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Toys for X-Mas and Memorial Bike Run

Beach Pub’s annual toy fund-raiser and memorial bike run Sunday

November 6, 2014
Melissa Schneider - Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

For the last 13 years, the folks of the Beach Pub, 1668 I St., have hosted a very special holiday benefit for local children, and keeping with tradition, they're continuing that cause, hosting their 14th annual Toys for X-Mas toy- and fund-raiser and 13th annual Patrick Stott Memorial Bike Run Sunday, Nov. 9, with poker-run sign-ups at 9 a.m., all bikes out by 10 and all-day benefit at the Pub starting at noon.

Lou Caleca and Tim Miller, owners of the Beach Pub, are sure to get poker-run riders some wind in their hair, going on a nice, smooth 70-mile run through the town, on winding back roads full of twists and turns through some of Southwest Florida's quiet countryside.

"So far, everything is coming along great," said Lou, who's been keeping his eye on the 10-day weather forecast for days. "I've been watching the forecast for a while, and the weather is looking good. It looks like it's going to be clear skies, a cool morning and a beautiful day for a ride."

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It’s looking to be yet another beautiful day on Fort Myers Beach for the 14th annual Toys for X-Mas toy drive benefit and 13th annual Patrick Stott Memorial Bike Run Sunday, Nov. 9, with sign-up at 9 a.m. and all bikes out at 10, with the all-day party at the Beach Pub kicking off at noon. Stop by to enjoy lots of great live music, raffles, prizes, 50/50s and so much more. All those attending are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy. All funds and toys raised that day will go to the Fort Myers Beach Fire Department, who then disperses them to children in need on Fort Myers Beach. Photos by MELISSA SCHNEIDER

The cost to participate in the run is only $10 per poker hand, with all funds going to help island kids have a Christmas they otherwise wouldn't have.

"Last year, we had 42 bikes ride with us. The year before we had about 52 bikes, so we're looking forward to a good 50 bikes running with us. Everyone leaves at the same time, everyone goes to each stop at the same time, and we all come back at the same time," Lou explained.

For poker-runners, the Pub co-owner said all riders will head out from the Pub at 10 a.m., riding a smooth 35 miles to the first stop, the Corkscrew Country Store. From there, it's another nice 30-mile run to the Smiling Dog Saloon, and then about five miles back to the Beach Pub to keep up with the fund-raising celebration.

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For those who aren't into the bike run, stop by the Beach Pub anytime from noon on that afternoon to enjoy live music from Casey's Houserockers, The John Allender Blues Band, Lucky Daizy, Tommy V, Sean Bright and Bethanne and Ballyhoo, along with an enormous amount of raffles, prizes, 50/50s and silent auctions.

"All of the live music performed that day have donated their time for the benefit, and they are all phenomenal musicians. It's going to be a great day of music and a great party," Lou said. "And we have had so many donations of prizes for the raffles and silent auctions, as the same beach businesses donate to this cause year after year. Tim and I just want to thank all of the businesses for their generous donation year in and year out, how they give so generously to this cause. It's a true testament to the people of this island, always coming through for a cause."

As this is a toy-raiser as much as a fund-raiser, all those attending the party are asked to bring an unwrapped toy, which will be dispersed to beach kids who otherwise wouldn't have a Christmas.

"All of the funds and the toys that we raise go to the Fort Myers Beach Fire Department, who then disperses them to the children of the island,"?Lou said.

The Toys for X-Mas benefit started 14 years ago, when the folks of Casey's Alley were brainstorming a good way to help the community.

Lou explains. "Pat [Patrick Stott] had taken over Casey's after his brother, Greg, passed away. One of my bartenders wanted to do a toys fund-raiser, and we were all in. That's how it started. The following year, Patrick passed away and we decided to keep going with it. And here we are 14 years later. It's one of those fund-raisers that, once you start, you can't stop. How can you say no??And that shows you how great of a community this is. Year after year, they're running in the memorial bike run and donating to the cause, helping the kids of this island have a Christmas."

Be sure to stop by the Beach Pub anytime Sunday for non-stop music, fun, raffles, silent auctions, 50/50s and so much more. Lou said if anyone would like to make a donation either in the form of a toy for the toy drive, gift for the raffles and silent auctions, or monetarily, and you don't plan to attend the benefit, contact him at the Beach Pub and he'll gladly pick them up for you. Call 239-765-6102.

For further information on the run or the benefit, or to make a contribution to the cause, either monetarily or in the form of a gift for the raffles/silent auctions, call the?Beach Pub, 1668 I St., at 239-765-6102.



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