I am sitting here contemplating what my message should be for this typically “transitional” month of April, when both Easter and Tax Day cause our seasonal residents to begin their annual migration back north. Instead of joyfully looking back on the excitement of the last six months and looking forward to no more cold fronts and the renewal of spring, I am being bombarded with emails and text messages about closures, cancellations and postponements of so many events that have become engrained in our culture. These include the unimaginable — the NBA, MLB, NHL, March Madness and Disney World — down to local activities (FGCU, local schools and non-profit events) that reflect the social fabric of our community.

As I try to wrap my head around the rapidly evolving disruptions to “normal,” I realize every one of us is affected in some way. I am sure the ripples will be felt for quite some time.

Gary IsraelAs I try to make sense of it all, my heart is telling me that perhaps God is giving me the opportunity to openly confess my faith. I feel that God is showing us He is in control. And that petty politics, discord, hatred, fighting and division — not only in our country, but around the world — is nothing compared to the will of God. I would encourage all of us topause, take a deep breath and begin to pray (each in accordance with your own faith) for each other, our families, friends, our community, and our state and nation, that we may once again find favor in God’s eyes and that He will begin to heal all that is broken in us and around us. We clearly cannot overcome all of this by our own doing. I offer my prayer for blessings, good health and wellbeing for you all.

As you might imagine, the recent events have affected Estero Life Magazine in the 11th hour before publishing. We have omitted our Happenings and Best Bets pages due to cancellations and uncertainty. Please check with sponsoring organizations to get the most current information on all April events.

Our cover story this month introduces you to the new director of the FGCU Bower School of Music and the Arts, Krzysztof Biernacki. Bookmark the school’s website — www.fgcu.edu/CAS/BSMA — to stay abreast of performances and exhibitions throughout the year.

Minor League Baseball also has been affected by coronavirus precautions, delaying the start to its season. In Southwest Florida, there will be extra excitement as the Minnesota Twins affiliate takes on a new name, mascot and sense of purpose. The Mighty Mussels (formerly Miracle Baseball) still offer a terrific family activity that we are fortunate to have in the summer. Batter up!

And we can all still enjoy a nice dinner out. Our dining feature this month celebrates the new Harvest & Wisdom Organic Dining at the historic Shangri-La Springs on Old 41 in Bonita Springs. This unique concept gives a whole new meaning to fresh!

One institution that, thankfully, has not been disrupted by coronavirus is the new Estero Forever Foundation. A HUGE thank you to those who participated in the inaugural celebration for supporting a shared vision for the future of our Village — open green spaces, walking and biking trails, performing arts venues and more — all without the use of local tax dollars! The foundation continues its mission of mobilizing financial resources and facilitating generosity for the benefit of all who live, work, worship and play in Estero.

I want to call your attention to other charitable organizations and events that mean much to our community. Scheduled fundraising events in the month of April included Relay for Life, Best Buddies Friendship Walk, the Walk for ALS and Interfaith Charities’ “Drive Out Hunger” dinner. These organizations count on our residents to meet their annual funding needs. Please find ways to support them.

To demonstrate the significance of annual fundraising events in our community, I would like to direct your attention to the four event galleries on our Scene On Site pages. More than $3.5 million dollars was raised between February 29 and March 6 benefitting these organizations! We are a remarkable, giving community!!

Keep giving, Estero, and stay well. Wishing you a blessed Easter and Passover and calmness to your lives.

Until next month. Remember to…

              Enjoy the Good Life: Estero Life!

Gary

Gary Israel, President & Publisher

Estero Life Magazine