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Gifts for kids fundraiser: Santa Rocks the Lani Kai

December 4, 2018
By MEGHAN BRADBURY ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

With the holidays nearing, the Beach is continuing a tradition of providing Christmas presents to island children who otherwise might not receive any.

Dawn Gaylor, who is running the event this year, said she has been collecting prizes for the raffle and silent auction that has been held for more than 20 years through her church, Beach Baptist Church. Money raised is used for gifts.

"I'm the one that goes around and gets all the donations and prizes that we raffle. It's very important for people of the community to know what Christmas is about and the glory of giving kids gifts," she said. "I don't want to see any kids not get any gifts."

The prizes collected will be used for the inaugural Santa Rocks the Lani Kai fundraiser, which will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9. Money raised there will be used to purchase presents for island children.

Those who attend the party are welcome to bring unopened gifts, as well as towels, sheets, dog treats and dog and cat food for the Gulf Coast Humane Society.

"We will be donating that to them the day after the event. I rescue animals. I wanted to add my kitties and doggies in," Gaylor said.

In addition to the raffle and silent auction, the event will also feature five bands, as well as the Tabarrini Foundation. Gaylor said the foundation, which provides instruments for children, as well as music lessons, will have some of their young musicians there.

So far there are 68 youngsters on the list to receive presents, which Gaylor said typically reaches 100 before it is said and done. This year, they also want to provide a bike to every child, which is valued at $75 each.

"We are trying to give every kid a bike. Let the parents put it under the tree and give it to the kids," she said.

Those who would like to make a donation for the raffle, or silent auction can call Gaylor at 248-802-3396. Those who would like to donate a bike can call the church office at 239-463-6452.

"We are accepting those at the church," Gaylor said of the bikes. "They can bring them to the Lani Kai and I will be happy to transport them."

The event will also benefit the Naples ACT shelter.

"We give them gifts, wrapping paper and the tape and they let the parents have the glory of giving it," Gaylor said of the present. "We are trying to show each other what Jesus is like. Be kind and show that Beach Baptist cares about everybody. You don't have to come to our church, or even believe. We are there and we help our community."



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