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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Lower Keys-March 6

Lower Keys
Chamber of Commerce

Weekly E-Blast
March 6, 2019

New Social Media Info!!!!!
Thank you to everyone who has already given us your information. We are not stopping. We're going to continue hitting up social media for our members, not only on Facebook, but on Instagram and more! Let us know your social media tags and we'll make sure to promote your business on our social media pages. Help the Lower Keys Chamber work for you. Find, follow and like us on Faceook @LKCofC and on Instagram  @lowerkeyschamberofcommerce. We're your social media community connection!
Don't wait to sign your business up for the next social....Do It Now!
The Chamber of Commerce has available dates for your business to host an after-hours Business Social at your location. Call 305-872-2411 or email to inquire or set up a date for your networking social. This can be hosted by a single business or with a group of businesses. Don't wait to book, do it today. It's a great opportunity for you to network and support our local businesses together.

Extra Advertising Opportunity With Chamber Welcome Bags 
The Chamber gives a Welcome Bag full of info on our Members' Businesses to new residents. Please make sure we have a stock of your rack-cards, business cards and other media to include. Promotional items such as reusable totes, magnets, key chains, pens, notepads and even items like lip balm or koozies are popular.
Members who can create promo items and/or rack-cards for you are: Art Dept, Inc 804-739-1198;  Deep Blue Printing, Inc  305-916-8866; Island Design 305-699-7166; Keyboard Advertising Specialties 305-292-9315; Promotions Guy (10% off for Chamber Members!) 844-279-5628

Every 3rd Wednesday ~ Don't Be Anti-Social Workshop 12 noon & 5 pm sessions
Social Media expert Rick Carter of Conch IT will share information and answer questions on the necessity of promoting your business on the many social media platforms available to you. We're making it easy for you to learn what you need to know to attract potential customers by offering two different times.

April 13th ~The Business Walkabout & Auctions from 11:00am - 4pm 
Time is running out! Thank you to everyone who has already signed up. Don't wait to reserve your space! Contact us if you are interested in securing a 10 x 10 space. 305-872-2411 or email 


June 7-9 ~ 26th Annual Dolphin Tournament

July 12-13 ~ 35th Annual Underwater Music Festival

Lots of opportunities to get involved!
Now, paying for parking in Key West is a lot easier!
A new smartphone app will end the rush to satisfy the meter and help you to stay parked by adding time on your cell phone. Customers can download the "Way to Park" app, set up an account and start paying the $4-an-hour the city charges. The new pay system started last week at four Key West lots: the Key West Historic Seaport, the fire station on Simonton Street, the parking garage on Grinnell Street and the Truman Waterfront Park. More information to follow.

March 9-10 ~ The Original Marathon Seafood Festival ~

One of the middle Keys' signature family events, delicacies from the waters of the Florida Keys highlight this annual munch-fest at Marathon Community Park, mile marker 49 oceanside. Sponsored by Organized Fishermen of Florida and Marathon Chamber of Commerce. Live music, vendor booths, sweets, treats and beverages make for a delectable weekend. An open-air boat show is to be staged at entrance to the festival.

March 10 ~ Visit the Sheriff's Family Friendly Animal Farm ~ 1pm-3pm
Looking for a fun place to take the kids? The Sheriff's Animal Farm is open 1 - 3 p.m. Bring the family and come visit the animals at the farm, including miniature horses, a cow, pigs, goats, bunnies, alligators, tropical birds, Kinkajous, Sloths, a Lemur, Kramer the Emu, a family of Patagonian Cavys, a skunk, an opossum, tortoises and turtles, snakes and many more. It is free of charge, but donations are welcomed because that is how the farm is sustained. The farm is located just off of College Road, on Stock Island, at the Sheriff's Office Headquarters complex. Open the second and fourth Sundays of the month.
March 16 ~ Run with Deer Race Set  5pm-7pm
Florida Keys Wildlife Society and Southernmost Runners Club are teaming up to present the 5th Annual Run with Deer 5K Race Saturday, March 16th on Big Pine Key. The route runs along the scenic roads surrounding the National Key Deer Refuge while starting and finishing at the new Nature Center on US 1 on Big Pine. Early registration is Friday, March 15th from 5 - 7pm. For more information, call Nancy at 305-731-6362, or email Check them out online also at 

