Friday Facts for November 8, 2019

Dear Chamber Member,

Here are your Friday Facts – Enjoy reading them and have a great Friday and an even better weekend. If you have anything that you would like to put into the Friday Facts please send it to  by noon each Thursday.

Planning anything special for Small Business Saturday. November 30th? Please let us know and we’ll promote collectively. Email your info a.s.a.p. to

PG Chamber radio show: Now Booking for January 2020

Every month, your Punta Gorda Chamber teams up with local iHeart Media DJ – Bob Alexander to focus on Chamber members and what they are up to.  For only $105, you get to pre-record 2 x 2 ½ minute slots  (which can be the same or different) which will be inserted into Bob’s show on the first Wednesday and Thursday of each month.  This is one of the largest local radio audiences available to us. You don’t even have to go to the studio any more. Bob will call you to record your message(s)! If you are interested, please email to get you on your way. Ideal for business promotions, events or simply to get your name out on air.

Your Chamber Staff,

John, Pat, Carole, Stephanie & Janet

Chamber Calendar of Events

Please remember to RSVP to: or 941-639-3720.

November 12: Building Your Brand
Harbor Advisors, Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce and Port Charlotte SCORE present a workshop on Building Your Brand
When: Tuesday, Nov.12, 2019 from 11:30 AM to 1 PM
Where: Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association
2001 Shreve Street, Punta Gorda, FL 33950
If you have a business, you have a brand. It is created by the perception of your customers. You can just let it happen or take control, shape and manage it. Patti Guerzo, Guerzo Business Consulting, will show us how to use your name, logo and other tools to create a strong Brand for your business.
Seats are limited, please register below. Note: This is a new location for this event. Register Now!
Thank you for your interest in our Lunch and Learn programs. Visit to see all the workshops we offer in our area.

November 13: Business Over Breakfast 

7:15 am – 8:30 am Wake up and smell the coffee with your Chamber at our breakfast at Charlotte Memorial Funeral Home, 9400 Indian Spring Cemetery Road. Punta Gorda. Please be sure to RSVP to or call 941-639-3720

November 19: Business After Hours

5:30 pm – 7 pm Come and join your Chamber for our Business After Hours at Centennial Bank, 401 Taylor St., Punta Gorda . Don’t forget to bring a gift to promote and showcase your business! Please be sure to RSVP  or call 941-639-3720. They will be collecting for “Toys For Tots” and any non-perishable food for the Homeless Coalition. Bring something along to help make someones holidays HAPPY!

November 21: Third Thursday Wine Walk 5-8 pm

In Downtown Punta Gorda. Art-Music-Live Demonstrations-Shopping & Food! What better way to spend an evening out with old friends while you take the time to make new ones. Wine Walk works by donating $10 at the PG Chamber ( in advance or on the night) to get a wristband and passport that entitles you to a walking wine tasting – a map of all retail participants will accompany your wristband. Each location will have two different wine varietals to taste! Wristbands can also be purchased at Hipnotique on the day of the event. Not a wine drinker, you can still come and enjoy the atmosphere and shop, dine and stroll around.

November 27: Networking Luncheon 12pm-1:30pm

Come and join your Chamber for our Networking Lunch at Laishley Crab House, 150 Laishley Ct., Punta Gorda.  Please be sure to RSVP to 941-639-3720 or  Cost is $15.00 per person. Lunch will be a buffet. Rice and and beans
Chicken stir fry, Shrimp stir fry, Vegetable stir fry
Salad (ranch and Italian) and Rolls. Lunch must now be pre-paid at time of reservation. We take cash, check, MasterCard, Visa, Discover & Amex

Please Note that the Heritage Landing Golf Event which was originally scheduled for November 21st has now been changed to Friday, December 6th.
8:00 am Registration & Breakfast
8:30 am Golf
Lunch will be served after Golf.
Chamber Members only
$100 per team
Please RSVP to or call 239-980-2282

Click Here for Major Chamber Events

New Members

Mission Statement

To promote business in Punta Gorda and all our surroundings areas, for the benefit of our entire community.

Shutters 9-1-1
David Sublett/Gary Kruger
22454 Glass Lane
Punta Gorda, FL 33980
Hurricane Shutters
Sponsored by Pat Oliva

Remember to utilize the certificates in the New Member packet. These are very valuable to your business.

