Sanibel businesses recently partnered up to help grant the wish of a man suffering from a life-threatening illness.
For the last eight years, Royal Shell Vacations, in partnership with over a dozen local businesses, has been working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation for children, and a similar organization for adults and their families called the Dream Foundation.
Randy Bacik, CEO and founder of Royal Shell Vacations, was contacted by the Dream Foundation to help grant a man's wish to go to the beach one last time with his family. He preferred staying anonymous for this story.
"Our community is used to the role of serving up dream vacations; it's just what we do," said Bacik in a thank you letter to the community. "I'd like to personally thank all of these area businesses for sharing your services and time, as well as your kindness and compassion."
Barbara Harrington with The Royal Shell Companies said local businesses typically help two or three different families per year.
"We reach out to our good business partners on the island," she said. "The community partners all jump in because Sanibel as a whole is a very giving community."
The family received a dream vacation home from Royal Shell Vacations, as well as meals from Bailey's Grocery, a beach wheel chair from Billy's Rentals, a shower seat from Sanibel Rentals, a golf cart from YOLO Watersports, four kayaks and a boat ride from Port Sanibel Marina, massages and spa days from 'Tween Waters Inn, and a home-cooked meal from Chef Leslie Adams.
Other participating businesses over the years included Captiva Cruises, Lazy Flamingo, Tarpon Bay Explorers, Jungle Golf, Denise McKee L3 Beach Photography, Jerry's Foods, Adventures in Paradise, Captain Joey Burnsed, Stillwell Enterprises, Island Cinema, Cheeburger Cheeburger, Timber's Restaurant, and Mucky Duck.
Harrington said that Randy and Kim Bacik, who started the local company in 1987, have worked with the foundations because they felt it was the right thing to do and over the years people have said you should tell everyone about it.
"They have always just been behind the scenes working on these projects," she said.
For more information on the Dream Foundation, visit www.dreamfoundation.org.