FSW Campuses Host Family-Friendly Halloween Events

OCTOBER 9, 2019 – FORT MYERS FLA – Ghosts and goblins of all ages are invited to haunt all Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) locations during family-friendly Halloween events this October. All events are free and open to the public. Come in costume and enjoy games and activities for all ages.

  • FSW Charlotte Campus will host Haunted College from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25, in Building O, 26300 Airport Rd., Punta Gorda.
  • FSW Lee Campus will host Fright Night from 6-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 29, in Building U, Room 102, 8099 College Parkway, Fort Myers.
  • FSW Collier Campus will host Haunted Happenings from 6-9 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 29, in Building J, Room 103/104, 7505 Grand Lely Dr., Naples.
  • FSW Hendry/Glades Curtis Center will host Haunted Happenings from 5-7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 30, in Building B, 1092 E Cowboy Way, LaBelle.

For more information about these events, contact the FSW Office of Student Engagement at 239-489-9246 or email engage@fsw.edu.


Florida SouthWestern State College is Southwest Florida’s largest and most affordable institution of higher education. Annually serving nearly 22,000 students globally, FSW offers a variety of nationally-ranked, career-focused academic programs with two- and four-year degrees and professional certifications, several with 100 percent licensure pass and job placements rates. Study and travel abroad opportunities are available for students through FSW’s Center for International Education. Students are also active in clubs and programs catered to their interests. FSW debuted its first Women’s Volleyball program in Fall 2019. Visit www.FSW.edu for more information.

Homeschool Programs at Edison and Ford Winter Estates

FORT MYERS, Fla. (October 9, 2019) – Edison and Ford Winter Estates offers many programs for children throughout the year, including “Wednesdays with the Wild
Wizard,” a new homeschool program for students in grades first through sixth. In this program, students will learn about science and engineering in a series of three day-long camps. 

Classes meet from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. 

October 16 — The World of Edison and Ford
Students will become familiar with the site as they tour, tinker, and innovate their way across the property learning from experts that make history come alive.

October 23 — Henry Ford and Mechanics
Students will learn about mechanical advantage and design through live demonstrations, trial and error, and teamwork.

October 30 — A Lifetime of Innovation
From his early experiments with electricity to his search for rubber, students explore the scientific journeys of Thomas Edison’s impactful life.

Tuition for Edison Ford members: $45; or $125 for the three-class series; non-members: $50, or $140 for the three-class series. For additional information, visit the website at www.edisonford.org or call 239-334-7419. 
Edison and Ford Winter Estates
Edison and Ford Winter Estates is the internationally known winter home site of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. More than 250,000 visitors walk through the location each year from all around the globe. The organization has received many awards, including the National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Garden Clubs’ Historic Preservation Award. The property is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures,” a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. The Edison Botanic Laboratory is a National Historic Chemical Landmark. The site is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and until 9 p.m. during the month of December for Holiday Nights.
We’re located at:
2350 McGregor Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33901

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SWFL Tech Firm – ITVantage Passes the Test of Integrity

Rigorous security protocols ensure SOC 2® Type 2 examination in IT service leadership

(Fort Myers, FL) – October 8, 2019 ITVantage announced today that the company has accomplished the Service Organization Control (SOC 2® Type 2) compliance audit, a substantiation standard defined by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA). This attestation provides evidence that ITVantage has a strong commitment to deliver high quality IT services to its clients by demonstrating the controls of Trust Services Criteria for security, availability, processing integrity and confidentiality. ITVantage is the only known Tech firm in SWFL to attain this level of examination.

 “We have made a commitment to exceed our client’s expectations not only in Managed Services and IT Support, but by continually improving our security measures. As technologies advance with Cloud and Hybrid digital transformations, our client’s need to know their systems and their client’s data are being looked after safely and confidently”, said Jeremy Stakely, ITVantage’s founder and CEO. “If you have a business in the financial services, healthcare, insurance, government or other regulated industries working with a technology partner with SOC 2® Type 2 services is imperative to assure your security protocols.”

In today’s global economy, companies of all sizes outsource and co-manage IT business operations with outside partners. IT service providers must have effective controls and safeguards in place when hosting or processing customer data. With SOC 2® security controls, customers can be reassured that ITVantage has the auditing and report in place to maintain the security, availability and confidentiality of their systems. ITVantage is organized to handle the data privacy concerns of the largest enterprises in the highest regulated industries. Kirkpatrick Price’s service auditor report verifies the suitability of the design and operating effectiveness of ITVantage’s controls to meet the standards for these criteria.

