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Wicked Dolphin Distillery holds benefit for Pine Islanders

By PAULETTE LeBLANC - | Oct 5, 2023

From left, Greater Pine Island Alliance director Erin Lollar-Lambert, Lee County Commissioner Kevin Ruane and Kristin Gustin at the GPIA fundraiser at the Wicked Dolphin Distillery in Cape Coral. PAULETTE LeBLANC

The Greater Pine Island Alliance held a fundraiser at the Wicked Dolphin Distillery in Cape Coral Saturday to benefit islanders who have been — and still are — affected by Hurricane Ian.

Lee County Commissioner Kevin Ruane, who is personally responsible for the financial aid of a Pine Island family displaced by Hurricane Ian, attended the event saying he’s always happy to help Greater Pine Island.

“This organization has really done an awful lot to help the island recover, so anything I can do to support the cause and try to be here to support them, I’m happy to do,” Ruane said.

GPIA Executive Director Erin Lollar-Lambert said the amount of support for Pine Island from mainlanders never ceases to amaze her.

“Just watching how Wicked Dolphin put this on for us, and the support of our external community means we have a much bigger extended family then we knew,” Lambert said.

Pine Island, she said, is very accustomed to being self-reliant, making efforts like this one a relief on the usual work load, which enables many more who were displaced, access back into their homes.

“The road to recovery is long, but together, we are stronger than the surge,” Lambert said.

For questions on how to donate: erin@gpialliance.org.