Commotion by the Ocean

The Key West Police Department hopes to make a little noise this weekend with the Police Athletic League’s Commotion by the Ocean. This huge fundraiser for Key West kids is the biggest and most important fundraiser for the Police Athletic League all year.

Beginning at 6:30 on Jan. 31, a lineup of Key West’s best youth and adult boxers will test their talent against boxers from all over Florida. Weigh-ins are at noon prior to the event, and the first fight begins at 7 pm.

“This event is extremely important for the children of Key West,” said retired Officer Fran Lalama, who heads up the PAL program. “All of our programs are designed to give kids the discipline, skills and self esteem that will make them better adults.”

In addition to boxing, there will be plenty of great food and music. Tickets are just $6 for kids and $8 for adults.

The Police Athletic League started out in 1993. This non-profit group is dedicated to supporting a variety of youth activities and providing kids alternative activities that are fun and help them get involved in the community.

All proceeds from the event will support youth sports and education programs.

Tickets are available at the Key West Police Department and at Albertson’s.

Florida Keys Dragon Boat Club Participate in Marathon Family Fun Day

Children from Marathon were able to try their hand at beating the drum of a dragon boat at Saturday’s inaugural Family Fun Festival held at the Community Park and organized by the City of Marathon Parks and Recreation Department.

Captain John Duke of the Florida Keys Dragon Boat Club brought the boat from Little Torch Key to help promote the sport and Battle in the Bay Dragon Boat Festival which is scheduled for May 9 at Sombrero Beach.

Premiering in 2006 at Truman Waterfront, Key West, the venue has moved 50 miles closer to the mainland in Marathon. Sombrero Beach offers a pristine setting of soft sand, swaying palm trees, tropical breezes and a direct-from-the-beach launch for the sleek, 40-foot long race boats.

For information on how to enter a team, become a volunteer, underwrite a youth team, or market your business through Battle in the Bay Dragon Boat Festival, check out, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call (305) 766-1053.

Local Author Reads to Switlik Elementary Students

Local author, Catherine Dunn, recently visited Stanley Switlik Elementary School to read her children’s book, Oscar and Solomon to a group of students. The author’s visit was part of the Literacy Celebration. Mrs. Dunn is a first time author and works at the Dolphin Research Center. Her book, Oscar and Solomon is available at Keys Animal Hospital, DRC, and local bookstores.

Firm Honored by TDC

Monroe County Tourist Development Council vice chairman Doug Wright, left, and TDC director Harold Wheeler, right, presented a TDC service award to Todd Firm, center, on Tuesday, Jan. 27, at the Key Largo Grande. Firm served as TDC chairman during fiscal year 2006-07, was a tourism council member for four years before leaving the board in August 2008 and served for six years on the Key Largo TDC advisory committee.

Upper Keys Garden Walk Slated for Feb. 27

Members of the Upper Keys Garden Club are hard at work on their upcoming Garden Walk, scheduled for Feb. 27 from 10 am – 4pm.

The Garden Walk is one of Key Largo’s favorite events, and this year promises to be bigger and better than ever before. Eight gardens will be featured.

“There’s a nice mix of small and large gardens,” said Garden Walk chairperson, Jerri Grosmann. “It’s a one of a kind event with wonderful plants and flowers in unique settings. The day is always a lot of fun as well as very educational. Save the date and come join us. It’s an event you won’t want to miss!”

Pictured (l-r) are Julie Mead, Jerri Grossman, and Evelyn McGlone.

Key West Installs New Parking Meters

Street parking just got easier with the installation of Pay and Display parking meters. These one-stop pay stations clean up city sidewalks by taking the place of the old-fashioned pole meters that stand at every parking space.

Overall, ten new stations will take the place of 280 old-fashioned single head parking meters. The machines accept coins as well as credit and debit card payments. Customers can purchase up to eight hours of parking in a single transaction. The machine prints out a receipt, which the customer places in the windshield.

In addition to the new cleaner look for the sidewalks, the machines are green and economical. They run on solar power, and they require far less maintenance that did the single pole meters.

Installation will continue into next week.

Day of Service Volunteers at KAIR

Bill Calvert, Beverly Welber, Michael Welber, Katie Calvert and Peter Sehlinger were among the Obama campaign workers in Marathon who participated in a National Day of Service on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Jan. 19. A total of sixteen Marathon locals and snowbirds joined in the bi-partisan event, organizing a storeroom containing food, clothing, and household items at Keys Area Interdenominational Resources (KAIR).

Middle Keys Concert Kick Off Winners

On Monday Jan. 19 the Middle Keys Concert Association kicked off their 40th season with Broadway hits by Rogers and Hammerstein. This years concerts feature donations of artwork by local artists for each concert. Marathon artist Julie Joyce donated an original watercolor “Sunset In The Keys” and concert goers enthusiastically bought raffle tickets to help the Middle Keys Concert Association’s quest to keep tickets at a low price while prices for musicians, air fare, meals and lodging continue to increase. This concept of  “Art and Music” will offer concertgoers a chance to win beautiful art work and help keep the price of tickets down. The winners of Joyce’s watercolor were Mr. and Mrs. Hal Hovland of Marathon. For more information on the concerts, please visit

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