The Peace River once was used as a boundary between early pioneers of Florida and the Seminole Indians. Even today, there is a hesitation on the part of those living in Port Charlotte to drive across the bridge to Punta Gorda and vice versa. Once hearing this as some urban myth, as a board member for a local nonprofit, I experience this phenomenon every time I choose a place for writing events like open mic or a fiction workshop. Of course, they do cross the bridge all the time, but there is that slight hesitation.
The Peace River Center for Writers, founded by Carol Mahler in 2002, originally was located at the Punta Gorda History Park. The center thrived there and had a large membership. In 2004, Hurricane Charley had a profound effect on us from a membership perspective, which included less participation, financial woes and several major changes within the board of directors. The PRCW now is housed at Edison State College, and this has proven to be fertile ground with a benefit for the nonprofit and the college.
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