We Can Do It!

So much can be accomplished when we all do our share

There’s a new TV ad out by Nike that starts this way: “We’re never alone. And that is our strength.” It ends this way: “Nothing can stop what we can do together.”

It’s true. When we work together as a community, each doing our share toward a common goal, there is strength. And that is where success — for instance, flattening the coronavirus curve — can be had.

Doing your part was an American homeland battle cry during World War II, when women went to work in munitions factories, people rationed what they could buy and what they could eat and grew morale-boosting Victory Gardens. They bought war bonds, collected scrap metal and sent their sons off to war, all in support of defeating the enemy. They didn’t know how long the war would last, but they did their part.

As we battle COVID-19 and its silent infiltration inside our own community, we devote this chapter of èBella èXtra to the spirit of unity that will ultimately defeat the enemy. As the Nike ad put it, “Nothing can stop what we can do together.”

Yes, We Can Do It!


in this issue


All in This Together

A look at Americans doing their part then and now

by Glenn Miller

Tom Hanks has survived COVID-19 and is a student of World War II. That gives him a rare, historic perspective on two epic events in American history.

He recently evoked the sacrifice, patriotism and sense of community Americans shared during the war to espouse a similar approach to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re all in this together,” Hanks said July 11 on NBC’s “Today.”

That approach, as he well knows, was critical to helping the United States win a two-front war fought between 1941 and 1945.

In retrospect, it may seem preordained that the U.S. and its allies would defeat Nazi Germany and imperial Japan.

Nobody knew for sure in December of 1941. On Dec. 7, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, propelling America into the war. Four days later, Adolf Hitler declared war on the U.S.

We were embroiled in the largest war in history. Americans rallied and worked together.

Hanks suggested that such an approach is needed now.

“What has lingered here is this societal question of doing our part … a sensibility that permeated all of society,” Hanks said in the televised segment.

Winning World War II required more than wearing masks, maintaining social distance and washing hands. A lot more. More dying. More sacrifice. More teamwork.


At the peak of the war, 16 million Americans served in the Armed Forces. The country’s population was 132 million in 1940. The U.S. Army alone grew from 174,000 before the war to 11 million.

About 407,000 Americans were killed in World War II. In the four or so months the pandemic has raged through the country, the death toll was closing in on 140,000 a few days after Hanks spoke on “Today.” That’s more than a third of the World War II total — in far less time.


World War II was “an effort that had no sign of its conclusion,” Hanks said. “They didn’t know if it was going to come to an end, and we don’t know what’s going to happen with COVID-19.”

Americans worked together during the war. In 1943, in the Rosie the Riveter spirit, about 310,000 women worked in U.S. aircraft plants, accounting for nearly two-thirds of plants’ workforces. 

Millions of people grew Victory Gardens in yards or on roofs or on windowsills because food was rationed.

Gas was rationed because it was needed for bombers, tanks, submarines and more.

But there was no shortage of people doing their part during World War II.

Comparing the war effort to that of the coronavirus pandemic, Hanks said, “The idea of doing one’s part should be so simple: wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands. Simple things! Do your part.”


Veteran journalist Glenn Miller serves as president of the Southwest Florida Historical Society and as a part-time Florida Gulf Coast University journalism instructor.

‘Together, We Can’

Lee Health and Lee County Team Up for campaign encouraging continued practice of CDC guidelines

As COVID-19 continues to spread in Southwest Florida, Lee Health and Lee County launched the “Together, We Can” campaign to remind the community of the importance of following CDC guidelines, because, together, we can protect Southwest Florida from COVID-19 and minimize the spread of the virus.


The virus can be spread by respiratory droplets from symptomatic as well as asymptomatic carriers, so wearing a mask or face covering in public, along with practicing good hand hygiene and social distancing, are the easiest and safest ways to slow the spread of the virus. CDC guidelines also recommend sanitizing high touch areas, avoiding touching your face, and coughing and sneezing into your elbow.


“Now, more than ever, it’s important to continue to follow safety precautions that we have been advocating since the start of the virus,” says Larry Antonucci, M.D., MBA, Lee Health president and CEO. “The virus will continue to be a part of our lives for some time, and it’s vital that we don’t let our guard down or get complacent in the fight. Together, we can stop the spread.”

