Charlotte Sun Column - January 16, 2018

     Please join us bright and early tomorrow for the Third Wednesday Coffee.  City Manager Howard Kunik will be the featured speaker and will update us on the City’s projects and plans.  The Coffee, sponsored this month by Charlotte Memorial Funeral Home, Cemetery and Crematory, runs from 7:15 to 8:30 a.m. at the Event Center.  In addition to learning useful information, there is great networking that goes on over coffee and breakfast munchies.  Stop by and “kick the tires” to see what it’s all about.

     On Friday the executives and volunteer presidents of the three chambers, builders and realtors will get together for our (usually) quarterly lunch to catch up and talk about how we all work together for the benefit our members and the community.  It’s a great way to start the year.

     BankUnited (4265 Tamiami Trail, PC) is the host of the Jan. 25 Business Card Exchange.  Please bring a small gift (adult beverage, box of candy, gift certificate to a Chamber member0, etc.) to promote your business and plenty of business cards to hand out.

     We had a nice crowd at the kick-off party for the Feb. 8 Expo.  Those who couldn’t attend have received a packet of material with all sorts of information, so make sure you open the packet and start working on ways to better promote your business on Expo Day.  Exhibitors can put a promotional item in the “goodie bags” that will be handed out to the first 500 people who come to the Expo.  We’ll also have a grand prize drawing and exhibitors are encouraged to donate a prize for the drawing as a way to get mentioned on the passport, distributed to everyone who attends.  And you don’t want to miss the opportunity to participate in the two DirectConnect programs.  Think of this a “speed dating” and a way to meet more than twenty business people in less than an hour.  There are also posters, envelope stuffers and flyers in the packet and tons of extra copies of each in our Port Charlotte office.  If you’re sending out invoices later this month, include a stuffer so that your customers will attend the Expo and also see what a smart marketer you are.  Please let us know if you have questions about the Expo or if you are interested in one of the nine booth spaces still available.

     The Gulf Coast Partnership, in collaboration with the Charlotte County Chamber and Office of Economic Development, is looking for the names of employers and educational institutions who enrich the lives of low income people in Charlotte County through employment and programs such as work training, internships and apprenticeships.  Nominees will be honored at the 2018 Community Leader Breakfast on February 23.  Please complete three-question nomination at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7XDHN27or email angela.hogan@gulfcoastpartnership.org.

     Hope to see you tomorrow morning!

Business OnLine - January 15, 2018

From the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce


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

Serving all of Charlotte County for more than 92 years


January 15, 2018 

Upcoming Chamber Events:


Wed., Jan.17, 7:15 to 8:30 a.m., Third Wednesday Coffee, Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center.  Program:  Punta Gorda City Manager Howard Kunik Sponsor: Charlotte Memorial Funeral Home, Cemetery and Crematory 

Thurs. Jan. 25. 5 to 7 p.m., Business Card Exchange, BankUnited, 4265 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte. 

General Information


Nine booth spaces are available for thee Expo2018. Put your BUSINESS, your BRAND and your PRODUCTS in the SPOTLIGHT on the “Hottest Business Day In Paradise.” Members sign up with the EXPO2018 Participation Agreement-Dec. 1 offer and for details about booth size, pipe and drape, and about the event print the EXPO 2018 Event Brochure.BW

The Gulf Coast Partnership, in collaboration with the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce and Charlotte County Office of Economic Development, is seeking your input to identify leaders in our community to be honored at the 2018 Community Leader Breakfast on February 23, 2018.  We are looking to identify employers and educational institutions who enrich the lives of low income people in Charlotte County through employment and supported employment programs such as work training, internships and apprenticeships, so they can join the local workforce.  Please take a few moments to complete three-question survey below:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7XDHN27.  If you have any questions or need assistance email angela.hogan@gulfcoastpartnership.org

We are selling tickets to the Share the Love for the Kids Home Tour on Feb. 3 from 10 am to 4 pm.  Stop by ether office and purchase the $25 ticket ($30 at the door).  Sponsored by the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association’s Beyond Ourselves.

This Week's Happenings has posted. Click here for 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 Harbor Event & Conference Center; Charlotte State Bank & Trust; Charlotte Sun/Sun Coast Media Group; Florida SouthWestern State College; Harbor Style Magazine; Integrity Employee Leasing; Monarch Direct; State Insurance Agency - Brian Chapman, Jr.; Strang, Olsen & Lynch, CPAs PA; Tampa Bay Rays/Charlotte Stone Crabs; Waste Management of Charlotte County; Worksite Employee Leasing

·  Diamond: Centennial Bank;  Farr Law Firm; Fawcett Memorial Hospital; Nix & Associates Real Estate; Panther Hollow Dental Lodge; St. Andrews South Golf Club; WhitCo Insurance Agency-Alexia Martin;

·  EmeraldFreedom Boat Club; Friendly Floors; Nolan Family Insurance; Port Charlotte Florist; Sandhill Healing Centers, Inc.; South Port Square; The Wyvern Hotel; Zaxby’s

New Members:


Judy Lynch Photography, 6525 Florida St., PG 33950
Judy Lynch, Ph: 941-457-2646
www.judylynchphotography.com  judy@judylynchphotography.com                


Entrust Payroll Solutions, Inc.
13213 Highland Chase Pl., FM  33913, 5237 Summerlin Commons Blvd., #371, FM  33907
Steve Kowalski, Ph: 239-292-3365
www.entrustpayrollsolutions.com   skowalski@entrustpayroll.com
Sponsor: Paul Versnik, Unity Medical       


LaFiorentina, LLC, 10361 Tamiami Trail, PG 33950
Joe LeClair, Sue Randall, Ph: 941-639-6500
www.thefiorentina.com   info@thefioretina.com

Village Fish Market & Restaurant, 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, PG 33950
Jennifer Evans, Sue Randall, Ph: 941-639-7959
www.village-fish-market.com  admin@village-fish-market.com  

Kari Creekmore, Re/Max Palm Realty, 24001 Peachland Blvd., PC 33954
Ph: 941-301-9131
www.karicreekmore.info
  yoursouthwestfloridarealestate@gmail.com                                             


Ocean Air Conditioning of SW Florida, Inc., 4145 Whidden Blvd., #12, PC 33980-8411
Jack Spielman, 941-625-8900
www.oceanairfl.com   oceanair@ocean4145.net

BNI Southwest Florida, 7282 55th Avenue East, #220, Bradenton  34203
Andrea Stough, www.bniswfl.com andrea@bniswfl.com
Sponsor: Patti Guerzo, Guerzo Business Consulting

Finance of America Mortgage, LLC, 24001 Peachland Blvd., #3, PC 33954
Jacqualine Wolcott, Ph: 863-990-6646
Jwolcotthomeloans.com  jwolcott@financeofamerica.com

Rossini Trattoria Gastronomica, 18101 Murdock Circle, PC 33948
Maurice LoMonaco, Ph: 941-766-6111
www.rossinitrattorias.com  info@rossinitrattoria.com

Chamber Member Events


The 10th Annual Hands Across the Harbor Half Marathon and 5K is on January 27th 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 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:  www.HandsAcrosstheHarbor.org.

The Punta Gorda Airport will be presenting its Master Plan Update on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. in Myakka River Room at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center in Punta Gorda. The public is invited to learn more about upcoming capital improvements proposed over the next 20 years. The draft Master Plan Update and Executive Summary reports are available for review on the airport’s website at  www.flypgd.com/masterplan/.

Edgewater Events LLC invites you to Hops & Horns, a soulful blend of bands and beer on Sat., Feb. 10 from 1 to 8 p.m. at City Marketplace, PG.  Admission is $10 and includes 10 free craft beer or boutique wine samples.  Music by Reverend Barry & the Funk, the Black Honkeys, The Boogiemen and Mama’s Batch.  For information and reservations, please visit www.edgewatereventsllc.com. 

Charlotte County Pride returns on January 20, 2018 at Laishley Park from 12 noon to 6pm. The Pride Fest is featuring Cher impersonator Steven Andrade, Spikey Van Dykey, The Cheaters, Elysian Sex Drive, Alyssa Lemay, Drag Clyo and more. We will be collecting hygiene products for Chaps. No admission, however donations are accepted. Volunteers are needed. Please contact John Lee volunteer@charlottecountypridefl.org. Sponsorships and Vendor opportunities are still available. Please check out The Homeless Coalition Booth for my information on local programs. Contact Alison Barone @ 941-627-4313 ext. 134 or by email @alison.barone@cchomelesscoalition.org for more information.

Mark's Small Business Boot Camp is pleased to announce the re-scheduled "Boot Camp III - The Championship Bout" to be held on Friday, January 19, 2017 from 8:30 to 1:00. Join us for tips and tools to transform how you market your business and attract your ideal client. Because of Hurricane Irma, I am discounting the price from $147 to just $47 for the first 47 people to sign up. To learn all the details, just go to www.marksbootcamp.com and check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/marksbootcamp/.  

Charlotte Players would like to reward the members of the Charlotte County Chamber “Noises Off” opens at the Cultural Center with performances on January 19th, 20th, 21st, 25th and 26th. Director Gary Obeldoble presents a manic menagerie as a cast of itinerant actors attempt to put on a play called “Nothing On.” Tickets are normally $20 for this performance, but if you mention you are a Charlotte County Chamber Member when ordering your tickets, you can get 50% off each ticket! Call now at  941-255-1022 and take advantage of this wonderful offer.

Who doesn't love a good food truck rally?! Awesome trucks headed our way for a day of music, motorsports and food!!!! Destination Powersports March Food Truck Rally  on March 24 from 11-3 pm. There will be a variety of Food Trucks featured, so there will definitely be something for everyone. Local band "The Kollections" will be here for the live entertainment. Bring out the whole family! Food, Raffles, Live Music, and Fun!!  Mark your calendars!!  Join us at Destination Powersports, 1110 Tamiami Trail Punta Gorda.

You are invited To A Gala Art Auction Hosted by Temple Shalom and The Virginia B. Andes Volunteer Community Clinic on Saturday Evening, February 10, 2018 at Kingsway Country Club, 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.  For Tickets or Information, order on line www.templeshalomfl.com or RSVP to:  Jeanette Burke  2481 Cologne Lane, Punta Gorda, FL  33983 or text Carol 941-626-3890

Join Team Punta Gorda for its annual meeting Jan. 30 and hear what developments are in store for the city from two key community leaders, City Manager Howard Kunik and civil engineer Todd Rebol. The meeting will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association, 2001 Shreve Street.  Light refreshments at 6:30.  Program begins at 7. TEAM CEO Nancy Johnson will preside, highlighting the civic organization’s achievements in 2017. She also will introduce Punta Gorda’s new police chief Pamela Davis.

View the Plein Air Exhibit, the Instructor Showcase and All Boxed Up, on display this month at the Visual Arts Center. Come to the Wine & Cheese reception for new exhibits Jan. 18 at 5pm. Spice up your midweek with a Wine & Painting Social, Wednesday nights at 6pm. Sessions start with a glass of wine and end with your very own work of art - fun for groups and date nights! To view the class schedule, visit www.visualartcenter.org. Located across from Fishermen's Village @ 210 Maud St, Punta Gorda. Gallery & Gift Shop Hours: M-F, 9-4 & Sat, 10-2.

Charlotte State Bank & Trust Vice President Christine Hause is holding her free “Do You Know?” seminars this week at the bank’s Murdock office, 1100 Tamiami Trail. Held from 10 to 11:30 a.m., the seminars start on Tuesday with “Do you know who best to care for you and your estate?” followed by “Do you know how interest rate increases will affect your portfolio?” on Wednesday and “Do you know the difference between corporate and individual trustees?” on Thursday. RSVP with Francine Wargo at 941-624-1944 or fwargo@csbtfl.com.

Six time Grammy nominated folk singer John McCutcheon in concert February 10, 2018 - 7:00 pm at the Riverwood Community Center -  4250 Riverwood Drive, Port Charlotte.  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.  Proceeds will primarily be used to benefit children in Charlotte County through scholarships, dictionary program for third grades and prevent drowning programs.

Folk Music Concert February 10, 2018 - 7:00 pm at the Riverwood Community Center -  4250 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 graders 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

Higher Ground Performing Arts will be presenting an Urban Dance Experience!!! A Hip Hop Dance Workshop with 3 hours of non-stop, high energy, dynamic and elevating choreography from HG's Rolando Cabrera, Kathleen Candales and Katrina Candales, will take place Friday, January 26 from 5:30-8:30pm. All Levels. Ages 10 and up. Only $35 for all 3 classes. Single class $15. Observers $10.  Community Life Center, 19048 Edgewater Drive, Port Charlotte. Sponsored by Community Life Center Youth Association. Snacks will be sold. Registration starts @ 4:45pm. To register or for more information visit http://highergroundperformingarts.net/events-tickets

Gator Wilderness Camp Banquet, Thursday, February 22, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM @ The Turner Center, Arcadia. Sponsor a Table of 8 for $350. Short program from our boys and testimonies from campers’ parents. Contact Gator Camp for more details and to reserve a table, 941-639-7722 or gatorcamp@gmail.com

Business and Professional Women of Charlotte County is hosting the 2nd Annual Fashion Show on Saturday January 20, at Visani’s Comedy Club from 12 – 3:00.  Tickets are $35 each and includes lunch, the fashion show, a silent auction and raffle.  Tickets can be purchased at bpwccfl.org, via email bpwccfl@gmail.com or call Holly 941-205-2714. Guest models include Sheriff Bill Prummel and CCSO deputies strutting their stuff.  Last year BPW raised over $6500 and distributed every dime in scholarship funds to women entering college for the first time or returning to post-secondary education.  

A seminar for Nonprofit Administrators & Board Members will be offered by the Charlotte Community Foundation on Thursday, January 25, from 11:30-1:00 at the Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club ~ presented by National Motivational Speaker, Shane Westhoelter.  The topics are: Raising Funds for Nonprofits in Non-Traditional Ways, and What’s Your Why? (Branding).  Cost for the seminar and lunch is $25.  Visit www.thecepc.com to register for this event, pay on-line and make your lunch selection.

Join Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center (CHEC) at this fundraising event which includes a lecture by Dr. Craig Huegel on “The Importance of Native Plants” at Cedar Point Environmental Park, 2300 Placida Road, Englewood from 5 PM to 7 PM on January 23, 2018.  Included in the $12 entrance donation ($8 for Friends of CHEC) is complimentary wine, hors d’oevres, music by Gotfried Creek as well as book signing by Dr. Huegel and a silent auction. For further information and/or reservations, phone 941.475.0769.  Space is limited.

Happy New Year! It’s a great time to make your Valentine’s Day plans & support Crossroads Hope Academy at the same time. Our 3rd Annual Sweetheart Ball is Feb 10 at the Cultural Center in PC. Be sure to get your tickets soon at: www.thesweetheartball.com.

