Another Step Toward Normalcy On The Beach


Kids running around playing ball, parents huddled on the bleachers chatting, and the town of Fort Myers Beach staff taking a much-deserved bow for all of their hard work. That was the scene on the Bay Oaks Little League field Wednesday night, a few short months after the field was a Hurricane Ian debris pile.

Back in May, Major League Baseball and the Scotts Company donated $50,000 toward repairs of the field. 7-11 then kicked in another $25,000 in June. The town was actually ready to show off the field back on August 28th but Hurricane Idalia was threatening to make landfall on Fort Myers Beach and the ceremony was postponed.

Town of Fort Myers Beach Director of Culture, Parks and Recreation Jeff Hauge, who was instrumental in getting the field refurbished organized the Wednesday night event with his team. Hague said October 25, 2023 was a great day for the Town of Fort Myers Beach, its residents and guests. “We had a wonderful turnout for the re-grand opening of the Town of Fort Myers Beach Wade Jenkins Ballfield. Thank you to all our partners, community members and Town staff who contributed towards the new field. The field will be used not only for baseball and softball, but also for community events, youth and adult leagues, and much more. We’re working hard to get all our amenities back for our residents and guest and this was just another step in the right direction. Thank you to all who contributed to the rebuilding of the Town of Fort Myers Beach Little League field.”

On Wednesday night The Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation donated $9,500 to the town to help rebuild the concession stand at the field which was also severely damaged by Hurricane Ian. Community Foundation Julie Fite said, “Usually our giving season is in the spring but some donations came in over the summer. A board member had talked with Jeff at Bay Oaks and learned they were looking for donations to equip the new concession stand. Those donations needed to be around $9,500.00 to cover the equipment. So, the board decided to donate the full amount.”

The entire Town Council attended the event along with Town Manager Andy Hyatt and many of the town’s staff. Vice Mayor Jim Atterholt shared this comment with Beach Talk Radio. “The groundbreaking was such a wonderful mix of parents and kids along with the very generous donors and Town staff who helped to make it happen.  Having Rose, the mom of Wade for whom the field was named after, throw in the first pitch was such an encouragement.

Councilmember Karen Woodson was excited to see such a great event at Bay Oaks. “The kids were so happy & excited; it was amazing to see all their smiles We had some great partners to make this happen. Kudos to Jeff Hauge , the Bay Oaks team and our awesome sponsors. Get ready for the next phase of god things to come to Bay Oaks.”

Councilman John King said it was a great night for young and young at heart. “These events are what make you proud to be a part of this community.”


  1. Hope the marble monument with names of the 1956 founders and sponsers of the original 3 Little League teams and coaches is still there. Also the island’s 1959 Lee County Babe Ruth League team and coach.
    I asked former Lee County Parks and Rec Director John Yarbrough to finance it. Being the great guy he is he got it done.
    Also got him to put former head umpire Rod Vayo’s name on the big field.

  2. Would have been nice to include mention of the FMB LL staff, officers and volunteers in this article and not just town officials.


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