Brian Hamman, chairman of the Lee Board of County Commissioners, added, “We must all come together and do our part to keep our friends and family safe, provide help for those who need it and safely keep our businesses open. Together, we can protect the things we love about Southwest Florida.”


Enlisting the help of the Florida Department of Health, Lee County School District, Lee County Sheriff’s Office and Lee County Emergency Medical Services, Lee Health and Lee County officials, the Together, We Can campaign will run throughout the summer. 


For more information, visit www.LeeHealth.org or www.LeeGov.com/covid-19.


Collier’s ‘Worker Bees’

Brad and Carroll Scribner give tirelessly to the community

by Julia Browning

Long before COVID-19 affected our lives, Brad and Carroll Scribner were hands-on philanthropists in Collier County, assisting some 20 nonprofits.

And when the pandemic arrived and the Scribners received their stimulus checks, they immediately donated the money to the Community Foundation’s Collier Comes Together Fund.

When the couple retired to Naples, they knew it had a “where all the rich people live” reputation. But as they settled into their new community, they realized that wasn’t always the case.  

“People don’t realize that we have so many social problems in Collier County,” Brad says.

Though Naples is idyllic in many ways, they found that poverty and hardship exist in paradise, too, and that there are many organizations striving to help people in need.

“I was reading articles about certain agencies in Collier, like Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC)…” Brad says. “One day, I just hopped in the car, drove to CAC, knocked on the door and said, ‘I’d like to see more of what you do and how you do it.’”

Before the tour was over, Brad handed them a check for $5,000.

The Scribners give via two avenues: financial contributions and being what they call “worker bees” — volunteers.

Carroll is a prolific seamstress, creating quilts for foster children with Friends of Foster Children Forever and dresses for the 75 or so girls enrolled in Pathways Early Education Center of Immokalee. Since COVID-19 hit, Carroll has made over 400 masks for teachers, health care workers and community members.

Once a year, the couple visits Fun Time Early Childhood Academy and Pathways to read “The Cat in the Hat” to the children. At the end of the reading, the kids light up when they receive handmade hats from Carroll.

The Scribners belong to the United Way of Lee County and have gained a reputation as the couple to call when special circumstances arise.


Carroll and Brad Scribner.                          Credit: Stefania Pifferi


To assist migrant farm workers, who live in South Naples six or eight months of the year in what Brad describes as “deplorable conditions,” they elicited help from the Healthcare Network.

Now, Healthcare Network continues to host health fairs every year, where the workers are treated for diabetes and other common health issues that wouldn’t be treated otherwise.

“We were both raised very poor. At one time, we both had outhouses,” Brad says. “I can’t reflect back on that as our inspiration, per se, but we have compassion for people who are in situations that they don’t necessarily have anything to do with. That’s heartbreaking to see that.”

Though they express concern about how COVID-19 could affect fundraising efforts, the Scribners have confidence that community nonprofits will make it through.

“It’s going to be difficult, but we’ll make it somehow,” Brad says.


A Giving Heart and Hard Work

Luisa Cordova helps incorporate food distribution at New Horizons

by Brooke Stiles

IMG_0199 (4) Luisa Cordova Hometown Hero

Luisa Cordova


When Collier County schools closed in March, many families struggled with plans to maintain schoolwork and keep food on the table.

Through the kind heart and hard work of Luisa Cordova, New Horizons of Southwest Florida became a food distribution site for low-income families in the community.

As club director and a proud Hispanic woman, she not only represents the multicultural values of New Horizons, but also its mission to help at-risk youth —

particularly those transitioning from speaking Spanish to English — to see a bright future for themselves.

Through free after-school tutoring and mentoring, Cordova answers her higher calling and facilitates students to their highest potential.

As students began their transition to virtual learning, Cordova helped them remotely and connected with families to make sure they had food.

“I called all the families to tell them to come to make sure they would get the food I know they need,” Cordova said.

She’s known by coworkers as someone who goes above and beyond to make sure families’ basic needs are met, especially now when food insecurity is rampant.

From delivering food to students’ homes to connecting with students and their families each week, Cordova has been a comforting face to all in the community.

