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Page A28 Southwest Spotlight February 2012

S O U T H W E S T
FEBRUARY 2012 Vol.3, No.2 FREE

Events, things to do and opportunities to give back to our community in and around Bonita Springs
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By Peter R. OFlinn
prof@swspotlight.com
Bonita Springs The Bonita Springs YMCA is poised to
reopen under the ownership of the South County Family
YMCA of Venice, nine months after being shuttered by
Collier County based YMCA of the Palms.
In late January the Venice Y reached an agreement in
principle to assume ownership of the Kent Road facility
from the Palms. The deal is subject to remaining due
diligence, documentation and formal lender approval.
The Bonita YMCA is going to be front and center in
the community or I would not do it, said Ken Modzelewski,
chief executive of the Venice Y. That will be my driving
principle. (See related article regarding the Venice organi-
zation on page A22.)
If all goes well I might be trying to shoot for a March 1
opening, he said. I feel confident that the due diligence
should go quickly. Prompt lender approval to decouple
the facility from the Palms cant be presumed, although
verbal assurances have been given.
We are putting plans in place, said Modzelewski. The
pool is a big mess. There is no doubt about that. We will
purchase new equipment, which has to be prewired into
the floors. We need to determine whether there are enough
circuits to handle the equipment.
The deal came together in late January when the Palms
accepted a price from Modzelewski significantly below
that previously proposed by the Palms. It was the culmination
of two years of behind the scenes work by members of the
former Bonita Advisory Board to the Palms, led by Dennis
Continued on page A22
By Kathy OFlinn
kathy@swspotlight.com
Bonita Springs Estero
resident Pamela Jones-Mor-
ton, 64, phoned her col-
leagues at Lovers Key and
told them she would not
make it to the holiday party
because there was an accident
on Hickory Boulevard. She
didnt offer the details. She
was too shaken.
Moments earlier Jones-
Morton was driving behind
a convertible Camaro, just
about to approach the bridge
to cross Big Hickory Pass,
when an oncoming SUV
came into her lane, barreled
right up the front of the Ca-
maro immediately in front
of her and rolled over on its
side. She slammed on her
brakes and then did what
most ordinary people would
do. She dialed 911.
After that, her actions
were extraordinary.
Running up the bridge
she yelled into the phone. I
dont remember exactly what
I said, something along the
lines of, We have an accident
on Hickory Bridge. Its a bad
accident. Theres a roll over.
When she reached the
car she saw a woman getting
out of the Camaro and then
she saw fire coming from
beneath the SUV.
I screamed, Fire! I just
gave the phone away. I didnt
have time. When I saw the
flames I knew this whole
thing was going to get out
of control. And something
Local Hero Pamela Jones-Morton
Continued on page A18
Staff Photo | staff@swspotlight.com
Ken Modzelewski, chief executive of the South County Family YMCA of Venice,
stands outside the Bonita Springs YMCA on Kent Road. Nine months after
closing, the Bonita Y is poised to reopen.
Outlook bright
as Bonita Y plans
reopening
Inside
SS_FEB_A_Cover and A28 1/31/12 10:31 AM Page 1
Page A2 Southwest Spotlight February 2012
Locally owned and
operated since 2010
(239) 287-6474
info@swspotlight.com
PO Box 1946
Bonita Springs, FL 34133
Southwest Spotlight, LLC
swspotlight.com
S O U T H W E S T

Publisher
Peter A. O'Flinn
peter@swspotlight.com
This month
A4 The wrong pair
of shoes
A7 Dog Track update
A7 Bonita Library
A9 Habitat building
in Bonita
A10 Prayer Breakfaast
A12 Market Pulse
A17 Tennis tournament
A21 City compensation
study
B1 Love of Bonita Award
B4 City Election results
B7 Bob Gillette
B9 Open for business
B17 The diabetic detector
Every Issue
A4 Ben Nelsons column
A7 Up and Down the Trail
A14 Spotlight
Real Estate Watch
A21 Healthy News
A25 Bonita Business Beat
Perez Industries
Bonita Estero Dental Group
B1 Why I love living
in Bonita Springs
Deborah Maclean
Kathy Anderson
B2 Events
B11 Artist Spotlight
Dick Cunningham
B14 Teacher Spotlight
TJ Cheever
B15 Catch of the month
B16 Community updates
B17 Bonitas Best Friends
B18 BTV Schedule
B19 Opportunities
to give back
B22 Restaurant Guide
Advertising Sales
Kathy O'Flinn
kathy@swspotlight.com
Office Manager
Katie O'Flinn
katie@swspotlight.com
Contributing Writers
Bill Barnes
Charles J. Cavaliere
D. K. Christi
Meghan Easterly
Chad Gillis
Max Harris
Dorota Harris
Ben Nelson Jr.
Peter R. O'Flinn
Heather Thomson
Christina Wells
Contributing Photographers
William L. Meyers
David Michael
Robert L. Smith
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A18
B11
SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A2
February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Page A3
SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A3
By Ben Nelson Jr.
info@swspotlight.com
Bonita Springs As I hur-
ried home one evening from
a Council meeting, I had a
hundred things going
through my head, none the
least of which was trying to
figure out if I had packed
everything for the Orlando
vacation that my wife and I
were going to leave on as
soon as I arrived home. Lori
had the car ready to go, so
when I got home we left
immediately me still
dressed in my suit and tie.
Although we were going to
arrive late at the hotel, the
plan was to have a good
nights sleep, head out the
next morning and then walk
way too much, eat way too
much and spend way too
much money at the House
of the Mouse.
After completing the
three hour drive, we were
checking in at the resorts
front desk when suddenly
it dawned on me that I
hadnt packed any shoes
other than the black dress
shoes I was wearing. Now,
I know that Im getting a
little long in the tooth but
Im not quite ready to go
out in public wearing short
pants with black socks and
black dress shoes... yet. Is
there a store open in the
hotel where I can buy some
sandals? I asked the clerk.
She paused typing for an
instant and motioned
towards the map of the huge
resort. We found the store
just as it was getting ready
to close and although they
had mouse ears all over
them, I found a pair of
forty-dollar flip-flops. They
looked comfortable, so we
paid the nice young lady
and went to our room for
the night.
The next morning we got
dressed in our tourist garb
and headed out, hand in
hand towards the happiest
place in the world.... or at
least a hundred yards down
the long hallway to the ele-
vator. After I pushed the
lobby button I looked down
at my feet. Lori was looking
at me. What? she said. I
made a face and wiggled my
feet. I cant believe this
but, I already have a blister
between my toes. These
shoes obviously arent going
to work out. She shrugged.
No big deal...There has to
be somewhere in this place
where you can find some-
thing better, right?
We began by stopping at
every little shop in the resort
until we found a really
expensive looking store that
had beach apparel and other
outdoorsy stuff. The closest
thing that I could find that
looked like something a
grown man would wear was
a pair of opened toed sandals
made of black rubber. (No...
they werent Crocs) They
looked more like bedroom
slippers but, they felt like
heaven compared to the flip-
flops that were eating my
toes so for another fifty
dollars, my feet were happy,
the offending flip-flops were
in a bag and we were on
our way to Epcot.
After we got off the bus
we walked briskly towards
that giant silver ball at the
entrance, anxious to finally
get started having fun. (Flip,
flip, flip, flip...) Lori looked
over at me and frowned. I
looked down at my comfy,
yet noisy bedroom slippers.
Little repetitive noises make
Lori crazy, so I curled my
feet up tight like a bird on a
perch as I walked and the
noise stopped. But within
60 seconds, I was concen-
trating so hard on keeping
my feet scrunched up that
it was causing me to walk
like I had mashed potatoes
in the back of my pants.
Lori, being like every other
understanding and compas-
sionate wife, started laughing
at me, What in the world
are you doing? she giggled.
Is there something you
want to tell me? Oh, youre
funny! I said, throwing my
hands in the air. I relaxed
my feet and kept walking.
(Flip, flip, flip...) See! Im
just trying to stop them from
doing that! (Flip, flip, flip...)
Well... Lori said frowning
down at my noisy feet as
we walked. Dont worry
about it, its not that bad.
Ten minutes later. (FLAP,
flip, FLAP, flip, FLAP,
FLAP.....) Lori stopped dead
in her tracks in front of a
dinosaur and spun me
around like I was one of the
other ten year olds at Disney
World. What! I whined.
She pointed at my rubber
feet. Those have got to go
or were going to go! I
looked down. But... Theyre
so comfortable! Lori was
already walking towards the
giant souvenir store. and
it feels like Im walking
around in bedroom slip-...
Dont care... Lets go! She
said dragging me by the
hand. (FLAP, FLAP, FLAP...)
Mannnnn!
In the store we found
actual shoes... well, close to
actual shoes. They were
Crocs with closed toes,
heels and of course... mouse
ears everywhere. They were
also comfortable, quiet and
only 60 dollars. But all
four of us; my lovely wife,
me and both my feet, were
happy for the rest of the
day...all for just under $150.
(Well, not including admis-
sion, food, lodging, travel
expenses and Excedrin.)
To this day the shoes stare
at me from a dark corner in
my closet, reminding me
that you can never be too
prepared. But if you see me
at the grocery store some
day, walking rather oddly,
its just me trying to get my
moneys worth out of the
wrong pair of shoes.
Page A4 Southwest Spotlight February 2012
The wrong pair of shoes
To this day
the shoes stare at me
from a dark corner
in my closet
Lori Nelson | Special to the Spotlight
SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A4
Open Friday-Monday
February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Page A5
SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A5
Page A6 Southwest Spotlight February 2012
SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A6
Spotlight Staff Report
staff@swspotlight.com
Dog Track slot vote on
track, sort of
As reported in last
months Spotlight, the owners
of the Bonita dog track want
to introduce slot machine
gambling. First they need
Lee County voter approval.
In early January, Bonita
Springs City Council unan-
imously requested Lee
County Board of Commis-
sioners call a referendum of
all Lee County voters on the
proposal. Lets find out if
the County wants it, said
Council member Martha
Simons. It is not for us to
say whether we want it or
dont want it. Its to see if
the people want it.
On January 24, Simons
and other Bonita represen-
tatives spoke in favor of the
referendum at a Lee County
Commissioner meeting.
At that meeting County
Commissioners, by a 3-2
vote after considerable dis-
cussion, directed County
staff to begin work on an
ordinance that, if adopted
by the Commission at a later
date, would put the refer-
endum on the November
ballot.
The ordinance itself
would be considered for
adoption only after a public
hearing. As Commissioner
Tammy Hall said to her fel-
low commissioners, You
will have another bite at the
apple.
But one week later, at its
January 31 meeting, the
Commissioners found them-
selves playing "beat the clock"
to meet a deadline under a
law proposed the previous
day in Tallahassee. That pro-
posed law allows a County
to set a slots referendum
only if action is taken
by January 31. By another
3-2 vote Commissioners
approved putting the refer-
endum on the November
ballot. But, a prior public
hearing on the issue and an
ordinance will still be
required, the County Attor-
ney's office told the Spot-
light.
It is true that jobs will
be created by the expansion
of gambling, said Commis-
sioner Frank Mann on Jan-
uary 24, when he and
Commissioner Brian
Bigelow voted no."What
concerns me is that it is a
short-term solution that will
have a long-term negative
impact on the quality of
life I am concerned about
the foot in the door," said
Mann.
Lee County has all of
the beneficial assets anyplace
in the world would like to
have, the beaches and the
warmth, he said. Folks have
come here for the last half-
century because of that. I
dont want to have to hang
a sign on the county line
that says, Whatever happens
in Lee County stays in Lee
County."
Tax dollars and
the Library
The issue of expanding
Lee Countys Bonita branch
library has been around for
a quite a while. Who knew
it could trigger a philosoph-
ical debate on government
spending on the City Coun-
cil dais?
But thats what happened
in mid January when John
Spear took exception to the
Citys continuing demand
that the County fund library
expansion, and Bill Lonkart
took exception to the excep-
tion. Their exchange of
views carried faint echoes
of a statewide debate last
year, when Governor Scott
rejected federal mass trans-
portation dollars for a
Tampa- Orlando railway.
The City Council dia-
logue started amidst a dis-
cussion of strategic
priorities. The library did
not make the cut, and yet
we continue to pound on
it, said Spear, referring to
the Citys ongoing quest
that Lee County expand the
facility.
That got Lonkarts atten-
tion. The citizens of Bonita
have paid through the
nose to the County, and
deserve more, he said. He
recounted the work of the
library task force that deter-
mined Bonita taxpayers have
paid a lot more than the
County has spent on the
Bonita branch, which the
task force found insufficient
in size.
I have never seen a pub-
lic groundswell to double
or triple the size of that
library, said Spear. A place
where you stack dusty old
books in a two story build-
ing I dont think that is a
21st century approach.
Frankly it offends me
just as much to waste $4
million of Lee County
money as Bonita Springs
money because it is all our
money, said Spear. I am
as outraged as you that the
County has spent less than
collected but that is a
County governance issue.
It all comes down to
dollars and cents, said
Lonkart. The County has
an obligation to give us the
same treatment they give
everybody else, and they
have kept all the money
If we can utilize money
more effectively, then we
should do it. We should get
compensation for all the
years.
City taxpayers paid about
$2.5 million toward Lee
County library operations
in each of the last three
years, about $1 million more
yearly than the County allo-
cated for the Bonita branch.
Before the recession,
when tax rates and property
values were higher, the dis-
crepancy was greater. In the
period 2001 through 2008
Bonita taxpayers paid $24
million more than the
County spent on the Bonita
branch. That money and
payments by other County
taxpayers helped fund a
County library reserve that
reached $60 million in 2007.
Since then, the reserve has
funded operating expenses,
and the construction of new
Cape Coral and Ft. Myers
libraries. Recently, the
reserve stood at $9 million.
In February, County
commissioners are antici-
pated to consider Bonitas
request for funding library
expansion, according to City
staff. Ray Judah, one of the
five commissioners, has
indicated his support for a
$4 million expenditure.
Fertilizer follies
There is too much nitro-
gen in parts of the Imperial
River, according to Florida
state standards.