March 16 ~ Baiha Honda Sandspur Beach Clean-up Day
Join the 4ocean Community Cleanup Team as they work alongside the dedicated staff of Bahia Honda State Park to continue the efforts of cleaning the highly impacted Sandspur Beach. They have come so far these past two years! The team will be there March 16th from 9AM to 11:30AM.
Let them know you'll be able to join by signing the waiver here:
Please be sure to bring a reusable water bottle, wear closed-toe shoes, and share this event with all of your ocean-loving friends and family! The parking fee will be waived from 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM. 4ocean will provide hemp bags and gloves for all of the volunteers to use during the cleanup. They hope to see you there, ready to join in on the movement!

March 22 ~ 12th Annual Florida Keys SPCA Spring Social 
Enjoy a paw-tastic experience to help raise funds to benefit a Keys-based animal shelter; event is open to the public, from 5:30-9:30 p.m. at the Key West Golf Course. Highlights include a VIP champagne reception prior to the main event, a first class dining experience with tables of food from restaurants all over Key West and parking provided at Florida Keys Community College with HTA Trolley service to and from the event. Also features a silent auction, live auction, raffles, complimentary beer & wine, music and more. VIP and General Admission tickets online or call Tiffany Burton at 305-294-4857.
On Saturday March 23rd, come join the folks at Grimal Grove for our first event since Irma. Let's bring back the music. Let's bring back the grove! We'll have some great local musicians, food, drink, raffles, and of course a fruit stand and fruit trees for sale.
Special thanks to Kailyn Smith from Ms. Holtkamp's 8th grade art class at HOB for designing the flyer. I love it! Thank you!

March 2019 National Key Deer Refuge Nature Programs
Everyone is invited to join our free guided nature excursions designed for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels. In an effort to keep everyone together, the centralized meeting point will be at the National Key Deer Refuge Visitor's Center, located in the Winn Dixie shopping plaza on Big Pine Key (179 Key Deer Blvd).  All Wild Wednesday events are free and family-friendly!
Participants are encouraged to bring a hat, sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes, water, binoculars, and dress appropriately for the weather.  For more information, email the National Key Deer Refuge Visitor Center at
Wednesday, March 13 - Bike Cudjoe Key surrounded by National Key Deer Refuge wetlands and wildlands.  It is about a 3-4 mile flat ride through an area we are likely to see bird-life.  This is a casual ride and all riders must have their own bikes. Helmets must be worn. Bring plenty of hydration. Meet at the Visitor Center at 8:30 am then we'll drive to start location.
Wednesday, March 20 - A Mindful Meander in Nature- Join us for one of our "nature therapy" experiences that will explore all of your senses while appreciating the stillness in nature.  Meet at Visitor Center at 9:00 am. 

March 13 ~ Photography Club Meeting 6:30pm-8pm
Looking for a new adventure?  You're invited to attend the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Photography Club meeting.  We welcome everyone, from beginners wanting to learn, to experienced photographers who want to share their expertise.   Together we'll explore the natural areas of the Florida Keys looking for great photography opportunities and stories to share. Bring 3-5 photos to share. This month's lesson is using Lightroom to edit your photographs.  The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Mar. 13th 6:30-8:00 P.M. at the new National Key Deer Refuge Nature Center (30587 Overseas Hwy/US1) on Big Pine Key.  For more information, contact Kristie @ 305-304-9625.  Facebook: @Florida Keys Wildlife Refuges Photography Club.


