TEAM Talk header 2010
Nancy Morris, Editor                                                                            April, 2017
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

Front row left to right
Lisa Dait, Betsy Spagnolo, Lisa Colgan

Back row left to right 
Lori Asher, Gina Silvio-Carins ,Jan Holm,Ruth DiBene
April Mixer- Tuesday, 4/18/17
See what TEAM is all about
TEAM Punta Gorda welcomes everyone to join our board members, committee chairpersons, contributing members and volunteers for an evening of camaraderie.  Betsy Spagnola and her Outreach Committee never fail to knock out a great gathering with food and prizes.  A committee or event is always highlighted and you'll have an opportunity to join our contributing membership. 

12 th  Annual TEAM Punta Gorda Golf Tournament
In memory of Judy Brentano  
TEAM's annual fund-raiser golf tournament, held each year in memory of the late Judy Brentano, TEAM's former COO, was a great success again this year.
  A nearly full field of 98 golfers, both serious and "recreational" competed over 18 holes of "Captain's Choice" (aka "Scramble") format at the Saint Andrews South Golf Club.  
A new "wine pull" fund-raising strategy was used this year, whereby tournament participants were invited to contribute $10 to pick a numbered wine cork at random from a basket of corks.   The cork's number determined the bottle of wine "won" by the donor.   Over 60 bottles of donated wine were "pulled" via this method from their display on a great wine rack that Bob Bechtold (husband of Sherry Campbell) constructed for the tournament.    The "wine pull" fund raising strategy, using Bob's rack and bottles that may be donated at upcoming TEAM Mixers, should help us raise additional funds for our many community projects as a "repeatable process" in the future.  
Some great prizes were donated again this year.   For example, each member of the winning foursomes in each of the tournament's two "flights" won two tickets to the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra's season-opening concert this coming Fall, courtesy of TEAM's great supporter and Charlotte Symphony board member Sherry Campbell.  
The real winner for the day, though, was TEAM's organization.    Our annual operating budget depends heavily on the proceeds from the annual golf tournament.   This year the budget enjoyed an increase of over $11,000 thanks to the golf tournament.       
The post-tournament awards ceremony this year was poignant when tournament Co-chair Ed Bouton and TEAM CEO Nancy Johnson took time in their remarks to remember former TEAM Golf Committee chair Karen Wedemeyer (who passed away in early March 2017), as well as Judy.   Karen's husband Bob played in the tournament and attended the awards ceremony.  
As we look ahead to next year, the date for the 2018 golf tournament has already been set.   It will be held again at Saint Andrews South on Saturday, March 24, 2018.   Any TEAM volunteers or other friends of TEAM interested in either serving on the Golf Committee or playing in next year's tournament may contact Ed Bouton at .      

T hose of us at TEAM Punta Gorda want to pay  tribute to long-time TEAM volunteer Karen Wedemeyer and extend our sympathy to her family.
Karen recently passed on after a brief illness.
Karen was well known in the community, having worked with the Church of the Good Shepherd in Punta Gorda to create a K-8 program at Good Shepherd Day School, from which she retired in 2008.  She led the fundraising effort to construct a new school building there.
Karen remained active in the community after retirement.  She brought her fundraising skills to TEAM when she stepped up and volunteered to take the lead of our annual golf tournament.  Former TEAM CEO Nancy Prafke remembers Karen as so very positive and always looking at what was possible, not allowing obstacles to stand in the way of success.  Ed Bouton took over leadership of the golf committee from Karen.  He remembers her as a selfless and superbly well-organized lady who remained on the committee for a time and continued to be instrumental in making the event a success.  She had a lovely family that she was devoted to.
Many thanks to Karen for all that she did for TEAM and for our community. 
                                                                                        Nancy Johnson  

