Weekend events: From a free breakfast to a marsh trail opening ...


* FREE BREAKFAST: The public is invited to enjoy a free breakfast to help raise awareness and funds for families who are dealing with childhood cancer. On Friday, Oct. 9, 2009, all five Mel’s Diners restaurants in Southwest Florida will serve a free breakfast from 6:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. There is a $5 suggested donation at the door and all proceeds will benefit The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida’s pediatric oncology unit, one of 11 state designated oncology centers. Additional funds will be raised through the sales of $1 cardboard cutouts “Cancer Bugs Me,” designed by Jillian Lamparyk, a five-year old who lost her battle with cancer on July 8, 2003. Mel’s Diners are in Naples at 3650 Tamiami Trail North; in Golden Gate at 12035 Collier Blvd.; in Bonita Springs at 28601 Trails Edge Blvd.; in Fort Myers at 4820 Cleveland Ave.; and in Cape Coral at 1331 Pine Island Road N.E. For more information, contact Mel’s Diners at (239) 643-9898 or visit online at www.melsdiners.com


* SAFETY CHECK FOR CHILD SAFETY SEATS: As civic groups and law enforcement organizations, including the Collier County Sheriff's Office, remind motorists to drive safely as part of a day-long effort to increase awareness about safe driving behaviors and keep Florida's roadways fatality-free for "Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day" on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2009, the sheriff's office will offer a free child safety seat event from 9 a.m. to noon at YMCA of the Palms, 5450 YMCA Road, North Naples. Deputies will check child safety seats to make sure they're properly installed in vehicles.

* SHOPPING ADVICE: Savvy shoppers, tips on eating well on a budget, 10 a.m. Saturday, Whole Foods, 9101 Strada Place, Naples. Registration is required. Free. 552-5100.

* TOURS: Palm Cottage House and Norris Garden tours, docent guided with a self guided tour of the Norris Gardens, 1-4 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays through October.

* MARSH TRAIL OPENING: Celebration of National Wildlife Refuge Week and marsh trail opening ceremony, 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. 7:15-9 a.m., guided bird walk; 8-9:30 a.m. guided kayak tour; 9 a.m.-1 p.m. exhibits; 10 -10:30 a.m. ceremony; 11 a.m.-1 p.m. fly fishing demonstrations; 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. guided hike and guided kayak tour (limited kayaks available, bring your own; 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. build your own kayak demonstration, Ten Thousand Islands, park at 525 Newport Drive, Naples. Free shuttle service and free events. 353-8442, ext. 222.


* WALK THE PLANK! Check out the 4th annual pirate festival, starting at 10 a.m. on Fort Myers Beach. Pirate parade in Times Square, ship to shore battle, food, period entertainment, period vendors. The festival takes place on Old San Carlos Boulevard between First and Third Streets. More info: www.beachpiratefestival.com

* ON STAGE: “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” story of two con men working over victims in a comic way on the French Rivera, matinees at 1:15 p.m.; 7 p.m. twilight performances on Sundays and 7:30 p.m. evening performances through Nov. 14, Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, 1380 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers. $53, $49 and $47, adults; $21, children, dinner and show; $27, adults; $17, children, show only. (239) 278-4422 or www.broadwaypalm.com.


* EXERCISE: Exercise & Movement Class for Breast Cancer Survivors is six one-hour sessions of gentle exercise. Offered at no charge in Naples on Wednesdays from Oct. 7 through Nov 11, the program is funded by grants from The League Club of Naples and the Cape Coral Foundation and presented by Lymphedema Resources, Inc.. For information, call 239-898-1008 or send an e-mail to lymphedemares@aol.com

*DRINK UP: Beers of the world tour, 10 restaurants offer a taste of microbrews, foreign and domestic beers with nibbles, 5:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday, downtown Naples. $20. Reservations with a credit card. 435-3742.


Oct. 10: World Mental Health Day

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