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CHR Mardi Gras returns March 1

September 12, 2013
By SUE DENHAM - Special to the Reporter , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 1, for the second annual Mardi Gras Party, the innovative and family friendly fundraiser for Community Housing & Resources (CHR).

The inaugural event last February sold out and was considered a great success, according to event organizers.

"We raised over $14,000 and more than 250 people attended," said CHR board member and development committee chair Tim Garmager. "For 2014, we aim to accommodate at least 400 partygoers and raise $35,000 for the ongoing maintenance, refurbishment and repair of CHR buildings and grounds."

Article Photos

A giant mask in a tree welcomed guests to the Mardi Gras 2013 at the Dunes Golf & Tennis Resort.

CHR, in partnership with the City of Sanibel, has for more than 30 years provided affordable housing for people who live and/or work on the island, plus senior citizens and the disabled. With more than 117 residents occupying 74 rental units and 14 limited-equity ownership homes in 11 complexes throughout the island, CHR is an essential resource for those who provide the services all islanders want to have. With a daily presence in locations, such as restaurants, banks, retail facilities, and the school, these residents contribute in numerous ways to island life and often volunteer with, and lead, island organizations.

The event again will be affordable and family friendly, with a delicious Cajun dinner including Louisana crawfish, and as before at the Dunes Golf & Tennis Resort. Included in the fun are children's activities, a silent auction and a raffle. New for 2014: a Dixieland band. Also, organizers say, attendees will be encouraged to wear themed costumes.

Planning is under way with CHR board treasurer Melissa Rice as chair, assisted by Garmager, Lynn Ridlehoover, Robyn Moran, Richard McCurry, Rich McDonnell, John Lemmon and CHR executive director Kelly Collini. The team is already approaching businesses with sponsorship opportunities.

"Every dollar we make will be put toward maintaining CHR housing in the finest possible condition, as a source of pride for all islanders," Rice said.

Mark your calendars and watch for more information. Meanwhile, check out the new CHR web site at



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