DiGennaro and Samess land skydiving event

Last week, readers of the Marathon Weekly saw Marathon Chamber of Commerce CEO Dan Samess all over our fine 30lb newsprint. Traditionally, we do not pepper the paper with several photos of any one individual, but there was a plenty of community action and he seemed to be everywhere, including a rally for Florida Governor Charlie Crist at the home of Monroe County Commissioner Mario DiGennaro.

Fortunately, for the residents of Marathon, Samess returns with good news this week because he and DiGennaro have brought an annual sky diving event back to the Middle Keys.

In a released statement, Samess announced that Skydive Sebastian will drop into the Marathon Airport this November with an estimated 400 skydivers who will spread their cash around town.

Samess wrote, “Many of these participants stay a minimum of 3-7 days here thus providing a huge economic impact to our community during a time when we really could use such revenues. The Marathon Chamber estimates an economic impact of $300,000 to $650,000 for this event alone.”

Up until 2007, the skydivers made Marathon an annual stop on their gravity testing agenda, and because of the nimble fingers and powerful Rolodex of Samess, the event is back just when businesses need the revenue the most.

In his letter, Samess went on to thank a number of local politicians and business people who joined forces to make the event a reality, and later singled out Commissioner DiGennaro as the one official who had the influence and insight to put it all together.

“As soon as I mentioned the economic impact this event would have on our community Commissioner DiGennaro sprung into immediate action making calls on our behalf,” Samess told The Weekly.  “In less than 48 hours he had set up a meeting with the good people from our County Airports and lobbied hard on behalf of our businesses. This situation is a prime example of an elected official working for the people and doing what is in the best interests of the community.”

It is not everyday that we can see the direct results of our elected officials labor, but in the Keys, we are fortunate to have public servants like DiGennaro working on behalf of their constituents.

In his released statement, Samess added:
We would also like to thank County Mayor George Neugent and Airport Administrators Peter Horton and Reggie Parros for their efforts and willingness to work with the Marathon Chamber, Skydive Sebastian and the City of Marathon. In addition we would like to thank Marathon City Councilman Dick Ramsay for his continued efforts, advocacy and as acting City liaison and representative for Marathon Airport. Finally, we would like to thank one of our Marathon Chamber Ambassadors, Julie Johnson, who took it upon herself to help get the necessary information to the Chamber so we could promptly react and help this event get underway!

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