Or should it be even more personal, as in, “God, Bless America”?

So far this year, so many of our traditions and holidays have been skewered by the coronavirus that I am hoping everyone will stop long enough to think about what it means to be an American. What is it that you are most thankful for? I also encourage you to pray for the healing of our nation and  ask God to help us all work to create harmony among us. America has always been resilient in the face of adversity and unrest. I know we can re-establish ourselves as a “united states” of America.

Gary_IsraelYou say, “Pray to God?” With so much negativity, the pandemic, the protesting, rioting, looting, and death and destruction, and you want us to pray to God??? — Yes, more than ever! To help us gain perspective, Pastor Nolen Rollins, founder of Legacy Church in Estero, tackles the question of “Where is God When Bad Things Happen?” I hope your hearts will be lightened by this faith perspective.

While we are looking for the “positive,” let me encourage you to immediately turn to pages 24 & 25 for a great deal of positive community news in our “Snippets Of Success.” We can all take great pride in these accomplishments happening in and around our beautiful community of Estero, in spite of everything going on around us.

Before we get caught up in the fact that we are again in the midst of hurricane season (the topic of this month’s Village Connection), how about a glass of wine, just to take the edge off! Dinah Leach, sommelier at Angelina’s Ristorante, gives us a “Wine Appreciation 101” mini-course to help us make positive wine choices!

Another positive happening in our community is the “changing of the guard” at New Horizons of Southwest Florida. In our 7 Questions feature, we would like to introduce you to the new executive director of this organization which continues to make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth in our community. By the way, for those looking for volunteer opportunities, you can find meaningful ways to contribute through New Horizons’ after-school tutoring and mentoring programs at Estero United Methodist Church.

How about making a positive impact on children through sports? Estero resident and author Kevin Gallagher looks to improve our youth’s enjoyment of America’s favorite pastime: baseball. But it’s only your favorite if you have some degree of success! Learn how you can better teach your children (or someone else’s kids) to improve their hitting skills. This is certainly the summer that all of us need positive interactions. “Teach Your Kid To Hit…So They Don’t Quit” will give you the skills and insight needed.

Our cover story this month takes being positive and making a difference to yet another level. We introduce you to Estero mom Vee Patel, an “angel” advocating for local children with neurogenic disorders. In this heartwarming story, Vee shares the challenges of her six-year-old daughter, Zara, who lives with Angelman Syndrome. Vee is dedicated to helping her daughter and other children and families in the area, offering a safe place to play and learn at We Rock the Spectrum Kids Gym.

On behalf of the entire staff of Estero Life Magazine, I would like to wish you all a very happy & safe Fourth of July! Even with all our faults and misunderstandings, we still live in the greatest country on earth. Stay healthy and keep looking for the positive!

GOD BLESS AMERICA!!

 Until next month, remember to

                  Enjoy the Good Life: Estero Life!

 Gary

Gary Israel, President & Publisher

Estero Life Magazine

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