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Friday Facts for January 3, 2020

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.

PG Chamber radio show: Now Booking for March 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.

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.

January 8: Business Over Breakfast 7:15 am-8:30 am

Wake up and smell the coffee with your Chamber at our breakfast at Bayfront Health Punta Gorda. Please be sure to RSVP to reception@puntagorda-chamber.com or call 941-639-3720

January 11: CityWide Garage Sale at Comfort Storage
8 am–12 pm  $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 Location: Comfort Storage Parking Lot, 3811 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda

January 16: 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.

January 21: Business After Hours 5:30 pm – 7 pm
Come and join your Chamber for our Business After Hours at Coldwell Banker Sunstar Realty Fisherman Village. 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.

January 29: Networking Luncheon – 12 Noon – 1:30 pm
Come and join your Chamber for our Networking Lunch at The Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association, 2001 Shreve Street, Punta Gorda. This will be the State of the City Message given by our Mayor Nancy Prafke. Please be sure to RSVP to 941-639-3720 or 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

Click Here for Major Chamber Events

New Members

Mission Statement
To promote business in Punta Gorda and all our surroundings areas, for the benefit of our entire community.

Dentists of Port Charlotte
Dr. Faryal Hussain DMD
1720 Tamiami Trail, Suite 102
Port Charlotte, FL 33948

Dental Office
Sponsored by Pat Oliva

Jones Family Insurance
Matthew Jones
312 Mary Street
Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Sponsored by Danny Nix

Remember to utilize the certificates in the New Member packet. These are very valuable to your business.

Partners in Action News

Bayfront Health Punta Gorda/Port Charlotte (Platinum) 

Four Points by Sheraton (Platinum)
Friday, January 3– High Five Band beginning at 3:00 PM followed by the 22N Band at 7:30 PM.
Saturday, January 4– Deven Starr beginning at 3:00 PM followed by the Neon Summer Band at 7:30 PM.
Saturday, January 4– Comedy in the Library at Four points! Doors open at 6:30 PM and the show will begin at 7:30 PM headlining Michael Murillo. For reservations, please email degame@att.net or call 305-343-2930.
Wednesday, January 8– Danny Beach Beginning at 12:00 PM, followed by Skunky Ron beginning at 6:00 PM.

Charlotte Players (Bronze)
Come see a classic Driving Miss Daisy Jan 8-19 at Charlotte Players Langdon Playhouse. Set in the deep South, in 1948, prior to the civil rights movement. A rich, sharp-tongued Jewish widow has her driving privileges taken away by her son after she demolishes another car. He hires Hoke, a thoughtful black man to be her chauffeur. Located at 1182 Market Circle in Port Charlotte. Tickets are $22 and can be purchased by calling (941) 255-1022 or online at www.charlotteplayers.org. Showtimes are 7:30pm and Matinees at 2:00pm on Jan 12, 18, and 19.

Visual Arts Center (Support)
Visit the Open House Jan 3, 10am-3pm & Jan 4, 10am-1pm. Complimentary mimosas all day! Classes begin 1/13 – Register for Classes & Workshops at VisualArtCenter.org. View “Plein Air Exhbit” and “Mural Rendering Exhibit” in the galleries Jan 7-30. Plein Air Festival is Jan 7-30, with outdoor painting events all month- View Register for all events at https://visualartcenter.org/collections/plein-air-festival. The Visual Arts Center is located at 210 Maud St, across from Fishermen’s Village. Gallery & Gift Shop Hours: M-F, 9-4 & Sat, 10-2. Calendar of Events, Classes, Memberships and Call to Artists at visualartcenter.org.
Click Here for all of the info on the Plein Air Festival

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 9, 2020: At the Visual Arts Center for the Punta Gorda Mural Society Rendering Exhibit “Plein Air Festival” 12 Noon, 210 Maud St., Punta Gorda

January 9, 2020: Labor Solutions, 2726 Tamiami Trail, Unit A, Port Charlotte. Event is 5-7 pm  Ribbon Cutting at 5:30 pm

January 15, 2020: Thee Purple Potato, (Food Truck) this will be held by HipNotique, 111 W. Marion Avenue, Punta Gorda. There will be food, drink and a chance to win a gift basket and music.

