The Santiva Chronicle publishes opinions and letters on topics that are important to Sanibel and Captiva. They may be submitted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the Santiva Chronicle.
We know of no other Sanibel resident who is more suited in personality, temperament, ability and experience to serve on City Council than Mary Bondurant. Mary has given so much over so many years to benefit the Sanibel Community, and it is her strong desire to continue to do so by serving on City Council.
Mary has always had the best of work ethics since age nine when she began working at her parents’ Poconos hotel. There she not only learned the value of hard work but also gained an understanding of how a small community interconnects with a resort community. As a young adult, Mary served in the Air Force and the Air National Guard, where she honed her leadership skills.
Since moving to Sanibel in 1997 with her husband Fred and two children, Mary has had unparalleled experience in volunteer service to Sanibel. Upon her arrival here, Mary became active with the Children’s Center of the Island and the Sanibel School, joining the PTA, coaching sports teams, serving as a scout leader, and effectively advocating for the extension of the Sanibel School from a K-5th grade facility to a K-8th grade facility so that middle schoolers did not have to be bussed off Island to attend classes.
When her children grew older, Mary expanded her volunteer activities, serving on more than a dozen Sanibel organizations and boards. She is the most recent past Chair of the Sanibel Chamber of Commerce and served on the Chamber’s Board for five years to the present date. She has been a docent at and is currently on the Board of the Sanibel Historical Museum. She has served as a docent for the Shell Museum and has actively helped raise funds for the Shell Museum, Ding Darling, FISH and other Island nonprofit organizations. She founded and runs the annual Let’s Pink Out Sanibel cancer care fundraising event, annually coordinates the Sanibel Thanksgiving celebration, and assists every year in the organization of Sanibel’s 4th of July parade. She is a member of and has served as President of the Sanibel chapter of the American Business Women’s Association. Her further involvement in the community includes memberships in Zonta, the Sanibel Community House, America’s Boating Club of Sanibel-Captiva, the Island Cotillion and the Lee Coast Chapter of the Military Officers’ Association.
Over the years, Mary has received numerous accolades and awards attesting to both her excellence and her commitment to the Sanibel Community. Most recently, on January 22, 2021, the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International named Mary a Paul Harris Fellow “in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world.” She was simultaneously honored with the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club’s Business Person of the Year Vocational Service Award for “Service Above Self.”
A bright and optimistic person, Mary is goal-oriented, efficient and, as is evidenced by her numerous accomplishments, indefatigably energetic. She offers Sanibel and its residents all of the following attributes and more:
• Exceptional leadership skills
• Strong community ties to Sanibel as a 24 year full time resident and as a successful Island realtor
• A thorough understanding of the history of Sanibel as well as its current needs
• A genuine regard for Sanibel’s residents, businesses, school, water and land
• Leadership, communication, negotiation, organization and relationship-building skills
• An innate ability to listen to all people and provide a culture where everyone can be heard and respected and problems can be solved
• The motivation to ensure that Sanibel retains its economic and environmental well-being while preserving its historic culture and charm
• A sincere desire to serve Sanibel and to keep it strong, economically sound and functioning efficiently
• The willingness and ability to devote as much time as needed to City Council duties
It is important to note that Mary has not entered the race for City Council in order to rise to higher political levels but rather solely from a call of duty to Sanibel and its residents. Nor is she a “one issue” candidate but rather deeply cares about all of Sanibel’s concerns. She recognizes the need to respond in innovative ways to the challenges presented by current events while continuing to maintain our unique Island qualities.
To sum up, Mary has the ability and the determination to do what it takes to serve on City Council and to effectively and efficiently get the job done. We hope you will join us in voting for Mary Bondurant for City Council on March 2nd, because, in short, a vote for Mary is a vote for Sanibel.
Barbara Beran and Rick Shewring
24 year Sanibel property owners
10 year Sanibel full time residents