Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce

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

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May Ceo Letter

Scholarships, Grants, and Training for YOU

Now that we are past tax season (unless you filed an extension of course), therefore we can focus on our spring and summer seasons. Speaking of our high-season, the numbers look very strong and positive as we are hitting pre-Irma figures in many categories which is very encouraging. While there is still work to be done your Marathon Chamber will continue to monitor, assess, and assist as needed.

Back to the topic, or title at-hand. We are very excited to again open up the following annual programs that are designed to help, support, and benefit you, our workforce, and also local students:

Programs

1) Currently, we are accepting applications for our annual Continuing Education Scholarships, where the Chamber Board of Directors will award up to $1,000.00/ business- a member who wishes to further their skills, abilities, and education; which in turn will allow their business to further improve and thrive. Applications went out almost a month ago and are due May 10th (see application inside newsletter). Our total budget for this is again $10,000, I hope you are able to apply.

2) We are also accepting scholarship applications from Marathon High School seniors; of which the Board will award seven (7), one-thousand dollar ($1,000) scholarships. The deadline is also May 10th so please be sure to have your students send their applications in on time.

3) Our Business Beautification Grant program will shift gears this year. We have been awarding these since 2010. This year the Board wants to focus/dedicate these funds to focus more on landscaping our US1 corridor and streets in Marathon. Please stay tuned for more info on how your business can potentially apply for funding.

4) Lastly, Best Practices Business Breakfast, on May 14th at 8 am; we will focus on Social Media Marketing Tips, Strategies & Best Practices for our guests. Please join us for a great and educational experience.

Creating opportunities

We are proud to offer these great programs to you, our valued business-member. By improving business-members (and staff’s) abilities through educational opportunities, 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 also any advice/help you may need. Our doors are always open and no request is out of bounds.

August

Most Respectfully, Daniel Samess, M.S.

CEO Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce

(305) 743-5417

ceo@floridakeysmarathon.com

www.FloridaKeysMarathon.com

www.RelocateToTheFloridaKeys.com

www.MarathonSeafoodFest.com

Irma Recovery Update

Hurricane Irma Recovery Status Update

Greetings Recovery Stakeholders below is a Hurricane Irma Recovery Status Update.

Recovery Update Highlights:

  • Rebuild Florida registration REOPENS!
  • Invitation to Bid for Contractors Announced (Deadline May 9, 2019)
  • Upcoming Business and Tourism Recovery Workshop (June 3, 2019)
  • Business Recovery Survey available now to all Business Owners: Business Recovery Survey (Deadline May 27, 2019)

Hope to see you all at the June 3, 2019 Business and also Tourism Meeting in Marathon.

Sea Turtle Release

Timmy’s Sea Turtle Release

Timmy, a juvenile green sea turtle was released back to his ocean home today Wednesday, May 1st on Sombrero Beach in Marathon. Timmy was rescued in January 2018 in Islamorada, hence Timmy was treated at the Turtle Hospital for Fibropapillomatosis. Treatment at the Turtle Hospital included 6 tumor removal surgeries, IV nutrition, broad-spectrum antibiotics, fluid therapy, vitamins, and also a healthy diet. Timmy is now healthy and has gained over 20 pounds since arriving at the Turtle Hospital!

 

 

OUR MISSION

The Turtle Hospital (Hidden Harbor Marine Environmental Project, Inc.) is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation. We are a fully functioning veterinary hospital for sick and injured sea turtles. We rescue, rehab, and also release sea turtles in the Florida Keys.

 

OUR FACILITY

On the grounds of the old Hidden Harbor Motel, the Turtle Hospital can rehabilitate multiple sea turtles of varying sizes and illnesses/trauma. The old motel rooms serve as living quarters for our rehab staff and storage.

