Saturday, April 24, 2010

"On Sanibel, patience is the way of life"

Shell Shocked
Last week I had to go up to New York for a few days. Not only was the contrast between life in New York and Sanibel so different, but so was the personality I became.

In Sanibel, I'm Dr. Jekyll. In New York I become Mr. Hyde.

Is patience a virtue? You'd never know it visiting New York. The horns honk. The cab drivers swear at slow moving vehicles driving more leisurely in front of them. The harried executive studies his watch and Blackberry in panic in the back seat of a taxi knowing that he's going to be 10 minutes late for an important meeting.

Patience is not a virtue in New York. It's the exception. Impatience is the prevailing condition. It's a way of life.

After several days of outrunning octogenarians for available taxis, crossing streets against the light, and braving the ongoing onslaught of squealing brakes, it's not easy to return to Sanibel. It calls for a period of readjustment and re-entry.

The New York impulses and shoot-from-the-hip knee jerk reactions are deeply ingrained. It starts with choosing seats on the plane for the return trip. My wife, who accompanied me, suggests that we sit in the rear for a better view. I insist that we sit right in front so that we can deplane quickly and get a fast start.

"What's your rush?" She asks. "We're heading back to Sanibel to rewind. There's no need to rush."

"No need to rush?" I shoot back. "What do you mean there's no need to rush? The early bird gets the worm, you know."

My wife arches her eyebrow. "Thank you all the same, dear, but I'm not in the mood for a worm. How about oysters at Timbers?"

I pay no attention to her rejoinder. I'm rushing out of the plane to head to the baggage claim area so that I can find our luggage quickly and go find our car. I knock over three wheel chairs and almost get run over by the courtesy van carrying handicapped passengers but manage to find the claim area before the rest of the passengers disperse from the plane.

No matter. The carousel went round and round and round and round but no luggage came out. I paced back and forth while my wife eyed me with an amused grin.

I ignore her. I'm ready to grab our luggage only to observe that when the luggage began to roll almost all the other passengers on our flight picked up their luggage before ours rolled out.

My impatience barometer is about to burst. The Mr. Hyde in me is furious. "What's going on here?" I shout to no one in particular.

My wife says "Honey, why don't you relax? We don't have any appointments. What difference does it make what time we arrive in Sanibel?"

"It's the principle that's important. We shouldn't be kept waiting this long. Our luggage should have been out by now," I say.

We finally get our luggage, find our car and head towards Sanibel. As if by magic, when we finally catch sight of Sanibel as our car crosses the causeway, Mr. Hyde disappears and Dr. Jekyl emerges. My impatience barometer begins to plummet. As we approach Periwinkle, my wife notices that there's a very slow moving driver in front of us. I note her body language. She's expecting me to blow a casket.

"Relax, dear," I say gently. "Don't be so impatient. I'm sure the driver of that car in front of us is a stranger to Sanibel and doesn't know the lay of the land yet. We're in no rush. We'll be home soon."
By Art Stevens

South Seas hosts ‘Captiva Diva’ fashion show to benefit PACE

Mother’s Day brunch features fabulous fare from new executive chef

Executive Chef Joey Pesner, standing, presents a special Mother’s Day dish to a table full of guests. Clockwise from Pesner are Annie Kisskeys, Marcia Kimball, David Levine, Kay Casperson, Kayce Nette, Kayla Nette, Michael Rosa and Valerie Simpson.

Mother's Day Brunch and "Captiva Diva" Fashion Show
Mother's Day Sunday, May 9
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Fashion show begins at noon
Captiva Ballroom
South Seas Island Resort
5400 Plantation Road
$34 for adults
$12 for children 12 and under
Free for children under 5
For reservations call 472-7685
South Seas Island Resort is offering a unique gift opportunity to celebrate Mother's Day - a delicious gourmet brunch and the chance for moms, wives and children to walk in a special "Captiva Diva" fashion show. All of the proceeds from the sale of "model spots" in the fashion show will benefit the PACE Center for Girls in Lee County.

The fashion show will feature a special guest emcee, Amy Sedlacek, anchor of Fox 4 Rising and a long-time support of PACE.

South Seas has hosted Mother's Day brunches in the past, but according to Carolyn Hudson, director of communications and community relations for the resort, this is the first time the holiday event has included a charitable element.

