4 » OCTOBER 2012 » nEws-pREss.COm/mOms
SouthweSt Florida Parent & Child » oCtoBer 2012 » 5
parent& parent &child & child S O U T H W E S T
F L O R I D A
In Every Issue
29 book club
13 a mother’s view
41 safety corner
Have politics affected your relationships?
Give your family two ways out in case of fire
Eight women find friendship and more in book club
21 ask the expert
32 free food
How to help a child who stutters
Find the restaurants that offer free kids meals
Treasure Island holds lodes of family value
22 in the kitchen
34 young entrepreneurs
There are lots of delicious reasons to eat local
Meet the kids behind four Southwest Florida businesses
24 dining out Enjoy the weather and dine alfresco at Lacarelli’s
On the Cover Lauren Crawford, 11, founded Notta Cupcake, a Naples-based business that makes cake mixes packaged in a decorative cup. Read more about her and other local young entrepreneurs starting on page 34.
25 kid stuff
Fall fun Halloween events and fall festivals
Easy reads Books recommended by moms for moms
BOSS Five local girls start their own businesses
t Kids ea
How a teen learns money management
Sometimes kids come up with the best ideas
Marching band concerts rock the calendar
Other Departments 9 10 11 12 14 16 17
letter from the editor letters to the editor advertisers online me time 5 Things going green
18 42 44 46 47 53 63
fyi books school news arts family album calendar resources
to Where deals find the
COVER PHOTO BY AMANDA INSCORE
Moms find friendship, support in one another
Beyond book club
Spooktacular events haunt the calendar
66 a father’s view
Halloween events are fun for all ages
52 around town
SOUTHWEST FLORIDA PARENT & CHILD » OCTOBER 2012 » 7
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parent& parent& &child child S o u t h w e S t
editor's note »
F l o r i d a
Volume 13, Issue 10 Dedicated to serving the families of Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties 2442 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Fort Myers, FL 33901 news-press.com/moms Annual subscriptions are $24.95 for shipping & handling. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Executive Editor Terry Eberle AME/Targeted Content Wendy Fullerton Powell Editor Pamela Smith Hayford (239) 335-0448 email@example.com
Editorial Contributors Amy Bollen, Cindy Diggs, Jim Dwyer, Maggie Helms, Veronica L. Hernandez, Kira Lewis, Jennifer Reed, Francine Wolfe Schwartz, Andrea Stetson Art Director Lindi Daywalt-Feazel
couple of years ago, my kids decided to set up a lemonade stand during a garage sale we were having. It was a smashing success. The kids made a shocking $50. They’ve been dreaming up new money-making ideas ever since. Logan and Riley will be highly impressed to learn about the five students featured in this month’s issue of Southwest Florida Parent & Child. These kids not only hit on great business ideas, they are solidifying those ideas into real-life businesses. One girl created Notta Cupcake. Two friends started a boat washing business. Another bakes cakes and cookies. And another is starting up a fashion venture and photography business. I’m sure there are more young entrepreneurs out there, and we salute your good work. You can read more about these five entrepreneurs starting on page 34. Also in this month’s issue, find out where and when kids can eat free, see how a book club brought a local group of moms together and gave them support through thick and thin. Plus, you’ll find lots of Halloween events and fall festivals in our calendar pages, in Kid Stuff and online at news-press.com/moms. Have a spooktacular month!
Photographer Amanda Inscore Magazine Advertising Director Kathryn Kinsey firstname.lastname@example.org
Pamela Smith Hayford Editor
Niche Operations Quality Cooordinator Dennis Wright email@example.com Advertising Account Executives Kimber Rose Chapman (239) 281-6455 firstname.lastname@example.org Lisa Doyle (239) 910-5163 email@example.com Distribution (239) 344-4773 Southwest Florida Parent & Child is a FREE publication distributed at more than 500 locations throughout Southwest Florida by The News-Press Media Group. All rights reserved. We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information published but cannot be held responsible for any consequences arising from omissions or errors. Any opinions expressed by writers and advertisers are not necessarily opinions of the magazine or publisher.
Contact us: We enjoy hearing from you. Send your photos, letters or comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit us online:
news-press.com/moms SouthweSt Florida Parent & Child » oCtober 2012 » 9
« letter to the editor
More on couponIng
just wanted to send an email regarding the article “The Coupon Experiment” by Kira Lewis (July 2012, about a woman using her couponing skills to buy food for the hungry). The prime time to actually save couponing was about two years ago before the TLC series “Extreme Couponing” came out. A bunch of my friends and I did the couponing thing for well over a year; we spent about $50 to $60 a week and saved well over $80 to $120. But once TLC came out with their series, stores such as Publix really tightened the reigns and became very strict. They no longer accept a lot of coupons. As a matter of fact, each Publix accepts up to four other competitors’ coupons
and that depends on the stores within a certain radius. The article fails to mention the great websites to use, such as The Grocery Game, where there is a $10 fee per month; however, if you don’t utilize, you can still use Coupon Tracker for free. There is also Southern Savers, which is awesome, and a bunch of others that actually show you the savings for that week and each particular store and even goes further to tell you where to find the coupon, such as a Sunday insert and which one, Red Plum, General Mills, etc., or a printable with the corresponding link. And in order to get the Sunday coupons, you need to get your paper deliv-
ered to your home as all those coupons go into deliveries first and any others are randomly submitted, so when you go to a store, such as 7-Eleven or a paper machine, odds are there are no coupons. It used to be a great system once upon a time. Although every little bit helps. Lastly, it is not mentioned how time consuming this process actually is. You are getting paid with your savings to do the work. It can take three to five hours to really do a thorough job, and that is if you use a binder and come up with an organized system. Which, you can go to YouTube to see how others set up their systems. If you want to save, you truly have to work for it. — Tracey Clere
WRITE US » We love hearing from readers. Send your letter to the editor via email at email@example.com or mail your letter to Editor Pamela Smith Hayford, SW FL Parent & Child, 2442 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Fort Myers FL 33901.
10 » october 2012 » news-press.com/moms
ADVERTISERS Pediatric Dentistry of Bonita ...... 51 Pediatric Orthopedics .............. 2 Physicians Primary Care of SWFL .............................................. 26 Pirate Cruise .......................... 28 Professor Patches Magic Show .............................................. 53 Puddle Jumpers Children’s Consignment ......... 59 Pump It Up ........................... 20
ABC Swim School ............... 54 Andrew A. Bokan Attorney ..... 12 Baby Love Birth Center .............. 2 Backstage Dance Academy ...... 55 Bananas Salon ........................ 53 Bounce 4 Less ........................ 53 Brown Academy ..................... 56 Broadway Palm ..................... 30 Calusa Nature Center ............. 30 Campbell Orthodontics .......... 60 Canterbury School .................. 43 Cape Coral Eye Center .............. 4 Cape Speech Therapy ............ 62 Center for the Arts of Bonita .................................. 3 Charter Schools USA .............. 10 Child Care of SWFL ................ 24 Children’s Network Of SWFl... 68 Collier County Parks After School ............................ 17 Competitive Edge Dance Studio .......................... 56 Critterman .............................. 53 Creative Cubs Child Care .........56 Crestwell School ................... 58 Custom Stitches Embroidering & Digital Printing .................... 63
Early Learning Coalition ...........33 Elite Speech Therapy ............. 62 Essential Swim Lessons ........ 54 Estero Children’s Academy ..... 57 Family Birth Center of Naples .40 Family Music Time ................ 60 Father Anglim Academy ........ 46 Fiesta Tents ........................... 63 Fifth Avenue South ................ 46 Florida Specialist in Urology .... 15 Florida Swimmers .................. 54 Fort Myers Eye Associates ...... 62 Fort Myers Pediatrics ................ 2 Game Guys ............................ 53 Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast .......... 63 Golisano Childrens Museum ... 67 Gulf Coast Music School ......... 60 Gulf Coast Orthodontics ......... 24
FOR FALL FUN
Dance Bochette ...................... 55 Dance World............................ 55 Dr Andrew Oakes-Lottridge ..... 8 Dr Oliver Favalli ...................... 30
Radiology Regional Center ..... 28 Redeemer Early Learning Center ............................................... 58 Reed Orthodontics ................ 23 Renaissance School ............... 23 Robin Dawn Academy ............ 55 Royal Palm Academy ............. 24
AUTUMN ACTIVITIES pages 25- 26 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Health Care Network of SWFL Children’s Care ......... 61 Health Care Network of SWFL Dental Care ............. 61
Main Street Dentistry ............ 40 Miracles Imaging ................... 64 Montessori Academy of Naples . 40 Montessori School of Fort Myers ......................... 58
Junior Achievement.................. 5 Kids Connection Early Learning Center ..................... 58 Kinderland Place at Gateway .. 56 King Richard’s Family Fun ..... 42 Kriger Orthodontics ................ 8 Kung Fu ................................ 54
Nanny Poppinz ...................... 42 Naples Pediatric Dentistry ..... 45 North Naples Speech & Language Services ............. 62 Once Upon A Child Consignment .......................... 59
Saddlewood Horse Club ........ 54 Scuba Outfitters of Naples .... 54 School District of Lee County.. 12 Simon Properties ..................... 19 Shell Factory........................... 28 Smith Family Law ................. 28 South Christian Academy ...... 58 Sneak Preview Ultrasound ......... 26 Speech Matters ..................... 62 Spot Therapy Associates ....... 62 State Of The Art Tea Kwon Do . 54 SWFL Christian Academy ...... 58 Teacher Pack Rat .................. 59 The Attention Disorder & Related Disorders Clinic ..................... 62 Tiny Tots Martial Art ............ 63 The Butterfly Estates ............ 63 The Childrens Hospital of SWFL .............................................. 68 The Dance Warehouse ........... 55 The Paint Escape ................... 53 Thin Slim Medical Weight Loss . 31 Total Approach French Tutoring ..................... 60 Tracee’s Dance Impact ........... 55 Twinkle Twinkle Little Store .. 59 USA Tae Kwon Do Center ...... 33 Vino’s Picasso Paint Studio ... 59 Wellington Academy ................ 6 YMCA .................................... 45
Lehigh Child Care Center ........ 42
Party King ............................. 53 PBS Photography Studio ....... 60 Peace Early Learning Center . 58, 64
Zoomers Family Amusement Park .................... 51
news-press.com/moms C’mon contest
Family fun October’s calendar is typically full of family fun, and this year it’s no different. There are so many fun events, that we don’t have space for everything in our calendar pages. Search an expanded calendar of family events on news-press.com/moms.
The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples opened with much fanfare earlier this year and has already surpassed 100,000 visitors. This month, we’re giving away free tickets to C’mon. For details, visit us at news-press.com/ moms.
Like us at facebook.com/swflparentchild
12 » october 2012 » news-press.com/moms
Get the latest event information and family news all month long at news-press.com/moms.
Hurricane Hub In case of a storm, you’ll want to be prepared with this comprehensive guide to hurricane preparation and updates. This app links you to the latest tracking maps, radar images, alerts and eye-witness reports from reporters and the public. To get the app, visit any news-press.com page, scroll to the bottom and click on the Hurricane Hub image.
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And on Pinterest at pinterest.com/swflparentchild
a mother's view »
Kira Lewis of Cape Coral is mom to two children and founder of calmandchaosmama.com and couponchaosmama.com.
k ir a le wis
Parents before Politics Something stronger than party affiliation unites us.
have a friend I‘ve known for well over 15 years now. She and I definitely hold opposing viewpoints on many issues. As we’ve gotten older, those differences have become more overtly revealed in reaction to the political climate in our country and the wonders of social media. A couple of years ago, I reached a point where I questioned whether our friendship could endure. Then, after some true soul searching, I came to the conclusion that I must be crazy! I realized, if nothing more, we are bonded by an experience that is truly stronger than any of the other areas where we disagree: We are both parents. In fact, she is an amazing mother whom I have always admired and who has been a great source of support for me. While I tend to be more anxious and obsessive, she’s the grounded one who has helped me learn not to sweat the small stuff. Where we are similar is in our passion, whether it is for our children or our politics. As a result, it is impossible to appreciate how committed she is in one area of life and to discount it in another. This realization did force some difficult dialogue for the two of us, but a few awkward email conversations were worth preserving a long-held friendship. Overall, it helped us both better understand the importance of being mindful about the language we use and even the posts we share on Facebook. For me, this experience represented a larger trend going on in our country. We seem to be increasingly identifying with politically oriented labels, such as liberal or conservative, and using them as a way
to separate ourselves from one another. This practice is not only undermining our government, but also our communities, households and friendships. I can’t help wondering what might happen if, as I ultimately was able to do with my friend, we spent more time looking for common ground? As I began to ponder this question, I decided to do a little mathematical investigation. I was curious about exactly how many people in the U.S. are parents. I confess I found no perfect source for this data, but it appears an acceptable estimate is about 155 million people. There are approximately 236 million people of eligible voting age in this country based on Census data. Therefore, again not exact math, especially when you consider some parents aren’t of legal voting age, somewhere around 66 percent of voters are parents.
According to Gallup data from August, the percentage of Americans who are registered Democrats or Republicans is 34-35 percent for each party. It certainly appears that as parents, we could be one powerful political force. Another piece of interesting information to chew on: The current president is and all the surviving past presidents were parents. No matter how much we might dislike any one of them or feel that they failed to represent what we stand for while in office, the fact is that every one of them shared a label with us that I think we consider far more precious and important than that of any particular party. As we approach the election, it may seem like we are a hopelessly divided nation. Yet, imagine the possibilities if we put politics aside and unite on our common ground as parents.
souThwesT Florida parenT & child » ocTober 2012 » 13
» me time
StorieS oF motherhood Five good reads suggested by the members of a local moms’ book club that’s featured on page 29. By Kira Lewis
“Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” by amy Chua This book set off a global parenting debate with its story of one mother’s journey in strict parenting. While being provocative and laugh-outloud funny, Amy Chua argues that Western parenting tries to respect and nurture children’s individuality, while Chinese parents typically believe that arming children with skills, strong work habits and inner confidence prepares them best for the future. Read the book and decide if the Tiger way is for you.
