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Holiday House offers early Christmas treat

December 4, 2013
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Last year almost 300 individuals of all ages walked through the doors of the Tarpon Lodge during the inaugural Holiday House of H.O.P.E. Family Night.

"The kids looked like they were having a blast," Rob Wells, general manager of Tarpon Lodge said last year.

"This is the fourth year the Beacon of H.O.P.E. has held the Holiday House at the Tarpon Lodge and the second year they decided to include "Family Night."

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Family Night will kick off the four night affair Wednesday, Dec. 4, from 5 7 p.m.

Utilizing the grounds of Tarpon Lodge on Family Night Mr. and Mrs. Santa Clause arrive in true island fashion on his boat at the dock at precisely 5 p.m. During the two hours there will be plenty of time to have your photos taken with Santa.

There will also be a family friendly menu, as well as crafts, face painting and a very special evening of story telling with Mrs. Tonya Player. The night air will be filled with the sounds of the Pine Island Choir as well as the United Methodist Church Chancel Chimes.

Vendors include Matt Sewell of Sewell's Custom Rods, Pine Bay Gallery presents Mel Meo, Artist Carol Gray, Belle's Secret Spa, Sanibel Soul Jewelry, PI Attic Holiday Bazaar, Beacon Re-Incarnated Art, and the Beacon's own Sweet Spot.

There will also be three authors present: Thursday, Marty Ambrose; Friday, Mary Kaye Stevens; and Saturday, Denege Patterson.

"I'm not a child, but as I was standing on the dock last year waiting for Santa and Mrs. Claus to arrive, I could hear the 'Ho, ho, ho' from Santa and I felt like a kid listening to that," Beacon Board of Directors President Elsie Stearns said. "For me it was magical to stand on the dock hearing Santa's booming voice."

The event is the largest fund-raiser the Beacon holds all year.

The Lodge will be open for dinner and the bar will also be open serving drinks. Dinner reservations are strongly recommended. Call the Tarpon Lodge at 239-283-3999.

"The Holiday House of H.O.P.E. has quickly become a family tradition here on Pine Island," Stearns said. "There isn't a more beautiful place on the island to celebrate and this is only possible with the help of the Wells family."



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