"South Seas recognizes that as a company, it is a steward of the community in which is serves, and will continue to create public events and partner strategically with charitable organizations," Hudson said.

"For the Mother's Day Brunch, South Seas is inviting the island community to give mom something special. Including a fashion show as part of the brunch and selling 'model spots' gives the resort an opportunity to provide PACE Center for Girls with 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of these model gift packages," Hudson continued. "South Seas is committed to not only creating events for the guests who visit the resort but for the community at large who lives here."

And what better way to show mom how much she means by giving her the star treatment - a gourmet meal, a beautiful bouquet from Captiva Blooms, hair and make-up styling by the Kay Casperson Lifestyle Spa and Boutique and the opportunity to model the latest in resort wear trends while walking a New York City-style runway in South Seas' beautiful Captiva Ballroom.

Of course, if the special lady in your life would prefer to watch the show rather than participate, moms can still enjoy a special meal of traditional breakfast favorites, fresh seafood and pastries prepared by South Seas' executive chef Joey Pesner while viewing some of Captiva's hottest apparel.

But the women who decide to brave the stage will be dressed in some of Chadwick's Square's finest resort-style fashions, provided by Aqua Swimwear, Regatta, H2O Outfitters, Giggles Children's Clothing Store, Footloose and South Seas Island Outfitters and Resort Logo Shop.

"South Seas Island Resort and Chadwick's Square are thrilled to be partnering with the PACE Center for Girls for the Captiva Diva Fashion Show. This is the first time we have done an event like this where all of the shops at Chadwick's Square are participating in a wonderful gift item for mom's and kids on Mother's Day," said David Levine, director of retail for South Seas Island Resort.

The ladies who participate will have their hair and make-up done by Kay Casperson, owner of the Kay Casperson Lifestyle Spa and Boutique.

Kay Casperson, owner of the Kay Casperson Lifestyle Spa and Boutique, used to own and operate an international model and talent agency and said she is thrilled to be producing this very special Mother's Day event

"I'm very excited styling all the moms and children who will be participating in the fashion show. As part of the mission of the spa, we are committed to partnering with local charities such as PACE," Casperson said.

"We have a full cast of fabulous lifestyle consultants that will be working on hair and make-up and we're going to make everybody look fabulous for the day. We're really excited about that," Casperson said.

And to sweeten the deal, participants will also receive gourmet chocolate roses and a special bouquet from Chadwick's Square's newest floral design and gift shop, Captiva Blooms.

The Mother's Day Brunch and Fashion Show will take place in the Captiva Ballroom in Chadwick's Square on Sunday, May 9, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The fashion show will begin at noon.

For families that just want to watch this spectacular Captiva Diva event and enjoy brunch, tickets are just $34 for adults and $12 for children ages 12 and under. The event is free for children under five. To make reservations, please call 472-7685.

Fathers, sons and husbands that are interested in signing up their special ladies and kids to walk in the show and receive the entire Captiva Diva gift package can call Daniel Smock at 472-7565 for more more details and pricing.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

European family stranded in paradise

Herbert, Corinna and Elizabeth Quelle are stranded on Sanibel because of the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland that grounded air travel and stranded European citizens around the globe.

The Quelle family are challenged with a problem that to many people would be a dream come true.

They are stuck on Sanibel.

The London-based family cannot go home because the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland that has spewed aircraft-damaging ash through the European skies. The global air-crisis - which began after the large Eyjafjallajokull volcano started eropting last Wednesday - is wreaking havoc for many travelers including Herbert, Corinna and Elizabeth Quelle.

The family found out they are stranded on Sanibel last Friday, Corinna Quelle said. They arrived on the island on April 10 after a long trip that included time in Cuba and Miami.

Herbert and Corinna Quelle embarked on the trip to celebrate their daughter Elizabeth's 18th birthday. This included a stay in Cuba where Elizabeth was born while the family lived in Cuba due to Herbert's job as a German diplomat. After their stay in Cuba the family headed to Miami for a bit then came to Sanibel - a favorite vacation spot since the 1990s, Corinna Quelle said.

They checked into the Pelican Roost condos on April 10th and expected to stay for a short while since they left home March 31.

They figured a little sun, surf and relaxation would top their family vacation off just right.

But now, a little time on Sanibel is turning into a bit more than they hoped for lost work time for Herbert and lost school time for Elizabeth who is due to graduate high school in May.

