Back to Previous Page

Sanibel Kiwanis Club News - 10 Years of Articles

Sanibel Real Estate
Sanibel Kiwanis is a men's club that supports many community organizations with a focus on youth. Feel free to join Sanibel's Kiwanis Club Tuesday's morning at 7:30am at the Dunes Golf Club for a buffet breakfast, a happy dollar or two, some corny jokes and a guest speaker. Weekly articles written by Eric Pfeifer can be found in both the Islander and Island Sun newspapers. All Sanibel Kiwanis Club articles are posted below:

Enjoy these past articles from Sanibel Kiwanis Korner News:

Pfeifer Realty Group's Continued Community Service - LEARN MORE

'Twas the Night Before Christmas - Kiwanis Style Written By Eric Pfeifer 12-18-2013

'Twas the night before Christmas, And all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, Not even a mouse.

Then all of a sudden, Arose a Kiwanis man, "Let's take care of the youth, Around the this great land."

The money is raised, Through Diner Delight Books, And spaghetti and meatballs, By various cooks.

Our leader summoned, Our dubious Board, And said, "Give it all out, We shall not hoard."

It begins with some men, Donning an unfitting red suit, They never look pretty, And certainly not cute.

They load up the cars, On the Santa Toy Run, To make sure every child, Will have Christmas Fun.

In case there's a child, Who we don't know out there, We give even more, To Friends Who Care.

Then we keep going, It doesn't end after Yule, We are always supporting, The Sanibel School.

This year was a biggie, With the doctors and nurses, For The Children's Hospital, We dug into our our purses.

At the hospital, if you look, Beyond all the carts, We also support, Healthcare and the Arts.

We all think that learning, Is fun and so cool, We gave out 31 scholarships, For kids and their school.

Learning begins, At the Children's Education Center, When giving to kids, We also help mentor.

As the boys then get older, And become young men, We give our support to, Take Stock in Children.

BIG Arts needs our help, For kids in the Summer, If they didn't learn music, It would be a big bummer.

The Symphony benefits, From our annual giving. The beautiful music, Makes life worth living.

There are more ways to learn, Beyond books and tough courses, Special Equestrians teaches, Kids on their horses.

And speaking of horses, If you want a few kicks, Come watch the Bike Rodeo, Filled with great tricks.

We like to support, The Sea School's Octifest, What else do we do? How about the rest?

FISH is our friend, We can't seem to stare, When we walk in and see, The cupboards all bare.

Sanibel has some shells, And this we all know. The Shell Musuem is our friend, To learn Malacology, you must go.

When kids get sick, We become fighters, That's why we support, Southwest Florida's Candlelighters.

Some children need help, And more than just bids, Kiwanis always supports, Voices For Kids.

Animals need help too, This we all know, We never forget to support, Ding Darling and CROW.

We help kids on their quest, For Science Fair gold, And the Sanibel Library, Preserve books of old.

We want every child's future, To seem bright, never bleak, So we add to our list, Autism Speaks.

Where else would you eat meatballs, Showing off that new blouse, If we didn't contribute to, The Community House.

Now soccer, now football, Now tennis and SWAT, We give to them all, We love them a lot.

On baseball, on softball, And tee ball too, We help with gloves and bats, And not just a few.

We support Island Night, To see kids on their floats, Hoping for sunshine, Not rain filled moats.

If you have ever wondered, Why our bellies are stoudt, We love our cookies, Ask any Girl Scout.

I hope you enjoy, This short little ditty, We also took care, Of some kids at the City.

After reading our story, And checking it twice, Do you think we can be, Even more nice?

Call any Kiwanian, And say, "Do not forget, To please include us, In your next year's budget."

So if you think our world, Is happy dollars and bad jokes, And parking is guided, By yellow shirted blokes,

Please read this again, And count all the groups, If you like what you see, Join our Kiwanian Troops.

Pfeifer Realty Group's Continued Community Service - LEARN MORE

Kiwanis Korner December 3rd 2013

Sanibel Real Estate
More than a decade ago, when I joined Kiwanis, it occurred to me that I was responsible for bringing the average age of the members down by approximately 0.02378%. Now that there are several members younger than I, it was very appropriate to hear our guest speaker this week speak about aging Americans. Peter Dys, President of the Shell Point Retirement Community was at our meeting to discuss the housing of and care for our aging baby boomers. Currently, there are 43 million Americans over the age of 65. That number will nearly double by 2040. In fact, 10,000 people each day join the ranks of senior citizens in our country. Also, from 1900 until 2013, the average lifespan increased from 47 years to 78 years. As you might imagine, this presents a challenge for our health care system.

Shell Point is one of 1902 continuing care retirement communities in the country. There are only four such communities in Lee County including The Terraces, Cypress Cove and Gulf Coast Villages. Shell Point is currently the third largest facility in the country with 2300 residents averaging 81.5 years of age. Many Sanibeleans consider Shell Point to be an extension of Sanibel Island. Peter was very excited to tell us of the many benefits bring enjoyed by the residents. In addition to all of the activities and amenities, the residents have the luxury of medical professionals on site in both the assisted living sections as well as the skilled nursing care section.

Another topic of Peter’s was Alzheimer’s. There are currently 5.2 million patients nationwide, and by 2030, there will be an estimated 7.7 million patients. These patients cost continuing care facilities an estimated $50,000 per year each. Steve Brown mentioned the relationship between the facilities such as Shell Point and the hospitals will be critical as the number of patients increases.

Every year, Kiwanis is proud to present a check to the Sanibel School to support the School Fund, the Seahorse Festival and the PTA. Barbara von Harten attended one of our breakfasts to collect the check and give us an update on the school. There are approximately 400 kids attending the Sanibel School this year.

It is that time of year again when the Kiwanians get out the big red suits and deliver gifts to those in need. Please talk to a local Kiwanian about the 2013 Santa Run. And last but not least, Tom Louwers is collecting money and items for Friends Who Care. We hope that all of the families on Sanibel will have a great holiday season.

If you have an interest in helping our community, and you would like to meet some fairly interesting people, please consider joining us for our Tuesday breakfast meetings. We meet at the Dunes every week at 7:30 AM for some good food, great camaraderie, and an interesting guest speaker who normally discusses current events in the community. We look forward to seeing you.

Pfeifer Realty Group's Continued Community Service - LEARN MORE

Sanibel Kiwains Club News Kiwanis Helps with College June 2013

Sanibel Real Estate
Kiwanis International is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time. Each year, through various island events, the Sanibel-Captiva Chapter of Kiwanis raises money to give back to the community. Our top objective is to support children by assisting them financially to help them reach their goals. Nothing can be more important to one’s development than a good education. And at Kiwanis, we are proud to have handed out 19 scholarships and more than $22,000 to families in 2013.

Fourteen local high school graduates received one-year partial scholarships for the 2013-2014 school year. Additionally, five students received four-year scholarships. It brings us great joy to be able to assist these families every year. It is even more gratifying, however, when one of the recipients returns and gives us an update of his or her achievements. One recent graduate is Crystal Mansell who is currently working for the City of Sanibel and was recently promoted to her current position of Administrative Services Technician. Crystal previously worked as the executive assistant to Judy Zimomra as well at the legislative assistant to City Council.

Crystal’s story was especially heartwarming as she explained she is the only one in her immediate family to have received a college degree. When including her cousins, there are only five in the family of 53 with degrees. Crystal is very proud of her accomplishments, and she said is very thankful for all that we did for her over the last four years. On behalf of the Kiwanians, stories like this drive us to work harder so that we may hand out even more scholarships next year.

