Chamber continues work under new leader

Chamber President Danny Gonzalez opens the monthly breakfast meeting November 4. (Immokalee Bulletin/Patty Brant)

Chamber President Danny Gonzalez opens the monthly breakfast meeting November 4. (Immokalee Bulletin/Patty Brant)

Newly elected Chamber of Commerce President Danny Gonzalez conducted the chamber’s monthly breakfast meeting November 4 at Lozano’s Restaurant. He opened the floor for members to catch the group up on their activities.

Cherryle Thomas reminded everyone about the December 3 Lighting of the Annual Christmas Tree on 1st and Main Street at Zocola Plaza at 6 p.m.

Santa will be there with his Special Mail Box all the way from the North Pole, so kids be sure to bring your letters. Winners of the Little Snowflake Contest will be announced and be awarded their crowns and prizes. There will be lots of entertainment and cookies baked for Christmas.

With this event, the holiday season in Immokalee is officially open!

She also reminded everyone that the Christmas parade will be December 12. It starts at 5:30 p.m. Line up at Carver Road (be there about 4 p.m.)

Don’t forget about the Most Decked-Out House. Applications must be turned in by Monday, December 14, 2015. Stop by the First Bank, 1300 N. 15th Street, Ste. 2, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to pick up an application. Judging will be on Thursday, December 17 . Christmas lights must be turned on by 6 p.m. to be judged.

There will be a 1st, 2nd , and 3rd place winners for a Christmas photo and cash prize. For any questions, contact Cherryle Thomas @ (239) 657-0080.

Ana Rivera of Legal Aid asked for people to support their fund raiser breakfast November 13 at the Hilton Hotel of Naples. She said the funds are necessary so they can continue their Immokalee Outreach.

Bridget Banner attended the chamber breakfast to make people aware of SNIP Collier, Inc., a new non-profit organization. Ms. Banner asked for support in asking the county commission for the ability to use Department of Animal Services excess Neutered/Spay Trust Fund. She said the money is available and will not impact Collier County’s budget. SNIP hopes the commission will change the fund’s mission statement so DAS may proactively use these funds targeting economically disadvantaged communities with low or no cost spay/neutering.

She added that SNIP has just served its 150th dog. She asked groups and organizations to support SNIP’s efforts by sending endorsements to

She also noted that pets not spayed or neutered are a public health and a safety issue.

For more information you can email Tom Kepp or Bridget Banner at the above address or call 239-825-5834 (Tom) or 414-243-9597 (Bridget).

Commissioner Tim Nance mentioned east county drainage and transportation projects on the Department of Transportation five-year plan. He also asked for support for 4-H.

Several local projects are currently on the Needs Assessment list including #6 SR 29, Immokalee Road to New Market Road N expansion to a four lane divided road;#8 SR 29 north of New Market Road (SR 29/846 intersection) to be four laned; and #20 Immokalee Road from Camp Keais Road to Carver to be four laned. None of these have been funded as yet. Immokaleeans also have a particular interest in two projects: improvements to SR 82, which has claimed several lives just over the past several months, and a Little League Road extension, which would open up an entire area for development.

He noted that two well known community supporters, Jamie Weisinger and Dr. Everett Loukonen, have been named to the oversight committee.

From the Immokalee Foundation: 32 new students need mentors and another 30 are expected to join the group in the Spring. It is important for local adults to step up to the plate and become mentors for local students.

There are currently seven local roads available on the Adopt a Road program. Groups are only required to clean up debris on their adopted street once a month.

Chamber President Danny Gonzalez rounded out the meeting by explaining that he has spent the past several weeks visiting local businesses and promoting the chamber. He looked around the meeting at chamber members and commented, “These are the people I want to work with to do something for the town.”

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