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Pine Island Kiwanis and Parks and Rec to host Jr. Olympics

By Staff | Nov 30, 2009

For the 24th consecutive year, the Kiwanis Club of Pine Island will team up with the Lee County Parks and Recreation Department to host the Junior Olympics. Island children in kindergarten through fifth grade are welcome to participate on Saturday, Dec. 5 beginning at 9:30 a.m. The event will be held at the Bobby Holloway Jr. Little League Baseball Field at the island center and each child will compete in his or her own grade and gender division to vie for prizes. There is no charge to compete and those participating will receive a free T-shirt, hotdog and soda.
Among the original organizers of the Pine Island Junior Olympics is Kiwanian, Mike Shevlin who has been involved with the island event for the last 27 years.
“This has been such a great event for the kids. Not only is it fun for them, it’s fun for us as well,” said Shevlin. “I am proud to be a part of this fun and healthy activity for the kids and one of the best parts is now we are seeing the next generation. Some of the kids participating now are the children of kids we had participate 20 years ago. I also would like to encourage all islanders to turn out for the Junior Olympics this year to cheer these kids on and share in the fun with us.”
The Junior Olympics is comprised of five events and the children will each compete in a 1/4 mile run, softball throw, 50-yard dash, long jump and Frisbee toss. Children who wish to participate must fill out a form and return it to the Pine island Elementary School or the Pine Island Pool by Dec. 3, however late entries will be taken from parents or guardians of participating children by calling the pool at 283-2220 and giving the child’s name and grade so that they may be placed on the score sheet prior to the event. Entry forms can be picked up at the Pine Island Elementary School or at the Pine Island Pool.
Employees of the pool will serve as scorekeepers and judges for the Junior Olympics on that day so it should be noted that the pool will be closed. For those who want to swim that day, they are welcome to go to the North Fort Myers Community Pool where all Pine Island Pool passes will be honored on Dec. 5.
Other sponsors of this year’s Junior Olympics include; Pine island Dairy Queen, Waggoner & Bruehl PA, Team Shevlin and SunTrust Bank.
In addition to the Olympic games, throughout the morning members of the Pine Island Little League Board of Directors will be taking sign-ups for the 2010 baseball season.
In keeping with the Kiwanis International motto “Dedicated to changing the world one child at a time” the Pine Island Kiwanians continue to do that by offering not only the Junior Olympic track and field competition each year, but also have presented more than $200,000 to deserving college bound students from the island as well as hosting the annual Fall Festival for elementary school-aged children.
In order to offer these events and to raise money for its scholarship fund, each year, the Kiwanis organizes and presents two island fund-raising events. In March of each year the 20-member club participates in an event called “Waterfront Day” where they work in shifts, bussing tables, tying off boats to the docks and peeling shrimp at the Waterfront Restaurant in St. James City. At the end of the day, wages of the working Kiwanians are tallied and presented to the membership.
The biggest money-making venture for the group however is the Taste of Pine Island and Fish Drop. The 2010 event is slated to take place on Jan. 24 and will again be stagged at the Bobby Hollway Jr. baseball field at the island center. The day will feature representatives from area restaurants and other vendors as well as live music and the ever popular fish drop.
Another way the Kiwanis Club of Greater Pine Island raises funds each year is through the sales of unique Tervis tumblers. Featuring the work of island artists, this year’s tumbler depicts a colorful tropical fish created by Matlacha artist, Leoma Lovegrove. These limited edition Tervis tumblers can be purchased for $12 each and are available at Century 21, TIB Bank, SunTrust Bank, Greater Pine Island Water Association, Bank of America, Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce and Southwest Capital Bank.
Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce and Southwest Capital Bank.
The Kiwanis Club of Greater Pine Island meets each Friday morning at Bert’s Bar and Grill in Matlacha. Members gather for breakfast at 7:30 a.m. which is followed by a meeting from 8 to 9 a.m For more information about the Kiwanis, visit: pineislandkiwanis.com