local couple paid the resort bill for two first-time visitors
By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer
Anna Maria Island's beauty is matched only
by the charm of its residents, as two first time visitors found
The couple from Drexel Hill, Pa., Phil and Anne McGee, were
speaking with the owner of Cedar Cover Resort, where they were
staying, and asked him how he found out about Anna Maria island.
"I told them I spent two years researching the barrier
islands in Florida before I found this place, the greatest thing
about this Island is the personality of the people who live
here." He described how everyone on the street or at the beach
says hello, and everyone seems genuinely happy.
The owner then said the couple told him they also found that
to be true, especially after they met a gentleman at Walgreen's
earlier in the day who made them feel at home.
"We were asking if they had any
brochures about places to go on
the Island, and he must have been behind us in the line," said
Phil. "We all went outside and started talking when his wife
"I noticed how handsome he was and how he had the prettiest
blue eyes," said Anne. "His wife had pretty blue eyes also. They
both looked so happy. We started asking them about economical
restaurants and he pointed out the Peaches, in the same shopping
center, is a good place for breakfast."
The Owner of Cedar Cove Resort said the story took a strange
twist later in the day. "Around 2 in the afternoon, a gentleman
appeared at the office," he said. "The man described the McGees
and asked if they were staying here. When I said they were, he
told me he would like to pay for their entire stay."
The owner said the gentleman asked that he remain anonymous.
She has been in Contactt with friends and family in Pennsylvania.
"I told them about the gentleman and his wife and asked them
to pray to God and thank him for those people," she said. " I
think it was Megan's way of telling us, 'It's alright.'"
The generous offer was icing on the cake to the McGees, who
are enjoying their stay at the beachfront resort in Holmes
"I went out the door headed for the beach yesterday morning,
and I only got as far as that hammock over there," Phil said,
laughing. "I would definitely come back here. I would recommend
it to everyone."
There are no guarantees that the offer will ever be repeated,
but the McGees will attest to the fact that the only thing that
approaches the natural beauty of Anna Maria Island is the
personality of the people you meet here.
Cedar Cove in the new in England
"He said, 'When these people thank you, that will be my
The Owner said he called the McGees in their room and asked if
they were sitting down before he told them that the gentleman
had paid for their room. Anne had an immediate reaction.
"I call him our friend' she said. "The reason we are here is
because we wanted to be away on our daughter, Megan's, birthday.
She passed away seven years ago, and we don't like to be at home
on her birthday.
Phil said they found out about Anna Maria Island form friends
who had researched it.
said they were impressed with the beaches and with Cedar Cove's
website, which includes a live "Beach
Cam" that offers a view of the beach that is updated
every 20 seconds.
The owner said when the unidentified benefactor made the
offer, he said, "I'll bet you never had this request before.
It's true, in 11 years in the business, I never had."
The McGees's have five children and another daughter, Coleen,
who also passed away. Anne has some physical disabilities, but
she volunteers for a hospice and an organization for the blind