Monday, November 29, 2010

Captiva Cruises presents Christmas Star cruise for holiday season

More than two thousand years ago, as the beloved Bible story goes, a star appeared in the night sky that was said to have heralded the birth of Jesus Christ, King of the Jews. Centuries later, holiday iconography still revolves heavily around the symbol of the Christmas star, though we usually find it perched atop an evergreen strung with lights and ornaments.

But this year, Captiva Cruises invites passengers to explore the mystery behind the Star of Bethlehem with a special “Christmas Star Astronomy Cruise,” departing Saturday, Nov. 27; Friday, Dec. 17 and Saturday, Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. from McCarthy’s Marina. 

“A lot of planetariums across the country do special programs this time of year about the Star of Bethlehem and this year, Captiva Cruises is offering the Christmas Star Astronomy Cruise in conjunction with the Captiva Holiday Village,” said Richard Finkel of Captiva Cruises. 

“It will be a fun and entertaining cruise. In particular we’ll ponder the Star of Bethlehem, also known as the Christmas Star, and we’ll label some of the constellations and planets and other features of the night sky,” Finkel said.

And though passengers won’t be traveling like the Magi who followed the Star of Bethlehem, Finkel said a night on the water underneath the stars will be the perfect backdrop to discuss — and discover more about — this seasonal subject. 

“We’ll explore Biblical accounts and astronomical accounts behind the mystery of the Christmas Star, including theories as to what the star really was and what people actually saw those thousands of years ago. We’ll also discuss the origin of Christmas and winter solstice celebrations around the world.”

Throughout the holiday season, Captiva Cruises will offer many unique cruising opportunities for residents and visitors alike to enjoy, including a special Fireworks Cruise tonight, from 5 to 7 p.m., that will take passengers by ’Tween Waters Inn during their annual tree lighting ceremony. The ceremony is the official kickoff of the first annual Captiva Holiday Village, a month-long extravaganza of holiday events, programs and activities. 

Another special cruise available throughout the duration of the Captiva Holiday Village is the Royal Residences Tour, what Finkel calls a “combination of the past and the present” that takes passengers on an architectural tour up and down Roosevelt Channel.

“We’ll talk about the history of the area and we’ll go by the historic ‘Ding’ Darling fish house. Visitors are usually interested in what the houses of Captiva look like,” Finkel said. “They drive down Captiva Drive and a lot of the homes are camouflaged by the landscaping and I think they’re curious about what those hidden homes look like. Some people just have an interest in the architecture.”

Passengers on the Royal Residences Tours will be able to get off the boat and tour some of the homes on the cruise.

Explore these rarely seen Captiva mansions on Sunday Nov. 28, Dec. 5, Dec. 12 and Dec. 19 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. By JANE BRICKLEY
For more information or to make a reservations for any of Captiva Cruises’ programs, tours and special holiday events, Captiva Cruises at 472-5300.

Luminary weekend celebrates 26 years of island holiday history

For more than two decades, island businesses, organizations, residents and visitors have gathered for one of Sanibel and Captiva’s most treasured annual events, the Luminary Festival. 

Luminary pilgrims make the journey every year, following a trail of little white lights that will lead them to various stops along the way — with the help of a volunteer-run trolley service, of course — where they can enjoy refreshments, music, holiday activities and, perhaps most importantly, connecting with the community. (Though, some of Luminary’s younger participants might place a bit more emphasis on the festival’s most special of guests, Santa Claus). 

And while Luminary continues to grow in scope — and popularity — with each passing year, many are unfamiliar with the highly anticipated event’s simple roots

Carlene Brennen, co-author of “Randy Wayne White’s Ultimate Tarpon Book: The Birth of Big Game Fishing” and a former member of the Chamber of Commerce board, remembers how this beloved island tradition got its start.

