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Observer, Bulletin host Best of the Beach 2018 awards

June 27, 2018
Jessica Salmond - News Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

The annual Best of the Beach awards acknowledge the island's businesses, organizations and people who make Fort Myers Beach a paradise.

Each year, the Fort Myers Beach Observer and Bulletin sends out ballots for members of the public to cast their votes for their favorite businesses, services and organizations on the beach to elect these people's choice honors.

More than 1,000 votes were cast in this year's Best of the Beach. The awards luncheon was held Tuesday, June 19 at South Beach Grille. New categories included Best Electrician, Best Flooring, Best Tattoo Shop and Best Mexican Cuisine. There were 77 categories in total.

Article Photos

Best of the Beach Humanitarian of the Year Award 2018: Corri Francisco

This year, the Fort Myers Beach Art Association won the 2018 Best Community Organization.

"Fort Myers Beach Art Association is very proud and honored to be recognized as the Best Community Organization for 2018," said Julie Nusbaum, the association's president. "Receiving this award will encourage more artists to continue providing events, educational opportunities and high quality art, for all to enjoy."

For all the winners' photos, please visit our Facebook page.


Best of the Beach Humanitarian of the Year Award 2018: Corri Francisco

If there's a cause to help the island, you can bet on Corri Francisco being there.

Helping others is something deeply rooted in her very being.

"I don't think you could meet a kinder, more loyal human being than Corri Francisco," said Anita Cereceda. "If you're lucky enough to have her as a friend, you're blessed."

Francisco and her family moved to Fort Myers Beach in 1990.

"It has that quaint, community feeling. It's got a good vibe," she said.

It didn't take long for Francisco to delve into the beach community - and become an all-star volunteer for any project needing her help.

It started with Turtle Time. Her family had moved into a beachfront home, and Francisco met the turtle nest guardians in her own back yard. Then, her three daughters, Natasha, Liahnna and Sam, started at Fort Myers Beach Elementary. Francisco found a whole new area where she could help.

She has been a president of the Parent Teacher Organization and a member of the Build a Pool, Save a Life Foundation, which was responsible for getting the Bay Oaks Pool built.

Francisco still helps out at the school. She's one of the "butterfly ladies," a group of volunteers from the Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation who visit Tina Cribbs' kindergarten class once a month and educate the youngsters about Florida butterflies. Francisco also dedicates her time at her church's Choice Market at the Beach Baptist Church.

She's the beach clean up queen for the Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation, and before it, the Pilot Club; for years she's been the chairwoman organizing the cleanups the foundation does in partnership with Keep Lee County Beautiful. This coming year, she's moving up to vice president of the foundation. Francisco usually won't take credit; she always gives accolades to the organization she's a part of, but she's always hard at work behind the scenes.

"Corri is an incredible advocate for the health of not only our beaches but the whole environment of our island," said Alicia Steinhagen, Director for the Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation. "Her love of the outdoors and her history of years on the island contribute to her passion for making our community a place where people not only want to vacation, but live and raise their families."

Even her career is oriented around helping others; Francisco has been a licensed massage therapist in 2006 and opened her own space, Healing Harbor Massage, in 2013. Her work can help those for whom pain killers aren't the answer.

"When there's a need, I'll participate," she said. "It seems like the right thing to do. There are so many areas to be involved in, learn new things and contribute to your island."


List of Winners:

Air Conditioning Service: Rite Temp

Appetizer: The Sandbar & Grille

Automotive Repair: B & B Automotive

Bakery: Mom's

Bar: Junkanoo's On The Beach

Bait & Tackle: Fish-Tale Marina

Barber Shop: Shear Class Salon

Barbecue: Charley's Boathouse Grill

Bartender: Jeni Gonzalez, Skye's Restaurant

Bayfront Restaurant: Parrot Key

Bike Rentals: Island Cycles Bike Shop

Boat Rentals: Fort Myers Beach Sea and Sun Rentals

Breakfast: Tuckaway Cafe

Casual Fare: Lani Kai Island View Restaurant

Chiropractor: Dr. Nicole Bennett

Coffee: Knotty Bean

Community Organization: Fort Myers Beach Art Association

Day Cruise: Salty Sam's Waterfront Adventures

Dessert: Truly Scrumptious

Dinner: South Beach Grille

Doctor: Beth Ulman P.A.-C

Electrician: Semmer Electric

Family Dining: Nervous Nellies

Family Entertainment: Beach Theater

Favorite Restaurant: South Beach Grille

Fine Dining: South Beach Grille

Fishing Captain: Captain Neil Eisner

Fishing Charter: Goodtime Charters

Flooring: Klare's Carpet Inc.

Florist: Santini Floral

Gift Shop: The Islander

Happy Hour: Fresh Catch Bistro Lounge and Raw Bar

Hardware Store: Gavin's Ace Hardware

Hotel: Diamond Head Beach Resort

Humanitarian of the Year: Corri Francisco

Ice Cream: Love Boat Ice Cream

Inn/Motel: Palm Terrace Resort

Insurance Agency: Ft. Myers Beach Insurance Brokerage

International Cuisine: Skye's Restaurant

Jewelry Store: The Island Jewel

Ladies Apparel: Palmettos Apparel

Lanai Privacy: Lanai Escape

Liquor Store: Skipper's

Lunch: Pierside Grill and Famous Blowfish Bar

Margarita: Skye's Restaurant

Marina: Fish-Tale Marina

Marina Service: Walker's

Marine Supply: Fish-Tale Marina

Mexican Cuisine: Mr. Tequila Authentic Mexican Restaurant

New Restaurant: Shucker's At The Gulfshore

Place for Dancing: Castaway's Bar & Grill

Pizza: Rays Pizza

Physical Therapy: Island Fit Physical Therapy

Pool Contractor: Tropical Pools

Resort: Diamond Head

Real Estate Agency: Century 21 Tri Power Realty

Real Estate Vacation Rental: Kathy Nesbit Vacations, Inc.

Romantic Dining: Fresh Catch Bistro Lounge and Raw Bar

Roofing Contractor: Nastar Roofing

RV Resort: Red Coconut

Salon: Hot Heads on the Beach Salon & Barber

Seafood Restaurant: Fresh Catch Bistro Lounge and Raw Bar

Shoe Store: Comfort By Design of Ft. Myers Beach

Spa: Esterra Spa & Salon

Sports Bar: The Sandbar & Grille

Steak: South Beach Grille

Sunset Dining: Fresh Catch Bistro Lounge and Raw Bar

Sushi: Zushi Zushi Bar & Restaurant

Tattoo: Paradise Tattoo

Taxi/Limo: Paradise Beach Taxi

Teacher: Mrs. Alicia Catlett

Timeshare Rentals/Sales: RAL Resort Property Management, Inc.

Thrift Store: Fort Myers Beach Kiwanis Thrift Shop

Waterfront Restaurant: Matanzas On The Bay

Water Sports: Holiday Water Sports

Wine Selection: Fresh Catch Bistro Lounge and Raw Bar

Wings: Junkanoo's On The Beach



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