3 To Know: Sunrise Rotary seeks ‘Unsung’ heroes

Marco Eagle

1. Naples, Marco Island named among ‘20 Best Places to Vacation in Florida’ by TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor has confirmed what we all know to be true – Southwest Florida is a great place to vacation.

Naples and Marco Island made the popular travel site’s “20 Best Places to Vacation in Florida” list ahead of major vacation destinations like Orlando and Miami.

An observation tower, seen from the entry boardwalk, offers broad views including an osprey nest with sitting birds at Tigertail Beach on Marco Island.

The list focused on rental home vacation properties, and the 20 destinations featured are among the highest rated cities in Florida based on the site’s rental reviews.

The award noted Naples has “lots to do,” highlighting shopping opportunities, the Naples Princess and Collier-Seminole State Park. Marco Island is praised for its “tropical climates and good times” and history, with the accolade mentioning Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park and the Marco Island Historical Museum.

“As travel trends continue to show visitors crave authentic, engaging experiences, we know we can provide that to them here in Florida’s Paradise Coast,” said Jack Wert, executive director of the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Sanibel Island also landed spots on the list.

“There’s nowhere else in Florida that can provide our level of quality beaches paired with outdoor wilderness experiences in the Everglades as well as a vibrant dining scene, high-end shopping and world-class arts and culture,” Wert said.

“Choosing one of our many vacation rental properties lets families and groups of friends feel at home and experience the area like locals.”

2. Hotel valet accused of cashing guest's check for $45K

An East Naples man is accused of cashing a check for $45,000 from a Pennsylvania man's bank account during his hotel stay, according to a Collier County Sheriff's Office report. 

Abraham Duran.

Abraham Duran, 20, is facing charges of grand theft of $20,000 to less than $100,000 and fraudulent use of personal identification information, according to the report. 

He was a valet and bellhop at the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club.

The check was deposited to Duran's account Feb. 20, the report states.

The general manager of the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club identified Duran from a still shot of the bank surveillance video and inside Duran's newly purchased Ford Mustang, according to the report.

Duran initially denied the theft in an audio recording, according to the report. 

The video and audio are exempt due to the active criminal intelligence, according to the Naples Police Department. 

3. Sunrise Rotary seeks ‘Unsung’ heroes

The Rotary Club of Marco Island Sunrise is accepting nominations for its quarterly “Unsung Hero” award. The Unsung Hero is a person who has gone above and beyond the call of duty. He or she will be a special person who has done extra special things for the Marco Island community without receiving or expecting praise or recognition.

The club’s board of directors will vote on the award. The recipient will be a person who in terms of the Rotary motto “Puts service above self.”

Strong Superhero Businessman Star Concepts Unsung Hero

The nominee must either reside in Marco Island, Florida at least six months, be employed and working in such employment on Marco Island at least 30 hours per week or be nominated for service provided on Marco Island or to the Marco Island community.

Chairman Bill Morris stated, “This award is for that special person who does a lot to benefit our community, but who is not often recognized. It is for someone who almost shuns the spotlight.”

The Unsung Hero will be recognized by award of a plaque, a $100 donation by Sunrise Rotary to a charity of the Unsung Hero’s choice and 20 polio vaccines to Rotary International.

Nomination forms may be requested by email to Sunrise Rotary at marcoislandsunriserotary.org or Bill Morris at www.wgmorrislaw.com and should be submitted to Bill Morris, 247 N. Collier Blvd., Suite 202, Marco Island, FL 34145 or by email at wgm@wgmorrislaw.com.