We all enjoy the privilege of living in a pretty amazing place. A place that draws thousands of visitors every year, willing to spend their precious vacation time and money to enjoy just a tiny sliver of what we enjoy every day. Like any community, we have challenges and we write plenty about those. But every couple months or so, we like to use this space to focus on some of the good things happening here and the numerous generous people who make our Island a better place to live, work and play. Kudos go out to…

Voters who made the effort to vote in our Town Council election in March and all the candidates who participated in the election and the winners of that election.

The Cottage for their Fat Tuesday fundraiser benefitting the Gulf Coast Humane Society.

Beach School student Celia LaCorte for her winning design for the 59th Fort Myers Beach Lions Club Shrimp Festival.

The Town of Fort Myers Beach and the Cultural Resource Advisory Board (CRAB) for sponsoring a Leadership Conference that provided an in-depth look at the resources available in our Town for interested residents.

The  Fort Myers Beach Lions Club for another spectacular Shrimp Festival whose proceeds will benefit many community charities. Plus the many volunteers who make it all possible.

Kelsey Collins on being named the 2017 Shrimp Festival Queen.

Captain John McCandless, USN (Ret) for recognition of his leadership in the commissioning of the USS Detroit.

All the excellent readers at Beach School and the guest readers who participated in Read Across America, recognizing Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

The Estero Island Historic Society for sponsoring monthly public presentations on topics of historical interest during season.

Jim Rodwell and the Friends of Matanzas Pass Preserve for sponsoring monthly Moon Walks during season, introducing people to the preserve at night.

Drivers who remain alert in our construction zones.

Patricia Carroll on being named a Grande Dame by the Pace Center for Girls as a woman who has played a major role in Southwest Florida through a lifetime of service, philanthropy and helping others.

Sheena Brook for her appearance on The Voice.

The Fort Myers Beach Art Association for their year-round efforts to raise funds for scholarships for area art students.

The pedestrians and bike riders who make the effort to participate in the work on a Master Plan for FMB Pedestrian and Bike users. There’s still time to weigh in at bit.ly/WikiBikePed

Chapel by the Sea for resurrecting their spaghetti dinners during season offering both a fundraiser and a way to build community.

The many program presenters who provide educational and entertaining programs at the Beach Library throughout the year.

Turtle Time volunteers who walk our beach each morning from now through October looking for turtle nests.

The beachfront residents and visitors who keep the beach dark during turtle nesting season (now through the end of October). Love those amber lights!

Ray Murphy and all participants in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, a south end community-building event enjoyed by all.

Golisano Children’s Hospital, soon to open, and all the donors who made it possible for our children to have a hospital of their own with specialized care close to home.

The Groves Resort gang of bike riders who raised over $2,000 this year for the Wounded Warrior Program via monthly bike rides, bringing their total over the last six years to over $10,000.

Beach School art students whose artwork is displayed this month at the Beach Library 3rd floor Community Room.

The Town’s Anchorage Advisory Committee for Cruiser Appreciation Day held each year to recognize the cruisers who make our mooring field their home each year, whether for a day, a week or several months, inviting residents to meet cruisers and a enjoy a day of fun.

Every Islander who has volunteered, donated or helped in any way to make our Island home a better place to live, work or play.


Missy Layfield