“Colors” was the theme for the 12th annual Goodland Boat Parade and chairman Elaine Ritchie and volunteers were most successful.
Always eclectic, Goodland was decked out on and off the water for the parade that benefitted Avow Hospice, which has an office on Marco Island.
“By the time the dust settles we’ll have raised more than $23,000,” Ritchie said.
A record 27 boats glided through the calm waterway on Saturday, with 17 of them awarded for their efforts. They were judged on appearance, originality, music, props and costumes, and boater’s control.
Stan’s Idle Hour Restaurant, The Old Marco Lodge and the Pink Motel were jammed with people enjoying the parade, while also taking part in 50-50 raffles and buying T-shirts and colorful buoys, painted for the special occasion.
Sue and Chuck Thomas of Marco beautifully coordinated the “Colors Make Me Happy” boat. For their efforts they shared top prize with the “Red Neck Woman” entry, with an outhouse being towed from behind the colorful boat. Bo Severson and Karen Printz of Landings Yacht Club in Fort Myers decorated this boat. There were five entries from the club, all winning prizes.
The “Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,” with decorations coordinated by John Lachat of Fort Myers, took third place, followed by Goodland’s John Ritchie and Marge Hart’s creation of “The Red Light District.”
Vicki Wood and Jack Miller of Goodland won for their “Purple People Eater” boat as most original and the best overall appearance.
The Marco Veterinary Hospital’s entry, “Yellow Submarine,” captained by George Engstrom, won best props and costumes.
The best music award went to “Hail to the Orange and Blue,” depicting Chief Iliniwek and bright colors of the University of Ilini. Decked out in Ilini T-shirts, team members led viewers in the U of I fight song and Ilini cheers.
Karen Rollins, president of Avow Hospice, won the 50-50 raffle, donating her $383 to Hospice for a total 50-50 donation of $766.
“I was so thrilled to see all the boaters,” Rollins said. “Every place along the route was packed.”
Ritchie applauded the efforts of Mary Miller of Goodland.
“She worked very hard on all aspects of the event,” Ritchie said. “She was instrumental in collecting raffle prizes, posters, and ran festivities at the Pink House Motel. She also was among many artists who decorated buoys and coconuts.”
Nancy Titus was in charge of fund-raising efforts at the Old Marco Lodge and Amy Bozicnik at The Little Bar.
The Kiwanis Club of Marco Island, sold grilled food items at the Pink Motel, with proceeds going to Avow Hospice.
“We earn about $600, then put in another $400 for an overall gift of $1,000,” Kiwanis member Bill Holmes said.
Next year’s parade will be on Feb. 21, with the theme “Make Believe.” Boaters can choose imaginary, fictitious, superstitious, rumored to be true or unable to proven, decorating the boat and their crew.