March Notes From Chamber President

The season is here! Matlacha and Pine Islanders are once again busy with returning winter residents and visitors. Through the help of the Greater Pine Island Chamber and other Chamber associates, our Chamber website, the mailing of visitor packages and advertising, not to mention press releases, we introduce more people to Pine Island Matlacha.

Business owners, your Chamber is working for you. I would like to encourage all current members to invite a business owner or an associate who is not currently a member of the Chamber to attend one of our March functions.

We sponsor a Business After-Hours to encourage networking and the exchange of information among members and their guests at 6 PM on the third Thursday of the month. Refreshments and entertainment are provided and attendees also have the chance to win some very interesting door prizes. This past months event was hosted by the Elk Lodge and there was plenty of great food and music by David Dean.

On the 4th Tuesday of the month the Chamber holds a breakfast at 7:30 AM. These breakfasts are currently held convenient to Pine Island Center. We invite a business, organization or individual to present topics that are beneficial to our business community. Last month we were privileged to have Mr. Robert Cohen from TSA (Transportation Security Administration) to speak on Homeland Security, the new scanners that are being installed at many airports across the USA, and what happens to the contraband collected at the airport security check points.

Through their fundraisers, the local service organizations also draw visitors to Pine Island. The Matlacha Mariners with the assistance of the Matlacha Hookers, just held the Mullet Toss in Matlacha on February 26th. It was not only publicized locally but throughout the state as well. An excellent article appeared in the Miami News Times promoting not only the Mullet Toss but the Pine Island area in general. The Mullet Toss was a huge success and many businesses enjoyed the exposure from the large turnout. The next big event is the annual Rubber Duck Race on March 5th sponsored by the Calusa Land Trust and held at Woody's Waterside. Hopefully this will be the biggest race ever for the Trust fund.

The Chamber is still looking for land (30 to 40 acres) that will allow us to bring MangoMania and other events back to the Island. If you know of some potential property that can be developed or someone who has land that can be considered, please have them contact the chamber office.

The Greater Pine Island Chamber will be holding its first Chamber Charities Golf Scramble at the Alden Pines Golf course on April 9th. The Chamber is looking for volunteers to assist with the tournament.

We are gearing up for MangoMania to be held at the German American Club on July 30th and 31st. Please lend your support of the Chamber's main fundraising event by volunteering some of your time. We are now accepting nominations for the next Mango Mania Queen. If you know someone who would like to represent and promote Pine Island as our Royalty, please submit their name.

Bridge construction continues to be a concern to the businesses and those commuting on and off Pine Island. Although we have experienced some delays most people I have spoken with have not had to wait for long periods. The Chamber will continue to keep you posted on lane closures Since now is our busiest time of the year.

Please remember to keep the Welcome Center supplied with information on your business or organization. We remain committed to support you in any way that we can and, as always welcome your input on how we can improve Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce
President, Jay Johnson