The family is not sure what is going to happen after finding out their flight on Virgin Airlines was canceled last Friday. "On Saturday there was a slight panic," Corinna Quelle said. "This is something that nobody expected."

They made alternate plans to fly on Air Berlin. Those plans were, however, canceled on Monday.

Since then they have move into a different condo because other guests with reservations laid claim to the unit where they had been staying. But on Saturday the unit they are in will no longer be available either. Pelican's Roost has been gracious in giving the stranded family a discount, Corinna Quelle said. But money and time are beginning to run out.

Elizabeth has six exams she must complete before graduation. She has already missed time in a school drama production and is worried about her remaining work and school commitments.

Beaches and golden tans don't seem quite so much fun when homework and exams await.

"It just feels strange after awhile," Elizabeth said. "You just want to go."

And though the palm trees are swaying and weather is warm, Herbert Quelle knows work awaits.

"It's not that easy," he said. "My ambassador is in the same position."

But while they wait to find a ride across the ocean, the family is learning more about the islands.

They paid for a $10 membership to the Sanibel Public Library where they go daily to check e-mail and use the Internet, Corinna Quelle said. They have visited the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum and are learning about mollusks. And they went to the "Ding" Darling Wildlife Refuge to learn about the area's fauna and flora. They also visited the CROW Wildlife Clinic.

They are beginning to know the staff at the library and folks on the island.

"We find ourselves becoming part of the island's infrastructure," Corinna Quelle said. "It's just not a superficial level. We're getting more into the depths of the island."

Corinna Quelle said she always dreamed of owning a condo on Sanibel if she ever had the funds to do so. She just never dreamed she would be stranded on paradise.
"There are worse places to get stuck," she said with a chuckle.
As of now they may have to wait until May 5 to leave. Herbert Quelle is trying everything he can to get his family home before that. "The longer it takes the more expensive it gets," Corinna Quelle said.


Party to go to the dogs at Lily’s Jewelers

Dan Schuyler and Karen Bell, co-owners of Lily & Co. Jewelers get ready to party with their dogs Lily, a Labradoodle, and Gracie and Angel, yellow labs. Schuyler and Bell are throwing a community birthday bash in honor of Lily who will be turning six. The birthday party is also a fundraiser for The Animal Refuge Center in North Fort Myers.
What: Lily & Co. Jewelers annual dog birthday bash
When: Saturday, April 24 from noon to 4 p.m.
Where: Lily's Jewelers on 520 Tarpon Bay Road, Sanibel - across from Bailey's Shopping Center.
Here on the islands living a dog's life is a good thing.

Many businesses allow pets to be carried in by their human caretakers. Dogs are allowed to frolic on the beaches provided they are tethered to leashes. And the nearly 30 miles of sidewalks and trails helps ensure that four-legged friends get a chance to have a traffic-free walk.

But nothing seems to say good canine living quite like Lily & Co. Jewelers' annual community birthday bash for their mascots, Lily, Gracie and Angel.

The annual birthday celebration (this is the third) - which honors the dogs of co-owners Dan Schuyler and Karen Bell - has become a not-to-be-missed community event for dog lovers.

Last year, more than 125 dogs showed up with their owners in tow to nosh on pupcakes and socialize.

"This is an annual event that people wait all year long for," Schuyler said.

In fact because of the event's growing popularity, Schuyler and Bell decided to move up the event from early May in order that more snowbirds can attend before they leave to go back north.

The event will be held on Saturday, April 24, from noon to 4 p.m.

Dogs of all shapes and sizes are invited to mingle with their fellow canines and human pals and celebrate the birthdays of Lily - owned by Bell and Gracie and Angel - owned by Schuyler.

During the event, pooches will enjoy spring water and gourmet dog biscuits from Island Paws. Additional refreshments will be provided for their two-legged friends by Bailey's General Store, Schuyler said.

Schuyler and Bell urge pet owners to dress their dogs in outfits for the costume contest portion of the event. Last year a pet owner created a hand-made corvette that his dog fit into. He won first place.

"You had to be here to see it," Schuyler said.

Additionally, there will be a fundraiser in the form of a raffle to benefit the Animal Refuge Center in North Fort Myers - items such as a basket of goodies from Island Paws valued at $500, and a piece of diamond doggie jewelry valued at $800, according to a press report. All proceeds will be donated to ARC, a non-profit organization in North Fort Myers dedicated to caring for unwanted and neglected dogs and cats. Tickets are available in advance at Island Paws and Lily & Co. for $1 each or six for $5; one need not be present to win.

