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FMB Lions Club, students help turn beach litter into ‘buddy bench’

Fort Myers Beach Elementary students helped clean up more than 1,500 pounds of litter along our shores, then used it to create something special.

A buddy to share a story; a buddy to share a smile; a buddy bench bringing those students side-by-side.

Buddy Bench (FMB Lions Club)

“The whole idea is it’s a bench for kids that are feeling lonely or picked on or just a little bit sad and they’ll sit on here and if another kid notices there’s another kid sitting all alone on the bench, well, that’s their cue to come sit and be their buddy and bring their mood up,” said Drew Yelle, the service chair for the Fort Myers Beach Lion Club.

They helped create the buddy bench out of bottle caps.

“It’s totally recycled plastic and the kids helped us collect and sort through a lot of plastic caps…we got 400 pounds of caps,” Yelle said.

Fort Myers Beach Elementary students help collect bottle caps to create the buddy bench (FMB Lions Club)

Caps removed from our beautiful beaches by many helping hands like Jan Fleming’s.

“Seeing it today, I just got chills because it is beautiful,” Fleming said. “I love the rainbow. What a great idea and to see the children on the bench today reading. It was, just made our work worthwhile and I hope we can do it again.”

Turning trash into treasured memories for SWFL’s young students.

Members of the Fort Myers Lions Club on the Buddy Bench (FMB Lions Club)

The Lions Club says the best way you can help them do projects like this is by attending their upcoming “Shrimp Fest” on Fort Myers Beach that starts March 14.

The FMB Lions Club partnered with the following local organizations to set up collection boxes all around the beach community:

  • Alliance of non-profits of Fort Myers Beach
  • Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce
  • Keep Lee County Beautiful
  • Fort Myers Metro-McGregor Kiwanis
  • Military Support Program of Lee Health
  • Fort Myers Beach Cub Scouts
Reporter:Melinda Lee
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