New Honorees Named to The Naples Cultural Walkway Today
March 12, 2013
NAPLES, Fla. (March 12, 2013) – This afternoon, Tuesday, March 12, a ceremony will be held to induct the latest honorees to The Naples Cultural Walkway. The event will take place at 4:00 p.m. on the walkway beside Vergina Restaurant at 700 Fifth Avenue South. The public is invited to attend.
In 2008, leaders of the Fifth Avenue community started a new tradition as a means of recognizing individuals who had made a significant contribution toward the revitalization of Fifth Avenue South and the promotion of cultural arts. The Downtown Naples Association; The Sugden Theatre, home of the Naples Players; and The von Liebig Art Center, home of the Naples Art Association, created The Naples Cultural Walkway Recognition Program. Many Naples residents and thousands of tourists have traveled the paved path from The Sugden Theatre south, across Fifth Avenue South, past Vergina, to The von Liebig, where names of present and past community leaders are permanently engraved on stone pavers.
“The Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District (BID) is pleased to continue The Naples Cultural Walkway Recognition Program,” noted Jim Smith, President of the BID. “We feel that it is of utmost importance to recognize and remember those that paved the way for the Naples that we know and love today.”
This year, the Naples Art Association selected Dianna Rehla. Dianna Rehla has been a volunteer with the Naples Art Association at The von Liebig Art Center since 2005. She has worked tirelessly on virtually all of the art center projects, including the Princess Diana Exhibit, auctions, galas, festivals, special events, and more. Dianna volunteers her time in the business office and gift shop of The von Liebig and ensures that guests leave with an excitement for the arts and local artists.
The Naples Players selected Pat Ashton, Theresa Bill, and Ann and Denny Hoover. With a background that includes acting, directing, teaching high school drama, and owning an interior design business, Pat Ashton’s skill set has been an invaluable asset to The Naples Players family for many years. Theresa Bill has spent the last 25 years training, teaching, and building the art of puppetry among children and adults of The Naples Players. She has acted, directed, served on the board of directors, and contributed financially to The Naples Players since the commencement of The Sugden Community Theatre. Ann and Denny Hoover have become a staple of The Naples Players Club. Whether they are performing together, managing the backstage, or running the lights, they can both always be found among the most dedicated of volunteers. They have served on the board of directors, the membership committee, and most recently took charge of archiving The Naples Players’ last 60 years.
The Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District (BID), selected Charles “Charlie” Thomas and Missy McKim. Charlie Thomas has made a number of significant and long lasting contributions to the growth and development of Fifth Avenue South. Beginning some twenty years ago with his work with Antaranium Development, Charlie championed the plan developed by Andres Duany for Fifth Avenue South. His service on the Fifth Avenue South Staff Action Committee (SAC) and as board member and president of the Fifth Avenue South Property Owners Association, further solidified his role in the renaissance of Fifth Avenue South. More recently, Charlie worked with city and civic leaders to coordinate the establishment of the Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District. Charlie’s passion for the renaissance of Fifth Avenue South, his vast knowledge of urban design and planning techniques, and his many talents have made a lasting impression on Fifth Avenue South. Missy McKim, former planning director for the City of Naples, played a critical role in shaping Fifth Avenue South into the destination that it is today. Missy was instrumental in the selection of Andres Duany and the development of and implementation of what’s come to be known as the Duany Plan. Through her efforts, the Fifth Avenue South Special Overlay District was adopted creating design standards that energized retail and restaurant uses, created architectural appeal, and encouraged public activity on the Fifth Avenue South; incentives were introduced to jumpstart the program and thereafter sustain it; a code was approved to implement the plan; and a Community Redevelopment Agency was created to finance drainage, landscaping, parking, lighting, and other public improvements to complement it.
“Each of these incomparable community leaders deserves to be commended for the impact that they have made on our community,” noted Lise Sundrla, executive director of the Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District. “The Cultural Walkway Recognition Program gives us a permanent platform to not only recognize but to applaud their achievements and contributions.”
These new inductees will be in good company joining other Naples arts and entertainment leaders including Jim and Debbie Black; Olga Hirshhorn; Marie Muller; Henry and Mary Watkins; Jean Peaslee; Bill Flynn; Peter Van Arsdale; Jack Antaramian; Skip Quillen; William and Suzanne von Liebig; Bette Young; Elaine Vreengoor; Ted and Sue Tobye; Herb and Peg Sugden; Dick and Louis Blackburn; Alfred French; Jim Smith; Richard Woodruff; Andres Duany; Susan H. Earl; Lety and Stephen Schwartz; Alan and Betsy Harris; Patty and Jay Baker; Frances Pew Hayes; Denman Kountze, Jr.; Ann Walker; Sal Tenaglia; and former Mayor Bill Barnett.
For more information about the ceremony or The Naples Cultural Walkway, please contact Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District at 239.692.8436.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Public Relations Director
IMA CREATIVE, INC.