January 24, 2020: Jones Family Insurance, 312 Mary Street, Punta Gorda

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

March 26, 2020: Society of St. Vincent de Paul, 25200 Airport Road, Punta Gorda.

April 3, 2020: Gator Mikes, 35 NE Pine Island Rd., Cape Coral 4 p

Fact of the Day

Alabama’s Confetti Ban

In the town of Mobile, Alabama, it is illegal to possess confetti. It is in the books and it is against the law. The law was recently amended to allow the use of paper confetti. The law is more focused on plastic confetti which doesn’t disintegrate and ends up lying all over the greenery areas.

Question of the Week

What are the flowering shrubs in the median strip on 41 in Punta Gorda called?

Events for Week of January 3 – January 12

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

Click This Link for Events Coming in January

Click this link for Future Events

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. January 3: 7pm -10 pm
Sat.January 4: 7pm- 10 pm  


The Military Heritage Museum in Punta Gorda welcomes back our friends from the Witness to War organization from January 7 to 9. The Witness to War Foundation is a non-profit group dedicated to preserving the oral histories of combat veterans. Former combat veterans are invited to come and tell their stories in a one-on-one interview. The purpose of these interviews is to increase public understanding and share the stories of their years of service, contributions and sacrifices made in the name of freedom, and to insure that those who never made it home are never forgotten. The museum will host special “interview days” for local and visiting veterans to participate in a recorded conversation with an experienced Witness to War interviewer in our state-of-the-art video studio.

The raw footage will then be professionally edited into a two to five minute long war story designed to provide the next generation with a “foxhole” or “windshield” view of what it was like to fight and survive on land, sea and air.

Connect, discover and engage with these unique stories – along with thousands of others – which will be viewable on individual kiosks at the museum or online at www.WitnessToWar.org. Contact the Military Heritage Museum to schedule your interview if you are a former combat veteran and would like to share your story. The Military Heritage Museum is located at 900 West Marion Avenue in Punta Gorda. For more information or reservations, please go to the website and sign up by calling 941-575-9002 or www.militaryheritagemuseum.org

The Punta Gorda Symphony Friends

(formerly the Charlotte Symphony Phantoms), is holding its third monthly “Composers Luncheon” of this concert season on Thursday, January 9, 2020 from 11:30 am 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. You don’t want to miss Rachel Cox (viola) and Judy Kaff (piano) as they discuss the lives and perform brief selections, of the composers who will be featured in the two Punta Gorda Symphony’s January concerts. The luncheon menu will be meatballs, salad, garlic bread and cookies for dessert. The cost is $15.00, which includes a complimentary glass of wine.

The “Composers Luncheons” have been popular and fun events, so mark your calendar and pre-register by calling the PGSymphony Office at 941-205-5996 by noon on Tuesday, January 7th.

The Punta Gorda Symphony January 12 Concert Showcases Powerhouse Violinist David Kim

The Punta Gorda Symphony starts the new year with a January 12 program which is certain to become an audience favorite. Tickets are still available for the concert on January 12, 2020 at 7:30pm at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center. Maestro Raffaele Ponti crafted this program so the audience can indulge in a deeper exploration of Felix Mendelssohn with the glorious Violin Concerto Op. 64 featuring internationally-acclaimed violinist David Kim. Also on this program will be Carnival Overture by Antonín Dvořák and Symphony No. 2 by American composer Amy Beach.

Maestro Ponti is over the moon to be presenting powerhouse Guest Artist David Kim. He is certain to impress.

Several activities leading up to the Sunday January 12 concert are designed to offer a more intimate experience of the music and of this talented visiting musician.

