Photo by Fred N Thomas, Jr
From left to right, Edward “Ski”Olesky, Patti Calderson, Edward Aguilar, Antonio “Tony” Alves, Danny Gonzalez, David Turrubiartez and Joel Salazar. Not pictured Mark Henderson.[/caption] Salazar Machine & Steel Inc.owned by Pete and Linda Salazar who have worked with our local chamber for many, many years. David Turrubiartez, who is, Pete’s Director of Operations, has faithfully answered calls for help with all ICOC events for the last 25 years. The Salazar’s have sponsored an arts and crafts tent in several of the chamber events for all the boys and girls. Pete faithfully served on the Board of Directors and David is a member of the Chamber, both Pete and David worked very diligently hanging all of the dvertisement and sponsorship banners for all events. Mark Henderson who is the area manager for Everglades Farm Equipment, Inc. has been a lasting leader in our community. Mark has never told the ICOC that it can’t be done. Everglades Farm Equipment has let the ICOC use 4 wheel Gator’s for every parade, furnished antique tractors for picture taking and supplied modern tractor equipment for public display in parades and other field activities sponsored by the Chamber. Mark have been a loyal community partner for over 25 years. Danny states, “We could not have made our events successful without Mark and his company”. Joel Salazar owner of Salazar Produce Co. has been serving the ICOC from the very first day he arrived in Immokalee. He is one of the most outstanding Harvest Festival Parade Marshals the Chamber has ever had. He was the first Parade Marshal, had several dancing horses and “Matriarchies Singers” playing their cultural music while following his car in the parade He has generously volunteered any of his fresh veggies needed for any event. Joel Salazar has never said no to any of community request. ICOC is Grateful to have him in our community! Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee is managed by their General Manager, Tony Aviles. The Immokalee Casino is by far one of the best community partners any business could have. The Casino has helped ICOC for more than 25 years with Christmas Around the World Parade & Snow Gala and with giving new book to all kids who take pictures with Santa on the night of the Christmas Gala. The Seminole Tribe of Florida with help from our local casino brings Santa Claus all the way from the North Pole via helicopter to the Immokalee Sport Complex to see all the boys and girls. The Seminole Casino donates to the” Lightning of the Christmas Tree” yearly. The Seminole Casino helps CRA & MSTU make Immokalee’s Zocola Plaza a winter wonderland of visual magic for the Christmas season. The Seminole Casino proudly helps with the donation of scholarships yearly to deserving IHS graduates from the Christmas around the World Parade & Snow Gala’s Event Scholarship Funds. Cherryle Thomas and her Christmas committee would like to say Thank you to the Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee for all of your donations and community services with all of our many creative ideas we wanted for the kids of Immokalee! Edward Olesky, owner of Lake Trafford Marina has given himself totally to all of the Christmas events. The late Annie Olesky, volunteered her husband to play Santa and he has held down the job for 25 years. Cherryle Thomas, Annie Olesky, Janet Price, Linda Ayer, Sharon Turrubiartez, Digna Barrosa and Dave Lindsay dreamed up the concept of “Christmas Around the World Parade & Snow Gala” for the Immokalee community. The committee started off with no money in their Christmas account. The first year they had 4,000 children and adults to “Welcome Santa” to Immokalee. Ski has never charged for his services. He has used his own money in order to support some of the cards and letters he receives yearly to make sure the wishes are granted for some of the children in Immokalee.
On February 23, at the Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee, the Immokalee Chamber of Commerce (ICOC) hosted a “Networking After 5 Affair” for local businesses, clubs and organizations who have partnered with ICOC. The local Chamber wanted to say “Thanks” to the five businesses in Immokalee that gave their time, energy and their efforts to make all the Immokalee Chamber of Commerce events very successful.