Rosemont Welcomes Its First Residents

Woodlands Getting Bigger and Better

FORT MYERS, FL (April 16, 2001) – Rosemont, the second residential building to be completed in The Woodlands at Shell Point, began welcoming its residents to move in this April and May.

(photo at right) New Rosemont residents George and Renee Fitzgerald (center) are the first to move in. Helping them with the move are their daughter Kathy Rich (left, with husband Larry) and their son Pat Fitzgerald (right).

This marked yet another milestone in the 10-year expansion plan of Shell Point Retirement Community. Founded in 1968 by the Christian and Missionary Alliance, The Island at Shell Point now has over 1,400 residents. Seeing the need for more top-quality programs and services, Shell Point purchased 700 adjacent acres in 1998, with an ambitious 10-year plan to expand and build more communities.

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Shell Point’s Wildlife Neighbors

Protecting The Surrounding Environment and Biology

FORT MYERS, FL (April 1, 2001) – We’re blessed to share our small part of the planet with an abundance of wildlife, many of which find Shell Point a safe haven. Many residents enjoy watching manatees as they frolic in the security of the lagoon on The Island. Dolphins often patrol our waterfront on the Caloosahatchee River. The local waterways are also popular places for visits by egrets and ibis, along with ducks, turtles, and fish. Nesting platforms have been placed around The Island for the ospreys that return every year to nest and raise their young. In the past couple of years we have enjoyed visits from a pair of American oystercatchers who have been nesting on our Island beach, where Shell Point personnel carefully rope off the nesting area to protect these unique birds and their offspring.

Considering the sanctity all this wildlife that surrounds Shell Point, we must be careful how the lives of the 1,500 residents and 600 employees impact the habitats of the wildlife. So when Shell Point decided to purchase 780 acres of property to expand its programs and services for Shell Point residents, we took the initiative in assuring that the environment would continue to allow native plants and animals to thrive.

Most importantly, a large portion of the new land will be eternally preserved for wildlife and the ecosystem that serves it. The property on the west side of Shell Point Boulevard has been deeded back to the state of Florida to be maintained forever as part of the Estero Bay State Buffer Preserve. This land (approximately 500 acres) is made up mostly of submerged wetlands, which are important to preserve not only for the wildlife that inhabits the area but also for the benefits that the wetlands provide to surrounding water bodies. Before turning this land over to the state, Shell Point eradicated all the exotic plants (plants not native to this area). Exotic plants such as the melaleuca and Brazilian pepper trees, need to be eradicated because they crowd out native species of plants which are beneficial to wildlife.

A large mosquito ditch running parallel to Shell Point Boulevard, which interrupted the natural flow of water, was filled and leveled to a height to recreate historical water flow and increase the likelihood of regrowth of native plant species.

There are three separate preserves within the actual boundaries of the expansion property, including a 27-acre wetland area called a slough. In another preserve area, a borrow pit (a large manmade lake) exists. It was dug long ago to get fill dirt to form Shell Point and McGregor Boulevards. This is a popular spot for wading birds and for different species of fish.

We’ve gone to great lengths to protect one species of bird in particular: a pair of nesting bald eagles. Currently there is a 1500-foot radius around its nest, located near the 8th hole of the Shell Point Golf Club. No construction will occur during its nesting season (October 1 – May 15). In 1967, the bald eagle was officially declared an endangered species under a law that preceded the Endangered Species Act of 1973; it is also protected as a national symbol under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

Another wildlife neighbor that lives on Shell Point’s new property is the gopher tortoise. These slow-moving reptiles are so named because they dig burrows in the ground to call home. Shell Point has spent approximately $25,000 so far to relocate the gopher tortoises to a fenced-in preserve area consisting of almost four acres, where they will be protected from danger and out of the way of future construction.

Shell Point has also taken care to preserve land inhabited by those who came before us. Through an archeological survey of the property, a mound was found, approximately one acre in size, that is believed to have been used for burial purposes by a Native American civilization between 650 and 1200 A.D. This burial mound will be preserved in perpetuity.

