Governor Ron DeSantis Appoints Raymond Sandelli to the Lee County Commission

Tallahassee, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Raymond Sandelli to the Lee County Commission.

“Today I named Raymond Sandelli, of Bonita Springs, to serve on the vacant seat of the Lee County Commission,” said Governor DeSantis. “Although he did not seek this position, he has graciously accepted to the call to serve.  Raymond’s great business and military background will be of benefit to the community. In addition, he will do a good job protecting taxpayers and attending to the needs of businesses as well.”

“I am grateful to Governor DeSantis for asking me to serve on the board of the Lee County Commission,” said Raymond Sandelli. “I look forward to serving the constituents of Lee County alongside my fellow commissioners, a responsibility I do not take lightly. This is a great honor and I thank Governor DeSantis for his leadership.”

Raymond Sandelli

Sandelli, of Bonita Springs, completed eight years of military service as a Naval Officer and Aviator, receiving his wings and designation in March 1971. While deployed aboard the USS Independence (CV-62), he completed two cruises to the Mediterranean Sea. He participated in Sixth Fleet operations during the October 1973 Middle East War and 1974 Cyprus conflict. He reported to VT-86, Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida, in March 1975 as an Advanced Training Command Instructor for Naval Flight Officers. His final tour was as a member of the Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels.Sandelli is a managing partner at CRE Consultants where he advises clients on healthcare, office, retail, industrial, land and property management. He began his brokerage career with CBRE, Inc. as an office leasing specialist in Seattle, Washington. In 1995, he became the senior managing director of the CBRE Tampa office and in 2000 he assumed responsibility for the Florida region. In 2007, he began managing statewide oversight for lender and servicer representation for the reposition of all property types through CBRE’s Recovery and Restructuring Services program. Sandelli is appointed to District 3, a seat vacated by the late Larry Kiker.

Community delivers in Letter Carriers “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive

Our community sent a strong message through the National Letter Carriers Food Drive Saturday that fighting hunger is a high priority. The preliminary total donated in Lee County for the 27th annual drive is 185,479 pounds of food.

The amount was tallied at the Harry Chapin Food Bank’s Fort Myers Distribution Center Saturday night. The number is preliminary because more food will still come in from other post offices in Lee County.

The nation’s largest single-day food drive, called “Stamp Out Hunger,” is the one day when letter carriers collect non-perishable food that has been left by residents at their mailboxes.

The drive is held by the National Association of Letter Carriers. Locally, the Harry Chapin Food Bank and the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties partner with the letter carriers and several other agencies to make the food drive happen. Hundreds of volunteers assisted the letter carriers with picking up the food, and also unloaded and sorted the food at various postal drop-off sites.

“The generosity of our community is overwhelming,” said Richard LeBer, president and CEO of the Harry Chapin Food Bank. “We want those who volunteered their time and donated food to know we appreciate them, and that their support will go a long way toward helping our neighbors in need. We are also thankful for our partnership with the Letter Carriers and the United Way, which helps make this happen.”

Retired Letter Carrier George Sciascia, who coordinates the food drive locally for the letter carriers, and Alexandra Roman, assistant district representative for the National Rural Carries Association, also expressed their thanks. “Every year the people right here in Lee County step up in a big way,” they said in a joint statement. “We’d like to thank our letter carriers and the hundreds of volunteers who turned out to help, as well as the good folks at the United Way for their organizational support. Most of all we want to thank you, our friends, neighbors and relatives here in Lee County, for making our food drive a big success.”

All food collected in Lee County will be distributed by the Harry Chapin Food Bank and several other agencies. The food stays in our community.

 “We would like to say, THANK YOU to the postal carriers, the volunteers, and all of the residents who put food out at their mail boxes,” said Jeannine Joy, vice president for resource development and marketing for the United way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties. “The food collected today means so much to our residents.” The Letter Carriers’ Food Drive helps food banks and the agencies they serve stay supplied with food during the summer months, when school is out and the need is great. Harry Chapin Food Bank serves 28,000 people per week through more than 150 partner agencies in Charlotte, Collier, Lee, Glades and Hendry counties.

Workshop: Why is social media important for your business?

Score Naples



Contact: Pam Russell

Telephone: 239-430-0081

Date, Time and Location 

Wednesday, July 10, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm ET

Naples Accelerator

3510 Kraft Road, #200

Naples, FL 34105


$30 when registering online


“Why is social media important for your business?”

Have people been telling you to use social media for your business? Are you confused about where to begin or what exactly you should talk about on social media? Maybe you are concerned about mixing your personal social media pages with your business?

This SCORE workshop will help you understand which social media platforms to use for your business, why you should use them and tips for getting the best results from the time you invest in social media marketing for your business.

This workshop will:

  • Compare top social media platforms so you understand the target demographic of each
  • Explain how and why some social media platforms are better than others for certain niches
  • Address concerns about keeping business pages separate from personal ones, especially on Facebook
  • Provide a list of creative content ideas for you
  • Discuss the power of hashtags 

At the end of this workshop you will understand:

  • Which social media platforms to use for your business and which to ignore
  • The most important things to include when setting up your business profiles
  • The best types of content to post and share on social media for your business
  • When and how to use hashtags


Joanna Batten

Joanna Batten is a Social Media Specialist at WBN Marketing, a local digital marketing company. Joanna has a B.A. from the University of South Florida and more than 10 years of experience working with digital marketing agencies. She has been a public speaker at major social media conferences focusing on how to utilize social media platforms to create brand awareness.


For registration and to make payment: go to, or call 239 430 0081.