Old Island Restoration Foundation Annual Home Tours
59th Annual Home Tour dates are:
Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16, 2019
The annual Key West Home Tours™ are one of the oldest and longest running home tours in America, with the first tour in 1960.  Old Island Restoration Foundation (OIRF) conducts the tours and they are funded in part by our generous supporters. Each tour features lovely homes and gardens reflecting the varied tastes and originality of their owners. You will be enchanted by exquisite restorations, creative renovations and delightful interiors featuring art collections, antiques, and much more. All proceeds from the tours stay in our local community fulfilling OIRF's mission of "Celebrating and sustaining Key West's unique architecture, culture and history." Grants are provided to local home owners and non-profits to fix up their buildings in the historic district, scholarships are provided to Key West High School students and funds are used to maintain Key West Oldest House Museum and Garden. Each of the four tours features five lovely homes. This year, we're adding a Bonus 6th Stop to each tour. We'll feature four different historic inns/hotels that you'll get to explore and learn the history.  Receive free drinks and nibbles too. Tickets can be purchased at
Now through May 30 ~ Key West Art & Historical Society's Parent and Me Fort Adventures 10am-11:30am
Registration is now open for this season's Parent and Me Fort Adventure classes at Fort East Martello, a Tuesday and Thursday morning education program offered by Key West Art & Historical Society and led by educator Linda Stolze that celebrates hands-on, inquiry-based learning while inviting children and parents to explore the Fort and its artifacts, dioramas, and immersive exhibits.  
"The early years of life are the most critical for learning, and each class will focus on a specific theme that includes art, science, math, building, and a playful group circle that promotes creativity and problem solving," said Society Education Director Kristy Callaway. "The program offers parents and toddlers a socially interactive and multi-sensory experience promoting brain development by encouraging exploration and discovery within a historic setting. We are proud to offer families meaningful access to this successful early childhood program."
Children will also be able to enjoy the Imagination Playground, water play, and story time in the spectacular setting of the Martello tower.
Parent and Me Fort Adventures are open to children aged 5 and under and run from 10:00 to 11:30 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays through May 30. Cost is $5 per family; free to Society members. For more information visit or call Society Education Director Kristy Callaway at 305-295-6616 extension 115. 

Now through March 23 ~ Rockin' Refuge Rangers @ National Key Deer Refuge
The National Key Deer Refuge (NKDR) is initiating a series of free, kid-friendly, nature-oriented programs on Saturday mornings on Big Pine Key.  Our Refuge Ranger events are open to all children in grades K-8 who are accompanied by a parent or guardian.  This year's theme is careers in biology and wildlife management.  The programs will run from 9:45 am-12 pm and will have an indoor and outdoor (field trip) component.  We'll meet at the new refuge Nature Center at 30587 Overseas Highway.  Pre-registration is required for these programs to ensure we have enough supplies for all participants.  For more details, or to pre-register, contact Kristie or Penny at  Wear clothes that can get wet or muddy, wear sun protection and bring along some water in a reusable bottle.
Upcoming topics include:
March  9 - Birds - Learn about bird biology, migration and population surveys on the refuge.  Field trip- Location to be determined.
March 16 – Water chemistry-  Learn the basics of accessing water quality in freshwater, saltwater and  aquariums.  Field trip- Wetlands on Big Pine Key.
March 23 - Nature Journaling- Make a nature journal and record notes and stories to record your experiences.  Field Trip- Pine Rocklands on Big Pine Key.

Full Moon Kayak Excursions 2019
Watch the sun set in the west as the full moon rises in the east. Sponsored by Big Pine Kayak Adventures, proceeds benefit local wildlife through the Florida Keys Wildlife Society, the official friends group for the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges. The $25 donation includes kayak, gear and experienced guide. Please call Captain Bill 305-872-7474 for reservations.  Plan to bring a flashlight, drinking water, and arrive ½ hour before launch time.
If you are interesting in becoming a volunteer, please call Nancy 305-731-6362.
Upcoming Kayak Excursions:
Monday March 18    6 - 8 pm
Wednesday April 17    6:30 - 8:30 pm
Thursday May 16     6:30 - 8:30 pm
Friday June 14    6:30 - 8:30 pm
Bring flashlight, drinking water, and arrive about ½ hour early.
No experience necessary. $25 donation includes kayak, gear and experienced guide. Proceeds go to help local wildlife through the Florida Keys Wildlife Society.
Reservations: Call/text 305-872-7474