An introductory course in Florida Fishing is being offered at the PGI Civic Association. Topics include fishing techniques, tackle selection, rigging, knot tying, lures, baits, tides, and fishing regulations.  Rods, reels, lures, nets and other fishing equipment will be demonstrated.  The instructor is fishing guide Capt. Ralph Allen. The course is open to the public and is held on Wednesdays from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for six weeks beginning on Wednesday, February 21. The cost is $45 and advance registration is recommended by calling 941-637-1655.

Gilded Grape Winery & Wine Bar, 4069 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte. January 17, Jeannie Smyth, Karaoke, 7 to 10pm; January 19, Steve Widmeyer “One Voice, One Guitar;

January 20, Sandy Forbes, vocalist, 7 to 10pm. The Wine Bar offers a global selection of wines and a variety of beer and craft beers.  Hours are Tues & Thurs 12 noon-6pm, Wednesday, Friday – Saturday 12:00 noon to 10:00pm. Visit www.gildedgrape.com or call 235-9463

The 39th Powder Puff Charity Classic Golf Tournament is on February 16, 17, 18, 2018 at the Port Charlotte Golf Club.  This three-day event, Charlotte County’s largest women’s golf tournament, is recognized as one of the best amateur women’s tournaments in Florida.  All proceeds from our 2018 tournament will be donated to your local Tidewell Hospice.  We need your help with sponsorship, raffle items, goodies for 130 goodie bags and playing.  Contact Stacy Jones, SJones@kays-ponger.com.

The 30th Anniversary CARE Ball is Jan. 27 at the Event Center.   For tickets and information, please call the Center for Rape and Abuse Emergencies at 639-5499 or visit www.501auctions.com/careball2018.

Save the date:  Wed., Jan. 17 Drug Free Punta Gorda Prevention Luncheon, Isles Yacht Club, with nationally acclaimed speaker, Ray Lozano.  Information, please call Monica Babcock, 941-740-4358.

Please join Florida Gulf Coast University at the Charlotte Sports Park on Feb. 20 from 10 am to noon for a program, Building Bridges thru Baseball.  Speakers include: Dr. Martin, President of FGCU (Video); Ken Kavanagh, Director of FGCU Athletics; Dave Tollet, native son of Charlotte County, and current FGCU baseball coach; Mario Leon, captain of the FGCU baseball team; Steve Dionisio, Supt. of Charlotte County Schools and Jared Forma, Manager, Charlotte Sports Park.  There will also be a meet and greet and lunch, provided by Cheney Brothers.

View the Plein Air Exhibit, the Instructor Showcase and All Boxed Up, on display this month at the Visual Arts Center. Spice up your midweek with a Wine & Painting Social, Wednesday nights at 6pm. Sessions start with a glass of wine and end with your very own work of art - fun for groups and date nights! A new season of classes begin the week of Jan. 8th - try painting, drawing, pottery, sculpting, jewelry, and more! To view the class schedule, visit www.visualartcenter.org. Located across from Fishermen's Village @ 210 Maud St, Punta Gorda. Gallery & Gift Shop Hours: M-F, 9-4 & Sat, 10-2.

Bayfront Health announced that the Pantyhose-Free Zone Women’s Expo will be held Saturday, February 3 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Cultural Center. This will be a great day to reconnect during a day of shopping, demonstrations, pampering, makeovers, educational opportunities and giveaways.  Admission is free with over 100 professionals specializing in the areas of fashion and beauty, health and fitness, finance, travel, education, art and more.  If you are interested in showcasing your products and services as a vendor, please call 941-637-2534, or email bevin.gallo@bayfronthealth.com.

The Mid-County Regional Library and the Charlotte County Historical Center present The Girl in the Box: The Barbara Mackle Kidnapping on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 6:00 p.m. in the Mid-County Regional Library. Barbara Mackle, the daughter of Florida land developer Robert Mackle (who helped build Port Charlotte), was kidnapped and held captive inside a box for 83 hours in 1968. Mackle was eventually rescued. This story is told through a series of dramatic monologues with individuals portraying key figures in this kidnapping. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information contact Bill MacDonald at 941-613-3192 or Bill.MacDonald@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.

5K / 10K Trail Run Under the Canopy, Gator Wilderness Camp School, 44930 Farabee Rd, Punta Gorda, Saturday, April 21, 8 AM. Register online by April 19, Https://runsignup.com/Race/FL/PuntaGorda/, GatorWildernessCampTrailRun.

5D Barrel Race Event & Fundraiser, held at Reality Ranch for Gator Wilderness Camp School, April 13-14. To Pre-Register:  Call or Text Faye Mosley 863-304-1049

Join Dancing Moon Travel at AWA Investment Advisors for brunch on Wed., Jan. 17 from 10 a.m. to noon at 21942 Edgewater Dr., Port Charlotte.  The program will feature Holland American & Seabourn Cruise Lines.  Space is limits, so call Pat at 404-735-5774 or pat@dancingmoontravel.com or Jeni Wise at 206-6200. Food, games, prizes!

Dancing with the Charlotte Stars, the most fun fundraiser in Charlotte County, is gearing up for its March 9, 2018, event with 8 local celebrities and four dance studios. Since 2009, 52 celebrities have raised more than $243,000 at this signature event of Arts & Humanities Council of Charlotte County (Charlotte Arts). Proceeds support arts in education grants and other local arts and humanities programming. Go to www.DancingWithTheCharlotteStars.org/ to learn more and vote for your favorite dancer. Join the fun and support the arts and humanities in Charlotte County!

The Phantoms of the Orchestra, a volunteer group which supports the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, is holding its monthly Composer's Luncheon on Thursday, February 1, 2018 from 12:00 noon until 1:00 pm at the Punta Gorda Woman's Club, 118 Sullivan Street, and is open to the public. The luncheon program will feature a presentation about some of the composers who will be on the orchestra’s programs this season followed by a piano performance of related selections. Make your reservation by calling the Symphony Office at 941-205- 5996 by noon on Tuesday, January 30th

Tickets are now on sale for the Golisano Children’s Hospital Pro Tennis Classic, the premiere finale event as part of the two-day Madisen’s Match tennis experience to benefit pediatric and adult cancer patients, featuring some of the world’s top-ranked tennis players. Visit www.madisensmatch.com/ticket-purchase to get your tickets for Southwest Florida’s first-ever indoor tennis event, 6 p.m. Monday, March 19 at Suncoast Credit Union Arena at Florida SouthWestern State College, Fort Myers.

There's always something happening at Fishermen's Village, and shopping hours in January are 10am to 8pm Monday to Saturday and 12 Noon to 6pm Sunday.  Restaurants are open later too!  Click on our January 2018 Calendar for event details.

The Military Heritage Museum will induct Roger E. Tetrault, Capt. (Ret), US Navy Reserve, into the Wall of Warriors on Feb. 28 at Twin issue Yacht Club. Sponsorship opportunities are available by calling 941-769-5319.

Chamber Member News


Big Brothers Big Sisters launched its “100 Men in 100 Days” campaign to encourage men to become a Big Brother and volunteer with the organization. There are 200 boys waiting to be matched with a positive male role model.  We are calling all men to action! Call our toll free number, (855) 501-BIGS, meet your Little Brother and have fun.  They provide one-to-one mentoring relationships to children ages 6-18 years old with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.  For more information visit: www.bbbssun.org.

Join us at F.M. Don’s for Wine Dinner Wednesday.  Three courses, $40.  Reservations required by calling 637-8800.

Fishermen’s Village merchants remind you---Shop Local!  Village merchants are open extended seasonal hours of 10 am-8 pm Mon-Sat and 12 Noon-6 pm Sunday (restaurants stay open later).   There is always something happening at Fishermen’s Village!  Check out on line calendar at www.fishville.com for weekly entertainment and activities!

Know the 10 Signs – Early Detection Matters - Heritage Oaks Assisted Living and Memory Care will be along with the Alzheimer’s Association will be hosting a Lunch N Learn on January 23rd from 11am to 12:30pm at Heritage Oaks – 7374 San Casa Blvd, Englewood. Call Today to RSVP 941-698-2600.

The application process for the Charlotte Community Foundation’s 2018-2019 higher education scholarships will be open January 2, 2018.  High school students and adults beginning or returning to college are eligible for many of the Foundation's more than $112,000 available scholarships. The deadline for all scholarship applications is March 15, 2018. For more information or to submit an application, visit our website or call 941.637.0077.

Along with providing the best and most economical and professional employment and tenancy background screening services available, NRG Background Checks is also a state-authorized provider of personal and business credit reports as required for state, county, and municipal contractor licensing ... as well as for all other Florida occupational and professional licensing requiring credit reports.  (State-authorized digital fingerprinting service is also available.)  Contact Doris Hebert-Ferrigno at NRG Background Checks at 941-488-8500;  800-531-6522;  nrginfo@atlantic.net .  Our 24th year serving Florida employers, landlords, and governmental entities! 

Suncoast Humane Society - Autumn is a lovely 1 yr. old Shepherd Mix. She sports a short tan coat and has a lean, athletic body. She is open to meeting new people. Autumn needs a fenced in yard. She is a very playful dog, a very happy dog except when in the company of other dogs – she absolutely doesn’t like them and must be the solitary pet in the home. But she will give someone all the love & loyalty needed from a canine companion.
http://petango.com/Adopt/Dog-Shepherd-37160858

Save the date:  Pedal and Play in Paradise, March 9 & 10, 2018, A Cycling Celebration in Punta Gorda, pedalandplayinparadise.comTEAM Punta Gorda.

Charlotte County Pride, Inc hosts the annual event Charlotte County Pride Fest at Laishley Park on January 20, 2018. This year the event will host Steven Andrade as Cher, Spikey Van Dykey, the Cheaters, Elysian Sex Drive and others. This event is for the entire family and free, all we ask is a donation at the gate. Chaps will be collecting hygiene products. Bring your chairs, leave your coolers and pets at home and come enjoy the afternoon. Vendor booths will be selling food and more. For more information visit http://www.charlottecountypridefl.org or call 941-204-3505.

Rays spring training at Charlotte Sports Park will begin on Friday, February 23 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The full home schedule is available now at www.raysbaseball.com/spring. Place a deposit now to reserve your priority for the best seating locations. Season tickets start at just $258 and provide access to the best seats at the best prices, and other great benefits. Visit raysbaseball.com/spring or call 888-FAN-RAYS. Single Game Tickets go on sale Friday, January 12 at 10 a.m. at raysbaseball.com/spring, and at the Charlotte Sports Park box office on Saturday, January 13 at 10 a.m.

The Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar is making our venue available on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings to members to Host private meetings and functions, after 5pm week days, Deposit to Hold.   Call Paul Malcolm at 941-235-9463 to discuss. 

New Kids on the Block


The Charlotte County Airport Authority announced that Kaley R. Miller has joined the Punta Gorda Airport as its Marketing & Communications Manager. Kaley will assist the Chief Executive Officer in a variety of airport marketing initiatives, public outreach and communications functions in support of the airport’s master plan.  Kaley has lived in Punta Gorda for nearly 15 years, where she has managed public relations strategies and activities for The Mosaic Company.  Kaley is also a graduate of Leadership Charlotte and has served in leadership roles on various community boards. For more information, visit www.flypgd.com, kmiller@flypgd.com

The Charlotte Harbor and Parkside offices of Charlotte State Bank & Trust have new personal bankers on staff: Janet Moore at Charlotte Harbor and Gabrielle Lambert and Samantha Paolella at Parkside. Janet previously was the Charlotte Harbor head teller, Gabriella was promoted from teller specialist and receptionist, while Samantha returned to the bank after serving as a teller at the Charlotte Harbor office in 2014-15. A personal banker’s primary focus is on customer service, opening and maintaining accounts and providing timely, professional and efficient help and support to all customers.

Kudos


The Charlotte County Airport Authority announced the Punta Gorda Airport passenger count for 2017 was 1,293,337, a 15.65% increase in passenger traffic for 2017 compared with 2016.  For December 2017 the total passenger count had a 19.3% increase from December 2016. The passenger count has continued to increase each year, furthering the airport’s status as an important transportation and economic asset for Charlotte County.  A 2017 economic impact study by Volaire Aviation Consulting estimated that in the Southwest Florida region PGD is responsible for 3,618 full-time jobs with $353.2 million in economic output. 

Bayfront Health Port Charlotte has earned Perinatal Care Certification from The Joint Commission. The certification program recognizes Joint Commission accredited hospitals committed to achieving integrated, coordinated and patient-centered care for mothers and their newborns.

Job Spot


Exit 170 Storage located at 24751 Sandhill Blvd.in Punta Gorda has an opening for part-time office help, 4 hours on Saturday and weekday flexibility.  Must be computer literate, take incoming calls, and relation with tenants. Contact (941) 623-0031 or email  info@exit170-storage.com

Just for fun


A friend of mine had resisted efforts to get him to run with our jogging group until his doctor told him he had to exercise. Soon thereafter, he reluctantly joined us for our 5:30 am jogs on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

After a month of running, we decided that my friend might be hooked, especially when he said he had discovered what “runner’s euphoria” was.

“Runner’s euphoria,” he explained, “is what I feel at 5:30 am on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.”

 

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 9, 2018

     I had so much fun last week, welcoming visitors to the Freeman House (our office in Punt Gorda).  While some were wearing the sweaters they wore on the plane, others were comfortable in their “hawaiian” shirts, shorts and flip flops.  Cold or not, they were warmer than they’d been up north.  It really is fun to talk with guests and get their take on our community.  Guess what, they love it here!

     So, now that we’ve turned off the heat and opened the windows again, it’s time to get focused on business.  Join us tomorrow for Networking at Noon at JD’s Bistro.  They are looking forward to opening the restaurant for lunch and to showcasing the food and facility to our members.  Please call the Port Charlotte office now and make your reservations and select your food choice.  Remember to bring plenty of business cards to hand out.  Next Wednesday is our Third Wednesday Coffee from 7:15 to 8:30 a.m. at the Event Center in Punta Gorda.  Our speaker will be Howard Kunik, Punta Gorda City Manager, and the sponsor is Charlotte Memorial Funeral Home, Cemetery and Crematory.  We’ll also spend time networking and hearing from our new members who get to introduce their business to you.  The Coffee is free and non-members are encouraged to stop by and “kick the tires.”  The Jan. 25 Business Card Exchange will be held at BankUnited.     

     Tomorrow night is a special joint gathering at Murdock Stones Etc., 7621 Sawyer Circle, South Gulf Cove (off Gasparilla Rd., look for the World's Largest Mailbox).  The Englewood Florida Chamber invited us, the North Port Chamber and CDBIA to the mixer that starts at 5 p.m.  Please join us.

