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From the Audrey Brooks | PUBLISHER / OWNER

Dear Valued Reader,

The sprint is officially on to 2020. But before we get there, it’s tradition this time of year to take pause and give thanks, even give back through any number of worthy charities. While there are so many amazing organizations supporting families during the holidays, I’m partial to the Harry Chapin Food Bank. They feed Southwest Florida families year-round, but it becomes especially poignant for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Find out in this issue how the organization continues to grow and change with the times, as well as how you can help make a difference. In this issue we also introduce you to local businesses that can help you get your home ready for the holidays, help you with your personal style and improve your health. Our cover story features Dr. Peter Ameglio, a local orthopedic surgeon who is making headlines with SuperPATH® total hip replacement. If you’ve been putting off hip replacement out of fear of the long recovery period ART DIRECTOR

Teddy Tedford Teddy brings a wealth of branding, marketing and creative experience to livinglocal. Throughout his design career he has worked with local SWFL businesses and luxury brands across the state.

NOV/DEC 2019

| mylivinglocal.com

Publisher with traditional surgery, read more about SuperPATH here and discover what makes Dr. Ameglio and his new solo practice different. I’ve got so many things to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. On a personal level I met my forever a year ago, after nearly 13 years of singlehood, and we were married just a few months later. I’m excited to celebrate the holidays this year as a married couple, and of course with my 21-year old son, Timothy, a junior at FGCU studying civil engineering. He will always be the apple of my eye! On a professional level, livinglocal has completed its first year as a bimonthly publication, its look has continued to evolve along with the content, and I could not be happier. I’m especially grateful for our business partners that make this publication possible and our loyal readers who see value in supporting local business. On behalf of all of us at livinglocal, we wish you a joyful Thanksgiving and a blessed Christmas.

Audrey

LOCAL CONTRIBUTOR

Gina Birch Gina is a freelance writer for USA Today 10Best and a well-known TV & radio personality in SW Florida. Google her blog, “The Birch Beat” and follow her on Facebook & Twitter @GinaBirch.


side Inside this edition i

Dr. Peter Ameglio Ameglio Orthopedics

Dr. Joseph Magnant

Dr. Katrine Farag

Scott A. Kuhn

Dr. Michael Collins

Jose Rodriguez

Theresa Clements

Vein Specialists

Advanced Dentistry

Kuhn Law Firm

Collins Vision

Best Home Services

Fast & Frugal Interiors

Jose & Neida Carvalho

Stone & Tile from Portugal Our mission at livinglocal includes spotlighting local non-profits that are making a difference in our community. In addition to sharing their story, we also provide a monetary donation on behalf of our advertisers. The Harry Chapin Food Bank is committed to the hunger relief efforts in Southwest Florida. They do this by maintaining food distribution to more than 150 nonprofit partner agencies including church food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, disaster relief agencies and more. Every $1 that is donated turns into $8 worth of food, feeding more than 28,000 individuals every week. www.mylivinglocal.com

Serving Fort Myers, Estero, Bonita & Naples C O NNE CT W ITH U S

mylivinglocal.com

TO ADVE RT IS E

239.245.7365 advertise@mylivinglocal.com

PUBLISHER

Audrey Brooks audrey@mylivinglocal.com

Š2019 Brooks Infinity, Inc. - All content is property of the publisher and may not be used or reproduced without expressed written consent from Brooks Infinity, Inc. mylivinglocal.com | NOV/DEC 2019


NOV/DEC 2019

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mylivinglocal.com | NOV/DEC 2019


Superior Care with

T

he SuperPATH® approach is perhaps the most notable, recent advancement in total hip replacement surgery, a technique that works on those that are active as well as those who are weakened by their chronic hip arthritis. Whatever the condition of the patient, it makes for a quicker return to function. Dr. Peter Ameglio, owner of Ameglio Orthopedics had the pleasure of meeting Jill Dillon a retiree who wished to be out of pain and return to her active lifestyle as soon as possible. The 85-year-old is an avid hiker and says, “Over the course of the last several years I’ve just worn out my hips. I needed both replaced and as quickly as possible so I could get back to regular life. I like to travel and am very active.” When she heard it could take up to six months to heal from hip replacement surgery she says, “It really depressed me.” Then she found Dr. Ameglio and the surgery that is putting him on the map, SuperPATH. While SuperPATH is not a new technique (it was introduced sixteen

