Gary Israel

Gary Israel

Hopes and dreams come in many shapes and sizes, and everyone has the desire to make theirs come true. Many of our dreams center around improving quality of life for our families, friends and communities. Some, like myself, call on the grace of God, through prayer, seeking to align our dreams with His plan for our lives.

So, let’s start at the very beginning of dreaming here in Estero.

In this month’s issue, we pay tribute to the founding father of our community, “Mr. Estero” Don Eslick, who, on March 16, 2023, left the Village of Estero in a far better place thanks to his hopes, dreams and vision. For those of us who had the opportunity to work, share and dream with Don, we will be forever grateful for his leadership.

One of those dreams centered around having top-quality and convenient health care for the residents of Estero and Southwest Florida. A large part of that dream came true with the opening of Lee Health Coconut Point. Our cover story this month adds yet another component to that vision – a concierge cancer care center. The Lee Health Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Cancer Clinic is set to open at the Bonita Health Center in July 2023. Finally, cancer care becomes more convenient to South Lee County!

And – talk about a dream come true – how about a local high school baseball player making it all the way into the Big Leagues!? That’s exactly what Estero High pitcher Josh Winckowski has done by being drafted into the majors and ending up with the Boston Red Sox. We know you will enjoy reading about Josh’s journey in making his dreams come true.

Some dreams are in sports while other dreams are in business. Our dining review this month, MAKS Asian Kitchen & Sushi, has its roots in Hong Kong. But today, the MAK brothers, Billy and Kevin, are living the American dream and working harmoniously, treating their guests with impeccable Asian cuisine. As Kevin explains, “Our standards are higher than most, and the ultimate goal is quality and freshness.” For enthusiasts of Japanese, Chinese and sushi, this is a “must try.” Truly a dream come true – for the Mak brothers as well as Southwest Florida diners!

On a more somber note, hurricane season is approaching in Southwest Florida. While we all dream of a storm-free season, it’s wise to be prepared. This month’s Village Connection gives you helpful suggestions on getting prepared, receiving emergency alerts and gathering basic needs for an Emergency Supply Kit. Let’s all hope and pray that this season is much milder than last!

Check out our two Scene on Site galleries to see photos from events which sprouted from big charitable dreams of Estero residents. And don’t forget to consult our Best Bets for other meaningful and fun events happening in the month of May.

From all of us at Estero Life Magazine, we wish every mother, grandmother and great grandmother, or those in similar nurturing roles, a very Happy Mother’s Day! You have helped to make many dreams come true!

And finally, we encourage you to give pause as we remember the many heroes who have defended our rights as Americans. We salute them this Memorial Day and express our heartfelt gratitude that we live in a land where we are free to dream.


Until next month, remember to…

Enjoy the Good Life: Estero Life!!


Gary Israel, President & Publisher 

Estero Life Magazine


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