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Date of Issue: December 21, 2006

$50,000 challenge time short

The challenge posed by Islanders Chuck and Joey Lester to raise $50,000 which they will match has reached $20,996, with only the rest of the year to go.

Donations will go to the Anna Maria Island Community Center, and the Lesters will match anything up to $50,000 in donations from Islanders and other friends. That means up to $100,000 altogether for the Center.

The near $21,000 is some $6,000 more than the campaign had brought in at a comparable time last year, according to the co-sponsoring Islander

Unlike previous challenges which went into the endowment fund, this year the drive goes to the capital fund to help pay for construction of the new Center, now under way on the Anna Maria site. Costs have risen markedly there, a spokesperson noted, and the overall capital campaign is $2 million short of its $4.8 million goal.

Donations may be mailed to the Center at P.O. Box 253, Anna Maria FL 34216, or arranged by talking with the staff at the Center at 778-1908 or The Islander at 778-7978.