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Friday Facts for December 13, 2019

Dear Chamber Member,

Here are your Friday Facts – Enjoy reading them and have a great Friday and an even better weekend. If you have anything that you would like to put into the Friday Facts please send it to poliva@puntagorda-chamber.com  by noon each Thursday.

If you were one of the very generous donors who gave to gifts for the kids of Charlotte Harbor Center School, you are cordially invited to attend the “arrival of Santa” on Friday December 20th at 8.45am at the school. If you are able to attend, before 12-18-19, please email John Wright

Bidding on the Tampa Rays offer still open: 2020 Spring Training Suite Extravaganza, includes suite for 14 people, ballpark food ( hot dogs, popcorn, soda etc), beer and wine Rays vs Pittsburgh March 8th 2020. Entertain your clients, host a company party? Going to highest bidder: Current highest bid $300. To make higher bid, email Bids close 1-31-20

PG Chamber radio show: Now Booking for February 2020
Every month, your Punta Gorda Chamber teams up with local iHeart Media DJ – Bob Alexander to focus on Chamber members and what they are up to.  For only $105, you get to pre-record 2 x 2 ½ minute slots  (which can be the same or different) which will be inserted into Bob’s show on the first Wednesday and Thursday of each month.  This is one of the largest local radio audiences available to us. You don’t even have to go to the studio any more. Bob will call you to record your message(s)! If you are interested, please email jrwright@puntagorda-chamber.com to get you on your way. Ideal for business promotions, events or simply to get your name out on air.

Adam is pleased to announce he has been persuaded to be the official entry for the Punta Gorda Chamber for the Animal Welfare League’s Best in Show fundraiser. To vote for him ( as often as you like) please visit www.gogophotocontest.com/bestinshow He came from AWL and has no dreams of ever going back, but wants to help get all the rest of his pals adopted! ADAM is currently in 3rd place and needs to feel the love!

Your Chamber Staff,
John, Pat, Carole, Stephanie & Janet

Chamber Calendar of Events

Please remember to RSVP to:
reception@ puntagorda-chamber.com or 941-639-3720.

December 17: Business After Hours 5:30 pm – 7 pm
Come and join your Chamber for our Business After Hours at Hessler Floor Covering, 261 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda . Don’t forget to bring a gift to promote and showcase your business! Please be sure to RSVP reception@puntagorda-chamber.com  or call 941-639-3720.

December 18: Special Christmas Luncheon – 12 Noon – 2 pm.  Seating is limited.
Be sure to sign up early.
Join us for a Special Holiday Luncheon at the Four Points by Sheraton, 33 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda. Please bring a wrapped gift to share ($15 Value) to participate in a special Chinese Gift Exchange. Please do not put any tags on the gifts. Only those bringing gifts will participate. Be sure to call and make your reservation and pay for your lunch early. Please RSVP to 941-639-3720 or email reception@puntagorda-chamber.com  Cost is $15.00 per person. Lunch must now be pre-paid at time of reservation.  We take cash, check, Mastercard, Visa, Discover & Amex

December 19: Third Thursday Wine Walk 5-8 pm
In Downtown Punta Gorda. Art-Music-Live Demonstrations-Shopping & Food! What better way to spend an evening out with old friends while you take the time to make new ones. Wine Walk works by donating $10 at the PG Chamber ( in advance or on the night) to get a wristband and passport that entitles you to a walking wine tasting – a map of all retail participants will accompany your wristband. Each location will have two different wine varietals to taste! Wristbands can also be purchased at Hipnotique on the day of the event. Not a wine drinker, you can still come and enjoy the atmosphere and shop, dine and stroll around.

Click Here for Major Chamber Events

Ribbon Cuttings

Upcoming Ribbon Cuttings, Ground Breakings, Launchings, Ceremonies & Dedications. These are all 5:30 pm unless otherwise noted. Come out and welcome our newest members.

January 16, 2020: The Purple Potato

January 30, 2020: Soul Dance Temple, 2705 Tamiami Trail, Suite 314, Punta Gorda (In Towles Plaza)

Witness something WONDERFUL at the height of the giving season!!!

A single mom of a young boy, working for less than $20K per year, living in subsidized apartments, obtained a newer and safer car through her church to tote her young one around in. She feels blessed that her church (Deep Creek) helped her in this way. She wanted to keep the blessing going, so instead of selling her old car (+$2,500 value), she is donating it to a homeless veteran at Veterans Village (transitional housing) who currently rides his bike across the bridge to go to work. The event is expected to last less than a hour.