“After Thanksgiving, all the activity would die out on the islands until the people that were booked for Christmas arrived. Those first two weeks of December were very slow,” Brennen said. “We started Luminary to pep up business in that lull just before Christmas. We also wanted to do something to bring people from off island — and also attract people who are already on-island, and so we came up with the idea to do a luminary trail where all the restaurants and shops would participate.”

Brennen credits the creation of Luminary to the Chamber of Commerce Board during the mid 1980s. 

“I was fortunate enough to work with two marvelous chamber presidents — David Besse and Earl Raven — and a very creative, very active board,” Brennen said of her time with the Chamber. “When the board approved the luminary event, it just took off. Everybody was so excited about it then and it’s turned out to be such a marvelous event all these years later.”

And why did the Chamber decide to incorporate those white candle bags that are now so symbolic of the event?

“There are places throughout the country that put candles in bags for various events. We took a good idea and made it better. The candles make everything so festive and beautiful,” Brennen said. “And it also involved the community — setting out the bags and lighting the candles. That’s how most of the service clubs, like Kiwanis, got involved.”

As more and more businesses, clubs, churches and organizations started getting involved, the event started attracting more visitors.

“Eventually, visitors started booking their vacations just so they could be on the islands for the Luminary event. People really got into it and every year it seemed to just get bigger and bigger, which made it that much more interesting. There are just so many different things going on and the whole community really gets involved,” Brennen said.

Brennen said that the event is wholly representative of what Sanibel and Captiva stand for — a place that supports small businesses, strives to maintain the islands’ unique character and values community.

“Sanibel and Captiva are enchanted islands and you really get a sense of the holiday season because of the ambience of Periwinkle Way and the Village. You don’t need snow for it to feel like the holidays. They’re already amazing places. That’s the way the island was designed — with all the lovely shops and decorations. Whether you’re going to Sanibel or Captiva for Luminary, it’s such a wonderful experience.” Brennen said. “Sanibel and Captiva create marvelous wonderlands for the holidays and I think that’s what makes it so special. I loved my time involved with the community and Luminary and I’m glad I got to be part of it. I hope that the Chamber continues with it — it’s wonderful for the community.”

And while Luminary was created to attract more business to the islands during a typically slow period, Brennen said the annual event has turned into something much more than that — it’s tradition.

“The Luminary continues to bring everyone together for a wonderful time. If you attend year after year, you know who has the best punch and the best cookies, so you know where to go first,” Brennen said. “And it doesn’t just attract visitors and daytrippers — it brings out the residents too. You get to see all your friends and neighbors. It’s very special and it makes for a very wonderful holiday season.”

To learn more about the Chamber of Commerce and the 26th annual Luminary Festival, go to or call the Chamber at 472-1080. By JANE BRICKLEY
Have a happy Luminary!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Islanders create cookbook concept to benefit FISH, CHR

As a way to show gratitude for all the wonderful things Community Housing and Resources (CHR) and Friends in Service Here (FISH) do for the islands, a committee of island residents have joined forces to create “Sanibel’s Melting Pot,” a cookbook project to benefit CHR and FISH. 

Spearheaded by island artist CC Caldwell and island writer Sharon Corbett, Sanibel’s Melting Pot will feature hundreds of recipes submitted by island residents and guests, with 100 percent of the proceeds from sales of the cookbook going to help CHR and FISH continue their missions. 

Earlier this year, Caldwell was volunteering for FISH, she and fellow volunteer Lynn Riddlehoover were discussing Caldwell’s former career as a restaurant owner. Casually enough, Riddlehoover suggested that Caldwell should write a cookbook someday. 

The idea stuck with Caldwell, and someday can six months later when she was attending a meeting for CHR and, after running into Riddlehoover again, Caldwell decided that a cookbook might be just the right idea to help create income for two island organizations that mean so much to her, CHR and FISH. 

“They both really need the money, and the sale of the cookbooks is something that could create income for CHR and FISH for years to come,” said Caldwell.

Caldwell and Corbett then pitched the idea at a Sanibel-Captiva Zonta Club meeting and the support they received from Zonta members was overwhelming.

