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Fort Myers Beach holiday fundraisers scheduled for December

November 29, 2017
Jessica Salmond - News Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Thanksgiving has passed and it's on to the holiday season. The holidays are marked as a time of generosity and giving, and there are no shortage of ways to help the local community.

Many organizations in the area are hosting events or seeking donations this December; here's a round-up of events and ways to donate.

Friday, Dec. 1 - Old Fashioned Fish Fry, Ostego Bay Foundation

The foundation will host its annual fundraiser Friday, Dec. 1 from 5 to 8 p.m., at Bonita Bill's Waterfront Cafe, 702 Fisherman's Wharf.

Besides lots of fun silent auction items and baskets, attendees can try a chance at the 50/50 raffle and enjoy a fish dinner. A portion of the meal's cost is donated back to the foundation.

The dinner is $10.

Funding from the event helps the foundation give out scholarships to its annual summer camps. The camps, available for children 6 years old through high school, focus on marine life and conservation.

Friday, Dec 1, Saturday, Dec. 2 - A Christmas Carol, Chapel by the Sea

A Christmas Carol will be presented at Chapel by the Sea, 100 Chapel Str., on the Silver Hall stage Friday, Dec. 1 and Saturday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. Tickets are available in advance at the Chapel office, $8 or two for $15. Price will be $10 at the door, $5 for children. Funds raised from ticket sales will be used in the ongoing rehab of the kitchen at the church. The kitchen is not only used by the church, but also by Community Cooperative. Rexann Hosafros is directing the holiday favorite; Carmine Pacchino is starring as Scrooge, with Tom Crosby, Miffie Greer, Marianne Worden and Russ Carter as the ghosts. Pastor Steve is appearing as Fred, Scrooge's nephew.

Monday, Dec. 4 - Spirit of the Holidays, Beach Kids Foundation

The Beach Kids Foundation will hold its annual Spirit of the Holidays event Monday, Dec. 4 from 6 to 10 p.m. At Fish-Tale Marina Waterfront Dining, 7205 Estero Blvd. Tickets are $100 each and include dinner. There won't be a silent auction this year, because of the time crunch to get donations because of the delay for planning from Hurricane Irma, said Beach Kids President Fran Myers. Instead, the event will focus on a delicious meal, raffle prizes and a live auction, with the proceeds going to the organization.

The annual foundation event funds the organization's holiday gift drive. Using a network of community and school connections, the Foundation gets wish list from kids in economically-disadvantaged families in the community and purchase items from the list. Then on Christmas Eve, Santa delivers the gifts via fire truck. The foundation also gives out scholarships.

The event is nearly sold out, but Beach Kids Foundation is still seeking donations for its raffle prizes and live auction for the event or items for the gift drive. Myers said the foundation is seeking bikes and cash for food cards especially for the gift drive. This year's efforts include a lot of single parents and a few families devastated from Hurricane Irma. Monetary donations can be mailed by check to the Beach Kids Foundation, 3001 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach 33931. To arrange a gift donation or for more information, call the Red Coconut RV Park at 439-7200 or call Linda Beasley at 239-280-0661.

Tuesday, Dec. 5 - Spirit of Christmas, Jim and Sharon Jamieson

Jim and Sharon Jamieson have set the date for their annual fundraiser, Spirit of Christmas.

The event will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, as always at the the American Legion hall, 899 Buttonwood Drive.

There are no advanced tickets to purchase and no cost to attend. A plate of food is $10 per person, and the Legion serves adult beverages. A 50's doo-wop band will provide live entertainment.

The main fundraising heft comes from Spirit of Christmas silent auction, which usually has around 50 to 60 items up for bidding.

This event funds holiday shopping trips for families in need. The Jamiesons find and vet families who really need a helping hand, and take them to Walmart to buy whatever toys, clothes or necessities they need to give their children gifts for the holidays. They also get the family a tree, so the gifts can be placed, wrapped, under the tree with care.

The Jamiesons are also working on another charitable project: buying and fixing up a home to place a family in. Through the charity they will be able to get a low-interest loan, therefore able to charge the family a well-below average monthly rent so that within eight years, the loan would be paid off and the Jamiesons could give the deed to the family and make them homeowners.

Jim Jamieson plans to do as many Angel Homes as he can before he dies, he said.

Sunday, Dec. 10 - 22nd Annual Christmas Poker Run for Beach Kids, Beach Baptist Church

The Beach Baptist Church is revving up for its 22nd annual poker run and Bikes for Mike ride.

Sign up begins at 10 Junkanoo's on the Beach, and the run continues at Lani Kai, Shark Bar and Grill, Ralph's in Cape Coral, and back toward the beach at Valarie's Lounge. At the end, all participants will get a buffet meal.

The cost is $20 per bike and $10 for additional rider or $20 to ride the bus. The fundraiser benefits the Lee County Sheriff's Youth Activity League and helps the Beach Baptist Church purchase gifts for children on the island for the holidays.

Families need to contact the church at at or 239-463-6452. The church would like to get a small "wish list to Santa" to get gifts at the Dec. 17 visit from Santa., and include your child's name and size for clothing.

Beach Baptist and others volunteers gather Dec. 13 to wrap the gifts collected from Junkanoo, Valaries and the church. Sunday Dec. 17, Santa and his helpers hand out the gifts.

Saturday, Dec. 16 - Holiday open house and bake sale, Estero Island Historic Society

The island's historic society will host its annual fundraising bake sale from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Historic Cottage, 161 Bay Road. Donations of baked goods are welcome, and can be dropped off between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. that Saturday. Peg McCloskey, 463-1798, can arrange a pick up. The event welcomes the public to buy homemade goodies, sip holiday punch and check out the historic cottage and its festive decor.



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