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TCH officially reopens with chamber ribbon-cutting fanfare

As a gathering spot for 100,000 people each year, The Community House on Sanibel has served as the heart of the island since 1927. With a SanCap Chamber ribbon-cutting on Oct. 26, it is officially back in service catering to the needs of the community under the leadership of the Sanibel Community Association.

TCH reprised its gathering place role as soon as possible following Hurricane Ian’s destruction to most of its kitchen and event spaces.

“We were able to successfully use the out-of-doors for community gatherings and much-needed meals and supply distributions,” Executive Director Teresa Riska-Hall said. “Partnering with F.I.S.H. (of Sanibel-Captiva), having head and neck massages, and FEMA onsite to help homeowners. We held gatherings for people just to come share a beverage and snacks that were well attended and served as a healing space. We are trying to work with all groups to bring them back as numerous organizations have lost many of their members, and so their coffers are not as flush as they once were.”

“What a proud, proud moment this is,” chamber President and Chief Executive Officer John Lai said. “The reopening of The Community House is like a transfusion to get the lifeblood of the island pumping once again. We congratulate the entire community for this effort.”

“The community has supported us by continuing to generously support our rebuild — coming back to The Community House for meetings and gatherings,” Riska-Hall said. “The Lions will have their holiday tree sale here. Kiwanis is helping with the north parking lot, and so many more. It is important that we all support each other in a positive upbeat way, keeping each other’s spirits up and looking forward.”

She added that TCH’s schedule is filling up for high season, but dates are still available. The Shell Festival will return for three days, March 7-9.

“Some of our organizations are making it back faster than others, but all are trying,” Riska-Hall said.

The Community House is at 2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.

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