Come join the Punta Gorda Chamber, City, Fire, Police, and citizens as we cheer on this blessing of the season! Shhhhhh Various organizations are pooling together to give her a ‘blessings’ basket! If you want to join in, please contact C.J. info below. This will be a huge surprise for her!

Taylor Rd and Marion Ave. City Christmas Tree (City Market Place) in Punta Gorda

Wednesday, December 18th, 4 p.m.

For more information contact:
C.J. Metcalfe
Email: Veterancommittee@aol.com
Cell: 727-278-5818


Donation request for our chamber member Sue Reeves for a new service dog to fill the void of Crystal Reeves’ unexpected passing.
Sue Reeves has been placed on the waiting list to receive another service dog, from New Horizons Service Dogs, Inc. located in Orange City, FL. Let’s help continue their mission of placing service dogs to those in need at no charge. NHSD has set up a fundraising/ donation program called MIGHTY CAUSE and we are asking for your donation help. New Horizons Service Dogs (NHSDI) was founded in 1995. A 501(c)(3), Federal ID 59-3334829, not for profit organization, New Horizons receives no government funding and is financed solely from fundraisers, donations and grants. The cost to train and place a service dog is approximately $25,000. NHSDI’s volunteer puppy raisers and trained staff breed, train and certify service dogs for disabled veterans, autistic children and qualifying persons with physical disabilities. The fully trained Service Dogs are given, at no charge, to deserving qualified recipients. New Horizons places approximately 42 dogs every year.  You can donate by Clicking Here. Open the link. Click on DONATE. Indicate your donation amount. Check the ADD A DEDICATION box-select IN MEMORY OF and enter CRYSTAL REEVES.
Thank you for selflessly continuing this very important effort by donating to NEW HORIZONS SERVICE DOGS and helping our member SUE REEVES.

Fact of the Day

The Laughing Epidemic of 1962
A laughing epidemic might sound like a made up concept, but it’s real. In 1962, the people of Tanzania (then known as Tanganyika) experienced such a phenomenon. It started with three school girls who started laughing uncontrollably. From there it spread to other classmates and soon enough it spread to other communities. Overall it affected over 1,000 individuals.

Question of the Week

I don’t get up till around noon. Can you run the garage sale an extra hour?

Events for Week of
December 13 – December 22

Remember to click these links to see events that are coming up

Click This Link for Upcoming Events

Click this link for Events coming up in 2020

The Orange House Wine Bar
320 Sullivan St., Punta Gorda 941-505-8233
We are now open for breakfast and lunch!
Tuesday-Saturday 8 am – 2 pm
Fri. December 13: 7pm -10 pm
Sat.December 14: 7pm- 10 pm

King Fisher Fleet
King Fisher Fleet, headquartered at Fishermen’s Village in Punta Gorda, is now accepting reservations for Christmas Light Canal Cruises. These popular, family-oriented cruises tour residential canals to view Christmas lights, displays, and decorations on homes, boats, seawalls and docks. Boat rides through the Punta Gorda canals during evenings in December to enjoy this unique display of community Christmas spirit has been a Punta Gorda Christmas tradition for nearly 40 years! Christmas Light Canal Cruises run every evening from December 1st to December 31st. There are three departures each night: 6:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 9:00 p.m. and each cruise lasts one hour. Adult tickets cost $20+tax, tickets for children age 3-11 cost $10+tax, and tickets for anyone under 3 years old are free. Group pricing of $18+tax is available for groups of 25 or more adults. These very popular cruises sell out quickly so reservations are a MUST!
For those seeking a more intimate Christmas experience, private boat Christmas Light Canal Cruises are available aboard our 35’ Cabin Cruiser, which accommodates up to 6 passengers. The cost for these private cruises is $175+tax.
For reservations or more information on Christmas Light Canal Cruises, call (941) 639-0969, or visit https://kingfisherfleet.com/christmas-light-canal-cruise/.

Visual Arts Center
Punta Gorda: Then and Now On Display till December 20 
“Punta Gorda: Then and Now” is presented by the Visual Arts Center and the Punta Gorda History Center. This exhibit features historic photographs of Punta Gorda’s early days, alongside new photographs of the same scenes. The contrast in images of our City from then to now is truly something to behold! Visit the Visual Arts Center during Founder’s Day Week, and until December 20 to view “Punta Gorda: Then and Now”, on display in Rebecca Hall. Exhibits are always free to view Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm and Saturday, 10:00am to 2:00pm.