Jill Dillion, Bilateral SuperPATH patient | mylivinglocal.com

NOV/DEC 2019

years ago), it’s an approach to hip replacement that is not commonly done. Although developed in 2003, Dr. Ameglio is the pioneer of the surgery in Southwest Florida. What makes this approach so different and so desirable to patients such as Dillon, is that the surgery is performed in a way that does not require the hip to be dislocated. All other total hip replacements require hip dislocation in which the entire leg is rotated until it comes out of joint. This results in injury to the joint capsule and small muscle attachments of the hip. Following surgery, the patient is instructed in movement precautions to reduce the risk of postoperative hip dislocation. SuperPATH does not carry any of these precautions since the hip is never dislocated. Dr Ameglio states, “The SuperPATH approach is much less traumatic. The surgery isn’t easier for the surgeon, but it’s much easier on the patient physically. They experience less pain and the recovery time is shortened significantly. It just makes sense. This isn’t just my opinion; clinical studies prove it.”

Paige Law, SuperPATH rep w/Dr. Ameglio


Traditional Values “I went to physical therapy immediately af ter my first surger y,” says Dillon. “The therapist said, ‘Oh if Dr. Ameglio did your hip you’ll be out of here in no time.’” That prediction came true and she quickly moved on to her second surgery. “Now less than two months after my second hip I’m ready to go on a hiking trip with my daughter. It’s really remarkable,” she says. Dr. Ameglio opened his solo orthopedic practice in July with the help of his wife. “Audrey has given me the confidence to pursue my own faith-based practice; from the culture to the décor, she designed a space that reflects my heart and desire to serve others.” Patients have also embraced the move and welcoming atmosphere, one even asked if she could move in. “I want to be able to bring comfort to patients through medicine of course, but on the other hand, it’s also nice to pray with them, if they are open to it, and bring comfort in that way as well.” says the surgeon. Conitnued on next page

Peter Ameglio, MD

Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon

Dr. Ameglio ready for surgery

Dr. Ameglio’s patients are family mylivinglocal.com | NOV/DEC 2019


better alternative to another traditional hip surgery where he would now risk dislocating both hips while on the road, the pilot consulted with Dr. Ameglio who suggested SuperPATH.

Scott Hedge, Patient & Pilot for Delta Airlines

That combination of caring and expertise has people in pain, seeking him out daily. People like Scott Hedge, a commercial airline pilot, marathoner, and cyclist. He had his first hip replaced at the age of 51. On a work trip six months later, he had a layover in Las Vegas and went to the Grand Canyon. He squatted down to take a picture and when he stood up, his hip dislocated. “I had just completed a 400 mile plus cycling trip and thought I was in fairly good shape, then this happens. I was shocked.” Seven years later, his right hip started hurting during his airline commutes and walks through airports. Searching for a

Because of Hedge’s age, health and insurance, his surgery was performed as an outpatient procedure and was home resting comfortably within a few hours of surgery. “The next day I was on a walker, working with a physical therapist at home,” says Hedge. “Recovery was great. It’s not a miracle, you still have to put in the work, but my muscles came back much faster than last time.” He says the pain management was remarkable too and took prescription pain meds just one day. Seven weeks later, Hedge was back in the cockpit and had already logged another 300 miles on his bicycle. Besides marveling over the success and relative ease of their SuperPATH total hip replacements, both Dillon and Hedge rave about the treatment they received at the hands of Dr. Ameglio. “I was so impressed with his manor. He was thoughtful, a good listener and obviously loved the work he did,” says

DR. AMEGLIO’S SOLO PRACTICE IS NOW OPEN & ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS.

6160 Winkler Road, Fort Myers (Between College Pkwy. & Cypress Lake Dr.)

NOV/DEC 2019

| mylivinglocal.com

@PeterAmeglioMD


Dillon. “You aren’t passed off as just a patient. My father was a doctor, so I know the difference.”

families) through his gentle and kind demeanor. This is a perfect outlet for him to do what he does best.”

“Dr. Ameglio has a great bedside manner,” says Hedge, “He checked in with me right after surgery. I really felt like he was trying to help me out and I appreciated that.”

