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Pine Island Superstar raises over $12,000

By Staff | Feb 7, 2012

Pine Island Superstar, a project of the Greater Pine Island Lions Club, raised $12,500 through quarter donations of the audience’s favorite singers.

The organizations who benefited from the charity event were F.I.S.H., Pine Island Food Pantry and Pine Island Community Church Feed Our Families. They all received $2,000.

The lump sum of the donations was given to the Greater Pine Island Lions Club in the amount of $6,500.

President Mary Von Burg said the donation will help the club kick off its scholarship program again, along with providing additional funds for the eye care and hearing aid programs.

“We haven’t been able to fund scholarships,” she said, which is now made possible through the donation.

She said the majority of the donation will go towards the scholarship program.

“We have been in a rebuilding process for the last three years,” Von Burg said. “This has really helped us tremendously.”

The final show, which was held Jan. 29, at the Pine Island Moose Lodge, brought out at least 225 people who danced in the isles while the contestants sang two songs each. Chairman Tom Gauthier said the lodge was full and there were people seated outside as well.

Tom said the final performance brought in than 10,000 quarters from those at the Moose Lodge, which was by far the best night of the event. He said the semi-final show, which was also held at the Moose Lodge, more than 8,000 quarters were collected from the audience.

The nine-day preliminary shows attracted 60 contestants.

The first place winner was Cape Coral resident Jeannie Benner, who received a game suite for 10 people courtesy of the Fort Myers Miracle. She received 2,000 quarters at the final show.

Bokeelia resident Linda Keefer took home the second place prize of a two-night resort stay at Tween Waters Inn. The third place Pine Island Superstar award went to Matlacha resident Hayley Horrell, who received a half-day boat rental courtesy of Monroe Canal Marina.

Sandra Huggins also received an award for being the most voted contestant.

Once the contestants all had their opportunity to sing, the crowd joined in as everyone sang “God Bless the U.S.A.”

The Pine Island Superstar event would not have been made possible without the support from Ragged Ass Saloon, Miceli’s Restaurant, Woody’s Waterside, Pine Island Elk’s Lodge, Pine Island VFW, Sandy Hook Restaurant, Bert’s Bar and Grill, Froggy’s Bar and Grill, Pine Island American Legion and Pine Island Moose Lodge. Each hosted a round of the competition.

The nine semi-finalists received a wheeled cooler from Heineken USA and all the contestants received a Heineken USA T-shirt and a gift certificate from the show’s establishment.

“I’m pretty sure there will be one next year,” Tom said about the Pine Island Superstar event.

Donna said the whole event was really a team effort that included all the residents of Greater Pine Island. She said they had people perform from Matlacha, Bokeelia and St. James City.

“I really appreciate the work that they did,” Donna said. “It was an island effort.”

Tom said they had a big committee for the event that did a lot of work that he wanted to thank.

He said the idea for Pine Island Superstar developed a year ago December. Since that idea struck, he said it began developing more and more, which unraveled good things.

Anyone interested in watching the Pine Island Superstar contestants can visit www.facebook.com/PineIsland.