Gary IsraelAre you following your dreams? What a great question. Many people just end up doing whatever comes their way, but some actually have a dream and then do what it takes to bring it to fulfillment. If you are one of these determined ones, congratulations. It takes a very special person to be a “dream chaser.”

We have recently discovered such individuals in our community. Our first dream chaser is Captain Debbie Hanson, the subject of this month’s cover story. Debbie’s dream started when she was just 5 years old and was influenced by her grandfather’s mentoring on freshwater fishing. Today this 19-year Estero resident is the host of ESPN’s “Reel Talk Radio,” a freshwater fishing guide, and an award-winning outdoor writer—despite rarely seeing another female angler on the water. We know you will enjoy reading her story and may just be inspired to give fishing a try!

Our second dream chaser is Broadway actress/singer Ginna Claire Mason, who starred for three years as Glinda in the worldwide phenomenon “Wicked.” While starring on Broadway would seem like a distant fantasy, for Mason it was a dream that unfolded into reality through perseverance and desire. After seeing the original cast of “Wicked” on Broadway at age 13, she told her parents at intermission, “I’m going to be Glinda someday.” And she did it! Not only will you enjoy reading about Ginna’s esteemed stage career, but we also want to invite you to hear her perform live and in-person at the February monthly concert of the Bonita Springs Concert Band (at Riverside Park in Bonita Springs from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 18). Estero Life Magazine continues to be a major sponsor of the band, and as I always say… Bring a chair and a friend!

Dream chasing is almost always associated with those who choose to become owner-chefs of their own dining concept. For New York City restaurateurs Fabio Casalla, Giuseppe Manco and Eleanora Cavacchi, reaching those dreams was the holy grail. Following the many challenges of COVID-19 in Manhattan, Manco headed to Southwest Florida and opened San Matteo (in the former Aldo’s location) at University Village in December. And the dreams continue! We know you will find many of “our favorites” quickly becoming your favorites, as well.

This month’s Village Connection shares Estero’s permitting, and development activity as strong growth continues to be a trend. It seems building in Estero remains a dream of many developers!

Lastly, we would like to invite everyone to save the date of Saturday, March 16, to attend the 2nd annual Estero Fest at the Estero Community Park from 1-9 p.m., presented by the Greater Estero Chamber of Commerce. This FREE event will have something for everyone! Kids Zone (1-4 p.m.), Business Expo, Beer & Wine Garden, Food Trucks and more. The event concludes with a live concert from 6-9 p.m. by country star Ben Allen—another local dream chaser (see our December 2021 cover story!). Once again, bring a chair and a friend!


Until next time, remember to…

                                    Enjoy the Good Life, Estero Life!!



Gary Israel, President & Publisher

Estero Life Magazine

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