Replica of Vietnam Memorial Dedication in Punta Gorda, Florida
Vietnam Wall of Southwest Florida Dedication Ceremony & Celebratory Event, November 5
PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (October 25, 2016) – The Vietnam Wall of Southwest Florida will be dedicated on November 5, 2016, beginning at 8:30 a.m. with a Walk of Honor from Laishley Marina to the Wall site in Laishley Park (100 Nesbit Street). Each person participating in the walk will carry a card with the name of a service member whose name is on the Wall.
At 9:00 a.m., Rolling Thunder, an advocacy group that seeks to bring full accountability for prisoners of war and missing in action service members of all U.S. wars, will ride by the dedication site.
At 10:00 a.m. a Warbird flyover of ex-military vintage aircraft planes is scheduled to take flight.
Major General Richard E. Carr, Vietnam veteran and President of Vietnam Wall of Southwest Florida, Inc., will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the dedication.
Remarks from dignitaries and the official presentation of the Memorial will be followed by a UH-1 helicopter fly-over and a 21-gun salute. Guns and Hoses, a pipe and drum unit will play the songs of each branch of Military Service. The dedication will close with the playing of Taps.
A dedicated lot for handicap parking is available at the southwest corner of Nesbit and Retta Esplanade, directly across from the Memorial site.
The dedication is free and open to the public and will be held rain or shine. Complimentary trolley service will be available beginning at 8:30 a.m. from the parking garage at Herald Court Centre, The last trolley run from Laishley Park will be at Noon.
Following the ceremony, Veterans’ Fest, an all-day celebration of the men and women who have defended and are defending our country, will be held at Laishley Park. A collaboration with iHeart Media and the City of Punta Gorda, the family-friendly event will feature live entertainment, a kids’ area, business and craft vendors and plenty of food and beverages. Admission is $5 per person.
Founded in 1979 by Vietnam veteran Jan Scruggs, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial fund raised nearly $9-million for the construction of a permanent memorial in Washington, D.C., to “acknowledge and recognize the service and sacrifice of all who served in Vietnam.”
Designed by then Yale undergraduate, May Ying Lin, the Wall was officially opened to the public in November 13, 1982, chronologically listing the names of more than 58,000 Americans who gave their lives in service to their country. Through Memorial Day 2015, another 368 names were added to the Wall. An additional eight have been added in 2016.
Current locations of replicas include:
Wildwood, New Jersey
Punta Gorda’s half-scale replica is located in Laishley Park on the Peace River and adheres to the criteria set forth for the design of the original Memorial:
1) Be reflective and contemplative in character
2) Harmonize with its surroundings
3) Contain the names of those who had died in the conflict or who were still missing
4) Make no political statement about the war
More than $650,000 in cash and in-kind contributions were raised to construct the wall. The City of Punta Gorda donated engineering and site preparation services. The County donated $50,000 and the state of Florida donated $150,000. Additional revenues from events and activities in support of the wall will go toward a perpetual maintenance fund.
Guns n Hoses Pipes n Drums was created in September 2011 buy a few members who had performed at Fire and Police Funerals and wanted to organize a volunteer group on SW Florida to attend such events. They are active and retired firefighters, law enforcement officers, military veterans, EMS and patriots.
FGCU Department of Rehabilitation Services
Holds Third Annual Amputee Clinic on Nov. 12
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) Department of Rehabilitation Sciences will hold a free Amputee Clinic, Saturday, Nov. 12, from 9 a.m. to noon in Marieb Hall. Individuals living with amputation and their family members are welcome to this free event.
Activities include: prosthetic check-ups, information on adaptive sports, walking more efficiently, personalized strength training, pool exercise demonstration, area resources, balance assessment, dietary and skin care, and a running clinic.
For more information, contact Vern Swanson at (239) 590-7553 or Melinda Coffey at (239) 590-7530.
