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Panel fundraiser success makes event a fixture for the future

By Staff | Apr 16, 2009

The Captiva Community Panel had a successful trial run with their fundraiser, the first annual Captiva Food and Travel Festival, held last Wednesday in Chadwick Square at South Seas Island Resort.

Hundreds of visitors and island residents turned out for an evening of carnival games, food from the islands’ best restaurants, live entertainment and two auction events.

The Bubble Room, Holy Smoke, The Green Flash and Queenie’s Ice Cream were only some of the many local eateries that offered up fabulous fare in an effort to help raise money for the Panel.

Three inflatable attractions – a giant slide, a castle-themed park and a sticky velcro wall – kept the attention of little festival-goers, while the adults participated in a silent auction filled with unique items, such as surfing lessons, hand-made jewelry and a professional photo portrait session.

The live auction held later that evening featured incredible travel opportunities – several three-day/two-night stays at many Florida resorts, including The Breakers Palm Beach.

South Seas Managing Director Rick Hayduk announced at the panel’s monthly meeting that so far, the entire fundraiser – including games, food, T-shirt sales and the auctions – produced $41,000 for the panel.

“It was a great collaboration and the restaurants that attended with the combination of islanders as well as visitors,” Hayduk said, noting that he’s already started getting ready for the 2010 Food and Travel Festival.

“I think a good time was had by all and it displayed Captiva in a great light, like Rene [Miville] said, as a great travel destination as well as a great place to live,” said Hayduk.

“At the same, time,” he continued, “I also got a lot of questions about the Captiva Community Panel and we were able to get the word out as to what the panel does for the island.”

Many of the other panel members were equally satisfied with the outcome of the event. “I’d like to thank Rick for pulling this together in 30 days. It was an incredibly smooth event. It came off without a hitch and we raised a lot of money,” said panel member Harry Silverglide.

Panel member Rene Miville also expressed his thanks to the many volunteers not affiliated with the panel who showed up to help out. “The volunteers were great and it was fun and it was a lot of work, but it turned out great.”

“The Food and Travel Fest was a fabulous ‘carnival’ event which evoked wonderful feelings of community spirit and cooperation. It is great having a ‘free’ event, just like the old days when the ABC Sale was for everyone and everyone was for the ABC Sale. Thanks to the hard work of Rick Hayduk and the hundreds from the Captiva community and businesses who were outstanding in their support,” added Captivan Mike Mullins.

Mullins has posted many photographs from the event in an online photo album for the public to view.

If you’d like to access this album, visit http://picasaweb.google.com/mcm1248/FirstAnnualFoodAndTravelFest?feat=directlink