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FRIDAY HALF FULL | A festival returns in Harlem Heights with the search for a thief in Arcadia

The fall festival shows we are doing better while stealing toy donations shows we CAN do better
Posted at 8:45 PM, Nov 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-08 20:45:04-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — A sense of normalcy.

Isn't that what we all want, anyway?

That is what people in Harlem Heights are seeing with the Fall Festival back.

On Tuesday night, FOX 4's Shari Armstrong went back to this neighborhood. So many of us may drive through it on Gladiolus but do we really *see* Harlem Heights?

We all saw Harlem Heights in the days after Hurricane Ian hit. While it is inland, the standing water was one of the more striking scenes.

Shari talked with a woman who lived here for 47 years.

Candy Simmons lost so much.

It also took out the Fall Festival last year but not that's also back. Candy said she wasn't going leave Harlem Heights, with 90 percent of the people back in their homes.

This is just one person's story, of course.

Just one neighborhood.

With that Fall Festival back, also a reminder for all of us of the magic of the season, whether Halloween or our traditional winter holidays.

Which brings me to... this.

On Wednesday, we learned about someone stealing $2,500 dollars worth of toys in Arcadia. As the work to gather the Toys For Tots lead to an empty room.

LEGO sets, eight bicycles, dozens of toys all gone in what the DeSoto County Sheriff described as "forced entry" in the Old Brownville School, off U.S. 17.

This led to the sheriff's office getting the word out all week to find the people who did this and, especially, the toys.

We all see people who commit crimes, out of desperation or attention or whatever the motive.

Coming off a 2022 where so many people lost so much, it's safe to say that we all yearn to return to "the good place" as we close out 2023.

One where the holiday feelings of the past return, without worrying about mold on drywall or if that roof will hold up.

Yet the "good" will come from this in DeSoto County, even with someone stealing toys that are meant for children who may not live in abundance, perhaps this time and the response will shine a brighter light on the importance of helping others.

Of doing what's right.

Keeping your eyes open and paying attention to the world around you.

Welcome to November.