now and mention the Chamber special.   Plus free 2 day service. Come and see us in our beautiful studio location 983 Tamimai Trail Port Charlotte. www.nickolsons.com.

A lot of good committee TEAM Punta Gorda volunteers are working hard to put all the pieces in place for the 8th annual Pedal and Play in Paradise on March 24 and 25. Here are some of the things they've nailed down registration is open. More details to come but be sure to check out our website at pedalandplayinparadise.com to learn more, to register, or to order a jersey.

Today is National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. We all know that popping bubble wrap is satisfying and a great tool for stress relief, but did you know Integrity Employee Leasing can also help reduce stress? Here at Integrity we take care of your most tedious and pain staking office chores such as: Payroll, Workers Compensation, and HR Service. Give us a call today to see how much stress you can relieve! 941-625-0623

Creative Concepts Imaging is happy to announce that we are bringing to our small businesses in the Charlotte County. We have put together a special plan that our small businesses can take advantage of when it comes to producing a better marketing strategy that includes (branding, designing, online presence, website development, and website management). In addition, we will be presenting our new brochures at the Chamber of Commerce in a few weeks. Give us a call for free consultation and let our experience help you "look like a Fortune 500 business". 1-800-217-5350.

Charlotte Community Foundation-Charlotte CARES Giving Campaign has received an anonymous donation of $100,000! Designated for the "Community Fund," it allows the Foundation the flexibility to determine where and when the gift will make the most effect in the community by addressing critical issues impacting the quality of life for Charlotte County residents. “The donor wishes to provide "a hand up" to those in need in the community,” says Tami Sender, CCF CEO.  Charlotte Community Foundation is the only foundation which focuses exclusively on Charlotte County. Read more: www.charlottecf.org  or call 941-637-0077.

Wine and Jazz Wednesdays at Jacks on Marion. Stop by for Prime Rib Friday and Saturday. Jacks on Marion open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner.  Make your reservation now, 941-637-8800. jacksmarion@comcast.net. Entertainment Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening. “Life's too short for average food!"

V Attractive Nails & Spa is a hidden gem of a nail spa, conveniently locate on the corner of US41 and Harborview Road in the Century 21 Aztec Plaza.  This hidden gem is a beautiful nail spa that offers its clients a variety of the latest in trends in Manicure and Pedicure services offering Gel Polish, SNS Dipping Powder, Acrylic Nails, Liquid Gel and Waxing services. You will be pleasantly surprised by the warm and inviting yet intimate atmosphere V Attractive Nails & Spa offers.  Come and pamper yourself with Vanessa or Yaimara. Mention this ad and you will receive 10% off. 941-284-0334.

Sonos Links Imaging is proud to say that we are growing thanks Charlotte county. We are happily serving our patients that cannot get out of their homes to receive quality ultrasound imaging. We are also stressing to all of our fellow chamber members to take advantage of our referral affiliate program that can help not only yourself but the county as well. Sonos Links Imaging is providing ultrasound care for medical facilities, patients’ homes, assisted living facilities and we are pushing to start athletic testing for young ones. Give us a call at 1-800-968-2919 or visit www.sonoslinks.com.

IRS certified volunteers are available for free to prepare your taxes and to ensure you get the largest refund for which you qualify.  Appointments are required by calling United Way of Charlotte County, 627-3539.  Two locations, United Way office in Murdock and Lemon Bay High School.  Premier VITA sponsor is the SunTrust Foundation, United Way and Fifth Third Bank.

The Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar is offering our Venue on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings to members to Host private meetings and functions, 5 pm and after. Call Paul Malcolm at 941-235-9463 to discuss.

Kudos


Charlotte County Economic Development Director Lucienne Pears was named one of the Top 50 economic developers in North America by Consultant Connect, a consultancy that matches communities with business site selectors. Pears was one of three Florida economic development officials on the list. “This annual list recognizing North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers is designed to acknowledge the hard work of the top leaders in this field and elevate the conversation around economic development and job creation,” said Ron Kitchens, managing partner of Consultant Connect.

Farr Law Firm is pleased to announce the promotion of George T. Williamson as a shareholder. Williamson joined the firm in 2010 and now focuses his legal practice on mass tort litigation, including defective pharmaceutical drugs and other dangerous consumer products, as well as personal injury and wrongful death claims.  Williamson received his Juris Doctor degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Miami. For the past two years, Williamson was named to the list of Rising Stars in Florida Super Lawyers Magazine. For more information, please visit www.farr.com

Governor Rick Scott presented the Business Ambassador Award to Chadd and Keegan Hodges, co-owners of Best Home Services in recognition of their growth from 10 to 145 employees since 2010 with plans to hire 80 additional people in 2017. The Governor’s Business Ambassador Award is given to individuals for their efforts in creating jobs and opportunities for Florida families.  Best Home Services is an air conditioning, electrical and plumbing company.  Learn more at www.getbest.com.

