By Melinda Gray
Food, friendship and fun were had by all those who attended this year’s Spring Fling, a free event for Goodland residents given by the Goodland Civic Association early last month. The GCA decided last year to do an island-wide, annual free picnic for all the residents of Goodland with the purpose of friendship and bringing people together to meet.
“It really is a ‘for Goodland by Goodland’ event,” said GCA president Greg Bello.
With an abundance of sunshine and a light breeze, the laid back mood of the day was complete for a celebration’s second successful year. Musical entertainment provided by brothers Merrill and Jim Allen set the party ambiance, while the buzzing of neighborly conversations filled the pavilion at Margood Harbor Park. The atmosphere reminded me of a holiday dinner with my family, waiting with anticipation to see who would show up next as people came by car, golf cart or on foot.
Local restaurants and businesses — including Fia’s Island Woman, Little Bar, Stan’s, Marker 8.5, Kirks Seafood Market, Old Marco Lodge, Calusa Marina and Coon Key Marina — donated the food for the picnic and the gift certificates for the free raffle.
The socialization and camaraderie was the main attraction as everyone’s name tag showed just their first name and the street they live on; the tables were full as the near 250 people in attendance mingled with each other and enjoyed the smorgasbord of food.
GCA members and local island residents volunteered their time to work at the get-together. “The intent is for the civic association to do the majority of the work for the residents, members or not. We wanted to pamper and do something nice for the people here,” said Bello.