In a Catch-22, the City
may need to spend close to
$1 million for projects to
prevent fertilizer from
reaching the river, while
battling proposed state leg-
islation that would nullify
current City fertilizer use
rules. Those rules are
designed to curtail the flow
of fertilizer into the river.
Water quality in the
Imperial River has improved
in the last decade, but the
freshwater section of the
river is still impaired
according to the state. The
nitrogen content is too high.
To help meet state standards
Bonita Springs, like other
municipalities in southwest
Florida, adopted rainy sea-
son restrictions on nitrogen
and phosphorous applica-
tion a few years ago.
This is chemistry 101.
Fertilizer is applied, rains
wash fertilizer into the river,
nitrogen levels rise, dissolved
oxygen levels fall. Fish leave
or die. Increased nutrient
loading has also been linked
to harmful algae blooms.
Bonita Springs restric-
tions are similar to many
other municipalities in
February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Page A7
Up and Down the Trail
Continued on page A21
SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A7
Page A8 Southwest Spotlight February 2012
SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A8
By Heather Thomson
heather@swspotlight.com
Bonita Springs Its early
Saturday morning at Ren-
aissance at Rosemary Park
off Old 41 Road in Bonita
Springs. The air is crisp and
the sun is peeking through
trees, slowly warming Bonita
Bay volunteers and Habitat
construction crew members
as they gather to work.
Alongside Shadow Wood
and Pelican Landing, com-
munity members of the three
communities have raised
over $2.6 million and built
54 homes since 1996. This
winter culminates in the
building of three new homes
in Bonita Springs, which the
groups are very excited
about.
Kitty Green, President
and CEO of Habitat for
Humanity of Lee and
Hendry Counties, stands at
the foundation of the home
and talks to the group, brief-
ing them on what their jobs
will be for the day and how
the volunteer organizing
has been going. She steps
aside for Cal Walker, lead
volunteer and fundraiser
alongside his wife Judy, to
lead the group in a short
prayer and pep talk. Today
is an exciting day. Today is
a wall-raising day.
We just love this, says
Judy while the guys slip into
their gloves and receive
instructions from the con-
struction crew about safety
and the floor plan. Its
almost like a club for the
people who have been doing
it for a while. There are jobs
that we all like to do and
that we kind of excel at.
The guys laugh and tease
each other as they grab wall
after wall, shifting and turn-
ing to help each other with
the weight. No one ever holds
more than anyone else. They
are glad for the work, though,
and happy to be helping
with the project.
Theres nothing worse
than getting here at eight
oclock in the morning and
not having any work to do,
says Cal, laughing, But with
three houses theres plenty
of work to divvy up between
all of us.
Aside from Cal and Judy,
there are over 50 other vol-
unteers in the Bonita Bay
community who literally go
door to door making sure
information is spread about
Habitat. Pelican Landings
10th home stands next to
Bonita Bay and Shadow
Woods, already having host-
ed a kickoff party inside its
four walls. Shadow Woods
is the center home, with
building coming right along,
and a community golf tour-
nament culminating in a
surpassing of their million-
dollar fundraising goal.
Habitat for Humanitys
ReStore second hand resale
operation at 27821 S. Tami-
ami Trail in Bonita Springs
opened last month, offering
furniture, appliances, and
home improvement items,
all keeping in the spirit of
Habitats mission: to follow
Gods lead and partner with
the community to provide
decent, affordable homes for
February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Page A9
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Habitat for Humanity is building in Bonita
We just love this.
Judy Walker
With three houses
theres plenty of
work to divvy up
between all of us.
Cal Walker
Heather Thompson | heather@swspotlight.com
Habitat for Humanity and volunteers from Bonita Bay, Shadow Wood and
Pelican Landing are building three homes in Bonita Springs.
people in need so they may
build better lives for their
families.
Three communities,
working alongside each other
for one common goal, is
something that Habitat and
the Bonita Springs commu-
nity are happy to see.
Heather Thompson | heather@swspotlight.com Heather Thompson | heather@swspotlight.com
SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A9
By D. K. Christi
dk@swspotlight.com
Bonita Springs The Bonita
Springs Prayer breakfast is
a lesson in faith. It is remi-
niscent of the famous quote
from Field of Dreams: Build
it and they will come. Nearly
15 years ago, Bonita Springs
residents Jim and Natalie
Wismar were involved in
multiple neighborhood
improvement projects such
as Habitat for Humanity,
Paint Your Heart Out and
Renaissance. Former Mayor
Jay Arend provided encour-
agement and the City part-
nered on many initiatives.
Six years ago Jay Arend
approached me about estab-
lishing a non-denomina-
tional Prayer Breakfast in
Bonita Springs, said Natalie
Wismar, to bring citizens
into an awareness of River-
side Park and to enjoy it. In
the end it became clear that
the outdoor facility would
not be a feasible venue. The
first Prayer Breakfasts were
held at Spanish Wells.
This years event, sched-
uled for February 21 at 7
a.m., has grown from the
original 200 diners to an
expected attendance of near-
ly 1,000 at The Hyatt Regency
Coconut Point Resort & Spa.
Mary Catherine and
Larry White had been a part
of the St. Louis Prayer Break-
fast. She has produced the
Bonita Springs Prayer
Breakfast program from the
beginning, added Wismar.
Bonita Springs is a won-
derful and diverse commu-
Page A10 Southwest Spotlight February 2012
Food for thought
and action
Staff Photo | info@swspotlight.com
SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A10
nity comprised of people
from all over the country,
and indeed the world, many
of whom bring their vast
resources and talents to the
area. However, it is also a
community with tremen-
dous needs and challenges.
Scripture tells us that to
whom much is given, much
is required, and the Prayer
Breakfast, encourages those
in our community who have
been given much to help the
less fortunate among us and
to pray for the well-being
of our city, added Carolyn
Herbold, another board
member.
Ron Miller, a board mem-
ber since its beginning, works
with the keynote speakers.
The original ten to fifteen
people worked on a design
similar to the National Prayer
Breakfast and became the
Board of the Breakfast. Our
speaker this year is Chip
Ingram, teaching pastor for
Living on the Edge, a daily
radio and TV program heard
on over 800 stations and
even in numerous interna-
tional areas, including China
and the Middle East.
Ingram is the author of
11 books, including his
newest release: Living on
the Edge: Dare to Experience
True Spirituality. Past speak-
ers include Ambassador Tony
Hall, Andy Card (President
Bushs Chief of Staff), Wayne
Huizenga, and Jim Daly
(President of Focus on the
Family).
The program has typically
had a patriotic theme, and
has included both local and
nationally known musicians.
Last years program high-
lighted one of the Sisters
Sledge, of We Are Family
fame. This years program
will be a Salute to Presi-
dents.
The agenda includes pro-
fessional Christian enter-
tainment. Singer Lindsey
Graham was privileged at a
young age to open for The
Crabb Family and to share
the stage with Kevin Spencer.
She continues to open for
known groups, and she par-
ticipated in the Amazing
Grace Gaither Homecoming
videotaping in Nashville, TN,
released in 2007. Graham
has also performed for the
Naples Opera Society.
Gordon and Carol Bleich
are a husband and wife team
from Bonita Springs. Gordon
is on staff at The First Baptist
Church of Naples as a pianist
and together they are chil-
drens choir directors. Gor-
don has a Music Education
Masters Degree from Oak-
land University, Rochester
Hills, MI. Their love for each
other, music and the Lord
enable them to uniquely
share the gospel in vocal and
piano artistry.
The Bonita Springs Prayer
Breakfast brings together a
wide cross-section of people
who find a common bond
of service to the community
through service committees
and contributing time, talent
and financial resources to a
long list of service and charity
organizations. One thing for
certain, youll be in the
company of people who put
their heart into the Bonita
Springs Community.
February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Page A11
Come Swing
with the
STARS
Join us for the 14th Annual
Minnesota Twins
Celebrity Golf Classic
& Dinner Auction!
Proceeds benet programs and treatments at
Lee Memorial Health Systems Regional Cancer Center.
Call 239-343-6950
for reservations and information!
ursday, February 23rd
Fiddlesticks Country Club - Fort Myers
Shotgun start at 1:00 pm
Your entry fee includes golf, lunch, dinner and
the chance to bid on truly unique travel, memorabilia,
dining and vacation packages!
Single Entry: $300
Dinner and Auction only: $50
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. ancer Centerr. C
tments at
The Bonita Springs
Prayer Breakfast
has grown from
200 people to an
expected attendance
of nearly 1,000
this year.
If you go
Bonita Springs Prayer
Breakfast
When: February 21, 7 a.m.
Where: The Hyatt Regency
Coconut Point Resort & Spa.
Cost: $35.
For more information:
bonitaspringsprayerbreakfast.com.
Reservations Required
SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A11
By Nigel P. Fullick
Special to the Spotlight
Bonita Springs I doubt
many of us think of Bonita
Springs when considering
key economic events to
which the entire world pays
attention but, on February
10 at FGCU, our commu-
nity and country will again
turn to Bonita Springs/
Estero for a snapshot of the
economy in 2012.
Over the past six years,
Market Pulse has not only
become the premier eco-
nomic event in our South-
west Florida community,
but also one that has been
broadcast live worldwide.
Reuters News Service, the
Wall Street Journal and
Bloomberg have all sent
their reporters to stream
the conference live around
the country and the world.
In 2010, Federal Reserve
District President Sandra
Pianalto was the keynote
speaker followed by Sixth
District President Dennis
Lockhart in 2011. The 2012
event will feature another
first. Michael Bryan, Senior
Economist for the Federal
Reserve Banks Sixth District
is the keynote speaker.
FGCU business students
and faculty also look for-
ward to Market Pulse.
We had been trying for
several years to get anyone
from the Federal Reserve
Bank to speak at FGCU. For
the Chamber to bring in
actual Fed Presidents, who
were also sitting members
of the Federal Reserves
Open Market Committee,
is nothing short of amaz-
ing, stated Dr. Gary Jackson,
Director of the Regional
Economic Research Institute
at the University and a past
presenter who also assists
with the format of the event.
Brad Hunter, National
Director of Consulting at
Metrostudy, who has pre-
sented to the FDIC, Harvard
as well as the Federal Reserve
Bank, returns as the intro-
ductory speaker.
He has proven to be
uncannily accurate with his
forward looking overviews
of the local and regional
economies, says Bonita
Springs Area Chamber CEO
Christine Ross, sharing her
pride in the events success.
It is exciting that our com-
munity is now recognized
for being serious about busi-
ness and providing national
speakers to present the most
timely information to our
citizens. FGCU President,
Dr. Wilson Bradshaw, has
made a personal commit-
ment in supporting Market
Pulse and we are so proud
of our chamber committee
members who use their
influence to bring the world
to Bonita Springs door.
The event is open to the
public and starts at 8 a.m.
February 10 with a conti-
nental breakfast and pre-
sentations begin at 8:45 a.m.
in the university main ball-
room. Tickets may only be
purchased by calling the
Bonita Springs Area Cham-
ber at 239-992-2943.
Nigel P. Fullick is a mem-
ber of the 2012 Market Pulse
Committee and is Vice-Pres-
ident of Element Funding in
Bonita Springs.
Page A12 Southwest Spotlight February 2012
Federal Reserve Senior Economist
to speak at Market Pulse
It is exciting that our community is now
recognized for being serious about business.
Christine Ross, CEO,
Bonita Springs Area Chamber
If you go
Bonita Estero
Market Pulse
Where: Florida Gulf Coast
University
When: February 10, 8 a.m.
Cost: $35
For more information:
239-992-2943
David Michael | Special to the Spotlight
Brad Hunter, National Director of Consulting at Met-
rostudy, returns to the Bonita Estero Market Pulse
as the introductory speaker this month.
SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A12
February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Page A13
SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A13
By Bill Barnes
Chief Executive Officer
Bonita Springs Estero
Association of Realtors
Bonita Springs We are
now able to report on the
real estate activity for all of
2011 for the Bonita Springs-
Estero market area, as the
data done for the year is
effectively complete. The
general summary is that it
was a much more active year
than in 2010 or 2009, in
every category that we
record.
Following the national
trends we see that Southwest
Florida is affected by the
upstream markets that flow
to this area, that being the
central Midwestern states,
with an increasing flow com-
ing from the New York and
Connecticut markets. Also
in 2011 the flow here has
been accelerated by inter-
national buyers from north-
ern Europe and Brazil.
The big four reasons for
the increased activity level
are (1) Ability of the buyers
to have the funds, mostly
cash reserves from stock sales,
corporate bonuses and asset
sales in the north. (2)
Expanded marketing of the
area by our tourist develop-
ment organizations and our
economic development
organizations, such as the
Bonita Springs Estero Eco-
nomic Development Coun-
cil, of which our organization
is a proud member in 2012.
(3) The favorable tax struc-
ture and political stability
of both Florida and the Unit-
ed States. And (4) the excel-
lent high tech marketing that
is being done worldwide by
real estate companies and
agents in this area. The pow-
erful attractive websites,
many with multi-lingual
pages and auto response sys-
tems bring our market to
the fingertips of buyers
worldwide.
The 2011 market in con-
dominiums and single family
homes was almost a mirror
of each other. This similarity
in numbers means that we
are not a condo dominated
market as you see in some
parts of Florida. We are also
not a track house single fam-
ily home market with little
or no options for genera-
tional stepping up or down-
sizing, which allows
everyone to stay in the same
area and yet find housing
for their needs.
There were 2060 Condo-
miniums that came into the
market in 2011, and 2032
single family homes that
came into the market, with
only a gap of 28 units which
is exceptionally unusual and
speaks well for our market.
Given the end of the year
numbers it was a year of
highs and lows. In March
255 condominiums came
into the market, after which
the new listing declines for
four consecutive months,
Page A14 Southwest Spotlight February 2012