The Charlotte County Airport Authority announces the Punta Gorda Airport passenger count for 2016 was 1,118,303. This is a 33.69% increase in passenger traffic for 2016 compared with 2015 (836,472 passengers). As of October 31, 2016, the Punta Gorda Airport added service from Frontier Airlines and now has to 2 commercial airlines – Allegiant and Frontier.

Just For Fun


I was visiting my daughter last night when I asked if I could borrow a newspaper.

"This is the 21st century," she said. "We don't waste money on newspapers.  Here, use my iPad.".

I can tell you this... That fly never knew what hit him!

 

Do you have exciting information about YOUR business?  Send it to the Chamber and we'll share it with our other members! Email news about your business to Julie Mathis at jmathis@charlottecountychamber.org.  Please keep it to 90 words or fewer. We reserve the right to publish as well as edit any posting. BOL goes out weekly on Mondays; please email your news by the preceding Friday. 
___________________________________________

Julie Mathis

Executive Director
Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce
311 West Retta Esplanade
Punta Gorda, Florida 33950
941-639-2222
jmathis@charlottecountychamber.org

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Charlotte Sun Column - January 25, 2017

     Charlotte Memorial Funeral Home, Cemetery and Crematory is the host of Business Card Exchange tomorrow night.  They are located at 9400 Indian Springs Cemetery Road in Punta Gorda (off Jones Loop behind WalMart).  Please join us from 5 to 7 p.m. for great networking.    Remember to bring a small gift to promote your business while gaining more face-to-face recognition and plenty of business cards to hand out.

     Our 6th Annual Hottest Business Day in Paradise Business Expo is Feb. 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Event Center in Punta Gorda.  On this one day, one place for  networking you can build new business relationships, attract new customers and clients, sell your products and services to the general public and other exhibitors and generate hundreds of business leads, just to name a few of the opportunities available to you.  Exhibitors, even if no one attends (highly unlikely as we had over 1,500 attendees last year), you’ll be in a room all day with 100 of your fellow exhibitors and their staff.  Maybe you can do a little sneaky recruiting as you gather business cards?  Remember to drop off 500 items by Friday to our Port Charlotte office, so we can include them in the “goodie” bags that will be distributed to attendees. Add you name to the banners that will recognize exhibitors who are donating a prize to the grand prize drawings. Just don’t sit in your booth all day, get out and mingle and take advantage of all the marketing opportunities this hot, hot all business, all day will offer.  For more information on the Expo, please visit our website, hover over Business Resources then to the Expo bar or call 627-222.

     Please join members of the Charlotte, Englewood, North Port, Punta Gorda and Venice chambers on Feb. 14 for our annual Breakfast with the Rays at the Charlotte Sports Park.  Stop by at 8:15 for a light breakfast, comments from coaches and players and then stay for the work out – the first day for pitchers and catchers.  On March 17 these same chambers will celebrate Chambers Appreciation Day with the Rays as they take on the Twins at a 1:05 p.m. game.   Your $17. ticket includes complimentary draft beer through the 3rd inning. 

     Now’s the time to get your tickets to the Wine & Jazz Festival on Feb. 25 from 1 to 6 p.m. at Laishley Park and save $10.  Visit www.puntagordachamber.com.

     There is so much going on in the community.  Please visit our community calendar to see what’s happening, and send us information about your events so we can include them on the calendar.  Enjoy!

Business OnLine - January 23, 2017

From the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce


Accredited, US Chamber of Commerce, **** Rating

Serving all of Charlotte County for more than 90 years


January 23, 2017

Upcoming Chamber Events:


Thurs., Jan. 26, 5 to 7:00 p.m., Business Card Exchange, Charlotte Memorial Funeral Home, Cemetery and Crematory, 9400 Indian Springs Cemetery Road, PG

Thurs., Feb. 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 6th Annual Hottest Business Day in Paradise Business Expo, Event Center, PG.  Information, 627-2222.

General Information


Join us for breakfast with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, February 14 at 8:15am on the Boardwalk at Charlotte Sports Park.  The free event includes a light breakfast, special guest speakers from the Tampa Bay Rays and networking with other Chambers.  After breakfast, watch Rays pitchers and catchers in their first workout or the Spring.  Please RSVP by phone to the chamber at 941-627-2222.    Chamber Breakfast Feb 14.