“They were so excited because they all had special things they liked to cook and it just grew from there,” Corbett said, noting that Zonta has already volunteered to help the cookbook committee — which consists of Caldwell, Corbett, Myra Legg and Carol Reed — draft a business plan and provide help when needed throughout the course of the cookbook’s production. 

“CC and I both live in CHR housing and we benefit from them beautifully, and FISH does a lot for everyone on the islands. We’re so grateful for both organizations, and that’s the idea behind this cookbook — to give back,” Corbett said. 

“If we take the proceeds and share them with these two organizations,” Caldwell said, “it’s a way to give to each one while, at the same time, the whole island benefits — not just one group or person. CHR and FISH are there for everybody that lives on the islands.”

Caldwell is currently searching for four sponsors that are able to pay for for the first 1,000 printed copies of the cookbook. Each sponsor will receive a space on the back cover, but will only need to pay (around $800 to $1,000) once. 

“It’s a great opportunity because it’s ongoing — sponsors don’t have to pay for the space a second or third or fourth time. They pay only once,” Caldwell said. “If the book continues into more reprintings, the four back cover sponsors will continue to have free advertising for however long the cookbook lasts.”

Though they’re still in the beginning stages of collecting recipes — Caldwell and Corbett hope to gather around 400 recipes altogether for the cookbook — the cookbook committee is hoping that their project will continue to raise money for FISH and CHR for at least the next five years.

“Right now, we’re trying to get as many recipes that are representative of Sanibel and Captiva as possible,” Corbett said.

And though the title of the project is “Sanibel’s Melting Pot,” Caldwell and Corbett said that Captivans — and visitors the islands too — are more than welcome to submit their favorite recipes for the cookbook. 

Recipes of all kinds are needed, Caldwell said, including appetizers, salads, soups, entrees and desserts.

Even Corbett — who’s a vegetarian — has some special tofu recipes to share. 

Sanibel and Captiva restaurants are also encouraged to submit recipes for their signature dishes — and to sweeten the deal, Caldwell is giving restaurant owners the opportunity to submit a short description and photograph to accompany their recipe in the publication. 

“This cookbook is a big enterprise,” Corbett said, “but with mostly volunteers helping out, we can do it. I feel that the energy that these CHR women put forth is just like money in the bank. We have some really strong women putting this together.”

“And by the way — I make the best crab cakes you ever tasted,” Caldwell said, asserting that her special recipe will definitely be included in Sanibel’s Melting Pot. 

Interested participants should submit their recipes with all the following information:

• Your name and permission to publish it along with your recipe

• Your phone number in case the committee has questions (not for publication)

• The name or title of your recipe and the number of servings

• The ingredients and amounts

• A statement about the submission (i.e. chocolaty and sweet, a family favorite)

If you have recipes you would like to submit for the cookbook and if you own a business and would like to participate or become a sponsor, contact CC Caldwell (239-220-9280 or or Sharon Corbett (239-898-8294 By JANE BRICKLEY

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Annual Thanksgiving Celebration returns to Community House

It’s the time of year again when neighbors unite to give thanks and celebrate friendship and island community spirit with an evening of inspiring verse, thoughts and song,

And just like last year, participants in the annual Thanksgiving Celebration at the Community House on Sunday, Nov. 21, will give back to an organization founded on the mission of neighbors helping neighbors — Friends In Service Here (FISH) of Sanibel.

“Thanksgiving is about bringing people together and so we’re putting our denominations aside and coming together as people. Taking the religious aspect out of the ceremony and going for the real meaning of Thanksgiving is so important,” said Mary Bondurant, assistant coordinator of the annual event. “It shows the camaraderie of all the people here — one thing Sanibel is known for — and how they come together, celebrate and become part of one another. There’s no better holiday than Thanksgiving to share that. This whole celebration is about fellowship and community, and one of the ways that we can all come together and show our thanks is by giving back to FISH.”