Punta Gorda Symphony Behind the Notes Friday, December 13 at 4:00pm – $20 per person
FSW Charlotte Campus, Building D Room 108, 26300 Airport Road, Punta Gorda On Friday, December 13 Maestro Raffaele Ponti and Guest Vocalist Jacob Waid will share their personal insights and experiences with the music as they go “behind the notes.” The audience will gain a fresh appreciation for the holiday tunes featured at the December 15 concert, what it’s like for conductor and artist to perform, and what to listen for in the concert. This lively and entertaining discussion is an opportunity for non-musicians to explore music in a format audiences can see nowhere else. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at lifelonglearning-charlotte.org or 941-637-3533

December 14th Breakfast with Santa at F.M. Don’s.
Click Here for all the info.

Drug Free Punta Gorda
What are you doingSaturday December 14th?
DFPG will be selling hot dogs, soda and chips
donated and grilled courtesy of Centennial Bank staff,
Charlotte County Chamber Christmas Parade. Your help is needed! It’s so much fun, that you don’t want to miss out!
Call or email Chrissie to sign up, and get all the details:
chrissie.salazar@yourcharlotteschools.net or 941-979-7471

Join us for this year’s Mistletoe Ball on Saturday, December 14th in Winter Wonderland! Take a champagne sip or bid on a worldly trip. Our amazing auction delights with famous memorabilia, experiences, and gifts. This is not your ordinary Gala, Interactive displays and an Ice Luge to whirl your night. Come in black tie or your cocktail best.
All net proceeds benefit The Homeless Coalition’s Mission to Alleviate and Prevent Hunger and Homelessness.
To secure your reservation, contact Devorah Kermisch at (941) 627- 4313 ext. 132 or email devorah.kermisch@cchomelesscoalition.org.

Punta Gorda Symphony December 15 Concert a Great Experience for the Whole Family
The Punta Gorda Symphony is thrilled once again to offer a festive Holiday Pops concert on Sunday, December 15, 2019 with a 2:00pm matinee and 7:30pm evening show at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center. There will be several opportunities to enrich the concert experience in the days leading up to the performance. “Everyone loves this season that focuses on friends and family,” say Executive Director Craig Badinger. “And Maestro Ponti has created a wonderful program that will please young and old, no matter what traditions they grew up with. This will be a treat for all types.” For our seasonal concert, Maestro Raffaele Ponti always brings the audience a delightful mixture of the familiar and something new. His selections will conjure up favorite memories from childhood. Maestro Ponti is delighted to feature New York-based vocalist Jacob Waid, who is known for his lead roles in Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, and other prominent musicals and operas. Waid will sing a new composition with the PGSymphony, Jeff Tyzick’s The Twelve Gifts of Christmas, and Tyzik’s arrangement of Shubert’s Ave Maria. Waid will also narrate Another Night Before Christmas, composed by Philip Lane, based on the poem by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy. The robust character of Jacob Waid’s voice will be a delightful addition to our celebrated orchestra. Pre-Performance Talks Sunday, December 15 at 1:00-1:30pm OR 6:30-7:00pm – FREE to concert ticket holders!
Charlotte Performing Arts Center, 701 Carmalita Street, Punta Gorda. Concert ticket-holders can continue their music appreciation through this regularly scheduled pre-performance talk. Musical Conversations will include an interview with Guest Vocalist Jacob Waid designed to illuminate the music on the concert’s program. All concert ticket-holders are invited to join, one hour prior to showtime. All this activity culminates with the concerts beginning on December 15 at 2:00pm and 7:30pm. Concert tickets are still available at $55 for adults and $15 for students. For tickets or further information, please visit the website at PGSymphony.org or call 941-205-5996.

Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
On Sunday December 15th at 6:30pm Burnt Store Presbyterian Church presents A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, featuring the Chancel Choir and special guest musicians. The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is a special musical service, one that will certainly be a highlight of your Advent/Christmas season. You are cordially invited to hear and participate in the timeless story of God’s love and grace.
For more information contact the church office at 639-0001 during normal business hours, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 9a.m. to Noon, on Friday or by e-mail to office@bspconline.org.
Burnt Store Presbyterian Church is a congregation committed to reaching up, making disciples, changing lives. The church is located at 11330 Burnt Store Road, Punta Gorda, just two miles south of the US 41/Burnt Store Road intersection.
Burnt Store Presbyterian Church