 

OUR GOALS

1) Rescue, rehab, and release sick and injured sea turtles. 2) Educate the public through outreach events and local schools. 3) Conduct and assist with research aiding to sea turtles. 4) Work toward legislation making the beaches and also water safe and clean

Turtle Hospital Website Click Here

ADA Expertise

Our Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce Luncheon

April 16th, 2019

Location: Key Colony Inn 

700 W Ocean Dr, Key Colony Beach, FL 33051

Phone: (305) 743-0100

Located in the “Gem of the Florida Keys”. The Key Colony Inn is a local and tourist favorite while serving only the finest Florida Keys seafood. Their menu is seasoned with delicious French and Italian favorites. From succulent lobster and shrimp over angel hair pasta to steak au poivre, veal cutlets, and also fresh yellowtail snapper.

As a result, the family-owned Key Colony Inn has been voted Best Restaurant for 15 years in a row!

Feast in their intimate main dining room or spacious patio, or enjoy live, nightly entertainment in their romantic lounge, while sipping on a vintage wine, frozen libation, or their famous “Espresso Martini”.

Most noteworthy they are proud to offer the largest brunch in the islands, featuring dishes like stuffed shells, yellowtail in a lemon dill sauce, eggs benedict, pancakes and also custom omelets.

Therefore you should stop in for dinner or lunch, they will be expecting you!

Speaker: Marc Dubin owner of ADA Expertise 

Founded by Marc Dubin, Esq. who was responsible for nationwide enforcement of the law on behalf of the United States. As a Senior Trial Attorney for the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department, we draw on our expertise in the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and also the Fair Housing Act. Marc was one of the first 10 attorneys hired by the Justice Department to enforce the ADA, in 1992, the year the ADA took effect.

Has Your Property Been Sued For An ADA Violation?
We can help your attorney and your architect, serve as your ADA expert, negotiate a settlement, and also assist you in coming into compliance.

Certainly contact us for information about ADA training, and also reduce your risk of litigation or a Justice Department investigation.

Call 305-896-3000 or email at mdubin@ADAexpertise.com.

 

Seafood Festival Program

March 9 & 10, 2019

Marathon Seafood Festival Program will be coming in the mail soon!

The Marathon Seafood Festival is the 2nd largest FL Keys event with over 20,000 attendees & growing every year.

The Marathon Seafood Festival is the premier event for great/fresh seafood and entertainment in the Florida Keys. Bring the whole family for two days and also enjoy great cuisine, entertainment, and fun!

We have our Official Program ready! Check it out!

Festival Program

Click Here

43rd Annual Marathon Seafood Festival

Original Marathon Seafood Festival logo Mahi fish

About the event

We hope you, your family, and friends will join us in this 43-year tradition we call the Original Marathon Seafood Festival. March 9-10, 2019 at Marathon Community Park here in the Islands of Marathon!

Event Hours are as follows: 2019 Event Dates/Times

Saturday, March 9th: 10:00AM – 9:00PM

Sunday, March 10th: 11:00AM – 5:00PM  

SF pic 3 SF pic 4

The Original Marathon Seafood Festival is truly a family-friendly event; featuring fresh-caught local keys seafood at amazing prices, cold beverages for adults and kids, live entertainment the entire weekend, over 220+ vendors to satisfy all your shopping needs, as well as an expanded boat show, and plenty of rides and games for children.

Admission is only $5/person and kids under 12 are free! (We anticipate having handicapped parking available inside the park)

A Little History:

The Original Marathon Seafood Festival began in 1976 as a way for local Marathon and Middle Keys commercial fishermen and their families to “kick-back” and also enjoy the fruits of their labor.

The inaugural seafood festival humbly began in the parking lot where Publix Supermarket now resides in the center of Marathon. Fresh fish was fried and prepared as well as delicious Florida lobster, oysters, stone crab, and many other locally caught seafood products were served. To date, the festival has grown into the Florida Keys 2nd largest annual event. Boasting over 20,000 hungry and also thirsty guests each year. The event is still co-organized by the Organized Fishermen of Florida (Marathon Chapter) as well as the Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce.  Collectively, both non-profit organizations put over $75,000 in event proceeds back into our community via charitable contributions, donations, and scholarships for local Middle keys students.