A patient recently commented to Dr. Amegio that the office has an “old-fashioned feel”. The doctor shared that when he was in medical school, he had the thought of grabbing his black doctor bag and going out to save the world. She laughed and he said, “and here we are! (pointing in the office)”. “I truly feel blessed to be able to care for others in this way.”

Let it be known Dr. Ameglio isn’t just a hip surgeon. He states, “as orthopedists we are experts of the musculoskeletal system; bones and joints. I like to look at the patient as a whole person,” Therefore, he provides treatment and surgery, if necessary, for all joints, including hands and feet. As a business owner herself, his wife is aware of the challenges when starting a new business but expresses, “Dr. Ameglio provides leading surgical procedures such as SuperPATH total hip replacement and iFuse, a minimally invasive surgery for the treatment of sacroiliac joint dysfunction - an underserved need in SW Florida. Dr. Ameglio truly loves all people and helping them through their life’s journey. Through the midst of challenges, he brings a sense of peace to his patients (and their

Dr. Ameglio & his wife, married 2/23/19

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My friends are amazed that I had both of my hips replaced within 3 months, and in less than 2 months I’m back to my daily routine including volunteering regularly. I’m really blessed, fortunate, and so glad I found Dr. Ameglio.

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Peter Ameglio, MD Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon

Join Dr. Ameglio for a FREE seminar to learn how you can be on a faster road to recovery with SuperPATH. He will also discuss treatment options for unresolved buttock, hip, leg & groin pain. Dates: Thursday, November 14th OR Thursday, December 12th Time: 6–7pm Location: Gulf Coast Medical Center Auditorium | 13681 Doctor’s Way, Fort Myers (use main entrance of hospital)

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239-494-3147 www.PeterAmeglio.com PeterAmeglio.com

@PeterAmeglioMD @PeterAmeglioMD

SW FLORIDA’S 1ST & MOST EXPERIENCED SUPERPATH SURGEON mylivinglocal.com | NOV/DEC 2019


WHAT COULD BE LURKING

Gums

BENEATH YOUR by Gina Birch

The American Academy of Periodontology estimates that 50-75% of Americans have some kind of gum or periodontal disease. Dr. Katrine Farag, owner of Advanced Dentistry of Fort Myers, says,” Often times people are unaware they even have gum disease. We diagnose it during an exam.” In the case of Debi Grover, she had already lost a tooth and was told by a periodontist that she would need invasive surgery to save her gums and the rest of her teeth. The Fort Myers native owns the D. Grover Inc. design company, a contracting company, as well as one that fixes and flips properties. Dealing with the public and business owners, she says, “I wanted to have a pretty smile and a healthy mouth.” But it was about more than her mouth. She explains, “Bad teeth and gums are not good for your health, your blood stream, your heart; it’s not good for anything.” Even though she knew she needed to do something, like so many people suffering from gum disease; the idea of a surgery, that involved using a scalpel to lift the gums back in order to access and remove the bacteria, was not the least bit appealing. After seeing an advertisement for Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, or LANAP, Grover discovered Dr. Farag and her husband; only a few dentists in the area to offer this procedure. LANAP uses a laser to get into the periodontal pocket and target the diseased

R ECON STRU C T I V E & C O S ME T I C D E N T I ST RY COS METIC D E NT U R E S I NV I SA L I G N D E N TAL IMPLAN TS P R O FE S S I O NA L W H I T E N I N G NOV/DEC 2019

| mylivinglocal.com


tissue without harming the healthy tissues. The wound is easier to close and heals faster. Dr. Farag says, “We get such great results with it. It sets us apart.” Grover adds, “I was a little tender afterwards, but there was no pain and the recovery was fast.” Immediately following the procedure, she had to stay away from certain foods and rinse her mouth with a special solution rather than using a toothbrush, but those were the only inconveniences. “It was very easy,” marvels Grover. “I did all four quadrants at once, but you can do a little at a time. It depends on each person.” Early detection and treatment of gum disease is extremely important, according to Dr. Farag, who cautions, “Studies now show us it is linked to systemic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.” Gingivitis is a form of gum disease that causes gums to bleed during brushing. “If the disease is detected early before the bone structure has been too badly affected,” says Dr. Farag, “a non-surgical procedure called scaling and root planing can be performed. Patients often refer to it as a deep cleaning.” However, if left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis. Dr. Farag explains, “In this case, the bacteria in the plaque spreads below the gums where the patient can no longer reach it simply with their toothbrush. The tissue and the bone structure are destroyed, and the teeth then become loose.” This is when surger y becomes necessary. “Debbi had great success with this procedure,” says Dr. Farag. “After one year, her pocket depths had gone to normal levels, she maintained excellent home care, and retuned to our office every 3 months for re-care appointments; so we were then able to help her take the next step in her journey.” Grover says, “I’m actually seeing bone