7


0
1
2
3
4
5
6
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Highlights
26868 Hickory Blvd.
Bonita Beach
$2,375,000
4851 Bonita Bay Blvd.
Bonita Bay
$2,300,000
23790 Tuscany Way
Pelican Landing

$1,875,000
18149 Via Portofino Way
Miromar Lakes
$1,835,000
2010
January 160
February 175
March 219
April 263
May 174
June 179
July 144
August 132
September 121
October 80

Monthly Transactions
Number of real estate transactions
in the Bonita Springs Estero market
December 177
2011
January 165
February 215
March 271
April 312
May 236
June 216
July 183
189 August
183
133
153
September
October
November November 125
December 188
Spotlight Real Estate Watch
Continued on page A16
SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A14
February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Page A15
SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A15
Page A16 Southwest Spotlight February 2012
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then reversed and increased
for four months before
declining to a monthly total
of 180 new listings in
December.
The single family homes
market hit a high of new
listings in March of 193,
then began a four month
decline in new inventory
but again peaked in Sep-
tember then declines for
December. As with the
other parts of the market,
both national and interna-
tional news daily affects the
sellers and the buyers in
their decisions.
In sales, the longest trend
line of 2011 was the seven
consecutive months of
declining sales. This started
in March and then for seven
months declined to only
65 condo sales which were
about only a third of the
193 condo sales seven
months before. This is due
to financing problems,
tighter restrictions, objec-
tions to condominium rules
and regulations, and lack
of buyers with cash for sec-
ondary homes. However
after October we have seen
two months of condo sales
increases, most of which
have come from exception-
ally low prices and sellers
willing to sell at prices
sometimes 24 percent
under the original list price
and in other cases less than
owed to the bank.
Single family home sales
peaked in April but never
returned to that high of
143 sales. But like the con-
dominiums, the sales in
November and December
trended up from 65 to 79
sales. The price reductions
have helped make the sales
attractive to many new buy-
ers.
The end of the year
December sales of luxury
homes showed continued
strength. Market activity
was strong by all reports
from the field and we
expect 2012 to be less errat-
ic than 2011 and showing
an increase in all market
sectors in Bonita Springs
and Estero.
Jody Burr, of the MLS
Service/Data Department of
BEAR, contributed to the
reporting in this article.
Real Estate
from page A14
SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A16
Karson and Madison
would be healthy. For a
parent, the diagnosis of can-
cer in a child could not pos-
sibly be more devastating.
Barbaras Friends is doing
a great service to this com-
munity of parents and I am
thrilled to be a part of it. In
addition, I recently moved
to the northeast and Florida
in March sounded like the
place to be.
Since its inception, the
Tour Players Classic has
been an event enjoyed by
Bonita Bay mem-
bers. This year, the fundrais-
er is open to the public.
The schedule features a
variety of tennis events and
match ups.
On March 2, the night
matches will feature mixed
doubles and mens doubles
competition. In the Mixed
Event, Gigi Fernandez and
Mikael Pernfors will play
Joanne Russell and Tim
Wilkinson. In Mens Dou-
bles, Rick Leach and Jimmy
Arias will face Jared Palmer
and Don Johnson. Fernan-
dez ,who formerly held the
worlds #1 doubles rank-
ing, is an Olympic
gold medalist
and Tennis Hall
of Fame induc-
tee. Pernfors
won three ATP
Tour titles.
Palmer, Wilkin-
son, Leach, and
Johnson each won
grand slams and held
top ten world rankings.
Eight-time Grand Slam
champion Fred Stolle will
serve as commentator for
the matches. Gates open at
5 p.m. with the matches
beginning at 6 p.m. The
$75 admission fee includes
food, beverages, and an
access book providing dis-
counts and coupons at
Bonita Bay Club and
Mediterra.
March 3 begins with a
pro-am event at 10 a.m. fol-
lowed by the Wells Fargo
Kids Cup Challenge featur-
ing local pediatric cancer
survivors swinging with the
pros. The $50 spectator fee
includes lunch. At 2 p.m.,
touring pro-led mini clinics
will offer participants the
opportunity to improve
their game for a $100 fee.
A gala dinner dance and
live auction will take place
at the Bonita Bay Club Sat-
urday evening. Tickets are
$200 each.
Serving as this years
M.V.P. (most valuable
patient) for the event, will
be Olivia Ramsey, a seven-
year-old pediatric cancer
survivor from Fort Myers
who has received treatment
at the Childrens Hospital
of Southwest Florida and
the Barbaras Friends Out-
patient Clinic.
February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Page A17
By Christina Wells
Special to the Spotlight
Bonita Springs On March
2 and 3, 18 touring pro
greats will join the fight
against cancer at the Fifth
Annual FineMark National
Bank & Trust Tour Players
Tennis Classic held at Bonita
Bay. The tournament, which
has raised more than
$565,000 for Barbaras
Friends, The Childrens Hos-
pital Cancer Fund, has
attracted former French
Open, Wimbledon, U.S.
Open and Olympic cham-
pions. This years proceeds
will support the construc-
tion of a new pediatric phar-
macy in the Childrens
Hospital of Southwest Flori-
da 136-bed, 292,000-square-
foot expansion.
The tournament has
become a yearly tradition
for a number of the com-
petitors.
More than 70 percent
of the professionals playing
in this event are repeat par-
ticipants, says Pat Valva,
tournament co-chair. The
players appreciate the charity
and the generosity extended
by our membership. In fact,
nearly half stay at resident
homes for the duration of
the tournament.
We play the event for
the children, to give them
hope and to improve their
future, says Professional
Donald Johnson. We love
the opportunity to help the
Bonita Bay members with
this charitable endeavor.
It is a great organization
and I have made some
w o n d e r f u l
friends over
the years,
says Profes-
s i o n a l
Mikael Pern-
fors. I also
enjoy seeing
the other
pros. If we
can have fun
playing and
help some-
body in need, its all worth
it. First-time participant
Gigi Fernandez felt a per-
sonal tie to the beneficiary
of the event.
Being the mother of
healthy twins, who spent
the first two weeks of their
lives in the neo-natal inten-
sive care unit, I have a soft
heart for anything to do
with kids health, says Fer-
nandez. I knew in the end
If you go
Tour Players
Tennis Classic
Where: Bonita Bay Club
When: March 2, 5 p.m.
Cost: $75, includes matches,
dinner and 2 drink tickets
For more information:
239-343-6950 or
www.tourplayersclassic.com.
The tournament has attracted former
French Open, Wimbledon,
U.S. Open and Olympic champions.
Tennis greats play for new pediatric pharmacy
SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A17
needed to be done right
away.
She knew the people
from the Camaro got out
safely but they hadnt heard
a peep, not a cry, nothing
from the rolled SUV. The
passenger windows were
down on the ground and
the driver was on the high
side. When she looked
through the windshield all
she saw was the drivers
face pleading, Help me!
Help me!
She ran around the SUV,
tried to open the back door
which was locked then
screamed at the window,
Unlock your doors. As
soon as she heard the click
she ran to the back door
again, swung it open, threw
stuff out, a cooler and floor
pads like a dog digging a
hole and she stepped into
the smell of smoke.
As soon as I looked up
the baby was right there,
in the car seat sideways.
At the same time the
driver said, Save the baby.
The baby seat was a
nightmare. I dont have
children or grandchildren.
I was pushing buttons.
Which buttons open it? So
Im pushing and pushing
and finally it snaps. That
was valuable seconds.
She grabbed the baby
and got her outside the car.
Then she went back in and
walked up to the front on
the passenger side windows
as the glass crunched
beneath her. The driver was
hanging and was having
trouble with her seatbelt.
That I knew how to
work. I pushed the seat belt
and she dropped down. She
said something about her
back and I said, Mam your
cars on fire you got to
move now. When I said
that, she was out of there
in a hurry with me. Smoke
was visible at that point
and soon the car was
engulfed in flames. It wasnt
until the fire engine arrived
that the flames were put
down leaving a charred
metal skeleton of a wreck.
Even as she tells the story
almost a month later, Jones-
Morton doesnt think what
she did was heroic.
I did what needed to
be done. I would hope that
if I needed help someone
would be there. For her
valiant efforts in saving the
lives of the woman and
child, Jones-Morton was
recently awarded the very
first Medal of Valor from
the Bonita Springs Fire and
Rescue District.
When asked what in her
background may have con-
tributed to her selfless and
courageous act, this retired
educator and volunteer at
Lovers Key State Park
explained that maybe her
years of living abroad as
an educator in Japan, Ger-
many and Brazil taught her
self sufficiency and inde-
pendence and enabled her
to help when it was needed.
This isnt the first time
Page A18 Southwest Spotlight February 2012
Pamela Jones-Morton
from page A1
Kathy OFlinn | kathy@swspotlight.com
Pamela Jones-Morton was recently awarded the
very first Medal of Valor from the Bonita Springs
Fire and Rescue District.
When I saw the flames I knew this whole
thing was going to get out of control. And
something needed to be done right away.
As soon as I looked
up the baby was
right there, in the
car seat sideways.
Pamela Jones-Morton | Special to the Spotlight
Pamela Jones-Morton pulled a baby and a woman out of this SUV before it
was completely engulfed in flames.
that Jones-Morton has been
commended for her
actions. In 2008 she was
nominated by the Park Serv-
ice and recognized by Gov-
ernor Charlie Crist for a
Governors Points of Light
award for her hundreds of
hours of volunteer work as
a Master Naturalist at Lovers
Key State Park and for her
exemplary service to the
community. At the time, it
was a surprise to her and
later at a reception at the
Governors mansion she and
the other winners were able
to share their experiences.
Her reaction at the time was
You gotta be kidding me.
Me? Today she says, But it
was just a wonderful kudo.
It was very very nice. And
so is she.
SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A18
February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Page A19
SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A19
Page A20 Southwest Spotlight February 2012
SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A20
southwest Florida, including
Sanibel, Sarasota, and Lee
and Charlotte counties.
For several years, some
state legislators in Tallahassee
have introduced legislation
that would effectively strip
localities of their home
rule ability to regulate fer-
tilizer use. According to pre-
emption supporters, like the
Florida Retail Federation,
local laws restrict state com-
merce and act as a redun-
dant regulation on Floridas
retailers. A website called
thefertilizerfix.com has been
set up to support their view.
State regulation is good
enough, they say.
The City, along with
many other members of
the Florida League of Cities,
disagrees. City Council
recently unanimously
approved a letter to state
legislators opposing the
state preemption bill. This
bill effectively denies local
communities the ability to
protect our water bodies
with more stringent stan-
dards, it said. The Board
of Lee County Commis-
sioners has expressed a sim-
ilar view.
While the City fights
state preemption of its fer-
tilizer law, it may need to
implement projects to cap-
ture nutrients before they
reach the Imperial River. A
Storm Water Master Plan
prepared for the City by
Intera, Inc. proposes the
creation of nine retention
ponds or similar facilities
over a five-year period to
mechanically reduce nitro-
gen inflow into the fresh-
water portion of the
Imperial River.
The total cost of these
projects is $1,710,000.
Interas report states that
some projects could be eli-
gible for cost sharing, poten-
tially bringing the cost to
$925,000. City staff is
reviewing the proposed proj-
ects and will make recom-
mendations to City Council
as to which to pursue.
City employee
compensation study
A review done by con-
sultant Katie M. Busch of
Delray Beach for the City
provided some interesting
data points to enable the
City to begin analyzing com-
pensation arrangements for
its 62 employees.
Busch categorized the
employees into 42 different
job positions and then com-
pared their wages to the
average wages of employees
holding similar jobs in other
south Florida cities. These
included Cape Coral, Clear-
water, Fort Myers Beach,
Naples, Wellington and Col-
lier and Lee Counties.
The report offers a rough
gauge that City employees,
who have not received a
general salary increase in
over four years, are not over-
paid as a group. Thirteen
of the jobs in the City had
wages at or around the peer
group averages, 22 were sig-
nificantly less and six were
significantly more than those
averages.
The report does not show
that any individual employee
is overpaid or underpaid
relative to market averages.
Any interpretation of that
sort would be simplistic,
and erroneous. Thats
because any individuals
compensation is the product
of various factors not
addressed in the report,
including professional expe-
rience, job tenure, specific
duties and performance. The
report provides a framework
for next steps, which include
analyzing employee specific
data.
Busch also quoted other
compensation studies that
show wages of public and
private sector employees in
Florida are roughly equal.
Benefits are slightly higher
for public sector employees,
but this is more than offset
by incentive pay in the private
sector, she reported.
By JL Watson
Lee Memorial Health System
Tennis elbowcaused by
overuse of the arm and fore-
arm muscles that results in
lateral elbow painis a bit
of a misnomer. Though the
condition does affect many
tennis players, it is more
common in those who do
not play tennis at all; such
is the case of Benjamin
Crews.
A recreational golfer,
Crews noticed an uncom-
fortable and annoying pain.
After a few weeks, the pain
worsened. He started corti-
sone shots, wearing a brace
and playing less golf. When
the pain became unbearable,
he met with orthopedic sur-
geon Antonio J. Flores, M.D.
Dr. Flores explains that
tennis elbow involves the
muscles and tendons of the
lateral forearm that attach
to the outside bony area of
the elbow.
Even though this con-
dition is commonly referred
to as inflammatory, it is
thought to be a degenerative
process that results in micro-
scopic tears of the affected
tendons, Dr. Flores says.
Patients like Crews
describe pain on the side of
their elbow, just below the
bony prominenceknown
as the lateral epicondyle.
Pain often is associated with
activities such as extending,
gripping or twisting motions
of the wrist.
Simple tasks like open-
ing a door or shaking hands
become painful, Dr. Flores
says.
According to Dr. Flores,
most cases of tennis elbow
resolve without the need for
surgery. But, when respite
from sports activities or
strenuous work, braces or
steroid injections do not
work, surgical intervention
may be necessary.
Tennis elbow surgery is
usually performed through
an incision on the outside
of the elbow, Dr. Flores
explains. The damaged
muscle or tendon then is
removed or released.
A monitored postopera-
tive rehabilitation program
allows all tissues to heal and
involves specific stretching
exercises, ultrasound, ice
massage and muscle-stim-
ulating techniques.
For Crews, tennis elbow
surgery meant three months
off the golf course. But, now
he is pain-free and back to
the game.
I have a five handicap,
Benjamin says. I can play a
lot of golf without any pain.
February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Page A21