Kiwanis scholarships are available to all Sanibel-Captiva residents, the islands’ private or public employees, and their family members. There are no age limitations, and scholarships may be applied to college or vocational training. Weight is given to needs, grades, community involvement and extra-curricular activities.

If you have an interest in helping our community, and you would like to meet some fairly interesting people, please consider joining us for our Tuesday breakfast meetings. We meet at the Dunes every week at 7:30 AM for some good food, great camaraderie, and an interesting guest speaker who normally discusses current events in the community. We look forward to seeing you.

Kiwanis Korner

Sanibel Real Estate
Kiwanians are slowly rolling back onto the island and getting ready to continue to serve the community. Newly installed President Les Boyle could not have been happier to have Dick Muench return from his vacation and run the Tuesday morning meetings. And Dick Muench could not have been happier to get out of his vehicle with his partner in crime, Tom Louwers……and a monkey. You can’t make up a story like this, so please ask one of the jet setters about their cross country journey. Rumor has it, Dick was trying to dispose of the evidence after being falsely accused of having one of his Lemurs roam the island last month.

This week, we learned that Kiwanian Tom Uhler was awarded the American Red Cross Legacy Award for 2013. This is an annual recognition of people working on Planned Giving in our community, and we are very proud of Tom.

Our guest speaker this week was John Kiseda, Environmental Educator for Lee County Parks & Recreation. Specifically, John spoke about the Great Calusa Blueway which is a paddling trail through Lee County’s coastal waters. It is comprised of waterways for kayaking from its northern point in Pine Island Sound to its southern end on Estero Bay including the Caloosahatchee River and its tributaries. John said paddling the trail is a great way to reenergize as well as observe wildlife. Many paddlers are now combining fishing and paddling because they can get back into the prime fishing locations. On November 1st through November 3rd, 2013, the Causeway Island will host the Calusa Blue Way Festival. This will be a great place to look at kayaks for sale, learn about the Blueway, and hang out on the islands.

If you have an interest in helping our community, and you would like to meet some fairly interesting people, please consider joining us for our Tuesday breakfast meetings. We meet at the Dunes every week at 7:30 AM for some good food, great camaraderie, and an interesting guest speaker who normally discusses current events in the community. We look forward to seeing you.

Kiwanis Korner - October 9th, 2012

Sanibel Real Estate
The Kiwanis bragging rights were on the line this week while handing out Happy Dollars for the big football wins over the weekend. Jay Richter (Florida State) and Bob Wimbush (Northwestern) were unusually silent and NOT not reaching for their wallets, while Doug Congress didn’t say a word about his Gators fearing their 5-0 record might be somewhat of a fluke. Doug said, “I just always get nervous about playing Vanderbilt (this weekend), so I don’t want to say anything yet.

At our weekly breakfast meeting, we were proud to hand out two checks to groups very near and dear to our heart. As stated by Kiwanis International, "Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world, one child, and one community, at a time." So it was very poignant to be able to present a check to the Sanibel School for $12,000. Barbara von Harten graciously accepted our check and thanked us for our continued support over the years. The funds will be used to support the programs which made the Sanibel School the number one school in the state out of Florida’s 3,078 public schools. Alan Marcus stood extremely tall and proud as he handed Barbara the check.

Of equal importance to our club is our continued support of F.I.S.H., Friends In Service Here, of Sanibel. Bill Fellows joined us for breakfast so he could accept our donation and update us on the progress of F.I.S.H. While many people think there can’t possibly be much need for food and support on the islands, Bill stated that they helped 578 households last year. There are currently 125 families who need help on a regular basis. Help comes in the form of food, medical supplies, transportation and financial assistance. Not only do we pride ourselves on helping the community, but three of our members and one spouse are board members of F.I.S.H. Bill said they work very closely with other local assistance programs like Friends Who care and Helping Hands, and they currently provide 42 backpacks of food for local kids who might otherwise go hungry after they leave school. If you would like to provide additional help, these 42 backpacks do not cover all of the kids who need supplemental food. Also, don't forget about the F.I.S.H. 10K run this Saturday on October 13th. It is a great community event to support those local families who could use a little help right now. Just don't run over the parking attendants when you show up in the dark that morning!

If you would like to help out our community and feel you could endure the breakfast of champions with us, please feel free to join us at the Dunes every Tuesday morning at 7:30 AM. We are looking for a few more people who know how to cook spaghetti, light candles and park cars. There is a short six week training course and a very easy test to see if you have what it takes to call yourself a Kiwanian. We look forward to seeing you.

Kiwanis Korner - September 18, 2012

Sanibel Real Estate
The Kiwanis bragging rights were on the line this week at our weekly breakfast meeting, we heard an excellent presentation from Julie Workman of The Heights Foundation. The foundation is located in Fort Myers, and they work to build strong, self sufficient families in the Harlem Heights neighborhood.

As opposed to many other programs offering subsistence to struggling families, The Heights Foundation prides itself on encouraging and pushing people to better themselves through training and education so that they may provide for themselves. Julie said, "Where the government cannot systematically provide all necessary resources for all people, we try to help people identify their goals as well as barriers so that they may overcome their barriers on their own." The Foundation works closely with students to help them become self sufficient learners and leaders in the community. Julie said it is very difficult for the children of parents who cannot even set goals for themselves to start envisioning and working towards their own goals.

Funding for the Heights Foundation comes exclusively from private donors and public grants.if you are interested in learning more about The Heights Foundation, please check out their website:

If you are still looking for one of the last few Kiwanis Dining Books which offers deals at more than 25 restaurants, please stop by Bank of The Islands or Quik Print. We have just a few left. Also, don't forget about the F.I.S.H. 10K run on October 13th. It is a great community event to support those local families who could use a little help right now. Just don't run over the parking attendants when you show up in the dark that morning!

B.I.G. Arts update from Sanibel Kiwanis Meeting - Kiwanis Korner - Sept 4th, 2012

Sanibel Real Estate
This week at Kiwanis, we heard from two organizations that we proudly support.

Our own Steve Brown gave us an update from Lee Memorial Health Park. Kiwanis agreed to sponsor the kiosk which will house the Grand Parent's Ambassador at the Children's Hospital. The kiosk is now operational, and we are happy to be a part of the hospital. And speaking of being a part of it, our donation to the new Children's Hospital has now been doubled thanks to the efforts of an anonymous donor.

Our guest speakers this week were Jessica Baxter and Jenny Smith. Jessica and Jenny came form B.I.G. Arts to tell us about their upcoming season. They will offer more than 20 events of artists including the Glenn Miller Orchestra, National Geographic Live, Southwest Florida Symphony, Koresh Dance Company and Gulfshore Ballet's Nutcracker Suites. B.I.G. Arts also host a Guest Speaker series. This year they will have eight speakers including Jon Huntsman, D Stephen Roach and Jane Harman. For a full list of all entertainers and speakers, go to their website

The Herb Strauss Theatre, also run by B.I.G. Arts, will have seven shows for the upcoming season. The highlight of the season may be Monty Python's Spamalot, but others include Becky's New Car, Dickins' Women, Fully Committed and Charles Lindberg's The Lone Eagle.

Kiwanis is very Proud to be a sponsor of the B.I.G. Arts Summer Program. This past summer, over 90 kids participated in arts & crafts, dance, film, visual arts, theatre and clay. The kids came from not only Sanibel and Southwest Florida but also from Europe and the U.K.

