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Missy Layfield - Editor

Island Kudos

The Sand Paper family is committed to sharing the good news about our community. We use this space regularly to focus on all the good things happening and the many great people who make our Island a better place to live, work and play. Kudos to…

Evelyn Wicks who has guided the finances at Town Hall for 8 years. Winning multiple awards along the way, she has been a steady "guiding light” for Town staff and council.

Keith Laakkonen for his tireless work as the Town’s Environmental Sciences Coordinator, monitoring our beach environment. And congrats on being the 2014 winner of the Florida Shore & Beach Preservation Association Environmental Award.

All beachfront property owners, renters and visitors who are mindful of protecting our nesting turtle population and turn off lights or use special lights, remove furniture and don’t leave holes on the beach. We’re still in peak hatching season-let’s make our beach safe for turtles!

American Legion Post 274 and Estero Island Medical Care for organizing a Veterans Health Fair last month, gathering a variety of health care providers in one spot to screen veterans for health issues.

Soccer coaches, players, officials and parents as the season gets off to a big start.

Organizers, sponsors and participants in both Spirit of ’45 celebration events held last month to mark the end of WWII. The solemn pageantry and heartfelt gratitude shown at these events are much appreciated by our WWII veterans.

Teen Challenge International, those folks who wash cars at Beach Baptist on Fridays and Saturdays, on the opening of their new Thrift Store on San Carlos Blvd. This non-profit offers life-changing faith-based recovery programs for both men and women of all ages.

Bibliophile Shirley Semmer for her donation of a sizeable collection of books, many first edition or signed, to the Beach Lions Club to support their charitable efforts.

The Town’s Community Development Department, Local Planning Agency and Town Council for processing a record number of permit applications as homeowners improve their properties.

Lee County’s John Kiseda and the Friends of Matanzas Pass Preserve for the development of another educational program to be offered in the Preserve, "Connector Inspector.”

Friends of the Arts for their ongoing efforts to bring a band shell to Fort Myers Beach. It will take cooperation between arts enthusiasts on the beach, Friends, Town Council and Lee County, but we think it can be done.

All those chilly people who took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and helped fund local, state and national ALS charities.

Fish tournament organizers, who bring a variety of participants to our shores for Captain’s meetings and/or Award Dinners. The Grouper Grapple at Fish Tale Marina benefitted a couple of organizations that provide support to military personnel. The upcoming Fillet & Release at Matanzas on the Bay will benefit Hope Hospice.

Captain Randy Kraus, Assistant Chief Mike May and Chief Darren White, along with an abundance of sponsors, district employees and donors for a moving Dedication Ceremony for the new 9/11 Memorial located at Station 33 on Lenell Road.

Truly Scrumptious for offering free ice cream to Beach School students and families who participated in the Free Swim at the community pool after Open House last month. Also to all the after school programs and activities who let families know about their programs.

Members of CELCAB who have been working toward the completion of the Mound House and planning an opening in early 2015. The renovation and educational signs are going to provide a great experience for visitors.

The Veteran’s Club of America for hosting their Fifth Annual Beach Bash at their club. A day full of fun, good music, raffles and camaraderie resulted in funds to support veteran’s causes.

The organizers and participants in all of our local benefits to help Islanders in need.

Local water experts who shared their knowledge with local hospitality workers so they are able to answer water quality questions from our visitors.

All those who donated to Renee’s Magical Closet via merchants at Santini Marina Plaza. Beach kids thank you!

Beach Accommodations for their Beach School t-shirt benefit sale.

Pink Shell Resort, Mango Street Inn and DiamondHead Beach Resort for the extra effort to earn Green Lodging certification. Environmental consciousness is catching on – watch for more properties to join the list.

Beach School PTO for planning a full year’s worth of value added events for our Island students and families at Beach School.

Beach Library for displaying artists’ work in their third floor commons area, providing visibility for local artists in our community.

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


Missy Layfield