01 Mar LO Spotlight: BPW/Marathon
Established (chartered) in:
Number of members:
What’s interesting or unique about your location for working women?
Situated midway between Key Largo and Key West, Marathon is the Heart of the Florida Keys. Off the beaten path from mainland Florida, our island chain thrives on tourism, and many of our members are involved in hospitality, recreation, food service, attractions, and other related types of businesses. We also have a fair number of real estate professionals among our members.
What are your meetings and networking activities like?
We hold our membership meetings on the first Thursday of the month. It consists of dinner and a themed program. On occasion, we take a break from a business meeting and opt for a sunset cruise or other social activity.
What was your most popular or best-attended event in the past year? Do you have special events every year?
BPW/Marathon hosts three special events each year. Taste of the Islands takes place in November. It is a celebration of food, beverages, art, merchandise and more. Live music, activities for kids, auctions, restaurant awards and the crowning of the Big Kahuna round out the day. Located at Marathon Community Park, the event attracts some 2,000 attendees from the Keys and beyond. BPW/Marathon regularly receives a TDC grant to support the promotion of Taste of the Islands.
Our Sip and Shop event also takes place in November. Nearly 200 attendees sip and shop an array of approximately 30 unique vendors. The most recent event nearly doubled in size from our premier event in 2018, and it is slated to be a staple year-after-year.
For our Keysino Night in February, the Marathon Aviation hangar is transformed into a 1950’s Cuban Casino. The event includes professional gaming tables, passed hors d’oeuvres, music, a cash bar, a cigar lounge, and expert photography by the Club’s very own Natalie Danko, assisted by her husband, Bill.
How does your organization participate in community-wide events?
Our LO participates in community-wide events, such as Taking Strides Against Breast Cancer, ReMARCable Tour de Keys, Adopt A Highway, and the annual Marathon 4th of July Parade. We are also a member of the Marathon Chamber of Commerce.
We also present monetary community awards to several Florida Keys non-profit organizations.
What does your organization do to promote political awareness?
We regularly host candidate forums for city and county elections. We have received proclamations from the City of Marathon as well as Monroe County Commissioners in recognition of our efforts in support of National Business Women’s Month.
What opportunities for personal and professional development do you offer?
At each meeting, there is a dedicated time for each member so share some details about her professional experiences to promote mentoring. We hope to expand this effort to a more formalized mentoring program.
How do you support scholarships locally?
BPW/Marathon annually awards adult scholarships to women who are in transition or who wish to further their education. We also award merit scholarships to graduating seniors of Marathon High School.
How do you reach potential new members in your community?
We reach out to potential new members through our events, our social media, individual networking, and publicity.
Our website is currently under construction.
Social media links
Under the sponsorship of the Miami BPW, the Marathon Business and Professional Women’s Club received its charter on May 11, 1957 with 108 members, the largest membership in the state at the time. Now known as BPW/Marathon, current membership is 56.
In 1968, our Nike Club was chartered with 36 members and remains active at Marathon High School.
During the 1994-95 club year, the Marathon BPW Foundation was established, with the intention to enable the scholarship and other fundraising efforts of the club to receive 501(c)(3) tax status, thereby encouraging greater participation by potential donors.