Pedal & Play 2015 Banner

8th Annual Pedal and Play in Paradise
Approximately 600 riders descended upon Punta Gorda for the two-day event. Of that number, 157 attendees participated in the City Manager's "Here and There" ride Friday night, in which stops were made at the Vietnam Memorial Wall, Andrews Building, new Punta Gorda Library site, former IMPAC University, Gilchrist Park playground and overall park renovations, potential new Carmelo's Restaurant site, and location of Marriott Spring Hill Suites, currently under construction. Kudos to the Police Department road patrol, Police and Fire bicycle teams for assistance in ensuring a safe and smooth ride for the participants. See our website and Facebook page for more photos of the fun.
Friday, Pedal & Play 2017
Friday, Pedal & Play 2017

Saturday, Pedal & Play 2017
Saturday, Pedal & Play 2017

          Like us on Facebook 
                                                        Visit our website

Echo Farm Tour
Nine members of the History garden community enjoyed an extensive tour of the Echo global farm under the direction of Russ Luther.
Great information was gathered on farming/gardening practices used to help third world countries as well as us, locally.
A book and gift store carried many educational tools, seeds and health items available. Highly recommended!

Nancy J
 A Message from TEAM CEO

Collaborative Workforce Housing Group Moves Forward
Monday's Charlotte Sun feature article by Gary Roberts did a fine job of bringing to the forefront the chronic issues that surround the need for workforce housing in Charlotte County. We're grateful for the insightful and thorough presentation of these issues. This has become a national problem and is not limited to our region.  We also applaud the efforts of the County's Office of Economic Development to bring jobs to Charlotte County. Their successes will only further highlight the need for reasonably priced places for these families to live.
In response to the huge need for workforce housing in Charlotte County, TEAM Punta Gorda has convened a consortium to address the severe shortage of workforce housing for low to moderate income workers in our region.  This includes entry level teachers, police officers, firefighters, students and service workers of all descriptions.  It is sad, but true that unless your family income is more that $45-$50k per year there is very little in the way of safe and decent housing in Charlotte County.  Simply put, the cost of building homes and apartments in Charlotte County, including land, materials and labor, forces developers to build housing that is not affordable for much of the local workforce.
On June 29, 2016 a group of individuals and organizations met to discuss the need for a workforce housing consortium in Charlotte County. The meeting was convened by TEAM Punta Gorda and the Bernice Russell Community Development Corporation. Attending were representatives from the three major sectors engaged in housing development including the private sector, the non-profit sector and local government. All of these players have been working on these issues for some time, but not necessarily together. The goals of the consortium are as follows:           
  • Shed light on the problem of workforce housing
  • Identify the work already underway
  • Identify ways to share information and work together to support each other's work
  • Research new information, identify best practices and funding sources
  • Develop collaborative projects to bring more workforce housing to the community 
The Charlotte County Homeless Coalition has been working on this issue for some time and has partenred with the United Way of Charlotte County to take action on the findings of the United Way's 2013 needs assessment. This led to the Creation of the Gulf-Coast Partnership whose aim is to prevent and end homelessness through a coordinated approach.  The newly formed consortium will work in partnership with the Gulf-Coast Partnership.
Consortium Chairperson, Merritt Brown recently updated the TEAM Punta Gorda Board on the group's progress. Their first priority is to compile data on the nature of the need and the status of resources currently available. The group is currently compiling data from a number of local sources and will prepare a report to guide the work. The group also held a workshop in November to showcase best practices in developing workforce housing from other communities.
One of the strategies under consideration is the use of Community Land Trusts. Community Land Trusts offer a proven solution to the housing crisis by taking land costs out of the cost factors of housing construction.  To this end, the group is working to form the Peace River Community Land Trust, Inc. whose mission would be the development of sustainable workforce housing in Charlotte County.  Once the corporate entity is formed the Peace River Community Land Trust will seek donations of unimproved land, and partner with developers, state and local government to construct workforce housing. 
This is only one strategy in a tool-kit of many that will be needed to really make a difference. It will take a sustained community effort to achieve their goals, including support from the County, the City of Punta Gorda and the business community. We applaud the efforts of this public-private group and are pleased to be able to participate. We look forward to watching them progress.

Parting Shot
Left:Terri Hoagland, Pedal and Play Event Director, Center: Diane Smolen, Food Service, Right: Carol Moore, Rest Stops
Great job ladies !!!

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