Radio Program: Classical Music with Russell Gant

Thursday, January 9 at 2:30pm Classical Radio WSMR 89.1 & 103.9 Tune in as WSMR’s Russell Gant interviews violinist David Kim live on the radio. David Kim will also perform brief solo pieces, airing from the Sarasota-based recording studio.

Behind the Notes Friday, January 10 at 4:00pm – $20 per person FSW Charlotte Campus, Auditorium, 26300 Airport Road, Punta Gorda

On Friday, January 10 Maestro Raffaele Ponti and Guest Artist David Kim 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 music featured at the January 12 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.

Pre-Performance Talk: Sunday, January 12 at 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 led by WGCU’s John Davis. Musical Conversations with John Davis will include an interview with Guest Artist David Kim 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 concert on January 12 at 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.

Member Information

Click Here for General Info Flyers

Mark Martella, Esq. of Icard Merrill

“Is one of your financial goals to get debt free in 2020? Are you confused about your options and what is the best way to do if? Consolidation? Debt negotiation? Bankruptcy? To get answers to all your questions, contact Mark Martella, Esq. of Icard Merrill at 941-206-3700 or martella@icardmerrill.com to schedule a confidential, complimentary one hour, no obligation consultation to come up with a plan to eliminate your debt in 2020 and enjoy a debt free, stress free life.”

Babcock Ranch partners with Punta Gorda Symphony for Innovative Guest Artist Series

Babcock Ranch and Punta Gorda Symphony are thrilled to announce a new and innovative collaboration: a Guest Artist Meet-and-Greet series for the 2019-2020 concert season.

During the invitation-only Babcock Ranch Showcase Virtuoso Series, three of Punta Gorda Symphony’s internationally-recognized Guest Artists will mingle with guests in a selection of the community’s model homes and play a preview of their upcoming performance with the full Punta Gorda Symphony. “We have been watching with excitement all the growth at Babcock Ranch,” says Dr. Steven Shell, Treasurer of the Punta Gorda Symphony Board of Directors, who was one of several stakeholders advocating for this collaboration. “We’ve been waiting for the right time to partner, and we think we’ve crafted something that brings real value to everyone involved.” On Thursday, January 9, violinist David Kim will greet guests in the Woodlea Hall Discover Center and perform a preview of his January 12 concert with the full orchestra. On Saturday, February 8, Babcock Ranch will host an exclusive invite-only event for members of their community and for Punta Gorda Symphony patrons and partners – complete with a shuttle from downtown Punta Gorda and an “energy tour” of the eco-friendly Babcock Ranch facilities. In Arthur Rutenberg Home’s Avila model, Maestro Raffaele Ponti will introduce guitarist Celil Refik Kaya with a prelude of his February 9 orchestra concert.

Finally, on Friday, March 6, pianist Jeffrey Biegel will mingle with guests in Florida Lifestyle Homes’ Lily Rose model and play an introduction to his March 8 orchestra concert. David Kim is Concertmaster and soloist with The Philadelphia Orchestra. Celil Refik Kaya is a soloist and international artist touring in the United States and Turkey. Jeffrey Biegel is a Grammy-winning concert pianist currently on faculty at the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, a City University of New York (CUNY). They bring a prestigious pedigree and immense talent to their engagements in Charlotte County, and exemplify one of the key components of Maestro Ponti’s vision for the Punta Gorda Symphony – providing quality orchestral music to our community. Maestro Ponti explains, “Charlotte County has been so receptive and welcoming to our visiting Guest Artists that we can cast a wider and wider net for attracting this high level of talent. It’s wonderful to see partners like Babcock Ranch reinforcing the desire for this type of cultural experience. Every community deserves it.” “The arts are part of our Babcock Ranch community, from the Babcock Ranch Art Show, to Live Music on The Oak at Table & Tap restaurant, to concerts and performances under the bandshell at Founder’s Square,” said Syd Kitson, chairman and CEO of Kitson & Partners, developer of Babcock Ranch. “Partnering with Punta Gorda Symphony and their renowned guest artists is another wonderful way to blend culture into the Babcock Ranch community while showcasing our unique neighborhoods and distinctive homes.” For more information about Southwest Florida’s new hometown, located just northeast of Fort Myers off Babcock Ranch Road/State Road 31, visit the Woodlea Hall Discovery Center at 42850 Crescent Loop in Babcock Ranch, call 877-709-6620, or visit BabcockRanch.com. Punta Gorda Symphony concert tickets are 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.