“The SOC 2 audit is based on the Trust Services Criteria. ITVantage has selected the security and availability categories for the basis of their audit, “said Joseph Kirkpatrick, President of KirkpatrickPrice. “ITVantage delivers trust-based services to their clients, and by communicating the results of this audit, their clients can be assured of their reliance on ITVantage’s controls.”

For more information on please visit https://ITVantage.com/SOC2

ITVantage: ITVantage, Inc. is one of the largest privately owned and Managed IT Service Providers based in Southwest Florida. ITVantage was founded by Owner & CEO, Jeremy Stakely in 2002. ITVantage provides proactive IT Consulting, Infrastructure and Networking, Security, Risk Management and Compliance, IT Project Management, Telco & Communications, and Public and Private Cloud Services. The advanced technology firm specializes in IT support for Healthcare, Banking & Finance, Senior Care Life Communities, Education, Manufacturing and various professional industries. www.ITVantage.com

Pure Florida presents Spooky Fun Science Kids Cruise

Kids cruise free with purchase of adult admission

NAPLES, Fla. (October 8, 2019) – Pure Florida’s Naples location will offer a Spooky Fun Science Kids Cruise at 10 a.m. on Saturday October 19, featuring a fun and engaging science show by Glen Beitmen of “Super Science & Amazing Art.” The Kids Science Cruise is free for children when accompanied by full-fare adult admission as part of Pure Florida’s Kids Cruise Free program. Guests of all ages will enjoy Beitmen’s entertaining humor and educational hands-on Halloween themed science experiments and demonstrations aboard the M/V Double Sunshine. At the conclusion of  Beitmen’s “Spooky Fun Science with Mr. Glen” show children and their families will enjoy a beautiful sightseeing cruise along the Gordon River. While Pure Florida cannot guarantee animal sightings in the wild, potential wildlife sightings include dolphins, eagles, manatee, native birds and more.
            Registration for the children’s cruise is free for youth 12-years-old and younger with every full-fare adult admission of $42. Additional child admission is $21. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Pure Florida’s Kids Cruise Free program is offered every Saturday on the 10 a.m. sightseeing cruise of the M/V Double Sunshine departing from historic Tin City, located at 1200 Fifth Ave. S. in Naples. Reservations are required.  For more information or to book your ticket, call (239) 263-4949 or visit www.PureFL.com.

Digital Media Assets
Kids Science Cruise Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/784360695333056/

Download Photo: Kids enjoy a fun and educational hands-on science show aboard M/V Double Sunshine with science teacher Glen Beitmen.
Photo Credit: Pure Florida file

Download Photo: Science teacher Glen Beitmen teaches kids about animals that live and rely on water during Pure Florida’s Kids Science Cruise.
Photo Credit: Pure Florida file

About Pure Florida
Pure Florida is an award winning water attractions company helmed by father-and-son duo Captains Lance H. and Harry Julian since 2008 who give their guests access to a variety of unique eco-excursions that incorporate sightseeing, maritime history and entertainment. Pure Florida operates 20 vessels from marinas in Naples and Fort Myers for sunset and specialty cruises as well as boat and jet ski rentals, fishing charters, group events and educational field trips for schools and students. For more information, visit www.PureFL.com or call
(239) 263-4949.

About Pure Image Productions and Marine Team International
In addition to owning Pure Florida, Captains Lance H. and Harry Julian are also partners in Marine Team International and Pure Image Productions, providing professional marine consulting, television and video production and photography services. With a long history in maritime productions, Lance and Harry Julian have helped to create some of the most memorable water scenes in film production, with credits including “Titanic”, “The Hangover II” and “Waterworld,” and television credits such as the reality show, “Survivor.” As the fourth and fifth generation working within the maritime industry, Lance and Harry Julian enjoy sharing their passion and expertise with fellow adventurers in the Southwest Florida area. For more information, visit www.marineteam.net.

FSW Corporate Training Center Secures $1.3 Million Arthrex Training Grant

OCTOBER 8, 2019 – FORT MYERS, FLA – Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW), the state fiscal agent for Quick Response Training (QRT) grants, has secured a $1.3 million grant for Arthrex to train 363 new hires.

