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Hookers donate $2,500 to Pine Island Elementary

January 24, 2019
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Last Monday night ,the Matlacha Hookers made their first semester donation of $2,500 to Pine Island Elementary School.

"Each year, after the fishing tournament is finished, we add up all the money and the first thing we do is set aside $5,000 for the teachers and staff of Pine Island Elementary," DJ Ruscik said. "This money is to be used for teaching aids for the kids and this is the first of two checks of $2,500. We will do a second check for $2,500 for the fall semester."

Proceeds from the Fishing Derby have allowed PIE to provide an after school tutoring program, stock the library with over 5,000 books, schedule educational field trips and provide supplemental educational materials, along with scholarships for higher learning to many graduated seniors and G.E.D. students.

Article Photos

On hand for the check presentation were, from left, PIE teachers Mrs. Van Duser and Mrs. Acosta, Principal Steve Hook, Fishing Derby co-chairs Kate Swanstrom and DJ Ruscik, and former Hookers Madam Julia Simpson.


Teachers also use the funds for field trips. In the past students have visited Golisano Children's Museum, Billie Swamp Safari, 31 Produce, MOTE Marine Lab and Sea World.

"In spite of the challenges we faced this year, and in addition to the $5,000, we will dedicate at least one scholarship for a Pine Island student in the amount of $2,000," Ruscik said.

"It is truly humbling that these ladies come together as an organization and put their heart and soul into making our school, our community, a better place," PIE Principal Steve Hook said. "These funds make opportunities for our students, that wouldn't be possible otherwise. We are truly grateful for the love and support they show our school."

In 1998, 21 women came together with the unified goal to "Make a Positive Difference in Our Community." Over 1,000 members have joined over the 20 years and the current membership is 300 strong.

For additional information about the Matlacha Hookers, please visit their website: contact.



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