Member Information
Click Here for General Info Flyers

Chelsea Place Senior Care is hosting a C.A.R.E Holiday Donation Box (Center for Abuse and Rape Emergencies)
Items Needed:
shampoo & conditioner
razors & shaving cream
deodorant & body wash
yoga pants/leggings & flip flops (s,m,l,xl)
women’s pajamas ,slippers (s,m,l,xl)
Donation Box locations:
Chelsea Place Senior Daytime Care & Activity Center
3626 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte
Chelsea Place Homecare
126 East Olympia Ave, ste.301, Punta Gorda
Chelsea Place Assisted Living
315 Addison Dr., Port Charlotte
Any questions please call Amie Conti (941)787-0687

Bradley Teets Investment Services is participating in “Be a Santa to a Senior” program sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care and Graceworks Unlimited, Inc.  Our Christmas tree will be decorated with gift request cards for residents of local senior care facilities. If you would like to participate, please call our office at 941-205-2000 to have a card(s) e-mailed to you or stop by at 150 W. McKenzie Street, Suite #116 in Punta Gorda to select a card(s). Return your card(s) and unwrapped gift(s) to our office by December 15th.

Chelsea Place
Ultimate Care Givers Gift Card. Click Here for all info.
You can help make this holiday season special for older adults in Charlotte County. Senior Friendship Centers, Charlotte County, third annual “Healthy At Home” holiday initiative, donations being accepted now. Every year during the holiday season, Senior Friendship Centers strives to provide gifts to those who visit our Friendship Cafés or receive our Home-Delivered Meals. Our clients rely on Senior Friendship Centers for daily hot meals as well as invaluable social activities. Did you know? Research shows that loneliness and social isolation have the same risk for heart disease as smoking and increases the likelihood of mortality by 26 percent. Many of our clients have little or no nearby family support and the holidays are anything but joyful. Our “Healthy At Home” initiative provides a little holiday cheer as well as much needed gifts, which also may be the only gift they receive at the holidays. Please consider providing some extra cheer by donating a practical, thoughtful item that will be gifted to our clients whose needs are year ‘round. Suggested donations include: laundry detergent pods, fabric softener sheets, dish detergent, Handi-wipes, anti-bacterial cleaning wipes, incontinence pads, personal care wipes, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, tissues, tea and instant coffee, dog and cat food, art supplies, puzzle books. Donations can be dropped off at our participating partners:

  • Charlotte County Sheriff’s offices in Englewood (11051 Willmington Boulevard), Port Charlotte (992 Tamiami Trail Suite A and Promenades Mall, 3280 Tamiami Trail), and Punta Gorda (7474 Utilities Road)
  • Consulate Health Care, 18480 Cochran Boulevard, Port Charlotte
  • Senior Friendship Centers, Friendship Café, 27420 Voyageur Drive, Harbour Heights, Punta Gorda

We are also accepting gift card and cash donations by mail or at our Harbour Heights location: 27420 Voyageur Drive, Punta Gorda, FL 33983. We would be very happy to take you on a tour of our facility! For hours and directions, please call 941-255-0723. Thank you for your support. You really are making a difference and helping us fulfill our mission in Charlotte County of promoting health, dignity and quality of life throughout the journey of aging. If you have any questions regarding Healthy At Home, please contact: Jeanne DeLauro at 941-255-0723 or jdelauro@friendshipcenters.org. Thank you for your generosity and support of older adults in our community!

USA Dance Chapter Charlotte Harbor #6126 Ballroom Dance Lessons
Welcome All Levels of Dance-Open to the Public
Due to your past support, we discovered there was a need for our own USA Dance Chapter. We are no longer a part of #6049. We are a new chapter #6126. We can’t wait to see the friends we know, and the friends we will meet.
“Physical exercise can reduce the signs of aging in the brain, and dancing has the most profound effect.”
(Frontiers in Human Neuroscience). This is a recent study. Date: Every Wednesday until further notice. THERE WILL BE NO LESSONS ON NOVEMBER 27. ENJOY YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS. SAFE TRAVELS. Time: 6-7 Beginning East Coast Swing( 3 weeks) 7-8  Intermediate Rock & Swing: East Coast Swing, Lindy, Jive, Rock & Roll
8-9   Intermediate/Advanced Ballroom Dance Team
Learn show dances, exciting ballroom and Latin techniques
Location: Punta Gorda Women’s Club, 118 Sullivan St., Punta Gorda, FL Fees: $10 USA Dance Members  $12 Non-members Contact: 614-439-8545(Robin)
Email: usadance6126@gmail.com(Laura)
Facebook: USA Dance Chapter #6126 Charlotte Harbor, FL
Meetup: Charlotte Harbor Ballroom Dance Meetup USA Dance Instructors: Nathalie & Franck Lemoine
Professional Dance Instructors from Paris, France
They have lived and taught in SWFL since 2018
Additional Information: Historic Building, Wooden Floors