It’s no easy matter to buy and build on land in southwest Florida. Shell Point has undergone intense scrutiny from many environmental agencies, including the South Florida Water Management District, Corps of Engineers, Regional Planning Council, Fish and Wildlife Service, and Lee County; that’s a lot of people to satisfy. But Shell Point is committed to partnering with these agencies to maintain an ecological balance for these plants and animals. We welcome these “wildlife neighbors,” some old and some new, into the Shell Point family.

United Way Donation Goal Met

Residents Give Over $35,000

FORT MYERS, FL (February 19, 2001) – For many years, the residents of Shell Point have been an important part of the United Way Campaign, earning recognition as leaders in supporting this vital community service. This year was no exception, with Shell Point exceeding its goal of $35,000, with a grand total of $35,427! The community is proud to be the home of four Keel Club Members (donating $1,000 or more), as well. At a recent Residents’ Council meeting, Dr. Erwin Rudolph, chairperson of the Residents’ Council, was presented with a plaque of appreciation by United Way associate Kay Timms.

(photo at right) United Way campaign associate Kay Timms, Shell Point coordinator Cindy O’Grady, resident volunteer Dr. Erwin Rudolph, United Way campaign chair Laurel Smith (with life preserver), resident volunteer Jean Gilman, and Shell Point volunteer coordinator Teri Kollath.

United Way Campaign Chair Laurel Smith thanked the residents of Lee County for their tremendous generosity in exceeding this year’s $3.4 million goal, as well as over 1,000 volunteers for spreading the campaign message, “Be a Life Saver. Support United Way.” The 2000-2001 Campaign was the 8th year in a row that the United Way of Lee County achieved or exceeded its goal. Continue reading “United Way Donation Goal Met”

Skilled Nursing Center To Expand

Healthcare Services To Benefit

FORT MYERS, FL (February 1, 2001) – Quality healthcare has always been a foundation of the caring environment that exists at Shell Point. With full-time staff physicians available 24 hours a day, an onsite pharmacy, behavioral and psychological services, and other benefits, Shell Point frees residents from “what-if” worries by providing health and medical services at every level of the continuum of care.

(photo at right) Pavilion residents and employees, Project Development team members, and employees of Wright Construction help spread the word of The Pavilion’s expansion.

The Pavilion, Shell Point’s skilled nursing facility, serves a vital role in short-term healthcare, rehabilitation, Alzheimer’s/dementia care, and long-term nursing care. The Pavilion is now entering an expansion phase, adding a new four-floor wing onto the existing building. According to administrator Tim Kimes, this will “enhance delivery of health care to all Shell Point residents.” It will provide much needed office space for Pavilion personnel, as well as increasing the available occupancy from 180 beds to 219 beds, with more emphasis on private and semi-private rooms.

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Open House Draws More Than 4,000

Everyone Wants to See What’s Going On at Shell Point

FORT MYERS, FL (January 19, 2001) – Shell Point celebrated the Grand Opening of The Woodlands at Shell Point with an Open House event on Thursday, January 18. The event drew a crowd of more than four thousand people in eight hours.

Entertainment included a barbershop quartet, big band music by The Stan Spiro Orchestra, a Broadway musical revue by Center Stage Productions, two fashion shows featuring clothing from Miromar Outlet Mall, a variety of volunteer pianists, and a caricature artist. Guests also enjoyed an art show, quilt show, orchid exhibit and health fair.

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Village Church Announces Free Concert Series

Nationally Renowned Performers, and You’re Invited

FORT MYERS, FL (December 5, 2000) – The Village Church at Shell Point is pleased to present the 2000-2001 Concert Series. The concert series has been an outreach ministry of The Village Church since its inception 29 years ago. Throughout that time people have been strengthened, encouraged, and motivated in their relationship with a personal Savior through the medium of music.

Please join us as we welcome these fine musicians to The Village Church:

2000 Christmas Pageant
December 16 & 17, 2000 – 7 p.m.

There may be no place like home for the holidays, but there’s no better place to celebrate the birth of the Savior than The Village Church! Now in its 4th season, the annual Christmas Pageant combines pageantry with artistry to bring an evening of celebration that truly reminds us of the meaning of the season. Bring the entire family and enjoy the many dazzling sights and sounds of the holidays as we “Celebrate the Child Who is The Light!”