***If you would like to be an important part of this great event, consider volunteering to work a booth. You will receive a FREE t-shirt and also FREE admission the day you volunteer! Contact Erika at  (305) 743-5417 / Erika@FloridaKeysMarathon.com.

We hope to see you, your family, and friends at our 2019 Original Marathon Seafood Festival March 9-10! Sea you soon at the Seafood Fest!

CONTACT US for more information!

CEO November Letter

November

AWARDS BANQUET, GOOD DEEDS & TURKEY TALK

November CEO Newsletter

November is here! Believe or not we are approaching the holiday season and New Year’s! We also recently held our annual Awards Banquet and I am glad to say that we sold out with over 320 members in attendance! We had a wonderful time, some laughs, danced, gave out awards, and said goodbye and hello to Board members. I am honored to announce your newly elected Marathon Chamber of Commerce Board Directors for 2018: Steve Hurley (Chairman), Mike Kiraly (Chair-Elect), Sara Mathis (Secretary), Patrick Stevens, Greg Konrath, Jeff Smith, and Yunior Rodriguez. I would also like to recognize and thank Hawks Cay Resort for hosting us, my amazing staff (Jeanine and Erika), chamber ambassadors, and the chamber awards committee who all played a pivotal role in our banquet’s success.

BIG Raffle Contest

As it relates to our banquet, we hold our annual BIG Raffle Contest that culminates at the event. This year’s winner was Ron Snyder, whose family used to own Herbies for many years (recently sold it about five years ago). When I called Ron to inform him of the great news, he was happy but insisted on having his prize go to helping the Chamber and our community. So rather than choosing one of the vacations or the $2,000 cash option, Ron said to keep the $2,000 cash option and put it to something good. After getting direction from my Board Executive Committee, we decided to add $2,000 to our annual Marathon High School Scholarships. On top of the $5,000 we typically contribute/ award, in 2019 that amount will now be $7,000! Ron also asked that these extra scholarships be in his mother’s name, Gay Neth Snyder. I really am honored to share this story and good news with you all. Really goes to show that even our former Marathon Chamber members and business owners are still contributing and wanting Marathon to be its best.

New Board Members

Lastly, I want to acknowledge and thank three of our Board members who termed off the Board this year. They truly made a positive difference for your Marathon Chamber and personally for me in their direction and leadership: TJ Patterson (Past Chair), Sheila Cook (Past Secretary), and also Matt Lawrence (Director). Thank you TJ, Sheila, and Matt for your time and dedication; it was truly an honor to work for and with each of you!

Please always know your Marathon Chamber Board of Directors, staff, and I are all committed to working for and with you and also your business. Please be sure to get involved in our beneficial programs; ask questions, and put your Marathon Chamber to work for you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday later this month; be safe in your travels! Be sure to wait at least 3-4 hours to drive after eating all that turkey and stuffing!

Happy November!

Most Respectfully, Daniel Samess, M.S.

 CEO Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce

(305) 743-5417 ceo@floridakeysmarathon.com

Marathon Chamber Website

Relocate to the Keys

Marathon Seafood Festival

History of Diving Museum Immerse Yourself!

History of Diving Museum Immerse Yourself! series presents Searching for Escort Destroyer, ORP Kujawiak, with the maritime archaeologist, Chris Kraska on November 21, 2018. 

Before you dive into some pumpkin pie, join HDM as we dive into the Mediterranean Sea in search of a lost WWII naval ship!  November’s Immerse Yourself speaker, Chris Kraska will take guests on the search to find the Polish naval ship his father was stationed on.