If you would like to join us for breakfast on Tuesdays, please come to the Dunes at 7:30. We hope to see you there.

Kiwanis Korner - August 28th, 2012

Sanibel Real Estate
I never realized how much I would miss Kiwanis until I drove into the Dunes parking lot this morning and saw no cars. Sandbags were still in front of the door as if Tropical Storm Isaac was really as bad as Weather Channel thought it would be. The first thought that crossed my mind was, “What will I do at 7:30 AM without my fellow Kiwanians?”

I sat in my car and thought, I was really hoping to get some breakfast after walking out on my kids eating and getting ready for school. I miss hearing Dick Muench’s comments to those of us who may have missed the last breakfast meeting or, God forgive, a recent board meeting. I miss Tom Uhler singing My Country ‘Tis of Thee so loudly that the rest of us really don’t need to show off how bad our voices are (except for Bill Flack). I miss Jay Richter’s inspirational words of wisdom in his Tuesday invocations. I miss President Pete Bender’s motions to amend or ratify By-Laws that we never knew existed. I miss Tom Sharbaugh’s update on the Spaghetti Dinner progress which will take place six months from now. I miss hearing about Barry Gordon’s high school in Cleveland and how they won the state championship in 1964. I miss hearing about how Les Boyle and Kevin Vertesch ALMOST caught the world record Tarpon. I miss hearing from Jon Thompson and Doug Congress about how the Gator football team should improve from their worst season since 1987. And speaking of football, can you imagine what David Wright would have said about his Wolverines chances against the National Champion Crimson Tide this Saturday? I miss hearing Don Feiner’s quick “short” stories. I miss the Happy Dollar segment hearing about all of the new grand children in this world or the old grandchildren who took their first step. I miss seeing Reggie Matthai! Oh wait, I haven’t seen him in a few months! I miss hearing Tom Louwers and Bill Traum talk about our upcoming social dinner on Wednesday, September 5th which will start at 5:46 PM. I miss getting our City updates from three of the five City Council members. (Don’t worry, they never sit together.) In fact, you need to get to the breakfast well before 7:00 AM if you want to sit with someone special. It brings me back to my middle school lunch days when I show up for a Kiwanis breakfast at 7:31 AM, and I have to keep walking and walking just to find a seat. I miss Barry Roth cornering people in order to get them to make a donation to the Recreation Center or talking about the New Year’s Eve party. I don’t miss when one of the members over 75 makes everyone under 75 sing Happy Birthday. I miss hearing Andy Schroder call out the “raffle” amount each week. I miss our guest speakers who give us some substance to write about instead of me making up filler material for the local papers. And this is the off season when a lot of members are still up north. Can you imagine how sad I would have been if the Dunes was closed in March?

So, at 7:35 AM, I went to work. I guess I could use the break since next Tuesday we have both a breakfast meeting in the morning AND a board meeting in the evening. Please feel free to join us at the Dunes for breakfast. I promise not to write about you in my next article. Those mentioned above are classics!

Kiwanis Korner - National Association of Railroad Passengers

Sanibel Real Estate
This week we were honored to have Bob Stewart as our guest speaker. Bob is the Chairman of the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) of which there are 24,000 members. Although some of you may immediately think Amtrak, Bob is not a government employee.

While we do not often think of trains on Sanibel or in Southwest Florida, Bob is passionate about railway commuting. He said 100 million more people will join us in this world between now and 2050. Just think about the Periwinkle back-ups then! With our current roadway infrastructure, Bob estimates that 2.5 billion gallons of fuel are wasted, and 32,500 people are killed each year. He said we need to focus on integrating our road, air and rail traffic, and the rail system needs to be modernized. The United States currently ranks 23rd in the world as far as efficiency in transportation. This takes into account the speed, convenience, reliability as well as price. Oil, and the dependency on it, contribute to this, according to Bob.

Amtrak is currently only able to cover 82% of their costs with their revenue. Bob feels that this would change by adding more cars to each train. The problem is certainly not demand as every car is usually full on the commuter trains as well as the Autotrain coming to Florida from Virginia. In Florida, the high speed rail between Orlando and Tampa has constantly been a hot topic, but each year the state government shoots it down. Bob feels that rail service between all major cities in Florida would be utilized, especially since the airlines continue to shut down routes. American Airlines will stop flights from Fort Myers to Miami, and no flights currently exist from Fort Myers to Tampa, Jacksonville or Tallahassee. Florida will be the third largest state by population next year, so we need to consider some transportation alternatives. Bob also recommends that Lee County consider buying the CSX Rail lines for commuter use. He is also pushing for another Autotrain from Florida to the Midwest. To learn more about NARP, log onto their website at

In other Kiwanis news, a little bird told me that our organization was voted the best service organization on the island. Check the local papers for details. Please feel free to join us any Tuesday morning at 7:30 AM at the Dunes for breakfast. We look forward to seeing you.

Kiwanis Korner

Sanibel Real Estate
Kiwanis was proud to have Jim Moore as our guest speaker this week. He works for the Fort Myers Regional Partnership, formerly known as the Lee County Economic Development Office. Within the Strategic Division, Jim’s mission is to assist current business owners as well as attract new businesses to Lee County.

In Southwest Florida, obviously our economy is driven by tourism, seasonal residents and retirees. Jim’s goal is to grow the pie a little bigger by making our area attractive for businesses to relocate here. What would entice a company to move, you ask? Jim mentioned that the quality of life is the biggest factor. (This week I keep getting reminded that Southwest Florida is one of the coolest places in the country!) Historically, our local workforce has a low turnover rate. Also, we have a very able workforce looking for jobs. Although we do not have a plethora of skilled machinists who could work in a factory, for example, Jim confirmed that we are loaded with many competent administrative personal ready to work. And I need not mention that we have no state income tax.

In closing, Jim gave the example of how Gartner chose to set up an operation in Fort Myers. Thanks to the efforts of Manny Fernandez, Fort Myers was one of several locations being considered for a new office. Since they moved here in 1998, Gartner has expanded twice. They are growing at an annual pace of 20% per year, and Fort Myers is their third largest office worldwide. Jim and his staff are constantly looking to be introduced to other business owners or retired business owners with contacts up north.

In other Kiwanis news, we are very proud to announce that we were able to give out 28 scholarships of various levels to college students this year. The amounts were based on need, grades, community service, and of course the student’s affiliation to Sanibel & Captiva. There are still some Diner’s Delight (Two for One Dinner) coupon books available for those still need one. Please contact any Kiwanian.

If you have an interest in helping our community, and you would like to meet some fairly interesting people, please consider joining us for our Tuesday breakfast meetings. We meet at the Dunes every week at 7:30 AM for some good food, great camaraderie, and an interesting guest speaker who normally discusses current events in the community. We look forward to seeing you.

Kiwanis Korner - Linda Kelly - Lee Memorial Foundation

Sanibel Real Estate
I am sorry to those of you who have missed my weekly articles. The letters have been pouring in, but quite frankly, I have just been too busy helping all of the tourists on the island. Furthermore, Kiwanis of Florida has kept us all very busy by starting a new program entitled, “100 Women in 100 Days”. Apparently, there is a push to get more women in the clubs statewide. Certainly the prospects have never seen how some of our members attempt to shovel their food in their mouths at 7:30 AM before the coffee kicks in. If you know anyone interested, please have them contact Dick Muench at 239-555-1212. The training program is quite rigorous and includes directional arrows and heavy duty spaghetti sauce scrubbers.