“Secret Daughter” by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
“Shelter Me” by Juliette Fay Four months after her husband’s death, Janie LaMarche remains undone by grief and anger. Her mourning is disrupted, however, by the unexpected arrival of a builder with a contract to add a porch onto her house. Stunned, Janie realizes the porch was meant to be a surprise from her husband — now his last gift to her. As she reluctantly allows construction to begin, Janie’s selfimposed isolation is breached by a cast of unlikely interventionists: her chattering, ipecac-toting aunt; her bossy, over-manicured neighbor; her muffin-bearing cousin, and even Tug, the contractor with a private grief all his own.
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Somer’s life is everything she imagined it would be until she discovers she never will be able to have children. The same year in India, a poor mother makes the heartbreaking choice to save her newborn’s life by giving her away. It is a decision that will haunt Kavita for the rest of her life and cause a ripple effect that travels across the world and back again.
“I Don’t Know How She Does It” by Allison PeArson Hedge-fund manager, wife and mother of two, Kate Reddy manages to juggle nine currencies in five time zones and keep in step with the Teletubbies. But when she finds herself awake at 1:37 a.m. in a panic over the need to produce a homemade pie for her daughter’s school, she has to admit her life has become unrecognizable. With panache, wisdom and uproarious wit, “I Don’t Know How She Does It” brilliantly dramatizes the dilemma of a working mom.
“Left Neglected” by lisA GenovA Sarah Nickerson is an overachieving 37-year-old mom with a Harvard MBA and a demanding job as a vice president at a consulting firm. Then a car crash and traumatic brain injury leave Sarah with “left neglect,” a lack of awareness of anything to her left, including the left side of her body. When insurance runs out, the one person who can help is her mother, yet their relationship is rocky. As Sarah’s struggles parallel those of her ADHD — 7-year-old son, Charlie, the healing of body, mind and mother-daughter relationship begins — and so does acceptance that “normal is overrated.”
— All the books can be purchased locally at Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million or online at amazon.com
SouthweSt Florida Parent & Child » oCtober 2012 » 15
» 5 things
Halloween can be any parent’s nightmare when it comes to all that candy. Here are several fun and healthier alternatives to help avoid the sugar shock. By Kira Lewis
What a hoot, these are too cute »
Your little goblins will be too busy playing with this gooey, glowing slime from the Oriental Trading Company to notice they are short a few sweets. For your more girlie ghouls, glow in the dark bracelets may do the trick. Glow in the dark slime, $11 per dozen, and Halloween glow assortment bracelets, $35 for 100, at orientaltrading.com.
Dressed up little darlings are sure to find delight in these tiny Quaker chocolate chip granola bars. A better-for-them choice with no high-fructose corn syrup, they’re still sweet enough to convince them they’ve gotten a treat. 40 mini-bars come in a handy container that can easily be repurposed post Halloween, $6.99 at Target.
The surprising yumminess of these fruity little nuggets may have your kiddos willing to trade in their candy for more of these tasty treats. Each small package of Florida’s Natural Au’some Organic Fruit Nuggets contains 50 calories, no fat and no preservatives and is gluten- and nut-free. They also contain considerably less sugar than most fruit snacks. $2.49 for a box of 10 at Publix.
M&M’s and Mars bars will be gobbled up in a moment, but a little bit of fun can long outlast their Halloween haul. Introduce kids to classics like marbles or show off your childhood moves with a Chinese jump rope. Choose from a large selection, 99 cents to $3.49 each at World Market in Fort Myers, Estero and Naples.
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Games for ghosties
Halloween swag »
Nugget not nougat
Kids can enjoy the holiday for months with mummy straws in their drinks and spooky–themed pencils for doing homework. They can even pull a few tricks of their own by leaving creepy crawly creatures under their siblings’ pillows. Various Halloween-themed items, $1 per package (five straws, 12 pencils or 24 creatures) at Dollar Tree stores throughout Southwest Florida.
going green »
ow many kids growing up today in Southwest Florida go on hikes through the woods? Or play outside in the mud for hours? (Little League games not included.) The National Wildlife Federation is helping parents and other caregivers create natural play spaces in their own backyards — even if the backyard is a small lot in the middle of suburbia. The organization, along with the Natural Learning
Initiative, recently released “Nature Play at Home: A Guide for Boosting Children’s Healthy Development and Creativity.” The guide outlines numerous ways to turn an underused corner of your yard into a fascinating play place for ages 1 to 12, including this vine-covered teepee, and gives step-by-step instructions to make the ideas reality. The full guide can be downloaded for free at nwf.org/natureplayguide. For more information on getting kids outside more often, visit beoutthere.org.
Photo by Nilda CosCo/Courtesy of NWf
How to create natural play spaces
southWest florida PareNt & Child » oCtober 2012 » 17
» 5 things
Fishing club for kids Charlotte County Community Services started a fishing club for kids in September. The club, for ages 5 to 12 (with a parent or guardian), meets 8:30-10:30 a.m. the first and third Saturday each month at Chadwick Park, 2400 N. Beach Road, Englewood. To register, call 941-6813742 or visit charlottecountyfl.gov.
Literacy Buddies Many preschoolers in Southwest Florida don’t have books at home. The Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida is asking people to help change that by volunteering to become a Literacy Buddy. Each volunteer is matched with a 3- or 4-year-old child from a subsidized child care program in Lee, Collier or Hendry counties. They write letters a few times a year and the volunteer sends three books to their little buddy. To volunteer, call 210-6886 or visit elcofswfl.org.
Mother-in-Law Contest I Do Bridals of Cape Coral is looking to crown its first Mother-in-Law of the Year. Brides and grooms can elect their mothers-in-law by submitting an essay of 1,500 words or less about why their mother-in-law is the best. Entries are available at the shop, 434 SE 47th Terrace, Suite A, Cape Coral. Deadline is Dec. 1. For details, call 542-2244.
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Meditation classes for kids » Meditation helps kids learn to focus and calm themselves. The Samudrabadra Kadampa Buddhist Center in Fort Myers plans to resume meditation classes for kids this month. The classes, which include a brief meditation, teaching, craft, discussion and games, are 10-11:30 a.m. the first Sunday of the month and coincide an adult class. Children 4 and younger should be accompanied by an adult. The class is followed by a kid-friendly potluck. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for children; however, the group doesn’t want cost to keep anyone from attending, so if you’re in need, ask about a discount. For details, call 567-9739 or visit meditationinfortmyers.org/kidsclasses.
« Parents go natural Moms and dads interested in cloth diapering, babywearing, holistic treatments, cosleeping and other topics associated with “attachment parenting” can now meet with a group of like-minded parents. The Natural Parenting & Babywearing Get Together meets at 3:30 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at EcoBaby & Home at the Shoppes at Vanderbilt
New force in ovarian cancer awareness Did you know that a PAP smear does not detect ovarian cancer? It’s a misnomer that the new, Fort Myers-based Betty Allen Ovarian Cancer Foundation aims to dispel. The fledgling organization officially launched as a new force in the battle against ovarian cancer in September. Its goal is to educate women about the cancer, which often happens after menopause but can strike women of any age, and how early detection depends on knowing the symptoms. To learn more, visit ovariancancerfl.org.
Beds for babies
Child advocates warn parents that co-sleeping can be deadly for infants. But many families can’t afford a crib. The Safe and Healthy Children’s Coalition of Collier County recently bought 112 Pak n’ Play portable cribs for families in need. The organization estimates that more than 600 families in Collier County do not have a bed for baby. The Archangel Fund for Collier County Charities of Trinity-By-The-Cove Episcopal Church gave the coalition a $5,000 grant to buy the cribs and distribute through local agencies. To learn more, visit safehealthychildren.org.
Region gets first family medicine residency Florida State University College of Medicine and Lee Memorial Health System recently opened the area’s first family medicine residency program. The practice is part of the Lee Physician Group at Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers. It will serve as the learning center of the residency program and be staffed by a faculty of five physicians, a clinical psychologist and a nurse practitioner. The practice is accepting new patients now and expects to start training its first residents by summer.
SouthweSt Florida Parent & Child » oCtober 2012 » 19
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« ask the expert
Cindy dig gs
Help is available in school and in the community.
My child stutters a lot and I’m worried what effect this will have on him in school. What can I do?
Now that the school year is under way, many parents become more concerned about their children academically and socially. Every child encounters some stress with schedules, homework, test anxiety, social pressures, etc. However, daily functional communication can be a stress and a struggle for the child who stutters. A child who stutters might experience anxiety about his stuttering every time he speaks to a peer or a teacher. He might experience anxiety about his stuttering when he attempts to participate in class, but is afraid to raise his hand to be called on for fear of stuttering. He might experience anxiety about his stuttering when talking to a peer for fear of embarrassment and social ridicule. Unfortunately, some children who stutter are afraid to participate in class and school activities, lack confidence and become socially isolated. Fortunately, speech therapy can help. Discuss your concerns with your child’s teacher. A teacher can be a strong support and help with appropriate interven-
tion, and speech therapy is available in most schools. Some children might require more therapy than is available in school. In these cases, a speech-language pathologist can teach parents and teachers techniques that can decrease your child’s stuttering. For example: » Give the child your undivided attention when he is responding. » Give him adequate time to respond. » Do not interrupt or answer for him. A speech-language pathologist can also teach your child techniques and strategies for fluent speech. There are breathing techniques, easy onset strategies, modification techniques and others. These are taught in a structured setting and gradually worked into a variety of settings within his environment with guidance and support. Parent involvement is highly encouraged in therapy and support groups are available. It is very important for a child who stutters to realize he is not alone and to reach out for support. By participating in speech therapy, your child will be empowered with knowledge and strategies and in turn become more confident. With increased fluency, he will experience more academic and social involvement and development.
Ask the Expert »
Ask us anything. We’ll find the answer. In this advice column, we take your questions and pose them to the appropriate expert. Send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Ask the Expert” in the subject line. Or post your question to the Ask the Expert forum on news-press.com/moms.
souThwesT Florida parenT & child » ocTober 2012 » 21
» in the kitchen
Francine Wolfe Schwartz is a food and consumer product consultant in Southwest Florida.
Fr a ncine WolFe Sch Wa rtz
Farmers Market Shopping Tips
» Bring a cooler with frozen ice packs to keep foods fresh for the trip home. » Wear comfortable shoes, clothing, hats and sunscreen and bring along water.
Crisp Autumn Salad (Recipe at right)
» Use a stroller or wagon for young children.
Why eat local? and how to start buying locally grown foods.
hat’s all the hoopla about eating local? Once considered a trendy movement that challenges people to buy food grown within a strict radius of where they live, the movement is going mainstream as more consumers demand healthy, affordable local foods. Many of the foods we eat at home or in restaurants travel on average more than 1,000 miles before landing on our plates. The irony is some of those foods are available seasonally within our state or geographic region. Even Walmart has realized this trend and is creating “food hub” policies to buy locally grown foods, according to a Forbes.com report in July. Reacting to the demands of the consumer, Walmart and other grocery stores post in-store signs let-
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ting you know foods are locally grown. Availability of local foods is not limited to restaurants and stores. Supporting our state’s farmers, the Florida Department of Agriculture created guidelines for farmers to sell directly to public school cafeterias so your child can eat and learn more about “Fresh From Florida” foods at school. One of the easiest ways to buy fresh, locally grown foods is to shop at farmers markets. There is extensive information about Florida crops and products — including lists of local farmers markets, a chart of crops in season now, Christmas tree farms, Florida seafood information and lots of recipes — on the Florida Department of Agriculture website florida-agriculture.com/consumers. But the most delicious news of all is that locally grown foods are more nutritious and tastier.
» Store small bills and change securely in your pocket. » Carry a basket, canvas totes or recycled plastic bags. » Arrive early to survey the market and allow plenty of time to shop at leisure. Let your children choose, too. » Buy quantities sized to fit your household; overbuying increases waste and runs up food costs unnecessarily. » Pick one or two new food items or varieties each week to add flavor, color, texture and healthpromoting nutrients to meals. » Take advantage of the opportunity to get to know the farmer or grower. Ask where the food was grown, when it was harvested, how to select the best of the crop and cook, store or freeze for future use. » Don´t be shy. Ask about less familiar foods, such as heirloom tomatoes, white eggplant, unfamiliar squash or greens. » Buy the most perishable products last (seafood, flowers and strawberries). » Once home, store foods promptly to preserve freshness; use perishable items first.
Crisp autumn Salad Tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers are growing in Lee, Collier and Hendry counties. INGREDIENTS
» 1 large Florida cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch diced pieces
» 3 tablespoons olive oil
» 2 large Florida tomatoes, diced » 2 medium red Florida bell peppers, diced small
» Freshly squeezed juice of ½ to 1 lemon, or to taste » Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste DIRECTIONS
» ½ cup Florida radish, finely diced
Combine all the vegetables and olives in a salad bowl. Use enough olive oil to moisten the vegetables and add lemon juice to taste. Season with salt and pepper, then toss.
1/3 cup chopped
Makes eight servings.
» 1 cup Florida red cabbage, finely shredded » 2 bunches green onions, finely chopped
Markets Now Open While the rest of the country prepares for winter, Southwest Florida spends fall welcoming back its farmers markets.
Lee COuNty River District Farmers Market » Centennial Park, under the U.S. 41 Caloosahatchee Bridge at the corner of Heitman and West First streets in Fort Myers. Open 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursdays year-round. 321-7100 or cityftmyers.com/farmersmarket. Cape Coral Farmers Market » Club Square, Southeast 47th Terrace and Southeast 10th Place, Cape Coral. Open 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, Oct. 20 through May 11. 549-6900 or capecoralfarmersmarket.com.
COLLier COuNty Third Street South Farmers Market » Located behind Tommy Bahama’s in the Neapolitan parking lot between Third Street and Gordon Drive in Naples. Open 7:30-11:30 a.m. Saturdays year-round. 649-6707 or thirdstreetsouth.com/farmersmarket. Naples Green Market » Nex to Iberia Bank Corporate Headquarters, 2150 Goodlette Road, Naples. Open 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays starting Oct. 27. 594-9358 or greenmarketflorida.com.
CharLOtte COuNty Punta Gorda Downtown Farmers Market » 209 W. Olympia Ave. and Taylor Street, Punta Gorda Open 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays year-round. 941-391-4856.