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Shell Point Golf Club Holds Grand Opening

Championship Golf Just Minutes from Sanibel and Fort Myers Beach

FORT MYERS, FL (November 30, 2000) – The Shell Point Golf Club officially opened its doors to the public by holding a Grand Opening celebration.

(photo at right) Helping to officially open the course for business are (left to right) assistant golf professional Scott Hatto, course superintendent Terry Stoyer, head professional John Pfister, director of golf Michael Mongoven, president Peter Dys, Fort Myers Beach mayor Daniel L. Hughes, and trick shot expert Mike Calbot.

With an occasion as momentous as the opening of the Shell Point Golf Club, a similarly momentous celebration had to follow, and Shell Point did not disappoint.

Duffers from across southwest Florida came by the hundreds to see the features of the new course for themselves. There were golf-cart tours of the new course, chipping and putting contests, music and entertainment, and many other sights of interest for the amateur and advanced players.

The biggest draw was Mike Calbot, a local golf expert, who put on a trick shot demonstration at the driving range. His novelty clubs and impressive drives got quite a reaction from the sizable crowd.

Attendees also got to meet the staff of the Shell Point Golf Club, including rangers, folks at the pro shop, and PGA-certified class A-1 professional John Pfister.

The Shell Point Golf Club is open to the public and is located off Summerlin Road in Fort Myers, just two miles from the Sanibel causeway. For information or to reserve tee times, call the pro shop at (239) 433-9790.

Barbara Bush Speaks at Shell Point

Governor Jeb Bush Joins His Mom

FORT MYERS, FL (November 1, 2000) – How often can you say that a former First Lady came to your neighborhood, or that you shook hands with the Governor? On October 30, many Shell Point residents got the chance to experience both, as Barbara Bush and Jeb Bush visited The Island at Shell Point.

The Village Church was filled to capacity with residents, the media, local politicians, and the general public, plus a standing room only crowd which topped the audience at around 1500 people. Florida Governor Jeb Bush spoke first, and then introduced his mother, former First Lady Barbara Bush. Both had quite a bit to say about senior issues like Social Security and Medicare, life in the public eye, and (of course) a certain Presidential candidate. Noticing the number of people in the room, Mrs. Bush remarked, “The people in this room could sway this election!”

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Olympic Memories Past, Present, and Future

Shell Point Residents and Their Roles in Olympic History

FORT MYERS, FL (September 15, 2000) – As we watch the beginnings of another Olympiad (the Games in Sydney begin on Friday, September 15), we can’t help but look back and remember the Olympic stories that enriched the lives of so many, including residents of Shell Point.

Residents Donald and Margery Bush think back to Tokyo in 1964, when their daughter, Lesley Bush, was an Olympic platform diver. “Our phone rang in the early morning hours,” says Margery, “and a voice asked how it felt to have a gold medal winner in the family. I told the reporter he was mistaken, and said she doesn’t dive until tomorrow. One hour later, Lesley called to say she indeed won the gold medal. We hadn’t figured the time difference correctly.” It was a significant feat for Lesley, in that she had only learned to dive from the 10-meter height five weeks before the games and was picked to finish dead last.

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USA Today Features Shell Point Dining

Not Just Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

FORT MYERS, FL (August 11, 2000) – Recognized as the industry leader in lifecare retirement communities, Shell Point has been recognized by USA Today as a provider of high-quality dining services.

The front page of August 11th’s Life section of the nationwide newspaper featured an article by Maria Montoya about the changing nutritional tastes of seniors, interviewing Shell Point resident James Arter as an example. Montoya also mentioned the popularity of Shell Point’s restaurants to the outside public, quoting Director of Hospitality Al Slickers as saying, “It’s really amazing what the reaction has been to our menus.”

The article also featured a color photograph of chef Mel Reinhart at the grill, working in the kitchen of The Island’s Crystal Room.

Four of Shell Point’s restaurants are open to the public:

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