The third annual Fort Myers Beach Hands Across the Sand stretched across the shores along the north end of the island Saturday, as hundreds joined hands from across the globe to spread the word of unity, love, peace and caring for our environment during the two-hour long event.
With a recent permit obtained, this marked the first year our local Hands event was able to host an all-community-wide vendor and info booth area, boasting several non-profit groups who were able to share their mission and their cause with the community. Of the many groups who attended, Turtle Time was there, as well as the Lee County Visitors and Convention Bureau, along with face-painters, Eclectic Creationz, who warmly gave our hand-crafted FMB necklaces, and even Chazz the Pirate was on-hand to show his support.
Powered by FAFCO?Solar, Keith Clanton entertained the crowd with some sweetly strummed tunes prior to the hand-holding ceremony, and Renee Massie Hose finished out the afternoon with songs that showed off her smooth, sultry voice.
Paddle-boarders and mermaids even made it to the annual event. Photo by MELISSA SCHNEIDER.
"I feel this year's event was very successful, and we're so happy with the turnout. We were a little taken back by how many locals/beach residents where in attendance, which were not as many as we had expected" said Robin Curley, lead coordinator of the event, with Lena Neroni and John G. Heim. "However, we certainly understand how life is busy, so we hope to see more 'familiar' faces next year. Of course, the locals that did come out, always do and they know who they are thank you! We had folks come from Punta Gorda for the event, as well as having a family from Sweden in our line!"
John led the hand-holders amidst the warm gulf waves that early afternoon, while Robin coasted up and down the natural coastline, chanting with the crowd, and Lena welcomed all from the Hands booth in Crescent Beach Family Park.
Paddle-boarders paddled in from the waves, and even Marla the Mermaid swam in to participate in the event.
Although the original line began at the pier, along the north end of the island, Robin said another line formed a little farther south.
"We reached about 300 supporters in our main line, but later received word that people joined hands just past the Lani Kai down to the Beach Pub and down at Junkanoo, as well!
"John, Lena and I thank our host of volunteers, all of the people in attendance, the organizations, and our beautiful beach for making this happen! We couldn't have done it without all of you! See you all next year!"