SouthweSt Florida Parent & Child » oCtober 2012 » 23
» dining out
Dining alfresco Lucarelli’s patio makes lovely location for good Italian meal. By AndreA StetSon
his time of year, the heat starts to subside and dining outside becomes more inviting. Small and cozy on the inside, peaceful and European style outside, Lucarelli’s Italian restaurant in North Naples gives families space to spread out on a lanai overlooking a small lake. Starting this month, live music anchors Family Fun Night every Friday. The menu at this family-owned restaurant stretches for many pages and features typical Italian fare, from pizza and pasta to soups, salads and sandwiches. On a recent visit, I had the baked manicotti, $9.95, and it Location » 8970 Fontana Del Sol Way, Naples was really cheesy and flavorful. Phone » 254-5052 My husband, Greg, went more Online » traditional with spaghetti and naplesrestaurantspecials. com/restaurant/lucarellismeatballs, $9.95. pizza-and-deli “These are some of the best Hours » 11 a.m.-9 p.m. meatballs I’ve ever had,” he said. Monday-Friday, 4-9 p.m. Saturday Our daughter, Kristyn, chose the white pizza, $10.50, and liked Price range » $5.95-$19 Kids’ menu » Spaghetti the deep cheese and crisp crust. with tomato sauce, Our son, Alexander, had pizza $5.95; spaghetti with one meatball, $6.25; with shrimp on it, also $10.50. ravioli with tomato sauce We dined with friends Mior fettuccine Alfredo, $6.50 chele and Michael Standish and Tip » Family Fun Night their two children, who have with live music starts this been there often and recommonth. mended the place. Their daughter, Catherine, 9, had a chicken Caesar salad, $7.95. “It’s better than the salad my mom makes,” Catherine said. “It has crispy lettuce, and I like the crunchy stuff.” The restaurant also features wraps, baked dishes, calzones and specialty dishes such as chicken parmigiana. The kids’ menu includes traditional Italian dishes, such as spaghetti, fettuccine and ravioli. The Lucarelli family has been in the restaurant business for more than 10 years. They previously owned Anthony’s Pizza in the Pavilion.
24 » OctOber 2012 » news-press.cOm/mOms
kid stuff »
There’s a touch of autumn in the air — and on the calendar. By AndreA STeTSon
“We geT inTo Fall by decoraTing our home WiTh all oF The Fall colors, leaF decals For The WindoW, pumpkins and such.“ ThinksTockphoTos.com
here are no fields of bright orange pumpkins growing on vines here. The trees are green. The weather is still hot. But that’s no reason to think you can’t give your kids a taste of fall and the Halloween spirit. There are many ways to celebrate autumn in Southwest Florida. “We get into fall by decorating our home with all of the fall colors, leaf decals for the window, pumpkins and such,” says Kim Breunig of Fort Myers. “We love picking out our pumpkins in shorts, instead of winter coats. The big down side to the pumpkins is that they do go bad quickly in the heat.” “Fall is always the time of year I get really homesick,” says Amy D’Altrui, a Lee County mom of three children ages 8, 6 and 4. “We do go to the Lakes Park fall festival and decorate the house for fall and Halloween. Although it’s annoying to me to be sweating on Halloween, I try to keep in mind that although I grew up trick-ortreating in foot-deep snow in Colorado, my kids don’t know any different.” If you miss the red, orange and yellow leaves of northern climates, there are snippets of that in Lee and Collier counties. The golden rain tree is covered in bright yellow flowers and papery pinkish-orange seed pods, making it one of the most colorful trees locally. It blooms in October and November, and while there are many of these trees all over Southwest Florida, the most concentrated place to see them is along Livingston Road between Bonita Beach and Immokalee roads in Bonita Springs and North Naples. The Naples Botanical Garden is one place that has several trees with fall colors, including red maples. The venue also celebrates fall with scarecrows in the children’s garden throughout October. Plus, there are many festivals that try to mimic the harvest up north. Here’s a sampling.
— kim breunig
auTumn highlighTs Lee County PumPkin PatCh at Lakes Park Where » Lakes Regional Park, 7330 Gladiolus Drive, south Fort Myers When » 5-10 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.10 p.m. weekends, Oct. 15-31. Cost » Free admission. Individual activities may require a fee. Event parking is $2.
Regular parking at the park is $1 hour or $5 for the day. More Information » 533-7575 or leeparks.org See the many of the scenes of fall on a hayride around the pumpkin patch or ride the Halloween Express, a mini-train ride through model villages decorated for the season. Also features bounce houses, super slides, food and ghoulish games. Businesses and community groups display scarecrows and the public can vote on the best ones.
souThwesT Florida parenT & child » ocTober 2012 » 25
« kid stuff (continued) Friendly Forest & Haunted Walk Where » Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium, 3450 Ortiz Ave., Fort Myers When » Friendly Forest is 2-5 p.m. Oct. 26, 27, 28 and 31; Haunted Walk is 7-10 p.m. Oct. 19-31. Cost » For the Friendly Forest, $10 for adults and $5 for ages 6-12, free for ages 5 and younger; members, $5. For the Haunted Walk and Laser Light Show, $10 for all ages, $8 for members. Includes admission to the center. More information » 275-3435 or calusanature.org The nature center offers two ways to celebrate Halloween: the Haunted Walk for ages 13 and older and the Friendly Forest for younger kids and toddlers. For the Friendly Forest, children are encouraged to come in costume. Junior naturalists will be stationed along the route letting children pet creatures and learn more about them. The kids also do arts and crafts and trick or treat for candy. For the older crowd, there’s the swamp people-themed Haunted Walk. It is billed as the oldest and longest haunted walk in the area.
PumPkin PatcH & Fall Festival Where » Cypress Lake United Methodist Church, 8570 Cypress Lake Drive, south Fort Myers When » The pumpkin patch is open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. MondaySaturday, noon-8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29 to Oct. 31. The Fall Festival is 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. Cost » Free admission. Pumpkin prices vary. More information » 482-1250 or cypresslakeumc.com Thousands of the gourds — more than 20 varieties — arrive in three full semi-trucks each year, and strategically placed hay bales and pumpkins make good photo opportunities. “It’s the largest around,” says youth director Jay Tucker.
collier county trick or treat on tHe BoardWalk Where » Freedom Park, 1515 Golden Gate Parkway, Naples When » 3-5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31 Cost » $1 per family More information » collierparks. com Prekindergarten children and their parents enjoy fun and games while picking up treats along the boardwalk. Great fall settings for photo ops.
PumPkin PatcH & Festival Where » St. Monica’s Episcopal Church, 7070 Immokalee Road, Naples. When » 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 7-31 with Pumpkin Festival on Saturday, Oct. 20 Cost » Free admission. Pumpkin prices vary. More information » 591-4550 or stmonicas.org Features face painting, pony rides, photo ops and more. Everything is free except food. The pumpkin patch is open daily for photos and pumpkin purchases.
charlotte county Family Fall Festival Where » Gulf Cove United Methodist Church, 1100 S. McCall Road, Port Charlotte When » 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27 Cost » Free admission. Pumpkin prices vary. More information » 941-6971747 or gulfcoveumc.org Features games, food, small pumpkin patch, crafts, face painting and more. The church’s free Trunk or Treat event is 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31.
Find more fall festivals and Halloween events in this month’s calendar (starting on page 53) and online at news-press.com/moms.
26 » OctOber 2012 » news-press.cOm/mOms
Battle oF the marching bands Southwest Florida schools strut their stuff at annual performances. by AndreA StetSon
or some fans, the biggest event This is the first time the FBA event on the football field comes will be at Gulf Coast. For the past 30 at half time. In fact, at some years, it was at Fort Myers High School. ShOwcaSe OF BandS schools, they say, “The field Justin Goff, music director at Ida Where » Gulf Coast High School, belongs to the band.” Baker High School in Cape Coral, says 7878 Shark Way, North Naples Southwest Florida’s high school he hopes many people will learn about When » 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 marching bands are showing off their the event, attend and see how vital Cost » $5 talents this month in two big events. music programs are for students. More information » 8214687 or email@example.com First, all seven Collier County “Music is important,” Goff explains. public high schools’ marching bands “Typically when schools are looking at FlOrIda perform in the Showcase of Bands on where the money will be taken, the arts BandmaSterS Saturday, Oct. 20, at Gulf Coast High are the first to look at. It’s really imporaSSOcIatIOn mUSIc School in North Naples. Some 4,000 tant. These kids work really hard with PerFOrmance to 5,000 spectators are expected for the creativity, teamwork and setting goals.” aSSeSSment two-hour event. Marisa Curbelo, a senior trombone Where » Gulf Coast High School, The next weekend, high school player and drum major at Ida Baker, 7878 Shark Way, North Naples bands from Collier, Lee and Hendry says the band nights are good learning When »10 a.m. to about 9 counties perform at the Florida Bandexperiences for band members. p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27 masters Association Music Perfor“FBA and band in general is a great Cost » $7 mance Assessment, an all-day event way to see where you are in your More information » 8214687 or firstname.lastname@example.org where bands are rated by experts from music,” she says. “It’s a great learning around the state. Open to the public, experience to play under pressure. It’s a it begins with the smallest bands at 10 reflection of what you do all year. A lot a.m. and ends with the largest around of the music is absolutely phenomenal. 8 p.m. You have bands playing songs you know and grew up with. “It’s a great opportunity for those middle school kids to see It’s cool to see what the kids can do, and what they have been what the big kids are doing and what’s ahead for them when working on for so long.” they get to high school,” says Steve DeLadurantey, band direcMany bands have more than 200 members. Gulf Coast tor at Gulf Coast High School. “It’s a great thing to come out High has about 350. and see the arts and see what’s going on in high schools, and “The band is representative of school spirit and we have it’s inexpensive entertainment.” really good school spirit,” says Nicole Ma, a senior piccolo The Collier showcase is more compact while the FBA player at Gulf Coast High. “You really feel cool in band. You event gives listeners a larger variety of bands throughout the feel like you are special. You are part of a special group and day and evening. it’s like family.”
IF YOU GO
SouthweSt Florida Parent & Child » oCtober 2012 » 27
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Photo by AmAndA Inscore
Eight Fort Myers women find friendship, laughter and support between the pages of their lives. By Kira LEwis
Stacey Meagher, left, Florence Crawford, Rachel Bell and Lisa Muench, right, talk about their lives and the book “Before I Go To Sleep,” by S. J. Watson with the other members during their August book club meeting at Cristof’s in Fort Myers.
n a private room at Cristof ’s on McGregor in Fort Myers, eight women chat and laugh. If you were fortunate enough to join them, you would soon find it impossible not to be pulled into the pages of their stories. It started in May 2006, when eight moms decided to start a book club. At the time, none of them could have anticipated just how much their lives would be impacted, not only by the books they read but also by on another .
“We are more than just a book club,” says Stacey Meagher. “It is a sisterhood, a support group with literary benefits.” They have 25 children between them; two were just born this July. “We keep saying we’re done with kids,” Kathy Scharlau quips, “and then we show up for a meeting and
someone else announces they are pregnant.” “Now,” Rebecca Jones adds, “when someone comes in and tells us they’re pregnant, we’re all like, ‘We’re so sorry; are you OK?’ It used to be a celebration!” Book club meetings occur on a monthly basis and, yes, they do read the books, at least most of the time.
southwest FlorIdA PArent & chIld » october 2012 » 29
Photo by AmAndA Inscore
» spotlight (continued)
Kathy Scharlau and Lacey Fairchild, right, talk at the start of the book club’s meeting in August at Cristof’s in Fort Myers.
“A few years ago, I actually sat in my car in the parking lot before a meeting reading over the CliffsNotes for that night’s selection,” Jill Palmer confesses. “It was a big stress in the early days,” Rachel Bell explains. “We were afraid we’d get kicked out.” While to date nobody has been voted out, that doesn’t mean they don’t take the literary component of their club seriously. Many of the titles they choose go beyond trendy chick lit and really examine the deeper issues of motherhood and those of society at large. Because their backgrounds include working moms and stay-at-home moms and cover a wide spectrum of religious and political viewpoints, they definitely have disagreements about the books. However, as Kathy points out, “How boring would it be if we all had the same opinion?” Traditions and themes also play a major role in the group dynamic. The women hold a yearly Christmas party and girls’ weekend on Captiva. Whenever a book they’ve read is turned into a movie, they always go see the film together. They even try to find clever ways to incorporate the book into their meetings. When they read “Water for Elephants,” they met at The Elephant Bar at Edison Mall. When they read “Picking Cotton,” they had the author call into their meeting. Jones admits, “As we’ve had more kids, we’ve gotten less creative. We just enjoy going out.”
30 » october 2012 » news-Press.com/moms
While the group has shared many fun and joyful experiences, the difficult times reveal how much their bond goes far beyond just books. In January 2008, Bell’s son Jack was diagnosed with liver cancer. He was only 2 years old at the time and Bell was pregnant with her third child. The members of the book club came together to support Bell and her family by cooking meals, shopping for groceries and taking care of the laundry. Through tears, Bell laughs and says, “Lisa was going to my house to do the laundry while I was at the hospital with Jack and all I can remember thinking is, ‘Oh my gosh, my maternity panties are in there!’” In May 2008, Jack received a liver trans“It was such a plant and is currently blessed event a happy and healthy 7-year-old. because I realIzed One week before how awesome Thanksgiving 2010, home was my frIendsare,” Palmer’s destroyed by an electri— Jill Palmer cal fire. “It happened at 1 a.m. and all I could think about was if it was too early to call Florence,” Palmer remembers. Once again, the group mobilized and within hours they showed up with clothes and make-up and essentials for the family. “When we got there,” says Florence Crawford, “Jill was wearing her neighbor’s clothes that were three sizes too big and she was a mess. We just kept trying to get her to change because she’s usually so put together. We knew if she saw herself on the news in that state she would kill us for letting her look that way.” The following month, as the annual Christmas party approached, the book club surprised Palmer by having the whole party just for her. Palmer and her husband had married on New Year’s Eve and at her bridal shower everyone had given her ornaments, but those precious reminders had all been lost in the fire. At the book club Christmas party, each member brought her a wrapped tree ornament to help her begin rebuilding new memories. “It was such a blessed event because I realized how awesome my friends are,” Palmer says. Considering their busy lives and growing families, all the book club members seem surprised they’ve managed to continue meeting. Yet, as the evening winds down at Cristof ’s and the conversation continues out of the restaurant, onto the patio and into the parking lot, it is clear these women have many more chapters to go. As Lacey says, “We’re always going to be meeting. No matter what, there will always be book club to look forward to. We’re always here, we’re always around.”
