Water’s Going On?

Uncovering the rules of the Ice Bucket Challenge, and who in the community has been targeted most recently.

By Melanie Pagan

If you’ve spent time on social media lately, chances are you’ve witnessed one of your virtual friends dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads for charity’s sake.

The Ice Bucket Challenge began this summer as a way to raise awareness for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. This condition affects nerve cells that control voluntary muscle movements. When one gets nominated to do the challenge, they have one of two choices: post a video online of themselves being doused in ice water, or donate $100 to an ALS charity (some people have opted to do both). The dripping subject then nominates a handful of others to do the same.

The wacky act of awareness has since gone viral, and celebrities have even joined in on the fun. Famous faces have included Jennifer Aniston, Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio and even George W. Bush.

Jennifer Aniston accepting the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Former President George W. Bush accepting the Ice Bucket Challenge.

But local personalities have also been targeted. On Wednesday, Florida Gulf Coast University President Wilson G. Bradshaw took to the cause, and had an ice cold bucketful dumped on his head in plain sight of university students and faculty. He then passed on the dumping duties to other FGCU members, including Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Ron Toll, Dean of the College of Health Professions and Social Work Dr. Mitchell Cordova, Athletic Director Ken Kavanagh, and more.

FGCU President Wilson G. Bradshaw accepting the Ice Bucket Challenge.

So far, the ALS Association reports donations of over $94.3 million. Moral of the story? Have your checkbooks or water buckets nearby, because with the challenge hitting like a tidal wave so close to home, it appears no one is exempt from nomination.

Where you can donate:
ALS Association, alsa.org
ALS of Florida, alsafl.org
ALS Family Charitable Foundation, Inc., alsfamily.org

To find out about local charities you can donate to (sans water bucket), explore these links:

Melanie Pagan is the assignment editor and social media coordinator for TOTI Media, Inc. Follow her on our Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages.

Do you have a video of you or someone you know raising ALS awareness? Share it here, or on our Facebook page!



Picture Perfect

By Melanie Pagan

When we outline content for our magazines, we always ask the question: “what will hit home with our readers?” Whether we cover a person making a difference locally, or shed light on under-the-radar activities, we strive to keep our audience connected to the Lee County community.

But now we want more. I guess you can call us needy. Not only do we want readers to take pleasure in our content, we want them to feel like they are a part of it. It’s one thing to give our supporters pages to flip through, but showcasing photos of their own can transform: “here’s a story on the beach I visited,” into “here’s a picture of me at that very beach!”

Our social media outlets are good places to start. As we expand our internet presence, we want our fans to grow along with us. We have started to announce photo contests on our Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest pages, so people can enter to win a chance to appear in print or online.


Until January 1, we are asking friends to send us pictures of themselves or loved ones in the “Sanibel Stoop” pose for a chance to appear in our March/April issues. We have also implemented a weekly #OfficePawty challenge on Facebook, where readers can submit photos of furry friends hanging out on the clock, in the office. The weekly winner will be featured on our page.


So, if you haven’t already, I encourage you to “like” our social media pages to find out where and what to submit. Without our loyal subscribers and readers, we wouldn’t be where we are, and we want to express our thanks.

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Pin us on Pinterest

Melanie Pagan is the editorial assistant and social media representative for TOTI Media.

Happy Thanksgiving and Jolly Shopping Days!


by Melanie Pagan

As the end of the week approaches, stomachs growl in anticipation of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and other special dishes made exclusively on Thanksgiving. But food and fun with family members aren’t the only things that stir up excitement this holiday weekend.

Black Friday commences at the stroke of midnight and crowds of people race around to score some great deals on presents for loved ones (and, you know, maybe a gift of two for themselves). Our November/December issues of RSW Living, Gulf & Main, Bonita & Estero and Times of the Islands tell readers why Coconut Point and the Edison Mall are great places to shop on the big day.

And although Black Friday is widely recognized as the biggest shopping day of the year, Small Business Saturday is an equally great day to spend time hunting for cheap finds, all while supporting our local businesses.

Here are a few Southwest Florida-based establishments to keep in mind this Saturday:

Bonita/Estero/Naples – Mark Loren Designs (and Fort Myers), Norris Home Furnishings (Fort Myers and Sanibel), and Posh Plum.

Cape Coral/Fort Myers – Jennifer’s, Mirage Boutique, and The Open Door Shoppes.

Sanibel/Captiva – Cedar Chest Fine Jewelry, Eileen Fisher, H2O Outfitters, Island Pursuit,  Lily & Co., Sanibel Book Shop, She Sells Sea Shells, Suncatchers’ Dream, and YOLO Water Sports.

Fuel up during your big shopping weekend at one of these tasty local restaurants:

Bonita/Estero/Naples – A Table Apart, Bellini on Fifth Italian Ristorante, Big Hickory Seafood Grille & Marina, Blu Sushi (and Fort Myers),Figs Grille, Ford’s Garage (and Fort Myers), Gordon’s on the River, Figs Grille, Home Thai Sushi Bar, Inca’s Kitchen, Masa, Pinchers (several Lee County locations), Old 41, Survey Café, and Tarpon Bay Restaurant,

Cape Coral/Fort Myers – Cristof’s on McGregor, The Edison,  Firestone, Los Cabos Cantina, Prawnbroker, University Grill, and  The Veranda.

Fort Myers Beach – Nervous Nellie’s

Sanibel/Captiva – Cantina Captiva, Captiva Pizza, Yogurt & Gift Emporium, Geppetto’s Beach Foodies, The Jacaranda, Island BBQ, Island Cow, Island Pizza,  Keylime Bistro, Matzaluna, The Mucky Duck, The Old Captiva House, Pinocchio’s Ice cream, RC Otter’s,  The Sandbar, Starfish Grill, Sunshine Seafood Café & Wine Bar, Sweet Melissa’s Café, Timbers, Thistle Lodge, and Traders.

On behalf of the entire TOTI Media family: have a very happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving and holiday weekend.

….Let us know below! We are thankful for our wonderful and loyal supporters of TOTI Media.