     Thursday night is the kick-off party for our Feb. 8 “Hottest Business Day in Paradise” Business Expo.  The evening starts with a 4 p.m. workshop on how to get the most out of the Expo experience at Kingsway Country Club, followed at 5:15 p.m. with introductions of sponsors and exhibitors and refreshments.  Exhibitors can attend the workshop, party or both.  Please call out Port Charlotte office to RSVP.  We still have some booth space available for the Expo, so call and check out how easy it will be to meet more than 1200 potential customers and/or referral sources on Feb. 8.

     As you know, our weekly email newsletter, Business Online, is full of information on places to go and things to do.  Make sure your event is included there and on the Community Calendar on our website.  And, make sure your promotional brochures are in both of our offices.  The aforementioned guests love to walk out with the Community Guide, Business Directory and brochures.  They are looking for places to go and spend their vacation dollars.  Why not in your business? 

Business OnLine - January 8, 2018

From the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce


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

Serving all of Charlotte County for more than 92 years


January 8, 2018

Upcoming Chamber Events:


Wed., Jan. 10, Networking at Noon. JDs Bistro, 19651 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte.  Reservation at www.charlottecountychamber.org or by calling 627-2222

Wed., Jan. 10, 5 to 7 p.m., joint Business Card Exchange with the Englewood Florida Chamber at Murdock Stone, 7621 Sawyer Circle, Port Charlotte, just off Gasparilla Road

Thurs., Jan 11, 5:15 to 6:30 p.m., Expo Exhibitor Party, Kingsway Country Club, 13625 SW Kingsway Circle, Lake Suzy.

Wed., Jan.17, 7:15 to 8:30 a.m., Third Wednesday Coffee, Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center.  Program:  Punta Gorda City Manager Howard Kunik Sponsor: Charlotte Memorial Funeral Home, Cemetery and Crematory

Thurs. Jan. 25. 5 to 7 p.m., Business Card Exchange, BankUnited, 4265 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte.

General Information


The Expo2018 is coming up when over 100 member businesses and organizations will have an exhibitor booth at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center in Punta Gorda. Put your BUSINESS, your BRAND and your PRODUCTS in the SPOTLIGHT on the “Hottest Business Day In Paradise.” Members sign up with the EXPO2018 Participation Agreement-Dec. 1 offer and for details about booth size, pipe and drape, and about the event print the EXPO 2018 Event Brochure.BW

The Gulf Coast Partnership, in collaboration with the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce and Charlotte County Office of Economic Development, is seeking your input to identify leaders in our community to be honored at the 2018 Community Leader Breakfast on February 23, 2018.  We are looking to identify employers and educational institutions who enrich the lives of low income people in Charlotte County through employment and supported employment programs such as work training, internships and apprenticeships, so they can join the local workforce.  Please take a few moments to complete three-question survey below:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7XDHN27.  If you have any questions or need assistance email angela.hogan@gulfcoastpartnership.org

This Week's Happenings has posted. Click here for 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 Harbor Event & Conference Center; Charlotte State Bank & Trust; Charlotte Sun/Sun Coast Media Group; Florida SouthWestern State College; Harbor Style Magazine; Integrity Employee Leasing; Monarch Direct; State Insurance Agency - Brian Chapman, Jr.; Strang, Olsen & Lynch, CPAs PA; Tampa Bay Rays/Charlotte Stone Crabs; Waste Management of Charlotte County; Worksite Employee Leasing

·  Diamond: Centennial Bank;  Farr Law Firm; Fawcett Memorial Hospital; Nix & Associates Real Estate; Panther Hollow Dental Lodge; St. Andrews South Golf Club; WhitCo Insurance Agency-Alexia Martin;

·  EmeraldFreedom Boat Club; Friendly Floors; Nolan Family Insurance; Port Charlotte Florist; Sandhill Healing Centers, Inc.; South Port Square; The Wyvern Hotel; Zaxby’s

New Members:


Edgewater Events, LLC, 3853 Acline Rd., #120, PG 33950
Matt, Nick Nemec, Ph: 941-347-7061     
www.edgewatereventsllc.com   mn@edgewatergrpllc.com
Sponsor: Denise Dull, Integrity Employee Leasing 


Ray Newberry Well Drilling, 2058 NE Diamond K St., Arcadia 34266
Ray Newberry, Ph: 863-494-6548  
Raynewberrywelldrilling87@yahoo.com               

Chamber Member Events


It is with great anticipation that we look forward to celebrating our 39th Powder Puff Charity Classic Golf Tournament, on February 16, 17, 18, 2018 at the Port Charlotte Golf Club.  This three-day event, Charlotte County’s largest women’s golf tournament, is recognized as one of the best amateur women’s tournaments in Florida.  All proceeds from our 2018 tournament will be donated to your local Tidewell Hospice.  We need your help with sponsorship, raffle items, goodies for 130 goodie bags and playing.  Contact Stacy Jones, SJones@kays-ponger.com.

The 30th Anniversary CARE Ball is Jan. 27 at the Event Center.   For tickets and information, please call the Center for Rape and Abuse Emergencies at 639-5499 or visit www.501auctions.com/careball2018.

Business and Professional Women of Charlotte County is hosting the 2nd Annual Fashion Show on Saturday January 20, at Visani’s Comedy Club from 12 – 3:00.  Tickets are $35 each and includes lunch, the fashion show, a silent auction and raffle.  Tickets can be purchased at bpwccfl.org, via email bpwccfl@gmail.com or call Holly 941-205-2714. Guest models include Sheriff Bill Prummel and CCSO deputies strutting their stuff.  Last year BPW raised over $6500 and distributed every dime in scholarship funds to women entering college for the first time or returning to post-secondary education.  

The 10th Annual Hands Across the Harbor Half Marathon and 5K is on January 27th 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 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:  www.HandsAcrosstheHarbor.org.

Mark's Small Business Boot Camp is pleased to announce the re-scheduled "Boot Camp III - The Championship Bout" to be held on Friday, January 19, 2017 from 8:30 to 1:00. Join us for tips and tools to transform how you market your business and attract your ideal client. Because of Hurricane Irma, I am discounting the price from $147 to just $47 for the first 47 people to sign up. To learn all the details, just go to www.marksbootcamp.com and check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/marksbootcamp/.  

Happy New Year! It’s a great time to make your Valentine’s Day plans & support Crossroads Hope Academy at the same time. Our 3rd Annual Sweetheart Ball is Feb 10 at the Cultural Center in PC. Be sure to get your tickets soon at: www.thesweetheartball.com.

Just a reminder that Heron Creek Golf & Country Club has resumed our Signature Sunday Brunch and will run every Sunday through Mother’s Day. Enjoy creating your own omelette, eggs benedict, shrimp cocktail, prime rib, carved ham and much more. Please call for your reservation at 941-240-5100. 

Please join Florida Gulf Coast University at the Charlotte Sports Park on Feb. 20 from 10 am to noon for a program, Building Bridges thru Baseball.  Speakers include: Dr. Martin, President of FGCU (Video); Ken Kavanagh, Director of FGCU Athletics; Dave Tollet, native son of Charlotte County, and current FGCU baseball coach; Mario Leon, captain of the FGCU baseball team; Steve Dionisio, Supt. of Charlotte County Schools and Jared Forma, Manager, Charlotte Sports Park.  There will also be a meet and greet and lunch, provided by Cheney Brothers.

View the Plein Air Exhibit, the Instructor Showcase and All Boxed Up, on display this month at the Visual Arts Center. Spice up your midweek with a Wine & Painting Social, Wednesday nights at 6pm. Sessions start with a glass of wine and end with your very own work of art - fun for groups and date nights! A new season of classes begin the week of Jan. 8th - try painting, drawing, pottery, sculpting, jewelry, and more! To view the class schedule, visit www.visualartcenter.org. Located across from Fishermen's Village @ 210 Maud St, Punta Gorda. Gallery & Gift Shop Hours: M-F, 9-4 & Sat, 10-2.

Bayfront Health announced that the Pantyhose-Free Zone Women’s Expo will be held Saturday, February 3 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Cultural Center. This will be a great day to reconnect during a day of shopping, demonstrations, pampering, makeovers, educational opportunities and giveaways.  Admission is free with over 100 professionals specializing in the areas of fashion and beauty, health and fitness, finance, travel, education, art and more.  If you are interested in showcasing your products and services as a vendor, please call 941-637-2534, or email bevin.gallo@bayfronthealth.com.

Please join us at an Artist Reception, Wednesday January 10th 5:00-6:30 at Mid County Regional Library, 2050 Forrest Nelson Blvd, PC.  The Friends will host the wine & cheese event to honor artist Jill Lindsay who is displaying over 20 beautiful pieces, showing the variety of her artistic talent, she has created.  Info., please contact Dianne Munson  941.639.0760

Port Charlotte SCORE presents the workshop Facebook and Your Business Tuesday January 9th from 11:30 until 1:00 at the Port Charlotte Branch of Busey Bank, 1490 Tamami Trail, Port Charlotte. Barbara Langdon, owner of Market Momentum, helps you create and post content that builds and engages your audience. There is no charge for the event and lunch is provided. Seating is limited, register at portcharlotte.score.org. The Busey Bank Lunch and Learn workshops are presented by Port Charlotte SCORE. For information on future workshops follow SCORE on Twitter at: @charlottecscore.

Folk Music Concert February 10, 2018 - 7:00 pm at the Riverwood Community Center -  4250 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 graders 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.

Charlotte State Bank & Trust Vice President Christine Hause’s free “Do You Know?” seminar series resumes this week at the bank’s North Port office, 4300 Aidan Lane. Held from 10 to 11:30 a.m., the seminars start on Tuesday, with “Do you know who best to care for you and your estate?” followed by “Do you know how interest rate increases will affect your portfolio?” on Wednesday, and “Do you know the difference between corporate and individual trustees?” on Thursday, Contact Francine Wargo at 941-624-1944 or fwargo@csbtfl.com.

The Mid-County Regional Library and the Charlotte County Historical Center present The Girl in the Box: The Barbara Mackle Kidnapping on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 6:00 p.m. in the Mid-County Regional Library. Barbara Mackle, the daughter of Florida land developer Robert Mackle (who helped build Port Charlotte), was kidnapped and held captive inside a box for 83 hours in 1968. Mackle was eventually rescued. This story is told through a series of dramatic monologues with individuals portraying key figures in this kidnapping. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information contact Bill MacDonald at 941-613-3192 or Bill.MacDonald@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.

“Yesterday Beatles Tribute Band” on January 14, 2018, 4:00PM at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center. Sponsored by The Charlotte Chorale, this is a special event, especially and the Chorale will not sing. This is the first time this international acclaimed group has visited this SW Florida region.  This Las Vegas based group will make you feel that it is once again Febuary 9th, 1964, and you are in the audience of the Ed Sullivan Show.  For tickets visit:  www.ticketmaster.com, or call the Event Center:  941-833-5444.

Charlotte County Community Services is hosting a public meeting to gain feedback on our current programs, activities, events and services on Wednesday Jan. 24, 2018 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Port Charlotte Beach Recreation Center. The meeting will encompass the recreation division, including the programs and services. Childcare for ages 4 and older will be provided on site. For information contact Marc Solomon at 941-627-1628 or marc.solomon@CharlotteCountyFL.gov .

Join Dancing Moon Travel at AWA Investment Advisors for brunch on Wed., Jan. 17 from 10 a.m. to noon at 21942 Edgewater Dr., Port Charlotte.  The program will feature Holland American & Seabourn Cruise Lines.  Space is limits, so call Pat at 404-735-5774 or pat@dancingmoontravel.com or Jeni Wise at 206-6200. Food, games, prizes!

Dancing with the Charlotte Stars, the most fun fundraiser in Charlotte County, is gearing up for its March 9, 2018, event with 8 local celebrities and four dance studios. Since 2009, 52 celebrities have raised more than $243,000 at this signature event of Arts & Humanities Council of Charlotte County (Charlotte Arts). Proceeds support arts in education grants and other local arts and humanities programming. Go to www.DancingWithTheCharlotteStars.org/ to learn more and vote for your favorite dancer. Join the fun and support the arts and humanities in Charlotte County!

Gilded Grape Winery & Wine Bar, 4069 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte. January 10, Jeannie Smyth Karaoke, 7 to 10pm;  January 12, Sandy Forbes   Vocalist, 7 to 10pm.  The Wine Bar offers a global selection of wines and a variety of beer and craft beers.  Hours are Tues & Thurs 12 noon-6pm, Wednesday, Friday – Saturday 12:00 noon to 10:00pm. Visit www.gildedgrape.com or call 235-9463

Tickets are now on sale for the Golisano Children’s Hospital Pro Tennis Classic, the premiere finale event as part of the two-day Madisen’s Match tennis experience to benefit pediatric and adult cancer patients, featuring some of the world’s top-ranked tennis players. Visit www.madisensmatch.com/ticket-purchase to get your tickets for Southwest Florida’s first-ever indoor tennis event, 6 p.m. Monday, March 19 at Suncoast Credit Union Arena at Florida SouthWestern State College, Fort Myers.

An introductory course in Florida Fishing is being offered at the PGI Civic Association. Topics include fishing techniques, tackle selection, rigging, knot tying, lures, baits, cast nets, fish identification, tides, and more. Rods, reels, lures, nets and other fishing equipment will be demonstrated.  The instructor is local fishing guide Capt. Ralph Allen.  The course is open to the public on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. beginning on Wednesday January 10. The cost is $45 and advance registration is recommended by calling 941-637-1655.

There's always something happening at Fishermen's Village, and shopping hours in January are 10am to 8pm Monday to Saturday and 12 Noon to 6pm Sunday.  Restaurants are open later too!  Click on our January 2018 Calendar for event details.

Saturday, January 13th 2018 Heron Creek Golf & Country Club will be hosting the NPHS NJROTC Future Defenders of Our Freedom Charity Golf Event. The event will be held at 5301 Heron Creek Blvd, North Port Heron Creek Golf and Country Club.  Sponsorship and other information, contact christopher@heron-creek.com

The Military Heritage Museum will induct Roger E. Tetrault, Capt. (Ret), US Navy Reserve, into the Wall of Warriors on Feb. 28 at Twin issue Yacht Club. Sponsorship opportunities are available by calling 941-769-5319.

Who doesn't love a good food truck rally?! Awesome trucks headed our way for a day of music, motorsports and FOOD!!!!  Destination Powersports March Food Truck Rally on March 24 from 11-3 pm. There will be a variety of Food Trucks featured, so there will definitely be something for everyone. Local band " The Kollections" will be here for the live entertainment. Bring out the whole family! Food, Raffles, Live Music, and FUN!!  Mark your calendars!!  Join us at Destination Powersports, 1110 Tamiami Trail Punta Gorda, FL. 33950.

