Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce

Supporting, advocating, and promoting our local business-members in the heart of the Florida Keys!

Category: Press Releases (page 1 of 4)

Marathon Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Donates $5,000.00 to Take Stock in Children

Marathon, FL, June 24, 2015:  The Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce (GMCC) Board of Directors donated $5,000.00 towards the Middle Keys Take Stock in Children Foundation today.

Each year the GMCC Board of Directors allocates monies towards education.  Primarily using proceeds from membership dues as well as the annual Marathon Seafood Festival, the Chamber’s Board of Directors is able to aggressively contribute to this worthy cause. Earlier this month at graduation night the Board also awarded five (5), $1,000.00 scholarships to Marathon High School seniors; as well as awarding two (2), $600.00 grants to current GMCC business-members to further their education within their specific areas of business.  Totaling the GMCC’s 2015 educational-based donations to over $11,000.00.  “Part of our mission is to educate and empower our business-members, and this most definitely includes our local students as well,” said Board Chairman Ryan Elwell.

Pictured (left-right): TJ Patterson, Marathon Chamber Board Director, Teresa Condas, Board Member, Take Stock in Children, Daniel Samess, CEO, Marathon Chamber, Steve Pribramsky, President, Take Stock Board, Stacie Kidwell, Past Chair, Marathon Chamber Board, Bill Kelly, Chair-Elect, Marathon Chamber Board, and Ryan Elwell, Chairman, Marathon Chamber Board


Dolphin Research Center Salutes Veterans and Military with Free Admission

Dolphin Research Center Salutes Veterans and Military with Free Admission

 To salute the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces, Dolphin Research Center (DRC) is offering free admission to veterans, current military service personnel and their immediate families on Veterans Day, Tuesday, November 11th.  Personnel only need to show their military identification cards or other proof of military service when they arrive at the facility.  Dolphin Research Center offers fun-filled, educational narrated behavior demonstrations throughout the day and a variety of exciting interactive programs that bring guests up close to their family of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions.  The nonprofit facility is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at mile marker 59 Overseas Highway on Grassy Key.  For more information, call 305-289-1121, or visit

            Dolphin Research Center maintains a strong commitment to the armed forces.  Every day the center offers a military discount of $2.50 off the regular adult admission.  This discount is available to all military personnel and veterans.  Several staff members also served in the armed forces, including Co-Founder/Chief Operating Officer Mandy Rodriguez who served in the U.S. Marine Corps.  On the facility’s grounds, there is a special garden area dedicated to veterans of all wars.  This garden was originally installed by a group of veterans who participated in a dolphin assisted therapy program.  DRC also works closely with the Wounded Warrior Project throughout the year and was honored to receive a Carry Forward Award from the organization.

Founded in 1984, DolphinResearchCenter is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting peaceful coexistence, cooperation and communication between marine mammals and humans and the environment through research and education.  Located on the Overseas Highway at mile marker 59, Grassy Key, the center is an accredited member of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums.


Florida Keys Celtic Festival

Celtic Festival Seeks Volunteers
Service Organizations and Local Businesses Invited to Participate

Before the thundering sounds of Celtic rock fills The Keys this winter, more than a few fair folk will need to roll up their sleeves and maybe even dance a jig to make it happen. Organizers for the Florida Keys Celtic Festival are seeking volunteers to help plan and implement the second annual festival taking place January 9 and 10 at Marathon Community Park. Individuals, service organizations and teams from local businesses are invited to participate.

“We want this to be a real community effort,” said The Reverend Canon Debra Andrew Maconaughey of St. Columba Episcopal Church. The Church produces the weekend event in collaboration with Celtic Heritage Productions of Port Charlotte. The festival is set to kick off with a Kilts in The Keys party at Marathon Grill in the Gulfside Village on January 8, followed by two days of live Celtic bands, Highland athletics, pipes and drums, Celtic food and merchandise vendors, plus a Children’s Glen with activities for the wee ones at the Community Park. And, there’s a rumor that the Conchness Monster, a distant relative to Nessie, may make an appearance.

Festival attendance was more than 1700 for the two-day event in 2014, with about half of the attendants visiting from outside The Keys. Organizers expect an even larger crowd for the 2015 festival. “Our goal is to build an annual cultural event our community can be proud to be a part of,” said Maconaughey.

Volunteer needs include developing and designing creative projects, manning the entry, ticket sales, crowd control, survey taking, set-up and clean-up. Volunteers will receive free entry to the event and an official event t-shirt.

Local non-profits and service organizations are invited to have booths, for free, during the festival and also encouraged to include a Celtic link in promoting their own causes. “We’d like everyone get into the Celtic spirit for the weekend,” said Bill Lorimer who volunteers his time to help plan the festival. Local businesses are also welcome to join with their own teams of volunteers or by participating as an event sponsor. Festival sponsors get great PR and visibility in local, regional and national newspaper and web advertising. Additionally, sponsors receive entry tickets, event booth space and recognition in the official Festival Event Program.