GATES Construction Starts Expansion at Golisano Children’s Museum

NAPLES, Fla.  (May 9, 2019) – GATES Construction has started the Inventioneer’s Lab expansion at the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples. Located at 15080 Livingston Road in Naples, the addition will include a 2-story glass wall, designed so visitors may view activities in the learning area and new mezzanine loft.  A new display wall will highlight recent projects completed by children. The renovation of the existing classrooms will make way for a collaborative work space for creating, learning and problem solving. This new exhibit will provide hands on learning, build critical thinking skills and foster the imagination of children of all ages. The Maker Space is slated to be completed in fall 2019. The design services are provided by Hlevel.

Celebrating 26 years, GATES provides construction management, general contracting and design-build services.  Their diverse portfolio of commercial, healthcare, multi-family, club and hospitality, institutional and special projects showcases numerous landmarks successfully constructed over the past quarter of a century.  As Florida’s premier builder, GATES serves its clients from offices in Bonita Springs, Sarasota and Palm Beach Gardens, and operates throughout the Southeast United States and Latin America.  For more information on GATES, please call (239) 593-3777 or visit the website at

Study shows children in Southwest Florida are more likely to face hunger than children nationwide

Child food insecurity rates in the Harry Chapin Food Bank’s Southwest Florida service area are higher than overall child food insecurity rates across the country, according to the Map the Meal Gap 2019 report released today by Feeding America. In Southwest Florida, 20.4 percent of children are food insecure vs. 17 percent of children nationwide.

That means of the 227,645 children in Southwest Florida, 46,470 are food insecure. The rate of child food insecurity for the state of Florida is also 20.4 percent.

The Harry Chapin Food Bank serves Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties. The study shows that food insecurity exists in the overall population of every county, with 151,610 people, or 11.8 percent of a total 1.28 million population, suffering from food insecurity.

Map the Meal Gap looks at food insecurity and the cost of food at both the county and congressional district level. It is the only study that provides food insecurity data at the local level. People who are food insecure may not know where their next meal is coming from. The USDA defines food insecurity as limited or uncertain access to enough food for all members of a household to live an active, healthy life

 “There isn’t a single state or county in America free from child hunger, and it is within our collective power to change that and ensure that today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, chief executive officer of Feeding America. “The Feeding America nationwide network of food banks is investing in our nation’s future by helping to provide over 146 million meals to children every year. Still, Map the Meal Gap highlights that more must be done. Together food banks, corporations, policymakers, donors, volunteers and advocates can solve hunger.”

“I encourage everyone to visit the website, to find out what hunger looks like in their community and get involved to be part of the solution,” Babineaux-Fontenot continued. “One way is to tell Congress to invest in kids during Child Nutrition Reauthorization legislation and increase access to food for kids during the summer. Your voice matters and we can make a difference.”

Overall food insecurity in the individual counties in the Harry Chapin Food Bank’s service area ranges from a low of 10.1 percent in Collier county up to 14 percent in Glades County. The rate for child food insecurity ranges from 19.4 percent in Collier County to 23.3 percent in Hendry County. Yet, the trend over the last three years shows that food insecurity in the Southwest Florida are is inching ever so slowly downward. That trend is mirrored nationwide.

For example, in the 2017 Map the Meal Gap study, overall food insecurity in Southwest Florida was 13.1 percent vs. 11.8 percent today, and child food insecurity was 22.6 percent vs. 20.4 percent today.

“It is the mission of the Harry Chapin Food Bank to lead our community in the fight to end hunger,” said Richard LeBer, food bank president and CEO.  “We’re pleased to see continuing slight improvement in food insecurity in Southwest Florida, but recognize the need to keep working hard to feed our neighbors. No one needs to go hungry in our community. The Map the Meal Gap study underlines the urgency of this issue.”

About the Harry Chapin Food Bank

The Harry Chapin Food Bank, an affiliate of Feeding America, is the leading hunger-relief organization in Southwest Florida. The food bank solicits, collects and stores food for distribution to families and others in need through a network of more than 150 nonprofit agencies in Collier, Charlotte, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties, providing food to about 28,000 people a week.

For every dollar donated, the food bank can provide $8 in food value. In fiscal year 2017-18, The Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed 24 million pounds of food and other grocery items, including 6.4 million pounds of fresh produce. The food, valued at $41.5 million, is the equivalent of 20 million meals for people in need. 

The Harry Chapin Food Bank is also a United Way partner agency.  For more information or to make a donation, call (239) 334-7007 or visit

About Feeding America

Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 46 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Florida Lions Eyes Clinic Hires Char Lupke as Clinic Office Manager

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. (May 3, 2019) – The Florida Lions Eye Clinic welcomes Char Lupke back as Clinic Office Manager. Lupke is in charge of managing the clinic operation and office staff.

Prior to resuming her position, Lupke was employed by the Florida Lions Eye Clinic for five years before leaving in 2017. During her time away from the Clinic, Lupke volunteered for the Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation, the American Cancer Society and the Lighthouse of Collier County.

“I became involved with the clinic through the Delta Gamma Group as a volunteer” said Char Lupke. “Service for Sight is the national philanthropy for the Delta Gamma Group and I continued my efforts with Florida Lions Eye Clinic beyond my volunteer work.”

Currently, Lupke is also on the Board of Directors for the Greater Naples Delta Gamma Alumnae and the Lighthouse of Collier County.

To learn more about the Florida Lions Eye Clinic, visit its website at of follow the clinic on Facebook.

About Florida Lions Eye Clinic

Florida Lions Eye Clinic, a 501 (c)(3) organization located at 10322 Pennsylvania Ave, Bonita Springs, has provided free eye care to patients since 2008. The Clinic provides services to children and families in need in the state of Florida. The Clinic offers comprehensive eye exams, visual acuity, diabetic exams, visual exams and more.