Chambers Appreciation Game on Friday, March 17 Rays vs Twins at the Charlotte Sports Park at 1:05 pm.  Enjoy a boardwalk ticket to the game -  $17. includes free draft beer through the 3rd inning.  Call the ticket office 941-206-3599 or print and return Chamber Appreciation Game the flier.

Several of the action items in the City’s Strategic Plan relate to enhancing partnerships with our business and residential community in areas of communication, transparency and development opportunities. In this vein, the City is sponsoring a Doing Business with the City presentation on February 8 at 7:30 am, in City Council Chambers. The goal of this presentation is to help our customers maneuver through the process of doing business with the City as effortlessly as possible. Our intent is to help inform customers on the diverse services your City provides for you. All City departments will be represented to provide a short presentation and answer questions you may have.  The web link to the website for information and registration is http://www.ci.punta-gorda.fl.us/government/procurement/vendor-resources and a PDF of the information and Registration Form.


The City is planning a job fair on February 11, 2017 from 10:00am till 2pm at New Operation Cooper Street.  The intent of the event is to introduce the diverse set of city activities (police, fire, public works, utilities, administrative, etc.) to interested members of the community for future employment opportunities.  All are welcome.  For more information contact Phil Wickstrom, Human Resources Manager, at 941-575-3371 or email pwickstrom@pgorda.us

Charlotte County Community Services is seeking citizen input regarding programs, facilities and services offered through the Recreation and Parks & Natural Resources Divisions. This survey will provide valuable insight on current programs, events, services and facilities while focusing on opportunities to better meet the needs of our community. The Needs Assessment survey will be available online Jan. 17 – March 17, 2017 and can be accessed by going to www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov – click Parks/Recreation/Aquatics in the Popular Links.

The new This Week's Happenings has posted. Click here for the website • Click here to read online (PDF; printer-friendly). Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau

We are selling tickets to the Share the Love for the Kids Home Tour on Feb. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to benefit New Operation Cooper Street. The Back Pack Kidz and AMIkids Crossroads.  Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. For more information visit www.beyondourselves.peapps.com.

Please patronize the Chamber's Sustaining Partners:  (Click on the links to go to their websites.)


· Platinum:  Bayfront Health Port Charlotte & Punta Gorda; Buffalo Graffix; Charlotte County Ford; Charlotte State Bank & Trust; Charlotte Sun/Sun Coast Media Group; Florida SouthWestern State College; Harbor Style Magazine; Monarch Direct; Panther Hollow Dental Lodge; State Insurance Agency - Brian Chapman, Jr.; Waste Management of Charlotte County

·  Diamond: Centennial Bank;  Farr Law Firm; Fawcett Memorial Hospital;  Integrity Employee Leasing; Lexington Manor; St. Andrews South Golf Club

·  EmeraldFreedom Boat Club; Friendly Floors; Nolan Family Insurance; Port Charlotte Florist; Sandhill Healing Centers, Inc.; South Port Square; Strang, Olsen & Lynch, CPAs PA WhitCo Insurance Agency-Alexia Martin; Wise Choice Photography & Video; The Wyvern Hotel

Ribbon Cuttings (to which all members are invited):


Tues., Jan. 24, 5:30 p.m., King Fisher Fleet / Charlotte Lady, 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, PG

Wed., Jan. 25, 5:30 p.m., Suncoast One Title & Closings, 1931 Tamiami Trial, Unit 8, PC (LTM Plaza)

Tues., Jan. 31, 5:30 p.m., The Wyvern Hotel / Perch 360, 101 E. Retta Esplanade, PG

Thurs., Feb. 16, 5:30 p.m., Fabulous Finds Re-Sale Shop, 4265 Tamiami Trail, Unit N, PC

New Members


Western Michigan University, Punta Gorda
26300 Airport Road, PG 33950, 1903 W. Michigan, Ellsworth 3280 Kalamazoo, MI 44001
Traver McLaughlin, Ph: 269-387-1557
www.wmich.edu/extended  traver.mclaughlin@wmich.edu   


The Lake Doctors, Inc., 4791 Waycross Road, #A, FM 33905
Matt Lewis, Ph: 239-693-2270    
www.lakedoctors.com  matt.lewis@lakedoctors.com 

