Marco Island soon may have to change its name to Festival Island.
We are awash with fun fests this season, one just past, another biggie upcoming this weekend, April 19. It’s “Marco Music Festival ’09,” offering non-stop music from some talented and accomplished performers, from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Sunday at Veterans Community Park.
Like the recent, successful seafood festival at the same venue, this is a “first annual” fling with high hopes of becoming a much-anticipated yearly event. Chief sponsor and beneficiary of revenue is the Marco Police Foundation, a nonpolitical, civic-minded, charitable organization.
Popular entertainer Barry Newman is the producer of the musical events and emcee for the day. Following Barry on stage will be the local band Lost Cause, the Lords of Cool, Triple Shot and at 4:30 p.m., the Classic Rock All Stars.
If you don’t know the names of the all stars, you’ll know the music. The headliners are Peter Rivera, formerly of Rare Earth; Jerry Corbetta, formerly of Sugarloaf; Mike Pinera, formerly of Iron Butterfly and Blues Image and Dennis Noda, formerly of Cannibal and The Headhunters.
These groups were “golden,” as in winners of 23 gold records, during their careers.
The big names in music will be complemented at the festival by some local big names in food — CJ’s On the Bay, Cocomo’s Grill, Joey’s Pizza and Pasta House, Kretch’s Restaurant and the Islander restaurant.
Each eatery will be offering examples of its tasty treats for purchase, along with beer, wine, water and soft drinks. For that reason, coolers are not allowed.
Leave the pets at home too, as this is strictly a people place to be. And that includes the kids. Those under age 12 get in free if they’re with adults. Grown ups’ ticket are $10 pre-sale and $15 at the gate. For ticket information, call (239) 245-7419.
You may want to take lawn chairs, blankets, etc., so you can eat, drink and enjoy the music in comfort.
The Marco Police Foundation exists to encourage and promote citizen participation in community safety efforts. It sponsors Neighborhood Watch and other programs. The foundation also provides scholarships for officers’ children and for members of the force who are continuing their education.
Here’s a warning for festival-goers on Sunday afternoon. Spontaneous dancing may break out. And you may encounter widespread toe tapping, hand clapping and uncontrolled shouts of “Encore!”
Charity? Sure, but not under pressure
Like most Americans we make charitable donations to several causes we believe in and wish we had more to give. We virtually always give by check or credit card.
Sometimes, all of us have the opportunity to donate at places such as the Salvation Army bell ringers or to good causes promoted by retail outlets at checkout, from the Harry Chapin Food Bank to various children’s’ charities and others. For some shoppers, it’s a convenient reminder to give a little help.
The check out personnel, however, should not arm twist customers to give.
Last week at a local grocery store, a very nice checkout person asked, as I assume she is instructed to do, whether I’d like to donate to the charity pictured on brochures at the checkout counter.
I said, “No thank you” and reached for my groceries receipt. But the cashier persisted.
“But how can you resist this beautiful child?” she asked, holding up the flyer. “Isn’t she precious?”
“Yes she is,” I answered, “but you know you really shouldn’t … ” and I stopped, realizing she probably didn’t mean to be rude.
I wanted to say, but didn’t, was something like, “You don’t know anything about me. You don’t know whether I am wealthy or homeless, or what.
“You should not pressure customers to give. It’s rude and inappropriate. Someone less sensitive might be mortified to have other shoppers see him or her not giving money to help a beautiful poster child.”
Picture the next customer in line, stage-whispering to her companion, “Pssst, did you see that? He refused to help that poor child. Well I never!”
We feel guilty even mentioning this, because we think the store does a good thing by giving charitable causes a place to raise money. And it’s fine for the checkout person to make sure the shopper sees the pamphlets by the register. And we hope lots of people, without prompting, give there if they don’t donate in some other fashion.
But please, don’t beg or tease or cajole or pressure or lean on the shopper. It might work now and then, but not often, we assume, and not for long.
Sneak peek photo contest winner
The winner of the $50 U.S. Savings Bond from Orion Bank on Marco is Emilee Lake, a gardener in Goodland who works with the landscaping company Greensward.
Lake recognized the photo of a bicycle covered in weeds and vines, one of several in Goodland. One is by Marker 8 restaurant; another is near the Baptist Church.
Rumor has it the bikes have been there since the Calusa Indians left them behind, choosing to chase the unwelcome Spanish explorers on foot.
This was the toughest sneak peek photo so far in our by-weekly contest.
We’ll have another photo for you to identify next week. The first person to e-mail us the correct answer wins the U.S. Savings Bond, courtesy of Keith Dameron at Orion Bank.
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.