Saturday, April 30, 2011

eBook Roadshow at Sanibel Public Library

eBook Roadshow at Sanibel Public Library
Date: May 16, 2011
Time: 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM
Event Description
The Sanibel Public Library is hosting an eBook Roadshow.  This program will explore the new world of eBooks, personal electronic devices and more with a hands-on technology fair.  There will be raffles and refreshments for attendees.

Islands Night May 18 2011

Islands Night 2011

Date: May 18, 2011
Time: 06:15 PM - 10:00 PM
Event Description
Join in with all of your fun loving Islanders who will be there enjoying the gala evening! Miracle Baseball Game/Lee County Sports Complex Parade and Pre-Game Activities begin at 6:15 PM. Schedule of Events Grand Parade - Pre-Game, please RSVP - 472-1516. Locals singing National Anthem for the kids - between inning games, contests, etc...Island Baseball All-Stars Miracle Game - one of best teams ever - Vs Brevard. All Islands Night proceeds go to charity. Monies raised last year went to The Sanibel School, The Children’s Hospital, Sanibel/Captiva Cares, FISH and Hope Hospice. In addition, the Islands Night tradition of giving each Island High School Graduate a cash be continued. Become a sponsor! Call now to reserve your sponsorship. Send your check for $100.00 payable to Islands Night.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gluten Free Foods available at Bailey's Grocery Store on Sanibel Island

Gluten Free Foods

Bailey's has over 700 gluten free products to choose from.  For your convenience, they put together a list to help you walk through the store and find all of the gluten free and organic products you need.  Open the link for a preview, or print it out and use it as a guide when you visit the  store. 

Mermaid Cakes available at Bailey's Grocery Store


The Mermaid Cakes

 Known for unsurpassed quality, richness and flavor with no artificial colors or flavors.
Exclusively at Bailey's
Stories of Mermaids have been told for thousands of years.  The beauty of these creatures is unsurpassed and the tales are mystical and fanciful.  Once you understand it's rarity and you experience a real mermaid, there is no denying the tale.  Otherwise you may wonder what all of the fuss is about . . .
. . . and so begins the tale of our Mermaids.  The originals existed on Captiva Island a few years ago and were enjoyed by many travelers.  Since Captiva and Sanibel are so close, it was only a matter of time for them to find their way to our little piece of paradise.  For years, people have come from all over the world and enjoyed the sweetness of these Mermaids.  But almost as quickly as they arrived on Sanibel  -  they faded from view.  When they disappeared there was a void that many tried to fill with substitutes, but their rich sweetness could not be matched.

Exclusively at Bailey's
The Mermaid Cakes are available in our bakery department by the slice or a full cake, so what ever your special occasion is - we can help you bring it to a "Sweet" conclusion. 
We can easily ship our Mermaid Cakes directly to your doorstep for that special occasion or whenever you want to enjoy your favorite.  Our cakes are shipped overnight, frozen and packaged in an insulated container with a cold pack so you are sure to receive the freshest product available.  Just thaw, cut, serve and . . . dive in!

Orange Crunch

Our Orange Crunch Mermaid Cake will be the hit of your celebration.  This delectable yellow cake has a splash of Grand Marnier and fresh orange.  Brown sugar and almond crunch is between the layers and then it is topped with our orange cream cheese icing and fresh sliced oranges.  Your palate will be pleased!

Bailey Brothers Coconut

Our Bailey Brother's Coconut cake is sure to become your family favorite.  This delectable white chocolate cake is covered with whipped cream frosting and smothered with shaved white chocolate on the top and sweet coconut all around.   Mmmmm!


Our Mermaid Cake is a light surprise as mystical as the name.  This very light chiffon cake is topped with whipped cream frosting and then covered with home-made praline candy and toasted almonds.  What a heavenly surprise!

