Editorial: Dollars, spurs, coconuts and stars

A coconut to local motorists.

You know the ones — so happy to see postseason traffic lighten up that they speed and cut corners at every opportunity.

So tired of creeping along, they step on the gas.

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A super starfish to mail customers in Lee and Collier counties who participated in the 20th annual National Letter Carrier Food Drive that climaxed this time last week.

Totals: Lee, 297,532 pounds of food and Collier, 269,340 pounds.

Together, that's an astounding 283 tons — one can, one box at a time.

The haul amounts to a 4 percent gain in Collier and a 27 percent decrease in Lee, perhaps due to the recession and a soup company eliminating postcards to all mailboxes as reminders.

Still, great job by all.

That food will go directly to our neighbors in need via the Harry Chapin Food Bank and Collier Harvest.

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Add this starfish for dessert.

In a testimonial to the reach of the Harry Chapin Food Bank and the Internet savvy of Southwest Florida, the food bank placed 18th in the national Wal-Mart Fighting Hunger Together" campaign on Facebook.

That means $50,000 for our area. The food bank gets $40,000 and Meals on Wheels, $10,000.

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A starfish to a very special clothing drive.

"Clean out those closets and drop off your new or gently used clothing and shoes at the Big Corkscrew Island Fire Department anytime,'' says Golden Gate Estates civic activist Annette Kniola (phone 353-3311 or email

annettekniola@aol.com). "Donations will be delivered to the Guadalupe Center of

Immokalee.''

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A starfish to two Edison State College graduation speakers.

They went above and beyond to deliver remarks that these grads may never forget.

Porter Goss of Sanibel Island, the former U.S. House member and director of the CIA, advised grads to do their own homework and troubleshooting. Goss went on to give a chilling example — the Iraq War — of what can happen when reason for action are not thoroughly checked out in advance.

Mike Reagen, president of the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, told graduates in Naples to always remember to thank everybody who helps you along the way and always keep learning.

These guys made the most of their opportunities to share. Their efforts made special occasions even more so.

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A starfish top Naples' Casey Weston.

She sang the national anthem at Darlington Motor Speedway in South Carolina at the start of the NASCAR Southern 500.

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A starfish to the "bucket list" theme of Collier County's new summertime tourism ads.

Although it may sound ghoulish at first, it's super clever — telling would-be visitors that our area is great for all kinds of buckets, such as sand buckets and Champagne buckets.

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A visionary starfish to volunteers for Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida.

These firms and individuals were saluted at a reception hosted by Florida Gulf Coast University:

Key Classroom Business Partners: IberiaBank, Rasmussen College and Fifth Third Bank; Collier County Volunteer of the Year, Joni Blanchard; Lee County Volunteer of the Year, Cary Kleinfield; Teacher of the Year in Collier County, Denise Brown, Immokalee High School; Teacher of the Year in Lee County, Janet Sherlin, Cypress Lake Middle School; Rookie Volunteer of the Year in Collier County, David Crisp; Rookie Volunteer of the Year in Lee County, Melissa Vaughn; Junior "Over" Achiever of the Year in Collier County, Al Kozel; and Junior "Over" Achiever of Year in Lee County, Michael Schneider-Christians.

For information about volunteering, call 239-225-2590 or email info@jaswfl.org. The website is www.JASWFL.org.

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A starfish to grocery shoppers who remember animals at rescue shelters.

Some supermarkets have bins by the front door for donations of food, treats and accessories.

The community's continued good work for stray and abandoned pets has already been well documented. Here is a way for all of us to chip in year-round.

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A starfish to the Collier County Lacrosse Senior Games.

The annual event, held this year at Golden Gate High School gave graduating girls and boys one last chance to compete and have fun.

It's a special moment and the memories last a lifetime.

Even better, proceeds went for a great cause — to help foot the medical bills of a 2008 teammate whose wife died during childbirth.

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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