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Issue 681 Delete 02/27/2014 at 5:04pm

PTOIt Takes a Village - Volunteer Shortage
Cancels PTO Golf Tourney

It is very likely that the quality of your elementary school experience was greatly enhanced due to the fundraising efforts of a group of parent and teacher volunteers who were part of the local chapter of the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA - or, as is the case at the Fort Myers Beach Elementary School, the Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO -

Almost every one of our benevolent beach organizations has its centerpiece fundraising event - The Lions have their Shrimp Festival, the Kiwanians have their thrift store, the Friends of Matanzas Pass Preserve have their wine dinner under the stars at Mango Street Inn, the FMB Community Foundation has its fashion show, and the Beach School PTO, for the past twelve years, has had its PTO Golf Scramble.

Issue 680 Delete 02/21/2014 at 6:26am

Author - Artis HendersonUnremarried Widow:
Author With Local Roots
Pens a Powerful Memoir

While the pain of a beloved’s sudden death can derail a life, the legacy of love can also sustain and strengthen those left behind. Artis Henderson, raised and schooled on Fort Myers Beach, has written a memoir of love, tragedy, and hope that mines both the depths of despair and the power of determination. Her book, Unremarried Widow, published by Simon & Schuster in January 2014 to wide acclaim, is the sharp, unsparing tale of a young woman’s life, bracketed by the deaths in aircraft crashes – 20 years apart – of her father and her Army-pilot husband.

Issue 679 Delete 02/13/2014 at 4:18pm

Vinnie & Jessie TitusVinnie and Jessie Titus -
Love, Life and Lots of Laughter

As our readers pick up their papers this morning, most of them - unless they reside on a far-strung planet out past the Milky Way - are aware that today (Friday) is Valentine's Day. Right now, this horrific truth is dawning on husbands, boyfriends and lovers all over the country - many of whom are scurrying into shops, malls and boutiques fearing that if the perfect gift is not found, they will spend the rest of the year (or at least the month) in relationship meltdown. But for those who have found true love, no material thing can even come close to representing the depth of their commitment to each other. Though they may indeed buy each other flowers or cards, these lucky folks will spend 'V-Day' serene in the knowledge that their love needs no physical manifestation, it simply is. Such is the case with Vinnie and Jessie Titus, married a hair over 35 years. Their love story is a perfect representation of them as a couple - a lot of funny, a little bit of curmudgeon, but never once wavering in sincerity.

Issue 678 Delete 02/06/2014 at 5:00pm

Message in a bottleMessage in a Bottle Mystery:
Who Is Harrison?

Every day, thousands of people stroll along beaches all over the world, some of them looking for shells, some of them looking for solace and some not looking for much of anything. We're willing to bet few of them expect to find what Texas resident Richard Todd found one day last month as he as strolling along a deserted beach in the Dry Tortugas National Park - a message in a bottle that turned out to have originated on Fort Myers Beach.

"I took a trip to visit some friends in Key West, and decided I wanted to scuba dive around Fort Jefferson since the Tortugas are so inaccessible,” Todd, who is an underwater photographer, told us. "So we flew there in a sea plane, and while we were walking on the beach on one of the keys, we found this bottle and could see there was a note in it.”