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Fort Myers Beach residents to ride for business

July 20, 2016
Jessica Salmond - News Editor (jsalmond@breezenewspapers.com) , Fort Myers Beach Observer

Megan Heil loves her Jeep Wrangler.

The two-year resident of Fort Myers Beach has noticed other people on the island love Jeeps, too.

Heil founded the 7 Slot Social Club, a group geared toward Jeep owners and enthusiasts, a few months ago. The name is a nod to the vehicle: the grill on the front of a Jeep has seven slots.

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Megan Heil is starting a Jeep club, 7 Slot Social Club, that will help support local businesses.

It's not just a club to get Jeep owners' engines revving, however: Heil is giving it a purpose.

In a few weeks, she'll begin organizing a weekly "flash cash mob" where members of the club will gather at a local restaurant, bar or store to support that business. The first event is set for July 28 at 6 p.m. with a location to be determined.

"We all live on the beach, we've seen what the construction (on Estero Boulevard) has done to businesses," she said. "It's a slow time on the beach."

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To join the 7 Slot Social Club, email jeepers@7slotsocialclub.com or visit the website,

7slotsocialclub.com

Jeep owners are social people, Heil said. The group already has more than dozen members or so, including Heil's wife, Renee, and she hopes having a local purpose will drive membership. Currently the group is free to join but as membership grows, Heil hopes to collect dues the club can use for events, charity fundraisers and outings. A group of 7 Slot members rode their Jeeps during the Fourth of July Parade on the beach.

The sense of purpose already attracted one member: Dan Allers, a Fort Myers Beach resident, said he joined the group because it was about more than just Jeep enthusiasm.

"It was different then most Jeep clubs," he said. "It has a purpose, it's not just about how big the tires are."

Allers has lived on the beach for four years, and he said he can tell this year has been hard on local businesses because of water quality and Estero Boulevard construction issues.

"It's going to be going out to promote the small mom and pop type shops," he said. "With all the road construction, it's nice there's a group of people who want to go out and support local business."

 
 

 

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