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Editorial 620

Missy Layfield - Editor

Good News and Kudos

Here at the Sand Paper, we think it’s a good idea to search out and share good news especially as the year draws to a close. Every couple months, we use this space to focus on the good things happening in our community and the people who make our Island a better place to live. Kudos go out to…

The winners and all participants of Paint the Beach and Sand Sculpting. We thank them all for sharing their talents with all of us.

Joanne Semmer and Ostego Bay Foundation for leading workshops on waterfront interests including how the RESTORE Act will effect our bay.

Community choral groups who serenaded Islanders at the Community Christmas Celebration held at Santini Marina Plaza. The Symphonic Chorale of Southwest Florida, The Lehigh Children’s Choir and Three Oaks Middle School Choir and Orchestra were all wonderful!

Islanders who stepped up to help the schools in Long Beach, NY after hearing that they were heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Long Beach is a barrier island, much like Fort Myers Beach. Thanks to Islander Corri Francisco who coordinated a local effort to help.

All Islanders who shopped local for their holiday gifts and will continue to support their neighbors by shopping local in the New Year.

Walt and Betty McCollum who came to the November Fire Board meeting to publicly thank Fort Myers Beach Fire District and Iona-McGregor Fire District staff Andres Vila, William Edge, Drew Herron, Peter Marrero, Cheryl Bauchert and Joel Guzman who provided emergency medical services to him in June, saving his life. A heartfelt "thank you” is golden.

Fort Myers Beach Kiwanis and Kiwanis Florida Foundation, each of which donated $5,000 to the Beach Library for the children’s area.

The volunteers and donors of the Spirit of the Holidays campaign, coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The funds raised help local children have a happy Christmas. They also support the Easter Egg Hunt and Foundation scholarships.

Gavin’s Ace Hardware for their donation of 100 bikes to needy youngsters in our area. They also are the drop site for recycling Christmas lights for a good cause.

Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation for their Inaugural Beach Ball. A fun way to support a variety of local causes.

Ray Judah for 24 years of public service, especially for efforts to protect our environment.

K-Kids, sponsored by the Beach Kiwanis Club for their efforts collecting canned goods for the Salvation Army and helping another Kiwanis Club’s Haunted House in October.

The Chamber’s Christmas Boat Parade organizers, participants and viewers. What a fun way to start off the Beach holiday season!

Estero Garden Club for their vintage decoration of a Beach Library Christmas tree. It’s beautiful!

FindAHomeGiveAHome for their continued efforts to support Beach pets. Their December pet food drive with collection boxes all over the island gives everyone a chance to help.

Friends of Lover’s Key for hosting Outdoor Adventure Day, giving everyone a chance to see what Lover’s Key State Park has to offer. Also for their campaign to raise funds for a Visitor Center for the park.

Beach United Methodist Church for their annual Hibiscus Concert Series for bringing beautiful vocal and instrumental music to Islanders.

Beach Library Board for hosting another Ice Cream Social, giving everyone a delicious reason to get inside the new building to take a look around.

The Environmental Protection Agency for approving rules for water pollution in Florida. Clean water is essential for our #1 industry-tourism.

Wayne Longino for arranging a Pearl Harbor Day remembrance at the Estero Beach and Tennis Club. He obtained a flag that had been flown over the USS Arizona on the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, to be flown at the EBTC. American Legion Post 274 provided an honor guard.

The hosts and volunteers for benefits and memorials. Islanders can be counted on to support one another.

Beach School 3rd graders for their creative ornaments that they used to decorate one of the Beach Library Christmas trees.

Fort Myers Beach Little League, currently gearing up for another season of giving boys and girls a chance to play baseball or softball.

Ray Hierholzer who, as a volunteer, coordinates tennis at Bay Oaks courts on weekday mornings for all comers. The group’s welcome to newcomers provides true Island hospitality.

The donors who stepped up big time when thieves broke into 24/7 Fitness and took donated toys meant for needy kids. Between Lee County Sheriff’s deputies and local residents, the toys were replaced in time for Christmas.

Beach Baptist, in conjunction with Harry Chapin Food Bank, offers needy Island residents access to their Choice Market to supplement their food supply.

Local residents who volunteered to host an international college student in their homes this holiday season. Also to Jimmy Steele of Chapel by the Sea who coordinated the local effort.

Rob DeGennaro and Steve DeAngelis of Nervous Nellie’s for inviting the Lynx Privateer ship to Fort Myers Beach for a three week stay in January.

Anyone who has volunteered, donated, hosted or helped in any way to make our island home a better place to live.

Missy Layfield