regrowth where it had previously receded from the disease. Bone regrowth strengthens the tooth. It’s a win-win.” Grover is so happy with the results at Advanced Dentistry that she has undergone teeth whitening and is in the middle of Invisalign treatments to straighten her teeth. Now her mouth is both healthy and beautiful. Another win-win, after being the beneficiary of Farag’s skills, Grover used her skills to redesign the dental office. Besides great patient care, forming relationships is something Advanced Dentistry excels in. If you have red or swollen gums, lose teeth, receding gums, bad breath, a bad taste in your mouth, or suffer from pain when chewing, you may have gum disease. Call Advanced Dentistry for a consultation and get help before it is too late.

DEBI GROVER

ADVANCED DENTISTRY PATIENT

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| mylivinglocal.com


incredibly fulfilling to know that if you put in the effort and are willing to grow to your potential, you can reach success.� Jose has been happily married for 12 years to his high school sweetheart Lismary. They have a 9-year-old son named Kaiden and have lived in Southwest Florida for 12 years. Jose is a dedicated manager who treats his team like one big happy family. When Jose is not working, he is spending time with his family or working on his art. Best Home Ser vices is a local, family owned and operated company that is focused on caring for their customers and the community. Their team relentlessly works to continuously improve their service in order to make Southwest Florida homes safer, more comfortable, and more efficient-one job at a time! To learn more about Best Home Services’ story and their Best Home Services Guarantee, please visit their website at WWW.GETBEST.COM or call 239-217-1698.

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Could Your be a Sign or Symptom of

I

t all started with little red dots on her ankle. Allison Ferguson had no idea what these little rash-like marks were, nor that her research for answers would begin nearly two years of visits to a variety of physicians and specialists before landing in the office of Dr. Joseph Magnant, founder of Vein Specialists in Southwest Florida. An experienced Vascular Surgeon with a practice focused on vein disease, Dr. Magnant was able to diagnosis the condition as stasis dermatitis and successfully treat her, finally providing the relief she so desperately sought. For about a month she suffered from constant itching. She finally stopped by her employee health clinic and was given a topical steroid cream. But it didn’t help. “It looked kind of like a heat rash, it was really bothering me and it was not going away,” remembers Ferguson. Her next visit was to a dermatologist. “The doctor thought they were bug bites, like scabies,” she recalls in disbelief. A biopsy was taken, and the medicine prescribed did not improve the condition. There were more creams and more biopsies but s till no relief and no answers. She remembers,

Joseph G. Magnant NOV/DEC 2019

| mylivinglocal.com

MD, FACS, RPVI Vascular Surgeon & Vein Expert


y r a t n e m i l p Com n o i s s e S A & Q “It felt like poison ivy and we were now get ting into the hot months of summer. I was miserable.” She went to a rheumatologist, then an allergist, and back to a dermatologist before finally seeking help outside of Southwest Florida. She made an appointment with a physician and professor at the University of Miami Center for Dermatology who performed yet another biopsy and then conducted his own lab work. “He said I had dermatitis that was caused by a vein issue known as stasis dermatitis” says Ferguson. “I remember at some point previously, another doctor had mentioned it could possibly be a vein issue, but that was kind of in passing and it was never pursued.” Armed with new information and hope, Ferguson called Dr. Magnant. “Allison had venous insufficiency; however, her symptoms were atypical; a rash and itching without noticeable varicose veins,” says Dr. Magnant. Venous disease affects about 20% of the U.S. population, about 40-50 million adults. Venous insufficiency occurs when valves in the leg veins fail to close, making it difficult for blood to return to the heart. This causes blood to pool in the legs, resulting in varicose

www.WeKnowVeins.com

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mylivinglocal.com | NOV/DEC 2019


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www.ApothiCare360.com mylivinglocal.com | NOV/DEC 2019


Captains for Clean Water Board Member, Dr. Michael Collins, making a pledge at the annual Restore Gala.

