We want to thank the people of Captiva who shared their island and their generosity in support of the Galloway Captiva Triathlon and its charity, CCMI, this past weekend. Although it is an early morning event on the quietest month of the year, we still closed Captiva Drive for two hours.
The Captivans who were in town were either out cheering for the athletes as the bicycled by or joined them as participants or volunteers. Approximately 900 athletes ranging in age from 6 to 75 were able to enjoy Captiva.
We appreciate the folks in the Santiva area who were inconvenienced by our short detour to help people navigate turning around before the road closed at Blind Pass. The thank yous only begin there.
First, we want to thank our island sponsors: Robert Galloway of the Galloway Family of Dealerships, Rick Hayduk of South Seas Island Resort, Billy's Bike Shop, Tween Waters Inn, Jensen's Twin Palms Marina, Jensen's on the Gulf, RC Otters/Key Lime Bistro, SanCap One Source Realty, Sanibel Grill, Captiva Cruises, Best Boat Club and R.S. Walsh Landscaping.
Thanks to our off-island sponsors: Dr. Robert Zehr of Zehr Orthopaedics, Jason Gunter, Jason's Deli , Geared Up, Harvey Software, Lee County Sports Authority, Trek Bicycles, The News-Press, Florida Weekly, Lee Memorial Health Systems, LCEC, James Hamilton, and Kelly Bugaj.
We had nearly 100 volunteers, many of them from the islands. We want to thank all of them, but in particular we want to thank Tim Gardner, CC Mattingly, Dan Moser, Randy Johnson and Kim Bocelli.
Safety is our number one concern in a race. Lee County Sheriff's Office's Lt. Joe Poppalardo was our lead and went above and beyond the call of duty working with other agencies and people on the island. Agencies assisting the Lee County Sheriff's Office Traffic and Marine Unit included the U.S. Coast Guard, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Sheriff's Department Dive Team, Sheriff's Office VOICE Volunteers, the Fort Myers Police Department, the Cape Coral Police Department, the Sanibel Police Department and the Sanibel Fire Department. In addition we want to thank Alise Flanjack and her lifeguards from Lee County Parks and Rec; Chief Kim Dickerson and Lee County EMS; and Chief Rich Dickerson and the Captiva Fire Department.
The reasons for people participating are myriad, but a big one is support for CCMI- Community Cooperative Ministries Inc. CCMI is an innovative nonprofit 501(c)3 organization made up of social service entrepreneurs fighting to end homelessness and hunger in our community. The agency provides more than 14,000 meals each month through their Everyday Cafe and Marketplace and Home Delivered Meals programs. CCMI also educates 40 children in their Community Montessori, offers homeless and comprehensive case management services through their United Way Resource House and oversees an emergency mobile food pantry.
Specifically, the Galloway Captiva Tri this year supported CCMI's Backpack Program, which is currently feeding more than 1,750 students at schools in Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres.
In the hardest hit areas of Lee County, as many as 97 percent of children are on free or reduced lunch. Most of these children are going without any food from the time they leave school on Friday until they return on Monday, as well as during school holidays. CCMI established school backpack programs in many local schools in conjunction with community service organizations in order to get food directly into the hands of the children. (They have also established a School Food Pantry at Bonita Springs Elementary.)
Very truly yours,
Kate Gooderham, Angie Ferguson, Ken Gooderham
Galloway Captiva Tri Race Directors/Organizers