Midnight Mermaid

Our Midnight Mermaid Cake is sinfully rich, sweet and chocolate!  This delightful dark chocolate cake is frosted with a rich chocolate fudge icing with a surprise.  Hidden in the rich fudge icing are mini flavor bursts of a buttery toffee heath bar.  Wow your palate and satisfy the chocoholic hidden within.   

Bootlegger Rum

Our Bootlegger Rum Mermaid Cake is a tasty hidden treasure.  This cake is a macadamia nut pound cake with layers of chocolate mousse.  And if that isn't enough to make your taste buds water, it is served with a butter rum sauce.

Red Velvet

Our Red Velvet Mermaid Cake should be a staple in all party planning.  This delicious old fashioned buttermilk and cocoa based cake is frosted with our cream cheese and pecan icing.  Can it really be this good?!


Our Oreo Mermaid Cake . . . . . well, need we say more?!

Sanibel Tides

Point Ybel, San Carlos Bay entrance, Florida
26.4500° N, 82.0167° W

April 2011



Thu 2810:32 AM EDT 2.24 ft5:29 PM EDT 0.70 ft10:56 PM EDT 1.95 ft7:58 PM EDT4:16 PM EDT
Fri 295:07 AM EDT 0.77 ft10:49 AM EDT 2.40 ft6:10 PM EDT 0.39 ft11:52 PM EDT 1.92 ft6:52 AM EDT7:59 PM EDT4:30 AM EDT5:06 PM EDT
Sat 305:35 AM EDT 0.96 ft11:05 AM EDT 2.55 ft6:46 PM EDT 0.12 ft6:51 AM EDT7:59 PM EDT5:01 AM EDT5:58 PM EDT

May 2011



Sun 0112:40 AM EDT 1.88 ft5:57 AM EDT 1.14 ft11:21 AM EDT 2.70 ft7:21 PM EDT −0.08 ft6:50 AM EDT8:00 PM EDT5:34 AM EDT6:50 PM EDT
Mon 021:24 AM EDT 1.82 ft6:17 AM EDT 1.27 ft6:49 AM EDT6:09 AM EDT

Resident trying to arrange on-island fireworks display

Last year, with only four weeks to gather the required funding, Sharon Michie successfully spearheaded a campaign to save Sanibel's annual fireworks display.

But this year, she came up with a different idea that may provide islanders with an even bigger and better showcase celebrating our nation's independence. However, with less than 11 weeks to go until the Fourth of July, Michie is quickly running out of time and options.

Michie, the proprietor of Cottages To Castles, began inquiring about the possibility of staging this year's fireworks display at Gulside City Park, on Algiers Beach. According to Michie, she met with a representative of Zambelli Fireworks as well as the chief and fire marshal from the Sanibel Fire & Rescue District approved the location, with stipulations that the police department block off a portion of the parking lot and beach (as had been done for years at the Bailey Road location) and creating a launch site that would be a safe distance from any sea turtle nests.

"The Chamber, along with many hoteliers and restauranteurs, have expressed great enthusiasm for the change of venue," Michie wrote in her e-mail to City Manager Judie Zimomra. "The thinking behind the change of venue is to (hopefully) encourage people to move past the causeway and come on to the island and rent a hotel room, condominium, bikes, boat, etc. for the Fourth of July holiday."

Michie explained that since additional vegetation along the Sanibel Causeway has reduced the number of available parking spaces along that thoroughfare, considered the best spot for watching the city's annual fireworks display, island residents have limited options for where they can view the event.

"I do realize that many people are resistant to change and may oppose this move," Michie added. " If the 2011 show is a flop, we could certainly go back to Bailey Road. After all of the support we received from the community last year, I want to truly make the fireworks a community event, to be enjoyed by our community, for miles and miles, not just from the causeway."

Zimomra responded to Michie's initial e-mail, noting that Algiers Beach had previously been considered as a potential location for a dog park. However, it was deemed not feasible due to the impact of noise on shorebirds.