Investing in a

Culture of Giving C

ollins Vision has a longstanding commitment to service in Southwest Florida; service to the community and service to the individual. Led by practice founder Dr. Michael J. Collins, Collins Vision embodies a culture of giving back that is exemplified in ways large and small and can be felt throughout the community. “We feel like giving back is one of the best ways to not only make an impact externally in our community but it also organically creates more camaraderie and engagement within our own organization,” said Dr. Collins. “It’s so heartwarming to see how much our team rallies together to share in a vision and support a cause.” EMPOWERING FAMILIES ONE LIFE AT A TIME One of the charities Collins Vision supports i s ve r y n ea r a n d d e a r to D r. C o l l i n s ’ hear t. March of Dimes leads the

fight for the health of all mothers and their infants, including premature b a b ie s . “ M y daug hter Ellie wa s b o r n p re m a t u re , w e i g h i n g o n l y 1 pound, 3 ounces and we spent the first three months of her life in the pediatric intensive care unit,” said Dr. Collins. “This was a life-changing experience!” Today, Ellie is a happy, thriving student at Ithaca College. “Without the support and technology that the March of Dimes spearheads, she may have had a different outcome,” said Dr. Collins. “Helping other families in this situation by supporting the March of Dimes seems like the right thing to do.” THE CARING POWER OF COMMUNITY Another organization in which Collins Vision invests time and resources is United Way, which is dedicated to creating solutions that build stronger communities, improve education, strengthen financial stability and make communities healthier. “The community of Southwest Florida has embraced us and we want to return that love in the best way we can,” said Dr. Collins, who actually serves on the board of the organization. “The United Way

NAPLES OFFICE NOV/DEC 2019

| mylivinglocal.com

860 111th Avenue North


“The community of Southwest Florida has embraced us and we want to return that love in the best way we can.” – Dr. Michael Collins touches and helps so many people in our community. Last year, Collins Vision became a Pacesetter Company by running our campaign early in order to help the United Way reach its annual goal. 100% of our team contributed to the effort and I couldn’t be prouder!” C H A M P I O N I N G C O N S E R VAT I O N Dr. Collins is an avid fisherman and boater. “One of the reasons I decided to live and practice in Southwest Florida was the year-round ability to enjoy the outdoors,” he said. Captains for Clean Water (CFCW) has gained international recognition for educating the public about what needs to be done to improve water quality, decrease pollution and protect the estuaries and Everglades of Southwest Florida and beyond. Dr. Collins serves on t he board of t his gr as sroot s organization. “This is truly a passion project for me,” he said. I T ’ S T H E C O L L I N S V I S I O N WAY In addition to the higher-profile organizations they partner with, Collins Vision quietly gives and serves in countless other ways on a smaller scale. Why? Because when you truly buy into a shared company culture of giving and serving, it’s just business as usual.

CollinsVision.com

Follow Us | f y T n I t ’s not uncomm on to f ind D r. Collins donating a cataract surgery or pterygium removal through the We Care Program in partnership with United Way. Or to find the team working together to provide gifts and meals for sponsored families around the holidays. “We all know there is more happiness in giving than in receiving,” said Dr. Collins. Collins Vision has experienced impressive growth since opening its doors in 2004 and Dr. Collins likes to think much of it is due to its unwavering dedication to giving back to and serving the community. Today, the comprehensive ophthalmology practice has two locations in Naples and Fort Myers and offers a range of eye care services including Cataract Surgery, Laser Vision Correction Surgery (LASIK and ASA), Corneal Surgery, Ophthalmic Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery, Comprehensive Eye Exams, Custom Contact Lens Fittings and Cosmetic Facial Injections. Looking for an eye care practice with a heart for the community? Join the scores of Southwest Floridians who have chosen to See the Difference and become a part of the Collins Vision family. For more information, visit CollinsVision.com or call 239.789.2119.