Last year, FISH became the designated organization that would benefit from the donations gathered at the annual Thanksgiving celebration. This year, volunteers (Hal and Nola Theiss, Jana Stone and Ray Galligan) dressed as pilgrims will once again collect donations for FISH as guests arrive for the celebration.

“This celebration ties directly into our mission of neighbors helping neighbors,” said FISH President Elect Bill Fellows. “This event brings neighbors together and so it fits in perfectly with what FISH is all about. We are very appreciative, not only as a benefactor, but that this celebration also allows us to share our thanks with the community. We’re so thankful for our volunteers, of which we have over 200, and the community support.”

The annual island Thanksgiving celebration began 20 years ago as a way for islanders to unite and give thanks, regardless of their religious affiliations.

“It used to be held on Thanksgiving Eve and we would take turns going to a different church every year for the celebration. It was great, but it wasn’t very well attended because everyone was busy on Thanksgiving Eve getting their turkeys and getting ready for company,” said Thanksgiving Celebration coordinator Marj Nordstrom. “Some years we couldn’t have it because the churches were too busy, but a lady named Jean Wood eventually recognized that we all needed some place for residents — and guests visiting the islands too — to celebrate Thanksgiving together.”

Wood took over the event and the Sanibel Community House donated time and space for the event, but it was still held on Thanksgiving Eve. When Wood left the islands and returned to New York, the churches took the celebration over again.

Nordstrom has been a part of the celebration since it’s inception, but it was four years ago that she stepped in and took control of the event, hoping to restructure the annual Thanksgiving tradition to better reflect the community spirit it celebrates.

“I took it over to make sure it stayed a community event and I changed it to the Sunday night before Thanksgiving because people weren’t quite so busy then. Now, it’s very much a community event. All the churches are involved, as are several island organizations and businesses,” Nordstrom said.

The celebration will begin at 6:45 p.m. with piano music by Hannah Czoski, music director at the Sanibel Community Church.

Performances will include the Logos children from the Sanibel Community Church, Bonnie Bondurant of the Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ and the BIG ARTS Community Chorus.

Lolly Murray from the First Church of Christ Scientist will begin the celebration with a reading of George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, followed by a scripture reading from Father Christopher Senk of St. Isabel Catholic Church, Inspirational Thanksgiving Thoughts by Rev. Dr. Ellen Sloan from St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church and a special solo sung by Cantor Doug Renfroe of Bat Yam Temple of the Islands, dedicated to the memory of Rabbi Murray Saltzman who passed away earlier this year and who wrote a special poem for the Thanksgiving Celebration for the past three years. Mayor Kevin Ruane and City Manager Judie Zimomra are also scheduled to speak.

In addition, there will be a very special reenactment of the first Thanksgiving at the Plymouth Bay Colony in 1632 between a pilgrim (played by Rev. John Danner of the Sanibel Congregational UCC) and Squanto (played by Dr. Daryl Donovan from the Sanibel Community Church).

Fellows will also speak about the needs of the island and how FISH strives to meet those needs — especially with the help of non-perishable food items and monetary donations generously donated by the community.

“Living here, there is always something to be thankful for, and I think sharing is the essence of being thankful,” Nordstrom said. “No matter what your background, it’s time to give thanks.”By JANE BRICKLEY

‘Tween Waters kicks off Captiva Holiday Village with annual tree lighting ceremony

Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and as locals check the Turkey Day tradition off their list, they set their sights on another yearly event that officially marks the opening of season on the islands: the annual tree lighting ceremony at ’Tween Waters Inn.

But this year, things are going to be just a bit different.

“We have a little over 200,000 lights this year. We’ll have actors from the Herb Strauss Schoolhouse Theater singing Christmas carols, our great light show in front of the Old Captiva House and then, of course, fireworks — which are going to be bigger and better than ever,” said ’Tween Waters General Manager Jeff Shuff.

