BY S. GARSON, Executive Producer The KIDS CAN COOK TV Show, GUEST WRITER TO THE TIMES
MYERS BEACH – The day that Hurricane Ian devastated Ft. Myers Beach and the beautiful Ft. Myers Beach Library, my heart was broken. It was almost one year ago when Hurricane Ian tore into Ft. Myers Beach, devastating this lovely beach as well as the entire community and surrounding homes and all the people who called Ft. Myers Beach and Ft. Myers, Florida home. Many people were left with no place to go, and many not knowing where their next meal would come from and were just left to hope and pray that their local government would be there to help not just those who lived in the wealthiest part of town, but those who were middle class and also the people even less fortunate and who needed the most help.
As the producer of The KIDS CAN COOK TV Show, which is a community-based show, I have taped shows working with all different organizations in Florida. The show worked with the Children’s Hospital, Lee County Division of Blind Services, the VFW, and a Safety on the Water P.S.A with the local Coast Guard. I have always felt a part of this wonderful community and grateful for what I was able to accomplish. I worked with the local children and I was able to say a special thank you to all of the children and give out goody bags filled with presents to those children.
Soon after the hurricane hit, I was desperately trying to find out about the Ft. Myers Beach Library. Although it took some time, I was finally able to learn that, although impacted by Hurricane Ian, the Ft. Myers Beach Library was still standing. There was at one time in history a real censorship of books, when certain books were not only banned, but burned. We have come a long way and must continue to go forward, for going backwards is not an option. The very beautiful Ft. Myers Beach Library creates a sense of freedom, as children have a safe place to go and learn about all different parts of the world we live in and people who come from all different parts of the world, to discover, to explore, and to also learn about the world around them as they also learn about themselves.
Interestingly enough, my first experience as a writer might have been called topsy-turvey. The year was approximately 1979 and in a small upstate part of New York State, also run by what might be best described as the “old boys club”, I was a perfect mixture between Lucille Ball and Gracie Allen. For those who are not familiar with those ladies, you can just assume I was gullible and naive to think that I could stand up to small town politics as I opened the first Mexican restaurant in this small town and came upon a law that was used against me that stated the following: In order for a woman to have a beer, wine, or liquor license, she had to have a male relative sign for her. It soon made the NY Post, and then Glamour Magazine as they were also getting on the bandwagon for women and had called and asked me to write about my experience. Amazingly, I was published and I thought to myself, well now that I have been published, perhaps I should learn how to write and closed my restaurant on Monday and took a great writing class at the new school in New York City, and now am happy to say I am presently a guest writer to The Orlando Times. And yes, due to my story, this law was changed.
To all the insurance companies that I know have had an over whelming job. To all the government workers whose job it is to help those in need. I can only say “please do not think of your work as a job, but perhaps think of it as a mission, a passion to help all the people in Ft. Myers who were left with little or nothing to hold onto. I ask you to think of this not as a job, but to please get up, get out from behind your desk and not only do your job, but do all that you can possibly do to help those who are still in great need of help.”
I recently visited Ft. Myers and stopped at Mario’s Meat Market, run by a wonderful family and, although it started out small, it is now a lovely large building housing all the wonderful Italian products and foods that can be picked up and taken home to enjoy. My mission was to stop and say hello to the children and families and to give out snack items and water to some of the children and families who stopped by. As I talked to the people, I realized many are still in need and I am just asking you to do all that you can do to really help the people of Ft. Myers, Florida.
If you would like to assist me with helping Ft. Myers recover, please email me at email@example.com
SPECIAL THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING:
ALEXANDER SPARKS-54 West 47th Street, Suite 2R, New York, NY 10036, 347-325-0099 www.alexandersparks.com (Personal attention to all your jewelry needs)
SOUTHWEST.COM -A great airline with a personal touch, www.southwest.com
ZITOMER PHARMACY –969 Madison Ave (between 75th & 76th Street) carrying, all skin care products, clothing, clothing accessories, toys and more. A great landmark store that has three floors. .212-737-5560
YARA RESTAURANT -319 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022. 646-476-7592. Great Authentic Lebanese Cuisine, Fine dining, Catering and Private Events. www.yaranyc.com
CHRIS CHASE -The hair salon in Chelsea that can work magic. 182 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10011. 212-206-7991, www.chrischasesalon.com
MARIO’S MEAT MARKET -A large Italian Supermarket that has everything you could want or need, a feast for your eyes and palate. 12326 South Cleveland Ave, Ft. Myers, Florida 33907. 239-936-7275. www.mariosmeatmarket.com
Snack Innovations -Great new healthy snacks, 41 Ethel Road West, Piscataway, NJ 08854, 718-509-9366 www.snackinnovations.com
Quality Suites. Choice Hotels. -.Your stay here is all about creating memories that matter.13651 Indian Paint Lane, Ft. Myers, Florida 33912. 239-768-0005 www.choice hotels.com
John Macy Cheesesticks -firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-643-0573, 1-201-791-8036
The Saucy Ladies Inc. -Best Chips ever. 180 Maiden Lane, Suite 1303, New York, NY 10038. 631-771-6921
All-In-123 Media –Communication with creativity, designed to fit your needs and goals. email@example.com, 239-810-3256
Special Thank you to our NYC friends:
FANCY APPLE-Bike Rentals & Tours -917-720-8850, NEW YORK PREMIER BIKE RENTALS & TOURS -FANCY APPLE CENTRAL PARK-870 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019 (7th Avenue & 56th Street) & Brooklyn Bridge location – 1 East Broadway, New York, NY 10038 firstname.lastname@example.org Use Promo Code for 25% off
CHELSEA ROYAL CARE PHARMACY -154 9th Avenue, (between 19th & 20th Streets) New York, New York, 10011 -The best local neighborhood pharmacy. 212-255-8000
PIZZA COLLECTIVE -206 Broadway, (between 70th & 71st St), New York, NY 10023 If you think there is nothing new under the sun when \ it comes to pizza, then you have never tried the great Pizza at The Pizza Collective. 646-693-0949
VINTAGE LINGERIE -Style by Iillisa. Manhattan Art & Antique Gallery -1050 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10022. 212-721-7039
NEW YORK GOLD MARKET, -A very down to earth jewelry store, we buy and sell Rubies, Emeralds, Sapphires in bulk, also Gold Silver and Platinum. 33 West 47th Street, NY, NY 10036 -Window #2. NewYorkGoldMarket@gmail.com 917-388-3378
MANHATTAN BUYERS 590 5th Avenue, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10036, 212-221-9520 . www.manhattanbuyers.com
ZABAR’S -Gourmet Emporium specializing in Smoked fish, coffee, cheese and more .The landmark imported foods, and all household appliance located in the heart of NYC on the upper west side at 787-2000 – www/zabarsnyc.com
HADASSA ANTIQUES GALLERY- 1050 Second Avenue – Gallery 75-Ancient Art, Objects D\Art-Estates bought and Sold-Free Appraisals 212-751-0009-Email-Hadassanyc@aol.com