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TEAM Punta Gorda Newsletter
TopJoanne and Richard Collins, Editors
                                         August 2016
In This Issue
TEAM Punta Gorda's Last Month's Newsletter

Let's Paddle Punta Gorda

Let's Paddle at TEAM's new event!
It may be hot and sticky outside, but TEAM's amazing Maritime Committee is hard at work organizing a new event for your paddling pleasure.  The event is planned for the cool breezes that are sure to occur here on Saturday, November 12.

So that you are well prepared, here's the scoop:
  • It's a BYO boat/kayak recreational paddle
  • By preregistration only (limited to 100 paddlers)
  • Naturalist guided trail tours, both AM and PM
  • Six paddle trails to choose from: brackish mangroves trail, fresh water creeks and river
  • Lunch is included
  • American Canoe Association insured
  • Registration forms will be available soon via the TEAM website

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Let's make our harborfront spotless!

TEAM Punta Gorda is looking for local businesses and organizations to participate in the International Coastal Cleanup.
Help clean up our harborfront
What: International Coastal Cleanup along the Punta Gorda Harborwalk
When: Saturday, September 17, 2016
Who: Civic organizations, businesses, boating and fishing clubs, paddle clubs or groups, cycling groups, scouting organizations, school clubs or groups, anyone interested in reducing trash in our waters and maintaining our city's resources.
Contact: Ann Taylor, 404-314-3601

Dragon Boats Festival
Races coming Oct 29!
Looking for something new and different?  Why not join TEAM Punta Gorda's Dragon Boat group?  The Dragon Boat Races benefit "Take Stock in Children", the Charlotte Local Education mentoring and scholarship program.                                                  
We need 24 members to complete our TEAM.  Paddlers are divided evenly between females and males.  There will be instruction and practices before the event scheduled for October 29.  Cost is a mere $34 per person.                                                                                        
Contact us at 941-637-8326 or email 
For more info, check out       

Gilchrist Playground needs your help
Help make Gilchrist Park Playground AWESOME!
Renovation is scheduled this fall for the Gilchrist Park Playground.  The city's limited renovation budget won't cover all the needs to make it a spectacular kid zone. Wouldn't it be great to make it the best it could be? 
The Friends of Gilchrist Park Playground is attacking the problem head-on!  This group is made up of parents, grandparents, park users and volunteers working with city staff and TEAM Punta Gorda.  By August, they need to raise funding so that the designer can work the improved plan.  The committee has their own  special plan to attract business and other large donors - a recognition mural honoring the playground's sponsors.  Sponsor names will be incorporated into the mural and visible to thousands of passersby on what is a heavily used biking and walking trail.                                           
You can help by visiting Gilchrist Donations.  Questions?  Call Mary Jacqueline Atkinson at 713-501-1447 or email

 Help Wanted - TEAM needs YOU !

Do you have time to help 
We can use your help. Here's just a sampling of some of the fun things you can do with just a little bit of your time:
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Office Volunteer - just one afternoon per week
  • Co-Chair for the Communications, School Gardens and Maritime      Committees
  • Beautification Chairperson   
  • Government Relations Chairperson
  • Editor of TEAM Talk - will train to use Constant Contact, a  neat marketing computer program     
Interested? Just contact  TEAM Volunteer Coordinator   941-637-8326

 Save the DATES for TEAM
        Don't forget to put these dates
   in your smartphone or paper calendar!
             October 25, 2016
                 TEAM Mixer
                                        November 12, 2016
                                        Paddle Punta Gorda
                                        January 26, 2017 
                                TEAM's A nnual Community Meeting        

Whats Happening Logo



August 2, Punta Gorda South County Library Info Meeting to discuss appearance
  & functionality of new library, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Charlotte Harbor Event &
  Conference Center, Myakka River Meeting Rm 75, Taylor Street, PG
August 13,  Tiki Fest, Fishermen's Village, 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.

August 19, Third Friday Drive In, Downtown PG across from River City Grill, fun movie, starts at sunset, free to the public and broadcast on 95.7 FM.  There are outdoor speakers, so if the weather is nice, bring your blankets and chairs

We invite you to visit the community calendars below for more information about upcoming events.