This week, our president Pete Bender mandated that we sit through a weekly business meeting where we discussed things such as our budget, spaghetti dinner and the recently released 2012 Diners Delight two for one books. One member questioned if this mandate was constitutional, but Pete reminded everyone that he is currently having the By-Laws rewritten to suit his new programs. The highlight of the meeting was our discussion of how many oysters Brother Jonathan Tongyai will eat at the Oyster Eating Contest at Timbers this weekend. We hope he eats more oysters than the number of meatballs he ate in 2010! Go JT!

Our guest speaker this week was Linda Kelly, Senior Director of Development For Major Gifts for The Lee Memorial Foundation. Kiwanis, as well as many of its members, is very proud to be a part of the campaign to bring a new pediatric emergency room to Health Park. This new facility will hopefully reduce the waiting time for both kids in the new wing as well as adults in the existing emergency room. Linda explained that Lee Memorial Hospital is excited about the campaign as well as many additional new programs in the cardiology, neuroscience, autism, childhood obesity and diabetes fields. Since our main focus is on youth, we are very excited to help. Please consider making a donation now or a pledge in the future. The hospital will give tours through the facility twice a month to get a feel for their actual needs. Linda said the hospital is also looking for volunteers to work at the hospital. No medical training is required.

If you are heading north for the summer, please don’t forget to buy your two for one books. They are good at 25 local restaurants through December 18, 2012. Please see any Kiwanian to purchase them. Finally, as any good accountant would have it, Tom Louwers celebrated his birthday on Tax Day 2012. When asked what version of Happy Birthday he would like, he said he was too busy and asked for an extension!

Kiwanis Korner - Dr. Neill on Red Tide

Sanibel Real Estate
Only one more week until the 93rd Annual Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner at the Community House on February 25, 2012. Tickets are now available from any Kiwanian, and they usually sell out quickly. Rumor has it that the garlic bread will be the best ever this year. Leave it up to a rookie Kiwaniain to have forgotten the garlic last year?! Many people feel that the Community House on last Saturday in February is the place to be seen on the Sanibel Social Scene. There will be outstanding food, a raffle with great prizes, a live auction and celebrity waiters who you may have only seen directing traffic in parking lots.

Dr. Bruce Neill, a sometimes member of the Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis club and the Executive Director of Sanibel Sea School spoke to us last week on several topics relating to our ocean waters and Sanibel Sea School.

Dr. Neill spoke on red tide and how it is very different from red drift algae. Red tide is a condition caused by microscopic plankton that undergo very rapid population growth and release chemicals that can be toxic to vertebrate animals. Red drift algae is the accumulation of many large ocean plants on our beaches. The large ocean plants – red algae, are normally attached to the bottom, but when growing in vast numbers, they become dislodged and wash up on shore. The algae that accumulates as red drift algae is not poisonous and is mostly an environmental problem. The one thing they share in common is that nutrient inputs from land stimulates the growth of both of these. “The more we fertilize our land, and the more toilets we flush, the more we put nutrients in the Gulf of Mexico”, Dr. Neill emphasized that we are the root of the problems associated with both red tide and red drift algae; the nice part is that we are also working hard to amend our damaging input.

Dr. Neill also noted that in the recent red tide outbreak, we saw fewer fish than we have experienced in the past. And, that perhaps this is a peek in to the future of our oceans. Many fish stocks (populations) in the Gulf of Mexico have been threatened by overfishing. “Perhaps one of the reasons we saw so few dead fish is that there are less fish out there to be killed by red tide – we have already eaten many of them.” Dr. Neill suggested that we can help by eating sustainable seafood and asking our restaurants if the fish they serve is sustainably harvested.

Dr. Neill announced that Sanibel Sea School is offering an exciting new program this summer for high school students – a coral reef research expedition to Belize. Sanibel Sea School will spend 10 days on a small island off the coast of southern Belize. This is a great opportunity for high school students to travel abroad and experience first-hand, how coral reef research is done on some of the best coral reefs in the world.

Dr. Neill also thanked the Sanibel-Kiwanis club for their generous support of the programs that Sanibel Sea School offers to the Pace Center for Girls and the Pine Manor Improvement Association. “Many of these kids don’t own bathing suits, and some have never been to the ocean; bringing them here for a day of fun learning is transformative in their lives and we appreciate your partnership in making that happen.”

If you think you might be interested in cooking pasta, heating meatballs and grilling garlic bread, it’s not too late. Come out and join us at the Dunes every Tuesday morning at 7:30 AM. We look forward to seeing you there.

Sanibel Island Police Chief Guest Speaker

Sanibel Real Estate
Only three more weeks until the 93rd Annual Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner at the Community House on February 25, 2012. Tickets are now available from any Kiwanian, and they usually sell out quickly. Avoid the camping out and long lines at the Community House; buy them now.

This week, we heard an excellent presentation from Chief Bill Tomlinson about crime, or the lack thereof, on Sanibel. Chief said the only criminal activity he knew of recently was how the Patriots stole the game from my Baltimore Ravens last week to make it from the Super Bowl. No sour grapes here; Go Giants! Chief stated that the criminal activity in 2011 was similar to that in 2010 with only 120 Federally reportable crimes. This is a very low number compared to prior years. The biggest threat on the island is unlicensed activity by contractors. Rather than saving a few dollars by asking the unlicensed Handy Man to replace all of your windows or put up that mailbox you got for Christmas, Chief advises us to use a licensed Contractor.

Another concern during our busy season is “travelling criminals”. These people may knock on your door to solicit business, and if you do not answer, they will look for an unlocked door or window. Make sure you lock your doors at all times whether or go out to dinner or are just too lazy to get up and answer the door. Domestic assaults are down 50% on the island from previous years. Traffic accidents are down 48% with only 88 occurring in 2011. The total number of calls to the Sanibel Police Department were down 14% in 2011 to 23,000.

If you are interested in obtaining a Hurricane pass for access onto the island after evacuations, please check with the Police department around April 1st. The Kiwanians would like to thank Bill Tomlinson and his reduced staff for taking care of our community.

Chuck Phoenix was on hand representing Sanibel Little League. He and many parents have decided to add a new twist this year with travel games by joining the Babe Ruth League. Kiwanis is proud to be a sponsor again for the 39th year of kids’ baseball and softball on the islands.

If you think you might be interested in cooking pasta, heating meatballs and grilling garlic bread, it’s not too late. Come out and join us at the Dunes every Tuesday morning at 7:30 AM. We look forward to seeing you there.

Kiwanis Korner - Can you Smell What's Cooking on the Rock?

Sanibel Real Estate
Can you smell what is cooking on the Rock? Meatballs! That’s right, and lots of them. Most of the Kiwanians will not get the previous reference, but those of you who stay up past 9:00 PM watching TV may recognize the humor. Anyway, start your training for the 92nd Annual Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner at the Community House on February 25, 2012. Details to follow.

Kiwanis has been busy giving away cash money to those organizations who are both a.) in need during these tough economic times AND b.) actually approach the club and ask for money. Therefore, we were proud to present a check to Milissa Sprecher representing the Sanibel School Annual Seahorse Festival. This event takes place in early spring and raises money for those necessary school items not covered by the Lee County School System. Also, Judy Zimomra, visited us for the second time this month, to accept a check for the City of Sanibel School Scholarship Fund. As a way of saying thanks to our city employees, Kiwanis is proud to help support their families and their education. Judy said she feels especially close to the Kiwanians because we were the venue for her very first presentation on the island in 2001. Fortunately, Barry Roth was not a member at that time asking the same redundant questions, and Judy has come back every year to discuss various City subjects. We are grateful for everything she does for our community. Other checks were presented to Lee Ellen Harder to support the BIG Arts Summer Camp program. And Tom Louwers accepted a check for Take Stock in Children.

