MARCO ISLAND — Marco Island businesses and organizations continue showing their generosity as the holiday season continues to unwind, according to Christmas Island Style Chairman Steve Stefanides.
“About four years ago we started a tradition of having the motorcyclists bring a toy to our annual Christmas Parade and the results have been overwhelming. This year alone the Marco Riders group in concert with Tom Phillips Enterprises and Paradise Welding have donated over $1500 in toys for underprivileged children in our area,” said Stefanides.
The toys themselves were donated to both the MOMS of Marco and the local Kiwanis Club for distribution to needy families throughout the area.
“The last four years Stef (Stefanides) has always been great, making sure that we’d have what we needed as we sought to help out some of the families that we identified for help,” said Kim Hodgdon of the MOM’s group.
The tradition that started four years ago was helped along by the generosity of Tom Phillips, of Phillips Enterprises who had his carpenters build a custom sleigh for the Christmas Island Style Street Parade to act as repository for the toys collected.
“When it comes to Christmas its hard not give back to a community and its harder to say no to Stef when he walks in the door looking for a favor,” said Phillips, who has owned a custom home contracting and renovation business on Marco for the last 11 years.
“When we spoke to Stef about the parade this year we also mentioned it to Ken Morino who just opened Paradise Welding, a custom weld shop here on Marco and he jumped right in with his son Gregg,” Phillips added.
Besides entering floats they donated close to a $1000 in toys, according to Stefanides.
This year Stefanides had Barbra Dasti, who is also a Christmas Island Style volunteer, seek out benefactors for the toys collected and the Kiwanis Club and the MOM’s were chosen.
“We’re very thankful for the contribution of the Marco Riders, Phillips Enterprises and Paradise Welding. We know a great many kids that will have a much nicer Christmas because of their generosity,” said John Coff of the Marco Kiwanis Club.
Christmas Island Style will be winding down its 30 days of events this weekend with the showing of the movie, Polar Express, staring Tom Hanks at the Veterans Community Park right next to the Christmas Tree starting at 6 p.m. Friday night. The Optimist Club of Marco Island will be selling refreshments and food at the event to help support their community sports efforts.
On Saturday night the 21st annual Christmas Island Style Boat Parade will occur starting at 6 p.m. The parade will run down the Marco River from the Marco Yacht Club into Factory Bay following along the shoreline and past the Snook Inn which has hosted the judges stands since the event started. It will then proceed into Collier Bay and onto the Esplanade where a major boat parade party is planned by CJ’s on the Bay. It will finish the route around Collier Bay and out onto the river where it will proceed along the shores of Isle of Capri before ending.
More information is available by visiting www.christmasislandstyle.com or contacting Steve Stefanides at 250-8348.