Spotlight on our Platinum Sponsors
Koch and Company on Virginia Avenue
Rexford (Rex) Koch and his wife, forensic expert Roberta (Bert) Kock, have been at the helm of Koch & Associates, CPA's in Punta Gorda for more than two decades.  With offices conveniently located at 225 Virginia Avenue, Koch & Company provides an extensive array of accounting services.   Clients are often greeted at the door by two lovable Labrador retrievers, Boo and Bear, who never fail to provide a warm welcome.
Rex is an active community leader, providing service and leadership skills to an assortment of non-profit organizations.  Included among those organizations are the Charlotte County Homeless Coaliltion, the Punta Gorda and Charlotte County Chambers of Commerce, Don Ball School of Fishing for Kids and TEAM Punta Gorda.  He was inducted into the coveted "Leadership Charlotte Hall of Fame" in 2014.  Current community activities include the Punta Gorda Rotary Foundation and the Vietnam Wall Project.
Koch & Company, CPA, P.A. is a long-standing Platinum Sponsor of TEAM Punta Gorda.
Rex reflected on his long history of involvement with TEAM in a brief article published in 2015.  "We have lived here for 25 yearsa and I was privileged to serve on the Board in the early days of TEAM.  I am very proud of the way TEAM has progressed over the years," reflected Rex in a recent interview.  "I believe that TEAM Punta Gorda represents an ongoing vision of a neighborhood composed of capable determined people with a great variety of talents who have offered and continue to offer their resources to make our community such a wonderful place to call home. One of the amazing facts about TEAM Punta Gorda is not that TEAM contributes to the community, but that it contributes in such a large variety of ways," emphasized Rex.  "Almost each day there is news about something that some part of TEAM is doing to improve our lives.  Sports, Government, Quality of Life, Safety, Health & Welfare, etc.  The wonderful thing about this variety is that there is absolutely a way for every interested community member to participate and to contribute."
Rex welcomes the opportunity to talk to anyone with similar interests and a need for professional accounting services.  He can be reached by email at or by phone at 941-637-0544.

Message from TEAM CEO

Nancy J This month's column is dedicated to successful developer and community volunteer Wayne Goff, and popular musician Jim Morris. The recent passing of these two men left a hole in our hearts. They inspired us and supported us, and they will be missed.

This past week a group of community leaders met to talk about developing a marketing strategy for Punta Gorda. The grouped was convened by public-private committee called One Community, One Message. Known as OCOM, the group is a collaborative effort on behalf of community leaders from many sectors to develop and promote a vibrant Punta Gorda brand.
You may wonder why marketing our city is important after a winter where one was challenged to get a parking space at the supermarket? It matters. It matters because we care about maintaining the unique character of our town. With development once again on the table after the long, dry recession, we need to return to the values that make our town special. We hear a lot of talk from citizens concerned about change, yet realistically, we know that change will come. There is a cliché that says that nothing is more certain than death, taxes and change. The challenge is to manage change so that our growth is grounded in the principles we care about.

Some may ask, why grow at all? The fact is that the current economic model is not sustainable. Every year we lose businesses to the challenges of the summer months. Our tax base is not sufficient to provide enough revenue for our needs and expectations. While it is better this year, we need to market to businesses so that they will locate here. In doing so we must be mindful of the kinds of new businesses that will be a good fit. We also need to encourage some of our large influx of tourists to find a realtor and become year-round residents. It's really nice to see younger families moving into town.

We're a friendly, charming, historic small town on a beautiful waterfront and with a certain vitality that is unique. In 2005, following the devastation of Hurricane Charley, a small group of citizens knew that and set about funding and developing a community vision for Punta Gorda's future. This was also the beginning of TEAM Punta Gorda. Called the Citizen's Master Plan (CMP), it provides a clear and detailed picture what could be. Much of what was foreseen in the CMP has been accomplished. Many of the specific ideas formed the basis for our City's land-development regulations. It's a great foundational document developed by the citizens of this community. It's a good time to check in on it as we ask these questions about managing change and growth. You can find it on our web-site and on the City of Punta Gorda's new website. As new community leaders are elected and come on-line, it will be important for them to look at the work of the last decade to see how far we've come by working together.
Nancy Johnson

Parting Shot
Boo and Bear will greet you at Koch and Company
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Thanks to our "year-round" sponsors