Contact to join the Chamber on the trolley.A Brand New Event
Pick Your Paddle Tour
a) Webb Lake Babcock. This is a 2-hour paddle on a long smooth fresh water lake. It is surrounded by pine trees, wildflowers and wildlife. The lake is stocked with fish which attracts many birds. Sighting eagles and alligators is common. (Rest room / picnic area)
b) Alligator Creek. This is a 2-hour paddle. The waters are tidal and offer open waters, adventurous mangrove tunnels and open coves. Eagles, Osprey and Herons are among the many species of birds that frequent the area. Dolphins and stingrays are common in the creek. This is a paddle to remember.
c) Shell Creek. This 2 hour paddle is a favorite of many local paddlers. The Creek is wide and slow moving. Vegetation is lush and varied. There is an abundance of birds and turtles with an occasional alligator sunning on the banks. (Options: paddle up stream or downstream) ( Restroom / picnic area)
d) Ponce De Leon Park. This 2 hour paddle meanders through beautiful mangrove tunnels. It is tidal and borders on Charlotte Harbor. Birds, crabs and other wild life are abundant. Occasionally dolphin and manatee have been spotted. (Restroom)
e) Peace River. This is a 2 hour paddle in the Cleveland area. It is slow moving tidal water with a wide open paddle around woody and marshy islands. Interesting flora and fauna surround the waterway as well as many species of birds.
Join the Fun
For more Event Details and to Download your Mail-in Registration Form go here
Our Event Sponsors
About TEAM Punta Gorda
TEAM Punta Gorda, 227 Sullivan St. Punta Gorda, FL 33950
Our Platinum Sponsors
Suncoast Humane Society
Suncoast Humane Society Declares November 12th “Pet Appreciation Day”
November 12, 2016 will be officially declared “Pet Appreciation Day” in municipalities served by Suncoast Humane Society, in honor of their Walk to Benefit Homeless Animals in Ann Dever Memorial Park on that same day. Official Proclamations will be declared at municipal meetings in Charlotte County, Venice, North Port and Punta Gorda.
You may check respective government calendars for times and locations of the proclamations.
Pet Appreciation Day and Walk to Benefit Homeless Animals will be held on November 12, 2016 at Ann Dever Memorial Park in Englewood. In addition to a family and pet-friendly fundraising walk benefiting the animals and programs of Suncoast Humane Society, attendees will enjoy animal demonstrations, auction tent, music, local food trucks and a village of local vendors. For more information, visit or
Suncoast Humane Society has been serving animals and people since 1971. Founded as Englewood Animal Aid Society, the organization’s services and programs were soon challenged to meet the demands placed on them by the pet over-population crises.
Expansions to their facility in Englewood during the 1980s and 1990s helped the Society to more effectively provide for a growing service area. To reflect the changes, the organization became Suncoast Humane Society. Today their service area includes Charlotte County, most of Sarasota County, and the Boca Grande portion of Lee County, a total of over 450 square miles.
Visit their adoptable pets and learn more about Suncoast Humane Society online at , in person at 6781 San Casa Drive, Englewood, FL 34224 or at one of our many community events!
Burnt Store Presbyterian Church
11330 Burnt Store Road
Punta Gorda, FL 33955-1402
World Wide Web:
Release Date: Nov 1st 2016
Contact Person: George Scheer
The Florida’s Blood Center’s bloodmobile needs donors
The Florida’s Blood Centers will be collecting blood from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on November 13th, 2016, at Burnt Store Presbyterian Church (BSPC) in Punta Gorda.
There is a critical need for all types of blood. If supplies are not replenished it can lead to postponement of critical medical treatment so the Blood Center is pleading for all eligible donors, and new donors, to donate.
George Scheer, blood drive coordinator for the church, reminds everyone that “donating blood today could save a life in just two days. Giving the gift of life is a great way to make a difference in the community, and it only takes 15 minutes.”
For more information contact the church office at 639-0001 during normal business hours, 9 a.m. to 3:00p.m., Monday through Friday, or by e-mail to George Scheer at .
Burnt Store Presbyterian Church is a congregation committed to reaching up, making disciples, changing lives. The church is located at 11330 Burnt Store Road, Punta Gorda, just two miles south of the US 41/Burnt Store Road intersection.
Burnt Store Presbyterian Church
A & E Autos 4 the Needy Would Like to Invite the Public to Join Us for Our Auto Dedication Ceremony.
Join us as we celebrate with our new Auto Partner David Dawson. Tuesday November 15th, 2016 4pm to 5:30pm at the Charlotte Community Foundation 227 Sullivan St, Punta Gorda, FL 33950 Please RSVP to: (941) 840-0063 or by email at
A & E Autos 4 The Needy, Inc. (Autos 4 the Needy) is an approved 501 (C) (3) nonprofit corporation whose mission is to help individuals in need obtain transportation that will improve their quality of life which includes their ability to locate employment, hold employment and thrive independently.
