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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Naples : Learning About The Historical Landmarks



I made an afternoon visit in Naples where the weather that day was around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Naples is known as the crown jewel of Southwest Florida only a few steps away from island seclusion or the untamed tropical wilderness of The Everglades. It is nestled on the sun drenched beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. It is also popularly known as an ideal place for world class shopping, great dining experience, and abundant choices of challenging golf courses. 

The city also boasts as having one of the nation's best sandboxes and calmest seas. This makes Naples very popular with water lovers and recreationists. A lot of parks with lovely green spaces and recreational facilities attract sports, health enthusiasts, and picnickers.

I was able to pass by the Bank of Naples. The Central Bank (Stillwater, MN) has officially acquired the Bank of Naples (4099 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 100, Naples, FL) since last July. As a result of this acquisition, the deposit and loan accounts were automatically made into accounts at Central Bank. With this acquisition, Central Bank now has 21 locations serving Fort Myers and Naples in Southwest Florida and the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area of Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. Central Bankis also now one of the largest and strongest independent banks serving Southwest Florida.

Several affluent Minnesotans have taken a bath on the troubled Bank of Naples that they launched in the Florida retirement community 12 years ago.

The once-booming community real estate lender blamed the boom-to-bust real estate market.

The Bank of Naples, with $147 million in loans and other assets, was sold to the larger Central Bank, owned by longtime Minnesota banker John Morrison, a Naples resident who was one of the original investors in Bank of Naples but who is no longer on that board.

The Bank of Naples lost more than $35 million from 2008 to 2011, got in hot water with federal bank regulators amid losses and had to hire a bank consultant to run it. The bank also had to add capital and was severely restricted under a 2011 consent order it reached with Florida and federal banking authorities.




There was also the Naples Woman's Club that was formed in 1932 and has served the Naples, Florida community for over 80 years. Just under 400 in number, the women of this club enjoy volunteering their time and talent to improve the quality of life in Naples through philanthropy and civic works. They have a good time in the process too. The women enjoy a wide variety of activities and projects, and take pride in the Club's contribution to the community. Since 1949, the Naples Woman's Club has been a member of GFWC Florida Federation of Women's Clubs and the General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC).

Back in 2010 when the Naples Woman’s Club sold a valuable piece of downtown property to prominent developer Jack Antaramian without a required vote by members, it angered some longtime club members.

They asked for documents, minutes, and other financial information, but were denied access to some. A few records prompted questions and they wondered where the club’s money was going.

They wrote more letters, pointing out state law and IRS rules say charitable organizations must turn over such records. After a year of requests that brought some records and more denials, they filed a lawsuit last month in Collier Circuit Court.

Circuit Judge Hugh Hayes ordered the Naples Woman’s Club to hand over the financial records, minutes and other documents the five members sought.





Named as one of the best live theatres in Southwest Florida, The Naples Players have been presenting productions of the highest quality for more than 53 years. It is one of the top ten community theatres in the United States.

It is one of the finest, highest quality community theatre in the United States, with the corps of volunteers to match. You can be a part of them as well. Previous theatrical training or experience is not required. Just walk through the doors and audition, or express an interest in one of the 40+ jobs: to build sets, make costumes, run lights, etc.

The Naples Players was conceived in 1952 as friends gathered for a sunset cocktail party at the home of Henry and Mary Watkins. Leonard Latham, a theatre director from Cape Cod was in that gathering and suggested that Naples could do well with a live theatre.

It wasn’t long before another meeting was held and The Naples Players was born. 



Today, the company stages productions year-round, has a dues paying membership of 500 plus, and features the talents of volunteer actors, directors, designers and crew drawn from across Southwest Florida.

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