Cape Kids — City Leaders: Donna Schuman Germain, President/CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral
“Cape Coral was and still is a great place to grow up, and I am proud to have been born and raised here.
“One of my fondest memories of growing up in Cape Coral is the city’s annual tree lighting, now known as Holiday Festival of Lights. I can remember performing at this event for years as a child whether it be as a Tiny Tot at Robin Dawn Dance or a Merry Ringer with the Caloosa Middle School. Over the last 16 years with the Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral, I have had the honor of helping put this event together along with my team for the community. It is one of those heartwarming community traditions that I will always cherish.
“I started noticing quite a bit of development in the mid to late ’90s. More development started further north on Pine Island Road, more restaurants and more families staring to build there. In the early 2000s, the southwest section of the Cape also started to take off and became the prime location for developments like Cape Harbour. The growth in our community over the years has been amazing. I love meeting new people who have just moved here with their families or started a business. I love hearing about their enthusiasm for the city I love so dearly. We are truly a welcoming community and I look forward to seeing us grow in the future.
“It’s incredible to think how far we have come. When my family first purchased land here in 1968, we were still such a young city. I look at some of the old pictures and videos from the Cape’s early years and am amazed at what this community has accomplished through the passion of its residents and of course our founding families.
“I have always loved living here and when I graduated from college, I knew I wanted to come home and be an active part of this community. I believe that one of the most important things you can do is give back. Whether it is through your time, talent or treasure. I try to do as much as I can to volunteer my time, ideas and talent to making Cape Coral a better place for the next generations. I also hope to encourage the younger generation to do the same.
“I have always wanted to see us grow into a more progressive city and we are definitely on our way there. It’s exciting to visit other cities and see that we are embracing new business and social trends. We are not the bedroom community first envisioned and we are coming into our own as we grow.”
— Compiled by CJ HADDAD