Part of Sanibel celebrates Thanksgiving and rebirth after Ian

Reporter: Jolena Esperto Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Celebrating how far an island town has come more than a year after being devastated by Hurricane Ian, the island of Sanibel came together to show its rebirth.

Fish of Sancap had their Thanksgiving community dinner on Friday for the first time since the hurricane.

This time around, they wanted to give thanks for how far they’ve come since the devastation. They are doing that by giving back to the island.

They just started their butterfly release, which isn’t just a symbol of rebirth and resiliency, but they chose a specific butterfly species that hasn’t been seen since the hurricane to help repopulate them.

The main species of butterflies released on Friday were the Zebra Butterflies. This was all during Fish of Sancap’s second Thanksgiving dinner since Ian. Fish of Sancap has been around for about 40 years to promote neighbors helping neighbors on the island, and that’s just what they do.

And their work has been cut out for them since Ian, and on Friday, they served a warm Thanksgiving meal.

WINK News spoke with an attendee who just got done rebuilding since Ian damaged his home.

“It’s important to kind of meet other people that maybe have gone through the same type of situation that we have and to make friends, more friends,” said Sanibel resident Stan Grogg. “We are in a homeowner’s association, and there are 27 people that belong, and only three houses are back up and running right now, so it’s dark in our neighborhood.”

“Idea came from when my mother had a celebration of life. We released butterflies, and I felt it was such a beautiful event, and it was therapeutic and a symbol of rebirth and renewal, and I’d really love to share that with my neighbors,” said Erika Broyles, the director of Fish of Sancap.

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