Chamber Member News


Heritage Oaks Assisted Living and Memory Care will be offering a 2 Year Rate Lock to any new residents who move in by January 15th 2018. Rooms starting at $2,995 a month. Call today to find out more information. Chris Snider at 941-698-2600.

The application process for the Charlotte Community Foundation’s 2018-2019 higher education scholarships will be open January 2, 2018.  High school students and adults beginning or returning to college are eligible for many of the Foundation's more than $112,000 available scholarships. The deadline for all scholarship applications is March 15, 2018. For more information or to submit an application, visit our website or call 941.637.0077.

Save the date:  Pedal and Play in Paradise, March 9 & 10, 2018, A Cycling Celebration in Punta Gorda, pedalandplayinparadise.comTEAM Punta Gorda.

The Charlotte-DeSoto Building Industry Association will present the 2018 SWFL Parade of HomesTM from March 3 through the 11 and area home builders can register now to take part.  Builders and sponsors interested in participation information should contact the CDBIA at (941) 625-0804. The Deadline to enter is January 15.  A reduced entry fee is being offered to builders who enter before November 30.

Are you hiring?  Are you checking backgrounds?  Try our economical and FCRA-compliant Nationwide Criminal Quik-Chek!  *  Verify SSN  *  Verify prior addresses as an identity check and to target records  *  Check state-based criminal conviction records in all 50 states nationwide  *  Check federally-based criminal conviction records in all 94 federal districts nationwide  *  Check sex-offender registries in all 50 states and D.C.  *  Just $38 with same-day service available.   Contact Doris Hebert-Ferrigno at NRG Background Checks.  941-488-8500;  800-531-6522;  nrginfo@atlantic.net .  Our 24th year serving Florida employers, landlords, and governmental entities! 

Murdock Stones Etc. is hosting the monthly Englewood Chamber business card exchange on Wednesday January 10th at 5pm.  At our 7621 Sawyer Circle location in South Gulf Cove. (off Gasparilla Rd... look for the World's Largest Mailbox).  Members of Charlotte County Chamber, North Port Chamber and CDBIA are all invited.  Billiards and Brew is catering.

Save the date:  Wed., Jan. 17 Drug Free Punta Gorda Prevention Luncheon, Isles Yacht Club, with nationally acclaimed speaker, Ray Lozano.  Information, please call Monica Babcock, 941-740-4358.

Charlotte County Pride, Inc hosts the annual event Charlotte County Pride Fest at Laishley Park on January 20, 2018. This year the event will host Steven Andrade as Cher, Spikey Van Dykey, the Cheaters, Elysian Sex Drive and others. This event is for the entire family and free, all we ask is a donation at the gate. Chaps will be collecting hygiene products. Bring your chairs, leave your coolers and pets at home and come enjoy the afternoon. Vendor booths will be selling food and more. For more information visit http://www.charlottecountypridefl.org or call 941-204-3505.

Rays spring training at Charlotte Sports Park will begin on Friday, February 23 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The full home schedule is available now at www.raysbaseball.com/spring. Place a deposit now to reserve your priority for the best seating locations. Season tickets start at just $258 and provide access to the best seats at the best prices, and other great benefits. Visit raysbaseball.com/spring or call 888-FAN-RAYS. Single Game Tickets go on sale Friday, January 12 at 10 a.m. at raysbaseball.com/spring, and at the Charlotte Sports Park box office on Saturday, January 13 at 10 a.m.

The Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar is making our venue available on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings to members to Host private meetings and functions, after 5pm week days, Deposit to Hold.   Call Paul Malcolm at 941-235-9463 to discuss.

Kudos


Samuel A. Kiburz, portfolio manager with the Trust and Investment Management Services division of Charlotte State Bank & Trust, is the new Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 95 in Port Charlotte. An Eagle Scout, Samuel previously served as one of the leaders of Cub Scout Pack 13 in Punta Gorda. Troop 95, one of Charlotte County’s oldest Boy Scout troops, has been sponsored by Temple Shalom for more than 40 years. As Scoutmaster, Samuel works directly with the scouts, providing direction, coaching and support.

Just for fun


 A man wrote an email to a small hotel in a Midwest town he planned to visit on his vacation. He wrote, "I would very much like to bring my dog with me. He is well groomed and very well behaved. Would you be willing to permit me to keep him in my room with me at night?" An immediate reply came from the hotel owner, who said, "I've been operating this hotel for many years. In all that time, I've never had a dog steal towels, bedclothes, silverware or pictures off the walls. I've never had to evict a dog in the middle of the night for being drunk and disorderly. And I've never had a dog run out on a hotel bill. Yes, indeed, your dog is welcome at my hotel. And, if your dog will vouch for you, you're welcome to stay here, too."

 

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 2, 2018

     Happy New Year!  We are ready, set, go for 2018. Winter residents are back, restaurants are busy, traffic has increased and all of that is a great sign for our local economy.  Couple that with the new construction projects on the horizon and we’re confident that Charlotte County is poised for steady growth.  Yea!

     So, let’s check off one of your New Year’s resolutions about getting more active in promoting your business.  Join us on Jan.10 for Networking at Noon at JD’s Bistro.  For those of you who haven’t been to a N@N in a while, let me give you a refresher.  You can place your business card at each seat (bring about 50 cards) or hand them out as you mix and mingle.  Each attendee is asked to stand and give a short infomercial about their business.  I know that some people don’t want to stand up and talk about what they do, so ask the person sitting next to you to introduce your business.  I’ve done that on several occasions.  The goal is to have those 50 plus potential new customer and/or referral sources learn about your business.  It’s a very productive way to spend an hour.

Please visit the Chamber store or call 627-2222 to reserve your space and select your meal.  Seating is limited, so don’t delay.  Our Jan. 17 Third Wednesday Coffee will feature Howard Kunik, Punta Gorda City Manager.  The Coffee sponsor is Charlotte Memorial Funeral Home, Cemetery and Crematory.  The Jan. 25 Business Card Exchange will be held at BankUnited.  The same idea goes for these event, bring plenty of business cards to hand out, speak to new people and grow your business.

     Another great networking opportunity is our Feb. 8 “Hottest Business Day in Paradise” Business Expo.  Our kick off workshop and party is Jan. 11 at Kingsway Country Club.  We start at 4 p.m. with a program on how to get the most out of the Expo experience (which includes attending this), followed by adult beverages, hors d’oeuvres, introductions of sponsors and exhibitors and more.  Exhibitors can attend the workshop, party or both.  Please call out Port Charlotte office to RSVP, or better yet, call and signup to be an exhibitor so you can attend on Jan. 11 and meet more than 1,200 people on Feb. 8.

     If you missed the December Coffee, congratulations to award winners from our 39th Annual Christmas Parade:  Outdoor Republic, Grand Marshal Award, and Charlotte County Tax Collector, President’s Award.  Taking home awards for the best floats were: Charlotte High School Troupe 0922 (first), Good Shepherd Episcopal School (second) and Shelly Johnson Home Team at Keller Williams (third).  Florida Dance Workshop took first place in the Performing Units category, Studio Seven Center for Creative Studies were second and Sandman Book Company took third place.  Clowns for Christ was first in the Decorated Car/Truck category, Peace River Sail & Power Squadron (second) and Trinity Baptist Church was third.

     Ready, set, go!

Business OnLine - January 2, 2018

From the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce


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

Serving all of Charlotte County for more than 92 years


January 2, 2018

Upcoming Chamber Events:


Wed., Jan. 10, Networking at Noon. JDs Bistro, 19651 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte.  Reservation at www.charlottecountychamber.org or by calling 627-2222

Wed., Jan. 10, 5 to 7 p.m., joint Business Card Exchange with the Englewood Florida Chamber at Murdock Stone, 7621 Sawyer Circle, Port Charlotte, just off Gasparilla Road

Thurs., Jan 11, 5:15 to 6:30 p.m., Expo Exhibitor Party, Kingsway Country Club, 13625 SW Kingsway Circle, Lake Suzy.

Wed., Jan.17, 7:15 to 8:30 a.m., Third Wednesday Coffee, Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center.  Program:  Punta Gorda City Manager Howard Kunik Sponsor: Charlotte Memorial Funeral Home, Cemetery and Crematory

Thurs. Jan. 25. 5 to 7 p.m., Business Card Exchange, BankUnited, 4265 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte.

General Information


The Expo2018 is coming up when over 100 member businesses and organizations will have an exhibitor booth at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center in Punta Gorda. Put your BUSINESS, your BRAND and your PRODUCTS in the SPOTLIGHT on the “Hottest Business Day In Paradise.” Members sign up with the EXPO2018 Participation Agreement-Dec. 1 offer and for details about booth size, pipe and drape, and about the event print the EXPO 2018 Event Brochure.BW

The Charlotte County School Board has voted to place a referendum on the November  2018 ballot. The proposed referendum would increase Charlotte County's property tax millage by one mill or $1 for every $1,000 of the assessed property value to provide additional dollars for Charlotte County Public Schools. For example, a home valued at $150,000 with a $25,000 homestead exemption would pay an additional $125 per year.  The following survey is intended to get a more in depth understanding of our community’s level of support for the referendum. We appreciate your time in completing this and value your feedback. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BDMX9TD

The Gulf Coast Partnership, in collaboration with the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce and Charlotte County Office of Economic Development, is seeking your input to identify leaders in our community to be honored at the 2018 Community Leader Breakfast on February 23, 2018.  We are looking to identify employers and educational institutions who enrich the lives of low income people in Charlotte County through employment and supported employment programs such as work training, internships and apprenticeships, so they can join the local workforce.  Please take a few moments to complete three-question survey below:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7XDHN27.  If you have any questions or need assistance email angela.hogan@gulfcoastpartnership.org

The 39th Annual Christmas Parade can been seen on CCTV, channel 20, on 1 /3/18 = 8:00 pm; 1/5/18 = 12:00 pm; 1/6 = 10:00 AM & 6:00 pm and 1/7/18 = 9:00 AM, 5:00 pm 8:00 pm.

This Week's Happenings has posted. Click here for 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 Harbor Event & Conference Center; Charlotte State Bank & Trust; Charlotte Sun/Sun Coast Media Group; Florida SouthWestern State College; Harbor Style Magazine; Integrity Employee Leasing; Monarch Direct; State Insurance Agency - Brian Chapman, Jr.; Strang, Olsen & Lynch, CPAs PA; Tampa Bay Rays/Charlotte Stone Crabs; Waste Management of Charlotte County; Worksite Employee Leasing

·  Diamond: Centennial Bank;  Farr Law Firm; Fawcett Memorial Hospital; Nix & Associates Real Estate; Panther Hollow Dental Lodge; St. Andrews South Golf Club; WhitCo Insurance Agency-Alexia Martin;

·  EmeraldFreedom Boat Club; Friendly Floors; Nolan Family Insurance; Port Charlotte Florist; Sandhill Healing Centers, Inc.; South Port Square; The Wyvern Hotel; Zaxby’s

Ribbon Cuttings/Ground Breakings (to which all members are invited):


Thurs., Jan. 4, 5:30 p.m., The Mortgage Firm, 308 Sullivan St., Punta Gorda

New Members:


Anytime Fitness Punta Gorda, 3941 Tamiami Trail, PG 33950
Scott Karo, Riannan Peterson, Ph: 941-347-8540
www.anytimefitness.com   puntagordafl@anytimefitness.com                                          
Sponsor: Jim Cull, Freedom Boat Club

FIN Sushi, 24123 Peachland Blvd., PC 33954 – opening 3/2018
Rong Chen, Ph: 941-868-1951
www.finsushifl.com   Alinechen88@gmail.com


Partners Imaging of Port Charlotte, 4161 Tamiami Trail, #204, PC 33952
Afton Patterson, Ph: 941-255-5151          
www.portcharlottemedical.com  afton@portcharlottemedical.com
Sponsor: GrandCare Plus                                                    

Omni Office Suites, 4055 Tamiami Trail, PC 33952
Usha Nandigam, M.D., Ph: 941-627-9755
Lois4055@gmail.com
Sponsor: Kathy Robinson, Centennial Bank                             

Chamber Member Events


The 10th Annual Hands Across the Harbor Half Marathon and 5K is on January 27th 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 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:  www.HandsAcrosstheHarbor.org.

Mark's Small Business Boot Camp is pleased to announce the re-scheduled "Boot Camp III - The Championship Bout" to be held on Friday, January 19, 2017 from 8:30 to 1:00. Join us for tips and tools to transform how you market your business and attract your ideal client. Because of Hurricane Irma, I am discounting the price from $147 to just $47 for the first 47 people to sign up. To learn all the details, just go to www.marksbootcamp.com and check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/marksbootcamp/.  

“Yesterday Beatles Tribute Band” on January 14, 2018, 4:00PM at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center. Sponsored by The Charlotte Chorale, this is a special event, especially and the Chorale will not sing. This is the first time this international acclaimed group has visited this SW Florida region.  This Las Vegas based group will make you feel that it is once again Febuary 9th, 1964, and you are in the audience of the Ed Sullivan Show.  For tickets visit:  www.ticketmaster.com, or call the Event Center:  941-833-5444.

Join Dancing Moon Travel at AWA Investment Advisors for brunch on Wed., Jan. 17 from 10 a.m. to noon at 21942 Edgewater Dr., Port Charlotte.  The program will feature Holland American & Seabourn Cruise Lines.  Space is limits, so call Pat at 404-735-5774 or pat@dancingmoontravel.com or Jeni Wise at 206-6200. Food, games, prizes!

It is with great anticipation that we look forward to celebrating our 39th Powder Puff Charity Classic Golf Tournament, on February 16, 17, 18, 2018 at the Port Charlotte Golf Club.  This three-day event, Charlotte County’s largest women’s golf tournament, is recognized as one of the best amateur women’s tournaments in Florida.  All proceeds from our 2018 tournament will be donated to your local Tidewell Hospice.  We need your help with sponsorship, raffle items, goodies for 130 goodie bags and playing.  Contact Stacy Jones, SJones@kays-ponger.com.

The workshop Facebook and Your Business will be held Tuesday January 9th from 11:30 until 1:00 at the Port Charlotte Branch of Busey Bank, 1490 Tamami Trail, Port Charlotte. Barbara Langdon, owner of Market Momentum, helps create and post content that builds engagement with your audience. There is no charge for the event and lunch is provided. Seating is limited, register for the workshop at portcharlotte.score.org. The Busey Bank Lunch and Learn workshops are presented by Port Charlotte SCORE. For information on future workshops follow SCORE on Twitter at: @charlottecscore.

Spend the evening with a group of mobsters, a beautiful girl and a naïve playwright for a laugh-filled 90 minutes at the Charlotte Players’ Langdon Playhouse. Breaking Legs opens on Friday, January 5th for the first of ten performances at the black box theater located at 1182 Market Street, Port Charlotte, from January 5th – January 14th. Evening shows start at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinees on January 7th, 13th, and 14th at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults and $9 for students, and may be ordered at www.charlotteplayers.org or call 941-625-4175 Ext 220.

