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SSIR to host ‘Food and Travel Festival’ event

By Staff | Mar 27, 2009

The Captiva Community Panel is throwing the first annual Food and Travel Festival at South Seas Island Resort as part of the organization’s annual fundraising efforts, on Wednesday, April 8.

South Seas managing director and panel member Rick Hayduk is chairing the event and has offered up Chadwick Square as a venue for the event.

“I think Captiva is such an extraordinary place that we can stage these types of events,” Hayduk said, noting that as he was planning the festival, all the elements began to fall into place.

He chose the date of April 8 because it’s a time when the snow birds, guests and residents are on the island in high numbers – and, of course, it’s just before Easter weekend when everyone tends to leave the island.

Hayduk also played on the abundance of families on the island at this time of year, a variable which led to the carnival aspect of the festival.

The concept of a food and travel themed event, Hayduk said, was easy to come up with because “Everyone loves food and so many island residents like to travel,” he noted.

The event is made up of three components: a silent auction, live auction and a carnival in Chadwick Square including a bounce house, carnival games and lots of food stations featuring some of Captiva’s finest fare.

The silent auction begins at 10 a.m. and contains items such as a surfing lesson for kids from Captivan Mirella Miville, a portrait done by professional photographer and panel member Rene Miville, several three day and two night stays at various resorts in Florida and Puerto Rico and many gift certificates to Captiva restaurants.

Guests can bid on items all day in the Cone Room at South Seas.

“We’d like to make it a wonderful party where people who aren’t from the island can benefit and people from the community can benefit by being able to travel to other places,” Miville said, noting that visitors who attend the event will be able to bid on Captiva vacation packages that will bring them back to the islands in the future.

When the silent auction ends at 5 p.m., the live auction will begin and feature incredible items such as an in-home dinner prepared by South Seas’ chef Louis Osteen, winner of the 2004 James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef, Southeastern U.S. Award.

Paddles for the live auction cost $10 each.

But even if you don’t have the winning bid on one of the many fabulous items up for grabs during the live and silent auctions, there will also be t-shirts for sale during the event to commemorate the first annual Captiva Island Food and Travel Festival.

As you’re waiting for the live auction to get underway, the carnival portion of the event begins at 4 p.m. and will feature traditional carnival games for $2, a cash bar and food tickets for kiosks containing food from some of Captiva’s best restaurants, including the Bubble Room, Holy Smoke, the Green Flash and Queenie’s Ice Cream.

There is no admission fee for the festival.

“We’re hoping to make it an annual event. Hopefully the live auction will go well and it will be well supported by residents,” Hayduk said, adding that this festival is certainly a way for guests and residents to have fun and bid on some amazing travel opportunities, but is first and foremost a way to raise funds for an organization that has already done so much to improve the community.

“In the past two years, the Captiva Community Panel has gotten a $150,000 water quality study, a $1.5 million pedestrian safety lane and $130,000 worth of natural vegetation, all courtesy of the panel’s efforts in grant procurement,” said Miville. “And for every $1 that goes to the panel, the community gets 1,000% percent back,” he continued, noting that all donation made to the panel are tax deductible.

“The Captiva Community Panel has done some amazing things with grants and land work. They’ve just done so many great things for the community,” Hayduk added. “This is about the community and businesses coming together to celebrate what Captiva is and can be.”