“Ol’ Blue Eyes” might have been right about the cycle of life we all face, but for this purpose, I am speaking about coming to the end of another spectacular year in the Village of Estero, full of many accomplishments.

It seems like only yesterday we were putting Hurricane Irma behind us and looking forward to the promises of the Christmas season. And so here we are once again looking back and remembering.

We are taking a look back in a couple of areas that are of importance or interest to most of us. First of all, when reviewing all that our Village of Estero has accomplished this past year, we can all take great pride in our Village Council, Village Manager and staff. This month’s Village Connection identifies the many achievements of 2018.

In this final month of the year, we also take the opportunity to rewind through the many restaurants we have featured in 2018. Maybe you have forgotten a couple of the earlier ones, but you will find that it was another delicious year in Southwest Florida. Enjoy our favorite selections from our adventures in dining.

And there is excitement brewing at the Estero Chamber of Commerce. It is our honor to reveal a major decision taking the organization into 2019. Make sure you see their big announcement on Page 20!

Estero Life Magazine is also making changes. Over the last half of 2018, we have quietly, yet methodically, added additional staff comprising of several freelance writers and photographers. You have been enjoying their talents all along. (Check out the bylines to identify). And this month, we are adding a first-ever columnist to the mix. We are excited to introduce “LJ’s Corner: Ponders from in and out of mind.” This column come from the mind of LJ Bury, resident of Copperleaf at the Brooks, whose background includes stints as creator-editor of a fine arts magazine and a producer/talent coordinator. LJ’s Corner tells stories of everyday life, with all its joys, frustrations and ponders, including “What’s happening,” “What’s Hot (or not)” and “What’s just plain quirky.” You will no doubt find times when you can identify with her observations.

Our cover story reminisces with Estero residents about their fondest childhood holiday memories and their current family favorites to keep the holiday spirit alive. We hope these bring back memories of your own to share and enjoy.

As our new Lee Health – Coconut Point opens its doors this month to the public, we continue to follow this extraordinary facility in identifying some of the amazing technology that offers the latest and greatest in healthcare management. We are truly fortunate to have such healthcare opportunities so close at hand.

And, of course, you will find the many readers’ favorites such as our Best Bets, Happenings, Village Life, Scene on Site and, this month, an additional collection we call “Snippets of Success.”

On behalf of my wife, Ann Marie, our Editor-in-Chief, freelance staff and production partners at Presstige Printing, we wish you all the joys of the season, a very Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and Kwanza. Our hope is that each of you will find ways to keep the spirit and meaning of the holidays in your hearts the whole year through. May the beautiful memories of the past – and those you create new –  launch you into a truly Happy New Year!  Here’s a toast to us all.

Until next year…

        Enjoy the Good Life: Estero Life!


Gary Israel, President & Publisher

Estero Life Magazine

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