Three teachers at Pine Island Elementary accepted a check last week for $1,500 from current Matlacha Hooker Madam DJ Ruscik.
"We have a couple of guests this evening," Ruscik said at the Hookers meeting. held Jan. 13 at the Sandy Hook. "We have Kathy Frahm, Summer Dooley and Diane Sporney. Kathy, Summer and Diane are all teachers at Pine Island Elementary School.
"Each October we run a fishing tournament and fishing derby to raise money for Pine Island Elementary educational tools," Ruscik said. "And, of course, we did that this last October. Sandy Kerr was the chair and I was co-chair. A couple of years ago Madam Arlene and her board made a decision that 100 percent of the monies that we donate would not just go to the school but that we'd set aside a portion that would go to the teachers to help with their expenses."
Kindergarten teacher Kathy Frahm, Sandy Kerr (fishing tournament chair), 1st grade teacher Diane Sporney, DJ Ruscik (fishing tournament co-chair) and kindergarten teacher Summer Dooley.
She went on to say, "In past years we presented the teachers with a check for $1,000 at the beginning of each semester. However this year on behalf of the entire membership we are very pleased to present you with a check for $1,500.
"Tonight we have a couple of guests from F.I.S.H. (Friendly Islanders Sending Help). Mary Jo Roane and Dianne Higgins," Ruscik said. "I'm going to turn the mike over to Mary Jo and Dianne to tell you just what F.I.S.H. Does for the island."
"Other than the Basket Brigades that you're very familiar with and support very highly, we also provide mobility equipment, provide emergency financial assistance to qualified clients, we do in-touch and respite, transportation," Roane said. "We really do appreciate all of the work the Hookers do for us. We have a record number in the School Clothes for Kids (184), and a record number of kids at the Christmas Basket Brigade (244). Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts."
Madam Ruscik presented F.I.S.H Basket Brigade with a check for $2,613 and an additional check to the St. James City Boat Club for $250.
In 2012 the Matlacha Hookers raised a total of over $32,000 that was donated to the Pine Island community.
"This last year, 2013, we had our best year ever and raised a total of $41,000 that went back into this community," Ruscik said. "I would like to thank the 2013 board for making this such a great year."