Chris’ father was a seaman in the Polish Navy and served aboard several ships in combat. It included the escort destroyer ORP Kujawiak.  While running missions off the coast of Malta during Operation Harpoon in June 1942, the Kujawiak heard a distress call from another vessel. When the Kujawiak went to assist, it too struck an underwater mine and sank to its demise. For decades the ship’s exact location in the Mediterranean was unknown. In 2014, Chris was part of a multi-national team of divers and archaeologists in conjunction with the University of Malta. That located his father’s ship. Over the next few years, they returned to the site, making several dives to map the wreckage and document the condition. In 2017, the team raised the ship’s bell for conservation and also a display at the Maritime Museum of Malta.

Marine Archaeologist

Chris is a marine archaeologist, divemaster and underwater photographer with hundreds of dives in warm waters as well as on Lake Erie.  He is a member of numerous maritime archaeology organizations as well as the Explorers Club and Royal Geographical Society.  His archaeological work has taken him around the world, including excavation on the wreck believed to be the “Lake Serpent” in Lake Erie.  Chris splits his time between Florida and Ohio with his wife Laurie.

The History of Diving Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is opened 7 days a week from 10 am to 5 pm. Divers and non-divers alike are amazed by over 4,000 years of “man’s quest to explore under the sea”. Check out DivingMuseum.org to find out about speakers, upcoming events, group discounts, or private tours. The facility is also available for private meetings and events. Email us to find out more:  programs@divingmuseum.org

Immerse Yourself! Series

The Immerse Yourself! Series, ongoing on the third Wednesday of every month since opening in 2005, is a FREE presentation open to the public. Museum members can call ahead to reserve a seat. Not a member? We invite you to join and help support educational outreach like the Immerse Yourself! series and also other special programming. Join today and make a difference!

Speaker Chris Kraska  with recovered Kujawiak bell

ORP Kujawiak

 

 

Shop Small Business Saturday

GET READY FOR SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY®.

As an organization that serves local business owners and customers, Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce is proud to support Small Business Saturday® this Nov 24.
Small Business Saturday was founded by American Express in 2010 to help strengthen local economies. Today, it’s a holiday shopping tradition and part of a nationwide Shop Small® Movement. Dedicated to uniting communities and also supporting all kinds of small businesses. From the corner store to your favorite diner to a trendy online boutique, it’s unique small businesses like yours that help local communities stay vibrant.
Participating in Small Business Saturday is a great way to reach new customers and also promote your business.
Here are some ideas for getting involved on Nov 24:
  • Let your customers know that you plan to participate in Small Business Saturday. Visit ShopSmall.com/MarketingSupport for free promotional assets, such as ready-made social posts, to show your support.
  • On Nov 24, transform your store. Get free merchandise while supplies last to help your business make an impression. Don’t wait — apply for Small Business Saturday merchandise starting Sep 27 at ShopSmall.com/MarketingSupport.
  • Terms apply.
  • Connect with your community. Connect with other organizations in your community to see how you can work together on Small Business Saturday events and also promotions.

Shop Small

As your local Chamber of Commerce, we are here to help promote, support, educate and also advocate for keys businesses since 1939.
Join us this Nov 24 to celebrate Small Business Saturday.

small business sat

Better Than Most Watersports

Welcome, New Member to the Marathon Chamber of Commerce

Better Than Most Watersports

Specializing in Florida Keys Watersports. Paddleboard/Kayak rentals, snorkeling, SCUBA diving, and sunset cruises. Come play on and underwater!

WHO ARE WE?

Better Than Most Watersports is Marathon’s latest and greatest watersports company. We will bring the enjoyment of outdoor water activities to anyone’s vacation with our expert crew and Keysie lifestyle.

OUR STAFF

 All of our staff are trained watersports professionals. We bring a reputation with us that sets us above the rest. Our previous experience makes us more than eager and qualified to offer the best watersports experiences in the Keys.

TIME FOR ADVENTURE

Enjoy the best part about the Keys…THE WATER. Whether you want to be on the water or underwater, you can see the amazing scenery and beautiful tropical fish.
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