239.936.4706 mylivinglocal. | com

NOV/DEC 2019


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mylivinglocal.com | NOV/DEC 2019


Customizing Your

KITCHEN & BATH home is your castle and when it Y our comes to remodeling kitchens and

baths you want a company with not only the best service, but also the most unique and outstanding products to reflect your style and taste. You want Neida and Jose Carvalho, the owners of Stone and Tile from Portugal. Whether you need new countertops, a new outdoor kitchen, or a complete bathroom makeover, the Carvalho’s can make it happen from start to finish. “Right now, everybody is going crazy for the whites and greys. We’re doing a lot of light-colored countertops,” says Neida. She has been in the construction industr y in Southwest Florida for some 30 years while Jose’s family in Portugal has been in the stone business for generations, giving him a direct connection to suppliers and materials unlike any other similar businesses in Southwest Florida. Portugal is the second largest marble exporter in the world. Some of the stone the Carvalho’s purchase actually comes

from the area where Jose grew up. It was on a trip to visit that area and relatives in Portugal, that the couple decided to establish the family trade across the Atlantic Ocean and open an import company in Southwest Florida. The Carvalho’s idea was to bring in the finest stone from Portugal and other parts of Europe. They received their first slabs two years ago along with their first frantic call for help. Neida remembers, “Our customer was having a problem with their contractor. It was a week before Thanksgiving and they desperately needed their countertops completed. It was crazy but we got it done Wednesday, Thanksgiving was Thursday.” It was this experience that further transformed their import business plan to include complete remodels. Neida is also licensed to install cabinets, so the Carvalho’s are able to offer a full range of services that include indoor and outdoor kitchens, as well as baths. In addition, she says, “Jose has a g r e a t ey e f o r d e t a i l , a n d h e speaks four languages, that is huge. We have such a mixed community now in Southwest Florida.” The Carvalho’s are hands on from beginning to end; no salespeople, no corporate office policies. “You get that personal touch, so if you want to change something you don’t have

2134 ANDREA LANE • UNIT D NOV/DEC 2019

| mylivinglocal.com

FORT MYERS


Before

to ask seven different people to make it happen,” says Neida. Customers begin the process with an appointment at the Car valho’s showroom where they can look at a menagerie of colors, textures, products, etc. The next meeting is in the home where measurements are taken, and a design plan is made. “We get that lined up and try to make it as seamless and as stress free as possible,” says Neida. “From start date to finish we only want you to be without a kitchen two weeks or less.” Stone and Tile from Portugal carries stone from all over Europe, India, and in the United States. The selections range from the exotic and hard to find to traditional and affordable, fitting all budgets and tastes. Materials that customers can choose from include marble, quartz, granite, and onyx. Some of Neida’s favorite projects have been for veterans. “Can you imagine losing a limb serving our country and trying to get into a standard shower or tub? Most people just don’t think about those things.” Neida does. She served in the U.S. Coast Guard; that

service is what initially brought her to Southwest Florida. Since opening their business, the Carvalho’s have worked with the Veteran’s Administration to make bathrooms handicap accessible for local veterans—at no cost. New to the lineup of specialized selections are premium travertine pavers and marble decking. “The reason it is called premium is because it has no holes in it. Standard travertine has all of these little nooks and crannies, so you have to seal it,” says Neida. “In Europe, they’ve been using the products we have for hundreds of years without a problem.” These pavers are ex tremely popular and practical for outdoor decking, including the areas around swimming pools. “I love to design things, to take something that is not user friendly and make it practical for the homeowner. Then I love seeing the finished product when it transforms into WOW.” If you are looking for that WOW transformation, want to update your space or just make it more functional, call the experts at Stone and Tile from Portugal.

239-223-9577

STONEANDTILEFROMPORTUGAL.COM

mylivinglocal.com | NOV/DEC 2019


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mylivinglocal.com | NOV/DEC 2019


SHOULD I SET UP A

TRUST FOR MY PET?

FOR MY PET?