Brother Chauncey probably feels slighted because I have not yet reported on his presentation. Due to the Sanibel Kiwanis By-Laws (which were apparently last seen stored under the leftover tomato sauce in the Spaghetti Dinner trailer somewhere near Periwinkle Park), I can neither confirm nor deny that Chauncey is running for an elected position in November. With that in mind, I would like to report on his excellent presentation. Chauncey Goss spoke about the federal budget and the macro economy. Chauncey, a long-time island resident, has spent the last decade working on federal fiscal policy first with the President's Office of Management and Budget and more recently as the Deputy Staff Director for Paul Ryan's House Budget Committee. He currently runs a consulting firm he founded and is a candidate for US Congress. Chauncey spoke about this nation's debt and how it has grown from a historical average of 40% of GDP to over 70% of GDP in just the last few years. He noted that there is no real plan to return debt to its historic levels. He went on to discuss the key driver of debt, federal spending, and pointed out that federal spending has grown from a historical average of 20% of GDP to over 24% of GDP and the trend is for that number to increase to 34% of GDP over the next few decades. He also noted that federal spending has increased by 30% in the past three years with federal outlays growing from $2.9 to $3.8 trillion since 2008. Chauncey made the point that debt combined with temporary federal taxing, spending, and regulatory policies is placing a chilling effect on our economy. He echoed Talmadge's point from the previous week that the uncertainty that exists in the economy today is keeping businesses from investing. He does not think the climate in DC will change until after the 2012 election. Barry Roth asked Chauncey if he thought the climate in DC will change before the 2012, and 99 men made a mad dash for the door.

If you think you could handle an early Tuesday morning breakfast, some really bad jokes and Happy Birthday sung out of key when it is not even your birthday, come out and join us at the Dunes Tuesday morning at 7:30 AM. We look forward to seeing you there.

Kiwanis is All About Giving

Sanibel Real Estate
Kiwanis has been gearing up for season and is excited to support many of the local organizations during these tougher than normal times. Back in January, we were proud to give a check to Barb Siegle in support of the Annual Kiwanis Science Fair downtown at The Harborside Convention Center. Since 1958, the Science fair has recognized talent and awarded scholarships to many local students showing promise in the sciences. Also in January, we presented checks to The Sanibel School Tennis Team, S.W.A.T.-Sanibel Water Attack Team, as well as the Sanibel Little League program which is just now gearing up for our 38th season.

This week, Arlene Dillon brought some of her energy to our breakfast while accepting a donation to the Sanibel School PTA. She was very grateful for our continued support and said the money would go to help providing much needed supplies for the students and teachers. The biggest fund-raiser for the Sanibel School is coming up on March 26th. The Annual Sea Horse Festival will be held at night this year, and we are also proud to be a sponsor for that event.

Our biggest fund-raiser, however, is coming up on February 26th. The Annual All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti Dinner will be at the Community House, and we look forward to serving another 1,200 hungry people that night. In addition to serving spaghetti and meatballs, we will have a silent auction and a live auction with many great prizes.

This week, two more esteemed gentlemen, both most recently from Washington DC, joined the ranks of official car parkers and pot washers. We are proud to have Rich McDonnell and Chauncey Goss as our newest members of the club.

Kiwanis meets every Tuesday morning at the Dunes Golf and Country Club for breakfast at 7:30 AM. Please feel free to join us for a great meal and some camaraderie.

Shown in the photo left to right: John Morse, Rich McDonnell, Kevin Vertesch, Chauncey Goss, Tom Uhler Photo 2: Allan Marcus

Kiwanis Is Talkin’ Trash

Sanibel Real Estate
Jim Suter, Area Manager of Veolia Environmental Services Solid Waste Division, was our guest speaker last week. You may have noticed the very attractive new trucks driving around the island recently. Thanks to our City staff, we not only save money by using Veoila, but 32 of the trucks are fueled by compressed natural gas. This is good for the environment, the trucks have to refuel less frequently, the natural gas comes from the US of A and it is sustainable. Their company motto is “Turning Waste into a Resource”. Jim’s other motto is “Your Trash is My cash!”

Safety is the primary concern for Veolia which was founin France in 1853. This concern is somewhat ironic as the company was founded by a descendant of Napoleon in Paris. Nevertheless, they now service 72 countries, have revenues in excess of $50 Billion, and they are the 28th largest employer worldwide. They have over 3,700 employees just in the United States.

A few Kiwaniains got a wee bit older last week including Dick McNeill (alleged Auburn fan donning a new War Eagle sweatshirt with the price tag still on it), Warren Seaward (alleged Oregon Duck fan recently seen throwing his quacker in the trash) and Bob Wigley. Football is the hot topic among Kiwanians these days. Harvey Sugarman was talking a different kind of trash about his Steelers, and Andy Schroder is getting ready for the Philadelphis Phillies’ season to begin. Having the last word because nobody else wants to write the article, I will tell you that the Ravens will be mentioned in every article through the Super Bowl.

If you are havinga difficult time deciding who to vote for in Dancing With The Island Stars, please stop by Pfeifer Realty Group to pick up a prechecked ballot. Donations will be accepted until January 22nd 2011. All proceeds go to the Sanibel Community House. Speaking of the Community House, mark your calenders for the Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner to be held there on February 26, 2011. Finally, we would like to thank Barry Roth for coordinating the efforts for the New Year’s Eve Party at the Recreation Center.

Kiwanis meets every Tuesday morning at the Dunes Golf and Country Club for breakfast at 7:30 AM. Please feel free to join us for a great meal and some camaraderie.

Kiwanis News

Sanibel Real Estate
The Sanibel Captiva Kiwanis Club was proud to have Chuck Chamness, President & CEO of NAMIC, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, speak to us about insurance. We hope our two most recent speaker chairmen do not know something regarding upcoming disasters (or maybe they own stock in insurance companies!)

This week, Chuck gave us a brief 260 year history of insurance companies dating back to one of the first U.S. companies involving Ben Franklin. Chuck’s organization represents 35% of all Property & Casualty companies in the U.S., and half of the members are over 100 years old. In my mind I pictured a combined NAMIC-Kiwanis social event! Anyway, Chuck told us that the insurance industry has become increasingly more complex thanks to our governmental regulation. As an example, the Dodd-Frank Bill of 2,300 pages issued 500 new rules and created 20 new departments or agencies to regulate the financial industries in our country. In Florida, one of the government run agencies, Citizens, which carries most of our wind policies, is actually running at a deficit of $21 Billion. This is not good news if you consider many of the largest natural disasters in the past six years were hurricanes in the Gulf. Our flood policies are also controlled by the government through FEMA. Chuck recommends three points to limit the financial risk in the future: 1. Update the FEMA flood maps (recently done for our area), 2. Update the actuarial rates, and 3. Increase coverage limits through FEMA, for example.