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Tennis Elbow Surgery
A golfers perspective
Up and Down
from page A7
SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A21
Church. That groups efforts
were crucial in raising funds
needed to facilitate the
transfer.
Since 2010, when the
Palms began to consider
alternatives to its ownership
of the Bonita facility, its
been a roller coaster ride
for the Bonitians who
worked hard to keep a
YMCA in Bonita.
Early on, others made
overtures to purchase the
building, including St.
Matthews House and a local
Bonita Springs church.
Before narrowing the
search to the Venice Y, the
Palms gauged interest from
other YMCA organizations,
including the Marco Island
Y and other Florida Ys from
the east coast and as far
north as Tampa.
And then there was the
matter of price. At first,
Modzelewski thought the
Palms was ready to simply
hand over the Bonita Y. The
Bonita Advisory Board,
impressed by the strength
and success of the Venice
operation, supported that
option.
Then a price was put on
the building. The Palms lost
money operating the Bonita
facility, it said, and needed
to recoup those losses.
That notion didnt sit
well with many Bonitians
who contributed about $7
million in cash and in kind
donations to build the facil-
ity. In 2004 the Palms was
handed the keys when the
national Y encouraged for-
mation under a preexisting
organization.
During 2011, as negoti-
ations continued, Modzel-
ewski practiced patience and
restraint, so that the pur-
chase price did not eat up
funds needed to restart the
operation.
The day we reopen the
doors, there wont be a
member there, he said
when contacted by the Spot-
light around Labor Day. We
are anticipating losses in
the first year or two or
three.
And then, at Thanksgiv-
ing time, We are still work-
ing on it. Its a negotiation.
They want more money
than we want to offer.
Also the Venice Y, though
financially strong, stretched
a bit to take over other Lee
County Y operations in
2011.
Like Modzelewski, for-
mer members of the Bonita
Advisory Board were not
fans of paying for a building
that Bonitians had already
paid for. But if a YMCA
was to return, they tackled
a practical necessity, raising
money to enable Bonita to
move on.
Tom Schreck, who led
the fundraising effort, had
high praise for those who
stepped forward. People
called or let it be known
they wanted to help. They
asked, What can we do?
he said.
The purchase will be
funded by substantial con-
tributions of a few donors,
who asked to remain anony-
mous. They are a mix of
original Bonita Y contrib-
utors and new supporters.
There was a genuine
acknowledgment of the
need of the community, and
that the YMCA is a worthy
thing to invest in. That moti-
vation is a very positive
thing, said Schreck.
Some dissatisfaction with
the past is understandable,
he said. But there is a time
and place when you just
have to put it behind you.
The sooner we can get over
the issue of the history, the
better off we are.
In past years the Bonita
community has displayed
its customary generosity,
contributing upwards of
$140,000 annually to defray
operating costs at the Bonita
Y.
The Spotlight has previ-
ously reported that the
Palms first asked $1.5 mil-
lion and then around
$900,000 for the Bonita
facility. Subsequently, the
asking price was cut to an
amount substantially lower
than that. The Spotlight has
been asked to keep the
agreed price confidential,
but can report that it is a
six figure amount signifi-
cantly less than half the last
asking price reported.
Page A22 Southwest Spotlight February 2012
Staff Photo | staff@swspotlight.com
Nine months after closing, the Bonita Springs YMCA on Kent Road is poised to
reopen.
YMCA
from page A1
Looking to Venice,
Bonita Y sees its reflection, and hope
By Peter R. OFlinn
prof@swspotlight.com
Venice Newspaper articles
tell the story of a financially
failing YMCA, the victim of
overly ambitious plans, errant
predictions of growth during
a boom period and a facility
built in an area isolated from
many in the community it
was supposed to serve.
YMCA in Trouble, reads
one headline. YMCA loses
battles with financial woes,
likely to close, reads another.
And then, Will YMCA turn
into just another memory,
and Must the Y die?
Is it the story of the Bonita
Springs YMCA? No. The arti-
cles hang on storyboards in
a corridor of the Venice
YMCA. From the Sarasota
Herald-Tribune 30 years ago,
they tell of an organization
near demise.
A determined community
saved the Venice Y, as subse-
quent headlines tell, Y fund
growing, Y contributors
work to make the difference,
YMCA funders hanging
tough, and finally YMCA
saved.
Today, the Venice YMCA,
or the South County Family
YMCA as it is officially called,
is a vibrant organization. It
operates two facilities, in
Venice and Englewood. In
2011 it took over YMCA
operations in Lee County,
other than Bonita Springs.
Now the Venice Y is
poised to reopen the Bonita
Y, after striking a deal with
Collier County based YMCA
of the Palms. The deal cul-
minates two years of work
by the Bonita Advisory Board
to the Palms.
Spend an afternoon at the
Center Road facility in Venice
and its easy to see the poten-
tial the Bonita Advisory
Board saw. Its a far cry from
the Y of work-out machines,
a gym and a pool.
Think of it as the YMCA,
reimagined.
The South County Y is
a community hub, and we
are very proud of that, said
Ken Modzelewski, chief exec-
utive of the Venice operation,
We sponsor and partner
with eighty community
organizations.
He ticked off a few. The
Womens Resource Center,
the American Cancer Society
and the Seratoma speech
clinic. They are given per-
manent space because we
are the Y, he said.
Not to mention the Sher-
iff s department that trains
scuba divers in the pool, the
Loveland Association of
Handicapped Adults, the
Senior Friendship Center,
the Boys and Girls Club, the
Salvation Army summer
youth program, Big Brothers
and Big Sisters, and the bas-
ketball programs of the
Venice Christian School and
the Epiphany Cathedral.
Its mantra is get involved.
Community outreach
means immersion in the
community, said
Modzelewski. We have start-
ed coalitions to improve the
community, whether its
healthy kids or adult pro-
grams. We work with church-
es and youth programs. If
there is a fundraiser, even if
it is for somebody else, we
should be there.
If a community group
wants to have a meeting in
our conference room, they
just let us know and they
can use it, he said, For any-
one who wants to work with
the YMCA, we are here. Most
of it is free of charge.
Part of the Y is the build-
ing, but then you take the
programs into the commu-
nity. It is a process and does
not happen overnight. But
once it does, everyone says,
Gee, look at what the Y did.
I am not a fisherman,
and I am a bad golfer, said
Modzelewski. To me this is
my world.
And quite a world it is.
Modzelewskis small office
just off the reception area is
simply furnished. But the
Venice facility is virtually a
village.
There are eight buildings
with over 100,000 square feet
on the campus. The 55,000
square foot health and well-
ness center is the centerpiece.
There is an Olympic size
pool, 25,000 square foot gym,
infant care center, preschool
center, before and after school
building, skate park, a cafe-
teria, and a charter school
for 350 students.
We have nearly 25,000
members, said Modzelewski.
On a daily basis 3,500 people
go through the door, and
thats not counting the kids
in our after school program.
We have over 130 pieces of
cardio equipment, so even
at peak time anyone can get
on the equipment.
Ken Modzelewski has
spent a lot of time in Boni-
ta. I have walked the Y. I
looked at the communities,
starting with google earth. I
have driven around figuring
distances between the Y and
the schools, and 41.
Modzelewski is aware that
many Bonita residents live
in gated communities with
their own facilities. In Venice,
he says, many members come
from gated communities.
They are great places, he said,
but many dont have the
depth and breadth of what
we bring if you want to live
a healthy lifestyle.
What we also bring is
socialization, he said. We
have the 94 year old on the
treadmill, and the six week
old in infant care. We have
groups that drink their coffee
and read their newspaper.
You have to create that
atmosphere of enthusiasm
and synergy.
I attempt to inspire folks
to do better, and I expect I
will be personally spending
a lot of time in Bonita, said
Modzelewski.
We have to get the com-
munity to love their Y, he
said. Venice loves its Y,
Englewood loves its Y. No
one knows what the South
County Family YMCA is,
and who cares?
Community
outreach means
immersion in the
community.
Ken Modzelewski
We have to
get the community
to love their Y.
Ken Modzelewski
SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A22
February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Page A23
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SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A23
Page A24 Southwest Spotlight February 2012
SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A24
Spotlight Staff Report
staff@swspotlight.com
Bonita Springs Before
Bonita Springs was incor-
porated and when farms
bordered each side of Old
41, Joe Perez was doing
additions and lanai enclo-
sures to RVs and mobile
homes in places like Lime
Tree Park in Bonita and
Riverwoods Plantation in
Estero. That was in the
mid-1980s when he started
Perez Aluminum. In 1999
he changed the name to
Perez Industries.
Today I do
more residential
homes. Most of
it is for private
homeowners. The
rest is subcon-
tractor work for
builders. We do
mostly exterior
work: storm shut-
ters, pool enclo-
sures, fascia and
roof repairs,
impact windows,
said Perez. Im a
general contrac-
tor. We do just
about anything.
We do a lot of
work by referral,
mostly by word of
mouth. Weve
been here so
long,
Perez worked
for a number of
companies, prior to starting
his own company. He
explained that lanai con-
struction is ex-posed truss
work. Its finish work.
With what we do,
everything is exposed so
you have to be very neat.
And thats one of the things
we try to stress neatness,
Perez explained.
For homeowners who
dont like pool enclosures,
he installs decorative pow-
der coated aluminum
fences since state code
requires a barrier around
pools. A grandfather of two
youngsters, he speaks pas-
sionately about this subject.
We have more drown-
ings of children in Florida
than any other state in the
country. I recommend
alarms on doors and a bar-
rier around pools because
a child can wander off
while youre on the phone.
It only takes a few minutes.
Its so tragic.
He attributes his success
to continually trying to
improve his methods and
products.
We always think there
is room for improvement.
Were always looking for
different fasteners that will
withstand the weather bet-
ter, different methods of
doing things so theyre
stronger, he said.
The biggest challenge
he faces right now is the
economy and the cost of
goods. The market on alu-
minum fluctuates so
much. He adds
that his prices are
good for 2 months
and sometimes he
has to absorb the
loss. Fluctuating
fuel prices also
present a challenge.
But he said, Find-
ing the work isnt
that difficult if you
do good work and
its very easy to
work with the
Building Depart-
ment here in Boni-
ta.
Perez is most
proud that his com-
pany has been able
to survive the eco-
nomic downturn
and not diminished
the quality of the
work. He says he
still tries to put out
the best possible product
for the customer.
We dont cut corners
never will. We try to make
sure that the customer has
a satisfactory business
transaction with us and he
feels good about what
he has spent his money
on.
February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Page A25
BONITA BUSINESS BEAT
Spotlight Staff Report
staff@swspotlight.com
Bonita Springs A coffee
table-sized book of testimo-
nials sits on the table as you
enter Bonita Estero Dental.
That and a friendly greeting
from the staff help make
patients feel welcome and
comfortable.
We have a great staff.
We truly enjoy being in each
others company, explained
Dr. Feeney.
At Bonita Estero Dental,
Dr. Owen Feeney and Dr.
Claudie Delgado-Feeney, par-
ents of four young children,
have TVs for patients who
want to watch Ellen
and laugh.
We keep the
patient engaged, talk it
through and make sure
they are comfortable
with what we are
doing, said Dr. Feeney,
and in the end, its not
as bad as what your
mind had planned.
They offer general and
cosmetic dentistry.
Cosmetics is what
Dr. Delgado-Feeney
loves to do. I like work-
ing with people, mak-
ing them improve their
smiles and improve
their confidence. I
enjoy cosmetics and
would do it all day if I
could, she explained.
Dr. Feeney likes doing
implants. Its exciting to
help patients gain function-
ality, he said.
Studies have shown that
people see their dentist far
more often than they see
their physician. So we
become screeners for a lot
of other things as well.
When we do our checkup,
we always check the tissue
and look for different signs
of disease, said Dr. Feeney.
Many diseases do show up
in the mouth. Inflammation
may be a sign of periodontal
disease or something more
serious. Early detection
by the dentist can be life-
saving.
Weve become more
aware of the links of peri-
odontal disease and heart
disease. If you have peri-
odontal disease, you have an
increased chance of heart
disease, said Dr. Feeney.
There are cases of patients
who, once they have their
periodontal infection re-
solved, can get off their heart
medications. With the
inflammation cleared up, the
heart has an easier job.
Fluoride and sealants have
changed dentistry in a dra-
matic fashion, explained Dr.
Feeney. The population
under 39 years of age
has had fewer cavities. The
days of silver fillings are
long gone. A more conser-
vative approach, sometimes
referred to as microdentistry,
is used today with the advent
of white composite fillings
which dont require the
drilling of a massive channel.
Other techniques include the
use of computerized anes-
thetic and nitrous oxide,
otherwise known as laughing
gas.
Along with a passion for
dentistry, Dr. Feeney teaches
anatomy and physiology at
Florida Gulf Coast Univer-
sity. A past chairman
of the board of the
Bonita Springs Area
Chamber of Com-
merce, and currently
Chairman of the
Chambers Foundation
Board, Dr. Feeney
somehow finds time to
play rhythm guitar in
the classic rock band
he founded called the
Mighty Quint. Over the
past six years his band
has played for several
charity events hosted
at various local venues.
Dr. Delgado-Feeney
currently is a member
of the board of directors
of the Bonita Springs
Area Chamber of Com-
merce. When they are not
in the office, the doctors
might be attending anyone
of their childrens athletic
events. They are all physi-
cally active, explained Dr.
Delgado-Feeney, in Tae
Kwon Do, gymnastics and
basketball.
With busy careers, com-
munity and charitable
endeavors, and a big family,
these two doctors are quite
active as well.
Perez Industries
Room for improvement
The changing face of dentistry
We dont cut
corners
never will.
Joe Perez
Staff Photo | staff@swspotlight.com
Joe Perez started Perez Aluminum, now
Perez Industries, over 25 years ago in
Bonita Springs.
Staff Photo | staff@swspotlight.com
Dr. Owen Feeney and Dr. Claudie
Delgado-Feeney
Studies have shown
that people see their
dentist far more
often than they see
their physician.
SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A25
Page A26 Southwest Spotlight February 2012
Sunset of the month
Maxine Saul | sunset@swspotlight.com
Februarys sunset of the month was submitted by Maxine Saul. Maxine is the winner of two tickets to the Bonita Blues Festival March 9 and 10 at Riverside
Park. Email your best sunset photos to sunset@swspotlight.com for a chance for your photo to be the next sunset of the month and win tickets to the Bonita Blues
Festival.
SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A26
February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Page A27
SS_FEB 2012_Section A 1/31/12 6:24 PM Page A27
Page A28 Southwest Spotlight February 2012
S O U T H W E S T
FEBRUARY 2012 Vol.3, No.2 FREE