Chamber Member Events


 Virginia B Andes Volunteer Community Clinic will host a reception honoring Don Gasgarth and his continuing commitment to the Susan G. Komen Southwest Florida Race for the Cure® this Tuesday, Jan 24th, at 6-7:30 pm. You are invited! The event is also a Kick Off & Registration Party for this year’s race, come to Don Gasgarth’s Charlotte County Ford, Port Charlotte. For more info, contact Suzanne Roberts, CEO: (941) 276-9570, sroberts@volunteercare.org. Website: www.VolunteerCare.org

 On Saturday, February 11, Temple Shalom will be co-sponsoring their annual Gala Art Auction at The Kingsway Country Club, 13625 SW Kingsway Circle Lake Suzy. Preview: 6:00 p.m.  ~ Silent Auction ~   Live Auction: 7:15 p.m.  Admission: $36.00 per person ~ $65.00 per couple. Door Prize ~ Complimentary Hors d’oeuvres, Wine and Beer ~ Cash Bar. Order on line www.templeshalomfl.com or RSVP to: Rise Wells c/o Michael Saunders & Company, 101 Taylor St Punta Gorda. Questions: Carol Roark (941) 626-3890 Croark29@icloud.com.

Suncoast One Title & Closings is exited to announce the opening of their second location, now in Port Charlotte! For years Suncoast One has served the real estate needs of Charlotte County. Now with 2 locations to serve you better, their new office in the LTM Party Plaza at 1931 Tamiami Trail, Suite 8 in Port Charlotte. Their Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening at the new location is scheduled for Wednesday, January 25th. Please come and enjoy food and refreshments and a fun evening while we celebrate our new office!

The Military Heritage Museum is pleased to announce the selection of John M. Davidson, executive director of AMIKids, to the prestigious Wall of Warriors. Davidson served for six years in the U.S. Navy as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician/Diver rendering explosive devices and unexploded ordnance safe. Davidson will be inducted on February 24 at a dinner in his honor at the Twin Isles Country Club, starting at 6:00 p.m.  Reservations, $70 per person, may be made at http://freedomisntfree.org/category/event-tickets or by calling 941-575-9002.

Five Southwest Florida entrepreneurs will compete for $50,000 from investors at a Shark Tank-style.  Entrepreneurs from Charlotte, DeSoto, Lee and Sarasota counties can find more details and submit their startup business plans to VenturePitch SWFL here . The deadline is February 15 and the event will be held on March 30 from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at Isles Yacht Club. SCORE will serve as the screening committee and select the 5 finalists to make a pitch. Ask Score for help on any business topicRequest Now     941 743 6179.

 Folk Music Concert February 25, 2017 - 7:00 pm at the Riverwood Community Center -  4100 Riverwood Drive, Port Charlotte.  John McCutcheon, six time Grammy nominated folk singer, will perform in a fundraising concert presented by The Murdock Rotary Club (a 501c3 organization).  Proceeds will primarily be used to benefit children in Charlotte County through scholarships, dictionary program for third grades and prevent drowning programs.  Tickets on sale now. Call 941-624-2353 or email halliepowers@msn.com.   Reserved seating $35, general seating $25.  A cash bar will be available

 Excitement is building as the tennis ball nears!  There are still tickets available for the Boca Grande Club’s Ninth Annual Tennis Ball - Fête for Pets on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 from 6:00-9:00 PM in the Clubhouse at the Boca Grande Club. All proceeds to benefit the Suncoast Humane Society and the homeless animals entrusted to their care both on Boca Grande, Englewood and the surrounding areas. Tickets are $125 and can be purchased at  www.humane.org.

 TEAM Punta Gorda’s Annual Golf Tournament, held each year in memory of its former Chief Operating Officer Judy Brentano, will be held at the Saint Andrews South Golf Club in Punta Gorda on Saturday, March 18. TEAM’s Tournament offers prizes for winning teams, best costumes and putting expertise. A great “19th hole” lunch and awards ceremony caps off the fun. For more information, contact tournament chairman Ed Bouton at ed.bouton@gmail.com or co-chair Carol Kegley at carol_kegley_186@comcast.net. Find complete details and register online at www.teampuntagorda.org.

Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar, 4069 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte, 941-235-WINE (9463).  Friday, January 27, 6:30-9:30pm.   Steve Widmeyer, with jazz, pop, country and folk. Saturday, January 28, 6:30-9:30pm.   Jeannie Smyth, former New Orleans style Vocalist. The Wine Bar offers a global selection of wines by the glass or by the bottle, made on-site, and a variety of beer and craft beers. Hours are Tues-Thurs 12 noon-6pm, Friday - Saturday 12:00noon to 9:00pm.  Try our new “Wine Flight” $15.00 person,  4 / 3oz servings.  www.gildedgrape.com, like us on facebook.