"In addition to shorebird roosting and nesting issues, July 4 is a very active part of the loggerhead turtle nesting season and the event would have to occur after dark, when female loggerheads are coming ashore to nest and the early nests of the year are beginning to hatch," wrote Dr. Rob Loflin of the city's Department of Natural Resources. "We have historically not permitted any beach events/major activities during turtle nesting season and I would recommend adhering to this policy."

Michie responded to the objections of both the city staff and representatives from the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, noting, "For whatever reason, the Bailey Road site does not face any opposition. Just because the fireworks 'have always been there' doesn't make it the best and safest location over others on the island."

Mason Meyer of Zambelli Fireworks offered a different perspective, based upon his company's years of dealing with similar environmental concerns.

"We are very sensitive to the wildlife and endangered species issues and always strive to do what it takes to make it work for all parties," said Meyer. "I had to move the site location four times this past year in Boca Raton for July 4th due to owl nesting. But all parties came together to make it work. We recycle nearly everything we use at Zambelli and strive to be as green as possible."

As of late Tuesday afternoon, Michie's idea to move the city's fireworks display to a location where more islander may be able to enjoy the event is appearing less likely.

"We've asked for their advice or other possible alternatives, but we're not getting anywhere," she said. "Everybody seems to be fixated on the Bailey Road location."

Last week, Rick Hayduk from South Seas Island Resort on Captiva suggested using a one-acre section of their employee parking lot at Chadwick's Square, which could accommodate more than 300 vehicles. However, a subsequent e-mail from Carol Lis, principal environmental planner with the Lee County Division of Environmental Sciences, seems to have quickly squelched that idea.

"Please be aware that the Lee County Land Development Code prohibits the detonating of fireworks on the beach, upon the dunes or in the water adjacent to the beach in unincorporated Lee County. This includes the beaches of Captiva, Upper Captiva, Cayo Costa and Boca Grande," Lis wrote. "Other activities on the beaches after 9 p.m. are also strictly regulated at this time of year."

Despite all of the negative feedback she has received, Michie said that she will continue to explore additional options.

"It looks like we're going to be exhausting every possibility," she added. "We still have 11 weeks to go."

Cuts from the City of Sanibel's annual budget caused the fireworks display to be funded privately since 2009. Last year, Michie oversaw a four-week fundraising campaign that raised more than $17,000 for a 12-minute fireworks display.

Traditionally, Sanibel's Independence Day fireworks display is launched from the north end terminus of Bailey Road.JEFF LYSIAK

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rare Kemp's Ridley sea turtle nest discovered on Sanibel

On Friday, a Sanibel resident reported that a Kemp's Ridley sea turtle — a species rarely found on Florida's beaches — had nested on the island a full eight days before the official start of sea turtle nesting season.

According to Ray Albright, Jr., who came across the turtle shortly after she reached the shoreline around 11 a.m. on April 22, the Kemp's Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) nested during the day, which is unusual since sea turtles typically nest at night.

Albright immediately notified the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation and remained nearby the nest until Amanda Bryant, SCCF Biologist and Sea Turtle Program Coordinator, could arrive to stake the nest.

"The species is found in Southwest Florida waters, but they rarely nest here. The last Kemp’s Ridley nest recorded on Sanibel was in 1996," said an SCCF press release. "The bulk of Kemp’s Ridley nesting occurs at Rancho Nuevo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, with additional nesting at Padre Island, Texas. There were only eight Kemp’s Ridley nests in Florida in 2010."

Most Sanibel sea turtle nests are Loggerhead turtles, with an occasional Green. Two years ago, a Leatherback nested on Sanibel, only the second recorded Leatherback nest in Southwest Florida.

Kemp’s Ridleys are the smallest and rarest sea turtle in the world. They weigh approximately 100 pounds and are 2 to 2.5 feet long at maturity. They nest from April until July and it is common for them to nest several times during that period. 