The 30th Anniversary CARE Ball is Jan. 27 at the Event Center.   For tickets and information, please call the Center for Rape and Abuse Emergencies at 639-5499 or visit www.501auctions.com/careball2018.

The Gulf Coast Partnership is seeking volunteers for the 2018 Point in Time Count, the annual count of homeless people in Charlotte County.  Training is Jan. 3 from 9 am to noon at the Charlotte County Community Foundation and the Count Day is Jan 25 from 6 am to 10 am.  All teams will be escorted by local law enforcement.  For more information, please contact Gaither Stephens at gaither.stephens@gulfcoastpartnership.org or 941-626-0220 x3.

Charlotte State Bank & Trust Vice President Christine Hause’s free “Do You Know?” seminar series resumes next week at the bank’s North Port office, 4300 Aidan Lane. Held from 10 to 11:30 a.m., the seminars start on Tuesday, Jan. 9, with “Do you know who best to care for you and your estate?” followed by “Do you know how interest rate increases will affect your portfolio?” on Wednesday, Jan. 10, and “Do you know the difference between corporate and individual trustees?” on Thursday, Jan. 11. Contact Francine Wargo at 941-624-1944 or fwargo@csbtfl.com.

ChoirPlay: Mondays, January 8 through February 26, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., PGI Civic Association, 2001 Shreve Street.  Instructor Cahal Dunne is an internationally recognized singer, composer, pianist, comedian, story teller and television personality. If you like to sing and can carry a tune, please join us for this pop, rock, gospel and country choir concept in a fun, relaxed social setting. You don't have to read music and no auditions. End of session concert March 4 at 2 p.m. $80 includes practice CD’s and sheet music. Call the PGICA at 941-637-1655 to register.

Charlotte County Community Services is hosting a public meeting to gain feedback on our current programs, activities, events and services on Wednesday Jan. 24, 2018 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Port Charlotte Beach Recreation Center. The meeting will encompass the recreation division, including the programs and services. Childcare for ages 4 and older will be provided on site. For information contact Marc Solomon at 941-627-1628 or marc.solomon@CharlotteCountyFL.gov .

John McCuthcheon, six time Grammy nominee and master folk singer/storyteller in concert February 10, 2018 - 7:00 pm at the Riverwood Community Center -  4250 Riverwood Drive, Port Charlotte.  The concert presented by The Murdock Rotary Club (a 501c3 organization) is a fundraising effort.  Proceeds will primarily be used to benefit children in Charlotte County through scholarships, dictionary program for third graders and prevent drowning programs. Reserved seating $35, general seating $25.  A cash bar will be available.  For tickets call 941-624-2353 or email to: think-rotary@powers-pi.com or halliepowers@msn.com   https://murdockrotary.org/fundraiser/

Start The New Year Right!!! Latin dance blended with modern, jazz, hip hop and contemporary styles. This class will take you through exercises that strengthen technique, musicality, stamina and flexibility while breaking down the intricacies of Latin dance rhythms. You will work on presence and power!! 4 week Dance Session. Class will meet every Thursday from 6:30-7:30PM. $40. @ Higher Ground Performing Arts. (Community Life Center, 19048 Edgewater Drive * Unit F * Port Charlotte. 1st Class Thursday, January 4th. For more info or to sign up visit www.highergroundperformingarts.net

Dancing with the Charlotte Stars, the most fun fundraiser in Charlotte County, is gearing up for its March 9, 2018, event with 8 local celebrities and four dance studios. Since 2009, 52 celebrities have raised more than $243,000 at this signature event of Arts & Humanities Council of Charlotte County (Charlotte Arts). Proceeds support arts in education grants and other local arts and humanities programming. Go to www.DancingWithTheCharlotteStars.org/ to learn more and vote for your favorite dancer. Join the fun and support the arts and humanities in Charlotte County!

Join the Charlotte County Community Services Department, Ingman Marine and Captain Ted’s Tackle to learn the “tricks of the trade” when fishing our local waters. The program is scheduled Wednesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. at Port Charlotte Beach Recreation Center, 4500 Harbor Blvd. Each session features a different species: Jan. 3 - Targeting Redfish with Captain Justin Cauffman, Jan. 17 - Fishing for Tarpon with Captain Jay Withers. Jan. 31 - Fishing for Snook with Captain David Hutcherson. For more information or to reserve your space, contact Marc Solomon, at 941-627-1628, ext. 103 or marc.solomon@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.

Gilded Grape Winery & Wine Bar, 4069 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte.  The Wine Bar offers a global selection of wines and a variety of beer and craft beers.  Hours are Tues & Thurs 12 noon-6pm, Wednesday, Friday – Saturday 12:00 noon to 10:00pm. Visit www.gildedgrape.com or call 235-9463 entertainment this week:  January 3, Jeannie Smyth, Karaoke, 7 to 10pm; January 5, Steve Widmeyer; January 6, Sandy Forbes,Vocalist , 7 to 10pm.


Tickets are now on sale for the Golisano Children’s Hospital Pro Tennis Classic, the premiere finale event as part of the two-day Madisen’s Match tennis experience to benefit pediatric and adult cancer patients, featuring some of the world’s top-ranked tennis players. Visit www.madisensmatch.com/ticket-purchase to get your tickets for Southwest Florida’s first-ever indoor tennis event, 6 p.m. Monday, March 19 at Suncoast Credit Union Arena at Florida SouthWestern State College, Fort Myers.

An introductory course in Florida Fishing is being offered at the PGI Civic Association. Topics include fishing techniques, tackle selection, rigging, knot tying, lures, baits, cast nets, fish identification, tides, and more. Rods, reels, lures, nets and other fishing equipment will be demonstrated.  The instructor is local fishing guide Capt. Ralph Allen.  The course is open to the public on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. beginning on Wednesday January 10. The cost is $45 and advance registration is recommended by calling 941-637-1655.

Tringali Park will be hosting a New Year’s Community Open House on Saturday Jan. 6 from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. and features a variety of free activities including a Bounce House, a 30-foot Rock Climbing Wall, balloon animals and more.  Participate in free sports clinics or enter free raffle drawings. For information contact Jill Taylor at 941-681-3742 or Jill.Taylor@CharlotteCountyFL.gov

There's always something happening at Fishermen's Village, and shopping hours in January are 10am to 8pm Monday to Saturday and 12 Noon to 6pm Sunday.  Restaurants are open later too!  Click on our January 2018 Calendar for event details.

Saturday, January 13th 2018 Heron Creek Golf & Country Club will be hosting the NPHS NJROTC Future Defenders of Our Freedom Charity Golf Event. The event will be held at 5301 Heron Creek Blvd, North Port Heron Creek Golf and Country Club.  Sponsorship and other information, contact christopher@heron-creek.com

The Military Heritage Museum will induct Roger E. Tetrault, Capt. (Ret), US Navy Reserve, into the Wall of Warriors on Feb. 28 at Twin issue Yacht Club. Sponsorship opportunities are available by calling 941-769-5319.

Bayfront Health announced that the Pantyhose-Free Zone Women’s Expo will be held Saturday, February 3 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Cultural Center. This will be a great day to reconnect during a day of shopping, demonstrations, pampering, makeovers, educational opportunities and giveaways.  Admission is free with over 100 professionals specializing in the areas of fashion and beauty, health and fitness, finance, travel, education, art and more.  If you are interested in showcasing your products and services as a vendor, please call 941-637-2534, or email bevin.gallo@bayfronthealth.com

Chamber Member News


Heritage Oaks Assisted Living and Memory Care will be offering a 2 Year Rate Lock to any new residents who move in by January 15th 2018. Rooms starting at $2,995 a month. Call today to find out more information. Chris Snider at 941-698-2600.

The application process for the Charlotte Community Foundation’s 2018-2019 higher education scholarships will be open January 2, 2018.  High school students and adults beginning or returning to college are eligible for many of the Foundation's more than $112,000 available scholarships. The deadline for all scholarship applications is March 15, 2018. For more information or to submit an application, visit our website or call 941.637.0077.

Save the date:  Pedal and Play in Paradise, March 9 & 10, 2018, A Cycling Celebration in Punta Gorda, pedalandplayinparadise.comTEAM Punta Gorda.

The Charlotte-DeSoto Building Industry Association will present the 2018 SWFL Parade of HomesTM from March 3 through the 11 and area home builders can register now to take part.  Builders and sponsors interested in participation information should contact the CDBIA at (941) 625-0804. The Deadline to enter is January 15.  A reduced entry fee is being offered to builders who enter before November 30.

Suncoast Humane Society - Meet Fabian, a 5 year old Domestic Shorthair with a sleek black coat and golden eyes. Fabian received an injury to his ear but tells us that he can't remember how it happened. He is litter boxed trained and has always been an inside cat. Fabian is not very fond of other cats however he does like dogs. People and children make him happy and we think he would make a great addition to your family.  http://www.petango.com/Adopt/Cat-Domestic-Shorthair-36715259

Murdock Stones Etc. is hosting the monthly Englewood Chamber business card exchange on Wednesday January 10th at 5pm.  At our 7621 Sawyer Circle location in South Gulf Cove. (off Gasparilla Rd... look for the World's Largest Mailbox).  Members of Charlotte County Chamber, North Port Chamber and CDBIA are all invited.  Billiards and Brew is catering.

Save the date:  Wed., Jan. 17 Drug Free Punta Gorda Prevention Luncheon, Isles Yacht Club, with nationally acclaimed speaker, Ray Lozano.  Information, please call Monica Babcock, 941-740-4358.

Charlotte County Pride, Inc hosts the annual event Charlotte County Pride Fest at Laishley Park on January 20, 2018. This year the event will host Steven Andrade as Cher, Spikey Van Dykey, the Cheaters, Elysian Sex Drive and others. This event is for the entire family and free, all we ask is a donation at the gate. Chaps will be collecting hygiene products. Bring your chairs, leave your coolers and pets at home and come enjoy the afternoon. Vendor booths will be selling food and more. For more information visit http://www.charlottecountypridefl.org or call 941-204-3505.

Rays spring training at Charlotte Sports Park will begin on Friday, February 23 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The full home schedule is available now at www.raysbaseball.com/spring. Place a deposit now to reserve your priority for the best seating locations. Season tickets start at just $258 and provide access to the best seats at the best prices, and other great benefits. Visit raysbaseball.com/spring or call 888-FAN-RAYS. Single Game Tickets go on sale Friday, January 12 at 10 a.m. at raysbaseball.com/spring, and at the Charlotte Sports Park box office on Saturday, January 13 at 10 a.m.

The Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar is making our venue available on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings to members to Host private meetings and functions, after 5pm week days, Deposit to Hold.   Call Paul Malcolm at 941-235-9463 to discuss.

Kudos


The Charlotte County Airport Authority announced the total passenger count for the twelve months ending Nov. 30, 2017 is 1,368,754. The Punta Gorda Airport passenger count for November 2017 was 110,097. This is a 14.46 percent increase in passenger traffic from November 2016, when there were 96,188 passengers. For more information, visit www.flypgd.com.

Just for fun


A Post Holiday Poem - Ode To The New Year


'Twas the month after Christmas, and all through the house nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.
The cookies I'd nibbled, the eggnog I'd taste at the holiday parties had gone to my waist.

When I got on the scales there arose such a number!
When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber).
I'd remember the marvelous meals I'd prepared; the gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared,

The wine and the rum balls, the bread and the cheese.
And the way I'd never said, 'No thank you, please.'
As I dressed myself in my husband's old shirt and prepared once again to do battle with dirt.

I said to myself, as I only can
'You can't spend a winter disguised as a man!'
So - away with the last of the sour cream dip, get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip

Every last bit of food that I like must be banished till all the additional ounces have vanished.
I won't have a cookie - not even a lick.
I'll want only to chew on a long celery stick.

I won't have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie, I'll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.
I'm hungry, I'm lonesome, and life is a bore.
But isn't that what January is for?

Unable to giggle, no longer a riot.
*Happy New Year*/ to all, and to all a good diet!

 

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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Business OnLine - December 27, 2017

From the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce


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

Serving all of Charlotte County for more than 92 years


December 27, 2017 

Upcoming Chamber Events:


Wed., Jan. 10, Networking at Noon. JDs Bistro, 19651 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte.  Reservation at www.charlottecountychamber.org or by calling 627-2222.

Wed., Jan.17, 7:15 to 8:30 a.m., Third Wednesday Coffee, Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center.  Program:  Punta Gorda City Manager Howard Kunik Sponsor: Charlotte Memorial Funeral Home, Cemetery and Crematory 

Thurs., Jan 11, 5:15 to 6:30 p.m., Expo Exhibitor Party, Kingsway Country Club, 13625 SW Kingsway Circle, Lake Suzy.

Thurs. Jan. 25. 5 to 7 p.m., Business Card Exchange, BankUnited, 4265 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte. 

General Information


The Expo2018 is coming up when over 100 member businesses and organizations will have an exhibitor booth at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center in Punta Gorda. Put your BUSINESS, your BRAND and your PRODUCTS in the SPOTLIGHT on the “Hottest Business Day In Paradise.” Members sign up with the EXPO2018 Participation Agreement-Dec. 1 offer and for details about booth size, pipe and drape, and about the event print the EXPO 2018 Event Brochure.BW

The Charlotte County School Board has voted to place a referendum on the November  2018 ballot. The proposed referendum would increase Charlotte County's property tax millage by one mill or $1 for every $1,000 of the assessed property value to provide additional dollars for Charlotte County Public Schools. For example, a home valued at $150,000 with a $25,000 homestead exemption would pay an additional $125 per year.
The following survey is intended to get a more in depth understanding of our community’s level of support for the referendum. We appreciate you time in completing this and value your feedback. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BDMX9TD

The Gulf Coast Partnership, in collaboration with the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce and Charlotte County Office of Economic Development, is seeking your input to identify leaders in our community to be honored at the 2018 Community Leader Breakfast on February 23, 2018.  We are looking to identify employers and educational institutions who enrich the lives of low income people in Charlotte County through employment and supported employment programs such as work training, internships and apprenticeships, so they can join the local workforce.  Please take a few moments to complete three-question survey below:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7XDHN27
If you have any questions or need assistance email angela.hogan@gulfcoastpartnership.org

The 39th Annual Christmas Parade will air on Parade on CCTV (channel 20) today at 12:00 PM; 12/28 , 8:00 PM; 12/30 = 12:00 PM & 5:00 PM and 12/31 = 9:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 5:00 PM & 8:00 PM .

