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TEAM Punta Gorda Newsletter
TopJoanne and Richard Collins, Editors
                                            June 2016
In This Issue
TEAM Punta Gorda's Last Month's Newsletter
Reel in the FUN Kid's Tournament
Many child anglers enjoyed the "Reel in the Fun" event
More than 150 Charlotte County children fished for fun and prizes  May 7 on a picture-perfect day at the Laishley Marina Pier in Punta Gorda.  "Every child walked away with a prize," reports Bobbie Leahey of the Downtown Bait & Tackle Shop, organizers of the annual community-wide event, sponsored by Team Punta Gorda, local merchants and patrons.
"Reel in the Fun" Kid's Fishing Pier Tournament far exceeded attendance expectations this year with more than 370 family and friends participating.  First, second and third place trophies for most fish caught and released were handed out by age group; the youngest angler was 3 years old and the oldest 12 years of age. The Coast Guard Auxiliary was on hand to provide water safety education and support was provided by many local volunteers.
2016 National Marina Day on June 11
Interested in getting out on the water? 
Fishermen's Village Marina is promoting the upcoming June 11th National Marina Day to provide visitors with an on-the-water boating experiences. 
King Fisher Fleet will offer three, one-hour narrated cruises in the upper harbor, departing at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 and 3 p.m.  The cost is $6 for adults, $3 for children 3-11, and free for children under 3.  All proceeds from this cruise will be donated to the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center.                       
Deck boat rides will be offered courtesy of Holidaze Boat Rentals to provide hands-on boat operating experience as well as kayaks and paddleboards to try out within marina waters.  Reservations are encouraged - just phone the Marina office at 941 575-3000.  Fishermen's Village will offer two free nights of dockage (Friday and Saturday) to local boaters. To reserve your free space, call 941 575-3000.                                         

Kid's Summer Music Camp

The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Kid's Summer Music Camp is being held  
June 6-17, from Monday -Friday at Punta Gorda Middle School, 1001 Education Avenue, PG.  There will be Instrument Instruction for Band and Orchestra Ensemble, Chorus, Rhythm & Movement with Music Theory and Technology.

Grades 7 - 12 will be held 9 a.m. - Noon while Grades 1 - 6 is held from 1 - 4 p.m.

Registration deadline is May 31 with a cost of $160.00; $150.00 siblings
Call (941)205 -5996 or visit

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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:
  • Bicycle Loaner Program Volunteer
  • Volunteer TEAM Coordinator
  • Co-Chair for the Communications, School Gardens or Maritime      Committee
  • Beautification Chairperson or member.  
  • Membership Committee - welcome new and renewing contributing members
  • 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 19, 2016
                                        Paddle Punta Gorda
                                        January 26, 2017 
                                TEAM's A nnual Community Meeting        

Whats Happening Logo

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


June 11 National Marina Day, Fishermen's Village, See above article.

June 24 - 26 Blues, Brews & BBQ Fest, See Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce website below.

Spotlight on our Platinum Sponsors

Acme Bicycle Shop
Community Cycling Advocate

Platinum Sponsor Acme Bicycle Shop has been a staunch advocate and supporter of all things cycling since the first day it purchased Ralph's Bicycle Shop in 2003. They have been running a free Saturday morning bike ride out of their shop for thirteen years. "That is a significant time period to keep an organized ride going," says Acme owner Karen Freeman, who attributes Acme's success not only to community involvement but to providing an outstanding level of customer service. "Good service is our top priority and our personal maintenance program is unbeatable."

Acme has been involved with TEAM Punta Gorda since 2005. "We started with the "Hibiscus Bicycle Ride" for several years," remembers Karen, "turning it over to TEAM while still participating in its organization. As the ride grew bigger TEAM took it over entirely and changed its name to Pedal and Play ."

Acme applied in 2015 to The League of American Bicyclists and met their criteria for "Bicycle Friendly Business" and received top award of GOLD.  Karen says, "We encourage and support our City and TEAM in going forward to apply for Bicycle Friendly Community status."

Acme is a Platinum Sponsor for TEAM's yellow loaner bicycle program.  "This is a great program, enjoyed by visitors and residents alike," says Karen. "We supply the bicycles to TEAM as they find sponsors for each bicycle. Recently we agreed on a maintenance program to keep the bicycles up and running. These bicycles get a lot of use. It is difficult for the volunteers to keep up.  TEAM is a great organization to partner with as they help bring more awareness for better bicycling infrastructure."


Message from TEAM CEO

Nancy J
As the warm months of summer are upon us, TEAM Punta Gorda is heating up with a number of unique and diverse projects:

Friends of the Gilchrist Park Playground

As the City winds up to launch the re-make of the Gilchrist park playground, an ad hoc committee of mostly moms is determined to make the Gilchrist playground re-make spectacular, while saving the taxpayer's money. They are currently raising funds privately for additional equipment and playground amenities that might not fit in the City's limited budget. The entire effort must be completed by July when the playground process goes into the final design phase. TEAM Punta Gorda is hosting this committee and good progress is being made. To that end, Scoops and Bites is holding an ice cream social as a fundraiser. The event is scheduled for Sunday, June 26  from noon to 2 p.m. at the Laishley Pavilion. It will launch six weeks of celebration in recognition of the Scoops and Bites 6 th anniversary. Owners Ron & Claudia have always been deeply involved in the community, so they are planning six fundraisers for six organizations over six weeks. Tickets are $10/person and a hot dog lunch is included. . The idea is that six lucky winners will have the option of "creating" their own ice cream flavor which they get to take home to share with friends and family. Deductible contributions to the playground fund can be made payable to TEAM Punta Gorda and labeled Friends of the Gilchrist Playground.

History Park Community Garden to Open

The History Park Community Garden is ready to open! The garden will be an organic vegetable garden. This is essential because the History Park is designated as a wildlife preserve. Worden Farms held an orientation and training session this week for the 48 gardeners who have signed up for plots. There are still 13 plots left for those who want to participate. Because it is such a lovely setting, TEAM volunteers will take it on as their next beautification project and will provide perimeter landscaping and a decorative fence. The garden is sponsored by the Mosaic Corporation and managed by volunteers.

Bicycle Capital Projects Workshop Scheduled

City Council will hold a three hour workshop to review in depth the bicycle infrastructure proposal that was submitted by City staff in March. The workshop is open to the public and all interested parties are encouraged to attend. The workshop is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to noon on June 9   at the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association. It will feature round-table breakout sessions designed to encourage in-depth discussion of the proposed routes. Please attend!!! If you walk, ride or drive you have a stake in this discussion! We need your voices to examine and support the best solutions to developing bicycle infrastructure.

Bicycle Loaner Program

Meanwhile, the Yellow Bikes just keep rolling along. There were 702 riders this past month, a solid showing for the month of April. The bikes are currently being fitted with emergency stickers, and a pick-up arrangement has been set-up with Acme Bicycle Shop for bikes that break down on the trail. The bikes carry placards with advertising from local sponsors. If you'd like to see your business advertising or personal message rolling down the Harborwalk, just let us know. Some are messages in memoriam of loved ones while others feature congratulatory messages from those who want to support the program. Let us know if this is something you'd like to participate in.

Affordable Housing

TEAM Punta Gorda is queuing up a forum on affordable housing for June. Board member Merritt Brown will chair an initiative to examine affordable housing in our community by convening a collaborative group. The project is a partnership with the Bernice Russell Community Development Corporation.

Nancy Johnson

Parting Shot
We have 26 "art bikes" throughout our city painted by 11 artists!
A big thanks to Betsy Spagnolo and her industrious team

Thanks to our "year-round" sponsors