Last week, we shared some of our wishes for our community in 2020. This week, we’ll look at some of our community’s strengths. The beginning of a new year is a great time to tally up what we have going for us as a community. The Fort Myers Beach community has plenty of strengths. Here are just a few…
The variety of people who make up our community is one of our major strengths. We are a dynamic community; nothing static about us at all. Our community includes families who have lived on Estero Island for over 50 years and offer historical perspective and most of our community has lived here at least 5 years. Each month brings new residents to our community. In addition to year-round residents, we have property owners who, while not living here full time, have a significant interest and financial investment in our community. Plus, we draw hundreds who work on our island, but live elsewhere. Add in the visitors, vacationers, snowbirds and day-trippers and we’ve got a very diverse and interesting mix of people in our community.
Each of them brings their interests and experience with them, whether they come to us from North Fort Myers or Dubuque. The wise among us can share that experience and knowledge without ever uttering the dreaded, “That’s how we did it up north” — a sure way to be ignored. We all know this is a unique place and not the same as any place “up north,” but fundraising and supporting community service organizations are about the same everywhere and new ideas are always welcome. Wouldn’t it be amazing to harness the wisdom and experience of everyone on our Island to enhance our community?
Our community organizations have figured out a way to do just that. They are yet another major strength of our community. For a community of about 7,000, we have an unusually robust lineup of service and community organizations. Lions, Kiwanis, Moose, Shriner’s, American Legion, VFW, Vet’s Club, Community Foundation, Woman’s Club, Beach Kids, Art Association, all the “Friends of” groups — the list goes on and on. Each organization does something to better our community. And they do it with hard-working members drawn from all the above groups, using their energy and experience to improve our island community.
Our Island businesses employ a lot of people and provide a good portion of the Island experience that thousands come to our shores seeking each year. They are a key component of our Island community and one of our strengths. Not only do they provide employment, but most of them are very much involved in our community. Community fundraisers would not happen without the support of Island businesses. They not only host events, but every raffle or auction held on this Island includes gift cards or donations from our businesses. Dozens of times each year– they’re asked and respond with support.
And we’re out of room, knowing we’ve just scratched the surface of our community’s strengths. There are so many more. Feel free to share your thoughts on our community strengths with us and our readers.