SCCF monitors sea turtle nesting on Sanibel and Captiva islands. More than 100 volunteers help patrol the beach every morning from May through August to stake and monitor nesting and to get a count of hatchlings after the nest has hatched. 

If you come across a sea turtle nesting on the beach, please notify SCCF immediately by calling 472-2329 during business hours or 470-3360 on evenings or weekends. 

Readers can learn more about sea turtles at SCCF's Turtle Tracks, offered at the Nature Center (3333 Sanibel-Captiva Road) onThursday, May 5 at 10 a.m. Visit for additional information.

Celebrity chef overseeing new Periwinkle Way restaurant

When it comes to combining a fine European dining experience with the elegant yet casual atmosphere of Sanibel's tropical ambiance, the sky's the limit.

So it would be only natural that when one of the most respected, world-renowned chefs is tabbed to lead the next generation of culinary excellence on the islands, the new restaurant would be called Il Cielo, which is "The Sky" in Italian.

Loretta Paganini, host of “Simply Gourmet” on the Discovery Channel and proprietor of the International Culinary Arts & Sciences Institute, was invited by Shoreline Investments — financial backer of the eatery, scheduled to open this October at 1244 Periwinkle Way — to assist in the opening of what she describes as "the definitive Italian restaurant."

"Yes, it is located in the former Dolce Vita building," said Paganini, a frequent visitor to the islands. "And we are going to bring it back to where it was, but even better than before."

According to Paganini, who is currently working on creating an authentic Italian restaurant using fresh local products, the interior of the eatery will be completely refurbished.

"Our decorator is going to give it an authentic Tuscan look, which will fit in better with the island feel," she added. "I'm very excited to see how it turns out because it's such a great, beautiful building."

A longtime favorite of both locals and tourists, Dolce Vita closed in early 2009. Most recently, the building had been occupied by Ellington's Jazz Bar & Restaurant, but the business shut its doors in March of this year.

The celebrity chef and culinary teacher owns the prominent professional culinary school ICASI (International Culinary Arts & Sciences Institute) as well as Sapore Restaurant, and the Loretta Paganini Cooking School in Chesterland, Ohio. Paganini is a regular guest on several television cooking programs and keeps herself "fresh" by traveling and teaching cooking clinics all over the world. Her passion for Italian cuisine is second only to her love for Sanibel, where she has been offering an annual series of sold-out classes for the past 15 years. 

“I’m thrilled to be part of this exciting new restaurant," she said. "Sanibel will see an exciting new restaurant concept that reflects my traditional Italian culinary roots and high standards of hospitality, while keeping in mind the island’s culture, tastes and lifestyle.”

The Il Cielo experience will include live music in addition to serving lunch, dinner and cocktails.

"I think it's great that we're going to be opening at the beginning of the next season," said Paganini. "I enjoying coming down there every year, and I can't wait for something exciting like this to happen." JEFF LYSIAK

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build to make a Mother’s Day dream come true

Teaming up to make a Mother’s Day dream come true for a local single mom and her two young sons, sponsors participating in Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program will renovate a home in Cape Coral. 

Donning pink hard hats and paintbrushes, the women volunteers will spend the first week of May fixing up the home. Their efforts will ensure the home improvements are finished in time for Michelle Wolcott and her sons to spend Mother’s Day in their new home.

Women Build is an annual happening that goes on all across this nation in the week leading up to mother’s day. The purpose is to acknowledge the profound impact that safe, decent, affordable housing has on the lives of women, and to engage women in both the advocacy for and the tangible, physical process of creating that housing.

In Lee County, more than 17,000 families spend more than 40 percent of their income for rent. Many renters are forced to move often, forcing children to change schools and lose academic momentum.

The Women Build program, partially underwritten by national sponsor Lowe’s, brings women from all walks of life together to learn construction skills and then use those skills to be part of the solution to poverty housing. More than 100 individuals and companies contributed to the $50,000 sponsorship fee. 

