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Matlacha Hookers donate school supplies

August 9, 2017
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Hundreds of school supply items filled the tables at Pine Island Elementary School Tuesday as the Matlacha Hookers made their annual donation to Pine Island students.

"This is my first year working on the school supplies," Matlacha Hooker Jean Dickason said. "I certainly didn't expect this degree of generosity on this island - it's pretty remarkable. I went back to some of our locations three and four times to pick up supplies."

"This is the start of my second year at Pine Island Elementary and I am reminded of the love and support the Hookers and the Island show for our students," Principal Steven Hook said. "Children and families can start the new year knowing they have the supplies they need and can focus on building relationships and being ready to start a new year of learning."

Article Photos

Showing some of the school supplies the Matlacha Hookers collected are, from left, Jean Dickason, ex-Madam Lorie Tidwell, PIE Principal Steve Hook, Darlene Widirstky and PIE Information Specialist Sandra Williams.


At the start of the school year, students need a variety of specific supplies and the Matlacha Hookers place collection bins at numerous locations throughout Pine Island. The Hookers collect everything from scissors, to spiral notebooks, to three-ring binders and crayons.

"There are many families on Pine Island struggling to make ends meet," Dickason said. "We need to pool our resources and help them out. Sometimes teachers have to buy supplies from their own funds and the Matlacha Hookers want to ease that burden.

"We also want every student on the island to have adequate school supplies for the year," she continued. "This takes a lot of work and couldn't be done without this wonderful community."

"Families will be able to request supplies by filling out a form at Open House Aug. 8 and the children will receive whatever they need in the first few days of school," Hook said.

Sandra Williams, information specialist at Pine Island Elementary, spearheads the effort.

"Any child that needs supplies gets what they need," she said. "Parents can let us know before school starts that their child needs supplies and we'll handle it here at the school or a teacher can send the student over to the supply room to get what they need. No student goes without."

"In addition to the school supplies, we also received cash donations with a sizable donation from Riverside Dental," Dickason said. "The total cash donations at this time are $775. The cash donations help get supplies we may not have collected."

The Matlacha Hookers were founded in 1998 by 21 women. Their goal and motto was, and still is, to "make a positive difference in the community." Over 1,000 members have signed up over the years. The Hookers began raising money with a fishing tournament the first year and have been holding them every year since (with the exception of 2004).

"We are so appreciative of the generosity shown for this back to school project and all projects and donations being done for the school," Hook said. "We continue to build our field trip and activity fund that allows all grades field trips and special programs. Please call the school at 239-383-0505 if you wish to donate.

"And once again, we thank The Matlacha Hookers and The Bobby Holloway Foundation for their generous donations to start the school year," Hook said.



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