Charlotte State Bank & Trust’s free estate and investment planning seminars are being held this week at the Punta Gorda  office, 2332 Tamiami Trail: “Are You Prepared for Family Controlling Your Finances?” on Tuesday, “Are You Prepared for Changes in Your Living and Care Expenses?” on Wednesday and “Are You Prepared for Changes in Your Health?” on Thursday. The free seminars are held from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and reservations are required. You may RSVP at any bank office or by contacting Francine Wargo at (941) 624-1944 or fwargo@csbtfl.com.

 Port Charlotte Sunrise Kiwanis is hosting a Dart Tournament on February 23rd at the Icehouse Pub. Limited availability for Bull’s Eye Sponsorships…Only $35! Get your team together and let’s have some fun! This is the FUNraiser you don’t want to miss! Registration starts at 6:30pm and the tournament starts at 7:00pm. Contact Brandi Ball 941-637-0544 or brandi@kochcpas.com for more information!

The Florida Tracks & Trails Invitational is February 26 with kids to pros racing along with a huge raffle. It's sure to be a fun event for the entire family.
By sponsoring the event you will enable us to provide quality racing & entertainment to Charlotte County. In return you will be prominently promoted throughout the facility and on social media sites. Around 85% of our participants say they are more likely to do business with a sponsor than a non-sponsor. For more information, contact tiffanie@floridatracksandtrails.com 239-281-7819.

Light & Shadow is a dramatic 2D exhibit on display until Feb 2. Exhibits & Receptions are always free & open to the public. Bring your friends to Let’s Get Splashed paint & wine party 1/27 at 6pm to paint the ‘Lights of Fishermen’s Village’! Fun and easy, wine and snacks included for $35. Many workshops for all skill levels & interests happening Jan – April, visit www.visualartcenter.org for details. Visual Arts Center is located @ 210 Maud St, Punta Gorda. Gallery & Gift Shop Hours: M-F, 9-4  & Sat, 10-2.

St. Andrews South Golf Club, the best value private golf club in Punta Gorda will be hosting an Open House to showcase our fine facility. On Saturday, Feb. 4th at 10:00am to 2:00pm come join in the fun. The Open House will include the following, free cook out, and tours of the golf course. Join as a full golf member and receive our special incentive package worth over $2,100. Come check out our other membership packages including Seasonal memberships. Call Sue at 639-5261, Ext. 3 for details!

Business and Professional Women’s 1st Annual Fashion Show, Sunday, January, Noon to 3:00 PM at Visani’s. $35 per person. There will be great gift baskets for raffle and auction items, 50/50, lottery tree etc. 100% of all money raised goes to scholarship’s to help women who would like to continue their education, but are not financial able to do so. If you would like to promote your business by donation a gift basket, it would be greatly appreciated. Register by calling Jan at 941-726-0924 or online at www.bpwccfl.org

Powder Puff Charity Classic, Feb. 17-19 at the Port Charlotte Golf Club to benefit Tidewell Hospice.  For more information, please contact Connie 941-235-9482 or Email - powderpuffgolf@gmail.com or www.powderpuffcharitygolf.com.

Register now for the next Charlotte County Government Academy. This free program provides the opportunity to learn about various county services: public works, utilities, parks, transit, human services, and more. Government Academy is presented over three Wednesdays: Feb. 22, March 1 & 8. Register online at www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov or via form, available in county buildings including libraries and the County Administration Center in Murdock. Registrations deadline is 5 p.m. Feb. 10. For more information, call 941.623.1092.

The 4th Annual Positive Aging Symposium will be held on Thurs., Feb. 9 from 9 to noon at the Port Charlotte Beach Complex.  The event will focus on music therapy and the practice of mindfulness by Dr. Edward Roth of Western Michigan University and Dr. Roxana Duren of Bayfront Health.  Tickets are $10, which includes a brunch.  Call the United Way at 627-3539 or www.unitedwatccfl.org.

OneBlood’s Big Red Bus will be at the Hottest Business Expo on February 2, 2017 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Charlotte Event Center to give everyone an opportunity to exercise their power to save a life!  All donors will receive a voucher for a free movie ticket and a wellness checkup including blood pressure, temperature, iron count, pulse and cholesterol screening! All it takes is a little of your time, and you can save lives. Help us better serve you! Make an appointment online at www.oneblooddonor.org and use sponsor code #24551

John McCutcheon, six time Grammy nominated folk singer and storyteller was the cover story for January’s issue of International Musician.  Come hear him in concert February 25, 2017 - 7:00 pm at the Riverwood Community Center -  4100 Riverwood Drive Port Charlotte.  The concert is a fundraising event presented by the Rotary Club of Murdock.   Tickets are on sale now, call 941-624-2353 or email halliepowers@msn.com.   Reserved $35, general $25.  A cash bar will be available. 