Kiwanis would like to thank the Sanibel Fire Department for helping with the Kiwanis Santa Run. Through their efforts, and with the help of all of the Kiwanis “Special Santas”, 152 homes received a visit from the big bearded man this year. Kiwanis is also proud to be a part of the Miniature Golf event/fund-raiser at the Sanibel Community House. Andy Schroder, who organizes this event each year for Kiwanis, would like to have been there, but apparently his Philadelphia Eagles were too cold to play last Sunday, and Andy had to stay home Tuesday to prepare for the postponed game. Finally, Kiwanis hopes you all come out to the New Year’s Eve party at the Sanibel Recreation Center. If this article runs late, then please join us next year at the party.

Kiwanis meets every Tuesday morning at the Dunes Golf and Country Club for breakfast at 7:30 AM. Please feel free to join us for a great meal and some camaraderie.

Kiwanians Are Dancin’ For the Holidays

Sanibel Real Estate
What do coffee, bacon, 80 men and two left feet have in common? That is what we had last week at our weekly breakfast meeting at the Dunes. Actually, to entice the brothers at Kiwanis to make a donation to the Community House, Eric Pfeifer showed a small preview of his dance routine to be performed at “Dancing With The Island Stars” on January 22, 2011. Eric’s dancing instructors got the men on their feet and taught them the basic Samba steps which will be used during Eric’s routine. Eric has worked extremely hard learning how to move and keep up with his dance instructors, Jessica and Ashley from the Fred Astaire dance Studios in Fort Myers. Comments afterwards included, “Eric, why do you get two dance partners?”, “How can we sign up for next year?”, “Does your wife know about this?” and “How come my body can’t move like that?”. Although the main event is sold out, there are still tickets for the dress rehearsal on January 21, 2011 available at the Community House. The event will also be simulcast on televisions at several of the local restaurants on the 22nd. Check out the Sanibel Community Association Facebook page for more details. And please support the Community House by voting for your favorite dancer!

Kiwanians are always proud during the holiday season to be hand out gifts at the Annual Santa Run. If you have a special gift which you would like to have delivered by a real Santa, please deliver them to the fire station on Palm Ridge Road by December 23rd. The Kiwanians will be out all night after that on their sleighs with their reindeer delivering gifts to those kids who weren’t naughty this year. . Also, Tom Louwers is collecting funds for “Friends Who Care” to provide gifts for needy families who may not be able to provide gifts to their own families for Christmas.

Kiwanis meets every Tuesday morning at the Dunes Golf and Country Club for breakfast at 7:30 AM. Please feel free to join us for a great meal and some camaraderie.

Disaster Insurance

Sanibel Real Estate
Chuck Yaunches from Cara Solutions, an independent insurance claim preparer, spoke to us on his two most recent and insurance claims. In 2001, he represented Verizon in the loss from the 9-11 disaster in New York. That claim was settled outside of lit6igation for just under $1,000,000,000. More recently, however, Chuck has been working on a claim for ATT (formerly BellSouth) regarding Hurricane Katrina.

Arriving on the scene in 2005, Chuck was immediately flown by helicopter from L.A. (Lower Alabama) along the coastline of Mississippi and Louisiana to view the loss. He said he was shocked to see debris on the roofs of structures built on 25 foot pilings. He estimated that the tidal surge approached 50 feet. Another astounding comment was that the death count was questionable because of many of the dead bodies located had washed out of recently constructed graves in Louisiana. Chuck was not allowed to travel around the area without being accompanied by armed guards with AK-47s. Martial Law was still in effect in New Orleans during the time he was on site to review the damage to the phone infrastructure. He claimed to have only one bullet hole in his car during his travels! Chuck likened it to the Wild West. His most amazing observat6ion, however, was that the levees in New Orleans were breached on the north side facing lake Pontchartrain, not the south side where the storm approached. While Chuck could not mention the amount of the insurance claim, he did say the litigation is still pending from 2005.

Jerry Stern and Jim Gould are now officially older after listening to the brethren sing Happy Birthday. Question: How many Kiwanians does it take to light a candle? Come out Friday night to the bike path (shared use path) around 5:00 PM to find out. You may be surprised by the answer. Ric Base assures us it will not rain for Luminary this year. Did you hear Dancing With The Island Stars will be on January 22nd, 2011?

Excellent Speakers

Sanibel Real Estate
Kiwanis had two excellent guest speakers recently. Jason Huff with Huff Insurance and Financial Services provided an excellent update of the ever changing insurance business in Southwest Florida. He reminded us that the FEMA base flood elevation changed in August 2008 which potentially made some conforming elevated homes now non-conforming depending on the home’s living level elevation. The more drastic change recently was with windstorm insurance. For properties with a replacement cost of $750,000 or greater, each window and door must have wind protection in the form of impact glass or hurricane shutters. There are a few other alternatives like 3M film, but you need to check with your insurance agent to see if they are still covered. Regardless of your replacement cost, owners can get opening protection credits to decrease their premiums. Just when you think your house is fully protected, and you are happy with your insurance bills, your premiums can still go up due to random re-inspections, rate increases, or standard adjustments every five years.

This week we heard from Bob Walsh of R.S. Walsh Landscaping. As a former Key Clubber in high school, Bob was excited to share a few tips with us as well as a beautiful slide show of several of his projects. Due to a Sanibel City ordinance, a new home construction or remodel landscaping package must include 75% native vegetation. The reason for this is to avoid disturbing the wildlife currently living in your backyard. Secondly, your lot cannot have more than 20% coverage with sod. This is in addition to the building coverage and developed area percentages of 35% and 40% maximum. So if you want a full size basketball court and putting green, you might want to disguise it as a butterfly garden. Bob said some of his favorite projects include landscaping the entrance to South Seas as well as working on the Dunes Gold and Country Club.

John Schubert, Mike Kelly, Peter Perkins, Pete Bender, Lee Derleth, Billy Kirkland, Joe Mondelli, Mike Layton, Andy (Michael Vick fan) Schroder, George Campean, Roger Bunnell, Doug Dietrich, and Barry (Dick Clark) Roth all got another older. After 13 renditions of Happy Birthday including a reggae version, it has been determined that we still can’t sing without Tom Uhler.

Kiwanians would like everyone to remember the following upcoming events which we help with: C.R.O.W Taste of the Islands on November 21st, and luminary on December 3rd. And finally, we would like to extend our condolences to the Vermes family. Longtime Kiwanian and fellow poker player with several members Frank Vermes passed away last week. We will miss you.

Two Heros

Sanibel Real Estate
Kiwanians have so few heroes (other than Dick Muench, of course), so last week it was refreshing to hear from one Kiwanian’s hero, Donna Mutzenard, Executive Director of Island Coast Florida Education Association – the local teachers’ union. Donna was credited with a leadership role in maintaining labor harmony in the Lee School District and with the successes at Tropic Isles Elementary School which has risen from arguably the lowest in the district to last year’s only educational winner of the Governor’s Sterling Award. Tropic Isles also has become one of the few Glasser Quality Schools in the world, and has made AYP (Annual Yearly Progress under the “No Child Left Behind Act” more times than any other school in the district. Donna Mutzenard has been instrumental in encouraging and supporting these ideas spread to other schools.

She was happy to announce that over 90% of teachers have approved a labor agreement with the district that is awaiting approval of the board.

What leads to classroom success? Many things including the intelligent and extensive use of data, good teachers and engaged parents. What is the union’s take on proposal 8 – class size? It puts more kids in class but does not remove the problem of having to add a teacher and a classroom when the limit is exceeded by one. It takes the problem it is intended to fix and moves it up the line, but adds no flexibility.

