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Hookers present check to Beacon of HOPE

$12,000 raised during wine tasting event earmarked for island Seniors Program

April 19, 2017
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Last Monday night, April 10, the Matlacha Hookers presented a check to the Beacon of HOPE for its Seniors Programs.

"Tonight we are presenting a check to the Beacon of HOPE in the amount of $12,000 from our 5th annual wine event held at Alden Pines Country Club," Hookers Madam Julia Simpson said. "This was a very successful event this year under the theme 'Veni, Vidi, Vino' - 'I came. I saw. I wined."

There was an estimated crowd of close to 200 and everyone from Julius Caesar to Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli, aka "The Fonz," showed up at the event.

Article Photos

From left, from the Beacon of HOPE Jane Bennington and Elsie Stearns with Nancy Chandler, Darlene Widirstky and Madam Julia Simpson.


Darlene Widirstky, Nancy Chandler and Simpson were the three chairpersons that put the event together.

"All of the proceeds from the wine festival go towards benefiting the island seniors program at the Beacon," Widirstky said. "So we're really proud to assist the Beacon with our seniors needs."

The Seniors Programs offer assistance with seniors medical deductibles, Beacon Bites (Meals on Wheels), rent, water, phone, mammograms, lab work and prescriptions, dental care and food cards for in-between food stamps as well as many other needs.

"I can't tell you how much this means to our seniors," Elsie Stearns said. "Just the Beacon Bites program alone - when you see one of our seniors, who is desperately in need, begin eating before you leave the door you can see how much it means to them. So thank you very much."

In 1998 21 women got together and decided to "Make a difference in our community." Over 1,000 members have joined over the 19 years and the current membership of the Matlacha Hookers is 300 strong. To join the Matlacha Hookers, visit their website at



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