Submitted photo/Fred N. Thomas, Jr
Christie Bentancourt, James Sainvilus, and Annie Alvarez worked very long hours, and diligently with staff and volunteers to host the most beautiful Christmas exhibit at 107 North 1st Street Plaza (Zocola Plaza) in Immokalee. The event took place on December 1, at 6 p.m. The program was designed to be very Christmasy, Cheerful, Fun, Entertaining and Memorable and in deed it was. Pastor Rick Heers open the event with spiritual words for the season. Ms Michelle Edwards Arnold, Director Public Transit & Neighborhood Enhancement Division introduced the Advisory Board Chairs: CRA Dr. Frank Nappo and MSTU Vice Chair, William Deyo. Special introductions of community partners, volunteers and VIP’s for this event were: Seminole Casino Hotel of Immokalee, Casino representative, Immokalee Chamber of Commerce President Danny Gonzalez, Our famous Santa Claus, CRA & MSTU staff along with Parks & Recreation Director Barry Williams and staff. The entire night had entertainment for all the community to hear and listen to, it was definitely a Zodac moment. Ms. Ana Martinez, Event Planner for ICOC hosted the crowning of the Little Mr/Ms Snow Flake Competition and they are Daniella Garcia, Bickyah Ozuna, and Akeem Williams. The winners were judged on a penny equals a vote in their personal fund raising jars they placed around the Immokalee community. Daniella raised 135,000 pennies. Bickyah raised 8,147 pennies. Akeem raised 6,407 pennies. Daniella and Akeem received their crowns and hat along with ribbon banners as being the winners of the 2016’ Little Mr/Ms Snowflake Competition. Santa delivered Bicycles from the North Poles for the winners courtesy of Jaime Weisinger Produce Co. Cherryle Thomas would like to give a special thank you to all the parents of the contestants. The Lighting of the Third Annual Christmas Tree was a perfect eye opening. It was BEAUTIFUL! Santa made his appearance for all the boys and girls in the community very early this year and offered cookies and refreshment to the community in attendance. Community photos with Santa were available. The CRA, MSTU and Park& Recreation would like to thank their community partners, their staff members, volunteers, all the performers doing the entertainment and the community of Immokalee for a wonderful Christmas Tree Lighting Event.