With a special sensitivity for those who are struggling, Cordova helps parents, who don’t speak English, understand the importance of education and their role in the success of their children.

“It’s been a challenge for all of us, but I want to make sure we all stay connected,” she says. “I want to make sure the child is connected, the parents are connected and I’m connected to everyone.”

Both on duty and on her own time, Cordova works tirelessly to ensure her students embody the vison of New Horizons: to become contributing members of society.

“To give to these families is the work of God,” she says. “God is our foundation and we do everything because He allows us.”



Conscious Creators

Dr. Kristen Flaharty develops products to meet shifting needs

by Julia Browning

Dr. Kristen Flaharty had a major “We Can Do It” moment when she founded Trilogy Laboratories almost six years ago. 


She and her husband, Dr. Patrick Flaharty, were creating products for the company they own, Azul Medical Spa, through private label vendors. When an opportunity arose to begin their own lab, they seized it.


Now, they create their own line of products and produce skin care products for clients around the world, offering custom manufacturing and a private labeling program through Trilogy, whose product library contains more than 200 product formulas.


The lab frequently supports smaller providers and those who are new to launching cosmetic lines by offering a lower than average minimum order quantity, allowing businesses to buy by the hundreds versus the thousands. Because of that, smaller companies can start selling their own products without a massive down payment.

In addition to fulfilling their orders, Kristen advises business owners, guiding them on what quantity would suit their brand best, for instance.

“There’s nothing I love more than seeing the small businesses we work with succeed,” she says.  

PMF and KF.png

Dr. Kristen Flaharty and Dr. Patrick Flaharty

When COVID-19 shifted beauty industry demands, Kristen turned to the lab and invented a moisturizing hand mask designed to combat excessive dryness caused by frequent washing and sanitizing. The product contains three active ingredients: pentavitin, mallow extract and edelweiss, which provide deep hydration without leaving a residue.

“If you’re washing your hands and going right back to work,” Kristen says, “you want (your moisturizer) to be deeply hydrating without being greasy.”

Kristen also created an at-home facial kit for clients who aren’t going to the spa as often, to keep clients’ skin healthy and glowing.

“In this kit, we give them everything they would need to do a facial at home and bridge visits to their esthetician, as well as really take care of their skin at a higher level than they could normally without the products we included in the kit,” she says.

Creating their own products gives doctors Kristen and Patrick Flaharty control and flexibility. By customizing the ingredients that go into their products, they can ensure the highest level of quality.

The ability to formulate custom products is also beneficial in times like these, when pivoting is essential, Kristen explains. When something happens to quickly change clients’ needs, the doctors don’t have to wait for a product to be developed. They hop in the lab and create it themselves.

Visit https www.TrilogyLaboratories.com for more information.

Trilogy’s Botanical Home Facial Kit is created in its own lab.

About Trilogy Laboratory’s custom products

Dr. Kristen Flaharty has turned to the Trilogy Laboratory to create a moisturizing hand mask and to bring together the components of a reformative at-home facial kit.


To learn more about Trilogy’s at-home facial kit, visit www.azulskinhealth.com/product/home-facial/


For more information about Trilogy’s hand mask, go to www.azulskinhealth.com/product/azul-hand-mask/


Uncertainty around the upcoming school year is a significant source of stress for children and teens — particularly for those who face the added stress of being unable to afford school supplies.


Youth Haven’s students have been displaced from their homes because of abuse, neglect, abandonment and homelessness. They need support from the community this time of year, so Youth Haven is hosting a virtual school supply drive.

Due to COVID-19, visitors can’t deliver physical donations, but you can still help. Just visit youthhavenswfl.org to access their Amazon Wish List and have items shipped directly to them. Alternatively, you can set these students up for a year of success by mailing gift cards marked “school supply” to Youth Haven by Tuesday, Aug. 25. 


"Thank you for supporting the children and teens that depend on Youth Haven for home, hope and healing,” says Youth Haven Executive Director Jinx Liggett.


Youth Haven’s mailing address is 5867 Whitaker Road, Naples, Florida, 34112.

School Supplies for Youth Haven Students

With the support of the community, homeless students might have the tools they need

You Can Do It! But Should You?