Major local sponsors include Bank Of The Islands/Edison National Bank, Jeannie Steidel with ReMax Realty, Nuviva Medical Weight Loss and three teams of individuals including Gail Markham, Jennifer Berg, Neale Montgomery, Stephanie Keyes, Kitty Cronin, Sharon Kiesel, Jennifer Keene, Albania Crosbie, Leslie Kinsey, Loretta Goldenberg, Stacey Cannington, Michelle Laboda, Cyndi Deragon Mudgett, Brenda Tate, Mary Moore, Lou Pontius, Tonya Schrott and Linda Uhler. Other sponsors include CRS Technology Consultants and Peggy Burt, Florida Land Title Services.

“Thanks to the generosity of Lowe’s and all our Women Build sponsors, Habitat for Humanity of Lee County will rehabilitate one of the many homes on the market,” says Kitty Green, CEO and president of Habitat for Humanity. “Their hard work will help make the dream of homeownership a reality for the Wolcott family.”

As part of the program requirements, Habitat for Humanity homeowners must meet minimum and maximum income guidelines, attend homeowner classes, complete 250 volunteer hours, and make monthly no-interest mortgage payments to Habitat for Humanity.

“After a busy week at work, taking care of the kids and fitting in the homeowners classes, I spend time on the weekends painting other homes as part of my Habitat for Humanity volunteer hours,” Michelle added. “Sometimes when I’m feeling exhausted from it all, I drive by my future house to remind myself that very soon, it will all be worth it!” 

Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides simple, decent housing for families who otherwise could not afford it. It is one of the largest affiliates in the country, and it has provided more than 1,150 families in Lee and Hendry counties the opportunity to own their own home. Through the use of volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, homes are sold to the homeowners at no profit with an interest-free mortgage, making homeownership an affordable reality. HOLLY BOLDRIN

City issues 2011 sea turtle nesting season guidelines

Sea turtle nesting season has returned to Sanibel's beaches and the City of Sanibel, in partnership with the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF), continues its commitment to protect these threatened and endangered species.

Nesting and hatchling emergence will occur between May 1 and October 31 and we ask all residents and visitors to follow the guidelines below to help us ensure a successful nesting season.

The nesting ritual of the loggerhead sea turtle is one of the most remarkable natural phenomena occurring on Sanibel's Gulf beaches. This natural process has happened on Sanibel for centuries and our eleven miles of Gulf shoreline have more nesting activity than any other beach in Lee County. The rare opportunity to witness this ritual on a dark summer night is both an honor and a great responsibility. Sought by predators and susceptible to dehydration, sea turtle hatchlings have only a 1 in 1,000 chance of survival. Human activities can further reduce that chance.

By following these simple guidelines, you can do your part to ensure the survival of these magnificent creatures:

• Turn off or shield lights near the beaches. Artificial beach lighting can inhibit female sea turtles from nesting and disorient hatchlings. Most beachfront lighting issues can be addressed by turning off all unnecessary lights, repositioning or modifying light fixtures, or closing blinds and drapes. 

• Remove furniture and other items from the beach and dune area, when not in use, between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. Items left on the beach — including beach furniture, toys and trash — may provide barriers to nesting or result in entanglement and predation of hatchlings.

• Level all sandcastles and fill any holes dug during play. These are fine during the day but may pose additional hazards at night. Please leave the beach as you found it, so that sea turtles and hatchlings are not hindered on their way to nest or to the water. 

• Pick up all trash. Sea turtles mistakenly eat debris, especially plastic, which results in death.

• Honor the leash law. All dogs on the beach must be on a leash and not allowed to disturb nesting turtles or hatchlings. 

Gulf-front property owners should make sure that their properties are in compliance with the City's marine turtle protection ordinances and ensure that artificial lighting from the property is not illuminating the beach (Sanibel Code Section 74-181-74-183, Section 126-996-126-1002). 

