We are long overdue for some kudos and our Island could sure use a little bit of a shift in focus to some of the great things we’ve got going on here. So, here goes. Kudos go out to…

Our community residents who participate in local government, sharing their thoughts and ideas, including those who attend water-related meetings and help keep the heat on those who have the power to make changes.

Beach Kiwanis Club for their ongoing donations to Bay Oaks Recreation Center and the Beach School.

The Fort Myers Beach Alliance of Non-Profits and all the organizations that participated and benefited from the Putt & Pub Crawl in January. A new organizer & a new format, yet the same great fun for even more people this year!

Those visitors and residents who pick up litter on the beach or in their neighborhood.

AJ Bassett and members of the Estero Island Historic Society for hosting Beach School children at the Historic Cottage before the holidays. And for their annual Christmas Open House. Special thanks and kudos to AJ for her years of service to the EIHS as a curator. Her work is appreciated by all of us who treasure our Island’s history.

While we’re talking about Christmas, how about that Christmas Tree Festival at the FMB Woman’s Club! So many festive trees! So many worthy organizations that raised funds by participating.

All those who participated in the Sand Paper’s Holiday Greeting card, helping us raise $1,000 for the Harry Chapin Food Bank, which translates into $8,000 worth of food.

The members, official and otherwise, of the Fort Myers Beach Polar Bear Club, who with their annual January 1st dip into the Gulf of Mexico and the party that surrounds it, raised funds for a local man facing financial pressure along with a health challenge.

The Town Birthday Cupcake Ladies, who appear as if by magic, every December 31 to hand out cupcakes and smiles in Times Square to mark our Town’s birthday.

The Caloosa Carvers who set up shop at the Mound House twice a month, entertaining visitors with their skills and finished carvings.

St. Peter’s Lutheran Church on turning 50 years old!

The FMB Community Foundation’s campaign to use Publix’s BOGO for Good, collecting the free extra items and donating them to the Choice Market at Beach Baptist Church.

The Friends of Lovers Key on the groundbreaking for the Welcome and Discovery Center for the park. A beginning worth celebrating!

All those residents and visitors who shop local. Those efforts are always appreciated, but were essential during our past summer and fall.

The Shamrock Irish Pub for taking on the Toys for Xmas party and collecting a pile of toys for local kids.

The businesses and individuals whose donations made our community’s New Year’s Eve fireworks a reality!

The holiday fundraisers that do so much good: Spirit of the Holidays, Spirit of Christmas, Beach Kids Christmas & Santa Rocks, to name a few.

LeeTran and Lee County for recognizing the benefit of a free Tram in downtown Fort Myers Beach and expanding the free Tram season.

The Fort Myers Beach Yacht Club on turning 65!

Everyone who watches for & stops for pedestrians at crosswalks. Pedestrians who use crosswalks and the buttons on the flashing lights at crosswalks.

Extra kudos to those who use lights on their bicycles at night.

The Fort Myers Beach Friends of the Arts, Sheena Brook and Bridgette Tatum for their parts in the School House Rock concert that raised $3,000 for our Beach School

Drivers who STOP for school busses with red lights flashing.

The Nauti Parrot for expanding their Drag Queen Bingo to two nights each week which has been a fundraiser for a number of Island charities. Now twice as many charities will benefit.

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