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August 2023 client headlines: 13 news stories to read, watch

Priority Marketing’s August 2023 Client Headlines Report recaps news stories that you should read, watch or hear before the month ends. 

The firm’s award-winning Public Relations Team helps clients and partners earn media coverage in newspapers and magazines, on television and radio, and on blogs, social media and websites. At the end of each month, the PR Team combs through hundreds of local, national and international news headlines to create its informative Client Headlines Report.

Below are just some of the many important stories that were published or aired in August 2023. 

Hero for children with cancer passes away 

Client Headlines - Frank Haskell with childrenFrank Haskell, who co-founded Barbara’s Friends to support children with cancer, recently passed away after working tirelessly for three decades to help local children win their battles with cancer and life-threatening blood disorders. Through his efforts, Barbara’s Friends raised $25 million that has supported more than 10,000 children at Golisano Children’s Hospital. 

WINK: Frank Haskell, who raised $25M to help children fight cancer, has died 

South Florida Hospital News & Healthcare Report: Frank Haskell, 93, local hero for children with cancer, dies 

Gulfshore Business: Haskell, local hero for children with cancer, dies at 93 

Fort Myers Beach Observer: Frank Haskell, co-founder of Barbara’s Friends, dies 


Top business, community leaders honored by chamber 

The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce honored local businesses and their leaders during the second annual Chamber Awards. Winners include: Small Business of the Year (SPADA Salon & Day Spa), Large Business of the Year (Stevens Construction), Community Impact Award (Will Prather, Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre), Entrepreneur of the Year (Rob Whyte, Fort Myers Brewing), Nonprofit Excellence Award (Community Cooperative) and Young Professional of the Year (Stefanie Ink Edwards, Community Cooperative). The Chamber’s Women in Business Committee also honored Marilyn Santiago with the APEX Award, which recognizes local women with outstanding reputations for professionalism, philanthropy and leadership.  

Gulfshore Business: Greater Fort Myers Chamber crowns annual award winners 

Lehigh Acres Citizen: Greater Fort Myers Chamber celebrates community excellence at annual Chamber Awards 

Florida Weekly: Chamber celebrates businesses, leaders at awards dinner 

WINK: Greater Fort Myers Chamber crowns annual award winners 


Nonprofit earns grant to provide legal services to children 

The Lee County Legal Aid Society, which has a deep history dating back to 1967, is a private, nonprofit organization that provides no-cost civil legal aid to low-income families in Lee County. Priority Marketing helped the organization announce a new three-year initiative, funded through a monumental federal grant, that will assist immigrant children and teens, including those who are abandoned, entered the country alone or are victims of human trafficking. 

WGCU: Lee County Legal Aid Society expands immigration law to include youths 

Noticias WINK: Oportunidad legal para jóvenes inmigrantes 

Cape Coral Breeze: Legal Aid expands services to aid immigrant minors 

Florida Bar: Lee County Legal Aid Society expands immigration law outreach 


Charity Pros announces ‘Hurricane Heroes’ 

Charity Pros, which recently announced its All-Star Concert featuring headliner Matchbox Twenty, identified a short list of local officials, business owners and community leaders who stepped up for the community in the wake of Hurricane Ian. These Hurricane Heroes (Sheriff Carmine Marceno and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office; Mayor Dan Allers of Fort Myers Beach; Ed and Kim Ryan, founders of Beach Talk Radio; Pastors Shawn and Mallie Critser of Beach Baptist Church; and Doug Miller and Amy Eldridge, owners of FK Your Diet) will be honored during the concert on Saturday, Oct. 7 at Hammond Stadium. 

Beach Talk Radio: Charity Pros Announces Hurricane Heroes 

SWFL Business Today: Charity Pros announces Hurricane Ian ‘Heroes’ 

ABC7: ‘Hurricane Heroes’ introduced with announcement of all-star concert 


Chamber leader steps aside 

The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce announced that President and CEO Brian Hamman stepped down from his role to focus on his family as his father navigates a serious health condition. Hamman will continue to fulfill his responsibilities as Lee County Commissioner for District 4 and serve in an advisory capacity during the transition. Board Chair Jay Johnson will fulfill the responsibilities while the board seeks a permanent replacement. 

Business Observer: Fort Myers chamber president and CEO resigns position 

WGCU: Greater Fort Myers Chamber President, CEO Brian Hamman leaving, cites family concerns 

The News-Press: Hamman leaves post as head of Fort Myers Chamber 

Cape Coral Breeze: Hamman steps down as president and CEO of Greater Fort Myers Chamber 

SWFL Business Today: Greater Fort Myers Chamber announces departure of President and CEO Brian Hamman 

WINK: Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce president and CEO steps down 


Fast-growing Ave Maria to get its own hardware store 

Ave Maria is the fastest-growing community in Collier County and among the Top 20 Master Planned Communities in the U.S. based on new home sales. In 2024, Ave Maria will finally have its own hardware store after Sunshine Ace Hardware – which has a 65-year history in Collier County – announced that it is building a store less than a mile from the Ave Maria Town Center. 

