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Val’s and The Mermaid lounges host a collection for those affected by TS Erika

September 3, 2015
Melissa Schneider - Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Many have been overheard locally calling Tropical Storm Erika a "dud" and "waste of our time," both in person and on social media sites, uploading photos of a single lawn chair blown over with the text "we will rebuild," and claiming the media hyped up the storm to increase sales at local grocery stores, etc. While the storm thankfully died down before making her way to Florida, let's not forget those in other countries who were hit, which is how she was downgraded to a lesser storm of just scattered bands of rain that affected our area later in the weekend, into the beginning of the new week.

The island of Dominica was battered by Erika, resulting in at least 20 deaths and nearly 50 missing shortly after she blew through the mountainous Caribbean island. "Rescue crews jumped off boats and trudged through mud, rocks and uprooted trees Saturday to reach communities cut off by a tropical storm that killed at least 20 people and left nearly 50 missing in the eastern Caribbean island of Dominica," according to U.S. News and World Report.

Doing their part to help those who weren't as fortunate as our island to escape Erika's wrath, Valerie's Lounge (17264 San Carlos Blvd., Indian Creek Shopping Plaza) and The Mermaid Lounge (1204 Estero Blvd.) will be collecting seriously needed supplies, including blankets, sheets and clothing of all sizes, for the people of Dominica.

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"We will have boxes placed at Valerie's Lounge and the Mermaid Lounge for donations during the month of September," said Lena Neroni, island local and business accountant. "If you are able to help us help these people, please stop by and drop off whatever you can."

For further information, call 239-765-9100 or 239-466-7788.

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