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 Harbor Event & Conference Center; Charlotte State Bank & Trust; Charlotte Sun/Sun Coast Media Group; Florida SouthWestern State College; Harbor Style Magazine; Integrity Employee Leasing; Monarch Direct; State Insurance Agency - Brian Chapman, Jr.; Strang, Olsen & Lynch, CPAs PA; Tampa Bay Rays/Charlotte Stone Crabs; Waste Management of Charlotte County; Worksite Employee Leasing

·  Diamond: Centennial Bank;  Farr Law Firm; Fawcett Memorial Hospital; Nix & Associates Real Estate; Panther Hollow Dental Lodge; St. Andrews South Golf Club; WhitCo Insurance Agency-Alexia Martin;

·  EmeraldFreedom Boat Club; Friendly Floors; Nolan Family Insurance; Port Charlotte Florist; Sandhill Healing Centers, Inc.; South Port Square; The Wyvern Hotel; Zaxby’s

Ribbon Cuttings/Ground Breakings (to which all members are invited):


Thurs., Jan. 4, 5:30 p.m., The Mortgage Firm, 308 Sullivan St., Punta Gorda

Chamber Member Events


I Love The 90's Tour is coming to City Marketplace in Punta Gorda, featuring legendary Salt N Pepa, Rapper Tone Loc, Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock, and C&C Music Factory.  With a combined 7 Grammy Nominations, 6 MTV Video Music Awards, 9 time Platinum records, 8 American Music Awards, 5 Billboard Awards and more, you will witness a stage show unlike any other, including the full arena production show.  Don’t Miss this New Year’s Eve Eve party December 30th. Doors open at 6 pm, so get there early. Get your limited tickets at www.EdgewaterEventsLLC.com

The 30th Anniversary CARE Ball is Jan. 27 at the Event Center.   For tickets and information, please call the Center for Rape and Abuse Emergencies at 639-5499 or visit www.501auctions.com/careball2018.

John McCuthcheon, six time Grammy nominee and master folk singer/storyteller in concert February 10, 2018 - 7:00 pm at the Riverwood Community Center -  4250 Riverwood Drive, Port Charlotte.  The concert presented by The Murdock Rotary Club (a 501c3 organization) is a fundraising effort.  Proceeds will primarily be used to benefit children in Charlotte County through scholarships, dictionary program for third graders and prevent drowning programs. Reserved seating $35, general seating $25.  A cash bar will be available.  For tickets call 941-624-2353 or email to: think-rotary@powers-pi.com or halliepowers@msn.com   https://murdockrotary.org/fundraiser/

Nav-A-Gator Happenings – Live music, December 30, Yard Dog Charlie 2-5pm; December 31, Eric Stone & Eric Ellis; January 5, Rudy Cox 6-9pm; January 6, Paul Roush 2-5pm. Cover charge canned goods and nonperishable food items that are donated to a local food bank.  Our docks have been completely rebuilt with 40 slips, ready for boats up to 30ft. Fall savings for sailboats owners is currently available. Dock slips include water, electric, conveniently located near the slips, and trailer storage.  Nav-A-Gator 9700 SW Riverview Cir, Lake Suzy, FL. Call 941-627-3474 for more information.

New Year’s Eve in Southwest Florida is one of the best places in the world to be for ringing in the upcoming year. Join us for singing, music and fun. We promise to have you home and in your pajamas before the ball drops at midnight. The Artistic and Musical Director is Bernard Boyles. Charlotte Players New Year’s Eve at 7:30 PM on December 21st 2017 at The Cultural Center Theatre 2280 Aaron St, Port Charlotte. $20 Reserved Seats. For tickets, call 625-4175 Ext 220 or purchase tickets on at www.charlotteplayers.org

Start The New Year Right!!! Latin dance blended with modern, jazz, hip hop and contemporary styles. This class will take you through exercises that strengthen technique, musicality, stamina and flexibility while breaking down the intricacies of Latin dance rhythms. You will work on presence and power!! 4 week Dance Session. Class will meet every Thursday from 6:30-7:30PM. $40. @ Higher Ground Performing Arts. (Community Life Center, 19048 Edgewater Drive * Unit F * Port Charlotte. 1st Class Thursday, January 4th. For more info or to sign up visit www.highergroundperformingarts.net

Dancing with the Charlotte Stars, the most fun fundraiser in Charlotte County, is gearing up for its March 9, 2018, event with 8 local celebrities and four dance studios. Since 2009, 52 celebrities have raised more than $243,000 at this signature event of Arts & Humanities Council of Charlotte County (Charlotte Arts). Proceeds support arts in education grants and other local arts and humanities programming. Go to www.DancingWithTheCharlotteStars.org/ to learn more and vote for your favorite dancer. Join the fun and support the arts and humanities in Charlotte County!

The Phantoms of the Orchestra, a volunteer group which supports the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, is holding its monthly Composer's Luncheon on Thursday, January 4, 2018 from 12:00 noon until 1:00 pm.  The luncheon will be held at the Punta Gorda Woman's Club, 118 Sullivan Street, and is open to the public. Guests are welcome. The luncheon program will feature a presentation about some of the composers who will be on the orchestra’s programs this season Please make your reservation by calling at 941-205-5996 by noon on Tuesday, January 2nd.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve at F.M. Don’s, three courses - $55 per person.  Live music, champagne toast, party favors, ball drop on TVs.  Reservations required at 637-8800.

Mark's Small Business Boot Camp is pleased to announce the re-scheduled "Boot Camp III - The Championship Bout" to be held on Friday, January 19, 2017 from 8:30 to 1:00. Join us for tips and tools to transform how you market your business and attract your ideal client. Because of Hurricane Irma, I am discounting the price from $147 to just $47 for the first 47 people to sign up. To learn all the details, just go to www.marksbootcamp.com and check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/marksbootcamp/.  

The Gulf Coast Partnership is seeking volunteers for the 2018 Point in Time Count, the annual count of homeless people in Charlotte County.  Training is Jan. 3 from 9 am to noon at the Charlotte County Community Foundation and the Count Day is Jan 25 from 6 am to 10 am.  All teams will be escorted by local law enforcement.  For more information, please contact Gaither Stephens at gaither.stephens@gulfcoastpartnership.org or 941-626-0220 x3.

Join Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center (CHEC) at this fundraising event which includes a lecture by Dr. Craig Huegel on “The Importance of Native Plants” at Cedar Point Environmental Park, 2300 Placida Road, Englewood from 5 PM to 7 PM on January 23, 2018.  Included in the $12 entrance donation ($8 for Friends of CHEC) is complimentary wine, hors d’oeuvres, music by Gotfried Creek as well as book signing by Dr. Huegel and a silent auction,  For further information and/or reservations, phone 941.475.0769.  Space is limited.

The Visual Arts Center is closed Dec. 24 – Jan. 2. Come to the Open House January 4th - 6th. Learn about classes that begin the week of Jan. 8th. Enjoy art demonstrations and refreshments. Sign up for classes, workshops, wine and painting socials and more! Be there Jan. 4, 1 - 7pm, Jan. 5, 9am - 4pm or Jan. 6, 9am – Noon. For more info visit www.visualartcenter.org. Located across from Fishermen's Village @ 210 Maud St, Punta Gorda. Gallery & Gift Shop Hours: M-F, 9-4 & Sat, 10-2.

Join the Charlotte County Community Services Department, Ingman Marine and Captain Ted’s Tackle to learn the “tricks of the trade” when fishing our local waters. The program is scheduled Wednesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. at Port Charlotte Beach Recreation Center, 4500 Harbor Blvd. Each session features a different species: Jan. 3 - Targeting Redfish with Captain Justin Cauffman, Jan. 17 - Fishing for Tarpon with Captain Jay Withers. Jan. 31 - Fishing for Snook with Captain David Hutcherson. For more information or to reserve your space, contact Marc Solomon, at 941-627-1628, ext. 103 or marc.solomon@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.

Gilded Grape Winery & Wine Bar, 4069 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte events.  December 27:   Jeannie Smyth, 7 – 10pm; December 29:   Steve Widmeyer; 7 to 10pm; December 30:  Jeannie Smyth– “Jazz & Blues Lady”,  7 to 10pm The Wine Bar offers a global selection of wines and a variety of beer and craft beers.  Hours are Tues & Thurs 12 noon-6pm, Wednesday, Friday – Saturday 12:00 noon to 10:00pm. Visit www.gildedgrape.com or call 235-9463

Nav-A-Gator Happenings: Reopen Dec 26, 11am.  Our their docks have been completely rebuilt with 40 slips, ready for boats up to 30ft. Fall savings for sailboat owners. Dock slips include water, electric, conveniently located near the slips, and trailer storage.  Nav-A-Gator 9700 SW Riverview Cir, Lake Suzy. Call 941-627-3474 for more information.

Tickets are now on sale for the Golisano Children’s Hospital Pro Tennis Classic, the premiere finale event as part of the two-day Madisen’s Match tennis experience to benefit pediatric and adult cancer patients, featuring some of the world’s top-ranked tennis players. Visit www.madisensmatch.com/ticket-purchase to get your tickets for Southwest Florida’s first-ever indoor tennis event, 6 p.m. Monday, March 19 at Suncoast Credit Union Arena at Florida SouthWestern State College, Fort Myers.

An introductory course in Florida Fishing is being offered at the PGI Civic Association. Topics include fishing techniques, tackle selection, rigging, knot tying, lures, baits, cast nets, fish identification, tides, and more. Rods, reels, lures, nets and other fishing equipment will be demonstrated.  The instructor is local fishing guide Capt. Ralph Allen.  The course is open to the public on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. beginning on Wednesday January 10. The cost is $45 and advance registration is recommended by calling 941-637-1655.

Tringali Park will be hosting a New Year’s Community Open House on Saturday Jan. 6 from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. and features a variety of free activities including a Bounce House, a 30-foot Rock Climbing Wall, balloon animals and more.  Participate in free sports clinics or enter free raffle drawings. For information contact Jill Taylor at 941-681-3742 or Jill.Taylor@CharlotteCountyFL.gov

There's always something happening at Fishermen's Village, and shopping hours in January are 10am to 8pm Monday to Saturday and 12 Noon to 6pm Sunday.  Restaurants are open later too!  Click on our January 2018 Calendar for event details.

Learn about the cultural history of Charlotte Harbor (formerly known as “Hickory Bluff”) at Bayshore Live Oaks Park, 23157 Bayshore Road, Charlotte Harbor with local resident Les Caraher on January 10, 2018.  Les will show, through period photographs, the local history, from the Natives to now, including stories of his own childhood days in Charlotte Harbor.  Program begins at 10 am.  Reservations advised. Please call 941-475-0769 or email Bobbi@checflorida.org.

King Fisher Fleet is celebrating New Year’s Eve with an evening cruise to watch the Fishermen’s Village fireworks display.  This special cruise will depart at 11:00 p.m. on, Sunday, December 31. After the fireworks, the boat will return to the dock at approximately 12:30 a.m. The ticket includes party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. Tickets cost $70+tax and reservations are required. For more information about this special cruise, or to make reservations, please call (941) 639-0969 or visit kingfisherfleet.com/specials.

Saturday, January 13th 2018 Heron Creek Golf & Country Club will be hosting the NPHS NJROTC Future Defenders of Our Freedom Charity Golf Event. The event will be held at 5301 Heron Creek Blvd, North Port Heron Creek Golf and Country Club.  Sponsorship and other information, contact christopher@heron-creek.com

The Military Heritage Museum will induct Roger E. Tetrault, Capt. (Ret), US Navy Reserve, into the Wall of Warriors on Feb. 28 at Twin issue Yacht Club. Sponsorship opportunities are available by calling 941-769-5319.

Fishermen’s Village Festival of Lights, now through December 31st!
Extended holiday hours of 10 am-8 pm Mon-Sat, 12 Noon-6 pm Sunday!  New Year’s Eve Celebration begins at 5 pm with family friendly free festivities including a Fireworks Display at 12 midnight presented by Keesling Construction and Tow Boat US!  Best viewing for fireworks display is from the west dock at Fishermen’s Village.  Thank  you for shopping locally this holiday season!

Bayfront Health announced that the Pantyhose-Free Zone Women’s Expo will be held Saturday, February 3 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Cultural Center. This will be a great day to reconnect during a day of shopping, demonstrations, pampering, makeovers, educational opportunities and giveaways.  Admission is free with over 100 professionals specializing in the areas of fashion and beauty, health and fitness, finance, travel, education, art and more.  If you are interested in showcasing your products and services as a vendor, please call 941-637-2534, or email bevin.gallo@bayfronthealth.com

Please join us at T.T.’s Tiki Bar on the waterfront of the Four Points by Sheraton.  We are taking reservations for New Year’s, so please call Stacy at 941-637-6770 for details!

Chamber Member News


Here is an update on our first two months of our world cruise on Smoke and Roses.  You can read our blog, as well as see photos at www.smokeandroses.com.

Save the date:  Pedal and Play in Paradise, March 9 & 10, 2018, A Cycling Celebration in Punta Gorda, pedalandplayinparadise.comTEAM Punta Gorda.

The Charlotte-DeSoto Building Industry Association will present the 2018 SWFL Parade of HomesTM from March 3 through the 11 and area home builders can register now to take part.  Builders and sponsors interested in participation information should contact the CDBIA at (941) 625-0804. The Deadline to enter is January 15.  A reduced entry fee is being offered to builders who enter before November 30.

Heron Creek Golf & Country Club is grateful to our local golfers this Holiday Season. To show our appreciation we have special golf rates just for you! Come and enjoy perfect course conditions. Book your tee time at 941-423-6955, And have a New Year!

Save the date:  Wed., Jan. 17 Drug Free Punta Gorda Prevention Luncheon, Isles Yacht Club, with nationally acclaimed speaker, Ray Lozano.  Information, please call Monica Babcock, 941-740-4358.

Stock market got you nervous? It should. Stock buy-backs have driven market prices. The current price to earnings ratio of the S&P 500 is over 40% higher than the 144 year average.  The dividend yield today is less than half of the average since the 1870s. This means that in theory, the markets could pull back 40%. Call to find out how to lock-in on gains, secure income, and protect assets going forward. Alan T. Lane 844-484-3696

Suncoast Humane Society - Meet Karma, a 2 yr. old Pit Bull Terrier weighing 65 lbs. with a tan & white coat and has the cutest ears. Karma is the sweetest dog you’d ever want to meet. And what a happy girl. She loves attention and belly rubs. Karma likes everyone she encounters from toddlers to adults. And she gets along with other dogs, though in the home she tends to be the boss dog. Karma is an active, outgoing girl who loves her toys and interacting with people.  http://www.petango.com/Adopt/Dog-Terrier-American-Pit-Bull-37199049

A great socking suffer idea, or treat yourself to the 10th Annual Hands Across the Harbor Half Marathon and 5K on January 27th 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 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:  www.HandsAcrosstheHarbor.org

Charlotte County Pride, Inc hosts the annual event Charlotte County Pride Fest at Laishley Park on January 20, 2018. This year the event will host Steven Andrade as Cher, Spikey Van Dykey, the Cheaters, Elysian Sex Drive and others. This event is for the entire family and free, all we ask is a donation at the gate. Chaps will be collecting hygiene products. Bring your chairs, leave your coolers and pets at home and come enjoy the afternoon. Vendor booths will be selling food and more. For more information visit http://www.charlottecountypridefl.org or call 941-204-3505.