SouthweSt Florida Parent & Child » oCtober 2012 » 31
» 5 things Anthony’s on the blvd. 1303 Del Prado Blvd., Cape Coral, 772-5900 • anthonysontheblvd.com » Kids 10 and younger eat free after 4 p.m. Sunday – Wednesday.
Applebee’s For locations, visit applebees.com.
Where kids eat free Dining out can be expensive when you’re a family of three, four or more. It helps the pocketbook to know which Southwest Florida restaurants offer free kids meals and when.
» Kids 12 and younger eat free every Tuesday with the purchase of an adult meal.
beAr rock cAfe 15245 S. Tamiami Trail, south Fort Myers, 433-0109 bearrockcafefl.com » Kids 12 and younger eat free on Sundays with the purchase of an adult entree.
beef ‘o’ brAdy’s For locations, visit beefobradys.com. » Kids 12 and younger eat free on Tuesday nights with the purchase of an adult meal at participating locations.
blu sushi 13451 McGregor Blvd., south Fort Myers, 489-1500 • Gulf Coast Town Center, 10045 Gulf Center Drive, San Carlos Park • 334-BLU3 • blusushi.com » Kids 12 and younger eat free on Sundays with the purchase of an adult meal.
bubbA’s roAdhouse & sAloon 2121 SW Pine Island Road, Cape Coral, 282-5520 • bubbasroadhouse.net » Kids 10 and younger eat free on Mondays with purchase of adult meal.
d’Amico & sons Neapolitan Way, 4691 Ninth St. N., Naples, 430-0955 damicoandsons.com » Kids 10 and younger eat free after 2 p.m. on Sundays with purchase of adult meal.
denny’s For locations, visit dennys.com. » Kids 10 and younger eat free 4 to 10 p.m. on select nights. Call for specifics night at your location.
the edison restAurAnt 3583 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers, 936-9348 • edisonfl.com » Kids 12 and younger eat free after 4 p.m. Mondays with purchase of an adult entree.
32 » october 2012 » news-press.com/moms
EastsidE firEpit city grill
naplEs flatbrEad & winE bar
Gulf Coast Town Center, 10045 Gulf Center Drive, San Carlos Park, 466-7700
6434 Naples Blvd., Naples, 6873454 • Mercato, 9118 Strada Place, Naples, 431-8259 • 10801 Corkscrew Road, Estero, 4953528 • naplesflatbread.com
firepitcitygrill.com » Kids 10 and younger eat free 4 p.m. to close Tuesday nights (one free kid meal per adult entree).
HurricanE grill & wings 4724 S. Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers, 277-9464 • 6345 Naples Blvd., Naples, 513-9900 • 8017 Plaza Del Lago Drive, Estero, 4981536 • hurricanewings.com » Kids 10 and younger eat free all day Mondays with purchase of adult entree.
iHOp For locations, visit ihoplocator.com.
» Kids 12 and younger eat free on Mondays with an adult meal purchase.
pErkins For locations, visit perkinsrestaurants.com. » Varies by location but usually kids 10 and younger eat free after 4 p.m. on select days, such as Tuesdays in Bonita, with the purchase of one adult entree.
pincHErs crab sHack For locations, visit pincherscrabshack.com.
» Kids 12 and younger eat free with one adult meal from 4 to 10 p.m. daily.
» Kids 12 and younger eat free every day with the purchase of an adult item of $13.99 or more.
28051 S. Tamiami Trail, Bonita Springs, 949-1999 1027 E. Cape Coral Parkway, Cape Coral, 945-7755 4329 S. Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers, 939-5247 iguanamia.com » Kids ages 10 and younger eat for $1 on Sundays. Ages 11-14 receive a free beverage and dessert when ordering off the regular menu. All ages Eat free on birthdays.
lOranzO’s MExican rEstaurant 3020 Lee Blvd., Lehigh Acres, 368-2423 405 E. New Market Road, Immokalee, 658-9255 lozanosmexican.com » Kids 10 and younger eat free from 3 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays with the purchase of adult meal.
MOE’s sOutHwEst grill For locations, visit moes.com. » Kids 12 and younger eat free 3 p.m. to close Tuesdays with the purchase of an adult meal.
For locations, visit ribcity.com. » Kids 4 and younger get a chicken leg and fries with the purchase of an adult meal. Dine-in only.
sandy HOOk fisH and rib HOusE 4875 Pine Island Road, Matlacha, 283-0113 • sandyhookrestaurant.com » Kids 10 and younger eat free Tuesdays with purchase of adult entree.
stEak ‘n sHakE For locations, visit steaknshake.com. » Kids 12 and younger get a free kids’ plate on Saturdays and Sundays per $8 spent.
stEviE tOMatO’s spOrts pagE 9510 Market Place Road, Fort Myers, 939-7211 • 814 SW Pine Island Road, Cape Coral, 573-7877 • 15215 Collier Blvd., Naples, 352-4233 • stevietomatossportspage.com » Kids 12 and younger eat free all day Wednesday with the purchase of an adult meal.
SouthweSt Florida Parent & Child » oCtober 2012 » 33
CEOs Meet five Southwest Florida girls who possess the entrepreneurial spirit. By JenniFer reed
e all know kids are creative, and usually that trait shows up in the arts or personal fashion or in the cunning ways they talk themselves out of trouble. Some Southwest Florida students are maximizing their creativity in a very tangible way – by setting up businesses that grow their college savings accounts and give them first-hand experience in the worlds of finance and entrepreneurship.
These young CEOs pose as unassuming middle and high school students by day and turn into executives by night, learning how to manage funds, market their products and produce goods and services. Their interests and initiatives, perhaps, couldn’t have come at a better time. Globally, entrepreneurship is on the rise – a recent Babson College study estimates there are 400 million entrepreneurs worldwide – and do-
34 » OCTOBER 2012 » nEws-pREss.COm/mOms
mestically, more people are creating their own work to supplement waning salaries or to bypass the recessioncrushed job market. Meet five of Southwest Florida’s young entrepreneurs. Their business interests are divergent, ranging from baking to boat washing to fashion. But what they have in common is ingenuity, drive and passion for what they do.
cover story »
Notta average kid Lauren Crawford » Age: 11 » Business: Notta Cupcake
Photos by AmAndA Inscore
auren Crawford’s venture was supposed to have been a brief, one-time exercise in business that her mother, Pat, devised as a holiday-season project for the two of them. They planned to package handblended cake mixes in a microwavable mug that Lauren could sell at the North Naples Green Market. The idea sprung from a cake-in-a-cup kit Lauren brought home from a summer cooking camp. The Crawfords liked the concept, but not the cake mix, and so the two experimented with creating a new microwavable chocolate cake recipe. Once they discovered the right rations of ingredients, they placed the mix in a mug and wrapped it in an attractive – and now signature – polka-dotted cello bag. Notta Cupcake was born. It wasn’t exactly that simple. Foods sold at the Green Market in North Naples must be made in a health-certified commissary kitchen. The closest one to the Crawfords’ North Naples home was 45 minutes away. So Thursday nights became blending nights and Saturdays were spent at the Green Market. Shoppers fell in love with the products, then dubbed, “Kuppa Kakes.” “Everyone kept saying, ‘What cute cupcakes,’ and I kept saying, ‘It’s not a cupcake. It it’s a cake in a cup,’” Lauren recalls.
Lauren Crawford shows the package of Notta Cupcake mix, which is mixed with milk, oil, vanilla and an egg, then baked in the microwave.
southwest FlorIdA PArent & chIld » october 2012 » 35
And that’s how the now-trademarked “Notta Cupcake” and the tagline “It’s a cake in a cup” came to be. The Crawfords offer traditional cake mixes and gluten-free ones, a nod to Pat’s gluten intolerance, for $14.99$19.99. “I realized almost immediately that we had something,” says Pat Crawford, who runs an interior design firm and a home-goods boutique. “But this food business was foreign to me. I knew nothing about it. There was a huge learning curve for me.” She learned to navigate it, and as sales picked up, she began outsourcing the work to professional packagers and blenders in a certified gluten-free facility. Lauren is there for every step of the process, serving as salesperson. Plus, the two still make bows and other packaging embellishments. Lauren loves to talk about her work. The Seacrest Country Day School student has been featured on Fox 4 News, in The Naples Daily News and in Time Magazine for Kids. A TV station in Virginia expressed interest. And Lauren and her mother ended summer vacation with a trip to California that was part family visit and part marketing pitch; Pat’s family is in the magazine industry and she was able to introduce Notta Cupcake to a West Coast audience in the publication Health to Home. Lauren loves the entrepreneurial experience, though she says she has no idea what she wants to do in the future. She’s acutely aware that she has to balance her business needs with her academic ones. “I’m going into middle school now. I’m going to have a lot more homework. I will probably do homework first and then work on my business,” she says. “I want to keep my grades up. But Notta Cupcake is always the next thing behind it.”
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Photos by AmAndA Inscore
(continued from previous page)
Samantha Elferdink, left, and Giulianna Romero of Teen Clean on Deck started their boat-washing business two years ago while taking a web design class.
cover story (continued) »
Cleaning up for College Samantha Elferdink & Giulianna Romero » Ages: Both 17 » Business: Teen Clean on Deck
ne of the hallmarks of an entrepreneur is the ability to see a void and then rush to fill it. Samantha Elferdink and Giulianna Romero did exactly that. The girls, longtime friends who attend the First Baptist Academy in Naples, come from boating families. They know how much boat owners grouse about having to scrub the salt off their boats after a day on the water. And so they offered to do the scrubbing. The girls are founders of Teen Clean on Deck, a company born from a class assignment to design a website for a fictitious business. “If we’re making our own website, we might as well have our own business,” Giulianna recalls thinking at the time. “We always heard our parents and their
friends complaining about how they love going out on boats but how much they hated washing them.” The girls are meticulous in their work. “What makes us different is we’re girls and we’re detail-oriented,” Samantha says. That means opening up all the hatches, checking scratches and scuff marks, cleaning the deck boxes where extra supplies are kept, drying the boats and covering them. Their diligence has paid off. The girls have caught the attention of managers at the Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club in Naples, which allows the girls to leave brochures on site and is exploring other ways to partner with them. The girls also generate business through referrals, LinkedIn, by distributing business cards and by making sure they are always wearing their business T-shirts and hanging a banner when they are on site. They offer onetime services and
weekly, bi-weekly or monthly packages for customers. Samantha says her dad, who runs a carpentry business, has been training them in entrepreneurship. “He’s taught us a lot of great values and morals that you need to run a business,” she says, remembering especially her dad’s lessons about looking at things from a client’s perspective. “You can do 100 things right and one thing wrong and lose a client.” The girls charge $30 an hour and work between five and 10 hours a week – enough to help them amass college savings, but not interfere with other activities. Both are varsity soccer players and active in volunteer work. “I definitely think that running our own business has taught us initiative and we’ve learned leadership,” Giulianna says. “It has made us mature more quickly, I guess.” Adds Samantha: “I think it’s been a great experience for both of us to learn what it’s like to be selfemployed.”
“i definitely think that running our own business has taught us initiative and we’ve learned leadership. it has made us mature more quickly, i guess.” — giulianna romero
SouthweSt Florida Parent & Child » oCtober 2012 » 37
« cover story (continued)
lil’ Cake Boss
Sara Holmes » Age: 12 » Business: Sassy Sweet Bakery
t’s one thing to want to imitate someone on TV. It’s another thing to have the inherent talent to maybe someday pull it off. Sara Holmes of North Fort Myers loves to watch chef Buddy Valastro, aka the “Cake Boss,” on TLC. Two years ago, at age 10, she decided she’d be the baker for her parents’ 20th wedding anniversary celebration. She created a two-tiered vanilla cake iced in a white fondant with purple and blue flowers and green leaves. A month later, Sara tied on her apron again and created a swimming pool cake, complete with gel blue water, beach ball, lounge and ladder for a neighbor’s birthday party. That did it. A young pastry chef was born. Sara started her own business, Sassy (short for her family nickname, Sassafras) Sweet Bakery. She creates custom cakes ranging from grinning Scooby-Do to funky aliens for family and friends. “I already liked to bake,” she says. “I thought I could take it to another level.”
Baking and decorating is a painstakingly slow process that starts the night before with the baking. “You have to wake up early. If the event is at noon, it takes me about six hours just to get it decorated,” she says. But Sara, who also enjoys arts and crafts, loves to see the artistic process unfold. “I like the fact that it doesn’t look as pretty at first but as it comes together it looks better and better and better, and at the end it looks so pretty,” she says. Sara created her first cakes without formal training but since then has taken classes in the Wilton Method of cake design. She works with both buttercream icings as well as the rolled fondant that forms a smooth coating over the cake layers. The Challenger Middle School student is a long way off from having to decide on a career, but she thinks she may have discovered her life’s work. “I think it’s going to be a career path,” she says. “I want to work at Carlo’s Bakery where Cake Boss is from.”
Photo by AmAndA Inscore
Sara Holmes has a cake-baking business and makes tasty treats for family and friends. She has been running the business for about two years.
38 » october 2012 » news-Press.com/moms
Photos by Kharli rose
Samantha Elferdink, left, and Giulianna Romero of Teen Clean on Deck started their boat-washing business two years ago while taking a web design class.
So chic Fabiola Jauregui » Age: 19 » Business: Top Fashions Naples– Miami; Sejour Chic photography
Above: Fashion coordinator for the Fashion for Her 2012 fashion show Fabiola Jauregui is pleased with how designs will look on model Angel Oliferuk during a casting call at Azteca America in Naples. Inset: Fashion show design coordinator Diana Ziegler, left, and Fabiola imagine Elizabeth Bujans in designs during the casting call.
abiola Jauregui is perhaps a poster child for why schools must maintain electives and career-based education. Fabiola was introduced to the world of fashion while a student at Gulf Coast High School in Naples where she studied marketing, publicity, advertising, management, finance and related business skills in the school’s Sports and Entertainment Academy. “Thanks to that academy, I know what I want to do with my career,” she says. Fabiola moved to the U.S. from Peru when she was 9. During her junior year of high school, she wanted to host a fashion show as a management project and fundraiser for her program. She pitched the idea to her teacher, who approved it but told her she had to organize and run the event herself.
