Great Night Out for Teens!

On the evening of Friday, June 4th a group of 12 middle & high school students, all from Pine Island, boarded the Pine Island Taxi and headed to the Family Fun Night in Ft. Myers.  The event took place at and was sponsored by “The Bridge” youth center and the Goodwill “GoodGuides”.  While there the teens enjoyed the basketball court, video game room, pool tables and concession stand. 

We arrived at 7:00 and to our surprise also there was our very own Leoma of Lovegrove Gallery painting a beautiful mural on the wall.  The teens were invited to put their own touches on the painting and many did.

The club had a fun atmosphere and although the kids attend different schools in the county, there was a definite feeling of welcome to all.  Many trained adult volunteers were present inside and outside the building, keeping a close eye on things.

We are very grateful to Pine Island Taxi and The Beacon of Hope for providing us with the transportation and our very capable driver Dennis for getting us there and back safely!

The best part of the event for me and I’m sure I speak for Tonya Player as well was being with our Pine Island kids.  They are the greatest and we are so proud of how they conducted themselves.  They were perfectly behaved and very respectful to all.  

This is an informal group and our only goal at the present is to provide our island teens with fun and safe activities over the summer.  Our next event is a cook out on Saturday, June 12th at Phillip’s Park with flag football and cornhole.  Lee County Parks & Rec. is sponsoring an open rec. night at Matlacha Park Thursday, June 17th.  All children in middle and high school are invited and encouraged to participate.

If you would like more information on upcoming events or would like to see how you can help out, please contact Tonya Player at 313-8722 or Trish Waite 699-9674.

By Trish Waite


Lovegrove Donates $120,000 Painting

Anyone who has seen the artwork of Leoma Lovegrove knows that her canvases are full of vibrant colors. But during a visit to The Bridge Youth Center in Fort Myers recently, something changed.
As Leoma painted a fish on an oversize canvas, she suddenly asked Bridge Executive Director Melissa Terry if she had any black paint. Melissa hauled out a five gallon bucket. Leoma has never used black paint before and had shared that with the teens during her closing statement to them during the Downtown Art Walk. After praying with the youth about the oil spill and its effects on wildlife, she used the black paint to finish the art. 
"It was like dipping my hands into a bucket of OIL," Leoma said. "I cried as I finished the art, because all I could envision were the images I had seen earlier that day on the news and in the newspapers of the oil drenched fish, dolphins, and birds."
She considers it her best work to date. The painting, valued at  $120,000, will remain on display at the The Bridge Youth Center located at 2336 Cleveland Avenue,
Fort Myers, Florida. Proceeds will go to The Bridge to enable it to continue its mission of working with local youth.