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Valerie Cope
Bell Tower Shops
BUTTERFLIES, BLUES & BONNETS: April 23rd Earth Day Celebration a Great Free Event for Families

FORT MYERS, Fla. (April 16, 2011) – Live music, kid’s activities, free seedlings and local earth-friendly organizations mark Bell Tower Shops’ First Annual Earth Day Celebration. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 23.

“This is a great opportunity to learn about local organizations that make a difference in our community every day,” says Valerie Cope, Director of Marketing & Sponsorships for Bell Tower Shops. “We are also very excited to provide the Kid’s Korner featuring recycled crafts, complimentary face painting and temporary tattoos and drumming workshops with master drummer Ndakhte Ndiaye.”

The event will be focused around the Center Court fountain. Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW), ECHO, Manatee Park and Turtle Time will offer educational exhibits. Landscape and wildlife artist Carol McArdle will conduct a painting demo 2-5 p.m.

“Turtle Time has been patrolling our local beaches and aiding the endangered sea turtle population for over 30 years,” says Cope. “Their participation in our Earth Day Celebration is perfect timing since turtle season starts May 1.”

CROW has been helping injured wildlife for over 40 years. CROW operates a 12.5-acre campus including a veterinary hospital and visitor education center on Sanibel, however over 80 percent of their patients come from off island.

ECHO is a local organization with a global reach, assisting poor farmers in third world countries by teaching them agricultural skills and providing seeds. ECHO offers seeds for sale and rare plants, including tropical fruits from around the world, at their nursery and global farm located in N. Fort Myers.

Cycle Organic Farms (CSA) is providing free tomato seedlings to the first 100 guests.

Children will especially be delighted with the live butterfly exhibit provided by The Butterfly Estates. Gulf Coast Humane Society, Bell Tower Shops’ partner and beneficiary for the popular monthly event Yappy Hour, will have dogs available for adoption and take home on the day of the event.

The Kid’s Korner will offer fun & free activities including recycled crafts and instruments, veggie stamps, coloring contests, drum workshops, face painting and temporary tattoos from 3-6 p.m. and a recycled Easter bonnet contest at 3 p.m.

Live music will be hosted all day including blues from Doug Deming and Kim Page Blues Band and reggae and jazz from Sabrina Williams and Sandra “Sanjah” Bailey. The culmination of the day will be a “Sunset Serenade” drum circle at 7 p.m. led by Senegal native and master drummer Ndakhte Ndiaye. Audience participation is encouraged. Percussion instruments will be available or bring your own drums. For a timeline of the event’s music lineup, visit or the Bell Tower Shops Facebook page.

Earth Day is made possible in part by the generous support of Sam Galloway Ford Lincoln, the shops’ April event sponsor. Fuel-efficient hybrids will be on display throughout the shopping center.

Many of Bell Tower’s more than 40 merchants will also be showcasing their earth-friendly gifts and products.

 Bell Tower Shops is an open-air lifestyle center, located in Fort Myers at U.S. 41 and Daniels Parkway, with more than 35 retailers, including Saks Fifth Avenue and The Fresh Market, 10 restaurants and Bell Tower 20 Regal Cinemas. The center’s sidewalk garden setting of lush landscaping, splashing fountains and covered walkways makes it a popular gathering place. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the center. To learn more about upcoming events and concerts, follow Bell Tower Shops on Facebook, visit or call 239-489-1221.

ABOUT The Butterfly Estates

The Butterfly Estates incorporates a hands-on, natural park atmosphere with an educational twist promoting conservation. This inviting setting provides a place that is not only a botanical garden & butterfly conservatory, but an “experience”.  This eco-friendly attraction is the first of its kind in the Downtown Fort Myers River District and brings the diversity of Southwest Florida’s sub-tropical environment to this urban setting. The primary glazed glass butterfly conservatory & botanical garden exhibits a multitude of tropical flowers, plants, trees & shrubs, along with numerous butterfly species. The Butterfly Estates makes a lasting impression on our guests with our unique presentations of the amazing life cycles of our native butterfly species & their necessary positive impact on the South Florida environment.  Many of our guests utilize their visits to the park to gather information on the many nectar and host plants that help attract specific species of butterflies to their backyard gardens at home. The park is open 365 days a year. Visit or call (239) 690-2359




Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) operates a veterinary hospital, educational program and public visitor education center on a 12.5-acre campus on Sanibel Island, Florida. The organization´s primary mission is the rescue, care, rehabilitation and eventual release back to the wild of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. Inherent in this mission is the education of adults and children, encouraging them to live a peaceful coexistence with their wild neighbors.  Visit or call (239) 472-3644.


ECHO (Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization) is a non-profit, inter-denominational Christian organization located on a demonstration farm in North Fort Myers, FL. ECHO exists for one major reason, to help those working internationally with the poor be more effective, especially in the area of agriculture! Visit or call (239) 567-3312.

ABOUT Gulf Coast Humane Society

The Gulf Coast Humane Society is a private 501(c)(3) not-for-profit animal welfare organization that receives no federal, state, or county funding and no funding from the Humane Society of the United States, and relies solely on donations, grants, bequests and fundraising events to further its mission of caring for the unwanted, neglected and abandoned animals of southwest Florida. GCHS is a no-kill shelter and does not euthanize any animal for lack of space or length of time that they are in our care.

Visit or call (239) 332-0364.


ABOUT Turtle Time, Inc.

Turtle Time, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the continued survival of loggerhead sea turtles. Established in 1989, the group is the Florida state-permitted monitoring organization for sea turtle activity from Fort Myers Beach to the Lee-Collier County line. Daily patrols during the nesting season are conducted to gather important scientific data about population estimates, distribution of nests, nesting patterns and hatching success rates. Dead or injured sea turtles are examined and dealt with as necessary. The information is transmitted to a national sea turtle stranding network. Visit or call 239-481-5566.




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