Parishioners of Saint Michael's Episcopal Church gathered at the Sanibel Community House at the end of March for a gala dinner and silent auction, where they raised $23,000 to support two projects to alleviate suffering in Haiti.
The projects, chosen by the Millenium Development Goals subcommittee of outreach, hopefully will have long term, positive effects in that country.
The first, a sustainable aquaculture project in Haiti, developed at the Woods Hole Marine Biological laboratory - under the direction of Bill Mebane - will enable sustainable Tilapia farms to be extended more widely across Haiti into other areas away from the region which was most severely damaged by the earthquake.
Lee Almas, center, along with Jim and Nolia Hunter enjoy a laugh and good times.
The second project is to purchase "clean cook" stoves from Project Gaia, Inc. Many Haitians still living in make shift tents, have no way to cook the rice and beans that are currently being donated. The women spend many hours daily searching for scarce wood for cooking fires. The stoves use small cartridges of ethanol for fuel, eliminating the need for wood and charcoal, which also produces harmful smoke in the small Haitian homes and tents.
Brazil has donated 100,000 liters of ethanol for immediate use; ultimately the goal is to produce an ethanol supply from the abundant sugar plantations in Haiti.
Both projects are supported by CODEP, a Christian organization backed by the Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church USA, an organization on the ground in Haiti for the past 20 years.
The festive and successful evening was co-chaired by David Bath and Judy Pryor. Countless parishioners prepared and provided the evening's food, decor and auction Items.
In addition our very generous island community also added to the success of the silent auction. They include artist Luc Century, crystal bowl; Capt. Rob Modys, half-day guided fishing trip; musician Danny Morgan, signed art print and CD; Eric Orkin, framed wildlife photograph; The Sanctuary Golf Club, golf and lunch outing for four; Sanibel Home Furnishings, wicker butlers tray and stand; and Sweet Melissa's Cafe, dinner for two.
Saint Michael's Parish is very grateful for the efforts and generosity of so many who made this fundraiser such a wonderful success!