“This is a significant grant for Arthrex, FSW and our region,” said Dr. Robert R. Jones, vice president, economic development and external affairs, FSW. “The funds will be used for customized supervisory and management training.”

“Arthrex is very appreciative of our partnership with FSW and the state of Florida. The grant supports Arthrex’s continued growth and investment in Southwest Florida,” said Kathy Sparrow, senior vice president, human resources, Arthrex.

Arthrex is an orthopedic medical device company, and a leader in product development, medical education and a pioneer in arthroscopy, having developed thousands of products and surgical procedures in orthopedic medicine worldwide. The company’s corporate headquarters is located in Naples, Fla., with global divisions in Munich, Germany and Singapore. It also has several subsidiaries and distribution centers throughout the eastern and western hemispheres.

FSW is the State Fiscal Agent for Quick Response Training (QRT) grants in Southwest Florida. This is the fourth QRT grant awarded to Arthrex in the last three years. By working closely with CareerSource Florida in Tallahassee, and the local Workforce Board, FSW and Arthrex have been successful in securing $3.2 million in QRT funds to train over 1,300 new hires since July 2017. This funding not only directly benefits the companies receiving training funds but also results in a local economic benefit.

The QRT grant lasts for one year and is targeted on the highly-customized training programs that companies need to improve the skill base of new hires. These programs can be instructed by specialists from the company itself or by one from FSW’s extensive portfolio of subject matter experts.

In addition to this Arthex QRT grant, three other FSW grants have been awarded since July 2019. These were Gartner for $525 thousand, ScotLynn for $150 thousand, and Cigent for $116 thousand. Since 2013, FSW has secured over $13 million in QRT funding to train over 8,000 new hires.

For more information about FSW Corporate Training, visit www.fsw.edu/corporatetraining.

Holiday Nights Opens November 29 at Edison and Ford Winter Estates

Holiday Nights Opens November 29 at Edison and Ford Winter Estates 

FORT MYERS, Fla. (October 9, 2019) — On Friday, November 29 at 6 p.m., Edison and Ford Winter Estates will kick off the 44th Holiday Nights celebration with the annual tree lighting ceremony. The event will offer visitors an impressive light show with more lights, new displays and decorations, and additional areas of the property will be illuminated. This year’s theme is “River Reflection” and will incorporate nautical elements. 

One new display this year includes the Mysore Fig — one of the largest historic trees on the property. The tree will be lit with thousands of animated lights choreographed to holiday music. The lights will reach high up into the branches of the tree and extend onto the ground around it. Sunbelt Rentals is providing a lift truck, which allows staff to string lights much higher, creating a magical display. 

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be visiting and making their list on opening night (November 29) and every Sunday night until Christmas from 6 to 8 p.m. Children will be invited to sit on Santa’s lap in the Edison Caretaker’s House. Adults and children alike can enjoy the Children’s Tree Trail — a collection of more than 60 trees decorated with handmade ornaments from Lee County school children.

Through December 30, guided Holiday Tradition Tours will be offered at 6 and 7 p.m. every night and Inside-the-Homes Holiday Tours will be offered on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. The museum and the botanic research laboratory will be open nightly until 9 p.m. Live music performances include carolers and a pianist on select nights. 

There will be a special Holiday Tea with Mina Edison and Clara Ford on December 19 at 6 p.m. in the Edison Caretaker’s House. Mina and Clara will talk about their favorite holiday traditions and tea, lemonade and cookies will be served. After the tea, visitors may stroll the beautifully decorated grounds. Space is limited to 30 guests, so registration is required. Tickets for the tea are $15 for members or $25 for non-members and include general admission to Holiday Nights.

The Ford Cottage Shoppe, Museum Store and Garden Shoppe will be open until 9 p.m. every night and will be stocked with unique gift items and plants for that hard-to-buy-for loved one. Refreshments will also be available for purchase.

