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Island establishments host Superbowl Sunday benefit for local beach family -- more places added!

February 1, 2013
Melissa Schneider - Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

2/2/13, 9 a.m. UPDATE: Other local establishments recently joined the plight to help this local family: Castaway's Bar and Grill (7205 Estero Blvd.), The Shamrock Irish Pub (2201 Estero Blvd.), and the Half Shell Lounge (1936 Park Meadows Drive). Also, the Beach Pub will be passing a bucket to take donations. Other establishments have donated gift certificates and hotels stays, which will be auctioned off at Junkanoo Sunday, Lena said.

A local beach family is currently undergoing a serious and unexpected medical journey, as island residents Wendy and John Wheeler's daughter, LeAnne, recently received multiple emergency brain surgery procedures.

"This medical problem had not been previously diagnosed and has come on the family as a complete surprise," said Tricia Kett, past island resident and close friend of the family. "John and Wendy are continuously by her side at the hospital in Tampa, and aside from the long road to recovery for LeAnne, this is gong to bring on horrific hardship for one of our dear beach families. So, it is time for all of us to do what we do best, and come together as their 'beach family' to help."

Article Photos

Recently undergoing emergency brain surgeries, island establishments are coming together to help Wendy and John Wheeler's daughter, LeAnne, of Fort Myers Beach, by hosting a series of 50/50 raffles throughout Superbowl Sunday. Donations may be made before, during and after that day. Photo courtesy TRICIA KETT.

With that, several local establishments have come together to offer something special on Superbowl Sunday, to help raise funds for the family.

"As of right now, there will be 50/50 raffles during the Superbowl at Junkanoo's on the Beach (3040 Estero Blvd.), The Mermaid Lounge (1204 Estero Blvd.), Valerie's Lounge and Liquors (17264 San Carlos Blvd.), The Smiling Dog Saloon (15560 McGregor Blvd.), Danny's Laze Days Saloon (16200 San Carlos Blvd.), and the Beached Whale (1249 Estero Blvd.). Also, a bank account has been set up, and Miss Renee of Beach Elementary is taking donations through the [Fort Myers Beach Elementary] school," Tricia said.

"We are hoping to raise as much money as quickly as possible to help the Wheeler family directly by selling 50/50 raffle tickets at the Mermaid Lounge and Valerie's Lounge during the Superbowl game," said Maria DeFazio, bartender of the two establishments.

Feel free to stop by any of the participating establishments Sunday, Feb. 3, to help raise funds for this local family in need.

"If you can't make it on Superbowl Sunday, please feel free to drop by any one of those establishments to make a donation anytime before or after then," Tricia said.

"Fort Myers Beach family, we are family, and we, as family, need to get together and help one of our own children," said Lena Neroni, longtime island resident.

For more information, or for other ways to help, call coordinator Mike DeCarlo at 590-5790.



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