An easy way to test if your property is in compliance is to stand on the beach on a moonless night and look seaward. If you can see your shadow cast towards the water, there is too much light behind you. This light could potentially deter female turtles from nesting or disorient hatchlings as they emerge from the nest.

We look forward to another successful sea turtle nesting season and hope to uphold Sanibel's reputation as having one of the darkest and most "turtle friendly" beaches in the state. We ask for your continued compliance with City's marine turtle protection ordinances and remind all residents and visitors that violations of these ordinances may be subject to City, State and/or Federal fines and penalties. 

Violations should be reported immediately to the Sanibel Police Department at 472-3111, Sanibel Code Enforcement 472-4136 or Natural Resources at 472-3700. 

For more information regarding sea turtles on Sanibel, please visit the City's website from 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

'Margaritaville' musicians to play benefit concert at SSIR

Two longtime members of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band and the Danny Morgan Band will headline an outdoor concert at South Seas Island Resort on Saturday, May 14 as a fundraiser for HOPE Clubhouse in Lee County.

Bandmates Michael Utley and Robert Greenidge of Club Trini will be playing their signature Caribbean-rock music that made Buffett a household name among his fans, who are affectionately called “Parrotheads.” Among Buffett's best known songs are "Margaritaville," Cheeseburger In Paradise" and “Come Monday,” among many others.

Greenidge has been called one of the most successful steel drum players in the world. He grew up in the heart of the Caribbean on the island of Trinidad. In addition to providing steel drums for Buffett’s band, Greenidge is a longtime musical director of the legendary steel band, “The Desperadoes.”

Utley grew up in Arkansas and was heavily influenced musically by the sounds of Memphis soul and New Orleans rhythm and blues. He honed his craft in Miami with the famed Criteria Studio. As an accomplished keyboardist, producer and composer, Utley has produced multiple albums for Buffett.

Other members of the band Club Trini include Ralph MacDonald (percussion), Roger Guth (drums), Nadirah Shakoor (vocals), John Lovell (trumpet and percussion), Tina Gullickson (vocals), Peter Mayer (guitar and vocals) and Jim Mayer (bass guitar and vocals).

“We are so excited that there was a break in their touring schedule with Jimmy Buffett that would allow them to come to Captiva for a concert,” said event chairs Andrea Prather of the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre and Joyce Miller of Punta Gorda, both of whom sit on the HOPE Clubhouse Board of Directors. “What better venue could there be for a Trop Rock concert than right here on the tip of Captiva Island amid the palm trees of South Seas Island Resort?”

Sanibel residents Harry Silverglide, John and Mary Jo Boler and South Seas Island Resort are the major sponsors of "Rockin’ In The Tropics," planned to be staged from 1 to 5 p.m., rain or shine.

In addition to Club Trini, the afternoon concert will include performances by the Danny Morgan Band. A silent auction will help raise money for HOPE Clubhouse, a not-for-profit organization that helps persons living with mental illness.

Tickets, priced at $50 per person (which includes one margarita), are currently on sale at Bank of the Islands, located at 1699 Periwinkle Way on Sanibel (472-7211), or at the HOPE Clubhouse, located at 3602 Broadway in Fort Myers (239-267-1777). No coolers or outside beverages will be allowed. Food and beverages will be available for sale at the concert. Parking is $10 per vehicle.

For more information about "Rockin’ In The Tropics" or HOPE Clubhouse, call 239-267-1777 or  

Easter celebrations island style

Easter is a time when Christians celebrate the resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ. It is typically the most well attended Sunday service of the year for churches. 

Christians believe, according to scripture, Jesus was raised from the dead three days after his death on the cross. As part of the Easter season, the death of Jesus Christ by crucifixion is commemorated on Good Friday, always the Friday before Easter. 