Veterans of the annual Captiva event will know that the aforementioned

activities are pretty much standard protocol, but this year, the ’Tween Waters tree lighting stands as the official kickoff event for the four-weekend Captiva Holiday Village — an extravaganza of events, Captiva culture and a tribute to the holiday season.

“We were hoping that we would develop the Captiva Holiday Village over the next two or three years, but I think we really have something just in this first year,” Shuff said. “We just booked a club of 11 boats in for the boat parade.” Just under a month ago, the Roosevelt Channel holiday boat parade was just one of many ideas being tossed around — now, it’s a fully-coordinated event that is sure to attract many participants.

Throughout the duration of the Captiva Holiday Village, ’Tween Waters will offer many events, including “Sunset Arias,” fire dancing, drum circles, fireworks and great live music.

The concept of the Holiday Village started with Denice Beggs of Royal Shell Real Estate and Paul McCarthy of McCarthy’s Marina. Their conversation took place in August and in October, they sent out a call to all Captiva business owners interested in revitalizing the island economy during the holidays.

Today, just a little over a month later, more than 50 businesses have signed on to the Captiva Holiday Village project.

But it’s turned into much more than just a business venture.

We all wanted to create something that would be a phenomenon for residents and guests alike. All the businesses are acting in concert and everyone has been so supportive and just jumped right in. The generosity and camaraderie is what keeps the energy and enthusiasm going,” Beggs said. “It’s a big task, but it seems like it’s just flowed — like it was meant to be.”

Drawing on Captiva’s tropical, artistic atmosphere, the Holiday Village will offer many events throughout the next four weeks, including a golf cart decoration contest and parade, opera on the beach, a boat parade, live concerts, cruises, live art demonstrations, library programs for children and a holiday market.

As always, Captiva will participate in Luminary Night on Saturday, Dec. 4, but this year, Captiva will also play host to a Skim USA PRO-AM Contest Dec. 11.

So far, Beggs is thrilled with the overwhelming response from islanders.

“It’s inspiring. All the residents and homeowners are getting excited as they see the lights and decorations go up, when they see the list of events. The buzz is on the street. But it’s more than just holiday spirit — it’s community spirit,” she said, noting that while she and McCarthy may have spearheaded the idea, it’s the people of Captiva that gave it momentum. “Paul McCarthy is so passionate about this and he’s one of the most creative people I’ve ever met. He really is amazing. But really, none of this would be happening if everyone hadn’t pitched in. I keep saying it takes a village, because it’s true. Each and every one of them come to meetings and run committees and it’s just amazing. No one person could do this.”

For Beggs, the ’Tween Waters tree lighting ceremony is the perfect way to open the new community-driven Holiday Village.

“The tree lighting ceremony and the Chapel By-The-Sea Christmas service — those are the things that always made my holiday on the island. We definitely plan on growing the Holiday Village every year with more decorations and events. This year we have awesome events and we hope that, like the ’Tween Waters tree lighting, the Captiva Holiday Village also becomes a tradition,” Beggs said.

For more information and a full listing of events throughout the Captiva Holiday Village, go'>www.CaptivaHolidayVillage.comBy JANE BRICKLEY

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

CROW hoping for successful Taste of the Islands

After months of coordinating and carrying out the plan to stage one of the most popular fundraisers for islanders and tourists alike, Steve Greenstein and Melissa Congress can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

But they aren't ready to exhale just yet. That will have to wait until Sunday afternoon, after the 29th Annual Taste of the Islands closes.

Greenstein, the executive director of the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW), and Congress, a board member and event chair, have been putting the finishing touches on their plan to return the food and beverage festival to Sanibel following a one-year hiatus.

"It's been a learning curve for me," said Congress, who previously helped coordinate the Taste of the Town event in Fort Myers. ""From the restaurant commitments to the sponsorship commitments to advertising and parking and everything else. I just hope to make sure everything is done right so people who come to the event will have a great time."