Partners in Action News

In 2019, we reached a milestone of having 76 of our members upgrade to being a Partner in Action. Already 86% of those businesses have renewed for 2020! Thank you so much. It’s not too late to get your name out there, although the deadline is rapidly approaching. In order to get all of our marketing materials ready for January 1st 2020 as well as materials for the annual Wine & Jazz Festival’s 15th Anniversary, we ask that any business interested in participating at any level email before November 20th 2019. Starting at $10,000 and going to $500, there is a level for everyone to promote their business year round. Participants at the top three levels can also schedule their payments throughout the year. Please click here for the details of what each level gets in return. Don’t miss your chance to get your business showcased 24/7 for 365 days!


Partners in Action News

Farmer’s Market (Gold)

Click Here to see the Farmer’s Market News

Captain’s Table (Gold)

Captain’s Table is now serving Brunch on Sunday from

10 AM – 2 PM. Please Come enjoy our Chef’s take on Brunch with delicious dishes while enjoying views of Charlotte Harbor. Lunch will also be available form 11 AM – 4 PM. For more information please call 941-637-1177.

Designer Purse Bingo November 19th

Click Here for all the information on this event.

Tampa Bay Rays (Gold)
Fellow Punta Gorda Chamber Members,
How about your hometown Rays! Last year was one of our best seasons yet. We finished with our second-best record ever (96-48) and were one win away from the American League Championship Series! Have you seen the Rays 2020 Spring Training Schedule? Check out the following website for more information on schedules and tickets:
Interested in advertising with the Rays or becoming a Rays Business Partner? Please contact:
Mark Houston, Manager, Spring Training
P: 727-825-3256
Tom Colvell, Intern, Business Operations
P: 941-235-5064

Wyvern Hotel (Gold)
On New Years Eve the Wyvern Hotel will be hosting a private dinner and a show at 88Keys Florida. Kitt Moran will be playing two shows, seating will be at 6:00pm for the first show and 8:30pm for the second. Tickets are $125.00/per person and include; a gourmet dinner buffet, access to the dessert bar, and a champagne toast. There are only 50 seats available per show. Tickets are available for purchase at . Please call 941.639.7700 for more information or email to

Charlotte State Bank & Trust (Silver)
Angie Misner has been promoted to Trust Officer at Charlotte State Bank & Trust. Angie, who has over a decade of banking and financial experience, has been a member of the bank’s Trust and Investment Management Services division for five years. She has completed all three years of Trust School through the American Bankers Association and is pursuing accreditation as a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. Based at the bank’s Murdock office and may be reached at 941-235-5181 or by email at

Florida Southwestern State College (Silver), Nov 28th Turkey Trot – early registration

Granny Nannies Home Care (Bronze)
Granny Nannies recently identified a member of our community who is struggling due to a recent diagnosis of ALS (Lou Gherig’s Disease). Her name is Cheryl and she is currently the primary caregiver for her 90 yr. old father (who is strong and doing great!). It is becoming increasingly more difficult for Cheryl to get any sleep at night as it is very painful for her to lay on a bed and very difficult for her to get in and out of a recliner chair. Cheryl is not a client of Granny Nannies but we were told about her situation by a Senior Organization. We would love to be able to gift Cheryl with a brand new “Lift Chair” that would make it much easier for her to sit/stand and, hopefully, begin getting some good sleep at night. Our goal is to raise $1250 for a Lift Chair. Any and All donations would be greatly appreciated.
We have spoken with Cheryl and she was amazed and blown away by the efforts of our community to help her and her father.

Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association (Bronze)
Calendar of Events:
10 – 11 a.m., Thursdays, thru November 21 at PGI Civic Association, 2001 Shreve Street, Punta Gorda: “You Are What You Eat”. Chef Nathan Buckley will present a four-class series. $12.00/class or $40.00 for the 4 sessions.
Session 3: November 14, “Improving your parties”. Learn how to hone your entertaining skills to improve your parties and get-togethers.
Session 4: November 21, “Tips to save you money”. Learn money-saving tips while increasing your food knowledge and improving your diet for life.
Open to the public. Registration required. Call PGICA at 941-637-1655.

Animal Welfare League (Support)
Click here for info on their upcoming raffle

Charlotte Players (Support)
Auditions for Driving Miss Daisy are on November 10 & 11 at 7:00 PM in the Charlotte Players, 1182 Market Circle, Port Charlotte.
Character Descriptions for Driving Miss Daisy
Daisy: Ages from 72-97 during the play. She is a feisty and energetic 72 year old Jewish woman who grew up in Atlanta. She speaks with a southern accent. She is opinionated and fiercely independent. As the play unfolds, we see her vulnerabilities and warmth. We also witness her physical and mental deterioration.
Hoke: He is Daisy’s African-American chauffer who ages from early 60s to 85 during the play. His speech reflects his Georgian upbringing. He is strong, patient, and understanding. As the play proceeds, he becomes more confident to express his values and opinions. He too deteriorates physically.
Boolie: He is Daisy’s son who ages from his 40s to 65 during the play. He is a successful Jewish business man who speaks with a southern accent. His love for is mother is obvious though she is often difficult and challenges his patience. Despite being a success, he is vulnerable to the anti-Semitism of Atlanta society.

