TEAM Talk header 2010
Nancy Morris, Editor                                                                        April, 2018
TEAM Punta Gorda is an all-volunteer organization committed to making the greater Punta Gorda area a great place to live, work and play. Originally created after the devastation caused by Hurricane Charley in 2004, TEAM volunteers focus on wide variety of projects to enhance our friendly, quaint, historic waterside community. For more of the history of TEAM click here

PEDAL AND PLAY in Paradise 2018 - A great success!

The pavilion at Laishley Marina in Punta Gorda bristled with activity on March 9 and 10 as nearly 500 cyclists clad in their bright green t-shirts, took part in Pedal and Play in Paradise, 2018. "We were blessed with perfect weather and a great turnout," said Steve Johnson, event coordinator. "An army of volunteers put in many hours to make this event a success, it's exciting to see it all come together."

  As in past years, the 15 and 30 mile rides were very popular and accounted for over half of the participants. The City Manager's Ride hosted by Howard Kunik, was once again a great success with over 100 cyclists riding to various city locations so Howard could tell about our city's history and provide updates on construction projects.

Some 88 riders participated in "Terri's Mystery Ride," named in memory of TEAM volunteer Terri Hoagland who passed away last year. Cyclists went to various locations where they read details about a particular TEAM Punta Gorda project, located a "hidden" letter in the description, and solved the mystery word puzzle.
Ya Ya Diamond once again served as MC for the event providing her usual great singing and spirited dialogue as participants cued up and prepared to take off on their rides.   Volunteer therapists from the Therapeutic Wellness Center provided massages while Jennifer French from the Yoga Sanctuary led yoga exercises.
During a tasty lunch, the band Andino Son entertained the crowd with lively Latin tunes.
Proceeds from Pedal and Play benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and bicycle-friendly community initiatives sponsored by Team Punta Gorda. Once income and expense numbers are calculated and finalized, TEAM volunteers will announce the amounts to be donated.
Pedal and Play in Paradise is made possible through the generosity of over 25 sponsors. For more information about these generous citizens, visit

Do you want to yak?


Nearly 150 people attended our first event to introduce kayaking to the community at the Isles Yacht Club. That's well beyond the attendance our Maritime Committee had hoped for.    
Our classroom topics included Water Safety, Basic Kayaking Techniques, Kayak Fishing, Kayaking Trails and Observations from a National Naturalist.  There was standing room only in the first session and a full house in the second. Attendees demoed a variety of kayaks in the yacht basin including pedal yaks, sit-upon and sit-ins.  
One lucky raffle winner went home with a brand new kayak and multiple others won valuable trail books, fishing gear and kayak tours and expedition vouchers.  

                                                              By Lew Morrissey

It's taken 36 years for Rachel Hart to live in her own home.
Sometime this summer, she will be able to move into a comfortable 3-bedroom ranch and provide "a stable environment for my family" - her 17-year-old son, 3-year-old daughter and 53-year-old mother.
All thanks to Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity and TEAM Punta Gorda, who are joining forces for the first time to build a house for a local family who can't otherwise qualify for a traditional mortgage. Rachel will repay Habitat monthly.
Homeowner-to-be Rachel Hart  (center) with her mother Veronica Thomas and son Xaviahn pose with TEAM Builds leaders (from left) Peter Krumsiek, Sandy Pata,  Steve Johnson and Bob Bechtold.

From the BUILD Team
Saturday, March 17 was our first build day for the Habitat house. Seventeen TEAM volunteers plus Rachel Hart and her son created the exterior walls and raised them in place.  We worked quickly and efficiently and were done in about 4-1/2 hours!  We all became good at pounding nails.  Habitat has developed an excellent method that uses a willing crew to build a house for the first time. We still have a few volunteer openings available in April and May to put the finishing touches on the home.
                              Click here  to check the schedule.  
          Prefer to contribute toward expenses? Call 941-637-8326.

               Everyone Wins at Golf's FINE WINE raffle!
Help us make this year's the best yet.  Donate a 750ml bottle of $10-$40 wine.
Tip:   Publix often has BOGO on fine wine
Drop off any weekday at the TEAM office (2nd floor, Charlotte Community Foundation building at the corner of Olympia and 41 South), or bring your bottle to the April 17 Mixer. 