Residents and visitors who come out to the Taste of the Islands this Sunday, Nov. 21 will sample dishes and desserts from 22 of Sanibel and Captiva’s finest restaurants. The benefit for the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) will take place from noon to 5 p.m. at Sanibel Community Park.

Confirmed island eateries include Blue Giraffe, The Bubble Room, Cantina Captiva, Cip's Place, Doc Ford’s Sanibel Rum Bar & Grille, East End Deli, Il Tesoro, Island Pizza Company, Jacaranda Restaurant, Lazy Flamingo, Matzaluna Italian Kitchen, Over Easy CafĂ©, Pinocchio’s Original Italian Ice Cream, Sanibel Deli, Chip’s Sanibel Steakhouse, Schnapper’s Hots, Sea Star Cafe & Bar, Sweet Melissa’s, Timbers Restaurant and Fish Market, Traders, The Stone Crab and The Mucky Duck.

"We are hoping that everybody has a good time, and I'm hoping that everybody will have a chance to learn a little more about what CROW does," said Greenstein. "And we hope that they will continue to support our mission in the future."

Congress and Greenstein explained that the event is being coordinated by a staff of more than 100 volunteers and a committee of about 10 people. Highlights of the festival will include the participating restaurants vying for "Best of" titles in six food categories — appetizer, seafood, meat, vegetarian, pizza and dessert — which will be selected by a celebrity pool of five chefs and food critics.

In true Taste tradition, "foodies" participate in helping to select the "Best of the Best" — from appetizers to desserts and everything in between — at the People’s Choice voting booth.

"I'm looking forward to my family and friends having a great time and will enjoy great food at an event that I helped plan," said Congress. "I'm proud that I'm helping out an organization that represents the entire island community."

Local bands Strange Arrangement (noon to 1 p.m.), Deb and the Dynamics (1:15 to 3:15 p.m.) and The Troublestarters (3:30 to 5 p.m.) will provide entrainment at the popular all-day food festival.

Taste-goers can stop by the CROW Gift Store tent, where renowned artist Ikki Matsumoto will be signing prints — designed exclusively for the 2010 Taste — and local authors Charlie Sobczak, Kyle Miller and Brian Johnson will be signing books. All proceeds will benefit CROW.

Also, a “Kids Challenge” for children under 12, coordinated by the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club, will last throughout the day, and a waiter/waitress contest and "Island Iron Chef" competition will be featured during the afternoon. 

"I'm hoping that we have a wonderful fun-filled day that helps create more awareness about CROW and what we do," added Greenstein. "It's a chance for people to learn about how our staff, students and volunteers work together to serve wildlife and to educate people how to prevent injuries to animals."

Greenstein and Congress also thanked their presenting sponsor, Bank of the Islands/Edison National Bank, for their dedication and assistance to helping stage the festival.

Admission tickets are $5 per person at the gate at Sanibel Community Park, located at 2231 Periwinkle Way. They may also be purchased in advance (at a discount rate of five tickets for $20) at CROW’s Visitor Education Center, at 3883 Sanibel-Captiva Road, or at Bank of the Islands, located on the corner of Periwinkle Way and Casa Ybel Road on Sanibel. Children under 10 are admitted free.

George & Wendy’s Corner Grill opening soon at Bailey's Center

Have you been looking for a new island hot spot to visit with your friends while enjoying a fresh and delicious meal? Then the new Corner Grill is just what you’ve been waiting for! 

Owners George and Wendy Schnapp have been operating businesses on Sanibel for the last eight years and are excited about their newest endeavor. The new restaurant will be located in the Bailey’s Center, at the corner of Tarpon Bay Road and Periwinkle Way. 

Although the building has been an island fixture for many years, folks may not recognize it by the time it opens. The Schnapps have completely renovated the building, from the heart of the kitchen to the outer walls, giving it a "bright and cheerful" atmosphere.

George & Wendy’s Corner Grill will be open seven days a week, serving a family-friendly menu including breakfast, lunch and dinner in a fun atmosphere, with a wide array of ever-changing specials. You can enjoy your classic favorites or try something new and delicious each time you visit. 