From personal assistants to handy helpers, these resources find a helping hand

In trying times, it’s important to have a resourceful, can-do attitude. It’s also important to get help when you need it. After all, just because you can do something yourself, doesn't mean you always should.

Whether it’s help assembling a dresser or completing a graphic design project, services are available to help you find the right person for the job. Here are a few:


Promising “in-demand talent on demand,” Upwork (www.UpWork.com) connects you to freelancers for help with many virtual tasks, like web development, graphic design, writing, marketing, sales and more.

It’s free to create an account and post a job listing. Then, bids come to you from qualified professionals. You decide what pay and which contract type is appropriate.

Personal Assistant

Have you ever felt like you could really use a personal assistant for calls and tasks that you don’t have time for or simply don’t want to do? Fancy Hands (www.FancyHands.com) offers this service, connecting you with U.S.-based virtual assistants, many of whom can handle tasks in as little as 20 minutes.

You can sign up for different levels of membership, ranging from five requests a month at $29.99 to 30 requests for $149.99 per month.



Takeout is a popular dining option these days, and folks are spending time researching which restaurants offer takeout on top of deciding what to eat. Seamless (www.Seamless.com) gives you the choices, listing the restaurants in your location offering food to go.

Odd Jobs

Sure, you could assemble that new desk or table on your own, possibly losing hours, patience and self-respect in the process, only to discover your desk came out upside down. Thumbtack (www.Thumbtack.com) connects you with people who can perform a number of odd jobs, from handyman to house cleaning, dog training and massage.

Get Out for Art

Outdoor art exhibit highlights artists under quarantine

A new outdoor art exhibit is currently on display for those getting some fresh summer air while strolling through Mercato in North Naples.

The gallery, titled “apARTment,” is inspired by current events, filled with more than 20 works of art that were created during, or inspired by, self-quarantining during Florida’s stay-at-home COVID-19 order.

Each piece is on display behind plate glass windows. As an homage to the artists being cooped up in apartments, the pieces mimic an apartment, with the art piece being in quarantine.

“An outdoor exhibit is the perfect way to socially distance in a beautiful setting while enjoying a treat for the senses,” said Mercato’s senior marketing director Valerie Cope.


Branwood - The Tortuga - Courtesy of Mercato


The exhibit is a collaboration between Mercato and arts organizations, Live Art Naples and the United Arts Council of Collier County. Exhibit artists include Daniel Papanikolau, Monika Bokelmann and Cath Branwood.

The exhibit is on display through Sunday, Aug. 23, and is located across from Z Gallerie and Tommy Bahama, facing the sidewalk along Strada Place.

Each piece of art will feature a QR code that guests can scan with their phones to pull up videos of the individual artist describing their work.

Daniel - Courtesy of Mercato

To Mask or Not to Mask?

Recent NBC-2 report appears to answers the question

The need to wear a mask in the age of coronavirus remains a contentious debate in the United States.

As mask ordinance numbers grow — Collier County now among them — it seems citizens will have to get used to the protective, pesky measure.


But the top-of-mind question is: Do masks really work?


Southwest Florida news station NBC-2 sent investigative reporter Evan Dean to Hodges University to determine the efficacy of masks. His findings were presented in the station’s July 23 report.


Because experts say respiratory droplets are the primary mode of transmitting and spreading COVID-19, the first test measured if and how respiratory droplets are spread when wearing a cloth mask, a disposable surgical mask and no mask.

Wearing each mask and then wearing none, Dean coughed, sneezed and spoke into different petri collection dishes held a foot from his face. The nine petri dishes were then placed inside an incubator for 48 hours and examined by Dr. Diana Schultz, the director of Health Sciences at Hodges University.

Schultz found that the cloth mask resulted in no bacteria in any of the petri dishes and the surgical mask yielded one small bacteria colony in the “sneeze” dish. However, all three petri dishes from the experiment using no mask revealed bacterial colonies, with the highest concentration from sneezing.  

The next experiment utilized Glo Germ powder that simulates respiratory droplet propulsion under black lights. Wearing a mask, Dean sneezed in front of the powder. The particles remained still. When he sneezed in front of the powder without a mask, Glo Germ particles were propelled through the air.


Both experiments appear to confirm the CDC’s recommendation that mask usage can reduce the spread of the COVID-19.

To watch the report, click here.