Applause Section

Welcome to The Collaboratory in Downtown Fort Myers!

The Renaissance Academy and The Collaboratory are proud to announce a new learning center to help reach more of our students! The Collaboratory will opens its doors for our first class at a new location on January 28, 2020. We are excited to have you join us for specially designed course offerings that help you continue your journey of lifelong learning. Take a trip over to our new learning center, where you may find new and intriguing opportunities. Call us at (239) 434-4737 for help with registration. Our friendly staff is available to answer any questions you have.

Charlotte-DeSoto Building Industry Association announces Award Winners On December 7, 2019, the Charlotte-DeSoto Building Industry Association Awards Committee announced the following winners of the annual builder, sub-contractor, associate and member of the year award

Builder of the Year was awarded to Ron Oskey, President of Harbor Home Builders. The Young Building Professionals awarded was presented to Elizabeth Lombardo, The Firm Advertising Agency. Elizabeth joined the CDBIA this year. Sub-Contractor of the Year was awarded to Gregory & Krystal Allen, Patriot Plumbing Corporation. Associate of the Year was awarded to Harbor Nissan. Kelley Baxter and Lee Titchworth have helped many of the CDBIA members save up to $7,000 on vehicles through an association discount. This past year, Harbor Nissan also helped our CDBIA family retaining members and gave the keys to a 2019 Nissan Murano to a new member who renewed their membership. To date, Harbor Nissan has saved CDBIA members over $500,000 with the purchase of vehicles. The Member of the Year award was presented to Benny Mills, Top Quality Remodeling. Benny is a dedicated member of the CDBIA. Blair McVety, Coastal Marine Supply was awarded the President’s Award by 2019 CDBIA President Zac Extejt, Charlotte County Seawalls. Top Spike was presented to Bob Miller (Boyette & Miller Construction and Development). Bob earned 66.5 Spike Points Total Recon Cleaning Services was the proud recipients of the CDBIA Circle of Excellence award presented to one CDBIA associate member for doing a high percentage of business with CDBIA members and utilizing the benefits of their membership from Charlotte– DeSoto Building Industry Association, Florida Home Builders Association and National Association of Home Builders and sharing information about the CDBIA on social media.

In memory of one of the leaders of the CDBIA, the E. Jay Carlson Award was presented this year to Odette Embury, Drummond Mortgage. Jay Carlson dedicated his life to the building industry. He was a leader who gave us a strong foundation. His legacy will continue on with future leaders in the industry. That is The Carlson Way. Please help us congratulate our winners. For more information about the CDBIA the 2017 awards winners, please visit www.cdbia.com.

Point to Ponder

Thought for the Week

“You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”

Member Newsletters

Click Name of Business for their latest news

Archway Institute, Visani Event in January

Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center

Chelsea Place, Senior Care Conference

Copperfish Books

FGCU Renaissance Academy – Fort Myers

The Suncoast Country Opry Show

Joke of the Week

Experienced Maintenance Man

As an maintenance man in an upscale hotel, I was asked to repair or replace the television in a guest room. When I arrived, the couple was watching a picture that had static lines going through it and was very fuzzy.

I knew all our spare sets were in use, so I figured what the heck, I struck the side of the TV with the heel of my hand. The picture became clear returned to normal.

“Look, honey,” said the wife to her husband. “He went to the same repair school as you.”


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