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« cover story (continued)
“My goal is to make my parents proud. At the end of the day, I think, ‘Did I make my parents happy?’” —FAbIolA JAureguI
She ran a successful show and, due to popular demand, another one the next year. In the meantime, Fabiola, who is bilingual, landed an internship with D’Latinos Magazine, a Spanish-language news and lifestyles magazine based in Naples. Her supervisors at Azteca America, the magazine’s parent company, are now helping Fabiola cultivate her business instincts. When Fabiola met three fashion-minded, entrepreneurial adults there, she told them about her high school fashion shows and expressed a desire to do more. With the blessings of Azteca America, the four established a fashion production branch of the company, dubbed Top Fashions Naples-Miami. Their goal is to produce fashion shows that attract top international designers. The company’s first show was to feature four designers Sept. 27 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples, to raise money for breast cancer research and support. “The funny thing is when I did my fashion show at the high school, it was hard for me to get stores to participate,” she recalls, explaining that The Ritz show was relatively easier. “And it’s funny because I’m still the same Fabiola. It’s not like I grew 20 years older.” Fabiola is used to being the youngest in the crowd, whether it’s at Azteca America or at NCH Healthcare System where she volunteers or the Naples Chamber of Commerce where she interns. But perhaps it’s youth that gives her boundless energy; in addition to Top Fashions, Fabiola recently launched a photography business called Sejour Chic (“Stay Classy”). “I’ve always loved photography, and people have always complimented my pictures,” she says. She started getting inquiries on how much she would charge for photo shoots and thought, “Wait a minute. When did I become a photographer?” “It’s crazy how things are happening like that,” she says. Fabiola has high hopes for her companies, but really, she’s driven by one overarching goal. “My goal is to make my parents proud,” says Fabiola. “At the end of the day, I think, ‘Did I make my parents happy?’”
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safety corner »
2 ways out
These tips can save your loved ones’ lives in a fire. BY AmY E. BollEn
n less than 30 seconds, a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes a few minutes for a house to fill with thick, black, poisonous smoke and become engulfed in flames. All members of your family should know how to quickly and safely escape from a house fire. Practice home fire drills every month, and be sure to have two ways out of every room in your home. The first way out is typically a door, the way a person leaves the room every day. A second way out might be a window or another route that leads to outside. Children often have to get themselves out in a fire and need to be taught the correct way to unlock and open their bedroom windows, including pushing out the screen. Many parents are surprised how hard it is for children to reach the window locks and push or slide a window open. If the escape window is an upper story window, practice with children exactly what you want them to do to stay safe. Also, practice fire drills in the dark or with eyes closed. When a fire occurs, do not waste any time saving property. Immediately take the safest exit. If you must escape through smoke, crawl under the smoke and get outside. The smoke contains toxic gases that can disorient you, or at
worst, overcome you. If you come to a closed door, use the back of your hand to feel all around the door for heat. If it feels hot, take the second way out. If the door feels cool, open it slowly. If heat or smoke comes in, slam the door shut and take the second way out. Remember to escape first, and then notify the fire department by calling 911. Have a meeting place outside in the front yard of your home. Some spots families use are: the end of the driveway, their mailbox, a light post. Make sure everyone has gotten out
Amy E. Bollen is a member of the Safe Kids Lee/Collier Counties and a public education specialist for the South Trail Fire & Rescue Service District and Bonita Springs Fire Control and Rescue District.
safely; if someone is missing be sure to tell the 911 operator and the firefighters immediately. Teach children to always go to the firefighters and to answer loud and proud if they hear a firefighter calling for them. Have working smoke alarms in the home around all sleeping areas, and include children in the maintenance. Have them help you change batteries once a year and test the alarms monthly so their brains stay familiar with the noise and they’ll be more likely to wake up when an alarm goes off. Children of all ages are capable of sleeping through very loud noises. Test your smoke alarms while children and teenagers are sleeping and time how long it takes to wake them up. There are many types of smoke alarms available: different sounds, spotlights, strobe lights, voice recording. Make sure your family has the kind that works for them. Make sure all children know their phone number and street address, including the city they live in. Teach children how to talk on the phone. They have to give verbal answers, not head shakes or nods. Teach everyone how to use the phone you have. If it is a newer cell phone, do they know how to unlock the touch screen (password), get to the keypad and dial out to 911?
Safe Kids is a nonprofit coalition of agencies and organizations dedicated to eliminating preventable childhood injuries. Visit safekidsleecollier.org.
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V eronica L . Her na ndez
Veronica L. Hernandez is a senior in Southwest Florida. She fences and shops when dragged away from her books. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kings and witches to meet.
he Middle Ages were an era where the line blurs between reality and the supernatural. Witches were hunted, potions were brewed, and curses were cast. These books explore this ancient relationship and its role in seizing and maintaining power in this tumultuous era.
“MaCbeth” By William ShakeSpeare Macbeth is a successful Scottish general who just has received a promotion and new aristocratic title. Returning home to celebrate his victory, he runs into three witches who foretell his rise to power as king. Encouraged by his triumphs and by the witches’ prophecies, Macbeth murders the current king. As the guilt and the lies catch up with him, Macbeth begins to unravel. Macbeth steps up to become king, and now murders other people to cover his bloody ascent to the throne. Shakespeare exposes the true, sometimes violent, struggle for a throne that has plagued many kingdoms throughout history. His plays reveal universal themes and stories that are often retold in more modern books, movies and plays. Despite their age and archaic language, Shakespearean plays are now very accessible to the modern reader. Many published editions have footnotes to explain older vocabulary and provide background information to put the plays into their Elizabethan era. The No Fear Shakespeare series by Sparknotes features a modern translation of the play side-by-side with the original text. With all this help, kids can dive right in and read it for themselves.
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“The silver bowl” By Diane Stanley Life isn’t easy for 8-year-old Molly. As soon as she was old enough to work, her dad sold her off to the local castle to serve as a scullery maid. Years of toil pay off and she is promoted to silver polishing. On the new job, Molly polishes a silver bowl whose reflection presents to her visions of the past that reveal the present curse on the royal family. After her discovery, members of the royal family are attacked, leaving the nation vulnerable. The only known survivor is the prince Alaric, now on the run. Can she help the true heir to the throne before the kingdom is conquered? “The Silver Bowl” is an entertaining novel; there is never a dull moment for the reader. In the midst of all the magic, mayhem and medieval jargon, author Diane Stanley puts the reader right in Molly’s head to offer seemingly authentic descriptions of medieval cultural traditions. The paperback edition of this book will be released this month. For more of Stanley’s works, check out “Bella At Midnight” and “Saving Sky,” both highly recommended by the American Library Association.
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» school news
Kids stArt food pAntry At school
group of students at Murdock Middle School in Port Charlotte started a food pantry at the school last year to help end hunger for Murdock families. The Respect Our School students gathered donations, and students in need were brought to the shop anonymously. The food pantry helped 26 families last year. This year, Murdock Middle received a grant from Walmart of $1,500 to help boost the food pantry’s efforts. “I am very proud of the ROS students to take on such a challenging feat,” says School Resource Officer Deputy Joella Moore in a letter released to the media. “Their dedication to helping others and volunteering their time to make this program work shows the character that Murdock Middle School students possess.” The Respect Our School group is part of an antibullying effort in Charlotte County Public Schools.
Murdock Middle School’s Respect Our School program receives $1,500 from Walmart for a student run food pantry.
Suncoast donates $10,000 to Golden Ticket campaign
Treeline earns literacy grant
The Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union Foundation pledged $10,000 in August to The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools toward its “Golden Ticket” fundraising campaign. During the 10-week campaign, which started Aug. 1, business and community leaders distribute “Golden Tickets” for a suggested donation of $25 each. Grand prizes include a $10,000 Trade to Travel luxury vacation package, $2,500 Mark Loren Designs gift certificate, a $1,000 Miromar Outlets shopping spree, and a $500 cash prize. The drawing is at 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, at the Gwynne Institute in downtown Fort Myers. Tickets can be purchased by visiting leeschoolfoundation.org and clicking “Get Involved.” Or call 337-0433. Proceeds benefit programs and initiatives of The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools.
Treeline Elementary School received a $3,500 Youth Literacy grant from The Dollar General Literacy Foundation in August. The school plans to use the money to enhance instruction for students who need it most by expanding a program started last year, says Principal Joe Vetter. The school will be buying more software licenses for a program called “Ticket to Read.” Students who used the program last year showed significant learning gains.
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Understanding Common Core Standards If you’ve got a child in school, you’ve probably heard the term “Common Core Standards.” It’s why the scoring of our Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test was tougher last school year. The Common Core Standards are the result of state-led efforts to graduate
students ready for college and careers across the country. In a few years, the FCAT 2.0 will be replaced by a national Common Core Standards assessment. The state and the National PTA are trying to help parents understand the shift to the new standard and created a website where parents can read up on the issue. The Parents’ Guide to Student Success can be found at pta.org/4446. htm. You can also learn more at corestandards.org.
Charlotte High named a Cambridge International School Charlotte High School was awarded Cambridge International School status by the University of Cambridge International Examinations in August. The school is now approved to offer Cambridge programs and qualifications, including Cambridge Mathematics, Thinking Skills and General Paper. Cambridge provides international
education programs and qualifications for 5- to 19-yearolds. It’s part of the University of Cambridge and is taught in more than 9,000 schools in more than 160 countries. AICE courses are similar to AP in that the students take an exam at the end of the course to determine if they receive college credit.
Lee’s ACT scores improve Lee County students’ scores on the American College Test, better known as the ACT, increased in 2012 over the year before from a composite score of 18.9 to 19.2. Scores also increased in the individual areas of English, math, reading and science. The ACT is typically used to measure a student’s readiness for college and for admissions. Scores are on a scale of 1 to 36. Approximately half of Lee County’s seniors in 2011-12 took the ACT.
Vineland Elementary named 26th Lighthouse School FranklinCovey Co. named Vineland Elementary the 26th Lighthouse School in the world. The school adopted The Leader in Me in 2009. That’s FranklinCovey’s education process for teaching leadership at the elementary school level. The book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey serves as the program’s foundation. Vineland’s teachers, students and parents use a number of tools, including FranklinCovey consultants and theleaderinme.org (lesson plans, videos, student activity guides, teacher editions, posters and books), to implement and reinforce the process year after year. School leaders say they’ve seen an increase in students’ self-confidence, teamwork, creativity, self-direction and in other areas. They also say they’ve seen a decrease in disciplinary issues.
Fort Myers student selected for Delta Epsilon Iota Fort Myers High School graduate Sajeeda Khan-Woehle was chosen for membership to the Delta Epsilon Iota Academic Honor Society at the University of Florida. The honor society is a prestigious group that requires members complete at least 30 semester hours while maintaining a 3.30 cumulative grade point average or scholastic ranking with the top 15 percent of their class. Khan-Woehle is studying family, youth and community sciences and plans to go to medical school to become a pediatrician. She is the daughter of Peggy JSingh and James Woehle of Fort Myers.
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Free â€˜Spooktacularâ€™ movie display, concert Art museums just got a whole lot cooler.
he Patty & Jay Baker Naples Museum of Art plans to display â€œOut of this World: Extraordinary Costumes from Film and Televisionâ€? â€” including Batmanâ€™s outfit, Terminatorâ€™s leather jacket and Riddlerâ€™s questionable suit â€” during its free Family Day on Sunday, Oct. 28. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., kids can take part in a costume contest, trickor-treat in the museum, listen to stories told by Carrie Sue Ayvar, design superhero masks and watch artist Jason Weber create portrait sketches, plus play lots of fun games and take part in numerous other activities. At 3 p.m., families can enjoy an hourlong concert by the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra and the Magic Circle Mime Company in Hayes Hall. The orchestra will play â€œThe Sorcererâ€™s Apprentice.â€? The museum exhibit includes movie-themed decorations, such as the Wicked Witchâ€™s castle, a haunted forest and Indiana Jones. The museum and the Philharmonic Center for the Arts are at 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd., Naples. For details, call 597-1900 or 800-597-1900. Above, the Batman costume worn by George Clooney in â€œBatman & Robinâ€? is part of the â€œOut of This Worldâ€? exhibit at the Naples Museum of Art. Courtesy of the Paul G. Allen Family Collection.
