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Missy Layfield - Editor

Island Kudos

The Sand Paper family is a part of our community, living and working right here on the island. As a result, we are committed to sharing the good news about our Island community. We use this space every couple of months to focus on some of the good things happening and the numerous generous people who make our Island a better place to live, work and play. Kudos go out to…

Students, teachers and staff at all of our Lee County Schools on the beginning of another school year!

The Fort Myers Beach Fire Control District and their ongoing efforts to provide CPR and AED training to residents and businesses.

Shell Points Community Thrift Store for their donation of clothing to Haiti and their financial support of the Heights Center for senior programming.

All those Islanders who close their drapes, turn off their lights or switch to turtle-safe light bulbs along the beach. Were in the midst of turtle hatching season. Light is the enemy of newly hatched turtles. Help them make it to the surf by keeping the beach dark.

Lee County Bar Association for their efforts to help area kids via scholarships, civics education, learning activities and mentorships.

All those who work to keep water quality issues front and center on our island and with the decision makers in Tallahassee.

Camp counselors, helpers and parents on the end of summer vacation. The beach kids weve seen seem to have had a great summer!

The FMB Community Foundation and Keep Lee County Beautiful for their continuing efforts to clean up our beach, including the July 5th clean up. Supporting them in this effort were the Town of Fort Myers Beach, Advanced Disposal, Lee County, Publix and a lot of hard-working volunteers.

Mike "PopeyeDearden for his PopeyePalooza VI fundraiser to support youth sports on the island.

Keith Laakkonen for his seven years of service to the Town, its residents, birds, turtles and various critters of Fort Myers Beach. He has served us all well and is now the southwest regional administrator for the Florida Coastal Office of the Department of Environmental Protection and Director at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Congrats Keith!

The Southwest Florida Chapter of the American Culinary Federation that hosted a Chili Cook-Off at Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina to benefit the Harry Chapin Food Bank.

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

Fish Tale Marina and the Freedom Alliance for hosting the Grouper Grapple, raising money for veteran support and bringing several vets to the island for an all-expense paid weekend of fun.

Islanders who have adapted to our Estero Blvd construction traffic challenges. Those of you who wait patiently, wave to flaggers with all your fingers and watch for pedestrians are making this project easier for all of us. Special kudos to those who have gone above and beyond, like the Dog House that provided cold water and fries to those in line one day.

Steve Colgate of Offshore Sailing School, on his selection to join the National Sailing Hall of Fame.

The new Town Hall and Council Chambers and everyone who participated in its development. The newly remodeled space provides enough room for residents to interact with Town employees in a professional and private manner.

Jan Ellen Atkielski for her work beautifying the exterior of Town Hall.

Chuck and Sharon Bodenhafer for their generous gift to the Friends of Matanzas Pass Preserve. Their gift provided a much-needed boost to the Friends efforts to build an Education Center near the Preserve entrance.

All the public service personnel who serve our community on a daily basis and Fish Tale Marina for hosting a Community Day to salute them all. Sheriffs deputies, Firefighters, FWC officers, Coast Guard and more were recognized for their efforts within our community.

Veterans of WWII and those who gathered recently to celebrate the "Spirit of 45.This 70thanniversary of VJ day was remembered with pipes and drums, honor guards, speeches and the playing of Taps.

Senator Bill Nelson and Representative Curt Clawson for their efforts in Washington to protect Florida waters and beaches from eastern Gulf drilling.

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