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Matlacha Hooker school supply drive a success

August 14, 2019
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

The 2019 Matlacha Hooker school supply drive for Pine Island Elementary school concluded on July 31. As usual, Pine Island businesses and residents saw to it that the local school kids have the supplies they need for the upcoming school year.

Last Monday, the Hookers delivered the supplies to the school, filling a dozen tables with school supplies: pencils, spiral notebooks, composition books, filler paper, Elmer's glue, crayons, folders, erasers, scissors and lots more.

"Every year the generosity of the people and businesses on the islands surprises me," Matlacha Hooker Lorie Tidwell said. "We place bins at local businesses at the start of summer vacation and people drop off supplies. Then we collect the bins. We have ring binders, highlighters, pens, pencils... everything students need for the coming school year. Also, some people donate cash. We can use cash for any additional need that may come up."

Article Photos

Presenting school supplies and a donation to Principal Steve Hook, center, are, from left, Ginny Neff, Helen Andrews, Lorie Tidwell and Sandy Williams.


"It is such a joy at the start of each year to watch all the supplies being unloaded by the Matlacha Hookers and other community groups," PIE Principal Steve Hook said. "Our core values of 'Kind and Caring' are truly evident with and through this great organization."

"Everyone puts in a lot of hard work and helped tremendously to put this together," Tidwell said. "I want to thank all of the businesses who helped us out this year: Cap'n Cons, Lazy Flamingo, Our Lady Of The Miraculous Medal Catholic Church, Little Lilly's, El Pollo Rico, Pine Island Library, Pine Island United Methodist Church, Centennial Bank, Dollar Store, Sun Trust Bank, Pine Island Community Church, Island Grill, Capital Bank, Pine Island Moose, VFW, American Legion, Ragged Ass Saloon, Low Key Tiki, Woody's, Pine Island Pizza, Yucatan, Trader's Hitching Post, Blue Dog Grill, Matlacha Post Office, Perfect Cup and Hooked Island Grill."

The Matlacha Hookers were founded in 1998 by 21 women. Their goal and motto was, and still is, to "make a positive difference in the community." Over 1,000 members have signed up over the years. The Hookers began raising money with a fund-raising fishing tournament the first year and have been holding the event every year since (with the exception of 2004 due to Hurricane Charlie).

"The Hookers' goal is to make a positive difference in our community, and this project certainly illustrated that vision," Tidwell said.



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