For volunteer information please contact
           To learn more about TEAM Punta Gorda check out our website
         Contact information: 941-637-8326 or

TEAM Platinum Sponsor Rex Koch has been serving both his clients and the community for more than twenty years as owner of Koch & Company, CPA, P.A., in Punta Gorda.   With offices at 225 Virginia Avenue, his firm provides an extensive array of tax and accounting services.   Rex is assisted by his wife, accountant Roberta (Bert) Koch, a dedicated accounting and administrative staff and two Labrador retrievers, Boo and Bear, who are usually on hand to provide a warm welcome. The firm was recently awarded the coveted designation of QuickBooks ProAdvisor, serving all of Charlotte County.
Tax Planning is one of the primary functions of the firm.   Rex explains it this way, "We work with our clients to minimize taxes in the current year, and offer detailed research and planning to minimize taxes in future years.   We also work with many clients who need help with taxes for various states and foreign countries."  
5th Annual Memorial Day Race - "It's Our Turn"
Come out and enjoy the fun!
The Memorial Day Veterans 10k and 5k Race is looking for volunteers for Monday, May 28, 2018 which starts 7:00am at Laishley Park. The race is designed to raise awareness and aid to  Charlotte County Veterans.
If you would like to volunteer, race, or make a donation you can go to to register for any of these options. Or you can call/text/email M.J. Bellino at 336-404-9358,
It's our turn to give back to those who protected our country.

The Value of Community Partnerships

Nancy Johnson
Sunday, March 25, was a beautiful sunny, breezy Punta Gorda day at the Isles Yacht  Club. Even though the season
 is winding down, 150 potential paddlers turned out for a
free day of kayaking demonstrations, lessons and talks sponsored by TEAM Punta  Gorda's Maritime Committee. TEAM's Maritime Committee is a team with a vision. They
want to make paddling safe and accessible for everyone. In addition to educational  events, they are working with the
 City of Punta Gorda on safer, more accessible launch
sites separate from the ones that the power boats use. Encouraging this type of green  recreation fits right in with 
their larger mission of harbor conservation.

I'm really pleased that TEAM Punta Gorda volunteers are building a Habitat for
Humanity house this spring for a deserving family. Habitat has such a great mission.
Spirits were high when I visited the site this week. The build will continue until the end of  May.

These are the kinds of projects that makes TEAM Punta Gorda an essential 
component  of this community. Most of the funds we raise at TEAM Punta Gorda are spent directly  on community projects. Each year we end the season with a fundraiser that benefits  TEAM's operations. None of the rest of it could exist without the funds raised at our  annual Golf Tournament, April 21 st , St. Andrews Golf Club. If you like the work we do in  this community, consider being a part of this event. Another way to support TEAM is  through the upcoming Giving Challenge, May 1-2. Read more about these events here  in TEAM Talk.

YOU can  be the one to make a difference by supporting TEAM Punta Gorda during the 2018 Giving Challenge. It's so easy.
Visit during the 24 hours beginning at noon on May 1, or pledge in advance by calling TEAM at 941-637-8326.
Your tax-deductible contribution of $25 - $100 per donor credit card will be matched dollar for dollar.
Feel really good about being the one to support TEAM's community partnerships. Thanks for being a TEAM player.

The City of Punta Gorda will be holding the following community events at PGICA:

Seawall Replacements Workshop: Thursday, April 12, 2018, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The workshop is scheduled to discuss seawall replacements progress and to answer any questions or concerns for the residents of the Punta Gorda Isles. The information will cover the following zones: NE1, NE2, NWI, NW2, SE, and SW. Contact Irene Ploskina at 941-575-5092.

A separate workshop will be held for the residents of Burnt Store Isles, at a date and location to be determined in the near future.

Appropriate Growth for Punta Gorda:
Monday, April 16, 2018, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The City of Punta Gorda and its marketing consulting firm, Aqua, will convene a community meeting to discuss appropriate growth. This request for public input stems from initiatives identified in the approved Brand and Strategic Communications Plan as well as action items included in the City's strategic plan. 

Speakers will include City Manager Howard Kunik and Elliot Cohen, vice president of Campaign Communications at Aqua Marketing & Communications.
Parting shot
Thank you for being a TEAM Talk subscriber.  I am officially signing off as editor to concentrate on other TEAM opportunities. It's been loads of fun these past 18 months. 
We'll introduce you to our new editor, Jeanne Hogan next month.  You're gonna love her.

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