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Chamber Chat

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Manasota Mystique: Becoming an Englewood Tradition…

Approximately nine years ago, the Chamber moved into its new, present day facility. Before that could occur, approximately 50% of the $400,000 construction cost had to be raised.  That was accomplished due to the hard work and generous donations of many.  There is a large plaque mounted in the building’s lobby with the names of those responsible for generating the needed funds.   Once completed, the Board of Directors were confronted with the task of paying off the building’s note. Since the local economy was still recovering from the recent recession, the original payment options had been derailed.  “To the rescue” – Jon Cole, a local business owner and previous President of the Chamber, offered to carry the note. As the story goes, Jon did so without any guarantee that he would ever see 100% of the principle being paid back.

So, the question became …“How is the Chamber going to pay off the note?” Enter Scott Barber, who at the time was the General Manager of The Lock n’ Key Restaurant and a past-President of the Chamber. Scott’s idea was to create a first class event and to invite the entire community to the party.  He approached Sue & Rocket Atamanchuk (owners of the Lock n Key) as well as Laurie & Keith Farlow (owners of Farlow’s on the Water) with his idea.  The decision was made to move forward … and as the saying goes … “the rest is history”.

Each year, there is a theme for the event. The theme for the 2019 Manasota Mystique was revealed last week. It is interesting to note, the number of people who attended last week’s theme reveal party is approximately the same number of people that attended the very first Manasota Mystique in 2012.  Through the years, attendance has grown along with sponsorships and other donations.  The event’s objective has evolved from raising funds to pay off the building to also contributing back to the community.  The results have been spectacular.  In addition to paying off the note, the Manasota Mystique has donated more than $80,000 back to the community. “When we started this event 8 years ago, I never would have dreamed it would be so successful. It has been accomplished because of the hard work of the Manasota Mystique committee and the support of the local community”, states Barber.  Scott no longer serves on the Manasota Mystique committee but still serves as an advisor.

Co-Chairs of this year’s event: New York New York: Manhattan Comes to the Manasota Mystique are Brian Faro (The Island Team of Paradise Exclusive) and Lou Cook (Signs in One Day).  The scheduled date is November 2nd and the affair will once again take place at the picturesque Manasota Beach Club.  Event details, including the opportunity to buy tickets are online: www.ManasotaMystique.com

Englewood Beach 9

Thank you to everyone who helped make the 3rd Annual Englewood Beach 9 – Putt Putt a huge success. Approximately 500 people visited nine of our local restaurants, on a Saturday morning / early afternoon, during a time of year where there isn’t typically much consumer traffic.  A special thank you to our sponsors: A&F Shuttle and Transportation with Class, Castle Air Cooling & Heating, Integrity Employee Leasing, Let’s Do Sunset, Peace River Distributing, Myakka Pines Golf Club, Riding the Waves and Tailored Inspections.

Leadership Englewood Applications

Leadership applications are still being accepted.  The submission deadline is September 13th. www.LeadershipEnglewood.com

Sunset Wine Cruise

Enjoy an evening of culinary delights, fine wine and music. Four FRLA member restaurant chefs will prepare eight special menu items that will be paired to perfection with fine wines on a sunset cruise aboard Charlotte Lady. Proceeds benefit our local High School ProStart/Culinary students in Charlotte County. Event details are available on the Chamber’s website: www.EnglewoodChamber.com

Ed Hill is the Executive Director of the Englewood Florida Chamber of Commerce. 

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