homepage logo

Gumbo Fest a big hit for county schools

By Staff | Feb 2, 2010

Despite cold temperatures, thousands turned out for the Shell Factory’s 10th annual Gumbo Fest Sunday.
The event benefitted the Shell Factory’s Nature Park Environ-mental Education Foundation, which has a unique program. It pays for the bus transportation for thousands of Lee County School students for field trips to the Nature Park.
It’s a big gap in funding that the economy has forced. The district’s budget had to cut field trip costs significantly in the past. Last year, the park was able to pay for more than 5,000 students to visit the Nature Park because of this and other events that raised funds.
Because of the benefit to schools, two candidates decided it was an appropriate time to announce their bid for re-election at the event.
Lee County School Board’s Elinor C. Scricca, Ph.D., vice chairman, and Steven K. Teuber, J.D., Chairman, announced their intention to run for re-election on stage.
“The work that Richard Dunmire of the Foundation and the Cronins is great,” said Teuber. “We have to find ways to get these kids to field trips, which is what this event is about. Some have never seen an alligator or other Florida wildlife.”
“We’re here to support the Gumbo Fest because the profits go to the kids. I’m for anything that helps kids,” said Scricca.
Besides the field trips, she also said saving arts and drama in the schools are something she wants to strive for.
Besides great music, food and New Orleans-style festivities, entertainment included Southwest Florida band Cracker Blues and the popular Rosie Ledet and the Zydeco Playboys from Louisiana.