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family album »
ThE fORcE IS wITh hIm » Jon-Charles
Mawhinney, 17, left and below, of Rotonda West got his wish to visit George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch outside of San Francisco this summer with his parents. Diagnosed with functional antibody deficiency, Mawhinney has been stricken with numerous infections and illnesses since birth. The wish was granted by Kids Wish Network. Photo special to SW FL Parent & Child
RISE ABOVE » Anthony Badeau, 5, performs Aug. 4 during the 2012 Rise Above Talent
Extravaganza at the Riverside Community Center in Fort Myers. The event, presented by the NAACP Youth Council and The Jevon Kearse Foundation, showcased area talent and honored community leaders. Photo by Kinfay Moroti
RISE ABOVE »
The group Pretty Girlz Swag performed in the Rise Above Talent Extravaganza. Photo special to SW FL Parent & Child
SouthweSt Florida Parent & Child » oCtober 2012 » 47
First day » Tessa Bradley and Alex LaRosa are excited to begin their eighthgrade year at Pine Ridge Middle School in Naples. Photo submitted by Stacy Bradley GivinG back » The Rev. Stephanie Munz Campbell, the executive director of
Grace Place, joins backpack recipients and their families along with IberiaBank branch managers Indira Maharaj and Cathi Johnson. IberiaBank collected school supplies in July and in August delivered them to Grace Place for Children and Families Inc. and Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida. Photo special to SW FL Parent & Child
HuG me » Five-month-old Jade Jupiter Whitaker flashes a bright smile. She’s the daughter of Jenny R. Theodore and Jesse Whitaker of Naples. Photo submitted by mom Jenny R. Theodore
ready For work » Fifty middle school
students from the Grace Place for Children and Families summer camp in Naples participated in a work-readiness field trip to The Home Depot in August as part of the Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida Job Shadow Program. Here, Grace Place students potted flowers in The Home Depot kids’ workshop. At left, Grace Place sixth-grader Sherlay Cajuste processes a customer’s order at The Home Depot paint service center. Photo special to SW FL Parent & Child
send us your snapshots We welcome photos of family moments, events and milestones. Send your images with a brief description and names of people to email@example.com
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two two! » Bryce Searcy turned 2 on June 18. Photo submitted by mom Allison Searcy
family album »
Miracle at ccMi » More than a dozen Fort Myers Miracle baseball players and team staff provided an afternoon of service at Community Cooperative Ministries Inc. as part of the team’s Miracle Cares Program. Photo special to SW FL Parent & Child
cal ripken caMp »
Twenty-five kids who attend the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County after-school program flew to Aberdeen, Md., this summer for a five-day overnight camp with the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation. Top, Chaperones Clark Fredstrom, Colleen Miller and Derrek Clemenson with the children. Bottom, Niaca Pierre with a new friend made during camp. Photo special to SW FL Parent & Child
christMas in suMMer » Kids Wish Network and entrepreneur Andy Gottlieb gave $40,000 worth of toys and necessities to The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida in south Fort Myers. The pediatric patients received gift bags of brand new toys and made arts and crafts. Photo courtesy of Kids Wish Network
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phOtO by VIsIt FLOrIDA
The hidden gems of
Treasure island By Kira Lewis
In the mid-1900s, as the area was just beginning to develop, two clever property owners hoping to boost interest in the area buried and then pretended to discover several wooden chests filled with treasure. As the story spread, locals began referring to the area as “Treasure Island,” and the name endures to this day. The majority of Treasure Island’s expansion into a true
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waterfront resort town occurred after World War II in the late 1950s and early ’60s. The influence of that time period is still evident. As one drives down the main road, it’s impossible to ignore the retro “Beach Party” movie vibe mingled among the more modern buildings. One almost expects Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon to come dancing and singing out of the Bilmar Beach Resort.
phOtO by KIrA LewIs
itting between St. Petersburg and the Gulf of Mexico is a small strip of land hiding some of the best beaches in Florida. Known as Treasure Island, this area has become an international family vacation destination but still remains a bit of a secret to Floridians. Southwest Florida families looking for a close and reasonably priced escape will find this a perfect option for a quick weekend away or a whole week of vacation fun.
the writer’s kids, Addison and mcLaren, play on the beach at treasure Island.
LEARN MORE » Bilmar Beach Resort, bilmarbeachresort.com » Treasure Island Chamber of Commerce, treasureislandchamber.org » Visit Florida, visitflorida.com/treasure_island
PHoto by Kira Lewis
» Tampa Bay & Company (regional visitor’s bureau), visittampabay.com
The beach really is what Treasure Island is all about. With three miles of pristine white sand, even during the busiest months, every family has more than enough room to build a sandcastle with as many turrets as they want. Other standard beach activities are available, such as parasailing, personal watercraft rentals, dolphin watching and fishing excursions. Plus, a well–maintained, paved trail stretches along a full mile of the beach; it’s ideal for walking, biking and rollerblading. When you need a break from the sun and salt water, head over to John’s Pass, a quaint (with a bit of tourist trap thrown in for good measure) turn-of-the-century fishing village just over the bridge to Madeira Beach. Souvenirs and seafood aren’t hard to find at the more than 100 stores and restaurants. For something a little more out of the ordinary, check out the Alligator Attraction, where visitors can pay $4 to go “fishing” for baby gators. Sorry, it’s catch and release only. While on Madeira Beach, don’t miss a stop by the Candy Kitchen for a sweet treat. In business since 1950, its ice cream and fudge are homemade on the premises. The grown-ups will also enjoy a walk down memory lane perusing more than 200 kinds of nostalgic candies. If you’re doing a full week of vacation, Treasure Island is a relaxing home base, but you may want to plan for at least one adventure into nearby St. Petersburg. Just 15 minutes away, the downtown area offers shopping, dining and the world-renowned Dali Museum. If you’re willing to travel a little farther, about an hour away is the Greek fishing town of Tarpon Springs and the Tampa Bay area has the Lowry Park Zoo, Busch Gardens and the Museum of Science and Industry, aka MOSI.
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» around town
Nicole Holdgrafer of St. Francis Catholic School tries a standup paddleboard for the first time at the 2011 Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival at the Sanibel Causeway.
The first 500 children to attend on Oct. 14 receive free goodie bags starting at 10:30 a.m. The day includes live animal presentations, nature crafts, face painting, a touch tank, free hot dogs, free refuge tram tours and other activities. The entire celebration runs a full week, Oct. 14-20, and features the premiere of “America’s Darling” documentary, the four-time Federal Duck Stamp winner, a “Story of the Sanibel Bear” presentation and lectures by wildlife experts. On Monday, Oct. 15, a day off school for Lee County public schools, the Henson troupe returns for Endangered Species Day. For details and a full schedule of events, visit dingdarlingdays.com or call 472-1100.
The festival is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Lee County Alliance for the Arts, 10091 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. For details, call 939-2787 or visit artinlee org.
Star Wars Reads Day
“Ding” Darling Days kicks off this year on Sunday, Oct. 14, with the puppetry of Heather Henson, daughter of Muppets creator Jim Henson, during Family Fun Day at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
The free Fall for the Arts Family Festival showcases local artists, musicians, performers, cultural organizations and youth programs. Watch performances on the amphitheater stage, enjoy artist demonstrations and create your own art.
Little Leias, Lukes and other “Star Wars” characters are invited to celebrate reading and the famous series of movies at events around the nation, including several here in Southwest Florida at Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million stores in Naples, Fort Myers and Port Charlotte. Depending on the location, there will be giveaways, raffles, crafts, authors and costumed characters from the 501st Legion, the Rebel Legion, the Madalorian Mercs and the R2 Builders Club. Our local bookstores are planning games, trivia, giveaways and a chance to win Star Wars prizes from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6. For details, visit starwars.com/reads.
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Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival
Fall for the Arts »
“Ding” Darling Days
The 2012 Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival is more kidfriendly this year. The Nov. 1-4 event is expected to have lots of things for kids to do in its new Children’s Activity Tent coordinated by the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife and Lee County Parks & Recreation. There are also paddling activities created just for kids. The festival is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2-3, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, on Causeway Island Park, 19950 Sanibel Causeway Road, Sanibel. A Thursday, Nov. 1, evening reception kicks off the event. Expect paddling demos, speakers, three evening socials, a photo contest, fishing tournament, film festival, family fun race, live music and local food. Admission is $10 for adults, free for children during the day; $15 for a single evening event; $75 for a four-day inclusive pass with lagniappes. Free trolley service and free parking. For details, call 5337474, 395-0048 or visit calusabluewaypaddlingfestival. com.
Worth the Drive
everal farms and fall festivals host traditional Halloween and autumn festivities. These are all within a few hours’ drive of Southwest Florida: » Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival The last three weekends in October. Hunsader Farm, 5500 County Road 675, Bradenton; 941-322-2168. hunsaderfarms.com. » Dakin Dairy Enjoy sunset picnics at the farm, karaoke, campfires and cow train rides under the stars Oct. 27 through December. Dakin Dairy, 30771 Betts Road, Myakka City; 941-322-2802. dakindairyfarms. com.
» Sarasota Pumpkin Festival Noon-10 p.m.
Oct. 26-28 at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota. 941706-3102. sarasotapumpkinfestival. com. » Long & Scott Farms The Long &
Scott Maze Adventures is open Sept. 29-Dec. 16 at Long & Scott Farms, 26216 County Road 448A, Mount Dora. 352-383-6900, ext. 330. longandscottfarms.com. » The Heartland Maze Just north of Arcadia, the farm boasts itself as the world’s largest corn maze family. Open 5-10 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays, 1:30-5 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 12-Nov. 17, at AG Outdoor World, 3350 U.S. Highway 17 N., Bowling Green (north of Arcadia). 863-781-4850. heartlandmaze.com.
— Francine Wolfe Schwartz
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» calendar (continued)
Monday, Oct. 1 Asian Moon » Festival Enjoy live entertainment featuring Dan Nguyen and Anh Minh. Doors open at 9:30 p.m., show begins at 10 p.m. VIP tickets are $60 in advance, $65 at the door. For VIP reservations, call 503-4148. Regular tickets are $40 in advance, $45 at the door. Seminole Casino Immokalee, 506 S. First St., Immokalee. 800-218-0007. seminolecasinoimmokalee.com.
TAE KWON DO
Lee Community Youth Chorus Rehearsal » Lee Community Youth Chorus, in partnership with Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra, is a multicultural music education and performance program that fosters talent, confidence and community. The chorus is open to ages 8 and older and all levels of singing abilities. Rehearsals are 4:30-6 p.m. Mondays. Performances include GCS Family Concerts on the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall stage as well as throughout the community. Tuition is $25 per year; some scholarships available. To register, call director Debby Dorr at 941-8661710 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Unitarian Universalist Church, 13411 Shire Lane, Fort Myers. 941-866-1710. Great Bug Hunt » Find the hidden bugs in the children’s library and win a small prize, anytime during normal hours, Oct. 1-6 at South Regional Library, 8065 Lely Cultural Parkway, Naples (252-7542) and Oct. 1-5 at Marco Island Branch Library, 210 S. Heathwood Drive, Marco Island (3942372).
Read for the Record » Ages 2-6 join children around the world in reading “Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad” by David Soman and make a ladybug craft and treat, 10:30 a.m. Vanderbilt Beach Branch Library, 788 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples. 597-8444.
Wednesday, Oct. 3 Nature Preschool Programs » The programs generally include a story, a fun lesson, hike, game and craft, 10-11:30 a.m. Nature-based topics vary each month. Cost: $5 per preschooler, plus parking. Register online at leeparks.org or by calling 533-7440. Some programs meet at the main entrance (18500 North River Road) and some programs meet at the campground entrance at (19130 North River Road). Location will print on your payment receipt. Caloosahatchee Regional Park, 18500 N. River Road, Alva. 822-5212. leeparks.org.
New Hope Midweek » Features activities for all ages: There’s a nursery and preschool program, FX (Family Experience) for kids in grades K-5 and their parents, Common Ground for middle and high school students, Prayer Time, Kids’ Choir, Adult Bell Choir, Women’s Bible Study on Ephesians, and Pastor Curt McDaniel leads a Spiritual Parenting Class for adults. 6-8 p.m. Wednesdays. Free. New Hope Presbyterian, 3825 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. 274-1230. newhopefortmyers.org.
Friday, Oct. 5 Club Gravity Teen Dance » The Youth Center hosts Teen Night at Club Gravity, 7-10 p.m. every Friday for ages 12-16. Features a live DJ playing the latest music, a professional sound system and light show and a large dance floor. The “Black Hole” Lounge features computer access, social interaction
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among peers and offers cafe style snacks. Cost: $5. William Bill Austen Youth Center, 315 SW Second Ave., Cape Coral. 242-3950. capeparks.net.
Saturday, Oct. 6 Caricatures for All » A La Tertulia Society 2012 Hispanic Heritage Month event. The bilingual group La Tertulia Society has been producing civic and cultural projects to promote community spirit and citizenship rights since 1989. The organization celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 13) with the five-day series Caricatures for All, which started in September. An international entertainer cartoonist makes complimentary caricatures in his artistic line black and white. Two minute pictures. No registration. No age limit. Open to the public. 11 a.m.-noon. East County Regional Library, 881 Gunnery Road, Lehigh Acres. 258-8158. Buckingham Polo Kids » Kids ages 4 and older can learn riding and polo basics. Pee Wee riders begin with lessons on a lead line. Lessons held in a group format. New riders have opportunities to compete for prizes in junior polo events. 3-5 p.m. Saturdays. Cost: $45 per session. Registration requested. Buckingham Polo Club, 6270 Staley Farms Road, Fort Myers. 288-5355. buckinghampolo.com. Edison Ford Mucker’s/Young Inventor’s Tour » A hands-on program that includes building a Model T, making polymer, demonstrations of Edison phonograph as well as the progression of the light bulb, 11 a.m. Saturdays. Cost: $12 for adults, $5 for kids. Edison & Ford Winter Estates, 2350 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. 334-7419. edisonfordwinterestates.org. Free Family Activity Day (for the Pop Art Exhibition) » Children and parents join instructors for a quick tour of the Pop Art with Andy Warhol exhibition and then spend time creating their own artwork. All projects are free and pre-registration is required. The Pop Art with Andy Warhol exhibition features a silkscreen studio, a dress up factory and a gallery of iconic Warhol prints. 1-3 p.m. each Saturday. Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs, 26100 Old 41 Road, Bonita Springs. 495-8989. Imaginarium Program for Kids » The Imaginarium Science Center puts on this free Super Science event for kids, 11 a.m.1 p.m. the first Saturday of the month in the Center Court of Bell Tower Shops. Free. Bell Tower Shops, Daniels Parkway and U.S. 41, Fort Myers. 489-1221. thebelltowershops.com. Show Ski Clinics » Southern Extreme hosts a Show Ski Clinic, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. For all water skill levels and all ages. Equipment provided. Contact 450-2037 for forms and directions. Cost: $40. Southern Extreme Water Ski Team Inc., 8767 Coastline Court, Apt. 202, Naples. 450-2037. southernextreme.com. Cabernet & Cabaret » This Young Artists Awards fundraiser includes a concert and reception showcasing performances of Young Artists Awards participants, 6 p.m. Cost: $30 per person or $50 per couple. Lee County Alliance for the Arts, 10091 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. 574-9321. youngartistsawards.org.
Sunday, Oct. 7 Taste of Coconut Point » Enjoy the foods of Coconut Point restaurants, the offerings of its stores and fashion shows, noon to 4 p.m. Cost: $3 entry; food tickets are $1-$6.
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» calendar (continued) between Barnes & Noble and Hyatt Place. Coconut Point, Coconut Point, 23106 Fashion Drive, Estero. 992-9966. shopcoconutpoint.com Meditation Classes for Kids » The Samudrabadra Kadampa Buddhist Center in Fort Myers resumes meditation classes for kids with a brief meditation, teaching, craft, discussion and games, 10-11:30 a.m. the first Sunday of the month. Coincides with an adult class. Children 4 and younger should be accompanied by an adult. The class is followed by a kid-friendly potluck. Cost: $10 for adults, $5 for children. Samudrabadra Kadampa Buddhist Center, 6338 Presidential Court, Suite 105, Fort Myers. 567-9739. meditationinfortmyers.org/kids-classes.