Ribbon Cuttings

Upcoming Ribbon Cuttings, Ground Breakings, Launchings, Ceremonies & Dedications. These are all 5:30 pm unless otherwise noted. Come out and welcome our newest members.

November 12: Ribbon Cutting at Burnt Store Title & Escrow, 150 Laishley Ct., Suite 122, Punta Gorda

November 14: Yesterdays Collectables, Antiques and Vintage Clothing, 4301 Sibley Bay Street, Unit B, (Corner of Hwy 41 & Sibley Bay) Charlotte Harbor

November 18: Hammer and Stain Punta Gorda, 208 Tamiami Trail Ste 112, Punta Gorda

December 5: Ribbon Cutting for MonarchDirect
It will be a big party with Punta Gorda Chamber, Charlotte County Chamber, Englewood Chamber, Venice Chamber and North Port Chamber. The ribbon cutting will be done at the Port Charlotte office, 1264 Market Circle, Suite 6, Port Charlotte. Gathering starts at 4:30 pm and the ribbon cutting will be at 5:30 pm.

December 12: Chelsea Place HomeCare, 126 East Olympia Ave., Suite 301, Punta Gorda.

Fact of the Day

Kiss A Donkey
In the medieval days of Germany, they had an interesting way of curing a toothache. They would kiss a donkey. You read correctly. Somehow, the dentists of back then convinced their patients to kiss a donkey whenever they had a toothache.

Question of the Week

We want to move to the area, how much will a house cost?

Events for Week of
November 8 – November 17

Remember to click these links to see events that are coming up

Click This Link for Upcoming Events
Click this link for Events coming up in 2020

The Orange House Wine Bar
320 Sullivan St., Punta Gorda 941-505-8233
We are now open for breakfast and lunch!
Tuesday-Saturday 8 am – 2 pm
Fri. November 8: 7pm -10 pm
Sat.November 9: 7pm- 10 pm
November 12th Wine Tasting: Click Here for all info

Behind the Notes with Maestro Raffaele Ponti
Friday, November 8 at 4:00pm – $20 per person, FSW Charlotte Campus Auditorium (Building O)
26300 Airport Road, Punta Gorda, FL 33950
Join Maestro Raffaele Ponti and the Lifelong Learning Institute to learn more about the concert repertoire featured at the November 10 performance. Attendees also have a chance to get up close and personal with PGSymphony guest artist, Leonid Finkelshteyn prior to the November 10 concert. “We are so used to a music conductor with his back to the audience, on the stage, or up on his podium. Ponti is special – he closes the distance, gives us a chance to know him and at the same time, he knows us. It’s a whole new experience.” – Behind the Notes Attendee
For tickets and information, visit, or call 941-637-3533. GET TICKETS

Burnt Store Presbyterian Church plans patriotic concert
A Tribute to Veterans concert is being planned for Nov. 8 at 7:00 p.m. at Burnt Store Presbyterian Church. The proceeds from the concert will be donated to the Southwest Florida Honor Flight and to Paws for Veterans. The Honor Flight is a nonprofit organization who transport veterans to Washington, D.C., at no charge, to visit monuments. The Paws for veterans devotes its energy to providing our nation’s heroes with the medical help they need using service dogs, while simultaneously saving the lives of dogs that would otherwise be facing euthanasia. Headlining the concert are Brian Gurl and friends with a traditional American show as they pay tribute to the veterans and celebrate the grand old flag. The performance will showcase an uplifting message of harmony and exhilarating arrangements of songs by: Irving Berlin, George M. Cohan, Elvis Presley, Elton John, Mariah Carey and Lee Greenwood. The performance starts at 7:00 p.m. Doors open at 6:15p.m. There is no reserved seating. Special entry for guests with wheelchairs or walkers is available by informing the parking attendant upon arrival.
Concert tickets are $20. Eating is limited so purchase tickets early. Credit card processing fee of $1 will be applied. Tickets are available at Burnt Store Presbyterian Church, 11330 Burnt Store Road, Punta Gorda, 2 miles south of the U.S. 41/Burnt Store Road intersection during the week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Visit Southwest Florida Honor Flight on line at and Paws for Veterans on line at 

