After Hurricane Ian, The Matlacha Hookers adopted a GoFundMe account for hurricane relief and then continued to fundraise for the Greater Pine Island Area. The members decided to use a portion of the money raised for hurricane relief and rebuilding for the locally owned and operated Pine Island businesses.
Once applicants were determined to be eligible, the weighted criteria was reviewed and scored. The ranking list was completed and the top 10 highest scoring applicants received the grant. In the event there is a tie, applicants are then chosen via a blind drawing. Businesses that were chosen as recipients were contacted by a member of the committee and were invited to their July 10th, General Membership Meeting at the American Legion Lodge in St. James, for the check presentation. The orginization decided to award two additional grants since they met the criteria.
Julia Gaylor, Vice Madam presented 12 Pine Island/Matlacha businesses with the Matlacha Hookers Hurricane Ian Small Business Grant award;
Patricia Sweeney from Sweeney’s SOS • Nicole Cicchino & CJ Wagner from Matlahca Post Office Gallery & Gifts • Jennifer Bennett & Mahdi Balfour from Sacred Souls LLC. • Debbie Memoli from Calusa Bug Spray • Pat Burman from Ad&PrintCraft • Lisa Dence from Salty Girls Island Café • Frank and Ila Valcarcel from Franks’ Bobcat Services • Shelby & Corey Bigler from Premier Growers Inc. • Cindee Tolliver from Traders Hitching Post • Tahanee Horner from Creative Coast Preschool • Kristin Hollaway from Kinetic Touch Massage & Wellness • Nauti Tiki Seasonings (not in picture)
The Matlacha Hookers, Inc. are a local 501c3 Non-profit established in 1998, have approximately 200 plus current members and continues to make a positive difference in our community.