Last year Lily's raised $4,500 after Schuyler raffled his own vehicle. This year they hope to raise more. The money helps ARC in its mission to save animals.

"As Southwest Florida's largest no-kill shelter, ARC is grateful for the opportunity to highlight our programs and mission with people who might not be aware of the vital service we provide to animals in our community." said Betty Hughes, a member of ARC. "Lily & Co, Bailey's General Store, and Island Paws really know how to host a party so we encourage everyone to mark their calendars and stop by! The funds raised at this annual event are a vital source of support for five hundred orphaned pets that call ARC home."

Food, costumed canines and lots of laughs make this event a crowd favorite.

"It's a fun day," said Marcia Kimball. "The dogs get out to see each other."

Last year Kimball and her pooch Doodle took second place with Doodle's tutu costume. Kimball's fretting a bit this year though. What can she create to outdo last year's get up? "There's alot of pressure to get the costume right," Kimball said chuckling.

Robbie Roepstorff said she enjoyed bringing her retired greyhound and two miniature poodles last year. "It's one you don't want to miss," she said. "It's really unique."

There is no charge to attend the event.

"It's just a fun-filled day for the owners and their pets," Schuyler said.

Dogs are encouraged to wear costumes, with prizes awarded for the crowd favorites. Caricatures will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis for a donation to ARC.

For more information about Lily & Co. or the celebration, call 472-2888 or visit

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Open Mic poetry reading at Sanibel Bean

Our highly successful Sanibel literary season will reach its climax on Friday, April 30 starting at 4 p.m., with an Open Mic reading at The Sanibel Bean. Writers, residents and visitors to the islands are invited to read and listen to original and favorite selections of poetry and prose.

Open Mic readings are informal. The only requirements are that performers sign the Reader's List and limit their reading time to five minutes. If you choose not to read, you are welcome to listen.

For the last seven years, Open Mics at The Sanibel Bean have become very popular throughout the entire Southwest Florida region. Poets and writers from Fort Myers, Florida Gulf Coast University, Charlotte and Collier County as well as writers from the United Kingdom, Australia and Latin America participate. Please come and share this entertaining afternoon with us.

For further information, please call Joseph Pacheco at 472-1280 or The Sanibel Bean at 395-1919 or send an e-mail to

Residents sing good-bye to season with karaoke

Island residents will have a chance to croon at the Sanibel Community Association’s annual Karaoke event. The event designed to celebrate the end of season draws lots of laughter and fun.

It's that time of the year again when all of the snowbirds leave the islands and flock back to their northern homes and lives.

For residents this time of the year means more peace and yes folks no traffic snarls.

And how does one celebrate this event of islander significance?

With an evening of loud, raucous and laughter-filled karaoke of course.

The Sanibel Community Association will be holding its annual Karaoke event on Friday, April 16 at 7 p.m. to celebrate the end of season. Groups and individual singers are welcome to the island event.

This years' theme celebrates Broadway, by featuring favorite Show tunes.

Gloria Baker, the general manager of the Sanibel Community House, can't help stop from chuckling when asked to describe the Karaoke event she herself created about seven years ago as a way for islanders to blow off steam and end the season.

The event started in 2005 after Hurricane Charley struck and severely damaged the area. Because of the hurricane many seasonal residents that would normally leave for the north stayed longer to monitor their homes getting repaired on the islands.

"It's a goofy thing that we do," Baker said.

There are contests and challenges between neighborhoods such as East Rocks and John Carney's gang.

Groups are encouraged to come. And for the shy type, a shower structure is available to conceal yourself as you sing. Many of the groups make up songs. Last year East Rocks created a song about the tourists and the natives. the song - based on a song from the "Oklahoma" musical - describes in funny detail how island residents and visitors should get along.

"It was really funny," Baker said. Sandy Montclair, of the East Rocks neighborhood wrote the song. He and his posse plan to go off for another round of crooning and merrymaking this year.
"We do practice three or four times," he said with a laugh.

The group who has participated in the event for four years plans to compete against their singing rival John Carney and his gang.

"We have a good time," he said. "This is not real. It's not serious. As a group we just have fun."

