FGCU’s Improv Club Donates to Local Shrimpers Impacted by Ian


Abigail Muth

FGCU’s Improv Club fundraises for the local shrimp boating community at Chocolattés in Fort Myers, Fla on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022. Students performed skits that were interactive with the audience and raised $1000.

Addyson McCullough, Staff Writer

Through a night of improv, games, and raffles, FGCUs Improv Club raised $1000 for the shrimp boating community during their event, Eagles Live, on Saturday, Oct. 29 at Chocolattés in Fort Myers, Fla. 

FGCU’s Improv Club partnered with Chocolattés to raise money for the shrimp boating community after Hurricane Ian. Shrimp boating holds a large presence in the Fort Myers area; however, after Hurricane Ian, their way of life and generations of work was destroyed. They were left with damage to their boats, houses, and had no basic resources. 

“But we also really wanted to do something that was closer to the community because I know that there’s a lot of big charities coming in and we didn’t want to donate the money and then not see that impact,” Amanda Collins, president of FGCU’s Improv Club, said. 

Collins knew she wanted to do something to help after the hurricane especially since Chocolattés sustained damages. 

Chocolattés’s owner, Chris Wilson, helped Collins set up the event. He suggested the shrimp boat community receive the donations. A neighbor of Wilson’s father was helping them clean up their house and mentioned how severely his family, who have been in the shrimp boating industry for decades, was affected by Ian. 

“It’s kind of a group that would really be overlooked and all of this…their livelihood is gone right now,” Wilson said. 

Joann Andrews is an owner of Erickson & Jensen Seafood which has been in the shrimping business for roughly 70 years. After Ian, their fleet was destroyed. Andrews’s family company has experienced losses throughout their decades of business, none of which compare to the level of mass devastation that litters Fort Myers Beach today. 

“The state now is trying to put money forward and get a couple of those boats back in the water to repair them. But even when you do, there’s no place to tie them up. The docks are damaged, the fuel operation to give them fuel is damaged and the unloading plant is damaged. And there’s still no power, no electricity. So there’s a lot of dominoes that are stacked in the wrong direction,” Andrews said.

Andrews was thankful for the Chocolattés event and the donations it brought in. Donations were encouraged by viewers as a way to have a say in the skits. The improv club had raffles for baskets from their sponsors. If you purchased raffle tickets, you also got to turn it in for changes to the improv skit. One incentive was a performer had to eat a BeanBoozled jelly bean, another made them sing their next few lines, or read an compliant audience member’s text messages in response to another performer. 

One skit involved five performers acting out a scene where three performers playing children got their hands glued to different objects and the parents had to figure out how to get them unstuck. They performed the skit five times. At the end of each round, a performer would be voted out by the audience until one performer was left to perform all characters. 

After the undeniably tough weeks since Ian hit, a night of laughter seemed to be what everyone needed. 

“We’re deeply indebted to Chocolattés, their willingness and openness. And I imagine that their business doesn’t get all the traffic that they would like these days… students, if you want a great cup of coffee to study, go to Chocolattés,” Andrews said.