There is a recognized need for reliable transportation in Charlotte County. Charlotte County has limited public transportation that is only available during normal business hours. Many of those in need of transportation do not work a conventional 9am-5pm workday. This creates a major problem for many families and individuals in Charlotte County. Transportation can be a lifeline for families in our area. It directly impacts quality of life and one’s ability to be a contributing member of the community. Affordable, reliable transportation directly affects the ability of individuals and families to thrive in our community.
Autos 4 the Needy recipients must be Charlotte County residents, at least 18 years of age and hold a Florida state valid driver’s license. Applicants make affordable monthly payments toward their vehicle at zero percent interest for the discounted purchase price of 50% of the Kelly Blue Book suggested retail value (Tier 1 program) at the time of the vehicles release. These monthly payments go back into the organization to sustain the program and allow for more vehicles to be prepared for new ownership. To find out more about Autos 4 the Needy visit our website at .
THE ANIMAL WELFARE LEAGUE’S 2ND ANNUAL LIP SYNC SHOWDOWN
VOTES TOP FIVE LIP SYNC FINALISTS TO ADVANCE TO
XTREME 80’S AWL FUNDRAISING EVENT
The Animal Welfare hosted their 2nd Annual Lip Sync Showdown on Sunday, August 21st. Eleven acts performed to the delight of everyone who attended the event at the Deep Creek Elks Club.
Nina Blackwood, MTV VJ and Sirius/XM Radio host, was a special guest judge along with Jeff “the Golden Hippo” Collins and John Wright, President of the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce.
The top five acts advance to AWL’s XTREME 80’s fundraising event to be held at the Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center on Friday, November 18th.
The top winners are:
1st - Andrea Segal
2nd - Dave Krieger
3rd - Sharon Thomas, Petra Kurpeski, Donna Campisi
4th - Cherie George
5th - Marie Pearlingi
In addition to these five finalists, there will be performances by tribute artists including The Blues Brothers, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Jackson, and KISS.
Auditions for the November concert will be held for other lip sync artists interested in participating (date/time TBD). Nina Blackwood will return in November to serve as MC for the event. Jeff Collins, and John Wright will return as guest judges with Mike Riley (The Boogiemen). Prior to the show, there will be a VIP reception where VIP ticket holders will have an opportunity to meet Nina, the judges and tribute artists. Doors open at 5:30pm; the concert starts at 7: 00pm. Tickets are $65 (VIP), $45 and $35 and available as of September 1st through Ticket Master ( by calling the Event Center (941-833-5444) or stopping at the Event Center (75 Taylor St, Punta Gorda).
Proceeds will benefit the thousands of orphaned animals the Animal Welfare League rescues, rehabilitates, and re-homes each year.
Edison Ford Holiday Nights, November 25, 2016 – January 1, 2017
Spend the holidays with Southwest Florida’s first “snowbirds,” the Edison’s and Ford’s at the annual Edison Ford Holiday Nights at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers. Holiday Nights attracts visitors from the world annually to view the lights and seasonal decorations that fill 20 acres of gardens and the Edison and Ford family homes. This year’s Holiday Nights’ theme is “On the Wings of the Holidays, Birds and Birding at Edison Ford.” New this year to the Ford Riverside lawn is a Waltzing Waters water fountain display with classic holiday music and nightly entertainment. The Children’s Tree Trail will include more than 60 live Cedar trees decorated by Lee and Charlotte County school children. During the holidays, the homes of Thomas and Mina Edison and Henry and Clara Ford will be open nightly from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The museum and the Edison Botanic Research Laboratory will be open nightly. Inside-the-Homes Holiday tours will be offered on November 29 and December 6, 13, 20 and 27 at 6:30 p.m. Guided Holiday Tradition tours will be offered at 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. each night. Holiday Nights tickets for adults are $20 and children (ages 6-12) are $2, Holiday Tradition guided tours are $30 and Inside-the-Homes guided tours are $50. Lee County residents will receive $5 off an adult ticket on November 25, 26, 27 and December 30, 31 and January 1. Students with college identification will receive a discounted rate. Packages are available for group reservations of 20 or more and include discounts on admission. For additional information, call 239-334-7419 or visit the website at