First things first, Happy 4th Anniversary to the Village of Estero! This new year promises to bring many visible changes to our community. Capital improvements will be taking place from corner to corner to improve transportation throughout Estero. More new businesses are on the horizon, and partnerships have expanded to improve the Estero lifestyle.

And now from the “jungles” of Estero…well, not exactly! But that is the feeling you will get from reading both our cover story this month, “The Call of the Wild,” and our feature story on a local artist’s love for the Great Apes of Wauchula.

Looking for that trip of a lifetime? How about a safari? Andrew Fentiman, a local resident of the Colony at Pelican Landing, can arrange that for you as he has been doing for 40 years. Enjoy visualizing encounters with elephants, rhinos and leopards as you “experience” his story.

Adding to this “wildly” engaging issue of Estero Life, enjoy the artwork of James Fox as he captures the personalities of primates, which are so enduring to most of us. You can experience the unique stories of these orangutans and chimps living at the sanctuary in Wauchula through Fox’s fascinating portraits.

And as we eagerly anticipate the beautiful springtime weather of March, we look forward to a month loaded with activity and opportunities for every interest. We suggest you pay particular attention to the ‘“Happenings” (pages 8-9) to learn about how you can participate, contribute and enjoy a number of local efforts, from Breaking Par at Grandezza, to making a difference in our community through Interfaith Charities, to enjoying the annual Estero Historical Society Tea, to helping the area Rotary clubs promote clean water initiatives worldwide through a unique event along the Estero River at Koreshan State Park. Join in!

Just in time for tax season (just joking!), we would like to introduce you to Stefan Contorno, an Estero resident who is working in partnership with the FGCU Continuing Education program to offer money management classes for retirees or those soon-to be. Learn how these classes work and how to become involved.

Our dining feature this month takes us south of the border (actually, to north Naples), to Agave Mexican Restaurant. I don’t know why this astounding culinary masterpiece hasn’t previously shown up on our radar, but we are so glad it did! Agave, a sister restaurant to Angelina’s, surprised and delighted us all night with signature cocktails, unique appetizers, flavorful entrees and traditional deserts. Get a group together and join in the fiesta!

In “7 Questions” this month, we feature Elaine Rumble, Lighthouse Bay’s longtime activity director — just one of many unique residents in the Village of Estero — as that community engages in its most fun event of the year while raising support for two worthy causes.

Our Village Life photo this month celebrates the 20th Anniversary of Miromar Outlets, and LJ’s Corner exposes some of the crazy driving while out and about on our region’s roadways. I am sure you will recognize a few!

Do you ever wonder what goes into keeping the promise of  “government light” in Estero? This month’s Village Connection explores examples of some of the public and private partnerships which make it work so well for the Village of Estero.

Lastly, don’t forget to check out this month’s Best Bets and the Scene on Site photos from many recent events. Find “bonus” photos online at!

Until next month, remember…

Enjoy the Good Life: Estero Life!


Gary Israel, President & Publisher

Estero Life Magazine