City Wide Garage Sale 2019-2020 Schedule

8 am – 12 Noon, $15.00 per entrant
You get two parking spots – one for your vehicle (no commercial vehicles) and one for a table (you provide)
Set up 7: 15am
New Location: Comfort Storage Parking Lot, 3811 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda

  • November 9. 2019
  • December 14, 2019
  • January 11, 2020
  • February 8, 2020
  • March 14, 2020
  • April 11, 2020
  • May 9, 2020

Please contact Punta Gorda Chamber at 941-639-3720 or reception@puntagorda-chamber.com. All Registrants need to be pre-register with payment There will be no admittance the day of the event. Non-refundable, non-transferable sale held rain or shine… no rain dates.

Quick Links

Punta Gorda Chamber
Guardians & Supporters of the Punta Gorda Chamber
Membership Directory
Calendar & Events
Online Payment Center
Hot Deals
Job Postings

Link To Us

We have had a lot of requests for a Facebook-sized link to our web page from member websites. Click Here to find the logo below, and several other different-sized logos, so that you can link your website to ours.

Point to Ponder

The Simple Truths of Appreciation

Thought for the Week

The sky is the limit. You never have the same experience twice.

Member Newsletters

Click Name of Business for their latest news

Archway Institute
Visani Event in January

Charlotte County Clerk of the Circuit Court

Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center

Chelsea Place
Senior Care Conference

Drug Free Punta Gorda
Holiday Newsletter

Edison Ford Winter Estates

FGCU Renaissance Academy Punta Gorda

Gulf Shore Opera
Great Stocking Stuffers

Military Heritage Museum

Punta Gorda Farmer’s Market

Punta Gorda Historic Mural Society

The Suncoast Country Opry Show

United Way

Visual Arts Center

Yoga Sanctuary

Special Offers for Chamber Members

Copperfish Books
Click Here for great gifts

Key West Express
Sweetest Holiday Deal
Click Here for Offer

LaQuinta Inn & Suites
Click Here for Offer

Sleep Inn & Suites
Click here for a special offer for Chamber Members.

Joke of the Week

The Forgetful Actor
An actor had been out of work for years because he always forgot his lines. One day he got a phone call from a director who wanted him for an important part in a play. All the actor had to say was, “Hark! I hear the cannon roar!” Opening night arrived, and while he waited in the wings, the actor muttered to himself, “Hark! I hear the cannon roar! Hark! I hear the cannon roar!” The time for the entrance finally came. As the actor made his appearance onstage, he heard a loud BOOOOM! He turned around and said, “What the heck was that?”

On Wednesday, January 22, 2020, C.A.R.E. will be hosting a free seminar covering the human trafficking crisis. Did you know the state of Florida ranks 3rd in the United States for reported cases of human trafficking and Charlotte County is located along one of the most common tracks traffickers utilize (Miami to Tampa). We are challenging our community to equip themselves to identify human trafficking and learn what to do if you suspect it is happening. This event will feature 4 expert speakers including a survivor, the Sexual Violence Unit Chief from the Office of the State Attorney, a representative from the FBI, and a representative from the Center for Progress and Excellence. This event is open to the public and we encourage everyone to attend.
Date: Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Time: 9am – 12:30 pm (Registration starts at 8:30) Following the presentation will be a chance to visit community agencies’ tables for more information!
Venue: Charlotte Technical College Auditorium – 18150 Murdock Cir, Port Charlotte, FL 33948
Cost: FREE
Please email or call with any questions – admin@carefl.org or (941) 639-5499


John Wright
Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce

Every effort has been made to accommodate guests of all abilities. The Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce is not responsible for the presentation, format or accessibility of customer submitted documents, images and websites.

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Animal Welfare League

Calenda Real Estate Group

Centennial Bank

Charlotte Community Foundation

Charlotte Players

Denise Henry –ReMax Anchor Realty

Farr, Farr, Emerich,Hackett, Carr, and Holmes Law Firm

HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital

Granny Nannies Home Care

Gulfshore Opera

Hoff’s Air Authority

Pickleplex of Punta Gorda

State Farm Agency -Mike Martin

Superior Carpet & Upholestry Cleaning

Wotitzky, Wotitzky, Ross, & Young, PA

Port Charlotte Florist (In Kind)

Support Partners