Briefly: Give to ACS; a new place for tacos; more

Marco Eagle

Baboo delivers message of hope to children

The JW Marriott Marco Island will shine with a message of hope on Saturday, Feb. 10, as the American Cancer Society will Reach For the Stars to Find a Cure at the 2018 Imagination Ball, presented by Corrie Grado.

Baboo, ACS Imagination Ball

The annual black tie optional gala is an elegant night of honor and remembrance, all in the fight against cancer.

The 2018 event, celebrating 35 years, will feature a very special guest stylishly dressed in formal black and white. This most distinguished guest is an ambassador of hope with a message of healing. Baboo, a plush, huggable, stuffed panda bear will be available for adoption for $100. Your adopted Baboo, along with your personal message of healing, will be delivered to a child in a local hospital.

The proceeds from your adoption of Baboo will be donated by the American Cancer Society to a general fund for cancer research, services, support and treatment.

To adopt Baboo, purchase tickets for the Imagination Ball, or make a donation, please contact your American Cancer Society at 239-642-6217, or

ZAZA Kitchen opens Feb. 12

ZAZA Kitchen, a new traditional Mexican taquería crafting authentic tacos and street fare, will open at 11 a.m., Feb. 12 on Marco Island. Free tacos will be given out during opening week February 12-18 (one per guest).

The ZAZA Kitchen concept, under the direction of Executive Chef Robin Lindsey, features Mexican specialties mixed with Latin Fusion street food. Highlights include taqueria-style tacos and burritos with meat slow cooked in a smoker for 12 hours so they literally smoke the competition, plus Mexican beers and sodas.

“We have been working on the concept of ZAZA Kitchen for more than a year. We were just waiting for the right space and chef to execute our vision of a lunch and dinner restaurant featuring authentic Mexican meals at an incredible value. Our plan is to open several ZAZA Kitchens in Southwest Florida over the next few years,” said owner Mike Cardascia who introduced the widely popular Zen Asian BBQ to Naples two years ago.

ZAZA Kitchen is located at 1095 Bald Eagle Drive, the spot formerly occupied by Kirks Coney Island; telephone 239-970-5205 or  Hours of operation are Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. –until 10 p.m.

Panther killed by vehicle on Immokalee Road

A Florida panther was found dead Monday on the outskirts of Immokalee, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported.

The 4-month-old male panther had been struck by a vehicle on Immokalee Road near Stockade Road south of the town.

It was the seventh roadkill of a panther this year, all in Collier and Hendry counties, and the third in the past five days.

On Friday, biologists found a dead mother panther in Hendr y County; the next day, they found the panther’s kitten dead near the same spot.

Last year 24 panthers were found dead on Southwest Florida roads, down from a record 34 roadkills in 2016.

Biologists gain valuable information by examining remains of panthers, an endangered species. Report injured or dead panthers to the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922). – Eric Staats/Staff

Flu forces Willie Nelson to scrub next week’ s show

Willie Nelson won’t be playing Germain Arena next week, after all. The country music legend just canceled his Monday show in Estero, along with the rest of his February tour dates. He previously had canceled his January shows, too. The reason: He is recovering from the flu.

“He requires a few extra weeks to recover completely from the flu,” said a news release sent to Variety, Rolling Stone and other music publications. “He is up and about and looksas healthy as ever, but

his doctor has determined that his voice needs more time to recuperate to give the performances you all love seeing.

“Willie will r esume the tour in early March. Willie Nelson says, ‘I will see you all down the road.’” Germain Arena is working on scheduling a new date for the postponed show, said arena marketing coordinator Channa Harrington. “We recommend everyone holding on to their ticket(s) until then.”

Refunds are available at the point of purchase, however, for people who can’t make a later show.

This is the second time the 84-year-old Nelson has canceled and rescheduled a Southwest Florida concert recently. He abruptly postponed his March 5, 2016, show at Artis—Naples because he was sick. He returned on March 5, 2017.

Nelson’s canceled 2018 shows include Florida tour stops in Panama City (Feb. 10), Pompano Beach (Feb. 13), Clearwater (Feb. 15), Cocoa (Feb. 17) and Saint Augustine (Feb. 18).

Tickets for the Germain Arena show cost $41.50-$91.50 (excluding applicable taxes and fees, prices subject to change). For more information, visit or

Younger named to University of Central Oklahoma dean’s honor roll

Marco Island resident Galen Younger has been named to the dean’s honor roll for work in the fall 2017 semester, a distinction given to those who achieve the university’s highest academic standards.

To be included on the dean’s honor roll, a student must record a 3.5 grade point average or better for the semester and no grade lower than a B for their work in qualifying classes.

To be eligible for the president’s or dean’s lists, students must complete at least 12 hours of on-campus class credit for the semester.

Eliza Shedden named to dean's list at Ithaca College

Marco Island native Eliza Shedden an Ithaca College student majoring in business administration, was named to the Dean's List in the college's School of Business for the fall 2017 semester.