Kiwanis Supports Kids


(By Jessica Hernstadt) The Kiwanis Club of Fort Myers Beach, led by President Eric Tibbs, held its regular morning meeting at Bonita Bill’s on Friday, August 19. During the well-attended meeting, Kiwanis members shared the many ways they have kept busy helping our community.

Recently, Kiwanis joined forces with the Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation, another local service organization, at the Beach Elementary School Open House. Volunteers from the two organizations filled backpacks with supplies and distributed them to students grades K-5.

The following morning, members Paula and Ed McCarthy got up bright and early to deliver breakfast for the 30 Beach Elementary personnel. A big thanks goes to MoJoe’s for providing the delicious meal, and for their kindness and generosity by greatly discounting the cost.

Kiwanis members are looking forward to the return of K-Kids to Fort Myers Beach. K-Kids is the largest service organization for elementary school children, with 1,200 clubs worldwide. There will be a K-Kids club coming to Bay Oaks in the fall.

September is Recovery Month and Kiwanis supports Kimmie’s Recovery Zone ( in their efforts to bring recovery for everyone. Kimmie’s Recovery Zone will hold The Party in the Park on September 3rd from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Lakes Park, Fort Myers. Admission is free and there will be activities, music and guest speaker Randy Grimes, former NFL player for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and founder of Athletes in Recovery.

Member Sandy Lepley is wrapping up a successful year as the Kiwanis Division 19 Lieutenant Governor. Recently, she provided Leadership Training in Cape Coral to local incoming Kiwanis officers from numerous cities in Lee County. Sandy also shared news from the recent Florida District Kiwanis Convention at the Naples Grande, which she attended along with me.

The highlight of the meeting was the introduction of special guests, the recipients of Kiwanis educational scholarships. In attendance were twins, Jillian Cajigas, who is studying to be a livestock veterinarian and Myellie Cajigas, who will study criminal justice. Both are enrolled at Florida SouthWestern State College. Members were happy to meet Florida Gulf Coast University nursing student Herimar Ramos-Martinez and her father. Riley Monahan, who attended with her mother Denise, provided an update to the group. Riley is studying public relations at Florida State University. Her mother Denise is well-known for the sailing school at the Mound House. The group looks forward to her return as a speaker in the upcoming season! We wish all the students success in their educational pursuits.

The Kiwanis Club of Fort Myers Beach provides educational scholarships and supports many local non-profit organizations through funds raised at its thrift shop. The Kiwanis Thrift Shop is open Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is located at 11050 Summerlin Square Drive, Fort Myers Beach. New merchandise arrives daily. Check the board at the shop entrance for items on sale.

The Kiwanis Club of Fort Myers Beach is welcoming new members! Membership Meetings are open to the public and no RSVP is required. Meetings are $3, which covers the 50-50 raffle and a never-ending cup of coffee. A delicious breakfast of your choice (cash only) is available for purchase from the Bonita Bill’s menu.

Our next Membership Meeting is on Friday, September 16 at 7:30 a.m. at Bonita Bill’s Waterfront Cafe, 702 Fisherman’s Wharf (San Carlos Island).

Learn more about the Kiwanis Club of Fort Myers Beach and how you can become a member at: