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EDITOR’S LETTER We’ve been busy here at the Gasparilla Magazine offices trying to keep up with a whirlwind social season and working hard on some really great stories for the upcoming editions. It is certainly a labor of love, to be sure, as it all pays off when we get to see each and every new magazine in front of us in print. We’ve received some great feedback from our readers in the last few months, so we know you’re out there and just as excited as we are when each new issue comes out. Please, let us know your thoughts – both good and bad – as they come to you, because above all we’re trying to cover features and unique tidbits about the island we think our readership will find fascinating. After all, we are more than blessed to live on this unique little piece of land and we want to tell the world about it! In this edition we’re covering some interesting ground with stories about diving some of our local reefs and the Loveland Center in Venice. Our roving man-on-the-street, Skip Perry, was shooting pictures for The Gasparilla Inn & Club at the Inn’s annual Food & Beverage weekend, only he shot it from a kitchen perspective. We also have some stunning photographs of a home on the island whose owner has incorporated Thibaut fabrics and upholstery into her decorative scheme, brought to you by Boca Grande’s own designer, Sue Sligar. We also have a small piece on the Boca Grande Dog Show, coming up on April 1. This is a great event with a lot of canine camaraderie, and the money raised goes to the Suncoast Humane Society. While some communities have bleak, gray animal shelters with a high kill rate, we are so lucky to have a light, airy, spacious facility in the works to support the ever-growing homeless population of animals in our area. Suncoast has always been a place where the animals are well-loved and cared for well beyond most shelter standards. To say that I’m a dog lover is – to my husband’s chagrin – an understatement. We’ve had up to seven rescue dogs at a time of all shapes and sizes, and I truly believe it’s part of the reason I was put on this earth. One of my favorite quotes of all time is from Rudyard Kipling, and is about how dogs and people came to be together. “When the Man waked up he said, ‘What is Wild Dog doing here?’ And the Woman said, ‘His name is not Wild Dog any more, but the First Friend, because he will be our friend for always and always and always.'” Take care of yourselves and each other. 14 GASPARILLA ISLAND March/April 2017 Marcy Shortuse Editor-in-Chief


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