Spring Forward & Upward
Another successful Marathon Seafood Festival is in the books! Thank you to all our sponsors, supporters, volunteers, staff, organizers, etc. for coming together to ensure our community and visitors experienced another amazing seafood festival. I am so honored and proud of what our annual event does for our community!
The economic impact (via visitor spending & circulation of monies) eclipsed $6 million; and proceeds from this event help to fund our annual Business Beautification Grants ($20,000), Continuing Education Grants for members ($10,000), as well as our MHS and Take Stock in Children Scholarships ($10,000). Of course our event partner, the Marathon Organized Fishermen of Florida (OFF) also use event proceeds to fund the tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships, youth sports, and other beneficial donations they make each year. Not to mention working with the state of Florida OFF that lobbies and works with state officials to ensure the viability of our commercial fishing industry.
Lastly, via our tip jars at this year’s event we were able to donate over $3,200 towards the Schmitt Charitable Foundation for Irma Relief. Even though we are seven months post Irma we really needed the seafood festival to celebrate our fishing heritage, comradery, and good ole fashioned fun at Marathon’s biggest and best event.
You will also soon start hearing about our annual Business Beautification Program and Member Continuing Education Grants. Between these two programs your Chamber Board will award $30,000 to invest in improving the aesthetic/visual appeal of your business as well as furthering you and our members’ education, skills, and also abilities. This is something your Chamber Board is very proud to do. With the understanding that a better looking Marathon and better trained and educated workforce equals a better performing and more prosperous Islands of Marathon.
On a sad note we recently lost a great man and founder of our Marathon Seafood in Tommy Coppedge. Tommy was one of the original founders of our seafood festival. A leader in the Keys commercial fishing industry for decades. A personal friend to myself and many others before he retired to Lake City, FL about five years ago. We lost Tommy unexpectedly but will always remember what he did for our community and commercial fishing industry. Rest in peace Tommy, and our deepest condolences to Tommy’s wife and family.
Have a great April everyone; please be sure to contact us for any business assistance, needs, referrals, and anything else you may need. After all, we exist to serve you, our valued business-member!