BEFORE SCHOOL / AFTER SCHOOL
Italian Fest » Experience Italian culture with live music, hearty food, traditional vendors and decor to place you in the heart of Italy. Presented by the Rotary Club of Fort Myers. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. Alliance for the Arts, 10091 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. 939-2787.
Monday Oct. 8 PRESCHOOLS
LEGO Block Party » Share ideas and make new friends. Lego bricks provided, or donate ones your child no longer uses. Your Lego creation will be put on display at the library. 5 p.m. For ages 5-11. Register online. Naples Regional Library, 650 Central Ave., Naples. 262-6853. colliergov.net/library.
Wednesday, Oct. 10 Child Advocate Orientation » Have you thought about advocating for abused, neglected and abandoned children? Take an hour to hear about the duties and time required to be a Guardian ad Litem child advocate. If you are 21, a Florida resident, have common sense and good judgment, are willing to attend free training, and can pass a background check, you need to attend. Call Mary Ann at 995-3737 to reserve a spot. 5-6 p.m. Free. Guardian ad Litem Office, 2075 West First St., Fort Myers. 995-3737. voicesforkids.org.
Friday, Oct. 12 Sip and Stroll » A celebration of wine, art and music. Wine and cheese tasting, live local music, unique vendors with items to purchase, kids’ arts and crafts, and sidewalk sale. 6-9 p.m. the second Friday of every month. Free admission. The Resort at Marina Village, 5951 Silver King Blvd., Cape Coral. 5415000. marinavillageresort.com.
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Mental Health Symposium » Kathy Cronkite, the daughter of CBS News anchorman Walter Cronkite and a mental health advocate, discusses her journey to wellness from depression at the HOPE Clubhouse of Southwest Florida symposium, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tickets are $50-$65 and include lunch. Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, 1380 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers. hopeclubhouse.org.
Saturday Oct. 13 Words By Candle Lite » An informal exaltation to the Spanish language in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Casual dress. Appetizers served. DJ will spin salsa music. Organized by La Tertulia Society. The bilingual group La Tertulia Society has been producing civic and cultural projects to promote community spirit and citizenship rights since 1989. Open to the public, including students, educators, translators, authors, poets. Space limited. Las Delicias Restaurant, 4150 Hancock Bridge Parkway, North Fort Myers. 258-8158. 25th Annual Fall Golf Classic for Ronald McDonald House Charities SW Florida » The event kicks off at 6 p.m. Oct 12 with a Sponsor Kick-off Party at Quail West. The Golf Tournament, which will be played as a four-person scramble, is Oct. 13, with registration at 7:30 a.m., a continental breakfast at 8 a.m. and a shotgun start at 9 a.m. Cost: $300 per player, includes luncheon and tee gifts. Quail West Golf & Country Club, 5950 Burnham Road, Naples. 437-0202. rmhcswfl.org. Imaginarium Fall Kidz World Expo and Boo Bash » Meet children’s favorite characters, participate in a Halloween costume parade, enter the world of learning at Discovery Zone, enjoy a variety of fun and healthy foods at the Food Emporium, play on the bounce house, slide, enter the Laser Tag Arena and dig up some amazing things at Kidz Village. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Imaginarium Science Center, 2000 Cranford Ave., Fort Myers. 243-6253. kidzworldexpofl.com. Red Ribbon Community Family Health Fair » Exhibitors include the American Red Cross, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Lee Memorial Health System Trauma Department, Stay Alive Just Drive, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and more. Register to vote with the Elections Board, have your kids fingerprinted by VOICE volunteers and make sure your car seat is fitted properly for your young children. A wide variety of health and nutrition information will be available. 9:30-11:30 a.m. Free. Lehigh Regional Medical Center, 1500 Lee Blvd., Lehigh Acres. 931-9317. drugfreeswfl.org. Family Run/Walk » Join us for a two-mile family run/walk. Walk or run at your own pace and meet new people with the church. 8 a.m. Free. Daniels Road Baptist Church, 5878 Daniels Parkway, south Fort Myers. 481-2416. Two Hour Intro to Polo » No riding experience necessary. 9-11 a.m. Cost: $49. Buckingham Polo Club, 6270 Staley Farms Road, Fort Myers. 288-5355. buckinghampolo.com.
Saturday Oct. 14 “Ding” Darling Days » “Ding” Darling Days’ Family Fun Day on Oct. 14 kicks off a week of eco-activities with free refuge tram tours, live wildlife presentations, hot dogs, kids crafts and more. Birding, boating and kayaking tours fill the week
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SCHOOLS & PRESCHOOLS
» calendar (continued) with environmental activities for all ages. The 23rd annual celebration ends Oct. 20 with Conservation Art Day, where Federal Duck Stamp Winners, other artists and a refuge photography tram tour highlight a day devoted to Darling’s legacy. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 14-20. Free. J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, 1 Wildlife Drive, Sanibel. 472-1100. dingdarlingdays.com.
Monday Oct. 15 Pumpkin Patch at Lakes Park » Enjoy a pumpkin patch, rides on the Halloween Express train, bounce house and haunted maze, 5-10 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. weekends, Oct. 15-31. Free admission; individual activities may require fee. Event parking is $2. Lakes Regional Park, 7330 Gladiolus Drive, south Fort Myers. 533-7575. leeparks.org.
Tuesday, Oct. 16 Canterbury School Open House » Families are invited to tour the 33-acre campus and learn more about Canterbury’s academics, athletics and arts. The school is for students from age 3 to 12th grade. Canterbury School, 8141 College Parkway, Fort Myers. 415-8945. canterburyfortmyers.org/oh.
Thursday, Oct. 18 Becoming Cosmopolitan » 7 Lounge Party 2012 This women-only evening features shopping with local vendors, gourmet hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, chocolate and desserts, a silent auction, raffles, a live DJ and an after party all in celebration of the cosmopolitan lifestyle in Southwest Florida. All proceeds benefit Community Cooperative Ministries Inc. 6-9 p.m. Cost: $100. Harborside Event Center, 1375 Monroe St., Fort Myers. 332-7687. ccmileecounty.com. Home School Programs at Caloosahatchee Regional Park » Age requirements and price varies for each home school program. Parking fee is required. Call Kelly for information at 822-5212 or register at leeparks.org or call 533-7440. Some programs meet at the main entrance (18500 North River Road) and some meet at the campground entrance at (19130 North River Road). The meeting location will print on your payment receipt. 2-4 p.m. Cost: $5-$10. Caloosahatchee Regional Park, 18500 N River Road, Alva. 822-5212. leeparks.org.
Friday, Oct. 19 Cape Coral Nights on the Parkway » Shops open with food, entertainment, fashion shows and art exhibits, 6-9 p.m. the third Friday of each month. Free admission. Downtown, Cape Coral Parkway, Cape Coral. 247-0377.
Saturday, Oct. 20 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K Walk » Teams and individuals are invited to join more than 3,000 walkers in this noncompetitive 5K walk uniting people of all ages with a common goal to fight breast cancer and save lives. Premiere Oncology is the presenting sponsor for this year’s American Cancer Society event. Register online. 7-11 a.m. Free. Tanger Outlets, 20350 Summerlin Road, Fort Myers. 985-2664. putonyourpinkbra.com/leecounty. Oasis Fall Festival » The third annual Fall Festival includes food vendors, games and inflatables for children of all ages. 4-8 p.m. Free admission; fees for some activities. Oasis Charter
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AFTER SCHOOL CARE
School Campus, 3415 Oasis Blvd., Cape Coral. 542-1577. Halloween Fall Festival at Saddlewood Horse Club » Horses and ponies will be in costume. Kids can dress up, too. Ride horses, feed the horses, play in the bounce house, make a craft, paint a real horse and play games, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Treat bag for every registered child. Cost: $20 per child, includes lunch. Saddlewood Horse Club, 16111 Saddlewood Lane, Cape Coral. 738-9300. capehorses.com. Camp Out at Jaycee Park » A fun night of camping with your family under the stars at Jaycee Park. Bring your own camping supplies. Children must have a parent or guardian. Registration deadline is Oct. 15. 2 p.m.-10 a.m. Cost: $20 per tent for residents, $30 for nonresidents. Jaycee Park, 4215 SE 20th Place, Cape Coral. 549-4606. capeparks.com.
Jenny Sdrenka on the Rockin Doc
RESALE & CONSIGNMENT
Fall for the Arts Family Festival » A free family event showcasing local artists, musicians, performers, cultural organizations and youth programs. Watch performances on the amphitheater stage, enjoy artist demonstrations and create your one-of-a-kind art piece. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Lee County Alliance for the Arts, 10091 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. 939-2787. Fun-N-Glow Party » Play games and do fun activities. Snack, drink and glow-in-the-dark party favors included. 11 a.m.noon. Cost: $10 for residents, $15 for nonresidents. Cape Coral Four Freedoms Park, 4818 Tarpon Court, Cape Coral. 574-0804. capeparks.com. Pawsitively Amazing Howl’oween Pet Parade » Pet registration starts at 9 a.m. Parade starts at 10 a.m. led by the Amazing Fort Myers Beach Kazoo Marching Band and Clown Brigade. Prizes for best pet costume, best owner and pet costume, best decorated stroller or wagon. Arts and crafts market and the restaurants of Santini will offer food and beverages. Music by DJ Larry. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Free admission, dog and cat food donations requested. Santini Marina Plaza, Fort Myers Beach. 443-8810. 7th Annual Walk to Prevent Child Abuse » A fundraiser to benefit local organizations that directly benefit children who might be at risk of abuse or neglect. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Walk begins at 8:30 a.m. Pelican Preserve, Fort Myers. 226-1524. True Couponing Workshop » Beginners and advanced workshops help you learn how to cut your grocery bill by more than 70 percent and have leftovers to bless others. 10 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Daniels Road Baptist Church, 5878 Daniels Parkway, south Fort Myers. 275-9832. truecouponing.com.
Sunday, Oct. 21 Wiener Dog Racing 101 » If you have a dachshund you know how they love to run. Have you ever wondered how yours would do in a race with other dachshunds? Join the
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» calendar (continued)
Southwest Florida Wiener Dog Club and bring your wiener dogs to Doggy Heaven Dog Park on the grounds of the Shell Factory & Nature Center and try it for free. There is a permanent doggy race track set up to show you how much fun it is for you and your wiener dog. Other breeds of small dogs are welcome, too. 9-11 a.m. Free. The Shell Factory and Nature Park, 2787 N. Tamiami Trail, North Fort Myers. 4583294. swfloridawienerdogs.com.
Thursday, Oct. 25 Halloween Makeup Workshop » Face-painting expert Carmen Vivar-Shupert leads this workshop on creating the perfect makeup complement to your Halloween costume, 3 p.m. Registration required. Marco Island Branch Library, 210 S. Heathwood Drive, Marco Island. 394-3272. colliergov.net/ library.
Friday, Oct. 26 FRENCH TUTORING
Autumn Renewal: A Weekend Retreat for Women » This is designed to give you the time, space, support and inspiration to reconnect with yourself through guided meditations, gentle yoga, self-awareness and personal growth workshops, getting with nature in a quiet retreat setting in the countryside of Alva. Includes all meals, snacks and accommodations. Optional massage available. 3 p.m. Friday-noon Saturday. Cost: $347 per person for Friday and Saturday, $195 for Saturday only. Mother of God House of Prayer Retreat Center, 17880 Cypress Creek Road, Alva. 590-9485. integrativemindfulness.net. Movie in the Park » Enjoy a free movie, “Thor” (PG-13). Begins about 15 minutes before sunset, which would be around 6:30 p.m. Bring coolers, blankets or lawn chairs. Popcorn and sodas are available for purchase. Frank E. Mackle Community Park, 1361 Andalusia Terrace, Marco Island. 6420575. Friendly Forest & Haunted Walk » The Haunted Walk is geared toward adults and teens ages 13 and older, while the Friendly Forest caters to younger kids and tots. Children are encouraged to dress in costume. They’ll get to meet the animals, make crafts and trick or treat for candy. Friendly Forest: 2-5 p.m. Oct. 26-28 and Oct. 31. Haunted Walk: 7-10 p.m. Oct. 19-31. Friendly Forest cost: $10 for adults, $5 for ages 6-12, free for ages 5 and younger. Haunted Walk cost: $10 for all ages, $8 for members. Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium, 3450 Ortiz Ave., Fort Myers. 275-3435. calusanature.org.
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Saturday, Oct. 27 10th and 11th Bi-Annual Estero Fine Art Show » Artists sell paintings, clay, glass, sculpture, wood, fiber, jewelry, photography and more. The shows are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 27-28, for the fall event, and Jan. 5-6 for the winter show. The Youth Art Competition is open to ages 5-12 or kindergarten through eighth grade; entry is $3 per entry with a maximum of two entries. The submission deadline for youth artwork is Oct. 1 for the fall show and Dec. 15 for the winter show. For applications, visit hotworks.org. Free admission to show. Miromar Outlets, 10801 Corkscrew Road, Estero. 248-684-2613. hotworks.org. Halloween Makeup Workshop » Face-painting expert Carmen Vivar-Shupert leads this workshop on creating the perfect makeup complement to your Halloween costume, 2 p.m. Registration required. South Regional Library, 8065 Lely Cultural Parkway, Naples. 252-7542. colliergov.net/library. Spooktacular Trick or Treating » Kids can dress up in costume and enjoy safe trick or treating through Coconut Point’s retail shops. There will be children, adult and canine costume contests throughout the night, 6-9 p.m. Free. Coconut Point, 23106 Fashion Drive, Estero. 992-9966. shopcoconutpoint.com.
