Profile: Anna Boney

■ BY SUE ERWIN Anna Boney is the new Director of Children’s Ministry at Boca Grande Lighthouse United Methodist Church, and it appears to be an ideal match. She has years of background experience with Young Life, a global religious organization started in 1941 by Presbyterian minister Jim Rayburn. The organization’s mission is to introduce adolescents […]

Profile: Kate Ingram

■ BY SUE ERWIN Royal Palm Players has gained another new talented member who has been busy planning and rehearsing for productions starting this fall. Kate Ingram, wife of well-known RPP director Tad Ingram, formally joined the organization when the couple made the decision to move to the area over the summer. Tad has been directing musicals […]

Profile: Boo Thayer Gemes

■ BY SUE ERWIN After 27 years of working in the fashion industry on 7th Avenue in New York City, Boo Thayer Gemes perceived a void in the market for stylish and affordable separates, so she created a collection of clothing that appeals to women of all ages. “I design clothes for real people, clothes that […]

Profile: Ann Fletcher — RPP president planning for an outstanding season

■ BY SUE ERWIN Ann Fletcher, the new president of Royal Palm Players, has been involved with the organization for the past 18 years and she’s been working diligently since June 1 on planning for an exciting upcoming season. Her mentor, Roger Lewis, previously president of the Friend’s of Boca Grande Board on which Ann also […]

Profile: Bradley Fuson

■ BY SUE ERWIN Englewood native Bradley Fuson has held several positions at the Loose Caboose Restaurant for the past four years. He grew up in Englewood and attended Vineland Elementary School, L.A. Ainger Middle School and Lemon Bay High School. At the age of 7, Bradley began practicing mixed martial arts and specialized in Brazilian […]

Profile: Sarah Whitten-Grigsby

■ BY SUE ERWIN Rev. Sarah Whitten-Grigsby believes that even when a dog gets terminally ill, it doesn’t have to die alone and scared on a cold metal table. That’s why she started One More Day Foundation, Inc. in 2016. The 501c3 non-profit organization helps provide homeless dogs with foster hospice in private, peaceful, loving, forever […]

Profile: Samantha Stone

■ BY SUE ERWIN Dr. Samantha Stone’s goal is to help people understand that a stronger body means healthier days ahead. Samantha is a fitness instructor in Boca Grande, as well as some other venues in Englewood. She offers a variety of classes at The Gasparilla Inn and the Boca Grande Community Center, and soon she’ll be […]

Profile: Tom Tirpak

■ BY SUE ERWIN Tom Tirpak has been in the restaurant business since he was 16 years old. He grew up in Philadelphia, Pa. and attended high school in New Jersey. After he graduated, he earned an associate of science degree in culinary arts at The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in Philadelphia. “I went […]

Profile: Stephanie Shirback

There’s a friendly new first grade teacher at The Island School this year, and her classroom is colorful and full with resources. Stephanie Shirback has replaced former TIS teacher Tammy Tieu. Stephanie is no stranger to Boca Grande. She’s been visiting the island since she was a kid. Originally from Massachusetts, she moved to Englewood […]

Profile: Evan Merritt

■ BY SUE ERWIN Evan Merritt has been coming to Little Gasparilla Island since he was a baby. His parents would come here on the weekends and for several weeks each summer. “We used to rent places in Englewood and on Little Gasparilla Island and that’s when I first started making contacts in Boca Grande,” Evan […]