Montclare said he and his pals will be performing as Frankie Gully and the C-Clamps. They will be singing "Big Girls Don't Cry" and their wives will be performing the Frank Sinatra hit "New York New York", Montclair said.

And prizes for the one-of-a-kind performances? Well they may not be much to sing about but they seem to delight the participants. Leftover toilet tissue, stuff lie flashlights from the Community House's lost found and even left over Hurricane survival kits become prizes for the musical ensembles.

These musical categories include: Island Crooner, Neighborhood Elvis, Female torch singer, Famous Shower singer, Best Girl Group, Most unlikely Grouping, Most Talented neighborhood, etc, and most inspired song for the event. There is also a "write" your own category. Aside from the fun awards, prizes include a 50/50 drawing, along with a chance to win a SCA membership along with tickets to next years' event, Baker said.

Baker hopes enough people are interested to keep the event going on next year as she is retiring at the end of the month and new management will be in place. The event attracts between 60 to 85 people of all ages every year, Baker said.

"This is what we want - to encourage the community to come," Baker said.

The End of the Season Party will include a heavy hor d' oeuvres, cash bar, and Karaoke entertainment provided by Line by Line Productions. To view a complete listing of their songs are available on the Internet site at (

Pre payment required by contacting The Community House. Tickets are $15 for SCA members and $18 for non-members. Proceeds support the Community House's operations, Baker said.

Doors open at 7 p.m. For more information, call the Community House at 472-2155.

Eileen Fisher stages Support Week For CROW

Eileen Fisher staffers Rose Belfiore-Yannie, Sandre Reed, Store Manager Ruth Mayer and CROW Clinic Director Dr. PJ Deitschel invite everyone to help celebrate Support Week For CROW at Eileen Fisher.

To help celebrate Earth Week - from April 18-24 - Eileen Fisher is offering a $25 coupon to any customer who brings an item to their store from CROW's 2010 Wish List.

The Wish List includes cash donations for individual patient support (food and medical care) or contribution of items to meet on-going needs such as bleach, paper towels, fragrance free laundry detergent or new and gently-used hand and bath towels.

Eileen Fisher invites every woman to express her own style through clothes that are designed with simplicity, beauty, comfort, ease, function and versatility. The Sanibel store is located in the Forever Green Center, at 2055 Periwinkle Way.

The Eileen Fisher staff looks forward to seeing you this weekend as part of their Earth Day Week celebration to support CROW.

CROW, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation Of Wildlife, is a 501c3 organization dedicated to saving wildlife through compassion, care and education. For more information and to see the complete 2010 CROW Wish List, visit their website at or call them at 472-3644.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Island couple prepares to open Poco Loco on Saturday

Susan and Paul Reynolds hold a poster promoting their new business, Poco Loco, located in Jerry's Center on Sanibel. The coffee and gelato eatery will open this weekend.

With enticing flavor combinations including Banana Caramel Praline, Toasted Coconut Almond Fudge, Cappucino Hazelnut, Raspberry Tiramisu and Mascarpone Caramel Pistachio sure to tempt the tastebuds of any gelato-loving islander, the couple behind Poco Loco - which will open this weekend in Jerry's Center - would love to taste some sweet success with their new business venture.

"We were always looking for a little business to be in together," said Susan Reynolds, who along with her husband of five years, Paul, is eager to open the doors of their eat-in or take-out eatery. "When I came back from a business trip last July, he told me, 'I found it! I found it!' He wanted to put something in this space because of the great atmosphere - a beautiful courtyard, a place where people can wander around, with all of the greenery and birds surrounding you. It's a perfect spot."

Located in the north section of Jerry's Center, Poco Loco is a combination coffee and gelato shop, where residents and tourists alike are invited to mingle with their friends, enjoy a casual chat over a warm cup of java or savor a cone topped with the gourmet frozen Italian dessert.

"We'll have a little something that everyone will enjoy," Susan added.

According to Paul, their "signature coffee" among the many organic, shade grown, fair trade and bird-friendly roasted coffees will be the Sanibel Blend. Developed 15 years ago by the original operator of The Bean, the full-flavored product combines a Sumatran, Kenyan and Costa Rican blend of freshly-roasted coffee beans. And Poco Loco will be the only island restaurant to offer the exclusive Sanibel Blend to its customers.

