Club Briefs: Christmas in July, a birthday and more

The 2021 Marco Island House and Business Decorating Contest committee members.

In July: Christmas House and Business Decorating Contest planned

The 28th Annual Marco Island Christmas House and Business Decorating Contest committee met at the Esplanade on July 12 to celebrate “Christmas in July” – a planning and socializing event organized by committee member, Judy Sacher. Decorating Committee founders and co-chairs Dave and Jeanne Rice announced the schedule for the 2021 event.

The contest begins with the preliminary judging of houses and businesses Dec. 13-15. For the house decorating contest, the Island is divided into nine zones and judging teams select the top contenders in each zone by visiting every street on the island.

 The top 10 decorated homes are selected from the zone finalists on Dec. 15. The final judging to determine the 2021 Champion is on Dec. 17 with the judges visiting the top 10 homes via Santa’s Christmas Trolley. The judges’ bus departs from the Iberia Bank parking area at 6:30 p.m. for those that wish to join in the parade.

“We expect to judge over 2,000 homes and some 200-plus businesses this year as the community “Lights Up For Christmas,” said Rice.

Members of the committee include:  Dave and Jeanne Rice, Bob Boland and Lyn Bedel, Bette McGilvray and Steve Josselyn, Marc Creach and Christina Lambros, Keith and Barbara Dameron, Sandy Dauch,  Ken and Diane Honecker, Jerry Swiacki and Linda Turner, Larry and Judy Sacher, Bruce Robertson, Mary Vertin, Jacki Stratego and Richard Droste, Carla and Mike Mickes , Lauri Kalanges, Betty Newman and Russ Simmons, and Debbie and Marty Roddy.

The Christmas House and Business Decorating Committee is an independent organization funded by 28-year sponsor Lee County Electric Cooperative.  Sponsorship of the Finals Night Social is by Iberia Bank.  The Marco Island Chamber of Commerce is instrumental in keeping business members informed of the details of the Business Contest.

For information contact Chairman Dave Rice at 239-250-2175 or at

Seven past presidents and the current president: Rose Kraemer, Rachel DeHanas, Cindy Crane, Bonnie Bozzo, Jacky Childress, Eileen Carlsen, Lynne Hall and Janet Dickens.

‘We’re all Just Friends’ celebrates 17 years this July’ 

Bonnie Bozzo started the social club as an offshoot of the Newcomers Club, and served as president for the first two years, 2004 and 2005. She thought of calling the club “Not-So-Newcomers,” but decided to call it simply, “We’re All Just Friends.”

County Commissioner Rick LoCastro with some of the luncheon attendees: Litha Berger, Bonnie Bozzo, Rachel DeHanas, Helen McCullough, Emmy Meijer, Rose Kraemer, Trish Pease, and Jaye Spencer.

Her mission was to promote fellowship, friendship and fun by meeting for lunch once a month and enjoying interesting programs and guest speakers. The club currently have 135 members.

The club invited all the past presidents, and enjoyed a delicious “Birthday” cake.

This month, County Commissioner Rick LoCastro, took time out of his busy schedule to speak to the group and answer questions about Tigertail Lagoon, rentals and affordable housing, the Caxambas boat ramp, and other taxpayer concerns. 

Susie Berenzweig,,Caitlin Robinson-Carlson and Vini Just smiling for the camera.

Woman’s Club has summer luncheon, cooking demo

​The Woman's Club held their second Summer Luncheon on July 7 at CJ’s on the Bay, located in the Esplanade Shoppes on Marco Island.

Chef Laura getting ready to do her demonstration!

Ladies enjoyed Chef Laura’s cooking demonstration and luncheon. The menu consisted of brussel sprouts with shaved almonds salad, eggplant pecorino Romano and berries with ricotta and honey for dessert. The club thanks Vini Just for hosting the outing.

Upcoming outings are scheduled for Aug. 5 at La Tavola Restaurant and Sept. 1 at the Hilton Marco Beach Resort. If you would like to come out and meet us, email Membership Chair Caitlin Robinson-Carlson at

For more information about the Marco Island Woman’s Club, visit