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Community Briefs: Imagination Ball, Rotary, more

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Save the date: ACS is ‘Wild for a Cure’

The Marco Island office of the American Cancer Society invites you to take a walk on the wild side the evening of Saturday, Jan. 16, as they get Wild For a Cure at the 2021 American Cancer Society Imagination Ball.

Chaired by Debra Shanahan for the ninth consecutive year, this event will be held in the great outdoors of the JW Marriott Marco Island. It will be a brand-new adventurous safari as we join forces to hunt down and slay this savage beast called cancer.

Save the date now as seating will be limited for this new outdoor venue. The American Cancer Society is dedicated to safeguarding good health for everyone. All CDC guidelines will be strictly followed and enforced at this event.

Contact your American Cancer Society at 239-642-6217 or Sue.Olszak@cancer.org for more information.

Condee elected president of Sunrise Rotary

The Rotary Club of Marco Island Sunrise elected its 2020-21 officers at its recent election meeting. The club thanked outgoing President Tom Mann for a great job under difficult circumstances as it welcomed its incoming President Erik Condee (and his wife Catalina). Mann explained “being President of this organization is a wonderful opportunity, but I only wish Erik could take the reins in simpler times.”

Erik and Catalina Condee

Mann explained that virtually all of the club’s activities were either terminated or altered by the pandemic. Meetings are being held via Zoom, Meals of Hope Happy Hours, the only fundraisers for that endeavor, canceled and the biggest loss of all was cancellation of the Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival, the Club’s biggest fundraiser. But, Mann explained “I can’t think of a better person to take charge of this group during such uncertain times than Erik.”

Condee certainly has the leadership experience to follow Mann as President of Sunrise Rotary. In addition to his full-time work as Vice President of Condee Cooling and Electric, Condee’s volunteer service includes Past President of the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce, Director of Marco Island Christmas Island Style, Past Chairman of Marco Island YMCA, Past Chairman Meals of Hope and long-standing Treasurer for the Sunrise Rotary. Condee recognizes the difficulties posed by COVID-19, but also feels there are opportunities for expanded service by the Club.

“We may not be able to meet in person like we used to, or hold large gatherings for fundraising, but with support from the community we will be able to meet the changing needs of Marco Island and the surrounding area,” said Condee. “Difficulties presented by COVID-19 will be problems our Club will work with our community to overcome.”

Joining Condee in leading Sunrise Rotary are President-Elect Tony Barnard, President-Elect Nominee Bill Morris, Treasurer Debra Shanahan, Secretary Bud Palmer, Sergeant at Arms John Apolzan and directors Wanda Day-Burson, Eugenio Cardenas, Neil Snyder, Robert Thomas, Denise Pancyrz, Arne Sandberg and Natalia Armstrong.

Sunrise Rotary is meeting virtually via Zoom and welcomes attendance by potential members. If interested in Sunrise Rotary or its activities, contact public relations chair Bill Morris at wgm@wgmorrislaw.com or visit the club’s website: marcoislandsunriserotary.org.

Paradise Cycle Boat Cruises joins Rotary

Michael and Deborah Passero, owners of Paradise Cycle Boat Tours, hail from Michigan where the restaurant and catering business was their calling.

Michael was made an honorary member of the Grand Rapids, Michigan Rotary Club in recognition of the exceptional catered lunches he provided for their meetings. In addition, they honored him with the Community Service Award in 1990.

Michael and Deborah Passero, owners of Paradise Cycle Boat Tours.

Michael and Deborah have been full time residents of Marco Island for the past six years and they have continued that tradition of community volunteering. They have been leaders in raising money for various charities through organizing 5K+ races. Deborah recently retired as fitness and membership director for the YMCA of South Collier. They are both active members of the Family Church of Marco Island and involved in several church ministries including being the Family Church Hospitality Leader.

Their six month old business, Paradise Cycle Boat Cruises, is a dream come true for Michael and Deborah. Based at Rose Marina on Marco, the new cycle boat is a beautiful, pristine, patriotic red, white, and blue 35 foot pontoon boat that allows cruisers to take an active part in the cruise and get some exercise or just relax and enjoy the time on the water.  

Water safety is a passion for Michael and Deborah. Five percent of the total proceeds of Paradise Cycle Boat Cruises are donated to the YMCA Children’s Learn to Swim Program. “Teaching children to swim, particularly in Florida, said Michael, saves lives”.  Michael and Deborah are offering two free tickets to a cruise on Paradise Cycle Boat to all front line workers.

In between volunteering in the community and Captaining Paradise Cycle Boat their priorities include healthy cooking and teaching, Bible discipleship, family time, biking and golfing.

The Rotary Club of Marco Island Noontime welcomes Michael and Deborah into our Rotary family. 

Rotary welcomes Sharon Lewis

Lewis enjoyed traveling as a TWA Airline Stewardess, domestic and international routes in her 20s. But Siemens Corporation was Sharon’s career for over 30 years holding many positions in large account sales and marketing across many of their companies and lastly achieving an international executive position as global account manager. She developed Fortune 500 customer relationships, business strategies, operational and sales plans. Sharon’s career provided her with strong communication, leadership and project management skills.

Sharon Lewis

Lewis now describes herself as a professional volunteer. She worked as a White House volunteer during the Bush administration. She created flower arrangements and assisted in decorating the White House for Christmas. Lewis also worked at the largest garden center in Northern Virginia as a designer and potter part time.

Also in Northern Virginia, Lewis volunteered at the Vienna Presbyterian Church in the Mission Department and managed several local and international events for the Missionaries and parishioners.

On Marco Island, Lewis has been an active volunteer at the YMCA from assisting with exercise programs for the Parkinson members to creating monthly flower arrangements for the Y lobby to bring joy to all. She was awarded YMCA Volunteer of the Year 2019.

Lewis is an active member of the Calusa Garden Club working to support the community and teaching gardening to junior gardeners at Tommy Barfield Elementary. She is the back stage props manager (volunteer) for the Marco Players Theatre and volunteers for the OWL program on the Island taking care of over 30 owl sites for the Audubon Society of Naples.

The Rotary Club of Marco Island welcomes Lewis.