The Charlotte County Concert Band, under the artistic direction of Mr. Bob Miller, has planned a special program to open their 2019 – 2020 concert season. The band’s first concert will be on Friday night, November 8, at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center in Punta Gorda.
We hope that you will join the band on Friday night, November 8, at 7:30 for this concert of music that celebrates America. The Charlotte Performing Arts Center is on the campus of Charlotte High School located at 701 Carmalita Street, Punta Gorda, 33950.  Tickets are available online at or at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center the night of November 8

Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center
Harvest for the Harbor 2019
Click Here for all of the details

Rendezvous Dance Party USA Dance #6126
Date: November 10, Sunday (Always the second Sunday of the month)
Time: 2:00-5:00PM
2:00-2:45 Ballroom Lesson
2:45-4:00 General Dancing
4:00-4:15 USA Dance #6126
Madison Time Line Dance
4:15-5:00 General Dancing
Location: Punta Gorda Women’s Club, 118 Sullivan St., Punta Gorda, FL
Fees: $12 USA Dance Members   $15 Non-members. This is open to the public.
Includes refreshments and snacks
Contact: 614-439-8545(Robin)
Facebook: USA Dance Chapter #6126 Charlotte Harbor, FL Meetup: Charlotte Harbor Ballroom Dance Meetup USA Dance
Instructors & DJs: Nathalie & Franck Lemoine
Professional Dance Instructors from Paris, France
They have lived and taught in SWFL since 2018
Additional Information: High Quality Sound System
Historic Building with a Wooden Floor

The Punta Gorda Symphony Season Opener!
Friday, November 10 at 7:30pm – $55 Adult/$15 Youth
Charlotte Performing Arts Center, Main Auditorium
701 Carmalita Street, Punta Gorda, FL 33950
The season opener on November 10 will be a stunner. The rarely heard Concerto for Double Bass by Koussevitzky featuring the extraordinary Leonid Finkelshteyn “is a great opportunity to hear what this instrument can do!” says Maestro Raffaele Ponti. The concert opens with Strauss’ Don Juan and closes with Mendelssohn’s historic celebration, Symphony No. 5, Reformation. Pre-performance talk with WGCU Host John Davis begins at 6:30pm in the CPAC Main Auditorium. FREE to all concert ticket holders.

The Yoga Sanctuary
112 Sullivan Street, Punta Gorda
Yoga for Veterans Sunday, November 10th
1 – 2:30pm    FREE
This Veteran’s Day Weekend, The Yoga Sanctuary wishes to express its gratitude to all those that have served by offering this complementary yoga workshop for Veterans, their caregivers, and active military. In this special workshop, Jim Cupo, certified Warriors at Ease teacher, will lead you through a focused and accessible yoga class designed “to support the health, resiliency, post-traumatic growth, and connection of service members, veterans and their families.” In addition to the workshop, a small group of local artists will be showing their work throughout the day. 10% of all purchase profits will go to support the work of VITA (Veterans Initiative for Therapeutic Arts, a local organization whose mission is to promote creative writing, musical, and visual arts disciplines as a progressive art form and therapeutic outlet for Veterans. For more information call 941-505-YOGA (9642), email, visit or see our Facebook page,

Veterans Admitted Free to Edison and Ford Winter Estates on Veterans Day
Edison and Ford Winter Estates is offering free admission to United States veterans and one guest on Veterans Day, November 11. Free admission includes a self-guided audio tour of the historic homes, gardens, laboratory and museum. To receive free admission, veterans must present a VA identification card or their DD214 papers.  Two new exhibits are currently on display, including the Edison and Tesla “DC vs. AC” exhibit in the Edison Caretaker’s House that explores the differences between the inventors’ electrical current, and the family and friends exhibit in the 15,000-square-foot inventions museum. “Family, Friends & Fun: Edison & Ford in the Florida Sun” depicts some of the experiences the Edison and Ford families shared while in Fort Myers. The new exhibit also showcases some of the interesting people that visited them and several artifacts are included that have never been shown to the public before. The museum also contains the Smithsonian Spark!Lab with several activity stations for children and families; numerous examples of phonographs (Edison’s favorite invention); antique cars, including Edison’s personal 1916 Model T; and the Timeline of Innovation, a chronological timeline of both Edison’s and Ford’s inventions. Another highlight is the botanic research laboratory, a National Historic Chemical Landmark. In the lab, visitors get to see original test tubes and machinery that Edison used to test more than 17,000 different plants in his quest to find a natural source of latex. Some of the trees and plants that were tested are still on the property today. In the gardens, visitors can see many trees and plants throughout the site. The yellow Allamanda, pink Silk Floss tree, Hong Kong Orchid tree, Monkey Brush Vine, water lilies in the Moonlight Garden, and the Tropical Dogwood among others are blooming beautifully this time of year. The site is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. seven days a week. For more information, visit the website at or call 239-334-7419.
Introduction to Yoga Series
Tuesdays, Nov.12th – Dec.17th 12 – 1:15 pm $108
No flexibility required; all ages and body types welcome! This six-week series, limited to eight students, will walk you through the basics of yoga. Learn pose anatomy and alignment, ways to personalize the practice for specific issues or injuries, and the foundations of yoga philosophy. Each student will receive a copy of Yoga Fan: Practice Guide for Everyday as well as guidance and support in how to continue one’s practice after the completion of the series. Due to the small class size, which allows for individualized attention, pre-registration is required. For more information call 941-505-YOGA (9642), email, visit or see our Facebook page,

