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Optimist Club presents donation for Free Lunch Fridays

By Staff | Sep 1, 2010

Members of the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club present Island Pizza with a check to provide Free Lunch Fridays at the Sanibel Recreation Center. Pictured are Bonnie Ratkosky, Jamie Zimmerman, Ian Wainwright, Randy Carson, Dave DeFonzo, Richard and Kayla McCurry, John and Benjamin Talmage, Stan and Dani Howard and Arturo Mendez.

Continuing their longtime support of the city’s Recreation Center program, members of the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club presented Island Pizza with a check for $1,000 for providing meals on Free Lunch Fridays during the recently-completed Summer Camp For Kids.

On Monday, the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club Foundation delivered the check to John Talmage, owner of Island Pizza, who provided between 20 and 22 pizzas every week to camp participants. The camp ran for 10 weeks between June and August and had approximately 85 participants each day.

On the final Friday of the summer, Aug. 20, the restaurant delivered a taco luncheon for the Rec Center campers and counselors.

"This is just a part of our year-long effort to support the Rec Center and their kids programs," said Talmage.

The Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club has partnered with the City of Sanibel’s recreation programs for nearly 30 years, providing financial assistance through funds raised by the club.

Presenting Dave DeFonzo, center, with the Optimist Club President's Appreciation Award is Richard McCurry and Stan Howard.

In addition to their check presentation, Dave DeFonzo, Youth Program Coordinator at the Rec Center, was given the Optimist Club President’s Appreciation Award.

"We would like to recognize Dave’s more than 20 years of continued service to our island’s youth," said club president Richard McCurry. "Our motto is ‘A Friend Of Youth,’ and he really stands behind that motto. He always has extra time for the kids and the Optimists recognize his excellent devotion to this community."

DeFonzo humbly accepted the award, which he said is "definitely going up on my office wall."

"This is a really wonderful honor," DeFonzo added. "But giving back to the kids in our community is a two-way street. I couldn’t do this without the tremendous support that comes from our island clubs."