In Western Christianity, Easter marks the end of Lent, a 40-day period leading up to Easter Sunday. It is a time of reflection and penance. It also represents the 40 days Jesus spent alone in the wilderness, where it is believed he survived many temptations by the devil, before starting his ministry.

The day before Lent, known as Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, is a last hurrah of food and fun before the fasting begins. The week preceding Easter is called Holy Week and includes Maundy Thursday, which commemorates Jesus’ last supper with his disciples; Good Friday, which honors the day of his crucifixion; and Holy Saturday, which focuses on the transition between the crucifixion and resurrection.

In addition to Easter’s religious significance, it has a commercial side, as evident by the mounding piles of jellybeans and yellow marshmallow chicks appearing in stores each spring. As with Christmas, over the centuries various folk customs and pagan traditions, including Easter eggs, bunnies, baskets and candy, has become a standard part of this holy holiday.

No matter how you choose to celebrate Easter, there are several options for islanders to choose from on Sanibel and Captiva. The following is a list of celebrations going on in the area:

o Sanibel Community Church, 1740 Periwinkle Way – An Easter egg hunt, games and a cook out will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at no charge to the public. Activities will conclude with the Stations of the Cross, pointing to the resurrection of Jesus. 

An Easter sunrise service will be held at 6:30 a.m. on the second island from Sanibel, on the west side of the causeway. Teen Challenge, a Christian drug and alcohol rehabilitation program in Southwest Florida, will present songs and a drama. The teens of Sanibel Community Church will share a powerful choreography of the resurrection and the contemporary praise team will lead Easter songs. Pastor Daryl Donovan will preach the good news of life in Jesus Christ with a believer’s baptism by immersion to be offered at the conclusion of the service. 

Easter Sunday services will be held at 8 a.m., 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m., at the church and include music, preaching and special times for children and families. Child care will be provided during services held on the church campus. 

Sanibel Community Church is a multi-denominational church with a vision to proclaim Christ, so all my know him. For more information, contact the church at 472-2684 or visit its website at

o Captiva Chapel By The Sea, 11580 Chapin Lane – Experience the beauty and simplicity of worship in a unique historic setting at Chapel By The Sea during Easter celebrations. 

A Maundy Thursday service will be at 5 p.m. It will offer an informal family-style guided instruction about the Last Supper and its meaning today. This service is open to all church backgrounds. 

Good Friday will be celebrated at noon in recognition that "at mid-day" Jesus was crucified by religious and political leaders for his confrontational courage. The service will give recognition of how he faced death; confident God’s love was more powerful than anything the world could do to him. 

An Easter Sunday service will be at 11 a.m.

o Chapel By The Sea welcomes all to be a part of this time of special importance for Christian faith. The church is located in Captiva’s Village area, next to the library and Civic Association. Sit outdoors, in a 100-year-old former one-bedroom schoolhouse or outdoors under the Sea Grape and Gumbo-Limbo branches while listening to the sounds of waves breaking on the beach. 

o Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ, 2050 Periwinkle Way – A Holy Communion and Tenebrae will be at 7:30 p.m. Maundy Thursday; a Good Friday service featuring a special drama at noon; and Easter services will be at 7:45 a.m., 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.

o Saint Isabel Catholic Church, 3559 Sanibel-Captiva Road – A Good Friday service will be at 3 p.m. with a celebration of the Lord’s Passion Veneration of the Cross; at 8 p.m. Saturday, the Great Vigil of Easter; and at 7 a.m., 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., an Easter Sunday service. 

o Adventures in Paradise presents an Easter egg and dolphin hunt from 10:30 a.m. to noon Sunday on Picnic Island. The charter will depart from Port Sanibel Marina and cost is $35 per person. For reservations, call 472-8443 or 437-1660. 

o The Island Inn, 3111 W. Gulf Drive – An inaugural Easter egg hunt will be at 10:30 a.m. on the grounds of the oldest inn on Sanibel. 