Teacher tenure was a hot item: Basically Mutzenard favors removing underperforming teachers for cause, and there are recently instated procedures, including 90 days of remediation, for dealing with the situation. Several remediation are in work now. She favors merit pay, but has found no satisfactory means of discerning merit. Class and school composition are uncontrollable factors. A good education about education. No one left early.

This week we heard a truly remarkable story from Stella Farwell, a Captiva Resident who successfully battled ovarian cancer. She is now a “one person campaign” for ovarian cancer helping to educate people about the silent killer. Among her many accolades, Stella is from “N’awlins” she has skydived, she has been a firefighter and she is also the past president (and first female president) of the Captiva Civics Association.

One in 58 women will have ovarian cancer, and there are no obvious symptoms. Women who experience bloating, abdominal pain or have a history of cancer in their families should get a physical exam to check for this type of cancer. There is no national organization publicizing the severity of this disease, and once one gets to stage three, there is only a 29% survival rate. Thank goodness Stella beat the odds and is personally making a difference in the world. Her goal is to help at least one person not make the same journey she had to make. Stella is also a wonderful artist, and she shared many of her projects in a DVD showing how art can be very therapeutic and rewarding while battling a disease.

Let’s not forget to acknowledge the birthdays of five Kiwanians: Armand Ball, Bruce Neill Peter Kendall, Lee Derleth, Don Matlock and John Howard.

Blessings in a Backpack

Sanibel Real Estate
Last week, we were thrilled to hear from John Nicholson representing Blessings in a Backpack, a 501 C (3) non-profit organization currently feeding over 25,000 children in 21 U.S. states and two countries. The program is a hybrid of private sector funding and public partnership carried out in public schools. On the local level, John and his group of volunteers feed 900 kids from Title 1 families who cannot afford to properly feed their own children. Each Friday, these kids receive a backpack of food supplies which will provide nutrition over the weekends, and the backpacks must be returned Monday morning to be available on the following Friday. Through donations from many Kiwanians and many of you, each of these kids can be fed for only $80 per year. The program is also generously supported by local grocery stores. Without this nutrition, John and his staff feel the kids would not be prepared to learn when they show up for school on Mondays. To find out more about this program, check out their website:

This week, John Strickling, the Community Relations Director from Hope HealthCare Services, spoke to us about several new programs Hospice has to offer patients. These programs are available to chronically ill patients as well at some who are not yet at the end of their lives. In general, Hospice was originally set up for patients who have been diagnosed to live for less than six months. Due to the success of many Hospice programs, many patients continue to live longer than if they had chosen to stay at home. Not only do patients receive pain relief and medications, they may also participate in art, music and dance therapy.

Hopeful Wishes is a program to allow some patients to fulfill their dreams on their “bucket list”. John shared a story where one little girl was afforded the opportunity to travel to a water park and spend the day with her friends and family. Another patient was able to have a birthday party as she turned 105! The Hope Parkinson program is the only program in Lee County to assist individual as a “Care Partner” with a spouse with Parkinson’s Disease. Did you know that dancing the Tango is one of the best therapies for Parkinson’s? The PACE program is designed to allow for all-inclusive care for the elderly at home as opposed to having to move a spouse to a nursing home.

Recently, Hope Healthcare Services has also focused on working with chronically ill children as well as their families. Rainbow Trails is a free day program for children and their families who are coping with a life-limiting illness or the recent loss of a loved one. Hope Healthcare Services serves nine counties in Southwest Florida with over 2,200 patients each day. Kiwanis is proud to be able to support this organization as well.

Newcomer Derrick Zurbriggen was brought into the club recently only to find he owed $5 to hear us sing him Happy Birthday. Finally, Kiwanis joins the community in mourning the loss of island icon Sam Bailey. He should serve as an inspiration to our club as well all of our members that our lives can be measured on what we give back to our community. Our condolences go out to the Bailey family.

Kiwanis is Living Sanibel

Sanibel Real Estate
Charlie Sobczak was our guest speaker last week entertaining us with Cliff Notes version of his book, Living Sanibel . This was very helpful for many of the Kiwanians who are typically used to only reading early bird menus and spaghetti sauce directions. For those of you who haven’t yet read his refernce book, it is a comprehensive record of Sanibel's history, flora and fauna. I am sure you know many turkeys currently on Sanibel, but did you know that wild turkeys used to live here back in the 1920’s and 1930’s? Additionally, Charlie gave us a preview of his next book Living Southwest Florida. This book will cover many of the animals and birds you may never have seen in our area, including the snail kite and scrub jay, as well as where to find them. Charlie said there are many hidden treasures all within driving distance including Stump Pass State Park and Big Cypress National Preserve. If time permits over the next 50 years, I am sure we will be reading from his next two planned projects, Living United States and Living Planet Earth, as long as Charlie can fit some time in between his fishing excursions. Speaking of fishing, Charlie said it has never been as good as during the last two years. Charlie also gave us an update on a past Kiwanis scholarship recipient, his son Blake, who is currently studying abroad in the Middle East while attending Northwestern. Can you imagine, Living Middle East?

This week, our guest speaker, Matt Scott from the Sanibel Fire department was to educate us on C.E.R.T., Community Emergency Response Team, a team trained for dealing with disaters. However, Matt was called out on an emergency, so we did not get to hear the presentation. Training sessions for volunteers begins September 29th for an eight week course. Contact the Fire Depatment for more details.

Two new members joined the elite this week. We welcomed Bill Flack and Dan LaBar as our newest Kiwanians. Bill is a retired engineer and musician/singer and certainly upgraded our Glee Club this week while singing Happy Brithday to Jim Jennings. Dan moved here with his family from Cincinnati and is currently a coach in the Sanibel Little League among many other things on the island.

Please feel free to join us on Tuesdays at the Dunes at 7:30 AM.

Kiwanis Gets Ding-y

Sanibel Real Estate
Kiwanis was proud to have Toni Westlund and Becky Wolff as our guest speakers last week educating and updating us on Ding Darling. Their largest event of the year, “Ding” Darling Days is fast approaching and promises to bring lots of friends and supporters out to participate in many fun events. Did you know that “Ding” Darling was the first winner of the Annual Duck Stamp Award? Last year’s winner entered the contest 28 times before he won the award. Additionally, thanks to Jaye Boswell (wife of renowned Kiwanian Boz), there is a Junior Duck Stamp award as well. This year, a new Duck Stamp winner will be chosen on Saturday October 23rd culminating a week of activities and games at the “Ding”. Family Fun Day kicks it all off on Sunday October 17th at 11 AM with a reptile show, cartoon contest and a Bald Eagle presentation. You won’t want to miss the festivities. And the first 500 kids get a goodie bag.

Toni updated us on a few new projects at the National Wildlife Refuge. The Caloosa Shell Mound Trail was recently re-surveyed and new signs were placed along the trail to help educate us on the history of the Indians. The Ding also was the recipient of a $700,000 grant to study the movement of people through the refuge. And you probably thought the Stimulus packages have been a waste of taxpayers’ money! For all of you bikers wondering when the road would be resurfaced to make for a smoother ride, you will only have to wait until 2013!

Dave Bunch tried to hide his age by asking for a “mellow” version of Happy Birthday. This did not work out too well as we simply could not get on key as a group. If you think these meetings sound like fun, and you could picture yourself hanging out with 100 men telling bad jokes and solving all of life’s problems, please feel free to join us at the Dunes any Tuesday morning at 7:30 AM. You won’t feel out of place when our Sergeant at Arms asks you if you are lost.