Events, things to do and opportunities to give back to our community in and around Bonita Springs
PRSRT STD
U.S. POSTAGE PAID
FT MYERS, FL
PERMIT #980
RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMER
ECRWSS
Market Pulse A12
Love of
Bonita Award B1
City Election
Results B4
The Diabetic
Detector B17
Bonita Business
Beat A25
Building in Bonita A9
20,000 circulation
12,000 direct-mailed
By Peter R. OFlinn
prof@swspotlight.com
Bonita Springs The Bonita Springs YMCA is poised to
reopen under the ownership of the South County Family
YMCA of Venice, nine months after being shuttered by
Collier County based YMCA of the Palms.
In late January the Venice Y reached an agreement in
principle to assume ownership of the Kent Road facility
from the Palms. The deal is subject to remaining due
diligence, documentation and formal lender approval.
The Bonita YMCA is going to be front and center in
the community or I would not do it, said Ken Modzelewski,
chief executive of the Venice Y. That will be my driving
principle. (See related article regarding the Venice organi-
zation on page A22.)
If all goes well I might be trying to shoot for a March 1
opening, he said. I feel confident that the due diligence
should go quickly. Prompt lender approval to decouple
the facility from the Palms cant be presumed, although
verbal assurances have been given.
We are putting plans in place, said Modzelewski. The
pool is a big mess. There is no doubt about that. We will
purchase new equipment, which has to be prewired into
the floors. We need to determine whether there are enough
circuits to handle the equipment.
The deal came together in late January when the Palms
accepted a price from Modzelewski significantly below
that previously proposed by the Palms. It was the culmination
of two years of behind the scenes work by members of the
former Bonita Advisory Board to the Palms, led by Dennis
Continued on page A22
By Kathy OFlinn
kathy@swspotlight.com
Bonita Springs Estero
resident Pamela Jones-Mor-
ton, 64, phoned her col-
leagues at Lovers Key and
told them she would not
make it to the holiday party
because there was an accident
on Hickory Boulevard. She
didnt offer the details. She
was too shaken.
Moments earlier Jones-
Morton was driving behind
a convertible Camaro, just
about to approach the bridge
to cross Big Hickory Pass,
when an oncoming SUV
came into her lane, barreled
right up the front of the Ca-
maro immediately in front
of her and rolled over on its
side. She slammed on her
brakes and then did what
most ordinary people would
do. She dialed 911.
After that, her actions
were extraordinary.
Running up the bridge
she yelled into the phone. I
dont remember exactly what
I said, something along the
lines of, We have an accident
on Hickory Bridge. Its a bad
accident. Theres a roll over.
When she reached the
car she saw a woman getting
out of the Camaro and then
she saw fire coming from
beneath the SUV.
I screamed, Fire! I just
gave the phone away. I didnt
have time. When I saw the
flames I knew this whole
thing was going to get out
of control. And something
Local Hero Pamela Jones-Morton
Continued on page A18
Staff Photo | staff@swspotlight.com
Ken Modzelewski, chief executive of the South County Family YMCA of Venice,
stands outside the Bonita Springs YMCA on Kent Road. Nine months after
closing, the Bonita Y is poised to reopen.
Outlook bright
as Bonita Y plans
reopening
Inside
SS_FEB_A_Cover and A28 1/31/12 10:31 AM Page 1
Page B24 Southwest Spotlight February 2012
S O U T H W E S T S P O T L I G H T
Events, things to do and opportunities to give back to our community in and around Bonita Springs
FEBRUARY 2012 Vol.3, No.2 SECTION B
Why I love living in
Bonita Springs
Love of Bonita
By Heather Thomson
heather@swspotlight.com
Bonita Springs There was once a man
who lived in a small town on the border of a
small county. No one ever took great notice
of this town, but this man knew that there
was something special about it. When he
was young, he had moved there with his
family and they welcomed guests to their
new motel from all over. He went to school
and his family sold the
motel, and soon he was
a successful lawyer.
He had a lovely wife
who had grown up in
the same town, and four
children who they
brought everywhere with
them. Life was good for
them. But he had a prob-
lem; his heart was over-
flowing. This is not the
kind of overflowing that
a doctor can fix. This
man had to find a way
to fix it himself.
And so when his fa-
ther-in-law invited him
to join a club of volun-
teers, he did, soon after
inviting his own father.
Suddenly he realized that
he loved his town more
than he ever realized. And
soon he was joining more
clubs and volunteering
more, his family in tow
all the way.
When the announce-
ment was made that their hometown would
become a city, there were concerns. Would
the independence of their town be threatened?
But he assured his friends that he trusted in
his town-turned-city new government, small
but strong, new but ready to learn. He saw
in his surroundings a place that could thrive
and would benefit from the title City of
Bonita Springs.
And soon he found that his overflowing
Heather Thomson | heather@swspotlight.com
Don Thompson has been named the 2012 Love of Bonita
Award recipient.
By Deborah M. Maclean
Special to the Spotlight
Bonita Springs I have
read with interest the oth-
er submissions titled un-
der Why I love living in
Bonita Springs. I am
pleased to have been
asked to share why I live
here with you. I live here
because of the location
and natural resources.
We live in a humid
subtropical climate characterized by hot
humid summers and mild dry winters. We
are protected on our westerly boundary by
the Gulf of Mexico and on our easterly
boundary by the DRGR [Density Reduction
Groundwater Resource] which is adjacent
to the Everglades. Right down our center is
the Imperial River. This triage swaddles us
and gives us our near tropical climate zone.
I love our balmy summers and the wild
sexy storms that replenish the DRGR and
the Everglades. These monsoons cause ex-
plosions of growth a natural pruning and
a heightening of color and a cleansing of
buildings and roadways. To me summer is
glorious. Did you know that if you and I
had chosen to live just a few miles north
near the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers;
we would experience colder winters. Sadly
if we continue to sprawl eastward we will,
as in Atlanta, disrupt this delicate weather
pattern.
By Kathy Anderson
Special to the Spotlight
Bonita Springs
In 1969, during
a family Christ-
mas vacation in
Miami, my sis-
ter, her friend,
and I were al-
lowed to have
the car for one
day as long as
we promised not
to go to the out-
door rock con-
cert in Ft. Laud-
erdale. Begrudg-
ingly, we agreed
and headed west
on Alligator Al-
ley (2 lanes back then). Arriving in down-
town Naples with nothing happening there,
we pulled over at the phone booth on Fifth
Avenue and called our friends mom back
in Indiana. When Mrs. Ford told us how to
get to Sanibel, off we went!
Arriving on Sanibel and following signs
directing us to the beach, the three of us
felt as though wed arrived on Gilligans Is-
land! The day was glorious. We picked up
beautiful shells, listened to the surf, and
watched many different types of birds. Once
we realized the time was getting late and
we were told to be back by dark, we
headed down McGregor Boulevard, which
Kathy Anderson
Continued on page B8
Continued on page B8 Continued on page B8
SS_FEB_B Cover and B24 1/31/12 10:32 AM Page 1
Page B2 Southwest Spotlight February 2012
Beginning Birding
Thur., Feb. 2, 10 a.m.
This beginning birding pro-
gram is just one of many
nature programs offered by
park services at Lovers Key.
Bike tours, beach walks, kayak
tours, manatee and dolphin
talks and a fishing clinic and
more fill out the February
calendar. For reservations call
239 465-4588 or for details
go to floridastateparks.
org/loverskey. Cost: programs
are free, charge for park
admission, discounted price
on kayak, bicycle and canoe
rentals if registered for a pro-
gram.
Farm Fresh Market
Saturdays 7:30 a.m. to noon
Come to one of the most
popular markets in the region.
Fully stocked farm-fresh veg-
etable vendors plus fish, baked
goods, cut flowers, orchids,
cosmetics, antiques, fashions,
jewelry, books and more.
Where: Promenade at Bonita
Bay. Cost: Free. For more
information go to www.boni-
talions.org.
Book Sale
Fri., Feb. 3 & Sat. Feb 4,
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Friends of the Library of
Bonita Springs will be holding
their book sale to raise funds
for Library programs. Find
your favorite authors at bar-
gain prices. There will be a
large selection of gently used
paperbacks, hard cover fiction
and nonfiction books, chil-
drens books, tapes, CDs and
puzzles for sale. Where: Bonita
Springs Library meeting
room, 26876 Pine Avenue.
Bark in Riverside Park
Sat., Feb. 4, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Bring your dog for a day of
food, music and more: pet
contests all day, pet CPR
demonstrations, raffle and
silent auction, microchipping
on site. All event proceeds
benefit Southeastern Guide
Dogs. Where: Riverside Park
on Old 41 Road mile north
of Bonita Beach Road. Cost:
Free
Bonita Estero Market
Pulse
Fri. Feb. 10, 8 a.m.
Economic overviews of the
local and regional economies
will be presented by keynote
speaker Michael Bryan, Senior
Economist for the Federal
Reserve Banks Sixth District.
Brad Hunter, National Direc-
tor of Consulting at Metros-
tudy, returns as the
introductory speaker. This
event is open to the public.
Where: Florida Gulf Coast
University, main ballroom.
Cost: $35. Tickets may only
be purchased by calling the
Bonita Springs Area Chamber
of Commerce at 239 992-
2943.
City Hall Open House
Sat., Feb. 11, noon to 2 p.m.
To inform residents about
the new communication ini-
tiatives it is undertaking, the
city will host an interactive
tour of new technologies it
hopes will encourage residents
to connect with the city. Res-
idents will learn about QR
codes, new web templates,
social media platforms, chan-
nel 98 and more. There will
be fire and police cars and
trucks and gadgets for families
and kids to explore. Where:
Bonita Springs City Council
Chambers and parking lot
area. Cost: Free.
Old-Time Florida Fish Fry
Sun. Feb 12, noon to 2 p.m.
The Lions Club and the His-
torical Society will co-host a
Fish Fry. The American Folk
Trio will provide the enter-
tainment with a variety of
country, folk and gospel tunes.
The artist cottages will be
open. Reservations required.
For advance tickets through
the Lions call Ken Shivel at
239 992-0154 or the Historical
Society at 239 992-6997.
Where: Liles Hotel in Historic
Bonita Springs. Cost: $10 per
person in advance or $12 at
the event.
Vow Renewal Ceremony
at Lovers Key State Park
Tues., Feb. 14, 4:30 p.m.
to 7 p.m.
Love is in the air at Lovers
Key on Valentines Day. Cou-
ples are invited to the park
for a special wedding vow
renewal ceremony at the gaze-
bo on the beach. Each couple
will receive a photo taken at
sunset and champagne
punch, treats and music will
complement the sunset. Pre-
registration is required by
February 6 so that all couples
can be entered into a drawing
for a Valentines Night stay
donated by the nearby Lovers
Key Resort. To register go to
www.friendsofloverskey.org
or call the event chair, Cheryl
Hohmann, 239 765-9482.
Where: Lovers Key State Park.
Cost: $45 per couple, non-
refundable donation.
Celebration of Reading
Fri. Feb. 17, 6 p.m.
Best selling authors will join
Gov. Jeb Bush and Mrs.
Barbara Bush for this annual
event which is in its 12th
consecutive year. Individual
tickets, available at www.
celebrationofreading.org or
by contacting Tina Matte at
239 277-6295, include the
reading event followed by a
gourmet dinner and a book-
signing with the authors.
Floridas Celebration of Read-
ing raises funds for family
literacy programs. Where:
Hyatt Regency Coconut
Pointe Resort & Spa. Cost:
$250 per person.
Lions Pride Park
Sat., Feb. 18, 11 a.m.
Celebrate with the Bonita
Springs Lions Club when the
ribbon is cut for the new nat-
ural playground, Lions Pride
Park, their gift to the children
of Bonita Springs. Current
Lions Clubs International
President Sidney Sid L.
Scruggs will be in attendance.
Where: Depot Park, off Penn-
sylvania Avenue. Cost: Free.
Bonita Springs Prayer
Breakfast
Tues. Feb 21, 7 a.m.
Chip Ingram, teaching pastor
for Living on the Edge and
author of 11 books, is the
featured speaker. Musical
entertainment provided by
singer Lindsey Graham and
pianist Gordon Bleich. For
more information visit
www.bonitaspringsprayer-
breakfast.com. Reservations
EVENTS
Continued on page B20
SS_FEB 2012_Section B 1/31/12 6:17 PM Page B2
February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Page B3
www.LeeMemorial.org
For Your Health
L E C T U R E S E R I E S
Lee Memorial Health System brings you a complimentary lecture series designed to introduce you
to the latest health topics and treatments available right here in Southwest Florida.
Lectures are scheduled through April with topics to include
cardiology, neurology, orthopedics and cancer.
Seating is limited. Reservations are requested. Please call 239-454-8762.
Brian Hummel, M.D.
Cardiothoracic Surgeon
Murali Muppala, M.D.
Cardiologist
Steven Priest, M.D.
Cardiologist
New Treatment Option for Aortic Stenosis
Join cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Brian Hummel and cardiologists Dr. Murali
Muppala and Dr. Steven Priest as they introduce you to transcatheter
aortic valve replacement, also known as TAVR. An alternative to traditional
open-heart surgery, TAVR is performed through an artery in the groin. Lee
Memorial Health Systems HealthPark Medical Center was the rst facility
in Florida to oer this procedure outside of clinical trials.
7hursday, February 16, 2012 - 5-6:30 p.m.
Trianon Bonita Bay
3401 Bay Commons Drive, Bonita Springs












