TEAM Punta Gorda is excited to welcome Charlotte Symphony Director and Conductor Raphaelle Ponti as our guest speaker at the upcoming 2017 Annual Community Meeting on Thursday, January 26 at the Punta Gorda Civic Association. All the details are attached, including a photo of the Maestro.  Please join us at 6:30 for wine and finger foods, followed at 7PM with a one hour program.

As part of The Academy’s ongoing Pathways Initiative, I would like to formally invite you to participate in The Academy’s Spring Job Fair and Workshop: Thursday, March 30th 9am-1pm at the Charlotte Technical College Auditorium. Community participation earlier this school-year was integral in exposing our students to the myriad Charlotte County industries, as well as preparing them to enter the workforce upon graduation. We had many successful interactions with local businesses, and students learned how to create résumés showcasing their unique abilities. Contact: mike.bernicchi@yourcharlotteschools.net.

Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office - Quarterly Awards Ceremony, Friday, February 3, 2017 1130am – 1pm, Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club. Lunch -$15 (proceeds above cost of the meal donated to the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranch). Please RSVP via email or 575-5211 no later than Tuesday, January 24. Request payment by Wednesday, February 1.  Cash or check made out to CCSO. BLong@ccsofl.net

Light & Shadow is a dramatic 2D exhibit on display until Feb 2. Exhibits & Receptions are always free & open to the public. Bring your friends to Let’s Get Splashed paint & wine party 1/27 at 6pm. Paint the Lights of Fishermen’s Village! Fun and easy, wine and snacks included for $35. Many more workshops for all skill levels & interests happening Jan – April, visit www.visualartcenter.org for details. Visual Arts Center is located @ 210 Maud St, Punta Gorda. Gallery & Gift Shop Hours: M-F, 9-4  & Sat, 10-2.

Busey Bank will host a free lunch and learn event for businesses at 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, February 7 at its Port Charlotte Branch, 1490 Tamiami Trail. Lunch is provided. Following time for networking, Mike Hearn of the Florida Weekly and Bill Nye of the USPS will give a talk titled “Conventional Advertising.” They will answer questions after the presentation.  The Lunch and Learn is organized by Busey Bank and Port Charlotte SCORE. Reservations are required. Reserve a seat at Busey Bank Port Charlotte.

Bayfront Health is thrilled to announce that the Pantyhose-Free Zone Women’s Expo will be back again for the ninth year in a row. The date is set for Saturday, February 4 from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County.  Admission is always free to the where traditionally over 100 professionals specializing in the areas of fashion and beauty, health and fitness, finance, travel, education, art and more bring ladies a day to remember.  For more information, or to register to be a vendor, please call 941-637-2534, or email bevin.gallo@bayfronthealth.com.

Treat yourself to the 9th annual Hands Across the Harbor Half Marathon on January 28th where you can run, walk, ride or roll over the Gilchrist Bridge. All events kick off in Bayshore Live Oak Park along the beautiful Charlotte Harbor. The enhanced half marathon course extends to Ponce De Leon Park. Registration includes door prizes, family friendly entertainment, a long-sleeved tech shirt and complimentary breakfast for all participants on their return to Bayshore Live Oak Park. For information and to register visit:  www.HandsAcrosstheHarbor.org.

Save the date – Feb. 14, 2017, A Sweetheart Celebration, to benefit AMIkids Crossroads.  Dinner, dancing and the “Not So Newlywed Game.”  For details visit www.sweetheartcelebration.com.

Nav-A-Gator Happenings - January 28 – Saturday – Live Music, John Frinzi, 2-5pm; January 29 – Sunday – Live Music, 5&10 Boys 2-5pm. Nav-A-Gator Happenings; February 2 – Thursday –John Reno 6-9pm; February 4 – Saturday –JR Southern 2-5pm; February 5 – Sunday –Gary & Kerri 2-5pm. Cover charge canned goods and nonperishable food items that are donated to a local food bank.  Rent a slip at Nav-A-Gator Grill & Marina and receive free storage for your boat trailer. For more information about this great special and other specials on boat slips, call 941-627-3474.

