One of the things that touches my heart here in Estero is the degree to which our residents give back. Sometimes it is to individuals, other times to organizations that help to make a difference in other people’s lives. Most of the time, it is beyond anyone’s expectations and something in which we can all take great pride.

Gary IsraelCase in point, just turn the page once, to pages 8 & 9, on which you will find our monthly “Happenings” pages. These are events in our area that are completely open to the community by simply purchasing a ticket to attend or making a contribution online. I encourage you to carefully read each one of the four events listed. I am sure you will find at least one you might personally find gratifying.

We invite every resident in the Village of Estero to consider saving the date of Feb. 20, 2020, to attend the inaugural celebration of the Estero Forever Foundation. Read about what this new opportunity to support the Village of Estero is all about. Next, on the morning of Feb. 29, the 12th Annual New Horizons Benefit Luncheon will take place. New Horizons of Southwest Florida is a nonprofit dedicated to helping at-risk children and teens who are growing up in an environment of poverty, academic failure and hopelessness. On the evening of Feb. 29, the 3rd Annual Metsquerade of Southwest Florida will be presented.

Each day, more than 116 people die at the hands of metastatic breast cancer. What a perfect event to support those who suffer with this terrible disease. And finally, on March 4, the 4th Annual Secret Garden Gala supports the Kids’ Minds Matter initiative. Pediatric mental health is a serious global problem, and all of us need to help find solutions.

Our cover story this month celebrates “Neighbors helping neighbors”, the idea behind The Bridge Fund of Pelican Landing and The Colony, which recently reached a milestone of $1 million of assistance since its beginning seven years ago. While many community foundations contribute to the array of successful nonprofits in our area, The Bridge Fund works through those agencies to help each child, adult and/or family directly with specific needs. We can all take pride in such community efforts!

Also check out “Senior Living in Style”  to discover quite a selection of Senior Living arrangements available right here in Estero. The variety is impressive.

Our Dining adventure this month features the new kid on the block (since August), Zino Ristorante. This “Italiano-Americano” cuisine offers an ambiance which is both classy and relaxed. You won’t want to miss their signature dish, pan-seared walleye!! Let us know what you think!

And a shout out to sommelier Dinah Leach on her latest wine column. Usually the wine column is all about selections and recommendations. In this submission, Dinah gives us the WHY!

This month’s Village Connection explains how the Village of Estero stacks up against other communities in our area (on TOP!) since we promote the value of “government lite” — another reason to be glad we are part of a forward-thinking city.

And of course, enjoy our Scene on Site galleries and Best Bets for all of the fun and interesting activities in our area.

We wish you and yours a very Happy Valentine’s Day! Loving and being loved is essential to us all – good for the mind, heart and soul. May love fill the air, not only this month, but throughout the year. Keep giving, Estero!

Until next month, remember to

                     Enjoy the Good Life: Estero Life!

 Gary

 Gary Israel, President & Publisher

Estero Life Magazine