"Susan lived in Costa Rica at one time," said Paul, who noted that the business will conduct informational coffee seminars and tastings in the near future. "That's where she developed a strong interest in coffees, which is the second most traded commodity in the world."

In addition to hot and iced coffee products, Poco Loco will sell natural fruit smoothies, which are sweetened with beet and cane sugar, 100 percent crushed fruit concentrate with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

They will also offer freshly prepared pastries, provided by French Bread Oven of Fort Myers, which will compliment their wide variety of coffee and tea products.

Of course, Poco Loco is most proud of the high-quality gelato they will be selling, with at least 24 flavors available year round. While the assortment of flavors may differ from time to time, as seasonal or limited edition varieties are introduced, the Reynolds' is confident that their supplier is one of the best in the business.

Palazzolo's Artisan Gelato & Sorbetto, based in Michigan, sells more than 600 flavors and is the exclusive gelato vendor for Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. In fact, Oprah Winfrey - in one of her annual "Favorite's Lists" - called their product, "Creamy, delicate, fresh and heaven on a hot Fourth of July."

And Poco Loco is the only place in Lee County to purchase Palazzolo's gelatos.

Paul and Susan also indicated that providing a casual, relaxed atmosphere at their eatery was a primary goal, along with building with "green" products and technologies.

"From our bamboo floor to our use of biodegradable containers, Poco Loco is dedicated to creating a healthy eco-footprint on our island, and to encouraging 'green' products and awareness in our greater community," it states on their Web site, located at

"We wanted to blend the warmth of a coffee shop with the brightness of an ice cream shop," said Susan. "Since I was a small child, I wanted to run a coffee shop. I think I've had that bug since I first ran a lemonade stand."

Paul also noted that Poco Loco's prices for their products will be very competitive.

"If we made our gelato prices so high, for a kid who just wants to buy a cone, that sort of defeats the purpose here," he said.

"We may be in a resort area, but we're not going to charge tourist prices for our products," added Susan. "We're under the market on coffee prices and under the market on smoothie prices."

Poco Loco, located at 1700 Periwinkle Way, Suite 9, will officially open this Saturday, April 17. Their regular business hours are Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, call 395-0290.

To celebrate the opening of their store, the Reynolds' are offering a free 12 ounce cup of their exclusive Sanibel Blend coffee daily between 7 and 8 a.m. for the first month of operation.

As for the name of the business, that has a story, too.

"We wanted something that sounded island-y and something that would be easy to remember," said Susan. "Poco Loco means 'a little crazy.' When I lived in Costa Rica, the kids used to say it all the time. It sounds like fun, and that's just what we wanted."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Something is afoot at The Herb Strauss Schoolhouse Theater.

Madison Mitchell, Kay Francis and Elizabeth Urbanczyk in a scene from “Something’s Afoot.”

Something is afoot at The Herb Strauss Schoolhouse Theater.

The murder mystery musical "Something's Afoot" is now playing through April 24. Join artistic director Victor Legarreta and his zany cast of actors as they lead the audience through a hysterical whodunit inspired by Agatha Christie where everyone is a suspect - and a victim!

Schoolhouse newcomers Kevin T. Murphy and Matt Reed join alumni actors Miguel Cintron ("Funny Money," "Every Christmas Story Ever Told"), James Lane ("Unnecessary Farce," "Out of Order"), Kevin Rose ("Lovely Night"), Elizabeth Urbanczyk ("Lovely Night," "Fly Me to the Moon"), Rachel Miller ("We Love a Piano"), Kay Francis ("Unnecessary Farce"), marketing director Madison Mitchell ("Caught in the Net," "Plaza Suite") and Victor Legarreta ("Run for Your Wife," "Fly Me to the Moon") in "Something's Afoot," the last show of The Schoolhouse's regular 2009-2010 season.

Six guests are invited to spend what appears to be a marvelous weekend on an isolated English island. They quickly learn that their host has been murdered shortly after their arrival. Things go from bad to worse as a severe storm cuts off their communication with the mainland and the guests (along with the servants and a wayward college student) find their own lives threatened. One by one they begin to get picked off as they scramble to find out who the murderer is. Who will survive? Who will be next? Who is the culprit?

"Something's Afoot" runs Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. until April 24.

The Herb Strauss Schoolhouse Theater is located at 2200 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel. Call the Box Office for tickets at (239)472-6862.

"Something's Afoot" is graciously sponsored by Congress Jewelers.

