MARCO ISLAND — Sometimes it’s the tingle of cool weather or the carols that touch our hearts in this season.
During the Christmas Island Style Gala at Bistro Soleil on Sunday, it was the people we are grateful for that brought a tear to our eyes and the rush of gratitude to our cheeks.
One such moment recalled a life shared with the community as Lynne Minozzi accepted a plaque in honor of her late husband, Michael.
“We honor him today for his unyielding love for his family, his church and his community,” said Dick Shanahan representing the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce and Christmas Island Style.
As Marco Island city councilor, Mike Minozzi’s diligence with county and state planners paved the way for a new, second span bridging Collier Boulevard over the Marco River. His success drew appreciative applause. He also received praised for his leadership at San Marco Catholic Church and in other civic volunteer organizations.
A tearful Lynne Minozzi shared love for her husband and pride for his life of service.
“I know Michel is looking down now and is appreciative of this award,” she said.
The Marco Island Lifetime Achievement Award was given to longtime resident Craig Woodward, a local attorney in real estate law.
His list of accomplishments include 2010 president of the Marco Island Historical Society, 2007 Naples Daily News Citizen of the Year, 1997 president of Marco Island’s Chamber of Commerce, graduate of Leadership Collier and president of the Marco Island Sunrise Rotary in 1990.
He has been a member of the Collier County Historical Archaeological Preservation Board since 2009 and was awarded the keys to the city by the Marco Island City Council in March.
Recently, Woodward purchased a weekend home in Everglades City and is active in historical preservation there.
Receiving the lifetime achievement award, Woodward recognized family members and thanked his wife, Bonnie, for her support through the years. As part of his honors, he was presented his portrait in oil by island artist J.J. Stinchcomb.
Steve Stefanides, chairman of Christmas Island Style, presented the Unsung Hero award to Matt Walthour of Island Bike Shop.
The evening concluded by naming Debra Sanders, Marco Island Volunteer of the Year, and Stan Gober, Marco Island Citizen of the Year.
Disc jockey Steve Reynolds surrounded the event with tunes of the season. Vip Grover, president of the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce, served as Master of Ceremonies.
The Christmas Island Style Gala was sponsored by the Marco Eagle and the Naples Daily News Media Group.