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From Our President

Dear Fellow Islanders,


   January is the time of year when we welcome back our winter volunteers, encourage new volunteers to step up and gratefully thank all our volunteers for the hard work they do in every area whether it is part or all of the year. 

    I want to especially thank Ray West and the Thrift Store staff and volunteers for the hard work and dedication they have shown to make 2017 a great year for the Beacon. We had our doubts when the store was closed for 10 days due to Hurricane Irma, but thankfully the year ended on a positive note. A special thanks to those who donate items to the Thrift Store. Without your generous donations to the store, we would be unable to fund the programs and offer help to those in need.    

   Our many programs are thriving. One example is Beacon Bites (formerly Meals on Wheels) which continues to serve the island community. Our new partner The Island Grill is doing a wonderful job providing healthy and nutritious meals.  This program is more than delivering meals; it provides a much-needed life line to people who are often without family support, mobility or resources.

    Our new Veterans program is partnered with the American Legion and doing a great job reaching out to Veterans from all walks of life here on Pine Island.

     These programs and others owe their success to Betsy Hasesmeyer and her excellent staff and volunteers in the Client Center.  The Client Center is the heart of the Beacon and aids seniors, families and individuals in so many ways.  Being a United Way House increases our effectiveness with so many resources available.        

    The GED program continues to thrive and has had a recent graduate. If you are interested in mentoring students, please contact us and we’ll be glad to help you find your nitch.  It is a very satisfying area to volunteer in and makes all our futures better.  

Our 8th Annual Holiday House in December was the most successful one yet, thanks to Elsie Stearns and the many volunteers that put this event together.  Set on the beautiful grounds of the Tarpon Lodge it is a great way to kick off the holiday season.  Thanks Pine Island for making our biggest fundraiser the success that it is. 

     There are so many areas that the Beacon encompasses it would be too many to list in this letter.  There are many opportunities for volunteering and becoming part of the Beacon community.  We welcome all volunteers. 

   Last, but not least I would like to welcome Shawn Brewer and Tom Feurig to the Beacon family.  Shawn has been with the Beacon as an AARP employee for some time.  If you’ve called the Beacon in the last few months, he is the man with the golden voice.  Shawn is now our newest employee and has the title of Community Support Assistant.   Welcome Shawn!  

       Tom Feurig is our newest Board Member and a great addition to the Beacon Board.  He has a great background in non-profit organizations and has been a contributor and fan of the Beacon of Hope for several years.  Welcome Tom!

    Keep an eye on the PI Eagle for upcoming

programs, events and fundraisers for the Beacon.   We also strive to keep our Web and Facebook page up to date.  Beaonofhopepineisland.org

     Thanks Pine Island for all of your support.  It is greatly appreciated by everyone in our organization.    


Jane Bennington

President, Beacon of Hope