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Ribbon-cutting held for new chamber building

December 10, 2014
By ED FRANKS (efranks@breezenewspapers.com) , Pine Island Eagle

Last Thursday night the Pine Island Chamber of Commerce held an open house at its new building. Several hundred people arrived to celebrate the occasion.

"Thank you all for coming out. I'd like to welcome you to our new building," Chamber President Jim Roach said. "This is one of the most energy efficient buildings in Lee County. Here to help us celebrate is Lee County Commissioner John Manning."

"Thank you very much, this is a great occasion," Manning said. "I wanted to be here tonight. If there is any chamber in Lee County or in Southwest Florida that's more persistent and has the faith to keep going, it's this chamber. This has been a long process and I want to say welcome to all of you, Merry Christmas and Happy New year. Let's cut this ribbon."

Article Photos

‘Santa and Mrs. Claus and local officials at the ribbon-cutting.

ED FRANKS

Following the fire on Friday morning, Jan. 13, 2012, the Sheriff's Department determined that the cause of the fire was arson. A little more than a year later, on June 12, 2013, the Chamber of Commerce held a ground-breaking ceremony for its new building at the original site on Pine Island Road. Steve Timcak, then the president of the chamber, began the ground-breaking ceremony by telling those in attendance that June 12 was a new beginning after the tragic loss of their building to arson.

At that ceremony Timcak said, I'd like to take a moment to talk about volunteerism. This ceremony would not be taking place if it were not for volunteerism, an attribute this island takes great pride in. Our thanks go out to all who have donated their time, materials and monetary contributions, but as with any building project, financial setbacks abound. Ours is no exception. Recently enacted building codes are putting a strain on an already tight budget."

The new chamber building is an open air plan, which has a see-through building concept. This provides a vista with an air of spaciousness. The airy feeling is accentuated with high, vaulted ceilings and a cupola with celestary windows for natural light. The chamber's plan was for a "green" building. New concrete technologies and new heating and cooling systems will reduce costs and reduce the effects on the environment.

The GPICC board also thanked those who stepped up to help organize and work at the event: John and Melissa Koferl, for manning the smoker which cooked the pig and turkey for the festivities; James Brennan, a new member to the chamber and co-owner of Center Bait & Tackle for also tending to the fire pit, throughout the evening and helping put up Christmas decorations the day before the event; Lisa Dence, manager at Olde Fish House & Marina, and her employee Ada Jones, for the beverage coolers, bartending during the event and keeping guests plates full; Steve and Lisa Timcak, owners of Island Visions Gallery, for all the beer, wine and soda; Lee Cankar for heading up the basket fund-raiser and brick project; Frankie Calderone, Jacqualine Jennings and Sidney Brennan for decorating the Christmas trees, putting up Christmas lights and for carrying and stacking wood for smoker; the GPICC Board of Directors, who worked so hard to make this event possible; Richard Smith, from Matlacha Menagerie; Bryan Stockbridge owner of Gulf Coast Kayak; Roach, president of the GPICC; Pat Burman, owner of Ad&PrintCraft and Pine Island News.com for helping set up for two days at the chamber site; GPICC Ambassadors Richard Copeland, Rita Appel and Genie Andrews for handling all the visitors while set-up for the party took place; the Pine Island Dance Troop for its Christmas performances, Scotty Player, Cindy Walsh and the band for keeping the guest entertained; the owners of Ad&PrintCraft for printing and donating the invitations and Lee Cankar for donation the postage; the businesses that donated baskets for the event - William and Carlos, owners of CW Fudge Factory in Matlacha; the staff at SunTrust Bank; Francisco and Juan Castaneda, owners of JMC Landscaping; Linda and Kay Solinger, owners of Matlacha Menagerie; Nan Patterson, owner of Island Time Home and Gifts; Andre Mule', staff at Four Winds Marina; Beth Durling, owner of Dr. Watsons Liquor Store; Steve and Lisa Timcak, owners of Island Visions Gallery; and the staff at StoneGate Bank; plus Jennifer Jennings, executive directer, for putting in many hours of overtime in the organizing and planning the event.

 
 

 

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