Save the date:  Charlotte County Healthy Start “Show the Love” luncheon, Thurs., Feb. 2, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Medical Arts Building, 713 E. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda. You can get your $15. ticket or be a sponsor by calling 764-9700.

The Charlotte-DeSoto Building Industry Association invites you to join us in our 4th annual Sporting Clays Classic to be held on Sunday, February 5th  at Sarasota Trap Skeet Gun Club in Nokomis. Registration for each shooter includes continental breakfast, lunch, 50 targets, 12 or 20 gauge shotgun shells and golf cart, eyes and ear protection. Register before December 23 and the price is $360 per team of 4. After that, the price is $400.00 per team of 4. Individuals can register for $95 per person. For registration form, click here: http://www.cdbia.com/pdf/2017_Sporting_Clays.pdf

Chamber Member News:


Nickolson's Portrait Studio 255-1888.  It's time to get a new business headshot.   A new portrait for your website or printed media would be a good way to freshen up your look.  You will get a studio session with two digital files professionally retouched, Special $135. Call now and mention the Chamber special.   Plus free 2 day service. Come and see us in our beautiful studio location 983 Tamimai Trail Port Charlotte. www.nickolsons.com. 

Tomorrow is National “JUST DO IT!” Day! Everything that you have to do and all the things you’ve wanted to do, January 24th is the day to do them. Were you wanting to ease your work load? You can do it by hiring Integrity Employee Leasing to take care of your payroll, workers compensation and HR Services! If connecting with a PEO Service Provider is something you’ve been interested in, call Integrity today. JUST DO IT! 941-625-0623.

Murdock Stones Etcannounces its First Annual customer appreciation days only at our 7621 Sawyer Circle location in South Gulf Cove (look for the World's Largest Mailbox).   It will be Friday Feb. 17th and Saturday Feb. 18th.  There will be refreshments, drawings and giveaways.  Our other location is at 590 Prineville St. in Port Charlotte by the Sun Flea Market. We offer discounts to Charlotte County Chamber members.  www.murdockstonesetc.com

Creative Concepts Imaging is happy to announce that we are bringing to our small businesses in the Charlotte County. We have put together a special plan that our small businesses can take advantage of when it comes to producing a better marketing strategy that includes (branding, designing, online presence, website development, and website management). In addition, we will be presenting our new brochures at the Chamber of Commerce in a few weeks. Give us a call for free consultation and let our experience help you "look like a Fortune 500 business". 1-800-217-5350.

Charlotte Community Foundation recently presented a grant for $1,500 to Mr. Christopher George, Robotics Team instructor at Charlotte High School. The teams will purchase supplies and equipment for their competitions.   Funding was made possible through The Bob and Catherine Peterson Endowment Trust Fund, established at Charlotte Community Foundation to support local educational programs. Would you like to create a fund to support causes that matter? Visit www.charlottecf.org or call 941-637-0077. We can assist in establishing Endowments, Donor Advised Funds, Scholarship or other Tax Exempt Funds for causes donors care about.

Do you require background checks on job applicants?  If so, do you check SNNs, DOBs, and Prior Addresses to verify identity?  And, very importantly, Federal criminal records, along with whatever state criminal records you check?  Prosecutions for Federal crimes aren't recorded in state criminal records and crimes such as identity theft, drug trafficking, crimes against children, credit card fraud, forgery, and many others are prosecuted at the Federal level.  Be sure to check Federal criminal records!  For FCRA-compliant background screening, contact Doris Hebert-Ferrigno at NRG Background Checks.  941-488-8500;  800-531-6522;  nrginfo@atlantic.net

In celebration of the New Year, Around the Clock Fitness has launched its annual 90-Day Body Transform Challenge, a three-month, community-wide fitness challenge, which awards $10,000 to the grand prize winner. Registration is available now through Jan. 31. Registration is available for $99 for Around the Clock Fitness members and $129 for non-members at www.NewYou10KChallenge.com. Around the Clock Fitness members enrolled with a current Personal Training Package can register for a reduced rate of $69. For more information on Around the Clock Fitness, or to learn more about membership options, visit www.MyAroundTheClockFitness.com.

