Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce

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

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Florida Keys Council of the Arts

Create Artistic Collaboration in the Classroom!

The Florida Keys Council of the Arts invites artists and teachers to apply for the Artists in Schools Grant with a JUNE 30th deadline.

The streamlined application is available online at:


Artists in Schools funds projects where collaboration between teaching artists and teachers bring innovative arts into the classroom

for grades preK-12 at all Monroe County schools . The Artists in Schools grant program encourages teachers of all subjects, and also artists

of all disciplines to design creative projects together to enhance the existing curriculum. Therefore Projects receiving funding in this cycle must

take place during the first/fall semester of the school year. Also Grants range up to $2,000.  As a result more than $149,000 has been awarded to date.


Artists in Schools projects are made possible with the help of; the sale of Florida State of the Arts license tags, the Florida Keys Council

of the Arts, The Women’s Club, the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, and finally the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.


Questions and assistance in completing the application is always available by contacting the Florida Keys Council of the Arts

at 305-295-4369 or by e-mail

Image attached: Florida Keys All the Keys, All the Arts, All the Time Logo

All the arts, All the Keys, All the time

Caribbean Street Fair

Call For Sponsors and Vendors

Caribbean Street Fair

The annual Hemingway Days Caribbean Street Fair, presented by Literacy Volunteers of America (LVA) – and sponsored by Margaritaville Resort and Marina, Pepe’s Cafe, Make It Official, and Aqua, Key West, will take place on Duval Street from 10:00 AM until 10 PM Saturday, July 22 –with the famed avenue closed to vehicular traffic and open to fun.  Street Fair sponsors and vendors needed; for food, drink, arts and crafts. We encourage you to fill out and send in application now. This event which transforms Duval Street into a lively open-air marketplace for pedestrians.  So for vendor and sponsor information call or text Mary at 305–304-0578.

Caribbean Street Fair 2017

Autism Society of the Keys

AUTISM SOCIETY OF THE KEYS: Offers Free Monthly Workshops

Key West, FL (May 30, 2017) – The Autism Society of the Keys (ASK) invites you to join us for a free workshop in Key West on Tuesday, June 6, beginning at 6:30 p.m.  at the Grace Lutheran Church located at 2713 Flagler Avenue.

In addition these workshops are to inform participants of resources available to your child and family; while creating and providing continuing support through personal interaction with other families who are living with autism.  Resources include financial assistance with co-pays for doctor visits, help with transportation costs, specially programmed iPad’s, swimming lessons, special needs equipment, and in addition first-hand experience with the family challenges of autism.

Also autism is a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. Autism is also the fastest-growing developmental disability today. As a result one in 68 children is affected by autism and includes hundreds of children in Monroe Count y.

Additional monthly meetings: 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Scheduled throughout the Keys as follows:

MARATHON – COURTYARD MARRIOTT HOTEL –2146 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050

August 8  and November 14

UPPER KEYS – 156 Pueblo St, Tavernier, FL 33070

June 13  * September 12 * December 12

KEY WEST – GRACE LUTHERAN CHURCH – 2713 Flagler Ave, Key West, FL 33040

June 6 * July 11 * August 1 * September 5 * October 10 * November 7 * December 5


Our very own Keys locals, Jill and Craig Campbell founded ASK, a 501c3 organization in 2009.

For more information, contact Jill Campbell at 305-942-5172 or email:

156 Pueblo Street, Tavernier, Florida 33070 * 305-942-5172 *

June 2017 CEO Letter: Education & Growth

Education & Growth


We have all heard the term, “information is power.”

Because the more we know, the better we can understand, solve problems, overcome adversity, and accomplish goals. Your Marathon Chamber values this sentiment; not only is Education one of the pillars of your Marathon Chamber, but it’s also part of our mission statement.

This year your Board of Directors has taken its involvement yet again to a new level, by further investing in our youths’, as well as our business-members’ educations. We recently expanded our budget to award $10,000.00 in continuing education grants to current business-members. In total we were able to fund twenty two (22) business-members so they can engage in continuing education opportunities to further their knowledge, skills, and abilities. All which will have a positive affect and ROI in our community.