Holiday Nights tickets for adults are $20, teens (13-19) $10, children (6-12) are $2 and Edison Ford members get in free. Guided Holiday Tradition Tours are $30 for adults, teens are $25, children $18 and $10 for Edison Ford members. Inside-the-Homes Holiday Tours are $50. Lee County residents with identification will receive $5 off Holiday Nights admission every Monday and Tuesday. Tickets for a tour and river cruise package are available for groups of 10 or more and waterfront dining is offered next door at Pinchers. To purchase tickets or view the nightly schedule, visit the website at
www.edisonford.org.     ###

Edison and Ford Winter Estates
Edison and Ford Winter Estates is the internationally known winter home site of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. More than 250,000 visitors walk through the location each year from all around the globe. The organization has received many awards, including the National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Garden Clubs’ Historic Preservation Award. The property is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures,” a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. The Edison Botanic Research Laboratory is a National Historic Chemical Landmark. The site is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and until 9 p.m. during the month of December for Holiday Nights.  


Black Friday, Sidewalk Sales, and Free Kids Events

ESTERO, Fla. (October 9, 2019) – Make a (shopping) list and check it twice, because Miromar Outlets is your shopping headquarters this season! Enjoy popular holiday happenings such as the Car Cruise-In presented by the Cool Cruisers of Southwest Florida, Friday Night Concert Series, Veterans Day Sidewalk Sales, and of course, Before Midnight at Miromar where select stores open as early as 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night.

Miromar Outlets will host the inaugural JDRF Community One Walk on Saturday, November 9. Free children’s events include Science Saturday, Kids Crafts, Family Yoga and Kids Day. 

Voted the Best Factory Outlet Mall, Best Shopping Experience and Best Place to Buy Shoes in Southwest Florida, Miromar Outlets’ 140 top designer and brand name outlets including Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Bloomingdale’s The Outlet Store, H&M and many more.


LIVE ENTERTAINMENT                                                                                                                  
Saturdays from 4 to 7 p.m. & Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m.
Free live entertainment throughout the mall with a variety of performers and music styles. Visit MiromarOutlets.com for locations and times.

Sunday, November 3
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. near WINK Playland

See your favorite makes and models of classic, exotic and custom cars.

VETERANS DAY SIDEWALK SALE                                                                                

Friday, November 8 thru Monday, November 11Enjoy additional savings on already low factory outlet prices.

Friday, November 8

6 to 9 p.m. in the Restaurant Piazza

The Ex-Bachelors bring on Memphis soul and rock n’ roll!

Saturday, November 9
Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. Walk begins at 9 a.m. near WINK Playland, lakesideHelp us create a world without type 1 diabetes (T1D). The money raised will support life-changing breakthroughs that give hope to everyone impacted by this disease.

Saturday, November 9
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in WINK Playland

Kids learn by doing interactive science and engineering projects – from making slime to constructing the solar system!


Saturday, November 16

10 a.m. in WINK PlaylandBYOM (bring your own mat) to this FREE 45-minute beginners’ yoga class for families.


Wednesday, November 20
10 a.m. to Noon in WINK PlaylandMoms, enjoy a free goodie from le macaron french pastries when your children attend Kids Crafts.

Friday, November 22

6 to 9 p.m. in the Restaurant Piazza

The Echo Band performs the oldies with a modern twist.

Saturday, November 23
10 a.m. to Noon in WINK PlaylandToddlers to 12-year-olds participate in fun activities and receive free pizza, ice cream and face painting.

BEFORE MIDNIGHT AT MIROMAR                                                                                           

Thursday, November 28
Select stores opening as early as 8 p.m.!Kick-off the Holiday shopping season Thanksgiving night with incredible door-buster offers and the opportunity to win spectacular giveaways.


Friday, November 29 thru Monday, December 23

Make an everlasting memory and receive a photo with Santa at Miromar Outlets.

FREE KIDS CRAFTS                                                                           
Every Wednesday
10 a.m. to Noon in WINK PlaylandOur new Kids Crafts Reward Card is good for a $10 Miromar Outlets gift card after your fifth visit.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday
9 a.m. in WINK PlaylandCertified fitness professionals instruct exercise classes for pregnant, post-natal and ultra-fit moms. 

Tuesday, Thursday & Friday       

6 a.m. in WINK PlaylandCertified fitness pros lead this 60-minute camp-styled class designed specifically for women.

in WINK Playland, (239) 948-3766
Party packages available at MiromarOutlets.com/Play

DIRECTIONS: Miromar Outlets is located at exit 123 off I-75, on Miromar Outlets Boulevard in Estero, between Naples and Fort Myers, across from the Miromar Design Center. Store hours are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit MiromarOutlets.com for more information.