F

or many Florida residents, their top estate planning priority is providing for their spouse or children. But what about pets? After all, it is not unusual for an animal to outlive their human master. Indeed, certain common pets such as parrots can live for decades. So what is the best way to ensure your most faithful, non-human companions are taken care of in your will or trust? HOW A FLORIDA PET TRUST WORKS

First, let’s dispel a common myth: Yo u c a n n o t a c t u a l l y n a m e yo u r pet as a beneficiary of your estate. You sometimes hear stories about people “leaving their estate to their cat.” But as far as probate law is concerned, animals are property and cannot inherit anything. What you can do, however, is create a special “pet trust.” This is just what it sounds like: A trust established for the benefit of a pet. Basically, you leave a sum of money or other property to a (human) trustee. The trustee then uses that property to care for your pet after you die or if you become incapacitated.

K

NOV/DEC 2019

A pet trust may also name someone to actually take custody or possession of your pet. This need not be the same person as the trustee. If you create a pet t rus t , you could name t he executor of your estate to serve as trustee and another person to act as “guardian” of the pet. You would then instruct the trustee on when and how to use the trust’s assets. For example, you might authorize the trustee to pay the pet guardian a fixed sum every month to defray their costs of caring for the animal. Note that while we refer to a “pet trust,” you do not necessarily have to create a separate document. Many people include language creating a pet trust in their wills. This means the pet trust itself does not come into existence until after you die. But you can also setup a trust separately from your will that can take effect if you become ill or disabled and can no longer care for your pet yourself. HOW LONG DOES A PET TRUST LAST? Florida law explicitly recognizes pet trusts. But there are some limits on how

KUHN LAW FIRM, P.A.

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about

Scott A. Kuhn

Before becoming an attorney Scott Kuhn worked as a firefighter and for rescue services. He worked his way through college, while supporting his family so he understands those struggling to make ends meet. Scott feels it is his “empathy, advocacy and immediacy” that differentiates himself from other attorneys – not his advanced education. He knows his clients count on him to do the right – and smart – thing every time, on every matter that affects them. He feels privileged to be a part of their lives, oftentimes at moments of their greatest vulnerability. From initial call to the last stage of the appeal process (if it comes to that), Scott is intimately involved. Scott’s commitment to helping people doesn’t stop at the door of his law office. He is the Attorney for the Shriners and has assisted many clients with charitable gifts to the Shriners Hospital for Children, Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida Southwestern. such trusts can operate. Under Florida Statutes, any pet trust “terminates on the death of the animal or, if the trust was created to provide for the care of more than one animal alive during the settlor’s lifetime, on the death of the last surviving animal.” This basically means the trust cannot continue indefinitely. The law also permits anyone “having an interest in the welfare of the animal” to ask a judge to remove the trustee or otherwise enforce the terms of the trust if a dispute arises. In some cases, such outside intervention may be necessary if the person you name as trustee or guardian becomes unable to serve in those roles. These are just some of the issues you need to consider when setting up a pet trust. An experienced Fort Myers estate planning law yer can

6720 Winkler Road Ft Myers, FL 33919

offer you advice tailored to your specific situation. Contact the Kuhn Law Firm, P.A., at 239-333-4529 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team today.

239-333-4529

www.KuhnLegal .com mylivinglocal.com | NOV/DEC 2019


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Fast&Frugal INTERIORS DESIGN With An EDGE

H

Theresa’s Tip of the Month

ome improvement shows are some of the most addicting programs on Sometimes in our busy lives there’s television. They can inspire you to take a need for simplicity and relaxation. To create serenity in any space, choose on a new decorating project or redo your colors that are closer to natural elements entire home décor. But looking at all of the such as the sea and sky. various patterns, textures and styles can be a tad bit overwhelming if you have no If you need more direct assistance, idea where to start. Clements says, “Get on your running shoes, – will become That’s when you call Theresa Clements, we are going to get to work.”–She owner of Fast and Frugal Interiors. For over your personal shopper, taking you to furniture, 25 years, she’s been bringing her client’s consignment and home improvement stores visions to life through interior design. She’s to find the perfect accent pieces, paint colors even been featured on HGTV thanks to her and more, all within your budget. unconventional technique.

In the beginning of her career as part owner of Galloways, Clements and Associates in Royal Palm Square, she had what she calls ‘a dream team’ of architects, builders and contractors, at her disposal. Fast and Frugal is a spinof f of sor t s, targeting the everyday homeowner who wants to transform their living space but needs expertise. She says, “I’m trying to reach people who wouldn’t think of calling a designer.” Although the name speaks to her efficiency, Clements makes sure to spend adequate time with each client in order to capture their vision in the most accurate way.

