Visitors and local residents wandered through the 300-plus vendor tents at Founders Park, all while enjoying a cold beverage or bloody mary and some food truck fare at the 29th annual Gigantic Nautical Market at Founders Park in Islamorada on Feb. 24-25. Organized by the Upper Keys Rotary Club, the two-day shopping event raises more than $200,000 in scholarships for Coral Shores graduates, college students and those in technical school. Patrons bought everything from fishing rods and anchors to fishing apparel and local art at the shopping extravaganza. Attendees also viewed some of the top boats on the market. An army of volunteers, from local Rotarians to high school students, welcomed and helped thousands of visitors during the two days.

Jim McCarthy
Jim McCarthy is one of the many Western New Yorkers who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures for warm living by the water. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since he graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 4-plus years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. “One of my college professors would always preach to be curious,” he said. “Behind every person is a story that’s unique to them, and one worth telling. As writers, we are the ones who paint the pictures in the readers minds of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs.” Jim is past president of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, which is composed of energetic members who serve the community’s youth and older populations. Jim is a sports fanatic who loves to watch football, hockey, mixed martial arts and golf. He also enjoys time with family and his new baby boy, Lucas, who arrived Oct. 4, 2022.