To the editor:
For the past 7 years Chamber of Commerce President and Operation Open Arms Senior Advisor Lisa Benton has been kind enough to distribute gifts cards from Walmart, Target, Carrabba's, LeRoy Selmon's, as well as local businesses such as Tarpon Lodge, Sandy Hook, Lazy Flamingo and the Waterfront to U.S. troops on their combat leaves from Afghanistan and Iraq. Also lost in the fire were medallions, flags and other military tokens of appreciation our troops have awarded to Ms. Benton.
Operation Open Arms is offering a $1,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the arsonist. This is the second time Operation Open Arms has made such an offer. A U.S. Marine from Lehigh Acres, while fighting in Afghanistan, had his home completely vandalized in 2009. A tip given to Sheriff Mike Scott at the annual Chamber of Commerce yearly dinner resulted in the arrest of three teenagers who lived only several blocks away.
Operation Open Arms is asking all Pine Island civic organizations and charities to convene special meetings to approve a matching reward for the person or persons responsible for this crime against all Pine Islanders.
The Rev. and Capt. John "GiddyUp" Bunch
Founder/Operation Open Arms