The Punta Gorda Symphony Friends (formerly the CSO Phantoms), a volunteer group which supports the Punta Gorda Symphony, is sponsoring its Fourth Annual “Fall Grub Crawl” on Thursday, November 14 from 5:00 – 9:00 PM. The “Crawl” is open to the public. It begins at the corner of Marion Avenue and Taylor Street outdoors at F.M.Don’s Restaurant, Punta Gorda. The registration table will be there from 5:00 – 8:00 PM, where attendants will pick up their wristbands that are needed to enjoy the special samples provided by participating restaurants. The “Crawl” ends at 9:00 PM. The Cost is $20 per person. (Proceeds benefit the Punta Gorda Symphony.) Participating restaurants include: F.M. Dons, Angela’s Cafe Italiano, Bella’s, Isabel & Annabel’s Mexican Restaurant, The Blue Turtle Tavern, Cubby’s Ice Cream and Deli, River City Grill and Italia. For reservations (appreciated), call Janet Wilcox at 813-708-3292. Please leave a detailed message if no one answers. (All proceeds support the Punta Gorda Symphony.)

Announcing:  Tourism Strategic Plan Focus Groups
The Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor and Convention Bureau is in the beginning phase of creating a Tourism Strategic plan that will provide an organized and structured framework for tourism development and promotion within the county. The VCB, along with our Strategic Planning Agency Streetsense, will be hosting industry focus groups to gather broad direction for the goals and objectives of Tourism in Charlotte County. Critical to the goals and objectives is the vantage point of those responsible for implementing and working with the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor and Convention Bureau. We want to hear what your needs are and how we can work closer together to grow Tourism in Charlotte County. Please make plans to join us at one of the focus groups and give your input into the Strategic Plan!
YOUR INPUT IS NEEDED!  Choose a date and time:
Thursday, November 14th 8:30am-10:30am
Visual Arts Center, 210 Maud St, Punta Gorda
Click here to RSVP for the session on Nov. 14th
Friday, November 15
th 8:30am-10:30am
Englewood Chamber of Commerce, 601 S Indiana Ave, Englewood. Click here to RSVP for the session on Nov. 15th
RSVP (for either session) by Wednesday, November 13th

Fishermen’s Village: Annual “Lighting of The Village” to be held November 16, 2019 Festivities begin at 5:00 p.m. as Santa arrives at the Village front entrance courtesy of Punta Gorda Fire Chief Ray Brigg’s Antique Fire Truck! At 5:30 pm, an official ribbon cutting will take place with Santa and City of Punta Gorda officials. Part of this year’s ribbon cutting will include a performance by Singer extraordinaire, Michael White! As the ribbon is cut, visitors will witness the reveal of the annual Lighting of the Village!  Festivities continue until 9 pm! Patrons are being asked to bring toiletries and hygiene items to be donated to “Share The Blessings Ministry”, an all-volunteer, nonprofit charity benefiting those in need in Charlotte County.

Sunrise Kiwanis presents Beer, Brats and The Boogie Men On Nov. 16 at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds Expo Hall. It’s a celebration of the 150th charity event by our community’s premier band. Tickets are $35 and include food, music and dancing. The fun starts at 6 p.m. Purchase online or call Diana 941-628-2025.

