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…

The artists who created spectacular art during Paint the Beach. And the local art lovers who make this weeklong event possible each November.

The volunteers, both pilots and observers, who participate in Sundowners boat patrol service, adding another layer of safety for area boaters.

Monofilament Madness volunteers who helped remove fishing line and other debris from the back bay, this year operating from both Fish Tale Marina and Mound House.

Fish Tale Marina for hosting a Beach Elementary School fundraiser pancake breakfast, complete with celebrity pancake flippers.

Mound House volunteers, staff, the SEARCH team and all who assisted in the renovation of the Mound House and their Grand Opening in mid-November. Residents and visitors are now enjoying the museum, special tours and gift shop.

Wanda Linatsas of Royal Scoop Ice Cream for donating space and the Beach School PTO for organizing the “Beach Kids Littlest Library” offering kids free books. Book donations welcome.

Estero drivers who slow down & leave gaps to allow left turns as they navigate the construction zone and seasonal traffic. Remember don’t block driveways and streets.

Fire Division Chiefs Ron Marshal and Randy Kraus, along with Captain Dan Miller and Engineer Dave Beers on their promotions in the FMB Fire District. Also Tom Glover, Mike May, Ivan Bestrom and David Reno on their retirement from the district.

The Beach Pub crew for another year of Toys for Xmas and the Patrick Stott Memorial Bike Run, gathering toys and donations for kids.

Florida Helps Foundation on their inaugural Back Bay Bash at Bootlegger’s to benefit PADLS-Persons with Autism or Disabilities Learn to Swim – Program.

The many volunteers, teachers and members of the Beach School PTO for coordinating afterschool activities for Beach kids.

The Master Sand Sculptors and advanced amateurs for creating some amazing sculptures and entertaining thousands who came to the American Sand Sculpting Championship.

Beach Baptist for their Christmas toy drive, collecting both toys and donations for local kids and a women’s shelter, in cooperation with the Mike DeCarlo Foundation.

Boat owners, decorators and crews of the Christmas Boat Parade, a production of the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce. It’s become a delightful tradition that Islanders look forward to each year.

Beach Kids Foundation for providing gifts to local children and gift cards to families each year.

The bike riders of The Groves RV Resort who each season host several bike rides to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.

Spirit of Christmas co-founders, Jim & Sharon Jamieson and their team of volunteers for hosting another year’s efforts to provide for area children and families that are most in need.

Organizers of Christmas concerts and events shared with Islanders, helping us all get in the Christmas spirit.

Friends of the Mound House and all who attended their Christmas fundraiser held at South Beach Grille, supporting their efforts at the Mound House.

Islanders who accepted our challenge to light up our Island for the holiday season.

Turtle Time volunteers, Islanders and visitors for ongoing efforts to protect nesting sea turtles on our Island. This year we had an all-time record 73 nests on Fort Myers Beach.

Mayor Anita Cereceda and other Lee County mayors for their cooperative efforts to protect our water quality.

Estero Island Historic Society for hosting Beach School students at the Historic Cottage. A little bit of history, some magic and holiday fun!

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