Chamber Building Grand Opening

On December 2nd the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce held its Grand Opening/Christmas Party. Guests and members started arriving around 5:30 PM and by 6:30 PM the Chamber parking lot was almost full. After the parking lot was full, the guests started parking on the side streets across from the Chamber building. Traffic got so backed up at one point they had to call The Sheriff’s Department for traffic assistance. Within a short time traffic was moving again on Pine Island Road, and the party went on without a hitch.

Around 200 plus attended. Jim Roach, President of the Chamber said, “It’s been a long two and a half years. Through it all the Board and Members of our great Chamber have stuck it out and the Chamber Building it now open to the public. We welcome you to come in and see what Pine Island Has to offer.”

On the menu was smoked and roasted turkey, smoked ham, and lots of covered dishes provided by the members and guests who attended. Homemade Lausanne, Quiche, Meatballs, Shrimp, Green Bean Casserole, Stuffing, many different types of salads, Cheese Platters, Veggie Platters, Rolls, Potato Salad, Macaroni Salad, homemade pies, cakes and cookies for dessert and so much more.

Jennifer Jennings, executive director said, “It was definitely time for us to celebrate and we would like to take this opportunity to thank those who made the event such a success and fun. “

The GPICC board thanks Commissioner Manning for being our guest speaker and for cutting the ceremonial ribbon, Fox 4 News for filming and putting the story on the 10 PM news, Ed Franks from the Pine Island Eagle and Pat Burman from for taking photos and covering the event.

The GPICC board also thanks those who stepped up to help organize and work at the event: • John and Melissa Koferl, for manning the smoker which cooked the delicious pig and turkey; • James Brennan, a new member to the Chamber and co-owner of Center Bait & Tackle for also attending to the fire pit, throughout the evening and helping put up Christmas decorations the day before the event; • To 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 owner of Island Visions Gallery, for all the beer, wine and soda; • Lee Cankar for heading up the basket fundraiser 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; To the GPICC Board of Directors who work so hard to make this event possible; • Richard Smith, from Matlacha Menagerie; • Bryan Stockbridge owner of Gulf Coast Kayak; • Jim Roach, President of the GPICC; • Pat Burman, owner of Ad&PrintCraft and Pine Island for helping set up for 2 days at the Chamber site; • To our 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 their outstanding Christmas performances, • Scotty Player, Cindy Walsh and the band for keeping our guest entertained; • The owners of Ad&PrintCraft for printing and donating the Invitations and Lee Cankar for donation the postage; • The following 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 owner of Island Visions Gallery and • the staff at StoneGate Bank; • Jennifer Jennings Executive Director for putting in many hours of overtime in the organizing and planning of this event. Without your dedication this would not have been possible.

Again, thank you for celebrating with us and for bringing covered dishes to share with members and guests.

Come by and checkout your new Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce and visit the staff.