First Fall Festival 2012 » Free food, games, costume contest, prizes, bounce houses, music and fun for the whole family, 2-6 p.m. Free. Renewed Faith Ministries, 1188 Lake McGregor Drive, Fort Myers. 273-6903 or 800-948-9819. renewurfaith net. Race the Roof 8K » “Race the Roof” for Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties Inc. The fifth annual fundraiser is a family event featuring an 8K race, a two-mile walk and a “Tot Trot.” Also features lots of family activities such as face painting, pumpkin decorating, a pie-eating contest and a bounce house. Register at ftmyerstrackclub.com or get a form at habitat4humanity.org/race. 7:30-10 a.m. Cost: $35, includes breakfast, T-shirt, a raffle ticket and awards. Verandah Community Association, 12201 River Village Way, Fort Myers. 652-0434. The German American Social Club and LCEC Oktoberfest 5K Race » The event includes a 5K Run/Walk, followed by a Tot Trot for ages 12 and younger. All registered kids receive a cotton T-shirt and race ribbon. All 5K Run/Walk participants receive a performance T-shirt, a gift bag, two free admission tickets to Oktoberfest, and $6 in tickets for food or drinks. 6:30-10 a.m. Cost: $10-$30. Jim Jeffers Park, 2817 SW Third Lane, Cape Coral. 656-2342. uw.lcec.net/5k.html. Saving Our Tiniest Treasures » The 2012 NCH Healthcare System Hospital Ball raises money to expand the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit from nine beds to 18 beds. 6 p.m. Tickets and sponsorships start at $500 per person. The RitzCarlton, Naples. 436-4511. nchmd.org/hospitalball. Kids Eat Free Breakfast » Halloween-themed event with costume contest for kids. Kids 10 and younger eat free with each paid adult (does not include child’s beverage). Adult buffet is $7.99, regular kid’s buffet is $4.99. 9 a.m.-noon. Anthony’s on the Boulevard, 1303 Del Prado Blvd., Cape Coral. 772-5900. anthonysontheblvd.com. Kidsfest 2012 » A spooky good time for the whole family. Presented by the Harney Point Kiwanis Club of Cape Coral and Fox 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. First 200 kids get a free backpack. Jaycee Park, 4215 SE 20th Place, Cape Coral. 898-8524.
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» calendar (continued) Halloween Spooktacular » Free event with music, a pumpkin patch, games, crafts, food and drinks, 4-6 p.m. Costume contest begins at 5:30 p.m. Categories include scariest and most creative. Frank E. Mackle Community Park, 1361 Andalusia Terrace, Marco Island. 642-0575.
The Fifth Annual Bach Festival » The Bach Ensemble begins its 11th season with the Fifth Annual Bach Festival, open to young instrumentalists and vocalists ages 6-18, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Application deadline is Oct. 8. First Presbyterian Church of Bonita Springs, 9751 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs. 7937278.
Sunday, Oct. 28 Breakfast with the Blades » The National Hockey League Tampa Bay Lightning affiliate and 2012 Kelly Cup Champion full Florida Everblades team makes a special appearance at this fundraiser for The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Cost: $100 per adult, $50 per child younger than 12. Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa, 5001 Coconut Road, Estero. 343-6060. C’mon Family Festival »The whold family can enjoy activities, crafts and food, 11 a.m.—4 p.m. Cost: $10 per person. Goliisano Children’s Museum of Naples, 15080 Livingston Road, North Naples. cmon.org Free Family Day » Enjoy haunted activities, including a costume contest, trick or treat in the museum, listen to superhero stories with Carrie Sue Ayvar, make superhero mask designs and see the portrait sketches of artist Jason Weber, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., followed by a concert by the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra and the Magic Circle Mime Company in Hayes Hall. Patty & Jay Baker Naples Museum of Art and the Philharmonic Center for the Arts, 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd., Naples. 597-1900. Sounds of Halloween » Children are invited to trick or treat in the lobby of the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall beginning at 1 p.m. Plus, participate in a costume contest and try some of the musical instruments at the Instrument Discovery Zone. Gulf Coast Symphony concert begins at 2 p.m. in the theater and features classical pieces typically associated with Halloween. Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, 8099 College Parkway, south Fort Myers. 277-1700. gulfcoastsymphony.com. Trick or Treating at GCTC » Lariats & Lace Dance performs on stage 1:30-2 p.m. followed by mall-wide trick or treating 2-4 p.m. Gulf Coast Town Center, 9903 Gulf Coast Main St., San Carlos Park. gulfcoasttowncenter.com.
Monday, Oct. 29 THERAPY
Educating for Eternity » The Southwest Florida Christian Academy hosts an “Educating for Eternity” event on the campus of McGregor Baptist Church. Col. Oliver North will speak on “America in the New Millennia from a Christian’s Perspective” at a dinner, 5-9 p.m. Cost: $35-$100. Southwest Florida Christian Academy, 3750 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers. 936-8865. swfca.com. Pee Wee Halloween » You and your child can enjoy an hour of crafts, story time, games, and a snack. Parent must attend with child. 11 a.m.- noon. Cost: $10 for residents, $15 for nonresidents. Cape Coral Four Freedoms Park, 4818 Tarpon Court, Cape Coral. 574-0804. Fall Festival and Costume Party » Dress in costume and play games, enjoy food and take part in the fun. For all ages.
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CONSERVATORY & VENUE
5:30 p.m. Registration required. Naples Regional Library, 650 Central Ave., Naples. 262-6853. colliergov.net/library. Halloween Party » Dress in costume (optional) and play games, 6 p.m. For ages 2-10. Registration required. East Naples Branch Library, 8787 Tamiami Trail E., Naples. 7755592. colliergov.net/library. Halloween Party » Ages 18 months to 5 years dress in costume, march in a parade, play games and make a craft, 6:30 p.m. Registration required. Headquarters Regional Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Drive, Naples. 593-0870. colliergov.net/library.
PARTY SUPPLY FUN
EMBROIDERY / DIGITAL PRINTING
Tuesday, Oct. 30 Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida Business Hall of Fame, Collier County » Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida inducts new members to its Business Hall of Fame. Junior Achievement is dedicated to inspiring and preparing students to succeed in a global economy. Tickets and sponsorships start at $250 per person and support student admission. Waldorf Astoria Naples, 475 Seagate Drive, Naples. 225-2590. jaswfl.org.
Halloween Party » Ages 2-6 dress in costume, march in a parade, play games and make a craft, 3:30 p.m. Registration required. Vanderbilt Beach Branch Library, 788 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples. 597-8444. colliergov.net/library.
Wednesday, Oct. 31 Family Fall Festival » Daniels Road Baptist Church hosts a family fall festival for Halloween. Enjoy games, food, face painting, bounce house and other inflatables, and candy. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Free. Daniels Road Baptist Church, 5878 Daniels Parkway, south Fort Myers. 481-2416. No Tricks, Just Treats » Stop by the library on your way to trick or treating. Children in costume will receive a treat. For all ages. 4 p.m. Estates Branch Library, 1266 Golden Gate Parkway, Naples. 455-8088. colliergov.net/library. Spooktacular on Fifth » Fun activities for kids, families and adults. Costume contests for kids, adults and pets. Kids trick or treat and costume contest, 4:30-7 p.m. Live bands and street dance, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Free admission. Register for costume contests online for discounted entry fee. Fifth Avenue South, Naples. fifthavenuesouth.com.
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» resources Lee County Abuse Counseling and Treatment Inc. » Children’s groups available for those who have witnessed domestic violence. 24hour hotline: 939-3112. Al-Anon Family Groups in Lee County » 274-1353. Autism Support Group » For parents and caregivers of children with autism. For meeting dates and times, contact April Sanchez at 369-3391 or 357-8788. Business Among Moms » Provides support, education and networking to moms running their own businesses in the Fort Myers area. Facebook.com/groups/bamfortmyers.
Bereaved Parents of the USA Lee County Chapter » Nonprofit, self-help bereavement support group for anyone who has suffered the loss of a child. Meets 7 p.m. second and fourth Wednesdays each month, Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 701 Mohawk Parkway, Cape Coral. 945-3173 or bereavedparentsusa. org. C.A.R.E.S. Suicide Support Group » For middle and high school students who have experienced a loss to suicide. Meets 7-8 p.m. on the first and third Thursday, David Weekley Homes McGrath Model, 3807 Chiquita Blvd. S., Cape Coral. Also meets at Living Word Ministries, 2900 N. Tamiami Trail, North Fort Myers. 5401155. Celiac Disease Support Group of Lee County » Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the body reacts to the ingestion of gluten. Group meets at The Skinny Pantry, 11356 S. Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers. Call Terry Foster, 935-5093 or email email@example.com. CHADD of Lee County » Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder group meets every first Tuesday, with the exception of November and January, 7 p.m., Lee Memorial Hospital, 2776 Cleveland Ave, Fort Myers. 466-1167 or 4729758.
Collier County Al-Anon Family Groups » In Collier County: 263-5907. Florida Domestic Violence Hotline » 1-800-500-1119 Natural Parenting & Babywearing Get Together » Meet other natural-minded moms and dads and discuss topics ranging from vaccines, circumcision, co-sleeping, holistic treatments, cloth diapering, babywearing and other aspects generally associated with “attachment parenting.” Meets 3:30 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month. EcoBaby & Home at the Shoppes at Vanderbilt, 2355 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Suite 150, Naples. 596-2661. [NEW FOR OCT. 2012] Mothers of Preschoolers (North Naples) » MOPS meets 9:1511:30 a.m. the second and fourth Wednesday (September-May) at North Naples United Methodist Church, 6000 Goodlette Frank Road, Naples. Cost, $7. Child care available. 593-7600. Mothers of Preschoolers (Center Pointe) » MOPS meets the first and third Wednesday, 9:15-11:30 a.m., September-May, at Center Pointe Community Church, 6590 Golden Gate Parkway, Naples. Child care available. First meeting free, $7 includes childcare, craft and speaker. 261-7486.
Charlotte County Al-Anon Family Groups » A fellowship of families and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength and hope in order to solve their common problems. 941-426-7655. Diabetes in the New Millennium Support Group » Public is welcome to attend the free monthly meetings normally held 10 a.m. the third Tuesday from November through May. Burnt Store Presbyterian Church, 11330 Burnt Store Road, Punta Gorda. 941639-0001 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Nurturing Relationships and Parenting Group » Meets 6-8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Charlotte County Family Services Center, 21450 Gibralter Drive, Port Charlotte. 941-815-0342, Bruce_ Sukennikoff@ccps.k12.fl.us.
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Maggie Helms is a senior at Southwest Florida Christian Academy in Fort Myers.
M ag gie Hel Ms
My clothIng allowance
How a plastic card can teach a teen to budget.
t all started when I was in eighth grade. Mom made that “humph” sound one day when looking through my closet. That is the sound she makes when she is not happy. “What’s wrong?” I asked. “I see a shirt we bought last month with the tags still hanging on it,” she replied. “And what about these shoes?” I followed her gaze and tried to make excuses for my dislike of those items. “That shirt is not really my style and those shoes hurt my feet.” That conversation was the start of a big change for me — a change that would teach me about money and responsibility. It would also amazingly reduce the conflict between Mom and me. My mom got tired of buying me clothes that I would not wear, rightfully so. The problem was that I did not understand the value of money and budgeting. One day, we sat down and made a list of the usual clothing items I would need in a year along with estimated prices. We went to the bank and got a student debit card for me. Mom deposited the full amount of the money on the card. This became my clothing allowance for the whole year. At first I felt rich, but after the first couple of months, my balance dropped relatively quickly. I started to realize that if I wasn’t careful then I would not have enough money to finish the year and would have to start paying out of my own pocket.
One of the most important parts of the clothing allowance was the fact that I got to keep any remaining money at the end of the year. If a parent hands a kid a $20 bill to go to a movie and expects the leftovers back, then the kid will most likely buy something he doesn’t really need or want because he doesn’t want to give any money back. Whereas if he can keep the extra, he might think twice about buying the unnecessary items. My mom saw this happen time and time again with my friends and me, so that is why she decided to let me keep the rest. It really did teach me a lot about saving money and how to budget. The clothing allowance has allowed me to use a debit card for years and become used to the idea of being responsible with a plastic card. My parents are planning to help me set up a credit card account soon, so I am very grateful that I was able to have the opportunity to “practice” with a debit card first. Teenagers get in trouble with money when they do not know how to save or use a credit card. The clothing allowance started getting me used to budgeting larger amounts of money. When I was younger, my mother would buy clothes for me. She still does, in a way, but I love the way we deal with buying clothes now.
souThwesT Florida parenT & child » ocTober 2012 » 65
» a father’s view Jim dw y er
Jim Dwyer is a Southwest Florida father of three boys.
Jimmy’s obsession with having a pool table.
66 » october 2012 » news-press.com/moms
was sitting there minding my own business one day when an email came in from my son Jimmy. Now, that itself is a little odd. Jimmy, 15, has an address and he uses email from time to time to communicate with a teacher. But with me, it is usually a text or a call. I opened the message and it read “take a look at this one” with a Web link. It looked like a spam message, but the site was eBay, so I figured I was fairly safe in clicking it to see what it was all about. The Web page that opened had a pool table for sale somewhere in Georgia. What was this all about? So I called Jimmy and before I could say anything, he said, “Did you see it, Dad?” Apparently, Jimmy had decided that the table would be the perfect addition to our home and would give him something fun to do to unwind once his homework was done for the night. He was so excited he could hardly stand it. With that began weeks of nonstop pool table talk. I would come home from work and Jimmy would show me pages of pool tables he thought would work in the house. On Saturday morning, he would walk around with a tape measure explaining that we could make it fit for sure. At one point, he decided the best location was in his brothers’ room and wanted to move them into the office. Then there were the constant YouTube videos of people playing pool. He even downloaded a pool app for his phone. This boy was obsessed, and he got his brothers in on the act. They were relentless. I finally broke! I held off as long as I could, but in the end,
the memories of playing pool in my grandma’s basement won out. I have really fond memories of our family around that table. And I started to think about the relatively few years we have left with our boys before they are off to college and jobs and families of their own. My wife and I decided to sacrifice a room that we never really used anyway and turn it into a poolroom. Within a week, the table was installed. It was a Friday and you can imagine how excited the boys were to see the table in the house and ready for action. That first night, we had a family pool tournament. Jimmy drew up a seeding chart and bracket. We worked our way through the evening listening to music, playing pool and laughing about bad shots and whatever other silliness was going on. We spent hours around that table, and in the end, everyone walked away with a smile on their faces, winners and
losers all. Since then, a pool game happens just about every day. The weekends are filled with the sound of balls being sunk in pockets. In the weeks since we have had this table, it has become our community room where everyone is together and enjoying each other. Sometimes it’s the whole family and sometimes it’s just me and one of the boys or two of the boys by themselves. And we have done a couple more family tournaments, filling the house with music and laughter and fun. It is the best game night I could want. I only wish we had done it sooner.
Published on Mar 4, 2013