Tourism Star Awards

The Paradise Coast Awards are sponsored by the Marco Island, Naples, Everglades Visitors and Convention Bureau. C’mon was recognized in three areas: Innovation, Volunteer and Attraction Service.

Innovation: This past year C’mon entered into a partnership with the Holocaust Museum & Education Center of Southwest Florida, Champions for Learning, Collier County Public Schools, The Baker Art Museum at Artis-Naples, Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, and WGCU Public Media. The purpose was to honor 75 years of the classic Curious George. The creators of Curious George, H.A. and Margret Rey, narrowly escaped Paris in 1940 when Adolf Hitler’s soldiers invaded the city.

The “Going Places” workshop was designed for 2 1⁄2 hours, focusing on History/Language Arts, Science and Art. Not many people may know of Curious George’s ties to World War II, but these Collier County organizations came together and took a cross-subject approach to teaching elementary school students about the mischievous monkey and the historical backdrop in which he was imagined.

Volunteer: Merle has a professional history in education. She began as teacher, a staff developer, and assistant principal for NYC Public Schools. After retirement, Merle was looking for a way to continue her passion for education. What she found at C’mon was a mission that mirrored the experiences she had from her time in the education system. Not even surgery could keep Merle away! “I had brain surgery on Valentine’s Day in 2013. After three days, I was ready to come back to C’mon and I had only been volunteering for a short time,” says Merle. Merle has now volunteered for well over 1,500 hours at the Museum and her favorite position is in the art studio.

Attraction Service: Marvin Howle has been a dedicated employee of the Children’s Museum for three years. Marv started working in the Museum Store as a Guest Services employee and in his first year was promoted to Museum Store Coordinator. In the Museum Store he is in charge of ordering product, completing inventory, and meeting daily/monthly sales goals. No matter who he encounters in the museum he is always trying to find a connection to the customers to ensure he creates a great flow of conversation. He pushes to ensure each guest is asked if they enjoyed their time at the museum and what was their favorite part. He loves hearing their feedback, positive or negative! With Marv creating such a great connection with each and every customer that comes into the museum he has created ever lasting relationships with Members and returning patrons.


Submitted by Teresa Stohs, Major Gifts Officer