About her job, Clements says, “It’s exciting for me to open new doors to clients and give them a way to solve what they thought was a huge problem.” She continues, “Once you see their vision, the fun thing is giving them the best version of that vision.”

If a home consultation is all you have the budget for, she will come in and decide on a game plan, giving you a road map of where to go and how to achieve exactly what you want.

1637 HENDRY STREET • FORT MYERS • 239-936-1231

@fastandfrugal

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Food For brought in a total Brantley Garcia, 6, held a food drive and t butter and jelly of 417 pounds of food, including peanu rbury School. and nonperishables collected from Cante

I

f there are two themes that are central to the holidays they are food and giving. There is no other organization that embodies the two quite like the Harry Chapin Food Bank (HCFB.) The holidays are consistently one of the biggest times of the year for food related charities like HCFB; second only to summer. During the summer a large portion of the local, seasonal work force has reduced hours and less money coming in. “About one in eight people in our community will experience hunger this year, one in five of those are children,” says Harry Chapin President and CEO, Richard LeBer. Even with a strong economy you’ll find people in need. “Someone could be out of work due to an illness, or in the middle of a job transition, there are all kinds of reasons why they would be in need,” says LeBer. If a person has an hourly job and their employer closes to celebrate the holiday, they might not get paid. If they take time off to spend with family, they may also

ed Henry Peterson unloads a truck of donat turkeys and food fixings.

miss a paycheck. “Kids are also out of school and need to be fed,” says LeBer.

I hate the idea of anyone going hungry during the holidays. Food is such a central part of most peoples’ celebrations.

- Richard LaBer | C.E.O.

The Thanksgiving holiday kicks things off, crossing all religious and political boundaries. It brings families together around the dinner table, expressing gratitude for what they have, regardless of how much or how little. That appreciation and thankfulness spills over to friends, neighbors and others in the community. Harry Chapin provides food to more than 150 agencies in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Glades and Hendry Counties, which have direct distribution links to those in need, such as food pantries, mobile pantries, senior citizens and in-school pantries. Find a list of these agencies on HCFB’s website. If one is close to you, you can always donate items directly to them says LeBer, just

To make a donation of time, money or goods call 239-334-7007, visit www.harrychapinfoodbank.org, or stop by4

NOV/DEC 2019

| mylivinglocal.com


Holiday Thought e This is one of the more than 300 mobil pantries the food bank holds during the fiscal year to distribute food to those in need.

Children receive food kits, or boxes, for their families through the Harry Chapin Food Bank’s new “Harr y’s Helpings” program.

call ahead for hours of operation first. While physical donations of shelf stable foods, and frozen turkeys are still welcomed, the organization has slowly been shifting how they provide for families during the holidays and monetary donations offer the most bang for the buck. “Money goes a long way and is more flexible for us to use depending on what is needed at the moment,” says LeBer. For every dollar donated, HCFB can turn that into $8 worth of food. Some of the money is used to send trucks to grocery stores or farms that are donating fresh produce. Rather than just bags of food, HCFB also gives out $25 gift cards at Thanksgiving time that are only good for food purchases. LeBer explains, “Consumers more often than not, find better deals on chickens and turkeys than we do and can take them directly home to the freezer or refrigerator.” In addition, gift cards allow families to purchase the side dishes that are unique to their celebration.

couple hold an Sandy and Henry Peterson: This Sanibel year collected annual “Turkey Drop and Roll” and last nonperishable 53 donated turkeys and 127 pounds of food for Thanksgiving.

96% of all monetary donations to Harry Chapin go directly to the food bank’s programs; the rest, only 4% goes to administrative costs. If you or your organization is planning a food drive during the holidays LeBer says, “It’s a lovely idea to have parties with a purpose. It gets friends engaged and shifts focus to the issue that not everyone has as much to give thanks for.” He suggests having a goal in your food drive to provide a meal for a family or two. Or for a greater impact, setting an empty place at the dinner table to remind guests there are hungry people in the community. No matter how small your drive may be it can serve to inspire people to get involved and do something. One person at a time can make a difference. “Harry Chapin would not exist if people weren’t so generous,” says LeBer. “I’m stunned every year by the generosity and community spirit that makes this whole thing possible.”

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