Proceeds from the festival benefit the church’s Hammock House Youth Programs that provide Marathon children and youth with a free, healthy environment where they can thrive emotionally, artistically, intellectually and spiritually. “The Hammock House budget is $50,000 a year and proceeds from this festival will help alleviate some of the financial stress we’ve experienced over the past few years,” Maconaughey said. Hammock House After School Care and Just for Fun Summer & School Break Camps were born out of concern for Middle Keys children who may not have enough to eat when school is out, and who lack of affordable, supervised summer recreation. This free program is available to all children of Marathon, providing a healthy, creative environment when school is out of session.

To sign up as a volunteer or learn more about the Second Annual Florida Keys Celtic Festival, please contact festival volunteer coordinator Toni Hindman at Business interested in becoming a sponsor can contact Bill Lorimer at

Remember, it takes more than a few potatoes and a keg of Guinness to throw a festival.

Attached Photo:

Scottish rock band Albannach rocked The Keys at last year’s Florida Keys Celtic Festival. Festival organizers are seeking volunteers to help create a weekend of Celtic Culture in Conch country on January 9 and 10, 2015. Photo Credit: Florida Keys Celtic Festival

celtic festival pic

Crane Point Museum- October Buy One Get One Free Admission

crane point trolley 2Crane Point Museum and Nature Center located at 5550 Overseas Highway in Marathon will offer Monroe County residents a Buy One Get One Free Admission throughout the month of October.
During your visit to Crane Point, register for a Free Family Membership valued at $75. Drawing will be held on November 1, 2014. Winner will be notified by phone.
A Family Membership entitles you to unlimited free admission for your immediate family and free admission for two guests per visit accompanied by a member.
Visit the gift shop featuring work from local artists, books, jewelry and many unique gift items for all occasions.
Crane Point Museum and Nature Center offers 63 acres of hardwood hammock with nature trails to hike and history to discover. Visit the Adderley House, the oldest house in Monroe County outside Key West, sit at the point for an awesome view of the Gulf or take a walk through the mangroves and enjoy the serenity. Bring your lunch and have a picnic in the courtyard. It’s a great place to get away from it all.
Crane Point hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Call 305-743-9100 for trolley tour schedule. Trolley tours are included in the regular admission and offer a guided trip through the hammock with loads of information about the hammock and the history of Crane Point.
For more information about Crane Point or to become a volunteer, please call 305-743-3900 or email:

2014 Florida Keys Craft Beer & Bubbly Fest

Friends! Join us for our new event! We are having the 2014 Florida Keys Craft Beer & Bubbly Fest, December 27th, 2014. There will be craft beer, champagne, food, and more! There will also be vendors! Save the date for this fun new event!

Logo with Date

Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce Membership Drive

Hi Friends! Do you have a business that you would like to promote in beautiful Marathon? Maybe you are an individual who would like to attend our networking events and be involved in our community?! Now is the time to join the Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce! We are having a Membership Drive during August. Check out all of the additional benefits you will receive when you join in August. Feel free to call or email us here at the Chamber if you have any questions. We are here to serve you!
Phone: 305.743.5417

Member Drive Flyer v3.0-2

Crane Point New Education Programs


Crane Point Museum & Nature Center is ramping up education programs for young students and needs your help. As part of the new field-trip curriculum, plans are to use the Cracker House located on one of the trails as an education center for new children’s activities. The Cracker House will also serve as a retreat for families walking the trails who want to take a rest or stay dry during surprise rainstorms.
The Cracker House is a replica of the style of homes which were built by Florida’s early pioneers with the idea that the family would live close to nature out of necessity. The house is constructed with a wide shade porch to protect from sun and rain and, at that time in history, also provided additional sleeping space.
Scheduled story times and other activities will be conducted at the Cracker House. Our goal is to add a selection of rocking chairs, adult and child-size, to the porch to further enhance the feeling of “going back in time” and experiencing life in a Cracker House. Please call 305-743-3900 to make a donation toward the Cracker House Rocking Chair Project. A donor name plaque will be added to the chair.
For more information about Crane Point or to volunteer, contact Loretta Geotis at 305-743-3900 or via email at:

Cracker House

Annual Awards Banquet

Chamber Members and Awesome Marathon Community,

Our Annual Awards Banquet is coming up soon and we are already selling raffle tickets to win amazing prizes! We will be selling tickets at our monthly networking events, so members, make sure to attend! Also, you can purchase tickets right in our office! We are open 7 days a week from 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. Don’t miss out on your chance to win luxury getaways, cruises, dinner, and so much more! Good Luck 🙂

Awards Banquet Raffle Flyer

August Membership Drive

Have you been considering joining the Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center? We are having a Membership Drive! In addition to our already great benefits, our member’s are offering discounts and incentives to new members who join in August! Call us at (305) 743-5417 for more information.

Membership Drive flyer

Thank You Letter

Thank you letter The Heron

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