Your Chamber is also about to award five (5), $1,000.00 scholarships to Marathon High School seniors to help pay for their college tuition, books, etc. Lastly, we previously donated $5,000.00 to our local (Middle Keys) Take Stock in Children program. In total we will have awarded $20,000.00 in educational-related grants in 2017; something the Board of Directors and I are so very proud of. Actually, since 2010 your Marathon Chamber Board has awarded and donated over $85,000.00 in educational scholarships and grants. Once again we are so honored to be able to provide our members and local students with such funding and to connect them to their desired educational opportunities.

Here are some of the businesses that received our 2017 continuing education grants:
Sol Shine Yoga • Tildens Scuba Center • Bliss Massage Loft • Law Offices of Patrick Stevens • Middle Keys Habitat for Humanity • Martin Luther Chapel • Holiday Inn Express • Marathon Aviation Associates • S.A.L.T. • Pilates in Paradise • Marathon Weekly • FL Keys Children’s Shelter • Amy Gertz, LLC • MLKAR • PST Style • Hyatt Place Resort • Florida Keys SPCA

Changing gears a bit; we are excited to announce that our annual Membership Drive will take place this entire month of June. Please be sure to tell your friends, other businesses, etc. about this program. We have some great incentives for new members to join during the membership drive, such as free radio ads, newspaper ads, special discounts on other services, and many more items that will all help your business succeed. After all, it is due to our growth in membership (and your membership) that we are able and continue to fund such educational endeavors.

Lastly, please be sure to say hello and welcome to our newest team member, Erika Goodman, who recently started full time with your Marathon Chamber as our Membership & Benefits Coordinator. Have a great June everyone; please be sure to contact us for any business assistance, needs, and any advice/help you may need. Our doors are always open and no request is out of bounds.

Most Respectfully,

Daniel Samess, CEO

Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce

(305) 743-5417

Amy Gertz

Welcome New Marathon Chamber of Commerce Member

Amy Gertz, LLC: Mental Health Services

Amy Gertz-Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Private practice in Marathon, Florida. Located at the Vaca Key Center, Oceanside, on the Overseas Highway is the office.

Passion: to collaborate with women, couples, families, children and also teens. Help identify their personal strengths and in addition role in developing the life they want. Through development of stronger connections, improved communication, and finding overall balance in their busy lives, this IS possible!

Commerce Corner: Welcome New Member Amy Gertz, LLC

Commerce Corner


Education and Training

I received a Masters of Arts Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Mary’s University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I have worked with individuals, families, children and adolescents dealing with communication issues and behavioral issues. I also have experience working with individuals dealing with anxiety and depression. Since completing my masters degree I have obtained other certifications; therefore in hopes of better serving my clients by offering experiential, and also holistic interventions. I’m currently certified in Prepare & Enrich, which is  focused on assisting couples in developing their relationships, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, and have completed a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training.


Dolphin Tournament

11th Annual Mother’s Day Dolphin Tournament

Join Habitat for Humanity for their Mother’s Day Dolphin Tournament!

Dolphin Tournament



“Fishing for a Cause” 11th Annual Mother’s Day Dolphin Tournament – May 12-13th 2017

The Marathon Boat Yard along with Yamaha, who were this year’s tournament naming sponsor, were in attendance with the anglers, captains, mates, sponsors and also volunteers at the Captain’s Meeting hosted by Key Colony Inn. In total, 100 registered anglers set out to the water in 32 boats. Anglers from Marathon as well as Cudjoe Key to Homestead and as far away as Texas, Georgia and New York gathered to compete in this one day Dolphin shootout. Fishing commenced at 7:30 am on Saturday, May 13th and ended at 3:30pm.

While Anglers weighed their heaviest dolphin catch at Curly’s Coffee and Marina in Marathon, large crowds gathered to enjoy the excitement. The Saturday night Awards Banquet turned into a veritable party at Key Colony Inn with prize money and trophies for the winners; wonderful door prizes and also auction items to attendees. Therefore it was a huge success, raising $55,000 for Habitat Middle Keys which will be used directly toward the build of 4 new affordable homes which are expected to be complete by June this year. In Conclusion these homes will be purchased by hard working families in Marathon at a 0% interest loan.

This year we hosted our first ever Lady Angler Category which was a huge hit!!!
1st Place Lady Angler Darcie Arahill 21.6 lb.
2nd Place Lady Angler Nancy Owens 16.4 lb.
3rd Place Lady Angler Chrisy Meyer 15.8 lb.
1st Place Junior Angler J.C. Carlson 14.6 lb.
1st Weekend Warrior Bruce Boring 36.6 lb.
2nd Weekend Warrior Larry Mills 25.4 lb.
3rd Wkend Warrior Steve Gorcheck 22.8 lb.
1st Place Pro Digger Rodamer 35.2lb
2nd Place Pro Kevin McKeon 18.8 lb.
3rd Place Pro Thomas Torez 17.2 lb.

