A Tuna Birthday for Dad

Debbie Demers took her dad, Capt. Vic Weiger, on her boat “Island Dream” and showed him how to catch some big tuna for his birthday. Debbie and Capt. Richard got into some really nice blackfins right off the reef in 210 feet and kept a few for a great dinner.

Local Artist Presents Work to Orion Bank

Marathon artist Julie Joyce (left) presents her original watercolor “7 Mile Bridge” to Trich Worthington, Vice-President at Orion Bank. This is the 28th year for the famous 7 Mile Bridge Run and more than 1500 runners have registered for the race.

Joyce was commissioned by the Marathon Runners Club to paint an original watercolor with framed fine art Giclee prints to be given to top runners as prizes. As a thank you for long time sponsorship, Orion Bank is to receive the original painting.

These paintings and other awards will be presented at Chappy’s Steak and Seafood Restaurant immediately following the 28th Annual 7 Mile Bridge Run on Saturday, April 25.

How Low Can You Go?

In conjunction with a performance from noted reggae stylists, The Ark Band, Frosty’s Restaurant and Sunset Tiki Bar hosted a limbo contest last Saturday evening. Cassi Canaday (left) and Cara Canaday proved their skills and took home top honors as limbo contest champs.

Marathon Elks Lodge Inducts New Officers

Exalted Ruler – Gary Brink, Esteemed Leading Knight – Shawnabel Massaro, Esteemed Loyal Knight – Katheryn McCullough, Esteemed Lecturing Knight – Marisol Olivera-Garcia, Esquire – Michele Brobyn, Chaplain – Jay Massaro, Inner Guard – Laura Cocks, Tiler – Gary Brink, Jr., Secretary – Rose Lavay, Treasurer – Tammie Bruland, Organist – Linda Byars,  Trustees – Gina Frederick, Chair, Jennifer Cameron, Luis Gonzalez, Paula Haines and Dale Baker

The Band’s performance will be a “family concert” for Nick and Joani Teach of Tavernier and Susan Anderson and Christina Genet of Key Largo.

Community Band Presents Last Free Concert of the Season

At the annual Young Musicians’ Concert, the members of the Keys Community Concert Band will share the stage with local young music students.  Conductor Robert Sax will direct a combined band including members of the community band and students from Key Largo School, Coral Shores High School, and Plantation Key School.

Conductor Sax has planned a program sure to delight both adults and children. The Monster Under the Bed, Highlights from the Wizard of Oz, and A Charlie Brown Celebration are fun to play and to hear. Flutes at the Ballet features the flutes in a medley of recognizable tunes from the world of ballet. The Band will also honor graduating seniors with a lovely arrangement of the traditional Pomp and Circumstance.

This free concert offers an excellent way to introduce children to the joys of live music. During the concert, the conductor will present an opportunity for young attendees to participate with the Band.

The Hurlburt Family Foundation has generously provided funding for the Young Musicians’ Concert for many years, and allows the Band to provide awards and scholarships to participating students.

“Pops in the Park” is funded, in part, by a grant from the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, administered by the Florida Keys Council of the Arts.

The Band, sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Department, Village of Islamorada, also receives support from the Key Largo Schools.

The last free concert of the season will be performed at the TIB Bank of the Keys Amphitheater in Founders Park, Islamorada (Plantation Yacht Harbor), MM 87 Bayside, on Saturday, April 25, at 4 pm. Bring family, friends and a blanket or lawn chair to enjoy this outdoor “Pops in the Park” concert. For more information, call (305) 853-7294 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

It Was Really a Rhea

Florida Keys Wildlife Rescue Director Maya Totman encountered another unique species last Thursday in Big Pine.
Totman received a call from a friend late Thursday about what was thought to be an Emu or an ostrich swimming in a nearby canal. Merritt Island residents

Brenda Dickinson and her husband Darryl were preparing a backyard barbecue to celebrate her 40th birthday when one of the children at the barbecue pointed out what looked to be an oversized duck-like dinosaur swimming around in the adjacent canal. The bird was retrieved from the water once, but she immediately jumped back in the canal and began swimming in circles.

