Marathon Wild Bird Center director Kelly Grinter gets ready to release Andy, a royal tern, on Feb. 29. The bird had landed on Andy and Maria Newman's boat four miles off Islamorada on Nov. 17; he was emaciated and had a fishing-hook injury. He stayed on the boat for about three hours, then was taken to the bird center for rehab. He was released along with three other birds at Sombrero Beach in Marathon.
The Upper Keys Under-12 boys soccer team displays the Sportsmanship Trophy it received at the American Youth Soccer Organization's State Games in Wellington in late January. The tournament drew 86 teams ranging from ages 10 to 18. Accepting their division's Sportsmanship Award are Hunter Corliss, Lance Arnold, Coach Mark Turbessi, coaches Nick Tagliareni and Randy Hendrick, Craig Tagliareni, Tanner Olson, Marco Fucaraccio, R.J. Lindback, Zane Turbessi, Joshua Prince and Zachary Rodriguez. Not pictured are Noah Bitton and Kris Velunza.
Bette Zirkelbach (left), manager of the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, accepts an $836 check from Linda Byus (center) as Turtle Hospital staffer Donna Wilson looks on. Byus is a winter resident of the Jolly Roger Travel Park on Grassy Key, and the park had a Valentine's Day dinner to raise the money.
Teen Court was in session on Jan. 29 at the Freeman Justice Center in Key West, with attorney Manny Garcia acting as judge and Lower Keys Sheriff's Office Explorers acting as jury. Administered by the Sheriff's Office Juvenile Programs Unit, Teen Court gives young people who are arrested for a minor offense a chance to avoid an arrest record by successfully completing the program. Teen Court is based on the premise that youthful offenders will more readily accept responsibility for their actions when judged by their peers.
Ted Koelher of Ashland, Wis., sent this along, his son Steven with a snowman sporting a 'mile 0 Key West' hat. Ted says that in Ashland, it 'has not been above freezing here in at least a month.' On Feb. 27 in Ashland, the forecast was for a low of 21 degrees. In Marathon, the high was forecast at 77.
Reef Relief members and volunteers remove 734 pounds of trash from Little Hamaca Park in Key West on President's Day (Feb. 18) Among the debris were bottles, tires, plastic bags and a bike frame.
State Rep. Holly Raschein of Key Largo takes time out of her schedule to guest-teach a civics lesson to fifth-graders at Key Largo School on Feb. 26. Students learned about the three branches of government and how a bill becomes a law, and even proposed an idea for a new law of their own, a state holiday called Kids Day.
The Publix stores in the Florida Keys had United Way Appreciation Day Feb. 21 to thank their employees for supporting the United Way of the Florida Keys and the 18 agencies it serves through payroll deductions, individual contributions and corporate matches. Last year, Publix employees helped raise $117,000 for United Way agencies in the Keys, most of any employee group.
The Lower Keys Women's Club, represented by President Abby Oglesbee (right), presents the Florida Keys Community College Foundation, represented by Amber Ernst-Leonard, a check for $4,200. The money was raised at the club's Feb. 8 Mad Hatter's Tea Party fashion show. The money goes into the foundation's Lower Keys Women's Club Nursing Scholarship Fund.
The Friends of the Islamorada State Parks, a community service organization, held a party in honor of Melba Nezbed (manager of the Windley Key, Indian Key and Lignumvitae Key state parks), who recently retired from the Florida Park Service after 25 years. She started in 1978 as a ranger in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo. Before joining the Park Service, she served as crew on Windjammers' barefoot cruises in the Caribbean and as one of 15 crew members on the 'Trader Jack.'
Members of the Key Colony Ladies Golf League raised $280 for Keys Area Interdenominational Resources during a 'mulligan day,' when players could buy a mulligan to be used during their weekly game. The money goes to KAIR's Middle Keys food bank.
Mariners Hospital nurse Jacqueline Gavin (right) explains health-screening results to Judith Allee at the Tavernier medical center's Feb. 16 health fair. It drew 160 people who were screened for such things as cholesterol, osteoporosis and oral cancer.
Staff of Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key presents $7,500 to the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation on Feb. 21. The check was a result of guest donations from the 2012 Heroes Welcome, the resort's annual program honoring military, fire and rescue, law enforcement and medical personnel. The foundation provides funding for life-saving equipment and educational opportunities for public safety organizations. At the presentation are (from left) Firehouse Subs CFO Vince Burchianti, foundation Executive Director Robin Peters, Hawks Cay Resort Marketing Director Jennifer Dinan and Hawks Cay Managing Director Sheldon Suga.
Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida has contributed $8,100 to the Loaves and Fish Food Pantry to buy nonperishable groceries for needy individuals and families in Key West. The pantry is a collaborative effort between the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition and St. Peter's Episcopal Church. Here, Rev. Stephen E. Braddock and Rev. Sarah Fowler display a ceremonial check.
Joe and Meri-Lynn Britz present J.C. and Colleen Massey of the Big Pine Key United Methodist Church Community Food Bank a $630 check, collected from patrons who placed the money on the Coconuts Bar and Lounge Christmas tree.
Maribel Paez, Chris Tittel and Wendy Holifield trip the light fantastic during an American Cancer Society disco fundraiser March 2 at Mangoes in Key West. The disco-era theme was chosen for Donna Summer, who died from lung cancer in May 2012.
The Monroe County Sheriff's Office has joined an effort at Coral Shores High School in Tavernier to make sure all students have enough to eat. Trish Biondoletti, who heads the school's office of attendance, started a small food bank to make sure no students go hungry no matter what may be happening at home. Here, members of the Sheriff's Office's latest College Basic Law Enforcement Recruit Class take part in a food drive for the bank.
Key Wester Viktor Slavov (center) is congratulated by his colleagues on the board of Literacy Volunteers of America-Monroe County after becoming one of 200 new U.S. citizens on Feb. 19 at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' Kendall office. He says 'I was the only one from the Czech Republic' and that it took him 8.5 years to become a citizen.