Gulfshore Business: Sunshine Ace Hardware to open store in Ave Maria 

WINK: Retail center under construction in Ave Maria 

Florida Weekly: Ave Maria to get its own Sunshine Ace Hardware 

SWFL Business Today: Sunshine Ace bringing hardware store to Ave Maria 

Naples Daily News: What venues will NCH and others open outside Ave Maria town center? 


Two SWFL women win state awards for community service 

The Florida Commission on the Status of Women honored 11 women, including two from Southwest Florida, with Spirit of Community Awards, which recognize meritorious women and men who have improved the lives of women of Florida and have served as positive role models for women and girls in their community. Debbie Toler of Bonita Springs (Guadalupe Center board member) and Glenna Hayhoe of Naples (NAMI Collier volunteer) were among those honored. 

eBella: Women to Watch, August 2023 

Florida Commission on the Status of Women: Spirit of Community Award Winners 

Above Board Chamber of Florida: Community advocate Debbie Toler wins Florida ‘Spirit of Community Award’ 


Trio of clients among fastest-growing companies in America 

Inc., a national business magazine and media brand, named three of Priority Marketing’s client partners to its prestigious 2023 Inc. 5000 list, a national honor roll highlighting the country’s fastest-growing private companies. MY Shower Door and Stevens Construction have been featured nearly every year since 2015, while D3 Glass made the list for the first time. Inc. uses a three-year period to calculate revenue growth. 

The News-Press: 22 SWFL privately held companies made Inc.’s top 5,000 this year 

US Glass News Network: Multiple Glass Companies Listed as Fasted-Growing Private Firms in US 

Glass Magazine: MY Shower Door, D3 Glass earn Inc. 5000 ranking 

SWFL Business Today: Stevens Construction Inc. named to fastest-growing companies list by Inc. Magazine for sixth year 

SWFL Business Today: MY Shower Door earns prestigious Inc. 5000 ranking for seventh time 


Getting pumped up about school 

Thousands of Southwest Florida students returned to school in August following summer vacation. To help get children and teens pumped up for the occasion, volunteers and staff with United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades participated in a pep rally of sorts on the first day of class. Business leaders high-fived, clapped and cheered as students walked into school eager to learn. 

ABC7: United Way volunteers welcome students back on their first day of school 

The News-Press: United Way welcomes students back to school 


Housing initiative gains traction in Immokalee 

The lack of decent, affordable housing has been a problem in Immokalee for decades, but the Immokalee Fair Housing Alliance has launched a major construction project that will provide quality housing for local families. Priority Marketing has helped the grass-roots nonprofit raise awareness and support, which has extended from local to national audiences. 

The Chronicle of Philanthropy: 155 mph winds can’t knock down this low-income housing 

Life in Naples: A housing breakthrough in Immokalee 

WGCU: Public art for change: Murals show ‘The Face of Immokalee’ 

Immokalee Bulletin: Immokalee Fair Housing Alliance names Hal Hills to board of directors 

Florida Weekly: A mid-year look on the bright side 


Senior communities offer outpatient services to non-residents 

The Preserve in south Fort Myers and Gulf Coast Village in Cape Coral are among the region’s top residential communities for older adults. Now, seniors who live elsewhere can take advantage of physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy services to maximize their wellness. The communities, both sponsored by Volunteers of America National Services, opened outpatient services to help Southwest Floridians achieve a variety of treatment goals, including achieving a heightened sense of wellness, increased functional ability and independence, improved communication ability, reduced risk of falls and injury prevention. 

ABC7: Healthy Living: Outpatient therapy services for seniors 

Above Board Chamber: The Preserve, Gulf Coast Village offer outpatient services for SWFL seniors 


Law enforcement continues training for all situations 

NAMI Collier provides free mental health support, education, advocacy and outreach to those affected by mental illnesses. The organization also works with local enforcement to make sure its first responders better understand how to deal with people who may be facing mental health crises. Priority Marketing worked with local media to tell a complex story about Crisis Intervention Training that plays out in our community every day. 

WINK: First responder crisis training in Collier County 

Noticias WINK: Entrenamiento de primeros auxilios en crisis en el condado de Collier 

FOX4: Collier County Sheriff’s Office holds mental health crisis workshop 

ABC7: Collier County Sheriff’s Office continues mental health training 


SWFL copes with stifling heat 

Temperatures in the mid- to upper-90s are above average, but Southwest Floridians are proving their ability to roll with the punches. Priority Marketing helped a pair of clients with heat-related stories. 

Lloyd Roofing’s team of roofing pros has no choice but to endure the heat, and the company prioritizes employee safety above all else. 

The News-Press: Roofers and Florida’s extreme heat: How hot is it up there? 

Volunteers of America (which locally oversees Gulf Coast Village, The Preserve and Senior Choice at Home) outlined options for seniors to continue exercise and getting their steps in despite the heat. 

Florida Weekly: Despite stifling heat, there are cool ways to stay active 

Do you need a Public Relations Team to help tell your story? Please give us a call today at 239-267-2638 or send an email to LetsTalk@PriorityMarketing.com. 

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