Rays spring training at Charlotte Sports Park will begin on Friday, February 23 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The full home schedule is available now at www.raysbaseball.com/spring. Place a deposit now to reserve your priority for the best seating locations. Season tickets start at just $258 and provide access to the best seats at the best prices, and other great benefits. Visit raysbaseball.com/spring or call 888-FAN-RAYS. Single Game Tickets go on sale Friday, January 12 at 10 a.m. at raysbaseball.com/spring, and at the Charlotte Sports Park box office on Saturday, January 13 at 10 a.m.

The Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar is making our venue available on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings to members to Host private meetings and functions, after 5pm week days, Deposit to Hold.   Call Paul Malcolm at 941-235-9463 to discuss.

Job Spot


Harborwalk Scoops & Bites at Laishley Park is looking for a manager. The ideal candidate will be hard working, strong, energetic, have excellent customer service skills, be reliable and available to work weekdays & weekends. A big plus would be some experience with social media and although previous supervisory experience would be helpful it is not a requirement. Must be able to lift up to 40 lbs. Please send us your resume to icecream@scoopsandbites.com

 Just for fun


 How to tick-off people:

 Leave the copy machine set to reduce 200%, extra dark, 17 inch paper, 99 copies.

 Specify that your drive-through order is "TO-GO."

 Insist on keeping your car windshield wipers running in all weather conditions "to keep them tuned up."

Reply to everything someone says with "that's what you think."

Practice making fax and modem noises.

Highlight irrelevant information in scientific papers and "cc" them to your boss.

Holler random numbers while someone is counting.

Adjust the tint on your TV so that all the people are green, and insist to others that you "like it that way."

Staple pages in the middle of the page.

Honk and wave to strangers.

TYPE IN UPPERCASE.

type only in lowercase.

dont use any punctuation either

Buy a large quantity of orange traffic cones and reroute whole streets.

Repeat the following conversation a dozen times.
"DO YOU HEAR THAT?"
"What?"
"Never mind, it's gone now."

As much as possible, skip rather than walk.

Go to a poetry recital and ask why each poem doesn't rhyme.

Ask your co-workers mysterious questions and then scribble their answers in a notebook. Mutter something about "psychological profiles."

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 - December 19, 2017

     Please join us tomorrow from 7:15 to 8:30 a.m. for the Third Wednesday Coffee when we will present awards for the Christmas Parade. Coffee on Dec. 20.  The Charlotte Sun/Suncoast Media Group will sponsor the Coffee.  It’s always a festive morning, so please join us at the Event Center.  Winners will be announced in a future column.  And, you can watch the Christmas Parade on CCTV, channel 20, on Dec. 20 at noon; Dec. 22 at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Dec. 23 at 10 a.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Dec. 24 at 9 a.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.  Enjoy!

     I know it is a crazy busy week, but please join us for two 5:30 p.m. ribbon cuttings, one tonight at Autos 4 The Needy, 752 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte, on one on Thursday at Conserva Irrigation, 1897 Manzana Ave., Punta Gorda.   

     As you’ve read, our 7th Annual Hottest Business Day in Paradise Business Expo is Feb. 8.  We’re having a workshop and a pre-party for exhibitors on Jan. 11 at 5:15 p.m. at Kingsway Country Club.  So, if you’re “on the fence” about participating in the Expo, it’s time to hop off and sign-up so that you can take advantage of the pre-party festivities and start networking with your fellow exhibitors.  Please call 627-2222 for more information about the Expo that had a walk-in attendance of more than 1,200 people last year.  Yes, you can reach that many prospective new clients or customers on one day, in one place.

     Just a heads up on other January events.  Networking at Noon is Jan. 10 at JDs Bistro, the Third Wednesday Coffee is Jan. 17 and will feature City Manager Howard Kunik as the speaker and Charlotte Memorial Funeral Home, Cemetery and Crematory and the Jan. 25 Business Card Exchange will be at BankUnited.

     Shop Charlotte and support local businesses in your community!       

     On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff, we wish you a happy holiday season and a prosperous 2018!

Business OnLine -December 18, 2017

From the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce


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

Serving all of Charlotte County for more than 92 years


December 18, 2017 

Upcoming Chamber Events:


Wed., Dec. 20, 7:15 to 8:30 a.m., Third Wednesday Coffee, Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center.  Program:  Christmas Parade.  Sponsor: Charlotte Sun/Suncoast Media Group

General Information


Watch the 39th Annual Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade on CCTV, channel 20, today at noon, 5 and 8 pm; Dec. 20 at noon; Dec. 22 at 10 am and 6 pm; Dec. 23 at 10 am, 5 pm and 8 pm and Dec. 24 at 9 am, 5 pm, and 8 pm.

Now in its 7th year, the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce is proud to bring Expo2018 to our members. Hundreds of serious business people from throughout Charlotte County will spend one day “heating up the business climate” at the biggest business event of the New Year.  Over 100 member businesses and organizations will be on hand at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center in Punta Gorda. Put your BUSINESS, your BRAND and your PRODUCTS in the SPOTLIGHT on the “Hottest Business Day In Paradise.” Members sign up with the EXPO2018 Participation Agreement-Dec. 1 offer and for details about booth size, pipe and drape, and about the event print the EXPO 2018 Event Brochure.BW

Small businesses create two out of every three jobs in Florida, and are the backbone of our state's economy. The Florida Chamber would like to know what issues are impacting your business. Let us know by providing your feedback on our short survey. As the Florida Chamber works to secure Florida's future, it's important to measure the health of small businesses. Please click on the button below to take the Small Business Index Survey.

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 Harbor Event & Conference Center; Charlotte State Bank & Trust; Charlotte Sun/Sun Coast Media Group; Florida SouthWestern State College; Harbor Style Magazine; Integrity Employee Leasing; Monarch Direct; State Insurance Agency - Brian Chapman, Jr.; Strang, Olsen & Lynch, CPAs PA; Tampa Bay Rays/Charlotte Stone Crabs; Waste Management of Charlotte County; Worksite Employee Leasing

·  Diamond: Centennial Bank;  Farr Law Firm; Fawcett Memorial Hospital; Nix & Associates Real Estate; Panther Hollow Dental Lodge; St. Andrews South Golf Club; WhitCo Insurance Agency-Alexia Martin;

·  EmeraldFreedom Boat Club; Friendly Floors; Nolan Family Insurance; Port Charlotte Florist; Sandhill Healing Centers, Inc.; South Port Square; The Wyvern Hotel; Zaxby’s

Ribbon Cuttings/Ground Breakings (to which all members are invited):


Tues., Dec. 19, 5:30 p.m., Autos for the Needy, 752 Tamiami Trail, PC

Thurs., Dec. 21, 5:30 p.m., Conserva Irrigation of SWFL, 1897 Manzana Ave., PG

New Members


Copy Life Inc., PO Box 2344, Arcadia 34265
Steve and Chrissie Hickox, Ph: 863-993-0240
www.copylifeinc.com   steve@copylifeinc.com

Chamber Member Events


I Love The 90's Tour is coming to City Marketplace in Punta Gorda, featuring legendary Salt N Pepa, Rapper Tone Loc, Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock, and C&C Music Factory.  With a combined 7 Grammy Nominations, 6 MTV Video Music Awards, 9 time Platinum records, 8 American Music Awards, 5 Billboard Awards and more, you will witness a stage show unlike any other, including the full arena production show.  Don’t Miss this New Year’s Eve Eve party December 30th. Doors open at 6 pm, so get there early. Get your limited tickets at www.EdgewaterEventsLLC.com

Charlotte County Fire & EMS announced the 18th Annual 2017 Santa Firehouse Pancake Breakfast Events on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017 at CC Fire & EMS Station #4, located at 13600 Marathon Blvd., Gulf Cove, from 9:00 a.m. to 11 a.m. on both days. The second breakfast is on Friday, Dec. 22, at Station #12, 2001 Luther Road, Punta Gorda, FL 33983, and Firehouse doors open at 9:00 a.m.  There is no cost to attend the Santa Breakfast events. Reservations are needed for both of these events. Call 941-833-5600, Or email: Marion.Vandermark@charlottecountyfl.gov

Need a new business headshot? We are scheduling for Tuesday, December 19th, 2017 11am-2pm at the Charlotte County Chamber Offices, 2702 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte. Perfect for websites, business cards and social media sites. We have photographed dozens of business professionals in Charlotte County. Choose from three backgrounds! 3-5 poses to choose from. $49.95 (Normally $79.95) Schedule now - Steve Lineberry - Photographer 941-626-0551

Christmas in the Trenches is one of John McCutcheon’s Grammy nominated songs.  Listen to it online and you’ll want to buy tickets to his concert February 10, 2018 - 7:00 pm at the Riverwood Community Center -  4250 Riverwood Drive, Port Charlotte.  The concert presented by the Rotary Club of Murdock is a fundraising effort.  Reserved seating $35, general seating $25.  A cash bar will be available.  For tickets call 941-624-2353 or email to: think-rotary@powers-pi.com or halliepowers@msn.com  https://murdockrotary.org/fundraiser/ 

Mark's Small Business Boot Camp is pleased to announce the re-scheduled "Boot Camp III - The Championship Bout" to be held on Friday, January 19, 2017 from 8:30 to 1:00. Join us for tips and tools to transform how you market your business and attract your ideal client. Because of Hurricane Irma, I am discounting the price from $147 to just $47 for the first 47 people to sign up. To learn all the details, just go to www.marksbootcamp.com and check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/marksbootcamp/.  

The Gulf Coast Partnership is seeking volunteers for the 2018 Point in Time Count, the annual count of homeless people in Charlotte County.  Training is Jan. 3 from 9 am to noon at the Charlotte County Community Foundation and the Count Day is Jan 25 from 6 am to 10 am.  All teams will be escorted by local law enforcement.  For more information, please contact Gaither Stephens at gaither.stephens@gulfcoastpartnership.org or 941-626-0220 x3.

Join Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center (CHEC) at this fundraising event which includes a lecture by Dr. Craig Huegel on “The Importance of Native Plants” at Cedar Point Environmental Park, 2300 Placida Road, Englewood from 5 PM to 7 PM on January 23, 2018.  Included in the $12 entrance donation ($8 for Friends of CHEC) is complimentary wine, hors d’oeuvres, music by Gotfried Creek as well as book signing by Dr. Huegel and a silent auction,  For further information and/or reservations, phone 941.475.0769.  Space is limited.

Here are some of the exciting events at the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association; call 941-637-1655 or go to PGICA.org for more information. Sandwich Seminar: Tuesday, January 16, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. “Let’s Talk About Knee and Hip Pain”. Robotics Demo: Tuesday, January 23, 3 to 4 p.m.  ChoirPlay: Mondays, January 8 – February 26, 4:30 to 6 pm: Pop, rock, gospel and country choir concept. Everyone gets their own practice CD and gets to participate in a concert on March 4 at 7 p.m.  Many workshops.  Call for dates and times.

Autos 4 The Needy’s mission is to help individuals in need obtain transportation that will improve their quality of life which includes their ability to locate and hold employment and thrive independently. What better way to open our doors than with the dedication of cars to two local families in need? We will be hosting an Auto Dedication Ceremony immediately following the Ribbon Cutting on Tuesday, December 19, 2017 at 752 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte, FL.  Please come show your support!  Check out our Event Page on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/events/127709631343007/

Join the Charlotte County Community Services Department, Ingman Marine and Captain Ted’s Tackle to learn the “tricks of the trade” when fishing our local waters. The program is scheduled Wednesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. at Port Charlotte Beach Recreation Center, 4500 Harbor Blvd. Each session features a different species: Jan. 3 - Targeting Redfish with Captain Justin Cauffman, Jan. 17 - Fishing for Tarpon with Captain Jay Withers. Jan. 31 - Fishing for Snook with Captain David Hutcherson. For more information or to reserve your space, contact Marc Solomon, at 941-627-1628, ext. 103 or marc.solomon@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.

Trying to find something different for your holiday party? We have the perfect service! Have an ice cream truck at your party! This is perfect for those who like to think outside the box. This is a unique idea and lots of fun. Your guests are sure to remember you had an ice cream truck at your party. Residential and office parties. We carry pre-packaged novelty ice cream. We have an impressive menu. www.SunnyDaysIceCream.com 941-255-1889 Hurry dates fill fast!

Gilded Grape Winery & Wine Bar, 4069 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte events. December 20:  Jeannie Smyth– Karaoke, 7 – 10pm; December 22:   Mark Dupuy, 7 to 10pm; December 23:  Bar Closed; December 27:   Jeannie Smyth, 7 – 10pm; December 29:   Steve Widmeyer; 7 to 10pm; December 30:  Jeannie Smyth– “Jazz & Blues Lady”,  7 to 10pm The Wine Bar offers a global selection of wines and a variety of beer and craft beers.  Hours are Tues & Thurs 12 noon-6pm, Wednesday, Friday – Saturday 12:00 noon to 10:00pm. Visit www.gildedgrape.com or call 235-9463

Charlotte State Bank & Trust Vice President Christine Hause’s free “Do You Know?” seminars will be held this week at the Punta Gorda office, 2331 Tamiami Trail. The seminars are from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the bank’s conference room, starting on Tuesday with “Do you know how and when power of attorney is used?”, followed by “Do you know how investment costs and risks are calculated?” on Wednesday and “Do you know how your estate can avoid probate?” on Thursday. Contact Francine Wargo at 941-624-1944 or fwargo@csbtfl.com.

Nav-A-Gator Happenings: December 21 – Thursday – Live Music, Jimi Pappas 6-9pm; December 23 – Saturday – Live Music, Yard Dog Charlie 2-5pm. Cover charge canned goods and nonperishable food items that are donated to a local food bank. December 25, Merry Christmas. Closed – Reopen Dec 26, 11am.  Our their docks have been completely rebuilt with 40 slips, ready for boats up to 30ft. Fall savings for sailboat owners. Dock slips include water, electric, conveniently located near the slips, and trailer storage.  Nav-A-Gator 9700 SW Riverview Cir, Lake Suzy. Call 941-627-3474 for more information.

Tickets are now on sale for the Golisano Children’s Hospital Pro Tennis Classic, the premiere finale event as part of the two-day Madisen’s Match tennis experience to benefit pediatric and adult cancer patients, featuring some of the world’s top-ranked tennis players. Visit www.madisensmatch.com/ticket-purchase to get your tickets for Southwest Florida’s first-ever indoor tennis event, 6 p.m. Monday, March 19 at Suncoast Credit Union Arena at Florida SouthWestern State College, Fort Myers.

