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Facebook page produces ‘Take back the island day’

By Kevin Cassidy, Islander Reporter

Scott Rairigh and Bobbette Rairigh Marks pose for a photo at “Take back the Island Day” at Bayfront Park in Anna Maria. Islander Photos: Kevin Cassidy

Cole Bowers, Lisa Spicer Nichols, Brett McIntosh and JC Graham are all smiles at the “Take back the Island Day” at Bayfront Park in Anna Maria.

Islanders unite! A large portion of the folks who attended the Island Reunion pose for a group photo in front of the pavillion at Bayfront Park during the “Take back the Island Day” at Bayfront Park in Anna Maria.

Sharon Kee, Helen Mims Kusic, Darcie Duncan, Jackie Quinn Cate, Lisa Verona, Rose Lipke and Lisa Spicer Nichols get together at “Take back the Island” get together at Bayfront Park in Anna Maria.

Jackie Quinn Cate, Lisa Verona and Kathy Stella Wade pose for a photo during “Take back the Island Day” at Bayfront Park in Anna Maria.

Jill Rickerson and Jenny Long pose for a photo during “Take back the Island Day” at Bayfront Park in Anna Maria. Islander Photo: Kevin Cassidy

Jim “Gunner” Annis and brother Billy Annis pose for a photo during “Take back the Island Day” at Bayfront Park in Anna Maria.

Ken Richards and Art Harris pose for a photo during “Take back the Island Day” at Bayfront Park in Anna Maria.

Kelly Nudd and Rob McGrath share a warm greeting during “Take back the Island Day” at Bayfront Park in Anna Maria.

Kathy Morash, Pat Thompson and sister Susie Thompson pose for a photo during “Take back the Island Day” at Bayfront Park in Anna Maria.

Approximately 100 islanders came together again — some absent for many years, some lifelong friends at a reunion July 27 at Bayfront Park in Anna Maria.

The event was the brainchild of Rob McGrath, whose, “You know you’re from Anna Maria if…” Facebook page provided the impetus for the event. A few conversations back and forth on Facebook got the party plans started and, on July 27, McGrath saw his social media group come to life.

The folks that showed up ranged from the most experienced (oldest) like Ed Steenstra, Lisa Verona, Scott Rairigh, Bobbette Rairigh Marks and this writer to Tom Ewing’s 3-week-old son. Regardless of age, guests had a great time visiting and sharing stories of their youth.

The group also collected more than $800 for the Anna Maria Island Community Center through T-shirt sales and donations.

No word yet on the next get-together, but judging from all of the Facebook posts from those attending and those who missed it, the next Island reunion will be bigger and better.

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