Each year Key West guesthouses, businesses and private homes compete for cash prizes in the Key West Chamber of Commerce Fantasy Façade Competition, with the winners selected by a panel of judges. This year for the first time a “Community Favorite” component was added, with the public invited to visit all 22 competition locations and then cast “Community Favorite” votes online.
The Ramsingh household at 2812 Staples Ave., took the most votes with their towering “Thriller on Staples” presentation and have scored a valuable prize package provided by Key West Chamber of Commerce members, with treats and treasures including a Hemingway Rum gift bundle, single-day passes for either Rokisland Fest, Mile O Fest, or Key Western Fest, a one night stay at Ocean’s Edge Resort, and gift certificates to Key Lime Bike Tours, Historic Tours of America, Key West Express, Little Whitehouse Subs, Tavern N Town, Benihana, La Trattoria, Mattheessen’s, Latitudes, Bistro 245, Yellowfin Bar & Kitchen at Ocean’s Edge Resort, McKee’s Tiki Bar at the Capitana Key West Resort, and Love In Bloom.
For more information on the annual contest visit www.FantasyFest.com.
Key West Art & Historical Society Seeks Vendors for Annual Holiday Concert & Bazaar at Key West Museum of Art & History
October 30, 2023 – (KEY WEST, FL). Food-crafters, artists, and alchemists of all imaginings are invited to show and sell their creations at the upcoming Holiday Concert & Bazaar, on Friday, December 8, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Key West Museum of Art & History at the Custom House, 281 Front Street. The outdoor annual spectacular, which features many of the Keys finest artisans, musicians and choirs, and a dazzling holiday light show, attracts hundreds of happy revelers each year who come to shop and enjoy food, libations, and holiday cheer with friends and neighbors.
Those interested in registering as a vendor for the event should submit their application by November 15 to confirm their spot. The application and additional information are found on the Society’s website at www.kwahs.org/bazaar. Vendor spaces are limited and are granted on a first come first served basis. Questions about vendors or the event should be directed to Bonnie McInnis, Events Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 305-295-6616 ext. 505.
Your Museums. Your Community. It takes an Island.
KEY WEST, FL, October 27, 2023—The College of the Florida Keys (CFK) invites prospective students to learn more about the academic and career training opportunities available at CFK through the Future Students Virtual Event on Wednesday, November 8 at 5:30 p.m.
Topics to be covered at the Future Students Virtual Event:
MONROE COUNTY, FL – The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners approved the County’s state legislative priorities for the 2024 session at last Wednesday’s regularly scheduled meeting. Legislative Affairs Director Lisa Tennyson presented and explained Monroe County’s priorities for the upcoming session from Jan. 9 through March 8, 2024. Highlights of the agenda include:
“Monroe County has been fortunate to see success in the past due to State leadership that is committed to protecting the unique and fragile ecosystem of the Florida Keys and those living and visiting here,” Tennyson said. “We are optimistic we will continue to see success in the 2024 session.”
More information about Monroe County’s legislative priorities can be found at www.monroecounty-fl.gov/legislativeaffairs.
JANET GUNDERSON, SENIOR GRANTS COORDINATOR, NAMED MONROE COUNTY’S EMPLOYEE OF THE SECOND QUARTER 2023
MONROE COUNTY, FL – Janet Gunderson, Senior Grants Coordinator in the Office of Budget and Management (OMB), is named Monroe County’s Employee of the Second Quarter for 2023 for exceeding job expectations, noteworthy performance, and her positive impact on her co-workers and community. She started with the County in June 2016 and was recognized by the Board of County Commissioners at their recent meeting.
Gunderson was nominated by Chief Resilience Officer Rhonda Haag, who said Gunderson went above and beyond when the resilience office was overwhelmed with an unprecedented amount of contracts, invoices, and grants in the department.
“Janet was able to step in and not only help process the tremendous workload but also fix outstanding financial issues,” said Haag. “Without Janet’s help, there would be fewer grants to the County, slower processing of millions of dollars in invoices, and potential late grant reports.”
Gunderson continued to fulfill her job responsibilities in OMB, train another person to take on her previous workload, and carry out the duties of both departments. “She is the epitome of effectiveness and determinedness,” said Haag.
OMB Director Tina Boan echoed Haag’s comments, “She has taken on a significant increase in workload and has stayed connected in OMB for an entire year to help train her replacement. I could not agree more that she deserves this recognition.”
The Key West Woman’s Club housed at the Hellings Curry Museum located at 319 Duval Street dedicated the front porch to women of the year Diane Eliopoulos and Patricia Neyra during a Celebration of Life for Diane on October 18th. Diane passed away this pass April. She loved sitting on the porch with her Woman’s Club friends. A capital campaign spearheaded by Patricia Neyra in her honor named “saving Eleanor through Diane” raised over $66,000 for the restoration of the porch.
MONROE COUNTY, FL – Monroe County Fire Rescue would like to congratulate the following staff members on their recent promotions: Josh Eitel, Ryan Devitt, Kati Foster, Adrian Saez, and Fernando Duran.
“I am extremely proud of these highly qualified individuals,” said Monroe County Fire Chief Jim Callahan. “They have earned their new ranks and are ready to lead our department to bigger and better things.”
MONROE COUNTY, FL – In advance of Veterans Day, Monroe County is illuminating the Harvey Government Center in Key West and the Murray Nelson Government Center in Key Largo green through Nov. 12 as part of Operation Green Light for Veterans, a nationwide effort uniting counties to support military Veterans. Veterans Day is Nov. 11. The initiative, led by the National Association of Counties, raises awareness about the unique challenges many Veterans face and the resources available at the county, state, and federal levels to assist Veterans and their families.
Residents, businesses, and other organizations are encouraged to participate by changing one light bulb at their home to a green one.
“By shining a green light, we let our Veterans know they are seen, appreciated, and supported,” said Monroe County Director of Veterans Affairs Cathy Crane. “Operation Green Light shows that we appreciate and have much gratitude for the service and sacrifices of our Veterans.”
In 2022, more than 300 counties participated in Operation Green Light. Counties and residents across the country are sharing their participation on social media using the hashtag #OperationGreenLight. For more information on Operation Green Light, visit https://www.naco.org/program/operation-green-light-veterans. To learn more about Monroe County Veterans Affairs and the services offered, visit www.monroecounty-fl.gov/va.
KEY WEST, FL, October 23, 2023— The College of the Florida Keys (CFK) invites all to its ninth annual Community Day on Saturday, November 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the Key West Campus. The free, family-friendly event will feature a full slate of attractions—including CFK academic showcases, interactive exhibits, live performances, a bounce house and other children's activities, arts and crafts, vendors, music, free food and drinks, and free T-shirts. As tradition, CFK President Dr. Jonathan Gueverra will lead a salute to veterans and military service members.
CFK’s Community Day is supported by sponsors First Horizon Bank, Waste Management, Lisa Ferringo Group Coldwell Bank Schmitt Real Estate, Yamaha, Essential Net Solutions, Florida Keys Media, the Keys Citizen, and the Key West Weekly. For more information about Community Day, call CFK at 305-809-3198.
MONROE COUNTY – The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners recognizes its long-term employees for their contributions to the citizens of the County. See below those celebrating milestones this month.
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