An introductory course in Florida Fishing is being offered at the PGI Civic Association. Topics include fishing techniques, tackle selection, rigging, knot tying, lures, baits, cast nets, fish identification, tides, and more. Rods, reels, lures, nets and other fishing equipment will be demonstrated.  The instructor is local fishing guide Capt. Ralph Allen.  The course is open to the public on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. beginning on Wednesday January 10. The cost is $45 and advance registration is recommended by calling 941-637-1655.

Tringali Park will be hosting a New Year’s Community Open House on Saturday Jan. 6 from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. and features a variety of free activities including a Bounce House, a 30-foot Rock Climbing Wall, balloon animals and more.  Participate in free sports clinics or enter free raffle drawings. For information contact Jill Taylor at 941-681-3742 or Jill.Taylor@CharlotteCountyFL.gov

Please join us as we celebrate our new location with a Ribbon Cutting Event at 752 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte at 5:30pm. The Ribbon Cutting will be immediately followed by 2 Auto Dedication Ceremonies. Autos 4 The Needy mission is to help individuals in need obtain transportation that will improve their quality of life which includes their ability to locate employment, hold employment and thrive independently.

There's always something happening at Fishermen's Village, and shopping hours in January are 10am to 8pm Monday to Saturday and 12 Noon to 6pm Sunday.  Restaurants are open later too!  Click on our January 2018 Calendar for event details.

Learn about the cultural history of Charlotte Harbor (formerly known as “Hickory Bluff”) at Bayshore Live Oaks Park, 23157 Bayshore Road, Charlotte Harbor with local resident Les Caraher on January 10, 2018.  Les will show, through period photographs, the local history, from the Natives to now, including stories of his own childhood days in Charlotte Harbor.  Program begins at 10 am.  Reservations advised. Please call 941-475-0769 or email Bobbi@checflorida.org.

King Fisher Fleet is celebrating New Year’s Eve with an evening cruise to watch the Fishermen’s Village fireworks display.  This special cruise will depart at 11:00 p.m. on, Sunday, December 31. After the fireworks, the boat will return to the dock at approximately 12:30 a.m. The ticket includes party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. Tickets cost $70+tax and reservations are required. For more information about this special cruise, or to make reservations, please call (941) 639-0969 or visit kingfisherfleet.com/specials.

Saturday, January 13th 2018 Heron Creek Golf & Country Club will be hosting the NPHS NJROTC Future Defenders of Our Freedom Charity Golf Event. The event will be held at 5301 Heron Creek Blvd, North Port Heron Creek Golf and Country Club.  Sponsorship and other information, contact christopher@heron-creek.com

The Military Heritage Museum will induct Roger E. Tetrault, Capt. (Ret), US Navy Reserve, into the Wall of Warriors on Feb. 28 at Twin issue Yacht Club. Sponsorship opportunities are available by calling 941-769-5319.

Daily Viewing of more than one million lights and holiday themed decorations during Fishermen’s Village Festival of Lights, now through December 31st!
Extended holiday hours of 10 am-8 pm Mon-Sat, 12 Noon-6 pm Sunday!  New Year’s Eve Celebration begins at 5 pm with family friendly free festivities including a Fireworks Display at 12 midnight presented by Keesling Construction and Tow Boat US!  Best viewing for fireworks display is from the west dock at Fishermen’s Village.  Thank  you for shopping locally this holiday season!

Bayfront Health announced that the Pantyhose-Free Zone Women’s Expo will be held Saturday, February 3 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Cultural Center. This will be a great day to reconnect during a day of shopping, demonstrations, pampering, makeovers, educational opportunities and giveaways.  Admission is free with over 100 professionals specializing in the areas of fashion and beauty, health and fitness, finance, travel, education, art and more.  If you are interested in showcasing your products and services as a vendor, please call 941-637-2534, or email bevin.gallo@bayfronthealth.com

King Fisher Fleet at Fishermen’s Village is accepting reservations for Christmas Light Canal Cruises. These family-oriented cruises tour residential canals to view Christmas lights, displays, and decorations on homes, boats, seawalls and docks. Canal Cruises run every evening from December 2nd to December 31st with three departures each night: 6:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 9:00 p.m. and each cruise lasts one hour.  Reservations are a must! Private boat Christmas Light Canal Cruises are available for up to 6 passengers.  For reservations or more information, call (941) 639-0969, or visit http://www.kingfisherfleet.com/cruises-christmas.

Please join us at T.T.’s Tiki Bar on the waterfront of the Four Points by Sheraton.  We are taking reservations for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s, so please call Stacy at 941-637-6770 for details!

Green Hibiscus Christmas Light Tour's beginning December 13 through December 21.  Join us for a Christmas Light Tour of Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte, tours will depart from Herald Court parking Garage and last approximately 2 ½ hours.  Enjoy Christmas Trivia and Christmas Carols, $20pp or $35per couple. Seating is limited call to reserve your seats 941-639-3720.

Chamber Member News


Heritage Oaks Assisted Living & Memory Care – Holiday Special. Heritage Oaks will be offering a Holiday Special starting on December 1st for individuals who need assisted living or memory care but do not want to move in during the holidays they can reserve and take possession of an apartment for $1,000 plus community fee with full rent being due on January 1st.  Move in at your own pace during the holiday season.   Call Today to find out more information. Chris Snider at 941-698-2600

There are only 13 days left to purchase the Practice Facility membership at Heron Creek Golf & Country Club at $50 off! These make great gifts for the golfer in your life...or for yourself. Don't delay, time is running out! Call Richelle at 941-240-5100

Save the date:  Pedal and Play in Paradise, March 9 & 10, 2018, A Cycling Celebration in Punta Gorda, pedalandplayinparadise.comTEAM Punta Gorda.

Looking for a great Christmas gift for the ice cream lover in your life? Get them a Sunny Days Ice Cream e-gift card! The card can be any value you want and can be used on any of our services including home or office delivery. We carry pre-packaged novelty ice cream. Huge selection! Our service areas are Bradenton to Naples. Having a visit from our truck is a fun and memorable experience! To purchase a gift card click here: http://tiny.cc/560fcy Our website is www.sunnydaysicecream.com phone 941-255-1889

The Charlotte-DeSoto Building Industry Association will present the 2018 SWFL Parade of HomesTM from March 3 through the 11 and area home builders can register now to take part.  Builders and sponsors interested in participation information should contact the CDBIA at (941) 625-0804. The Deadline to enter is January 15.  A reduced entry fee is being offered to builders who enter before November 30.

Save the date:  Wed., Jan. 17 Drug Free Punta Gorda Prevention Luncheon, Isles Yacht Club, with nationally acclaimed speaker, Ray Lozano.  Information, please call Monica Babcock, 941-740-4358.

Visit http://careersourcesouthwestflorida.com/ we have an Employers Tab Hire Top Talent | CareerSource Southwest Florida that list a variety of services.  Under the Grow Your Team (http://careersourcesouthwestflorida.com/grow-your-team-2/) has Customized Training, On-the-Job Training (OJT), Internships and Quick Response Training (QRT) information available.  We also can provide Tuition assistance for occupational skills upgrade Job Seekers Educational Opportunities | CareerSource Southwest Florida.   Funding assistance could be up to $6500.00 for a Diploma/Certificate, $8,000.00 for an Associate’s Degree or $10,000.00 for a Bachelors.  Robin Roleson CareerSource Southwest Florida, 3745Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, 941-235-5900 x 3252.

Suncoast Humane Society, Meet Jasmine, a 2 yr. old Domestic Shorthair weighing just 7 lbs. She has a shiny black coat. Jasmine is friendly and enjoys attention, but on her terms. She does not like to be picked up. She’s a very playful cat who loves to bat her toy mice around. She has lived with a small breed dog. Jasmine will be a great feline companion for a person who appreciates and respects the independent nature of some cats and who is not requiring a cuddly lap cat. http://www.petango.com/Adopt/Cat-Domestic-Shorthair-30651533

Looking for a Christmas gift for somebody that is hard to buy for? Murdock Stones Etc. has just received their annual lawn ornament shipment.  Check them out at 7621 Sawyer Circle (off Gasparilla Rd. / 771... look for the World's Largest Mailbox) or 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

If you're hiring for the season, give our FCRA-compliant "Nationwide Criminal Quik-Chek" a try!  It's only $38. and we'll verify the SSN and prior addresses as an identity check ... check state-based criminal records nationwide ... check all 94 federal criminal district courts nationwide for a federal record ... and check for sex offender status in all 50 states and D.C.  Landlords and property managers can add a credit report with credit score for just $18 additional.  For the best FCRA-compliant screening services, contact Doris Hebert-Ferrigno at NRG Background Checks!  941-488-8500;  800-531-6522;  nrginfo@atlantic.net 

A great socking suffer idea, or treat yourself to the 10th Annual Hands Across the Harbor Half Marathon and 5K on January 27th 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 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:  www.HandsAcrosstheHarbor.org

Charlotte County Pride, Inc hosts the annual event Charlotte County Pride Fest at Laishley Park on January 20, 2018. This year the event will host Steven Andrade as Cher, Spikey Van Dykey, the Cheaters, Elysian Sex Drive and others. This event is for the entire family and free, all we ask is a donation at the gate. Chaps will be collecting hygiene products. Bring your chairs, leave your coolers and pets at home and come enjoy the afternoon. Vendor booths will be selling food and more. For more information visit http://www.charlottecountypridefl.org or call 941-204-3505.

Rays spring training at Charlotte Sports Park will begin on Friday, February 23 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The full home schedule is available now at www.raysbaseball.com/spring. Place a deposit now to reserve your priority for the best seating locations. Season tickets start at just $258 and provide access to the best seats at the best prices, and other great benefits. Visit raysbaseball.com/spring or call 888-FAN-RAYS. Single Game Tickets go on sale Friday, January 12 at 10 a.m. at raysbaseball.com/spring, and at the Charlotte Sports Park box office on Saturday, January 13 at 10 a.m.

The Nav-A-Gator Grill & Marina Christmas Lights Canal Cruises start December 2. This year we are offering a 2 for 1 special for groups and clubs and your group would also receive a sunset cruise during January 2018 at no additional charge. The tour boat can seat 30 people and you may bring your own beverages. The boat departs at 5:30 and 7:30 nightly from Laishley Marina and travels through the decorated canals of Punta Gorda Isles, returning at approximately 7pm and 9pm.  Advanced reservations are required. Call 941-627-3474.

The Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar is making our venue available on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings to members to Host private meetings and functions, after 5pm week days, Deposit to Hold.   Call Paul Malcolm at 941-235-9463 to discuss.

New Kids on the Block


Gregory S. Thomas, an experienced financial advisor, is the newest member of the Trust and Investment Management Services division at Charlotte State Bank & Trust. Greg is part of the division’s portfolio management team, along with Michael Aloian, Samuel A. Kiburz, and Brittney A. Seymour. Based at the bank’s Murdock office, 1100 Tamiami Trail, Greg manages the investment holdings of clients via their trust, IRA, or individually titled accounts. Active in the Punta Gorda Little League and Cub Scout Pack 13, Greg can be reached at 941-624-1975 or via email at gthomas@csbtfl.com.

Job Spot


Harborwalk Scoops & Bites at Laishley Park is looking for a manager. The ideal candidate will be hard working, strong, energetic, have excellent customer service skills, be reliable and available to work weekdays & weekends. A big plus would be some experience with social media and although previous supervisory experience would be helpful it is not a requirement. Must be able to lift up to 40 lbs. Please send us your resume to icecream@scoopsandbites.com

Just for fun


If you need a good laugh, try reading through these children's science exam answers 

Q: Name the four seasons. 
A: Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar. 

Q: Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink. 
A: Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists. 

Q: How is dew formed? 
A: The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire. 

Q: How can you delay milk turning sour?
A: Keep it in the cow. 

Q: What causes the tides in the oceans? 
A: The tides are a fight between the Earth and the Moon. All water tends to flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature hates a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight. 

Q: What are steroids? 
A: Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs. 

Q: What happens to your body as you age? 
A: When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental. 

 

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 - December 12, 2017

     Networking at Noon is tomorrow at the Event Center in Punta Gorda.  I know you’re familiar with the space because of our Coffees, the Hottest Business Day in Paradise Business Expo, and more, but the staff wants to showcase their culinary skills with lunch.  Please make your reservation in the Chamber store or by calling 627-2222 so that the chef can be prepared.  The cost is $15. and the opportunity to meet new and potential customers and referral sources is free!  The same potential is available at the Business Card Exchange from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday at River Commons, located 2305 Aaron St., Port Charlotte.  Please bring a small gift to promote your business and plenty of business cards to hand out.  We will present awards for the Christmas Parade at our Third Wed. Coffee on Dec. 20.  The Charlotte Sun/Suncoast Media Group will sponsor the Coffee.  It’s always a festive morning, so please join us from 7:15 to 8:30 a.m. at the Event Center.

     Neither rain nor wind nor drizzle could keep us from holding our fun 39th Annual Christmas Parade on Saturday.  As you can imagine, we all were nervous about whether or not it would be a “go,” but thanks to Jerry Mallet and the Office of Emergency Management, we knew that the heavy rain would end around 8:30 a.m., and it did.  Parade chair, Ron Thomas (Harborwalk Scoops & Bites) and Ed Hill, (Englewood Area Chamber of Commerce), marked the parking lot that morning and our excellent volunteers, Jeanette Gander (Buffalo Graffix), Peter Keating (Small Business Development Center), Judy Malbuisson (retired), Sheila Meeks (Michael Saunders & Company) and Claudia Thomas (Harborwalk Scoops & Bites) got all the floats, decorated cars and trucks, bands, marching and performing units in the right space for the noon kick-off.  As the parade marched past the judges: Kathy Robinson (Centennial Bank), Tony Smith (Ashley Brown & Company, CPAs), Lorah Steiner (Charlotte County Visitors Bureau), and Michele Valencourt (retired), our great MC, Mike Riley (Charlotte County Public Schools), entertained the crowds of proud parents, grandparents and siblings who watched the parade.  Special thanks to Jim Vanande (Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office) and he knows why, the City of Punta Gorda Police for traffic control and their Public Works Department, Port Charlotte United Methodist Church for shuttle services, Waste Management of Charlotte County for the trash boxes and Punta Gorda Rent All and Bryan Bouton, Port Charlotte High School TV Academy Director, and his team who taped the parade that will show on CCTV in the next weeks.  Check our Facebook page and Business Online for airing dates and times. And, of course to my wonderful team, Janet, Ruth and Bob who were with us through rain and shine.

Thanks to everyone who participated.  We’ll see you next week for the award Coffee.

     Shop Charlotte and support local businesses in your community!