The restaurant will also feature a full bar with an assortment of beer, unique wines and a variety of cocktails. Come in to cheer on your team while you watch the game with friends at the bar, or enjoy a fresh dinner with your family in the dining room. 

George & Wendy’s Corner Grill will open very soon at 2499 Periwinkle Way. Visit us online or find us on Facebook at and be the first to hear the latest news about Corner Grill’s grand opening.   by STEPHANIE RAY

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sanibel Special Events Nov 12 & 13, 2010

Sanibel  Special Events

Weekend of November 13th & 14th

Saturday, november 13th

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wave of Hope 2.5k Beachwalk (Sanibel-Captiva Optimists)

Bowman's Beach

Please call (239) 579-0095, for registration information.

10 a.m. to Close Sidewalk Sales at Periwinkle Place Shopping Center

2075 Periwinkle Way
sunday, november 14th

10 a.m. to Close Sidewalk Sales at Periwinkle Place Shopping Center
2075 Periwinkle Way

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sanibel Island Farmer's Market

City Hall Grounds, 800 Dunlop Road

This open air market features 30 vendors including baked goods, live plants, honey, pasta, cheese, sausages, fresh fish, fresh produce, and organic veggies.

Please be reminded free parking is available to the public at City Hall, BIG Arts and Library Parking Lots. To maintain safe access for bicycles and pedestrians on Dunlop Road is NOT permitted.

The City of Sanibel is a "walkable and bikeable" community and features one of the most extensive shared use paths in the State of Florida. Attendees to these special events are encouraged to enjoy our good nature, bicycle to these events and stay FIT-4-LIFE!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Charlie McCullough exhibits historic photographs at the CCA

The Captiva Civic Association will kick off their season of exhibits on Thursday, Nov. 18 with an opening reception for island photographer Charlie McCullough’s “The Way it Was: An Exhibition of Island Photographs.”

McCullough spent most of his life on Sanibel and Captiva, and throughout his stay on the islands, he captured many images of iconic people and places from island history.

“I always had a camera whenever I came down to the islands and I’ve been taking pictures since 1935,” McCullough said. “My grandfather was the first to purchase land from the Woodrings, and in 1908 he built a house. Since then it’s passed through the family, and I live there now.”

McCullough’s prints will be for sale.

“The people that buy the photographs like to remember Sanibel and Captiva when they’re back home in Michigan or Wisconsin or even France, because there are people from all over the world that come here,” McCullough said, noting that his exhibition will feature many of his trademark black and white images, as well as some color photography.

There will be no exhibit in December, but in January, the CCA will host three more exhibits.

“I think this is going to be a really good season of art. There is a lot of variety in these shows and our four artists are all quite different,” said Sharon Brace of the CCA. “We have a whole season planned with Sally Rich’s photography in January, Susan Scott in February and Stella Farwell in March.”

The opening reception for McCullough’s exhibit begins at 5:30 p.m.

The CCA is located at 11560 Chapin Lane. For more information, call 472-2111.By JANE BRICKLEY

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

'Tween Waters Inn to kick off holidays with tree lighting, fireworks on Nov. 26

Kick off the holidays with the brilliant sights and sounds of the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Fireworks at ‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort on Friday, Nov. 26, followed by three weeks of “Captiva Holiday Village” events ending on Saturday, Dec. 18. Plus, guests who stay overnight for the events at ‘Tween Waters Inn receive 30 to 50 percent off regular priced rooms, from Nov. 29 to Dec. 21 — a perfect package to escape the hustle and bustle, and holiday stress. 

Captiva Island will host the very first “Captiva Holiday Village,” beginning on Friday, Nov. 26 at ‘Tween Waters Inn with the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and lights display. This free 60-minute show begins at sunset, and includes music, the lighting of the gigantic 30-foot tree overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, and a colorful fireworks display. 

