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Pine Island Kiwanis holds fundraiser for old Lions Park

July 24, 2019
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

The Greater Pine Island Kiwanis Club held a fundraiser at the St. James City Civic Association Sunday afternoon to raise funds to rebuild the old Lions Club playground.

St. James City resident Cindy Bickford, organizer of the fundraiser, chose the game bunco to raise the funds.

"Bunco fundraisers have become increasingly popular over the years," Bickford said. "We also added a 50/50 drawing, prizes from CW Fudge Factory, a Key Lime poundcake and even a summer sausage. Today we managed to raised $630."

Article Photos

The Greater Pine Island Kiwanis Club is trying to raise funds to rebuild the old Lions Club playground.


The Lions Park has been located on St. James City Civic Association property for more than 20 years. Three years ago, Lions' president Many VonBurg dedicated a Lion statue in the name of Lions Club member John P. Martin, who passed away three years before.

"We're picking up where the Lions left off," Bickford said. "The stone Lion statue will stay as a remembrance of Mr. Martin."

Two weeks ago, Honc Industries cleared the old playground equipment from the property and the group is working to raise the necessary funds to replace the old equipment with new.

""Our first corporate sponsor, Honc Industries, cleared the park and as of today we have a new swing set that was donated by Maximum Solutions," Kiwanis president Susan Saulsbery said. "Maximum Solutions is a shutter company whose owners live on Pine Island and we greatly appreciate their generous donation."

The group needs to raise a total of $45,000 to complete the park and Saulsbery has applied for more than $17,000 in Kiwanis grants.

"So far we've raised a total of $9,200 and we've also had a number of Pine Island / Matlacha community service organizations pledge to assist with the fundraising efforts," Saulsbery said. "We hope to finish the park by early next season and plan to have more bunco games, possibly once a month. Watch for announcements in the Pine Island Eagle."

For additional information, please contact Bickford at 239-282-9478 or by email at



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