Now through  April 1st ~Tennessee Williams Month-Long Birthday Celebration
Key West Art & Historical Society announces "The Library" as the theme of the 2019 Tennessee Williams Birthday Celebration, set to run now – April 1st at multiple Key West venues. Each year a festival of events, including a limited ticket kick-off celebration, plein air painting, poetry and short story writing contests, live readings, lectures and museum tours, film showings, live theater events, and birthday party complete with cake and bubbly, honor the life and accomplishments of Williams, whose rise to stardom began with "The Glass Menagerie," and continued with "A Streetcar Named Desire," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," and other dramatic masterpieces. The 2019 celebration marks the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, poet, and artist's 108th birthday. A thirty-four year resident of the island, Williams was an avid patron and supporter of the Library in Key West, raising money to build its auditorium and making a rare, thirty-minute recording of a selection of his poetry expressly for them. The largest collection of Tennessee Williams memorabilia available in the world can be visited year-round at the Tennessee Williams Museum, 513 Truman Avenue in Key West. Visit KWAHS.ORG for event dates and updates or contact Dani Holliday, 305-295-6616 x 114.

March 14th ~ Lower Keys Women's Club March Luncheon
March 15 ~ Florida Keys SPCA Benefit 5pm-8pm

Join THE FUN for this pet friendly event at Rum Row at The Gates Hotel, 3/15/19, from 5-8pm! Raffles, meet & greet shelter animals and specialty drinks to benefit the Florida Keys SPCA! Bring your pups for a tail wagging good time!
March 16 ~ Fifth Annual Run with Deer 5k Race
Florida Keys Wildlife Society and Southernmost Runners Club team up to present the Fifth Annual Run With Deer 5K Race Saturday, March 16th on Big Pine Key. The route runs along scenic roads surrounding the National Key Deer Refuge and starts and finishes at the new Nature Center  30587 Overseas Highway, Big Pine Key. Early Registration is Friday, March 15th 5-7pm.  For more information,, email or call Nancy 305-731-6362

March 30 & 31 ~ Southernmost Air Spectacular 
The Monroe County Tourist Developmental Council has funding available to governmental entities and non-profit organizations for capital projects. 
The facility must have the primary purpose of promoting tourism and must fall into one of the following categories:
Convention Center, Sports Stadium, Sports Arena, Coliseum, Auditorium, Aquarium, Museum, Zoological Park, Nature Center, Fishing Pier, Beach or Beach Park Facility, Channel, Estuary or Lagoon, Public Facilities in Accordance with Conditions Set Forth in the Florida Statute.
The deadline for receipt of applications is April 24th, 2019 and applications must be downloaded from Demandstar (
For more information, please call the TDC Administrative Office at 305-296-1552 and ask to speak with Ammie or Maxine

July 4 ~ The Independence Day Celebration Ultimate Key West Staycation Raffle

New National Marine Sanctuary Foundation Chapter opens with major local donation
The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation announces its newest chapter in the Florida Keys. The chapter will promote local stewardship of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (the sanctuary) through projects that support conservation and restoration and engage the public and partners in protecting its unique ecosystems. To kick-off this effort, and encourage businesses that rely on healthy Florida Keys ecosystems to engage in its stewardship, Fury Water Adventures, located in Key West, donated $25,000 to help the protect coral reefs in the Lower Keys.
The chapter is the result of a merger with the Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys to form the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. Its board members include Bruce Popham of Duck Key, Tom Davidson of Ocean Reef, Stephen Frink of Key Largo, Jeff Neidlinger of Big Pine Key and Rachel Bowman of Marathon. The chapter's initial priorities include establishing partnerships with local businesses and organizations to invest in on-the-water conservation projects that help with coral restoration, fostering enjoyment of the sanctuary through infrastructure improvements and championing the sanctuary at the state and federal levels.
"Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Foundation provides a way for businesses and our community to focus efforts on protecting, conserving and restoring the marine ecosystem that drives the local economy and our way of life," said Bruce Popham. "We thank Scott Saunders, CEO of Fury Water Adventures for his commitment to and leadership in supporting a healthy future for our marine environment."
 "Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary looks forward to working with the new Foundation chapter to form even more partnerships with the local business community to ensure that the marine ecosystem we all deeply value can be enjoyed long into the future," said Sarah Fangman, Superintendent of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
"The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is proud to have a local partner in the Florida Keys to work with the sanctuary and local communities to restore, protect and conserve this precious ecosystem," said Kris Sarri, President and CEO of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.
More information about the Foundation's Florida Keys chapter, including current career opportunities, is available at

Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex - Castillo Pit Bird Creation & Habitat Enhancement Project
After 10 years of planning and engaging our neighbors, this project will provide a variety of nesting options for shorebirds such as the threatened roseate tern, least tern and Wilson's plover and mitigate historical loss of nesting sites due to human development and disturbance. This project will provide nesting mounds, raised nesting platforms, and floating platforms as well as enhancements to the surrounding habitat. As a neighbor, we thank you for your support of this important project. If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact Kristie Killam at You may see construction trucks in the area of the black fences on eastern Big Pine Key during this project.
Businesses Help Workforce Housing Project
Several local businesses have stepped up and contributed to funding and building the 10 unit affordable housing development named "Loewy Landing" on Big Coppitt Key.
Publix Super Markets Charities, Manley deBoer Lumber, D'Asign Source, Strunk Ace Hardware, Key West Hospitality Inns/Wicker Guest House, Hemingway Home and Historic Tours of America provided volunteer labor and funding for the construction of the project.  The Gardens Hotel will be contributing to one of the last homes to be constructed this month.
Eric deBoer of Manley deBoer Lumber said "I can attest that the program works as advertised, and is a terrific way for any retail business in the Keys to make a meaningful contribution to a most difficult problem, that of creating a supply of worker housing".
There are many ways for organizations to get involved with Habitat for Humanity.  For more information please call 305-294-9006.
Our members are in need of great employees.

Bella Luna - is hiring staff in all departments. If you know anyone contact Mark at 305-453-6179

Bluewater Plumbing Solutions, Inc.- Now hiring full-time administrative assistant and office manager. Also hiring a full-time plumbing helper. Must have a valid driver's license. 305-872-1876. Apply at 30342 Quail Roost Trail, Big Pine.

Coca Cola Florida has an immediate need for Merchandisers (FT & PT) in Marathon, Big Pine Key and Key West. Apply online please email resumes to

DeLuna's Cafe - ALL POSITIONS AVAILABLE!!!! Hours are 8am - 4pm. Mon-Sat. Experience is not necessary. They will train you. Please come apply in person at our location on Stock Island during regular business hours! 7011 Shrimp Road, Key West, Florida 33040-6053.

DRN Moving & Drivers
  • CDL Drivers- local and long distance drivers. Heavy lifting required.
  • Movers- Full and part-time positions available. Valid driver's license a plus.
Join our exceptional team of hard working, reliable movers. Must have phone, transportation and pass background screening. Apply at DRN Moving/Big Pine Storage. 30677 Overseas Hwy., Big Pine Key 305-295-MOVE.

First State Bank of the Florida Keys - Now hiring in Key West for the following:
  • Part-time tellers
  • Administrative Assistant/Commercial Lending
  • Assistant Branch Operations Manager - Key West Winn Dixie Plaza
  • Customer Relationship Specialist, Digital Banking
Apply online at

Geiger Key Marina Fish Camp & RV Park
Now hiring kitchen help with experience preferred. Must be flexible and able to work nights, weekends and holidays. Apply in person at Geiger Key Marina between the hours of 2-5 pm. 5 Geiger Road, Geiger Key.

Kiki's Sandbar is interviewing for all positions for front & back of house. 183 Barry Avenue on Little Torch Key.

Pizzaworks- Looking for someone to work Friday and Saturday nights. Job duties would include taking phone orders,  walk-in and carry out orders and assisting the servers. Please stop in to fill out an application preferably between 2 - 4:30pm.

Sudzy's Laundromat is looking for a new team member. this person must be computer savvy a good with social media.This position is multi-faceted with opportunity to grow. 231 Key Deer Blvd., Big Pine Key. See more on their facebook page

Tonio's Seafood Shack - Hiring full-time servers and bartenders for day and night shifts. Located at MM 24.5 in Summerland Key. 25163 Overseas Highway.

Island Deli - Now hiring. Please come in and fill out an application in person at the corner of 1st street and Avenue A on Big Pine Key. Call 305-453-6977 for more information.

Please keep us updated on if your business is needing help so we can help spread the word!

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