Home' The River Weekly News : RWN 022616 Contents 11
THE RIVER - FEBRUARY 26, 2016
Kiwanis Club Speaker Discusses
Importance Of Black History Month
submitted by Pat Stevens
February is Black History Month and hearing the life story of this kind and
gentle man, who originally grew up in Punta Gorda, was just what we needed
to help us reflect on the importance of why we have Black History Month.
Wilmer Carter was as part of a strong close-knit family. It's the kind of foundation
this young black man needed in the early 1950s. Parents, aunts and especially his
uncles nurtured and councelled and guided him. He and his schoolmates, who also had
families encouraging them to go to school, were bussed daily from Punta Gorda to a
black high school in the Fort Myers area. There was segregation during his school days
and there were no black schools in Punta Gorda. Now that is the dedication to educa-
tion that families still need to instill in their children. Another lesson learned from Black
After high school, Carter served four years in the United States Navy. He used the
GI Bill to go to Bethune-Cookman College. Segregation still dictated where he could
get a higher education. After graduation, Wilmer's first job was with the New York
State Postal Service. He met his wife, Mary, there and this year they will celebrate
their 51st wedding anniversary. Wilmer then went on to get a job in one of New
York's penal facilities, where he served as a counselor. His first assignment was on
Now years later, he still has great stories to tell of his years as a counselor at sev-
eral of the New York penal institutions. Wilmer is currently serving on the Fort Myers
Citizen's Police Review Board. He and his wife are encouraging the younger genera-
tions of Carters to bigger and better things through their active family and church lives.
Carter kept in touch with his college classmates through the years and after a recent
college reunion he started working on a book, A Journal Of A Few. With entries from
himself and several of his college friends, this book came to life. Carter autographed
several copies for our Kiwanis Club members.
A special thanks to Wilmer and Mary Carter for joining us and sharing with us the
importance of Black History Month.
The Fort Myers Kiwanis Club meets every Wednesday at noon for a lunch meeting.
Visitors are always welcome to our meetings and luncheon fellowship and network-
ing. Gwendolyn's Café and Catering is their caterer. For further information, call Club
Secretary Pat Stevens at 226-1556.
Special Equestrians Taste Of Love
Special Equestrians' annual culinary extravaganza, Taste of Love will be held on
Sunday, March 6 from 5 to 9 p.m. at Wayne Wiles Floor Coverings, located
at 16240 Tamiami Trail in Fort Myers. The event theme is Relax, Reflect,
Refresh and will feature dishes from popular area restaurants and chefs, wine pair-
ings, live and silent auctions and entertainment.
Celebrity auctioneer Jay Severson and emcee Jessica Stilwell Catti will oversee the
evening's events. More than 400 attended the event in 2015, raising $150,000 for
the therapeutic horseback riding program. Tickets are $100 per person and may be
purchased online at www.specialequestians.net or by calling 851-7070 or emailing
All proceeds from Taste of Love will benefit Special Equestrians, a nonprofit orga-
nization dedicated to helping children and adults with disabilities by providing a struc-
tured therapeutic horseback riding program and equine assisted activities. The Special
Equestrians therapeutic riding program has been awarded Premier Accredited Center
status by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship.
Sponsors include Florida Weekly, Palm Printing and Wayne Wiles Floorcoverings.
Additional sponsorship and underwriting opportunities are available at www.special-
equestrians.net or by calling Freda Jones at 565-3792 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Jan Fifer at
851-7070 or email@example.com.
Patricia Stevens, club secretary; guest speaker Wilmer Carter; and Donna Clarke, club
Soar At Chapel
By The Sea
On March 3, Chapel by the Sea
Presbyterian Church will hold its
last concert in this year's series
when Douglas Renfroe, bass baritone,
and Helen Tintes-Schuermann, contral-
to, combine forces to offer an evening
of exceptional entertainment. Abigail
Allison will be the pianist for the eve-
ning. The concert begins at 7 p.m. and
a free will offering is suggested.
Renfroe is an internationally acclaimed
bass baritone who has performed
throughout the Europe and the United
States. He toured as Tevye with Fidler on
the Roof in Austria, Bulgaria and Israel
and has been a featured soloist and guest
conductor with the Varna International
Music Festival. Since 2011, he has
conducted and performed extensively
in Quebec City with various orchestras
and concert venues, and has just com-
pleted another year as artist-in-residence
at Quebec City's Cathedral of the Holy
Tintes-Schuermann is a new visiting
associate professor of music at Ave Maria
University. She will split her time between
Ave Maria and the Konservatorium Wien
University in Vienna, Austria, where
she has taught classical voice for several
years. Tintes-Schuermann began playing
piano at the age of 7 and was the organ-
ist at her church in West Fargo, North
Dakota. After earning her bachelor's
degree in music education, she taught
at colleges and universities, performing
along the way. Now an international art-
ist, she gives master classes and concerts
in Finland, Estonia, China, the U.S. and
Chapel by the Sea Presbyterian
Church is located at 2500 block of Estero
Boulevard on Fort Myers Beach. For
more information, call 463-3173.
On Wednesday, March 2, First
Baptist Academy will host a
NACCAP Christian College Fair.
This event, free and open to the public,
will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. in the
First Baptist Church Naples, Common
building. The fair will host approxi-
mately 20 Christian colleges/universi-
ties. Additionally, there will be a college
financial aid presentation at 10:15 a.m.
For a list of the colleges/universities
attending the fair and for additional
information, visit www.myblueprintstory.
com and click on the Naples fair.
The Zonta Foundation of Southwest
Florida has awarded a $9,000
grant to SalusCare, Inc. to provide
educational needs for women recover-
ing from substance abuse at SalusCare's
Transitional Living Center on Grand
Avenue in Fort Myers.
The money will be used to purchase
computer software, educational and
recovery materials and stipends for about
60 women in recovery to enable them
to complete coursework and file job
The overall goal is to help women
in recovery obtain the skills they need
to earn a living wage and become self-
sufficient in the workplace.
"We are so grateful to the women
of Zonta who have so graciously sup-
ported our women for many years," said
Rosemary Boisvert, SalusCare assistant
vice president of residential services.
"Our goal is to remove the barriers that
prevent them from being successful. If
they need financial assistance for tuition,
we can help with that. If they need help
with supplies or transportation to get to
school or training, we can assist with that
"While at SalusCare's Transitional
Living Center, the women work very
hard at learning skills for the job of liv-
ing in sobriety. This grant will help them
build on their newfound skills and give
them something more to enhance their
chances of maintaining their sobriety and
self-sufficiency," Boisvert said.
"We have been very fortunate to have
this long lasting relationship with the
Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva. The Zonta
Club gives our women far more than
dollars. They also give of themselves,"
Zonta has been a partner with the
women in the Transitional Living Center
since 2000 and has provided grants total-
ing $129,000 and hundreds of hours
of time to support the needs of women
recovering from substance abuse.
For example, for nine months each
year, The Sanibel-Captiva Zontians travel
to the Fort Myers Transitional Living
Center campus of SalusCare to work
hand in hand with the women in the half-
way house. Projects vary from jewelry
continued on page 24
Links Archive RWN 021916 RWN 030416 Navigation Previous Page Next Page