As the McDonald’s jingle used to say, “You deserve a break today.” That’s how I sometimes feel after withstanding the rigors of the busy winter season. For many, it was night after night after night involved with one event or another — all doing wonderful things and supporting amazing causes — but we need a “time out.” Hopefully we have reached April Fool’s Day without a scratch (or foolishly suckered), and are ready to take things a little more slowly for a while. As our seasonal friends begin to trickle back up north, we wish them safe travels and look forward to their return to this wonderful place we call Estero.

In the midst of all of the hustle and bustle of the last few months, Estero Life Magazine has discovered many people and initiatives that are changing lives. We don’t want to overlook the impact these innovators and philanthropists are making in our local community and beyond.

Our cover story this month introduces you to fourth grader Hayden Fuller, a young inventor who recently took top honors at the Thomas A. Edison Festival of Light Regional Inventors Fair. You are going to feel the passion of this young man and his father, Kip (also an inventor), as he works to save lives through the invention of a “pod” to sustain vulnerable people following disaster situations such as Irma and other hurricanes.

As a charter member of the Rotary Club of Estero, I am proud to introduce you to another community member who is truly changing lives: Sally Smith, who will be honored as Zonta’s “Woman of the Year” for her Rotary Global Grant efforts which are helping indigenous Mayan people in Guatemala improve their future. Her clean water initiative is fighting infant mortality and waterborne illnesses.

And then there is the inaugural One Small Step Walk, benefiting the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research. Very few of you will know anything about this rare disease, but be assured that the fundraising efforts will help to change the future outlook for people living with the disease and seeking better treatments for an enhanced quality of life.

There are other similar walks this month, noted in our Happenings, to change the lives of cancer patients, victims of human trafficking and those affected by autism. All of these are worthy of our attention and support.

And for those of you who enjoy relaxing — or those who may find relaxing difficult — we have right in the heart of the Village of Estero, the Happehatchee Center to help us to experience nature’s way to enhance our quality of life. This oasis sits in the middle of the 62-acre land purchase of the Village, which will eventually give Estero residents increased river access as it will hopefully be linked with our 125-year old Koreshan State Park, making a large area for preservation and enjoyment of nature. This month, the park is hosting its first Cottontail Festival and 5K, happening on April 6.

Even our Village Connection topic this month, Estero’s Storm Water Master Plan, is dealing with improving our quality of life. This plan will bring significant changes when our community faces heavy rains and storms.

Our dining feature this month could also change your life, or at least your outlook on dining at Gulf Coast Town Center. The new Naples Coastal Kitchen location is a harmony of fresh, local, quality and skilled food preparation…and it’s only minutes from home. Tell them Estero Life sent you!

And if all of this isn’t enough, remember our readers’ favorites such as Best Bets, Scene on Site pages and LJ’s Corner!

On behalf of all of us at Estero Life Magazine, we wish you all a very blessed Passover and a joyous Easter celebration.


Until next month…

Enjoy the Good Life: Estero Life!



Gary Israel, President & Publisher

Estero Life Magazine

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