SS_FEB 2012_Section B 1/31/12 6:17 PM Page B3
Page B4 Southwest Spotlight February 2012
Euro Kitchen Designs
239.949.3010


Massive
selection
of
bar
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in
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Euro Kitchen Designs
Guaranteed Better Pricing than Lowes

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(adjacent to Florida Builder Appliances, just north of Carrabbas on Rt. 41)
Please call for your free consultation and design.
New showroom opening at
27180 Bay Landing Drive Suite 3, Bonita Springs, FL 34135
Contemporary
By Peter A. O'Flinn
peter@swspotlight.com
Bonita Springs On January 31 Ben Nelson Jr. was reelected
Mayor of Bonita Springs in a landslide victory over challenger
David Grothaus. Nelson's tally was just short of two-thirds of the
ballots cast, according to unofficial results of the Lee County
Supervisor of Elections. On election night Nelson and his wife Lori
greeted well-wishers at a packed Trianon Hotel on US41.
"This isn't about me, it's about the people of Bonita Springs,"
said Nelson. Throughout the campaign Nelson stressed the
importance of civic pride in the City's accomplishments, as well as
the need for consensus building and civil discourse. His affirmation
by the voters appears as a mandate for that style of government in
the City, which was formed on a nonpartisan basis just 12 years
ago.
This election marked the fourth time Bonitians have sent Nelson
to City Hall, first as District 6 Councilman for two terms, and now
twice as Mayor. Grothaus put a strong effort into his campaign. In
the end his uphill climb against the incumbent proved too steep.
Peter Simmons won the other contested City election, for City
Council member in District 4. He garnered 47 percent of the vote
according to unofficial results. "I am humbled and excited to serve
the citizens of Bonita Springs, said Simmons, as he and his
supporters celebrated their victory at Backwater Jacks in Bonita
Bay.
Roger Brunswick was the first runner up to Simmons with 22
percent of the vote, followed by Barbara Barnes-Buchanan and
Wes Norris. Many observers viewed the group as a high quality
field with little difference among them on substantive issues.
Simmons conducted a high energy campaign. "We knocked on
close to 4,000 doors over the course of the last six months, he said.
Council members Janet Martin and Bill Lonkart were reelected
without opposition. The unofficial election results are subject to
certification.
Nelson in a landslide,
Simmons for District 4
Staff Photo | towntalk@swspotlight.com
Peter Simmons, right, celebrates with campaign
manager Joseph Russo after learning he won the
District 4 City Council seat.
Staff Photo | towntalk@swspotlight.com
Supporters cheer as Mayor Nelson addresses the
crowd. Nelson was reelected Mayor of Bonita
Springs in a landslide victory over challenger
David Grothaus.
Staff Photo | towntalk@swspotlight.com
Mayor Ben Nelson and Lori Nelson at the
Trianon Hotel, after the Mayors reelection.
SS_FEB 2012_Section B 1/31/12 11:25 PM Page B4
February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Page B5
SS_FEB 2012_Section B 1/31/12 6:17 PM Page B5
Page B6 Southwest Spotlight February 2012
Ristorante
Enrico
26831 Tamiami Trail S.
off West Terry Street
(239) 949-2204
Mon-Sat 10-10, Sun 11-10
Three years in the same location
9070 8onlta 8each Poad - 8onlta Sprlngs, PL 34l35 - www.fitzgeraldspub.com -
239-949-2111
Home of the Famous
BELLY BUSTER BURGER
Happy Hour
3pm-7pm
Featuring $2 domestic drafts
Check out our Half price appetizers menu!
Full menu available
1BUJPTNPLJOHt8FDBUFSBMMFWFOUT
Open 7days a week 11:30am to close
-JWFFOUFSUBJONFOUt8FFLMZ%JOOFS4QFDJBMT
Sunday 8reakfast
Irish and Traditional
Voted Bonitas Best
ve years in a row!
$2 FEATURED DRAFT
All Night Monday
2 FOR 1 BLOODY MARYS
Sunday Morning
LIVE MUSIC
TUESDAYS:
West of Galway
WEDNESDAYS & FRIDAYS:
Tommy Barr
THURSDAYS & SUNDAYS:
American Folk Trio
SATURDAYS:
Sing Along with Louie
FitzgeraldS
P U B
FLAT BREAD
HEALTHY MENU
SS_FEB 2012_Section B 1/31/12 6:17 PM Page B6
By D.K. Christi
dk@swspotlight.com
Bonita Springs Bonita
Springs philanthropist Bob
Gillette says he is one of
the oars in the boat each
does what they can to move
it ahead. He finds himself
in the middle of a project
and wonders how he got
there. He says he agreed to
be adopted by the Bonita
Springs Veterans Affairs
Committee (VAC). David
Grossi and City Councilman
Steve Slachta are the prime
movers. Just in time, Gillette
added the extra financial
push that the VAC needed
to bring the Vietnam War
replica memorial to Riverside
Park this past November.
Gillette repeated that
process in support of a per-
manent memorial honoring
all veterans, etched marble
with figures and No one
left behind in the same park
by next Veterans Day. The
VAC is currently raising
money through donations
and brick sales to fund the
memorial and needs about
$25,000 more. Gillettes sup-
port has moved the project
forward timely while fund-
raising continues.
Really, David and Steve
are out front, doing all the
work, says Gillette. Many
community organizations
are engaged in fundraising.
Things that would happen
without me anyway occur a
little faster. Everyones special
contributions are important;
mine might be a timely
check.
Involvement with veter-
ans developed through
friendships with veterans like
the Tuskegee airman, 90-
year-old Washington Ross,
who flew the legendary P51
Mustang, and other veterans
who resided in the Birm-
ingham, MI retirement com-
munity Bob Gillettes
company built. Many of the
residents were World War II
veterans, often living in iso-
lation and alone. He organ-
ized a trip to a meeting that
honored a group of elderly
veterans that for many was
their first time out in a long
time. The veterans stories
touched his heart and led to
Gillette funding two award-
winning documentary films
as co-producer, sitting in on
veteran interviews and trav-
eling to foreign war sites.
The documentaries, Our
Greatest Generation, veterans
from WWII, and most
recently, Our Vietnam Gen-
eration, included full-color
photo books of each. Keith
Famie was Producer/Direc-
tor.
When I tell you that
nearly every veteran in the
city and every employee
attended the premiers at the
Detroit Fox Theater, you
understand why to honor
veterans whose lives were
forever changed and many
Vietnam vets who were
denied honor when they
came home. I just naturally
continued supporting vet-
erans when I bought my
home in Bonita Springs.
Gillette served in the mil-
itary; his lack of combat
experience gave him an even
stronger desire to honor
those who fought in the
wars.
One of Gillettes favorite
charities is New Horizons,
providing tutoring and after
school activities for Bonita
Springs youth.
Bob and Ellen Nichols
do an excellent job; I enjoy
helping them. New Horizons
is one of the Bonita Springs
Prayer Breakfast supported
charities. He also praises
the Prayer Breakfast Com-
mittee members with whom
he works closely. The VAC
will host a table at the break-
fast this month.
Gillettes analogy to oars
in a boat, each person con-
tributing their best, pretty
much sums up why he is so
involved in Bonita Springs
activities and the All Service
Veterans Tribute Monument
in particular.
This is a small city with
big hearts. Many people work
together across organizations
to produce big results. The
All Service Veterans Tribute
Monument is an example.
This memorial honors all
those who served in all
branches of the service, men
and women who deserve
honor and respect. Hope-
fully, it will give the younger
generations in the commu-
nity an idea of what came
before them. Veteran families
February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Page B7
Bob Gillette one of the oars in the boat
Contributed | Special to the Spotlight
Bonita Springs philan-
thropist Bob Gillettes
local contributions
honor veterans.
The Bonita Springs Veterans Advisory Committee is
currently raising funds for a proposed Veterans Me-
morial slated for Riverside Park on Old 41 Road.
This is a small city
with big hearts.
Many people work
together across
organizations to
produce big results.
Bob Gillette
Continued on page B8
SS_FEB 2012_Section B 1/31/12 6:17 PM Page B7
was lined with such beau-
tiful Royal Palms! Eventually
we made it back to Miami
(after dark). Our enthusi-
asm about the beauty of
southwest Florida inspired
my parents to visit Ft. Myers
before heading back to Indi-
ana. Like my sister and I,
they were so enchanted with
southwest Florida that they
bought a winter home here
in January 1972.
Now that I had a place
to come to, I seemed to
visit southwest Florida at
least once a year. After just
a few years, I knew that
someday I would also make
this my winter home too.
Fast forwarding to retire-
ment from teaching in Ohio
in 2002, I was experiencing
many life changes and suf-
fering empty nest syn-
drome! While visiting a
good friend the following
spring at Highland Woods
in Bonita, I decided it was
time to leave Cincinnati
and fly south to become a
snowbird. Everyone seemed
so nice and friendly.
After spending a couple
weeks unpacking boxes, I
decided I had the rest of
my life to unpack boxes so
I contacted the Literacy
Council of Bonita Springs
to volunteer to teach Eng-
lish as a Second Language.
Making many friends with
other tutors and with the
students made me feel as
though I had lived here a
long time. It truly gave me
a new life! Within a few
months, the director called
and hired me part-time.
Eventually I was asked to
help start a Moms & Tots
Program for the Literacy
Council. I continue to this
day serving as Moms &
Tots Family Literacy Pro-
gram Coordinator for the
new Literacy Council Gulf
Coast.
A friend and tutor told
me about Newcomers Club
of Bonita Springs and sug-
gested that I consider join-
ing. Newcomers and its
sister organization, Encore,
have given me the oppor-
tunity to develop many
wonderful friendships with
people I feel Ive known all
my life. There are so many
activities to be involved in
that I could be busy seven
days a week if I wanted.
Ive traveled to Costa Rica,
Alaska, and Turkey with
some of the women. And
my latest addiction, Mah
Jongg, was learned in New-
comers!
Living in Bonita Springs
is wonderful! Most every-
thing I do is close by. After
living in a large city for 31
years, I like the simplicity
and friendliness that Bonita
offers. Everyone is so nice
and friendly. Our beautiful
BLUE sky is amazing and
puts a smile on my face
when I wake up each morn-
ing. The twinkling stars are
gorgeous. Going to all the
beautiful places southwest
Florida has to offer is just
a short drive away. As I told
one of my sons while
watching our beautiful sun-
set one evening, I have
widened my horizon since
living here. Like many peo-
ple, I started out as a snow-
bird but found myself
happier when in southwest
Florida. Although I have
wonderful memories of
Cincinnati, I sold my home
in 2009 and havent looked
back since. Southwest Flori-
da and especially Bonita
Springs truly is Paradise
for me!
heart was finally sated by
his love for his newfound
city. Organizations abound-
ed, and he found himself
surrounded by people and
events and growth that ben-
efited not only from his
dedication, but from his
familys also. From Cele-
brate Bonita to Movies in
the Park to Rotary Christ-
mas Tree Sales, it is apparent
when he is not present.
This mans name is G.
Donald Thomson. This year
he is being honored with
the Love of Bonita Award,
following past recipients
Audrey Georges, Ira Hawk,
Hank Hochstetler, the late
Pat Lord, Jacqueline Jacke
McCurdy, Richard Dick
Miller, Donna Roberts,
Marjorie Rubacky, David
Short, and David and Sarah
Zimmermann. His love is
one that has become all-
inclusive, with community
and family working in com-
munion with one another.
Welcome to the family,
Bonita Springs, from our
family to yours.
Page B8 Southwest Spotlight February 2012
Love of Bonita
from page B1
We have since the begin-
ning been careful to preserve
our climate and quality of
life. I love Bonita Springs
because we continue to pro-
tect ourselves.
This is not to say we are
a bunch of tree-huggers. I
also love Bonita Springs for
all its eccentricities. The hot
competition for political con-
trol between factions is not
new to us. Near the end of
the last Great Depression
our recent forefathers burnt
the town hall and all the tax
records. Many of the men
of Bonita Springs partici-
pated in the shooting of
Edgar Watson in Everglades
circa 1918. We are a fiery lot
and it looks like we attract
the same ilk from afar to
live here on the coast and
the edge of the Glades. Surely
you remember the movie
The Wind Across the Ever-
glades?
So I love Bonita Springs
from the ground up and for
being the crazy melting pot
it is from the mutinous
islanders on Hickory Island,
to the brilliant minds in Bar-
nacle Bay and the other gated
communities and lastly the
few remaining rebellious
Crackers.
I love Bonita Springs
because we all fiercely and
publically protect what we
have and we dont seem to
have any trouble keeping it
interesting.
Deborah M Maclean is
publisher of The Banana Peel,
a free e-zine on local politics.
Deborah Maclean
from page B1
Kathy Anderson
from page B1
and friends will have a place
to know that their commu-
nity says thank you.
Gillettes fishing boat is
docked at Pelican Bay Yacht
Club, and he is a member
of several organizations such
as the mens Bible study
group. Im not much of a
golfer; but I keep my mind
busy. Retired from 32 years
in the retirement home busi-
ness he founded in Michigan,
his firm is building the Amer-
ican House senior living
community on Imperial
Street in Bonita Springs with
partners.
It will offer residents a
full kitchen in each unit so
that communal dining is a
choice, not a replacement
for independence. I want
to support independent liv-
ing as long as possible.
Senior residents can count
on gaining a new friend.
Gillette
from page B7
SS_FEB 2012_Section B 1/31/12 6:17 PM Page B8
February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Page B9
TOWN TALK
Contributed | towntalk@swspotlight.com
The 2012 City of Bonita Springs/Estero High School Government Day was held last
month at City Hall. Students shadowed different positions throughout the City
including the Mayor, City Attorney, Bonita Springs Community Policing Sergeant,
Community Relations/Special Events Coordinator, City Clerk and President of
Chamber of Commerce. Each student was briefed for a mock council meeting.
Government Day
Habitat for Humanity ReStore opens
Open for
business
Members off the
Community along
with the FGCU
Small Business
Development Staff at
a Ribbon Cutting
ceremony last month
to celebrate opening
the SBDC office at
27300 Old 41 Road,
Artist Cottage #1, in
Bonita Springs.
Contributed | towntalk@swspotlight.com
The Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce helped celebrate the ribbon
cutting ceremony of Habitat for Humanity ReStore last month at 27821 S. Tamiami
Trail in Bonita Springs. In the center holding the scissors is Donna Marie Clavin,
Vice President Habitat for Humanity of Lee & Hendry Counties.
Councilman
Stephen
McIntosh
with Estero
High School
students
Victor Arriaga
and Kaelin
Groce.
Contributed | towntalk@swspotlight.com Contributed | towntalk@swspotlight.com
SS_FEB 2012_Section B 1/31/12 6:18 PM Page B9
Page B10 Southwest Spotlight February 2012
SS_FEB 2012_Section B 1/31/12 6:18 PM Page B10
By Meghan Easterly
meghan@swspotlight.com
Bonita Springs When
looking at the vivid nature
photography of Dick Cun-
ningham, viewers dont
always realize the patience
and sometimes peril
involved in capturing the
perfect shot. The beauty of
photography is that behind
each perfectly captured
shot, is a story that is often
as colorful as the photo-
graph.
Talking to Cunningham
at his Bonita Beach gallery,
buyers can hear the stories
behind the photos that span
the photographers 40-year
career.
Ive been involved in
art and photography my
whole life, having had a
father who was a profes-
sional photographer and
an artist mother, Cunning-
ham said. Ever since I was
a kid I loved to tromp
around in the woods.
Cunningham received
his degree in professional
photography from Roch -
ester Institute of Technology
in 1971 and has been refin-
ing his craft ever since.
Like many photogra-
phers he started out doing
portraits and weddings, but
as the wild called to him
he found himself more and
more capturing nature.
You know its funny but
you can wander around for
days sometimes and never
get a shot and all
of a sudden
s o m e t h i n g
changes, light or
a storm and you
quickly get a half
dozen shots in a
few minutes that
are all good,
Cunni ngham
said. Its very
satisfying to cap-
ture a feeling
that other people
sense also.
The photog-
rapher is shoot-
ing mostly dig i tal these days
but says he still shoots with
his Fuji panorama film cam-
era too because the qual ity
is so good.He does his own
printing and sells images
up to 4x8 feet on paper or
canvas.
Ive had mixed feelings
about digital; each tech-
nique has its own unique
pros and cons, Cunning-
ham said. The digital is
much faster to use and
lighter and the quality is
now outstanding plus you
know immediately whether
you have the shot you were
looking for.
In the end, Cunningham
finds beautiful results and
has shown his work in the
most prestigious art shows
in the United States and
will be at the Bonita Springs
National Art Festival at the
Promenade this month on
Feb. 11 and 12 from 10
a.m. to 5 p.m. The festival
benefits the Center for the
Arts of Bonita Springs.
My photographs are
from the swamps of Florida
to the mountains of Alaska
and the wilds of Africa,
Cunningham said. I seem
to be drawn to the west,
especially Utah for pho-
tography. Theres some-
thing about the vastness,
the way the light glows,
and all the weird rock for-
mations that I find very
fascinating.
Sometimes Cunning-
hams work takes him into
uncomfortable situations
and even dangerous ones.
He was once shooting in
Alaska when he began
crossing a river on a floating
foot bridge.
When I was about
halfway across I looked up
and a Grizzly and her cub
were sitting at the end of
the bridge so I turned
around and a grizzly was
sitting at the other end
where I had just come
from, Cunningham. I
bided my time wondering
if I was going to have to
swim. Luckily they left after
a few minutes.
No matter where he is
shooting, Cunningham says
he finds no subject as inter-
esting as nature.
My work showcases
the incredible beauty and
diversity of this country
by careful use of light,
color and composition,
Cunningham says.
Dick Cunninghams
work can be seen at
his gallery at 3421 Bonita
Beach Road, Unit #408
or online at www.
DickCunningham. com.
February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Page B11
Artist Spotlight: Dick Cunningham
Meghan Easterly | meghan@swspotlight.com
Dick Cunningham has been involved in art and pho-
tography his whole life.
My work
showcases the
incredible beauty
and diversity of
this country
by careful use of
light, color and
composition.
Floating Aspen by Dick Cunningham
The Sentinel by Dick Cunningham
Brooks Lake Wyoming by Dick Cunningham
The Wave by Dick Cunningham
SS_FEB 2012_Section B 1/31/12 6:18 PM Page B11
Double Truck _ pottery as art_Layout 1 1/31/12 10:30 AM Page 1
By Heather Thomson
heather@swspotlight.com
Bonita Springs Bonita
Springs Charter School is
abuzz with students playing
outside, and teachers and
staff working busily inside.
But at the library, students
and teachers work quietly
through stacks of books as
they finish their day. One in
particular leads the way to a
table in the back, where we
can draw the least attention
from the busy students.
Meet TJ Cheever, 6th
grade World History teacher.
How long have you been
teaching at Bonita Springs
Charter School?
This is my 4th year here.
Was there anything spe-
cific about the charter
school setting that drew you
here?
No; they hired me right
out of college. I went to
FGCU. I applied and I was
lucky enough that they hired
me. There werent that many
County jobs at the time, so
I was lucky to get a job here.
Since Ive been here Ive
really enjoyed myself.
You teach World History
to 6th graders here. Was
that something you studied
in college?
My degree is in Social
Studies. I can teach anything
from 6th to 12th grade, as
long as its Social Studies. I
taught Geography for three
years, so this is my first year
teaching World History. The
whole county will be chang-
ing to that next year, but we
wanted to get a jump start
on that, so we just started
with it this year.
Its been a bit tough
because we dont have text
books. Its been interesting
trying to find ways of keeping
them interested and invested
without the assistance of a
book. But in my class weve
done a lot of projects. Ive
made lots of packets of notes,
things like that. We watch a
lot of videos, too. They have
fun with that; they play a
lot of games, too.
Is there any reason that
you chose middle school
over high school?
I intern at the high school
level, with seniors. I go to
Dunbar high school, and at
Palmetto Ridge High
School. In middle school,
especially 6th grade, they
are still young enough that
you can scare them a little
[laughs], and you can
straighten them out a little
easier. Theyre still eager to
learn. You can sense the
change when they come
back from Christmas break;
they are suddenly more
interested in girls or boys,
so its more difficult to keep
their attention.
But I like middle school
because you can try and
help them to make good
decisions before they get on
into high school where
theyre going to be faced
with a lot more decisions,
tougher decisions.
Are there any special
projects you start with the
students now that you have
entered the second semester,
and the new year?
Were coming up on
studying Greece and Rome,
so they are very excited about
that. Were going to build
our own Roman arch bridge,
which is cool. They can see
how the construction work-
ed. They come in little pack-
ets, and they are actually
strong enough that the kids
can stand on them. Its cool
because they can see how
the bridge stays together even
without having to use glue
or any kind of adhesive.
Its just the pieces fitting
together.
For Rome we are all going
to create our own mytho-
logical gods. We talked about
the importance of dragons
in China, where they all
designed their own dragon
and its name and what kind
of power it would have. We
all built our own board
games when we learned
about Mesopotamia. Its real-
ly a lot of fun.
Is there any specific place
or time that you would like
to go back to, as a World
History teacher?
I would want to go back
to see ancient Greece and
Rome, just to see what it
was really like. I mean, we
know what historians tell us,
but history is written a cer-
tain way. I have the kids read
political cartoons so they see
that the artist always wants
you to see the image they
want you to. To prepare them
for later learning. I always
tell them to think smarter,
not harder. So thats where I
would go, because I feel like
it would be exciting and just
different from what weve
learned.
Page B14 Southwest Spotlight February 2012
Teacher Spotlight: TJ Cheever
TJ Cheever teaches World History at Bonita Springs
Charter School.
Were going to build
our own Roman
arch bridge.
SS_FEB 2012_Section B 1/31/12 6:18 PM Page B14
February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Page B15


