NAPLES — Craig Bouchard appreciates Osceola Elementary School, where his daughters — ages 8, 7 and 5 — attend school six months out of the year.
“We have a very lucky situation. We are able to live six months in Chicago and six months in Naples. Our kids go to school the first semester in Chicago and the second semester in Naples. We’re very appreciative with the way the school has handled our daughters.”
Bouchard, who is the proprietor of the Naples Bath and Tennis Club, decided he needed to thank the Osceola Elementary School employees, and the employees at every other Collier County school.
The Naples Bath and Tennis Club will give all employees of schools in Collier County and a guest the VIP treatment at the club during a week of their choice this summer. The offer, which also applies to the Collier County School District staff and employees at private schools, allows participants to take complimentary tennis clinics and use the pool and health club facilities.
“We have the capacity at the club and teachers are often under appreciated. It was a nice time to do things for teachers in Naples,” he said.
That VIP treatment includes use of the facilities, 10 percent off all meals and drinks at the club and special discounts for pilates classes, according to Mary Asta, director of marketing and development at the Naples Bath and Tennis Club.
“It’s all about thanking teachers for what they do,” she said.
To kick off the tribute to teachers, Naples Bath and Tennis Club is hosting an Educators Open House Family Day, where educators can bring their families to experience what the club is about. From noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, teachers and their families can take part in fitness classes, tennis clinics, Kid Zone activities with aquatics and enjoy food and music through the afternoon.
Five percent of the money spent by the educators during the summer programs will be donated to the local charity Girls Are Best, which helps disadvantaged girls ages 7 to 17 who show promise in academics, athletics and/or the arts.
“It doesn’t sound like a high percentage, but food is not a big revenue generator for us. We are going to be giving pretty much whatever we make to the charity,” Bouchard said.
The charity is helping three students attend Academia Sanchez-Casal, which is located at the Naples Bath and Tennis Club.
“These are good kids who are talented, but they also have financial issues of some sort,” Bouchard said. “We have a student now, Deborah Suarez, who is here because of this program. She is about to start her (Advanced Placement) course in American history.”
Bouchard has owned the Naples Bath and Tennis Club since 2005. He spent the first two years repairing damaged sustained by Hurricane Wilma, but Bouchard has since increased the focus on education and athletics, opening Academia Sanchez-Casal — a boarding school and training facility for talented young tennis players.
Asta said the club plans to expand its involvement in education, including partnering with the Education Foundation of Collier County.
For information or to RSVP for the event Saturday, contact Asta at (239) 384-5642 or e-mail email@example.com.
Connect with K-12 education policy reporter Katherine Albers at www.naplesnews.com/staff/katherine-albers/.