From the Publisher - Betsy Judge, Island Reporter Newspaper

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I was reminded by a friend at 6:15 a.m. that today is the first day of spring. Our conversation at Body Dynamics brought a little ditty from my childhood to mind, “Spring is sprung, the grass is rise, I wonder where the flowers is.” We took such delight years ago in brutalizing the English language.

A quick search to find out more about the poem revealed that my memory is flawed. It’s birdies that we were supposed to be looking for, not flowers. Regardless, thinking about childhood and spring together seems so natural; they are a glorious pair, full of promise and hope and portend good things to come.

So many of the people and organizations we write about at TIR are the epitome of hope and promise and this issue is no exception.

I had the pleasure of meeting CJ Stevens-Pina, a Tierra Verde resident who devotes countless hours, including her vacation time from the HCA subsidiary Parallon, to bring promise and hope to people less fortunate than most. She does mission work through the Pass-a-Grille Community Church helping people in third world countries and, as an avid cyclists, rides for a variety of charities including an upcoming adventure to raise money to alleviate poverty housing.

College student Ryan Sutherland is working to raise money for medial supplies and medicines for his upcoming trip to Honduras with Global Medical Brigades.

Our own writer, Larry Lewis is an active volunteer for Make-a-Wish helping fulfill the dreams of children with life threatening illnesses. Their upcoming Walk for Wishes, May 8 in Tampa raises funds to make their work possible.

Then there are the members of Isla del Sol Yacht and Country Club who raised more than $138,000 for the St. Petersburg Free Clinic and Daystar Life Center at their annual Play for Hunger fundraiser. And members of the Tierra Verde Business Partnership are working to raise money for Eckerd College Search and Rescue, a volunteer group of students who bring hope for distraught boaters.

So many good people and good deeds makes it easy to say “Happy April and Happy Spring.”