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Contributed | catch@swspotlight.com
Pete Palson of Bonita Springs with a 28 1/4 red grouper that he caught on a
pin fish while fishing 26 miles offshore with recreational fisherman Gregg Be-
dell. Email your photos to catch@swspotlight.com and your photo could be the
next catch of the month.
SS_FEB 2012_Section B 1/31/12 6:18 PM Page B15
By Martha Crider
Special to the Spotlight
Spanish Wells For six years
in a row, February is Charity
Month at Spanish Wells. The
non-profit organization,
Spanish Wells Cares, Inc.,
will host its annual tennis
and golf tournaments, Feb.
25 and 26, respectively, to
raise funds for Bonitas dis-
advantaged kids. The Sunday
afternoon golf tournament
will be followed by an awards
banquet and lively live auc-
tion, open to everyone
regardless of their partici-
pation in tennis or golf. It is
all great fun, and it is all for
the kids!
This years recipients of
the proceeds are Bonita
Springs Assistance Office
(BSAO) and the Bonita
Chapter of Shoes That Fit,
Inc (STF). Support for BSAO
is for the Health Care Pro-
gram for Children, providing
specialized dental and med-
ical care as well as products
such as diapers and baby
Page B16 Southwest Spotlight February 2012
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By Charles J.
Cavaliere
Special to the Spotlight
Bonita Bay The thermome-
ter at the entrance of Bonita
Bay indicates residents have
raised over $800,000 to date
for this years United Way of
Lee County Campaign. They
are on the way to over
$900,000. Grant Kurtz, who
volunteers as head of the
neighborhood campaign por-
tion of the fundraiser, reports
that Bonita Bay residents have
donated over $9 million dol-
lars since 1999, when the pro-
gram started. Dick Miller
has done a fabulous job as
chair, said Kurtz. Dick
Beightol now co-chairs the
campaign with Miller.
The community patrol at
the north gate replaced over
4,000 car windshield stickers
in the last month. Thats a
lot of elbow grease for this
yearly chore.
Paula Scheb, Director of
Tennis, reports that the Fine-
Mark Tour Players Tennis
Challenge is scheduled for
Mar. 2 and 3 with some of
the best tour players com-
peting. Funds raised will go
to the events charity, Barbaras
Friends, the cancer fund of
the Childrens Hospital of
Southwest Florida. For more
information about this event,
turn to page A17.
Joe Calabrese, Co-Presi-
dent of the Bocce Club, said
that two tournaments are
planned in February a Cou-
ples Tournament (Feb. 15 &
16) and a Womens Tourna-
ment (Feb. 29 & Mar. 1).
Ground breaking for three
additional courts is expected
shortly after Easter.
The Pickle Ball Club ex-
pects tournament play to be
introduced in the winter or
early spring according to the
Clubs President, Dave Zaun.
Claude Weir, President of
the Bike Club, has several
organized rides planned for
members during season in
addition to a beach party
cookout.
Over 4,100 members have
used the Fitness Center since
Jan. 1, says Tammy Mugavero.
Hours are now 6:30 am to 7
pm, daily.
Bonita Bay Banter
Spanish Wells Snippets
Continued on page B18
SS_FEB 2012_Section B 1/31/12 6:18 PM Page B16
By Max Harris and
Dorota Harris
Bonitas Best Friends
Bonita Springs This
month we met a really useful
dog! She is a service dog
called Maxine, a black
Labrador, and she has a very
special skill. She senses when
her owner is suffering from
a potentially dangerous
medical condition, and takes
the necessary steps to alert
her.
Maxines teenage owner
Amy suffers from Type 1
Diabetes. This is a difficult
condition, which requires
constant monitoring of the
level of sugar in the blood.
When blood sugar levels
move outside the prescribed
range, remedial action is
needed quickly. Now the
task of monitoring Amys
blood sugar level has been
taken over by Maxine.
Amy and her parents had
a dog previously, and were
already thinking of getting
another, when they heard
about diabetic alert dogs.
The family lives in Omaha,
and got only the second
diabetic alert dog to arrive
in their state. Maxine was
bred in Virginia, by Warren
Retrievers, who have a com-
prehensive training program
to prepare their dogs for
the important task ahead
of them.
Maxine works on smell,
which tells her when Amys
blood sugar is moving out-
side its safe limits. She uses
different gestures as warn-
ings when Amys blood
sugar is high, Maxine
nudges her, and when it is
low, she offers a paw. Once
alerted, Amy can bring low
sugar levels back to normal
quite quickly, but bringing
a high sugar level down can
take half an hour, during
which Maxine remains an
anxious observer.
Maxine is also trained
to recognize if Amy is non-
responsive to her warnings.
In those circumstances she
finds another member of
the household whom she
can alert. The family plans
to install in their home a
K9 rescue phone. This
phone is specially designed
for the dog to use if all other
warnings fail. When acti-
vated by the dog, the phone
dials directly to the emer-
gency services, which have
been pre-notified that there
is a dog phone at that num-
ber, and will deploy
resources accordingly.
We were so impressed
by Maxines relationship
with her owner. After her
school graduation, Amy
wants to study Animal
Behavior. Consequently she
volunteers at her local zoo,
and as a service dog, Maxine
goes to the zoo with her.
The zoo animals find her
fascinating of course she
is a novelty, because dogs
are normally not permitted
and come forward to
watch her. She tells us the
gorillas in particular try to
reach out for her and pet
her.
Now some of the funnier
facts about Maxine. Since
she identifies incorrect sugar
levels by smell, she has a
tendency to approach
strangers whose blood sugar
level is not correct in order
to warn them too! She also
finds loud noises distressing,
which is difficult because
Amy loves music, choirs,
concerts . . . where music
can be loud and applause
can be sudden. But of course
Maxine goes everywhere
with Amy so she has a
pair of ear muffs which she
wears in noisy surround-
ings!
We found our conversa-
tion with Amy truly fasci-
nating. It was a real pleasure
to meet such a dog with a
purpose.
February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Page B17
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Maxine the diabetic detector
Contributed | Special to the Spotlight
Maxine is a diabetic alert dog. She alerts her
owner when her blood sugar level is too high or
too low.
Bonitas
Best
Friends
If you have a dog
that you think is
particularly wonderful,
contact us at
info@swspotlight.com,
and he or she could be
the next dog featured
in this column.
She has a tendency to approach strangers
whose blood sugar level is not correct in
order to warn them too.
SS_FEB 2012_Section B 1/31/12 6:18 PM Page B17
Our Town District 3
In this segment Council-
man Steve Slachta takes us
on a tour throughout district
3, Bonitas most western dis-
trict. Re-visit our beautiful
trademark beaches, and
waterways. There is always
something new and exciting
to explore in district 3.
Government Works Boni-
ta Springs Tree City USA
Produced by the Bonita
Springs Tree Advisory Board,
this program showcases
some of the most beautiful
trees in our City. The pro-
gram also raises awareness
of the Florida indigenous
species, and what to do to
fight exotic species.
Government Works Solar
Panels in Bonita.
A presentation of the rib-
bon-cutting ceremony for
the new solar panel system
now powering the Bonita
Springs Parks and Recreation
building.
The City Report
Hosted by Bonitas City
Clerk this program contains
a short summary of the
major decisions taken by the
last City Council Meeting.
City Report airs every day
at 8 a.m., 12 p.m. and 10
p.m.
If you have any ideas for
programming you would
like to see on BTV98 email
lora.taylor@cityofboni-
tasprings.org . Write BTV98
suggestions in subject.
BTV98s schedule is subject
to change. For more complete
information on all current
programming, go to bonitatv.
org.
Page B18 Southwest Spotlight February 2012
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Tune Up
This month on BTV
February Highlights
For current broadcast schedules go to bonitatv.org.
food. STF provides shoes
and clothing for children in
need, providing them com-
fort and dignity.
For more information
about the tennis and/or golf
tournaments, banquet and
auction, email spanish-
wellscares@embarqmail.
com
In March Spanish Wells
Cares will provide a team
for the Susan G. Komen Race
for the Cure Mar. 10. To join
the team, check the website,
www.komenswfl.org to sign
as a walker or runner. The
team will meet in front of
the Spanish Wells Golf and
Country Club clubhouse at
6:30 a.m. Mar. 10 for a team
photo and caravan to the
race. Join the group for a
great cause!
Spanish Wells
from page B16
SS_FEB 2012_Section B 1/31/12 6:18 PM Page B18
City Wide Cleanup
Feb. 25, 9 a.m. to noon
Help keep the beautiful in
Bonita. Volunteers are need-
ed to clean up. Supplies will
be provided. Volunteers get
a t-shirt and breakfast com-
pliments of the Survey Caf.
Meet at Community Hall by
the Banyon Tree to be
assigned areas.
Shoes That Fit
Shoes That Fit is a non-
profit organization created
to easily and quickly get new
shoes and clothing to school
children in need. The Bonita
Springs Chapter was estab-
lished in 2004 and is cur-
rently sponsoring eight local
schools. Since starting the
program, volunteers have
donated over 45,000 articles
of clothing and 3,500 pairs
of shoes to local school chil-
dren. The school identifies
the children in need, provides
the correct shoe and clothing
sizes, then needed items are
purchased by individuals or
sponsoring group. The items
are delivered to the school
and the school distributes
them to the children. To
learn about volunteer oppor-
tunities and for more infor-
mation go to www.
leggettshoefoundation.com
Bonita Springs
Assistance
For over 30 years the Bonita
Springs Assistance Office
has served as a primary
social service agency in
Bonita Springs. Their objec-
tive is to provide emergency
relief for Bonita Springs res-
idents to lessen the impact
of financial and personal
crises. Volunteers are needed
to lead food drives around
the area, to do grant writing,
office work, to translate,
and to help distribute food
in the food pantry. If inter-
ested please email
info@bonitaassistance.org
or call 992-3034 between 1
and 4 p.m. weekdays.
PACE Center for Girls
Since opening in 2007, PACE
has made a significant impact
in the lives of over 350 girls
in Lee County. Its mission
is to provide girls and young
women an opportunity for
a better future through edu-
cation, counseling, training
and advocacy. PACE reduces
the significant long term
costs associated with teen
pregnancy, substance abuse,
unemployment and long
term economic dependency.
Volunteers, sponsors and
advocates are always needed.
To learn how you can help,
go to www.pacecenter.org
Voices for Kids of South-
west Florida
This non-profit agency
recruits, trains, and supports
Guardian ad Litem volun-
teers who advocate for
abused, neglected and aban-
doned children and ensures
that each child has available
financial assistance and
resources for health, educa-
tional and social needs. Make
a difference in the life of a
child. To learn more go to
www.voicesforkids.org
February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Page B19
Opportunities
to give back
SS_FEB 2012_Section B 1/31/12 6:18 PM Page B19
must be prepaid by check.
Where: Hyatt Regency
Coconut Point Resort & Spa.
Cost: $35.
City Wide Clean Up
Sat., Feb. 25, 9 a.m. to noon
Keep the beautiful in Bonita.
Volunteers get a t-shirt and
breakfast. Where: Meet at
Community Hall by the
Banyan tree to be assigned
areas. Cost: Free.
Shoes That Fit
Luncheon and
Fashion Show
Mon., Feb. 27, 11 a.m.
The Bonita Springs Chapter
of Shoes That Fit/Leggett
Shoe Foundation will hold
its annual luncheon and fash-
ion show. Fashions will be
provided by Kays on the
Beach as well as Shadow
Wood Golf and Tennis Shops.
Shoes That Fit provides cloth-
ing and shoes to children in
our local schools. Have a
great time while supporting
local children. For reserva-
tions contact Sally Lipsey at
949-7250.Where: Hyatt
Regency Coconut Point
Resort. Cost: tickets are $75.
Arts & Entertainment
Art in the Park
Every Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
Artist cabins will be open to
the public to meet with the
artists and watch them at
work. For more information
call 239 938-5342. Where:
Riverside Park. Cost: Free.
Historical Society
Speaker Series
Fri., Feb. 3, 7 p.m.
In honor of the upcoming
500th Anniversary of the first
Spanish landing on Florida
soil, highly acclaimed
actor/scholar Chaz Mena will
portray Pedro Menendez,
Admiral of the Spanish Main
and founder of St. Augustine,
to take stock of his accom-
plishments and to dispel lies
and myths about his beloved
La Florida. Where: Lions
Club, 10346 Pennsylvania
Avenue. Cost: Free.
Art Exhibition
Fri., Feb. 3, 6 to 8 p.m.
This is a chance for members
and guests to enjoy an evening
of socializing, art and light
hors doeuvres at the Center
for the Arts. At this campus-
wide open house students
and faculty members demon-
strate, display and sell their
art in the studio/classrooms
during the evening. Where:
Center for the Arts of Bonita
Springs. Cost: Free.
All Things Irish
Wed., Feb. 8, 2 to 4 p.m.
Traditional Irish Music and
Storytelling with Kate Dana-
her. Lively jigs, lovely airs,
authentic and amusing stories
of old Irish country life with
songs and a fiddle tune or
two. Where: Meeting Room,
Bonita Springs Library, Pine
Street. Cost: Free.
National
Art Festival
Sat. Feb. 11 & Sun., Feb. 12, 10
a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Center for the Arts of
Bonita Springs presents its
second fine arts/fine crafts
festival of the season. Enjoy
the artworks of over 211
National and International
artists in this juried event.
Proceeds support community
art activities. Where: Prom-
enade at Bonita Bay. Cost:
$5 donation suggested.
Films for Film Lovers
Mon., Feb. 13 & 27
On Feb. 13, The Man who
loved Women, starring Burt
Reynolds and Julie Andrews,
will be the featured film. This
1983 film is the tale of a
sculptor named David
(Reynolds) who sees a psy-
chiatrist named Marianna
(Andrews) to cure him of
his obsession with women.
His story of sexual and
romantic exploits with the
ladies is told by Marianna.
On Feb. 27 A Man and a
Woman, an Oscar winner for
Best Foreign Film almost 40
years ago, is the story of two
young widows. A thoroughly
French example for its take
on romance. It was Frances
definitive love story for a
decade.Where: Promenade
at Bonita Bay. Cost: $8 per
person. For more information
contact the Center for the
Arts at 239 495-8989.
Movie in the Park
Tues., Feb. 14, 7-9:30 p.m.
Enjoy a movie with your
Valentine under the stars.
The Original Footloose
(1984) starring Kevin Bacon,
Lori Singer, John Lithgow,
Dianne Wiest and Chris Penn
will have you dancing before
its over. Where: Riverside
Park. Cost: Free.
Bonita Springs
Concert Band
Sun. Feb. 19, 2 p.m.
Head to the band shell to lis-
ten to marches, pop, jazz,
ragtime, light classics, show
tunes and big band medleys.
Sing along as they play your
school song from Michigan,
Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin,
Minnesota, Northwestern,
Michigan State, Illinois, Pur-
due, Ohio and Penn State.
Bring a chair and refresh-
ments. Where: Riverside Park.
Cost: Free.
Author Luncheon Series
Thur., Feb. 23, 11:30 a.m.
Phyllis Smallman, part time
Florida resident, is the guest
speaker. Winner of the first
Arthur Ellis award for best
unpublished manuscript, she
writes mysteries about the
mangrove coast of Florida.
Reservations required. For
more information contact
Fran Gallo at 239 949-9565
or franinflorida@gmail.com.
Where: Pelicans Nest. Cost:
$32.
Art Walk
Thur., Feb. 23, 5 to 8 p.m.
Visit the artists studios, view
their art, demonstrations, and
enjoy a live musical concert,
light refreshments and visit
the other merchants of the
Promenade. Where: Prome-
nade at Bonita Bay. Cost:
Free.
Florida Premiere
of Ansel Adams:
America
Sun., Feb. 26, 7:30 p.m.
This symphonic tribute
salutes one of Americas most
cherished artists, composed
by father and son music icons,
Chris and Dave Brubeck. The
22 minute piece fully inte-
grates sweeping melodies with
102 striking images of or by
Ansel Adams. Concert also
features Coplands A Lincoln
Portrait, patriotic tunes, fea-
turing Broadway star Marc
Page B20 Southwest Spotlight February 2012
R E S T A U R A N T & L I V E M U S I C
Las Vegas Tribute Bands are Performing at the Stage
Call for upcoming schedule or check www.thestagebonita.com
9144 Bonita Beach Rd.
in Sunshine Plaza,
Behind Fitzgeralds Pub
239-405-8566
For updated information,
please check out
our website at
www.thestagebonita.com
Insert your email address
and get specials & updated
news every week!
OPEN 4PM TUESDAY,
WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY,
FRIDAY & SATURDAY
NEIL DIAMOND TRIBUTE
Wednesday, February 8th
ROD STEWART TRIBUTE
Thursday, February 9th
FLEETWOOD MAC TRIBUTE
Friday, February 10th
U2 TRIBUTE
Saturday, February 11th
UPTOWN EXPRESS
Tuesday, February 14th
JOHN DENVER TRIBUTE
Wednesday, February 15th
JAMES BROWN & MOTOWN
Meet Doo Wop Tribute
Thursday, February 16th
LED ZEPPELIN TRIBUTE
Friday, February 17th
BIG 50s TRIBUTE
Friday, January 20th
NEIL DIAMOND TRIBUTE
Tuesday, February 21st
ROD STEWART TRIBUTE
Thursday, February 23rd
THE EAGLES TRIBUTE
Friday, February 24th
JOURNEY TRIBUTE
Saturday, February 25th
BRYLCREAM
Tuesday, February 28th
JIMMY BUFFET TRIBUTE
Wednesday, February 29th
JIMMY BUFFET TRIBUTE
Wednesday, February 1st
ABBA TRIBUTE
Thursday, February 2nd
ERIC CLAPTON TRIBUTE
Friday, February 3rd
THE BEATLES TRIBUTE
Saturday, February 4th
ELVIS
YOUNG & OLD
TRIBUTE
with Full
Band
Tuesday,
February 7th

