Kiwanis is For The Birds

Sanibel Real Estate
They say, “Once a Kiwanian, always a Kiwanian.” Either old members come back because they have forgotten all of their one liners that used to work, or you just can’t find good cold scrambled eggs anywhere else. Steve Greenstein returned to the Dunes last week as our guest speaker and the Executive Director of C.R.O.W.

Although Steve is relatively new in the position, he certainly gave us an excellent presentation regarding the history and goals of the organization. C.R.O.W (heretofore referred to as CROW) was established in 1968 by Shirley Walters as she personally rescued a Royal Tern (that’s a bird for all you non-environmentalists). As the organization grew, the first veterinarian was Phyllis Douglass who operated on a 10 acre parcel donated to CROW. The old hospital was built in 1980, and the newest facility was built after a large capital campaign after Hurricane Charley. This year, CROW has been able to treat 284 patients including 175 birds. With the hopes of educating and attracting new animal caregivers and veterinarians, CROW has started a children’s program aimed at raising awareness of wildlife and potential threats that may exist. In addition to Clinic Director, Amber McNamara, CROW also has interns, externs, fellows and 167 volunteer drivers. There are eight animal drop-off locations throughout Lee County between which the drivers make their rounds. Once an animal has been rescued, it goes through the following cycle: admission, diagnosis, integrated medicine, care, release and “wilding it up”. This is not to be confused with what the average Kiwanian does on his anniversary weekend.

As you might imagine, CROW could not exist without its volunteers and generous donations from local supporters. If you have some spare time, or if your child would like to become a Junior Docent, please give CROW a call.

Other news from Kiwanis last week was that David Williams celebrated another birthday. Roger Bunnell and Bill Boswell were thanked for performing an audit to reconcile our bookkeeping. As it turns out, we never had any bookkeeping, but this was only discovered after many hours of research at the Lazy Flamingo. Good work boys!

Don’t Shoot the Moon

Sanibel Real Estate
Kiwanis was pleased to have Major Michael Murray from the Sanibel Police Department speak at Tuesday’s breakfast meeting. The Major was at the Dunes to update us on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Status. He is in charge of the training for the potential cleanup should the oil ever arrive on our beaches. While Lee County has enough oil boom available to surround Sanibel, their primary objective would be to protect the estuaries, mangroves and canals first. More than 190 people from Sanibel & Captiva have volunteered for the training, and many others said they would be willing to help. Dick Muench from the CNN Hurricane Charley division said he would just help anyway without training from City officials. Major Murray was quick to reprimand our Sergeant at Arms and reminded him that the oil and dispersants are hazardous materials. Steve Brown mentioned he has taken only half of the training course, and he will be pulling an all-nighter cramming for the second half.

The main question on everyone’s mind is what happens if we have oil and a hurricane? Major Murray said if a hurricane is within 75 miles of Sanibel, the City would proceed with their Hurricane Plan which would focus on the safety of the citizens first. And of course if there is oil on the beach during a hurricane AND the Red Sox are playing, Major Murray said he would have to check his policy and procedure manual regarding priorities.

Ed Riddlehoover celebrated another year this week and was sung to by the skeleton crew still in town for the summer. I think it is safe to say that we will not be nominating any Kiwanians for American Idol this year. Please feel free to join us for breakfast every Tuesday at the Dunes at 7:30 AM.

Oil & Water

Sanibel Real Estate
Ric Base from our Chamber of Commerce was our guest speaker at the weekly breakfast at the Dunes. You may be shocked to hear that certain groups of the media are reporting that oil from the BP oil spill is washing up on our beaches. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, Ric reports that beaches as far west as Destin have no evidence of oil, but vacationers are getting mixed messages from the media. It could be that they are misinformed. More likely, however, with the sluggish economy, other vacation destination areas are trying to keep tourism dollars at home by reporting that all of Florida is affected. If you haven’t been to the beach lately, it is beautiful. The water is clear, the fish are jumping, and the weather has been perfect. So stop surfing the internet, put on your sun block, go the beach and tell everyone you know that Sanibel is open for business!

This week, the trio of Allan Marcus, Dick Pyle and Dick Muench sang a song to long time Kiwanian Bill Boswell, aka Boz. We could not determine the name of the song, but rumor has it, Bill got older sometime in the last 12 months, according to our registrar. Billy Kirkland announced that he has been in business for 25 years on Sanibel so he could contribute a happy dollar to our party fund. In fact, our party fund has reached the threshold so we can all get together next Wednesday night for a big night out on the town (provided the Kiwanians finish their coffee and are home in time for Jeopardy!). We look forward to seeing the brethren at Osaka in Fort Myers for some kaiseki.

This week we were also graced by the presence of our Kiwanis Lieutenant Governor, Donna Williamson. She announced the new Lieutenant Governor Elect, Bruce Boyd who shared a few brief words about the club. He promised he would not interfere with our business, but we did actually have to check the by-laws to determine what a Lieutenant Governor has to do with our club.

If you haven’t received your 2 for 1 Dining Book, time is running out. You may find a few left at one of the local banks. Last but not least, we are reviewing our budget for 2010-2011 next week at our board meeting. If you know of an organization which supports island youth and is need of some assistance, we may be able to help. Please contact your local Kiwanian. Our mission is to serve the children of the world starting on Sanibel & Captiva.

Sanibel Monopoly Game

Sanibel Real Estate
This summer, our guest speakers will be coming from the various properties on the new Sanibel Monopoly game. Last week we heard from Salli Kirkland, President, and Jill Kobe, the new Executive Director of the Community Chest House. Their mission is to enrich communication on the island through cultural education and social gatherings. This seemed top boggle the minds of most Kiwanians as they have always thought the Spaghetti Dinners covered all of the above. The men were excited to hear there is actually more culture on the island than breakfast at the Dunes. Events currently scheduled for the Community house are Dancing with the Stars, Songwriters Blend Series, Island Jazz Dance Band, and the Neighbor to Neighbor series. And of course, don’t forget the Spaghetti Dinner next February. In preparation for more events, the Community House is planning a fund-raiser this summer to raise money to redesign their building. You can help support the community house by becoming a member of the Association.

This week, we landed on the Electric Company and heard a presentation by Rick Fuson of LCEC. Rick gave us background information on the non-profit provider of our of our power. He also gave us a power point presentation of the LCEC restoration plan should we lose power due to a hurricane. Rick said they learned many valuable lessons from Hurricane Charley, and they plan on being even more efficient should we have another major storm this year. Their priority is restoring power to hospitals first, and then they move onto law enforcement buildings and shelters. So if you lose power, you may want to go directly to jail temporarily. For those of you who stay in your houses or hotels, please be careful when operating a generator. In addition to having your generator installed by a licensed electrician, you should not operator it in or too close to your home. If vegetation appears to be a problem for your nearby power line, our Sergeant at Arms recommended using a chain saw prior to the storm.

Several Kiwanians have had to pay to the banker for aging over the last two weeks. Bill Hay, Bob Harvot, Al Hanser and Les Pendleton all paid to hear various renditions of Happy Birthday. If you haven’t received your Two for One Dining Coupon Books from your local Kiwanian yet, it is not too late. They are still available at Bank of the Islands and the Sanibel Captiva Community Bank. Alternatively, call Jerry Edelman at 395-1579.

Pfeifer Realty Group's Continued Community Service - LEARN MORE

Back to Articles