Changefor three months now we have been subjected to some of the most intense “change” I can remember!  There are but a handful of events that come to mind which have resulted in so change and uncertainty in our country: the Great Depression, World War II, the Vietnam War, 9/11 terrorist attacks, school/mass shootings and now this COVID-19 pandemic.

Gary IsraelI am sure the actions taken, and the conversations since, are affecting each of us in many different ways. Who and what do we believe? What is the cause and effect relationship of every decision, no matter how seemingly insignificant? How is—and isn’t—safe to proceed? And most importantly, when?!!

Fortunately, in the state of Florida and in Lee County, down to our own Village of Estero, the challenges are seemingly being managed with care, and we can all be grateful for that. But in the end, it is the responsibility of each individual to decide what to do. As it is NOT what is happening to us, but it is how we chose to react to what is happening that is most important. We encourage everyone to make careful choices going forward.

One of the tenets of dealing with change is that of adaptability. In nature it is called “survival of the fittest.” Those who advance despite difficult circumstances are those most capable of adapting to new circumstances, environments, opportunities and means.

Adaptability is the overall theme of this month’s issue. First of all, kudos to our reporting and photography team for another outstanding job working under, at times, very challenging conditions — having to remain socially distant while conducting interviews and taking photographs.

While almost everything has changed in our lives, perhaps nothing has been impacted greater than our education system. Our cover story details the impact the coronavirus has had on five Estero High School graduating seniors. It is a compelling story of disappointment, acceptance and adaptability — being dealt a “bad hand” and making something positive out of it, learning many life lessons along the way.

Another area enormously impacted by the pandemic has been the world of the nonprofits which support our community. For many of us, the activities of nonprofit organizations provide a social outlet that allows us to contribute to their worthy missions. Our feature on the plight of local nonprofits illustrates how many are dealing with a drop in donations, while experiencing a rise in demand for services. We hope you might consider volunteering and/or donating during this time.

This month’s Village Connection highlights the many positive actions of groups, organizations and businesses as we collectively deal with the required changes necessary to work toward some level of normalcy.

Those who like to work out at gyms and enjoy group fitness have also had to adjust. Karan Ilowite, lifestyle director at Tidewater by Del Webb, gives us some tips on staying fit at home and outdoors in your community.

I want to take this opportunity to remind our readers of the Estero Life Magazine Photo Contest running through the end of June. The photos submitted so far are spectacular, and we encourage many others to take your cameras or smartphones on your next walk and really take notice of what is around you here in Southwest Florida.

And last, but certainly not least, we want to pay tribute to our fathers, grandfathers and the men in our lives who mean so much to us. Our story, “Timeless Gifts for Men” may give you some valuable suggestions for how to honor these men, coming from Robert Marlinski, a 2016 graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University’s entrepreneurship program and founder of Modern Made Man.

Wishing all the dads, granddads and father figures a very Happy Father’s Day! And congratulations to all 2020 high school and university graduates!

As always, remember to…

                  Enjoy the Good Life: Estero Life!

Gary

Gary Israel, President & Publisher

Estero Life Magazine