May 2017 CEO Corner: Scholarships, Grants, and such!

Scholarships, Grants, and such!

Now that we are past tax season (unless you filed an extension of course), we can focus on our spring and summer seasons. As you know Marathon is no longer just a winter destination, but a year round one. In fact our summers (April-July) have become so strong we typically average about 75% occupancy in our Middle Keys resorts, hotels, and campgrounds! After all it is the best time for fishing, diving, and all else that brings us in the water. BUT, aside from the great weather and busy summer your Marathon Chamber remains steadfast in serving you, our valued business-member. In fact we have two programs that are designed to help, support, and benefit you!

1) Currently we are accepting applications for our annual Continuing Education Scholarships, where the Chamber Board of Directors will award up to $10,000.00 in scholarships to chamber-members who wish to further their skills, abilities, and education; which in turn will allow their business to further improve and thrive. Applications went out about a month ago and are due May 5th (see application inside newsletter).

2) Also, our 2017 Business Beautification Grant applications recently went out; once again your Marathon Chamber Board will award up to ten (10), $2,000.00 matching grants to help business-members improve the visual appearance of their buildings/facilities.

We are proud to offer these two great programs to you, our valued business-member. By improving business-members abilities through education, and by improving the appearance of our businesses; your Marathon Chamber aims to raise the status, appeal, and performance of your business so all our businesses can reach new heights!

Have a great May everyone; please be sure to contact us for any business assistance, needs, and any advice/help you may need. Our doors are always open and no request is out of bounds.

Most Respectfully,

Daniel Samess, CEO

Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce

(305) 743-5417


 Welcome New Member:


AAA Limo Group Limo LLC is a comprehensive limo and also luxury vehicle/Limousine service for business or leisure requirements in the Florida Keys. They also provide safe and reliable transportation for a variety of needs that include:

  • – Corporate services
  • – Special events
  • – Weddings
  • – Proms
  • – Bachelor / Bachelorette parties
  • – Standard limo services

To conclude AAA Limo Group Limo LLC gets you to your destination promptly and comfortably. Their experienced staff offers personalized and professional assistance so that they can enhance any celebration or corporate event. Therefore for special occasions and business transportation you can rely on AAA Limo Group Limo LLC.



K2M Design

Welcome New Members: K2M Design

K2M Design is an award-winning architecture, engineering, interior design, asset management, and specialty services firm that is passionate about people and projects. What is a company without its people? Nothing really, and there at K2M they know that their talented and passionate team is what truly sets them apart from the competition. Relationships with their clients that are based on trust and also results. Committed to being your partner from project start to finish and beyond.

Design Philosophy. K2M works closely with clients to understand their contextual requirements, facility needs, budgetary goals, and also project site conditions. Their strength is in our ability to listen, understand, and communicate throughout the design process with all of the key personnel involved in the design and construction. Project takes a direction toward success once understanding is affirmed.

Our Mission

Building Relationships Based on Trust and Results (BRBOTAR). It is a steadfast focus to this mission that has made our company a successful practice. We have and always will serve our clients promptly and with great care. Most importantly, we practice Principal Oversight on all of our projects. 1 principal is involved in the design; and also assembly of each project. Also many times serve as the primary point of contact.




Huntress Sportfishing

Welcome New Members: Huntress Sportfishing!

Meet Our Boat

The Huntress

The Huntress is a premier 47” Cabo sport with twin 800hp M.A.N. engines! She is fast, comfortable and had a complete refit in 2014 making her one of the most impressive Charters in the Keys!

Randy Dale Goodman II


Captain RD was born in 1988 here in the keys, and grew up around fishing his whole life. From fishing on the freshwater lakes targeting Largemouth Bass, and Speckled Perch to fishing offshore targeting Mahi, Sail fish and everything in between. He has picked up several techniques through the years to be able to target a very wide range of species in several different bodies of water. He is CPR certified, first responder certified, and took the EMT and Fire Fighter 1 and 2 courses. In Conclusion he did not pursue his career opportunity as a fire fighter because his passion was on the water.



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