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Pioneer Club to hold annual picnic

April 19, 2018
By CHUCK?BALLARO ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

It will be a day to honor those who have spent their lives in Lee County, those who remember when Daniels Parkway was a dirt road and Cape Coral ended on Coronado.

The Pioneer Club of Lee County will hold its 69th annual picnic from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, at the Lee County Civic Center's Tinsley Pavilion on Bayshore Road in North Fort Myers.

The Pioneer Picnic brings together people who were Lee County residents prior to 1968, a requirement to be a member of the Pioneer Club. Members get together annually to catch up on one another's lives and to share lunch.

George T. Mann, a lifelong resident of Lee County like his younger brother, Frank, said the idea is to get old-timers together.

"They get together, shake hands and hug and say hello because they haven't seen each other in a year or 20," Mann said. "It all amounts to a social. We aren't raising money for any kind of project. It's just friends getting together and talking."

The menu includes barbecue chicken or pork, baked beans, coleslaw, rolls, chocolate chip cookies and iced tea or lemonade, available to attendees for $10 per plate.

This year's event will feature a recognition of the classes of 1968 from Alva, Bishop Verot, Cypress Lake, Dunbar, Fort Myers and North Fort Myers high schools.

Also recognized will be the oldest pioneer man and woman born in Lee County, the couple married the longest (both spouses need to be in attendance), the pioneer who traveled furthest to the picnic and the oldest person in attendance.

There will be raffles for gift certificates to area restaurants and attractions.

Pioneer Club members also will receive free general admission that weekend to the Edison and Ford Winter Estates and the IMAG History & Science Center from Thursday through Sunday, and the Burroughs Home and Garden Tour on Thursday, April 26, at 11 a.m. only. Just show your membership card.

The Pioneer Club was organized in 1949 by R.A. Henderson Jr. to honor those living persons who had been residents of old Lee County for 50 for more years. The initial meeting was held in 1950 at the Lions Park on Cleveland Avenue in Fort Myers.

Approximately 1,100 invitations were mailed out for the picnic, of which two-thirds are sent to local residents and about the same amount expected to attend.

The club's board meets four times a year, with the sole objective being to put on this event, from logistics to sponsorships, Mann said.

"We have good sponsors like Sam Galloway Ford and Bill Smith Appliances. All our sponsors are companies that have been here for 50 years," Mann said.

For more information on how to register, email or you may register the day of the picnic.



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