PHOTOS: Marco Men’s Club – ‘Meet and greet’ for new members at Forest Glen

— The Marco Men’s Club went off-island to welcome their new members.

The club held a “meet and greet” breakfast get-together Saturday morning for new, and old, members at Forest Glen Golf & Country Club, north on Collier Blvd. as far as the second Walmart. The meeting started with a little liquid refreshment, featuring Bloody Marys, mimosas and screwdrivers – with a 9:30 start time, you could call it a brunch.

Vice president Patrick Thawley had another name.

“We should call it a blitzkrieg,” he joked, “when you get blitzed on Saturday morning.” Ordinarily, he said, he is on the soccer field coaching the kids at that point in his Saturday, so it was an uncharacteristic indulgence.

The breakfast put on by the club also counted as an indulgence, with everything from melons, pineapple, black-,blue-, and strawberries, to eggs, sausage, bacon, blueberry pancakes, pastries, hash browns and cheese blintzes. While greeting the members and guests, Men’s Club senior VP Randle Grossman gave a thank you to Forest Glen, and club manager Rodney Wilson, for a job well done.

He also introduced, for the benefit of the new members on hand, some of the oldest members (at least in terms of years of membership). On the club’s 20th anniversary – the celebratory dinner dance was held last week – three of the original members were present, including Bob Marks, Frank Caricato, and the founder of the Marco Men’s Club, Paul Kurtzman.

“We’ve gone from five members to 500,” noted Kurtzman. There are over 50 new members this year, and 27 of them were on hand Saturday. This meeting of the Men’s Club had something else, too – women.

“This is a couples event,” said Thawley. “We try to do a lot of things together.” As the group breakfasted, a slide show played, showing some of those events, activities and excursions. There was dancing, dining, boat trips and ocean cruises, formal events, what looked like a political campaign, and apparently, a production of “South Pacific.” And there were a lot of smiles.

Another thing provided by the womenfolk was help. Suzanne Grossman, whose husband Randle is slated to become club president in June, kept busy documenting the event with her high-end camera, and still found time to remind Randle to keep his remarks “short and sweet.”

As each of the new members were introduced, they were asked to tell a little about themselves, also keeping it brief.

Engin Tilev, whose name, like his forbears, comes from Turkey, is retired from the construction business in Chicago. Fran O’Connell, a Rhode Islander, is “retired military,” he said. Ed Poole, another new member from the Chicago area, is still a part-time Marco Islander.

“We love coming to Forest Glen,” and it’s nice to get off the island occasionally, said Randle Grossman. “We do several events here. They can accommodate 200 people, and there aren’t many places on Marco that can, especially in season.”

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