Member Information

Click Here for General Info Flyers

USA Dance Chapter Charlotte Harbor #6126 Ballroom Dance Lessons
Welcome All Levels of Dance-Open to the Public
Due to your past support, we discovered there was a need for our own USA Dance Chapter. We are no longer a part of #6049. We are a new chapter #6126. We can’t wait to see the friends we know, and the friends we will meet.
“Physical exercise can reduce the signs of aging in the brain, and dancing has the most profound effect.” (Frontiers in Human Neuroscience). This is a recent study.
Date: November 6, 2019 and every Wednesday until further notice. THERE WILL BE NO LESSONS ON NOVEMBER 27. ENJOY YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS. SAFE TRAVELS.
Time: 6-7  Beginning East Coast Swing( 3 weeks)
7-8  Intermediate Rock & Swing: East Coast Swing, Lindy, Jive, Rock & Roll
8-9   Intermediate/Advanced Ballroom Dance Team
Learn show dances, exciting ballroom and Latin techniques
Location: Punta Gorda Women’s Club, 118 Sullivan St., Punta Gorda, FL Fees: $10 USA Dance Members  $12 Non-members Contact: 614-439-8545(Robin)
Facebook: USA Dance Chapter #6126 Charlotte Harbor, FL
Meetup: Charlotte Harbor Ballroom Dance Meetup USA Dance Instructors: Nathalie & Franck Lemoine
Professional Dance Instructors from Paris, France
They have lived and taught in SWFL since 2018
Additional Information: Historic Building, Wooden Floors

Aura Salon on 115 Taylor St., Punta Gorda ( formerly Spa One Day Spa & Salon) is now hiring experienced Hair Stylists for booth rentals : exceptional opening deals now available. Aura Salon is now open featuring Hardy Whidden, Rick Bissonette and Tabitha Chen as Experienced Stylists , open Monday through Saturday Call 941-505-6111 or 239-300-3190. Aura Salon is not in anyway connected to Spa One as the former owner closed that business.

Message In A Bottle Weddings And Vows
Tell Her That You Love Her All Over Again… Renew Your Wedding Vows At Message In A Bottle Weddings And Vows, In The Secret Wedding Chapel, In Port Charlotte, Florida, And Receive A $30 Gift Certificate For Dinner (Just The Two Of You!) At Las Margaritas De Camila Mexican Restaurant! Call 941-623-5467 for more info.

The BEAN on 41 Coffee Shop
Is now serving cold-brew Nitro ! – Stop by and enjoy a free slice of sweet potato pie with any specialty coffee or tea now through November 15th. Just mention your chamber membership for a free taste of Sweet Shari’s pie! Tuesday nights are open bible group at 6pm with music, prayer and bible discussion with Moni and friends. We are looking forward this season and attracting our folks to the “green” BEAN. Our water is triple filtered. Our beans are locally roasted for freshness. Need a coffee cater? 239.314.6808 direct line.

Girls on the Run 5k
We are looking for volunteers to help 150 girls cross the finish line.  If you are able to give us a few hours on Saturday, December 7 at Laishley Park to cheer our girls on, we would be very appreciative! Please click below and find the area that suits you best. From the bottom of my heart ❤ the girls and I thank you. Girls on the Run 5k Volunteer Sign Up

Sign up to Take Your Marketing Dollars Further
The Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) markets our beautiful destination to visitors from around the world. The VCB’s strategic marketing plan positions the area as a leading vacation destination in Florida through a variety of different advertisements, such as print, video, social media, and digital. The new and improved co-op program offered by the VCB gives your business the opportunity to be a part of these national, strategically-placed advertisements, reaching millions of potential visitors, for a price you can afford. Don’t miss your chance to put your business in front of more potential visitors than ever before, and make the most of your marketing budget.
Co-Op Opportunities are First Come, First Serve.

Sea Grape Gallery is proud to announce that during the month of November they will be showcasing the artwork of Donna Pape, oil painter. Donna always loved art. While in high school she was exposed to all aspects of art but took a real interest in oil painting. Now living in Florida, she gets much of her inspiration from personal experiences like memorable vacation spots. As Donna explains, “I take photos of places I think are interesting and would make a good painting – I like to paint things that make me happy and people and places that bring wonderful memories”. She enjoys painting colorful Florida tourist spots hoping these paintings will bring back memories to those traveling to our beautiful area. Donna will be available at the Gallery during November’s “Wine Walk” to describe her art and the creative processes she uses to produce her wonderful works of art. Donna’s art can also be viewed on Sea Grape’s website at Sea Grape Gallery is located at 113 W. Marion Avenue, Punta Gorda. The Gallery is always open until 8 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month for “Wine Walk”. To learn more about Sea Grape’s Guest Artist Program call 941-575-1718.

Senior Friendship Centers, Charlotte county, is holding its third annual “Healthy At Home” holiday donation initiative through November 28th. Every year during the holiday season, Senior Friendship Centers strives to provide gifts to those who visit our Friendship Cafés or receive our Home-Delivered Meals. Our clients rely on Senior Friendship Centers for daily hot meals as well as invaluable social activities. Research shows that loneliness and social isolation have the same risk for heart disease as smoking and increases the likelihood of mortality by 26 percent. Many of our clients have little or no nearby family support and the holidays are anything but joyful. Our “Healthy At Home” initiative provides a little holiday cheer as well as much needed gifts, which also may be the only gift they receive at the holidays. Our donation sites this year are: The Cultural Center in Port Charlotte (accepting donations through November 8 only), the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce, 252 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda, Consulate Health Care at 18480 Cochran Boulevard, Port Charlotte, and four locations of the Charlotte County Sheriff’s office: in Punta Gorda at 7474 Utilities Road, in Englewood at 11051 Wilmington Boulevard, and in Port Charlotte at 992 Tamiami Trail and at the Promenades Mall. Click Here to see the flyer with all of the info. Click Here to see more info.

Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens
Visitors will embrace the beauty of the outdoors while enjoying the Garden’s sculptures and lights and creating a cherished holiday memory with family and friends by attending the 1st annual Gardens Aglow. Attractions and festivities include a stroll around the North Gardens full of thousands of lights and music and featuring photos with Santa on select evenings, S’mores roasting over the fire pit (for a small fee), and storytime for children during select times. The Garden Gift Shop will be open each evening with a wonderful holiday selection. (Expected attendance between 1000 – 3000) Click Here for Sponsorship Opportunities
Event Dates: December 6-8, 13-15, 20-23 6 PM – 9 Pm each evening (last admission at 8:30) Tickets: $8 Member, $10 non-members, $5 Youth~ ages 5-18, 4 & under free! Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens, Inc. is happy to present the following opportunities for sponsorship of what is sure to become a premier event in the community.

Point to Ponder

Innovation & Creativity

Thought for the Week

A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.

Member Newsletters

Click Name of Business for their latest news

Archway Institute

Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center

Chelsea Place, Senior Care Conference

Copperfish Books

FGCU Renaissance Academy Punta Gorda

FGCU Renaissance

Academy Fort Myers

FGCU Fort Myers

Fiduciary Management Certificate Program

Gulfshore Opera


Key West Express

Military Heritage Museum

Premier Auction Group

Special Offers for Chamber Members

Key West Express
Holiday Voucher
Click Here for Offer

LaQuinta Inn & Suites
Click Here for Offer

Paradise Golf
Click Here for Special Offer

Sleep Inn & Suites
Click here for a special offer for Chamber Members.

Joke of the Week

Rich Boyfriend
A young miss was pacing through her living room waiting for her new beau to arrive. Just then a young man driving a brand new red Corvette was parking in front of the house.
The girl’s father glanced out the window at the same time. His chin dropped two feet and his pupils doubled in size. He turned to his daughter and asked, “What does your boyfriend do?”

She replied, “He inherits.”

Applause Section

The Charlotte Chorale welcomes new singers for 2019-20 Season

The Charlotte Chorale is starting the Season on the right note with the addition of ten new singers for the upcoming Christmas concert, “Rejoice and Sing”, December 8, 2019. With the addition of these vocalists, the Chorale now has a roster of over eighty local singers. The Charlotte Chorale is also pleased to welcome Catherine Mahler as Accompanist.

Catherine is an outstanding pianist and and comes to the Chorale with a rich history of musical talent.

Welcome new members:

Bonnie Baker: Soprano. Former Speech/Language Pathologist, Minnesotan Snowbird.

Heather Baker: Soprano. Program Manager with US Bank. Likes to read.

Abigail Bradley: Soprano.  Bachelor of Music Performance from Capital University. Her diploma was signed by Dr. William Dederer, The Chorale’s Musical Director.

Barbara Endrey: Soprano. Retired, from Pennsylvania. Raises butterflies as a hobby.

Susan Schwartz: Alto. Pennsylvania snowbird. Retired attorney and former church organist.

Janis Sorensen: Soprano. Worked with disabled preparing for employment, and also as a workers’ compensation case manager. Volunteers with several organizations.

Dick Vercruysse: Baritone. Former school district director of health, P.E. and Athletics. Travels and hikes with wife, Ellen.

Ellen Vercruysse : Soprano. Former travel consultant in Manhattan. Hikes and travels with husband, Dick.

Jane Waldron: Soprano. Snowbird from Plattsburgh, NY. Former K-6 music teacher.

Kathy Wildermuth: Alto. Was a Registered Nurse. Enjoys gardening, reading and traveling.

The Christmas concert will be performed at The Charlotte Performing Arts Center in Punta Gorda on December 8, 2019 at 4:00pm. Tickets are $25.00 for adults and $10.00 for students and can be purchased by calling 941-204-0033. For more information about The Charlotte Chorale visit

Charlotte DeSoto Building Industry Association members receive high honors at FHBA meeting

In October, the Florida Home Builders Association held their Fall Conference at the Casa Monica Hotel and Resort in Saint Augustine. Established in 1947, the Florida Home Builders Association is affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Florida’s local/regional homebuilder associations. FHBA, along with its affiliates, work to create the best possible economic and regulatory environment for members to succeed. FHBA has over 8,000 members throughout the state, and over 500 members in Charlotte & DeSoto.

