Neither rain nor wind nor cold could stop Venice organizers from going ahead with events which took months to plan.

They were designed as fundraisers but more importantly to celebrate the Venice spirit.

Hundreds of volunteers in town know how to put plans into motion.

Sue Chapman narrated a nice trolley tour sponsored by Venice Heritage. About 20 tourists and locals traveled around town and listened to Sue talk about various Venice neighborhoods and the buildings that make them special.

While Sue had a script, her anecdotes as a longtime Venice resident made the tour fun.

Travelers liked learning about the parks being part of the John Nolen Plan when he designed the city. They were interested in the history of the Lord-Higel House. They enjoyed learning about buildings on Miami, Venice and Tampa Avenues.

Sue encouraged them to explore the Train Depot.

Hopefully Venice Heritage will sponsor more tours in the future showcasing other parts of Venice History. Visit for info.

Blooming Fun

Thousands of orchid lovers descended on the Venice Community Center for two days of celebrating their love for orchids.

“Shop til you drop” applied as nearly everyone carried bags filled with colorful orchids to add to a collection. Mary Lanning purchased orchid number 43 for her hobby.

For a $20 membership folks can attend meetings, take classes and enjoy bus trips to orchid venues. The group meets at 7 p.m. first Wednesday of the month at the Venice Community Center. Visit

One of our best

The special person of this week is Sue Chapman. She is one of those people with a zest for life who brings joy to people she meets and things she does. In addition to the trolley tour Sue often takes time to serve as a docent in the Caboose at the Rollins Coakley Park.

She enjoys talking about the Train Depot and the history of Venice.

Sue will be serving her second term as president of the Venice Historical Society.

For several years Sue was Bertha Palmer making guest appearances at various events around town. You saw her in parades in town having mastered the royal wave. Whenever Sue chairs an event be sure to buy a ticket. It will be a winner.

Sue is fun and colorful and kind. She is hands down one of the women who makes Venice a great place to live.

Fran Valencic is the social columnist for the Venice Gondolier Sun. She welcomes your tips and ideas. Contact her at


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