The Dickinsons decided to use their boat to retrieve the bird once more and called Totman for assistance. A group of bystanders helped Totman load the bird into a van that transported her to the wildlife rescue center. The bird was showered with fresh water and fed a rejuvenating diet of kale, tomatoes and grapes.

“On further inspection, I realized she was not an Emu at all,” Totman explained. “She was another type of large, flightless bird from South America cataloged as a Rhea. Rheas can’t fly either, but they do have wings they use when running. This girl weighed nearly 80 pounds and was 10 years old.”

Totman said she knew the bird had to be someone’s pet. If no one claimed the bird, she would be transferred to the Sheriff’s Animal Farm.

“Big Pine is such a close knit village, the owner soon heard the news and came to pick her up,” Totman said. “The bird was happy to be reunited with her sister Rhea in a lovely place where they have more than an acre of land to run.”

The Florida Keys Wildlife Rescue would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the volunteers from the YMCA that assisted with the bird’s rescue. If you see any injured wildlife, please call the Wildlife Rescue Center at (305) 872-1982 or (305) 896-1526.

Joe Schmidt of the Key Colony Beach Fishing and Boating Club presents Key Colony Beach Police Officer Kris DiGiovanni with a $500 check to benefit the 2009 Kids Fishing Derby.

KCB 2009 Kids Fishing Derby

The cities of Key Colony Beach and Marathon, in cooperation with the Key Colony Beach Police Department, present the Fourth Annual Key Colony Beach Kids Fishing Derby on Wednesday, June 16 from 8 am-1 pm. Entry will be limited to 80 kids, ages 6-14, who reside within the cities of Marathon and Key Colony Beach. Registration forms are available at Key Colony Beach City Hall, 600 West Ocean Drive, Key Colony Beach. We’re looking for 20 parent volunteers to accompany the kids.

Registration forms must be returned to KCB City Hall no later than noon June 15.

After a half-day of fishing at the reef there will be an awards ceremony and lunch for the kids and volunteers. Trophies will be awarded by age group: 6-8, 9-11, 12-14, All fish must be caught by hook and line. All state fishing laws apply.

T-shirts and raffle tickets will be available during the award’s lunch. Any questions contact officer DiGiovanni at 289-1212 ext. 2.

The committee officers organizing the derby are KCB Ofc. Kris DiGiovanni, president and founder, KCB Police Chief Robert Petrick, treasurer; as well as KCB Mayor Ron Sutton, KCB City Commissioner Geraldine Zahn.

If you are interested in making a donation to support this derby please contact any of the committee members.

Florida Keys Free Kids’ Fishing Clinic Set for May 2

Teaching children a lifelong hobby, instilling an appreciation for our marine environment and providing a fun, family outing are the objectives for the Florida Keys Kids’ Fishing Clinic.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Reef Light Tackle, Boy Scouts Sea Base and the Sport Fish Restoration Program will present a free Kids’ Fishing Clinic for children, ages 4-16 on Saturday, May 2. Registration will be 9 am-noon. The clinic will be at the Brinton Environmental Center on Summerland Key.

This free event will enable young people to learn the basics of environmental stewardship, fishing ethics, angling skills and safety. In addition, environmental displays will provide participants with a unique chance to experience Florida’s marine life firsthand.

Kids’ Fishing Clinics strive toward several goals, but the main objective is to create responsible marine resource stewards by teaching children about the vulnerability of Florida’s marine ecosystems. Also, the clinics aspire to teach fundamental saltwater fishing skills and provide participants with a positive fishing experience.

Fishing equipment and bait will be supplied for children to use during the clinic, but those who own fishing tackle are encouraged to bring it. A limited number of rods and reels will be given away to participants upon completion of the clinic.

If conditions allow, participants will have the opportunity to practice their new skills and fish from the marina. This event is a photo catch-and-release activity, and all participants must be accompanied by an adult.

Individuals or companies interested in helping sponsor this event or volunteer at the clinic should contact Mary Thomas at (305) 872-7679 or Gus Cancro with the FWC at (850) 488-6058.

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