Community fund drive for F.I.S.H. needs islanders' assistance

We are about half way through our annual F.I.S.H. of Sanibel (Friends In Service Here) community fund drive, and while we've had a generous response from many this year, we are falling short of our financial goal of $42,000 to keep our full range of F.I.S.H. services going.

F.I.S.H. relies heavily on the support of the community to meet its financial needs and unfortunately with the current economic environment the needs of some of our island neighbors are greater than ever. Demand for F.I.S.H. services has never been so great as this year. Keeping the food pantry stocked and being able to provide emergency financial assistance is the top priority for F.I.S.H. in 2010.

"There have been some significant success stories of island neighbors who have been given a hand up by F.I.S.H. this year," said Maggi Feiner, President of F.I.S.H. "Take Sally, a single mother of two children who lives and works on the island. She has her hours cut back over the past three months due to the economic climate. Until recently, Sally has been coping with her rent and other domestic expenses. As a result of the reduction in her weekly earnings, however, she has needed assistance with food for herself and her children."

F.I.S.H. has been able to help Sally out by providing food from the food pantry and their Program Director has been able to help her find her some state benefits that she is entitled to and that she was not aware of.

"These will help her on an ongoing basis," Feiner added.

Another example of how F.I.S.H. helps out island neighbors is John, an elderly man who has been a long term resident of Sanibel. Because of the recent cold weather, John was unable to pay his electric bill and was threatened with being cut off. After careful screening, F.I.S.H. stepped in and paid this bill and also assisted John by getting him a number of other resource referrals, who will help him on a more long-term basis.

"The economic impact has been felt by many, but now more than ever, F.I.S.H. really needs your help," said John Pryor, FISH Director of Resource Development. "If you have not already done so, we are asking you to consider making a donation to F.I.S.H."

According to Pryor, this can be done either by sending back your F.I.S.H. return envelope or by sending a donation directly to the Walk-In Center, which is now located at 1630 Periwinkle Way, Unit B (next to Pfeifer Realty Group) and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. F.I.S.H. may also be contacted by phone at 472-4775.

Sanibel Dog Club to meet next week

The Sanibel Dog Club, which continues to search for the best location for a dog park on the island, will host two speakers at their next meeting, open to the public, on Thursday, April 22 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Sanibel Community House, located at 2173 Periwinkle Way.

"Our goal is to give our members and the public information on adopting dogs and working with your dog as a pet partner in the community," said Jason LaManna.

The cost to attend the meeting is free to dog club members and $5 for non-members. Refreshments will be served.

For additional information, please call Jason LaManna at 395-6782 or Sanibel Dog Club President Harvey Sugerman at 472-4625.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

"BIG ARTS Annual Artists Studio Tour on April 16"

Read comments Become better acquainted with local artists through the BIG ARTS Artists Studio Tour and the Members Art Show and Sale on Friday, April 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Studio Tour tickets are limited and can be purchased for $45.
Artists Studio Tour is supported by by John Grey Painting.

Artists Studio Tour begins at BIG ARTS at 9 a.m. where tour participants pick up their tour map and information for the day, and view the art exhibits. The artists on this year's Studio Tour include sculptor James Hixson, glass artist Petra Kaiser, and painters Heidi Keevins, Lance Koprowski, Rosalyn McGlynn, and Susan Scott. Lunch will be at the Captiva Island Yacht Club.

BIG ARTS galleries will also be open featuring the Southwest Florida Craft Guild Exhibit in Phillips Gallery, and an exhibit featuring artwork by Sue Baker, Carina Bjorck, Marcy Calkins, Paula Eckerty, Sarah Edwardson, and Rita Mach Skoczen in Founders Gallery.

Anyone who does not wish to go on the tour of the artists' homes can still support local artists by visiting the Member Art Show and Sale in Boler Garden and attend a wine and cheese reception with music by guitarist Mike McMillan at John Grey Painting, at 695 Tarpon Bay Road, Suite 5 (Promenade Center across from Sanibel Post Office) from 4 to 6 p.m. Reception and Member Arts Sale are free and open to the public.

For further information about the tour, programs at BIG ARTS, to purchase tickets, to sign up for workshops, or to become a member, stop by BIG ARTS, 900 Dunlop Road Sanibel, call (239) 395-0900, e-mail, or log on to CATHY PAUS