A Captiva tradition, 200,000 lights sparkle throughout ‘Tween Waters Inn, bringing families and friends from all around to join in the celebrations. Visitors and Islanders alike are welcomed to stop by Captiva’s finest resort to view the display. 

Enjoy more “Captiva Holiday Village” events through the following weekends, including a Chadwick’s Square Tree Lighting (Nov. 27); Seafood and Wine Festival (Dec. 3); Golf Cart Parades and Holiday Music (Dec. 4); Sunset Arias, Fire Dancing and Holiday Marketplace (Dec. 10); Skim Board Contest, Art Show and Stage Performance, Boat Parade and Ribs and Blues Award Party (Dec. 11); Marketplace, Art Show and Christmas Carols (Dec. 12); Holiday Pub Crawl (Dec. 17); and Concert Event and Pub Crawl (Dec. 18). 

For more information on locations and times, visit 

“We’re so to proud launch the first-ever Captiva Holiday Village with our Tree Lighting and Fireworks, and continue the party with the Sunset Arias and Fire Dancing,” says ‘Tween Water Inn General Manager, Jeff Shuff. “Captiva is such a magical place to be for the holidays, and the Captiva Holiday Village events are the perfect way to celebrate, whether you’re a local or visitor.” 

In addition to the events at the Resort, beginning Nov. 29 through Dec. 21, stay at ‘Tween Waters Inn Sunday through Thursday and receive 50 percent off regular daily rates. Plus, save 30 percent off daily rates Friday and Saturday. The popularity of this “Pre-Holiday Half Crazy Sale” has ‘Tween Waters Inn recommending reservations during this time period. This offer is not applicable with other discounts or existing reservations. Two- and three-bedroom suites and cottages do not apply.

“Saving a lot of extra means spending a little extra on someone you love,” says ‘Tween Water Inn General Manager, Jeff Shuff. “At ‘Tween Waters Inn, that means guests get to save, but still receive a quality vacation experience. It’s the best of both worlds this holiday season.” 

For more information on ’Tween Waters Inn, call 800.223.5865 or visit

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lions to host First Annual Fish Fry this Friday

The Sanibel Captiva Lions Club is proud to present their first Annual Fish Fry on Sanibel this Friday, Nov. 12 at the Sanibel Community House, located at 2173 Periwinkle Way.

The event will begin at 5 p.m. and will continue until all the fish is gone.Come out and enjoy some of the freshly caught local fish, cheese grits, baked beans, coleslaw, refreshing beverages and apple pie. Even carry-out will be available!

There is an $8 suggested donation for adults and children under five will be admitted for free. All proceeds from the event will the benefit Southeastern Guide Dogs, an organization that provides skilled guide dogs to visually impaired individuals.

For more than 26 years, the Southeastern Guide Dogs have provided independence and freedom to people with total blindness and all types of vision loss, including macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. Currently serving more than 800 active guide dog teams, they also provide additional training to civilians and veterans.

“We’re looking forward to hosting this new event and continuing our support and service to such great organizations in our community,” said Tom Hoover, The Sanibel Captiva Lions Club’s president. “We hope everyone comes out to support such a great cause.”

Notable guests and servers will be the honorary Lioness Judie Zimomra, Lion Mick Denham, honorary Lion Tommy Gray and his Lion guide dog, Jackson. The Southeastern Guide Dogs will be sending their local trainers from Fort Myers along with some puppies in training. Fresh local fish will be provided by Lion fisherman Danny Duncan.

All parking will be exclusively in SCA’s lot and Lion volunteers will be on site to direct arriving guests. No parking is permitted in the Schoolhouse Theater lot. All parking is limited to the SCA’s side of the street for public safety.

Bailey’s General Store is the event’s title sponsor. Additional sponsors include Island Graphics, Sanctuary Island Electric, Sanibel Air Conditioning, Island Pharmacy, Lily & Co. Jewelers, Nave Plumbing, Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank and Wayne Wiles Floor Coverings.