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Events
from page B2
Continued on next page
SS_FEB 2012_Section B 1/31/12 6:18 PM Page B20
February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Page B21
Kudisch. Where: Barbara B.
Mann Performing Arts Hall.
Cost: for ticket info call 239
481-4849 or go to gulfcoast-
symphony.com
Sports
ACE Classic Pro-Am
Mon., Feb. 13 to Sun. Feb. 19
Rub elbows with some of the
games greatest players in a
pro-am setting. Limited num-
ber of spots remain. Group
hospitality and ticket packages
available including daily and
weekly tickets. Where: Twin
Eagles, Naples. For more
information go to www.ace-
groupclassic.com or call 239
593-3900.
Twins Golf Classic
Thur., Feb. 23, 11 a.m.
Meet, mingle and play golf
with members of the Min-
nesota Twins at the 14th
Annual Minnesota Twins
Celebrity Classic. Event sup-
ports lifesaving care to
patients treated at Lee Memo-
rial Health Systems Regional
Cancer Center. Scramble for-
mat. Play as individual or
team. Prizes, golf, lunch, din-
ner, auction and hole-in-one
contests. Where: Fiddlesticks
Country Club, Ft. Myers. For
more information email
TwinsGolf@LeeMemorial.org
Meetings
Southwest Florida Feder-
ated Republican Women
Wed. Feb. 1, 11:30 a.m.
If you are a registered Repub-
lican, interested in making a
difference and meeting other
dedicated Republican women,
join us for our monthly lunch
meetings, the first Wednesday
of every month, starting with
a social hour, luncheon at
noon and a program of
distinguished speakers. Reser-
vations required. For infor-
mation and reservations call
Anne Brown 254-9979.
Where: Arbor Trace Club
House, Vanderbilt Drive,
Naples. Cost: $18 lunch.
Republican Club
of Bonita & Estero
Thur., Feb 2, 6 to 8 p.m.
Guest speaker Charlie Green,
Clerk of the Courts Lee Coun-
ty. Meets first Thursday of the
month. (Jan/Feb/Mar) Where:
Barefoot Boat Club, 5025 Boni-
ta Beach Road. For more
information contact Kathy
McMichael, 239 248-3934.
Newcomers
New Member Tea
Fri. Feb 10, 10 a.m.to 11 a.m.
Discover what Bonita Springs
Newcomers Club has to offer.
Meet officers and club mem-
bers and ask questions about
activities. Light refreshments
served. RSVP required. Call
Joan Patel 239 947-2944.
Where: San Remo Clubhouse
at Palmira. Cost: free
Newcomers
Club luncheon
Thur., Feb. 16, noon
Membership is open to
women who have been resid-
ing in Bonita Springs full-
time or part-time for a period
of up to 5 years. An oppor-
tunity to meet other women,
develop friendships and share
common interests. A variety
of other activities are organ-
ized by club members. For
more information visit
www.bonitaspringsnewcom-
ersclub.com. To attend lunch-
eon email bonitanewcomers
@gmail.com or call Joan at
947-2944.
Democratic Club of
Bonita Springs & South
Lee County
Tues. Feb. 21, 7 p.m.
Meets 3rd Tuesday of each
month. Where: Bonita
Springs Lodge & Suites, 28600
Trails Edge Blvd. (behind
Mels Diner on US 41 south
of Bonita Beach Road) For
more information contact
Larry Byrnes at 239 634-6469.
Come watch the action
live and in person
Wed., Feb. 1, 5:30 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 15, 9 a.m.
Bonita Springs City Council.
Where: City Council Cham-
bers, 9101 Bonita Beach Road.
All dates, times and prices
are subject to change.
Small Town Charm.
Big Bright Future.
S ll Ch T
Big Bright Future.
Small
Bright Future.
wn Charm. o TTo
e.
m.
Advertise in the
Southwest
Spotlight
S O U T H W E S T

The Spotlight.
Real News. Real Distribution.
Real Value.
239-287-6474
SS_FEB 2012_Section B 1/31/12 6:18 PM Page B21
Page B22 Southwest Spotlight February 2012
RESTAURANT GUIDE
B O N I T A S P R I N G S
A Table Apart
4295 Bonita Beach Rd.
Angelinas Ristorante
24041 South Tamiami Tr.
Anthonys Trattoria
28340 Trails Edge Blvd.Bella
Colombia
3431 Bonita Beach Rd.
Baleens at La Playa
9891 Gulf Shore Drive
Bay House Restaurant
799 Walkerbilt Drive
Bernwood Grille
25221 Bernwood Dr.
Bha Bha A Persian Bistro
847 Vanderbilt Beach Road
Bice Grand Cafe
23161 Village Shops Way
Big Als Sports Grill
25101 S. Tamiami Tr.
Big Hickory Grille
26107 Hickory Blvd.
Blue Water Bistro
23151 Village Shops Way
Bonefish Grill
26381 S. Tamiami Tr.
British Open Pub
24630 S. Tamiami Tr.
Brooklyn Oven
26251 S. Tamiami Tr.
Buffalo Chips
Restaurant
26620 Old 41 Rd., . Where lo-
cals go! Home of the Wing King.
Daily specials everyday. Lunch
and dinner daily. 947-1000.
California
Pizza Kitchen
23181 Village Shops Way
Carrabbas
Italian Grill
27220 Bay Landing Dr.
Chens
Chinese Buffett
26051 S. Tamiami Tr.
Chops City Grill
8200 Health Center Blvd.
Cirellas Restaurant
25265 Chamber of Commerce Dr.
Coconut Jacks
Waterfront Grille
5370 Bonita Beach Rd.
Cruzin Caf
3600 Bonita Beach Rd.
Docs Beach House
27908 Hickory Blvd.
Dollys Produce
Patch & Eatery
9930 Bonita Beach Rd. S.E.
Enzos Ristorante
Italiano
4351 Bonita Beach Rd.
Figs Grille
25987 South Tamiami Tr.
The Fish House
4685 Bonita Beach Rd. Fish
and other specialties. Happy
Hour all day Saturday and Sun-
day. Lunch and dinner daily.
495-5770.
First Watch
26381 South Tamiami Tr.
Fitzgeralds Irish Pub
9070 Bonita Beach Rd.
Home of the Famous Belly
Buster Burger. 12 and under eat
free from kids menu 3 to 5:30
every day. Lunch and dinner
daily. 949-2111.
The Grape
23161 Village Shops Way
Hemingways
Island Grill
8001 Plaza del Lago Dr.
Home Thai Sushi Bar
3300 Bonita Beach Rd.
Hurricane Grill
& Wings
8017 Plaza del Lago Dr.
Iguana Mia
28051 S. Tamiami Tr.
IHOP
27240 Bay Landing Dr.
Johnny Malloys
Sports Pub
10347 Bonita Beach Rd.
Johnny Rockets
23111 Fashion Dr.
La Fontanella
Ristorante
24600 S. Tamiami Tr., Pelican
Landing Publix Plaza.
Gourmet Italian Cuisine.
Specializing in pasta, veal,
chicken, seafood and steak.
Dinner daily.
498-6808.
Lansdowne Street
24851 S. Tamiami Tr.
Lake House Bar & Grill
3401 Bay Commons Dr. at the
Trianon Hotel Bonita Bay. A
unique experience open-air
caf. Lunch and dinner daily.
948-4400.
Marsala Pizza
12870 Trade Way Four
Marias
Restaurant
27080 Old 41 Rd.
Mels Diner
28601 Trails Edge Blvd.
Mister Chile
26455 Old 41 Rd.
Molinos
Ristorante
26841 South Bay Dr. at the
Bonita Bay Promenade. Fine
Italian Ristorante. Delicious full
menu. Lunch and dinner daily.
992-7025.
Old 41 Restaurant
8091 Plaza Del Lago dr.
Olive Garden
27230 Bay Landing Dr.
Outback Steakhouse
27230 Bay Landing Dr.
Pagellis Italiano
8017 Plaza Del Lago Dr.
Paradise Buffett
25201 Chamber of Commerce Dr.
Perkins Restaurant &
Bakery
27941 Crown Lake Blvd.
The Pewter Mug
12300 Tamiami Tr. N.
Pinchers Crab Shack
28580 Bonita Crossings Blvd.
Pinos Pizzeria and
Italian Kitchen
24600 S. Tamiami Tr., Pelican
Landing Publix Plaza. Hand-
tossed New York style pizza.
Serving moderately priced meals
in a casual setting. Lunch served
Mon. to Fri., dinner served Mon.
to Sun. 676-5332.
Randys Fishmarket
Restaurant
10395 Tamiami Trail N.
Ristorante Enrico
26831 Tamiami Tr. S. off West
Terry St. across from Bonita
Bay. Lunch and dinner daily.
949-2204.
Rodes Fresh & Fancy
3756 Bonita Beach Rd.
Royal Scoop
Vanderbilt Dr. & 8th Street
Roys
26831 South Bay Dr.
Ruths Chris
Steak House
23151 Village Shops Way
Sam-Bucco Bistro
14700 Tamiami Tr. N.
Sami Lees Deli
3501 Health Ctr. Blvd.
Seasons 52
8930 Tamiami Trail N.
Senior Tequilas
26801 S Tamiami Tr.
Silver Spoon Caf
26851 South Bay Dr.
Skillets
9174 Bonita Beach Rd.
Sneaky Petes
3465 Bonita Beach Rd.
Table 82
13800 Tamiami Trail N.
The Stage
9144 Bonita Beach Rd.Serving
dinner, live music and Las Vegas
Tribute Bands Wed. to Sat.
405-8566.
Stir Crazy
23106 Fashion Dr.
Survey Caf
10530 Wilson Ave. off Old 41.
A nostalgic Florida experience in
old Bonita! Breakfast and lunch
specials every day. Sunday
brunch. Dinner served Fri. &
Sat. 992-2233.
Teds Montana Grill
8017 Plaza Del Lago Dr.
Terris
Summer Breeze Caf
3300 Bonita Beach Rd.
T.G.I. Fridays
7991 Plaza del Lago Dr.
Tijuana Flats
8350 Hospital Dr.
Tony Saccos
Coal Oven Pizza
8001 Plaza del Lago Dr.
Turtle Club Restaurant
9225 Gulf Shore Drive
Tuscan Bistro
4480 Bonita Beach Rd.
Waffle House
28100 Quails Nest Ln.
Zorbas
Greek Restaurant
9106 Bonita Beach Rd. S.E.
SS_FEB 2012_Section B 1/31/12 6:18 PM Page B22
February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Page B23
Shoppes at Pelican Landing
24600 Tamiami Trail S#204
Bonita Springs, FL 34134
(239) 498-6808
Open Daily 5 - 10 pm
For menu & wine list visit us at lafontanellarestaurant.net
We specialize in Pasta, Veal, Chicken, Seafood & Steak
Celebrating 12 years in Bonita Springs
(Max discount $30 per table) Exp 2/29/12
Not valid with any other oer or Fri. or Sat or Valentine's
10% OFF
ENTIRE CHECK
with ad only
Sun. thru urs
Molinos Molinos

# 1 I T A L I A N R I S T O R A N T E
OPEN DAILY FOR LUNCH & DINNER 11:30AM-9:00PM
RESERVE A PRIVATE WINE CELLAR DINING ROOM
Reservations Required - 992-7025
\a.i+.+ 6 ... L.i.. \a.l 1, 2u12
l... n.t in..1. an, .tl. .+.ti.n `.t ai1 Va.ntin..
IN THE PROMENADE
26841 South Bay Drive - Bonita Springs
VOTED ++++
DINNERS
2 FOR 1
Must Present Coupon ~ Monday thru Thursday
Must be seated by 6 pm
SS_FEB 2012_Section B 1/31/12 6:18 PM Page B23
Page B24 Southwest Spotlight February 2012
S O U T H W E S T S P O T L I G H T
Events, things to do and opportunities to give back to our community in and around Bonita Springs
FEBRUARY 2012 Vol.3, No.2 SECTION B
Why I love living in
Bonita Springs
Love of Bonita
By Heather Thomson
heather@swspotlight.com
Bonita Springs There was once a man
who lived in a small town on the border of a
small county. No one ever took great notice
of this town, but this man knew that there
was something special about it. When he
was young, he had moved there with his
family and they welcomed guests to their
new motel from all over. He went to school
and his family sold the
motel, and soon he was
a successful lawyer.
He had a lovely wife
who had grown up in
the same town, and four
children who they
brought everywhere with
them. Life was good for
them. But he had a prob-
lem; his heart was over-
flowing. This is not the
kind of overflowing that
a doctor can fix. This
man had to find a way
to fix it himself.
And so when his fa-
ther-in-law invited him
to join a club of volun-
teers, he did, soon after
inviting his own father.
Suddenly he realized that
he loved his town more
than he ever realized. And
soon he was joining more
clubs and volunteering
more, his family in tow
all the way.
When the announce-
ment was made that their hometown would
become a city, there were concerns. Would
the independence of their town be threatened?
But he assured his friends that he trusted in
his town-turned-city new government, small
but strong, new but ready to learn. He saw
in his surroundings a place that could thrive
and would benefit from the title City of
Bonita Springs.
And soon he found that his overflowing
Heather Thomson | heather@swspotlight.com
Don Thompson has been named the 2012 Love of Bonita
Award recipient.
By Deborah M. Maclean
Special to the Spotlight
Bonita Springs I have
read with interest the oth-
er submissions titled un-
der Why I love living in
Bonita Springs. I am
pleased to have been
asked to share why I live
here with you. I live here
because of the location
and natural resources.
We live in a humid
subtropical climate characterized by hot
humid summers and mild dry winters. We
are protected on our westerly boundary by
the Gulf of Mexico and on our easterly
boundary by the DRGR [Density Reduction
Groundwater Resource] which is adjacent
to the Everglades. Right down our center is
the Imperial River. This triage swaddles us
and gives us our near tropical climate zone.
I love our balmy summers and the wild
sexy storms that replenish the DRGR and
the Everglades. These monsoons cause ex-
plosions of growth a natural pruning and
a heightening of color and a cleansing of
buildings and roadways. To me summer is
glorious. Did you know that if you and I
had chosen to live just a few miles north
near the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers;
we would experience colder winters. Sadly
if we continue to sprawl eastward we will,
as in Atlanta, disrupt this delicate weather
pattern.
By Kathy Anderson
Special to the Spotlight
Bonita Springs
In 1969, during
a family Christ-
mas vacation in
Miami, my sis-
ter, her friend,
and I were al-
lowed to have
the car for one
day as long as
we promised not
to go to the out-
door rock con-
cert in Ft. Laud-
erdale. Begrudg-
ingly, we agreed
and headed west
on Alligator Al-
ley (2 lanes back then). Arriving in down-
town Naples with nothing happening there,
we pulled over at the phone booth on Fifth
Avenue and called our friends mom back
in Indiana. When Mrs. Ford told us how to
get to Sanibel, off we went!
Arriving on Sanibel and following signs
directing us to the beach, the three of us
felt as though wed arrived on Gilligans Is-
land! The day was glorious. We picked up
beautiful shells, listened to the surf, and
watched many different types of birds. Once
we realized the time was getting late and
we were told to be back by dark, we
headed down McGregor Boulevard, which
Kathy Anderson
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