An exciting egg hunt on the beachfront property has been added to the Easter celebrations, as a fun activity for the children. Open to all Island Inn guests 12 years of age or younger, the egg hunt includes three golden eggs with a very special prize in each one. 

The hunt will be on the south side of the building and end once all eggs are found. 

o Lilly & Co. Jewelers – Children are invited to find several "carats" during an Easter egg hunt from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Children ages 1 to 7 will be able to hunt for 1,000 prize-filled eggs, which hold a certificate representing loose diamonds, gemstones and pearls valued at $10,000. 

There will also be a very special visitor, along with a costume contest. Refreshments will be provided by Bailey’s General Store and a piece by famed designer Marya Dabrowski will be raffled off to benefit F.I.S.H. of Sanibel. Attendees are encouraged to bring a non-perishable donation.SHANNEN HAYES

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Slurping, cheering and creativity define second Edible Mollusk Festival, Oyster Eating Contest

If you heard loud slurping sounds last Saturday there is no doubt that they emanated from The Timbers Restaurant and Fish Market’s parking lot. 

Matt Asen, Mark Blust and their team did it all; from shucking about 1,000 oysters, preparing gourmet delights such as cuttlefish, octopus, oysters and fried shrimp, to putting up tents. 

Timbers partnered with The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum to sponsor The Second Annual Edible Mollusk Festival and Oyster Eating Contest.

In medieval time,s the queen often was carried through the crowd perched on a throne supported by four muscle bound members of the court. The crowd at the festival was transported back in time as Cindy Porter, the oyster queen, made a grand entrance escorted by fellow Doc Ford’s employees hoisting the throne and the queen high above the crowd. Porter certainly looked the part right down to the gold glitter covering her body. She wasn’t the only person looking down on the crowd. A talented stilt walker strolled alongside the royalty.

The cheers from the crowd were deafening. Support continued as Porter walked away with the trophy for Most Clams, raising over $2,000 in pledges. Doc Ford’s was awarded the trophy for Best Team Spirit and Cindy captured the trophy for Best Female Oyster Eater.

Doc Ford’s wasn’t alone in the display of team spirit. The Sanibel Captiva Community Bank representatives donned matching t-shirts and Cassandra Smith of Sanibel Captiva Community Bank left holding the Best Dressed Oyster Eater Trophy. Toilet seats will never look the same. The classic icon of the rounded seat served as the lower valve of the clam, the lid of course was the upper portion of the bivalve, and you guessed it – her head was the pearl. That image didn’t quite compare with the spectacle Monday morning when NBC-2 early morning news anchor and event emcee, Clay Miller, posed as the pearl, wearing Cassandra’s toilet seat costume on the air... and it wasn’t even sweeps week!

A variety of hats dotted the crowd. Dr. José Leal, director/curator of The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, had a fishing type hat complete with oyster shells. Restaurateur Matt Asen slurped with an oyster top hat perched on his head and the Shell Museum’s eater, employee Cheryl Duffy, constructed a hat with colorful mollusks of all kinds.

Al Marti, 2010's defending champion, didn’t leave with the 2011 crown. That honor went to Lamar Williams, representing Stillwell Enterprises. He managed to slurp an amazing 42 oysters in only 60 seconds. Jeff Archambault, representing Trader’s Café and Store, took home a first runner-up ribbon and second runner-up went to The Bait Box’s Wayne Woodring, who arrived on the scene in his fairy wings get-up. Ron Nixon received the support of the over-60 crowd as he was awarded the Best Senior Slurper trophy.

Just 24 hours after the conclusion of the festival and already there are reports of costume brainstorming and practicing new techniques to position someone to walk away as the 2012 Grand Champion.

Ric Base, Anne Joffe, Kevin Ruane, Judy Zimomra and Dan Schuyler served as celebrity judges, determining the slurping honors. All proceeds will benefit The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum’s educational programs and exhibits.