Suncoast Humane Society. Meet Reid, a 2 yr. old Shepherd/Lab Mix weighing 63 lbs., and a good natured dog! He has happily lived with adults, children and both large & small breed dogs. He’s an affectionate dog who liked to cuddle in bed with a 10 yr. old child. He loves taking walks, swimming in the pool, going for car rides or just hanging out with the family watching TV. Reid will thrive with a family with kids who will give him plenty of attention and a good game of fetch! http://www.petango.com/Adopt/Dog-Shepherd-34350173

V Attractive Nails & Spa is a hidden gem of a nail spa, conveniently locate on the corner of US41 and Harborview Road in the Century 21 Aztec Plaza.  This hidden gem is a beautiful nail spa that offers its clients a variety of the latest in trends in Manicure and Pedicure services offering Gel Polish, SNS Dipping Powder, Acrylic Nails, Liquid Gel and Waxing services. You will be pleasantly surprised by the warm and inviting yet intimate atmosphere V Attractive Nails & Spa offers.  Come and pamper yourself with Vanessa or Yaimara. Mention this ad and you will receive 10% off. 941-284-0334.

CeJay Associates, LLC website spotlight is www.Boat2PuntaGorda.org - official website for the Punta Gorda Boaters Alliance; the voice of Charlotte Harbor boating organizations and marine businesses. Mobile friendly, on WordPress, site visitors come to get news and alerts on harbor boating projects. Let CeJay Associates show you how your website can be a local information source. We can also manage your social media, newsletters, branding and business graphics.  Let’s make your website WORK for you, taking your business to the next level of success! Contact CeJay Associates at 941-204-0007 * www.CeJayAssoc.com  * Design@CeJay.com

Sonos Links Imaging is proud to say that we are growing thanks Charlotte county. We are happily serving our patients that cannot get out of their homes to receive quality ultrasound imaging. We are also stressing to all of our fellow chamber members to take advantage of our referral affiliate program that can help not only yourself but the county as well. Sonos Links Imaging is providing ultrasound care for medical facilities, patients’ homes, assisted living facilities and we are pushing to start athletic testing for young ones. Give us a call at 1-800-968-2919 or visit www.sonoslinks.com.

Discount Med Direct is a mail order prescription service.  As we enter the new year, let us help you save money on your prescriptions.  Many of us have new insurance and are getting surprised at the pharmacy.  Co-Pay to high, let us help. Give us a call at 941-421-7155 and we can give you a quote over the phone.


IRS certified volunteers are available for free to prepare your taxes and to ensure you get the largest refund for which you qualify.  Appointments are required by calling United Way of Charlotte County, 627-3539.  Two locations, United Way office in Murdock and Lemon Bay High School.  Premier VITA sponsor is the SunTrust Foundation, United Way and Fifth Third Bank.

Do you have a friend, co-worker or loved one being chased by creditors, drowning in debt or facing foreclosure? Are they looking for answers to their questions but don't know where to turn? If they would like to get their questions answered confidentially in their own home, they can contact Mark Martella, Esq. of Icard Merrill and request his free book "Bankruptcy in Plain English "and the companion DVD. Simply call 941-206-3700 or e-mail your request to mmartella@icardmerrill.com.

Wine and Jazz Wednesdays at Jacks on Marion. Stop by for Prime Rib Friday and Saturday. Jacks on Marion open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner.  Make your reservation now, 941-637-8800. jacksmarion@comcast.net. Entertainment Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening. “Life's too short for average food!"

The Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar is offering our Venue on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings to members to Host private meetings and functions, 5 pm and after. Call Paul Malcolm at 941-235-9463 to discuss.

Job Spot


Charlotte County Airport Authority is hiring for the following positions: § Part-Time Landside Agent (Curbside/Terminal/Parking) § Seasonal Maintenance Technician (Grounds/Facilities Maintenance) § Seasonal Custodian. For more information on these openings and how to apply, go to our website: www.flypgd.com/jobs

Just For Fun


A photographer was invited to dinner with friends and took along a few pictures to show the lady of the house. She looked at the photos and commented, "These are great! You must have a good camera."

He didn't make any comment, but as he was leaving to go home he said, "That was a really delicious meal! You must have some very good pots."

----------

The first time my son was on a bike with training wheels, I shouted, "Step back on the pedals and the bike will brake!"

He nodded but still rode straight into a bush.

"Why didn’t you push back on the pedals?" I asked, helping him up.

"You said if I did, the bike would break."

 

Do you have exciting information about YOUR business?  Send it to the Chamber and we'll share it with our other members! Email news about your business to Julie Mathis at jmathis@charlottecountychamber.org.  Please keep it to 90 words or fewer. We reserve the right to publish as well as edit any posting. BOL goes out weekly on Mondays; please email your news by the preceding Friday. 
___________________________________________


Julie Mathis
Executive Director
Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce
311 West Retta Esplanade
Punta Gorda, Florida 33950
941-639-2222
jmathis@charlottecountychamber.org

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