TJ Thornberry, Thornberry Custom Builders was named the 2019 Florida Home Builders Association Builder of the Year

For over 20 years and counting in the construction industry, Thornberry works each and every job site making sure his customer’s needs are met. Taking a cue from his dad’s plumbing business, Thornberry has built his company through hard work and determination. As one of the leading builders in Charlotte County, he makes time to diligently serve the Charlotte-DeSoto Building Industry Association (CDBIA), FHBA, and National Association of Home Builders since 2006. His belief, that it’s extremely important to be highly involved and hold a stake in the community where you work and live, has set the path for him to serve the CDBIA in leadership roles culminating as 2007 Builder of the Year, Committee Chairman, and President in 2009. His FHBA commitments have also lead him to volunteer in the association as Area Vice President, a member of the Executive Committee as Secretary, and is in line to become FHBA’s 68th President. Thornberry’s commitment to excellence helped create and establish the Florida Certified Master Builder program. “The FHBA is proud to recognize TJ for his outstanding career accomplishments,” said Rusty Payton, FHBA CEO/Chief Lobbyist. “Under his leadership, he has not only helped establish a the Florida Certified Master Builder program, but is also a staunch advocate for its purpose within the industry. He is a true leader in the building industry and we applaud him.”

Joe Ernst, Lori Swindell Insurance Agency was named the 2019 Associate of the Year and the 2019 Young Building Professional of the Year Selected by a council of industry leaders, the Associate of the Year award encourages best practices, expertise, and exceptional leadership qualities. FHBA associate members are partners either engaged in the trade industry, or a profession related to building in Florida. Established in 2019, the Young Building Professional award recognizes young building industry professionals who propel their careers; advance in local, state, and national associations; advocate for the building industry; engage with peers; and embed themselves as exceptional members of their communities.

During Ernst’s 10-year associate membership, he has progressed from member, to Board member, and in 2019 achieving the role of President of the Manatee-Sarasota Building Industry Association (MSBIA). Among his many voluntary efforts within the association, he spearheaded and is a founding member of the Young Building Professionals Council for MSBIA, FHBA, and National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). He currently serves as Chair for the FHBA Council, and is 2nd Vice Chair of NAHB’s Council.

Although Ernst has only recently been engaged with the FHBA, it has not slowed his passion for the organization. He has participated in numerous Councils and Committees, served as Board member, and quickly became FHBA’s Area VI’s Associate Vice President.

His greatest dedication to promoting the industry can be seen in his advocacy of the Southeast Building Conference (SEBC), which is hosted by FHBA. Ernst routinely engages his employer, customers, and colleagues to have them attend SEBC; an education and expo show that he strongly believes is a necessity to grow a successful business within the building industry.

“The energy and enthusiasm Joe brings in support of the industry is contagious,” said Rusty Payton, FHBA CEO/Chief Lobbyist. “He is never satisfied with status quo and is truly an ardent supporter of the home building industry. We are proud to recognize Joe for his outstanding career accomplishments.”

Bill Truex, Truex Preferred Construction was recognized as the recipient of the inaugural Hurricane Award. The recipient of this award is given to a member of the FHBA who provides leadership through a natural disaster. Bill Truex’s leadership after Hurricane Michael devastated the Panhandle helped bring trucks of donations from all over the State of Florida to those affected by the storm.

Robyn Bonaquist, B-Squared Advertising was honored with the FHBA Eagle Award. The Eagle Award is chosen by the President of FHBA. Robyn’s hard work and leadership as the Chair of the Southeast Building Conference was recognized. Gina Carlson was honored with the Dick Baker Award. Gina’s husband Jay Carlson was a leader in the building industry. He helped wherever he was needed. Gina supported her husband who supported the industry. The Dick Baker Award is named in the honor of the Northeast Florida BA Past President who demonstrated incredible courage and a fighting spirit while suffering from the disease that claimed his life. The Award recognizes individuals who showed the same remarkable resolve in dealing with life’s adversities. The award is appointed by the FHBA President and CEO/Chief Lobbyist and is announced at the Fall Leadership Conference.

Bill Truex served as President of the Florida Home Builders Association and Rick Ilmberger, Suncoast Glass & Mirror served as Second Vice President. Both members received accolades for their service and commitment to the Florida Building Industry. TJ Thornberry was elected as the FHBA Secretary and following the election was sworn into office.

John Wright
Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce

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